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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Jeffrey Dahmer, in character

The NY Post today ran an interview with Christopher Scarver (on right), the man who killed Jeffrey Dahmer:

I remember hearing at the time of Dahmer's death that he had been killed by a black inmate who was seeking revenge for all of the black men that Dahmer had killed.

But Scarver tells the story differently:

Christopher Scarver — who fatally beat the serial killer and another inmate in 1994 — said he grew to despise Dahmer because he would fashion severed limbs out of prison food to taunt the other inmates.

He’d drizzle on packets of ketchup as blood.

It was very unnerving.

“He would put them in places where people would be,” Scarver, 45, recalled in a low, gravelly voice.

“He crossed the line with some people — prisoners, prison staff. Some people who are in prison are repentant — but he was not one of them.”

Scarver, who was already serving a life sentence for murder at the time of the attack, and who also killed another man, Jesse Anderson, at the same time he killed Dahmer, is hardly a credible witness. But I tend to believe his version of events. 

When the news of Jeffrey Dahmer's killing spree first broke, people were both horrified and fascinated by the story of the cannibal. Most of the interviews that later aired -- this one is typical -- showed a bland guy who seemed as mystified by his strange compulsion as we were, and who took full responsibility for his actions.

But, Dahmer couldn't possibly have done what he did without being a sociopath. And the thing about sociopaths is, there's nothing they won't stoop to, and they enjoy hurting others. So Scarver's account rings true. 

The bit about how Dahmer would fashion severed limbs out of his food, put ketchup on them, and leave them where people would find them is a little reminiscent of all those killers who've phoned the parents of the people they've killed in order to torture them further. 

When you're dealing with a sociopath, there's one thing you should never forget: no matter what face he is putting on at the time, a sociopath never stops being a sociopath.

For swim fans only

The US masters swimming championships took place this past weekend in San Antonio, Texas. One of the most impressive records set was in the men's age 45-49 200 yard individual medley. Frenchman Nicolas Granger's 1:51.44 cut a whopping five seconds off the previous record by US Olympian Dave Sims.

My first thought was, oh boy, another shameless doped up Euro setting masters records. (The French seem to have more than their share of juicers.) Just to confirm my suspicions, I Google-imaged him, and saw this photo:

Granger doesn't appear to be on steroids, though it's possible he's on human growth hormone. But what really struck me was the freakish length of his arms. From this photo, it looks as though his fingertips would almost reach his knees.

There's no drug which causes that. Being tall is obviously an advantage in swimming, and having long arms is 90% of the advantage of being tall. Whatever Granger's height, his wingspan is that of a much taller man.

Verdict: he might actually be clean.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

No uplift here

I joined Facebook a few years ago to see what all the fuss was about, but I've never done anything with it. I have something like 30 "friends," the fewest of anyone I know. I check in maybe once every two weeks out of a vague sense of curiosity.

The Newslinq feed in particular (does everyone get that?) is always posting uplifting stories about acts of kindness, or cute videos of pets and babies. The ones which seem blatant attempts to tug at the heartstrings don't seem to have much effect on me.

But yesterday they put up this video, of a series of skillful drawings showing how a young girl might age from her babyhood until she was an old lady. I found it quite moving. (I'm not about to admit that it bought tears to my eyes as I thought of my daughter aging that way.)

In any case, one thing Newslinq makes clear by contrast is how negative this blog is. (I'm not about to change it.) This simply isn't a heartwarming site: it's an angry-at-the-world blog. Personally, I usually find any sort of writing motivated by contempt far more enjoyable than stuff by people who try to stay within the bounds of social acceptability.

It's said that comedians are angry people; I think that's true.

In any case, if you're looking for uplift, don't look here. Go to Facebook. If, however, you want to find that others (in particular, me) are as angry -- or at least as disgusted -- as you are, come on in. You should find the temperature of the water here to your liking.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The "marathoner" didn't even look the part

What struck me most about that picture of marathon impostor Kendall Schler was her expression. The picture was taken right after she had "finished" the race and been awarded her medal. Yet there was no apparent joy there. On the contrary, she appears to have the wary eyes of an abused child.

The other thing that struck me about Schler was how little she looked like a top marathoner. Schler has no discernible muscle tone or definition in her arms, she has breasts, and she is pear-shaped. In the picture below she looks downright dumpy.

Top female marathoners tend to work themselves down to the bone, to the point where they take on a brittle, almost anorexic appearance. They have carved all the fat from their bodies, giving them skinny arms, thin but muscular legs, and flat chests.

These women competing in the 2012 Olympic marathon are fairly typical:

It appears that not only was Schler a shameless hoaxer, she was a dumb one too. For her to try to pass as a marathon victor was about as credible as me claiming that I used to be a heavyweight boxing champion. Extreme sports call for extreme physiques.

Once Schler was disqualified, the winner in the St. Louis Marathon was declared to be Andrea Karl, with a time of 2:54:

It would be interesting to find out what Schler's upbringing was like; to me, this is always the most interesting thing about a sociopath. Given how pathetic her attempted deception, it would also be edifying to find out her IQ.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Marathon winner loses race title because she never ran the race"

A Fox News article yesterday described how Kendall Schler faked winning the St. Louis marathon:

Kendall Schler is believed to have slipped onto the course on Sunday after the last checkpoint in an attempt to trick race officials into believing she ran the whole marathon.

Officials said that Schler failed to register any times on the 26.2 mile route, and that a review of the previous year’s marathon, where Schler registered a third place finish, also did not reveal any image of her on the course.

We've heard this story before, with Rosie Ruiz, who faked winning the Boston Marathon back in 1980. Ruiz was later arrested for embezzlement, and, subsequently, for cocaine dealing. As recently as 2000, she was still claiming to have run the entire Boston Marathon even though the proof against her having done so was overwhelming.

Schler, 26, is probably too young to have known of Ruiz. But they share the same personality disorder.

You really don't have to hear anything more about someone than that she faked winning a marathon to know that she is a sociopath. This one action encompasses so many different sociopathic traits that it is proof in itself.

First of all, it's completely dishonest.

Secondly, both women thought they could fool people when they couldn't -- a distinctly sociopathic belief.

Third, such a "victory" would rob other runners of their rightful glory -- but this wouldn't concern a sociopath in the least.

Fourth, one would have to lack any sense of shame or embarrassment in order to try such a stunt.

And fifth, it shows how sociopaths live in the present and are unconcerned about the future to an extent unimaginable to most. Sociopaths can actually enjoy themselves while dancing on the edge of disaster. (Otherwise, how could all those Ponzi Schemers revel in livin' large before they get arrested?)

Poets and philosophers tell us to seize the day, and not let life's treasures slip away. This is generally good advice. But at a certain level, sociopaths are the ultimate exemplars of that philosophy: they always live in the moment, the future be damned.

So, listen to the philosophers, but just don't carpe diem too much.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sprinter names 2015

The final rankings for the 2015 indoor track season are in. As usual, there are a lot of uniquely creative names among the runners in events ranging up to 400 meters.

A few of my favorites among the men:

Romel Burns. Hard not to think of Nero fiddling.

Trabien Whitehurst. Je suis très bien, merci.

Trey'l Beasley. The path to athletic glory is a long and dusty trail.

Osiris Nicholson. Osiris was the Egyptian god of the afterlife. (Would you name your kid "Hades?")

Juston Christian. He got to the finish line just on time.

Jamique Mitchell. The meek shall inherit the earth.

Arun Rambhadjan. See ya later, I'm going for a run.

Salaam Horne. Isn't that a little like naming your child "Hello"?

Kobe White, Kobe Smith. Mr. Bryant has now been around so long that current high school seniors were named after him.

Kwincy Hall. Ah, his parents were Anglophiles.

Seifuddin Black. Just don't say "fuckin' black."

Addrecus Eddington. An abacus that performs only addition.

Kaulen Jenkins. Callin' all sprinters to the starting line.

Saint Jacob Diodonet. Weren't his parents getting a little ahead of themselves?

Kris Mus. This name was my favorite. I had the feeling that Kris might be white, so I looked him up. Sure enough, here he is (on the left):

Not only does this young man evoke Bing Crosby, he also proves Johnny Cash ("A Boy Named Sue") right. By bestowing upon their son a jokey name, Mr. and Mrs. Mus actually gave him, to quote Cash, gravel in his gut and spit in his eye: Kris grew up to be a bold guy willing to take the brothers on at their own game. Good for him, and good for his parents. And maybe, good for all the other guys named above.

Certainly, none of these nationally ranked sprinters lack for athletic prowess.

A few of my favorite female names:

Sydnei Murphy, Sydnee Minor, Sidne' Williamson, Cydney Christian. Their parents all had an affinity for Australia, but, somehow, didn't quite make it.

Lanae-Tava Thomas. (Do you hear "larvae"?)

Pharist O'Neal. Mirror, mirror, on the wall….

K'Lynn Beal. Well, it's better than K'Lytt.

Xaria Elliott. Exotic? Exactly.

Abra Granger. Maybe her middle name is "Cadabra."

Ke'niya Smith. "If you get fresh, I can knee ya in the balls."

Nichyria Byrd. Is this pronounced like Nigeria?

T'Reyah Johnson. T Rex Johnson's queen.

NeeAsia Watkins. Oh, so that's where she was born.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Took the online Jeopardy test last night. My son will probably take it tonight.

It was actually sort of fun. The questions seemed harder than on the regular show, but I think I got over half of them right. It makes sense that the test would be harder, since they have to make allowance for a certain "freeze factor" in front of the television cameras.

I couldn't afford the luxury of keeping score because they only allow you 15 seconds to answer each question, so my time was best spent thinking about the answer and typing it in.

The last time I'd taken the test, around 20 years ago in the pre-internet era, we'd been told we had to get 33 out of the 50 questions right to pass the test. I counted 31 that I knew I'd answered correctly, but evidently none of my guesses were right.

The biggest mistake I made last night was to forget to note the category for some of the questions. The category itself is an important part of the clue.

But I also got lucky on one of the questions, something about an institution in Copenhagen named after a Nobel Prize-winning scientist. I wasn't sure whether it would be Niels Bohr or Max Planck, but put down Bohr. I checked later and found that Planck was German. (Phew.)

You can take the test yourself this evening (Wednesday the 15th) at 8PM Central time or tomorrow at 8PM Pacific time. It's pretty simple to register, just go to, then make sure you're signed in before the test.

If you do well enough you could earn back some of the money you have to pay the government today.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

On my hind legs

I competed in a masters swimming meet this morning, and swam a 200 yard butterfly in 2:17.3 seconds. Five years ago, at age 55, I swam the same event in 2:04.9. Granted, I was wearing a tech suit, but even without it, I would have been in the 2:06-high range, which means I'm roughly ten seconds slower now.

It's as if I compressed ten years worth of deterioration into five years.

Nevertheless, everyone congratulated me after my swim, as if I'd done something admirable. But there was a whole different feel to it. Five years ago, I still vaguely resembled a college swimmer -- if you squinted your eyes and didn't look too closely at the time.

Now, at age 60, people are applauding the old guy for simply finishing the race. Much in the same spirit that they would clap for a 4-year-old who can recite the alphabet. Or a dog that can walk on its hind legs.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Brian Williams, Part VI

In early February this blog ran five posts on NBC anchor Brian Williams and his series of fantastical lies. Today, it came out in the NY Post that Williams, in trying to explain his past lies, suggested he might have a possible brain tumor.

This is how sociopaths operate: they try to cover up their lies with yet more lies. They don't dispense with their dishonesty once they're caught. It stays with them for life.

If in fact Williams does have a brain tumor, it would be a type hitherto unknown to medical science. His tumor didn't interfere with his ability to read from a Teleprompter, or play vicious corporate politics, or stay carefully within the bounds of political correctness, or even recount where he was 12 years previous. No, this brain tumor's only effect was to force Williams to embellish his stories to make himself look more heroic than he actually was.

A couple excerpts from the Post article:

In the aftermath of the scandal, people at NBC News have repeatedly cited Williams’ penchant for bureaucratic infighting and his limited interest in “heavy” news, the piece says.

Bureaucratic infighting, of course, is a sociopathic specialty. Nobody has more stomach for ass-kissing, backstabbing, and corporate toadying than a sociopath. It's why you'll find sociopaths at or near the top of so many large corporations.

“He was having a tough enough time coming to grips with the idea that he had gotten it wrong in the first place, slash misrepresented it, slash lied,” an insider said. “He wasn’t anywhere in the ballpark of being helpful about what had happened 12 years ago.”

The thing about Williams, or any other sociopath, is that they'll never be anywhere in the ballpark of being truthful. They play ball by a whole different set of rules -- or lack of rules. And until you're familiar with their style of play, you'll have a hard time recognizing the "brain tumor" known as sociopathy.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Being "opinionated"

Gethin commented recently on the Millionth View post that "most philosophers [like Socrates] would maintain that being opinionated is a good thing."

I replied, "[Opinionated] is one of the most misleading words in circulation. Everybody is opinionated, whether they admit it or not..."

This blog is obviously nothing but opinion, so this is a somewhat defensive post. And I think what some people mean by "opinionated" is, people who feel obliged to aggressively give their opinions on absolutely everything, in every social situation.  But the idea that some people do not have opinions is ludicrous.

People will also sometimes say, "I'm not judgmental." The concept of a person who's completely nonjudgmental is equally silly. Everybody passes judgment on everybody; that's just human nature.

In fact, just by saying you're nonjudgmental -- as if that's a good thing --  you're effectively passing judgment on everybody who is judgmental. And since that's everybody, you're essentially condemning the entire human race.

Which is, when you think about it, the most judgmental statement of all.

Anyway, that's just my opinionated opinion. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Boy Scouts vs. the Catholic church

An AP article yesterday lauded the hiring of a gay Eagle Scout, Pascal Tessier, to serve as a Boy Scout summer camp leader in New York:

The national organization changed its policy in 2013 to allow openly gay youth as scouts, but not adults as leaders, after a bitter debate over its membership policy. The change took effect in January 2014.

It's easy to see how the Boy Scouts of America arrived at this decision. There were over 2000 cases of sexual abuse in the BSA before 1994, and in just one such case, the BSA had to pay out $18.5 million. 

The Left has, of course, hammered the Boy Scouts for not allowing openly gay adults to serve in supervisory positions. From a New York Times article dated June 10, 2014:

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. on Tuesday sharply criticized the Boy Scouts of America's policy that bans gay scout leaders, calling it “a relic of an age of prejudice and insufficient understanding.” In remarks to the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a gay-rights group, Mr. Holder said, “The continuation of a policy that discriminates against gay adult leaders, by an iconic American institution, only preserves and perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes.”

Another New York Times article from June 29, 2014, waxed about how wonderful it was that openly gay Boy Scouts marched in the Gay Pride parade in New York City. The article quoted only people who were opposed to the BSA's policy of excluding openly gay adults in supervisory positions. 

Yet at the same time that the liberal press has excoriated the BSA for not allowing openly gay troop masters, they've also mercilessly attacked the Catholic church for its history of child molestation by priests.

The excoriation of the church has slowed somewhat in the past two years, since the relatively liberal Pope Francis ascended to the papacy. But over the previous ten years, the Times featured numerous front page articles about the scandal. The paper's message is always the same: why did the church not do more to prevent this abuse? 

What exactly would the Times have had the Catholic church do to prevent further abuse? Ban all priests suspected of being homosexuals? 

There's a huge dichotomy -- okay, let's call it what it is, hypocrisy -- between the Times' stance on gay troop leaders and gay Catholic priests. 

More recently there have been a number of breathless headlines about how Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings pilot who just killed 149 people, had suffered from depression, and how the airlines should have known -- or did know -- about his illness ahead of time. The strong implication is that they should have grounded him based on that knowledge.

But wouldn't that constitute discrimination against those who suffer from depression? After all, the vast majority of depressives never kill anyone else.

Depressives as a group tend not to agitate for protection against discrimination. (They're probably too depressed to do so.) But what if airlines and other companies did discriminate against them? Would they be justified in doing so?

At what point do victims' rights override the rights of those claiming discrimination?

Don't expect a consistent answer from the New York Times. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ted Nugent, please be quiet

Ted Nugent was quoted in a Huffington Post article today saying that President Obama is causing the suicides among veterans:

“Here’s your job, Republican Party," Nugent said over the weekend in comments posted online by Right Wing Watch. "Twenty to 25 of those guys kill themselves every day, and they haven’t told you why and they haven’t told anybody else why but they told me why: because the commander-in-chief is the enemy."

This is the kind of ridiculous hyperbole one expects from the Left, not the Right. 

Veterans undoubtedly commit suicide for all sorts of reasons. Some may get depressed because their wives or girlfriends leave them. Some may have substance abuse issues. Some may have felt hopeless because  their employment prospects outside the military seemed dismal. Some may have just suffered from depression as an organic condition.

Undoubtedly some veterans are depressed because of the severe injuries they received in Iraq or Afghanistan. And veterans may also be at higher risk than the civilian population to begin with because they have access to and are familiar with firearms. 

But it's hard to imagine that many of them killed themselves because Obama is President. A large number of them undoubtedly despise Obama; but it's hard to believe that that would have been enough to drive them to suicide. 

And note the way Nugent's statement is constructed: he is saying, literally, that the veterans who killed themselves told him why they were committing suicide. (The quote is accurate, by the way, as you'll see if you watch the video on the link above.) 

This kind of inaccurate statement actually helps Obama, by making his opponents look like rash, intemperate morons. 

Last year Nugent apologized after calling Obama "a subhuman mongrel." (I'm not quite sure how that furthers the cause of conservatism.) 

Nugent is in many ways reminiscent of Alec Baldwin, another outspoken show business figure. (Baldwin once called a NY Post photographer who attempted to take his picture a "coon.")

Back in 2012, Nugent said that he would "either be dead or in jail" if President Obama were reelected. This comment is reminiscent of how Baldwin said in 2004 that if President Bush were reelected, he would leave the country. 

Baldwin never emigrated, and Nugent is still alive and free. But both men have proven time and again that they are, despite their political differences, birds of a feather. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

… it's 1999!

Say what you will about those two fellows who got into the dustup outside the NSA on Monday, they knew how to party.

Kevin Fleming and Ricky Hall turned out to be cross-dressing male prostitutes.

Ricky Hall:

Kevin Fleming:

They had evidently been on a drinking binge at a motel nearby when they decided to steal their john's Ford Escape and take it for a joyride. When the guard at the NSA entrance told them to turn back, they accelerated through the gate, then rammed an NSA police car. A firefight ensued.

Hall was killed and Fleming wounded. A search of the car turned up cocaine as well as a handgun.

Although initial speculation was that the incident might constitute some sort of protest against our government's overly intrusive surveillance policies, there seems to be no indication that either Hall and Fleming had any inkling they were at the headquarters of the NSA.

The next time one of your buddies preens about what a wild and crazy guy he is, compare him to these two. He'll almost certainly come up short.