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Thursday, March 31, 2016

The roots of Frances Lear's outspoken leftism

I was talking to a woman recently who reminded me of the title character Maude, from the 1972-1978 TV series. Bea Arthur starred as the imperious, outspoken liberal woman who rubbed lots of people the wrong way. The character was supposed to have been based on Frances Lear, the wife of Norman Lear, the producer of the show.

Most of you will be too young to remember, but for a while, Maude was the archetype of a certain kind of woman many loved to hate.

Out of idle curiosity, I Googled "Frances Lear" and found this surprisingly honest obituary of her in the NY Times, from 10/1/96. (My comments not in italics):

Frances Lear, a mercurial figure in the media world who spent some $25 million she received in a divorce settlement to start a magazine named after herself, died yesterday at her home in Manhattan. She was 73...

Ms. Lear was married for 28 years to Norman Lear, the highly successful television producer of series like ''All in the Family'' and ''Maude.'' Her divorce settlement from Mr. Lear, an amount variously estimated to be between $100 million and $112 million, was one of the largest ever recorded. ''I was very much a part of his thinking,'' she often said, justifying the amount of the settlement. ''Norman could not have done his shows without me.''

(That may have been true of "Maude," in a negative sort of way, but seems highly doubtful in the case of "All in the Family.")

It is generally considered -- and she herself claimed -- that she was the inspiration for Maude, the feisty and opinionated title character played by Bea Arthur.

(A little surprising she would admit to that.)

Ms. Lear made a name for herself among feminists, working in political campaigns, including Eugene McCarthy's Presidential campaign in 1968; with the National Organization for Women on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment, which was not ratified; as a partner in an executive search firm specializing in placing women, and as a writer, producing articles for a number of national publications. But she believed that she had faded into the background as her husband's career took off in the 1970's. After Mr. Lear acquired his own movie studio and founded his own civil liberties group, People for the American Way, she discussed her frustrations in an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times in 1981.

A woman in Hollywood is a nonperson, she wrote, ''unless she is under 21, powerful or a star.'' She noted, too, that an industry wife was looked through, never at. In a later interview, recalling her years as a Hollywood wife, she said she had felt constantly ignored and undervalued, had had little self-esteem and had often been depressed.

(This seems a somewhat hollow complaint: a man in Hollywood is a nonperson unless he is powerful or a star as well.)

Ms. Lear, in her own words, ''always aspired to something out of the ordinary,'' and she moved to New York after her divorce in 1985. She quickly set out to change the nonperson identity she had felt in Hollywood by creating Lear's, a magazine aimed at women like herself -- ''the woman who wasn't born yesterday,'' as the magazine said on its cover.

Lear's began publication in 1988 and was a success. It began with a circulation base of 250,000 and grew to 350,000 in a year. But after two years, Ms. Lear abandoned her original concept and lowered the age of the theoretical Lear's woman to over 35. Abandoning the older-age niche put the magazine into competition with other women's magazines, and its advertising never recovered from the move.

Almost immediately after the magazine's debut, Ms. Lear developed a reputation for being unpredictable and hot-tempered. She held a series of intimate lunches in her apartment during which she sought, and then usually ignored, advice for her fledgling publication. She also frequently brought up more of her personal history than most of her guests were prepared for, revealing that she had a Dickensian childhood, that doctors had determined that she was manic-depressive and had prescribed lithium for her condition, that she was an alcoholic and that she had made several suicide attempts over the years.

(Who knew that Maude was manic-depressive as well as alcoholic? The narcissism, as demonstrated by her talking about herself inappropriately, is no surprise, though.)

There ensued a revolving door of editors and writers, many of whom complained of Ms. Lear's inexperience and capricious decisions. Numerous articles were accepted and not published, and layouts were changed at the last minute. In an article in The New York Times, a staff member recalled that when Ms. Lear had been told that she could not change a quotation, she had shouted, ''It is my magazine, and I will do what I want...''

(Such a revolving door always seems to revolve around a difficult personality. And shouting at subordinates who gently remonstrate also reeks of narcissism.)

Although circulation was more than 500,000 in its final months, Lear's ceased publication in March 1994. It had lost an estimated $25 million to $30 million in its six years of operation...

Ms. Lear was born on July 14, 1923, at the Vanderheusen Home for Wayward Girls in Hudson, N.Y., the child of an unwed mother and an unknown father. ''The odds were stacked high against me,'' she once said. She was given the name Evelyn, but she was renamed Frances when she was adopted after 14 months in an orphanage by Aline and Herbert Loeb of Larchmont, N.Y.

(Not having a bond with a nurturing figure for the first fourteen months of life does mean the "odds are stacked high" against any sort of good character later on.)

''Aline was outwardly affectionate with me for my father's sake, but she did not like me,'' Ms. Lear wrote in ''The Second Seduction,'' (Alfred A. Knopf, 1992) an autobiography that pulled no punches. The slim volume laid out in harrowing detail her personal history and most intimate experiences.

(And then, to be brought up by a stepmother who doesn't even like you -- let alone love you -- is more or less a guarantee of a narcissistic personality, and maybe even sociopathy.)

The memoir related her years of sexual abuse, beginning at age 12, by the man whom her adoptive mother married after Mr. Loeb committed suicide during the Depression. She told, too, of being sent to a psychiatrist, to whom she revealed her stepfather's abuse, and of the psychiatrist's betrayal in repeating her confidences to her mother and stepfather. Her stepfather, she wrote, ''met me at the door with a kitchen knife in his hand.'' Her mother ''turned and left the room, went into her bedroom, closed the door and protected her economic hide.'' On her mother's death, her stepfather was left 90 percent of the $100,000 remaining from Mr. Loeb's insurance, Ms. Lear said.

(That sexual abuse was pretty much the final nail in the coffin of her mental health; and it's obvious from her words that she hated her stepmother as well.)

Ms. Lear attended the Mary A. Burnham School for Girls in Northampton, Mass. In the 1940's and early 50's, she held a number of jobs, primarily in advertising and retailing in New York. She was, she never hesitated to say, dismissed from most of them for behavior like listening in on the boss's telephone conversations and drinking through lunch….

Ms. Lear had two short-lived marriages before she met Mr. Lear. Her first marriage, to Arnold Weiss, a traffic manager at the Navy Yard in Charleston, S.C., lasted less than two years. Her second marriage, to Morton Kaufman (''or Kauffman or Kaufmann -- I cannot remember how to spell my second husband's name,'' she wrote in the autobiography), was dissolved within a year. She said that he had been unfaithful, leading to her first suicide attempt and three weeks in the psychiatric ward at Bellevue Hospital.

(Multiple short term marriages are usually an indication that something is amiss. Pretending not to know how to spell your second husband's name seems like an affectation.)

''I tried to commit suicide three times seriously and three times with minimal interest in the outcome,'' she once said.

Lear is yet another social justice warrior whose politics are basically just an expression of her personal issues. Lear obviously bears no blame for the unfortunate circumstances of her childhood. But, once someone is scarred like that, they inevitably make others suffer for it.

In some ways Lear is a more extreme version of Susan Sarandon, whom I wrote about three posts ago. The dysfunctional family, the resulting personal issues, and the later outspokenness on social issues, are all of a piece. And it's always an aha moment when you find out where it all originated from.

There are people who arrive at stances on both sides of the political fence for a variety of reasons. But what distinguishes the SJW's like Sarandon and Lear is their outspokenness, which is often just a bid for attention in disguise. (Female suicide "attempts" are likewise often characterized as "cries for help.")

In any case, a disproportionate number of those "outspoken" bids for attention seem to emanate from the Left.

After reading that obituary, it's a little easier to understand "Maude." Unloved, molested as a child, bipolar, alcoholic, with low self-esteem, and hating her parents. Lear undoubtedly hated her stepfather more than her adoptive mother, since he molested her, but also hated the fact that her mother was dependent on her stepfather financially. This led her in the direction of feminism, which substitutes a vague resentment of all men for hatred of one.

Voila, another maladjusted leftist.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hillary Clinton's corruption

A friend just sent this video, which painstakingly details Hillary's various scandals. It'll take roughly twenty minutes of your time, but it's worth it. Some of the scandals have long since faded (but are worth revisiting), and some you probably haven't heard of.

It's impossible to watch this and not conclude that she is an utterly dishonest, corrupt woman.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Heidelbergensis as athlete

Two posts ago I speculated as to whether Homo heidelbergensis and other earlier incarnations of man would have been worthy recipients of affirmative action, what with their smaller brain pans.

While reading about their brain capacity -- and presumably lesser intelligence -- I couldn't help but notice the greater muscularity of heidelbergensis. Biological anthropologists are able to make educated guesses as to a prehistoric hominid's muscularity from the thickness of their bones and the type of wear on the bones where the tendons are anchored. Evidently, heidelbergensis was far stronger than modern man.

So even if heidelbergensis would have come up a bit short in the brains department, he was tremendously strong, as this picture of him illustrates:


Here is a forensic sculptor's conception of heidelbergensis:


This one isn't muscled quite as dramatically, but he's still formidable-looking.

So while Homo heidelbergensis may have been a candidate for special ed, there's little doubt he would have dominated on the athletic field.

If that branch of hominid were around today, they'd probably dominate the sports world. The fellow in the top picture -- even without the benefit of steroids -- looks like an NFL running back.

According to Wikipedia, heidelbergensis men whose remains were found in Europe averaged roughly 5' 9" in height and weighed roughly 136 pounds. That doesn't exactly sound like NFL material. But, as per Wiki:

Numerous fossil bones indicate some populations of heidelbergensis were "giants" routinely over 2.13 m (7 ft) tall and inhabited South Africa between 500,000 and 300,000 years ago.

If there were a population of guys over seven feet tall who were built like the fellow in the top picture, they'd absolutely dominate the NFL and the NBA.

Who knows, some of the less academically-inclined colleges might even give them athletic scholarships before they turned pro. They'd probably need tutors to stay academically eligible, even with easy majors. They'd still probably finish at the bottom of their class. And they might occasionally be accused of rape.

But their colleges would get to participate in profitable postseason Bowl games, and that's the important thing.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Susan Sarandon explains the origins of her political philosophy

In a NY Times article today titled On Purposeful Paths (the online version has a different headline), actress and activist Susan Sarandon explained the origins of her political stances:

"My parents had no idea what parenting was. I’m the oldest of nine kids. My mother was raised in foster care in an orphanage. And my dad’s father died when he was young, and his mother was crazy. So these two met and, thanks to Catholic indoctrination on birth control, started having all these kids. Everyone did where I grew up. And I had to take care of them."

Okay, she didn't say that in response to a question about politics, but to a more general question about her parents. But…..it does go a long way to explaining her various stances.

I've said many times on this blog that the most interesting thing about a serial killer is finding out what his upbringing was like, because that usually explains how he became the monster he was.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we are our parents. For better or worse -- usually better and worse -- we reflect their temperaments, their attitudes, their interests, their physicality, their intellect, and their character. 

Reading Sarandon's description of the dysfunctionality on both sides of her family was a real aha moment. Sarandon evidently didn't get much nurturing from her mother, and it sounds as if she didn't get much more support from her father. So she's been resentful against the Catholics and everything they represent ever since. Hence, her political stances.

The whole situation reminds me a little of Madonna, who came from a similar background, and who has also spent the rest of her life being as blasphemous as possible.

But even though both women took opposite political and social views from their parents, they did so while somehow managing to hang onto their parents' character. 

Heidelbergensis worthy of affirmative action?

Here's a picture of Homo heidelbergensis:


Some biological anthropologists feel that Homo heidelbergensis is the basically same as Homo erectus:


These forensic sketches are interesting because they teach us about who we were, and possibly, who we are. Both of the men above bear an uncanny resemblance to present day Australian aborigines:



Looking at the aborigines, it's hard not to wonder if they don't have a higher proportion of erectus, or heidelbergensis, ancestry. Or maybe they simply changed less in the past 50,000 years than other races did. Recent DNA evidence indicates that the ancestors of Australian aborigines left Africa earlier (70,000 years ago) than did the ancestors of present day Europeans and Asians. And, they were isolated on the Australian continent until a few hundred years ago.

Asians have an average brain volume of 1364 cubic centimeters, Europeans 1347, and Africans 1267. These roughly correlate with the average IQ's of those races, respectively, of 106, 100, and 85 (this last number is actually for American blacks; Africans average lower). Aborigines have an average brain volume of 1199 cc, and an average IQ somewhere in the 60's.

There are approximately half a million Australian aborigines living in that country today. Australia now has a system of affirmative action in place to help them.

According to Wikipedia:

H. erectus fossils show a cranial capacity greater than that of Homo habilis (although the Dmanisi specimens have distinctively small crania): the earliest fossils show a cranial capacity of 850 cm³, while later Javan specimens measure up to 1100 cm³, overlapping that of H. sapiens.

Food for thought: if Homo erectus were around today, with their brain volume of approximately 1000 cubic centimeters, and presumably corresponding IQ, would liberals insist on affirmative action for them? Would they be able to bring disparate impact lawsuits if they didn't pass, say, the fire department exam at the same rate as other humans?

If those legal standards did apply, someone might have the temerity to point out, "Maybe Erectus-Australians don't do as well on tests of intellectual ability because they just don't have the same cognitive ability. And maybe their greater propensity for violence is from something innate, and not just a result of discrimination." What would the reaction be?

Would the usual suspects then scream, "You racist! You Nazi! You horrible person!" and make sure that that person lost his job and was booted out of public life?

Let's take this exercise a step further. What if Homo habilis were still around?


Would they be eligible for affirmative action? Would anybody who pointed out the obvious differences be shouted down and banished from polite society?

Or how about Paranthropus boisei?


At what point would the liberals concede that maybe IQ differences do have something to do with differences in achievement?

Habilis and boisei may have been perfectly fine hominids, and admirable in their own way, but they weren't exactly the same as everyone else. And lying about it would not make it so.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Excellent description of a sociopath

A commenter wrote such a good description of a sociopath after the previous post that it deserves a post of its own: 

My mother was, very probably, a sociopath. She, like most sociopaths, never (so far as I know) ever killed anyone, but she ruined the lives of everyone in her family and several of her co-workers in a 35 year corporate career.

Of her three children, I am the only one without a felony record, and admittedly that is because I just never got caught more than once. My father finally divorced her at 58, but he was a wreck and died four years later. Her own mother refused to see her for the last fifteen years of her life, and had specific instructions that she was not allowed at the funeral in her will.

In a concocted "sexual harassment" case in the early nineties, Mother got a large six figure settlement from the company. Later, her former boss said that it was the best money the company ever paid because it was the only way to get rid of her. She had had several good workers fired over the years by skillfully implicating them in her own embezzlements, diversions of business and corporate espionage.

She also had engaged in sexual relations with several of her company's key personnel on a quid pro quo basis. The full extent of her destructive, deviant behavior will probably never be known.

But the most confusing part of the entire story, for most people, is that people outside her family and co-workers all thought she was the sweetest, kindest, most wonderful woman they had ever known. Even in her final few months, in assisted care, she managed to have her caretakers think she was an exceptionally wonderful old lady.

Looking back, the company should have figured where such smoke erupted time after time there had to be a smoldering fire and separated her from their employment. And my father should have dumped her twenty years before he did. But none of them had ever heard of sociopathy or if they had associated it soley with murderers and the like. The problem is that even though she never killed anyone, she did so much damage to so many people that a simple murderer could hardly have been worse.

I replied:

There's no question your mother was a sociopath. As you say, most sociopaths never kill anyone, though they are, psychologically speaking, really not that different from serial killers, in that they put the value of other peoples' lives at zero. A lot of sociopaths go into business and leave a trail of destruction in their wake which only becomes apparent to coworkers after its pattern becomes too obvious to ignore.

False rape charges and false sexual harassment charges, like hoaxed hate crimes, DO occur, and when they do, they're almost always concocted by sociopaths, as those are the only kind of people who would lie so blithely in order to ruin others' lives. And screwing your way up the company ladder -- which is what it sounds like you're saying your mother did -- is another time tested sociopathic technique for advancement.

The fact that she was able to convince people who did not know her well that she was an incredibly nice, sweet woman is actually not out of character at all. That's another sociopathic specialty: making a wonderful first impression. Sociopaths are forever putting on false emotional fronts, and are consummate actors. Convincing people that you're something you're not is another sociopathic hallmark.

You also captured the way sociopaths get away with their shenanigans perfectly: because others are unfamiliar with sociopathy, so don't recognize the behavior for what it is. If all those other people had been wise to her types of tricks, she would never have gotten away with them.

The anonymous commenter captured a few things most people don't realize about sociopaths perfectly:

Even though she didn't murder, she did manage to bring a large amount of harm to numerous peoples' lives. 

False sexual harassment charges, just like false rape charges and hate crimes hoaxes, work because they are so unfathomably despicable to most people that they don't even suspect their falsity, at least at first. 

In a similar vein, all of her victims were naive about sociopathy before they met her, which is how she got away with it. 

This is why the world needs to be educated more about these monsters.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Melissa Ann Shepard

A Canadian serial killer, Melissa Ann Shepard, was just released from prison this past Wednesday. Evidently she's served her sentence, and is free only on the condition that she not go on the internet and not have access to "medicine" (read: tranquilizers). It's not right to keep someone in prison beyond their term; but letting a serial killer loose is never a good idea.

According to the Daily Mail article:

Between 1977 and 1990 Shepard was convicted of more than 30 instances of fraud, but she didn't start earning her nickname until 1992.

That's when she drugged her second husband, Gordon Stewart, and ran him over twice with a car.

She claimed in her defense that he was trying to rape her and was convicted of manslaughter and imprisoned for six years, although she was released after only two.

In a video interview from 1995 she described herself as a 'battered wife' and claimed that her husband had done jail time for beating her up, but that this was not admitted as evidence in her court trial.

In 2001, at the age of 65, she married her third husband, Robert Friedrich, 83, whom she had met on a Christian dating site. She moved to Florida to be with him.

He died 14 months later, leaving her thousands of dollars. His children claimed that she had poisoned him and won back $15,000 from her in a civil trial, but she was never charged with any crime.

Three years later Alex Strategos, then 73, started dating Shepard after meeting her online. 'At first, I thought she seemed very nice,' Strategos told the BBC, describing her as a 'very classy lady.'

Shepard moved down to his home in Florida to be with him, and over the one month that she stayed there he found himself hospitalized multiple times.

His son suspected foul play after doctors found the tranquilizer benzodiazepine in his blood and notified the police. Strategos now says he believes she was dosing the ice cream that she gave him most nights.

Police couldn't connect Shepard to the drug, but around $18,000 was found missing from Strategos's bank account and she ultimately found herself sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to seven charges including forgery and theft.

Shepard was deported and moved to Nova Scotia where, in 2013, she knocked on the door of her neighbor, 75-year-old Fred Weeks, and told him she was lonely and she'd heard he was lonely too.

Weeks, who had lost his wife 18 months before, quickly 'married' Shepard in an unofficial ceremony and the two headed off to Newfoundland for their honeymoon,

However, Shepard had started spiking Weeks with heavy doses of sedatives, and he found himself unable to drive properly.

'She’s too smooth of an actor, Weeks told The Globe and Mail. 'She kept me in the dark for a long time, telling me her stories. Everything was a story. Everything was a lie that she told me.'

The next day he was restricted to a wheelchair, could not put his shoes on and had forgotten where his car keys were, but it wasn't until he was hospitalized after falling that drugs were found in his blood and police became involved.

Shepard was initially charged with attempted murder, but was ultimately convicted on the lesser charge of 'administering a noxious substance,' netting her two years, nine months and ten days in prison. She was denied early parole due to risk of committing another crime.

And now she has been released, despite police saying that she is 'a high risk to reoffend.'

'I don't think she should be released,' Alex Strategos told the BBC. 'I don't know what the judge had in his mind.

'What she was, she still is - she's the Black Widow. Some guys better watch out, that's all I can say.'


Like most female serial killers, Shepard killed not for sexual gratification, but for financial gain.

The most amusing part of the story -- in a gallows humor sort of way -- is not mentioned by the Daily Mail, but is described in Shepard's Wikipedia entry:

Following her release [in 1995], she toured the country, giving speeches on battered woman syndrome and killing in self defense. She received a government grant to help others. During her tenure as a speaker, she sued journalist Barb McKenna of The Guardian for writing an article in which she doubted Friedrich's claims.

(Sisterhood is powerful!)

There's something quintessentially sociopathic about a serial killer who tours the country posing as a battered woman, basking in others' sympathy for her, and accepts a government grant for pretending to have the noble motivation of wanting to educate others about the scourge of violent husbands.

There's also something quintessentially sociopathic about suing a journalist who tells the truth.

If someone has been convicted of fraud 30 times, that's really all you need to know: she is a sociopath. In fact, sociopaths are frauds, period. And once you know that, everything else falls into place. Shepard undoubtedly told all of the men she was involved with that she loved them with the same ease with which she lied about everything else.


What struck me about Shepard's picture is that she looks as if she's had a couple of drinks. But it's doubtful she had; the picture looks as if it was taken in prison. The slightly inebriated look reflects a relaxed, uninhibited state that is the sociopath's normal way of being.

Of course, I probably wouldn't have noticed that if I hadn't known who she was. My danger radar generally just switches off when I see an old lady; but sociopaths come in all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and ages.

Note also the thin lips, which I keep seeing on Caucasian serial killers. Some of the other pictures in the Daily Mail article show fuller lips, which may be a function of her age, but is more likely a function of her lipstick:


Shepard has evidently changed her appearance so many times that she must now inform the police if she does so again:


It would be near impossible to recognize the woman in the above photo from the previous one. Note the smile which doesn't quite extend to her eyes; her eyes look as if she is sizing you up.

Authorities really ought to charge Shepard with murder in the case of her second husband, Robert Friedrich.

In the meantime, it's doubtful that at age 80, with law enforcement keeping a close watch on her, Shepard will have the opportunity to do the kind of damage she has in the past. But it won't be from lack of trying.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Tough guys in politics

There's been a lot of publicity recently over whether Donald Trump has encouraged violence at his rallies. My take is that the violence is mostly due to the demonstrators who have come to disrupt his rallies.

But Trump has said a few things that could be construed, on the surface, as encouraging violence:

On February 22, he said of a protester, "I'd like to punch him in the face."

On March 9, Trump said of some disruptive protesters, "See, in the good old days this didn't used to happen, because they used to treat them very rough. We've become very weak."

These words are unbecoming a Presidential candidate, but it's highly unlikely Trump actually wants violence. He knows that his crowds are fed up with the disruptive protesters and is, to a certain extent, playing to his base. But more than anything else, Trump was trying to appear to be tough himself.

Think of what he said: "In the good old days…" as if he used to be some sort of street fighter himself. You know, two-fisted Donald, who used to terrorize Queens and Brooklyn with his gang of thugs, beating the crap out of rival gangs.

The fact is, Trump is a rich man's son who parlayed his father's real estate empire into a much larger one. How many billionaires do you know of who are willing to risk losing teeth, or even an eye, in a brawl?

What the Donald suffers from is a disease that afflicts mostly upper middle class boys: the compulsion to pose as a tough guy -- because they're not.

The Bushes suffered from this affliction as well. Remember George W. Bush's famous "Bring 'em on," his challenge to any Iraqis who might want to attack US forces in that country? It was basically a schoolyard challenge by someone who wanted to appear macho. Bush didn't really want more American boys to die in war. He was just trying to appear manly (and possibly appeal to military pride as well).

Bush, who'd gone to Andover and Yale and was the son of a President and grandson of a Connecticut Senator, used to parade around in cowboy boots, as if he'd grown up busting broncos and stomping rattlesnakes to death. Even when he was dressed in a suit and tie, he would walk with his arms carried wide, as if they were too muscular to hang straight down.

Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, also an alum of Andover and Yale, famously said to a group of longshoremen after his Vice Presidential debate with Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, "We did kick a little ass last night." This was an awkward attempt by the patrician H.W. to relate to a group he was uncomfortable with, and the comment backfired.

President Obama said, while campaigning in 2008, that "if they [the Republicans] bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." (Evidently that's the way they took care of things at Punahou.) Obama's statement could easily have been interpreted as promoting violence. And the case can be made that his words were more reprehensible than Trump's, given Obama's antipathy to guns.

But any honest analysis of Obama's intent would have to conclude that he was merely trying to appear tough. (Given that Obama is gay, he may have even more to prove.) Obama was also shamelessly plagiarizing The Untouchables, but that's really all he was guilty of there.

None of these men are -- or were -- genuine tough guys. If they had been, they wouldn't have felt the need to pose as one. But the point is, neither were any of them seriously trying to promote violence.

Update, next day: An anonymous commenter just pointed out that George H.W. Bush was a war hero, and that I shouldn't have included him in this post. He's right; I was wrong to group him in with the others. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Left vs. Right on free speech

There's really no better way to sum up the difference between the mentality of the Left and the Right than to point out that the Left tries to shut down the conservative speakers, and it never even occurs to conservatives to do the same to the Left.

All of these protests aimed at preventing Trump from exercising his right to free speech -- the latest one being in Arizona -- underscore the fact that the Left simply doesn't seem to believe in free speech.

This dichotomy can be observed regularly on college campuses across the country: conservative speakers are denied the right to speak on a regular basis, whereas conservative students never try to shut down Progressive speakers.

What does that say about each side's basic attitudes?

The other striking thing about the leftist protesters is that they seem to feel that they are accomplishing great things by disrupting others' lives. The Arizona protesters parked their cars on a highway and shut down traffic for miles.

What did they think they are accomplishing by doing that? What did the Chicago protesters think they were accomplishing by stopping Trump from speaking there? Did they think that by misbehaving they were winning more people over to their side?

Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 , a novel about the burning of books and the suppression of dissenting ideas in 1953. He was inspired to write it because of the McCarthy era and its dampening effect on free speech. And for a long time, Fahrenheit 451 was an iconic symbol on the liberal landscape.

But….who's trying to suppress dissenting ideas now? Is that why the book is never mentioned anymore?

Why Hillary doesn't attract white male voters

An article in NY Times yesterday, As Hillary Clinton Sweeps States, One Group Resists: White Men, explained why she is only getting 40% of the white male vote, even among Democrats.

Surprisingly, the article didn't demonize white males, but simply listed the reasons why they might not support her: her approval of the various trade pacts, her handling of Benghazi, her support for stricter gun control laws, her Wall Street ties, her pro-immigration stance, and her seemingly exclusive focus on minorities during the primaries.

All of which are true.

But they're also a little beside the point. The real reason Hillary doesn't entice white males is because -- as others have pointed out before me -- she reminds a lot of them of their ex-wife.

But why, exactly?

Could it be that she comes across like a shrill harridan who was a constant nag?

Who had a terrible temper, and would become enraged at you for things she herself regularly did?

Who talked feminism all the time, even though you were the breadwinner. But who was more than happy to take half your money in the divorce, and acted as if she had been the one to earn it?

Who basically hated men, and always stuck up for women over men, no matter the situation, but then accused you of sexism?

Who "discovered" late in life that, sexually, she preferred women to men? (In fact, she always preferred women, but just wouldn't admit it to herself, and you paid the price with a sexless marriage.)

The one who had a public personality completely different from her private persona?

The one who would lie all the time, to the point where you couldn't even tell if she believed her own lies?

Never figured I'd feel sorry for Bill Clinton, but I almost do.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Low IQ and low impulse control

Low IQ and low impulse control correlate, but are not the same thing. The proof of that is the existence of high IQ sociopaths. Any psychology textbook will tell you that one of the traits that characterize sociopaths is impulsiveness. Bill Clinton is a perfect example. His mastery of political minutiae is legendary, and he is an incisive political analyst and skillful campaigner. Yet it's also obvious he has little impulse control when it comes to women, and will lie whenever he feels it makes him look better. 

One thing affecting impulse control is the ability to feel shame and embarrassment. If you lie when young and get caught, you probably felt some sort of shame, or embarrassment. Since those are unpleasant emotions, you've probably avoided doing things that trigger them ever since. But if you didn't have that feeling -- i.e., if you're a sociopath -- there's nothing to stop you from continuing to lie for the rest of your life.

Thirty-four years ago, a smart black friend once told me that he'd never taken cocaine because he knew that if he took it once and enjoyed it he'd want to take it again, and would probably succumb, and develop a problem. I thought that recognizing his own low impulse control -- though he hadn't phrased it that way -- was pretty insightful. (By the way, I'm not saying he was smart the same condescending and dishonest way white liberals describe blacks of moderate intelligence; at age 14, this guy got 800 on the chemistry AT, and at age 15 an 800 on the physics AT.)

The point is, intelligence and impulse control aren't exactly the same thing. Think of it this way: how smart do you have to be to see that killing someone is going to land you in jail, or maybe even get you the death penalty?

Recently, our legal system has determined that low intelligence is cause for leniency. Three days ago, Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis commuted murderer Ronell Wilson's sentence from the death penalty to life in prison, based on Wilson's supposed mental impairment. Wilson had killed two undercover cops during a gun buy bust in a "carefully executed crime."

Garaufis commuted Wilson's sentence based on his "significantly subaverage intellectual functioning." Lawyers have long exploited the "not guilty by reason of insanity" plea. Will "less guilty by reason of stupidity" now become commonplace as well?

And if that's allowed, why not "not guilty by reason of low impulse control?"

"Geez, your Honor, it just isn't fair to judge me by the standards you judge others by. My frontal lobes just aren't up to snuff. Nothin' I can do about that."

And if someone can escape the death penalty by virtue of having an IQ below 70, why not a slight reduction in their sentence by virtue of having, say, an 85 IQ?

Will we ever hear, "Sure, I raped and killed those eight young women, but your Honor, you gotta understand, I only got 380 on my math SAT and 340 on my verbal. And when I tried to take calculus…..Holy cow, that shit was way beyond me."

Conversely, will people with IQ's of 130 then be considered to be more responsible for their crimes than the average person? After all, they were probably better able to foresee all the consequences of their crimes.

The whole thing could easily devolve into a farce.

Anyway, there are people with high IQ's and low impulse control; let's hope the legal system doesn't cut them a break.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Joe Biden and blacks

That article I linked ten days ago referred to the time Joe Biden told a black church audience that the Republicans "gonna put y'all back in chains."

On January 31, 2007, Biden famously said about Obama, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

People who talk the way I did in the previous post are inevitably accused of racism. 

But which is more insulting to black people, Biden's kind of talk or mine? 

Biden must think black churchgoers incredibly stupid to believe that Republicans want to return them to slavery. 

And to say what Biden did about Obama strongly implies that most blacks are inarticulate and dumb and dirty and ugly. In fact, by saying that Obama is the "first," he's basically saying that there's never been a black who's had all four of the qualities he listed before.

It's hard to see how Biden could have put that more plainly. Yet he gets a pass because he's a Democrat.

Race realists are banished from polite society because they speak honestly about racial differences. Yet I've never heard a race realist say that there was never a single black who was articulate and bright and clean and nice-looking before Obama. 

But for the past seven years Biden has been Obama's VP. 

I mean, that's a storybook, man. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The biggest difference between whites and blacks

Many people think that the biggest difference between the races is intelligence. But differences between the races go beyond that; whites with IQ's of 85 simply don't act like blacks.

The biggest difference between the races seems to be, in many ways, their levels of inhibition. Inhibitions have many roots: worry about how one will be perceived, one's performance, one's social standing, and the future. But the net effect of all those worries is to make us hesitant, install a sort of inner censor, which keeps us from acting on our initial urges.

Alcohol can dull those worries, while also inducing a mild euphoria. I've always thought that whites tend to act a little like Asians who've had a couple of drinks, and blacks tend to act a little like whites who've had a couple of drinks. This is a tendency, obviously, not a blanket rule. But, on average, when it comes to how uninhibitedly people act, it tends to be true.

Think of some of the traits and behaviors you associate more with blacks than with whites: spontaneously breaking out into a dance, end zone celebrations, making lascivious comments on the street, high rates of violence, an emphatic manner of speaking, performing well on stage, and being warmer and friendlier when so inclined. Put it all together and you'll see a pattern: the common thread seems to be a lack of inhibition.

If you've ever watched one of those Sunday morning cable shows which show services at various churches, it's hard not to be struck by how differently the parishioners at a black church behave. They'll cry out, "Amen!" and "Praise the Lord!" with complete abandon, and no self-consciousness whatsoever. Some parishioners spontaneously break out into dance. There are white churches where people handle rattlesnakes and speak in tongues; but those are rarities. And there are certainly black churchgoers who act with more decorum. But, on average, there is a striking racial difference.

The way the black pastors themselves speak is also telling. Their manner of delivery is generally far more forceful, far more emphatic, and far less inhibited. They are far likelier to work up a sweat during a sermon than a white pastor is.

What goes on in church is, in microcosm, what happens in society at large.

Manner of speaking

To accurately transcribe black speech you'd often have to italicize every third or fourth word. Think of the way Al Sharpton speaks, investing all sorts of words with extra, portentous meaning (which they may or may not be able to sustain). There is no sense of shyness, or feeling abashed.

White people-type concerns -- like worrying that their voices will crack, or fretting too much about how they're coming across -- rarely seem to enter their minds.

Stage fright

This may be why there are proportionately more good black comedians. There are plenty of whites who are funny, but few of them are uninhibited enough to get up on a stage and be relaxed to deliver their riffs in front of a large audience without being crippled by self-doubt. Call it shyness, or stage fright, or worry about the reception they going to get. All of those things have an inhibiting effect, which hampers performance.

Richard Pryor, (the young) Eddy Murphy, Chris Rock, and Dave Chappelle were all comedic geniuses, with great material. But what made them great performers wasn't just their material, it was their ability to be relaxed enough on stage to allow for perfect delivery of that material. Humor does seem to be correlated with intelligence, but blacks have always been able to punch above their weight in that regard. Part of the answer to that has to do with lack of inhibition.

The lack of inhibition may also be partly why there are proportionally more successful black singers. Part of singing ability is obviously voice, and also pitch. But getting up on a stage and passionately singing your heart out also takes a certain lack of inhibition.

Body language

Blacks also tend to have more expressive body language. While speaking, they will often punctuate or emphasize their statements with a craning of the neck or exaggerated expressions. And laughter often involves their entire body, jumping around and waving their arms with glee. White laughter may involve convulsing, but it is rarely accompanied by much limb movement.

Clutch performances

This lack of self-doubt and neurosis also translates to better performance on the athletic field. There are significant physical differences between the races that account for blacks outperforming in sports requiring speed and jumping ability. But the subject here is not racial differences in physique, but clutch performance -- whether or not an athlete is at his best when the pressure is on. There simply seem to be fewer blacks who choke. Again, this is not a blanket rule; there are plenty of exceptions on both sides. But it seems to be less a part of black nature to worry and obsess as much. Thus, fewer nerves to deal with when the big moment arrives.

One of the more obvious examples of this is Usain Bolt. He clowns around in the starting blocks, even at the World Championships and Olympics, up until right before the race. Then he's all business for ten or twenty seconds. Then, after his race is over, it's time to joke and dance again. There simply are no white athletes who give off that sort of vibe.

Blacks and whites tend to have different styles of victory celebration. The most obvious example of this are the end zone dances by blacks, who are uninhibited in their ebullience. There are whites who imitate such celebrations; but that's definitely the whites adopting black culture, and not the other way around. A certain style of physical preening seems to come more naturally to blacks.

Boasting

Blacks also tend to be more uninhibited in their egotism. Muhammad Ali was the originator of the line "I am the greatest of all-time!" Since him, a host of black athletes have made similar statements. Think of how black and white athletes act when interviewed after a win. Blacks are more likely to talk about how great they are, whereas whites are far more likely to thank their coaches, or praise their teammates or competitors. This, by the way, doesn't mean whites are more genuinely humble; they're just more likely to say what they think they're supposed to say, rather than exult.

There are certainly white egomaniacs. But blacks seem to have more Kanye Wests and Jaden Smiths per capita than whites have Donald Trumps.

Chattiness

Blacks are rarely shy about talking to strangers. (That briefly famous Hollaback video was unwitting proof of that.) But even apart from men who try to hit on women, blacks tend to be more chatty, even with strangers. When asking someone I don't know for directions, I've often found that whites will react with fear, or at least a little defensiveness, at first; blacks rarely do. 

Wherever there is a crowd of blacks, the noise level is usually higher. I've heard that both white and Hispanic inmates will tell you that any prison area where blacks predominate is always noisier, with more shrieking, chattering, raucous laughter, and loud music. In movie theaters, blacks will talk while the movie is playing, sometimes even directing their comments to the characters onscreen.

Money

Blacks are more uninhibited with money. You may have heard the expression "black rich," the definition of which is: to have come into a windfall which is shortly to be spent. Blacks who come into money are far more likely to go out and buy flashy cars, a flashy house, flashy clothes, and flashy bling. This has something to do with why over half of NFL players are bankrupt within two years of leaving the league.

(In all fairness, that also has something to do with young black professional athletes being more likely to have a lot of poor relatives to whom they will be generous -- in a spontaneous sort of way.)

In keeping with their more celebratory nature, blacks are also more likely to see anytime as good for a party. We even saw it with President Obama throwing all those celebrity-filled parties in the White House during his first term. Or, look at all of the lavish vacations the Obamas take.

Carpe diem

Whites tend to live in the future; as Voltaire said, "We never live; we are always in the expectation of living." Horace said, "Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero," which translates as, "Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow." (The expression is usually shortened to just "Carpe Diem.") Blacks are more likely to actually live by that philosophy.

Ethnic groups which evolved in colder climates had to think in terms of making it through a long, cold winter. Putting little trust in tomorrow would have had fatal consequences for Stone Age northern Europeans, or northern Asians.

Promiscuity

Blacks tend more towards promiscuity, which is in keeping with their general lack of inhibition. They generally lose their virginity at an earlier age, and have a much higher illegitimacy rate. Again, the reasons for these things are complex, and include, among other things, higher testosterone levels. But both statistics are what you'd expect given the difference in inhibition.

I remember watching Dennis Rodman once on the Howard Stern Show, back when it was televised in the late 90's. Stern told Rodman to go over and feel up Robin Quivers, his assistant. When Rodman did so, the camera focused on his crotch and it was apparent that he was getting an erection. The lack of inhibition necessary to start getting turned on while on national TV is stunning.

Violence

Another outgrowth of both higher testosterone levels and lower inhibitions is more violence. The rates for blacks in all four major categories of violent crime -- murder, assault and battery, rape, and armed robbery -- are all roughly eight to ten times higher than the comparable rates for whites. The case can be made that armed robbery is a crime driven by poverty, and there is some truth to that. But committing rape is not a function of poverty, it's an indication of lack of impulse control.

There's also a difference in the types of murders the races commit. A black is more likely to commit an impulsive, unplanned killing involving a firearm. A white is more likely, say, to slowly poison his or her spouse to death. (One type of murder is a function of lack of impulse control, the other of evil.)

This is why blacks account for fewer than half of all death penalty convictions even though they commit over half the homicides in this country: premeditated murder carries a stiffer penalty.

Criminals, but not necessarily sociopaths

I'm often asked, is such and such a black criminal a sociopath? I sometimes shrug and say, well, no, not really -- he's just black. His crime may be bad, but at the same time it's not as if he has all the other sociopathic traits that go along with the impulsiveness -- the false emotionality, pathological lying, manipulativeness, destructiveness, disloyalty, bitterness, envy, and hatred. He's just...uninhibited.

People have asked me if Mike Tyson is a sociopath. On the surface, he would seem a likely candidate: he's violent, has gotten into frequent trouble, and has seemed at times to be out of control. But as I explained here, Tyson is more noble savage than scheming conniver. He has few brakes on his personality, which is basically just one big primal scream. But he has none of the other characteristics of a sociopath, in fact these days is painfully honest about himself, which is basically the opposite of sociopathy.

This, of course, is not to say there aren't black sociopaths. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are two prominent examples. But, in general, the kind of wanton lack of inhibition which typically indicates sociopathy in a white person often does not indicate the same set of despicable characteristics for a black.

Mobs

This blog has noted before that white mobs are usually fueled by alcohol, whereas blacks don't need to be drunk to riot. Expressing displeasure with arson, looting, turning over cars, and throwing rocks at the police are usually the acts of people who, one way or another, are without inhibition. White civil disobedience is often chemically driven; the black variety seems more opportunistic (think power outages, hurricanes, or perceived miscarriages of justice).

It always seems that, whatever the black percentage of a local population, a disproportionate number of them will be milling about on the street, joking with each other, panhandling, hitting on women, brazenly smoking grass, etc. The lack of a sense of purpose doesn't seem to worry any of these men. Nor do they seem particularly concerned about the impression they are creating.

Warmth

Being uninhibited can also mean less artifice. I've always had the impression that on those occasions when blacks act warmly toward me, their friendliness is more genuine. With whites, you never know what they're really thinking: most whites will generally just say whatever it is they think they're supposed to say at the moment. And I often end up with the impression that what they were really thinking was entirely different.

This may surprise some given what I've said elsewhere in this post, but for that reason, I've often found blacks -- once it's established that they're friendly -- at that level to be better company than whites. Whites are far more likely to put on false (socially acceptable) faces; their friendliness is often a matter of social convention rather than goodwill. It's not real warmth, merely good manners. With blacks, it's actually goodwill. They are uninhibited in the way they like people, too.

Of course, if people don't fulfill their expected social roles, a civilization won't work. But the price for that is, most people you meet will simply be playing a role: friendly coworker, wise elder, vivacious housewife, polite student. And you often have no idea what's lurking behind the facade. With blacks, I've found there's usually less of a facade.

Compliments

One area where lack of inhibition is downright endearing is when it comes to giving compliments. As I explained here, blacks give far more effusive -- and meaningful -- compliments than whites do. White guys are always afraid of appearing gay, so will rarely compliment another guy on his looks, or build, or voice, or attractiveness to women. Instead, they will restrict themselves to compliments about one's performance on an exam, or one's team spirit, or other innocuous things that most of us couldn't care less about. Black guys feel no such qualms, and so will deliver the type of compliment you'll remember.

Likewise, white women are often concerned that their flattery will be misconstrued as invitation, so usually refrain from heartfelt compliments, at least to men; black women tend to exhibit more enthusiasm.

If you're receiving a compliment, uninhibitedly is definitely how you want it delivered.

How blacks feel about whites

It's hard to blame blacks for thinking of whites as phony. Especially since few whites feel comfortable enough around blacks to say what's really on their minds anyway. (Not that you can blame whites for that, given the current climate.)

It's also hard to blame blacks for thinking of whites as being stiff and boring. The best analogy there is how you (whites) feel about Asians: you know they're smart, and hard-working, and generally won't cause trouble. But, let's face it, they're not a lot of fun to hang out with, and sometimes it almost seems as if they all have the same personality. Well, blacks generally think of whites the same way.

Of course, blacks' feelings are more complicated than that. Imagine that Asian-Americans used to own your ancestors, and even after they freed them they had two separate sets of laws regarding them and you, with whites as second class citizens. Now, imagine that you're constantly reminded of this by the media, and constantly told that whatever failings whites show vis-à-vis Asians is due to Asian racism toward you. Now, combine all that with the paragraph above and you get a more complete picture of how blacks feel about whites.

Most people -- black and white alike -- hold wiggers in contempt; trying to appear what one is not usually evokes that response. But exactly what it is about blacks that the wiggers find so appealing? It seems to be in large part that blacks represent a freer, more spontaneous, less inhibited way of being. This is instinctively appealing for young people who've been brought up in a more restrictive, regimented environment. (At some level or other, don't we all want to let our passions flow more freely?)

Conclusion

Anyway, the point of this post is that many of the behaviors that whites associate with blacks -- both good and bad -- are all of a piece. And what connects all of those behaviors is lack of inhibition.

You may occasionally wonder why we're called a multicultural society. Every American has access to the same television shows, the same movies, the same newspapers, and are governed by the same laws and politicians. We speak the same language and go to the same schools and play the same sports. We're multiracial, yes, but multicultural? Only to the extent this post has just described: the gap between black and white "culture," really, is mostly just the difference between black and white personality -- which is just another way of saying, nature.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

"Why I support Trump -- and resent the elites trying to destroy him"

Excellent article about how the "conservative" movement has gone astray. It's a little less compelling as a pro-Trump essay than as an anti-anti-Trump one.

Another hate hoax

I wrote recently about hate hoaxers having Munchausen's Syndrome. (Summary: the people who instigate them are sociopaths.) Tellingly, these hoaxes always seem to be perpetrated by the Left.)

A friend sent this article from the Daily Mail about Albany, Alexis Briggs, Ariel Agudio, and Asha Burwell, students at SUNY Albany who claimed to have been attacked by a group of whites and called racial slurs on a bus. They hadn't taken one thing into account, though: the bus was equipped with surveillance cameras. As per the article:

The women's initial report of the incident led to national outrage, a massive campus rally and even Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tweeted about it, hitting out against violence on a college campus.

The three students claimed that on January 30, they were on the bus when at about 1 AM when around 12 white classmates called them racial slurs during a verbal argument before a physical altercation broke out.

One of the three students told university police that several male students kicked her after she fell to the floor, according to the Albany Times Union.

Following the alleged attack, Burwell took to Twitter to recount the ordeal that same day writing: 'I just got jumped on a bus while people hit us and called us the 'n' word and NO ONE helped us.'

She then tweeted that she was in disbelief after experiencing 'what it's like to be beaten because of the color of my skin….'


Burwell followed up with a series of other tweets including one claiming she had 'begged for people to help us and instead of help they told us to 'shut he f*ck up' and continuously hit us in the head.'

She also tweeted noting the support that she and the other girls had received meant so much...

On February 1, hundreds of students gathered as Burwell tearfully recounted the alleged attack during a campus rally.

'We are shocked, upset, but we will remain unbroken,' Burwell said at the time.

'We stand here with strength because we value our worth as black women and as human beings in general.'

Burwell's brother, San Diego Chargers lineman Tyreek Burwell, apparently also tweeted a threatening message to a student who he thought hurt his sister, according to News10.com.

Hillary Clinton also tweeted about the incident writing, 'There's no excuse for racism and violence on a college campus.'

However, police said an investigation into the incident showed there was only one victim, the unnamed 19-year-old, who is reportedly white and was allegedly assaulted by the three students.

Police said the three women were never 'targeted in any manner due to their race,' according to the statement, adding 'the only person we heard uttering racial epithets was one of the defendants.'

'We took this incident very seriously and did a thorough and careful investigation,' said UPD Chief J Frank Wiley...

'I especially want to point out that what happened on the bus was not a "hate crime.'

Chief Wiley had it partly wrong: what happened on the bus was a hate crime. Anybody who tries to stir up racial resentment and ill will by perpetrating a hoax is trying to escalate racial conflict in general, and possibly incite violence. And they should be held liable for that.

(In fact, it was the 19-year-old white student who found out "what it's like to be beaten because of the color of my skin.")

One of the most telling details about the story is how Asha Burwell told her story "tearfully." Being able to summon tears upon command is a uniquely sociopathic trait. 

After she was caught, Burwell Tweeted, "Please don't confuse my silence with defeat. I'm still fighting this, like I said I will not give up. The truth will come out soon."

Claiming that you're the victim of an attack, reporting it to the police, giving a tearful speech about it, and then continuing to lie about it even after being caught redhanded all show a level of dishonesty that non-sociopaths would never even consider.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Miley Cyrus, political analyst

I had been thinking about voting for Donald Trump, but read an article this morning that has given me pause -- Miley Cyrus calls Donald Trump 'a f**king nightmare.'

I often take my political cues from Hollywood stars, especial when their logic and compelling arguments win the day.


In one tweet, Cyrus said, "gonna vom / move out da country [if Trump wins]" along with a hashtag that spelled out "ain't a party in da USA anymo'."

Hollywood stars often threaten to leave the US if the Republican candidate is elected. None of them seem to ever actually do so afterward….but that hasn't stopped the threats from flowing. 

Where will Miley emigrate to? New Zealand? Sweden? Perhaps, given her attachment to black culture -- note her use of Ebonics in her Tweet -- she plans to move to Rwanda, or Nigeria. 

Cyrus concluded, "Yes, that is a tear rolling down my cheek dripping off the end of my nose..... This makes me so unbelievable scared and sad.... Not only for our country but for animals that I love more than anything in this world.... My heart is broken into a 100000 pieces ..... I think I may vomit."

(Is vomiting a normal reaction to heartbreak?)

Is Trump now advocating animal sacrifices as part of his campaign? I must have missed those parts of his speeches. But that settles it -- I'm definitely reconsidering my support for him. 

Before I make a final decision, though, I need to hear what Lindsay Lohan thinks.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"30 girls involved in a bloody school fight over a boy"

My first reaction to seeing the headline above was, hah, every boy's dream. Then I wondered what kind of girls these are. So I read the article, the first two paragraphs of which were:

PITTSBURGH — A school official says about 30 girls were involved in a bloody brawl at a Pittsburgh school after a fight over a boy got out of hand.

Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh says about 30 University Prep students have been arrested after the Monday morning fight. She says one student was taken to a hospital for an asthma attack.


The clue as to what type of girls these were, in case you missed it, is in the second paragraph (look again).

Yep, you got it: they were attending University Prep -- they're preppies!

Call me prejudiced, but somehow I just knew it. With preppies, even the females get into brawls. Boy, it sure never takes much for them to act like a bunch of violent savages. 

Trump as bully

Steve Sailer nailed it, as usual, in his post this morning. While writing about how Trump is remapping the political dividing lines, he said:

{Speaking] as a laidback Southern Californian, Trump reminds me of the late George Steinbrenner, the extremely obstreperous owner of the New York Yankees, whom my Los Angeles Dodgers battled in the 1977, 1978, and 1981 World Series.

That's the best comparison I've heard yet. Steinbrenner made his fortune in shipping, a business requiring elbows as sharp as NYC real estate does. He owned the New York Yankees from 1973 until his death in 2010, and during his prime was a man many loved to hate.


Steinbrenner was known for regularly mocking his own players. He famously said about his star Dave Winfield, "Where is Reggie Jackson? We need a Mr. October or a Mr. September. Winfield is Mr. May." 

(Of course, while Jackson was a Yankee, Steinbrenner feuded with him as well.)

Steinbrenner hired and fired his hapless, alcoholic manager Bill Martin five separate times. 

So, as with Trump, feuds were a constant theme in his life.

Meanwhile, a friend sent this clip from Trump's guest appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's show. At the beginning, Trump is asked about a recent headline about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. 

Trump replies, "Well I tell you what, I guess he had a news conference, he's a very good friend of mine, he's a great guy, by the way this is a great guy, and a winner, a champion, fantastic. Now if I were in New England and said that, the place would go crazy, here not so much, they're tired of getting beaten. But no, Tom's a great guy, and I guess there was something where everybody was saying what about Donald Trump, what about Donald Trump, what about this, what about that, and they had to end the news conference. But I want to tell you, Tom Brady is a winner." 

This is typical Trump. He said that Brady was "a great guy" three times, and also that he was "a winner" twice and "a champion" once. It's hard escape the impression that Trump feels that Brady is a great guy because he is a winner (and also a friend of Trump's). 

I knew guys like Trump on Wall Street. All of their friendships were essentially business relationships, built on mutual benefit, usually in a fairly transparent way. If one person ranked below the other in the business hierarchy, he was expected to act correspondingly obsequious. Strangely, both parties would seem to be perfectly comfortable with this. The guys who were used to being kowtowed to would get angry if people did not do so. 

With Trump and Brady, there is no business relationship, merely a mutual stroking of egos, and the opportunity to name drop. Brady probably enjoys the cachet that being associated with a Presidential candidate brings, and Trump enjoys being buddies with a glamorous athletic icon.

But you can't help but get the feeling that if Brady's career goes up in smoke, and he's no longer quite such a "winner," the "friendship" might suffer. 

Sometimes, it take an ill-mannered guy to tell an ugly truth about, for instance, whether importing a million Muslims is a good idea. Trump is that guy. I'm going to vote for him because he's more honest than the other politicians, and none of our problems will ever be solved as long as everybody feels obliged to lie about them. 

But I'm going to hold my nose when I do, the same as I would if I were voting for George Steinbrenner. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

George Kennedy

It was announced today that actor George Kennedy died on Sunday morning:


Kennedy was probably most famous for his role in Cool Hand Luke, where he played a prisoner who at first bullied and then befriended the title character played by Paul Newman in 1967. He later appeared in the Airport series in the 70's, and then in the Naked Gun movies in the 80's and 90's.

I had forgotten about Kennedy, but upon seeing him again, I was struck by how much he looked like some of the forensic artists' recreations of Neanderthal man:


Kennedy had the same brow ridge, the prominent nose, and the somewhat receding chin. Plus he was a big, strong guy:


He wasn't jacked by the standards of today's stars, but remember, he came of age in an era when real men didn't work out, and steroids didn't exist.

Kennedy was often cast as a bully -- he certainly looked like one -- but he was reportedly a nice guy in real life. He must have been, because he worked until his 80's, and it's hard to sustain that sort of longevity as an actor if you have a reputation for being difficult.

RIP.

It's Super Tuesday….

….and Trump's rivals have gotten desperate. Ted Cruz has said that Trump has ties to the Mafia because he did business with S&A Construction, which had been controlled by "Fat Tony" Salerno.

In recent days, Marco Rubio has accused Trump of wetting his pants during the debate, of having small hands, and of having a spray tan. Some of these were responses in kind to some of the mockery Trump had leveled at him. Rubio also said that Trump University was a fraudulent enterprise.

Let's look at the two serious accusations.

The Mafia connection is almost certainly true. It's near impossible to get any major construction done in New York City without the Mob being involved in some way. For a long time they controlled the construction unions and the hauling business. So, Trump basically had no choice but to do business with Mob-controlled entities. Was he aware that he was dealing with the Mafia? Probably. But he also realized that he wouldn't get anything done without at least rubbing shoulders with them.

Is any of this akin to hiring the Mafia to do hits on your rivals? Of course not.

It's a little like saying Warren Buffett is mobbed up because several of the companies he's owned have in the past used Teamsters labor for their trucking needs, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters was for a long time controlled by the Mafia. That's ridiculous; no one has ever seriously accused Buffett of having Mafia ties. But, Buffett never ran for office against Ted Cruz.

(Full disclosure: I rented an apartment in the city which was undoubtedly built by Mob-controlled unions. I went to business school with a woman I'm pretty sure was Carlo Gambino's granddaughter. And my first trash pick-up service in Connecticut was likely Mob-connected. Does this make me a Mafioso? Honestly, I'd like to see myself as The Godfather; that would certainly have made for a more exciting and glamorous life than the dull one I've led. But, unfortunately, I'm not.)

For those of you who would still condemn Trump for his ties, try starting a casino in Atlantic City yourself without ever dealing with Mob-connected figures. You've got a better shot at taking a walk in the rain and not getting wet.

Now, to the second accusation. Is Trump University a fraud? Yeah, basically. When I first heard of it a few years ago, I just assumed that it was a Tony Robbins-style production, a lot of rah rah you-can-do-it pep talks interspersed with a few finance and real estate courses. It turns out there was a certain bait and switch element to the school as well, as they tried to entice students into taking ever more expensive courses.

Was it any more of a fraud than most universities? Not by much. Try getting a good job with a degree in sociology or philosophy or political science or women's studies these days. On top of that, much of what you'll be taught in the social sciences at a typical liberal arts college is more propaganda than fact.

That said, there is something of the huckster about Trump, and the fact that he would start such a school in the first place does say something negative about him -- in a way that having had to deal with the Mafia does not.

Anyway, neither of these accusations will likely have any short term effect. Trump is going to win today, as is Hillary, and the focus will inevitably shift to the general election.

It's going to be a long, ugly campaign; both Rubio and Cruz play softball compared to the Clintons.

"College bans energy drinks: 'They lead to high-risk sex'"

Has there ever been a better advertisement for energy drinks?

Red Bull, Rockstar, and Monster couldn't have paid for this kind of publicity.