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Monday, September 30, 2013

"Pulitzer Prize winner: Osama raid 'one big lie'"

Seymour Hersh, who won a Pulitzer for reporting on the My Lai Massacre in Viet Nam, says that of everything the Obama administration has said about the raid in Abbotabad, "not one word of it is true."

Could he be right?

And what exactly were the lies? If it does turn out to have been in large part false, an awful lot of people would have had to have been in on it.

It will be interesting to see how the media react to Hersh's accusations. Will they just ignore them the way they've ignored Steven Jiminez's book about Matthew Shepard?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Media almost totally ignore book claiming Matthew Sheppard murder wasn't a hate crime"

This comes as no surprise. Matthew Sheppard is the media's leading gay martyr, so they don't want his image sullied. Even more than that, they don't want the motive for his murder to be anything other than hatred of gays.

Q: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

A: Not if the media can help it.

I'm all for gay rights, and I'm certainly against violence against gays, but sustaining a big lie like this is just disgustingly dishonest.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

FEMEN's latest protest

From yesterday's

Ukrainian feminist activist group Femen have continued their topless protests with an appearance at Nina Ricci’s show at Paris Fashion Week. Jumping onto the runway with ‘Model don’t go to brothel’ and ‘Fashion dictaterror’ painted across their chests, it was slightly unclear what the women were protesting against or why. However, it wouldn’t be the first time that they had merely taken issue with ‘the status quo’ (arguably a refreshing stance.)

The model who they attempted to involve in their protest, Hollie-May Saker, demonstrated a complete lack of amusement and later claimed on Twitter that she had ‘punched’ the ‘stupid bitch’ for getting her ‘saggy tits in my face’. When challenged by a follower and reminded that we are supposedly ‘all on the same side’, Saker replied that ‘If we are all on the same side then tell me why when I was doing my job did she come ruin it and lift up my skirt?’

Although it seems from the footage that Saker’s skirt was more the victim of crossfire than deliberately assaulted by Femen – caught in a topless woman’s wrist as she attempted to raise an arm of solidarity with the model – Saker clearly did not take kindly to having her job disrupted. ‘Have fun scrubbing that shit off your body bitch never been to a brothel in my life’ she tweeted, having already considerably over-used the word ‘bitch’. It’s fair to say that she won’t be signing up at the nearby Femen HQ, which moved last year to Paris, any time soon.

"Model don't go to brothel" doesn't quite make sense. Are they saying it in the sense of, "Models, don't go to brothels!" as a sort of warning? Are they telling young girls that modeling is the preferable alternative to becoming a prostitute? Are they somehow implying that the catwalk leads inexorably to the whorehouse? It's really not very clear. A little punctuation -- like a comma after the first word -- might have helped.

"Fashion dictaterror" is even less clear. Are they saying that the concept of fashion terrorizes models, and maybe females in general? Or are they saying that fashionable models tend to be a bit tyrannical? (That's been my experience, to be honest.)

I looked up "dictaterror," but alas, there is no such word. Which means, I guess, that it means whatever you want it to. Perhaps it means, "Please have sex with me." (One interpretation is as good as another.)

You have to wonder exactly what the thinking is behind this group. They seem a little confused.

Maybe they're frustrated models themselves, angry because they had to accept the second rate modeling assignment of protesting for FEMEN. They'd undoubtedly prefer to be making the bigger bucks that come with actually modeling Nina Ricci designs; but if they can't, they'll disrupt those who do.

Or maybe it's all just performance art -- a genre where making sense is not a priority. If that's the case, then their act is geared purely towards garnering attention, which is what most of modern art is about.

But, even though their message is garbled, they do seem to be Leftists. So at least we know they're Good People.

Still, one has to wonder who is behind them. Well, that mystery has evidently been solved.

From yesterday's Independent:

Femen recently came under controversy after 28-year-old male Victor Svyatskiy was 'outed' as the mastermind behind the group by Australian film maker Kitty Green. Ms Green alleges Mr Svyatskiy hand-picked the most attractive women "because the prettiest girls sell papers."

Click on that link ("controversy") and you'll find that Victor Svyatski both founded and controls the group. Ms. Green said that he "was quite horrible with the girls. He would scream at them and call them bitches." (Dictaterror?)

But the funniest, most ironic thing, is what Svyatski himself says about the women he hires: "These girls are weak. They don't have the strength of character. They don’t even have the desire to be strong. Instead, they show submissiveness, spinelessness, lack of punctuality, and many other factors which prevent them from becoming political activists. These are qualities which it was essential to teach them.”

It's certainly an interesting take from the head of a purportedly feminist group.

Another excerpt from the Independent article:

One of the Femen campaigners talks of the relationship between the women and the movement’s founder as being akin to “Stockholm syndrome”, in which hostages feel sympathy for their captors.

“We are psychologically dependent on him and even if we know and understand that we could do this by ourselves without his help, it’s psychological dependence,” she says.

When asked by Ms. Green if his motivation was “to get girls,” Svyatski replied, “Perhaps yes, somewhere in my deep subconscious."

My guess is that you don't really have to go that deep. And that what Svyatski is operating is essentially a brothel for himself.

Models, don't go to brothels!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sociopath liberation

Given the benefits which accrue to those who cry discrimination, and given the escalating victimization sweepstakes which have ensued, it's a little surprising that more groups with well-defined mental maladies haven't applied for special victim status yet.

A few have. People with Aspergers have their advocates; people with Down Syndrome have their supporters as well. And the general push for civil liberties has resulted in a lot of schizophrenics ending up homeless on the streets.

But why haven't sociopaths agitated for special protected status yet?

If they do, perhaps their organizational manifesto could read something like this:

We are the real victims.

We are discriminated against for who we are, despite the fact that we have no choice but to be as we are. Is it our fault that we were abused as children, or didn't have a loving parent to bond with?

Is it our fault that we may have suffered frontal lobe damage? Do you blame the victims of auto accidents for the damage they undergo?

We deserve your sympathy, not your hatred.

Others criticize us, prosecute us, and hound us to the ends of the earth. We may murder at a higher rate, but we also get murdered more than any other group.

We are only 3% of the population, but we are at least 30% of those in prisons. And we are over 60% of those on Death Row. This is discrimination, pure and simple.

As the victims of oppression, we have a few demands. First, we no longer want to be known as "psychopaths" or "sociopaths." Those words have acquired too many negative connotations over the years. (Is it any wonder most of us feel compelled to stay in the closet?) Those terms should simply be banished, like all the other pejoratives which have been used to marginalize other oppressed groups. From now on, we simply want to be known as the "conventional morality-free."

We need to move beyond the old stereotypes: 

Don't call us manipulative; call us socially effective. (We make the best salesmen.)

Don't say we have low impulse control; just say we're spontaneous. (Why be a stick in the mud?)

Don't despise our dishonesty; admire out creativity. (We are artists.)

Don't call us glib; just bask in our charm. (We didn't even have to go to charm school; with us, it comes naturally.)

Don't think of us as shameless; think of us as living in the moment. (Isn't that what the poets tell us to do?)

Don't dwell on how easily we get bored; marvel at how we are never boring. (There is no group more exciting than us.)

We are many, and we are strong:

We aren't just Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy. In fact, we no longer want to be associated with them. We are political leaders, like Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. We are business leaders, like Bernie Madoff and Steve Jobs. We are athletic heroes, like Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones. We are Frank Abagnale, the charming hero of Catch Me if you Can.

We are the Navy Seals who fell asleep in the helicopter ride on the way to get Osama bin Laden. We are the singers who never get stage fright. We are the clutch performers who never get nervous and choke. Don't hate us for our strengths (because we aren't weaklings like the rest of you).

We are the few (roughly, 2-3%). We are the proud (very proud).

We are the conventional morality-free.

And we no longer want to be stigmatized.

We want, instead, to be admired (lionized, actually).

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Justice is blind; now so is law enforcement

Back in May, I linked a Wall Street Journal article which talked about a new trend: everyone, no matter how old, must be carded before drinking, since otherwise it's "discrimination" against younger people.

I had assumed that this silly trend died as quickly as it had appeared.

Not so.

Last weekend my wife ran a half marathon up in Rhode Island. They had set up a large tent at the finish where all the runners could gather for a post-race beer. My wife finished the race, and went to the tent, but was not allowed a beer because she didn't have a proper ID with her.

My wife is 57. While she looks good for her age, nobody would mistake her for a teenager.

The wonderful thing about political correctness is that it gives common sense a nice vacation. When political correctness takes over, common sense goes jetting off to some place like Fiji, where it's not even reachable by phone.

Carding 57-year-olds is the culmination of a non-discriminatory ethos which deems it evil to notice any human differences.

Another example might be how those TSA agents at the airports pay as much attention to little old ladies as they do to me.

Check out my picture on the right. I look vaguely like a guy who'd like to blow up a jet in order to get his 72 virgins. Okay, I admit it, I'm getting a little old for the virgins. But I still look kind of like I might have a soft spot for al Qaeda.

So please, frisk me -- and others who look like me. I'd far rather be the victim of racial profiling than the victim of a terrorist.

Let me put it this way: I'd prefer having to undergo a cavity search by a fat, ugly, old gay guy with warts on his fingers than having to sit on an airplane for several hours wondering when the bomb is going to detonate.

We need to send political correctness to Fiji, and invite common sense back home -- without asking it for an ID proving it's 21.

Monday, September 23, 2013

What's the diff?

One plastic surgery which seems to produce an inordinate percentage of bad results among celebrities is lip plumping:

Here's Donatella Versace, before and after:

And Lisa Rinna:

And Janice Dickinson:

The Mursi and Surma women of Ethiopia use lip plates for ornamentation and also to indicate social status:

The Suya men of Brazil sometimes wear lip plates as well, as a sign of their entrance into manhood:

The styles vary slightly from culture to culture, but one thing all these looks have in common is that none invite kisses.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


One question you used to hear debated a lot is, should parents tell children their IQ's? The arguments against basically boiled down to: if the number is low, the child's ambitions and confidence might be limited, and if it's high, the child might be tempted to coast.

My IQ tested well above average as a kid, and I was told my score. I honestly don't know whether that was a good thing. I suspect it has caused me to coast at times, since I never felt a need to prove myself academically. On the other hand, it has given me a lot of intellectual confidence -- probably much of it misplaced.

One of the results of my confidence is that I don't mind harboring -- and expressing -- minority opinions. Most people are reluctant to express offbeat opinions for fear that people think them somehow off-kilter.

My attitude is, so what? Let them go ahead and think I'm crazy. I don't really care, since I know I'm not. I also know I'm smarter than the people who think I'm crazy, so I care even less.

The confidence is probably good, but going through life with people thinking me odd has probably not been beneficial. (Not that I care enough to change.)

I don't know how many people have snickered at me after I've made the case for sasquatch. I do know how little I care.

I also don't mind expressing politically unpopular opinions. Go ahead and call me thoroughly disgusting, as the commenter above did; I know I'm right.

My confidence in my intelligence is pretty much unshakable. You can be right about five things in a row, and I can be wrong about all five, but I still know I'm smarter than you. (If that sounds incredibly obnoxious, I can't argue.)

You can be a world-renowned expert in some field that I know nothing about it. But I'll still feel I have a more well-rounded intelligence.

You can be more quick-witted than me. But that's okay, because I know that given the time I could come up with an even better line.

I can say the stupidest things, things I realize are stupid as soon as they leave my mouth, and write them off as temporary aberrations, not indicative of my intelligence. I can say stuff where even I am put off by my own stupidity or egotism (this post is not a bad example); so I can only imagine how others react. Yet it will not shake my belief in my own intelligence.

All of this makes me sound awfully narcissistic, but I actually don't have the other hallmarks of narcissism. I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. And I know there are all sorts of things I positively suck at, and readily admit to those. (Type "Confessions of a beta male" into the search box of this blog and read about my low self-image.)

It's just my intelligence I'm so confident -- and quite possibly overconfident -- about. Is that good, or bad?

I honestly don't know.

(In the case of the commenter quoted above, however, I do have an opinion: it's neither good nor bad, since she's simply lying.)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rumor mongering

The NY Post said today that Gennifer Flowers is claiming Bill Clinton told her that Hillary is bisexual.

The relevant quote from Ms. Flowers: "He said that Hillary had eaten more pussy than he had."

I tend to believe Flowers. I've heard that rumor elsewhere, too, including from a guy I know whose sister -- who adored HIllary -- worked at the State Department and said that there was no question she's a lesbian.

I wonder if this will become general knowledge by the time of the 2016 election.

If it is true, it would lend credence to the theory that Huma Abedin, Hillary's closest aide, is probably her lesbian lover. And if that is true, that gives credence to the theory that Huma's marriage to Anthony Weiner was merely one of political convenience. The marriage gave Weiner some powerful Democratic connections, and it gave Huma -- as well as HIllary -- some cover.

If all these thing are true -- and I suspect they are -- it also gave both Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner good reason to stray. Anyone married to a lesbian can hardly be blamed for seeking sexual solace elsewhere.

The other rumor making the rounds recently is that Matthew Sheppard was not in fact murdered because he was gay by two homophobic men. According to author Stephen Jiminez, whose book is due out next week, the two men who killed him, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, used the "gay panic" narrative at their trial since they felt it would be their strongest defense. But in fact, McKinney himself had a sexual relationship with Sheppard, and both he and Sheppard dealt -- as well as used -- methamphetamines.

If this is true -- and I have no idea whether it is -- it would not only sully the image of the gay movement's number one martyr, it would bring into question his very martyrdom.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What were they thinking, Part II

More guesses as to the designers' thoughts as they came up with their unique outfits for NY's 2013 Fashion Week:

(Malan Breton): "We need to create an updated Little Lord Fauntleroy look. You know, for the schoolboy who enjoys receiving wedgies."

 (Mark and Estel): "The perfect outfit for women who want to appear more pear-shaped."

(Mathieu Mirano): "When I was a kid, I used to collect Barbie dolls. I had the Barbie Mermaid doll, and the Barbie Cowgirl doll, the Barbie Executive doll, and all the rest. But the one I always really wanted was the Barbie Prostitute doll with the see-through nightie."

(Naeem Khan): "Hey, I hear everyone is doing sheer this year. Let's outdo them by combining it with 40's glamour! Something like Bette Davis would have worn if she'd completely lost her mind."

(Nicholas K): "As long as everyone else is doing sheer, let's do a Flirty Pocohontas look."

(Ralph Rucci): "I wonder why the Fashion Week people are encouraging us all to feature at least one sheer outfit this year. Do they really think it's going to raise interest? Let's face it, guys who are interested in fashion really aren't all that interested in women's boobies."

(Ralph Lauren): "Let's bring back the Swinging 60's. Miniskirts, knee high boots, oversized sunglasses, the whole thing. You know, Carnaby Street. I wonder...are there any models who can still go-go dance?"

(Ricardo Seto): "I want to create a look for the guy who's tough. I mean, really tough. I'm talking, like almost as tough as those Jets and Sharks in West Side Story."

(The Art Institute of New York City): "Here's how we make a splash: we think of the most narcissistic, showoffy, shameless woman we know. Then we come up with an outfit that even she wouldn't wear."

(Supima): "This is actually a gift to husbands with acquisitive wives who like to attend auctions. No more arm raising for you, you spendthrift bitch! We'll disguise its true purpose by calling it the I Poked My Head Through the Top of the Tent look."

(Trina Turk): "You know what hasn't been done yet? The Delegate to the UN from the Poor African Country look. We just have to find the right model, shave her head, and then put some barbaric earrings on her."

(Zang Toi): "We need an outfit for the Prince Charming who'd really rather be a princess."

(Y-3): "Let's create a fashion that's the sartorial equivalent of that song A Boy Named Sue. Any schoolboy wearing this has to either get tough or die."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

NY September 2013 Fashion Week: What were they thinking?

You often hear people ask about someone who has screwed up, "What was he thinking?"

Having just taken a look at some of the styles from New York's Fashion Week, I find myself asking the same question, not because any designers screwed up (that seems impossible on runway shows), but because I'm genuinely wondering what thought processes were at work.

My best guesses:

(Academy of Art University): "Hmm....let's take an outfit that fat ladies wear --  a baggy jacket, a loose-fitting untucked shirt, culottes, and a scarf to hide the double chin -- and put it on a skinny guy. Yeah, I bet that's never been done before!"

(Anya Caliendo): "What the public needs needs is a wedding veil for those brides who want to send the message that they're so horny they can't wait for their wedding night."

(Anya Caliendo): "We'll start a whole new trend: Triceratops Chic."

(Argentine Designers): "Let's see....if the Tinman from the Wizard of Oz tried to check his wife's oil when she wasn't in the mood, what would she have looked like afterward?"

(Betsey Johnson): "Hmm...let's dress up a model in hospital whites, to make her look like an escapee. We'll put a wig on her so she looks like that vacuuming woman in Something About Mary. We'll wrap her wrists and hands in gauze, like a boxer. We'll apply lipstick so garish her mouth will look like a bird's beak. We'll hang a small license plate around her neck. And we'll have her stride extra jauntily down the runway singing to herself. No one will think she has anything in that box but a severed human head. Yeah -- that's crazy!"

(Czar by Cesar Galindo) "Let's make a dress that a woman can't possibly walk in. All she'll be able to do is stand on a pedestal while people admire our creation."

(David Tlale) "Hmm....let's make something that's part dress, part negligee, and part veil, but make it sheer only around the breasts, so that no man can see it without thinking that he is basically being propositioned. We'll call it the So How Do You Like My Tits look."

(Elle Fashion): "First, let's create a top made out of sheepskin with sleeves about a foot too long. Then let's dye it to look as if some ink got spilled on it by accident. Then we'll add a sash that wraps around crookedly and doesn't quite match, or meet up in front. Then we'll gather up all the wool fabric clippings that have been left on the cutting room floor and stitch them together in a dress with uneven pleats and extra flaps sewn on. Then we'll combine that with samurai leggings and eskimo boots. We'll call it Expensive Homeless Chic."

(Falguni and Shane Peacock): "Let's put together a complicated design with two large dark spots on either side of the nipples with what looks like a large nose between them and some fat lips right below that. But the large nose will turn out to also be a torso itself with two nipples that could also be eyes. Then we'll put a dark triangle where her crotch is to add some allure. We'll call this the Fish Scales Rorschach Test look."

(Falguni and Shane Peacock, again): "This is the ultimate female assassin's outfit. At first glance it looks as if we're trying to create a Polio Chic look with those leg braces. But then the target's eyes will be drawn to the sight of her breasts, so she can quickly pull the knife out of her left "brace," which is actually a sheath, and run her target through. We're going to call this the Mata Hari."

(Fashion Shenzhen): "Let's find a model who looks as if she's been hypnotized and put her in a sheer dress with both her breasts and crotch line visible. We'll call it Sex Zombie."

(Female readers: just so you know, sheer tops are definitely in this year.)

(Jill Stuart): "Let's come up with a creation which is not appropriate for a single situation. It won't quite be a bathing suit, but won't cover up enough so that you can actually go anywhere in it either. We'll make it out of fine linen, too nice to wear for workouts. And the undies look will render it inappropriate for any sort of social occasion. This will stymie everybody!"

Friday, September 13, 2013

John Kerry now an aspiring male model

Has anyone else noticed that John Kerry just looks different now? He's gone from this:

To this:

Actually, in the process of getting those pictures I saw that a lot of people have noticed: when you type "John Kerry" into Google Image, the first three things that come up following his name are "facelift," "plastic surgery," and "Botox." (That means those are the three most commonly searched queries.)

To me, it's a change for the worse. With those puffed out feminine cheeks he looks less masculine. He looks less tough. He even looks less intelligent somehow.

(In the shot above, he looks like Grandma Kerry showing how big Grandpa Kerry's member used to be.)

I can't imagine his plastic surgeon is going to be displaying those before and after shots as one of his success stories in an effort to entice new customers.

What exactly was Kerry hoping to accomplish with that surgery? He always wanted to evoke the Kennedy's; he still does, although he now resembles late stage Teddy more than any of the others.

The one good thing he has accomplished with the surgery is that he looks less conniving. Before, he looked like the most evil, duplicitous, schemer who ever lived. He could have been picked by Central Casting to play Iago, or Machiavelli, or any number of want-to-take-over-the-world-type villains.

But wouldn't it have made more sense to get surgery before his Presidential run in 2004? It's not as if he's ever going to run for elective office again.

Could it be that as Secretary of State, he now wants to put foreign leaders off their guard? His previous face was certainly enough to scare anyone. (Though the new one is just as scary, in a different sort of way.)

The larger question is, what does this surgery say about Kerry? The first thing it says about him is that he's a liar, since he denies having had any work done. (He's literally now a big fat liar, with that face.)

What kind of guy gets plastic surgery at age 69? Did Kerry finally tire of having people describe him as looking like an undertaker? Did he think that he would be putting a friendlier face on the USA? Did he think that he would get more women this way?

It's a mystery to me.

All I know is that every time I see him on TV, I find it hard to concentrate on his words, and just find myself staring at his face.

If I were interviewing him, I'd probably say, "Okay, okay, go ahead and bomb Syria -- but what the hell happened to your face?!"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fast food workers and the minimum wage

Most readers of this blog probably reacted instinctively against the fast food workers who went on strike last week, seeing them as part of the Left -- which they are -- and therefore as part of the problem. That was my reaction as well.

After all, higher minimum wages mean lower profits for corporations and fewer entry level jobs. And raising the minimum wage would go against the principle of free markets.

But no one should lose sight of the fact that employees at a place like McDonald's are working. They are choosing to work and earn money and pay taxes rather than just go on welfare or deal drugs. And for many, those are their only options. So these workers should be encouraged, not discouraged.

If raising the minimum wage is what it takes, maybe that's the answer.

Fast food workers are not like pampered United Auto Workers with self-serving no-work rules, lavish pensions, and, according to Obama's definition, "Cadillac" health care plans. They have jobs that can only be described as lousy.

There will always be tension between labor and management. Management's goal is to be as profitable as possible, and labor's goal is the highest-paying job possible. These aims are often at odds, but that is a healthy tension that makes businesses efficient. And ultimately, it makes this country strong.

I've seen too many analyses of how people who milk the system and get every possible government benefit have a higher standard of living than those who work at low level jobs. With that kind of incentive, who would opt to work for minimum wage?

Even worse is the way the welfare system in this country is set up: women too dumb and irresponsible to do anything else are basically paid to have babies. That's the long term death knell for this country.

In 2011 I announced that I was running for President, and outlined my platform here and here and here.  Much to my surprise, my campaign never took off. But I did distinguish myself in one respect: I became the first announced Presidential candidate to throw his hat in the ring and then, basically, just forget that he was running.

In any case, in that third link above this is what I said about corporate pay:

The highest paid employee of a company ought not to be paid more than forty times what lowest paid employee is -- which is the way it was forty years ago. And stock options and bonuses will be counted as part of their pay. This would not prevent an Edwin Land or a Bill Gates of a Steve Jobs or a Bill Hewlett or a David Packard or a Henry Ford from becoming fabulously wealthy, as they all deserved to be. They got rich by founding companies which they then grew. But it would prevent corporate climbers from taking advantage of a company's shareholders. These types tend to rise by virtue of their skill at corporate politicking, then tell us that their presence is invaluable to the company, and reward themselves outrageously. I have a hard time lying back and enjoying it when I get raped this way.

I have not changed my mind about this, despite the fact that it is actually an extremely Leftist position (too much so for most Democrats). We've all heard how back in the 1970's CEO's used to be paid roughly thirty times as much as the average factory worker, and now some of them get paid upwards of a thousand times as much. Have CEO's gotten that much better? Do they now put in 1000 times as many hours as factory workers? Are their IQ's 1000 times as high?

Maybe the solution is what I suggested in my platform above, which would both decrease CEO pay and increase the lowest paid employees' pay. And that should be combined, as I stated elsewhere in my platform, with a program to wean people off welfare both by turning it into workfare and by making the payments contingent upon taking some form of effective birth control.

A country with such huge wage disparities is as unsustainable as a country with ever increasing numbers of people on welfare.

In any case, and this is the main point of this post, there is no reason to resent the fast food workers. They just want to do an honest day's labor (unlike the welfare freeloaders) for an honest day's wage (unlike many corporate CEO's).

Monday, September 9, 2013

The next best thing

I just went to pick up my car from the local mechanic (Precision Performance, which is far more reasonable than the auto dealership when it comes to maintenance). There was a 1968 Pontiac GTO there being worked on. I went over to take a closer look at it. Up close it didn't look quite as good as it did from a distance; it was sort of a living reminder of how much safer and more efficient cars have become. Still, there was something cool about seeing a car from another era.

Occasionally on weekends in my hometown you'll see guys driving around in vintage cars, like that one, or Mustangs from the 1960's. These guys are inevitably white haired, and it's pretty obvious what's going on.

They fell in love with these cars in their youth, back when they couldn't afford them, and could only admire them from afar. Then, once they got older and put some money aside, they got a chance to buy the car of their dreams. So you'll see these guys tooling around from time to time, living out their youthful fantasies.

I suppose it's the next best thing to getting to have sex with the girls you worshipped from afar back in high school.

"Diary bombshell: RFK's secret slams against Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Gov. Cuomo"

This is an interesting read. I had always thought that whatever prominence Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had attained as an environmental advocate was primarily because of his name. While that opinion hasn't changed, after reading the linked article I will no longer think of him as an airhead.

I'm not sure about the morality of the NY Post in publishing excerpts from a private diary, but in a way they did him a favor since RFK's observations about the prominent figures mentioned are all right on target.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How will the world react to Obama's Syria incursion?

In 2007 Obama criticized Bush for making plans to possibly bomb Iran without getting Congressional approval, pointing out that absent an imminent threat to the US, this was unconstitutional. Then, in 2011, Obama himself bombed Libya without getting Congressional approval.

A week ago, Obama said that he would bomb Syria. But then it turned out that he could not get UN Security Council approval, and even our staunchest ally, the United Kingdom, voted against the incursion. So Obama decided that he wanted Congressional approval, since he didn't want to take the political risk of acting unilaterally.

Of course, after seeking such approval, Obama then announced that he did not need it and even if he didn't get it might go ahead and bomb Syria anyway.

Last year, Obama said, "A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.” This week, he said, "I didn't set a red line, the world set a red line." (The world has disavowed chemical weapons; but it never set a "red line" and no other world leaders are suggesting bombing Syria.)

The question is, how will Obama be perceived abroad after he gives the order for the Navy to loft a few Tomahawks in Syria's direction? You know, a response strong enough to send a message, but not strong enough to actually change anything (like a regime). Strong enough so as not to be mocked, but not so strong as to anger Russia or Iran. Strong enough to make it look to the American people as if he is good on his word, but not so strong as to do too much damage.

Will Obama be perceived as a strong leader?

Here are some of the reactions I expect:

Vladimir Putin: "Wow, I thought Barack was just a big pussy. Boy, was I ever wrong. When he ordered those Tomahawks in, it sure opened my eyes. He is one tough hombre. You know me, I'm into machismo, but I'm nothing compared to Barack. I wish instead of growing up in Leningrad competing at judo and having a career in the KGB, I'd played JV basketball at Punahou, then gone to Harvard Law School and become a community organizer. Then I'd be a real man, like Barack. I mean, he may be a homosexual, but he's no pansy."

David Cameron: "I'm so ashamed that Parliament voted against supporting Barack's military adventurism. He was right, and we were wrong. They'll be making movies about this in the future. Hey, maybe if Barack is out of office by then, he can star in them as himself. Then maybe he can put those movies on an iPod and give them to Queen Elizabeth as a gift. She so appreciated his previous gift of the iPod with his speeches on it."

UN head Ban Ki-moon: "Barack was smart not to wait for our verdict. There was absolutely no chance that the rebels might have used chemical weapons in order to draw the US into the conflict and shift the tide of the war. I mean, whoever heard of such duplicity, right? And Barack was obviously right that those weapons represented an immediate threat to the United States. Today, the outskirts of Damascus; tomorrow, Bethesda."

Bashar Assad: "Now that Barack has put that airfield out of commission, I see the error of my ways. I'm now going to put down my arms and let the rebels take over. A lot of them are al Qaeda, but Barack is right, we shouldn't fight them."

Ayman al-Zawahiri: "Al Qaeda has been completely won over by Barack's statesmanlike move. We no longer see the US as the Great Satan; we now see them as our savior. In fact, a lot of us are already converting to Christianity. Personally, I can't decide whether to become a Baptist or an Episcopalian. In fact, we admire Barack so much, we've decided to stop promoting jihad and start promoting gay rights."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Occasionally you'll see a woman a woman wearing a piece of expensive jewelry and it's obvious she thinks her expensive bauble makes her hot stuff. I always want to ask these women, how does that necklace improve you? Does it make you wittier, or smarter, or more honest, or even better-looking? Did it cause you to lose 20 pounds? What exactly is your thought process?

They seem to feel it somehow makes them more attractive, and enhances them somehow. But it seems to diminish them more. By wearing a fancy and ostentatious piece of jewelry, they become an adjunct to it rather than the other way around.

(When some woman proudly flashes a big diamond engagement ring, I always have to repress a desire to tell her, "You remind me of Gollum in Lord of the Rings.")

In a way, it's a roundabout admission of failure: there's really nothing to admire about me, so, please, admire my jewelry instead.

An expensive watch sends the same message, since these days cheap watches tell time just as well. (Both Rolexes and Omegas are, in spirit, far more pieces of jewelry than timepieces.)

A woman who gets extremely excited over a pricey engagement ring is basically saying: my value has been affirmed! A man values me this much!

(Have you no self-worth?)

In general, the more expensive the jewelry, the cheaper the woman. Such women don't care how witty, or smart, or honest, or decent you are. They only want to know how successful you are. More important than that, how much money you have. And even more important than that, whether they can get their hands on any of your money.

(If you're a stupid-but-rich sociopath, these are the women for you.)

A woman who loves jewelry is apt to see a short, fat, ugly, well-dressed, conceited guy get out of a Ferrari and think to herself, wow, that guy is really sexy. Jewelry-lovers aren't necessarily quite as conniving as gold-diggers, but they do tend to conflate money with sexual attraction.

If having a fancy car or big house is ostentatious, wearing expensive jewelry is ten times more so. It's basically the equivalent of taking a thick wad of hundred dollar bills, encasing them in sheer plastic, and hanging them around your neck.

And if women who wear gaudy jewelry are off-putting, men who wear jewelry are even more so.

What men have traditionally worn flashy jewelry, like gold chains and pinkie rings? Mafiosi.

These days, the gangsters have been surpassed in that department by gangstas.

And gangstas have been outdone by those pretend gangstas, the rappers who have renamed such ornamentation "bling."

In all three cases, the mentality is the same: admire me for my strutting ostentation (....since there is little else to admire me for.)

Just remember, the next time you consider buying a piece of jewelry -- even one piece -- you're taking a step in the direction of Flavor Flav:

Personally, I'd sooner wear a Livestrong bracelet -- and have to tell people I still believe in Lance -- than wear a piece of jewelry.