Search Box

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Deleted comments

My apologies, I just deleted the last 200 or so comments that were made on this blog, including all the nice comments people made after the post announcing that this blog was more or less coming to a close. It was an accident. I thought I was just deleting them from an internal control section, but it turned out I deleted them entirely, and I can't figure out how to restore them.

For any of you who made those comments, if you happen to look at this blog again, take my word, it was nothing personal, just a function of stupidity on my part.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Senatorial President

Traditionally, a United States Senator's job has been to do the best he can for his home state's constituency -- if need be, at the expense of other states. Senators lobby to land government contracts for companies located in their states, and to get laws passed which will be favor for their states' industries. An effective Senator will bring home as much federal largesse as possible. 

Donald Trump seems to see himself as the Senator from the United States. Right now he's trying to get fairer trade deals for our country, especially with China. He's looking out for the interests of his constituency, which is basically America's middle class, and is trying to bring companies and jobs back home. 

It's a job which previous Presidents seem to have considered beneath their dignity. Most of them preferred to see themselves as statesmen, or grand visionaries, or, perhaps, leaders of the free world. And they all had a sense of the ruffled feathers and potential chaos that trying to level the economic playing field would bring. So none could be bothered to disrupt the status quo. 

Certainly all of the implicit threats of trade wars emanating from the Trump administration have been creating havoc in the financial markets. And Trump's own shoot-from-the-hip, freewheeling, keep-the-opponent-off-balance negotiating style has not been reassuring. 

But we have long been regarded as a pitiful, helpless giant by other countries which have wanted to protect their own industries while being allowed more or less free access to our markets. And Trump wants to end that imbalance. 

He's also annoyed by the fact that other countries don't pay their fair share for NATO, and is trying to rectify that. He's trying to get a better deal for the US. Which, as our President, is what he should be doing. 

Trump's ego is as obtrusive as a second head on his shoulders, and Presidential decorum ranks low on his list of priorities. But, again unlike previous Presidents, he seems to have meant everything he said while running, and is doing his best to make good on his campaign promises. 

Trump is our Senatorial President. 

Obama seemed to view his job as President as if he were the head of the world's largest foundation, with the power to dole out lots of goodies to his favored constituencies, both here and abroad. He seemed to have little sense of how the money which funded the foundation was originally made. And for that reason, he never seemed to quite get why capitalism is more effective than communism. 

This country is better off with a Senator than a foundation head in the Oval Office. 

A true feminist

A lot of feminists pay lip service to the idea that "whatever a man can do, a woman can do better." But the women who are most inclined to chant that slogan often seem to be those least inclined to live up to it. They are not the ones who join the military, start corporations, or act as the breadwinners for their families.

Instead, they prefer to participate in protests, hold placards, complain about how they are oppressed by the patriarchy, lecture others, and regard themselves as morally superior.

So it's reassuring to see that one woman, Samantha Ray Mears, has actually taken that maxim to heart, and has made an honest effort to outdo men at their own game.

Actions speak louder than words.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The time has come....

I probably won't bring this blog to a complete halt, but I plan to slow it way, way down. The posts, if they come at all, will be much less frequent.

I started it ten years ago as a way to let off steam, and I've done that. But for the last couple years I've found myself saying the same thing over and over, in only slightly different ways.

Maybe more to the point, blogging has recently felt like a chore.

Check back in a month, or a year, I'll probably have written something. And who knows, I may feel the need to vent more than I expect. (Signing up for the email alert will save you the time you'd waste coming here to see if there's anything new.)

To those of you who are newcomers, you should still find plenty of entertaining stuff in the archives.

A big thank you to those of you who've been regular readers, and an even bigger thank you to those of you who've been regular commenters. One of the most gratifying things about writing it has been the high number of smart people -- many smarter than me -- who've read it.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The solution to our Muslim immigration problems

A young man recently suggested to me that the way to solve all the problems that seem to arrive with immigrants from Muslim countries is to accept only their gay men and their hot young women. 

It would be justifiable because gay men are certainly discriminated against in those countries -- to the point of being thrown off rooftops. And women are obviously second class citizens in any Islamic society. So both of these groups can more creditably lay claim to be fleeing persecution than all of those aggressive young men we seem to get stuck with. 

From our point of view, gay men would probably be less prone to violence, and they certainly wouldn't go around raping Western women. Instead of having a repeat of that infamous mass molestation in Cologne, they could have mass fashion critiques instead. ("Plaids and stripes in the same outfit? May Allah be with you!")

As far as the hot young women, well, that's self-explanatory. 

The young man knows, of course, that there's no chance such a policy will be instituted. 

But that's not to say the West wouldn't be far better off if it were.

Monday, February 26, 2018

It's more fun to be black

Black people have a much more appealing, enjoyable way of being.

When blacks laugh, their entire bodies will often convulse, and sometimes they'll even jump up and down to express amusement. The few occasions when I've actually laughed so hard that tears came to my eyes, and the one or two occasions where I literally fell on the floor because I was laughing so hard, were definitely high points in my life.

On a few occasions, I have gleefully and unabashedly and celebrated some personal triumph, not entirely unlike a running back doing a victory dance in the end zone. Others may have resented my display, and I may have later wished I'd been a little more circumspect, or displayed some false modesty. But when I was in the moment, I was unquestionably having a good time.

Being in that moment is harder than it sounds, especially for someone like me, who tends to spend a lot of time thinking about the past or future. But I'd like to be more like Lamar Odom.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: when blacks are being friendly, I've always sensed more genuine goodwill than when whites are, since blacks tend to be more uninhibited about saying what they think, whereas with whites almost always feel obliged to put on some sort of (more or less false) socially acceptable face. On those occasions when I've actually felt warmly towards those I'm with, as opposed to having to feign friendliness, I've enjoyed myself far more.

Inhibitions may be good for keeping people on the straight and narrow path, and for getting them to fulfill their social responsibilities. But they don't make for a good time.

Think of it this way: white people drink in order to become more like black people. They may not think of it in those terms, and they likely don't want to actually be black; but they want to be more like them, i.e., uninhibited.

It has often been noted that when there's a large group of blacks, the noise level tends to be louder. You may have noticed the same of white cocktail parties: the volume gets turned up.

If you could have the relaxed feeling of having had a couple drinks, without the physical side effects, would you not opt for that condition?

How many of your most fun times seem to have come when you've had a couple beverages? Would it not be preferable to just be high on life?

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Was Orwell right?

The NY Post ran an article this morning about Sean Miller, the basketball coach at the University of Arizona, who was caught on tape by the FBI offering $100,000 to a sports agent to insure that 7'1" DeAndre Ayton signed with the Wildcats.

One of the more striking things about the article was the picture of the 49-year-old Miller:

His face seems to reflect a combination of dishonesty and greed. He's clapping for someone or something here, and he seems to realize he's supposed to be smiling, but it's a half-hearted smile that barely informs his mouth, and certainly doesn't reach his eyes. The eyes, in fact, look concerned, judging from the knitted brow.

(He looks like a Wall Street banker applauding the right values while wondering how, by paying lip service to those values, he can manipulate others to his own advantage.)

Maybe it's unfair, but it's easier to see greed in the face of a fat person, and Miller has the jowls and round face of a man who doesn't like to limit himself at the dinner table. And he has the well cut, expensive suit of a vain guy who indulges himself sartorially, too.

(There's always something a little questionable about a coach who harangues his athletes about staying in shape while allowing himself to get pudgy.)

As far as the dishonesty goes, here is the statement he released after he fired his assistant for corruption last fall:

“As the head basketball coach at the University of Arizona, I recognize my responsibility is not only to establish a culture of success on the basketball court and in the classroom, but as important, to promote and reinforce a culture of compliance. To the best of my ability, I have worked to demonstrate this over the past eight years and will continue to do so as we move forward.”

(Dishonesty often seems to make its presence known through overemphasis.)

George Orwell once famously said, “At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”

This isn't always true; but it often is. 

Miller, who was born on November 17, 1968, is a year ahead of schedule.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Feminist contradictions

Last week Aly Raisman and Paige Spiranac let nude photos of themselves be released last week, and both stated that doing so was "empowering." That both young women felt obliged to attach this feminist trope to their exhibitionism was a telling sign of the age we live in.

Showing off one's body is perfectly natural, if not quite laudable. And there's always a receptive audience for young women who want to pose that way. But why did they feel the necessity to try to frame their nude photos as an expression of feminism? Had they said it was "exhilarating," or maybe "excitingly exposing," it would probably have been closer to the truth.

Another feminist movement which seems founded at least partly in exhibitionism is the "free the nipple" movement. Some feminists are now saying that if men get to walk around bare-chested, women should have the same right. You see, it's all a matter of equal rights.

But at the same time, feminists say that if women are stared at, and thus made to feel uncomfortable, this is unacceptable. One can't help but be reminded of the woman who wears deep d├ęcolletage and then complains that men gawk at her breasts.

Feminists now say that if a woman is desired, she is being "objectified," a verb intended to convey the vague sense that men think of women as being nothing more than inanimate toys. But why else would a woman pose naked, unless she wanted to be "objectified?"

Most women of course, don't subscribe to that kind of silliness, though a large fraction of those who don't still feel obliged to at least pay lip service to feminism. But given the way some feminists complain about being objectified, one would think there might be an "ugly industry" to protect women against the horror of being viewed as an object. Yet there's no such thing. There's only an immense beauty industry.

The very idea of an "ugly industry" is, of course, silly. But, when you think about it, it's no sillier than complaining about being "objectified," i.e., desired.

We hear feminists talk a lot about how strong and smart and capable women are. But they also say that if a woman has so much as two drinks, she's unable to make a rational decision about whether to have sex, and therefore if she acquiesces, it means she's been raped. How does that show intelligence and strength?

Feminists tell us that women can be Army Rangers, yet they also say that women must be protected from dirty jokes, which are now termed "verbal assault." What will happen when the bullets are flying and some male Ranger, in the heat of battle, makes an obscene comment about the enemy? Will the female Rangers just throw down their weapons and fall apart at that point?

Slut shaming is now a concept: feminists tell us that women should not be criticized for their promiscuity. Yet if a man tries to kiss a woman but is rebuffed, he is now considered to have made "an unwanted sexual advance." Ergo, making passes is cause for shame, but accepting them is not. Does this dichotomy not require men to be mind readers so as not to run afoul of feminist doctrine?

The Left constantly berates conservatives for viewing homosexuality as a "lifestyle choice," as if the gays have any control over whom they're attracted to. Yet if a man is attracted only to slender women, feminists lambaste him for his "patriarchal sense of beauty" -- as if he has any choice about whom he's attracted to. (And doesn't this sound an awful lot as if some feminists are bitter that they're not objectified?)

The idea of gay conversion therapy is anathema to the Left. Yet the Left is constantly trying to get men to think of different types of women -- who are not their type -- as being desirable. Is this not simply gay conversation therapy for heterosexuals?

And it's not as if women don't have their own set of physical standards for men. As the #Metoo movement has made clear, ugly men are far more likely to be accused of unwanted sexual advance than handsome men are. Ought the Harvey Weinsteins of the world have the right to complain about a "matriarchal sense of handsomeness?"

Does a movement with so many inherent contradictions have any chance of standing the test of time?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

What if they did try to keep the "mentally ill" from having guns?

Everybody seems to agree in principle that keeping guns away from someone like Nikolas Cruz is a good idea. The problem is, spotting people like him ahead of time.

It seems increasingly likely that some form of autism, probably Aspergers, was part of the lethal mix that added up to Nikolas Cruz's bloodthirsty personality. We've also heard that he was depressed, and that he was suffering from the sting of romantic rejection. He may have been on medication. And it seems fairly apparent he had a generalized resentment against Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School, which had expelled him.

But the common thread between Cruz and a lot of the other recent mass killers -- like Christopher Harper-Mercer, Elliot Rodger, Adam Lanza, and Seung-Hui Cho -- has been that they have been on the autistic spectrum.

So, the most commonsensical way for Congress to approach keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill would be to make it illegal for people with Aspergers, or more severe forms of autism, to have firearms.

Let's pause to consider, just for a moment, what would happen if Congress attempted this.

Aspergers support groups would let forth a primal scream which would be heard coast to coast. They would say that the vast majority of Aspies are law abiding, peaceful citizens -- and they would be right about that.

They would say that Aspies are far more likely to be picked on than they are to pick on other people. They'd be right about that.

The support groups would point out the futility of trying to keep Aspies from having guns, when the vast majority of people who have Aspergers are never even diagnosed. They'd be right about that.

And then, the AMA would point out that such a law might violate the doctor patient confidentiality principle. And the psychiatric industry would claim that such a law would discourage people who suffer from autism from seeking treatment. And they'd both be right.

We would be bombarded with lists of all the famous and successful people with Aspergers who had contributed to the development of civilization. Such lists are widespread; and Aspies seem to like to claim kinship with many great men who may or may not have been members of their club. (As long as you're great, if you have any quirks at all, you must be an Aspie, as far as they're concerned.)

Support groups would run ads featuring productive, good-looking, seemingly well-adjusted Aspies and say, see, this is the face of Aspergers.

They would scream discrimination. And they would be right: preventing any group, no matter how much more statistically violent, from having guns does constitute discrimination of a sort.

I almost wish Congress would try to appease the Left by "discriminating" against the one group which is in fact far more likely to commit mass shootings than any other.

The Left is constantly calling for more gun control, and for guns to be kept out of the hands of the "mentally ill." They are also constantly decrying any form of "discrimination" they can think of.

It would be fun to see them try to reconcile those conflicting goals.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Obama portraits

A lot has been made of the official portrait of Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley:

You've probably heard a lot of opinions about the flowery background, the expression on Obama's face, the "hidden sperm" controversy (to me, it's neither provable nor disprovable), and how Wiley may not actually paint the paintings, even though he takes credit for them.

You've probably also heard about the other works by Wiley, which include paintings of a black woman holding a decapitated white woman's head:

It's barely worth mentioning what would happen if the races were reversed in the case, as such examples are so numerous and so obvious, and have been for a long time.

Kathy Griffin got into big trouble for a similar "work of art," but it's doubtful that Wiley will end up in similar hot water.

What nobody seems to have mentioned so far is how Amy Sherald whitened her official portrait of Michelle Obama, to the point where she is unrecognizable:

Sherald has given Michelle a narrower nose and less prognathous face. She has also made Michelle's eyes less close set, though that trait is less a function of race. For purposes of comparison, here's the real Michelle:

Amy Sherald herself is light-skinned --

-- and historically, light-skinned blacks have often had a sometimes querulous relationship with their darker-skinned brethren. That Sherald effectively made Michelle Obama look as if she would pass the brown paper bag test in her official portrait is telling.

What does that say about Sherald's attitudes toward beauty and attractiveness? And how badly would a white artist have been excoriated for making those changes?

Our short attention spans

The extent to which the media determines what we think about is pretty amazing, when you think about it. We're constantly assaulted by headlines screaming about whatever the latest cause for outrage is, and while we're reading about that, we tend to forget about whatever was deemed important the previous year. Or month.

Marshall McLuhan famous phrase, "The medium is the message," is far truer now than it was in 1964 when he coined it.

Up until the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke this past October, the big cause was tearing down Confederate statues, and maybe even expunging those slaveholders George Washington and Thomas Jefferson from the honor roll of our nation's history.

But when was the last time you thought about Confederate statues? October? Didn't the media portray that as a matter of utmost urgency back then? How did they slip so suddenly, and completely, from the radar? Are our attentions spans really that short?


When was the last time you thought about the unresolved questions about Stephen Paddock and the Las Vegas massacre? Or the London Bridge and Manchester terrorist attacks in Britain? When was the last time you thought about Hurricanes Harvey (which hit Houston) or Maria (Puerto Rico)?

Obviously, some events have more political ramifications, others fewer. And, of course, it's the job of news organizations to report current events, not past ones. Nonetheless, there are issues they prefer to bury, and issues they don't.

If they don't want us to think about something in the first place, they simply drop the subject after barely covering it, if they cover it at all. And it goes right down the memory hole. This is why stonewalling is such a successful tactic. This is what happened to Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, and Benghazi. The Obama administration simply refused to come clean, or release documents, and eventually, with no outrage from the media, we just forgot about them.

As the Russia investigation seems to be gradually morphing from a potential Republican scandal into a Democratic one, the same will undoubtedly happen here. The media will distract us from the matter of Christopher Steele and Fusion with more timely scandals, manufactured or not. And Fusion will slip down the memory hole too.

We all have a certain amount of ADD built into our brains, and the media knows how to take advantage of that to keep us focused on whatever they want us focused on.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Winter Olympics

About six or seven people have asked me this week if I'd been watching the Winter Olympics. After I told them I hadn't been, two of them said something to the effect of, "But what they do is really amazing. The skill those snowboarders show......And the speed skaters, they're really impressive."

They both said this as if somehow I might not have realized that. But I'm well aware that to get to the Olympics, you have to be an incredible athlete in almost any sport. I can neither dance nor skate, so dancing on skates is beyond my comprehension. I'd never have the courage to even attempt the kinds of flips and twists the snowboarders execute. (Mostly because I know I'd never make them, but also because I've simply never been comfortable in midair.)

But, that's not really the issue. The issue is that those sports simply don't grab me.

That said, I'll probably waste a little time Thursday and Friday evenings watching the women's ACC swimming championships on the internet.

Now, you may ask, perfectly reasonably, why would I waste my time watching the third best college conference championship of a boring sport, and the women, at that? (No self-respecting male basketball fan follows the WNBA.) Especially when the best winter sports athletes in the world are on display on hi-definition TV.

It's because for some reason, early on, I just got fixated on swimming. (And, to a lesser extent, track and the martial arts.)

I'm not trying to justify that in any way, or rationalize it. All I can say is, that's who I am.

I'm not using that phrase the way some people say, "That's not who we are," trying to frame people who don't share their particular political motivations as having a lesser morality.

I'm using the phrase in the sense of, that's what turns me on.

Given that swimming was my sport, this may show a lack of imagination, or a lack of flexibility, or an overall lack of adventurousness of spirit.

Honestly, it probably shows all three of those things.

But there's a limit to what we can spend our time appreciating. You could spend your entire life focused on the ballet, on those incredible leaps and balancing acts the dancers are capable of. You could spend an infinite amount of time appreciating the power and range and timing of the voices one can hear at the opera. You could spend endless weekends at museums, marveling over the incredible skill and painstaking workmanship that went into creating the masterpieces on display.

But most of us simply choose to remain within our small circle of interests, and do what we're used to.

Well, some of us more than others, I guess.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Would we be better off with a sociopath as President?

Gethin recently commented that he was starting to wonder whether it really matters whether a political leader is a sociopath or narcissist, since narcissism is ubiquitous amongst bullies, and that most wars could probably have been averted had world leaders been less narcissistic.

The answer is probably yes and no.

You can make the case that at a certain level -- mostly the PR level -- we'd be better off with a sociopath than just a narcissist at the helm. A sociopath of similar intelligence wouldn't make all the faux pas that Trump does. He'd be more skilled at hiding his ego behind a cloak of false nobility. And he wouldn't be in the habit of blurting out his real thoughts in such an impolitic manner.

The downside of having a sociopath is that he wouldn't really care about helping America, or Americans. He'd be focused instead on doing what made him look good, especially in the short run. (Think about how some sociopaths will bask in the glory of falsely claimed accomplishments even as they realize they will be exposed eventually; this is just their nature.) 

A narcissist would be more concerned about how he'll look in the long run. 

And, going back to Gethin's original point about war: sociopaths are, by nature, less concerned about loss of life, more aggressive, and sometimes even more bloodthirsty than narcissists.

We're better off with a narcissist. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Being able to criticize one's own candidate

One difference that becomes apparent to anyone who follows these things, and it was never clearer than it was last year, is that there is a fundamental difference between Right and Left in their ability to acknowledge their own candidates' shortcomings.

Practically everyone I knew who voted for Trump would say something like, "Yeah, I'm going to hold my nose and vote for the guy."

In fact, I know very few people who support Trump politically but are unwilling to admit that he's a narcissistic personality. Most Trump voters will admit that he's vulgar, thin-skinned, boastful, and easily distracted.

Many will also say that they wish he'd put away his Twitter button, or be more diplomatic, or just hold his tongue more and not get in spats with the likes of Rosie O'Donnell.

This presents a striking contrast to Democrats, who rarely if ever admitted that there was anything wrong with Hillary, or Obama, even as both of them exhibited obvious personality syndromes.

If I get into a political discussion with a liberal, I am inevitably lectured on what a horrible man Trump is.

I'll usually say something to the effect of, "Yes, he's a 'hole, but I agree with him on the issues." I might even volunteer that he's a narcissistic personality with ADHD." But then I'll add, "But Hillary is an outright sociopath. You do know she's totally corrupt, don't you?"

At this juncture I'm usually given a look of disbelief and a quick, dismissive shake of the head.

If I ever say, "Are you aware that she sold 20% of all the North American uranium rights to Russia in exchange for a contribution to the Clinton Foundation," I'm greeted by a blank stare and then a dismissive wave of the hand, as if what I was suggesting was too preposterous to be true.

Or, they might respond, "If that's true, then why have I never heard about that?"

When I explain that it's because they only read the mainstream media, which prefers to gloss over her sins, they will shake their heads contemptuously, as if the very thought of Hillary doing anything like that was too ridiculous to be true.

I might say, "What do you make of the fact that Hillary now says that all women who claim to be rape victims deserve to be heard, but that she was in charge of the so called 'bimbo eruptions' caused by her husband Bill? And she did her best to insult and even intimidate the women. Not only that, but earlier in her career she defended a 44-year-old man against charges that he had raped a 12-year-old girl, got him off on an apparently erroneous lie detector test result, and then joked about it afterwards."

At that point I will be given a disbelieving look, as if I'm full of crazy ideas that aren't even worth discussing, and the liberal might say, in an incredulous tone of voice, "Uh, what's your source on that?" Then they might add, sarcastically, "Faux News?"

If I ever say, "You know, Hillary's the type of person who yells and screams at her personal security details and in general treats them like personal servants. The Arkansas State Troopers hated her, Secret Service personnel considered working for her hardship duty, and her State Department security detail actually celebrated when she broke her arm," I'm usually given a look indicating that I'm hopelessly naive to believe such obviously untrue rumors.

If I say something like, "You do realize that Hillary's basically a functional alcoholic, right?" I might be told, "Oh please, everybody drinks. It doesn't mean they're all alcoholics" -- as if I can't tell the difference between little social drinking and full blown alcoholism.

And in all these cases, nobody wants to hear any of the evidence. I always wanted to say, "Hey, here, read this!" But of course I can't just pull out a blog post in the course of conversation and force someone to read it. And even if I were somehow able to, they wouldn't believe any of it anyway, or would dismiss it with a pish-posh gesture.

This isn't true of every last liberal; and certainly every last conservative isn't willing to be critical of Trump. But as a rule, it's true. Many on the Left seem to lack whatever element it is in the personality that allows for sheepishness.

What does it say about the Left that it's composed mostly of people who can never, ever admit fault with their own side? 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

"A Wrong Turn for Drama"

In July '09 I wrote a post about the smartest guy I'd ever met, Jon Leaf. Among other things, he now writes for the National Review. Here is his trenchant and funny review of Sam Shepard's work, which crystallizes every vague feeling I've ever had about Shepard.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

If feminists covered the crime beat

This blog has previously speculated on what would happen if fashion writers covered crime. What would happen if feminists covered the crime beat?

Aileen Wuornos

Aileen was a martyr for our cause. She devoted her life to teaching men, one at a time, that "No" means no! This was one woman whose pussy you couldn't grab! Unfortunately, she was executed after being unjustly railroaded by a chauvinistic kangaroo court. But she will always be remembered for having covered herself in glory by taking a strong stand against the patriarchy! #Womenwhowon'tbedominated

Griselda Blanco

Griselda Blanco was a She-E-O who broke the glass ceiling in the highly competitive nonprescription pharmaceutical business. She ran away from home at age 14 to escape the sexual assaults from her mother's boyfriend, and from then on survived by her wits. As tough as any of her male colleagues, she even enjoyed herself as some men do. According to Wiki:

Court records show Blanco... would force men and women to have sex at gunpoint, and had frequent bisexual orgies. Her favorite possessions included an emerald and gold MAC 10 machine pistol, Eva Peron’s pearls and a tea set once used by the Queen of England.... In court, it was revealed that Blanco killed three former husbands as well as strippers, business rivals – and innocent bystanders...

Why should men get all the enjoyment? Blanca's literal take no prisoners style of doing business resulted in her becoming a guest of the United States for ten years beginning in 1985. But Griselda was no pushover, continuing to run her empire even though confined. Anything a man (like the one at top, left) can do, a woman can do better! #Girlsjustwannahavefun

Genene Jones

Genene was an early advocate of birth control -- both regular and retroactive. Only a caring woman would be so concerned about overpopulation, and no one can deny that Genene did her bit. In fact, she was far more effective in her efforts to solve Mother Earth's problems than most men could ever hope to be. In the words of G.D. Anderson, ""Feminism isn't about making women strong. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength."#Strongwomen

Lorena Bobbitt

Lorena was the ultimate feminist. Lorena's husband John battered and abused her, boasted about his infidelities, and stole and spent her earnings. Worst of all, as she told the police on the night she was arrested, "He always have orgasm [sic], and he doesn't wait for me ever to have orgasm. He's selfish!"

So, like any good feminist, she decided to attack the phallocracy at its very root. True female liberation can only be achieved through from separating males from the source of their power! You go girl!! #Ifyoucutoffmyreproductivechoice,canIcutoffyours?

Leona Helmsley

Who's the Queen of the Helmsley Palace? Leona! In her own words, "I've always wanted to be the biggest real estate man to come down the pike." Well, Leona got her wish, running an over $5 billion real estate empire after her husband died. But while she may have had to marry for money, once she got her hands on it, she refused to kowtow to any man. According to Wiki:

Once, at one of the Helmsley hotels, the waiter brought him [her lawyer Alan Dershowitz] a cup of tea with a tiny bit of water spilled on the saucer. She grabbed the cup from him and smashed it on the floor, then demanded that the waiter get down on his hands and knees and beg for his job.

That's showing those men who's boss! Thank you Leona for being on the right side of history! #Taxesareforthelittlepeople

Sandra Avila Beltran

Sandra Avila Beltran ran her medicinal export business so cleverly that when the male oppressors came after her, all they could get her for was money laundering, not unlike the way the Feds were only able to get Al Capone for tax evasion. When initially arrested, Avila described herself as a housewife who earned a little money on the side "selling clothes and renting houses." Talk about modesty! Sandra is a crusader for the downtrodden, too: while in jail in Mexico City, she filed a complaint with the Mexico City Human Rights Commission, saying that the ban on bringing in food from restaurants violated her human rights. #Silenceisnotanoption

Bonnie Parker

Bonnie only lived to the age of 23, but she achieved lasting fame for having broken into the heretofore male-donated business of unauthorized bank withdrawals. As a young girl, she felt frustrated by the provincialism of life in Dallas, but soon went on to bigger and better things with partner Clyde Barrow. Unfortunately, government officials, who hated the idea of a woman being so successful at breaking glass ceilings, killed her. Bonnie, you left us too soon! #Onlyweakmenfearstrongwomen

Phoolan Devi

Phoolan Devi, 1963 - 2001, the legendary Bandit Queen, was born into an impoverished low caste Mallah family in India, but rose to become a member of Parliament before her assassination at age 38. At age 16 she ran away from an arranged marriage with a man three times her age, and fell in with a local band of dacoits. Tensions grew between the Rajput members of the gang and the Mallah members until there was a gunfight, won by the Rajputs, and Phoolan was taken to a Rajput village, where she was raped repeatedly. Phoolan escaped, and later organized a new band of bandits with whom she returned to that village seven months later. Frustrated that she couldn't find the men who had raped her, she and her fellow gang members lined up 22 other Rajput men and shot them all dead. That showed those men what happens to rapists -- or, well, at least their tribesmen! #Metoo

Daniela Poggiali

The joyful Daniela Poggiali helped cut short the pain and suffering of countless elderly people under her care. And all the while, as you can see above, she never lost her sense of humor! As the great Oprah Winfrey said, "There are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die." Don't worry Oprah, we're all impatient for that to happen, especially Daniela! #38andcounting

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme

Not many girls from Redondo Beach, California, could dream of making the cover of both Time and Newsweek, but Squeaky did! And she did because she was so adventurous. First, she left her own family to join another. Then she went solo and tried to gain an audience with President Gerald Ford, almost changing the course of history! She's now a free woman living quietly in upstate New York, but she'll always be remembered for her glory days. #Thisiswhatafeministlookslike!

Hillary Clinton

The greatest feminist ever may have been Hillary Clinton, who has attempted to break down innumerable barriers. She tried to enlist in the Marines in 1975, though they turned her down. She broke into the fast-paced men's world of cattle futures trading, turning a $1000 investment into a $100,000 windfall. She continued those entrepreneurial ways with the Clinton Foundation, using her power as Secretary of State to bring in funds from all over the world. She even approved the sale of 20% of all North American uranium mining rights to Russia after an appropriate contribution was made. Even though she had to abide the presence of a lot of male pigs throughout her career, she let them know what she thought of them in no uncertain terms! She bravely survived a sniper attack in Bosnia. And most importantly, she did this all all by herself! #Ididn'tneedamantosucceed

No correlations here

From this morning's NY Post:

Women accused of burning 5-year-old girl in voodoo ritual

EAST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Two sisters tied down and burned a 5-year-old girl, permanently disfiguring her, in a voodoo ritual meant to rid her of a demon causing her to misbehave, police said. The women also threatened to cut off the head of the girl’s 8-year-old brother with a machete, authorities said.

The boy said his sister was tied down on at least two occasions while the sisters blew fire over her face and cut her on the arm and in the collar area with a needle-like object, drawing blood, according to police. The girl said the women also poured over her eyes a substance that stung.

Peggy LaBossiere, 51, and Rachel Hilaire, 40, of East Bridgewater, denied injuring the girl and threatening the boy, the Brockton Enterprise reported. They pleaded not guilty on Jan. 29 to mayhem, assault and other charges. A public defender for the women didn’t return a call seeking comment on Saturday.

Police say the girl’s mother is a hair stylist of Haitian descent who has LaBossiere as a client and requested the ritual. She has not been charged but is receiving mental health treatment...

The girl suffered a third-degree burn across her face that will leave her permanently disfigured, police said. She was treated at a hospital and taken into custody by state welfare authorities, along with her brother, who described to police what happened at the sisters’ house over multiple days.

Well? Were the demons expelled, or not? The article never says.

To those of you inclined to draw conclusions from this article about immigrants from so-called "shithole countries," let me just point out that immigrants from Norway would undoubtedly be doing the same sort of thing. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"Teen hit with bottle after rejecting groper's advances"

Swedish guys are evidently just a bunch of savages.

Introducing heroes at the SOTU

Not sure how I feel about the recent tradition of Presidents introducing all sorts of heroes at their State of the Union addresses. The people introduced last night were all deserving of either admiration or sympathy, but most were also obviously being trotted out to help make political points.

They had Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashley Leppert, who rescued dozens of people from a helicopter during Hurricane Harvey.

Firefighter David Dahlberg, who rescued 62 children from the recent wildfires in southern California.

Steve Staub, who is growing his manufacturing business by 23 to 37 employees thanks to the recent tax cuts and deregulation, along with one of his welders, Corey Adams.

Twelve-year-old Preston Sharp, who organized the placing of over 40,000 flowers on veterans' graves. (This provided a lead in to Trump's statement about how we should stand for the flag and the national anthem.)

Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddie Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens, the parents of two girls who were murdered by MS-13 members. They provided a stark backdrop to Trump's statement about how we have to clamp down on gangs, in particular that one.

Homeland Security agent Celestino Martinez, who has spent his career fighting violent street gangs like MS-13. (Always better to show a Hispanic fighting other Hispanics, so as to deemphasize the racial component to violent crime.)

Police officer Ryan Holets and his wife Rebecca, who adopted a baby from a homeless woman whom Ryan convinced not to inject heroin while pregnant. (Cops were in the doghouse during Obama's last couple years in office, and stories like this help balance the public view.)

Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck, who risked his life in Raqqa to bravely -- and skillfully -- rescue his infantry squad mate Kenton Stacy.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier, parents of Otto Warmer, who was imprisoned and tortured -- and basically, killed -- by North Korea.

Ji Seong-ho, who escaped from North Korea and whose siblings had to eat dirt to assuage their hunger.

(Have there ever been that many people introduced at a SOTU before?)

The Trump administration obviously took great care to make sure that the people introduced represented a broad cross section of the population, and that it was balanced both racially and in terms of gender. (To do otherwise would be politically suicidal.)

It's great that these heroes are getting this publicity. I had never heard of any of them (beside the parents of the victims, who are in a somewhat different category than the heroes), and even if they served primarily as political props, it's great that they got the air time.

Publicizing people like this, rather than actors and various sports "heroes," is what the media should be doing. Real heroism is about self-sacrifice, not being a well-paid star.

Quick -- how many recent Medal of Honor winners can you name? Hmm. But, you can probably name at least three of the Kardashian sisters, can't you? (Don't worry, this isn't you fault -- it's the media's fault.)

It was also edifying to see these people just because they're a reminder that real heroes look like ordinary people (not like Arnold Schwarzenegger or George Clooney).

It was also interesting to think about the contrast between the heroes and members of Congress. Politicians are for the most part slicksters who are good at feigning earnestness, at obfuscation, at double talk, and at self-promotion. The type of people who are good at these things are generally the opposite of the types who put their own lives on the line for someone else. (Not always, but usually.)

In a way, it's sort of a reality show. Some of the people seemed a little overwhelmed by the moment, though most reacted as they were supposed to. The mothers of the MS-13 victims and Otto Warmbier's mother cried, which was appropriate. The Korean fellow defiantly brandished his crutches, which seemed fitting. And most just wore awkward smiles. My guess is that Justin Peck was more nervous about appearing on TV than he was going into the second floor of that hospital to rescue his squad mate.

 I guess, on balance, I'm happy that all these people were introduced. They certainly made the speech go a lot quicker.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Do fake Twitter followers correlate with fake muscles?

Just saw an article in the NY Post, Britt McHenry, Ray Lewis exposed for Twitter-follower desperation buysThe relevant excerpt:

It is unknown whether McHenry, Lewis and several other figures themselves paid to improve their Twitter popularity or if someone else purchased the following for them. Either way, their followings have been enhanced by a shadowy company in Devumi, which creates fake accounts that give the appearance that a person’s following is grander than it seems. Having many Twitter followers can lend credibility and marketability to a person, especially those in media who want to show employers that a significant audience will follow them. McHenry worked for ESPN until being a victim of April’s layoffs, for which she attributed to herself being a conservative. Lewis is currently a Fox Sports analyst.

Also named in the sham buys were former Cowboys wide receiver and current ESPN analyst Joey Galloway, Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty, MLB free agent Brandon Phillips, Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson and former rowing champion James Cracknell.

How many followers were purchased, and at what cost, are unknown. The site advertises that “5,000-plus” fake accounts can be had for $49.

Here's Ray Lewis during his playing days: 

You can decide for yourself whether or not he was on the juice. This past May I made the case that breaststroker Adam Peaty --

It's hard not to wonder if there's a correlation here. You'd think that the kind of person willing to buy fake Twitter followers in order to look better would also be the type willing to pretend that his store-bought muscles were merely the result of hard training. 

Well, maybe I shouldn't feel that bad that this blog averages only around a thousand readers per day. 

Or that my muscles are so puny.