Search Box

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Those jacked Brazilians

Seven weeks ago I wrote a post about how Brazilian Nicholas Santos, age 36, had just swum a 50 meter butterfly in 22.61, the fastest time in history in a textile suit. I segued from there into an description of how steroids mold the body.

Last night reported that Brazilian Henrique Martins, 25, had swum a 50 meter butterfly in 22.70, the third fastest textile time in history. 

Here is a picture of the 5'10" Martins from 2012 (he's on the left):

And here is another picture of him from circa 2012:

Here is a more recent shot of Martins:

You've got to hand it to those Brazilians. They really know how to put on the muscle.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Gwyneth Paltrow as metaphor for Hollywood

Gwyneth Paltrow has a well known lifestyle site, Goop, in which she touts her expensive tastes to the hoi polloi. Two of her better known quotes:

"I'd rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin."

“I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”

(In other words, it's much tougher to be a movie star who works several weeks a year and has nannies and tons of money than it is to be a regular mom.)

These and other quotes show how out of touch Paltrow is, how little sense she has of what life is like for the vast majority.

Her political quotes are, given her occupation and lifestyle, unsurprising: when Paltrow addressed Obama at a DNC fundraiser at her home in Brentwood in 2014, she gushed that she was "one of his biggest fans, if not the biggest," and that he was "an incredible role model." (Was there a touch of unintended condescension in that characterization?) 

She then said, "You're so handsome I can't speak properly." (Her personal long term relationships have been with Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, and Chris Martin, none of whom bear the slightest resemblance to Obama.)

Paltrow may now be the widely mocked actress in Hollywood.

But really, is she so different from all the other celebrities who grace us with their wisdom?  

While social media tends to focus on Paltrow, practically every other Hollywood activist is equally out of touch. And when they speak up, it's usually all about burnishing their own image as "good" people.

When Leo DiCaprio and John Travolta lecture us about how we have to cut back our carbon footprint while they travel by private jet, are they really so different from Gwyneth?

When Whoopi Goldberg and Alec Baldwin and Miley Cyrus threaten to leave the country if the Republican is elected, but somehow always seem to end up staying, are they so different?

When the women of The View gush over Barack Obama's looks, are they so different?

When Paltrow talks about the high class products she uses, she's merely trying to show what a classy, discerning, right-thinking person she is. Just like all those other Hollywood celebs with their virtue-signaling political opinions. 

Paltrow is not exceptionally pretentious; she is merely representative.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The National Geographic perspective

When I was around ten, my parents subscribed to the National Geographic, and I would always look through it and marvel at the different cultures it showed. How exotic they all seemed.

I would look at the pictures of women peering out from their burkhas in Afghanistan, and think, don't they get hot? And, you can't even tell if they're pretty or not! But it all seemed so mysterious, and different, and, in its own way, appealing.

I would look at the pictures of the Tarahumara Indians who had that 50 mile race in which they had to kick a wooden ball the entire way, and I would think, what superhuman endurance they must have!

I would look at pictures of South Americans in their native garb and think, how festive!

I would look at pictures of the sacred cows wandering around Indian streets and think, they're so silly -- we would never have sacred cows in this country -- we're too commonsensical!

I would look at pictures of the New Years' festivities in China with lines of men inside dragon floats, making them swirl around, and think, that looks like fun!

I would see pictures of Masai tribesmen and think, it must take a lot of courage and skill to kill a lion with only a spear!

I would look at pictures of the Uro fishermen on their reed boats on Lake Titicaca and think, what a funny name for a lake! (C'mon, I was ten.)

I would see pictorial representations of Aztec and Mayan human sacrifices and think, wow, those Central Americans sure were bloodthirsty!

All these cultures were foreign, and different, and primitive, and often, dangerous. So, to this ten-year-old, they all seemed cool and exciting.

But to this sixty-three-year-old, those peoples now seem best experienced from a distance, perhaps through a picture magazine, or as a tourist, if one is adventurous enough. When people from those cultures move to the US, many seem to combine the worst of their own cultures with the worst of this country. Low IQ's and lack of respect for human life do not always mix well with easily available welfare and access to guns.

Some of those beautiful -- or not so beautiful -- Muslim women may be inclined to blow us up. I can't entirely blame them, given that the US exploded over twenty-six thousand bombs in Muslim countries last year alone. But why give them the opportunity?

And MS-13 shows no more reverence for human life than did their ancestors in Central America.

You used to hear a lot about what a shame it was when certain Stone Age peoples would be corrupted by modern societies, and how their wonderful way of life would be lost forever.

Let's not corrupt any more of them by bringing them here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Third wave feminists as spoiled children, and their coming clash with Muslims

When parents bend over backwards to indulge a child, that doesn't lessen conflict with the child. Buy the child the dog he wants, then he wants a horse. Buy the horse he wants, then he wants another horse. It just keeps going until eventually the parents have to say no. And, inevitably, the child, who is used to getting his way, throws a fit.

Looking at the evolution of feminism over the years, it's hard not to see a parallel.

First wave feminism, which extends back to the 19th century, was about things like the right to own property, execute a will, attend college, and vote. Today these all seem like very fundamental rights, and no one argues with them.

Second wave feminism extended from the 1960's to the 1980's. It was concerned with issues like abortion rights, the establishment of rape crisis centers and battered women's shelters, changes in divorce law, the glass ceiling, and Title IX. (Title IX was first established to provide the opportunity for girls to compete in scholastic sports, though it has since been used as justification for more controversial things.)

Third wave feminism is generally considered to have started in the early 1990's. It's the third wave which has given us the knowledge that if a man cracks a dirty joke in the presence of a woman, that constitutes sexual harassment.

It's the third wave which has informed us that women are fragile, helpless creatures who after a mere two drinks are incapable of giving sexual consent -- but at the same time, women are capable of being Army Rangers, and mixing it up with the roughest and toughest of men.

Third wave feminists have agitated for 18 weeks paid pregnancy leaves while simultaneously using the mantra "equal pay for equal work."

The third wave has pushed the "free the nipple" movement, insisting that women should have the right to walk around bare-chested too. But they have also decreed that if a man stares at a woman, that constitutes sexual harassment.

The third wave has given us slutwalks, Take Back the Night, and Hollaback.

Some feminists now insist that the government should pay not only for all contraception, but should also provide free tampons as well, since men don't have periods. After all, fair is fair.

And some have tried to redefine beauty so that slimness is no longer a prerequisite. And they have termed those who prefer slenderness to be "fat-shamers." (If you can redefine truth, why not beauty?)

It seems to be human nature that the more you get, the more you want. No matter how unreasonable and ridiculous and self-indulgent it makes you sound.

The ironic thing is, almost all of these feminists are Leftists through and through, meaning that they support virtually all Leftist goals, including increased Muslim immigration. What will happen if they get their wish?

Many of the Muslims who come to this country would like to repeal first wave feminism.

In many of the cultures they come from, women can't vote. Or drive. Or attend school.

How will the wearing of burkhas accommodate the Free the Nipple movement?

Will The Vagina Monologues have to be adapted as the Clitoris-less Monologues?

And will the anti-slut-shaming movement be hampered at all by slut-stoning-to-death? Or by honor killings?

The coming culture clash will be interesting to watch. I don't support the importation of a medieval culture. On the other hand, the feminists do seem a little overdue for some un-spoiling.

Perhaps the Muslims will be the fourth wave of feminism -- the tidal wave that washes away all feminism has achieved so far.

Teacher cheat sheet

Every year around this time, schoolteachers have to fill out their report cards. And school administrations put a lot of pressure on them to put a positive spin on those reports. (Administrators don't want to be bothered with disgruntled parents.)

Here's a guide for all those teachers on how to put a positive spin on various personality types. Like much of life, it's all about euphemism.

ADD, ADHD: Say he is exuberant, energetic, and lively. He has a lot of life force, and manages to stay interested in many things at the same time. He is active, dynamic, spirited, bouncy, ebullient, and tireless.

A bully: Say he is a strong presence in the classroom, forceful, and socially dominant. He has a strong will, and the other children look up to him. He is assertive, and knows what he wants, and strives to get it.

A crybaby: He is sensitive, caring, and very aware of what's going on around him. He is socially perceptive, appreciates others' feelings, and is in tune with his own feelings.

Dumb: He moves along at his own pace, and eventually catches on to everything. He enjoys learning on his own. He is making good progress, and taking some amazing steps forward.

Autistic: He has an original view of the world, and marches to his own drummer. He offers a refreshing change of pace from the run of the mill children. He enjoys his own sense of humor, and has amazing focus when he puts his mind to something.

This should also be a guide for the parents of young children: if you hear any of the above expressions, be aware they may be euphemisms.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Michelle Carter has Munchausen-by-proxy

It just struck me why Michelle Carter, currently on trial for manslaughter, was trying so hard to get her boyfriend Conrad Roy to commit suicide, and why, when he hesitated, she tried to shame him into doing it.

It wasn't as if she was about to inherit any money from him, or stood to gain anything material. They were just high school classmates. And it wasn't as if she had any particular reason to hate him: she was, after all, his girlfriend, and he was by all accounts a nice guy.

She simply wanted him to die so she could pose as his bereaved girlfriend and get lots of sympathy. There's no other explanation.

Carter sent a number of texts to other people, expressing worry about Conrad's well-being and professing ignorance as to his whereabouts. She was setting up a scenario where she could act as if she was utterly heartbroken and inconsolable because of her great love for him.

Carter had probably played out these scenes in her head beforehand. She had undoubtedly thought about how she would burst into tears while talking about the life she and Conrad had planned together, how they had even discussed marriage, and how he was the love of her life.

All her female friends would feel great sympathy. (And oh would she ever enjoy making them feel as if they were somehow lacking for not being capable of feeling as great a love as hers.) And all the boys.....well, she just knew that all of them would sympathize, and each would secretly want to replace Roy.

And Conrad's family would simply adore her. Every time they'd see her they would think, oh, that sweet little girl, she cared for Conrad so much. And she might have even been our daughter-in-law. Carter undoubtedly planned to remain a presence in their lives, making a big show of weeping at the funeral and then showing up at their doorstep on the anniversaries of his death to remind them that Conrad was not forgotten.

It would all be so very gratifying. She would be the absolute center of attention in her community. And everybody would say, oh, poor Michelle, she's so heartbroken. That poor girl, we should do whatever we can for her!

(It's called Munchausen-by-proxy.)

Look at that practiced expression of sadness and confusion on Carter's face:

There was only one little thing wrong with Carter's scheme: text messages are retrievable.

So now, people think the opposite of what she wanted them to.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

"Ex-basketball phenom busted with car filled with loaded guns"

From this evening's NY Post:

Former Big Apple basketball sensation Sebastian Telfair was busted early Sunday in Brooklyn with a bulletproof vest and a small arsenal inside his truck, police sources said.

The 32-year-old had been with another man, identified as Jami Thomas, 18, when cops pulled him over in Bed-Stuy around 2:50 a.m. and uncovered the weapons cache during a routine traffic stop, according to authorities.

All in all, officers found three loaded pistols, a gas-operated submachine gun, extended magazines, ammunition and the ballistic vest.

The pair had been driving in a Ford F-150 pickup truck without the headlights on, prompting officers to stop them, sources said.

They had been parked illegally on a median on Atlantic Avenue near Classon Street just before the incident and drawn the officers’ attention.

After being pulled over, cops smelled marijuana and eventually spotted a burning joint inside the truck. They then asked Telfair and Thomas to step out of the vehicle and placed them under arrest.

Upon searching the truck, sources said officers discovered two bags of pot and the pair’s gun collection — which included a SIG MPX Pistol, a Ruger LC9s, and a Springfield Armory XD9 Mod 2 Pistol....

If you've got a carful of illegal stuff, rule number one is, don't attract attention. Drug dealers making the Miami to New York run are always told by their bosses to never exceed the speed limit, and not to drive a flashy car. They are instructed to wear conservative clothing and be clean cut. And if by chance they do get stopped by the police, they are to always reply "yes sir" and "no sir."

You'd think the same rules would apply to someone who's carrying a cache of illegal weapons. 

So what does Telfair do? He drives without his lights on at 2:50AM, an hour when nobody is up to any good anyway. Then he parks illegally on the median. And all the while he's smoking a joint, so that the smell of marijuana wafts out of his truck. 

What's going through the head of someone who does that? 

If I were driving around with an illegal armory in my trunk, I'd be extremely nervous and paranoid. I'd be worried that my worry was causing me to look worried and that that look on my face might attract undue attention. Which would make me worry even more. 

But not Telfair. He just puffs away on a doobie as if he hadn't a care in the world. 

Telfair was evidently one of the most highly recruited high school players in the nation in 2004, but chose to go directly into the NBA. He never quite lived up to his promise, however, and ended up playing for eight different teams over the course of his 12 year career. 

Hard not to wonder if this wasn't in part because his court sense didn't quite match his physical abilities. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Tim Cook's MIT speech

Apple CEO Tim Cook gave the graduation speech at MIT yesterday. Among his comments:

“Whatever you do in your life, and whatever we do at Apple, we must infuse it with the humanity that we are born with.”

“I’m more concerned about people thinking like computers without values or compassion or concern for the consequences. That is what we need you to help us guard against. Because if science is a search in the darkness, then the humanities are a candle that shows us where we have been and the danger that lies ahead.”

“The internet enabled so much and empowered so many, but it can also be a place where basic rules of decency are suspended and pettiness and negativity thrive.”

“Don’t let that noise knock you off course. Don’t get caught up in the trivial aspects of life. Don’t listen to trolls, and don’t become one. Measure impact in humanity; not in the likes, but the lives you touch and the people you serve.”

These are all noble-sounding, "uplifting" sentiments, the type you'd expect at a college graduation. But any honest appraisal of Cook's career would have to center around the fact that his rise was facilitated by having been Steve Jobs' right-hand man. And Jobs was an obvious sociopath.

After listening to that speech, it's hard not to wonder exactly how Cook helped enable Jobs to be the incredibly nasty and self-serving bully that he was. Did Cook ever lecture Jobs on how he should be a better person?

Somehow, that seems doubtful.

One does not become a right-hand man and heir apparent to the CEO without flattering, catering to, and making oneself constantly available to him.

Apple assembles its iPhones in China so that they can pay their workers less than they would have to in the US. How does Cook not consider that to be behavior "without values or compassion?"

Some of those laborers have been as young as 14, and several lawsuits have been brought alleging poisoning of workers from the hexane used to clean iPad screens, as well as overwork from up to seven day workweeks. Is that what Cook considers infusing his plants "with the humanity we are born with?"

Apple also keeps a large chunk of its huge cash hoard abroad so that it doesn't have to pay US taxes on it -- taxes that would help pay for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Not only that, Apple has routed as much as one-third of all its worldwide revenues through Ireland, where it pays a 2% tax rate. How does Cook square that with the "basic rules of decency?"

Cook was theoretically selected as the graduation speaker because he's someone whose success the current crop of graduates would like to emulate. So rather than high-flown sentiments, some of them were probably hoping for a few insights along those lines.

A more honest speech about how Cook became so fabulously wealthy would have outlined how to kiss ass, how to enable a sociopathic boss, how to avoid paying taxes, and where you can get the cheapest labor.

I don't hold it against Cook that he does his job as a CEO. But let's not lose sight of the fact that a CEO's job is to make as much money as possible for his shareholders, his employees, and himself -- by any means he can.

What I do hold against Cook is the sanctimonious front he puts up. (Although, in all fairness, that's probably part of a CEO's job as well.)

Note that Cook also did his job as CEO by telling the grads that they should "measure impact in humanity; not in the likes, but the lives you touch" -- that snide reference to "likes" being a little dig at crosstown rival Facebook.

It's a little surprising Cook didn't warn the graduates about "the googolplex of obstacles" they would have to overcome in life.

Anyway, you should now be ashamed of yourself, because you have just done what Cook advised you not to: you listened to some of the "negativity" on the internet - from someone Cook would undoubtedly call a "troll."

But you also just got a dose of reality, since I don't have to put on a false public face. And what some call "negativity," others call truth.

Here's my advice to those MIT grads: any time you hear an "uplifting" message from the likes of Cook, just remember that old adage about actions speaking louder than words.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Muslims feared like sociopaths

This past Monday, Theodore Dalrymple (the pen name of Dr. Anthony Daniels) wrote an insightful article in the Wall Street Journal about how Muslims are treated in the UK.

An excerpt:

One obvious thing to do would be to strangle the foreign funding of so much Islamist activity in Britain. That is no doubt complicated in many ways, but no British government, solicitous of trade relations, has dared even try. The British economy is precarious, and it is difficult to be strong when your economy is weak.

Instead, we have gone in for what a Dutch friend of mine calls “creative appeasement.” Authorities make concessions even before, one suspects, there have been any demands for them. Thus, a public library in Birmingham, one of the largest known to me, has installed women-only tables, a euphemism for Muslim women only. Whether there was ever a request or demand for sex-segregated seating from Muslims is probably undiscoverable; truth seldom emerges from a public authority. But the justification would almost certainly be that without such tables, Muslim women would not be able to use the library at all.

The Birmingham airport has set aside a room for wudu, the Muslim ablutions before prayer. No other religion is catered for in this fashion (nor should they be, in my opinion), so the impression is inevitably given that Islam is in some way favored or privileged. Again, it would be difficult to find out whether they received requests or demands for such a room or merely anticipated them; in either case, weakness is advertised.

This is not a local problem alone. Many European airports now set aside a room for “meditation.” The icon used to indicate it almost always carries more of an Islamic connotation than any other. A friend told me that when she went into one such room, she was told by a Muslim to remove her shoes, ecumenism being, of course, a one-way street.

My female Muslim patients who had grown up in Britain told me that the school inspectors had never intervened when their parents prevented them from attending school, often for years. On the other hand, white working-class parents were bullied by those inspectors when their refractory 15-year-old daughters refused to go. A few years ago it came to light that police in Rotherham had for decades systematically turned a blind eye to the mass sexual abuse of children—at least 1,400 victims—by Muslim men. This type of willful neglect by the authorities came as no surprise to me. On the contrary, it is precisely what I would have expected.

From all this the terrorists surely draw a great deal of comfort. It gives them the impression of living in a weak society that will be easy to destroy, so that their acts are not in the least nihilistic or pointless, as is often claimed. They perceive ours as a candle-and-teddy-bear society (albeit mysteriously endowed with technological prowess): We kill, you light candles. The other day I passed a teddy-bear shop, that is to say a shop that sold nothing but teddy bears. I am sure that terrorism is good for business, but the teddy bears are more reassuring for the terrorists than for those who buy them to place on the site of the latest outrage.

Another source of comfort for terrorists is that after every new atrocity, the police are able to arrest multiple suspected accomplices. That suggests the police knew the attackers’ identities in advance but did nothing—in other words, that most of the time terrorists can act with impunity even if known. Here, then, is further evidence of a society that will not defend itself seriously. This is not just a British problem. The April murder of a policeman on the Champs Elysées in Paris was committed by a man who had already tried to kill three policemen, who was known to have become fanaticized, and who was found with vicious weapons in his home. The authorities waited patiently until he struck.

(I wish I could write that elegantly.)

But I quote Dalrymple not to showcase his prose but to show the numerous ways in which British (and other sovereign) authorities appease, mollify, coddle, and generally tiptoe around Muslims. 

I've written before about how whenever you hear of a "reality distortion field" or the Stockholm Syndrome, that almost always means a sociopath is lurking. Sociopaths often manipulate through the use of fear: non-sociopaths instinctively sense that if they cross the sociopath in any way, the retribution they could expect would be completely uninhibited in its ferocity. 

So, normal people will do anything to avoid a sociopath's wrath, and find themselves acceding to his version of reality. 

This is pretty much exactly what's going on with Muslims in the West these days. The West bends over backwards to appease them, simply because they fear their wrath. You could say the West is suffering from collective Stockholm Syndrome.

The double standard is apparent in the way the parents of 15-year-old Christian truants were treated compared to the parents of Muslim girls. In the way the Rotherham rapes were swept under the rug. And in the way, as Dalrymple points out, that ecumenicism is a one way street. 

Piss off a Christian, and he'll write an angry letter to the editor. Piss off a Muslim, and he'll blow himself up along with 20 young girls at an Ariana Grande concert. 

(Somehow I can't see Dalrymple writing that paragraph.)

The takeaway is, the West is operating from fear and impotence. They are both paralyzed by political correctness and intimidated in the face of fiercer aggression. 

In fact, the West is so afraid of being offensive it won't even mount a decent defense.

The same way most people feel and act around sociopaths. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Could you have sex with Michelle Carter?

Commenter GT just sent a comment to the 2015 Michelle Carter, classic sociopath post which linked to this article. Carter has been in the news recently because she has waived her right to a jury trial for manslaughter in the death of Conrad Roy III.

That was probably a wise move, as any jury would be almost certain to find her guilty. She is a singularly unsympathetic character.

Carter, knowing that Roy was depressed and contemplating suicide, had sent him number of texts encouraging him to kill himself, while simultaneously pretending to everyone else that she was extremely concerned about his safety.

The article that GT linked included this picture of Carter:

She's actually quite attractive, physically. Which got me to idly wondering: when I was younger, had I known what a monster she was, would I have been able to have sex with her?

Most guys, upon seeing that picture, would think, yeah, she's hot, I'd do her! The fact is, all it takes for most guys to be turned on is to see a woman naked. But really, if you were aware that what would turn her on most would be to see you die a miserable death, would you actually be able to complete the act?

Could you maintain an erection knowing full well that inside that pretty girl was a hideous monster?

I suppose you could view this as one of those semi-humorous tests of manliness guys will sometimes joke about.

But in a way, it's also a test of character, in the opposite way: are you so insensitive as to be able to ignore the true nature of the she-devil you're with?

(At this point, a fair number of male readers are probably thinking: hey, I've done it before.)

I don't think I could have passed the manliness test.

But who knows, maybe I'm giving myself credit for being a better person than I am.

(And at this point, a lot of female readers are probably thinking, rightly: men are such pigs!)