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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The solution to our Muslim immigration problems

A young man recently suggested to me that the way to solve all the problems that seem to arrive with immigrants from Muslim countries is to accept only their gay men and their hot young women. 

It would be justifiable because gay men are certainly discriminated against in those countries -- to the point of being thrown off rooftops. And women are obviously second class citizens in any Islamic society. So both of these groups can more creditably lay claim to be fleeing persecution than all of those aggressive young men we seem to get stuck with. 

From our point of view, gay men would probably be less prone to violence, and they certainly wouldn't go around raping Western women. Instead of having a repeat of that infamous mass molestation in Cologne, they could have mass fashion critiques instead. ("Plaids and stripes in the same outfit? May Allah be with you!")

As far as the hot young women, well, that's self-explanatory. 

The young man knows, of course, that there's no chance such a policy will be instituted. 

But that's not to say the West wouldn't be far better off if it were.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Was Orwell right?

The NY Post ran an article this morning about Sean Miller, the basketball coach at the University of Arizona, who was caught on tape by the FBI offering $100,000 to a sports agent to insure that 7'1" DeAndre Ayton signed with the Wildcats.

One of the more striking things about the article was the picture of the 49-year-old Miller:

His face seems to reflect a combination of dishonesty and greed. He's clapping for someone or something here, and he seems to realize he's supposed to be smiling, but it's a half-hearted smile that barely informs his mouth, and certainly doesn't reach his eyes. The eyes, in fact, look concerned, judging from the knitted brow.

(He looks like a Wall Street banker applauding the right values while wondering how, by paying lip service to those values, he can manipulate others to his own advantage.)

Maybe it's unfair, but it's easier to see greed in the face of a fat person, and Miller has the jowls and round face of a man who doesn't like to limit himself at the dinner table. And he has the well cut, expensive suit of a vain guy who indulges himself sartorially, too.

(There's always something a little questionable about a coach who harangues his athletes about staying in shape while allowing himself to get pudgy.)

As far as the dishonesty goes, here is the statement he released after he fired his assistant for corruption last fall:

“As the head basketball coach at the University of Arizona, I recognize my responsibility is not only to establish a culture of success on the basketball court and in the classroom, but as important, to promote and reinforce a culture of compliance. To the best of my ability, I have worked to demonstrate this over the past eight years and will continue to do so as we move forward.”

(Dishonesty often seems to make its presence known through overemphasis.)

George Orwell once famously said, “At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”

This isn't always true; but it often is. 

Miller, who was born on November 17, 1968, is a year ahead of schedule.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Feminist contradictions

Last week Aly Raisman and Paige Spiranac let nude photos of themselves be released last week, and both stated that doing so was "empowering." That both young women felt obliged to attach this feminist trope to their exhibitionism was a telling sign of the age we live in.

Showing off one's body is perfectly natural, if not quite laudable. And there's always a receptive audience for young women who want to pose that way. But why did they feel the necessity to try to frame their nude photos as an expression of feminism? Had they said it was "exhilarating," or maybe "excitingly exposing," it would probably have been closer to the truth.

Another feminist movement which seems founded at least partly in exhibitionism is the "free the nipple" movement. Some feminists are now saying that if men get to walk around bare-chested, women should have the same right. You see, it's all a matter of equal rights.

But at the same time, feminists say that if women are stared at, and thus made to feel uncomfortable, this is unacceptable. One can't help but be reminded of the woman who wears deep d├ęcolletage and then complains that men gawk at her breasts.

Feminists now say that if a woman is desired, she is being "objectified," a verb intended to convey the vague sense that men think of women as being nothing more than inanimate toys. But why else would a woman pose naked, unless she wanted to be "objectified?"

Most women of course, don't subscribe to that kind of silliness, though a large fraction of those who don't still feel obliged to at least pay lip service to feminism. But given the way some feminists complain about being objectified, one would think there might be an "ugly industry" to protect women against the horror of being viewed as an object. Yet there's no such thing. There's only an immense beauty industry.

The very idea of an "ugly industry" is, of course, silly. But, when you think about it, it's no sillier than complaining about being "objectified," i.e., desired.

We hear feminists talk a lot about how strong and smart and capable women are. But they also say that if a woman has so much as two drinks, she's unable to make a rational decision about whether to have sex, and therefore if she acquiesces, it means she's been raped. How does that show intelligence and strength?

Feminists tell us that women can be Army Rangers, yet they also say that women must be protected from dirty jokes, which are now termed "verbal assault." What will happen when the bullets are flying and some male Ranger, in the heat of battle, makes an obscene comment about the enemy? Will the female Rangers just throw down their weapons and fall apart at that point?

Slut shaming is now a concept: feminists tell us that women should not be criticized for their promiscuity. Yet if a man tries to kiss a woman but is rebuffed, he is now considered to have made "an unwanted sexual advance." Ergo, making passes is cause for shame, but accepting them is not. Does this dichotomy not require men to be mind readers so as not to run afoul of feminist doctrine?

The Left constantly berates conservatives for viewing homosexuality as a "lifestyle choice," as if the gays have any control over whom they're attracted to. Yet if a man is attracted only to slender women, feminists lambaste him for his "patriarchal sense of beauty" -- as if he has any choice about whom he's attracted to. (And doesn't this sound an awful lot as if some feminists are bitter that they're not objectified?)

The idea of gay conversion therapy is anathema to the Left. Yet the Left is constantly trying to get men to think of different types of women -- who are not their type -- as being desirable. Is this not simply gay conversion therapy for heterosexuals?

And it's not as if women don't have their own set of physical standards for men. As the #Metoo movement has made clear, ugly men are far more likely to be accused of unwanted sexual advance than handsome men are. Ought the Harvey Weinsteins of the world have the right to complain about a "matriarchal sense of handsomeness?"

Does a movement with so many inherent contradictions have any chance of standing the test of time?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

What if they did try to keep the "mentally ill" from having guns?

Everybody seems to agree in principle that keeping guns away from someone like Nikolas Cruz is a good idea. The problem is, spotting people like him ahead of time.

It seems increasingly likely that some form of autism, probably Aspergers, was part of the lethal mix that added up to Nikolas Cruz's bloodthirsty personality. We've also heard that he was depressed, and that he was suffering from the sting of romantic rejection. He may have been on medication. And it seems fairly apparent he had a generalized resentment against Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School, which had expelled him.

But the common thread between Cruz and a lot of the other recent mass killers -- like Christopher Harper-Mercer, Elliot Rodger, Adam Lanza, and Seung-Hui Cho -- has been that they have been on the autistic spectrum.

So, the most commonsensical way for Congress to approach keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill would be to make it illegal for people with Aspergers, or more severe forms of autism, to have firearms.

Let's pause to consider, just for a moment, what would happen if Congress attempted this.

Aspergers support groups would let forth a primal scream which would be heard coast to coast. They would say that the vast majority of Aspies are law abiding, peaceful citizens -- and they would be right about that.

They would say that Aspies are far more likely to be picked on than they are to pick on other people. They'd be right about that.

The support groups would point out the futility of trying to keep Aspies from having guns, when the vast majority of people who have Aspergers are never even diagnosed. They'd be right about that.

And then, the AMA would point out that such a law might violate the doctor patient confidentiality principle. And the psychiatric industry would claim that such a law would discourage people who suffer from autism from seeking treatment. And they'd both be right.

We would be bombarded with lists of all the famous and successful people with Aspergers who had contributed to the development of civilization. Such lists are widespread; and Aspies seem to like to claim kinship with many great men who may or may not have been members of their club. (As long as you're great, if you have any quirks at all, you must be an Aspie, as far as they're concerned.)

Support groups would run ads featuring productive, good-looking, seemingly well-adjusted Aspies and say, see, this is the face of Aspergers.

They would scream discrimination. And they would be right: preventing any group, no matter how much more statistically violent, from having guns does constitute discrimination of a sort.

I almost wish Congress would try to appease the Left by "discriminating" against the one group which is in fact far more likely to commit mass shootings than any other.

The Left is constantly calling for more gun control, and for guns to be kept out of the hands of the "mentally ill." They are also constantly decrying any form of "discrimination" they can think of.

It would be fun to see them try to reconcile those conflicting goals.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Our short attention spans

The extent to which the media determines what we think about is pretty amazing, when you think about it. We're constantly assaulted by headlines screaming about whatever the latest cause for outrage is, and while we're reading about that, we tend to forget about whatever was deemed important the previous year. Or month.

Marshall McLuhan famous phrase, "The medium is the message," is far truer now than it was in 1964 when he coined it.

Up until the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke this past October, the big cause was tearing down Confederate statues, and maybe even expunging those slaveholders George Washington and Thomas Jefferson from the honor roll of our nation's history.

But when was the last time you thought about Confederate statues? October? Didn't the media portray that as a matter of utmost urgency back then? How did they slip so suddenly, and completely, from the radar? Are our attentions spans really that short?


When was the last time you thought about the unresolved questions about Stephen Paddock and the Las Vegas massacre? Or the London Bridge and Manchester terrorist attacks in Britain? When was the last time you thought about Hurricanes Harvey (which hit Houston) or Maria (Puerto Rico)?

Obviously, some events have more political ramifications, others fewer. And, of course, it's the job of news organizations to report current events, not past ones. Nonetheless, there are issues they prefer to bury, and issues they don't.

If they don't want us to think about something in the first place, they simply drop the subject after barely covering it, if they cover it at all. And it goes right down the memory hole. This is why stonewalling is such a successful tactic. This is what happened to Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, and Benghazi. The Obama administration simply refused to come clean, or release documents, and eventually, with no outrage from the media, we just forgot about them.

As the Russia investigation seems to be gradually morphing from a potential Republican scandal into a Democratic one, the same will undoubtedly happen here. The media will distract us from the matter of Christopher Steele and Fusion with more timely scandals, manufactured or not. And Fusion will slip down the memory hole too.

We all have a certain amount of ADD built into our brains, and the media knows how to take advantage of that to keep us focused on whatever they want us focused on.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Winter Olympics

About six or seven people have asked me this week if I'd been watching the Winter Olympics. After I told them I hadn't been, two of them said something to the effect of, "But what they do is really amazing. The skill those snowboarders show......And the speed skaters, they're really impressive."

They both said this as if somehow I might not have realized that. But I'm well aware that to get to the Olympics, you have to be an incredible athlete in almost any sport. I can neither dance nor skate, so dancing on skates is beyond my comprehension. I'd never have the courage to even attempt the kinds of flips and twists the snowboarders execute. (Mostly because I know I'd never make them, but also because I've simply never been comfortable in midair.)

But, that's not really the issue. The issue is that those sports simply don't grab me.

That said, I'll probably waste a little time Thursday and Friday evenings watching the women's ACC swimming championships on the internet.

Now, you may ask, perfectly reasonably, why would I waste my time watching the third best college conference championship of a boring sport, and the women, at that? (No self-respecting male basketball fan follows the WNBA.) Especially when the best winter sports athletes in the world are on display on hi-definition TV.

It's because for some reason, early on, I just got fixated on swimming. (And, to a lesser extent, track and the martial arts.)

I'm not trying to justify that in any way, or rationalize it. All I can say is, that's who I am.

I'm not using that phrase the way some people say, "That's not who we are," trying to frame people who don't share their particular political motivations as having a lesser morality.

I'm using the phrase in the sense of, that's what turns me on.

Given that swimming was my sport, this may show a lack of imagination, or a lack of flexibility, or an overall lack of adventurousness of spirit.

Honestly, it probably shows all three of those things.

But there's a limit to what we can spend our time appreciating. You could spend your entire life focused on the ballet, on those incredible leaps and balancing acts the dancers are capable of. You could spend an infinite amount of time appreciating the power and range and timing of the voices one can hear at the opera. You could spend endless weekends at museums, marveling over the incredible skill and painstaking workmanship that went into creating the masterpieces on display.

But most of us simply choose to remain within our small circle of interests, and do what we're used to.

Well, some of us more than others, I guess.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Would we be better off with a sociopath as President?

Gethin recently commented that he was starting to wonder whether it really matters whether a political leader is a sociopath or narcissist, since narcissism is ubiquitous amongst bullies, and that most wars could probably have been averted had world leaders been less narcissistic.

The answer is probably yes and no.

You can make the case that at a certain level -- mostly the PR level -- we'd be better off with a sociopath than just a narcissist at the helm. A sociopath of similar intelligence wouldn't make all the faux pas that Trump does. He'd be more skilled at hiding his ego behind a cloak of false nobility. And he wouldn't be in the habit of blurting out his real thoughts in such an impolitic manner.

The downside of having a sociopath is that he wouldn't really care about helping America, or Americans. He'd be focused instead on doing what made him look good, especially in the short run. (Think about how some sociopaths will bask in the glory of falsely claimed accomplishments even as they realize they will be exposed eventually; this is just their nature.) 

A narcissist would be more concerned about how he'll look in the long run. 

And, going back to Gethin's original point about war: sociopaths are, by nature, less concerned about loss of life, more aggressive, and sometimes even more bloodthirsty than narcissists.

We're better off with a narcissist. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Being able to criticize one's own candidate

One difference that becomes apparent to anyone who follows these things, and it was never clearer than it was last year, is that there is a fundamental difference between Right and Left in their ability to acknowledge their own candidates' shortcomings.

Practically everyone I knew who voted for Trump would say something like, "Yeah, I'm going to hold my nose and vote for the guy."

In fact, I know very few people who support Trump politically but are unwilling to admit that he's a narcissistic personality. Most Trump voters will admit that he's vulgar, thin-skinned, boastful, and easily distracted.

Many will also say that they wish he'd put away his Twitter button, or be more diplomatic, or just hold his tongue more and not get in spats with the likes of Rosie O'Donnell.

This presents a striking contrast to Democrats, who rarely if ever admitted that there was anything wrong with Hillary, or Obama, even as both of them exhibited obvious personality syndromes.

If I get into a political discussion with a liberal, I am inevitably lectured on what a horrible man Trump is.

I'll usually say something to the effect of, "Yes, he's a 'hole, but I agree with him on the issues." I might even volunteer that he's a narcissistic personality with ADHD." But then I'll add, "But Hillary is an outright sociopath. You do know she's totally corrupt, don't you?"

At this juncture I'm usually given a look of disbelief and a quick, dismissive shake of the head.

If I ever say, "Are you aware that she sold 20% of all the North American uranium rights to Russia in exchange for a contribution to the Clinton Foundation," I'm greeted by a blank stare and then a dismissive wave of the hand, as if what I was suggesting was too preposterous to be true.

Or, they might respond, "If that's true, then why have I never heard about that?"

When I explain that it's because they only read the mainstream media, which prefers to gloss over her sins, they will shake their heads contemptuously, as if the very thought of Hillary doing anything like that was too ridiculous to be true.

I might say, "What do you make of the fact that Hillary now says that all women who claim to be rape victims deserve to be heard, but that she was in charge of the so called 'bimbo eruptions' caused by her husband Bill? And she did her best to insult and even intimidate the women. Not only that, but earlier in her career she defended a 44-year-old man against charges that he had raped a 12-year-old girl, got him off on an apparently erroneous lie detector test result, and then joked about it afterwards."

At that point I will be given a disbelieving look, as if I'm full of crazy ideas that aren't even worth discussing, and the liberal might say, in an incredulous tone of voice, "Uh, what's your source on that?" Then they might add, sarcastically, "Faux News?"

If I ever say, "You know, Hillary's the type of person who yells and screams at her personal security details and in general treats them like personal servants. The Arkansas State Troopers hated her, Secret Service personnel considered working for her hardship duty, and her State Department security detail actually celebrated when she broke her arm," I'm usually given a look indicating that I'm hopelessly naive to believe such obviously untrue rumors.

If I say something like, "You do realize that Hillary's basically a functional alcoholic, right?" I might be told, "Oh please, everybody drinks. It doesn't mean they're all alcoholics" -- as if I can't tell the difference between little social drinking and full blown alcoholism.

And in all these cases, nobody wants to hear any of the evidence. I always wanted to say, "Hey, here, read this!" But of course I can't just pull out a blog post in the course of conversation and force someone to read it. And even if I were somehow able to, they wouldn't believe any of it anyway, or would dismiss it with a pish-posh gesture.

This isn't true of every last liberal; and certainly every last conservative isn't willing to be critical of Trump. But as a rule, it's true. Many on the Left seem to lack whatever element it is in the personality that allows for sheepishness.

What does it say about the Left that it's composed mostly of people who can never, ever admit fault with their own side? 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

"A Wrong Turn for Drama"

In July '09 I wrote a post about the smartest guy I'd ever met, Jon Leaf. Among other things, he now writes for the National Review. Here is his trenchant and funny review of Sam Shepard's work, which crystallizes every vague feeling I've ever had about Shepard.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

If feminists covered the crime beat

This blog has previously speculated on what would happen if fashion writers covered crime. What would happen if feminists covered the crime beat?

Aileen Wuornos

Aileen was a martyr for our cause. She devoted her life to teaching men, one at a time, that "No" means no! This was one woman whose pussy you couldn't grab! Unfortunately, she was executed after being unjustly railroaded by a chauvinistic kangaroo court. But she will always be remembered for having covered herself in glory by taking a strong stand against the patriarchy! #Womenwhowon'tbedominated

Griselda Blanco

Griselda Blanco was a She-E-O who broke the glass ceiling in the highly competitive nonprescription pharmaceutical business. She ran away from home at age 14 to escape the sexual assaults from her mother's boyfriend, and from then on survived by her wits. As tough as any of her male colleagues, she even enjoyed herself as some men do. According to Wiki:

Court records show Blanco... would force men and women to have sex at gunpoint, and had frequent bisexual orgies. Her favorite possessions included an emerald and gold MAC 10 machine pistol, Eva Peron’s pearls and a tea set once used by the Queen of England.... In court, it was revealed that Blanco killed three former husbands as well as strippers, business rivals – and innocent bystanders...

Why should men get all the enjoyment? Blanca's literal take no prisoners style of doing business resulted in her becoming a guest of the United States for ten years beginning in 1985. But Griselda was no pushover, continuing to run her empire even though confined. Anything a man (like the one at top, left) can do, a woman can do better! #Girlsjustwannahavefun

Genene Jones

Genene was an early advocate of birth control -- both regular and retroactive. Only a caring woman would be so concerned about overpopulation, and no one can deny that Genene did her bit. In fact, she was far more effective in her efforts to solve Mother Earth's problems than most men could ever hope to be. In the words of G.D. Anderson, ""Feminism isn't about making women strong. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength."#Strongwomen

Lorena Bobbitt

Lorena was the ultimate feminist. Lorena's husband John battered and abused her, boasted about his infidelities, and stole and spent her earnings. Worst of all, as she told the police on the night she was arrested, "He always have orgasm [sic], and he doesn't wait for me ever to have orgasm. He's selfish!"

So, like any good feminist, she decided to attack the phallocracy at its very root. True female liberation can only be achieved through from separating males from the source of their power! You go girl!! #Ifyoucutoffmyreproductivechoice,canIcutoffyours?

Leona Helmsley

Who's the Queen of the Helmsley Palace? Leona! In her own words, "I've always wanted to be the biggest real estate man to come down the pike." Well, Leona got her wish, running an over $5 billion real estate empire after her husband died. But while she may have had to marry for money, once she got her hands on it, she refused to kowtow to any man. According to Wiki:

Once, at one of the Helmsley hotels, the waiter brought him [her lawyer Alan Dershowitz] a cup of tea with a tiny bit of water spilled on the saucer. She grabbed the cup from him and smashed it on the floor, then demanded that the waiter get down on his hands and knees and beg for his job.

That's showing those men who's boss! Thank you Leona for being on the right side of history! #Taxesareforthelittlepeople

Sandra Avila Beltran

Sandra Avila Beltran ran her medicinal export business so cleverly that when the male oppressors came after her, all they could get her for was money laundering, not unlike the way the Feds were only able to get Al Capone for tax evasion. When initially arrested, Avila described herself as a housewife who earned a little money on the side "selling clothes and renting houses." Talk about modesty! Sandra is a crusader for the downtrodden, too: while in jail in Mexico City, she filed a complaint with the Mexico City Human Rights Commission, saying that the ban on bringing in food from restaurants violated her human rights. #Silenceisnotanoption

Bonnie Parker

Bonnie only lived to the age of 23, but she achieved lasting fame for having broken into the heretofore male-donated business of unauthorized bank withdrawals. As a young girl, she felt frustrated by the provincialism of life in Dallas, but soon went on to bigger and better things with partner Clyde Barrow. Unfortunately, government officials, who hated the idea of a woman being so successful at breaking glass ceilings, killed her. Bonnie, you left us too soon! #Onlyweakmenfearstrongwomen

Phoolan Devi

Phoolan Devi, 1963 - 2001, the legendary Bandit Queen, was born into an impoverished low caste Mallah family in India, but rose to become a member of Parliament before her assassination at age 38. At age 16 she ran away from an arranged marriage with a man three times her age, and fell in with a local band of dacoits. Tensions grew between the Rajput members of the gang and the Mallah members until there was a gunfight, won by the Rajputs, and Phoolan was taken to a Rajput village, where she was raped repeatedly. Phoolan escaped, and later organized a new band of bandits with whom she returned to that village seven months later. Frustrated that she couldn't find the men who had raped her, she and her fellow gang members lined up 22 other Rajput men and shot them all dead. That showed those men what happens to rapists -- or, well, at least their tribesmen! #Metoo

Daniela Poggiali

The joyful Daniela Poggiali helped cut short the pain and suffering of countless elderly people under her care. And all the while, as you can see above, she never lost her sense of humor! As the great Oprah Winfrey said, "There are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die." Don't worry Oprah, we're all impatient for that to happen, especially Daniela! #38andcounting

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme

Not many girls from Redondo Beach, California, could dream of making the cover of both Time and Newsweek, but Squeaky did! And she did because she was so adventurous. First, she left her own family to join another. Then she went solo and tried to gain an audience with President Gerald Ford, almost changing the course of history! She's now a free woman living quietly in upstate New York, but she'll always be remembered for her glory days. #Thisiswhatafeministlookslike!

Hillary Clinton

The greatest feminist ever may have been Hillary Clinton, who has attempted to break down innumerable barriers. She tried to enlist in the Marines in 1975, though they turned her down. She broke into the fast-paced men's world of cattle futures trading, turning a $1000 investment into a $100,000 windfall. She continued those entrepreneurial ways with the Clinton Foundation, using her power as Secretary of State to bring in funds from all over the world. She even approved the sale of 20% of all North American uranium mining rights to Russia after an appropriate contribution was made. Even though she had to abide the presence of a lot of male pigs throughout her career, she let them know what she thought of them in no uncertain terms! She bravely survived a sniper attack in Bosnia. And most importantly, she did this all all by herself! #Ididn'tneedamantosucceed