Saturday, August 09, 2014

Why are some people so much luckier than others?

Why are some people so much luckier than others? 
asks Nathan Kotny (thanks to Instapundit).
In one experiment, Wiseman asked people to self identify themselves as lucky or unlucky. Then he gave his test subjects a newspaper. “Count the number of photographs inside”, he told them.

There were 43 photographs.

On average, the unlucky people took 2 minutes to count them all. The lucky people? Seconds.

The lucky people noticed the giant message that took up half the second page of the newspaper. It said, “Stop counting – There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.”

The unlucky people missed it. They also missed the equally giant message half way through the newspaper, “Stop counting, tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $250.”

The “lucky” people weren’t lucky. They were just more observant.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Punishing Men for Prostitution: One more peg in the machine against democracy and against the republic

Instapundit quotes Charlotte Alter's Time story that
Law enforcement agencies across the country collaborated in a recent series of sex stings that netted the arrests of almost 500 men seeking to buy sex and 14 pimps and traffickers, officials will announce Wednesday.

The police crackdown, part of an annual “National Day of Johns Arrests,” led to more arrests than any previous sex sting of its kind, officials said. Law enforcement agencies in 14 different states collaborated on the sting, which is part of an ongoing national pivot toward fighting the sex trade by punishing johns instead of prostitutes.
 … The National Day of Johns is part of a national trend toward punishing men who buy sex instead of prostitutes who are sometimes forced to sell it. New York has already announced some measures to punish pimps more than trafficking victims, and to rehabilitate women who have been in the sex trade rather than imprison them. The shift has also gained traction internationally, with Sweden’s ban on purchasing sex instead of on selling it has becoming a model across Europe.
Ed 2 comments:
Women are free to make their own choices about their own bodies. Unless they choose prostitution; then it's the patriarchy's fault.
tjking scratches his head:
Let me see if I can remember back in time... like maybe last month when the Hobby Lobby decision spawned a gaggle of dingbats saying, "What kind of a world do we live in where the outdated religious beliefs of the person who signs your paycheck can dictate what a woman does in her bedroom and with her own body".

I don't even know here to start with that one... 
Let me add that
This is one more peg in the machine against democracy and against the republic, by making one hysterical announcement after another, year after year after year, that the common (male) citizen is a pervert and/or an abuser and/or an ignoramus and/or a hater and/or a racist, etc etc etc — in other words, not to be trusted with his vote, indeed not to be trusted at all…

Dont'cha see?! They don't know how to act on their own, these voters who need some type of reeducation, what they need indeed is leaders along with an army of bureaucrats to guide them in, and through, their lives…

This fits right in, actually, with the Hobby Lobby "What kind of a world do we live in where the outdated religious beliefs of the person who signs your paycheck can dictate what a woman does in her bedroom and with her own body", as it is always the independent-minded males — i.e., the responsible citizens (I hate to say) using their brains rather than the females using their hearts (Yin/Yang, anyone?) — who must be browbeaten, beaten into submission…

Men must become robots, who never protest against the machine, who never drive above the speed limit (or complain about the speed limit), who never would look down at a woman, any women whatsoever (for acting sluttish, for instance), and who never have sexual feelings or engage in sexual acts when it is deemed inappropriate by our overlords, male or female.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

All the boogeymen who haunt progressives’ nightmares were conveniently implicated in JFK’s murder

Heather Digby Parton doesn’t care much for Texans who exercise their constitutional rights
notes Benny Huang.
The Salon columnist sounded like a true authoritarian this week when she penned a piece called “Texas Gun Nuts’ Scary Ritual: How Hatred of a President Turned Profane” decrying the fact that a number of gun rights activists rallied for open carry laws at Dallas’s Dealey Plaza.

Parton seems blithely unware that Dealey Plaza, while being the site of the 1963 Kennedy assassination, is also the center of metropolitan Dallas. Any connection to the events that transpired there fifty years ago is purely coincidental.

To Parton, the gun rights rally seemed eerily reminiscent of a time long ago when right-wing Texans gave President Kennedy a chilly “welcome.” Their crime, apparently, was voicing their opposition to the president’s administration and its policies. They took out a mean newspaper ad, carried mean signs, and demanded to “address their grievances [sic].” They even swore fealty to the Constitution, which has reduced Ms. Parton to a pants-wetting ball of nerves.
In other words, the dangerous right-wingers of early 1960s Dallas did nothing more than exercise the rights guaranteed in our Constitution to every American. Apparently it isn’t just the second amendment Parton hates but the first as well.

Ms. Parton isn’t very subtle with the inferences she draws. “The right-wing hatred for John F. Kennedy was in some ways as extreme as the hatred for Barack Obama and nowhere was it more energized than Dallas in 1963,” she writes.

Yeah. And Kennedy was murdered. Surely Obama is next, and we know who the culpable parties will be—conservatives like me. We’re already guilty of future crimes that exist only in Parton’s mind.

As if her smear weren’t clear enough, Parton continues, after spouting a laundry list of questions that right-wing meanies asked Kennedy: “You get the drift. And you probably recognize the tone. The subject may have changed somewhat but the arrogant attitude combined with the aggrieved victimization is a hallmark of right-wing politics even today. As we all know, later that day the president was gunned down in Dealey Plaza.”

Notice the use of the passive voice which avoids making an accusation against any particular person. Nowhere in the piece is Lee Harvey Oswald, or anyone else for that matter, identified as the assassin. Why not? Because it doesn’t matter. Oswald didn’t kill President Kennedy; Dallas did, with its love of firearms and its hideous reactionary vitriol. Kennedy was a beautiful man who fell victim to a lynching of sorts in the capital of Dixieland bigotry.

The problem with Parton’s analysis is that neither attitudes nor cities kill people. Human beings do. Further complicating her narrative is the fact that Oswald was a communist every bit as red as Kennedy’s blood. He was so enthralled with the Soviet system that he defected to Moscow hoping to trade military secrets for life in a worker’s paradise.

 … all the boogeymen who haunt progressives’ nightmares were conveniently implicated in Kennedy’s murder. If that sounds like they’re projecting their own prejudices upon their analysis, that’s because they are.
They wish it had happened that way. They want an orderly world of good guys and bad guys, in which dashing liberal presidents with movie star good looks are murdered by people they can readily despise—rednecks, corporatists, militarists. Anyone but a communist!

Heather Digby Parton exploits the tragic murder of John F. Kennedy in order to stifle policy differences. Her insinuation that dissent is akin to murder is clear. We’re all guilty of Kennedy’s murder, and probably the hypothetical murder of Barack Obama too, if only because we entertain bad thoughts. The only way to exculpate ourselves is never to utter a disparaging word about the president, provided that he’s a liberal Democrat of course.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

What they’re teaching in California is not history, but rather homosexual folklore, replete with cartoonish villains, blameless victims, and courageous heroes

Three years ago California became the first state in the Union to mandate the teaching of homosexual history in public schools
writes Benny Huang.
As a history buff myself I have no objection to schools teaching LGBTQXYZ history. What they’re teaching in California however is not history by any conceivable definition, but rather homosexual folklore, replete with cartoonish villains, blameless victims, and courageous heroes.

No one fears teaching history, true history that is, more than the homosexual movement. They’ve been toiling for the better part of twenty years to erase the truth about the movement’s early days.
The movement moved above ground in the 1970s when it suddenly became socially acceptable, in a few urban enclaves such as New York and San Francisco, to declare boldly a desire to engage in intercourse with members of the same sex.

By no means did the movement limit itself to consenting adults. Its goal was to “liberate” society from its antiquated hang-ups about sex, including pedophilia and pederasty. They made no secret of it. Yes, it was controversial to campaign for pedophile rights, but not significantly more controversial than campaigning for “gay” rights. All of the same “bigots” opposed them with all of the same arguments.

 … How about a few more LGBTQXYZ history lessons you won’t read in California’s censored schoolbooks? San Francisco’s own Harvey Milk, the first openly “gay” elected official in California, was a teacher who seduced his underage male students. None dare call it recruiting. Also, he wasn’t shot for “being gay,” as the legend goes. Milk’s assassin, Dan White, was a frustrated city supervisor who resigned his seat, had a change of heart, and then asked Mayor George Muscone to reinstate him. Milk advised Muscone to deny the request, which drove White into a fit of rage that ended the lives of both Milk and the heterosexual Muscone. White was a hothead, but not a “homophobe;” his voting record indicates that he was on the same side as Milk on all of the big “gay” issues.

 … Schools should teach history without fear or favoritism. They shouldn’t be afraid to tackle topics such as “gay” terrorism, public toilet sex, Jim Jones, AIDS misinformation campaigns, Alfred Kinsey, and the on-going campaign to sexualize children.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

400 Russian Sailors in French Port to Train on Ultra-Tech Mistral Warships

Saint-Nazaire, a shipbuilding city on the Atlantic coast southwest of Paris, is used to seeing sailors from around the world. But few have been the subject of as much interest and debate as those who arrived here last month to begin training on the first of two warships built for the Russian Navy by France.
Thus writes Maïa de la Baume in the New York Times, regarding France's sale of untra-tech Mistral vessels to Russia.
Even before the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over Ukraine put new pressure on Europe to impose stiffer sanctions on Russia, France’s decision to proceed with the sale of the warships to Moscow and to train the Russian Navy in how to operate them had prompted opposition and concern from the United States and other nations.

Now, with much of Europe showing signs of taking a harder line with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Saint-Nazaire has become a symbol of the difficult trade-off between diplomatic and national concerns on the one hand and jobs and an economic future on the other.

The challenge facing France is one that many European nations are grappling with: Is Britain willing to risk the huge sums of Russian money that flow through London’s financial district? Is Germany willing to endanger the supply of natural gas from Russia?

But in few places is the trade-off quite as stark or direct as it is here. Like many shipbuilding centers, Saint-Nazaire has fallen on hard times. The unemployment rate is around 14 percent. In 2009, the main shipbuilder, STX France, put half the shipyard’s 2,500 employees on reduced hours, forcing them to take partial unemployment benefits.

In that kind of climate, the $1.6 billion deal signed in 2011 by President Nicolas Sarkozy to build two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships for Russia, and to train the Russians in operating them, was viewed here as a triumph. The Russian sailors are now in Saint-Nazaire to train on the first of the ships, the Vladivostok, which is scheduled for delivery in November. The second, the Sevastopol, is scheduled for delivery next year.

 … Christophe Morel, a union delegate at the STX France shipyard … downplayed political concerns about the French contract with Russia, calling the Vladivostok a “big ferry” with minor advanced technology and “few weapons” onboard. (It is designed to carry up to 30 helicopters, 60 armored vehicles, 13 tanks and 700 soldiers.)

 … Emmanuel Gaudez, a spokesman for DCNS, the naval shipbuilder that supervised the deal, declined to offer any details on what the Russians were doing. “We have decided to take a low profile,” he said. “It is a highly political case,” he said.
Reminder: Eastern Europe Leaders Protest Paris's Sale of High-Tech Mistral Warships to Russia

Monday, August 04, 2014

National Front's Le Pens Call Putin a "Patriot", Worthy of "Admiration", Whom the World Is "Lucky to Have"

As No Pasarán has written before, anybody likening American conservatives or the Tea Party to France's far-right Front National is, deliberately or otherwise, ignoring the Le Pen Family Members' anti-American, pro-Russian statements in the press (not to mention their anti-free market demagoguery).

Now even Le Monde can no longer ignore the "Putin-fan National Front", as its weekly magazine publishes a full-page article enumerating
1) the admiration of Marine Le Pen — who was welcomed with open arms in the Duma — for Vladimir Putin, coupled with a desire for France to turn away from the United States
2) the doffing of hats to Russia's president
3) the assurance that homosexuals are not persecuted in Russia (unlike places like Saudi Arabia and Qatar)
4) Marion Maréchal-Le Pen calling Putin "a patriot", whose defense of his country's interests "functions rather well"
5) Jean-Marie Le Pen calling the world lucky to have a leader (Putin) with sang-froid.

En visite à Moscou, Marine Le Pen regrette la... by lemondefr

Austria Declares War Upon Serbia

All Austrian reservists living in Germany have been summoned to join the colors
reports the New York Herald,
and all leave of German officers and soldiers has been stopped. According to a despatch from Vienna, one of the highest personages in Germany — whom, I learn, is none other than the Emperor — is said to have written personally to Herr von Tschirschky und Bogendorff, the German Ambassador in Vienna, telling him to stiffen the back of Count Berchtold, who at that time was all for conciliation with Servia.  The result was that the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister entirely changed his attitude and prepared the drastic ultimatum to Belgrade.
Although Austria-Hungary sent the ultimatum before it had consulted the German Foreign Office, Germany is backing her ally right or wrong. All eyes here are turned upon Russia as holding the issue in her hands. Consequently, a St. Petersburg despatch crediting the Tsar with having said: ‘‘Austria-Hungary has thrown down the gauntlet, I shall pick it up,’’ causes consternation. Army circles say that Germany is prepared for war at a moment’s notice. The Emperor arrived in Potsdam this afternoon, and was greeted by an effusive popular demonstration.

From the front page of the Herald the following day:
The Austro-Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday [July 28] issued the following statement: “The Servian Government not having replied in a satisfactory manner to the Note which was handed to it on July 23, 1914, by the Austro-Hungarian Minister, the Imperial and Royal Government finds itself obliged to take steps to safeguard its rights and interests. It considers itself from the present moment in a state of war with Servia.” 

BERLIN — Despatches from Vienna announce that fighting has already taken place on the Austro-Servian frontier. Servian volunteers have crossed the frontier at several points. The Austrian troops returned the fire. 

BRUSSELS — Although the outlook is not yet critical, all Belgian officers and soldiers on leave have been recalled to the colors, and the German and French frontiers are being watched closely by Belgian mounted police and military scouts. 
BUDAPEST — A stirring scene occurred in the Lower House of the Hungarian Parliament when Count Tisza, the Prime Minister, made a striking reference to the present crisis. He said that what was wanted now were deeds of arms, not words. Full of pride, he pointed to the enthusiasm of the people without distinction of nationality. 

Sunday, August 03, 2014

It’s now Paris Plages time, when the city pours sand all over stretches of the riverside and canal banks, sets out beach furniture and parasols, and pretends it is Saint Tropez for a month

  … this addiction to water is shared by most of my fellow Parisians
writes the Telegraph's Stephen Clarke,
even though we are at least two hours from the nearest sea (unless you own a helicopter or a Ferrari fitted with an invisibilty [sic] cloak). It’s now Paris Plages time, when the city pours sand all over stretches of the riverside and canal banks, sets out beach furniture and parasols, and pretends it is Saint Tropez for a month. People flock to the “beaches”, and in my area, near the Bassin de la Villette, locals colonise the loungers, deckchairs and picnic tables from dawn. Even the Germans don’t get a look in.

Over the past few days, the smell of suncream has been pungent. Parisians skin is renowned for its rhino-like thickness, but the sun has been doing its best to turn everyone the colour of steak tartare.

The only sad thing about all this is that despite the large expanses of water just steps away from the sand and deckchairs, it is off limits. The Seine is polluted, has a dangerous current and is frequented by barges and bateaux mouches that would turn a swimmer into the above-mentioned steak tartare. The canal basin is less populated by boats, but the water is a grey soup of urban run-off, rat urine and general stagnation.