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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sociopath alert: Vanessa Stiviano

It was fairly clear that V. Stiviano, as the media refers to her, was a sociopath from listening to her on that tape. Anyone capable of mustering so much syrupy sweetness to an old man she's trying to destroy is exhibiting a sociopathic level of shamelessness. That sort of false affection and false concern ("Can I get you a glass of juice honey?") is a hallmark of sociopaths.

The way she tried to draw him out on the subject of race also smacked of manipulation.

And if what Sterling's wife says is true, then Stiviano's long history of trying to cadge money and gifts off of rich old men is at the very least a yellow flag for sociopathy.

And why would she have all those other names: Monica Gallegos, Vanessa Perez, and Maria Valdez? A number of identities usually indicates either a shady past or a desire to constantly reinvent oneself; both tend to signify sociopathy.

Then there's that carnivorous appearance. You can't judge sociopathy based on appearance, but…. yikes:

(Stiviano's supposed to be part Mexican and part black, but somehow she ended up looking more like an Asian transvestite, almost a parody of a dragon lady. That degree of artifice is actually another yellow flag for sociopathy.)

In any case, what we'd seen of her so far added up to a heartless manipulator with no loyalty.

The Sports Illustrated article which came out today left no doubt. Stiviano is quoted as saying she's "very saddened" by the punishment meted out to Sterling by NBA Commissioner Silver.

She's also quoted as saying she "never wanted any harm to Donald."

Given that she's the one who set him up, this sort of false contrition and false emotionality can only mean one thing.

For good measure, Stiviano denied that she's ever had a romantic relationship with Sterling. (If that is the case, why did Sterling's friends tease him about the Instagram pictures of Stiviano with other men?)

Easy verdict: sociopath.

"Is Barry Whiffing?"

Maureen Dowd had a caustic column in the NY Times (!) yesterday about Obama's petulant, wimpy persona.

The funniest paragraph was the sixth:

Even some of the chatterers who used to be in your corner now make derogatory remarks about your manhood. And that, I know, really gets under your skin because you think they just don’t get your style of coolly keeping your cards to yourself while you play the long game. Besides, how short memories are. You were the Ice Man who ordered up the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

It's hard not to see some veiled jabs there. First of all, "derogatory remarks about your manhood" is most likely a sly reference to his homosexuality. And that bit about the "Ice Man" is probably a sarcastic reference to Obama's having reportedly said no to the operation three separate times (as he was advised to by Valerie Jarrett) before he finally relented and gave the go ahead.

Dowd also refers to Obama's narcissism:

I empathize with you about being thin-skinned. When you hate being criticized, it’s hard to take a giant steaming plate of “you stink” every day, coming from all sides.

One of the most prominent characteristics of a narcissistic personality, of course, is that they can't stand being criticized. And the "all sides" is a way of pointing out that even a lot of Democrats are fed up with him these days. 

It took them long enough.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Honey, sweetie…..

If you listen to this extended version of the tape of the conversation between Donald Sterling and his ex-mistress V. Stiviano, two things become apparent.

The first is that she is obviously trying to draw him out on the subject of race.

And the second is that she lards her conversation with so many "honey's" and "sweetie's" that you feel you need an insulin shot after listening to her for a while.

Her first line in the tape is, "Honey, I'm sorry. Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?"

(Her syrupy tone of voice makes it hard not to hear: "If you want a blow job, I'll give you one.")

Meanwhile, she's taping him.

None of this is to excuse Sterling, but….beware of anyone who coos "honey" and "sweetie" all the time.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Donald Sterling, an enigma wrapped inside a billionaire

(Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano)

One aspect of the Donald Sterling brouhaha which doesn't quite make sense to me is, if he didn't approve of publicly associating with black people, why does he own a basketball team?

As you've undoubtedly heard by now, Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, made the following comments to his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, as quoted by TMZ:

"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?"

"You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games."

"I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people."

"...Don't put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games."

Sterling, a slumlord, also paid 2.7 million dollars in a suit brought by the Justice Department in 2009 for discrimination against blacks and Hispanics and families with children. He has, according to Wikipedia, been quoted as saying that Hispanics "smoke, drink and just hang around the building," and that "black tenants smell and attract vermin."

What I don't get is, if you dislike blacks so much, why not buy a hockey team? Or a polo team? Why not finance a sailing yacht for America's Cup?

The other thing which doesn't quite make sense to me is, if he doesn't want black people coming to his games, why does he himself have a girlfriend -- now an ex-girlfriend -- who herself was part Mexican and part black? And isn't he, by hiring the various Clipper players, bringing blacks to his games? Also, what exactly is the percentage in telling your part black girlfriend not to publicly associate with other blacks?

Sterling seems a bit conflicted, an angle the media hasn't seen fit to mention.

One has to wonder what it is in his background that makes him so confused. He was born Donald Tokowitz (he added the "Sterling" as an adult) to two Jewish immigrants, both of whom undoubtedly came to this glorious melting pot to escape the kind of narrow-minded prejudice and provincial attitudes which had bedeviled them in the old country.

Sterling married a woman named Rochelle Stein, so he didn't stray far from the reservation when it came to forming a family himself. His experiences as a lawyer and landlord undoubtedly helped shape his attitudes towards other races. But that didn't stop him from more recently having a black/Mexican girlfriend -- who presumably didn't hang out smoking, drinking, smelling bad, and attracting vermin.

As of yet, Donald Sterling is an enigma yet to be fully understood.

Of course, part of the explanation to his behavior probably has to do with his billionaire status; after years of having people kiss his behind, his social antennae have undoubtedly become a bit blunted.

All of which makes me think that having one's antennae blunted because the only way people relate to you is to say "Yes sir," and "You're the greatest, sir," and "I don't care how old you are, you're just incredibly sexy," must be a very pleasant experience.

"Inside the mad world of modern art"

A pretty good summary of the insanity of the modern art world, from this morning's NY Post.

I would think that some of the patrons who buy these ridiculous pieces of "art" for tens of millions of dollars would have nightmares about waking up one day to find that the world had suddenly come to its senses and that not only were their collections worthless, but they themselves were laughingstock.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Unanswered questions Part VII

More mugshots and descriptions of crimes from the Huffpost, with my comments in italics.

Kola J. McGrathKola J. McGrath

Kola J. McGrath was arrested for sneaking into her boyfriend's apartment complex by hiding in a small pink suitcase in Portland, Ore. The police searched the apartment of Curtis T. Lowe after being informed that a man had kidnapped a woman, put her in a suitcase, and taken her into the building. They found McGrath hiding in a closet.

Why would McGrath have to sneak into her boyfriend's apartment in the first place? She certainly looks old enough to be carrying on a consensual relationship, unless the meth she's taken (note the sunken features) has aged her prematurely. And wouldn't it get awfully claustrophobic inside a suitcase?


Luerissie Ashley Rose -- who is also a stripper called Pocohontas -- was arrested in February after she allegedly lured a man to his death and shot another in two robberies in Houston.

"Pocohontas" is cute enough to be a stripper, but did whoever gave her that name actually think customers would believe she was Native American? Didn't the real Pocohontas live in Virginia? Did Luerissie start to identify with Pocohontas and feel regretful for having originally saved John Smith?

Clyde Hobbs

Clyde Hobbs was arrested in May, 2012 for allegedly calling 911 at least 17 times -- to talk dirty to operators. He'd been arrested several times in the past for the same crime. When cops arrived to collar him, Hobbs asked, "Are you here to arrest me again?"

How much more put off would those 911 operators have been had they known what Mr. Hobbs looked like? Doesn't Mr. Hobbs appear more angry than horny? Mr. Hobbs looks like a man who enjoys his beverages; are there any honest liquor companies out there who would consider using him in their promotional campaigns? Was Mr. Hobbs asking that question rhetorically, or was he genuinely baffled as to why the police were there? 

Aaron Latham

Latham, 22, allegedly got naked, stole a man's truck and then ran it into the front of a home at 50 mph.

Which drugs did he ingest beforehand and how much of them did he take? How out of your mind do you have to be to do that? Why do certain drugs so often make guys want to get naked, even when they have no one to have sex with?

Michael Baker

Michael Baker was arrested after posting a Facebook photo of himself stealing gas from a police car in Jenkins, Ky.

Did Baker show those cops or what?! Did Baker believe that one's Facebook page is viewable only by one's friends? At what age do you suppose Baker will grow up?

Ray Woods

Ray Woods allegedly tied 89 bags of heroin and cocaine to his penis. When cops found him out, he reportedly urinated all over himself.

If Ray hadn't been black, wouldn't he only have had space for around 60 or so bags? Wouldn't most self-respecting heroin dealers not piss themselves when caught? Or was that simply an attempt to prevent the police from examining those bags? 

Keith Fehr

Keith Fehr is accused of wearing a black dress and exposing himself to children at a park in Illinois.

Very few transvestites are flashers, and very few flashers are transvestites; what psychological twist accounts for Mr. Fehr's rare combination of perversions? Do you like the goatee-and-dress look Mr. Fehr is sporting above? Doesn't he look more like a serial killer than anything else? 

William Bliss

William Bliss was arrested in March, 2012 after claiming four men made him carry a nuclear bomb -- while he was naked and drunk in the middle of an Iowa City street.

Has the Department of Homeland Security been notified? And how can al Qaeda be so dumb as to pick a naked man to be their nuclear suicide bomber? What did the police do with the bomb they confiscated?

Christina Lopez

Salem police say surveillance video shows Christina Lopez watched her 17-year-old (underage) daughter dance at Presley's Playhouse Cabaret, a strip club in Oregon.

Did Lopez ask her daughter for a lap dance? Did she tip her? Aren't there porn films with similar plot lines?

Monday, April 21, 2014


Rented Philomena last night. It was as good as advertised. The (somewhat) true story was affecting, the writing was good, and the acting by both Steve Coogan and Judi Dench was pitch perfect.

It is annoying the movie to know that this slap in the face of the Catholic Church by Harvey Weinstein will go unanswered. (All religions -- including Catholicism -- have been guilty of many sins, but the one way flow of propaganda coming out of Hollywood gets tiresome.)

That aside, the movie was quite good. I recommend it.

My son had a different take. He groaned a couple times during the movie, and seemed distracted by his iPhone. Towards the end, he said, "This movie would be so much better if the Predator would appear in those trees and attack those people."

I replied, "Come on, you have to admit, this is pretty moving."

He retorted, "Yeah, it's moving alright. It's moving my eyelids from the up position to the down position."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Unanswered questions Part VI

In January of 2012 this blog had a series of posts based on the Huffpost's collection of mugshots of dumb criminals. I suggested that the crimes raised more questions than they answered. Here are parts II, III, IV, and V of that series.

The Huffpost has since added more mugshots to their collection. The pictures and descriptions of the crimes are theirs; the questions below in italics are mine.

Darron Lynn Koenig

Koenig was accused in February, 2013 of throwing hammers at Texas construction workers and then baracading himself inside his residence when police arrived to arrest him.

Does Mr. Koenig think that hairstyle is flattering? Does he think the centipede tattooed on his chest is sexy? Who should be more embarrassed, Mr. Koenig for his appearance, or the Huffpost writers for not knowing how to spell "barricading?"

Garrett Michael Hoover

Hoover was arrested for disorderly conduct in South Carolina on November 16, 2012. But, more importantly, he's "down to boink."

Does Mr. Hoover feel that girls will be more forthcoming with their favors if he advertises his attitude? How high was he when he had that written on his face? If that is a permanent tattoo (it looks more like the work of a Magic Marker), how will it affect his future job prospects?

Arthur Brundage

Police in Syracuse, N.Y., say Arthur Brundage robbed a bank and then came back to claim he was shortchanged on the loot.

Given his attitude toward the bank and the expression on his face, do you think Mr. Brundage is the kind of easy-going guy who's fun to hang out with? Think Mr. Brundage's fellow inmates will make fun of him? 

Then again, what if the teller told him the bag was full of tens and twenties when it was only filled with ones and fives? Should he not feel cheated? First the mortgage crisis, now this; should we not all be on our guard against those heartless banks? 

Raymond Garcia

Garcia, 45, was arrested after cops saw him fighting a street sign.

From the looks of Mr. Garcia, the street sign throws a pretty mean punch; was it arrested as well? Was it ever resolved who started the fight?

John Caruso

John Caruso is accused of squirting dish soap in his girlfriend's mouth in an attempt to stop her from cursing.

That was actually the traditional punishment for children who used foul language; why has it now been criminalized? Would Mr. Caruso have been arrested had he just pulled his girlfriend's pants down and spanked her? Does his girlfriend still swear?

Chad William Forber

Forber, 41, has been charged with possession of methamphetamine, resisting or obstructing a peace officer and possession of drug paraphernalia, stemming from an incident where he was found naked in public covered in nothing but Crisco.

Forber looks at least ten years older than his age; is that more a function of his meth habit or of using Crisco rather than Oil of Olay to keep his skin young? 

Joyce Coffey

Joyce Coffey was arrested four times in 26 hours for blasting the AC/DC song "Highway to Hell" and other loud music from her home and for throwing a frying pan.

Joyce doesn't look the violent type; think she might have been on meth? Meth seems to give even mousy middle-aged housewives the outlook and temperament of the 22-year-old Mike Tyson; does that not make it sound incredibly appealing? Then again, doesn't use of the drug inevitably lead one down the highway to hell?

Eric Butkiewicz

Eric Butkiewicz

Patriotically-adorned Butkiewicz, 31, was arrested in the wee hours of the morning after Independence Day for allegedly dealing drugs at Miami's posh Fontainebleu Hotel.

Is patriotism not the last bastion of the scoundrel? Isn't it disgusting how some people think that if they wrap themselves in the flag they can get away with anything? Or did Mr. Butkiewicz just have his face painted because he was tired of having people tell him he looked like Channing Tatum?

Lindsay Medd Stevens

Stevens was arrested by police in Knoxville, Tenn., for indecent exposure after his neighbor saw him cutting a tree down -- while completely in the buff. Knox County sheriff's deputy Scott Ritch told WATE-TV that he saw Stevens standing completely nude in his yard cutting a tree, only to run inside the house when he saw the officer.

Haven't chainsaws been known to cut off appendages? And given the condition of Mr. Steven's forehead, shouldn't he be worried about sun damage to the rest of his body?

Robert Gernot

Gernot was accused of threatening his neighbor by saying, "When I get done taking a s--t, I'm gonna kick your f---ing a--!"

Did Mr. Gernot get in a better mood after he was no longer constipated? Does an angry disposition turn one's hair prematurely white? 

Vladimir Mishkov

Mishkov is accused of masturbating in front of a jail employee on his way to court to face a previous flashing charge.

His first name indicates Mr. Mishkov might be a recent immigrant; has anyone considered that his behavior is merely a cultural difference? Aren't we supposed to pride ourselves on our multiculturalism?

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Most Americans first became vaguely aware of Chechens as the combative people in the Caucasus who seemed to be constantly at odds with the Russians.

After the Boston Marathon bombing, American awareness of Chechens and their national character became more acute.

With the publicity attendant on the first anniversary of that bombing, Chechens are again in the news.  This recent video of a group of Chechens capturing an escaped brown bear might lend some additional insight into their character. The bear's not quite full grown, but still….it's not exactly how Americans would do it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Out of the Furnace"

My son and I saw Out of the Furnace this past weekend. It was slow-moving, heavy-handed, and predictable, your basic revenge film. Christian Bale and Woody Harrelson did their usual good jobs, but there wasn't much they could do with the script.

The movie also featured Casey Affleck as a veteran of Iraq around whose self-destructiveness much of the plot revolved:

My son, an Afghanistan vet, was utterly disgusted by the portrayal. He said, "The Hollywood types who made this movie have obviously never hung out with real vets. First of all, no Army guy would ever cover himself in Army tattoos like that. The guys I knew might get one Army tattoo at most; but the whole point of tattoos is to show your individuality and that you're badass, not that you're part of a large organization.

"Secondly, no self-respecting vet would wear the lower half of his ACU's [Army combat uniform] to engage in a bare knuckle prize fight.

"And finally, I guess they had to evoke every cliche in the war book, like how he saw a dying child, and how terrible it was for him to see body parts. And then he has to ham it up and scream histrionically at his brother so we can feel his anguish.

"What an annoying asswipe. I hope he [the character in the movie] dies."

Sunday, April 13, 2014


I was looking at "Traffic sources" in the Statistics section of my blog and saw that I'd gotten a number of referrals from a blog called Coming Out of The Crazy Closet. When I looked at the blog, it turned out that its proprietor, one Connie Stevy, had copied some of my posts word for word without giving me credit. The reason I had gotten those referrals was that in a few of the posts she copied I had inserted links to previous posts of mine.

In fact, 26 of Stevy's last 51 posts (including 4 of her last 5) are simply direct lifts from this blog. (Click on the above link, you can see for yourself.) It's flattering in a way, but it's also infuriating. It's nice to be reproduced or linked elsewhere, but this is the first time I know of where someone has simply tried to pass my words off as her own.

She seemed to favor the prison pen pal posts and various posts on Obama, along with a smattering of others. When she's not lifting my material, she mostly posts about interior decoration; I have no idea whether those posts are original or not. In a couple of posts she references and posts pictures of herself; she's quite pretty -- if those are actually photographs of her.

I was going to write the following comment on her blog, "Love your blog -- it's brilliant! Where do you get all your ideas?" But she didn't set her blog up to allow for comments.

There are also no dates on the blog (other than months without years). The last month listed is December, and her latest posts are mostly lifted from December 2012 on my blog, so it seems she's stopped "writing."

If she starts another blog, she really ought to title it, Coming Out of The Plagiarism Closet.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

William Shatner

The other day my son pointed out a video of William Shatner "singing" (speaking) the words to Elton John's Rocket Man, from 1978. (Shatner's part starts about 50 seconds into the video.)

My son said, "Can you imagine what a tool this guy is, to speak the song this way, thinking he's being really cool?"

Shatner, wearing a tuxedo and smoking a cigarette, exudes an air of self-importance and egotism so strong it has to be seen to be believed.

My son continued, "You should hear his rendition of Mr. Tambourine Man, where he does this incredibly hammy, anguished, Shakespearian interpretation. It's really painful to watch."

My son watched it with me anyway, and couldn't stop giggling the entire time.

The videos make one think of Galaxy Quest, the excellent 1999 comedy which spoofed Shatner's legendary ego and referenced his castmates' utter contempt for him.

The weird thing is, it wasn't just William Shatner who thought his "singing" would be a success. His agent undoubtedly told him it was a good idea and would sell. A band agreed to back him up. A producer produced it. A record company marketed it. And distributors sold it.

It was mass insanity.

You have to wonder what the musical types who were involved in this production thought as they made it. How many of them secretly snickered, or at the very least, had to hide their disgust at Shatner's massacre of perfectly good songs?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Gun-free zones

All big Army bases  -- like Ft. Hood -- might as well post those signs which announce "Gun-free zone." Which pretty much translates as, "Shoot at will; we will not resist."

For someone bent on mayhem, can there possibly be a more open invitation? 

Many are now suggesting that the Army reconsider its no-gun policy on bases, and that a percentage of military personnel on base be allowed to carry in order to avert another mass killing like the ones perpetrated by Ivan Lopez and Nidal Hasan. 

Has there ever been a more self-defeating policy? Does anyone think that some crazed killer is going to see a ""Gun-free zone" sign and think, "Oops, I guess I better carry out my mass shooting somewhere else -- it would actually be illegal here."

How could they possibly be more inviting? A few possibilities:

Only nice people allowed on premises!

We promise not to shoot back. 

Defenseless wishful thinkers area

Victims inside!

C'mon in! We're unarmed and un-dangerous!

The sign basically paraphrases the NRA's "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."

If the anti-gun crowd did have their way and private ownership of guns was banned, how would people react? I imagine suburban homeowners would be disgruntled, and complain, but most would probably end up turning in their guns.

But would the criminals turn in their guns? Hmm…'s how the gun control crowd evidently expects them to react: 

The Mafia: "We better turn our Uzis in. They're against the law now." 

The Russian Mafia: "No more Uzis for us. It's back to the good old days of just knives and garrotes." 

And the Crips and Bloods would sigh, "West Side Story, here we come -- we're just going to have to have our rumbles with chains and switchblades from here on."

So….with law-abiding people unarmed, and criminals armed, will that make for a better society? Just ask the folks at Ft. Hood.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Questions about the college players' union

A recent article pointed out that the impetus behind the new college players' union is coming from the United Steelworkers Union, which funded the case. And the NLRB -- the same organization which tried to prevent Boeing from opening up a new plant in South Carolina -- passed judgment. Evidently the unions see a chance to collect more dues.

The rationale is that colleges make millions off their football programs, both in TV revenue and alumni donations, but the athletes themselves get no compensation beyond their scholarships.

One wonders exactly how this will work. Let's say these student/athletes end up being paid a couple hundred thousand a year: how much resentment would this engender among the other students? Would they still root for their college team?

Unionization certainly puts into clear relief that certain "students" are attending college mostly to play ball. That big time college football and basketball players are not serious students is hardly a secret, but how much more scrutiny will their farcical academic credentials withstand before serious questions start being asked about whether this situation should be allowed to continue?

The vast majority of colleges will doubtless harrumph and insist they are serious educational institutions, not factories for future pro athletes. (Does any academic ever pass up a chance to sniff at a lesser college?)

The essential power of a union lies in its ability to call a strike. How exactly would that work for a college football team? They would seem to lack leverage, since their only alternative is the pros, which most of them aren't good enough for. What kind of bargaining position does that give these unions?

There are plenty of students who played high school ball but weren't good enough to make their college teams who'd jump at the chance to take the place of the striking players. Would these "scabs" be ostracized by the first string players? Would they have to cross picket lines to attend practice?

What if one of these second string teams ended up playing in a big game? It would probably end up getting more publicity -- and possibly even paying fans -- than a normal game. It's not hard to figure out whom the average American fan would be rooting for in that situation. That fan might be disappointed in the lack of a Hollywood ending to the game; nonetheless, he would still be interested enough to watch.

So will we ever see a situation in which the Chicago Bears and University of Oklahoma get into a bidding war for the services of a star running back? Doubtful.

Part of the rationale behind the NLRB's decision was that the football players devote a lot of time to their sport as well as having to take courses. But if having to take courses as well as train for a sport is a "job," then why don't the rest of the student/athletes unionize? Because the less publicized sports don't make money for their colleges.

But that still begs the question of why their campus existence is any less of a job. Don't swimmers, rowers, and cross country runners work even harder at their "jobs" than do football players? Especially when you take into account the GPA's and graduation rates of those teams vs. the football and basketball teams?

Here's another way to look at it. Maybe the colleges where the athletes have honed their skills and gotten national exposure should demand a cut, say 15%, of the athletes' future earnings from their sport. After all, they've helped the players develop as athletes, all while giving them a free education and room ad board to boot. 

These colleges are effectively coach, agent, and benefactor all at once. 

So, how about it? Shouldn't they get a cut of those fat NFL salaries?

Sounds like a case the NLRB might be sympathetic towards. As long as the colleges are willing to pay union dues.