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Thursday, August 17, 2017

It's not enough to just disavow slaveowners

There's been a lot of discussion recently about how the statues of Confederate war heroes must be torn down, and about how all slaveowners, even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, should be discredited.

This isn't going far enough!

We need to bring all the racists into disrepute.

And we should start with Abraham Lincoln, who said, during his famous debates with Stephen Douglas:

“I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be a position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

We should not only destroy the Lincoln Monument, we should take every available opportunity to burn that white supremacist in effigy!

In fact, every president who abided by Jim Crow laws should be discredited. These were malignant men, who didn't believe that black and white should mix: segregationists like Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That bigot should henceforth live in infamy!

We also need to vilify all the Presidents who didn't believe in giving women the right to vote. So we should rename anything ever named after chauvinist pigs like John Adams, James Madison, James Monroe, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. Not one of them believed in women's suffrage!

And how about all the Presidents who were against gay marriage? You know, terrible homophobes like John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. None of them ever made a single move to allow gays to have the same basic right to marriage that cisgender heterosexuals have!

When those hate-filled homophobes Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigned for President in 2008, both came out staunchly against gay marriage! They, too, should be appropriately villainized.

Speaking of JFK and LBJ, both men supported a version of civil rights that called for race blind admissions policies for colleges. How dare they oppose affirmative action?! They should be discredited as the racists they were.

In fact, we have entire national history full of people who were far more evil than is generally acknowledged. Nathan Hale never once suggested slavery be abolished. Alexander Hamilton never once suggested women be given the right to vote. Mark Twain called one of his characters by the n-word. And Albert Einstein never once agitated for gay marriage.

The history books obviously need to be rewritten to cast all of these reprobates in a far more disparaging light.

Ironically, it's the same personality types who are now castigating historical figures who didn't conform to 2018 sensibilities who would have been the biggest conformists in previous eras as well.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

If MS-13 hired a PR firm

MS-13 is in the news again because Trump has said that he wants to crack down on them. But maybe what MS13 really has is an image problem. What would happen if they hired the type of PR firm that corporations regularly use to make themselves sound like charities?

We are MS-13 

We are the youth, and the future, of America

Henceforth, we don't want to be known as a "gang," since that word has so many negative connotations, and gives people the wrong idea about us. We want to be known as a "public service club."

The "MS" stands for "My Savior." And the "13" alludes to our spirituality: we see ourselves as Jesus's thirteenth disciple.

We are MS-13, the public service club with a heart.

Our mission is to help youngsters from broken homes, or who came to North America by themselves, who are all alone in this great big world. We give them a group to identify with, and a sense of belonging.

We help those who are bullied. We really help them, and have an excellent track record in that regard. Once someone is under our protection, no one bullies them anymore.

We care about our Mother Earth, and we are doing our best, bit by bit, to alleviate the overpopulation problem.

You may have noticed our extensive tattoos. We wear these to show our lighthearted, artistic side.

Unfortunately, in the past, a few of our members have gotten carried away when it comes to promoting club interests and doing good. But please don't listen to that deplorable racist Trump who wants to persecute and deport us just because we're Latino.

We are Barack Obama's Dreamers -- young people who dream of a better future. And we proudly represent American values. Like discipline. And honor. And loyalty. Many of our members are lifelong loyalists. They understand that a lifetime association is healthy.

As a nondiscriminatory club, we accept women, too. We even have a special induction ceremony for them in which, as a group, we pay humble homage to the very practice which brings us all to life. Young men are anxious to participate in their induction ceremony, too, since it gives them an opportunity to prove their manhood. You know how young men are!

We are MS13. All we ask for is a chance at a better life. Please help us help you.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Diagnosed vs. undiagnosed Aspies

On August 6th "Alicia W." made the following comment on the Asperger Syndrome post:

Even though I have Asperger's, I did still find myself agreeing with a lot of this. I've noticed I tend to do some of this stuff over the years, either by analyzing my own behavior from when I was younger or by having it pointed out to me. My symptoms have seemingly improved, or become more manageable over the years, I think in large part because I had a pretty good level of support in school. Either way, it's actually rather embarrassing to look back on. None of it was really my fault, as I couldn't help it, but I definitely [get] why people found me a massive pain while I was growing up. I also definitely understand why people would still find me annoying. I've improved a lot over the years, but I [make] no effort to pretend I'm anything close to normal. I'm just slightly less insufferable.

Alicia W. actually doesn't sound insufferable at all. It's always the people -- with Asperger Syndrome or otherwise -- who have no clue that they're insufferable who are in fact that way. And we all have embarrassing behavior to look back on over the years.

Alicia brought up an interesting point, though, about the difference between people who've been officially diagnosed with ASD -- and therefore are at least somewhat self-aware -- and those who haven't. Undiagnosed Aspies are far less likely to be aware of their own idiosyncrasies, and hypocrisies.

And older people who grew up before Aspergers was generally recognized are far less likely to have been diagnosed.

The two Aspies I know best were never officially diagnosed, and therefore make no attempt to rein in their own behavior. Both frequently think they're right even when they're obviously not, and neither seems to feel the least embarrassment about the incredibly lame excuses they make when they're proven wrong.

I suspect that if they had been diagnosed when young, each would make some effort to be less Aspergery.

An initial diagnosis of Aspergers must come as a body blow to those who receive it. But going through life with a little self-awareness does make things easier on those around you.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A physical resemblance

It was hard not to be struck by the physical similarities between Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, and James Damore, the man he recently fired:

You can't quite call it a family resemblance, since Pichai is South Asian, and Damore Caucasian. But both men have the same prominent nose, full lips, thin neck, and gentle mien. And both give off the same air of general geekiness.

Not quite sure what to make of this. I'd guess they're similar types. Both were probably thought of as brainiacs by their high school friends, both probably have fairly wide-ranging interests, and it seems unlikely that either was ever a serious jock or womanizer.

Of course, that's where the resemblance stops.

As we all now know, one of them is on the side of truth, justice, and goodness, and the other one is a horrible repressive Nazi.

You can make up your own mind about which one is which.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Google CEO Sundar Pichai's stated reason for that firing

You've undoubtedly heard by now of how that Google engineer James Damore was fired for having written a carefully worded, thoughtful, and balanced criticism of Google's internal hiring and promotion policies.

Damore was fired the day after his identity was uncovered. Google CEO Sundar Pichai then issued a statement explaining the firing:

To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct, which expects “each Googler to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination."

Let's pause and think about that a moment. As far as the "harassment" goes, Damore is obviously not the kind of leering guy who makes a practice of harassing women and commenting on their body parts. Take a look at this video of him being interviewed. He's a mild-mannered, nerdy brainiac.

To equate a thoughtful, nuanced essay with sexual harassment is a big stretch.

Pichai also claims to want a workplace culture free of intimidation. But when you fire someone for speaking out, isn't that pretty much the ultimate in workplace intimidation?

Pichai also says he doesn't want unlawful discrimination. But that was actually exactly what Damore was describing: programs designed to help women and certain minorities, from which white and Asian men are excluded. Granted, women and blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented at the company. But is that really because of "bias," as Pichai would have it?

Google, like most American companies, undoubtedly falls all over itself trying to hire women and blacks and Hispanics who are qualified engineers. But if there simply aren't proportional numbers of them who are qualified, does that really constitute "unlawful discrimination" and "bias?"

Imagine if the NBA were under pressure to hire more white and Asian players until each team's roster proportionally reflected the racial percentages of the population. Then imagine that the coaches pointed out that blacks are simply more likely to be top level players. Then imagine that everybody screamed, that's racist! So then the coaches and GMs, afraid of lawsuits, had to institute programs to groom whites and Asians in an effort to make their teams "look more like America."

Then imagine that a black NBA player wrote a calmly worded, reasonable essay to the effect that the players ought to be chosen on the basis of merit, and that special programs designed to help only whites and Asians were unfair. Then, his NBA team fired him for having had the temerity to write such a letter.

What would the reaction be?

That analogy seems ridiculous because physical talent -- unlike mental talent -- is so clearly visible. But that doesn't make intelligence and inclination any less real.

Or, imagine if someone decreed that the NBA had to be 50% female. (No more of this "separate but equal" sexism that consigns women to the lesser-paid ghetto of the WNBA! Equal pay for equal work!)

Naturally, those on the Left who have objected to Damore's essay have characterized his message as saying that no women is capable of working at Google as an engineer. Damore was in fact careful to point out that that was not what he was saying:

Note, I’m not saying that all men differ from all women in the following ways or that these differences are “just.” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

But the Left always has to mischaracterize the statements of the Right as absolutes, in order to make them sound unreasonable. To them, "bell" and "curve" are dirty words. They prefer to willfully misinterpret, because that's the only way they sound reasonable.

If you want to "create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination," you ought not to fire an employee for speaking out. And if someone analyzes bias and discrimination, you ought not to call that bias and discrimination.

All this said, Pichai is in a tough spot. He knows it's worth his job not to toe the line himself on this types of issue, particularly with the US government currently investigating Google for paying women less, on average, than men. He also knows that the Left is a lot more vicious about promoting their agenda than the Right is, as I explained here.

But the hypocrisy in mouthing those platitudes while doing exactly the things he claims to abjure is hard not to notice. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Elizabeth Bathory

I've mentioned several times on this blog that one of the best ways to study sociopathy is to learn how serial killers behave when they're not committing murder. What were their relationships like? What was their non-murderous sex life like? What sort of reputation did they have in their community? Were they generally liked, or disliked? Were they charming? Manipulative? Did they commit other crimes? What else did they lie about? How did they use words? What quirks did they have? How surprised were people to find out that they were killers?

Inevitably, a sociopath's character informs every aspect of his life. Sometimes, to the people who know them, that character becomes clear only in retrospect. But no sociopath can hide his true nature forever.

Elizabeth Bathory, 1560-1614, is at the top of virtually every list of prolific serial killers. She is generally said to have killed roughly 600 young girls. Many of us have heard the story about how she believed bathing in the blood of virgins would keep her skin young.

It had never occurred to me to doubt the story -- it was always just a bit of ancient history I had unthinkingly accepted at face value. But when I read about Bathory on Wikipedia before writing the previous post, I was struck by the fact that there was nothing about her, other than the horrific crimes she was accused of, which indicated sociopathy.

Bathory didn't show any of the usual signs of deceit and subterfuge and manipulation, nor did she have a trail of broken relationships. She gave birth to a child at age 13 (to a local peasant boy), which must not have pleased her parents. But after that she was married to the same man for 29 years, until his death, and bore four more children, all of whom seemed to go on to live relatively normal lives. She was well educated, and fluent in four languages. While her husband was away at war, Elizabeth was responsible for managing the business affairs and running the estate.

None of this proves Bathory's innocence, of course, but it's a little surprising that she appears so stable and responsible.

More to the point, the methods of torture of young girls are both extremely sexual and extremely varied: some had needles poked into them, some were stripped naked and covered with honey and left outside so the ants and flies and bees would get to them. Some were frozen to death, and some were burned to death. A few supposed had red hot skewers put into their vaginas. Some were starved, some had limbs chopped off, some were forced to eat their own body parts, and some were supposedly cannibalized by Bathory herself.

All of this sounds much, much more like the work of a male serial killer. The fact is, female serial killers are extremely rare, and those who kill for sexual reasons are almost nonexistent. The few female serial killers there have been have either been in thrall to their male serial killer partner, or they do it for money, like Aileen Wuornos.

Also, bear in mind that serial killers who kill for sexual reasons always kill the objects of their desire. There has never been a male homosexual serial killer who went around killing women, or a heterosexual who went around killing men. Bathory bore a child to a local peasant boy when she was 13, was married to the same man for 29 years, and reportedly took male lovers during his long absences. There is no record of Bathory having been a lesbian. So it makes no sense that she would take a sexual pleasure in torturing young girls to death.

Also, the sheer number of methods of torture make one wonder. The reason FBI profilers are usually successful is precisely because these killers have a profile. And their killings almost always have a specific signature. Some serial killers prefer strangulation, others prefer to slowly knife their victims to death. Each has a specific technique he prefers. If Elizabeth Bathory was in fact guilty of all that she was accused of, she would have employed far, far more variety than any other known serial killer.

It's actually the enormity of the crimes, and the infinite variety of despicable acts she was accused of, which in a roundabout way point to her possible innocence.

Back then, people didn't know about serial killers. In Bathory's day, they believed in werewolves and that some women consorted with the Devil. When people misbehaved, it was often seen as the work of the Devil.

There is also the question of how many victims there were. Some accounts said as few as 30, though over the years that has grown to 650. (The only "proof" of this latter number is a servant girl who claimed she had seen a diary listing that many, though the diary was never found.) How can there be such a huge discrepancy?

There were evidently some dead and mutilated bodies, however, so the question remains, if Elizabeth was innocent, who was guilty?

Bathory's husband died in 1604, when she was 44, and he entrusted her well-being to Gyorgy Thurzo. Thurzo also happened to be the man who prosecuted her for her supposed crimes.

I found this article, on a site called "," whose author has actually read many of Bathory's letters. He, too, is convinced of her innocence. (He includes far more detail about the gory nature of the crimes she was accused of.) He also says that Thurzo was "a known schemer who’d made a career out of backstabbing people."

The article also makes the case, which some historians have made, that there were a number of people with both political and financial motivations to do away with Bathory. (Among these were the King Matthias I, who owed her estate a lot of money.)

Thurzo evidently tortured many of the 300 witnesses -- not just suspects, but witnesses -- who testified against Bathory. Among the more lurid accounts, several witnesses claimed that they had seen her having sex with the Devil.

There was never an official trial. And Bathory herself was never allowed to testify. It's all enough to make you doubt her guilt.

Knowing what we know about Thurzo, it seems possible that he was the serial killer. He obviously liked to torture people, and the fact that he was a "known schemer who'd made a career out of backstabbing people" makes him sound sociopathic. And, he would have had two strong motives to convict Bathory: to please his king, and, possibly, to cover up his own crimes. And we now know that some serial killers get a big kick out of pretending to help "solve" their own crimes.

Some historians have cast doubt on Bathory's guilt before, citing the many reasons various interested parties had in seeing her downfall. To their theories we can add what we've learned about sexual serial killers in the past century: they are almost exclusively male, they generally have one preferred method of killing, and they act like sociopaths all the time, not just when plying their deadly trade.

It's obviously far too late to uncover any further forensic evidence regarding Bathory, so we'll never know for sure. But it's my guess she was innocent.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

If history were recorded by fashion writers, Part II: the women.

In December of 2015, this blog speculated as to how fashion writers would have covered some of the more prominent figures in history. How would they have covered some of the more prominent women? What would they have emphasized?

A girl's simply gotta have her extensions, and if her boyfriend has matching hair, why not go for it? Our gal Delilah doesn't believe that men should have all the power! And she expresses her own power the way every woman wants to -- with a heavy gold armband and bracelet to match her sumptuous necklace and earrings. And those eleven hundred pieces of silver she'll be paid by the Philistines for Samson's hair will pay for a lot more bling! You go girl!

Mary I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, looks absolutely stunning in her royal regalia! Mary's ornate pendant in 14 karat gold, the matching belt, the tiara set back on her head, and the embroidery of her dress, all speak to the kind of sumptuousness we want to associate with royalty. Small wonder she wanted to cleanse England of that dowdy, "plain and simple" Protestant way of dress -- which is far more pretentious in its own way. Our beloved Queen was so assiduous in this task there's even a stylish drink named after her that's popular to this day: the Bloody Mary!

Does Lucrezia look stunning in this diaphanous dress? Is the pope Catholic?!! Her viper pendant, and the dagger/cross must both be Borgia family symbols. (Whose blood is that dripping from the dagger?) Yet the flowery motif on her headdress somehow evokes both a nun and a wood nymph. Or is that nightshade depicted? It's no surprise that even while giving birth to ten children she caught the eye of so many men during all three of her marriages! Lucrezia is rumored to have a hollow ring from which she slips poison into drinks -- but there is no evidence of that here! How do those ugly rumors get started?

Countess Elizabeth comes from a very noble family: one uncle is Andrew Bonaventura Bathory, Voivode of Transylvania; another is Stephen Bathory, Prince of Transylvania! Elizabeth's blood red dress is set off beautifully by white sleeves, which symbolize the purity of her heart. It all accentuates her tiny waist and preternaturally youthful skin! Local girls wanted desperately to emulate the countess, and many have flocked to their heroine. Their transformation must have been complete, because many have never even been recognized again!

Our Empress Catherine is a great lover of all things equine! And she looks tres chic in that riding coat, her tricorne perched at a jaunty angle, and stylishly baggy pantaloons! No wonder they call her The Great! There's simply no other word for how our favorite equestrienne looks sitting side saddle, astride a horse -- or in any position with a horse!

Marie has caused a revolution in French fashion with her hair done up in pouf style, decorated with a panache (spray of feather plumes)! And check out that daring d├ęcolletage, which accentuates her slender, delicate neck. You can't put that kind of style on the chopping block! Some wags may call her Madame Deficit, but why worry about a silly little thing like that? Marie spends lavishly on herself because she deserves it -- she's worth it! And the French people agree! Our darling Marie proves, once and for all, that you can have your cake and eat it too!

At first glance it might look as if our Lizzie has taken a whack at fashion with that plain shirt, but if you look closely, you'll see that the ruffles on the front of her blouse are artfully arranged. And those dark colors are only fitting given that she is probably still mourning her parents, whose tragic murders remain unsolved. Poor Lizzie! Note that her dress is quite modest, covering everything right up to the top of her neck, as befits a well brought up young lady of the Victorian era. (No man will get a peek at that body!) We certainly have no axe to grind with her clothing choices!

Ilse isn't held prisoner to passing trends, but prefers the timeless simplicity of a summer dress. It takes concentration to look that good without becoming camp! Ms. Koch knows that looking like just another frumpy hausfrau would be a crime against humanity. Frau Koch's husband Karl Otto looks resplendent as well in his sharply tailored uniform and well polished jackboots. Her neatly appointed houses is undoubtedly perfectly decorated, right down to the lampshades! And look at that dog -- what a humongous bitch!

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela wears a tradiitonal African headdress, a traditional African necklace, along with traditional African sunglasses. As befits the wife of Nelson Mandela, she has great concern for the populace as well, generously providing for many of them to be necklaced as well. As the great lady said, "With our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country!" Winnie, don't forget your beautiful headdresses and designer sunglasses too!

From the time she married Baby Doc (top), Michele Duvalier has looked every inch the stylish voodoo queen! Who couldn't she cast a spell over with that headdress? Below, Michele wears one of her many fur coats she needed to stay warm through those cold Haiti winters! You can be sure they're custom made -- there's no pret-a-porter for the lady from Port au Prince! Whether she's encouraging her husband to resurrect the Tontons Macoutes, or abscond with the national treasury, our stylish Santeria knows how to dress for success!

Nobody can rock a unicolor pantsuit like our gal Hillary! Whether you're hiding a pay to play "donation" from a dictator or just a pair of thunder thighs, pantsuits are the way to go! Note the cut of her pants, which allow for the ease of movement you need while bravely dodging sniper fire in Bosnia! Like the LGBT warrior she is, Hillary looks stunning in all the colors of the rainbow: Blood of Gaddafi Red, Prison Jumpsuit Orange, Goldman Sachs Gold, Color of Money Green, Benghazi Blue, Personal Server Purple, and Nothing to Hide Navy. No wonder she screams so much at her Secret Service detail: those dreary bores always dress in the same old dark suits! I am woman, hear me roar -- or shriek!