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How the Democratic Party Could Lose in 2020 Elections and Beyond: 1

August 31, 2019 11 comments

As regular readers know, I have written a series about why the Democratic party does not have a bright future– to put it mildly. To be clear, I am not suggesting that the Republican party is going to fare any better. It will be interesting to observe which one becomes irrelevant first. As things stand today, my money is on democrats becoming irrelevant few years before their republican compatriots suffer a similar fate. While there are many reasons behind this particular guess, one stands out because of its connection to the ongoing clown car show of presidential candidates. It seems that the democratic establishment, and almost every single candidate in the fray, has not learned any useful lessons from the 2016 debacle when their candidate lost to that orange troll.

There are those who believe that the democratic party will ultimately prevail because of changing demographics, aka “coalition of the ascendant”. I am old enough to remember this bullshit idea was floated, in its current form, over 10 years ago when democrats briefly won the house, senate and presidency. Of course, as we all know, things did not quite work out that way. Between 2008 and 2017, democrats lost multiple governorships, over a thousand seats in state legislatures, the house, senate and finally the presidency. I am sure some of you (MikeCA?) will try to portray the slight majority in house won by democrats in 2018 as a harbinger of further electoral victories. I for one, am not sure that this will be the case and here are the reasons.

The electoral victories of democrats in 2018 had far more to do with the incredibly inept handling of “healthcare reform” by Trump and republicans at state as well as national levels. The level of tone-deafness exhibited by orange man and his fellow republicans towards the concerns of tens of millions of voters about their healthcare coverage was the deciding factor in them losing the house and numerous governorship and seats in state legislatures to democrats. I am sure that there are more than a few partisan democrat voters who believe that the Mueller sideshow or newer disclosures about Trump’s extramarital liaisons had an effect. But who are we kidding? The popular image of Trump as a lecherous conman with mediocre business instincts hasn’t changed since 2015. Everyone who voted for him did so in spite of all his public shortcomings.

The real question we should be asking ourselves is: why did so many voters in many states either vote for a orange troll or, more importantly, not vote for HRC. And let us clear about something else, the number of non-voters in USA has exceeded those of the winning presidential candidate for many decades. Indeed, in at least 3 of the last 8 elections, the number of non-voters came real close to being larger than all candidates combined. The percentage of people who vote in USA, especially at national level, has historically been lower than other democracies. But why? Well.. there are many reasons, but most can be summarized in one sentence- majority of voters correctly believe that voting has no real positive impact on their lives. But, once again, why is that so? What makes the USA a Potemkin democracy as opposed to a real one?

To understand what I am talking about and how it relates to the subject of this post, let me ask you another question. Why is the democratic party today unable to win elections in many states which used to be its strongholds in the recent past. The conventional explanation invoked by idiots aka “political pundits” involves something about post-1965 (voting rights act related) political realignment. And there is a sliver of truth in that explanation. The democratic party did pay a considerable electoral price for all the civil rights related laws passed in 1960s. However the damage was largely restricted to ex-slave owning states in the deep south. Democrats actually gained seats in the house in 1968, 1976 and 1988. They also held the house in 1972, 1980, 1984 and 1992. Heck, democrats were competitive in states such as Texas, West Virginia, Kansas etc into the late-1980s.

My point is that while passage of civil rights laws damaged democratic party prospects in deep south, things were pretty OK for them in rest of country for over twenty years. In other words, sorry state of democratic part in the post-1994 era has little to do with legislation passed in the mid-1960s. So what caused voters in many states, especially non-coastal ones, to abandon the democratic party? In a post from about two years ago, I pointed out that ascendancy of issues such as ‘gun control’ in democratic party started at around the same time as its leadership and upper echelons were increasingly populated by the credentialed professional class who tends to be concentrated in large coastal cities. While there are, once again, many reasons why this shift occurred, it resulted in the needs of working class (especially white) being ignored. Consequently, these voters either started voting republican or simply stopped voting altogether.

But why would many white voting class voters start voting republican, even though doing so was not in their own interests? Well.. we can blame a small part of this on sheer stupidity. But a much larger reason was that there wasn’t much difference between the two, politically speaking. Both parties were controlled by the same big corporations and super-rich who wanted to impoverish the working class and suck them dry. Even today, establishment democrats cannot stop talking about ‘bipartisanship’ aka passing laws and rules to fuck over everybody other than their rich campaign donors. But this still does not explain why people who seemingly gain nothing from voting republican continue to vote them into office.

In my opinion, it comes down to how each party treats the majority of its voters. The republican party, while busy fucking over their voters, provides lip service to ‘social issues’ (abortion, church, guns etc). More importantly, they don’t treat most of their voter base with the disdain with which democratic party treats its own. Confused.. see, unless you are a member of the credentialed professional class, you are a deplorable nobody to the democratic party. It does not matter if you voted for them or not, being anyone other than a member of the credentialed class makes you an object of contempt, derision and neglect. That is why they have kept focusing on ‘gun control’ since the 1980s, even though it has been electorally disastrous since early 1990s.

To put it another way, they see people who are not credentialed professionals as nothing more than undeserving retards whose beliefs don’t matter. Democratic politician and candidates, in turn, remind most voters of the shitty middle managers who make their working lives miserable and the HR harpies who fire them. To summarize, many working class voters in flyover states vote republican because it does not insult their beliefs while fucking them over. The democratic party, in contrast, believes that it has a god-given right to harangue and insult it voters while also fucking them over. In the upcoming part, I shall go into the many reasons why the much hyped “coalition of the ascendant” has turned out to be a damp squib and will likely remain so for the future. We shall also talk about how democratic party positions on issues such as “anthropogenic climate change”, “gun control” and “LGBTQ issues” are insulting to most voters.

What do you think? Comments?

Electric Cars and “Renewable Green Energy” as Virtue Signalling Scams

August 25, 2019 9 comments

As some of you might have heard, the autistic girl promoted by globalists aka Greta Thunberg is making news for taking an ultramodern yacht to cross the Atlantic and publicly demonstrate her commitment to a supposedly “zero carbon” lifestyle. Just do that you know, most of her handlers and promoters are flying to NYC. Any ya.. once her fake sanctimonious speeches in NYC are over, she too will quietly fly back to Sweden. While I could write a lot more about how this delusional and mentally-ill girl is being promoted as the face of environmental activism, it is best to leave that for another time. Instead I will talk about how electric cars and “renewable green energy” are nothing more than virtue signalling scams. Yes.. you heard that, they are scams.

Readers might remember that I have written a (still ongoing) series about how anthropogenic climate change is a form of secular apocalypticism. Some might also remember my thoughts on Tesla Motors being an image driven scam. This is not say that electric automobiles are somehow impossible. Indeed, electric vehicles with performance equivalent to their internal combustion powered equivalents have been technologically feasible since the late 1990s. My objection to the popular delusion that the future of automobiles being electric is based on factors other than technological feasibility. To put it very briefly, the electrochemistry which underlies rechargeable battery technology puts an upper limit on the amount of energy stored by this method.

Long story short, the amount of energy stored in carbon-carbon or carbon-hydrogen bonds (fossil fuels) will always be at least a magnitude greater than that possible with an battery utilizing the most optimal electrochemistry. But that, by itself, is not the Achilles heel of electric automobiles. As you know, it is easy to build electric vehicles with pretty decent performance using currently available battery technology. The far bigger and related problem is as follows: how do you get all that lithium, cobalt etc to build batteries on a large enough scale to displace internal combustion engine powered vehicles. This becomes tricky rather quickly, even if we assume better than 95% recycling of all metals used in such batteries. Then there is the issue of obtaining enough of those pesky lanthanides aka ‘rare earth elements’ for their electric motors.

But the electric car scam gets truly exposed once you consider how the electricity used to power and recharge it is generated. As things stand today and in near future, most of that electricity is going to come from coal/gas fueled power stations. Some will come from hydroelectric or nuclear powered stations. My point is that only a small minority of the power used to recharge those vehicles is going to come from “renewable energy sources”. In other words, using electric cars instead of normal ones merely shifts the location where carbon fuels are being burnt, not the amount. And it gets worse. Let me ask you another related question. How big is the “carbon footprint” of the industrial and transportation infrastructure necessary to build, install and maintain all those solar cells and windmills? Are you starting to see the problem?

And it just keeps on getting worse. Ever wondered why hydroelectric power has long been the dominant way to generate renewable energy? Well, think about it this way.. the amount of water which flow through a river, while varying from season to season, is reasonably constant over a period of several decades. Furthermore, it can be easily stored for future use, and over multiple years. To make another long story short, generating a constant and predicable amount of power is far easy if your source of renewable energy is water rather than wind or sunshine. The same is true for power plants using coal, oil, gas or nuclear fission. In contrast to this, the two most touted sources of “green energy”, namely wind flow and sunshine, are fickle and dependent on weather.

Do you think it is possible to run massive power grids based on the whims of weather? Some will say- why not build “green energy” power plants with.. say.. 10x the capacity you need? Well for starters, it starts becoming far more expensive and maintenance intensive than conventional power plants. But more importantly, building even 10x capacity doesn’t give you the same level of confidence in power grid stability as conventional power plants have been known to provide for many decades. Imagine running an electric grid which will fail on a massive scale at least a few times per year and during extreme weather events when such power is necessary. But couldn’t we store this energy?

Well.. sure, we can store energy from fickle sources and release it in a more gradual manner. But doing so introduces even more complications. Building huge rechargeable batteries of any known electrochemistry is expensive and they not as reliable as many want to believe. To make matter worse, if that is possible, their malfunctions can be far more catastrophic and harder to repair than is the case for conventional peak power plants. The other way to store excess energy or moderate its fluctuations involves the use of pumped storage. While this particular technology is very mature and routinely used in hydroelectric plants for providing extra juice for certain times of the day, constructing such an installation requires certain topographical features in addition to lots of water. In other words, you can’t set them up in most locations.

But what about a “smart” grid? Wouldn’t having a “smart and connected” grid solve the problem? Well.. not really. Leaving aside the part where you actually have to first possess enough energy to distribute it properly, there is the issue of whether these “smart” grids are robust enough to deliver power without massive and frequent failures. You don’t have to a genius to figure out that anything connected to a large network or the internet can and will be hacked. And even if does not get hacked, a “smart” grid is far more sensitive to cascading failures due to component malfunctions than your old-fashioned “dumb” grid. Of course, you can always use coal, gas, nuclear and hydropower plants for generating the base load and backup. But then, how much “renewable green energy” are you actually using and more importantly- WHY?

If your use of “green energy” is not sufficient to reduce your sins.. I mean carbon dioxide output.. by over 80%, what is the point of spending all that money on building and maintaining these white elephants? Did I mention the part where most countries in Asia and Africa do not go much further than giving lip service to the cause of “renewable green energy”. Yes.. you heard that right. For all the noise the leaders of some developing countries make about “green energy”, when push comes to shove they simply build more conventional power plants. For them, “green energy” is, at best, a way to provide some peak energy and keep a few more people employed.

Electric cars and “green energy” are solutions in search of a problem which does not exist. Sure, they have some good niche applications. For example, using electric cars in densely populated cities would certainly improve air quality. Similarly using solar panels to augment peak power usage for air-conditioning and refrigeration in warm countries with lots of sunshine makes sense. But let us not pretend that people are going to give up a comfortable life to perform penance.. I mean, pay much more and get far less.. to please the insatiable gods of environmentalism. Moreover, attempting to do so via rules and regulations is guaranteed to piss of the majority and result in the election of more right-wingers nutcases such as Trump.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: Aug 25, 2019

August 25, 2019 1 comment

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

Amateur POV BJs: Aug 23, 2019 – Amateur cuties sucking on the glans.

Spanking Toons: Aug 24, 2019 – Cartoonishly curvy cuties getting spanked.

Plugged Amateur Cuties: Aug 25, 2019 – Amateur plugged cuties.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized

On the Poor Career Prospects for People with Postgraduate Degrees : 2

August 21, 2019 7 comments

In the previous part of this series, I went into some detail about the careers of those who studied or worked alongside me during my MSc. To make a long story short, the majority are either no longer involved in scientific research or have menial unstable jobs with some vague connection to what they studied or used to do for a living. Some of you might say that this is to be expected since the biomedical sciences produce many times more graduates than the number of available jobs. While that may be true now, it wasn’t always the case. Indeed, until the early 1990s, those who studied or worked in that sector could either find decent to acceptable jobs or simply move into related areas with considerable ease.

Now let us now talk about another sector which, for over 50 years, provided highly stable, well compensated and intellectually engaging employment. I am talking about pharma. From the end of WW2 in 1945 to mid-1990s, pharmaceutical corporations (large and medium) provided some of the best and most interesting jobs and careers in western countries. And it worked both ways, since those who worked in them came up with the most important advances in medicine we have ever seen. There is a very good reason why this period is often referred to as the ‘golden age’ of drug discovery. And then it started going wrong and is now a mere shadow of its former self. Years ago, I linked to a spoof by somebody else about how things went to shit in pharma.

To be fair, this fall was not instantaneous and it was only after 2008 that the whole sector was irreparably damaged. But ya.. things had been on a downward slope since the mid-1990s. In retrospect, the true beginning of end started in late 1980s, when certain large corporations (Pfizer, Merck etc) decided to recruit ivy-league MBAs. The first signs of this rot manifested as gradual consolidation within that sector. While I could write multiple books on why consolidation in the pharma sector was so disastrous, here is the very brief version. Monopolization and oligopolization always results in counterproductive centralization, destruction of real innovation, greatly increased rent-seeking and is bad for everyone other than the upper management of those corporations in addition to their lawyers and bankers.

It should be noted that corporate monopolization has been much more disastrous in the West than Asian countries because corporations in the later are answerable to their governments to an extent unimaginable in the former. But why are we talking about how the pharma sector used to be about 20 years. Well.. because it is relevant to my choice of career. One of the main reasons for me taking the educational path I took was that working in pharma was an excellent career option with long-term stability and a pretty decent work environment. Sure.. nothing is perfect, but for someone with my interest and talents, it was as good a match as realistically possible.

Also, the pharma sector used to be fairly conservative in both hiring and firing people. Until early 2000s, mass layoffs and multiple site closures for the purpose of “corporate reorganization” were unknown in pharma. Many larger corporations even had defined benefit pensions until mid-2000s. Yes.. you heard that right. To make a long story short, those who stayed out of corporate politics and had generally satisfactory job performance could reasonably expect lifetime employment, and this was widely expected by employers and employees right upto early 2000s. You were not expected to work beyond normal work hours unless necessary due to nature of experiments and there was tons of autonomy at the site and group level. And in spite of all this, vast majority of pharma corporations were profitable businesses and remained so over multiple decades.

But how is any of this linked to my story? As it turns out, I ended up working in pharma for a few years and through direct experience and observing the career trajectories of acquaintances had a ringside seat to the beginning of final collapse of employment in pharma sector. Here is a post from 2011 in which they document that almost 300k jobs in that sector were lost between 2001 and 2011. And those layoffs did not stop in 2011, though they have sorta run out of people to fire- especially in past 4 years. The total is now closer to 400-450 k jobs and even if we assume that 60-70% were in sales and administration, it is fair to say that ivy-league MBAs have finally killed the goose which used to lay golden eggs. Far more problematically, it has altered the career course for many who would have otherwise gone into pharma.

In other words, their short-termism not only destroyed decades of institutional knowledge but also their ability to rebuild in future. And it shows! And before I explain you how, it is important to quickly explain the process of drug discovery and approval. It all starts with either the discovery of a new drug target (usually protein) or some effect of a chemical compound in cell-based or animal assays. From there it enters the pre-clinical development phase where chemists make hundreds and thousands of chemical cousins of the initial lead compounds and test them in a number of assays, animal models of some disease and extensive toxicity testing in multiple animal species. Only after it has cleared that phase can it be even considered for human trials. Small phase I trials are usually the first (dozens of people), followed by larger Phase II trials (hundreds) culminating in Phase III (hundreds to thousands and often) over a few years.

To make another long story short, the system was designed such that drugs which entered Phase III trials were unlikely to fail, and this was the case for most of modern history. Sure.. you did encounter situations where testing in larger populations (P III) revealed some rare but nasty side effects or the drug was not as efficacious as previously expected. But outright failures of efficacy in Phase III trials was really rare. Then something changed and nowadays the majority of drugs which enter Phase III trials fail, and they usually do so for lack of efficacy. Curiously, this often occurs when Phase I and Phase II data was either very good or pretty promising. So.. what is going on? While many industry insiders have tried to explain this deeply troubling trend by invoking all sorts of clever sounding bullshit, there is a simpler and more rational explanation.

A large percentage, likely overwhelming majority, of drug development in past two decades has been based in two types of fraud. The first involves manipulating metrics to make something look far better than it is in real life. Examples of such frauds involve cherry-picking patients, burying negative data, changing criteria for success, playing around with data and statistics and other stuff which is not technically illegal. The second type involves falsification of data, deliberately deleting data, kicking non-responders out of trials to improve responses rates etc. But what does any of this have to do with the downward career trajectory of people working in that sector?

Well.. since we have already exceeded 1200 words in this post, I will leave that discussion for the next part of this series. In it, I hope to go into some more detail about how neoliberalization and financialization of pharma destroyed its older and much more successful business model and institutional structure- all to make a handful of people on wall street and upper management far richer than they otherwise would have been. You will also see how stuff such as pushing opioids, antidepressants, antipsychotics etc to doctors and constantly jacking up prices of old and new drugs replaced developing newer ones as the main source of corporate growth. And ya.. I will also go into what happened to all those middle-aged and older people who lost their jobs and, in many cases their entire, careers after decades of relative stability.

What do you think? Comments?

On the Poor Career Prospects for People with Postgraduate Degrees : 1

August 17, 2019 34 comments

A few years ago, I wrote a post about how the defined and stable career trajectory is now dead in west and west-aping countries such as Japan and South Korea. Some months after that, I wrote about how the hiring practices of corporations in west have shortened the length of semi-stable career for most people to about 15 years. Then, about a year ago, I wrote a series on the long term social, economic and cultural effects of career insecurity. While they don’t make cheerful reading, it is interesting to note that these and my other older posts (pre-2016) on this general area (link 1, link 2, link 3) anticipated the rise of pseudo-populists such as Trump, the alt-right and popularity of socialism among “Millennials”. Also, have a look at my post on why rich and well-off (even in USA) are barely having any kids.

But let us get back to the topic of this post, and talk about something which I have often hinted to in previous posts on this topic. Ever wonder about the real career prospects for those with proper postgraduate education in the sciences and other related areas such as engineering. And yes.. this is relevant to issues other than the immediate future of western countries. What I am now going to describe, based on personal observations, is going to vindicate many of your darkest suspicions but also make you feel depressed. But before we talk about my observations, you should know a couple of facts about me. Longtime readers are probably aware that I came here and started my MSc when I was 20 years old in the later half of 1990s. After finishing it, I worked a couple of jobs in my field and then started my PhD in a proper STEM subject in mid-2000s and finished at the beginning of this decade. The point is, I have seen a lot more change than many others have seen.

To be more precise, I had a ringside seat to the demise of career security for smart people with postgraduate education in western countries. And don’t worry about me, I am still doing OK and will (knock on wood) continue to do so. But back to the topic at hand- What do my personal observations about the career trajectories of others who graduated a few years before myself, or alongside me, say about the overall situation. The very short answer is that it is already very bad and getting worse- if that is possible. While there are many ways to describe what I have witnessed, a chronological account of the careers of people who graduated a few years before me provides the best (if somewhat disturbing) insight into how things have gone to to shit.

While biomedical sciences have notorious for overproduction of graduates, until the mid-1990s most of them could get some half-decent jobs or at least transition into careers where their skills were useful. Somewhere between mid-1990s and 2000, that became much harder or no longer possible. To make a long story short, only those who went into to medical or dental school now have anything approaching “normal” careers. And even for them, things are pretty dismal. For starters, most are single, divorced or unhappily married with a single child. Out of the ten or so guys I know who took that route, only one has more than 2 children- and half have none. Almost every woman who went to medical school (around my age or younger) has either zero kids or just managed to squeeze one out in their late-30s. And they all look older than they should.

But at least they have some semblance of a career trajectory, because most of the rest (aka the majority) who did not get into medical school have none. Sure.. there are a few who have done OK in either academia or industry (usually the later) but most of them just seem to disappear. Confused? Let me explain. Over the years I have followed the careers of many PhD students who were smart, liked by their supervisors and generally expected to do OK in later life. But things did not work that way and many of them after promising starts and careers lasting for a decade or so, just disappear. To be clear, I am not suggesting they are dead or have commited suicide (though the later cannot be ruled out). It is just that their career in science seem to end and they stop updating their LinkedIn profiles. In almost every case, detailed internet searches failed to reveal much more than their current addresses and some more recent photos.

While I am sure that most are still alive, it is clear that they do not have well-paid or marginally prestigious jobs. Maybe they are bagging groceries at the supermarket, driving for Uber, delivering Pizza, tutoring kids or in one of those mediocre administrative positions which have proliferated in past 15 years. My point is that most of them are now doing jobs that require nothing more than an undergraduate degree. Isn’t that a terrible and cruel waste of human potential and hope? But wait.. it gets worse. Let me talk about the fate of a few people I used to know well in the late 1990s and early 2000s. And it gets depressing real fast..

When I was just finishing my MSc, there was a new postdoc from UK in the adjacent lab who had come here with his then-GF (also a postdoc). The guy was bright and competent, because within a couple of years he got a decent academic position back in UK. So far so good. Based on mutual acquaintances and PubMed, it seemed he was doing well for a decade or so. Sure.. his GF dumped him after a few years, but he seemed set for an OK career. Somewhere in 2012, his research output just stopped. My guess is that his job loss might have something to with post-2008 austerity politics in UK. Anyway.. he reemerged a few years later as proprietor of a small businesses selling dietary supplements. So a guy with a PhD, over 30 papers in decent journals and an academic career lasting almost a decade ended up hawking supplements like one of those scummy Instagram and FakeBook influencers.

Another person who did his MSc in an adjacent lab ended up running cell-phone kiosks in malls and is now selling insurance. Yet another PhD student who was considered to be very smart ended up moving to his home-city for a postdoc. He then regressed to working as a lab tech and eventually as a freelancer, the last I heard. At least, he lives in a place where his parents own a house. Another ambitious PhD student, after a couple of stints at prestigious labs as a postdoc, seems to have ended as a part-time freelancer at some research institute in another large city. The women seemed to have done a bit better, and more than a few ended up as scientific writers or mediocre administrative positions in corporations with varying degrees of stability. But in almost every case, there had no defined career with the degree of stability expended by their parents generation. Also, many of them either have no kids or one token child squeezed out in their late-30s.

To be clear, all of this occurred to people who studied, or worked, at prestigious research groups in one of the top two universities in that state. But wait.. it get worse. In the next part, I will tell you what happened to the careers of people who worked in the pharma sector between 2001 and 2008-2009. It is really bad.. to put it mildly. In future posts, I will also go in some detail about the dismal career prospects of people with postgraduate degree from well-regarded universities in subject such as Chemistry and Physics. Also degrees in engineering (various disciplines) from well regarded universities are no longer the ticket to a stable career. I hope to show you how all of this ties with rise of neoliberalism, de-industrialization and increased financialization of economy in western countries- and the death of hope.

I have a feeling that some of you might say something the lines of these people being lucky since they are still employed in jobs which pay more than median wage. Funny thing.. that is not the way things work in countries which harbor any hope for a better future. What I have described is how things typically unfold in countries that are in a steep and likely irreversible decline.

What do you think? Comments?

Interesting YouTube Channel: Lindsay Ellis

August 15, 2019 2 comments

A few years ago, I came across a YouTube channel about critical analysis of films and TV show. It is likely that some of you might have also heard about Lindsay Ellis or watched a clip or two on her channel. While I don’t agree with a significant minority of her views, she does a pretty good and through analysis of whatever she is talking about. One does not have to agree with every view of another person to appreciate their competence. In any case, she does a much better job than almost every film and TV show review site on YouTube.

Clip #1: The Last of the Game of Thrones Hot Takes is the second in a series of reviews she made about GOT. In my opinion, this one and its previous part are two of the best analysis about GOT and other similar large-budget HBO shows on YouTube. They go into a lot of detail why show like GOT and Westworld start so promisingly only to become sad clusterfucks.

Clip #2: The Hobbit: Battle of Five Studios (Part 2/2) is the second in a three part series about why the Hobbit “trilogy” was such an epic clusterfuck.. and ya, it was due to insatiable greed of, and short-sighted decisions made by beancounters at, big movie studios. I would also highly recommend watching Part I and Part III of this series.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: Aug 15, 2019

August 15, 2019 Leave a comment

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

Amateur POV BJs: Aug 3, 2019 – Amateur cuties deepthroating.

Amateur POV BJs: Aug 5, 2019 – Side view of amateur cuties giving BJs.

Amateur Topless Beach Cuties: Aug 8, 2019 – Busty topless amateur cuties on beach.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized

Quick Thoughts on Trump’s Upcoming Order About Internet Monopolies

August 13, 2019 3 comments

A few days ago, I started seeing articles about people within the Trump administration leaking various drafts of an upcoming executive order which would allegedly “break the internet”. Other presstitutes have written pieces about how this order would “censor” the internet, and still others claim it would be “illegal” or something along those lines. As usual, my thoughts on this topic are nuanced and about the larger picture as opposed to most clickbait-type ‘hot takes’ found on the internet. Also, I am not going to pretend knowledge about the final version of that executive order nor will my views on this topic be popular with everyone.

So let us start by talking about the real reason why we are even having this discussion. It is no secret that the public image of internet monopolies, tech companies and basically anything they touch has suffered an irreversible decline during the past decade. Remember how you used to believe about Google, Amazon, FakeBook, Twitter, Apple etc were “innovators” in 2008-2009? Remember that time when most of you believed that Google could make no mistake and how their search engine used to just work. It might be hard to believe, but there was a time when Google did not deliberately crappify their products through generations of bad design or shove unpopular and monopolistic changes down their user’s throats. They once even had OK customer service. I know the previous sentence is hard to believe.. but it is true.

While Google has gone down the proverbial shitter to become an inferior version of IBM from the 1960s, it is clearly not the only tech company which taken that route. Indeed, I cannot think of a single internet or tech company which has not become an unpopular, inferior and shittier version of itself over the past decade. Adobe, Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, FakeBook, Cisco, Twitter, Apple and even Intel have become sorry excuses of what they used to be a decade ago. Sure.. they have become more profitable and made their upper management much richer, but have lost the battle for their public image. But why would this matter? After all, monopolies and oligopolies don’t have to care about what their customers think.. right?

Regrettably for their autistic founders and sterile drones.. I mean workers, public image matters- even if you are a monopoly or oligopoly. That is why totalitarian governments in “communist” eastern bloc countries fell so quickly in the late 1980s to early 1990s. That is also why ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ works so well in China. The ability to deliver adequately, on time and fulfill public expectations is the most important predictor of whether an organization or institution retains public trust and good will. But why is it important to retain good will, if (as some autists at Google believe) one can manipulate perceptions at will. Well.. for starters, you cannot manipulate public perception over any significant length of time. Isn’t that obvious by now?

The second reason is more important and, as you will soon see, goes to the heart of the issue. Turns out, popular legitimacy is extremely important for medium- to long- term survival of any institution. Without such legitimacy even the most tyrannical institutions become fragile and implode under the slightest external stresses. Ever wonder why people in China have a far higher opinion of their government than people in USA. Here is a clue.. look at photos of the same part of any city in China from 1990 and today. Now do the same for USA. It is important to note that people who grew up in USA between 1933 and 1974 have a far higher opinion of government because they saw it largely deliver what was promised.

But how is any of this relevant to a proposed executive order which would gut legal protection to large social media platforms currently granted under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. See.. if something like this had been proposed by even an allegedly popular president like Obama in 2008, 2012 or even 2014, it would have elicited massive public outrage. There would have a series of large movements against such an idea, and a groundswell of popular support for tech companies. Do you see anything like that now, and don’t forget that Trump is an unpopular president by historical standards. So what changed between 2012-2014 and 2019? Well.. a lot, and none of it has helped the public image of internet and tech monopolies.

The precise moment when people started hating internet and tech monopolies varies from person to person, but here are some important milestones. For some, it was the progressive crapification of google maps and email starting sometime in 2012. For others, it was the SJW-led censorship in the wake of Gamergate in 2013. Many detested the underhanded tactics used by Microsoft to push Windoze 10 (aka spyware as operating system) on its customer base starting 2015. Others were mortified by Snowden’s disclosure about the nexus between large tech corporations and government surveillance agencies in 2013. Others started hating them after learning about how most smartphone apps spy on their users without explicit consent.

Still others got tired of a seemingly endless series of hostile site redesigns. Some got burned by interactions with Amazon, Paypal, Yelp, Uber and other “darlings” of tech sector. Many others have come to hate these corporations because of how they constantly mistreat and abuse their customers and this includes everyone from Microsoft and Apple to all those “voice assistants” which spy on you 24/7. Then there is Internet of Shit.. I mean Internet of Things, an idea so horrendous from a security viewpoint that I am still not sure whether anybody who buys “connected” and “smart” devices has any capacity for rational thought. And we haven’t even talked about arbitrary censorship etc on social media and sites such as YouTube.

To make a very long story short, internet and tech monopolies are now so hated and despised that a significant minority would vote for a presidential candidate whose sole campaign promise was to torture and kill anybody and everybody associated with this deeply tainted sector of the economy. And this is the environment in which Trump is going to sign his executive order about regulation internet monopolies in the near future. Regardless of how bad a solution his stupid flunkies come up with, it will be widely seen as good- if only because it shits on the aspy losers in Silly Valley and Seattle. And we have seen this dynamic before.. in 2016.

As some of you might remember, I was able to predict Trump winning the republican nomination and presidency because of my ability to sense the depth of hatred, contempt and disgust most people felt towards all those establishment parasites.. I mean politicians. It was this popular hatred for, and lack of trust in, certain institutions which allowed that orange conman to defeat 16 republicans and then HRC. We are likely to see a repeat of this, where even the most ineffectual and counterproductive legislation by Trump will be welcomed by a majority of people just because they enjoy seeing somebody finally kick Silly Valley types in the balls.

I cannot resist pointing out that the democratic party had multiple opportunities over the last decade (and even past 2 years) to start reigning in internet and tech monopolies. But they did no such thing, given how much Silly Valley contributes to their party. In fact, Obama went further than doing nothing and encouraged consolidation in tech sector and turned a blind eye to their ever increasing abuses. Let me make another prediction.. most people are going to get boners watching the aspy losers of internet and tech monopolies squeal like a pig after such an executive order is passed- even if its bad, stupid and dangerous in the long-term.

What do you think? Comments?

Possible Medical Explanation for Joe Biden’s Obvious Cognitive Decline

August 11, 2019 4 comments

If you have watched more than a couple of Joe Biden’s recent public appearances where he had to speak extemporaneously, you might have noticed something peculiar. He often rambles about a topic without focus and also says stuff that highlights his inability to properly recall recent events. While everyone of us, regardless of age, will occasionally talk like that- Biden’s recent behavior is odd because it is far more frequently than would be the case for an otherwise healthy person of his age, especially one who has spent his life as a public figure. Compare him to Bernie Sanders, who is an year or two older than him, but still very sharp and in command of the facts. So this is not just about Biden’s age, something which becomes more obvious as we look deeper.

Compare his public speaking ability in 2019 to 2008 or even 2012. Go ahead and watch the entire vice-presidential debates from 2012 where he performs very well against Paul Ryan. Or watch his earlier speeches, debates or townhalls. My point is that Joe Biden was verbally adept (albeit ‘politically incorrect’) and mentally sharp for decades, even if he occasionally flubbed up things. Now see how he performed during the first two DNC debates and at numerous recent events since (link 1, link 2, link 3). Saying that poor kids are just as bright as white kids before hastily correcting himself, confusing Theresa May with Margaret Thatcher and claiming that he was VP during the Parkland school shooting in 2018 in spontaneous speeches during the past few days, combined with his performance during those debates is hard to dismiss as simple gaffes.

While I am no fan of diagnosing illness without properly examining a patient in person, there is a a plausible explanation for Joe Biden recently obvious cognitive decline. To understand what I am getting at, we have to first talk about an interesting but little known aspect of his medical history. In 1988, Joe Biden had surgery to treat a couple of aneurysms in his brain. The surgeries were apparently successful and after a 7-month absence from public life, he was back to normal and has had no more large aneurysms since then. All of this is good.. but have you ever wondered what causes cerebral or intra-cranial aneurysms? The short answer is that most are caused by certain cardiovascular conditions (hypertension, smoking, cocaine use etc) or they are genetic in nature. But a decent number of them are idiopathic aka without any apparent cause.

Regardless of the cause, the general mechanism of aneurysm formation in blood vessels is fairly similar and involves a section of some artery or arteriole becoming mechanically weaker than its neighbor because the underlying vascular wall is not being properly maintained by the body’s repair system. These weak segments usually develop in parts experiencing especially high blood pressure, near bifurcation points, within tight loops etc. The key point is that people who have one aneurysm have a significantly higher risk of getting another one, even if it is smaller. Emilia Clarke from ‘Game of Thrones’ suffered something like this years ago when she was in her 20s. To be clear, I am not claiming that Joe Biden has a large aneurysm in his brain right now.

What I am suggesting is a bit different. See.. people with one or more brain aneurysm, even after successful treatment, are at a significantly higher risk for microaneurysms, small subarachnoid bleeds and often have other cerebrovascular issues as they age. And this where things start get interesting or bad. The way your body reacts to small internal injuries and bleeds changes as you age. In the brain, even small and asymptomatic but repeated bleeds in old age leads to the increase in levels of soluble beta-amyloid and hyperphosphorylation of tau protein in neurons, which are calling cards of Alzheimer’s-type brain damage. The thing is.. most cases of Alzheimer’s display mixed vascular and neuronal pathology and there is tons of evidence that those processes feed into each other. Most cases of dementia in people over 75 are of the mixed type.

It is therefore likely that Biden is displaying symptoms of cerebrovascular dysfunction with a bit of classical Alzheimer’s type pathology. To reiterate, this is not unique to him, as those who have experienced mechanical cerebrovascular trauma (bad car accidents, aneurysms and other head injuries)when they were young or middle-aged have a significantly higher risk of senile dementia or impaired cerebrovascular function as they reach their 70s and beyond. In fact the same is true for any other organs or parts of the human body, from kidneys to bone joints, where damage or trauma in youth can often manifest itself as significantly reduced function in old age- even if the initial damage was treated and healed satisfactorily.

But why does any of this matter? Isn’t Trump not much better and probably on Adderall? Well.. here is why. At this moment, Biden is still the front-runner among those seeking the democratic party nomination for 2020 and older black primary voters are solidly behind a guy whose actions ruined the lives of their children and grandchildren, by the millions. At this moment, his handlers are shielding him from unscripted appearances and keeping his public exposure to a minimum. However keeping him away from unscripted appearances is going to become increasingly harder as we near the real campaign and election day. While other democratic contenders have, so far, not made his cognitive decline an issue- it is going to come out, one way or the other.

To make matters worse, if Biden ends up as the presidential nominee of democratic party, Trump is going to make his cognitive decline an issue for rest of the campaign. Between his obvious cognitive decline, inability of democarts to motivate voters beyond their base and sad obsession with ‘gun control’, it is likely we might see a repeat of 2016- where Trump loses the popular vote by somewhere between 3 and 5 million but ends up winning the electoral college and thus gets reelected. The question, then, is how do we avoid that outcome. In my opinion, Biden in 2020 is the equivalent of HRC in 2016, but with far more disastrous consequences.

What do you think? Comments?

Initial Thoughts on Jeffrey Epstein’s Suicide While Under Suicide Watch

August 10, 2019 9 comments

Just over a month ago the mysterious and reclusive billionaire, Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested in NYC and charged with sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. At that time, I wrote a post about my thoughts on Epstein’s interactions with teenage girls. Anyway, there has been a lot of drama since he was re-arrested for something he was initially arrested, convicted in 2008 and released after 13 months of minimal jail time. Yes.. I am aware that it was in Florida, not NYC, but he was effectively charged with the same crime two times. Since then, a bunch of “moralistic” losers who thought his previous sentence was too light were trying to get him charged for those same ‘crimes’ for almost a decade. As you might also know, what Epstein was alleged to have done was no worse than what many famous rockstars did in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Since Epstein was rearrested and some previously sealed documents were released, the internet speculation mill had been in high gear. The names of his many famous and powerful “friends” who allegedly participated in certain activities on his private island in the Caribbean and various cities in USA had been the subject of discussion in many parts of the internet. These include people such as Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Alan Dershowitz, Marvin Minsky, Bill Richardson, George Mitchell, Glenn Dubin and many more. One could go further and say that many super-rich people in USA from backgrounds as diverse as finance, business, politics and Hollywood have likely enjoyed the company of under-18 girls supplied by Epstein. And yes.. a rather high percentage belong to a certain minority ethno-religious group.

I was therefore not surprised when, earlier today, the news of Epstein’s suicide in jail while under suicide-watch started making the round on Twitter. It is very clear that too many famous and “powerful” people had a lot to lose if his case went to trial and resulted in the disclosure of even more evidence. In fact, this particular turn of events was predicted by many people on Twitter since the day he was re-arrested in NYC just over a month ago. I am sure many of you have heard theories about how Epstein was an intelligence asst for the Mossad or CIA. Frankly, this is unlikely for a number of reasons from the risk involved in such an operation to the sheer lack of creativity and competence in both those agencies. Yes.. you heard that right.

There is, however, a far more likely alternate explanation for why Epstein was “friends” with so many celebrities who shared his interests. Ever considered the possibility that Epstein operated an enterprise which procured under-18 teenage girls and over-18 but still young attractive girls for his rich and famous friends? These people in turn paid him by providing money for investing, which he likely did in safe and reliable index funds. Since such investments are very safe and perform as well as other targeted strategies over the long-term, his clients were perfectly fine with it. Moreover, their payments to him were perfectly legal and impossible to associate with the real services provided by his enterprise. In other words, Epstein was a pimp who provided a certain type of pussy for his rich “friends” in a manner that was discrete and not risky, for them.

So what do I make of his suicide in jail while on suicide watch? Was it really a suicide? While it is hard to rule out foul play, especially given the stakes for his and famous “friends” if they were exposed further, it still might still technically have been a suicide. Let me explain.. It is possible for his death to be due to suicide, even if the act was strongly encouraged and facilitated by his rich “friends” and their flunkies. Maybe they conveyed to him that he would be prosecuted to the full extent of law and end up in a nasty prison for the rest of his life. Maybe they told him that he would be imminently murdered in jail. So while they technically did not get him murdered to make it look like a suicide, it is still possible that he encouraged and facilitated the act.

What happens next? Nobody knows for sure, but is very likely that Epstein must have put plans to release incriminating information about his “friends” if something was to happen to him. you know.. a dead man’s switch. I would not be surprised if evidence of sexual encounters between under-18 girls and his famous “friends” starts being leaked at random on the internet. We have already seen his apparent suicide being tied to Bill and Hillary Clinton on Twitter. But this is just the beginning of this phase of the Epstein saga. It is going to get more interesting, to put it mildly. Finally let us talk about two stupid clowns associated with the Epstein saga, Alan Dershowitz and Mike Cernovich.

Given his unusually strident but most peculiar denials, Dershowitz almost certainly partook in the services provided by his friend and client. Sooner or later, we are very likely to see independent evidence implicating Dershowitz. As for Sternovich, his desire to be close to this case as well as previous history with PizzaGate, the alt-right, numerous dietary supplements scams and his own history with accusations of rape are very likely to catch up with him- regardless of whoever is paying him right now. His utility to foreign governments and intelligence agencies is over and Cernovich has now become a huge liability rather than an asset. I would not be surprised if some “mentally unstable” person goes after him in the upcoming months. It does not help that Cernovich cannot afford the type of personal security he could have, if he was really rich.

My prediction is that the Epstein saga is not over, and the next few months could be far more interesting than the past one. And ya.. and it is unlikely to end with Epstein’s death. And here is Michael Tracey’ take on Epstein’s “suicide”.

What do you think? Comments?

Mark Fischer’s Critique of Neoliberalism and the Death of Hope in West

August 8, 2019 3 comments

A couple of years ago I came across a short clip of a YouTube talk by a critic and cultural theorist named Mark Fischer. FYI, he committed suicide in 2017 at age 48. Anyway.. getting back to the topic, I first came across some of his ideas in 2010 or 2011, when his critique of Neoliberalism first became somewhat popular. There is however a good chance that many of you haven’t heard about him because he was not a big self promoter unlike some others.. David Graeber or Thomas Piketty. Fischer’s critique of Neoliberalism and its offshoots such as financialism, managerialism etc are far more interesting than those of Graeber or Piketty, since they focus on something most critics of Neoliberalism have largely ignored.

A few years ago, I made the point that the willingness to commit most crimes requires the person to have hopes for a better future. In that post, I also made the comment that decrease in crime rates in USA and the west over past 20-30 years have a peculiar connection to the loss of hope for a better future. Readers might have also noticed that dress and hair styles in the west have been fairly constant for almost the last 25 years (since the mid-1990s), which is odd when you compare this relative stagnation to the massive shifts which occurred between 1950s and 1970s or 1960s and 1980s. It is as if something changed during the 1990s which stopped any hope of a better or different future. And this applies to everything from life expectancy, treatment of common diseases to movies, music and literature.

It is as if the west, especially USA, is stuck in a terminal loop where it keeps reliving the 20th century but cannot seem to find a way forward. Fischer attributes this to the rise of neoliberalism and how its incentives, philosophy and hierachy has created a society which cannot dream, innovate or do much more than keep repeating the past. This ties in with what I wrote about late capitalism and the glut of movie prequels, sequels and remakes we have seen over the past decade or two. The point he makes in his book, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, is that the ideology of unrestricted capitalism which gained a fresh lease of life after 1991 has now infiltrated western culture to the point where it has destroyed hope for a better future.

Here is YT clip providing a quick overview of what Fischer wrote about..

I would also recommend reading an other book written by him, Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures. In this one he goes into the connection between the extremely high levels of depression, anxiety and hopelessness seen in the declining west today and its connection to an embrace of capitalist ideology at the personal level.

Also, here are links to free versions of his two most well known works.

Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative? – PDF of a scanned copy.

and

Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures – link to e-book version.

What do you think? Comments?

Why the El Paso Shooter’s Manifesto is Relevant to Elections in 2020

August 7, 2019 6 comments

By now, most of you must have heard that the guy (Patrick Crusius) who shot up a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas posted his short manifesto on multiple social media sites. As regular readers will know, I like to read manifestos of mass killers since they provide an insight into their mind and the society they used to inhabit. For example, Elliot Rodger manifesto and videos gave us a view into the world of hapa male children as well as the social mores of rich white people in SoCal. Anders Breivik’s manifesto gave us an insight into how a rapidly increasing number of white men in some Nordic countries feel about the world around them. Some might want to dismiss these works of literature as the output of a deranged mind, and they are free to do so. But look at how well some manifestos anticipated changes in popular culture before they were obvious.

In the case of Elliot Rodgers aka ‘Supreme Gentleman’, his 2014 manifesto not only shone light on the unspoken racial hierarchy of sexuality in USA but also was the first instance of the general public becoming aware of a growing number of incels within western countries. Since then, many far more “respectable” outlets and “scholars” have repeatedly identified the same drop in sexual activity among young males without a corresponding drop in females of the same age group. Or take Anders Brevik’s manifesto. While he shot up those 69 children in 2011, many of his critiques about unrestricted immigration, mass influx of refugees and the publish backlash against them came true. If you don’t believe me, have a look at how many anti-immigration parties have either come to power or increased their vote share in west-European countries over past 5 years.

In other words, we should not ignore the manifestos of spree killers just because we find their actions icky. And this brings us to the contents of Patrick Crusius’s manifesto. Though short (4 pages long), that document verbalizes some ideas that are highly relevant to the 2020 elections. So what makes a guy who lived in Allen, Texas drive over a thousand km to El Paso for shooting up Hispanics. Also, here is an interesting fact about Allen, Texas.. it has more people of Asian than Hispanic ancestry. Anyway.. now let us talk about the main issues Crusius discusses in his manifesto. According to him, the current set of politicians (both republicans and democrats) want to import Hispanic immigrants in this country on a large scale for working in low-paid jobs and eventually changing the racial demographics of USA.

Democrats and their stooges in the corporate media are now calling it a conspiracy theory, even though they have repeatedly making the exact same claims for over a decade. Here is a book talking about that issue from 2004. The so-called ’emerging democratic majority’ or coalition of the ascendant’ has been masturbatory fantasy for democratic wonks for almost 15 years, which is especially ironic given how poorly they performed at the federal and state level during Obama’s presidency from 2009 to 2016. Despite what some would want to believe, the electoral setbacks suffered by republicans were largely due to fucking up on the ACA. All of which means that part of the ‘white replacement conspiracy’ is the official policy of the democratic, and to a lesser extent, republican party. And I, being non-white, am perfectly OK with that change.

He goes on to talk about issues such as job loss due to automation, outsourcing and competition from immigrants. Again.. his thoughts on these issues are pretty mainstream. He them moves to the issue of the educational credentialism race and how attaining more educational qualifications is becoming worthless as more people get them. He also mentions how corporations require ever more desperate immigrants to work at shitty and poorly paid jobs which american-born people won’t or cannot accept. Again.. most of this is pretty mainstream and also a significant part of the reason why a troll like Trump won against the establishment candidate, aka HRC, in 2016. He then goes off on a screed about how it is all damaging to the environment, which is a common “concern” among white people who want to be racist but cannot do so openly.

There is more in his manifesto such as how he chose guns and ammo, thoughts on race mixing, likely legacy etc. However, the thing which should really concern establishment politicians is how these sentiments, especially the more main-stream socioeconomic concerns are now so widespread that a young guy in some medium-sized city in Texas can effectively summarize them in a couple of pages. It is no secret that, for 90% of its population, life in this country has been a slow downward spiral since 2008. This is the reason Obama got fewer votes in 2012 than 2008 and why he would have lost in 2012 had the republicans selected someone less repulsive than Mitt Romney. Yet even today, establishment democrats spend more time and energy in chasing “RussiaGate” than even attempting to present a better vision of the future to potential voters.

To some extent, this is because the political establishment and elites are too incompetent and intellectually bankrupt to think creatively. But far too many of them also live in a social bubble where regurgitating self-validating bullshit and lies to each other is a way of life. That is why all their attacks on Trump have not decreased his approval ratings below 40-45%, which is where they were when he was elected in late-2016. And yet, after three years of consistent failure, these ivy-league credentialed losers are doubling down on strategies which don’t work. Perhaps, they might want to think a bit more about why the approval ratings for mainstream corporate media are now far lower than the orange troll they are trying to target.

But why do the consents of his manifesto matter for the 2020 elections. Well.. because it shows the depth and spread of hopelessness about the future and disenchantment with status quo. As some of you might remember, Trump was able to exploit these issues to win the presidency in 2016. The reaction to manifesto and shooting by establishment democrats highlights their lack of an alternate vision of the future. It is as if democrats have not learned a single useful thing from their humiliation in 2016. Everything they are doing in the wake of this shooting is a redux of what they have done in the past and failed at miserably (calls for banning guns, more useless and dangerous laws etc). And I am not even going to start talking about the clown car of mostly insipid and phony neoliberal candidates in the ongoing democratic presidential primary.

What do you think? Comments?

Using Identity Politics to Justify Being an Asshole Will Create Blowback

August 5, 2019 7 comments

Over the past decade, I have noticed a peculiar but unsustainable trend in western societies. In the past, certain sexual minority groups such as gays, lesbians etc were unfairly persecuted and socially marginalized. Over the past 2-3 decades, this has generally changed for the better with alternative sexual orientations being increasingly accepted to be within the range of normality by majority. For example, marriages between same-sex couples in many western countries is today seen as no less normal than those between heterosexual couples. Workplace discrimination due to alternate sexual orientation is far less common than even twenty years ago. All these changes have lead to a more equal society- at least, as far as sexual orientation is concerned.

However, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there are many signs that some of these changes have led to the rise of identity politics and “wokeism”. As some of you might remember, a few months ago, I wrote a post or two about how the ideology of transgenderism is likely to lose public support in near future. The main thread running through both posts was that trying to force acceptance through legal chicanery and identity politics would inevitably antagonize many far larger groups who would otherwise have not cared, one way or the other. Putting effort into creating enemies where none would be necessary, has always struck me as especially stupid way to go through life. Then again, inflated egos are usually the cause of most man-made disasters.

This problem is, however, bigger than most people want to believe. Over these years, I have also noticed another similar and potentially even more problematic trend. This comes in two major and non mutually-exclusive forms. The first involves celebrities, journalists and other public figures of alternate sexual orientation using it as a justification for being moral superior to the heterosexual majority. To be clear, I am nor referring to jokes about straight weddings being full of poorly dressed people or gay men being usually far better dressed than straight men- both of which are accurate observations. I am referring to repeated instances of said public figures invoking their sexual orientation to justify their assholish behavior, sense of entitlement and belief in their intrinsic moral superiority over all those ‘other people’.

To me, their attitudes and behaviors are eerily reminiscent of old-fashioned racism, where race has been replaced by sexual orientation. But why is it problematic? Well.. to put it very bluntly, successfully pulling of this shit for an extended length of time requires that group to be either a demographic majority or incredibly rich while also not being a small minority (less than 5% of population). Trying to pull this shit when you are not in the position to back up your swagger with anything beyond shaming language, some money and legal chicanery does not end well, as seen repeatedly in history. While I am deliberately not identifying the many historical parallels, many of you can read between the lines to identify them.. right?

The second, and overlapping trend, involves them trying to force deference from the heterosexual majority. While this trend is new, it is very easy to find examples of this on social media sites as well as real life. In my opinion, this trend is significantly more problematic than the first because it is possible for people to partially ignore people who act like self-entitled pricks- but ignoring idiots who want to use legal chicanery about their sexual orientation to browbeat others for things which have nothing to do with sexuality carries a serious risk of eventual backlash. Once again, to be clear, we are not talking about whether some bakery refuses to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple or something along those lines. Instead, this is about people using made-up outrages to get people fired from jobs, deplatformed from social media, etc.

As mentioned in a previous post, the successes of the LGB (yes, I deliberately omitted certain alphabets) movement in western countries has a lot to do with it occurring in an era of increasing prosperity and overall economic well-being. The period between 1970 to early 2000s was a pretty decent time to be an average person in western countries. While the drift towards neoliberalism had started in the 1980s, shit did not really hit the fan till middle of first decade of this century. It was this relatively stable and generally prosperous environment that allowed the sexual majority to start empathizing sexual minorities. People tend to be generous when times are good.

As readers will know, that period ended somewhere between 2005 and 2008. To make matters worse, “wokeness” and other related bullshit mentioned above started entering into the public sphere in a big way in around 2012, which (in my opinion) is also the time when most people in the west finally realized that their system in a terminal downward spiral. Smarter people would have resisted the urge to play little power games which offered no long-term gain, but quite a few of these people (especially in coastal cities) appear to have decided that this was the right moment to assert their self-proclaimed ‘moral superiority’ and flex the muscles of legal chicanery to show who is the boss. It did not help that many are public figures with high media visibility.

To summarize, it is very likely that such attitudes and behaviors will result in a backlash from the sexual majority. Also, sexual minorities unlike ethnic or racial minorities will always remain minorities. Indeed, some of this blowback is already visible and is one of the reasons why Trump was able to dominate the republican presidency and get elected in 2016. You do realize that many of loudest “woke” assholes who use their sexual orientation as an excuse for their pathetic attitudes and malicious behaviors go out of their way to identify themselves as loyal democrats.

What do you think? Comments?

Some Thoughts on How Mass Shootings Became Normalized in USA

August 3, 2019 16 comments

Over the past two decades, occasional mass shootings have become one of more unique features of the american social and media landscape. To be clear, many countries with “strict gun control laws” and low civilian firearm ownership such as Brazil and Mexico, do have much higher rates of homicide by gun than USA. However american mass shootings, while far less frequent than most people imagine, stand out for a peculiar reason. See.. in other countries, the person who commits homicide almost always knows the victim/s. In contrast, mass shooters in USA seldom know their victims beforehand. In other words, there is often no previous connection between the killer and his victims. And it is almost always a ‘he’ who is white and between 16-50.

As many of you might have heard by now, earlier today some guy went on a shooting spree in a Walmart at the Cielo Vista mall in El Paso and killed 20 people and injured about 26. The shooter, Patrick Crusius was 21 yrs old and from Allen, Texas. Which is odd, because he likely drive about a thousand km to get to that particular mall in El Paso. It seems that he also posted a manifesto of some sort on 8chan in which he railed against Hispanics displacing whites- among other things. As you will soon see, the reasons given by him to explain his behavior are far less relevant that what pressitutes working for large media outlets would like to pretend. As I have written in many posts on this topic over the years, mass shooters are driven by a combination of social alienation, poor prospects for jobs or decent sex life and a general dislike for society.

In other words, the reasons found in the manifestos of most mass shooters are merely attempts to rationalize their pre-existing severe and prolonged disconnect with contemporary society. In reality, many features of contemporary western society (especially its north american variant) such as profound social atomization, loss of jobs through financialization of economy, side-effects of 3rd and 4th wave feminism and the general neoliberalization of society are what drives these people to go on mass shooting and killing sprees. Some of you might wonder why such incidents do not occur with any regularity in other developed countries. Well.. the short answer is that USA is a rich third-world country, which is a nice way of saying that it (for historical reasons) does not have a decent social safety net or pathways for non-rich people to eke out a basic, but still meaningful and socially connected existence. Now let us move on to the main topic of this post.

Have you ever wondered about how, over the past 2-3 decades, mass shootings have become a normal part of the american cultural landscape. While I am sure that some of you (MikeCA?) will argue that it is all due to the big bad NRA, the mysterious “gun lobby” or some other boogeyman giving millions of dollars in campaign contributions to legislators, the real reasons are far simpler, if unpleasant to accept. And make no mistake, they are far harder to accept for most people because of the light they cast on contemporary society and humanity in general. So let us go through them, one by one, As you will see, there is considerable synergy between them.

1] Remember how establishment democrats and partisan voters kept telling everyone else that Trump’s election and his subsequent unstable behavior would cause economic depression, WW3 or some other catastrophe within a year? Well.. did anything like that happen? Why not? As it turned out, Trump ended up behaving just like your typical Republican president (except on a couple of issues), but without the ability to politely dog-whistle racism like his predecessors. The fact that he has a 40-45% approval ratings after everything democrats and the media threw at him tells you how little most people trust institutions in post-2008 USA.

But the relevant part is that his bizarre tweetstorms and behavior have become so commonplace that only the “news” media seems to care about them. As far as most people are concerned, his tweets and behavior do not affect his ability to do his job (whatever the fuck it is). Similarly, the vast majority of people in USA have gone through over two decades of almost monthly mass shootings without any significant impact on their life, one way or the other. They, therefore, simply discount each new instance as something unfortunate, but which nevertheless keeps happening to a few unfortunate people. You know.. like tornadoes in certain parts of USA.

2] It does not help that successive american governments in the neoliberal age have been unable and unwilling to do anything about the major problems faced by their voters. We still don’t have anything even remotely approaching universal healthcare coverage, the cost of attending university keeps increasing by multiples of inflation every year, houses keep becoming more expensive as do rents while paychecks either stagnate or disappear. Jobs are precarious and poorly compensated, and social atomization means that there is no real community or fulfilling relationships. It is therefore not surprising that the vast majority of people do not see mass shootings as something worth caring about. If anything, these incidents inject a bit or drama in their otherwise miserable lives.

On the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, it is worth noting that the Apollo program was probably the last time most people in USA believed that government could accomplish something big and important. Some of you might recall that many of the other great things achieved by the government (new deal, social security, electrification of rural america, medicare etc) occurred between 1933 and 1973. But how does this matter in a post about public acceptance of routine mass shootings in post-2000 USA? Well.. to put it bluntly, the majority of Americans simply do not believe that the government is capable of doing something which would improve their lives.

3] Which brings us to the issue of social safety nets in USA, or more precisely their lack. People in countries such as Germany, Japan, France etc will go along with some of the stupid ideas of their political class because the overall system (social safety net, infrastructure, healthcare, education, housing etc) seem to work for them and have not been totally financialized. Contrast that to the situation in USA, where being not-rich is costly and criminal. We do not have decent social safety nets, new infrastructure, universal healthcare, taxpayer funded education or affordable housing. No wonder, people who own guns have no incentive to play along with the stupid ideas of the political class aka the ‘ruling’ class has no credibility.

To make matters worse, many segments of the population lack interest in any gun control. For example, black people in USA are far more concerned about being shot during some random act of small crime because they have been forced to live in deliberately impoverished neighborhoods. Also they are routinely targeted for by extrajudicial executions by (mostly white) cops. As some of you might know, cops in USA kill at least a thousand unarmed and often mentally ill suspects (many of them non-white) each year. Why would you expect black people to care about mass shootings by white guys who target mostly white people? The same is true, albeit to a lesser extent, for Hispanics (especially those with significant non-white ancestry) in USA. They have far bigger problems in their lives than occasional mass shootings which usually target white people.

So.. do most whites care about mass shootings? The simple answer is- no! Even though most victims of mass shootings tend to be white, the number of deaths in mass shootings is so small (as a percentage of population) that most can go through their entire lives without having known even one person killed or injured in them. Furthermore, they too have much bigger and more immediate problems in their lives ranging from poor health insurance, shitty job security, massive student loans, inability to service personal debt and many more that are emblematic of being part of the rapidly disappearing middle-class.

To summarize, mass shootings and their aftermath in USA are largely media-driven spectacles. These events are a source of temporary distraction and entertainment for most people who have far bigger problems in their own lives. The vast majority do not believe that the government is trustworthy or capable of fixing this small problem, and they are just fine with it- even if they won’t say so openly. And that is why mass shooting after mass shooting has no worthwhile effect on public policy or attitudes, regardless of their hilariously stupid gun control campaigns run by discredited corporate media outlets. I never said that reality was pleasant or capable of restoring your faith in humanity. But the world is what it is, regardless of what you want to believe.

What do you think? Comments?

Anthropogenic Climate Change is a Form of Secular Apocalypticism: 5

August 1, 2019 5 comments

In the previous post of this series, I made the observation that belief in anthropogenic climate change has considerable similarities with Christianity, especially its catholic variant. I would do so far as to say that belief in man-made climate change is the secular version of Catholicism. And this raises the inevitable question- why hasn’t the urge to believe in a secular version of religious beliefs taken other forms? Well.. actually, they have and belief in man-made climate change is simply the latest secular religion to have arisen from the ruins of traditional religious beliefs. To understand what I am talking about, let us briefly explore the nature of belief or more precisely, what separates belief from reason.

In the previous post of this series, I made the point that you almost never meet people who deny the existence of gravity, electricity or microbial theory of infectious diseases- and the reason for that is very straightforward. Every major part of our current theories about these examples and many more can be tested very easily and in a reproducible manner. You do not have to believe a priest.. I mean “credentialed expert” to appreciate that gravity exists or electricity flows through the wires in your home, workplace or vehicle. Similarly, you do not have to believe anybody as a precondition for taking an antibiotic to kill microbes and cure some infection. More importantly, we can understand why things did not work, if they didn’t as expected.

For example, a light not turning on after flicking the switch is due to power failure, mechanical issues with switch/ wiring or the light source suffering a malfunction. It is trivial to identify and fix the problem and the theory remains internally self-consistent. Similarly, a prescribed antibiotic not working is always due to either incorrect identification of microorganism, development of resistance or the drug being unable to reach certain tissues. Each of these situations can be tested for and addressed with alternative strategies while maintaining internal self-consistency of hypothesis. This is not the case with religious-type belief systems.

Consider for example, answers to questions such as why innocent or “good” people suffer or die while assholes thrive. Depending on the religion, you will get vastly different and contradictory answers. Even worse, they are based in a mutually incompatible worldviews. Contrast that to the measurement of electric voltage and current, speed, distance, weight etc. Even if two people are using entirely different instruments and units for making their measurement, their answers have identical patterns. 110 hp is always more than 100 hp and 82 kW is always more than 74.6 kW.

Then there is the issue of attribution or cause and effect. Almost nobody is going to make claims that electromagnetic fields caused by household wiring will affect.. say.. the efficacy of antibiotics prescribed for a sore throat. In contrast to that, believers in traditional and secular religions keep inventing new connections and conditionalities to explain phenomenon which could not otherwise be explained by their worldview. Sometimes they make up connections to bolster their own faith in dogma. This is especially common for believers in secular religions such as capitalism and “man-made climate change”, who will often concoct non-existent connections between events or simply fabricate them. But that, still, does not answer why “man-made climate change” has become a popular secular religion among certain sections of society in western countries.

To better understand what makes this secular religion popular among certain segments of the population in western countries, you have to travel back in history to the 1970s. This was the decade when environmentalism first became something more just good public policy. Most people tend to remember that decade for its sexual liberation, hilariously bad fashions, disco music and “stagflation”. However that decade is much for important for another reason. Plainly stated, it was the first decade in over a century when the white west started to realize that its dominance over the rest of world was destined to fade and die out. But what would make people start thinking like that, even if it was at a subconscious level?

The simple answer is.. a series of global events and changes which continue to this day. There was the defeat of USA in Vietnam, 1973 oil crisis, China acquiring thermonuclear weapons and ICBMs, the almost total decolonization of Africa, growth of Japanese automobile and electronic industries and many other events which signaled that western domination of world was coming to an end. The 1970s also saw the end of the three decades of high economic growth throughout the west. But so what.. some may say. How does this translate into the start of public support for environmentalism. Surely there were other reasons for this change in attitudes.

Well.. that is partially correct. Post-WW2 increase in living standards of average people all over the west did make many of them unwilling to accept previously “normal” levels of environmental damage around the areas where they lived and worked. To understand what I am saying, have a look at candid photographs of any western cities prior to 1945. The short version is that even cities in North America, were much uglier, dirtier and polluted that today. European cities were way worse. Indeed, many cities with heavy industry had levels of pollution which make equivalent cities in China today seem much cleaner by comparison.

Most rules and regulations passed in first three decades after WW2 were about reducing or eliminating real and harmful pollution such as dumping the chemical industry waste products iton local water bodies, eliminating use of coal as domestic heating fuel, removing lead compounds from paint and gasoline, banning carcinogenic dyes and especially problematic chemicals used in agriculture etc. In other words, most environmental laws and regulations passed until mid-1970s addressed real and quantifiable problems. Then something started changing..

Beginning in the mid-1970s, the environmental movement in west was increasingly about ‘conservation’ aka maintaining some mythical status quo. The sharper ones among you might recognize that going back to some mythical utopia which nobody has seen is an important characteristic of many traditional and secular religions. Are you starting to see why slogans such as lowering atmospheric CO2 to 280 ppm (allegedly pre-industrial age levels) has far more in common with “returning to the garden of Eden” or “going back to the gold standard” than anything rooted in science. But wait, there is more.

Another defining feature of religious beliefs is that its leaders and priests hold themselves to very different standards than their followers. Have you noticed that “celebrities” and rich people who express strong support for reducing carbon emissions of others always travel in private airplanes, get chauffeured in limousines and live in huge houses. I mean.. if they seriously believed what they claim to, wouldn’t they change their own lifestyles to better conform to their beliefs. Then again, religion (traditional and secular) has always been the domain of hypocrites and scam artists. There is a reason why fornication by priests in the catholic church was a huge problem until they started the whole chastity scam. From then on, the church started attracting closeted gays and kid-fuckers instead of hypocritical straight men.

Since this post is already over 1000 words, I will stop here. In the next part, we will go into more detail about the quasi-religious dimensions of the modern environmental movement. We will also talk about the large amount of poorly suppressed racial resentment driving this movement.

What do you think? Comments?