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Friday, June 23, 2017

Gwyneth Paltrow as metaphor for Hollywood

Gwyneth Paltrow has a well known lifestyle site, Goop, in which she touts her expensive tastes to the hoi polloi. Two of her better known quotes:

"I'd rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin."

“I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”

(In other words, it's much tougher to be a movie star who works several weeks a year and has nannies and tons of money than it is to be a regular mom.)

These and other quotes show how out of touch Paltrow is, how little sense she has of what life is like for the vast majority.

Her political quotes are, given her occupation and lifestyle, unsurprising: when Paltrow addressed Obama at a DNC fundraiser at her home in Brentwood in 2014, she gushed that she was "one of his biggest fans, if not the biggest," and that he was "an incredible role model." (Was there a touch of unintended condescension in that characterization?) 

She then said, "You're so handsome I can't speak properly." (Her personal long term relationships have been with Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, and Chris Martin, none of whom bear the slightest resemblance to Obama.)

Paltrow may now be the widely mocked actress in Hollywood.

But really, is she so different from all the other celebrities who grace us with their wisdom?  

While social media tends to focus on Paltrow, practically every other Hollywood activist is equally out of touch. And when they speak up, it's usually all about burnishing their own image as "good" people.

When Leo DiCaprio and John Travolta lecture us about how we have to cut back our carbon footprint while traveling by private jet, are they really so different from Gwyneth?

When Whoopie Goldberg and Alec Baldwin and Miley Cyrus threaten to leave the country if the Republican is elected, but somehow always seem to end up staying, are they so different?

When the women of The View gush over Barack Obama's looks, are they so different?

When Paltrow talks about the high class products she uses, she's merely trying to show what a classy, discerning, right-thinking person she is. Just like all those other Hollywood celebs with their virtue-signaling political opinions. 

Paltrow is not exceptionally pretentious; she is merely representative.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The National Geographic perspective

When I was around ten, my parents subscribed to the National Geographic, and I would always look through it and marvel at the different cultures it showed. How exotic they all seemed.

I would look at the pictures of women peering out from their burkhas in Afghanistan, and think, don't they get hot? And, you can't even tell if they're pretty or not! But it all seemed so mysterious, and different, and, in its own way, appealing.

I would look at the pictures of the Tarahumara Indians who had that 50 mile race in which they had to kick a wooden ball the entire way, and I would think, what superhuman endurance they must have!

I would look at pictures of South Americans in their native garb and think, how festive!

I would look at pictures of the sacred cows wandering around Indian streets and think, they're so silly -- we would never have anything like that in this country!

I would look at pictures of the New Years' festivities in China with lines of men inside dragon floats, making them swirl around, and think, that looks like fun!

I would see pictures of Masai tribesmen and think, it must take a lot of courage and skill to kill a lion with only a spear!

I would look at pictures of the Uro fishermen on their reed boats on Lake Titicaca and think, what a funny name for a lake! (C'mon, I was ten.)

I would see pictorial representations of Aztec and Mayan human sacrifices and think, wow, those Central Americans sure were bloodthirsty!

All these cultures were foreign, and different, and primitive, and often, dangerous. So, to this ten-year-old, they all seemed cool and exciting.

But to this sixty-three-year-old, those peoples now seem best experienced from a distance, perhaps through a picture magazine, or as a tourist, if one is adventurous enough. When people from those cultures move to the US, many seem to combine the worst of their own cultures with the worst of this country. Low IQ's and lack of respect for human life do not always mix well with access to guns and welfare.

Some of those beautiful -- or not so beautiful -- Muslim women may be inclined to blow us up. I can't entirely blame them, given that the US exploded over twenty-six thousand bombs in Muslim countries last year alone. But why give them the opportunity?

And MS-13 shows no more reverence for human life than did their ancestors in Central America.

You used to hear a lot about what a shame it was when certain Stone Age peoples would be corrupted by modern societies, and how their wonderful way of life would be lost forever.

Let's not corrupt any more of them by bringing them here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Third wave feminists as spoiled children, and their coming clash with Muslims

When parents bend over backwards to indulge a child, that doesn't lessen conflict with the child. Buy the child the dog he wants, then he wants a horse. Buy the horse he wants, then he wants another horse. It just keeps going until eventually the parents have to say no. And, inevitably, the child, who is used to getting his way, throws a fit.

Looking at the evolution of feminism over the years, it's hard not to see a parallel.

First wave feminism, which extends back to the 19th century, was about things like the right to own property, execute a will, attend college, and vote. Today these all seem like very fundamental rights, and no one argues with them.

Second wave feminism extended from the 1960's to the 1980's. It was concerned with issues like abortion rights, the establishment of rape crisis centers and battered women's shelters, changes in divorce law, the glass ceiling, and Title IX. (Title IX was first established to provide the opportunity for girls to compete in scholastic sports, though it has since been used as justification for more controversial things.)

Third wave feminism is generally considered to have started in the early 1990's. It's the third wave which has given us the knowledge that if a man cracks a dirty joke in the presence of a woman, that constitutes sexual harassment.

It's the third wave which has informed us that women are such fragile, helpless creatures that after a mere two drinks they are incapable of giving sexual consent -- but at the same time, women are capable of being Army Rangers, and mixing it up with the toughest of men.

Third wave feminists have agitated for 18 weeks paid pregnancy leaves while simultaneously using the mantra "equal pay for equal work."

The third wave has pushed the "free the nipple" movement, insisting that women should have the right to walk around bare-chested too. But they have also decreed that if a man stares at a woman, that constitutes sexual harassment.

The third wave has given us slutwalks, Take Back the Night, and Hollaback.

Some feminists now insist that the government should pay not only for all contraception, but should also provide free tampons as well, since men don't have periods. After all, fair is fair.

And some have tried to redefine beauty so that slimness is no longer a prerequisite. And they have termed those who prefer slenderness to be "fat-shamers." (If you can redefine truth, why not beauty?)

It seems to be human nature that the more you get, the more you want. No matter how unreasonable and ridiculous and self-indulgent it makes you sound.

The ironic thing is, almost all of these feminists are Leftists through and through, meaning that they support virtually all Leftist goals, including increased Muslim immigration. What will happen if they get their wish?

Many of the Muslims who come to this country would like to repeal first wave feminism.

In many of the cultures they come from, women can't vote. Or drive. Or attend school.

How will the wearing of burkhas accommodate the Free the Nipple movement?

Will The Vagina Monologues have to be adapted as the Clitoris-less Monologues?

And will the anti-slut-shaming movement be hampered at all by slut-stoning-to-death? Or by honor killings?

The coming culture clash will be interesting to watch. I don't support the importation of a medieval culture. On the other hand, the feminists do seem a little overdue for some un-spoiling.

Perhaps the Muslims will be the fourth wave of feminism -- the tidal wave that washes away all feminism has achieved so far.

Teacher cheat sheet

Every year around this time, schoolteachers have to fill out their report cards. And school administrations put a lot of pressure on them to put a positive spin on those reports. (Administrators don't want to be bothered with disgruntled parents.)

Here's a guide for all those teachers on how to put a positive spin on various personality types. Like much of life, it's all about euphemism.

ADD, ADHD: Say he is exuberant, energetic, and lively. He has a lot of life force, and manages to stay interested in many things at the same time. He is active, dynamic, spirited, bouncy, ebullient, and tireless.

A bully: Say he is a strong presence in the classroom, forceful, and socially dominant. He has a strong will, and the other children look up to him. He is assertive, and knows what he wants, and strives to get it.

A crybaby: He is sensitive, caring, and very aware of what's going on around him. He is socially perceptive, appreciates others' feelings, and is in tune with his own feelings.

Dumb: He moves along at his own pace, and eventually catches on to everything. He enjoys learning on his own. He is making good progress, and taking some amazing steps forward.

Autistic: He has an original view of the world, and marches to his own drummer. He offers a refreshing change of pace from the run of the mill children. He enjoys his own sense of humor, and has amazing focus when he puts his mind to something.

This should also be a guide for the parents of young children: if you hear any of the above expressions, be aware they may be euphemisms.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

How did the corporations turn Left?

The theme of the June 9th post about Muslims -- that those who evoke fear tend to get their way -- brings to mind the way corporate America has turned Leftward.

As recently as the 1980's and 1990's, corporations were by and large conservative places. People who work for a living tend to be naturally disinclined to pay higher taxes to provide a more comfortable living for those who don't.

And those who believe in what used to be called the Protestant work ethic tend to be disdainful of those who ignore it.

But somehow, in the past 25 years or so, all that seems to have changed. How did that happen?

It seems to be because that was the path of least resistance. A company exists for one reason, and that is to make money. And any sort of controversy -- especially one involving an expensive and time-consuming lawsuit -- can only detract from that purpose, so companies will do whatever is necessary to quietly quash whatever distracts form their primary mission.

When companies get sued, or boycotted, for the lack of diversity in their workforce, it scares them. No corporation wants to be singled out as controversial in any way, since alienating any part of their market could conceivably hurt sales. So they gamely try to hire more minorities and woman, regardless of fit. And they dutifully hire diversity officers to insure compliance.

(If you ever doubt that corporations avoid controversy, listen to the pap their PR departments put out. Corporate-speak is inevitably soporific and bland, and pays lip service toward vague ideals no one -- especially lawyers -- can argue with.)

The Left is far more likely to sue than the Right is. Suits brought by women or minorities alleging discrimination are far more numerous than suits brought by white males alleging reverse discrimination. Especially when the currently acceptable standard of "proof" is a mere imbalance in numbers.

And as the ranks of employees swell with those who owe their jobs to affirmative action, or unofficial quotas, the personalities of the corporations themselves shift Left.

The Left is also far more likely to complain about any sort of negative portrayals of any sort. Which is why we see so many advertisements featuring cool black guys and nerdy white guys. And ads featuring smart women telling clueless men what to do. Companies know that whites and males are safe targets simply because they don't squawk about things like that.

It's simply the path of least resistance: the squeaky wheel gets the corporate grease. The Left plays by different rules, and so inspires more fear, and so gets their way.

All of these corporations, of course, are also mirroring larger cultural shifts. As the colleges became bastions of political correctness, they churned out more and more graduates who unquestioningly viewed the world through a Leftist prism. And some of those graduates ended up in the corporate world.

We now live in a world where corporations put their muscle behind liberal causes and not conservative ones. Why? Because the latter would draw protests and bad press and boycotts and lawsuits and eventually, resignations. The former simply pass unnoticed -- just business as usual.

It's hard not to feel that that state of affairs has come about simply because they fear the Left more than they do the Right. A basic sense of self-preservation dictates acquiescence to those who threaten to bring those protests and boycotts and lawsuits.

Look at what happened to Brendan Eich, who had to resign as CEO of Mozilla after it emerged that he had contributed $1000 to a group supporting a gay marriage ban in California. Keep in mind, gay marriage was something the majority of the population -- including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- was against as recently as 2008.

Such a forced resignation simply wouldn't have happened to a CEO who supported a liberal cause. Think other corporate executives took note of this?

Maybe it's time for the Right to start playing by the rules -- or lack of rules -- of the Left.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

If this morning's shooter had been a Republican

This morning's shooter has been identified as James Hodgkinson of Illinois, a Bernie Sanders supporter and anti-Trump zealot.

He evidently asked a bystander if it were Democrats or Republicans playing on that baseball field, and then, when he was told they were Republicans, opened fire in an effort to kill as many of them as possible.

Bernie Sanders' office has released a statement saying that he is "sickened" by this morning's shooting. (What else can he say when one of his supporters gets a little overenthusiastic?)

Paul Ryan said that "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us," the kind of high-minded but neutral statement which, when analyzed, means exactly nothing.

Trump himself called for unity, as he should have.

And most of the Democrats have been relatively quiet so far. When they do speak up, it will undoubtedly be to distance themselves from the shooter, whom the media will undoubtedly describe as a lone, troubled individual. And the emphasis from the Left will be on gun control: why are those horrible Republicans so beholden to the NRA?

And then, after a few days, the coverage will fade.

Of course, if Hodgkinson had been a Republican gunning for Democrats, what we'd hear from the media would be entirely different. It would be all about how Trump had engendered a climate of hatred and intolerance, and how he had encouraged his violent followers to wreak as much havoc as possible.

After a few days of that type of coverage, most people would be left with the vague impression that Hodgkinson had gotten his marching orders directly from the White House, and Trump himself had handed him the SKS rifle, as well as several boxes of ammo.

To me, Hodgkinson has the look of a killer, from his smug look to his thin lips. And, he has a certain undefinable air about him that says, headstrong. But, one picture can be deceiving, and really, there are a lot of harmless people who look like that. (And to be perfectly honest, if I had known nothing else about him and you told me he was a 66-year-old blue collar home inspector from the Midwest, I would probably have just assumed he was a Trump supporter.)

As it turned out, he wasn't much of a killer. Even armed with a rifle, he killed no one, and only wounded five, despite having reportedly shot over 50 rounds. And he was taken down from a distance of around 100 feet by two Alexandria police officers armed only with pistols.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how the media spins this.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How white liberals don't see blacks as individuals

I explained in February how "white guilt" itself is proof that certain people -- the ones who feel that guilt -- regard blacks as not quite human. Those same liberals also tend not to see blacks as individuals.

When a lot of white people -- especially liberals -- see a black person, all they see is: black. Alarm bells go off in their heads and they think, don't be racist! Be friendly! Don't show your fear! Say something nice!

Liberals never really look past a black's race, and just see a generic black person to whom they must act nice in a phony (liberal) way.

(By the way, I don't blame blacks who meet enough of these types for resenting whites.)

Liberals always give blacks the benefit of the doubt, then maintain that this attitude makes them "open-minded." In fact, it makes them the opposite. While they pride themselves on not being "judgmental," they really aren't even seeing the blacks as individual human beings.

They avoid criticizing any black, because they know that doing so would open them up to the inevitable charges of racism, their worst nightmare. And they completely avoid the minefield of group differences, for the same reason.

And, of course, because liberals never see past race, they accuse their opponents of doing the same.

In fact, it's only when you're willing to get to know a lot of people individually, and see what they're like without putting blinders on, that you can draw realistic conclusions about group differences in behavior, personality, and so on. That's how it works for people who actually do keep their minds open.

Whenever liberals see a black person they're way too preoccupied going into don't-show-the-dog-you're-afraid-of-it mode to actually notice anything about the person they're talking to. Which, when you think about it, is essentially denying any humanity to that person.

But in defense of the liberals, it's hard to think clearly when you're in a state of panic.

I admit, this post is a bit of an exaggeration of liberal behavior. But the salient point is that it's fear that drives liberal behavior: the fear of blacks, the fear that the blacks might realize that they are afraid of them, the fear that the blacks might realize that they consider them alien in some very elemental way, and the fear that the blacks might lash out at them somehow. And those basic fears actually bespeak a racism which is far deeper than any mild recitation of statistics does.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Michelle Carter has Munchausen-by-proxy

It just struck me why Michelle Carter, currently on trial for manslaughter, was trying so hard to get her boyfriend Conrad Roy to commit suicide, and why, when he hesitated, she tried to shame him into doing it.

It wasn't as if she was about to inherit any money from him, or stood to gain anything material. They were just high school classmates. And it wasn't as if she had any particular reason to hate him: she was, after all, his girlfriend, and he was by all accounts a nice guy.

She simply wanted him to die so she could pose as his bereaved girlfriend and get lots of sympathy. There's no other explanation.

Carter sent a number of texts to other people, expressing worry about Conrad's well-being and professing ignorance as to his whereabouts. She was setting up a scenario where she could act as if she was utterly heartbroken and inconsolable because of her great love for him.

Carter had probably played out these scenes in her head beforehand. She had undoubtedly thought about how she would burst into tears while talking about the life she and Conrad had planned together, how they had even discussed marriage, and how he was the love of her life.

All her female friends would feel great sympathy. (And oh would she ever enjoy making them feel as if they were somehow lacking for not being capable of feeling as great a love as hers.) And all the boys.....well, she just knew that all of them would sympathize, and each would secretly want to replace Roy.

And Conrad's family would simply adore her. Every time they'd see her they would think, oh, that sweet little girl, she cared for Conrad so much. And she might have even been our daughter-in-law. Carter undoubtedly planned to remain a presence in their lives, making a big show of weeping at the funeral and then showing up at their doorstep on the anniversaries of his death to remind them that Conrad was not forgotten.

It would all be so very gratifying. She would be the absolute center of attention in her community. And everybody would say, oh, poor Michelle, she's so heartbroken. That poor girl, we should do whatever we can for her!

(It's called Munchausen-by-proxy.)

Look at that practiced expression of sadness and confusion on Carter's face:

There was only one little thing wrong with Carter's scheme: text messages are retrievable.

So now, people think the opposite of what she wanted them to.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

"Ex-basketball phenom busted with car filled with loaded guns"

From this evening's NY Post:

Former Big Apple basketball sensation Sebastian Telfair was busted early Sunday in Brooklyn with a bulletproof vest and a small arsenal inside his truck, police sources said.

The 32-year-old had been with another man, identified as Jami Thomas, 18, when cops pulled him over in Bed-Stuy around 2:50 a.m. and uncovered the weapons cache during a routine traffic stop, according to authorities.

All in all, officers found three loaded pistols, a gas-operated submachine gun, extended magazines, ammunition and the ballistic vest.

The pair had been driving in a Ford F-150 pickup truck without the headlights on, prompting officers to stop them, sources said.

They had been parked illegally on a median on Atlantic Avenue near Classon Street just before the incident and drawn the officers’ attention.

After being pulled over, cops smelled marijuana and eventually spotted a burning joint inside the truck. They then asked Telfair and Thomas to step out of the vehicle and placed them under arrest.

Upon searching the truck, sources said officers discovered two bags of pot and the pair’s gun collection — which included a SIG MPX Pistol, a Ruger LC9s, and a Springfield Armory XD9 Mod 2 Pistol....

If you've got a carful of illegal stuff, rule number one is, don't attract attention. Drug dealers making the Miami to New York run are always told by their bosses to never exceed the speed limit, and not to drive a flashy car. They are instructed to wear conservative clothing and be clean cut. And if by chance they do get stopped by the police, they are to always reply "yes sir" and "no sir."

You'd think the same rules would apply to someone who's carrying a cache of illegal weapons. 

So what does Telfair do? He drives without his lights on at 2:50AM, an hour when nobody is up to any good anyway. Then he parks illegally on the median. And all the while he's smoking a joint, so that the smell of marijuana wafts out of his truck. 

What's going through the head of someone who does that? 

If I were driving around with an illegal armory in my trunk, I'd be extremely nervous and paranoid. I'd be worried that my worry was causing me to look worried and that that look on my face might attract undue attention. Which would make me worry even more. 

But not Telfair. He just puffs away on a doobie as if he hadn't a care in the world. 

Telfair was evidently one of the most highly recruited high school players in the nation in 2004, but chose to go directly into the NBA. He never quite lived up to his promise, however, and ended up playing for eight different teams over the course of his 12 year career. 

Hard not to wonder if this wasn't in part because his court sense didn't quite match his physical abilities. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Tim Cook's MIT speech

Apple CEO Tim Cook gave the graduation speech at MIT yesterday. Among his comments:

“Whatever you do in your life, and whatever we do at Apple, we must infuse it with the humanity that we are born with.”

“I’m more concerned about people thinking like computers without values or compassion or concern for the consequences. That is what we need you to help us guard against. Because if science is a search in the darkness, then the humanities are a candle that shows us where we have been and the danger that lies ahead.”

“The internet enabled so much and empowered so many, but it can also be a place where basic rules of decency are suspended and pettiness and negativity thrive.”

“Don’t let that noise knock you off course. Don’t get caught up in the trivial aspects of life. Don’t listen to trolls, and don’t become one. Measure impact in humanity; not in the likes, but the lives you touch and the people you serve.”

These are all noble-sounding, "uplifting" sentiments, the type you'd expect at a college graduation. But any honest appraisal of Cook's career would have to center around the fact that his rise was facilitated by having been Steve Jobs' right-hand man. And Jobs was an obvious sociopath.

After listening to that speech, it's hard not to wonder exactly how Cook helped enable Jobs to be the incredibly nasty and self-serving bully that he was. Did Cook ever lecture Jobs on how he should be a better person?

Somehow, that seems doubtful.

One does not become a right-hand man and heir apparent to the CEO without flattering, catering to, and making oneself constantly available to him.

Apple assembles its iPhones in China so that they can pay their workers less than they would have to in the US. How does Cook not consider that to be behavior "without values or compassion?"

Some of those laborers have been as young as 14, and several lawsuits have been brought alleging poisoning of workers from the hexane used to clean iPad screens, as well as overwork from up to seven day workweeks. Is that what Cook considers infusing his plants "with the humanity we are born with?"

Apple also keeps a large chunk of its huge cash hoard abroad so that it doesn't have to pay US taxes on it -- taxes that would help pay for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Not only that, Apple has routed as much as one-third of all its worldwide revenues through Ireland, where it pays a 2% tax rate. How does Cook square that with the "basic rules of decency?"

Cook was theoretically selected as the graduation speaker because he's someone whose success the current crop of graduates would like to emulate. So rather than high-flown sentiments, some of them were probably hoping for a few insights along those lines.

A more honest speech about how Cook became so fabulously wealthy would have outlined how to kiss ass, how to enable a sociopathic boss, how to avoid paying taxes, and where you can get the cheapest labor.

I don't hold it against Cook that he does his job as a CEO. But let's not lose sight of the fact that a CEO's job is to make as much money as possible for his shareholders, his employees, and himself -- by any means he can.

What I do hold against Cook is the sanctimonious front he puts up. (Although, in all fairness, that's probably part of a CEO's job as well.)

Note that Cook also did his job as CEO by telling the grads that they should "measure impact in humanity; not in the likes, but the lives you touch" -- that snide reference to "likes" being a little dig at crosstown rival Facebook.

It's a little surprising Cook didn't warn the graduates about "the googolplex of obstacles" they would have to overcome in life.

Anyway, you should now be ashamed of yourself, because you have just done what Cook advised you not to: you listened to some of the "negativity" on the internet - from someone Cook would undoubtedly call a "troll."

But you also just got a dose of reality, since I don't have to put on a false public face. And what some call "negativity," others call truth.

Here's my advice to those MIT grads: any time you hear an "uplifting" message from the likes of Cook, just remember that old adage about actions speaking louder than words.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Muslims feared like sociopaths

This past Monday, Theodore Dalrymple (the pen name of Dr. Anthony Daniels) wrote an insightful article in the Wall Street Journal about how Muslims are treated in the UK.

An excerpt:

One obvious thing to do would be to strangle the foreign funding of so much Islamist activity in Britain. That is no doubt complicated in many ways, but no British government, solicitous of trade relations, has dared even try. The British economy is precarious, and it is difficult to be strong when your economy is weak.

Instead, we have gone in for what a Dutch friend of mine calls “creative appeasement.” Authorities make concessions even before, one suspects, there have been any demands for them. Thus, a public library in Birmingham, one of the largest known to me, has installed women-only tables, a euphemism for Muslim women only. Whether there was ever a request or demand for sex-segregated seating from Muslims is probably undiscoverable; truth seldom emerges from a public authority. But the justification would almost certainly be that without such tables, Muslim women would not be able to use the library at all.

The Birmingham airport has set aside a room for wudu, the Muslim ablutions before prayer. No other religion is catered for in this fashion (nor should they be, in my opinion), so the impression is inevitably given that Islam is in some way favored or privileged. Again, it would be difficult to find out whether they received requests or demands for such a room or merely anticipated them; in either case, weakness is advertised.

This is not a local problem alone. Many European airports now set aside a room for “meditation.” The icon used to indicate it almost always carries more of an Islamic connotation than any other. A friend told me that when she went into one such room, she was told by a Muslim to remove her shoes, ecumenism being, of course, a one-way street.

My female Muslim patients who had grown up in Britain told me that the school inspectors had never intervened when their parents prevented them from attending school, often for years. On the other hand, white working-class parents were bullied by those inspectors when their refractory 15-year-old daughters refused to go. A few years ago it came to light that police in Rotherham had for decades systematically turned a blind eye to the mass sexual abuse of children—at least 1,400 victims—by Muslim men. This type of willful neglect by the authorities came as no surprise to me. On the contrary, it is precisely what I would have expected.

From all this the terrorists surely draw a great deal of comfort. It gives them the impression of living in a weak society that will be easy to destroy, so that their acts are not in the least nihilistic or pointless, as is often claimed. They perceive ours as a candle-and-teddy-bear society (albeit mysteriously endowed with technological prowess): We kill, you light candles. The other day I passed a teddy-bear shop, that is to say a shop that sold nothing but teddy bears. I am sure that terrorism is good for business, but the teddy bears are more reassuring for the terrorists than for those who buy them to place on the site of the latest outrage.

Another source of comfort for terrorists is that after every new atrocity, the police are able to arrest multiple suspected accomplices. That suggests the police knew the attackers’ identities in advance but did nothing—in other words, that most of the time terrorists can act with impunity even if known. Here, then, is further evidence of a society that will not defend itself seriously. This is not just a British problem. The April murder of a policeman on the Champs Elysées in Paris was committed by a man who had already tried to kill three policemen, who was known to have become fanaticized, and who was found with vicious weapons in his home. The authorities waited patiently until he struck.

(I wish I could write that elegantly.)

But I quote Dalrymple not to showcase his prose but to show the numerous ways in which British (and other sovereign) authorities appease, mollify, coddle, and generally tiptoe around Muslims. 

I've written before about how whenever you hear of a "reality distortion field" or the Stockholm Syndrome, that almost always means a sociopath is lurking. Sociopaths often manipulate through the use of fear: non-sociopaths instinctively sense that if they cross the sociopath in any way, the retribution they could expect would be completely uninhibited in its ferocity. 

So, normal people will do anything to avoid a sociopath's wrath, and find themselves acceding to his version of reality. 

This is pretty much exactly what's going on with Muslims in the West these days. The West bends over backwards to appease them, simply because they fear their wrath. You could say the West is suffering from collective Stockholm Syndrome.

The double standard is apparent in the way the parents of 15-year-old Christian truants were treated compared to the parents of Muslim girls. In the way the Rotherham rapes were swept under the rug. And in the way, as Dalrymple points out, that ecumenicism is a one way street. 

Piss off a Christian, and he'll write an angry letter to the editor. Piss off a Muslim, and he'll blow himself up along with 20 young girls at an Ariana Grande concert. 

(Somehow I can't see Dalrymple writing that paragraph.)

The takeaway is, the West is operating from fear and impotence. They are both paralyzed by political correctness and intimidated in the face of fiercer aggression. 

In fact, the West is so afraid of being offensive it won't even mount a decent defense.

The same way most people feel and act around sociopaths. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The new Vichy regimes

During World War II, the French government which collaborated with the Nazis was known as the Vichy regime. To this day, "Vichy" and "collaborationist" are regarded by most people as terms of contempt.

What the term means, in its essence, is a government which sides with outsiders against its own citizens.

So what is the difference between such governments  and the current European ones which are welcoming the Muslim invaders en masse? Are these governments not betraying their own citizens?

They are nothing but collaborationists, or quislings, or traitors, or fifth columnists, or whichever term you prefer.

The European people themselves, for the most part, don't seem to want to see their populations transformed.

You never seem to hear the man in the street in Stockholm talk about how wonderful it is that their city is no longer as safe as it once was.

You never hear the man in the street in Denmark talk about how great it is that their welfare system is now being strained to the limit by all the young Muslim men.

You never hear the people of Cologne talk about how much more exciting New Year's Eve is now.

Nor do you hear French people speak about how great it is that the banlieus have now become so dangerous that even the police are afraid to go there.

But the media don't seem interested in interviewing the man in the street. They prefer to quote the politicians, who, led as they are by rich and powerful international interests, don't seem to care.

Time for a change in the language.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Could you have sex with Michelle Carter?

Commenter GT just sent a link on the Michelle Carter, classic sociopath post from October 2015 to this article. Carter has been in the news recently because she has waived her right to a jury trial for manslaughter in the death of Conrad Roy III.

That was probably a wise move, as any jury would be almost certain to find her guilty. She is a singularly unsympathetic character.

Carter, knowing that Roy was depressed and contemplating suicide, had sent him number of texts encouraging him to kill himself, while simultaneously pretending to everyone else that she was extremely concerned about his safety.

The article that GT linked included this picture of Carter:

She's actually quite attractive, physically. Which got me to idly wondering: when I was younger, had I known what a monster she was, would I have been able to have sex with her?

Most guys, upon seeing that picture, would think, yeah, she's hot, I'd do her! The fact is, all it takes for most guys to be turned on is to see a woman naked. But really, if you were aware that what would turn her on most would be to see you die a miserable death, would you actually be able to complete the act?

Could you remained turned on knowing full well that inside that pretty girl was a hideous monster?

I suppose you could view this as one of those semi-humorous tests of manliness guys will sometimes joke about.

But in a way, it's also a test of character, in the opposite way: are you so insensitive as to be able to ignore the true nature of the she-devil you're with?

(At this point, a fair number of male readers are probably thinking: hey, I've done it before.)

I don't think I could have passed the manliness test.

But who knows, maybe I'm giving myself credit for being a better person than I am.

(And at this point, a lot of female readers are probably thinking, rightly: men are such pigs!)


There are lots of translations from foreign languages available on the internet, but what's missing are translations from various fields. The fact is, what people in certain occupations say does not necessarily mean what it sounds like, once translated into honest English.

For instance, you'll occasionally hear the following in actor-speak: "To prepare for this role, I went on a really strict training regimen. I worked out four hours a day -- lifting, running, boxing, and calisthenics. I cut down on my carbs, eliminated sugar, and ate lots of protein. That's what allowed me to put on 40 pounds of lean muscle in three months." That translates, of course, as "I took steroids."

Likewise, when you hear, in Wall Street-speak that a certain trader is "a financial wizard with an uncanny ability to sense when companies are about to be taken over," that usually means, "He's an insider trader."

A few examples of liberalese:

"Junk science," "Discredited theories," "hate speech."
Translation: "Facts that don't fit with our narrative."

Translation: "One who acknowledges those facts."

"A hater."
Translation: "Anyone who's honest."

"A settled science."
Translation: "I don't like hearing contradictory statistics."

"We really have to cut down on carbon emissions, which means shared sacrifice."
Translation: "The common people have to cut back on their lifestyles while I fly around on a private jets and hobnob on yachts."

"Climate change-denier."
Translation: "The moral equivalent of a Holocaust denier!"

"We are a nation of immigrants."
Translation: "Immigrants are far more likely to vote Democratic, and we want those votes. Anyway, my top donors want the cheap labor."

"Equal pay for equal work."
Translation: "Equal pay for unequal work."

"They're waging a war on women."
Translation: "We're waging a war on them."

"The fringe right."
Translation: "The half of the country that elected Trump."

"We need more bipartisanship."
Translation: "The other side needs to see things our way."

"Anonymous source."
Translation: "My imagination."

Translation: "Whenever the other side criticizes."

"Our diversity is our strength."
Translation: "Just go back to sleep."

"The right side of history."
Translation: "The Left side of history."

"That's not who we are."
Translation: "You really should try to be more like me, because I'm perfect."

"The long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all and not just some."
"We should ignore the Constitution whenever doing so leads to equality of results rather than equality of opportunity."

Monday, June 5, 2017

Common sense about terrorism

A friend sent the following excerpt from an article by a Britisher, Sean Gabb:

Jeremy Corbyn, I grant, has been slightly better. He sees Islamic terrorism as a response to our endless wars of aggression in the Islamic World. He says:

"[M]any experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed out the connections between wars that we have been involved in, or supported, or fought, in other countries and terrorism here at home."

There is some truth in this. I will not quote the relevant news releases from the Islamic State. But their consistent line is that, so long as we drop bombs on their women and children, they will blow themselves up among ours. Bearing in mind the scale of the chaos and bloodshed they have unleashed since 2001 in the Islamic world, our leaders are in a weak position to complain.

Even so, if they have been at least unwise, these wars cannot be regarded as the whole cause of what is being done to us. There have been major terrorist attacks in Spain and Germany and Sweden, countries that have not been to war in the Islamic World. There have been attacks in Thailand and India and the Philippines, and in many other countries that stayed neutral. I believe that we should withdraw all our forces from Iraq and Libya and Afghanistan. We should leave the Syrians to sort out their civil war. We should, so far as possible, vacate those parts of the world. I believe we should do this for our sake and for theirs. But I do not believe this would stop the terrorists from blowing our people up or from running them down. Remove one excuse – another would be found. There is a weak correlation between Islamic terrorism and whether a country targeted has been to war in the Islamic World. There is a very strong correlation between Islamic terrorism and the presence of a large Moslem population. Thailand had no part in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. It has Moslems. It has had terrorism. Slovakia was in the “Coalition of the Willing.” It has almost no Moslems, It has had no terrorism.

Let us suppose Tony Blair had found the common sense to tell the Americans to invade Iraq on their own. There might have been less Islamic terrorism in this country. But do not suppose there would have been none. The wars we fought in Iraq and elsewhere were wrong in themselves. They failed in their stated ends. But the true cause of the mess we are in is unlimited immigration of people who mostly cannot be assimilated, and who have been allowed to establish a demographic and cultural hegemony in large parts of the country. When our ancestors turned up in North America, they formed exclusive enclaves, and felt no obligation to conform to the ways of the aborigines. They thought they were better, and they would have been scandalised by any advice to paint their faces and join in the tomahawk dance. Once their initial colonies were secure, and once their population had sufficiently grown, they took over. Why should it be very different when we are the colonised? Terrorist violence is connected with what we have done to their countries. Much more, it is part of marking new territory and pre-empting opposition.

The point is rarely made, but it's true that while we always hear all the details about the latest terrorist attacks on the West, we almost never hear about the women and children killed by Western bombs in Muslim countries.  

Anyway, I thought the article exuded common sense, and the parallel between white and Muslim settlers was apt.  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The lies and half-truths just keep coming

After last night's terror attack in London, Prime Minister Theresa May said "that while the recent attacks are not connected, they are all bound by the 'single evil ideology' that says Western values are incompatible with Islam."

May evidently believes that preventing girls from attending school, forcing them to cover their faces, cutting off their clits, and killing homosexuals are all perfectly compatible with Western values.

In fact, the terrorists are right: Western values are incompatible with Islam -- which is precisely why the West should stop importing Muslims.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said, “I’m reassured we are one of the safest global cities in the world.”

Exactly what it was about last night's incident that he found "reassuring," Khan did not specify.

According to the Daily Mail, the Metropolitan Police described the attackers as being "of Mediterranean origin."

Wouldn't you know it -- those hotheaded Italians are at it again! Someone insults their pizza, and they go crazy ramming their vans into as many pedestrians as possible and then cutting as many throats as they can. Ciao, you pizza-haters!

(Evidently describing the men as being of "Middle Eastern" origin would have shown prejudice.)

The West is committing slow motion suicide. Those who keep their eyes open can see it, but somehow the global elites seem to want the West to die. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Comedians going downhill

Three posts ago I defended Kathy Griffin and her right to make offensive images, especially in the service of comedy. But after the strong reaction against the photo of her holding up a bloody replica of Donald Trump's head, Griffin herself seemed to lose her sense of humor.

Yesterday she held a self-pitying press conference in which she tearfully accused Trump of being a "bully," and said he was out to ruin her life. (He put out exactly one Tweet in which he said she should be ashamed of herself and that his son Barron was having a hard time dealing with the image.)

Which is worse, the photo or the responding Tweet?

I still think Griffin is a funny comedienne, but at this point it's hard to have any respect for her.

Two months ago I wrote a positive review of Dave Chapelle's Netflix special. I said that I had half-expected that his having gone on steroids would cause him to lose his sense of humor, but it hadn't.

Last night I watched Part II of the special. It wasn't quite as funny. Worse, I heard the steroids talking throughout. At one point Chapelle said that he had knocked on the window of a car containing four white boys, one of whom had thrown a snowball at him, because he wanted to "fuck them up."

On another occasion, he said that there was only one parent at his son's private school he might not be able to take in a fight (a certain lesbian). And throughout the show he talked like a guy who thought about nothing but sex (a common side effect of steroids).

Chapelle is now a hulking presence, but the pre-steroids Chapelle -- who must have weighed roughly 135 -- would never have talked this way. Hearing him trying to sound like a badass with his new store-bought muscles was a little off-putting.

One of the themes of his show was how hard it is to be black. Chapelle had a couple of legitimate complaints -- in one, a member of the audience in Santa Fe had thrown a banana peel at him. (That actually happened, I looked it up later.) And, one of the boys in that car had called him the n-word.

The fact that Chapelle could make comedy out of this material, and not even sound angry while speaking about the incidents, is admirable. But I feel as if I hear enough about how hard it is to be black; it's hardly breaking fresh comedic (or political) ground. And some of the stuff he alluded to, including his unquestioning acceptance of the myth that the police are out to kill black people, was tiresome.

I preferred his politically incorrect analysis about the inherent awkwardness and difficulty of trying to address everybody by the right pronoun in our newly gender-fluid society.

Chapelle's great strength has always been his ability to be the voice of sanity while describing crazy situations. But he's starting to sound as if the steroids are pushing him in the other direction.

I still think Chapelle is a great comedian. I'm just a little bit less of a fan than before.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

"The Real Collusion"

A friend just forwarded this excellent article by Andrew McCarthy. It clearly explains the emptiness of the current accusations against Trump and contrasts them with the way the Clintons made big money from Russia and the way Obama spent his Presidency trying to accommodate the Russians.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Men vs. women

This morning a friend, Ed, posted this quote from Roger Simon after the Trump as Midas post:

"Approaching the vaunted one hundred day benchmark, it's clear the Republicans, not the Democrats or their faithful media allies, are the biggest threat to Donald Trump's presidency. Lost in various ego and ideology-driven agendas the GOP legislators are doing their best to elect Elizabeth Warren president in 2020. Perhaps they should turn over their donor lists to the Massachusetts senator and make things easier and more direct.

This may or may not speak poorly for Trump's managerial skills. And it doesn't account entirely for his poor poll numbers. But if there is a cancer on his presidency, it's coming largely from his own party's inability to enact legislation when they have undisputed control of Congress and the executive branch. It's almost as if the Republicans have a death wish and don't really want to govern - subconsciously preferring to be an opposition party that doesn't have to take responsibility for their actions, only for criticism".

Ed then sent this email:

That quote brings to mind another analysis of the problem with the Republicans in Congress, vs. Democrats:

The Democratic party behaves like a woman. It is comfortable taking from others (high taxation) with its members, by and large, being the recipients (generous government programs). It rarely sticks to the point in an argument, preferring to go hysterical with false accusations and distractions.

The Republican party behaves like a man. It talks a good game about what’s right, and what makes sense for personal liberty, economic growth and self preservation. But in the end, it gives in to the hysterical woman – ‘you win Honey’.

I replied that I liked that quote too, and asked, with my usual sense of diplomacy, where he'd gotten it from.

Ed replied that he'd come up with it himself.

With apologies to Ed -- and to any female readers -- I do think that's a clever analogy. Neither Ed nor I think that all women and all men are like that. But any middle-aged person for whom this doesn't ring true either hasn't been paying attention to politics, or has never been married.

The Kathy Griffin brouhaha

The recent shot of Kathy Griffin holding up what appears to be Donald Trump's severed head --

-- has gotten a lot of attention. People have likened the shot to an ISIS beheading. It's also brings to mind Perseus holding up the head of Medusa, maybe because of all the hair:

Everybody reacted in predictably silly ways.

Trump himself had to weigh in by Tweeting that Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. (How much better if he had just ignored her.)

The photo evidently came to the attention of the Secret Service. (They do have to weigh each and every last threat, but this is a little ridiculous: Griffin, a comedienne who makes her living by being outrageous, is obviously not a threat.)

A number of people from both Left and Right, eager to demonstrate their virtue, condemned the photo as "offensive" and "inappropriate" and "disgusting" and "wrong."

Griffin herself, reeling from the almost universal condemnation, issued an insincere apology: "I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong." (She had predicted a negative reaction, and was obviously sorry only for its strength and seeming unanimity.)

The most interesting outcome will be how it affects her career. It will probably have little long term effect. It was, after all, Trump she was mocking. And in the end, Hollywood is not going to punish one of their own for essentially toeing the company line.

What's most telling about the incident is how the reaction compared to what would have happened had some Hollywood figure held up a bloody replica of Barack Obama's head.

That person's show biz career would have ended. The TV show appearances would disappear, the gigs would dry up, and that would have been that. Griffin's career will suffer some short term damage, but in the long run should be fine.

Back in 2010 I wrote about what comedians should have said about Obama -- and the deafening silence we got instead -- here and here and here.

Personally, I thought the photo was sort of funny, just because it was so wrong. I've always been a big Kathy Griffin fan, and what I like most about her is her outrageousness. A comedian's job is to push the boundaries, and maybe step over them. Otherwise, they're just not funny. (Griffin is, by the way, as merciless about herself as she is about everyone else.)

And there's nothing lamer than a comedian who's afraid to offend anyone.

The only thing I find offensive about this incident is the hypocrisy implicit in what would have happened to anyone who mocked Obama similarly.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Trump as King Midas, and some advice

We're all familiar with the tale of King Midas, whose greed was his downfall. In a way, Trump is similar, except that his downfall is due to his ego. Everything in his life -- his real estate holding, his family, foreign policy, domestic policy -- seems to be an extension of his ego.

It's as if when the satyr Silenus offered to grant Trump a wish, Trump had said, "I want everything I touch to make me look great." But Silenus then replied, "But I can't do that -- only you can do that."

So Trump tried, but he tried too hard. And he would constantly point out how great he was, which only made him look bad.

For instance, when Trump said during the campaign, "I will be the greatest President for jobs that God ever created," it sounded good, at first. What's not to like about more jobs? But in retrospect, it was all about him.

Note that Trump did not say, "Our administration is going to create an unprecedented number of jobs, and that will be a primary focus." He started out by using his favorite word, "I," and ended the sentence with "God ever created," as if the Almighty had specifically created him, back in 1946, to be the greatest jobs President ever.

If Trump had taken out the words "for jobs," the sentence would have shown what was really on his mind.

Trump was probably thinking in the back of his mind that invoking God would win him points with the religious crowd. Instead, it merely betrayed his ego.

What Trump needs to realize is that just one or two self-deprecating jokes would do wonders for his image. He actually has a decent sense of humor, but all his jokes are directed outward. If just a few could be at his own expense, people would like him more. The jokes wouldn't even have to be off the cuff, they could be obviously written by his speechwriters.

It's hard to imagine that Trump's handlers haven't thought of this. Does Trump just overrule them and delete the jokes from his speeches? He may just be constitutionally incapable of modesty.

Best of all would be if Trump could make a joke about his own ego. If he wants to rule a certain course of action out, he could say, with a wink, "That's about as likely as me saying something self-deprecatory."

Next time he wants to describe something as "yuuuuge," instead he could say, "This thing....Let me put it this way, it's almost as big as my ego."

Instead of boasting that he's surrounded himself with the very, very best people, he could just say, "I made sure that absolutely every last person on my staff is smarter than me -- which is probably the smartest thing I've ever done."

If he would make these comments, one of two things would happen: his approval ratings would rise, or he would choke to death.

It'd be worth the risk.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Being Nostradamus

Every now and then it occurs to me that since I'm essentially yelling out into the wilderness with this blog anyway, I might as well try to be another Nostradamus. The trick to that seems to make safe, predictable predictions that can be applied to a wide range of happenings. (This is similar to what psychics and astrologers do.)

For instance, I might say, "A great mushroom cloud will herald the end of many lives in a heavily populated area."

As we all know, sooner or later, as long as nuclear bombs exist, that will happen. It maybe be a month, a year, a decade, or a century in the future. But it will happen. And if it does, it's a safe bet that the perpetrators won't be looking to attack Antarctica.

So, I predict it.

In that vein, here are the rest of my prognostications:

Terrorists will wreak havoc and cause widespread panic in New York City.

The earth will shake, and the resulting disaster will end tens of thousands of lives.

A great wave will emerge from the ocean which will drown thousands.

People will be attracted to a charismatic politician who is not nearly as nice as he seems.

Celebrities with double digit IQ's will give their political opinions, and the masses will take them seriously.

The Middle East will be a hotbed of dissension and violence.

Creatures unknown to science will be discovered here on earth.

There will be a tragic war in which hundreds of thousands of people will die.

The path of the world economy will not be a smooth one.

There will be a population crisis in Africa which will make previous crises look minor by comparison.

Asians will mysteriously outscore whites on standardized tests, whites will mysteriously outscore Hispanics, and Hispanics will outscore blacks. No one will be able to explain these inexplicable differences. (Not publicly, at least.)

Professional basketball will be dominated by people of sub-Saharan descent.

Racial tensions will escalate; a large number of killings will take place around the world which will seem to be racially motivated.

The United States will become more like Brazil: darker-complected, with a shrinking middle class.

Great advances will be made in technology and medicine.

And, people who predict the future will continue to do so in vague terms, and will mostly describe basically nothing more than a continuation of current trends.

Gun control contradictions

One of the lines of reasoning about immigration that you hear a lot from liberals is: well, the illegals are already here, so there's nothing you can do about it. What are you going to do, deport them all?

There's some truth to that -- it would be difficult to round every last one up and send them back to their home countries. (Even though plenty of countries -- like Mexico -- do exactly that.)

But somehow the liberals employ a completely different line of reasoning when it comes to guns. What they would really like -- ideally -- is to confiscate all handguns not belonging to the government.

But there are roughly 300 million guns circulating in this country, as opposed to 10 million illegal immigrants. And it's far easier to hide a gun than it is an illegal immigrant.

What are the odds that a gun ban would cause anybody with murder in mind to turn in his gun? (Anybody willing to risk the death penalty or life in prison for murder is not going to worry about the penalty for merely owning an unlicensed gun.)

Another contradiction: liberals disapprove of stop and frisk in the high crime areas where most murders take place. They prefer to concentrate on confiscation from law-abiding gun owners in suburban and rural areas. (The only people who would turn in their guns, by definition, would be law-abiding.)

Do liberals think a gun ban would result in all gang members dutifully showing up at the nearest police station to peacefully surrender weapons which are already illegal anyway?

According to liberal logic, the way to cut down the number of gun deaths is to take guns from the people who have permits, not from criminals with illegal guns.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Just an average guy, morally

The frequency with which I castigate sociopaths might lead you to believe that I see myself as some sort of shining beacon of moral rectitude. I don't.

If someone were to give me insider information I thought would profit me, and I thought I could get away with it, I'd trade on it.

If Angela Jonsson were to beckon, I'd be hard pressed to say no.

I feel no overwhelming affection for the vast majority of people. And I feel zero loyalty to any of the schools I attended.

When I read of a tragedy that strikes people I don't know, I feel nothing. (Except, in the case of recent terrorist attacks, when I feel anger against those who insist we let more Muslim immigrate.)

I often fake a friendliness I don't feel. Overall, I'm a little on the cold side.

I don't think these attitudes and actions are unique to me; in fact, they're fairly typical. But there are people who feel loyalty to institutions, and who care about strangers. I'm just not one of them.

I'm also not a sociopath, since I'm capable of feeling shame, and even mortification at times.

But the reason I understand sociopaths, and see through them, is because I occupy the middle ground, morally speaking. I understand their motivations, because I feel those motivations too.

If I were some sort of angel, sociopaths would probably still be a complete mystery to me. I'd be the kind of guy who, after hearing of a particularly gruesome crime, shakes his head and says, "I don't understand how a human being could do something like that!" Or, "That guy's gotta be crazy!"

If I were an angel, I would ascribe the best of motives to everyone else, and assume that others -- even politicians -- were being truthful most of the time.

But, I'm no angel. I know what it is to hate people so much I want to see them dead. (That's "people," as in plural, which makes me a sort of serial killer in my own head.) And I, like Bernie Madoff, would prefer for me to have the money than for you to have it.

Don't worry, I don't have the nerve to act on these impulses; I'm too inhibited. And, I fear the consequences of my actions. (Or, if you prefer, I'm just not man enough to follow through.) These things differentiate me from sociopaths. But the previous paragraph does describe how I sometimes feel.

To tell the truth, I don't even think those feelings are unique to me, either. (Although admitting to them is certainly not the norm.)

I also enjoy admiration as much as anybody. (It doesn't embarrass me in the least, I just soak it right up.) I'm just not quite willing to lie to get it.

I'm past the age where it would make much sense to either take steroids or get plastic surgery, two things sociopaths are more likely to do. But as I said in a recent post, if I had my life to live over again, I'd advise the young me to go ahead and get the surgery. And, frankly, I'm still curious to see what I'd be capable of physically if I juiced.

A sociopath's stock in trade are often mockery and intimidation. I don't intimidate. But as to mockery, well, I do write this blog.

Again, if I weren't this way, I'd never be able to understand sociopaths. (Saintliness may be admirable, but it doesn't lead to a greater understanding of one's fellow man.)

Anyway, next time I write a sociopath alert, feel free to think, ah, no wonder he understands them so well. Or you can even think, he's just trying to make himself feel virtuous since sociopaths are the only people he's better than.

But please don't think, oh, that self-righteous twit is at it again, trying to make himself out to be some kind of saint. 'Cause I'm not.

If morality were measured purely by honesty -- and that is one measure -- then I'd lay claim to being particularly upright. But there are a lot of facets to morality beside that, and on virtually all of them, I am, at best, average.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How to sell healthy habits

"Ga" pointed out yesterday that the people responsible for trying to curb diabetes and get people to stop smoking are going about it wrong. Here is his (slightly edited) comment:

Whenever I see the campaigns to stop smoking try to guilt a person, portraying smoking as some evil bad guy in a cartoon, or talking about health effects that may not strike for decades, it seems inefficient. Likewise, with junk food, the attempts at "healthier food" in US high schools makes me shake my head....

If the campaigns focused on the idea that smoking is expensive and spending money on junk food is bad for your budget, maybe more people would stop. Signs saying "you can save enough money for a new computer in a year if you stop smoking" could be more efficient and get the intended result.

All true. Trying to convince teenagers that smoking or sugar may have bad side effects a decade or three down the road is hardly going to jolt them into healthier lifestyles. Money is a far more immediate and tangible benefit. 

I've always thought that to get people to quit smoking, you should appeal to their vanity. Simply point out that if they smoke, their skin will wrinkle far more rapidly, and they will likely look 45 by the time they're 35. As I've pointed out before, vanity is a stronger motivator for most of us than health. 

To get people to cut back on sugar, just feature more before-and-after pictures of people who've gotten fat. Those who disapprove of fat shaming will object, but the fact is, everybody looks better lean and healthy. (The best way to warn against meth would also be with before and after shots.) 

An even better way to push men in the right direction would be to point out that smoking and sugar both lower testosterone levels. The average man cares far more about his masculinity then he does about a potential heart attack decades down the road. 

It would never fly, but they should have a campaign featuring a beautiful young woman saying, "Twenty-five-year-old men ought to be able to do it more than once a day -- I'm through with smokers!"  

Years ago there was a public service message about drugs with a picture of an egg, and the caption, "this is your brain." Right next to it was a picture of a fried egg, with the caption, "This is your brain on drugs."

I can't recall seeing any evidence as to the efficacy of that campaign, but it seemed to have little effect. (As Tolstoy once said, nobody seems to think he has enough money, yet everyone seems to think he has a sufficiency of brains.) 

Needless to say, the campaign spawned a host of takeoffs. One showed a picture of a small circle right next to a larger circle. The caption, next to the smaller circle, read, "This is your asshole before you go to prison for drugs..."

The thing is, that probably would have been a more effective campaign. 

Likewise, appealing to people's vanity (and to men's machismo) would be far more effective than a dry warning from the Surgeon General.

Perhaps they could show a pair of big eggs next to two small ones. The caption could start off, "These are your testicles before you start smoking....."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Primitive hairlines, Part II

Just saw this picture of Salman Abedi, the Manchester bomber:

Abedi has the type of low forehead that only seems to make the (non-sports) news in connection with horrific crimes.

Mark Caplan pointed out after the previous post on this subject, such low hairlines seem to be an ethnic trait among North African Arabs, Amerindian Hispanics, and Sicilians. Abedi, the child of Libyan immigrants, is the former.

There's also something intrinsically dislikable about his face, and I'm pretty sure I'd say that even if I didn't know who he was. It appears callow, numb somehow, stupid, resentful, and self-centered.

Maybe I'm superficial, or delusional, but those are the vibes I get.

Liars vs. True Believers

There is a huge difference -- both morally, and intellectually -- between the people who've actually drunk the liberal Kool-Aid, and the people who purposely lie to promote their own agendas.

Only one of these groups really deserves our enmity. And it's not the True Believers, who actually believe what they're fed by the media. They are merely gullible simpletons who don't realize they're being brainwashed with all the talk they constantly hear about how those evil "-isms" -- racism, sexism,  and so on -- are responsible for all the ills of the world.

It's the people who knowingly create and feed those lies to the simpletons who are truly despicable.

Think of it this way: if your child says something childishly naive, you think aww, how cute, and indulge him, because he doesn't know any better. But if a sociopath purposely misleads you in order to get you to do something self-destructive, he deserves your undying hatred.

Example: I get the impression that the vast majority of black people -- who've been told over and over again that all their troubles are due to racism -- honestly believe that.

Given which, they're actually acting in good faith when they protest about whites trying to keep them from having good jobs, or about the police having declared open season on them. They may be deluded; but they're honestly deluded. So, maybe, they deserve pity rather than hatred.

The people who knowingly promulgate these lies, on the other hand, deserve our hatred.

If you doubt that they're lying, just look at the lifestyle of limousine liberals. They decry racism while living in a gated communities. They castigate white flight while putting their own children in private schools. They preach to the masses about environmentalism while leaving a huge carbon footprint themselves. They demand more gun control while enjoying the protection of armed bodyguards.

Hypocrisy is always a good barometer of dishonesty.

The people who swallow those lies are less culpable. The worst they can be accused of is believing what they want to believe -- but they, at least, actually believe it.

Think of it as the difference between children and sociopaths.

(And that's pretty much what the Left is composed of.)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Are sociopaths happy?

This blog recently discussed the Gethin's question of whether sociopaths ever suffer from depression.

An equivalent question is, are sociopaths happy?

The best answer I can think of is: are great white sharks happy? Just as it's hard to imagine a great white shark getting depressed, it's also hard to imagine them feeling peacefully contented. They must get a feeling of satisfaction from grabbing a seal in their jaws, shaking it, and ripping the flesh off it. But it's a temporary feeling, and great white sharks have to keep moving, or they die.

These sharks are always ravenous, never quite sated, and remain on a sort of psychic autopilot. They are not inward-looking, introspective creatures. And they never stop to worry about whether what they're doing is "right."

In fact, even in the womb, they'll devour their own siblings.

And they spend the rest of their lives looking of their next victim.

Sociopaths are much the same. They always want more, and will do anything to get it.

Sociopaths feel physical pleasure every bit as much as the next person. In fact, because of their low level of inhibitions, they find physical pleasure hard to resist.

And sociopaths enjoy the feeling of schadenfreude even more than the rest of us; they are connoisseurs of it.

Although sociopaths can counterfeit love, affection, gratitude, and loyalty so well that to the naive they appear to be walking repositories of those emotions, they never actually feel them. So they never feel the warmth of those emotions can bring.

And sociopaths never feel the quiet satisfaction to be had from a good book, or a crossword puzzle, or a subtle turn of phrase. They need to be out and about, actively manipulating people and gaining their admiration, and, if there's anything to be gained, screwing them over.

Sociopaths also get a certain glee from fooling people -- sport lying -- but it's a very temporary satisfaction, then it's on to the next one.

Similarly, for "affect-hungry" sociopaths, like the one described in the previous post, who have a bottomless need for others' affection and sympathy and admiration -- and who will lie in order to receive such -- no amount of attention is ever enough. So they must tell more people that they have cancer, or that they were Navy SEALs, or whatever other lies it takes to get their undivided attention.

There's no rest for the scary.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ken Boyer, classic sociopath

The Daily Mail ran this article today about a con man who romanced multiple women while telling them that he was dying of stage 4 liver cancer:

A dying cancer patient who married the 'one that got away' this month despite having just weeks left to live is a conman, his ex girlfriends claim.

Ken Boyer didn't think he'd make it to his birthday next month after being diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer, according to his daughter.

The 60-year-old, of Palm Bay, Florida, even reached out to and married his 'long lost love' Michelle Kimbrel - who gave up her job to care for him - earlier this month.

But now multiple ex-girlfriends of Boyer have come forward to call out the 'cancer patient' as a fraud after reading about his wedding in the Daily Mail.

Karen Hagerty, a teacher from Winter Haven, called Boyer 'a master manipulator and conman' who just appeared to be after some free meals and a place to live, Click Orlando reports.

Another ex, Cheryl Alvarez said Boyer would call her his 'Jamaican princess' and talked about marriage with her even though they never had a sexual relationship.

But she became suspicious of his claims he was suffering from stage 4 cancer when they took a motorcycle trip they took together from Miami to Key West.

'It's five hours to the Keys and five hours back, someone going through liver cancer stage 4 can't do that,' she said.

Hagerty and Alvarez are among a long line of exes who say they were fed the same lies by Boyer.

All of them met him on, and all were told he had cancer.

Boyer even used the same 'love at first sight' line on every single woman he met, it is claimed.

The ex who says she suffered the most at Boyer's hands was Barbara Jones, of Sebastian, Florida, who filed civil lawsuit against Boyer last week.

In it, she alleges that he had borrowed $22,000 from her - and never returned the cash.

Jones said that Boyer moved in with her in September 2015, after they met on a golf course, and he told her that he loved her and was planning to spend the rest of his life with her.

She says that that she too was told about his 'cancer' which would then 'miraculously' go into remission.

Jones says she paid for everything, including all the household bills, until her wallet 'finally broke' in January this year. Boyer left a short time later.

'The man is a menace,' she wrote on Facebook. 'Manipulator and habitual liar doesn't even scratch the surface!'

She says that since he left her, Boyer had left a trail of broken heart and lies.

Trish Marsee, a hairstylist in Winter Park, said she became suspicious when Boyer wanted to move the relationship so fast - telling her he loved her on their first date.

'There were red flags as far as him pushing to move in with me and pushing to have a relationship,' she told WKMG-TV.

She says they only went on a few dates before she ended it, feeling 'I'm too young to be a caretaker.' He said he had a lot of illnesses.'

Boyer's current wife Kimbrel says she and Boyer had began communicating on Facebook earlier this year after meeting 20 years ago in a Missouri bar, but losing touch.

After exchanging a few brief messages, he told her about his condition and Kimbrel offered to take a leave of absence from work to come and care for him.

'I'll talk to them and see what I can do. I will take care of you,' Kimbrel, who is a grandmother, told Click Orlando.

She flew to Florida on April 19 and Boyer proposed a few hours after their reunion.

The pair tied the knot earlier this month.

At the time Boyer described the wedding as being the best possible end to a 'really good life' adding that he was 'ready' to die.

The groom did not disclose what kind of cancer he is suffering or exactly how much time he has left, only that the pair were planning to move back to Missouri to seek alternative treatment.

Yesterday, Boyer was defensive when reporters challenged him about his ex-girlfriends' claims.

'I'm not denying that I know them. I have dated them all, I am not going to play their game. The people that truly know me and truly love me still do, but you haven't talked to any of them. You are only talking to angry, hateful, jealous women.'

He also appeared to dodge the questions about his 'stage 4 cancer.

'Nobody said anything about weeks to live, and I'm sorry the drama card was used to sell the story, but we are done with this,' Boyer said.

However, the channel stated that Boyer's daughter claimed her father would not reach his next birthday which is in June.

Boyer declined to present any medical evidence of his diagnosis. 

Boyer shows a lot of the classic signs of sociopathy. First, pretending to have cancer when you don't is a time honored sociopathic scam. It incorporates dishonesty, manipulativeness, and heartlessness, all in one. (It's often referred to as "Munchausen's Syndrome," and it's driven by a need for attention and sympathy. But really, it's just an offshoot of sociopathy.)

Second, telling all of these women that he felt "love at first sight" for them shows an emotional dishonesty that is another sociopathic specialty, proclaiming positive feelings he simply didn't have. 

Third, scamming a woman you claim to love out of $22,000 is also a neat sociopathic trifecta, combining dishonesty, cruelty, and shamelessness. 

Fourth, accusing one's victims of being "angry, hateful, jealous women" is what sociopaths always do: attack and belittle people who tell the truth about them. 

And fifth, Boyer is a master of that sociopathic trick, being able to produce tears upon command. Here's an article from the NY Daily News which includes a video of Boyer talking about his cancer. Look at the video from the :54 mark to about 1:01. You'll see Boyer saying he's had a really good life, and how God's been good to him, but if it's his time, it's his time. (How brave!) If you've never knowingly seen a sociopath drip with sincerity while lying, you should watch Boyer's tearful performance; it's masterful.  

Boyer is a good-looking guy, but I couldn't help but be struck by his thin lips. Here are a few pictures of him from the Daily Mail article: 

Once again: you won't find the thin lips correlation mentioned in any psychology textbooks, and I certainly can't explain it logically. Maybe I shouldn't mention it, since it probably lowers my credibility on the subject of sociopathy. But, I do keep seeing it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The imperfect messenger

Given how incredibly biased the media has been about Trump, and how hard they try to inflate his every faux pas into a major scandal, it's hard to tell what's real from what's fake. But one thing that's clear is that Trump himself hasn't been helping matters with his personal style.

I support almost all of Trump's stated positions from his campaign. We need to enforce our borders, especially with regard to Islamic terrorists. We need to play hardball with China, have better relations with Russia, and help the middle class by bringing jobs back to this country. And, we shouldn't be engaging in the Sisyphean task of nation building abroad.

I don't blame Trump for the fact that some of his good faith efforts have been stymied by Congress (with the Wall, and with sanctuary cities) and the courts (with immigration). With other issues, it's less clear; but there may be hidden reasons for some of the shifts in stances (for instance, we may need China's help in dealing with North Korea).

But in the meantime, Trump is the ultimate in distractibility. Late last week he had to throw a jab at Rosie O'Donnell (telling her that they finally agreed on something -- that James Comey should have been fired). It was sort of funny, but it was also beneath the dignity of the Presidency. And it wasn't even in response to anything recent, just a gratuitous leading jab.

When people actually insult him, Trump's narcissistic personality and ADHD together render him incapable of not firing back -- whether it's O'Donnell, Chuck Todd, Alicia Machado, Kizr Khan, or Alec Baldwin. Trump's ego simply won't allow him to let an insult go unavenged. And, he seems incapable of admitting that he is not the best at everything, ever.

Presidential candidates used to run ads asking whom you would trust to have their finger on the nuclear button at 3 AM. In the next campaign, they'll be asking whom you would trust not to have his finger on the Tweet button at 3 AM.

A President is supposed to at least pretend to be noble, and gracious. I've never quite bought into the canonization that Ronald Reagan seems to have undergone in Republican circles, but he was a master at acting gracious.

Reagan hit his peak in that regard after being shot by John Hinckley. As he was wheeled into the operating room, a bullet in his chest, he joked to the assembled doctors, "I hope you're all Republicans." If it had been Trump, he would have said, "I hope you're all top rate doctors. Because I deserve the best -- the very best. Hey you, where'd you go to med school?"

Afterward, Reagan told his wife, "Honey, I forgot to duck." Trump would have spent the rest of his Presidency grousing, "That Hinckley....what a loser. Jodie Foster is way out of his league. He's right where he belongs, in a mental hospital. What a loser."

Imagine if FDR had a running feud with some minor entertainment figures, and had constantly sniped at them in his fireside chats. "Oh, and can you believe that fat sow Marie Dressler? She's as big as a house -- and ugly to boot. Her career is really going downhill fast. And Claudette Colbert, what a moron! What she knows about foreign policy I could fit in a thimble!"

Abraham Lincoln was once supposedly asked (apocryphally, I'm sure) how long a man's legs should be. His famous reply: "Long enough to reach the ground." If it had been Trump, he would have replied, "My legs are the ideal length. I'm six foot two inches, which is really the perfect height for a man. The perfect height."

George Washington reportedly told his father (in another obviously apocryphal tale), "Father, I cannot tell a lie. I chopped down the cherry tree." Trump would have said, "Father, that cherry tree was blocking the view from the foyer. We have such a great view now, what I did was a great move. The property is worth a lot more this way, believe me. It was a really smart move."

I'm still rooting for Trump to be able to make good on his campaign promises. It's just hard to root for the man personally.