Friday, May 17, 2013
Today's Internets - "War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." - William Tecumseh Sherman
Thailand in the 21st Century - BBC News - Thailand starts phasing out shackles in prisons:
"Thailand's government is phasing out the use of shackles in prisons in a move aimed at improving its international human rights standards. Hundreds of inmates convicted of major crimes in the country had to wear shackles on their hands and feet. Some shackles can weigh as much as five kilograms. The move has been welcomed by inmates and human rights campaigners."
"I am one of those people - one of those, I suppose, very annoying people - who puts great value in the social contract. I am one of those people who shuts down his phone and laptop etc on airplanes when they tell us to do so, even though I find it impossible to believe my cell phone will be the one to muddle the flight guidance system. I’m the guy who stands in line and waits his turn, and who gets to the theatre 30 minutes before curtain, minimum, and I’m the guy who is trying to teach his kids that civility and manners actually manner. If you cannot live without your phone for the 60 or 90 or 120 minutes asked of you during a performance? Do us all a favor, and don’t attend. Seriously. It comes down to courtesy, which is, in my opinion, a measure of maturity, because courtesy derives from empathy. You don’t have empathy, I don’t want to know you."
"(719): Hey, I'm renting a storage locker for the summer to keep all my bondage shit in so my parents don't see it. You wanna split on it for your all your weed shit?"
"(908): Nursing home in NJ just got busted for prostitution and drugs...dropping off my deposit tomorrow"
"Obama battles AP, Benghazi, IRS scandals and...killer robots? Reason TV's guide to the president's toughest seven days yet!"
"The BEST workout and diet plan is the plan that you actually follow through with. The best coaching, training plan, and/or diet plan based on your dietary needs doesn’t mean ANYTHING if you don’t actually follow through with it!"
"You likely already know how overcrowded and abusive the US prison system is, and you probably are also aware that the US has more people in prison than even China or Russia. In this age of privatization, of course, it’s also not surprising that many of the detention centers are not actually operated by the government, but by for-profit companies. So clearly, some people are making lots and lots of money off the booming business of keeping human beings in cages. But who are these people?"
Romantic comedies, too. [Also, apparently, agriculture.]
"It’s the storybook narrative. And in the 21st century, it really screws up our dating lives: Men spend their entire lives believing they’re not good enough to be with a woman. Men are taught to feel an immense pressure to impress women, to perform for them, to show off their money or their cars or how many digits of Pi they can memorize, so chicks might like them. This is needy and unattractive behavior and reinforces low self esteem as well as sexual anxiety. There’s a reason most guys need to be hammered to even tell a girl they like her. They all feel like they’re not good enough to like her.
Women spend their entire lives waiting for a man to do something amazing to impress her. Or, in other words, she spends her entire life waiting for her prince charming, her knight in shining armor to come “sweep her off her feet.” Women are conditioned to believe that they’re a prize that men are supposed to win through some great achievement. And when no man is saving the world or cutting off people’s heads off with a badass broad sword in the name of her love, then she inevitably ends up disappointed. It sends the message that she’s not good enough. No man is killing himself for her vagina. Therefore her vagina must be faulty in some way.
"But I’ll be real for a second, Disney isn’t actually responsible for this stuff. The storybook narrative has been going on for most of western civilization. It’s littered throughout Shakespeare and medieval texts. Even the Trojan War in The Iliad is started because of a beef over a hottie named Helen.
The reason this narrative has existed so long is because marriage was the economic and political building block for most of the existence of civilization. In feudal societies, the way you guaranteed security to your estate was through marrying women of wealthy (and often competing) families. If you were a man of one of the underclasses, the only way to “marry up” into wealth or greater power was through accomplishing some amazing feat, usually in war. Hence, the epic tale of valiant knights saving the princess that is so often repeated. But we live in the 21st century. Our politics and economics are no longer arranged through marriages. No one marries for political power. Women have jobs and earn their own money. We live in free-market democracies. 99.9% of us will never see a battlefield in our lives...
The idea goes something like this: Anthropological evidence suggests that in pre-history, hunter/gatherer societies were, umm, rather “loose” with their sexual morals. The idea of marriage or sexual possession was (and still is) largely anathema to most of these groups. But with the rise of agriculture, humans, for the first time in our species’ existence, had surpluses of resources. And not only did we have surpluses of resources, but men, due to their size and strength, gained a large competitive advantage at acquiring them over women. Men began to compete against one another economically, hoarding surplus resources and then using those resources to dominate the others around them. Economic hierarchies were born. City/states followed. Monarchs and lords and the feudal system followed from that, as did organized warfare and the first empires.
The problem with this new social structure was that men, for the first time ever, had two major concerns: 1) they needed to guarantee paternity of their own children and 2) they needed to manage their political competition through marriages, alliances and familial bonds. Thus female chastity began to matter. Fidelity began to matter. Fertility began to matter. Sex became an economic and political transaction, and women — who were now useless for war and physical labor — became pro-creating assets for men. Women provided sex and procreation. In return, their families were given resources, dowries, political alliances, land, etc. Men now had to win the vagina. And so they did, for about 7,000 years plus or minus."
Of course - IRS Official Who Ran the Office that Targeted Conservatives Now Runs the Obamacare Office - Hit & Run : Reason.com:
"The same official who oversaw the IRS tax-exempt office now under fire for targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny recently took charge of the revenue agency’s Obamacare division, according to ABC News."
"If there is such a thing as strong evidence for the saying, "never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence," it is that eternally gobsmacking institution known as government. Well, except that government is pretty damned malicious, too. But right now, let's focus on the incompetence part. In particular, on the special skill it takes to identify and apprehend terrorism suspects, persuade them to cooperate and participate in a witness protection program, and then ... lose them. Really, lose, as in "where are my car keys?" except that instead of the fob for the Ford Explorer, you're poking through the sofa cushions for people you believe to be homicidal psychopaths."
"Should you ever be accused of terrorism, here’s what you should do: Snitch on your friends, demand to be placed under witness protection, then fly out of the country. According to a stunning report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, this is remarkably easy to do — and it’s actually happened. Not one, but two suspected terrorists placed in the federal witness security (WITSEC) program have managed to elude the U.S. Marshals Service, even though their status as suspected terrorists meant the should have appeared on federal no-fly lists."
Washington gets explicit: its 'war on terror' is permanent | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk:
"Last October, senior Obama officials anonymously unveiled to the Washington Post their newly minted "disposition matrix", a complex computer system that will be used to determine how a terrorist suspect will be "disposed of": indefinite detention, prosecution in a real court, assassination-by-CIA-drones, etc. Their rationale for why this was needed now, a full 12 years after the 9/11 attack: Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaida continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight. . . . That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism.
On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on whether the statutory basis for this "war" - the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) - should be revised (meaning: expanded). This is how Wired's Spencer Ackerman (soon to be the Guardian US's national security editor) described the most significant exchange: "Asked at a Senate hearing today how long the war on terrorism will last, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, answered, 'At least 10 to 20 years.' . . . A spokeswoman, Army Col. Anne Edgecomb, clarified that Sheehan meant the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today - atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted. Welcome to America's Thirty Years War." That the Obama administration is now repeatedly declaring that the "war on terror" will last at least another decade (or two) is vastly more significant than all three of this week's big media controversies (Benghazi, IRS, and AP/DOJ) combined."
The major sea change in media discussions of Obama and civil liberties | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk:
"Due to the controversies over the IRS and (especially) the DOJ's attack on AP's news gathering process, media outlets have suddenly decided that President Obama has a very poor record on civil liberties, transparency, press freedoms, and a whole variety of other issues on which he based his first campaign. The first two paragraphs of this Washington Post article from yesterday, expressed in tones of recent epiphany, made me laugh audibly:
"President Obama, a former constitutional law lecturer who came to office pledging renewed respect for civil liberties, is today running an administration at odds with his résumé and preelection promises. The Justice Department's collection of journalists' phone records and the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups have challenged Obama's credibility as a champion of civil liberties - and as a president who would heal the country from damage done by his predecessor."
You don't say! The Washington Post's breaking news here is only about four years late. Back in mid-2010, ACLU executive director Anthony Romero, speaking about Obama's civil liberties record at a progressive conference, put it this way: "I'm disgusted with this president." In the spirit of optimism, one can adopt a "better-late-than-never" outlook regarding this newfound media awakening.
...it is remarkable how media reactions to civil liberties assaults are shaped almost entirely by who the victims are. For years, the Obama administration has been engaged in pervasive spying on American Muslim communities and dissident groups. It demanded a reform-free renewal of the Patriot Act and the Fisa Amendments Act of 2008, both of which codify immense powers of warrantless eavesdropping, including ones that can be used against journalists. It has prosecuted double the number of whistleblowers under espionage statutes as all previous administrations combined, threatened to criminalize WikiLeaks, and abused Bradley Manning to the point that a formal UN investigation denounced his treatment as "cruel and inhuman".
But, with a few noble exceptions, most major media outlets said little about any of this, except in those cases when they supported it. It took a direct and blatant attack on them for them to really get worked up, denounce these assaults, and acknowledge this administration's true character. That is redolent of how the general public reacted with rage over privacy invasions only when new TSA airport searches targeted not just Muslims but themselves: what they perceive as "regular Americans". Or how former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman - once the most vocal defender of Bush's vast warrantless eavesdropping programs - suddenly began sounding like a shrill and outraged privacy advocate once it was revealed that her own conversations with Aipac representatives were recorded by the government."
"I believe the American Heart Association was founded with good intentions. Really, I do. But they’ve become a perfect example of the phenomenon described in the excellent book Mistake Were Made (but not by me): after announcing a public position on an issue, they are incapable of admitting they were wrong...
On their web site, they recommend consuming less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. That’s been their position for years. Since the average American consumes more like 3,500 mg of sodium per day, that means the AHA is telling us to cut our salt intake by more than half to avoid hypertension and, by extension, heart disease.
The AHA certainly isn’t alone in pushing this advice. The Guy From CSPI has been on an anti-salt jihad for decades, the USDA Dietary Guidelines call for low-salt meals (the USDA compels schools to comply with that advice), and of course Hizzoner Da Mayor in New York City used the coercive power of government to impose his beliefs about the benefits of sodium restriction on food manufacturers. So how do you suppose the anti-salt hysterics would respond to a big ol’ government-sanctioned study that says they’re wrong?"
Thursday, May 16, 2013
"...You fear your own power. You fear your anger, the drive to do great or terrible things."
Continuing Liberian dysfunction - Liberia’s press: Boycotting the president | The Economist:
"Liberia’s press called for a blackout on coverage of the president, following comments made by the head of the Executive Protection Services, Daniel Othello Warrick, at World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd. The event, hosted by the Press Union of Liberia, was on media and security relations. But the president’s chief bodyguard, delivered a speech accusing the media of character assassination and cautioning journalists against getting involved in “presidential intelligence”. “Be careful questioning the integrity of Liberians,” Mr Warrick warned. “Be careful, because you have your pens, and if you incriminate the character and integrity of Liberians like myself, we will come after you.”"
"Early ventriloquists and their dummies. Why, no, nothing creepy about ventriloquists at ALL."
"The other major memory is of performing scenes with Leonard Nimoy. It’s one thing to work with an actor you have known all your life but to meet a character, in context, that was something beyond description. Having Mr Spock look into my eyes and say “You are Montgomery Scott”, my brain was quietly short circuiting as I tried to remember my lines. I clearly remember thinking “holy shit, I’m in Star Trek”."
"Forget Afghanistan, Syria, and the war or terror. Barack Obama's administration now finds itself embroiled in a three-front domestic war that threatens to undermine public confidence in the U.S. president's ability to lead the nation. The first of these, which has yet to quiet down, is the enormous dispute over the timeline involving acknowledgment of al Qaeda's involvement in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The second involves the recent revelation that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) focused special scrutiny on applicants for tax-exempt status that sported Tea Party or other "small government" credentials. The last, and potentially most serious, is the recent revelations that Attorney General Eric Holder ordered extensive investigation into Associated Press (AP) reporters in April and May 2012."
Ooh, look! Batman!
When there is evidence a hypothesis is disproven, it is no longer valid. Oh, look. Saturated fat doesn't cause heart disease.
" The serum cholesterol levels are 35 to 40 mg higher in Tokelauans than in Pukapukans. These major differences in serum cholesterol levels are considered to be due to the higher saturated fat intake of the Tokelauans. Analysis of a variety of food samples, and human fat biopsies show a high lauric (12:0) and myristic (14:0) content. Vascular disease is uncommon in both populations and there is no evidence of the high saturated fat intake having a harmful effect in these populations."
"Fantastic Four Vol. 2, #5AU"
"Iraq is a basket case these days, and none of its problems came out of the blue. In the latest bout of sectarian and ethnic bloodletting, coordinated bomb attacks ripped through Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad and also northern Iraq, killing more than 30 people. The spasm of violence followed clashes between the Iraqi army and Sunni protesters and insurgents last month, where the federal government temporarily lost control of some town centers and urban neighborhoods in Kirkuk, Nineveh, and Diyala provinces. Negative indicators abound: Armed civilian militias are reactivating, tit-for-tat bombings are targeting Sunni and Shiite mosques, and some Iraqi military forces are breaking down into ethnic-sectarian components or suffering from chronic absenteeism. Numerous segments of Iraq's body politic -- Kurdish, Sunni Arab, and Shia -- are exasperated over the government's inability to address political or economic inequities, and are talking seriously about partition."
"Babies tend to believe that whatever information is obvious to them must be obvious to the world at large. Although we, intellectually, know that other people can't possibly know what's on our mind, there remains that lingering sense that we're communicating everything to the outside world. Games like Taboo and Pictionary capitalize on both sides of that frustration — especially when the player gets stuck in a loop because they can't possibly imagine that anyone could be dense enough not to understand what they've been communicating, while their team is going out of their minds with frustration because two circles and a square don't help us understand what you're trying to say, no matter how many times you underline them, Gary! (Sorry, I may be remembering something traumatic.)
But we don't need official games, or psychological experiments, to trip us up in this regard. In life it often seems clear to us that we've communicated something — enough information to get to a destination, our own discomfort at a situation, or the fact that we're only joking when we make a sarcastic remark — only to be surprised when people don't understand us. We're not as transparent, either with our mouths or our body language and expression, as we think we are. We don't understand that other people aren't trapped in our head with us."
"Discussing the structure of "Multiversity" and its forty-page nine issue run, Morrison says the first and last issue, ostensibly bookends, act as an “80-page giant DC super-spectacular story, in between which we have seven comics, each of which come from a different parallel universe, so they all have a slightly different trade dress…a different storytelling approach…each one is drawn by a different artist.” Briefly discussing the history of the DC multiverse, wherein each alternate reality vibrates at a frequency slightly out of phase with the other earths, Morrison gushes over the idea of “comic book universes as music”, a concept he played with in Final Crisis. “When you hear them all together they make the most beautiful music you’ve ever heard, and you can choose whatever [music] you want that to be.”
“Ultra Comics” will be a story set in the real world and involves the technology Morrison had mentioned earlier, which he refuses to talk about before the issue is released because “it will blow your mind. This comic will possess you. This comic is haunted, is all I’m going to say.” He promises to “make a superhero in front of” the reader in our own world. Morrison also promises a guidebook to the Multiverse will accompany the series, which he calls his magnum opus...
“The world we have to deal with,” he says, “is the world of the meat and the bone and the blood and death and decay”, he says of the genesis of The Filth, his personal favorite of his works which he describes as the flip-side of the coin that is The Invisibles. As he approached forty, “everything that upset me or freaked me out I tried to turn into comedy or poetry in order to absorb it a little bit more and learn from it and hopefully everybody could learn from it ‘cause we all go through the same crap...
“We all have attachments,” he says. “One of my cats who was born during the creation of The Invisibles just died a month ago and it was just devastating…but we all have attachments, and the existential weirdness of being human and being self-conscious in a universe where you know you’re going to die and you know you’ve got agency and all kinds of things could happen and they tend not to, and that was The Filth. It was kind of trying to be honest about the moments in our lives when they aren’t really working. We’re all becoming starchildren.”
...Morrison the shaman had one final message for the human race he so intensely loves. “Do your own thing. Be honest to yourself. There’s no genius, there’s no any of that. It’s just all of us. Just express yourself. No one will ever have your life, so tell me what it feels like. That’s all I’m trying to do. No one will ever see things the way I see, so here’s what it looks like! And, anyways, we’re all kind of the same, so….Turn it into poetry, turn into stories, turn it into something meaningful, and pass it on. The mind is all, we’re all together in this…the chances of being alive in the universe, the chances of existing as opposed to not existing, it’s so massive. And here we are, all existing right now, at the same time as Lady Gaga and George Clooney, and we’re all together in this…It’s not like Shakespeare and all of these people who are dead. It constantly blows my mind.”"
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Today's Internets - "...the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must." - Thucydides
see more hipster robot webcomics and pixel t-shirts
Full trailer for the new Agents of Shield TV show. Geektastic.
"If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, for any reason, not just weight, you are going to have to get over whatever it is that led to your condition. Whether you are giving up a lifetime of being told that “people should love you for who you are on the inside” or letting go a strongly held belief that “I am beautiful just as I am”, you will still experience a loss when you realize that you were wrong...
Perhaps you are really sad to discover that you are not a special little snowflake for some other random reason. Guess who’s going to have to get over the realization that they aren’t really that special after all and people are tired of your whiny, overly-dramatic, self-entitled bullshit?""
"Last night I was on Bill Maher's HBO show "Real Time". There have always been numerous views of Maher's with which I agree. But he has become one of the most vocal and extreme advocates of the view that - while religion generally should be criticized - Islam is a uniquely threatening and destructive force and that Muslims are uniquely oppressive and violent... hen I was scheduled to do the show, I was hoping that the opportunity would arise to debate these views (or that I could create the opportunity), and last night it did."
Of course, salt is good for you/conventional wisdom isn't - No Benefit Seen in Sharp Limits on Salt in Diet - NYTimes.com:
"In a report that undercuts years of public health warnings, a prestigious group convened by the government says there is no good reason based on health outcomes for many Americans to drive their sodium consumption down to the very low levels recommended in national dietary guidelines.
Some influential organizations, including the American Heart Association, have said that everyone, not just those at risk, should aim for that very low sodium level. The heart association reaffirmed that position in an interview with its spokesman on Monday, even in light of the new report.
But the new expert committee, commissioned by the Institute of Medicine at the behest of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there was no rationale for anyone to aim for sodium levels below 2,300 milligrams a day. The group examined new evidence that had emerged since the last such report was issued, in 2005..."
"Papers, please is the latest from Lucas Pope, creator of unsettling developing world newspaper sim The Republica Times. A "dystopian document thriller", Papers simulates the pleasure of immigration inspection in a grim Soviet-style republic: "Among the throngs of immigrants and visitors looking for work are hidden smugglers, spies, and terrorists. Using only the documents provided by travelers and the Ministry of Admission's primitive inspect, search, and fingerprint systems you must decide who can enter Arstotzka and who will be turned away or arrested."
"With the recent revelation that the Department of Justice under the Obama administration secretly obtained phone records for Associated Press journalists — and previous subpoenas by the Bush administration targeting the Washington Post and New York Times — it is clear that whether Democrat or Republican, we now live in a surveillance dystopia beyond Orwell’s Big Brother vision. Even privately collected data isn’t immune, and some highly sensitive data is particularly vulnerable thanks to the Third Party Doctrine.
So how can one safely leak information to the press?
Well, it’s hard. Even the head of the CIA can’t email his mistress without being identified by the FBI. With a simple subpoena or warrant, the FBI can obtain historical calling information (and with cellphones, location history); email messages (and records revealing the pattern of where and when the target accessed these accounts); internet activity; and much more."
"The U.S. Ambassador to Russia was summoned Wednesday by the Russian foreign ministry in connection with an alleged spy detention in Moscow.
Michael McFaul entered the ministry's building in central Moscow and left half an hour later without saying a word to journalists waiting outside the compound.
Russia's Federal Security Service said Tuesday that it briefly detained Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, who was carrying special technical equipment, disguises, written instructions and a large sum of money. Fogle was later handed over to U.S. Embassy officials..."
Ryan Fogle: Russia to expel diplomat arrested trying to recruit for CIA | World news | The Guardian: "The bizarre details of the raid to capture Fogle recalled the "spy rock" scandal of 2006, when Russia said it had caught British spies "red-handed" using a fake rock fitted able to transmit classified data. Britain initially laughed off the scandal as absurd, but early last year, Jonathan Powell, former chief of staff to then prime minister Tony Blair, admitted it was true. He called the spy rock "embarassing". "They had us bang to rights."
The Fogle scandal comes three years after the US broke up a sleeper cell of 10 Russian spies and expelled them via a dramatic swap at Vienna airport. The ring's most famous spy, Anna Chapman, has gone on to have a successful career as a TV host and Kremlin cheerleader at home..."
"...there are a number of credulity-straining details in this incident so bizarre that it’s difficult to square them with what we know about how the CIA actually works. That alone isn’t proof of anything, but as long as Russian media and security services are pushing hard on this story, it’s worth noting the signs that have a number of Russia-watchers wondering whether there’s something fishy to the story.
Based on the available information so far, there seem to be three scenarios that might most plausibly explain what had happened. The first is that the Russian version of events is correct and that Fogle was just remarkably clumsy, putting incriminating information into an otherwise not-very-useful letter and promising impossible-sounding payouts to his source. The second is that Fogle is innocent, a mere embassy official framed to serve some Russian political end, although if this were the case you might expect the U.S. State Department to be protesting much more loudly than it is. A third scenario could be some combination of the two: that Fogle is with the CIA, but that the implausible-looking props and letter were planted...
(1) Fogle’s “letter” suspiciously ham-fisted. The typed, one-page note, allegedly found on Fogle when he was arrested, appears to be addressed to a the Russian official he was trying to recruit. It lays out, in great detail and almost childlike prose that has been compared to the e-mail spam you might get from a “Nigerian prince...
(2) “Spy kit” looks like cheap costume shop regalia. Fogle’s alleged supplies when he was arrested, photos of which were disseminated on Russian media, include some cartoonish details: a map of Moscow (he doesn’t have a smartphone?), two wigs, three pairs of glasses, bags of Euros, a knife, a flashlight and – this is my favorite part – a compass...
(5) News broke at the exact moment the U.S. ambassador to Russia began a public Q&A session. Ambassador Michael McFaul, who has been something of a thorn in Moscow’s side, began a previously publicized Twitter question-and-answer session at 2:30 p.m. Moscow time. The story about Fogle also broke at 2:30 p.m., local time. Quite a coincidence..."
"Today, I found out I'm actually the uncle of my children. All four of them. FML"
"Today, my 55 year-old mother faked a pregnancy because she was jealous of all the attention I've been getting since I had my twin boys. FML"
"Today, I woke up without my fiancé in bed next to me, but I assumed he'd gone to work early. I went on Facebook to find that he had posted a break-up post to himself from my account and set my status to single. I then found a note with "Sorry" written on it stuck to the kitchen counter. FML"
"Today, my boyfriend yelled me at me. Apparently I'm not the "classy girl" he thought I was, and he's not comfortable "doing such vile things in public." I had tried to hold his hand. FML"
Interesting take on "travel dating"/"sex tourism"/whatever you want to call it - a not unknown facet of the next country I'm due to live in... [Thailand.]
"A common criticism I see is the following: “You can’t get laid in the United States so you go to third world countries to fuck poor women.” It’s an easy insult... For women, it allows them to believe that they are still beautiful princesses who don’t have to [change.] It’s much easier to call guys like me “losers,” to believe that no desirable man would ever step foot inside Brazil or Poland to meet women, than it is to look in the mirror and be disappointed with what they see...
There is no snappy retort when someone uses the insult because it comes from two deeply held beliefs of self-preservation:
1. “I don’t have to change or improve myself to get what I want.”
2. “If someone doesn’t like me, it’s never my fault.”
Most guys who dabble in dating travel do it not because they can’t get laid in America, but because they want to lay better. An American man with tight game can leverage that into getting with foreign women who I guarantee will increase his happiness level...
How about the guy with severe appearance deformities, negative game, and a psychiatric disorder who decides to hit Thailand in order to sleep with a dozen prostitutes? Should we shame him for such a trip?
...If it makes him happy, and he’s able to leverage his American dollars to get abroad what he can’t get at home, he should fuck all the prostitutes he can handle. Explain to me how it’s smart for any society to prevent millions of sexually frustrated men from getting their biological needs met. For women to deny fucking these “losers” and then shame them at the same time for paying prostitutes is nothing short of cruel. If these men committed mass suicide, not a single feminist tear would be shed..."
Continuing to understand better some of the nonsense of my youth...
"Because of the financial and social hardship faced after divorce, most people assume that generally husbands have instigated divorce since the introduction of no-fault divorce. Yet women file for divorce and are often the instigators of separation, despite a deep attachment to their children and the evidence that many divorces harm children...
"In 2000, two law professors, Margaret Brinig from Notre Dame University and Douglas Allen from Iowa, conducted a surprising study. The two professors studied 46,000 divorce cases filed in four states---Connecticut, Virginia, Montana and Oregon---to find out why women file for divorce. The results of that study, published in "These Boots Are Made for Walking: Why Most Divorce Filers Are Women," proved to be surprising. Women are 66 percent more likely to file for a divorce than a man, Brinig and Allen say...
"Because I've Outgrown Him"
"Because I Don't Need Him"
"Because I Will Win"
Statistically, author Margaret Brinig says, women who filed for divorce most often felt confident they would receive advantageous custody agreements. "The question of custody absolutely swamps all the other variables," Brinig said. "Our study found that children are the most important asset in a marriage and the partner who expects to get custody is by far the one most likely to file for divorce." Brinig adds that not only are women certain they will get custody, they divorce specifically in order to "gain full control over the children..."
"The solution to the mystery, the factor that determined most cases, turned out to be the question of child custody. Women are much more willing to split up because -- unlike men -- they typically do not fear losing custody of the children. Instead, a divorce often enables them to gain control over the children."
"What do you want to work for? This has got to be stopped... How long does this last? Till you're dead... It's slavery, but we have to get our own accommodation and food... You're free to go. We'll see you back here at 7:30 tomorrow morning."
On the other hand.
"Ecstatically excited, Anna spends five full minutes spewing all kinds of rational-sounding logic about how great it is for a Strong Independent Modern Woman™ to find a man who is a submissive beta male who sits around the house all day... “I love it and I support it!” she proudly exclaims, and gives reason after reason why this is a fantastic thing, and implying great problems with traditional gender roles.
…the truly educational stuff was yet to come. The guy next to her brings up valid points why this is an insane position and how she herself would hate that, and she argues back, hard. Another woman on the set also chimes in and says she agrees… Finally, in exasperation, the guy basically says, “Your husband sitting at home all day while you’re out working? You would eventually HATE THAT!”
In an instant 180-degree switcheroo, Anna says, in shock and embarrassment, “Ahhh! You’re RIGHT!” She goes on to admit that her “number one turn-on” is ambition. “Someone who’s driven and powerful, that turns me on so much,” she finally admits, and then says about the stay-at-home husband, “For me, I would probably get tired of it pretty quickly.”
...five full minutes of arguing and bullshit before she finally broke down and admitted that what she was endorsing was the exact opposite of what she actually wanted. God damn this is maddening. Even more amazingly, at one point she even admits that society “programs people”, namely about working hard..."
And speaking of bad relationship choices...
"According to recent research conducted by Jennifer Gauvain, a therapist in Denver, 30 percent of now-divorced women say they knew in their gut they were making a mistake as they walked down the aisle — and kept walking anyway. Only a handful backed out. Being a women’s magazine, the article goes on to explain that the women themselves aren’t to blame for leaving a trail of wreckage in their wakes because society made them do it. The reality is they feared losing the option to choose..."
This horrible person knew she didn't want to get married, did it anyways, had kids, then divorced. Relationship Warning Signs - Marrying Mr. Wrong - Marie Claire:
"30 percent of now-divorced women say they knew in their gut they were making a mistake as they walked down the aisle — and kept walking anyway. Only a handful backed out. The obvious question: If you know you're marrying the wrong guy, why do it?
...Clark had dated a handsome businessman for four years before they got engaged, and although he didn’t make her heart race, she still loved him. “We were best friends, and I thought he’d make a great husband and father, even though I wasn’t ‘in love,’” she says. “I walked down the aisle thinking, What the hell? During my vows, I wasn’t making eye contact with my fiancé.” Five years and two kids later, their sex life nonexistent, Clark wanted out. “I’d often wish he would cheat,” she says. Finally, her husband, sensing her unhappiness, ended it...
For starters, blame Cinderella. "Women are raised with an unrealistic impression of what love is supposed to look like," says Gauvain. "Girls read fairy tales where the woman gets saved by the prince, and when they're older, the same message is enforced through romantic comedies where love always prevails, despite impossible scenarios. So women learn that love can always work, even when it's unhealthy." Then there's the usual suspect: the biological clock. Clark's was ticking and she was ready to start a family. "The number 30 reads like an expiration date for unmarried women," says Gauvain. Not only are your baby-making years racing by, but you're leaving behind your 20s — a decade of experimentation, one-night stands, and making mistakes, professionally and personally. In the next decade, you're seen as an adult and can't do those things..."
"Welcome to the future of medicine, in which well-informed patients make decisions that even a few decades ago would have been either impossible to make (due to lack of testing or knowledge) or balked at by the medical establishment (due to reactionary ideas about human nature or bodily integrity)."
"It's a Commonwealth Club tradition to ask participants at the end of a talk to name a 60-second idea for changing the world. Jeremy's, I thought, was profound: American kids should be assigned essays in which they would research and report on the lives of innocent people killed in America's drone wars. The president personally eulogized the three people killed in the Boston bombing, yet we almost never hear the stories or see the faces of the innocent lives our wars cut short (well, in fairness, according to the Obama administration, it's not possible for someone killed by an American drone to be innocent). Imagine how different the world might be if we were to deny ourselves the luxury of that ignorance...
"Dirty Wars is the most thorough and authoritative history I've read yet of the causes and consequences of America's post 9/11 conflation of war and national security. I know of no other journalist who could have written it: For over a decade, Scahill has visited the war zones, overt and covert; interviewed the soldiers, spooks, jihadists, and victims; and seen with his own eyes the fruits of America's bipartisan war fever. He risked his life many times over to write this book, and the result is a masterpiece of insight, journalism, and true patriotism."
You can learn more about the book -- and about the accompanying film, which opens on June 7"
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
5/14 - grip COCT 8x8 -- P90X2 D86 PAP Lower
5/13 - P90X2 D85 PAP Upper
5/12 - P90X2 D84 Rest
5/11 - pushups 10x10, glute bridge 4x25, dynamic tension pulldown/pullapart 3x10/10, superman 3x10, prisoner squat 2x35 -- P90X2 D83 Rest
5/10 - P90X2 D82 PAP Upper
5/13 - P90X2 D85 PAP Upper
5/12 - P90X2 D84 Rest
5/11 - pushups 10x10, glute bridge 4x25, dynamic tension pulldown/pullapart 3x10/10, superman 3x10, prisoner squat 2x35 -- P90X2 D83 Rest
5/10 - P90X2 D82 PAP Upper
Your excuses suck & your science isn't science - The 3 Somatotypes Are Bullshit:
"Wherever there are dudes discussing lifting there is inevitably the mention of the somatotypes: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. Guys will subscribe to the belief that these body types exist and that they have supreme bearing on their life. Well, they do have a bearing on their lives in that they are needless limiting beliefs. As soon as you say “I’m a hardgainer” or “I’ve reached my potential as a mesomorph” you’ve already quit. You’ve already acknowledged that any failures to lose or gain mass can not be attributed to what you’re doing, but attributed to your “body type.”
Somatotypes were first suggested by psychologist William Sheldon in the 40s. He published his “findings” in 1954. He concluded on the three body types by looking at thousands of pictures of people and classifying them based on how their appearance made him feel. There is no scientific basis to this, just the feelings and observations of a psychologist. The scientific knowledge at the time was that of a current high schooler. Scientists barely knew anything about genetics and biochemistry, so how is it that everyone these days claims scientific reasoning behind the somatotypes. To me they have about as much credibility as phrenology and as much usefulness as measuring BMI...
Describing yourself by one of the three somatotypes is just a limiting belief and a rationalization for failure."
Describing yourself by one of the three somatotypes is just a limiting belief and a rationalization for failure."