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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Position available

As per yesterday's headlines, a job vacancy has opened up.


Three million dollars a year.


1. Must sign iron-clad pre-nup.

2. Must pretend to be overjoyed to be in company of husband whenever photographers are present.

3. Must agree to be artificially inseminated with husband's sperm and bear his child.

4. Must be willing to adopt African babies in order to pose as enlightened liberal.

4. Must sign contract stating that if let slip any word of husband's homosexuality during or after marriage, all pay accrued during marriage will revert to husband.

5. Must regularly attend Scientology brainwashing sessions.

Friday, June 29, 2012

"Virginia woman sues over alleged sexual abuse during exorcism"

A Reuters article appeared on Yahoo News today with the headline above. The relevant excerpts:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Virginia woman who claims a priest sexually abused her while performing an exorcism is suing a Catholic diocese and an anti-abortion group for $5.3 million in damages.

The woman claims the Rev. Thomas Euteneuer abused her between April 2008 and September 2010, according to the suit filed in Virginia's Arlington County Circuit Court....

The suit names as defendants the Catholic Diocese of Arlington and its bishop, Paul Loverde, as well as the anti-abortion group Human Life International and HLI Endowment Inc....

The woman, identified in the suit as Jane Doe, said she signed an "agreement for spiritual help" with Euteneuer in February 2008 because "she believed she was in desperate need of the rite of exorcism," the suit said.

Euteneuer repeatedly hugged, kissed and groped the woman, and said he was "blowing the Holy Spirit into her," according to the suit, which was filed on June 19. Euteneuer told the woman to undress on about six occasions, touched and kissed her body, and put his finger in her vagina, court documents said....

The woman is seeking $5 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.

I saw "The Exorcist" back when it first came out in 1973. It didn't happen like that at all. (Though the movie might have been even more popular if it had.)

I'm left wondering:

Doesn't a woman who asks for an exorcism deserve whatever she gets?

What kind of self-respecting religious institution agrees to perform an exorcism? Isn't driving demons out usually the province of primitive cultures we normally laugh at?

Does the Catholic Church need this kind of publicity?

Did Ms. Doe not suspect after the first few times she was asked to undress that something fishy might have been going on?

How do we know that she didn't expect this sort of hanky panky, and asked for an exorcism while really looking for a payday?

And how do we know that sticking a finger into a woman's vagina doesn't actually rid her of her demons? There is an entire school of thought, started by Sigmund Freud, devoted to the theorem that such treatment is exactly what some women need to calm their hysteria.

(Perhaps the Catholic Church should countersue, and say that a well placed finger can do wonders to "drive out the demons.")

Surprising that the New York Times, which so eagerly prints every story putting the Catholic Church into a bad light, hasn't given this case more publicity. Who knows, maybe they will.

Maybe I should start a business performing exorcisms.

Sounds like it could be fun.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What I look like

Well, not really. But sometimes, when I walk down the street, I sorta feel as if I look like this.

Unfortunately, I look like this:

In some corner of our minds, we all imagine ourselves as far better-looking, younger versions of ourselves. Which is why we tend to hate photos.

When we look in the mirror, we tend to look at our best angles, in the best lighting. So a photo usually represents a cold dose of reality.

I'd prefer to have spent my life as half-Hawaiian, half-white, like Jason Momoa, at top, rather than half-Japanese, half-white. It probably would have meant giving up a few IQ points in order to be larger and better-looking.

But that's a trade I wouldn't have hesitated to make.

I do know people who claim they would rather be smart than good-looking.

They are, for the most part, the kind of people who say what they think they're supposed to say.

In other words, they're liars.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gender differences Part XIII: Sports fans

One major gender divide is the extent to which the genders follow sports. Men will often fixate on a sport, and that sport will forever be part of the fabric of their lives. Women will leave their sport and never look back.

Women simply don't waste their time following sports the way men do. A man will fly all the way to Las Vegas to watch a championship boxing match. If a woman did so, it would only be to accompany her boyfriend. On the flight out, rather than think about the fight, she would think about the luxury of her hotel room, the spa she planned to go to, and the celebrities she might see attending the match.

You never hear two women arguing passionately about, say, who the greatest female tennis player of all time was.

Go to any sports message board. It will be filled with guys arguing about which athlete was better in his prime, who is on steroids, which team will win, etc. Women are absent from those discussions.

A woman will never plan her afternoon or evening around a televised sporting event.

Women, even when they watch a sport, tend not to be knowledgable about the ins and outs of that sport, its rules and its history. They are more likely watching because they think the players are cute.

Women don't consider pennants appropriate interior decor. Nor do they consider jerseys with the number of their favorite player a positive fashion statement.

Talk to any bookie. All of their customers are men. Period.

How many famous sportswriters are women?

How many women go into coaching? Perhaps more to the point, how many of the women who do go into coaching are feminine? (That there are a few lesbians in a profession hardly negates the gender divide argument.)

Boys who run will pore over Track and Field News, comparing their times to those of runners around the country. Girls who run almost never do this.

The reason Sports Illustrated's bathing suit issue doesn't have any male models is simple: the magazine has no female subscribers.

There are exceptions to these rules, but they are just that. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

More lies from Obama

Jon Leaf forwarded this link with the note, "From the (misleading) newspaper reviews for David Maraniss's new biography of Obama, I had come to think that the President's own autobiography simply made "composites" of people in his life. But it seems it includes many outrageous -- and revealing - lies."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Paralympics

The swimming websites I frequent have recently been reporting on the results of the Paralympics competitions. I'd never really paid those much attention, to be honest. There are so many categories of disabilities that it's hard to get a sense of what time is good for each category. And I'd always assumed that the competition wouldn't be that tough given the smaller number of competitors in each category.

On top of that, I, like most, was taught from an early age not to stare, and may have had residual inhibitions from that; even now, I can't entirely escape a vague feeling of ghoulishness when watching videos of these athletes.

But I'm glad that people with disabilities have their own meet to compete in. (Masters swimming, which I compete in, is really no different, except that our disability is age; and we, too, have gradations depending on how severe our handicap is.)

Anyway, I finally took a closer look at the Paralympics. Some of the performances are very impressive.

Jessica Long, who is sort of a poster girl for the sport, had both legs amputated right below the knee when she was a baby. She recently set a world record in the women's 200 meter individual medley for her category with a 2:36.0.

Think about how hard it is to swim a 200 meter long course IM that fast as it is. Then imagine how hard it would be with her disability.

I was unable to find a video of her swimming that didn't include the obligatory triumph-of-the-human-spirit cliches along with accompanying sappy music, so I won't burden you with any of those. But Long is a tremendous swimmer -- and quite pretty to boot.

However, here's a video of a group of men, several of whom have only one arm, swimming a 100 meter butterfly in 1:01 and 1:02, which is faster than I can go these days:

(I'm not sure why they were competing against a guy with both arms.)

When one-armed swimmers can beat me at my best event, I guess I have to pay attention.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Are you pro-choice?

I completely support a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion. No woman should be forced to have a child she does not want. But what about men?

Imagine the following scenario: a woman, who happens to be pro-choice, has a one night stand with a guy she met at a soiree. Three weeks later she phones to tell him that her period is two weeks late. He begs her to get an abortion, but she refuses. After the baby is born, a court decides that he must ante up 40% of his pay to help support the baby. Where was his choice in this matter?

It does seem fairer to compel the father to pay for the child than to have the taxpayers do so. But it doesn't seem fair that it is entirely up to the woman whether or not the child will exist. If it's going to be the guy's financial responsibility, he ought to have some say as well.

If you talk to women about this, you'll find that many will say something along the lines of, well, if he didn't want to have to support a baby, he shouldn't have had sex with her. But should one orgasm really equal eighteen years of unwilling financial indenture?

The law ought to make some sort of provision for this. If a woman wants a man who is not her husband to support their child, she ought to give him some say in whether it's born. No man should have the right to force a woman to either have an abortion or to carry a child to term. But no woman should have the right to have a child and then stick her hand in the man's pocket for the next 18 years, if he has not expressed a desire to have a child himself.

It's a pretty simple principle: if it's her decision, then it should also be her responsibility. I'm not saying that an unwilling father ought to bear no financial responsibility. But in a fairer world, the amount would be adjusted based on whether he wanted to have the child.

NBA basketball players are regularly "stalked" by women who try to get impregnated by them, knowing that a judge will take into account their lavish salaries into account when allotting child support. These women will then use those payments to fund their own lifestyles. I've heard that NBA players will sometimes flush their used condoms down the toilet, since women have been known to scoop out their sperm and try to impregnate themselves with it.

Do these women deserve a lavish lifestyle based on their stalking? Do they deserve more money than less conniving women who had sex with poor men?

If you believe in choice as a matter of principle, you should believe in choice for everybody, not just one gender.

This situation is particularly galling because it's usually precisely those women who most vehemently insist on a woman's right to choose who insist that a man have no right to choose.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Opposite Land

All politicians over promise. Many come into office saying that they will clean up graft, cut down on government waste, lower taxes, balance the budget, bring peace, or do all manner of things which are beyond their ability to deliver.

But most at least make an honest attempt. They come into office with good intentions, but run into an obstructionist legislatures and other obstacles. Entrenched interests are had to root out. Graft is an inescapable part of any big government. And peace is cannot be accomplished unilaterally.

Barack Obama has been different. I honestly cannot recall another recent American politician who has made all sorts of promises, all the while intending to do the exact opposite.

During his 2008 campaign Obama said that there would be no earmarks, no more "business as usual" in his administration. The first bill he pushed was the stimulus bill, which was almost entirely a grab bag of goodies and earmarks for Democrats.

Obama said in 2008 that he would be the first post-partisan President. But when the Democrats in the House excluded Republicans from the drafting of the stimulus bill, and the House Republicans complained to Obama, he shrugged and told them, "I won."

At the start of his original campaign for President, Obama said that he would accept public funding, and criticized private funding as a corruption of the electoral process. As soon as it became apparent that he could raise more money than his opponents, he opted for private funding.

In 2008 Obama famously declared that there wasn't a white America, or a black America, but a United States of America. He campaigned as the first post-racial President. As soon as he was elected, he appointed Eric Holder, the most racially biased Attorney General in recent memory. When Holder took office, the Department of Justice was prosecuting the New Black Panthers for having intimidated voters at a Pennsylvania voting place, an event caught on videotape. Holder instructed his minions to drop that case, and numerous other cases involving malfeasance by blacks. As 2012 approaches, Holder has declared that asking for a photo ID at a voting place constitutes racism and voter intimidation. Obama has uttered not a word against his AG, nor has he reined him in.

Obama himself instinctively -- and publicly -- sided with Harvard Professor Henry Gates when Gates had that confrontation with the Cambridge police. Obama sneeringly announced a ten percent tax on tanning salons (which are frequently exclusively by whites). When the Trayvon Martin case broke, Obama announced that if he had had a son, he would have looked like Trayvon.

When a vacancy came up on the Supreme Court, Obama declared that he would appoint a "strict Constitutionalist who would not legislate from the bench." He then appointed Sonia Sotomayor.

During his campaign Obama promised not to hire any lobbyists. As soon as he was elected, he proceeded to hire lobbyists.

A year ago Obama sent 100 Special Forces troops to Uganda to aid in the fight against Joseph Kony, saying that this was in the best interests of the US. (How?)

When the Reverend Wright's sermons were made public in the summer of 2008, Obama declared that "this is not the Reverend Wright that I have known." But in fact Wright has been extremely consistent in his black liberation theology, and those widely heard quotes from his sermons reflect exactly the Wright that Obama knew.

In 2008 Obama said that he would have the most open and transparent administration in history. His signal achievement, ObamaCare, barely passed after a long series of back room deals and buyoffs which the Obama administration tried to keep secret. The Louisiana Purchase and Cornhusker Kickback were merely the tip of that iceberg.

While pushing for ObamaCare, he said that the individual mandate did not constitute a new tax on the American people. When its constitutionality was challenged in the courts, his administration immediately began arguing that it is legal precisely because it is a tax.

Recently Obama has recently tried to paint himself as the candidate of fiscal probity, and said that it is the Republicans who want to bust the budget. The truth, of course, is the opposite.

I can't even begin to list all of his lies; every time Barack Obama opens his mouth he is at least obfuscatory, if not outright dishonest.

But, as he told Medvedev recently, he'll have more flexibility after the election. Perhaps, once he's no longer running for reelection, he can also stop living in Opposite Land.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Nice guys, average guys, and sociopaths XVII

Situation: A group of teen-agers goes swimming at an abandoned quarry. There is a thirty foot high cliff from which people occasionally jump into the swimming hole.

Nice guy: Promised his mother he wouldn't jump off the cliff, so doesn't.

Average guy: His mother warned him against jumping off cliff as well, but he doesn't want to look like a chicken to the other guys, especially the sociopath, so he does so even though it terrifies him. Afterwards is proud of his nerve.

Sociopath: Jumps off the cliff several times, since he find it fun. It actually makes his pulse race, a rare experience for him. Feels a visceral hatred for the nice guy who wouldn't jump, and taunts him mercilessly.

Situation: An extraordinarily beautiful woman attends a party.

Nice guy: Admires her from afar; it doesn't even occur to him to approach her, as he knows he could never get a girl like that. Anyway, he's too shy. By the end of the evening, he is in love.

Average guy: Makes a clumsy attempt to talk to her, but tries too hard to be "flirtatious," mistakenly assuming that because she is so beautiful she must be extremely interested in sex herself. Feels foolish and retreats. If any of his buddies ask afterward, says he wasn't really trying to pick her up -- and that she isn't all that good-looking anyway. By the end of the evening he has almost convinced himself of this.

Sociopath: Approaches her, talks to her as if it is a given that she will fall madly in love with him. When she doesn't seem all that interested, tries subtle manipulation on her. When she still doesn't seem interested, propositions her directly. When she says no, he tells her she doesn't realize what she will be missing. When that doesn't work, he tells her he wants to marry her and spend the rest of his life with her. Finally gives up and tells his buddies she's probably a dyke.

Situation: What does a guy tell his buddies after a successful date (where he gets laid)?

Nice guy: "She's a really great girl."

Average guy: Just winks and makes the thumbs up gesture, making the outcome of his date perfectly clear. He figures that by not actually saying it, however, he's being a gentleman.

Sociopath: "That bitch was all over me -- she sucks a mean cock. I swear, every girl I do wants to get all serious. I got no interest, especially this one, she was a complete moron. I mean, she's got good taste and all, but I was shittin' all over her the whole evening and she didn't even realize it." 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Every old man's fantasy

This is quite funny, and actually strangely touching.

Confessions of a beta male XVIII: Self-consciousness

A beta male is usually more aware of -- and affected by -- social cues than an alpha male.

If an alpha wants to boast, he just does so. He is often not even aware that others perceive his talk as boasting: all he thinks about is how impressed they will be by his accomplishments. I brag as well -- sometimes my boasts just seem to slip out of their own volition -- but I always cringe afterward.

An alpha will laugh at his own joke, barely aware that others are not laughing. To the extent that he is aware, it doesn't really bother him because, hell, he thought it was funny. I am all too well aware of the many lead balloons that land at my feet.

An alpha will give left-handed compliments, unaware that he is in fact being insulting. In fact, he'll feel beneficent for having told the other fellow that he is most improved, or that he has done well considering his ability level. If the other fellow acts put off, the alpha will ascribe it to oversensitivity. I analyze my many faux pas, feel guilty about them, and never blame people for hating me.

An alpha will blunderbuss his way to the center of any gathering, unaware that he is intruding on anyone's space. I tarry at the fringes, too self-conscious to risk making a fool of myself in the spotlight.

If the mood of a gathering turns frosty, an alpha is impervious, enveloped as he is in the warm cocoon of his own self-love. I am a virtual reptile: if a room turns chilly, I find it difficult to function.

If the other person in a conversation speaks at the same time, an alpha will just raise his voice, thus encouraging the other person to pipe down. My middle name is Deferential: I'm usually the one who pipes down.

An alpha will have sex with a woman, barely aware that there is an actual human being attached to the breasts and vagina he is focusing on. I will actually wonder about what she is thinking -- to the point of distraction.