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Friday, December 29, 2017

Trump in a nutshell

Donald Trump was in the news again this morning for having said “I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department.”

He misspoke, of course. The President has the right to pick an Attorney General who is like-minded. And every AG is, ultimately, answerable to the President. But the DOJ is, theoretically at least, an independent institution.

The DOJ administers the US Marshalls Service, the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the ATF, and the DEA. And each of those organizations not only enforce, but also adhere to the rule of law.

So Trump's statement, which implied emperor-like powers for himself, was quintessentially Trumpian: he just blurted out whatever came to mind.

After making that comment, Trump must have realized he had gone too far, because then he backtracked with, “But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.”

That sentence, too, was Trumpian, at least in terms of grammar and syntax.

But in a roundabout way, Trump's blundering style also shows that he's not a sociopath.

Barack Obama obviously did, and Hillary Clinton obviously wouldn't have hesitated to, use the levers of power for purely political means, in an underhanded way.

But neither would ever have blurted out that they had that right. Both of them would have paid lip service to the rule of law, and would have expressed absolute abhorrence at the very thought that they might ever make a devious end run around it.

They are both natural liars, far too slick to make such a faux pas.

Trump, by contrast, is not nearly as schooled in the ways of Washington, where you never say what you mean and where blurting out the truth is considered the worst type of gaffe.

He may be a buffoon, but he's not sociopathic. And that makes him more trustworthy, if at times embarrassing.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The antisocial nature of investing

The recent rise of Bitcoin has highlighted the seamier side of investing. With certain investments, you're implicitly rooting for ugly things. With Bitcoin, for instance, you're on the side of the drug cartels which want to be able to make large cash-equivalent transactions without banks involved. You're on the side of corrupt dictators who want to keep their ill-gotten gains when they flee their countries. And you're on the side of anyone who doesn't want to pay taxes.

Very few investors would admit to this publicly, but they're effectively hoping for the cartels and dictators to thrive and provide a demand for Bitcoin.

If you invest in cigarette companies, like Philip Morris, you essentially want more people to become addicted to cigarettes. As Warren Buffett said about Philip Morris back in the 80's, "It costs a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It's addictive. And there's fantastic brand loyalty." (He later declined to invest because he didn't want the bad publicity; but he was right in his analysis.)

If you invest in a defense company, like Raytheon or Lockheed Martin or General Dynamics, you're rooting for war, never mind the collateral destruction. You've become part of the military industrial complex. (Most of us associate that phrase with the student protests of the 1960's, but the man who coined that phrase was actually President Eisenhower, who knew whereof he spoke.)

But it's not just the cigarette and defense companies -- the traditional villains -- whose investors root against humanity.

If you invest in an oil company, you're rooting for the price of oil to go up. If that means war breaking out in, say, Nigeria or Iran or Saudi Arabia, so be it. The more destruction, the more money you make (assuming your company doesn't have wells there).

Either way, you're certainly hoping that there's a lot of demand for oil -- even if that means more pollution.

If you invest in a biotech, you're basically rooting for more people to get whichever disease your company can cure. And, you don't want their drug to be so effective that it can completely cure the disease, but to be something patients need to rely on for the rest of their lives.

When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston this past August, 35 people lost their lives. But the flooding also damaged a lot of cars, which needed to be replaced -- and GM stock went up!

If you invest in a leveraged volatility index like UVXY, or a short ETF like SDS, you want the stock market to take a big fall -- meaning, you want a lot of people to lose money, since that's what would cause your stock would go up.

In fact, any time you invest in any company, you're essentially rooting for its rivals to fail, even if that means that their employees lose their jobs and their investors lose their money.

This might present a moral quandary for some people.

(It doesn't seem to for me.)

Monday, December 25, 2017

"Rosie O'Donnell tells Paul Ryan he's going 'straight to hell'"

At times, Rosie seems to be a one-woman juggernaut designed to educate the world about borderline personality disorder.

According to the NY Post:

The fierce opponent of President Trump and the newly-passed GOP tax plan lashed out at Ryan on Twitter.

“paul ryan – don’t talk about Jesus after what u just did to our nation – u will go straight to hell,” O'Donnell wrote Monday.

“U screwed up fake altar boy,” O’Donnell added...

It’s the latest Twitter war for the ex-View host.

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro reported an obscene tweet O’Donnell posted about him last week that said “Suck my d___ Ben,” according to Fox News.

Borderlines never seem to have the slightest doubt that they are on the side of goodness and light and that their opponents are, well, going straight to hell. 

And because they are always so completely convinced of their own righteousness, they are utterly uninhibited with their words and actions, since they always consider them justified.

I've never been a Paul Ryan fan. I don't like the way he tried to undermine Trump in 2016, I wish he hadn't lowered the maximum individual tax rate, and I don't like the way he lied about his marathon time. I don't even like his dishonest-looking face or his Eddie Munster hairline:

But if he's headed for eternity in a hot place, he and Rosie will probably have plenty of time to get better acquainted. 

Rosie is larger than life, 200 pounds of constant, unrelenting, unmitigated fury. And since she makes good copy, the press continues to cover her. As long as they do, we might as well let our education continue. 

(It just hit me who else has borderline personality disorder: Rose McGowan. The constant, unrelenting fury, the complete lack of doubt that she is in the right, and the complete lack of inhibitions in savaging people she sees as her enemies are pretty good indications.)

Primitive hairlines, Part V

An Arizona father, Robert Anthony Resendiz --

-- got frustrated with his crying son and bent him until he stopped crying. The son, six months old, is now in the hospital but is not expected to survive with his massive internal injuries.

(Bring back the Old Testament.)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Borderline Personality Disorder alert: Rosie O'Donnell

Rosie O'Donnell was in the news recently for having offered $2 million apiece to Senators Jeff Flake and Susan Collins to vote against the tax bill. In another tweet, she offered $2 million to any Republican Senator who would vote no. This may or may not have been an illegal offer of a bribe; opinions on that seem mostly determined by one's political outlook.

In any case, after seeing the picture accompanying the article, it occurred to me that I'd never seen a picture of O'Donnell where she's wearing a normal smile. In every situation where she's supposed to smile, she's wearing a weird forced grimace instead. Here are a few examples of that:

Rosie with adopted (and now estranged) daughter Chelsea:

Rosie and first wife Kelli Carpenter (their marriage was annulled the year they got married):

Rosie and second wife Michelle Rounds, to whom she was married for three years:

Google-image "Rosie O'Donnell smiling" and you won't find a single picture of her actually doing that.

I've seen people with Aspergers who, when they're supposed to smile, just open and widen their mouths instead. But O'Donnell doesn't have Aspergers.

I've also seen sociopaths who never smile. But that tends to be more of a dominance thing, a statement that everyone else is there to please him, and show him they like him, not vice versa.

But O'Donnell's not a sociopath, either. She's not charming, nor is she a skillful liar, nor is she a con artist. And if she were a sociopath she'd have more self control, and would know how to simulate, at least for a short while, decency.

Nor is she an ordinary narcissist, since she never appears happy with herself -- witness her inability to smile.

But she obviously has some identifiable syndrome. The way she flies into rages, her never-ending, countless spats, and the fact that none of her relationships last for any length of time all point to an extremely difficult personality.

It has to be borderline personality disorder.

She's just constantly in a rage, and it appears to be something she has no control over. (The Left tries to apply the label "hater" to the Right all the time, but if you want to see what a real hater looks like, look at the pictures above.)

She was an extremely demanding boss, as former staffers on OWN's The Rosie Show seem to be more than willing to attest. She constantly belittled her staff and changed her mind about what she wanted.

Before that, in 1996, she had her own daytime TV talk show on NBC. When it started, she announced that she wanted to be known as the "Queen of Nice" (in contrast to Leona Helmsley, the hotelier who at the time was known as the "Queen of Mean"). But that didn't quite square with the fact that O'Donnell fired four separate executive producers in her first year on the show.

If she had fired just one, it would be possible to believe the producer was incompetent, or otherwise lacking. If she'd fired two, it still might be possible. But once the number got to three, it became pretty obvious that the producers weren't the problem. At four, there was no room for doubt.

What really made that galling was her public pose as the "Queen of Nice." That was about as credible as the crush she claimed to have on Tom Cruise.

According to Wikipedia, there is a "strong correlation between child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, and development of BPD." O'Donnell claims that she was sexually abused as a child.

One of the hallmarks of BPD is fear of abandonment, and O'Donnell's mother died unexpectedly of cancer when Rosie was 11.

Neither of these things are her fault, of course. But that doesn't help the people she regularly lashes out against.

Borderline Personality Disorder is an ugly syndrome, and Rosie is its poster child.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

I don't understand Bitcoin

The Bitcoin frenzy of the past few weeks has been hard to fathom. A lot of people have compared it to famous bubbles of the past, such as the tulip bulb frenzy in the 1600's, or the insanity of 1999 and 2000.

But I can't even categorize it that way, since I don't understand it. As Janet Yellen said recently, since it's not government-issued, it has no backing, nobody has any responsibility to redeem it, and there's no military to protect it.

Nonetheless, like everyone else, I'm gnashing my teeth that I didn't invest in it earlier. (And, like everyone else, I'm sorta secretly hoping it collapses.)

But, in the meantime, I've decided to issue my own currency. I'm going to call it the "Craig." You have my word, it's officially Just Not Said-approved. I'm going to sell a hundred coins, at a million dollars apiece. I promise, I'll never sell any more than that.

You can use it to finance drug deals, spirit your wealth out of Zimbabwe, or pay off gambling debts.

Step right up, folks.

Congressional hypocrisy

It emerged recently that Congress has paid off staffers who've complained about sexual harassment, but as of one day ago, the Congressional Compliance Office still refused to release the names of the Congressmen on whose behalf those payouts had been made.

That secrecy is a scandal in and of itself. But it's even worse that those harassed were paid off with taxpayer dollars. You and I paid for those Congressmens' misbehavior.

When Congress passed Obamacare, they exempted themselves from its requirements, and kept a more generous package for themselves. 

Congress has even exempted themselves from insider trading laws.

And there are several other laws that Congress is exempt from, including the Freedom of Information Act

Why is there not more outrage about this double standard? It's not even a partisan issue; the anger should be universal.

Monday, December 18, 2017

A conversation with a psychopath

I had an interesting conversation last week with a commenter who told me he was a psychopath. It took place after the Murder victims' ages post from December 2012 if you want to see it in its entirety. (There are no other comments on the post.)

Mark (his pseudonym) started out by saying he was researching Cluster B personalities, but in fairly short order admitted that he was a psychopath. He took pains to explain the difference between psychopaths and sociopaths:

The documentaries I Youtubed all roughly say that Psychopaths are not evil per say but are simply the most CAPABLE of harm and evil SINCE they are essentially robots that mimic human emotions brilliantly (thus avoid being exposed) and SINCE they think the most rationally and logically that therefore they're armed with the best arsenal of necessary skills to commit the MOST destructive and MOST efficient harm/evil; think of Arnold Schwarzenegger from the movie terminator. After all Psychopaths unlike Sociopaths plan and execute their crimes/schemes with deadly efficacy and efficiency leaving little to no evidence behind all the while achieving precisely what they desired. Sociopaths tend to be very messy with their evil endeavors with poor planning and poor results since they act with impulse and Rage.

These documentaries frequently mention that most Psychopaths don't use their 'superior logic' for evil but rather to obtain an advanced career and/or become rich & famous eg. wall-street big shot, Hollywood superstar, genius scientist or clever politician.

This is in contrast to Sociopaths/MNs who are very sensitive to how people perceive them (Psychopaths are mostly indifferent to how people perceive them) MNs/Sociopaths unlike Psychopaths are rather highly emotional and they use intense rage and impulsiveness as opposed to total calculating logic to commit harm/evil (this causes a lot of mess for them) and most importantly they are proudly and willfully evil. On a site note: paradoxically Sociopaths/MNs are capable of empathy for a small circle of people of their choosing in contrast to Psychopaths who literally have empathy for no one.

I replied:

I know there are people who liked to distinguish between sociopaths and psychopaths, saying that psychopaths were born that way because of their abnormal brain circuitry, whereas sociopaths basically became that way because of the (relatively loveless or even abusive) way they were brought up. I don't subscribe to that distinction.

For all practical purposes, since they act exactly the same, they ARE the same. I'm not an expert on the physiology of the brain, and I don't doubt that abnormalities in the frontal lobe can cause people to act more like sociopaths...

I'm more interested in behavior than brain physiology (that's just another way of saying I know little of the latter), so I don't make the distinction between sociopaths and psychopaths. What you've described above (in terms of who gets away with crimes, who achieves success, and so on) is basically the difference between high-IQ and low-IQ sociopaths. 

We argued the point a bit, then agreed to disagree. I admit, though, that by the end of the conversation I had moved a step in his direction.

One of the interesting things Mark said is that he's not really into music, which made sense. If, as Tolstoy said, music is the shorthand of emotion, then since sociopaths lack the full range of emotions, a lot of music's effect will be lost on them. Certainly the types of songs which are supposed to evoke inchoate romantic longing and sentimental journeys are not going to stir them. 

When I thought about it, I realized that the two sociopaths I've known best -- I had extended contact with both -- never expressed the slightest interest in music, nor did they ever play any when I was around them. 

I asked Mark what happened when he met another psychopath. (It has always been my impression that fireworks will erupt, as both are essentially alphas who will not abide the presence of another encroaching on their territory.) He said that he could usually pick them out just from their body language. Psychopaths will often just fix someone with a cold, reptilian stare (my words, not his) and essentially just wait for the other person to flinch. And most non-psychopaths will blink, in fairly short order, and feel obliged to end the silence with some kind of talk.

I found that fascinating. I had always figured that sociopaths recognized each other the same way the rest of us recognize them, by gradually figuring out from their words and actions what they are. Evidently the process is much shorter.

Mark also said that when he did come across another psychopath, he basically just avoided him.

Of course, once someone tells you he's a psychopath, you have to put up your defenses. There are only two possibilities in that situation. If he's lying about being a psychopath, then he's a liar who can't be trusted. But if he's telling the truth about being a psychopath, then he's a liar who can't be trusted. Either way....

But strangely, I got the sense that Mark was being relatively truthful with me, and much of what he said rang true.

Mark also said that he enjoyed trolling. That certainly fits with the literature on the subject, that a lot of trolls are sociopaths or otherwise Machiavellian personalities.

But he also said he wasn't going to troll me, and was complimentary on a number of occasions. When I told him I'd have to write off his flattery as psychopathic manipulation, he seemed amused.

It was a little strange having a civil, almost friendly conversation with an admitted psychopath. I devote a sizable portion of the blog to the proposition that sociopaths are the scum of the earth, yet here I was chatting away with one almost as if we were buddies. Knowing that he's a psychopath, I'd never want to meet him, as no possible good could come of it. But on this blog, as in real life, I try to act towards others as they act towards me, which I guess means...that I'm easily manipulated.

Anyway, I now consider myself more educated on the subject of sociopathy -- or psychopathy. I'd never been aware of the music thing before, but it makes perfect sense. And the bit about psychopaths recognizing each other right off the bat just from their body language made sense too.

The entire conversation is after this post.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The media doesn't believe itself

For anyone willing to take a look at the evidence, it's fairly apparent that Barack Obama is gay, as I explained here and here.

We hear a lot from the media these days about how being gay is perfectly acceptable. In fact, if there's the slightest hint that anybody disapproves in any way of homosexuality, you can be sure the media will pretty much eviscerate them.

Yet the media also "protect" Obama by not talking about his homosexuality, which has to be more or less an open secret in Beltway circles by now. And, after all, if the President of the United States is gay, it's pretty big news.

If the media really believe it's okay to be gay, why do they feel obliged to cover up Obama's sexuality this way? Why do they treat it as such a deep, dark secret?

It's almost as if they don't believe what they preach.

And now that #Metoo is in full swing, the media are coming down especially hard on men who take advantage of their powerful positions to have sex with subordinates.

It's pretty obvious that among Obama's lovers were Kal Penn, who was a temporary White House employee, and his "body men" Nick Colvin and Reggie Love.

If it is a crime to use your powerful position to obtain sex, why isn't Obama being called out for that?

"This 'decorated Green Beret' is a total fraud"

I've mentioned previously that one red flag for sociopathy is to claim to have been in military Special Operations, or to have worked for the CIA, when one has not. The NY Post ran an article yesterday about Papotia Reginald Wright, who dined out on his "service" as a Green Beret for years.

Wright illustrates a lot of different facets of sociopathy.  (Excerpts from the article are in italics, with my comments in parentheses.)

Brooklyn Army vet Papotia Reginald Wright's resume was impressive by any standard. He boasted of a Purple Heart, Bronze Star -- and a slew of other medals as an elite Green Beret that got him into swanky galas and even field access to the Giants. 

But Wright is nothing but an accomplished fraud, it was revealed Thursday. 

He never served with Special Forces, never served in any combat role -- and never rose above the rank of "specialist," according to military documents obtained through FOIA by Guardians of the Green Beret.

Wright even lied about how long he was in the Army, claiming he served 25 years when he was really only enlisted from 1982 to 1990, the documents show.

He spent most of his time as a driver, with stints far from any battlefield in Alaska, Egypt, Georgia and Texas, according to his papers.

While living his lie, Wright became a prominent figure in the local military community. He even started an organization to help vets in Brooklyn last year, calling it the 8th Special Forces Regiment New York Honor Guard.

In his bio on the group’s website, which has since been taken down, he wrote:

“In August of 1982, [Command Sergeant Major] Wright was ordered to Fort Bragg, N.C., where he became a member of the U.S. Military Special Operations Command for over 25 years.

“CSM Wright circumnavigated the world while performing his duties when it pertained to defending America and her citizens for his actions.”

(That sentence doesn't even make sense. And note the grandiloquent phrase "circumnavigated the globe," as if Wright were another Vasco da Gama.)

He even tried to look the part.

Photos show Wright — who was arrested in 2015 in South Carolina for obtaining property by false pretense — at the Giants game and other events in his phony Green Berets uniform, complete with a Special Forces patch and Purple Heart medal.

Under the Stolen Valor Act, it’s a federal crime to lie about military heroics for monetary or other tangible benefits.

Representatives for the Guardians of the Green Beret, which is made up of current and former Special Forces, said they began investigating Wright after receiving tips through the website.

“It bothers us. Stolen valor is an epidemic. We cannot keep up with the cases sent to us,” one member of the group said.

(There's no shortage of sociopaths.)

“Wearing fake stuff — wearing a Ranger tab, Special Forces tab, those things are hard to earn. Wearing a Purple Heart…that stuff’s unforgivable there.”

(Most people would be ashamed to masquerade as something they are not; but sociopaths simply don't feel shame.)

Jeff Johnson, 37, who served over 11 years in the Army, worked at Wright’s organization in November and said he felt duped.

“It wasn’t confirmed to me until three or four days ago when I got a call from one of the members of the unit who was heartbroken,” he told The Post.

“For a while I just started chuckling. It was like this uncomfortable chuckle. That’s when I realized I was played for a friggin’ fool.”

(Sociopaths always leave people feeling foolish after they realize they fell for his tricks.)

Johnson said Wright told wild stories about his Army days, once recalling how someone ran up behind him, cut him open and removed his kidney.

“He said he was living off half a kidney,” the aspiring actor said. “He’s an amazing storyteller because he will get into details.”

(Sociopaths are often full of tall tales.)

Veteran Thomas Miskel, who has volunteered with Wright’s Honor Guard group for several months, said he’s still processing the accusations.

He started to appear before football games and all that and the flags and all that,” he told The Post. “He sort of blew my mind a little bit when I found out that bugle he was blowing was a recording.”

(The more you learn about a sociopath, the more fakeness you uncover.)

He said Wright hasn’t paid his rent at the Armory building in Park Slope, where the group’s offices are located...

(Sociopaths often ignore their financial obligations.)

Wright’s group has stopped posting on Facebook since he was exposed.

The funniest thing to come out about Wright's scam was an error he made regarding his uniform

He wore a black beret. If you're going to pretend to be a Green Beret, you should at least get that part of your outfit correct.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Extreme Makeover, Congressional edition

From 2002 to 2007 there was a TV show called Extreme Makeover which gave its subjects a new look. Its frumpy subjects were given a new wardrobe and hairstyle, and were encouraged to diet and exercise. Some of the subjects were even given plastic surgery.

We were shown how they looked at the start, and then the "new" person was unveiled at the end of the show.

A similar, though not entirely positive transformation, seems to have taken place with Dennis Hastert, who was the Republican Speaker of the House from 1999 to 2007. Back in his Congressional days, he exuded a staid respectability:

He seemed at once kindly grandfather and responsible legislator, a man who bore his weighty responsibilities with the seriousness and sense of duty they called for.

Of course, that image evaporated as soon as we found out that he had once molested a bunch of high school wrestlers.

Still, it was a shock to see the picture that accompanied an article this morning about the conditions of his release from jail:

It could just be the lighting of the photo, but it almost looks as if his hair has been dyed blond. His haggard look indicates that jail apparently didn't agree with him.

The picture reminded me of one I'd seen of Richard Speck when he was in jail:

(Speck had dyed his hair while in prison, though it's not apparent from this photo. He also took estrogen so he could grow breasts; you might say he was a transgender pioneer.)

Note to older guys: don't grow your hair long and dye it blond, it's not a good look.

Oh, and don't do anything which will land you in the clink.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

An incredibly moronic assumption

Commenter Ga just wrote, after The Mask of Sanity post:

I imagine the omission in much material of the dysfunctional background in many sociopath's lives is because that is what people would prefer to see. It gives an average person satisfaction that evil is not often created but you have all these bad people who were just born bad because of genetics...and as long as you're not a sociopath, it means you must have been born "right" and can do no harm. You have few flaws when you compare yourself to an extreme case of badness...

The implication that society screws up and creates many of its own problems is disturbing to people who would believe they would always be naturally good in a predestined sort of way. What if you had been abused? Would you be the person you are now? These questions cause uncomfortable feelings to arise, so the premise is thrown out. It erases any possible feelings you too could screw up as a parent. As long as you are not a sociopath you must have "good person" genes and your child will do alright.

I replied: 

I suppose there's a certain amount of that mindset you describe, that people want to think that they would have been good no matter what. It reminds me a little of the way liberals believe that people from other eras should be judged by today's standards, as if had they been born into a slaveholding family in South Carolina back in 1821 they would have held the exact same values they hold now. It's moronic, actually. 

My guess is, if I'd been brought up by Edmund Kemper's mother (who made him sleep all alone in the basement, which he was terrified of, as a little boy), or with Charlie Manson's background (his mother once reportedly tried to sell him for a pitcher of beer), I'd be murderously inclined as well.

But the larger point is, our circumstances shape our viewpoints and personalities in all sorts of ways.

I've written before, here and here, among other places, about how silly it is to apply current moral standards to previous eras.

Full disclosure: had I been born in ancient Rome, I'm sure I would have thought going to the Coliseum to watch Christians get fed to the lions was a perfectly respectable entertainment.

Had I been born in Spain in the late 1400s, I would undoubtedly have thought torture necessary to get people to confess to having had intercourse with the Devil.

And had I been born either a slaveholder -- or a slave -- in the antebellum South, I would doubtless have thought slavery simply the natural order of things. 

Maybe all that acceptance would have betrayed a certain lack of imagination on my part. Maybe it would have showed a lack of moral fiber. Maybe it would have shown me to be stupid. 

But, stupid as I might be, I'm not so dumb as to think that had I been born in any of those times and places that I would somehow miraculously have all of my current sensibilities and opinions derived from living in 2017 America. 

Yet, that's what liberals seem to believe. The same liberals who tell us that there are no genetic differences between people -- or peoples -- when it comes to intelligence, seem to at the same time believe that political opinions are purely instinctive, i.e. genetic, and remain uninfluenced by environment.

The fact is, anybody who lived in Spain in the 1400s who started lecturing others about third wave feminism or white privilege would probably have gotten to experience the Inquisition firsthand.

And, after a while, they would surely have confessed to those concepts being the work of the Devil.

Frankly, I'm not so sure that they're not.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Now that David Cassidy is fair game........

Three weeks after David Cassidy's death on November 21, former model Samantha Fox announced that he had made an aggressive pass at her after she posed topless in one of his music videos.

Fox claims that she was disgusted to see that Cassidy had an erection while she was posing topless. Afterwards, during a dinner with her and her father, he evidently followed her into the ladies' room and kissed her while putting his hand on her breast and trying to put his other hand up her skirt.

She responded by kneeing him in the balls and elbowing him in the face.

What makes this story a little strange, apart from the fact that she would make this announcement right after his death, is that Fox says that as a teenager she had had a poster of Cassidy by her bed, and would kiss it every night before going to sleep.

In any case, dead people are no longer off limits to the #Metoo movement.

So, while we're at it, let's take a look at other men from the past. JFK was one of the most notorious rakes to ever live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He obviously needs to be completely discredited for his attitude toward women.

Likewise with FDR, Eisenhower, and LBJ, all of whom were known to have had mistresses while President. It's time to disavow their legacies as well.

Martin Luther King was a well known user of prostitutes. Time to repeal that holiday.

However, the #Metoo crowd should be relieved to know that we can leave the legacies of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and George W. Bush untainted, since none of them were known to have had a mistress during their Presidencies.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Trump's "Grab 'em by the pussy" comment

Here's Trump's infamous quote, word for word:

You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.

What most people seem to have ignored are the five words, "they let you do it." 

By definition, if they let you do it, it's consensual. And that was the whole point of Trump's boast. 

"Grab 'em by the pussy" isn't a particularly romantic formulation. And, taken out of context, it does imply a certain forcefulness. But it's true that if you're a star, women are far more likely to accept and even encourage awkward passes.

Trump wasn't entirely right, as we can see from all the famous people being taken down by #Metoo. But to deny that some women are dazzled by stardom is to deny human nature. 

Trump's comment may have shown what an egotistical buffoon he is, but it did not reveal him to be guilty of assault.

The real message of the #Metoo movement

The most recent men named in the mushrooming sex scandal are, Leonard Lopate (of WNYC radio):

Johnathan Schwartz (of WNYC radio):

Playwright Israel Horowitz:

Public radio personality John Hockenberry:

Conductor James Levine:

Congressman Trent Frank:

And Judge Alex Kozinski:

The real message of the #Metoo movement seems to be, "Don't make a pass at us if you're old or ugly, otherwise we'll scream bloody murder. But if you're good-looking, well, then it's okay."

 Isn't that lookism?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Al Franken

I'm not sorry to see Franken go, but his "crimes" didn't strike me as being particularly bad. He was widely lambasted for the picture he posed for with a sleeping Leeann Tweeden:

It was obviously meant as a joke, and not as a serious attempt at molestation. He's mugging for the camera as if to say, look at me, I'm a horny, sneaky, funny guy!

It wasn't particularly funny. And it was the kind of thing you'd expect from a high school student, not a successful comedian. But no matter how lame, it was still a joke.

And that the nation would take it so seriously in this #Metoo moment shows that we have collectively lost our sense of humor.

Though there may be more to it than that. As Steve Sailer pointed out today, even people in his own party can't stand Franken because he's such a jerk.

On TV he comes across as arrogant and self-satisfied. In person, off camera, he's supposed to be worse.

Back in 1999, he wrote a book titled Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot: And Other Observations. That pretty much sums up Franken's abrasive personality.

I always sort of hoped someone would write a book titled, Al Franken is an Ugly Obnoxious Dwarf: And Other Observations.

It would have been exactly what he deserved.

He finally got his deserved comeuppance today. Just maybe not for the right reason.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The tax bill

There's been a lot of recent talk about the new tax bill, the conflicting versions the House and Senate have proposed, whom it will benefit, and what its chances of passage are.

What the majority of the electorate wants is something that will be fair, bring jobs back to this country, and stimulate the economy enough so that revenues for the government don't decrease.

Of course, everyone has a different definition of what's fair. Poor people want rich people taxed more,  since they can afford it, and the rich feel that they already pay enough, with the top 1% paying 45.7% of all taxes and the bottom 60% of the country paying only 2%.

Both House and Senate plans lower taxes on all the existing income brackets. But as long as we have a graduated income tax, it seems unfair that a married couple making half a million a year pay the same rate as a hedge fund manager making 20 million a year. We should have new brackets, with higher rates, kicking in at 1, 2, 5, and 10 million a year.

People who make half a million a year are paupers compared to those who make ten.

The corporate tax rate definitely needs to be lowered -- not so that CEOs can make more money, but so that companies will stop reincorporating abroad, and even worse, running their profits through foreign shells. We currently have the highest rate in the world, which is partly why some domestic companies have become foreign ones. Moving the rate from 35% to 20% sounds about right. And, we shouldn't allow large companies to run their huge profits from elsewhere through countries with low taxes.

Almost everyone -- except Tim Cook and his tax lawyers -- can agree that allowing Apple to run its profits through Ireland so it can be taxed at 2% is not an ideal state of affairs.

While we're at it, we also need a tariff for products from American corporations which manufacture them abroad. We also need to respond in kind to countries which either put tariffs on our goods or dump goods here (think China).

The Right tends to look at inheritance taxes from the viewpoint of the parents, who worked hard and paid taxes on their income and want to leave something for their loved ones. The Left looks at them from the children's viewpoint: it's unfair that some children get more unearned bounty than others. Both sides have merit.

So, the inheritance tax should probably be kept as is, with roughly five million passed along tax free and the rest taxed. If we abolish the inheritance tax -- as Trump wants -- we'll move toward feudalism. America's strength has always been its social mobility.

The House wants to cap the home mortgage deduction at $500,000, the Senate wants to keep it at a million. The House version is better: why should someone get a tax deduction for living in a mansion?

Eliminating the state and local tax deduction seems politically-motivated: the highest state tax rates are in blue states. But putting pressure on these states to get their budgets in order isn't a bad idea. (It's not entirely coincidence that these are also the states with the highest deficits, and the highest unfunded pension liabilities.)

Taxing colleges is a great idea. Harvard has roughly 37 billion: why should it be allowed to operate tax free? College tuition has way outstripped inflation over the past 30 years, as student loans have proliferated and colleges themselves have gotten bloated and fat. At the same time, a typical college education now consists largely of pc propaganda, the opposite of teaching students to think for themselves. Tax the rich propagandists.

If you ever doubt how loudly money talks, consider this: the carried interest deduction for hedge fund managers isn't even up for discussion. This provision basically means that hedge fund managers get taxed for their work at the same rate as their investors, the long term capital gains rate. There is no one who understands this who approves -- beside hedge fund managers and the politicians they contribute to.

That deduction should be done away with, immediately.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sagittal crests, Part IV

Saw an article this morning about Julia Jacobson, 37, an Army veteran whose body was just found buried with her dog in a shallow grave near Riverside, California. She had been missing since September.

It was also reported that her ex-husband, Galen Ware, had been arrested for her murder (back in October). Here's a picture of them:

And here's an earlier picture of Ware from his football-playing days at Arizona State University:

I keep seeing pictures of powerfully built men (Ware played cornerback, and was listed as 5'11", 190) who are violently inclined who seem to have vestigial sagittal crests.

Maybe it's coincidence, maybe not.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

"The Mask of Sanity"

I recently read Hervey Cleckley's The Mask of Sanity, the first book about sociopathy (and one which had been on my reading list for a long time). It was recommended by commenter GUINEA HENWEED, who has said he's a psychopath. (He provided this free link to the book.) A self-proclaimed psychopath, by the way, is someone you'll almost never encounter in real life.

Cleckley lived from 1903 to 1984, and published the book in 1941. He was a psychiatrist who first worked at the Veterans Administration, and subsequently at University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. It was there that he came across number of apparently sane people who'd been committed by their families after repeated brushes with the law.

Cleckley deserves to be called the father of the field of sociopathy; before him, sociopaths had never really been defined as a specific syndrome. Previously, the phrase "morally insane" had been applied to sociopaths, but not much was really known about them. (Individual sociopaths were more likely to have simply been termed evil, or shameless, or villainous, or, even earlier, as being "possessed by the devil" or some such.)

Cleckley came into contact with enough of them to realize that there was something at work there that couldn't be classified as ordinary insanity, yet wasn't quite normal, either. He noticed the traits these people all seemed to have in common, and described what he saw in straightforward terms.

What struck me most about the book was the way Cleckley's experience at that hospital colored his perception of sociopaths.

All the people he described were inexplicably irresponsible, and most had drinking problems. They would do things like go on a bender and wander aimlessly around the countryside, then be found lying in the woods somewhere. They could never hold onto a job, let alone stick with long term goals. When younger, almost all were truants from school. Many loved practical jokes. And they would write bad checks, commit petty thefts, and freeload.

Almost all of the cases that Cleckley saw had parents who worried about them and were mystified by their behavior, so brought them to the psychiatric ward of University Hospital.

What was missing from Cleckley's descriptions was the poison. I've never known a sociopath who wasn't consumed with jealousy, envy, spite, and hatred. I've always said that the two surest giveaways of sociopathy are serial killing and a constant, willful dishonesty; but endlessly overflowing with ill will would come in a close third.

At the time Cleckley wrote his book, they hadn't yet made the connection between sociopaths and serial killing. Had he worked in an institution for the criminally insane, and had he dealt with sociopathic killers, his experience -- and his book -- would have undoubtedly taken on a different hue.

Cleckley alluded to subjects who got into numerous street brawls or arguments, yet he seemed to attribute this to the alcohol they had consumed and the company they kept. Had he actually witnessed those brawls, and seen how they got started, as opposed to just seeing their aftermath, his view might have shifted.

Cleckley also never touched on the extreme schadenfreude which causes so many sociopaths to actively undermine their colleagues and acquaintances, purely for pleasure of watching them fail.

He also never mentioned the inherent emotional falseness that accompanies sociopathy much of the time. Sociopaths are forever laying claim to some noble motivation, or tender feeling, which they are simply incapable of.

Also missing was any sense of the dysfunctional backgrounds from which sociopaths usually spring. The idea that most sociopaths come from loving families is simply misleading. In my experience, even with the ones from outwardly successful families, something is always missing, and that something is usually a bond between the mother and child. (In other words, love is absent.)

Yet Cleckley generally described the sociopaths' families as concerned and worried about their wayward child. Cleckley's views seem to have been skewed by the fact that University Hospital was the type of place where a concerned relative would take the black sheep of the family.

He did capture sociopathic egotism. In the various case histories, he described how they strutted about, puffed up with pride, and how they see themselves as being better than everyone else.

He also described the absence of shame or even embarrassment in their personalities well. And he did recognize how sociopaths are easily bored.

Clerkly also painted a vivid picture of the way sociopaths come across when you first meet them -- even more reliable, sane, honest, stable, and straightforward than most people. And he recognized how extremely that contrasts that with the way they actually are (far less so in every regard).

Cleckley made an effort to describe his patients' appearances, and how that affected one's view of them. He even discussed their attractiveness in a way that people these days are reluctant to do for fear of being labeled superficial.

And he described perfectly the manner in which sociopaths expect you to believe them no matter how outrageous their claims, and how they lie in such a wholesomely convincing manner that you're inclined to believe them. And he captures their utter lack of embarrassment when caught in a lie.

Cleckley mentioned something I hadn't been aware of, but which makes perfect sense: sociopaths are far more likely to make melodramatic threats of suicide, which they almost never follow through with.

Given that Cleckley's contact with sociopaths was limited to those who were institutionalized, he also seemed to have little sense of how sociopaths can achieve success as well. In his practice, he would never have come across, for instance, CEO's, the type who masquerade as pillars of the community, and pay lip service to all the right values, as so many sociopaths do.

He just met the feckless ones who wound up in the nuthouse, whose families cared enough about them to actually put them in a private sanatorium. These, he gave a great description of. But his mix of patients wasn't exactly a typical cross section of the sociopathic population.

At the end of the book, on page 364, Cleckley lists "failure to follow any life plan" as one of the  defining characteristic of sociopaths. Had he met, say, Bill or Hillary Clinton, they would undoubtedly have shifted his opinion on that matter. There are plenty of sociopaths -- in Washington DC, on Wall Street, and in Hollywood -- who have very adroitly realized their life's ambitions in a way that ordinary people are not able to, simply because they are more skillful at manipulation and shamelessly self-promoting.

But, people like that generally don't get sent to psychiatric institutions of the sort where Cleckley practiced. They are, instead, lauded as great human beings by those who don't understand sociopathy, or who have something to gain from the sociopaths.

But this is basically a minor quibble. Hervey Cleckley is unquestionably the father of the field, and deserves immense credit for having been the first to define sociopathy.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Baby doll voices, Part II

Yesterday morning Rona commented:

Baby doll voice in a grown woman is so disturbing I tend to categorize these women as of questionably sanity. It sends a signal of something being not quite right about a person. Maybe I'm prejudiced because it creeps me out, I wonder if they did a study comparing baby voiced women to normal women.

I replied:

It's not really a question of sanity so much as it is of just phoniness. It's sort of like when women thrust their breasts at you and pout and act overtly sexual: I've always found that to be a big turnoff. And the baby doll voice usually goes hand in hand with that kind of behavior. It's almost as if these women think they're appealing to the child molester in every man when they act like faux little girls. What I always seem to hear, though, is a faint echo of, "Daddy, why did you leave when I was a little girl? Wasn't I cute enough for you?"

It's sad, but simultaneously off-putting.

It had never really occurred to me before I wrote that reply yesterday, but when you really think about it, what exactly is a woman trying to accomplish with that voice? (I'm not talking about women with naturally squeaky little voices, only those with whom it's an affectation.) If she thinks that by sounding like a little girl she's going to be more attractive to you, what she's implying is that, at heart, you're a child molester. 

And women who speak in an effusively syrupy-sweet voice, which often overlaps with baby doll/sex kitten voice, are almost guaranteed to be the opposite. 

Whenever I hear that voice, I just assume there's a viper lurking inside.

Update, three days later: I realized, after being given several examples of women who speak that way, that I was overstating the case; they're not all vipers. I should have said, when you hear a voice like that, it's anybody's guess as to who's behind it. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Today's show

The Washington Post, among other outlets, quoted Matt Lauer's recent words to Bill O'Reilly, on the subject of O'Reilly's firing:

“Think about those . . . women and what they did. They came forward and filed complaints against the biggest star at the network they worked at. Think of how intimidating that must have been, how nerve-racking that must have been. Doesn't that tell you how strongly they felt about the way they were treated?”

You have to wonder exactly what Lauer was feeling as he said those words. Was he filled with self-righteous fervor? Was he actually angry, at any level, with O'Reilly? Was he mostly thinking about how wonderfully moral he appeared? Or did he feel, one would hope, just a little sheepish? 

The comment comes at 4:08 of this video if you want to watch it. (The line was actually delivered fairly blandly; it's the words themselves that are damning, of O'Reilly, and even more so, of Lauer.)

Think about that video the next time you see some sanctimonious liberal on TV. 

The other thing that was stood out about today's scandal was that Lauer evidently could lock the door to his office with a button located under his desk. 

How exactly did he arrange that? 

Can you imagine phoning up Human Resources, or maintenance, and asking for that to be installed? How do you justify it?

"Uh, well, you see, I'm in a lot of important meetings where, uh, I don't want to be disturbed. We're, uh, discussing sensitive matters and, uh, I don't want people to feel that their confidentiality is going to be, you know, compromised or anything. And, you gotta understand, sometimes I just don't have time to get up from my desk to lock it."

I guess being able to lock your office door from your desk must be some kind of liberal thing. 

Kadian Noble

Actress Kadian Noble has brought suit against Harvey Weinstein. The relevant quote from today's article in the NY Post:

British actress Kadian Noble said Tuesday she was head-over-heels impressed when she first met Weinstein at an event in London because he was hanging out with model Campbell and had megastar Oprah “swinging off his arm.”

“I thought, obviously, this man has something amazing in store for me,” she said during a teary-eyed press conference in Manhattan to discuss the sex trafficking lawsuit she filed a day earlier against Weinstein in Manhattan federal court.

Instead, Weinstein used promises of career advancement to lure the actress to his hotel room in Cannes, France, where he forced himself on her, she said.

I have no idea whether there's any merit to Noble's lawsuit. It seems to me that whether Weinstein was socializing with Naomi Campbell and Oprah is irrelevant. I wouldn't be surprised if he did hold out the sugar plum of acting roles in order to entice her to his hotel room. And it certainly wouldn't be out of character for him to have been aggressive about obtaining sex from her, either. 

But, I obviously have no idea about what went on between the two of them. 

What made the article interesting to me was Noble's picture:

This is a classic sociopathic pose: wiping away a nonexistent tear. Look closely at that photo, and see if you see any evidence of liquid emerging from her eye, or on her cheek. And note that her eye makeup remains unsmudged. 

Again, I have no idea about the merits of the case. And I don't know anything about Noble other than that she brought this suit.

But I do know a little about people who pretend to wipe away nonexistent tears. 

Music to his ears

Now that Matt Lauer has been taken down by the sexual harassment tidal wave sweeping the nation, it's hard not to wonder how Harvey Weinstein reacts each time he hears about another man being brought low.

He must absolutely love it, in a misery-loves-company sort of way. For him, each new scandal must be like a mug of hot cocoa on a cold winter day.

Each time a new figure gets accused of some sort of sexual misbehavior, his own crimes fade just a little bit more.

The accusations that have been made against various men range from the ridiculously inconsequential (dirty talk and relatively mild overtures) to the serious (actual assault and rape, and not just as defined by the third wave feminists).

The more actual assaults there've been, the smaller a piece of the overall picture Weinstein's crimes were. And the more silly accusations that get made, the stronger the backlash will be when enough people finally realize that to some extent, men are simply being penalized for being, at worst, ill-mannered.

And both of those things benefit Weinstein, if only in a vague and indirect way.

Of course, Weinstein is reportedly guilty of several rapes, along with a number of other less serious, but boorish behaviors.

So, whatever backlash ensues won't help him.

Nonetheless, he must delight in each new scandal. Maybe, in his own twisted way, he even takes "credit" for them coming to light.

After he gets out of prison, and after he settles the various lawsuits, how will Weinstein present himself? You have to think there's going to be a certain amount of reinvention involved. Maybe he'll become seriously religious, a la Ivan Boesky. Maybe he'll try to present himself as one who has seen the light and repented, and even become an advocate for women. Or, maybe he just avoids all publicity.

It'll be interesting to see.

Monday, November 27, 2017

If I were Lindsey Graham's PR guy.....

Lindsey Graham was in the news again recently for seeming to favor the Democratic candidate over Roy Moore in the Alabama Senatorial race. Earlier, he had said about Moore, "I've got a general rule, if you can't be in a mall, you shouldn't be in the Senate."

I doubt I'm the only one who heard that and then wondered what could be said about some of the places Graham has been.

Which got me to thinking: if I were Graham's PR guy, I'd hire three or four women to bring a sexual harassment suit against him. I'd have them tearfully relate how he practically tore their clothes off and  almost raped them in his Senate office after-hours. And I'd have them recite similar stories, just to give them some credibility.

The timing is perfect, as the #Metoo movement is probably peaking right about now.

More to the point, Graham is probably the only Senator whose image would actually be improved by such accusations.

I'm also guessing his South Carolina constituents would find them, at some level, reassuring.

Imagine how good Graham would look, standing there at the podium, vehemently denying the accusations.

"I categorically deny all these scurrilous accusations against me! I want to promise you right now that these young ladies are practicing revisionist history -- they were plenty willing at the time, believe me. Now, I've always tried to be a gentleman and not talk about my love life, even when that led to some ridiculously off-base speculation about me, but I'm afraid these women are forcing my hand. If I get called in front of an ethics committee, much as I'd hate to do it, I will recite chapter and verse on each of those seductions. And I can guaran-goddamn-tee you, those were seductions, and not rapes. I have never, ever used my powerful position, nor my immense physical strength, to pressure a woman into having sex with me."

"Oh, and by the way, I'm sure I can get plenty of other women as character witnesses to testify as to what I'm like when it comes to, uh, matters of romance."

Then, after a suitable interval, I'd have those young ladies withdraw their accusations, or, at least, tone them down considerably.

The other thing I'd do as Graham's PR guy is feed him a few steroids. If he didn't want to take them, well, I'd just slip them into his coffee. That might carve some of the softness off of those estrogenic cheeks of his --

-- and reshape his image a bit. Who knows, the steroids might even change his mannerisms. So that instead of sounding petulantly -- yet breezily -- aggrieved by those false accusations, he could thunder against them as he pounded the podium with his fist, testosterone oozing from his every pore.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Supreme Allah, Jr.

An article in the NY Post yesterday described the tragic and senseless killing of local anti-crime activist Shuri Henry in Newark, NJ.

It's hard not to be struck by the name of her 18-year-old killer: Supreme Allah, Jr.

Does a kid with a name like that have any chance in life? Wouldn't you sort of half expect him to develop a misguided sense of omnipotence?

Presumably, if he's a Junior, he has a father with the same name. Did his father change his own name to Supreme Allah, or was that his given name as well? (I'm guessing the former.) How many delusions of grandeur did the father have, if he did adopt that name?

It's not as if the Muslims need any more bad publicity, but it's tempting to file this murder under the heading of terrorism. That last name implies jihad, even if the first name has sort of a black twist to it.

All in all, a sad situation.

Shuri Henry, who was trying to do some good in the community, can do so no longer. And her feral 18-year-old murderer will be housed and fed at taxpayer expense for the next few decades.

Baby doll voices

I've never, ever, known a grown woman who affected a baby doll, sex kittenish voice who didn't come from a screwed up background; usually, at the very least, the father was missing.

I've previously said that "gay voice" is the surest giveaway of homosexuality in men.

Sex kitten/baby doll voice is probably the surest giveaway of phoniness in women.

It makes perfect sense: phony voice = phony person.

That rule applied to Madonna's English accent, Hillary's black accent, and Obama's black accent.


I got a comment from someone who called herself "Redhead Girl" recently on the post about Dr. Michelle Oakley, and that got me to thinking about how I've simply never found redheads attractive. I'm not suggesting there's any rhyme or reason to this: attraction is purely subjective, so trying to analyze it in some superficially objective way is essentially silly.

(Not that that's stopped me in the past.)

In my case, it may have something to do with the fact that for others, red hair is a plus, and so I've had various redheads pointed out to me as beautiful, and I always think, nah, with those features, if she were a brunette, she'd be pretty ordinary-looking, so what's the big deal?

To prove myself right, I Google-imaged "beautiful redheads." I kept scrolling through the pictures, and thinking, aha, I was right, these women simply don't attract me. Even though some actually were beautiful, which means that maybe it's the hair color itself which puts me off.

Then, I ran across this picture --

-- and actually got that old, breathless, high school feeling of having a crush.

Sometimes, it's gratifying to be proven wrong.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The revenge of the shiksas

During this ongoing, ever burgeoning, season of sexual harassment recriminations, there have been a few themes. But one of the ones it's impossible to miss is that the majority of men accused have been Jewish.

Not all, of course. A fair number of those tarred, like Roy Price, John Lasseter, Kevin Spacey, Steve Jurvetson, Ed Westwick, Terry Richardson, Chris Savino, and Charlie Rose, are gentiles.

But over 50% of the prominent men ensnared in the recent wave of scandals have come from the 2.4% of the population which is Jewish: Harvey Weinstein, Brett Rattner, Oliver Stone, Steven Seagal, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven, Mike Oreskes, Leon Wieseltier, Louis C.K., Mark Helperin, Glenn Thrush, Al Franken, Murray Miller, Andrew Kreisberg, Jeffrey Tambor, and James Toback.

What do we make this? (Other than to pretend we don't notice, which is the socially acceptable thing to do.) Since this upheaval has been about men who've abused their positions of power, one easy conclusion is about who holds the power in this country. Especially in Hollywood and the press, where the scandals have centered.

Does it say something about Jewish attitudes toward the goyim that they considered the gentile women they hit on to be suitable prey? (If we are to take the feminist viewpoint here, "prey" is the right word.)

Most of the women these men targeted were gentiles. Mark Oppenheimer characterized Harvey Weinstein's trespasses as being peculiarly Portnoy-like in Tablet Magazine:

Better than perhaps any other author, Roth captured the particular anxiety of the Jewish American man in the twentieth century, finally coming into power but, having not grown up with it, unsure of what he’s supposed to do now. All those years craving unattainable Gentiles, but never before the means to entice them. The result is Alexander Portnoy of Portnoy’s Complaint, a grown man whose emotional and sexual life is still all one big performance piece, just as it had been when he was a teenager and pleasured himself with a piece of liver....

Harvey is cut from the same cloth. Growing up in Queens, he fantasized of fame and fortune, and, once he got them, he struggled to maintain them by building himself into a larger-than-life figure. He yelled at employees like he was a studio boss from the 1920s—the only thing missing was a riding crop. He ran Oscars campaigns like they used to in Old Hollywood. And he harassed women not necessarily to use them as instruments of his pleasure, but to use them as instruments of his power.

It's a little ironic that for the past half century, feminism has been largely led by Jewish women, yet most of the men caught in its latest iteration have been Jewish. It's doubtful that Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, Susan Brownmiller, Naomi Wolf, Gloria Allred, Andrea Dworkin, Betty Friedan, Susan Sontag, Wendy Wasserstein and company started out by saying, "Okay, we're going to tear down the Jewish power structure in this country!"

It was the WASP power structure that many of these ladies had in their sights back in the 60's. But what they set in motion has come back to bite them, or, at least, their sons.

Because just as surely as first wave feminism begat second wave feminism, the latter begat third wave feminism. And it's the third wave that has redefined the ordinary pass as an "unwanted sexual advance," then redefined that as "sexual assault." (This is not to say that actual sexual assaults don't take place, merely that an attempt at a kiss -- or talking dirty -- is not a rape.)

It's also ironic that so many of the men caught in this net have been prominent liberals. It's almost as if the more lip service you pay to feminism, the more lip service you expect from pretty young women.

(It's been speculated that this is all a calculated preamble to impeaching Trump for similar sins; but if so, it's an awfully roundabout way to accomplish that.)

Jewish sexuality is no different from goyim sexuality. (The only possible twist there is that masturbating in front of a woman, at least when not in prison, seems to be a peculiarly Jewish thing.)

But back to the larger question: are Jewish attitudes towards the goyim different from non-Jews' attitudes towards Jews? Is there a certain lack of respect, a certain lack of consideration, that these powerful Jewish men showed towards the good-looking shiksas they surrounded themselves with? ("Shiksa" was originally a Yiddish term meaning, according to Wiki, something impure, or an abomination, or an object of loathing.)

There may be some truth to the difference in attitudes. Although it's not talked about in polite company, Jewish ethnocentrism is a far stronger group ethic than, say, Anglo ethnocentrism. (Anglo ethnocentrism is invariably referred to as "racism.") But, it's also true that powerful men -- of whatever ethnicity -- will always use their power to get more women, one way or another. That happens everywhere, with everyone, all the time, and has always been the case.

This brings us to another question: are the "victims" (some real, some less so) who are now striking back motivated partly by resentment towards the current Jewish power structure?


Another theme it's hard not to notice, which I've mentioned before, is that a lot of the men caught up in this scandal been named have been undeniably ugly. And, a lot of them have been unmistakably Jewish-looking at the same time. It seems unfair that a handsome guy and an ugly guy can behave in exactly same manner, and one is accused of sexual harassment while the other simply enjoys a good time.

What do we make of that?

So what were the shiksas' thought processes, exactly? ("Ugh, I wouldn't have given this ugly dwarf the time of day in high school, and he thinks because he's a powerful producer now I'm gonna blow him? No way!")

Another possibility: even if they weren't anti-Semitic before, might their experiences with Harvey, Brett, and their ilk possibly have nudged them in that direction?

It's hard to say. All these factors are intertwined, and many of the women in the casting couch parade were willing participants. And for a fair number of these women, their own thought processes probably aren't clear even to them. (Consider Rose McGowan.) Actresses generally aren't known for their mental stability and rationality.

In any case, they do seem to be getting their revenge.

And it's the best entertainment Hollywood has given us in a while.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Glenn Thrush, the perfect NY Times reporter

Business Insider reported today that the NY Times has suspended its prominent White House correspondent Glenn Thrush today because of allegations of sexual harassment against him by four separate women in a Vox article. 

The most revealing excerpt from the BI article: 

Laura McGann, the author of Vox's article, said Thrush put his hand on her thigh and suddenly started kissing her when the two were at a bar in Washington, DC, five years ago. At the time, both worked for Politico.

McGann said she rejected his advances and left the bar. She said a male Politico colleague recently told her about a conversation he had with Thrush the next day in which Thrush said McGann had come onto him at the bar and that he had "gently shut it down."

The colleague told McGann, she said, that Thrush often told that same story with different female colleagues as the subject and that Thrush painted himself as the "grown-up" who stopped things from escalating.

This story reveals the character of Thrush perfectly: what kind of guy gets turned down by a woman, then tells all their colleagues the next day that he turned her down? 

One who is willing to take the truth and twist it 180 degrees in an effort to make himself look good. Note that Thrush not only falsely paints himself as the object of desire, but gives himself credit for tact as well: he didn't just shut McGann down, he did so "gently."

What a gentleman!

It's sort of hard to miss the parallel here. The New York Times, too, covers the news by twisting the truth around till it's unrecognizable, all the while disingenuously claiming the moral high ground. 

You can say that at this point the Thrush scandal is merely a "he said she said" situation. But really, with four different women coming forward, it's a "he said they said" situation. And I believe them.  

Especially since Thrush evidently told that same story several times, each time trying to impress his colleagues with tales of how these women lusted after him. 

It would be bad enough if he regaled his colleagues with these tall tales if he were telling them about anonymous women he met at a bar. But he was telling them about one of their fellow reporters, who'd have to work with them afterwards. 

As the original article in Vox pointed out, when the Mark Halperin/MSNBC scandal broke last month, Thrush wrote:

“Young people who come into a newsroom deserve to be taught our trade, given our support and enlisted in our calling — not betrayed by little men who believe they are bigger than the mission.”

Vox quoted a young woman who'd met him:

“He kept saying he’s an advocate for women and women journalists,” a 23-year-old woman told me, recounting an incident with Thrush from this past June. “That’s how he presented himself to me. He tried to make himself seem like an ally and a mentor.”

She paused. “Kind of ironic now.”

Actually, it's not all that ironic, if you're familiar with the Times.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Life is like a well constructed screenplay

It is said that in a well constructed drama, all of the action must be character-driven, and that every word out of each character's mouth could have been spoken only by him.

It's amazing the extent to which that holds true in real life. Think of the people you know. When was the last time one of them acted out of character? Smart people tend to act smart, dumb people act dumb, lame people act lame, nice people behave themselves, and selfish people act obnoxiously. Everyone seems to have a certain set level of pretension and subterfuge which they consistently weave into their speech.

All the time. 

People have varying levels of intelligence, which they never exceed (although they can often fall short of it). They have a certain level of narcissism, which also never deserts them, and a certain detachment (which is sort of the opposite of narcissism).

Whenever I hear a dullard say something insightful and/or funny, my first reaction is always: I wonder where he heard that?

People can put on acts for a short while, but they always revert to form. Everybody just has a certain way of.....being. Life is like a particularly well constructed screenplay that way, even if it usually lacks dramatic tension. (And, usually, heroic characters.)

I sometimes like to play a game at dinner: I suggest everybody act like one of the other people at the table, and say things that only that person would say. The game usually devolves into a situation where someone won't play by the rules: if I say something obviously stupid which the person I'm role-playing has actually said, that person will sometimes get angry and, whether or not he's supposed to be playing me, say, "Oh, I'm John and I'm a stupid asshole."

Which, believe it or not, I actually don't say. (I may act like one from time to time; but I never 'fess up to it in quite those words.)

Anyway, it's a fun game, and I recommend it, with the caveat that if you play it with someone unable to take joke, be prepared for anger.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sociopath alert: Grace Mugabe

An article in yesterday's NY Post highlighted the behavior of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace.

At first glance, it might seem difficult to tease out what is truly sociopathic when such behavior might be hard to distinguish from the difficult situation in Zimbabwe. But Grace Mugabe's behavior illustrates so many different facets of sociopathy that it's impossible not to come to the conclusion that she is one.

A few excerpts from the article, in italics, with my comments in between:

Meet the woman whose insatiable appetite for power set in motion Zimbabwe’s ongoing military coup: First Lady Grace Mugabe.

[Both "insatiable" and "appetite for power" are, at the least, yellow flags for sociopathy. Combine the two, and they become a red flag.]

The 52-year-old shopaholic, who has earned the nickname “Gucci Grace” thanks to her taste for designer clothes, allegedly convinced her hubby — dictator “President” Robert Mugabe — to sack his heir apparent, ushering in a military backlash that left the 93-year-old despot under house arrest while she high-tailed it out of the African country to parts unknown. 

[A "shopaholic" is one with no restraints on self-indulgence, a sociopathic specialty -- especially when spending ill-gotten gains. And note that when her husband got into trouble, Grace didn't have the loyalty to stick around.]

“I say to Mr. Mugabe, you should . . . leave me to take over your post,” the silver-tongued Grace said in a church meeting, according to the The Globe and Mail. “Have no fear. If you want to give me the job, give it to me freely.”

Then, she gave him the not-so-subtle instruction to ax his vice-president and right-hand man of 40 years, Emmerson “Crocodile” Mnangagwa — so-named because the beast is his clan’s totem and because his erstwhile political resilience has been likened to the leathery reptile’s skin.

“The snake must be hit on the head,” Grace hissed, referring to Mnangagwa.

[Sociopaths always project their own character traits onto others.]

Within a few days, Robert delivered a proverbial crocodile-skin handbag to spendthrift Grace by ousting longtime ally Mnangagwa. The plot cleared the runway for his fashionista wife’s ascent to leader — until the military intervened Tuesday.

Grace’s tale is equal parts Imelda Marcos and Lady MacBeth, a profligate first lady who has incurred a struggling nation’s ire while manipulating her powerful husband.

[Good comparisons: Imelda Marcos was at the very least an extremely narcissistic personality, and possibly a sociopath, and Lady MacBeth, while fictional, is often cited as the ultimate exemplar of devious manipulativeness.]

The South African native’s rise began in the early 1990s, when she was a single mother and secretary in Robert’s typing pool.

“He just started talking to me, asking me about my life. ‘Were you married before?’ Things like that,” she told South African journalist Dali Tambo in 2013. “I didn’t know it was leading somewhere. I was quite a shy person, very shy.” Robert’s wife at the time, Sally Hayfron, was still dying of kidney failure when the president first bedded Grace — who is 41 years his junior — even though it “appeared to some as cruel,” he said.

[No one who was ever shy demands to be named President of her country. The fact that she felt obliged to misrepresent her own character like that in an effort to disguise her own sociopathy is typical of sociopaths.]

“She happened to be one of the nearest and she was a divorcee herself. And so it was,” he told Tambo in the same interview.

In the years since, she has insinuated herself deeper and deeper into politics, executing by 2016 what critic and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called a “palace coup.”

[Palace intrigues are another sociopathic specialty.]

Now she is considered next in line for the presidency, a position military allies of Mnangagwa found so detestable that they took the nation’s capital Harare by force this week days and imprisoned Robert in his own home. Critics fear her inauguration would only accelerate decades of mismanagement by her husband....

[I]n the three decades since [Mugabe gained power], he has raided his country’s resources, leaving most of his fellow countrymen near starvation while he and his family live in opulence....

Meanwhile, the flamboyant first lady allegedly blew $120,000 on a 2002 shopping junket to Paris that got her banned from entering the US and EU member states as punishment for wastrel spending while Zimbabweans back home went hungry.

[That much money could have fed a lot of Zimbabweans for a long time, a fact which didn't seem to bother Grace.]

Aside from her exceedingly pricey tastes, she is notorious for her shrewdness and outsize intensity.

["Shrewdness" is characteristic of sociopaths: they are forever scheming for self-advancement. And "outsize intensity" is another way of saying "without scruple or inhibition."]

In October, she had to publicly deny trying to poison rival Mnangagwa after his claims that an August bout of food poisoning was actually the result of an assassination attempt...

[Who knows whether Mnangagwa's claims are true; but if they are, it would not be surprising.]

Grace allegedly savaged South African model Gabriella Engels with an electrical cord in August after she found the hottie partying with her Robert-sired sons, Robert Jr. and Chatunga, in a Johannesburg hotel. “She flipped and just kept beating me with the plug. Over and over,” Engels said at the time. “I had no idea what was going on . . . I needed to crawl out of the room before I could run away.”

Photos showed a gash on Engels’ head that required 14 stitches and bruises on her thigh. Grace, who claimed the “intoxicated and unhinged” stunner lunged at her with a knife, never faced charges because South African officials granted her diplomatic immunity.

[What incentive did Grace have for attacking Engels? Grace is a good-looking woman, but most would consider Engels more so; was she jealous of Engels for that reason? Was she simply jealous that Engels was having fun? Did she just think that Engels wasn't good enough for her sons? Or did she suspect Engels was, as she herself had been, a scheming vixen hoping to glom on to some of the Mugabe power and riches?]

Robert reportedly lobbied South African President Jacob Zuma to have the situation “solved amicably,” though Zuma denied any role in the proceedings.

Back in 2009, Grace reportedly chased down British photographer Richard Jones and pummeled him in the face while her bodyguards held his arms behind his back — all because he tried to take a picture of her outside a Hong Kong hotel.

[Again, the lack of self-restraint and viciousness.]

Her blood feud with Mnangagwa goes back at least to 2014, when she signaled her entry into politics by taking over the women’s league in the ruling ZANU-PF political party where they were both members.

At the same time, she raised eyebrows by announcing she had obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Zimbabwe after just three months of enrollment there in what became a national joke.

[Embroidering on one's academic credentials is a common theme with sociopaths.]

“I feel sorry for the University of Zimbabwe dragging its name into the mud and trashing its credibility as a place of excellence,” quipped longtime party member Simba Makoni, according to South Africa’s Independent Online news outlet.

Grace’s thesis was never made publicly available.

The striking thing about Grace Mugabe's sociopathy is how, despite the fact that she's from a completely different culture, it takes so many similar avenues. The lack of self restraint, the unbridled spending, the lust for power, the ability to ingratiate herself and seduce a powerful sponsor, the jealousy, the viciousness, the complete lack of inhibition, the academic fakery.

Cultures vary, but sociopathy is a constant.