Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Last Night's Movie: "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" (In Full)

As we watch - and even celebrate - the destruction of Lance Armstrong over steroids, this one's worth a gander. It'll make you think. It made me think. I still don't like Lance, or Arnold, or Sly, or Barry, or Jose Conseco - but I do like thinking - and this surprisingly sensitive and fair film will stimulate some:

If nothing else, I'm glad I got smart to this form of masculinity before I fully dedicated myself to it.

 A Big Thumbs Up - especially for the whole thing being presented online,...

"Wipe That Stupid-Ass Smile Off Your Face" - Ice Cube

I've resisted posting this, mostly I think, because it makes me feel sorry for everyone who's ever tsk-tsked over my demeanor when they're all so fucking "happy" with being a collection of idiots:
Forcing yourself to cheer up can cause debilitating stress. 
For a start, optimism is not always as healthy as it might sound. 
Rather, being a Pollyanna can have a dark side, as shown by a long-term study published in 2002 in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 
Psychologists followed the lives of 1,216 children who were first assessed in 1922. 
They found that those who were rated as more happily optimistic died earlier in adult life than those who were more doleful. 
The researchers, from the University of California, warned that the cheery youths grew up more likely to drink, smoke and take more risks.     
This was most likely because their jolly optimism clouded their judgment and made the dangers appear insignificant. 
The report concluded: ‘Although optimism has been shown to have positive effects when people are faced with a short-term crisis, the long-term effects of cheerfulness are more complex.’ 
Being glum also seems to be a far more natural response to difficult times, as it can enable us to cope better during tough situations. 
This is according to a 2007 Australian study. Through a series of tough intelligence tests, it was found that people who were in a bad mood outperformed the cheerful participants. 
‘They made fewer mistakes and were better communicators,’ said researchers. 
‘In contrast to happy types, miserable people are better at decision-making and less gullible.’
I'll stop there. Yep, it's our old friend, Gullibility, just as I've said - you poor things: 

Dealing with complexity can be a real downer, but - hey - stay positive: 

 I'll be sure to attend your funerals - happily,...

From Left-To-Right: Burning To Learn It The Hard Way

The New York Times has an article on Romney's Mr. Fix-It, Bob White, that shows how easily voters who don't do their own research can be swayed:
When Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital first came under assault, his beleaguered campaign staff turned to Bob White, an informal adviser. He quickly recruited researchers to conduct a deal-by-deal autopsy, searching for uplifting examples to share with voters to counter rivals’ accounts of exploitative ones.
So there ARE examples of Mormon Mitt being "exploitative" (why else would his staff have been beleaguered?) but they've been subsumed by those "uplifting examples" voters have gobbled up - that Romney's people had to be sent "searching" for, in "a deal-by-deal autopsy." Great.

Notice Mitt's people are doing research, but the voters aren't - they're too busy relying on Mitt's information about himself - and discovering he's brilliant! Including, presumably, at exploitation. And why not? He's a supplement salesman!

So how exploitive can Mitt be? Well, remember that "charity" he doled out to his "church" - and got kind-hearted, goody-goody, aw shucks, golly gosh credit for? points to another angle:
We already know that Mormon Mitt Romney has been tremendously generous to his church, giving over $5 million in the past two years alone, but now we learn that his charitable activity with LDS may not have been entirely altruistic. Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker reports that Romney exploited the church’s tax-exempt status to lower his tax bill.   
Romney reportedly took advantage of a loophole, called a charitable remainder unitrust or CRUT, which allows someone to park money or securities in a tax-deferred trust marked for his or her favorite charity, but which often doesn’t pay out much to the nonprofit. The donor pays taxes on the fixed yearly income from the trust, but the principal remains untaxed. Congress outlawed the practice in 1997, but Romney slid in under the wire when his trust, created in June 1996, was grandfathered in. 
The trust essentially lets someone “rent” the charity’s tax-exemption while not actually giving the charity much money. If done for this purpose, the trust pays out more every year to the donor than it makes in returns on its holdings, depleting the principal over time, so that when the donor dies and the trust is transferred to the charity, there’s often little left. The actual contribution “is just a throwaway,” Jonathan Blattmachr, a lawyer who set up hundreds of CRUTs in the 1990s, told Bloomberg. “I used to structure them so the value dedicated to charity was as close to zero as possible without being zero.” 
Indeed, this appears to be the case for Romney’s trust as well.

Good for him - he's using his cult while his cult's using him - exploitation all around! And - with his false "good guy" reputation restored - his polling surged. But this too is "exploitive" - now everyone is lying to everyone else - as makes clear:
At least 21 newspapers that endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 have endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012. Half of these endorsements are couched in the hope that Romney hornswoggled Republican primary voters and will govern as a moderate,… 
The “flip-flop” charge has cursed Romney for most of his national political life. It was the easiest hit on the candidate who, in 2007, was trying to introduce himself to skeptical Iowans and D.C. opinion leaders. A man in a Flipper costume shadowed Romney at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference, and if I rummage around I’m sure I still have the green “Romney flip-flops” handed out by his enemies,… 
That continued until the evening of Oct. 3, right before Romney took the debate stage in Denver and promised “not to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people” and not to repeal popular parts of Obamacare. The next day, when Romney stopped by the micro-Conservative Political Action Conference in Denver, he got an ovation that didn’t end until his speech was over. The right got it—Romney could flip-flop all he wanted as long as it meant he was beating Barack Obama. 
The newspaper endorsements are just the icing. “Romney has famously flip-flopped on abortion rights, the need for Planned Parenthood, access to contraceptives and health care reform in general, which disproportionately affects single mothers and lower-income women,” editorialized the Nashville Tennessean. “During his bruising primary campaign he veered to the right; in the debates, he has swung back to his moderate stances as governor of Massachusetts. The Romney who was governor reflected the attitudes shared by a majority of Americans; this is where he should stay, if elected, and resist pressure from the ‘tea-vangelicals’ in his party who want to take this country back to the repressed 1950s.” 
Would he resist? The editorial writers don’t know. But they know that he should. And to be overly fair, this was the thrown-together logic that got a record number of newspapers behind Obama in 2008. But the biggest reversals come from papers that now put more faith in Romney than they ever put in Obama. “The worst thing that many critics say about Romney is that he is too flexible,” argued the Long Beach Press-Telegram, “that he bends his policies to the situations in front of him. As president, Romney would not be restrained by foolish consistency. He would be expected to do the right thing no matter where the solutions originate.” The flip-flops are part of the reason why Romney can now be trusted. 
It’s an odd view of the president and the presidency,… 
Most of these papers have this in common: They stop the clock on Romney’s “real” beliefs in 2006, and they restart it on Oct. 3,...These newspapers are convinced: The Real Mitt Romney is a moderate who got one over on conservative primary voters. But Romney himself can’t ever say this. In March, Romney’s key strategist Eric Fehrnstrom told CNN that the old, conservative stances of the primary would be easy to shake off, just like a drawing can be shaken off an Etch-a-Sketch. And what did Fehrnstrom do for a living before he started working for Romney? He was a newspaper reporter.

Come on, everybody sing! ♬ Oh, what a wonderful world!  Leave it to good ol' Thomas Sowell alone to eventually employ the language TMR would use for the across-the-board game being played:
Confidence men know that their victim -- "the mark" as he has been called -- is eventually going to realize that he has been cheated. But it makes a big difference whether he realizes it immediately, and goes to the police, or realizes it after the confidence man is long gone.  
So part of the confidence racket is creating a period of uncertainty, during which the victim is not yet sure of what is happening. This delaying process has been called "cooling out the mark." 
The same principle applies in politics.

That should read NewAge politics.

See, in the NewAge, the citizens of the United States don't want any "foolish consistency" mucking up the works, do we? Spouses coming home instead of cheating, a fair day's work for a fair day's pay, people actually meaning what they say, etc. - straight-up American values - they ruin everything.

No, everything turns out better when - as in 2008 - we think we're clever and able to outwit reality.

Anyone can see, like the NewAge itself, that approach has been working out really, really well,…

Christopher Hitchens On The Ten Commandments

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Romney's Father-In-Law Is Un-Baptised The Atheist Way

Worth A Ponder

Drug dealers offer, “Hey man, You want some smoke? You want some smoke?” If you say “no,” that’s it. Now Jehovah’s Witnesses on the other hand,…
-- Chris Rock, Bring The Pain (HBO, 1996)

Save Your Lectures On Health: I'll Never Be Concerned With Living Any Longer (As Long As NewAge Is Alive,...)

"Bloomberg Warned, If The Storm Does Drive Them To Cannibalism, They Should Not Use Salt." - Dennis Miller

Hating Almost Everybody Comes Real Easy These Days

Using Uplifting Articles (To Counter The Exploitive Ones)

Devolution (biology)

Church pastor killed: Rev. Danny Kirk Sr beaten to death with electric guitar

Moscow police 'discover brothel on monastery premises'

Wife 'murdered her fourth husband with a pair of scissors' after he refused to help her tidy up

The Role Of Women In The Third Reich

‘Cackling’ Columbian baby possessed by the devil? Unlikely, say authorities

Boy says he was mad at his dog so he killed it

Gay sperm donor must pay out for daughters he barely knows

Saudi king urges UN action against religious insults

South Park Exposes Hypocrisy of Anti-Bully Industry

Diversity may be fatal, says new government health study

Monday, October 29, 2012

Saving Kids In The Church From Their Pagan Abductors

Dude you are all over the place!

How can I link to you if you jump around and sell your site like a $2 whore?
-- Good Ol' Trooper York, futilely taking the time to comment on TMR's tactics

Troop, though a silly mortal you may be, God, I love you man! Look, I understand - when I write certain posts, some of you think I'm Chuck Berry nuts (look at those eyes). But what even regular readers miss or underestimate - especially those from my Althouse past - is that, unless it's an art post (and, sometimes, even then) I'm always writing ABOUT THE NUTS.

And I leave hints to you, constantly, that there's a method to my madness - in the (sometimes seemingly-contradictory) photos and the (sometimes seemingly-contradictory) text. Why would I work this way? What am I trying to say? And a better question - how does it relate to what others are trying to do to us?

Scroll down the blog a few posts and see if you don't find this answer:

To keep making as much fucking sense as everybody else,...

If you don't learn how to spot the crazy - on your own - you're part of it, Mister.

Remember that post a few days ago, with the Cleopatra clip? Or the one yesterday, talking about witchcraft, and attacking feminism as the heart of our insanity and current demise? How does it all fit together? I didn't explain it. I expect YOU to figure it out! (There's got to be a point to being here, right-right?) I used to dissect the shit, but I'm not going to do all the work anymore:

Trick-or-treaters who knock on Heather Jacob’s door this Halloween might be surprised to learn they are getting candy from a pagan who prays to ancient deities like Isis and worships the cycles of nature. 
A self-described “eclectic pagan’’ who teaches at two area colleges, the Ashland resident believes in “reverence toward nature and being in touch with its rhythms as a real force.’’  
Raised as an Episcopalian, Jacob began studying pre-Christian religions in her late teens and became a practicing pagan in college. “That story wasn’t doing it for me. It didn’t fit what my life was coming to,’’ said Jacob. “I’ve always liked studying other cultures and what truths they held. I want to know what wisdom the ancients had and how to apply that knowledge.’’ 
Across the region, pagans and Wiccans, a 20th century popularization of pagan beliefs that often includes witchcraft, will gather this week in homes, bookstores and covens to celebrate the full moon and Samhain, a Gaelic festival usually held on Oct. 31, to mark the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter.

So the Pagans and witches are all getting together "this week in homes, bookstores and covens" - not where you'll be looking for them - but you expect "crazy" Crack will be so easily spotted or nailed down?

Is there a phone listing provided to your local coven?

Cutting to the chase, TMR's subject is/was/and always will be the many strands of cultism - how, when, where, and why the spiders spin their webs. You already know the drill, so don't pretend:

It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.

That's all you need to say and - until you meet me offline - all you need to know.

Cults and cultists are in every aspect of your life - your social scene, our political world, the major media, left and right-wing blogs, and, yes, they inform (almost) every post of TMR.

All I can say openly is "stay with it" and - despite appearances - spread the word:

"Snapping" is a process - it can't be done by walking a direct route - and, even if it could, it's not one easily achieved online by a fucking artist, no matter what brilliant preparation art is for the task.

But I'm determined to get every one who comes here engaged in it.

Whether they know how I'm going about it or not,…