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Interesting Links: Oct 28, 2017

October 28, 2017 6 comments

Here are three interesting articles I came across in the previous few days. They are about three distinct topics, namely deterrence and revenge, vertical vs horizontal censorship and the repulsive logic behind the process of financialization.

Link # 1: The Psychology of Revenge and Deterrence

Why is the instinct for vengeance so strong even when it is clear that widespread death and destruction would be a much more likely outcome than any kind of “victory”? In the event of a nuclear war, why is second-strike retaliation so certain when it may gain nothing of social or material value? We believe these things because humans share a universal thirst for retaliation in the face of threat and in the wake of loss, no matter what classical economists may say to the contrary about how people “should” behave. Indeed, the psychology of revenge and the hatred on which it rests make a seemingly irrational second strike entirely credible. We can apply this analysis to nuclear weapons, but the basic drive is no different than the one that makes most people want to kill anyone who threatens their child, or to hurt a cheating spouse. The instinct for revenge is universal, automatic and immediate. It also serves a function: to deter the threat of future exploitation.

Link # 2: The geometry of censorship and satire

As Dorenko explained it, Kremlin censorship under Putin is “vertical”—top-down censorship that is brutal and frightening when you’re targeted; but also flawed and inefficient as censorship strategies go, because the top-down vertical approach is too narrow, too concentrated under one tyrannical locus at the top. There are too few censors, and too many people and too much material to censor, meaning there’ll always be someone you miss, and there’ll always be journalists or satirists looking for ways to circumvent the narrow-minded censors. This was contrasted to our “horizontal” censorship in the West: rather than coming from a tyrannical top-down force, our censorship is carried out horizontally, between colleagues and peers and “society”; through public pressure and peer pressure; through morality-policing; and from within oneself, one’s fears for one’s career, and fears one can’t necessarily articulate, fears that feel natural rather than imposed upon.

Link # 3: Finance isn’t just an industry. It’s a system of social control.

Our way of thinking about it starts from the idea that the logic of the market doesn’t enforce itself — the logic of the market has to be enforced. And one way of looking at the role of finance is that it enforces the logic of the market and ensures that a whole range of decisions that could potentially be made in many different ways in fact end up being made according to the logic of commodities and of accumulation. Here we’ve been inspired by the economists Gérard Duménil and Dominique Lévy, among others. So, the most obvious case we highlight is the corporation. On one level, we think of the corporation as a typical organizational form of modern capitalism. But in another sense it’s simply a body of people with some sort of hierarchy and defined roles, engaged in some kind of productive process.It’s not inherently engaged in producing commodities for profit. And if we go back to the prehistory of the corporation, the corporation was just a legally chartered body that carried out some kind of function.

It got appropriated as an organizational form for capitalism specifically, but it didn’t start out as that. The other side of the coin is that there’s a long tradition of thinkers, including Galbraith, Keynes, Veblen, and many others, who saw a natural, or at least possible, evolution of the corporation into the basis of some kind of planning or collective organization of production —that it could easily cease to be oriented toward the needs of profit maximization. So if you think that type of evolution is possible, then you ask, why hasn’t it happened? I would argue that the answer is that somebody stopped it from happening — that there are people in society whose job it is to prevent that from happening. There are people and institutions whose job it is to ensure that corporations remain within capitalist logic, that they remain oriented towards production for sale and for profit. On some level, this is the fundamental role of shareholders and their advocates, and of institutions like private equity.

What do you think? Comments?

The Obama Presidency was a Disaster for Establishment Democrats: 3

October 26, 2017 2 comments

In the previous part of this series, I wrote about why electoral success of Obama in 2008 and 2012 presidential elections did not translate into gains for the democratic party at either the national or state level in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. To make a long story short, Obama’s electoral success was largely due to the fact that the republicans candidates in both elections had way more negative baggage than him. Also, Obama’s presidency was reasonably free of personal scandals and outright PR disasters, such as those which plagued the previous two presidents.

As I have documented in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, a number of things which were allowed to occur (legalized impoverishment of black families, greatly increased enforcement against undocumented hispanic immigrants, continued hollowing out of the 99% through more “free trade” treaties) or not allowed to occur (transition to single-payer health care system, any real reform of the banking and financial sector) show us that his presidency was about furthering the interests of neoliberal establishment types who financed his rise to power. As I have mentioned in a previous post of this series, Obama44 is best understood as the more media-savvy and black version of Reagan40.

Obama worked to further the interests of the neoliberal establishment and their “professional” flunkies while pretending to be in “touch with the common people”. While it was plainly obvious that he was a neoliberal shill as far back as 2004, many chose to believe otherwise. The especially disastrous second term of Bush43 and financial crisis of 2008 had left people desperately seeking a modern-day messiah who would finally ‘reset’ the system. It certainly helped that his main opponent in the democratic primary (Hillary Clinton) and presidential election (John McCain) simply did not look like they could effect change.

The decisions made by Obama mentioned in the first two parts of this series, from ignoring the needs and concerns of black and hispanic voters to blocking progress towards universal single-payer healthcare and promoting “free trade” policies, damaged the democratic party by reducing enthusiasm and turnout of predominantly democratic voters. However, there was another category of.. shall we call them.. “social trends” which occurred when Obama was president that may have further damaged the cause of establishment democrats. I have sorta talked about issue in a standalone post from a few months ago.

To recapitulate, the main point I made in that post was as follows: elite support for fringe cultural and identity based movements under the guise of promoting social justice is a way to distract the 99% from talking about systemic socio-economic exploitation while simultaneously feeling morally superior to them. But what does the rise of elite support for fake social justice have to do with the Obama presidency? Isn’t most of the rise of such pseudo-activism related to generational changes in the worldview of people? The answer to that is a bit complicated.

There is no doubt that some changes in social norms are generational. Examples include support for gay marriage, marijuana legalization, inter-racial dating and marriage, single payer healthcare etc. Readers might have noticed that these widely accepted generational changes are about greater fairness, equality and rationality. In other words, the most broadly popular generational changes in worldview are about more rights for more people and more humane treatment of other people. Their broad popularity is, therefore, hardly surprising.

Now contrast that with far less popular changes such as censoring idiots (campus activism against right-wing provocateurs), agitating on fringe issues few care about (ambiguous sexual identity in children) or empty political activism to become a paid spokesperson for some cause which most people do not care about (gamergate controversy and ‘woke’ feminism). The biggest difference between the very broadly popular generational changes and the largely unpopular ones is the later, rather than the former, have far more corporate and media support. But why?

Well.. as I mentioned in that standalone post, supporting attention grabbing fringe “social justice” causes allow corporations to feign social responsibility while providing cover for continued exploitation of everybody else. It just so happens that democratic establishment went full-bore in that direction after 2008. To be clear, Obama is not the only reason for establishment democrats supporting attention grabbing pseudo “social justice” causes. The neoliberal credentialed “professional” class being their second most important class of supporters was definitely an important contributing factor.

Having said that, there is no doubt that the peculiar public relation style of Obama was widely copied by other establishment democrats because it was seen as successful and respectable. And what was that style about.. Short answer, it was almost completely about perceived style and image management over substance and actions. Readers might have noticed that many positive media stories about Obama were about him meeting and acting nice towards people disadvantaged in a ridiculously uncommon but attention grabbing manner. You might also remember that Twitter, FaceBook and popular listicle sites used to have daily stories about Obama meeting some disadvantaged or ill person almost every single day since 2010.

It is my opinion that many establishment types in his party saw that type of fake behavior and subsequent positive MSM coverage as key to winning elections- especially after he won re-election in 2012. The fact that they had no real progressive socio-economic message for voters made them double down on that strategy. The net result was that establishment democrats put an inordinate amounts of effort in publicly supporting causes which bolstered their pseudo-enlightened image but were not popular. Doing so also allowed them to ignore truly popular causes such as raising the minimum wage, implementing single-payer healthcare, reigning in corporate monopolies etc.

They assumed that portraying themselves as more enlightened and credentialed republicans combined with inevitable demographic changes would help them become the permanent ruling party without having to support real progressive causes. They assumed that all those non-white voters would just vote for them in even larger numbers than previous elections- because they had no options. It turns out that many, if not all, their major assumptions were wrong and they lost the presidential election to a second-rate reality TV star, could not win back the house or senate and not win back almost any of the over 1,000 seats they have lost in state legislatures since 2009.

What do you think? Comments?

Three Erroneous Assumptions Made by Most Americans about DPRK

October 25, 2017 7 comments

As regular readers know, I have written more than a few posts about the current situation caused by DPRK aka North Korea testing nuclear weapons and ICBMs. The gist of those posts is as follows: Accepting DPRK as a bonafide nuclear weapon state with a rational foreign policy and acting towards it accordingly is infinitely better than pretending otherwise.

Having said that, I have noticed that a lot of americans keep on making a number of erroneous, and unrealistic, assumptions about DPRK and the current situation. While we certainly cannot go over every one of them in a single post, I thought it would be a good idea to cover the three most important erroneous assumptions (or beliefs) about that country and the current situation.

Erroneous Belief # 1
: Current situation between DPRK & USA can be resolved by military force.

While jingoists, keyboard warriors and many west-point educated generals might want to believe that the USA could resolve its current situation with DPRK through military force, even a basic reality check and some knowledge of relevant history suggests otherwise. Let me remind you that the decision by USA to not attempt a Korean War 2.0 after the 1953 armistice was based in military calculations, rather than humanitarian considerations- to put it mildly.

As many of you know, DPRK has hundreds (if not thousands) of artillery pieces capable of bombarding Seoul on a moment’s notice- not to mention the tens of thousands of rocket artillery and swarms of short-range missiles. The acquisition of nuclear weapons by DPRK in the later half of 2000s makes the destruction of Seoul Capital Area (about 25 million people) almost inevitable if a serious war was to break out between DPRK and USA. To make a long story short, Korean War 2.0 = No Seoul

Then there is the question of whether large urban aggregations in Japan, specifically the Greater Tokyo Area, would get nuked in the event of such a war. It is no secret that DPRK has a number of liquid and solid fueled SRBMs which could deliver a few nukes on top of such large urban aggregations. While Japan claims to have many types of “effective” anti-ballistic missiles, it is highly doubtful that they can do much against a swarm of dozens of warheads within a 2-3 minute window, especially if only 5-6 of them were nuclear.

My point is that even the most optimistic projections of casualties caused by DPRK’s response to a military strike by USA involve millions of dead and dying people in South Korea and Japan plus long-term (potentially irreversible) damage to two of the largest and most prosperous urban areas in the world. And we have not even started talking about the effects of a few nuclear weapon tipped ICBMs going off over large cities in mainland USA.

Erroneous Belief # 2: DPRK is a vassal state of China.

One belief constantly resurfacing in regards to the current situation with DPRK is that China is somehow the real power behind the show. Another version of this belief is that China possess extraordinary leverage over DPRK. The reality is, however, quite different. While China has always been the most important trading partner for DPRK and was its most important weapons provider in the past, its actual leverage over DPRK has been rather limited. Even worse, the political relationship between them has never been especially warm.

China’s support for DPRK has to be understood through the lens of history and pragmatism. To put it bluntly, China intervened in the Korean war because it did not want an american puppet state on its eastern border- which is also why it got involved in the Vietnam war. Of course, China is quite happy to let DPRK poke and prod South Korea, Japan and generally undermine the rationale for american military presence in that region. But let us clear about one thing, Beijing does not control Pyongyang. Nor do they want, or can afford, the current regime in DPRK to fail.

A related delusion still popular among americans is the belief China will help the USA secure DPRK after a “successful” invasion of DPRK. Even if we discount the possibility that major urban centers in South Korea and Japan will be nuked within the first few minutes of a serious armed confrontation, we have to contend with the reality that DPRK’s leadership (or their population) do not see China as their master and will not hesitate to use their weapons against China. Yes.. you heard that right. If DPRK feels that China is cooperating with USA to invade it, there is a pretty high likelihood that some of their nukes will go off over Chinese cities.

Erroneous Belief # 3: DPRK will agree to give up its nuclear weapons.

Another popular delusion harbored by the establishment in USA is that they can somehow convince DPRK to give up its nuclear weapons. While this delusion is especially funny, it is worthwhile to point out that “denuclearization” of DPRK is still the main and only focus of any talks USA is willing to have with DPRK. Let us be clear about one thing, only one nation (namely, South Africa) has ever voluntarily gave up its arsenal of self-developed. Also they had less than a dozen of very primitive nuclear weapons- so it wasn’t exactly a big sacrifice to begin with.

In spite of all the sanctimonious talk about global denuclearization, no other nuclear weapon power has seriously considered giving up its nuclear weapon arsenal. In fact, all nuclear weapon powers have kept on improving their weapons even if two of them (Russia and USA) did reduce the absolute numbers in their inventory in the 1990s. However the total number of nuclear weapons in the world had remained largely constant since those early post-cold war reductions. It is not realistic to expect any nuclear weapon power, let alone one who needs such deterrent capability, to give up nuclear weapons- especially if they were developed indigenously.

Furthermore, the experience of DPRK of negotiating with USA in the mid-1990s, and then again in the early-2000s, has left them with the correct impression that any treaty with the USA is not worth the paper on which it was printed. They correctly recognized that credible lethal force is necessary for any future talks with USA. In other words, DPRK now rightly believes that acquisition of a credible capability to launch a nuclear attack on american cities is a prerequisite to any worthwhile talks between the two parties. The recent fiasco over Trump decertifying a multinational nuclear deal with Iran has simply demonstrated that their strategy towards USA is correct.

In this situation and environment, it is supremely delusional to believe that a regime whose survival is predicated on possessing a credible nuclear deterrent will give it up to satisfy another country which has consistently demonstrated its unwillingness to respect the terms of any agreement it has ever signed. In other words, DPRK (and many other countries) will require a credible nuclear deterrent as long as the USA continues to exist in its current form. Also, USA is no longer seen as an omnipotent military power- especially after its recent humiliating defeats in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

What do you think? Comments?

Passwords are Vastly Superior to Biometric Identification: Oct 22, 2017

October 22, 2017 1 comment

I am just trying to finish a post that I started writing some time ago- but got distracted by some current topic or event. Having said that, let us get back to the topic at hand which is somewhat relevant to an upcoming series about the ongoing crappification of technology in pretty much all sectors of the eCONomy. The main focus of this post is how the much touted idea, by silli valley corporations, of using biometrics or anything similar to that as a replacement for passwords is an extremely bad idea- on multiple levels. Here are two recent examples of such articles and don’t click on them unless you want to read shitty journalism (Shill Piece #1, Shill Piece #2).

Now let me explain you why using Biometrics IDs on the internet, or on internet connected devices, is such a bad idea.

Issue #1: Using Biometric IDs instead of passwords promotes a false sense of security.

One of main lies repeated by corporations involved in promoting biometrics based ID is that it is somehow much harder to crack than text-based passwords. They often bring up misleading arguments about the length of biometric data signature vs passwords, implying that a longer length somehow magically translates into higher security. This argument is however a complete misdirection since the vast majority of password leaks are due to hacking of improperly secured corporate databases and exploits in operating systems and transmission protocols. In other words, the most common point of failure for password security is unrelated to the carefulness or carelessness of the person who uses it. Which brings us the second issue.

Issue #2: Passwords, unlike Biometric IDs, can be easily changed and individualized.

How many of you use the same password for your online banking, email, social media and other accounts? Why not? Well.. the vast majority of those who have used computers for over a decade tend to use different passwords for different accounts since doing so prevents the leak of one password from compromising all other accounts. Moreover, it is fairly trivial to change a password if you suspect that it was compromised. Now imagine doing that with your biometric ID. Are you going to get plastic surgery and eye replacement every time some corporate database containing your biometric ID is hacked? Because if you won’t do that, even a single compromised database could destroy your personal life- and the recourse for restoring your identity would be downright Kafkaesque.

Issue #3: Compromised Biometric IDs will inevitably cause cascading security failures.

Imagine a world where Biometric ID is central to using services from banking, healthcare, education etc. Now think through the aftermath of a successful hacking of one of the many databases containing your Biometric ID. For starters, you can bet that it would be sold on the market to the highest bidder. It goes without saying that every aspect of your life would be forever altered by even a single leak. The centrality of Biometric ID in such a world would mean that you would never again be safe from identity theft and there is nothing anyone could do about that- unless there was a password option available. But if such a system is intrinsically problematic enough to necessitate a password based backup- why use it in the first place?

To summarize, the point I am trying to make is that widespread adoption and use of biometric ID by various online (or largely online) corporations and institutions is an extremely bad idea due to the intrinsically unsolvable risks and collateral problems it would create, without offering any real advantages over using passwords or similar authentication systems.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: Oct 20, 2017

October 20, 2017 4 comments

These links are NSFW. Will post something intellectual tomorrow.

Pro Outdoor Cuties: Oct 17, 2017 – Pro cuties posing outdoors.

Plugged and Bound Cuties: Oct 17, 2017 – Plugged and restrained amateur cuties.

Plugged Amateur Cuties: Oct 17, 2017 – Amateur cuties showing off their plugs.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized

Dystopic Implications of Sam Kriss’s Trial by Social Media: Oct 18, 2017

October 18, 2017 7 comments

The event discussed in this post is a bit obscure, and not well publicized, but it carries highly dystopian implications. While I have mentioned its central character in an older post, it is worthwhile to quickly go over some relevant details. Sam Kriss, is a young but somewhat well-known freelance journalist whose articles have been published by a number of alternative and not-so-alternative online media outlets such as VICE, Jacobin, Slate, Politico, Baffler etc. He is known for his verbose and often personalized style of writing, which includes insulting some of the subjects of his pieces. It is also worthwhile to know that he has strong leftist and marxist leanings (at least in his articles) in spite of being born to wealthy parents. His outspoken support for the “feminist cause” during the Gamergate controversy is relevant to the current controversy.

So did the current kerfuffle, which is the topic of this post, start? Well.. like many controversies nowadays it started with a celebrity driven social media phenomena and a social media post. More specifically, the “#metoo” campaign on twitter in the wake of revelations of prolonged sexual improprieties by Harvey Weinstein has seemingly opened the floodgates of accusations against men of some fame in the entertainment and media industry. While some of the new accusations are likely true and rather disturbing, more than a few of the newly publicized accusations seem to be less about rape than about aggressive and unwelcome sexual comments and advances. In other words, many of the newly surfacing accusations are about stuff that is not illegal under current laws, but could be perceived as unwelcome or insulting by one party to the interaction.

If that was not the case, many of those being accused would have been tried and convicted by the existent legal system a long time ago. Either that, or those making the accusations would have been far richer than they are now.

Why is any of this relevant to the main focus of this post? Well.. it comes to the circumstances of the recent accusations made against Sam Kriss. A day or two ago, a woman journalist published a lengthy denunciation of Sam Kriss on FaceBook. In it, she claimed to have been sexually assaulted by him on at least one occasion. As you might expect, tons of twitter feminists and their “male allies” went on denunciation spree of his alleged actions based solely on her version of the story. Anybody who dared to suggest that the accuser’s version of the events might be incomplete or not completely true was brushed away as ‘mansplaining’ and evidence of patriarchic oppression or complicity with “rapists”. As it turns out there was more than side to this story and one detail which was very relevant to what occurred.

Sam Kriss published his response yesterday. To quickly summarize, he does not deny that the alleged incident took place. He does, however, provide the very relevant detail that he had a pre-existing casual sexual relationship with his accuser when the event in question occurred. Let me rephrase that, he already had sex with her on more than one occasion prior to the events in question. He claims that he was just aggressively flirting with her with the expectation of another sexual encounter. He also claims that she did not at any stage of that encounter, ask him to stop. Moreover, she continued to message him for many months after that encounter suggesting that a future hookup was possible. As it stands today, it is still his word against her- though I am sure that both parties have some electronic evidence of their past conversations.

And as most of you would expect, these accusations have unleashed a storm of “indignation” (for public display) against Sam Kriss based solely on accusations made against him on a social media platform. To be clear, it is hard to know which of two parties is being untruthful since there has been no formal process of (legal) discovery, let alone a formal criminal or civil trial. Personally, I think it is unlikely that the accusations made against him would stand in any half-decent court of law- largely because it is one of those ‘he said-she said’ type situations without physical evidence to decisively support either of their accounts. This has however not stopped some of the media outlets which had previously published his articles from dropping him from their roster. A backbench Labor MP in UK has even called for him to be locked up even before he is formally accused (if that will ever happen) and proven guilty in a court of law.

It is hard to ignore the similarities between witch hunts in previous eras and such cases. In both, the accuser (or accusers) version of the story was usually believed in an uncritical manner while all evidence contrary to the accuser’s version of events was suppressed or deliberately ignored. In both cases, prosecution of the accused was justified as a moral good and backed up by an ideology, irrespective of any evidence that it was neither. In both cases, those who dissented were labelled as enablers of “un-goodness” and agents of the “great deceivers”. In both cases, kangaroo “courts” and mob “justice” were seen as far more desirable than due process and a fair trial. My point is that making significant decisions about the innocence or guilt of any person without due process or a fair trial is a reversion to the pre-enlightenment era rather than an improvement over the current setup.

As an amusing side-note to this story, it is worth recounting that Sam Kriss was an outspoken supporter of “social media feminists” who ranted and raved about all those “sexist” male gamers during the Gamergate controversy. While it is hard to say what drove him to make fun of all those “loser” male gamers and their concerns during that period, whatever he did was unable to protect him from the witchunt caused by an accusation of sexual aggression (and maybe assault) on social media. Notably, almost none of the “feminists” he so vocally supported during the Gamergate controversy appears willing to give a fair hearing to his (very plausible) version of the story. Maybe, uncritical support of a bunch of ideologues with no real interest in fairness or due process was not a good idea in the first place. In any case, it will be interesting to see how this story develops in the near future.

What do you think? Comments?

An Explanation for the Odd Behavior of Harvey Weinstein: Oct 15, 2017

October 15, 2017 12 comments

As regular readers know, I have previously written two posts (Link 1, Link 2) about this topic. Both were a mixture of some news items about this still developing topic as well as initial speculation about why others in the industry remained silent for so long. To make a long story short, it is very likely that similar behavior is common in the entertainment industry and Harvey Weinstein is unlikely to go down without a series of nasty fight- which might end up exposing other prominent figures in that industry.

We are, however, still left with the unanswered question about the real motivation behind his actions. I mean.. what would motivate a very rich, famous and powerful guy to chase down often unwilling women of far lesser means just to expose himself and jerk off in front of them. While it is certainly possible that the majority of women he propositioned in that manner did indeed go along with the ‘script’ and have sex with him. Why not just hire super-attractive escorts or make an explicit sex-for-money arrangement with women he fancied?

The method used by Harvey Weinstein to proposition known and aspiring actresses/models was not especially efficient in addition to being significantly riskier than just purchasing sexual services from them. What makes his choice of method especially odd is that he seems to be an especially smart, rational and pragmatic guy in his long and very successful professional life. There is also the question as to what pleasure he was obtaining from jerking off in front of often disgusted women.

Conventional feminist-influenced explanations for his behavior ranger from obviously unrealistic to sublimely absurd. There are, for example, theories centered around his behavior was yet another example of “male entitlement”. The people who peddle these theories do not however explain why most men are not turned on by the idea of jerking in front of unwilling women. Others want to blame industry ‘sexism’ for his behavior. But that still does not explain why he did things that way when he could have simply offered those women money for sexual acts.

There is however a different, and far more rational explanation, for his behavior.

Let us start to by asking the simple question- when he did he start propositioning women in that manner? Well.. as far as we know, to date, he was propositioning women in that manner since the mid-1980s. In other words, Harvey Weinstein was propositioning women for at least a few years before he became really famous. In other words, his behavioral pattern was established before he became famous. Subsequent public acclaim and successes simply brought him more opportunities to indulge in that pattern of behavior.

So how did it all start? For starters, he was born to a fairly average middle-class Jewish family in NY. It seems that both he, and his brother, appeared to be smart and driven- even as kids. But his overall upbringing and rather non-elite educational background (SUNY- Buffalo) must have been shared by many tens of thousands of kids- none of whom grew up to be Harvey Weinstein. So what made him the person he ended up becoming?

Part of the answer to that question might lie in an unusual and somewhat tragic event which occurred when he was 10 years old. Long story short- he lost one of his eyes in a playground accident. It took him about 6 months to recover from the accident and it was during this time that he first got seriously interested in the entertainment industry. Basically, a series of events resulting from his losing an eye is what drove Harvey Weinstein to the career which would make him rich and famous.

And this brings us the next question- What other effect did losing an eye at that age have on him? Well.. for one, it would not have helped his social life in school or university. Between his general appearance, lack of inherited money and lack of one eye- his normal sexual advances towards women were likely met with scorn, contempt and very high degree of failure. To put it another way, he likely suffered a lot of humiliation from women during the earlier part of his life. Maybe, he never forget that humiliation.

Given that his behavior towards all those women was largely about humiliating them (through exposing himself, jerking off in front of them or making them have sex with him), it is very likely that he saw it as payback for what he had received before he became wealthy, famous and powerful. That is also why he preferred to impose himself on women rather than quietly pay for sex. It was about redressing his perceived grievances with women. It is also telling that he went after attractive women irrespective of their overall body type, race or fame.

His behavior was, therefore, less about sex and more about payback for all the rejection and humiliation he had received from far less attractive women in the past. And that is also why he started doing it so early on in his career. He just wanted to dish out what he had received, albeit on a far larger scale. To summarize: his behavior was a peculiar manifestation of vengeance and payback, maybe not exactly legal or “nice”- but rational nonetheless.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: Oct 14, 2017

October 14, 2017 Leave a comment

These older, but previously unseen, links are NSFW. Will post something intellectual tomorrow.

Wet Beach Cuties: May 31, 2017 – Mostly amateur wet cuties walking on the beach.

Amateur Beach Cuties: May 16, 2017 – Amateur cuties walking around on the beach.

Wet Amateur Beach Cuties: May 8, 2017 – Amateur beach cuties emerging from the water.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized

Some More Thoughts about the Harvey Weinstein Saga: Oct 12, 2017

October 12, 2017 9 comments

In my previous post on this topic, I made an observation that the most likely cause of silence about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior over multiple decades was that such behavior was fairly normal in the entertainment industry. I also wrote that the exposure and ongoing public humiliation of Weinstein might embolden others to do the same to other big names in that industry. So far we have seen some initial signs of this happening, though it is too early to say whether they are an aberration or a trend.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that “Hollywood” is a more abusive industry to people who work in it than say.. corporate poultry farming or working for corporations like Amazon. Indeed, the entertainment industry in USA is generally a much nicer place to work in than most industrial sectors in this country. Having said that, working within it does carry a much higher than usual risk of sexual abuse and drug abuse along with associated psychological issues. Furthermore, these somewhat specific risks have been with us since Hollywood started making its first movies.

Having said that, the Harvey Weinstein saga is unusual in that it involves a very big name in that industry. I mean, this is a guy who have been thanked at Oscar acceptance speeches almost as often as God. However, his abusive and combative personality, over the years, made him far more adversaries than supporters. It is therefore not surprising that so many movie stars and colleagues unloaded on him once it became obvious that it was safe to do so. It is also safe to assume that more women, beyond those who have already done so, will come out with even more accusations of sexual coercion and rape against him.

But what will all of this lead to? Here is what I think is most likely in the near future..

1] In spite of his still strong desire to return to the entertainment industry, it is almost certain that his career in the industry is (for all practical purposes) over. He is just too unsympathetic a person for the public to forgive, let alone care about or support. It is also almost certain that some accusations against him, especially those involving non-consensual sex, are going to be thoroughly investigated by the police in more than one country. Public outcry for legal action against him could very likely result in him being tried and convicted within next couple of years. Of course, like many rich people in USA, he will probably get some sweetheart deal from prosecutors that will keep him out of jail.

2] One theory about why the Weinstein saga came out now, as opposed to even a year or two ago, revolves around some sort of power play by his brother and others to control the company which bears his name. While that is certainly within the realm of possibility, it is also unlikely since his brothers and others in that company are comparative lightweights in the entertainment industry. Also, the Weinstein company and other related ventures are so closely associated with Harvey that this scandal destroys their brand image- which is already occurring. To make a long story short, the company is close to worthless if Harvey ends up getting prosecuted for running a casting couch for the previous 2-3 decades.

3] It is however also likely that Harvey won’t go down without a big and nasty fight. Expect bitter and very public legal battles as he and his team of lawyers try every move to regain control of the company. You might be aware that there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that his company and others he established or worked for in the past were fully aware of his peculiar behavior towards actresses and other attractive women in that industry. I would , therefore, not be surprised if the company (and his brother etc) ended up being sued for willfully enabling his actions. The possibility that Harvey might go nuclear and expose other powerful and famous executives in Hollywood is far more likely than most people in that industry want to believe.

4] It is also worthwhile to point out that for a guy who looked like.. well.. himself, Harvey did manage to score tons of prime pussy. Think about it- we are only hearing from the women who felt insulted by his demands. Many more hot young women just went along with them and saw having sex with him as a part of the price for being employed in Hollywood. While his modus operandi was not glamorous or likely to get hot chicks wet and bothered- it did work very well. for him. I am willing to bet that his dick has been inside the various orifices of more actresses and hot women than most famous male actors, musicians and sport stars. Maybe part of the public hate comes from people seeing a guy who looks like him scoring so much prime pussy for so many years.

What do you think? Comments?

A Few Quick Thoughts about the Harvey Weinstein Saga: Oct 9, 2017

October 9, 2017 14 comments

As pretty much every person on Twitter knows by now, Harvey Weinstein was recently exposed by NYT for being a serial sexual abuser. This particular bit of “news” was, however, not exactly new or surprising to people working in the entertainment industry. His behavior was, in fact, well-known enough to be openly joked about in an episode of the NBC sitcom ’30 Rock’ about five years ago. To make a long story short, pretty much everybody in the entertainment industry who knew Harvey Weinstein at some personal level also knew about his.. should we say “peculiar behavior”.. towards women. Heck, even waitresses who worked in restaurants frequented by Harvey were aware of his behavior.

Perhaps more interestingly, a similar story about Harvey Weinstein was spiked in 2004 (almost 13 years ago) after Matt Damon and Russell Crowe called up NYT. It is now almost certain that we will soon hear about more successful attempts in the past by him and his famous hollywood friends to stop the publication of similar stories by other news outlets. And all of this raises the question- why did the allegedly “liberal” part of the moneyed establishment go to such lengths to protect Harvey Weinstein from public exposure of his misdeeds? How did they benefit from their sustained efforts to protect Harvey Weinstein? What was in it for them?

To be clear, what Harvey Weinstein did was fundamentally different from simply paying women to have sex with him– though he may have compensated them in some form or the other. Nor was his behavior some sort of uncommon sexual fetish, public knowledge of which might have made him look “icky”. Instead, he repeatedly and over multiple decades forcefully propositioned women to have sex with him or harass them in highly blatant ways. Given his power and stature in the entertainment industry, a significant percentage of those women probably ended up having sex with him.

It is also noteworthy that his behavior was not affected by his martial status. Nor did his ex-wife or current wife ever raise that issue in public (even during a divorce)- suggesting that they found it more profitable to keep their mouth shut that speak up about it. More interesting, and newsworthy, is the almost total silence about Weinstein’s behavior over all these years from people who had worked with him for years and in many cases decades. While a very few of them have made some feeble attempts, in the previous day or two, to convey their “disappointment” with Weinstein’s behavior. Isn’t it odd that so many Hollywood celebrities who rightly condemned Donald Trump’s behavior towards women were completely silent about Weinstein’s escapades- even when they knew far more about the later?

The simple fact is that Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predilections and behaviors were widely known in the entertainment industry and yet until a few days ago, almost nobody ever wanted to discuss in the public realm. And this leads us back to the same question posed earlier in this post- Why? What was in it for them to not discuss this publicly? What did they gain (or not lose) from keeping it an insider secret of sorts?

So far, the vast majority of theories about why so many kept quiet for so long revolve around his alleged power in the entertainment industry- and there is some truth to that idea. The guy was a pretty big player (producer and studio executive) in the entertainment industry. Also, he is not the first movie producer, director or studio executive to demand sexual favors in return for a job or funding. So maybe, they saw his behavior as somewhat “normal”. But that does not explain why so many were willing to use their personal contacts and effort to keep his behaviors out of the spotlight. Why keep rooting for a guy who keeps doing the same embarrassing and highly problematic stuff year after year, decade after decade?

The other, and more likely, explanation is that Harvey Weinstein’s behavior is actually normal within the entertainment industry and protecting him from public exposure was a way to stop subsequent public scrutiny of the behavior of other famous and powerful figures in the entertainment industry. Think about it.. Harvey Weinstein, though important was hardly the only player of his stature in the industry. If his behavior was actually unusual in that industry, others would have no problem letting him face the music. I mean.. what do they have to lose if they were ‘clean’ of such accusations?

On the other hand, if Harvey Weinstein’s behavior is typical for that industry then allowing him be exposed to public scrutiny would upset the proverbial apple-carts of many other directors, producers and executives. The evidence (so far) suggests that it was fear of subsequent scrutiny of other famous figures in that industry, rather than his power and influence alone, was the main motivation for the elaborate charades and pressure tactics deployed by other Hollywood celebrities to keep him out of the public spotlight. Of course, almost nobody since the days of silent cinema believes that Hollywood celebrities had vanilla or milquetoast personal lives. In fact, many popular magazines would not even exist without public interest in the tawdry personal lives of movie and TV stars.

But it is one thing for some celebrity to cheat on their girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse or become involved in some divorce or substance abuse scandal. People expect that. However, running a ‘casting couch’ for over two decades while randomly propositioning and exposing oneself to women AND then claiming to be a great supporter of “liberal” and “feminist” causes is both nauseating hypocritical and fit for almost endless parody. It is my opinion that the outrage over the Weinstein scandal has far more to with his behavior being incredibly hypocritical rather than just sexually tawdry. Here is something to think about.. would the Weinstein scandal have got the traction it has if it was about him having slept with a thousand escorts? Would anybody have cared if it was just about him buying sexual companionship?

What do you think? Comments?

Some More Newer Facts about Stephen Paddock: Oct 7, 2017

October 7, 2017 10 comments

My original plan, for today, was to finish another post about the situation with regards to North Korea’s nuclear and ICBM program. Then I felt a bit lazy and decided to write something about Stephen Paddock– specifically about newer bits of information relevant to his personality and motivations for the 2017 Mandalay Bay shooting. In any case, if things go the way I think they will- we might have some very interesting news about North Korean ICBM tests sometime late tomorrow afternoon (Eastern Time). If not tomorrow, sometime in the next few days..

Anyway, back to the topic of this post. As many of you are doubtlessly aware of, local police and other national investigative agencies have so far been unable to assign a motivation for Paddock’s decision to commit the largest mass shooting by a single person in american history. Of course, it is very likely that his record will be broken by somebody else within the next few years- but that is a topic for another post. In the absence of an official assignment of motive (and likely inspite of one) there are tons of overtly complex theories, about what led him to do it, floating around the internet.

There are the obvious ones such as him being a secret Muslim convert, secret CIA asset, secret patsy and well.. secret [insert your hobbyhorse here]. You get the point. Then there are others who believe he was a political ideologue who either loved Trump or worshiped HRC and wanted to champion gun control. We cannot forger the ones about him being mentally ill (whatever that means) to having a brain tumor (not totally implausible) to being recently diagnosed with a terminal disease (again within realm of possibility).

However, none of the above mentioned theories provide an internally coherent explanation of facts- defined as stuff we know with very high degrees of certainty. For example, there are multiple lines of evidence that he was a pretty boring person with no history of criminal behavior– at least as defined by law. All of his successful real-estate ventures were fully legal and by all accounts he seems to have been a good landlord, astute businessman and successful self-made entrepreneur. There is also no evidence that he was in any financial trouble, either from his recreational gambling or from real estate deals.

His interest in guns also seemed to be quite mature as he first started acquiring them in 1982. While it is true that he buy a bit over 30 guns and lots of ammo within the last year, many hundreds of thousands of Americans did the same during Obama’s two presidential terms. Nor was his semi-nomadic lifestyle especially unusual given his considerable wealth and lack of children and grandchildren. I mean.. would you not travel around the world, stay at expensive hotels and go to expensive restaurants if you could afford it?

Perhaps most tellingly, he did not leave behind any suicide note, manifesto or anything else (found so far) that would provide his version of what motivated him to shoot up all those people. The note found on a table in his room seems to contain ballistic calculations for improve his aiming. Even the alleged mystery person in his room in the days before that shooting appear to have been one (or more) of the prostitutes he hired during that stay. On other words, it is almost certain that he did it by himself and for reasons which we may never know for sure.

Perhaps the most realistic and plausible reason for his actions was suggested by a commentator on one of my previous posts about him. I have quoted the relevant part below.

He probably was a misanthrope/clinical psychopath who got bored with life and decided to go for a “high score” just to see if he could. – by TAKEmuhMONEYZ

In my opinion, this particular explanation makes the most sense largely because it fits known facts very well. While some of you might find it hard to imagine a person shooting up lots of others just to go for the “highest score” because he was bored, it makes a lot of sense given his apparent boredom with an otherwise materially comfortable life.

Maybe he had no desire to live anymore but wanted to go out with the highest score. This also explains why he appears to have been casing multiple large music festivals for the last few months. It was really about getting the highest score and to his credit- he did achieve that in the end.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: Oct 6, 2017

October 6, 2017 Leave a comment

These links are NSFW. Will post something more intellectual tomorrow.

Doggystyled Amateur Cuties: Oct 5, 2017 – Amateur cuties taking it, doggystyle.

Slim Beach Cuties: Oct 5, 2017 – Slim cuties walking around on the beach.

Cuties with Glazed Buns: Oct 5, 2017 – Amateur cuties with freshly frosted buns.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized

Some Peculiar and New Facts about Stephen Paddock: Oct 4, 2017

October 4, 2017 22 comments

After writing a previous post about this guy, I decided to wait a day or two to find some less sensational but far more revealing information about him. Just to be clear- most articles about him, his girlfriend and that shooting are still full of repetition, hyperbole and wild speculation. Having said that, I am finally starting to see some truly interesting fragments of information which shine some light on his him as a person and his lifestyle.

Article # 1: Las Vegas shooter recalled as intelligent gambler well-versed on gun rights.

and here are the relevant quotes..

An Australian man who came to know Stephen Paddock intimately in recent years has offered the most detailed public portrait yet of the Las Vegas mass killer.He said Paddock was a highly intelligent, strategic though “guarded” individual who won a fortune applying algorithms to gambling, and studied arguments for his right to own weapons under the US constitution. Their encounters came via their respective girlfriends, Philippine-born sisters – one of whom, Marilou Danley, has returned to the US to be interviewed by the FBI in the wake of Paddock’s meticulously planned massacre.

“Yes, I was familiar with him,” the man, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Guardian at his Brisbane home on Wednesday. “He was extremely intelligent, methodical, conservative – guarded – and strategic. A planning, thinking type of guy.” But nothing at the time, including their “robust” discussions about US gun laws, rang alarm bells to suggest that he was capable of “such an inhumane, terrible, vicious act”. Investigators hope Danley can provide clues to unlock the motives that drove her partner to a premeditated onslaught that killed 59 and injured more than 500 at a country music concert.

What did pique the Australian’s curiosity was Paddock’s way of making a living, “as I’d not met a professional gambler” before. Paddock was forthcoming in “great detail” on matters from his “float”, or cash gambling base, to his annual income, which was “very much well over a senior executive’s wage in the US”. “And how he obtained that: the algorithms behind his methodology of gambling – only on machines, not on tables,” he said. The men came to have “robust conversations” about the second amendment of the US constitution and the right to bear arms. It is a debate the Australian said he had many times – but Paddock’s grasp of the detail seemed superior to most defenders of the second amendment.

Article # 2: Las Vegas Gunman Chased Gambling’s Payouts and Perks

and the relevant quotes..

He would sit in front of them for hours, often wagering more than $100 a hand. The way he played — instinctually, decisively, calculatingly, silently, with little movement beyond his shifting eyes and nimble fingers — meant he could play several hundred hands an hour. Casino hosts knew him well. “Not a lot of smiles and friendliness,” said John Weinreich, who was an executive casino host at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nev., where Mr. Paddock was once a regular and where he met his girlfriend. “There was not a lot of body movement except for his hands.”He would sit in front of them for hours, often wagering more than $100 a hand. The way he played — instinctually, decisively, calculatingly, silently, with little movement beyond his shifting eyes and nimble fingers — meant he could play several hundred hands an hour. Casino hosts knew him well.

“Not a lot of smiles and friendliness,” said John Weinreich, who was an executive casino host at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nev., where Mr. Paddock was once a regular and where he met his girlfriend. “There was not a lot of body movement except for his hands.” His methodical style and his skill level allowed him to gamble, and occasionally win, tens of thousands of dollars in one sitting, collecting payouts and hotel perks in big bunches. Last week, as a reward for his loyalty and gambling, Mr. Paddock stayed free of charge on the 32nd floor in one of the elite suites of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, one of his favorite places to play.

According to a person who has reviewed Mr. Paddock’s gambling history, and who requested anonymity because the information was part of an active police investigation, dozens of “currency transaction reports,” which casinos must send the federal government for transactions greater than $10,000, were filed in Mr. Paddock’s name. Mr. Paddock had six-figure credit lines at casinos that afforded him the chance to make big sums in long sit-down sessions, and he was known as someone who always paid his accounts. His rooms were often comped, meaning given to him free, including this past weekend at Mandalay Bay, according to the person familiar with his history.

Mr. Paddock gambled as he lived, his brother said — methodically, always weighing the odds. He was cautious and liked to plan ahead, Eric Paddock said, and didn’t like leaving things to chance. He always carried two cellphones, each with a different carrier, in case one network was down. Mr. Paddock was in the high-limit room at Mandalay Bay last Thursday night, playing a machine that allowed him to bet $100 with each deal of the virtual cards. Nearby, another customer hit a big hand and rose excitedly from his chair. He recalled how his enthusiasm caused Mr. Paddock to pause and turn. “What’d you hit?” Mr. Paddock asked. “A royal flush,” the man said. “Good job,” Mr. Paddock replied. And he went back to playing.

The point I am trying to make is that Stephen Paddock did not display any signs of altered behavior, serious mental illness or diminished mental capacity even a few days before he went on that mass shooting. Furthermore, he had made another similar multi-day trip to Vegas a few days before the last one. Clearly, the guy had decided to do what he eventually ended up doing last Sunday night at least two (possibly many more) weeks in advance. The fact that he had sent his girlfriend to the Philippines on a family vacation in the middle of September and then wired her over 100 thousand dollars to buy a house there only strengthens the idea that he had planned this shooting in some detail some weeks ago.

While the precise set of factors or conditions which led him to go on that shooting rampage are still a mystery- it is clear that his profile is quite different from the typical mass shooter in USA- who tend to be significantly younger and often under some kind of financial, legal, emotional or sexual stress. Stephen Paddock did not appear to be under any such stress- which makes his action that much odder. Who knows.. maybe he was a misanthropic nihilist who had reached the limits of tolerance for other people. Unless they find something like a suicide note or medical evidence of a terminal illness- we may never know why he went on that shooting rampage.

What do you think? Comments?

A Few Preliminary Observations about Stephen Paddock: Oct 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 21 comments

As all of you must have heard by now, yesterday night a guy named Stephen Paddock committed what appears to be the largest solo mass shooting (by body count) in american history– till now. So far, at least 60 people have been confirmed dead and 527 more suffered direct and indirect injuries of varying severity. While numerous smart phone videos of the incident and eyewitness accounts have been heavily promoted on various social media platforms and MSM outlets, the motivations of the alleged shooter remain a mystery.

Here is an attempt to aggregate some of the more peculiar facts we know, thus far, about this most atypical mass shooter.

1] The father of the alleged perpetrator, Benjamin Paddock, was a bank robber of some notoriety in the 1960s and 1970s. However, Stephen appears to have very little contact with his father while growing up and even after reaching adulthood. Also, he and his siblings grew up into quite successful and otherwise normal adults. Stephen himself became an accountant and then started a number of small successful businesses, mostly involving buying, selling and renting real-estate. He also appears to have run and then cashed out of a fairly successful business venture with one of his younger brothers.

2] Stephen Paddock had no criminal record of any significance- as far as we know. There is no evidence that he was unusually impulsive, cruel, violent or homicidal. There is no evidence that he was suffering, or ever suffered, from a serious mental illness. There is no evidence that he committed any white-collar crime for which he was prosecuted. His relationship with his siblings, mother and other close relatives were average for a white man of his generation in north america. To make a long story short, his behavior towards other people appears to have been remarkably mediocre and average- till yesterday.

3] He seems to have been quite well off and was allegedly worth over a couple of million dollars at the time of his death by post-shooting suicide. While he enjoyed gambling for decades, he seems to have been able to control his habit quite well. There is no evidence, thus far, that he was ever in serious financial trouble because of his frequent visits to Casinos. Gambling appears to have been his principal form of entertainment rather than an all-consuming compulsion. Also, he did lived quite modestly while still enjoyed a comfortable middle-class lifestyle.

4] A post-shooting search of his principal residence did not reveal a suicide note or manifesto. The inside of the house was allegedly clean and well maintained. There was no evidence of neglect or anything else to suggest that he did not intend to return. There was, also, no evidence of extensive stockpiling of weapons, ammo or explosives. In other words, there was no sign or hint that he was going to go an a massive murder-suicide spree. Curiously, his hotel room contained a large cache of guns and ammunition.

5] He had been married and divorced twice- last in 1990. He had no children from that marriage or any other previous or subsequent relationship- that we know of. His current girlfriend, a woman of asian descent two years his junior, had lived with him for the previous few years. There is no evidence that their relationship was on the rocks. She was, however, on a short trip outside USA when all of this all went down. Everything we know about this guy’s personal life, so far, seems to be very ‘vanilla’ and otherwise average.

To summarize: Stephen Paddock lived an unremarkable if reasonably successful life for 64 years before suddenly becoming the most prolific solo mass shooter in american history. He did not display any of the usual warning signs, associations or circumstances typically associated with mass shooters. Something just does not compute..

What do you think? Comments?