Yes, this is good news; it brings tears to my eyes– “Screaming constituents, protesters dragged out by the cops, congressmen fearful for their safety — welcome to the new town-hall-style meeting, the once-staid forum that is rapidly turning into a house of horrors for members of Congress…” Read more of this delectable morsel of good news right here.
Archive for July, 2009
“…Tomorrow, an advance party for the chief will leave to claim another spot across the river that turns out not to be on public property. Many in the camp will decide it’s time to move on anyway, to a spot under a bridge in East Providence. Camp Runamuck will begin its recession from sight and memory. At least tonight there is a communal dinner: donated chicken, parboiled and grilled; donated corn on the cob; donated potatoes. People line up with paper plates. The rain falls harder, pocking the river’s gray surface, surrounding the dark camp with a sound like fingers drumming in impatience. The chief hears it, but what can he do?…” Article here.
This beast belongs to a Russian Robber Baron; but don’t worry, American Robber Barons aren’t far behind.
Tags: Business, CEOs, Sociopaths
“…Only about 1 to 3 percent of us are sociopaths — people who don’t have normal human feelings and can easily go to sleep at night after having done horrific things. And of that 1 percent of sociopaths, there’s probably only a fraction of a percent with a college education. And of that tiny fraction, there’s an even tinier fraction that understands how business works, particularly within any specific industry…” Article here.
Tags: Hollywood, Political correctness
“…We are seeing a new kind of fear — that unless a producer has a product that fulfils certain criteria, it won’t get made. It could be political, it could be old-fashioned political correctness but the film has to pass a test …” Article here.
Tags: Biology, Evolution, Men, Sexes, Women
“…For the female half of the population, it may bring a satisfied smile. Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors. The researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern. Over generations, the scientists argue, this has led to women becoming steadily more aesthetically pleasing, a “beauty race” that is still on. The findings have emerged from a series of studies of physical attractiveness and its links to reproductive success in humans…” Article here.
Evolution of the sexes: Is this what the future holds–for every woman a grotesquely ugly male? Hopefully at least guys of the future will still have beer and chips–and the TV clicker.
Related: Now this…not only are women becoming more beautiful (as men are increasingly being reduced to sheer ugliness) they are better managers too.
–Alexis de Tocqueville: extrapolations from the past finally arrives now on our doorstep as established facts:
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
“I studied the Koran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. So far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself…” (Letter to Arthur de Gobineau, 22 October 1843)
(By the way here’s Tocqueville’s master work online: Democracy in America)
(Note: the first quote above is sometimes attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler)
Aye, matey…”…Like any business, Somali piracy can be explained in purely economic terms. It flourishes by exploiting the incentives that drive international maritime trade. The other parties involved — shippers, insurers, private security contractors, and numerous national navies — stand to gain more (or at least lose less) by tolerating it than by putting up a serious fight. As for the pirates, their escalating demands are a method of price discovery, a way of gauging how much the market will bear…” Article here.
Tags: Afghanistan, Music, Taliban
Using his nation’s official musical instrument musician plays Afghan national anthem
Forget all that world news rubbish on the front pages and screens, let’s get to the big (as in BIG) stuff–
Lindsay–mean girl– Lohan “hasn’t hit rock bottom yet, but she’s getting close. The troubled starlet — whose latest cinematic offering, “Labor Pains,” went straight to cable — showed up at Millions of Milkshakes in West Hollywood at 1:30 a.m. yesterday to promote her own shake — a mix of vanilla ice cream, chocolate swirls and Oreo cookies…” Yeah…Update (uh-oh): Lindsay is now being accused of stealing the formula for her spray-on tan line.” Say it ain’t so, Lindsay.
But shhhhh…don’t tell anyone it’s our Capital:
“Crumbling sidewalks near the Jefferson Memorial are sinking into the Tidal Basin. Reflecting pools are filled with green, smelly water. And millions of visitors have trampled the soil into virtual concrete where grass can’t grow.” Read more.
On a controversial subject…quoting…”Until recently I taught at a predominantly black high school in a southeastern state. The mainstream press gives a hint of what conditions are like in black schools, but only a hint. Expressions journalists use like “chaotic” or “poor learning environment” or “lack of discipline” do not capture what really happens. There is nothing like the day-to-day experience of teaching black children and that is what I will try to convey…” Here.
Update: U.S. News and World Reports’ Marty Nemko gives his proposal for a solution: Closing the Achievement Gap.
The eyes have it! You can tell.
Note: stay tuned for the credits; that way you can be sure to avoid this director and these writers and actors in the future.
“…The third reason to stop being a superpower is that Nixon’s specter of the U.S. as a pitiful helpless giant hasn’t decreased since Vietnam but only become worse. Crude terrorism lurking in the shadows of side streets is a match for advanced weapons systems if you are measuring in terms of psychological threat, anxiety, and a creeping sense that the enemy can strike at will. Atomic arsenals, a massive standing army and space-age technology aren’t justified when a single dirty bomb can sneak in under the fence. It’s time to accept what every insurgency expert tells us, that asymmetrical warfare is here to stay and must be fought on a smaller, smarter scale that is closer to neighborhood policing than conventional, World War II-style combat…” Here
From a highly politically incorrect article originally published in ’05, a different perspective of the hurricane Katrina disaster.
Tags: Multiculturalism, Somalia
A report from another multicultural frontline here.
Tags: Amazon, E books, Kindle
Yeah, actual books do not disappear into the digital night: “This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for—thought they owned…” Here.
Think about this: I understand the Amazon digital retraction was a matter of the original seller not having legal authority to have the book digitized. OK, but what if for example, in the future a downloaded book to the Kindle was considered not sufficiently PC enough, say it had some passages that Muslims or Christians objected to or passages that were considered racial or too conspiracy oriented, would Amazon then be able to take out the offending words? As much as I love electronic gadgets like the Kindle for now I’ll stick with paper.
Note: Here’s a good article on the subject of digital deletion:Why 2024 will be like 1984 (“…The worst thing about this story isn’t Amazon’s conduct; it’s the company’s technical capabilities. Now we know that Amazon can delete anything it wants from your electronic reader. That’s an awesome power, and Amazon’s justification in this instance is beside the point. As our media libraries get converted to 1′s and 0′s, we are at risk of losing what we take for granted today: full ownership of our book and music and movie collections…”)
Tags: High School reunions, School
“…Like I said before, the way I was [treated] by my classmates in high school was pretty typical for a geek. At best, I was ignored. At worst, I was beaten. In between, I was used as a sort of status enhancer: telling people that you’d seen me doing some supposedly awful or hysterical thing was a common scheme for getting ahead in certain social circles. In the most extreme case, someone painted a swastika onto the street in front of my house with gasoline, and lit it. (In autumn, in a wooded neighborhood.) I’m can’t even pretend that I wasn’t an easy target, or that I didn’t respond in a way that encouraged my tormentors. I was a hyperactive geek. My social skills were awful. I don’t think that I deserved the way that I was treated; but at the same time, I do think that my hyperactivity and my lack of social skills both helped make me such a good target, and discouraged anyone from intervening on my behalf. But I don’t think that that excuses anyone who abused me. It doesn’t excuse the bastards who made up stories about me. It doesn’t justify the people who threw me against walls. It doesn’t explain the guy who broke my fingers, because he wanted to know what it would sound like. And it doesn’t absolve the people who watched, and laughed while that happened. Now it’s twenty five years since I got out of that miserable fucking hell-hole. And people from my high school class are suddenly getting in touch, sending me email…” Here.
“…Detective Lavelle, in the driver’s seat, pulled up alongside the Ford; Officer Kelly had stepped from the passenger’s side of the cruiser to confront the man. In a single motion, the man whirled, flung off the robe, raised his shotgun and fired. Officer Kelly was not hit, but the windshield of the cruiser was blown out, and Detective Lavelle was grazed in the leg. The blast ripped the passenger’s seat to shreds…Then, as officers rushed in, a thundering barrage of gunfire, shotgun blasts and percussion grenades erupted — 30 booms in a sustained 15-second roar..When it was over, a man and woman suspected in a robbery lay dead, and five officers were wounded, two critically, in a shootout that seemed to encapsulate the dangers and heroism of urban police work…” Here.
I don’t usually agree with Pat Buchanan on things but the following passage hits home:
Coming to America to feast on this cornucopia of freebies is the world. One million to 2 million immigrants, legal and illegal, arrive every year. They come with fewer skills and less education than Americans, and consume more tax dollars than they contribute by three to one. Wise Latina women have more babies north of the border than they do in Mexico and twice as many here as American women. As almost all immigrants are now Third World people of color, they qualify for ethnic preferences in hiring and promotions and admissions to college over the children of Americans. …China saves, invests and grows at 8 percent. America, awah in debt, has a shrinking economy, a huge trade deficit, a gutted industrial base, an unemployment rate surging toward 10 percent and a money supply that’s swollen to double its size in a year. The 20th century may have been the American Century. The 21st shows another pattern. “The United States is declining as a nation and a world power with mostly sighs and shrugs to mark this seismic event,” writes Les Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, in CFR’s Foreign Affairs magazine. “Astonishingly, some people do not appear to realize that the situation is all that serious.” Here.
Tags: Exchange students, Foreign students
Some foreign exchange students are learning the hard way what many of us Americans have known for a long time: that much of America is one big trailer park. “They came from around the world hoping to spend a high school year immersed in the culture and joys of America. Instead, five young foreign exchange students found themselves caught in a nightmare of neglect, malnourishment and abandonment by those supposed to protect them. Now those five — natives of countries stretching from Norway to Tanzania to Colombia — are back home telling friends of a different America than they expected…” Article here.
Tags: Compulsion, Strange, Wired
“One day, after years of agony, an Australian man took a large quantity of dry ice and intentionally damaged his left leg, so that a surgeon would have to amputate it. The action was intentional and the man, Robert Vickers, described the feeling of waking up in the hospital without his leg as “absolute ecstasy.” He’s one of a small number of people who have what psychiatrists have come to call body integrity identity disorder in which patients report the desire to have one or more of their limbs amputated because the extremities don’t feel like they “belong” to their bodies…” Article here.
“…certain Swedes have plenty to answer for: …IKEA products — from bookshelves to tables to lamps — are very nicely designed. And the ingenuity of designing furniture so that it can be shipped efficiently, compactly and cheaply, with an eye toward environmental concerns, is admirable. But Shell also points out the hypocrisy inherent in IKEA’s philosophy. As a clever IKEA commercial, directed by Spike Jonze, points out, an old lamp (or bookcase or table) doesn’t have feelings; any piece of furniture can and should be replaced at any time. The ad, and the whole IKEA approach, suggests that objects have no lasting meaning or value. They’re disposable; when we tire of them, we should just throw them out. Then why, Shell asks, does IKEA personify its products by naming them, à la the Lack coffee table or the Kura loft bed? “If IKEA thinks it’s crazy to care deeply about objects, why… “does it sell a wok named after a girl.” Ikea as bad as Wal-Mart
Well, Gary, coming from the totalitarian-state-in-progress (Britain), we wish to welcome you to the totalitarian-state-in-progress (Amerika) …
Shackled by uncomfortably tight handcuffs and flanked by two burly U.S. marshals, he will be frogmarched aboard a passenger jet from Heathrow to Washington DC like some captured Al Qaeda mastermind. On landing in the American capital, he will be driven 30 miles to the Alexandria Detention Centre – a forbidding red-brick holding prison with narrow slit windows and a huge concrete shield around it to keep out prying eyes. For at least nine months, in the event that his fight against extradition should fail, this reputedly escape-proof pressure-cooker of a building … will be Gary McKinnon’s home. Article here.
Note: The US gov is so intent on prosecuting this minor “hacker” when they should be thanking him for demonstrating how vulnerable pentagon computer systems are, if they haven’t learned already from the North Koreans and the Chinese. They should be paying this guy.
Tags: Bands, Fat, Old, Rammstein
Always remind yourself: 1984 is almost here; give it, oh say another ten years or so.
Tags: Blasphemy, Dark Ages, Ireland
Incredibly the “modern state” of Ireland passes blasphemy law; in the process loses free speech rights, which forces me to paraphrase radio personality Bob Grant: it’s dark out there–and getting darker. “Satirizing religion in any way, shape, or form, if it ’causes outrage’, is now a prosecutable offense in Ireland. Saying anything negative about a religion, if it ’causes outrage’, can now be prosecuted as a crime. Just like in Muslim countries. Witness the return of the Dark Ages…Ireland’s Blasphemy Bill not only criminalizes free speech, it also gives the police the authority to confiscate anything deemed’ blasphemous’. They may enter and search any premises, with force if needed, upon ‘reasonable suspicion’ that such materials are present…”
…from 1986 release (rerelease 1999), based on book by same name by David Byrne
Jackson family wants, er, Michael Jackson’s brain back. Start chanting, everybody [background music optional]: Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back Give ‘em it back…
Unemployment is now heading to ten percent (and add that to those who have given up looking, along with surging underemployment). If this rate continues much longer the only people working will be illegal aliens.
“… Out of nowhere, the six were attacked by dozens of teenage boys, who shouted ”This is our world” and ”This is a black world” as they confronted Marshall and his family.The Marshalls, who are white, say the crowd of teens who attacked them and two friends June 27 on Girard Street numbered close to 50. The teens were all black… ”This was almost like being a terrorist act,” Marshall said. ”And we allow this to go on in our neighborhoods?’ They said it started when one teen, without any words or warning, blindsided and assaulted Marshall’s friend as he stood outside with the others. When Marshall, 39, jumped in, he found himself being attacked by the growing group of teens. His daughter, Rachel, 15, who weighs about 90 pounds, tried to come to his rescue. The teens pushed her to the ground.” Read story here.
Note: this story has gotten little play in the major news (if any). You can imagine how different that situation would be if the assailants had been white (check here).
Tags: Funerals, Michael Jackson, Pop culture
Michael Jackson Update: Please keep advised that Full Metal Cynic Inc is on the job. I have managed to sell one of my mother’s kidneys to buy a ticket to the MJ funeral. Reports will start soon.
Whites flee Myspace for Facebook.: “The people there [on My Space] are more likely to be brown or black and to have a set of values that terrifies white society…”
Tags: Disaster, Flight
Well, like a dodo bird falling off a cliff, it looks so far like Air France flight 447 went belly down, as in a vertical shaft. For those abaord it must’ve been beyond words–only screams. Here’s a take on the physics of it, known as the coffin corner: “The coffin corner or Q-Corner is the altitude at or near which an aircraft’s stall speed is equal to the critical Mach number, at a given gross weight and G loading. At this altitude the aircraft becomes nearly impossible to keep in stable flight. Since the stall speed is the minimum speed required to maintain level flight, any reduction in speed will cause the airplane to stall and lose altitude. Since the critical Mach number is maximum speed at which air can travel over the wings without losing lift due to flow separation and shock waves, any increase in speed will cause the airplane to lose lift, or to pitch heavily nose-down, and lose altitude. The “corner” refers to the triangular shape at the top of a flight envelope chart where the stall speed and critical Mach number lines come together…” From Wikipedia article.
Tags: Nunnery, Nuns, Vatican
The NY Times reports that “The Vatican is quietly conducting two sweeping investigations of American nuns, a development that has startled and dismayed nuns who fear they are the targets of a doctrinal inquisition…” So what are nuns doing that they need to be investigated by the Vatican? Moonlighting as go go girls (it would look funny with all those dollar bills hanging out of a habit), engaging in threesomes (or more), becoming members of The God is Dead Club…? No, the gist of it is here: “In the last four decades since the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, many American nuns stopped wearing religious habits, left convents to live independently and went into new lines of work: academia and other professions, social and political advocacy and grass-roots organizations that serve the poor or promote spirituality. A few nuns have also been active in organizations that advocate changes in the church like ordaining women and married men as priests…” (By the way, I don’t live very far from a huge ocean front nunnery here in New Jersey; the women wear discreet skirts and blouses, and walk in the salty sunshine.)
I have to see “Public Enemies” soon; here’s a great review which triggered my interest. Seduction by Machine Gun
Tags: Banking, Finance, Goldman-Sachs
Great, not to mention controversial, piece by Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi on how Goldman Sachs has engineered every Financial bubble–including the internet bubble– since the Great Depression. Here.
Silly little press sec Gibbs: the pay must be pretty good for someone to stand up there and make a fool of himself. Prostitution garners more respect than this. I’m glad these reporters asked this question, but they seem naive: government, despite its campaign rhetoric, will never be open or transparent; no government ever has, nor will there ever be one that does.
Tags: Affairs, Marriage
Hey, just curious, have any women out there been stalked by Christian Gov Sanford on Craiglist? By the way, I’d at least like to squelch one rumor going around now: Despite the fact that his wife has thrown him out there is no truth to the ruomr that the gov has been reduced to camping out on the Appalachian Trail.
The plain people: ” ‘People [the Amish] wanted bigger weddings, newer carriages,’ Mr. Lehman says. ‘They were buying things they didn’t need.’ Mr. Lehman spent several hundred dollars on a model-train and truck hobby, and about $4,000 on annual family vacations, he says. This year, there will be no vacation…” Read article here.
The U.S. has a violence rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, Canada 935, Australia 92 and South Africa 1,609.
Note: I don’t have the statistics in front of me right now but I believe most of these crimes come from Muslim immigrants.