Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A worse love story than Twilight

If such a thing could even possibly exist, this might be a contender:

This reminds me of what happened last Friday night when I was doing my heavy powerlifting workout. These two really rather fetching young ladies walked in- a blonde and a brunette- and proceeded to head over to the mats to warm up and/or stretch. They then used the leg press for about 20 minutes each- a giant waste of time, of course, you might as well do proper squats instead- and then went back to the mats to stretch.

Now, the brunette did the sensible thing and lay down with her head pointing toward me and her legs pointing toward the wall before doing her hip-thrust stretches.

The blonde, of course, was, well, blonde. So naturally, she did her hip thrusts with her legs and feet pointing straight into the free weights area.

And thereby gave the three guys in the area at the time, including yours truly, quite a good show.

Sort of like this, but much funnier
Don't you just love blondes?

young thing doing squats.....
Except when they're using Smith machines. That's just too effing stupid.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Poetic justice

Payback's a bitch
Ironic, ain't it?
I know we're supposed to be charitable and compassionate and all that, but there are times when schadenfreude is just too delicious to pass up. Like, say, when a church manages to solve its Gay Mafia problem by using the results of Christian charity and decency to wipe out the stains left by the perversions of its antagonists:
A group of French Catholics are wielding the sharp edge of capitalism to their advantage, having bought a gay bar next to their church so they can legally turn out the revellers within. 
It is reported the Missionaries of Divine Mercy have long enjoyed a strained relationship with the late-opening ‘Texas Bar’ on the seafront in the French Mediterranean town of Toulon. After the gay bar filed for bankruptcy and the premises was auctioned by the city to the highest bidder, the church leapt at the chance and immediately started appealing for donations. 
The missionary fund received a boost when the diocesan priest made a €15,000 donation. The website of the Mission reported that other buyers were prepared to put in higher bids for the prime seafront property, but withdrew from the sale when they saw members of the order praying during the auction. 
In a statement the Missionaries of Divine Mercy said: “You will understand the importance of this place for our evangelization in the area. So the Sodom bar will become the pub of Mercy”. [Didact: Amen, gentlemen.]
The bar will now be turned into a mission to further the Christian development of the area. reports some in the local gay community are not delighted by the sale. The president of the ‘Gay Power Toulon Association’ said “I would have preferred if someone else got it but they’ve wanted the place for years. 
To them, it’s like Satan is right next to their church. They’ll need a whole bunch of exorcists to get rid of everything that’s happened in there”.
They'll need a lot more than exorcists, in my opinion. I'm thinking maybe a laser vaporisation of the top 5 millimetres of every exposed surface, followed by thorough scrubbing with holy water.

There is tremendous irony to be found in the fact that this happened in France- which is a country that still believes that Communism can and does work.

It's also not specifically a victory against the gay agenda, it's really more of a demonstration of the way we can win the culture wars: by focusing on the weaknesses of our enemies and the strengths of our allies, by exploiting those same weaknesses, and by reclaiming that which was defiled, and restoring it to its natural dignity and decency.

At any rate, I wish the Missionaries of Divine Mercy all possible fortune in this endeavour. They did what needed to be done; we should all be so fortunate to receive such an opportunity.

Frozen fans are sick bastards

Well, at least they are when they start writing fan fiction. Honestly, I don't know whether to laugh my head off or be violently ill.

(I think this is safe for work- I didn't watch it past the first few minutes, it was that ridiculous. Just please, for God's sake, watch it with headphones or with the sound really, really low.)

(Oh, and SPEW WARNING. Do not consume hot beverages while watching. Didact not responsible for damaged computer screens and laptop keyboards.)

My God, What Have We Done?", Marble Hands and Heads.

We're ALL going to hell now...

At least the crazy, uh, "person" who wrote the actual story will go first. Preferably straight into the fire-and-brimstone bit.

Even so:

Still a better love story than Twilight (Prometheus edition)
Ain't it the truth

Monday, January 26, 2015

Don't cut your damn hair - pageant edition

Much props to our friends at Return of Kings
So apparently there are these things called "beauty pageants" that are held every year, in which very pretty young women flounce around in bikinis and other outfits and are judged to be worthy of being called "Miss World" and "Miss Universe" and other similarly ridiculous titles.

Now normally such silliness would not attract the attention of your humble servant. Like most busy men, I view these things as little more than meat shows- I don't care how impressive the CVs of these young women are (and they are very young), and I don't care how passionately they proclaim their desire for "world peace", it's just a form of performance art, and not a particularly impressive one either.

The latest Miss Universe contest, though, caught my eye- because of the furore that erupted when Miss Jamaica was placed fifth because of her short hair:
The grandfather of the Jamaican beauty queen who lost out on the Miss Universe crown has hit out at the pageant judges for being unclear about the requirements needed to win the show. 
Michael Fennell said that Kaci was the victim of ‘unwritten factors’ and that the judges should have stated if Miss Universe needed to have long hair. 
He said: 'If short hair is a problem why didn’t they say so in the contest?' 
Mr Fennell continued: ‘In my mind she was absolutely beautiful in her short hair. 
'She was different but if the judges didn't want short hair then say so. 
'I wish I knew how these contests were judged where there are other factors that are unwritten that have to be considered'. 
He also criticised those who questioned his daughter’s claims that Jamaica’s contributions to the world are Usain Bolt and Bob Marley. 
He said: ‘Of course it’s Bob Marley and Usain Bolt...the answers of the other contestants did not answer the question’. 
It's renowned for its swimwear round, stunning dresses and a seemingly never-ending array of beautiful women. 
However, last night's Miss Universe final in Miami got hotter than ever - after Miss Colombia, Paulina Vega, 22, was controversially crowned the winner of the beauty pageant. 
Instead of the usual cheering, the audience erupted into boos of disapproval as favourite-to-win Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell only made it to fifth place. 
Shortly after Miss Fennell, 22, left the stage in the 63rd annual contest, her name began trending on Twitter along with the hashtag #MissJamaicaShouldHaveWon. [Didact: Uh, no, she shouldn't have.]
Unlike Miss Vega, who looks every-inch the beauty queen, Miss Fennell gained a large following due to her striking beauty, confidence intelligence and unconventional style - wearing her hair in a Halle Berry-esque pixie cut instead of the traditional long pageant waves. [Didact: So she got more fans for looking... worse?]
Fans claim Miss Fennell was denied the title after she proudly called Usain Bolt, the world's fastest short-distance runner, and reggae-king Bob Marley her country's greatest contributions to the world. [Didact: Yes, I can see why stoner music is considered Jamaica's great gift to the world- considering its other chief export is, well, sugar.]
Since I am not Jamaican, and since I am not related to the so-called Miss Jamaica, I could not care less who won this contest. I do, however, care about this ridiculous notion that the judges should have clearly stated that long hair is preferable over short hair.

Is this really so difficult to understand?

I have written several times at length on the reasons why short hair is deeply unappealing. To rid a woman of her long and beautiful locks is to destroy one of her most obvious signs of health, fertility, and beauty. Is it really any surprise, then, that Miss Jamaica was judged to be inferior to... well, any of the other four top contenders?

In fact, I'm quite surprised that she made it even that high up the rankings.

Take a look at this picture, and tell me which woman is the most beautiful:

The five finalists awaiting to hear their fate at the final on Sunday. Miss Jamaica had to leave the stage after coming in fifth in the contest
L-R: Hot, WTFH?!?, Hot, REALLY Hot, Pretty Hot
 Or take a look at this one, and do the same thing:

Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell (right) with fellow contestants (left to right) Miss Australia Tegan Martin, Miss Netherlands Yasmin Verheijen, Miss Brazil Melissa Gurgel and Miss Ukraine Diana Harkush
Come on, this CAN'T be that hard to figure out
Or this one:

Miss Fennell gained a large following due to her striking beauty, confidence, and unconventional style
Fer Chrissake, even the Australian is better looking than this chick
One more:

Caterina murino 1036
Whoops. Unrelated. But... who cares?
(Yeah, that's Solange from the 2006 reboot of Casino Royale. Her real name is Caterina Murino, and... well, look at her. That, right there, is proof positive that the Lord is truly a miracle worker. Remember what I said earlier about never missing a chance to use gorgeous models to reinforce a point?)

This truly is not difficult to understand. A woman's beauty is expressed through several physical attributes- and like it or not, a woman is judged first and foremost by her looks. I don't care how much feminist nonsense you throw at me, that is simply how it is. Men and women both judge other women by looks- to a far greater degree than men and women judge other men by the same criterion. An average-looking man who has immense physical presence and charisma will make the same kind of impression that a stunningly beautiful woman in a little black dress will- it doesn't matter if both are rocket scientists or functional retards.

Frankly, if Miss Universe had been awarded to the contestant from Jamaica, the show would have lost any remaining shreds of credibility that it might still possess. Some of the most undeniably beautiful women on Earth have been crowned through this show and have successfully launched modelling and acting careers from those awards. Miss Fennell, however, was trying to channel Halle Berry, who in addition to having rather ugly short hair, does not exactly come across as a particularly decent human being when it comes to the father of her oldest child.

Not really a great role model, in my opinion
In the end, sanity prevailed, at least this time around. The most beautiful woman won. I don't care if Miss Jamaica can juggle chainsaws while performing open-heart surgery and writing a piano concerto; if she's going to keep her hair short and ugly like that, she doesn't deserve to be crowned one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Snowpocalypse 2: The Snowening

snowpocalypse update i m reporting to you live from the aftermath of ...
Global warming, my @$$
There is probably only one good thing about spending winter in London- avoiding winter in the Northeast US:
Widespread power outages and major air traffic disruptions were feared throughout the Northeast on Monday as a massive winter storm that could bring 2 to 3 feet of snow and near-hurricane force winds slowly began its assault on the region. 
A blizzard warning was issued for New York and Boston and more than 1,800 flights had been canceled before a snowflake touched the ground — a good indication of the anticipated severity of the storm. 
It was snowing lightly in New York early Monday, the beginning of what was forecast as a treacherous, 24-hour-plus snow odyssey. 
New York City could see up to 20 inches of snow Monday into Tuesday, the weather service predicted. Parts of New England could see 2 feet or more. 
"This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a Sunday news conference. "Don't underestimate this storm. Prepare for the worst."
Look, all joking aside, if you're in the Northeast right now, stay safe and warm over the next couple of days. I remember all too well what last winter was like; this one appears to be even worse.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


So No More Jar Jar Binks, Then?

Change of plan: George Lucas had already been planning to make a seventh Star Wars film before he sold his company Lucasfilm to Disney, pictured in New York in June
Pictured: A former filmmaker and producer
Jabba the Lucas is apparently a bit pissed off at the fact that Disney (very wisely) ignored all of his ideas for STAR WARS VII: The Force Awakens. They even had the audacity, the bare-faced cheek, the almighty chutzpah, to turn down his kind offer to direct the movie!
George Lucas had already been planning to make a seventh Star Wars film before he sold his company Lucasfilm to Disney. 
When the auteur handed over his iconic franchise he also gave the studio his plotline for Star Wars: Episode 7. 
Disney, however, did not use any of the 70-year-old filmmakers ideas for the new installment. 
Speaking with Cinema Blend, Lucas revealed that none of his original ideas made it into the J.J. Abrams reboot. 
'The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn't really want to do those,' the iconic director said. 
'So they made up their own. So it's not the ones that I originally wrote.' 
He created the iconic double trilogy of epic space films that have earned nearly $2 billion since they first burst onto the big screen in 1977. 
And in another interview, Lucas admitted he initially wanted to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will kick off the third trilogy in the sci-fi franchise when it bows in December. 
But one of the reasons he decided not to was to spend more time with his 17-month-old daughter Everest, he revealed in an interview with USA Today.
Look, the last great movie that George Lucas directed was the original STAR WARS. That was released in 1977. And even then, he wasn't actually a very good director- it's just that his imagination and ideas were fantastic. When he directed STAR WARS Episode I: The Phantom Menace (my sister and I call it "The Phantom Headcase", and with good reason) twenty-two years later, it was very clear that he was just jerking off to a lot of CGI work instead of actually spending any time creating a great story or interesting characters.

I have very low expectations for the next film in the saga. I used to be a huge STAR WARS nerd, but the prequels, and the awful bilge of the Expanded Universe novels and comics and whatnot, have left a very bad taste in my mouth. The joy and wonder of the original trilogy died a long time ago, and I don't expect J. J. Abrams to bring them back.

You'll Need a Bigger Chainsaw, Buddy

My name is Mara Jade. I'm Hot.
Okay, to be fair, I am a big fan of Mara Jade Skywalker. And her rack.
Sticking with the STAR WARS theme for a moment, it looks like the new film is going to feed something like 30 years' worth of Expanded Universe canon straight into a woodchipper:
Star Wars is sacred to geeks. Characters in Kevin Smith movies refer to it as "the Holy Trilogy," and for almost as long as Star Wars has existed, fans have wanted to know more about the universe outside of the movies—and the canonicity of all the elements of that universe is the subject of almost ecclesiastical-scale debates. The movies are unquestionably official—they are the foundational elements of Star Wars, even Episodes I-III. However, the combined mass of video games, board games, tie-in novels, cartoons, and anything else branded with a Star Wars logo occupies a lesser tier in the hierarchy: all these things are still "official" in that they carry the logo, but they are merely part of theStar Wars Expanded Universe. 
The Expanded Universe—the "EU"—sprawls like a bloated dead thing with tentacles stretching in all directions. Everything is in there: Timothy Zahn's Thrawn series (which introduced the eponymous Admiral Thrawn, as well as fan favorite Mara Jade, the former Emperor's Hand-turned-smuggler who overcame her hatred of Luke Skywalker and became his wife). Clone Wars and The Old Republic. The Yuuzhan Vong and the death of Chewbacca. Kevin J. Anderson and all the unspeakably, unreadably bad literary atrocities for which he's responsible. 
A sci-fi universe with as long a tail as Star Wars can be death for new stories, though. Finding space among the EU to make a mark without being hamstrung by established ideas is difficult, and even keeping the EU somewhat organized is challenging. Its growth has been cancerous—like a tumor, it has no plan and no organization—it simply expands, blindly, as the collective fan engine shovels in new material. 
And like a tumor, Disney is going to rip it out.
You may have just felt a great disturbance in the Schwartz, as though a million fanboyz suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. Don't worry, you can cure the after-effects with a cold beer.

As far as I'm concerned, this is great news- for the most part, anyway. The reality is that the Expanded Universe is ninety-plus percent garbage. I used to keep up with it avidly- there is still a huge amount of EU lore and trivia rattling around in my skull, and you would be very ill-advised to get me started talking about how much I know because you'll never shut me up. But even I'm not going to defend the atrociously poor quality of most of the EU.

There are only a handful of interesting characters from the novels and comics and stories that deserve to be preserved. I was always a big fan of Michael A. Stackpole's and Aaron Allston's work on the X-Wing series, for instance, and Mara Jade was always a great character. (Until Karen Traviss did a really stupid thing and killed her off. Dumbass. She redeemed herself by writing the Kilo-Five Trilogy for the HALOverse, though, so there is that.)

Of all of the EU lore, I would preserve only the stories by truly great sci-fi authors like Timothy Zahn and Aaron Allston. The rest can just get chucked- it's all garbage.

Especially the Kevin J. Anderson material. Vader's Helmet, but his work was awful. And Vonda N. Macintyre, while we're at it. Oh, and Barbara Hambly's work too. And James Luceno. And Matthew Stover. And...

Well, you get the idea.

Meat is Murder

Wild Boar in Berkeley (Anna Abramson via Twitter)
The Didact's idea of a peeled snack
The skinned, bloody carcass of a dead wild boar was left in plain sight of two vegetarian restaurants in Berkeley, California on Monday, raising questions as to whether they were left there intentionally and in an attempt to send a threatening message. 
The discoveries were made on Shattuck Avenue and Adeline Street in front of two separate vegetarian restaurants, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The first discovery was made around 9:30 a.m. near the restaurant Herbivore. But when Berkeley police arrived, the boar’s dead body was nowhere to be found. 
Several hours later, another boar carcass was discovered at the intersection of Adeline and Emerson Streets near another vegetarian restaurant named Flaco’s. The wild boar’s remains were reportedly collected and turned over to the city’s animal control center, the Chronicle notes.
Honestly, I found this hilarious. The only way this could have been better is if the boar carcasses came with free bacon-scented air fresheners. I've long maintained that you could cure vegetarianism just by handing your vegetarian and Vegan friends one of those.

Even Gun Nuts Make Mistakes

Foot in mouth award
Hey, we've all been awarded one of these at least once
Comedian and all-round great guy Bill Engvall gamely attempted to extract his foot from his digestive tract recently, after finding the meal to be not quite to his taste:
Speaking to attendees at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show on January 20, comedian Bill Engvall referenced making a mistake and going along with gun control pushes during an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher in 2011. In a tone of utter seriousness that was a complete departure from his well-known comedic persona, Engvall said he was wrong and that he realizes he should have stood up for more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, not more gun control. 
Engvall’s earlier gun control statement amounted to support for banning assault weapons, particularly AK-47s. 
He first made the statement during an November 2011 appearance on Maher’s show, after MSNBC’s Alex Wagner suggested we “get rid of the Second Amendment.” Engvall initially countered her by saying, “My belief is that if we take away that right to bear arms, the only people that are going to have them are … the ones breaking into your house.” 
Maher then suggested there at least be a limit on the number of guns a person can own, and Engvall made the mistake of saying, “I don’t believe there’s any reason for a person like myself to own an AK-47. I’d be willing to meet you halfway. I think you can ban guns if you can just pull the trigger and 60 bullets fire out.” 
In that instant, Engvall became persona non grata with many in his own comedy audience, an audience comprised of GOP and Second Amendment voters. And as he addressed this statement during his 2015 SHOT Show appearance, it was evident a cloud had been hanging over his head since making it.
Good for Mr. Engvall. He did right by his people and he apologised for saying something boneheaded.

Look, Bill Engvall is, by all appearances, a great guy. He's laid-back, easygoing, a devoted family man, and very, very funny. He also made the mistake of going along to get along- something that conservatives and libertarians do endlessly.

The problem here is that he tried to appear reasonable in front of an audience that is not itself even slightly reasonable. By trying to meet people who favour restrictions on your freedoms halfway, he inadvertently gave them a noose with which to hang him.

The lesson from Mr. Engvall's story is clear: never apologise. Never compromise. Never retreat even one inch when defending your freedoms. Never be willing to entertain any of their nonsense. Give the rabbits an inch, and they'll desperately try to take a mile.

Asshat of the Week

Forever In Hell
Time to rethink your life, bucko
A gazillionaire who flew to the world's biggest networking event for rich asshats at Davos, Switzerland, in a private jet, with his wife, his kids, and their nannies in tow, wants to lecture his not-filthy-rich countrymen about the fact that they have too much stuff:
A U.S. billionaire who made his fortune betting against sub-prime mortgage securities has told Americans to lower their expectations so they have 'less things' in life
Jeff Greene made his remarks after flying into Switzerland on a private jet with his 19-year younger wife, Mei Sze, children and two nannies. 
The businessman, 60, who is worth around $3billion through his investments and real estate development projects, said: 'America's lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence. 
'We need to reinvent our whole system of life.' 
The 60-year-old founder of Florida-based Florida Sunshine Investments was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos. 
He said he was due to attend several private parties during the week, including a dinner with former British Prime Minster Tony Blair. 
In an interview with Bloomberg, he said the U.S. faces a jobs crisis that will cause social unrest and extreme politics. 
He added: 'Our economy is in deep trouble. We need to be honest with ourselves. 
'We've had a realistic level of job destruction and those jobs aren't coming back.' [Didact: He's not actually wrong about this part. Just this part, though.] 
Mr Greene was in the news just last week as his sprawling Beverly Hills compound 'Palazzo di Amore' hit the market with a $195 million asking price - making it the highest listing currently on the U.S. market. 
Mr Greene and his wife were married at the property with Mike Tyson acting as his best man. Oliver Stone and Donald Sterling looked on, according to a New York Times article at the time. 
It is not clear what plane Mr Greene used to fly into the conference.
The fact that this asshat made his fortune betting on the stupidity of his fellow Americans just makes the schadenfreude of this story that much more delicious.

Hurray for Boobies

page 3.thumbnail Page 3 Girls Go Bananas For Keeley Hazell
Page 3 girls: A lot like this, but less classy
Just when it looked like the Evil Forces of Skeletor feminists had taken away Fun Thing #4,926, Britain's The Sun newspaper turned around and pulled a nice troll job on everyone:
The Sun has printed a topless model on Page 3, ending days of speculation that the feature was dead. 
The newspaper has tweeted out a picture of Thursday’s Page 3 which features a blonde-haired model, under the headline 'clarifications and corrections', winking and baring her breasts. 
A notice underneath the picture reads: “Further to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that this is Page 3 and this is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth. 
“We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us.” 
The campaign group No More Page 3, which began in 2012 and attracted 217,000 signatures to a petition calling for a ban, acknowledged that "the fight might be back on". 
Over the past three days, there have been no topless models on Page 3, fuelling speculation the feature was on its way out. This appeared to be confirmed by a report in The Times, a fellow News UK paper, on Tusday. 
Topless models were first introduced by the Sun in 1970, less than a year after Rupert Murdoch bought the title. 
In recent years, the paper has faced growing criticism from campaigners who said the feature was out of date in the modern world.
I don't read newspapers in print form anymore, so the fact that The Sun dropped (and then reinstated) a great British institution didn't bother me in the slightest. I personally don't read The Sun, at all, and I find the idea of Page 3 girls to be more than a little tacky.

But, hey, if young women with more boobs than brains want to display their quite ample assets in the pages of a daily newspaper and get paid good money for it, and thereby potentially launch their careers as models and actresses, I don't have the slightest problem with that. This is because I am male, and therefore have capacity for both rational thought and self-control.

Feminists, on the other hand, are capable of neither, and therefore are unable to understand that, in the name of "gender equality" and "female empowerment", they are seeking to get rid of something that provides employment, power, attention, and other warm fuzzy things to young attractive women.

Honestly, I think that every feminist is just a hideous old crone on the inside who, through foul necromancy and black magic, manages to go through daily life wearing the skin of a human being.

Oh, hey, while we're on the subject of stupid funny stuff, check this out:

Boy, does this bring back some memories of the early 2000s...

Bad News Bears, Baby!

Funny Sports Accidents
This is actually a lot less horrifying than what follows below
It's official, gents: having your woman on top of you while making the beast with two backs is actually the most dangerous way to go about getting busy:
Having a woman on top isn't quite the wild ride most men might have imagined. 
Scientists have learned that the 'woman on top' or 'cowgirl' position is the most dangerous one for men to engage in during sexual intercourse. 
According to new research, the risky position is to blame for half of all penile fractures that occur during sex. In comparison, 'doggy style' or the woman on all fours is responsible for 29per cent of injuries, while 'man on top' or 'missionary' is only liable for 21per cent. 
In the study published in Advances in Urology, researchers hypothesized that a man is prohibited from quickly stopping a painful movements when a woman has her entire body weight on his erect penis. 
However, if the man is in control, he has a better chance of minimizing injury by disengaging in harmful movements as soon as they happen. 
Of the 44 suspected penile fractures studied in three hospitals in Campinas, Brazil over the course of 13 years, 42 cases were confirmed - and evaluated in order to discover what the initial cause was. 
Twenty-eight of the men were having heterosexual intercourse during the time of injury, while six of the subjects were engaging in 'penile manipulation'. 
Four were participating in homesexual intercourse, and it was deemed to be 'unclear' how the final four men had sustained their injuries. 
Half of the patients who participated in the study heard a crack when they were first injured, followed by swelling and pain, while two of the men actually developed erectile dysfunction following the injury. 
But before you swear off your favorite position remember that penile fractures are rare. 
The researchers describe the injury as being a 'relatively uncommon clinical condition that frequently causes fear and embarrassment for the patient'. 
Despite the awkward nature of the injury, men should seeks a professional opinion as soon as they feel pain. 
According to the study, a delayed search for medical assistance following a penile fracture can 'lead to impairment of sexual and voiding functions'.
Right, chaps, who here is horrified by the idea of a penile fracture?

*** Didact tallies the votes ***

That's one hundred percent of all men. And rightly so.

Can I just say- a penile fracture is possibly the nastiest thing I've ever heard of. It's not even funny to joke about! (Note: DON'T GOOGLE THIS. I didn't. If you did, you're on your own, pal.)

It also is absolutely real. Good luck porking your wife/girlfriend/FB/Tinderella sleeping tonight.

Just goes to show, God sometimes has a weird sense of humour.

Metal is good for the soul

A couple of fellow Androspherians have decided that today would be a good day to go full-on metal, so what the hell, why not get in on this...

Here are a few of the best metal tracks that I've been listening to over the last few days:


You can practically SEE the Eighties

Their new album is EXCELLENT

Cheesy, stupid, silly, ridiculous... and awesome in every way


They may be pagans, but they're still badass

SABATON. Enough said.

These guys are the ONLY people worthy of playing the soundtrack to Ragnarok

Speaking of metal, I really need to get around to writing a post about MetalGate at some point...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The hidden cost of Europe's "free stuff"
They're loony, jingoistic, and gun-obsessed- God love the crazy bastards!

Roman Holiday

The venerable Captain went on a holiday to Europe late last year and- to his complete and total lack of surprise- discovered that his European cousins pay a rather steep price for their much-vaunted cradle-to-grave welfare states:
I visited Switzerland, Italy and a bit of France. But in sampling those three countries (not to mention practically scouring all of Switzerland and Italy) I can say with reasonable confidence in at least those three countries standards of living are overstated. Of course in the Eastern European Empire of Roosh things may be different, and northern Europe I left untouched, but I believe even the regional differences aside there are some European wide structural differences that not only puts it at a disadvantage compared to the US, but costs its people a lower standard of living
The first and most painfully obvious reason was the cost of food. I know food does not account for anywhere near a significant percentage of GDP, but since it stimulates one of the five senses and is kind of a "necessity," I was shocked how expensive the food was
In Switzerland a Big Mac (just the burger, not the meal) on average cost $12. If it cost cheaper somewhere else, I was unaware of it, but I was HONORED to pay "only" $8.50 for a Burger King Big Whopper. Even that was a "deal" because twice I paid over $120 for dinner for four. Admittedly once was in Montreaux (and [sic] expensive resort town on Lake Geneva), but it was certainly overpriced. [Didact: Also the place that inspired quite possibly THE GREATEST ROCK RIFF OF ALL TIME.]
Second, and related, was the quality of food. 
I don't know what idiotic 16 year old suburbanite American girl came up with the lie to make her trip to Europe more exotic than it was, but the food absolutely sucks. The two times I paid $120+ for dinner the food was on par with gas station food, and not even good gas station food. Mac and Cheese, a panini sandwich so toasted you'd lose a filling, and with a stingy thin slice of "prosciutto" (which I believe is Italian for "one atom-thick slick of pork"). And I think my girlfriend had the leaf sandwhich [sic] with three-eye-droplets of Diet Coke. If you factor in the quality and quantity of food, Europe probably costs quadruple what it does in the US. 
Third, gas. [Didact: This is a rather endearing and very amusing Americanism that, in the rest of the world, means "petrol".]
Yes, I know gas is more expensive in Europe. Yes, I am also aware "well, but tuition and health care are free there!" That does me no good. Unless you're old or in college, these offsetting social programs don't benefit the majority of people who have to endure it. But it is not the mere nominal costs of gas that lowers the standards of living as much as it is when you combine it with the fact 1960's highways were built on the towns' 500AD European infrastructure. So not only do you get to pay more in gas, you get to use more as you meander through indirect highways and clogged city streets that were designed for cattle. 
Fourth, housing. 
Unless new construction, the vast majority of housing in Europe is inferior to the US. This is not an insult to the European peoples or their carpenters as much as it is a result of the majority of their housing being before the US even existed. A "nice house" is jammed right next to others with roof spines sagging and shared yards. Every castle I saw looked like a home-owner's fixit nightmare. And the prices are so high you never own your home as much as just pay the interest on the mortgage. Simply because the US is/was less densely populated and the majority of its housing stock built with updated technologies, the quality of housing (and thus your living/dwelling experience) is much nicer. 
Finally, the hotels. 
I was very much looking forward to finding a quiet, hidden Italian village where I promised myself and girlfriend we would "sit and do nothing." I just wanted to find a nice hotel next to the ocean and get drunk on vino. 
Never happened. 
Not just because to drive from one town to another in Italy will make you so stressed out and weary you can't enjoy a wine, but because the hotels are really not that nice and neither is the wine.
[On the subject of wine, I'll simply say this from the perspective of a hopeless wino: don't bother with most European vintages, with the exceptions of certain very specific Alsatian spatlese Rieslings. I view most French wines as useful for either toilet solvent or cooking agents. Go Australian. I don't trust South African wines, the South American ones can be pretty dicey, and the American ones are too acidic for my liking. Interestingly enough, Israel produces some truly great wines, especially Shiraz/Syrah, that won't gouge your wallet.]

My snarky thoughts on booze and viticulture aside, the Captain's comments are generally bang-on. The reality of living in Europe is that things here are far more expensive than they are in the US, once you factor in all of the hidden costs that people never pay attention to because of all the "free stuff" they think they're getting.

The Europeans firmly believe that they are entitled to and deserve cash and prizes simply by virtue of being alive. This belief runs throughout their "social compact"; it's embedded within European cultural DNA- well, west of Poland, anyway. Like most Asian cultures, Western Europeans subscribe to the philosophy that each of us is our brother's keeper, which is not in itself a bad thing- but unlike Asians, who until fairly recently took that burden upon themselves to uphold without resorting to government redistribution, the Europeans don't actually want to have to get their own hands dirty in taking care of their people. They'd rather have their governments do it instead.

Here in Europe, people think that it is only right and natural that health care, education, and pensions should all be provided by government. There isn't even any debate about it.

The Brits, who are rather conservative relative to their Continental neighbours, will defend their beloved NHS to the hilt, no matter how much evidence you throw at them that it leads to worse outcomes and lower survival rates than even the absurdly Byzantine government-controlled cartel that is America's system.

The Frogs are, of course, a gone case. Even the New York Times, a former newspaper that is now basically a shill for the worst instincts of runaway government, has been caught admitting from time to time that all is not well in the country that American liberals admire so much. The French nation is dying on its feet, thanks to a welfare state that encourages sloth and discourages assimilation, hard work, and private enterprise.

And the Germans, who are often lumped in with the Scandinavians as part of "northern Europe"- that subset of European states that have managed through various means to engineer robust economic growth to fund their generous welfare states- are struggling to realise the European dream of fully funded entitlements that will last beyond the next few generations.

The reality of Europe is that the entire European way of life is built on foundations of sand. Their much-vaunted welfare systems will not survive much longer, if current trends hold.

In my opinion, there are three major factors to blame for this.

"The Americans Will Save Us!"

Size of this preview: 800 × 556 pixels . Other resolutions: 320 ...
... Pretty much, except they left out the Goblins
First, as the good Captain correctly points out, the Europeans don't have to worry about their national defence policies. Military service is compulsory in a number of European nations, but that simply leaves most of those nations with an army of conscripts- large numbers of low-quality soldiers who know that they're just there to do their time before getting on with their lives.

During the Cold War, the only real deterrent to the awesome military power and crushing quantitative advantage of the Warsaw Pact was the qualitative and technological superiority of the American military. One can argue all day about how important NATO was in providing a counterbalance, but the reality is that NATO itself was led and funded mostly by the United States. The exact balance has varied through time, but there can be no question that the USA funds far more of NATO's expenditures than any other nation. Almost no European nation, other than the UK, spends anything like 2% of its GDP on defence.

Bread and Circuses... and Taxes

thinking about Universal Basic Income in the run-up to the European ...
Yeah, THAT'll work...
Second, taxes are much, much higher here in Europe than they are in the US- and the tax burden falls on a much broader proportion of the population. America is the odd man out when it comes to taxes these days: the burden of real taxation falls upon less than half of the tax-paying public, with the richest paying an absurdly disproportionate share of taxes. Basically, the government hates rich people- this is hardly news- but also needs them very badly. (It's a very weird co-dependent, mutually abusive sort of relationship.)

In Sweden or Germany or France, by contrast, the burden of taxation falls on everyone- in other words, the government abuses everybody without prejudice. I leave it to the reader to decide which kind of government-driven abuse they prefer- it's like having to choose between a colonoscopy and a rectal feeding- but it's difficult to argue with the facts, or the outcomes.

As a result of much higher taxation on incomes, wages, and profits- both for individuals and corporations- the cost of living in Europe tends to be higher than it is in the US, and the quality of that living tends to be lower.

Obviously this is subject to a very great many caveats and assumptions- for one, the exact nature of the comparison depends very heavily on where you live. It is generally cheaper to live in the US than in Switzerland, and it is definitely cheaper to live in the US than in the UK (I know this all too well), but the same is not true of living in the US versus living in Germany.

Live Free or Die

of Economic Freedom , Sweden has measurably advanced economic freedom ...
Depressing, ain't it?
The third, and most important, factor is the degree of economic freedom present between various countries. Europe has long had a reputation of being unfriendly toward business, while the US has had a reputation, until quite recently, of being a great place to start a business.

These reputations are not entirely accurate or deserved, and their veracity depends very much on exactly which bit of Europe you're talking about; the Scandis, for instance, may well be damn-near Communist in terms of taxation and income redistribution, but they're also very easy countries in which to do business and become an entrepreneur.

As the chart above shows, the US is slipping badly behind (no thanks to more than 20 years of progressive idiocy expressed through the policies of both the Republicrats and the Demoblicans) in terms of economic freedom. The US is now economically less free than it was 20 years ago under a Democrat; in my reckoning it is less free today than it has been since 1988.

Economic freedom is a simple but profound concept. It means that a free man has the ability to produce and innovate as and how he pleases. In an environment where government intervention is limited and a free market determines what succeeds and what fails, the end result almost always is lower prices and higher quality delivered to the end user. For every exception to this general principle, there are hundreds if not thousands of other examples that validate it; it is as close to a law of nature as we'll ever get.

A country that is not economically free will eventually die. It will die because its people will have nothing left to live for. In totally planned and centrally administered economies, everyone lives in mostly equal misery except for those who do the planning; in merely socialist economies, the misery is postponed and passed down to future generations, while current generations eat the seed-corn that their children and grandchildren would have used to sow their own crops.

The Captain saw this reality when he was in Europe (I have no idea if he's still here, but if he is- Cap, stop by London sometime, I'll buy you a pint). I see it every day during my time in exile stint working abroad here.

And if you are American, I tell you now- pay heed to the lessons of your European brethren and WAKE THE F*CK UP.

100mph Into a Wall

Debt and Taxes. Great combination...
I know I keep saying this, but I do it because it bears repeating: you Americans have no goddamn clue how good you have it. And unless you leave America and visit other countries to see what life is like outside of the USA, you never will.

I've been all over the world. I've lived in Asia and Europe. I've visited the Middle East. I've been Down Under. I tell you now that, until fairly recently- like, 2008 or thereabouts- nothing came close to matching the dynamism and the drive that defined America.

In the last 10 years I've seen America trying very hard indeed to become more like Europe. Given that I've lived in Europe, and I'm watching Europe go from bad to worse right now, I really do have to wonder at the sanity and sense of Americans who want more European-style health care, more European-style taxation, and more European-style social welfare.

It doesn't work. Europe is dying. As Bill Whittle once said, if you give people everything they need to live, it turns out that they don't seem to want to live at all.

The trends for both Europe and the US are very ominous. Europe is practically dying on its feet. Birth rates are well below replacement in most Western European nations- and, even worse, in most of the former Communist Eastern European bloc too. In less than 50 years, much of Europe as we know it today will simply have ceased to exist.

This is what will happen to the US if it insists on going full-blown socialist. It's already getting there- the country that I came to as a guest in 2006 is basically dead and gone, the sense of optimism and self-reliance that I came to think of as the defining characteristic of the American people being replaced with a defeated, petulant, "where's my guvmint?!" attitude of complacency and sullenness.

To get an idea of what America would look like if it went fully European, just look at the Captain's description of what he saw on his holiday: overpriced food, overpriced goods and services, overrated hospitality, and draconian laws that seek to regulate every single aspect of daily life.

Or, you could just take a look at Canada. Specifically, take a look at Quebec. They're so French, the Frogs don't understand them.

In fact, that's exactly what Steven Crowder did about 5 years back, when he took a trip up to the Great Frozen North to visit the Canoeheads. Here's what he found:

Let me conclude with a plea from a libertarian who loves the idea and the ideal of the United States of America, to Americans who still remember what it means to be free.

Don't let yourselves become like the Europeans. They're dying out, they're collapsing under the weight of their own internal contradictions, and they're struggling to deal with the Long War and terrible price demanded by the Crusade that is sure to come.

Don't give up your freedoms. Your Bill of Rights is not negotiable- not one part, not ever, under any circumstances.

Don't ever let the government tell you that you "deserve" to be taken care of. You deserve nothing of the sort. You get what you earn, and nothing else.

Otherwise, you're going to discover very quickly that "free" turns out to be pretty damned expensive.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia...

One of my favourite bluegrass tracks, ever:

A fair few people have tried to cover this classic. Most have failed to do it well. Here are a couple of the "less bad" versions:

The really stupidly cheesy yet still highly entertaining Swedish dance mix version, by REDNEX:

And the metal version, by ADRENALINE MOB- where for some reason the otherwise amazing Russell Allen sounds like he's phoning it in:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Barnhardt steps up to bat

And knocks it straight outta da park!

Oh, and this video is pretty NSFW after about the halfway mark:

(Baseball analogies do not come naturally to me. It's not a game that I understand, even slightly. Then again, I've only ever met one American that actually likes cricket, so who am I to talk...)

As far as I'm concerned, if you want to understand why Islam is such a twisted and weird political ideology, and why it cloaks itself in a mantle of sanctimonious morality, you need to watch that video, all the way through. It'll be a struggle, trust me- you'll have trouble keeping your lunch down at certain points- but it's worth the time and the effort.

Even if you could discount 90% of what she says in that presentation as the insane ravings of a lunatic- this would be difficult though not impossible, because her evidence is strong and well-presented, but not bullet-proof- you're still left with a body of evidence that points to Islam as a political ideology of sexual repression, violence against women, paedophilia, and extreme abuse of both women and children.

There can be legitimate questions asked about her evidence, by the way. For instance, I have been unable, thus far, to find real evidence that the circumstances surrounding Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death actually involved a weekly gay orgy called the "Thursday Night Club". That doesn't invalidate the rest of her arguments. Her points about the prevalence of consanguinity and its devastating effects on IQ and learning ability are well documented, as are her arguments about the brutality and wretchedness of female genital mutilation circumcision.

This is not an ideology that is compatible with Western values. It is well past time that the West understood this. The only reasonable answer to Islam's demands to be given a seat at the table, whether overt or covert, is to bar the way with bayonets and rifles at the ready, and to throw out any Muslim who refuses to be beholden