Archive for February, 2013

A Morbid and Hilarious Make Work Idea

February 28, 2013 7 comments

While writing a couple of longish posts, I took a break and completed one of my older short posts. This one is about a morbid but hilarious make work scheme that is very feasible.

What if we paid young people (especially non-whites) to dig up and destroy the graves of dead old white people?

Now some of you might see this as an attempt to desecrate the graves of dead old white people, but I don’t. Desecration involves damaging something to such an extent that it cannot serve its previous function, yet is still recognizable as such. So breaking gravestones, digging out corpses and piling them up in the center of the graveyard would be desecration. What I am proposing is however far more thorough.

The scheme starts with paying people to destroy gravestones and disposing them in a manner that no future archaeologist could piece back together. Then the workers will dig out the corpses of dead old white people and ‘process’ them such that they are unrecognizable at organic remains- perhaps with high temperature incineration. The next step involves digging and refilling the whole graveyard (disrupting the soil) to remove all tell-tale signs of its previous history. The area can then be planted with vegetation to make it contiguous with the surroundings. As you can see, the scheme involves much more than simple desecration which is fast and not that labor intensive. In contrast, the “grave annihilation” scheme is slow, methodical, thorough and labor intensive.

First you have to locate all of the graveyards and come up with the best plan of action for each class of graveyards. Some gravestones, mini-mausoleums and grave ornaments might be harder to destroy beyond recognition than others. Then there is the logistics of transporting the fragments for disposal.

While digging up corpses is easy, processing them requires transportation to sites with high temperature incinerators. Then there is the issue of quality control, as all of this effort would be for naught if the corpses cannot be reliably processed to a form unrecognizable as human remains. We also cannot ignore the logistics and planning involved in proper disposal of the residual solid end-products of the process.

Proper land reclamation requires a considerable amount of surveying, planning and execution. Removing all traces of its previous usage will involve a lot of digging of the whole area, removal and disposal of some soil that may contain identifying artifacts, transportation of equivalent soil from adjacent areas, putting back the soil layers such that they are contiguous with the adjacent areas and then planting vegetation that will blend with the surroundings.

Then there is the issue of removing all official records of the existence of these people from history. It will require a lot of manpower to go through all of the archives and records to ensure the removal of all official evidence of their existence from history. It will however not be necessary to rewrite history, as nobody will care about their existence (or non-existence) after a few years.

What do you think? Comments?

Everything Does Not Happen For A Reason

February 24, 2013 18 comments

The human mind has a predilection for seeing patterns and connections in all sorts of phenomena and occurrences. Sometimes these hunches turn out to be true and are verifiable, but at other times these apparent connections are based in chance, luck and probabilities. However our ego wants to ignore the fact that we are not always correct or infallible. Therefore, rather than factor in our obvious limitations we do the opposite and build grand mental schemes or models of the universe based upon the absolute truth and certainty of our beliefs and insights. While this ego-based grandstanding might at first glance appear harmless, it has caused untold misery over the millenia.

Almost all of our bizzaro beliefs from religions with vengeful sky-dudes and dudettes, planning events based on astrology, belief in witchcraft or black magic are based on such worthless and harmful models of the universe. Even many apparently secular beliefs from various schools of economics, how we structure our societies, write and enforce our laws to belief in the desirability of eugenics.. I mean HBD.. are based in the absolute validity of some model of the universe.

Over the centuries, our mental models of the universe have become less bizarre, but the newer versions still have a lot of basic similarities with the older ones. As an example- one of the main, if not the most important, core belief in almost all secular models of the universe goes something like this-

Everything happens for a reason.

I consider this particular belief to be the secular version of belief in god. You might have noticed that religious people ascribe every occurrence in the universe to an all-powerful and omnipotent god. Frequently they also claim that the desires, wishes or plans of ‘god’ are mysterious or beyond human comprehension. The secular and ‘scientific’ minded types dismiss such religious beliefs as simple-minded and irrational, however they themselves believe in a similar fallacy- though they deny doing so when confronted about it. Let me explain that with a few examples.

If you have read any general biology textbooks, you might get the impression that things like viruses, parasites and diseases such as cancer or aging are ‘normal’, ‘inevitable’ or serve some important ‘purpose’. But do they? Does even the very presence of life on earth have any ‘purpose’ or ‘reason’? I don’t think that the other rocky planets in our solar system (or any other) which do not have any life-forms are worse off than earth. And what is ‘worse off’ anyway? It is not like these large spheres of rock are sentient- as we currently understand.

The reality is that different species of cell-based organisms have vastly varying loads of, and susceptibility to, viruses. Both are linked to the probability of successful transmission from one host to the other. Species with a small number of individuals who live in widely dispersed and small groups are far less likely to have viral infections and diseases than those that live in proximity to each other. It is therefore no accident that the rise of many viral diseases from smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chicken pox, influenza etc was linked to the rise of ‘civilization’ which led to poorly nourished people living in cramped quarters with domesticated animals. The same is true for many human specific bacterial diseases from syphilis and human tuberculosis to typhoid. But as our scientific knowledge and public health measures became more effective (especially over the last 100 years) these “common” and “inevitable” diseases became uncommon, rare or just plain extinct.

The same is true for parasites, be they protozoans like various versions of malaria and leishmaniasis or any species of round worms, flukes and tapeworms that can infect humans. They all have no intrinsic purpose or reason for existence- just like all the other infectious diseases that affect other animal and plant species. However evolutionary biologists frequently claim (often via non-obvious arguments) that such pathogenic microbes have a ‘function’ or ‘reason to exist’. I, for one, fail to see any intrinsic and necessary purpose inherent in the existence of pathogens or parasites in any species. Similarly cancer and aging are not ‘inevitable’, ‘necessary’ or part of some ‘grand plan’ or ‘scheme’. We know of more than a few animal species that do not age in any measurable way. We are also aware of animal species which do not develop cancers- even when we try to induce neoplastic processes in them.

Let us now turn to “macro” events such as droughts, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, comet strikes and other disasters caused by large physical forces largely beyond human control. As most of you are well aware, people of a more religious mindset used to see such events as punishment for ‘sins’, ‘immorality’, ‘greed’ etc. We know better now, and modern technological developments offer many avenues for mitigating the material loss and casualties resulting from the rare but big events. While these events are caused by a chain of smaller and larger events occurring in certain sequences, they are by no means necessary, inevitable or part of the grand scheme of things.

Similarly socio-economic problems such as widespread poverty, material deprivation, tyrannical law enforcement, ineffective or corrupt legislative processes, incompetent administration, institutions that do the opposite of what they are supposed to be doing etc are neither ‘natural’, ‘inevitable’ or ‘part of the human condition’. There is nothing ‘natural’ about ‘the marketplace’, ‘capitalism’, perpetual growth based economic models or even people having ‘jobs’ to have a decent and largely fulfilling existence. These bizzaro concepts do not exist because they have any ‘cosmic role’,’purpose’ or place in the grand scheme of things. They need to be methodically destroyed in a manner that address the defects and shortcomings which allow them to exist in the first place. This is worthwhile even if doing so would cause very significant collateral casualties and damage.

What do you think? Comments?

Funny Video: The Women of LA

February 19, 2013 22 comments

A funny video which, while somewhat specific for women in LA, is also broadly true for most large cities in North America.

PS: Women in NYC are no better, unlike what the video tries to imply.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Dystopia, LOL, YouTube

The Link Between Drug Use and Suicidal Tendencies: An Alternative Explanation

February 18, 2013 20 comments

It is common knowledge that artists, actors, singers and comedians are much more likely to die through some combination of drug use and suicide than ‘normal’ people. But why is that so? These creative types also have a higher incidence of mental ‘illness’ especially depression and mania. But why? Is there something about being creative that makes them more susceptible to mental illness and drug abuse or are un-‘normal’ states of mind necessary for being creative? The conventional explanations put forth by charlatans.. I mean ‘experts’.. range from denying that this phenomena is true using creative statistical fraud to acknowledging the link but talking about treating these ‘diseases’ and helping them become ‘normal’ again.

But what is ‘normal’ and why would anyone aspire to be ‘normal’ if their self-image, desires and lives are built around being un-‘normal’?

One of the distinguishing characteristics of being creative is the ability to perceive, think up or do something that is beyond the mental abilities of most people. I am not implying that ‘normal’ people are any worse than creative-types at doing arithmetic, making grocery shopping lists, cooking food, having vanilla sex, working in an office or even playing musical instruments. But ‘normal’ people are dismal at seeing, thinking or doing things that go beyond their very and rigid mental and social models of the world around them.

There are tons of Asian kids who can play some piece of western classical music on the violin, piano or cello- but how many can play an electric guitar like Jimi Hendrix. Artists such as Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dali might have very unconventional personal lives, but they were also vastly more creative than all the Asian artist workers who can make very good copies of famous artworks. We are also unlikely to see an Asian version of Mozart, Schubert or Beethoven or their more contemporary versions. There are tons of famous Jewish and Black stand-up comics, but hardly any Asian ones. Why? and what does this have to do with high rates of drug use, mental illness and suicide among those who are creative?

All forms of creativity require you to step outside of your normal comfort zones- both personal and social. However doing that requires you to think and perceive the world in ways that is contrary to what society expects out of you or tries to tell you. You have to also question whether what you were taught to believe in or whether the ‘norm’ is even right, worthwhile or desirable. People without a strong sense of self (aka conformists) don’t or cannot and would rather be ‘pretend happy’ automatons pumping out more automatons. While some of them can recognize the dystopic nature of their existence they either ignore it, suppress it or perform a half-hearted and token rebellion to feel better.

The truly creative ones, on the other hand, go beyond half-hearted attempts to think differently and assert themselves. They are willing to take paths that few dare follow or which frequently do not even exist at that moment. Whether they are successful in their endeavors, or not, is another issue that we will come to shortly. However the very willingness to go against conventional social beliefs and mores in one area often makes them question the validity of ‘conventional wisdom’ in other areas.

Furthermore, thinking about human behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, relationships and society from a somewhat detached perspective cannot but make you angry, depressed, cynical and nihilistic.

If you don’t believe me, ask yourself- What is good about schools or universities? Do people really learn anything worthwhile in them? Do they enjoy their time- especially in school? Isn’t that odd that children like to learn new things all the time but hate school. What about conventional dating? Is it worth the time, expense and effort? What about marriage? Is there a more expensive and fucked up way to get ‘free’ sex. What about jobs? Do you like working your ass off for someone who looks down upon you and will steal from and betray you at the first chance to do so. What about the socio-economic paradigms we live in? What is natural about a society where most people live a precarious existence to enrich those who have more than they could possibly spend in the rest of pathetic lives? What about the myriad laws and regulations which pretend to enforce fairness, but achieve the opposite- which is their real purpose anyway. I could go on.. but you get my point.

There is nothing natural, rational or desirable about a ‘normal’ life.

I see the high rates of recreational drug use by creative types as a way to help them function somewhat normally after realizing the truth about what most people, societies and humanity are in reality. Drug use by creative types is really a form of self-medication that allows them to escape or tolerate the mediocre, stunted and frequently bizarre nature of ‘normal-ness’. Drug use also allows people to make themselves feel better than they could in ‘real’ life. The experience of drug use, if anything, consolidates their views that ‘real’ and ‘normal’ life is shitty, boring, highly dysfunctional and meaninglessness.

I believe that a significant number of creative types, especially those who have achieved some success, realize that ‘normal’ life is actually worse than death.

Would you re-enter the matrix even if you could, especially if you left if because it was intolerable in the first place? Would you like to be an average pussy-whipped white guy moving his lawn and slaving away for his ugly and ungrateful wife who is trying her best to make the rest of his life as miserable as possible? Do you want to work around one set of mediocre weasels at work and hang out with another set in your sad ‘social’ life? Do you want to spend your life slaving away for something that you will almost certainly be yanked away at the last moment? Do you want to keep on pretending that you are ‘normal’ and a team-player when you despise every moment of it?

On another note, why are the most creative minds often described as weird, odd or mentally ill? What does that say about the society which curiously (and often later) celebrates them as the paragons of human intellectual achievement? and how come people with actual mental retardation, brain injury or damage almost never end up as famous creative types? Odd isn’t it?

What do you think? Comments?

Societies, not Individuals, are Mentally Ill

February 17, 2013 18 comments

The huge increase in diagnosed psychiatric illnesses since WW2, but especially during the last 30-40 years, has been one of defining characteristics of our era. The “conventional wisdom” of “experts” attributes this increase in diagnosed mental illness to advances in the field of psychiatry, better access to medical care and advances in drug therapy of mental illnesses.

But is that really the case? What if the very nature and structure of contemporary societies is not quite right? What if the rules, expectations and mores of societies and the institutions within them are bizarre, sociopathic and irrational?

Let me start by talking about one of the more sensational categories of “crime” in our era- spree or mass shootings. We can certainly pretend that such crimes are the result of evil and mentally sick people having ‘assault’ rifles and ‘semi-auto’ handguns. Many morons seem to think that guns (especially the ‘scary’ looking ones) have powers similar to the one ring of Sauron in LOTR. But if that were the case why didn’t we see spree shootings in previous eras? How many of the returning and war-scarred veterans of WW1, WW2, Korea or even Vietnam went about shooting up movie theaters or 1st grade classes? How many went to a university and killed over 30 people with handguns alone? So what changed? Why didn’t any of them go Holmes, Lanza or Cho? what about going Breivik?

How do smart men from very middle-class backgrounds with no worthwhile criminal record end up killing with more enthusiasm, planning, skill and ruthlessness than trained killers?

The conventional explanation by “experts” is that all of these spree shooters were mentally ill. They blame everything from adolescence-onset schizophrenia to autism and major depressive illnesses to ‘explain’ these occurrences. What is a few more epicycles between fellow Ptolemians? But why didn’t we have such events in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s or even the early 1980s? Those decades had more young adults as well as much higher rates of ‘crime’ and murder. Surely there must have been equivalents of Homes, Lanza, Cho and Breivik in those years.. but for some odd reason spree shootings of the type that occur nowadays were almost unheard of? So what changed? What are spree shooters mad about anyway? Isn’t it odd that they kill people based on the symbolism and social connections rather than personal grudges?

We have also seen a huge rise in the number of children, especially boys, diagnosed with various mental illnesses and behavioral conditions such as ADHD. But is that increase based on any real change in human biology within 30 years? How much of this increase in diagnosed mental illnesses and conditions in children driven by profit and changing artificial definitions of “normal” behavior. What is ‘normal’ behavior anyway? How much of what was once considered ‘normal’ childhood behavior has been deemed “un-normal” by committees of ‘experts’, administrators, legislators and ‘concerned citizens’? and to what end? Does it help those displaying “un-normal” behavior or improve their lives? Does society at large benefit from the ‘treatment’ of “un-normal” behavior? If neither the “affected” persons or general society benefit from ‘classification’ and ‘treatment’- who does?

The rise in the rates of diagnosed depressive illnesses is another intriguing part of our era. While the diagnosed rates of other major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, mania or bipolar disorders have also increased over the last 60-70 years, the increase in diagnosis for depression has been nothing short of phenomenal. While the availability of reasonably safe (but not that efficacious) drugs has made treating depression very profitable, there is more to the story than a simple profit motive. What makes so many people, especially women, seek medical attention for depression? There is more to this increase than profit, fashion or attention-seeking behavior. Most people who end up taking anti-depressants don’t just go out and get them to party.

So what is happening? Is there something increasingly wrong with human mind? Or is contemporary ‘society’ mentally ill?

I tend to favor the later explanation as there is considerable historical evidence that human ‘societies’ are more likely to be weird, unhinged and deranged. Societies through the ages have encouraged its members to believe in all sorts of crap from omnipresent anthropomorphic gods and divine revelations to the infallibility of the marketplace. We have religions based on the stated beliefs of people who claim to have heard the word of ‘gods’ and ‘angels’ or felt their presence. Societies encourage and support religious rituals which look awfully similar to obsessive-compulsive disorders. Belief in witchcraft, black magic, spells and curses has been rather universal throughout human cultures. Societies have fought long and vicious wars, enslaved or killed millions of other people or repeatedly shot themselves in the foot because of beliefs that are indistinguishable from the manifestations of serious mental illness.

Maybe the problem with contemporary society and its institutions is that they are almost totally divorced from what human beings really are and what we truly desire. While our standards of material living are better than any other time in human history, the same cannot be said about the rules, expectations and mores of societies and the institutions within them. They enforce scarcity of resources and opportunities even though technology has ushered in an era of plenty. They try hard to degrade, humiliate and screw over an ever-increasing number and percentage of people- even though there is no rational reason to do so. They try to destroy and cripple the personal lives and relationships of those who would have otherwise supported the system- once again, for reasons that are not rational. They try to destroy the lives of an ever-increasing number of people over utterly trivial and farcical reasons- even though they don’t stand to gain from such actions.

The funny thing is that, after doing all of the above, contemporary society and its institutions expect people to happily and willingly go along with the increasingly bizarre and irrational demands placed upon them by sociopathic morons. They believe that the choice and information matrix of people today is the same as it was 30-40 years ago. They seem to believe in their ability to keep on dishing ever-increasing amounts of the same shit forever and without consequences.

Maybe it is contemporary society and its ‘trusted’ institutions, not individuals, that are mentally ill.

What do you think? Comments?

Garfunkel and Oates – The Fade Away

February 16, 2013 1 comment

One of the better (especially sound quality) live performances of ‘The Fade Away’ by Garfunkel and Oates. Try to view it in HD if possible.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: LOL, Uncategorized, YouTube

The Similarities Between Corporate Drones and Biological Viruses

February 15, 2013 14 comments

I have previously written about how present-day corporate drones are rather similar to those employed by the Third Reich. Let us take that idea one step forward and ask ourselves..

What class of biological organisms do corporate drones most resemble?

Some of you might say that corporate drones resemble classical multi- or uni- cellular parasites, that is not quite correct. Every species of parasitic worms, flukes and protozoas evolved from organisms that were not parasitic and have many cousin species that are either free-living, commensal or symbiotic. They themselves got into the ‘parasite’ lifestyle because a series of events based in probability (mutations) and chance (opportunity). Their parasitism is therefore a side-effect of evolution and not the defining characteristic of their biological potential. Even every species of pathogenic bacteria have dozens if not hundreds of harmless cousin species who mind their own business.

One class of organisms, however, came into being (and have remained) obligate parasites. Viruses, of all types, are incapable of reproducing without misusing the biochemical machinery of a host cell- be it a bacteria or a human.

The obligatory parasitic nature of viruses is also the defining characteristic of their biological and evolutionary potential.

While all biological organisms want to reproduce themselves, viruses alone exist for the sole purpose of reproduction. Viruses cannot be anything other than or beyond viruses. They are fundamentally incapable of a free- living, commensal or symbiotic existence. Viruses cannot evolve into anything beyond another strain or species of viruses, unlike cell-based organisms which can and do evolve into something beyond their current selves.

Consequently viruses have no true utility to the rest of biological life on earth. Can you think of a single cellular species that would miss their existence? Would the process of biological evolution on earth be crippled if every single virus on earth just disappeared? Viruses exist because they can, not because they must or should. Do humans miss the disappearance of the smallpox virus or the polio virus? Do cattle miss the rinderpest virus?

Unlike all other type of biological lifeforms, the continued existence of all viral types and species is a net negative.

Now let us turn our attention to corporate drones. What are their defining features? How are they different and distinct from other human beings? Are corporate drones really human beings?

The most obvious and distinguishing feature of corporate drones is their willingness and efficiency in carrying out tasks without regard to the outcome or utility. They either lack the ability to comprehend the consequences of their actions or seem to willfully ignore them. The sole purpose of their existence seems to be having kids with a similar mentality. They do not have aspirations beyond survival and promotion in the group they supposedly ‘belong’ to. Nor do they exhibit the type of spontaneous intellectual curiosity and imagination characteristic of even the most ‘primitive’ human beings.

Though similar to sociopaths in many respects, they lack the superficial charm, exciting lives and intellectual abilities that characterize sociopaths – especially the successful ones. Corporate drones are blander than bland. Their personal lives are so predictable and mundane that calling them ‘beige’ is an insult to that color. They are almost never involved in making, building or creating anything that is necessary, useful or innovative. They are also never involved in any innovative activity- be it social, cultural or intellectual. They even lack the position and guile to steal from others like the rich.

Their lack of intelligence, talent, creativity and lack of human decency does not however translate into unemployment. Indeed, the converse is true as they are favored henchmen for high-flying sociopaths. It would not be an exaggeration to say that almost every single person in middle to upper management, administration, human resources, accounting etc in private corporations or public organisations is a corporate drone. So are lawyers, law enforcement and a significant number of people in the educational and medical professions. They are the people who make it possible for the rich and powerful to be overtly sociopathic and screw over the rest of society. They man (and increasingly woman) the systems that make oppressive, dystopic and plain fucked-up societies possible. Hitler, Stalin or Mao would have been nothing without these creatures, nor would your favorite ‘self-made’ and ‘honest’ billionaire be what they are without them.

It is important to realize that their continued existence is not beneficial to anybody except their own viral selves. Corporate drones also lack the ability to change significantly or evolve beyond their pathetic, bland and toxic selves. They only persist because their kids reach reproductive age and have more kids- thereby perpetuating these human equivalents of biological viruses. But just like viruses, they can be made extinct.

What do you think? Comments?

Valentine’s Day for Most of You

February 14, 2013 4 comments

I believe this impromptu performance by ‘Garfunkel and Oates’ best sums up Valentine’s Day (February 14) for most of you. The banter before the song in combination with their facial expressions and body language during the song make it a great performance.

What do you think? Comments?

Categories: Escorts, LOL, YouTube

Asymmetric Warfare and Christopher Dorner

February 10, 2013 11 comments

I am guessing that most of you must have heard about the ongoing modern version of ‘Django Unchained‘.. I mean ‘Dorner Unbadged‘. You might have also heard about his 20-21 page manifesto – link to uncensored version. While you can find lots of information about his past (both good and bad), it is hard to deny a few basic things.

a. The guy has eluded thousands of cops with military style gear and vehicles, helicopters and drones.

b. A combination of his manifesto, the abysmal public reputation of the LAPD, their trigger happy cops and their continued inability to find him have become a major public relations disaster for the LAPD.

c. A lot of people are now rooting for the guy over the LAPD. A rapidly increasing percentage of his supporters are not black.

So what is this guy trying to achieve other than what he has already stated in his manifesto? What is his real strategy? Here are my thoughts on those issues.

1. It is very odd that Dorner did not kill more people on the day (or night) he started his crusade. The guy was obviously stalking a lot of his targets for some months, maybe years. When he made the first move, he had the element of total surprise on his side. While this might appear lazy or stupid under normal assumptions of revenge, it makes a lot of sense given the contents of his manifesto. The guy is not going for a simple medium body-count shootout. He is very conscious about his legacy and how the world will see his actions. He wants to be seen and remembered as the hero and he probably will be.

2. You might have seen reports of this guy all over southern California doing everything from burning his vehicle near a ski resort and throwing extra loaded gun magazines in dumpsters. While that might appear stupid and short-sighted, he has probably accumulated and hidden many guns, lots of bullets and significant amounts of survival provisions all over South California- or maybe beyond it. This might sound weird, but I think that Dorner is trying to get the maximum numbers of cops and police departments involved in his manhunt. One of the signature feature of an asymmetric war is the amount of money and resources a weaker foe can get their adversary to commit to the fight.

3. He is trying to get the LAPD into an over-reaction mode, and so far he has succeeded beyond his wildest expectations. The very fact that they have shot up pickup trucks with old hispanic ladies, a thin white surfer dude, arrested more than a few big black guys in pickup trucks and gone on house to house searches in mountain resort towns and used helicopters and drones to try find him tell me that he has got to them. Dorner is trying to enrage them into committing an ever-increasing number of mistakes and acting like the arrogant and dumb people they really are. I have to say that everything that has happened till now has gone according to his plan.

4. I think he is going to keep on ‘stoking the fire’ with enough force to get their attention and keep them on continued high alert but not enough to endanger him, at least immediately. I expect that he will pull of a couple of isolated hits on cops in the next week or two- just to keep them on their feet. It seems that the guy is trying to degrade the ability of the LAPD to function as an effective organisation with some degree of public legitimacy. The people he has killed and will kill in the near future are just a bonus.

He is trying to pull an ‘Iraq’ or ‘Afghanistan’ on the LAPD and so far it appears that he will succeed, even if he does not live to see it.

What do you think? Comments?

Why is Richard Nixon Still the Most Reviled American President?

February 6, 2013 14 comments

Of all the people who have ever held any elected office in the USA, few have been able to elicit anything approaching the levels or intensity of hate, contempt and caricature reserved for its 37th President, aka Richard Milhous Nixon. The portrayal of Nixon in popular culture is overwhelmingly negative.

Richard M. Nixon Boards the White House Helicopter August 9, 1974.

He is almost always the object of mockery, contempt and hate- whether it is in animated shows such as the Simpsons or Futurama to films such as Watchmen. Let us also not forget about the american practice of using the suffix “-gate” for all political and public relation scandals subsequent to Watergate. Did I mention that you can still buy a Richard Nixon mask.

So, why is Richard Nixon still the most reviled american president?

If you look at the objective facts, he was not a particularly vile, incompetent, corrupt or sexually promiscuous president. He did not own slaves like Thomas Jefferson, was not involved in ethnic cleansing (in the USA) like Andrew Jackson. He like also unlike the many corrupt, incompetent and generally forgettable men who occupied the presidential office between Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Nixon was not sexually promiscuous like John F. Kennedy. In hindsight Nixon looks remarkably liberal and moderate when compared to subsequent presidents and presidential candidates.

Nixon bolstered Social Security benefits. He introduced a minimum tax on the wealthy and championed a guaranteed minimum income for the poor. He even proposed health reform that would require employers to buy health insurance for all their employees and subsidize those who couldn’t afford it.

He was quite pragmatic about international relations, inspite of his own rabid anti-communism. Most of his ideological positions were to the left of Bill Clinton in the 1990s and Barack Obama in the 2000s. Today Nixon would have been labelled as an anti-business, bleeding heart liberal by the Democratic party, let alone ‘his’ Republican party who would have blasted them as ‘elitist’, ‘liberal’, ‘un-american’ and ‘treacherous’.

So why is his image and legacy still so damaged and tarnished? Why is Nixon still the politician people love to hate, even though he died over 15 years ago? Why don’t people hate on empty puppets like Ronald Reagan or Bush the 43rd? Why don’t they hate on semi-shysters like Bill Clinton and Bush the 41st? Why don’t they call out servile empty suits like Barack Obama?

Here are my thoughts on that subject..

1] Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter were the last relatable human beings to occupy the american presidential office. Subsequent presidents, starting with Reagan, have been mostly about image, public relations and posturing- to the point that almost nobody knows what the person inside that suit (if there is one) is really like. Modern politicians are far more similar to the character of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho..

There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable… I simply am not there.

It is far easier to hate a real person than an obvious and ever-changing simulacra of a human being. Can you imagine somebody like Clinton, Bush or Obama saying the things in their minds out aloud like Nixon? A successful modern politician will not dare express opinions contrary to the official party line to even their spouse or close friends.

2] Nixon was petty, insecure and gave off a ‘creepy’ vibe in public appearances. The guy made up a list of his political ‘enemies’ when he was president. He obsessed over pot-smoking hippies, popular musicians and artists who work or audience was not to his taste. He acted as if anybody who thought differently was also planning to humiliate, sabotage or overthrow him. Nixon also gave the vibe of a used car salesman.

It is this part of his personality, more than any other, that never ceases to amuse and entertain people. His well-known attitudes towards popular culture also made, and still make, him the favorite whipping boy of those who create it. Nixon fits the archetype of the creepy, untrustworthy, petty, insecure, paranoid person to a T. The guy lacked charm, confidence and self-esteem to an extent that is incompatible with elected office.

3] Nixon was the president when the modern ‘american dream’ first started to sour. Though the visible decline of USA started in the early 1980s, things first started to go downhill in the early- to mid- 1970s. A combination of factors- from the end of the public optimism in the late 1960s, the quagmire in Vietnam, stagflation in the USA, the start of american de-industrialization and peaking of the american middle class occurred during the Nixon presidency. Rightly or wrongly, he is seen as the guy at the helm when the ‘american dream’ started to die.

Furthermore, many other famous scandals involving the CIA, FBI, police and prison officials came to light at around the early- to mid- 1970s. Once again, Nixon was seen as being complicit in the commission of these egregious overreaches of authority. He came to symbolize all that was wrong about the old way of doing things. It certainly did not help that his personality, views and actions largely validated these connections.

The popular and reviled image of Nixon is therefore less about the individual himself and more about what he became associated with and came to symbolize.

What do you think? Comments?

Analysis of Factors Limiting Fatalities in Spree Shootings

February 2, 2013 16 comments

Important: I am not condoning the actions of spree shooters. This post is just an analysis of the logistical constraints on the number of fatalities and casualties resulting from such incidents.

Many of you might have noticed that spree shootings have become more common within the last decade. Many explanations for the ‘real’ reasons behind the gradual and persistent increase in such incidents have been offered, but that is not the topic of this post. Instead I will focus on another, and often ignored, aspect of spree shootings.

Most spree shooters cannot seem to kill more than 30 people.

If you don’t believe me have a look at this wiki link– especially the sections on school massacres and workplace shootings. Sure, there are exceptions like Breivik who killed 77, but that only proves the rule. So have you ever wondered why it is so hard to consistently kill more than 30 people per incident? Wonder no more..

1. The weight of guns, ammo and body armor is the first constraint on the number of people who a spree shooter can kill. The typical ‘successful’ shooter uses one semi-auto rifle and 1-2 handguns, though handguns alone are sufficient. The semi-auto rifle is usually chambered in a caliber small enough to have acceptably low recoil in a fast but aimed, semi-auto mode but large enough to reliabley kill human beings- usually 5.56×45mm or 7.62×39mm. The semi-auto pistols are typically chambered with 9×19mm though other slightly larger calibers have also been used.

The weight of 2-3 guns, multiple pre-filled magazines for each gun and body armor can quickly add up to and beyond 10-15 kg. While a shooter could theoretically carry more weight in ammo or guns, the constraints of shooting at close range inside buildings negates many of the advantages of more ammo, automatic weapons or heavier calibers. In any case, most automatic weapons are too large and ungainly to aim properly in the handheld mode- even with good trigger discipline. Their considerable recoil in the handheld mode makes accurate aiming hard, even if they are chambered for pistol calibers such as 9×19mm.

2. Most spree killers shoot their victims from less than 100 feet. At such distances the behavior of bullet projectiles is significantly different from that seen under more typical ‘war’ scenarios. Over-penetration is a very common problem and often leads to significantly less energy transfer to the tissue than anticipated. Wounds caused by bullets that just fly through the body are also easier to patch up and less deadly- as long as they miss vital organs or blood vessels. That is why semi-auto handguns (pistol rounds) are often just as deadly as semi-auto carbines (rifle rounds) in spree shootings.

Shooting at close quarters in enclosed spaces poses its own unique set of problems. The sound of gunfire can be overwhelming inside buildings, especially for semi-auto rifles. It is also not easy to control and aim guns with long barrels inside buildings. Potential victims can also barricade themselves in rooms and take cover behind furniture after the initial shots, further reducing the casualty count.

3. The next factor concerns the average number of bullets required to kill a person under such conditions. Since spree shooters are not typically firing well-aimed shots at stationary targets, the number of bullets per guaranteed fatality typically ranges between 2-5. Moreover, aiming accurately is difficult when the targets are moving, hiding or involved in other self-protective behavior. Furthermore, speedy access to good quality trauma care is quite good in most western countries and therefore only people with head-shots or injuries to vital organs are certain fatalities.

Given that not all shots hit their target, it is reasonable to assume that 5 rounds have to be expended per fatality or severe injury. Most reliable ‘high capacity’ magazines for semi-auto rifles contain less than 35 rounds. Semi-auto pistols top out at less than 20 rounds and there is a limit to how many pre-loaded magazines one person can carry. The typical spree shooter is therefore unlikely to go exceed than 300 aimed rounds before first-responders show up or he kills himself. This number in itself sets an upper limit on the number of fatalities in spree shootings.

4. Since very reliable cellphones are almost universally available, potential victims will typically contact emergency numbers within 2-3 minutes of the start of a shooting. First-responders will typically arrive within 10-15 minutes of the call. Unless the shooter has set up barricades or further diversions, he is constrained to a time frame of less than 15 minutes from the first shot. This time-frame is one of the main constraint on the number of fatalities.

It is also important to note that medical treatment of gunshot wounds has improved to the point that almost every victim who is alive upon arrival at a hospital is unlikely to die. Even those with very severe and contaminated wounds or considerable blood loss have an excellent chance of survival, especially if they are young and in good health.

In conclusion: There are several logistical constraints to the maximum number of fatalities per spree shooting incident even if the ‘lone-wolf’ spree shooter is competent, well armed and determined- the key word is ‘lone-wolf’.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: Feb 02, 2013

February 2, 2013 1 comment

These links are NSFW.

Bottoms Up: Feb 02, 2013 – Slender cuties with healthy behinds.

Sideview BJs: Feb 02, 2013 – Like POV BJs but from the side.

More Sideview BJs: Feb 02, 2013 – More sideviews of BJs.

Enjoy! Comments?

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