Sunday, May 31, 2015

At Social Matter "Moving the Muhammad Window"

Week two at Social Matter, seriously, just bookmark SM, add it to your RSS feed or drop in daily. It is worth the daily check in. As I typed Friday, this one is on Egypt and how things are changing even if the military is running the show.

Egypt's coup by the military was not greeted with protests. The coup offered a respite from the intense violence between rival Islamist political parties and their street gangs. Bread also became a manageable cost for Egyptians as well with the help of Saudi money. The junta did not waste time with dealing with rivals, sentencing to death hundreds. Food flowed and the American media got bored. Now Egypt is sentencing former President Morsi to death along with followers, and the American media is giving Morsi and company the full opportunity to generate global sympathy. Even if Morsi and his cronies are executed, the effect of their power and source of legitimacy has changed al-Sisi's junta's administration compared to Muabarak's administration.

Go read the rest of it there.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Last Week's Social Matter Post + Previews for This Week

What I will do for RSS readers is preview the next Social Matter post as well as post on Friday my Social Matter post from last week.

This Sunday's post is on Egypt. If you've read 28 Sherman since 2011, you've seen me post on Egypt in a consistent manner. Egypt's military junta pulled off a successful coup like the Thais have done so far and with a vicious follow up. Not all is the same as the old Mubarak era though, and this junta is a bit different. While the Muslim Brotherhood lost, they have changed the nature of the nation.

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Last Sunday's post......
 
There have been active wars in Ukraine, Yemen, and Syria over the last year, and wretched chaos in Libya. China is up to something in the South China Sea to route around USG patron concerns. Russia was sanctioned, had their currency attacked by the USG system, endured a weak attempt at a color revolution, and recently enjoyed the USG admitting defeat in Ukraine.

Anything going on in Thailand? It has been a year since the coup, and not a peep has emerged from Thailand. The pushback on democratic evangelism will start at the edges with Thailand’s coup being an early sign.

Not all coups are the same. This coup does not resemble the Cold War era coups. This coup also had quite the amount of popular support, as the prior regime was becoming increasingly corrupt. The New York Times even reported how the entire class of educated people had become concerned about how one man one vote gave a bit too much power to the easily persuaded poor. Just publishing those evil, anti-democratic thoughts is dangerous for the New York Times’ readership to imbibe. The junta has played the aftermath very well. They are going through what the Western press calls sham trials to target opponents. The junta also has provided security, peace and while economic growth is slower, it still exists. What more could the people of Thailand want?

A Western journalist knows what they want and should do. This euro wants the Thai people to confront the junta, despite a majority wanting the coup and the resulting maintenance of peace and security. He laments how political rallies have been banned and how freedom of expression has been curtailed. What expression exactly? Random Thais expressing political opinions should not affect the political deal-making process and otherwise usually lead to disorder and unrest if they grow. A military controlled council is rewriting the constitution and has pushed back new elections, setting new dates twice now. This euro’s biggest lament:
The long-term consequences of the political situation in Thailand are being ignored in favor of short-term benefits – mainly the maintenance of security and peace. That makes it more difficult to demand civil rights and an end to dictatorship.
Oh, the shame of people getting what they want: peace and security. An indifference curve is the economic idea that people value things in different ways but value different levels of multiple goods equally if they provide the same overall total utility.

In a social way, we all have social indifference curves. The writer has no concept that people may have a social indifference curve, and not everyone is ginned up for the right to march topless in order to protest churches. Some people, many people, value safety, security, and stability over the right for political expression that has no affect on the moves of elites. Of course, Western progressives will favor any protest that pushes the right talking point because that protest can be magnified using the Western media force multiplier. The writer mentions how the opposition forces that may protest will only be restrained if the people fail to realize the military cannot resolve the conflict. Recapping the status of Thailand, what conflict do the mass of people see?

This is more a conflict for the USG system and its desire to democratize the world and maintain control of the international community. The formerly strong levers and tools the USG has at their disposal have become rusty and unreliable. Like the Egyptian junta that deposed the democratically elected Morsi, Thailand’s junta has also sought friendship and support from Russia and China, while the U.S. is busy elsewhere–friendship which is only amplified by Russian and Chinese defiance in the face of USG geopolitical moves. China publicly saying they would respect a diversity of government forms gives smaller nations like Thailand cover.

This also explains the proggification of the American armed forces in recent years. Progressive elites cannot risk our armed forces, one of the last institutions with widespread public support, to remove from power and punish elites who can win one man, one vote systems, since they can persuade just enough low-information voters to pull the lever for them in November. Thailand is just one nation, but a reliable long time post-World War II ally of the United States.

The domino effect against the shrinking USG system will start on the edges but slowly and surely make its way back to American shores.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Paul Singer Tips the Elite's Hand

Have you noticed the parade of big names coming out warning of a coming financial calamity? It is pretty steady now that big names in finance show up on television or in a news report and say, "Well, jeez, a storm is coming and it will be awful". A recent man warning of doom is Paul Singer. If his name sounds familiar, I have written of him before. Over a year ago, I wrote about Singer's efforts to use his money to make the GOP pro-gay. He is a FIRE economy elite with billions. Comapred to the other masters of the universe proclaiming doom, Singer has described the play: short long term claims on paper money.

The big short prior to the financial crisis was shorting subprime mortgages. This is an even bigger short. This is shorting government bonds in the West. Zero Hedge lays out the specifics. This play goes to the heart of the problem and is two pronged. If you short government debt with their printing presses, you would be paid in a currency that would become worthless. You are right, but you do not get paid. In the meantime, if you are shorting bonds that have negative yields, you actually have a positive carry. Singer's play would mean that you need to short the money system and prepare for the next. As Zero Hedge closes out their giant post, there is one alternative to paper money claims that is used for measuring wealth in a financial system. Gold. Singer's approach becomes a paired trade in essence, short bonds and long gold. Bill Cara also called this the trade of a generation almost a decade ago, but he was too soon. Timing is everything.

I am a bit biased as I am a fan of gold and have been for years. If a skeptic, just look at it this way. Every central bank that can do so is buying gold like a major change is coming or they are asking for their gold to be repatriated back home for safe keeping. Now big names in finance are discussing the need for gold. Large institutions and people are preparing for the next stage, and if they are revealing it to you now, they have been doing it for much longer. Our central banks will fear deflation, but they will print to make sure it never happens. Sadly, the printing will accelerate and make that paper worth less and less. Be prepared.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

HIV/AIDS, Gays and Reality

It gets a little frightening out there when the sex positive libertarians are ignorant to the reality of HIV/AIDS. They are focused on discussing the positives of sexual liberation but never the outcomes of their policies. It's so much fun just to say you support sexual freedom and technology's effect on freedom, and not much fun to discuss things like rising rates of STDs, broken homes and gays' inability to stop a perfectly preventable disease. It is best if we focus on reality with gays and HIV and not be lost in the Hollywood fog of gays just wanting to get married and adopt Chinese babies.

The link above describes Grindr's affect on STDs in the gay community. For anyone who knows gays outside of Glee!, you know the promiscuity that is rampant in the gay male world. It's a never-ending parade of new guys whom they may meet in any venue. Grindr is a tool for them to kick it up ten notches and daring people have engaged in anthropological undercover work. The MPC forum has a thread dedicated to one man's attempt to find out how depraved gays are. Please scroll through his conversations with gays. These are legit, disgusting examples of gay sexual behavior offered up to strangers who set up accounts fewer than 5 minutes before initiating contact.

"But that is just a few random anecdotes," yells the progressive who uses exceptional anecdotes to say any outgroup is "just like us!" True, but each example in the gay world carries more weight since their numbers are so small. How many pozzed up gays do you think would approach you on Grindr in one day? Are you quiet now SWPL? Some of those Grindr thread guys talk about not telling the stranger about HIV or openly being okay with sex with HIV positive (poz) men. The flippant way they treat a disease that kills is mindblowing if you grew up with the HIV hysteria of the late '80s-early '90s, the traveling AIDS quilt and the multiple movies about tragic yet noble AIDS victims. These fools playing chicken with HIV are not victims, and it is not about education. Everyone knows how you get HIV in 2015, and it is perfectly preventable. Gay guys just care more about that next sex fix than they do HIV.

Before you discuss total infected or rate of infections, the idea that gay guys tell each other about their HIV status is an issue. Not just on Grindr, but in real life, gays do not tell one another that they have HIV before sex. This is not a fluke thing. There have been multiple studies done focused on "disclosure" to reveal this problem. How many years did the media push the HIV hysteria and push people to discuss their "notch count" with loved ones to be honest, yet gays get off scott free with their high rates of non-disclosure? To not tell someone you have HIV before engaing in sex is akin to playing Russian roulette, throwing knives or whatever analogy your high school health teacher used in 1994. Gays do it often. A whopping 31% of HIV infected gay men do not bother telling their sexual partners they have HIV. That is roughly 1 in 3 of the highest risk HIV community walking around not warning anyone they have HIV. This is why HIV does not go away despite being a perfectly preventable disease.

"Why make such a big deal about it? This HIV issue is an outlier. Gay marriage matters more though, right?" No, SWPL, not really. Look up numbers for gay marriages. Any split for if they are male-male or female-female? Media dodges that for some odd reason. Either way, the numbers are low. Over 12,000 Americans die from HIV/AIDS every year, a majority of which are gay. Do more gay guys get married or get HIV/die from AIDS in the average year? This would be a nice comparison as same sex marriage spreads. How many gay men have HIV in America? It is roughly 650,000. They make up over 50% of the HIV infected population, and the CDC says there are over 1.2 million infected with over 100,000 infected but unaware. That 650,000 number of infected gays would be the 25th largest city in America.

"That number is still small because of how many gay guys there are? Like 25% of all men are gay." Sorry, SWPL, put down the appletini, take off your horn rimmed glasses and read on. How many gay men in America? Recent surveys have grown in breadth and become more refined. There is a whopping 2.2% of the male population that identifies as gay or bisexual. There are 151 million men in America. Simple math shows there are 3.3 million gay/bi men in America. Using the HIV infected number for gays as the numerator and the total gay/bi male pop as the denominator, we can see that 19.5% of the gay male population has HIV. This is staggering. Take this one step further, and combine the non-disclosure study. This means that there are over 200,000 gay men with HIV engaging in sexual relations without telling their partners they have HIV. That means roughly 1 in 16 gay men walk around with HIV, having sex and not telling their partners. Quick question: when was the last gay guy on television revealed to be an HIV carrier? Weird that none of them are despite the 1 in 5 fact. Any of them shown smoking crystal meth? Weird that none are since 1 in 4 have tried crystal.

When the libertarians of CATO or the progressives are discussing gay rights or whatever is the next gay crusade (lowering the age of consent?), bring these points up. Ask them about the rampant promiscuity, bugchasing and the 20% HIV number. Show them the screencaps of the brave soul who engaged in Grindr online research. It is sickening. They may recoil from the truth. Freebasing GRIDS statistics is not for everyone. Do it though. If they call them hate facts and call you names, it is okay. By their own words, they admit they are facts, and by saying them out loud, you remind everyone of the truth. They are defending the sick and the degenerate; you are not. Men who put penises inside their mouths and asses have the terminal illness known as HIV at a going rate of 1 in 5. That is most definitely not "just like us".

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Thailand Looks For New Patrons

Thailand's coup does look like a little success. You have not heard anything from Thailand. The USG's Eye of Sauron has not bothered to shine its fiery gaze on Thailand. Being distracted by efforts in Syria and Ukraine hurt the USG's ability to shake little Thai generals to submission, but for a system launching a pivot to Asia ever 6 months, the USG is not directly meddling with the junta in Southeast Asia. Anti-Thai news reports have been minimal if they exist at all. The Thais are not wasting anytime either. With the USG distracted, they are on a charm offensive for new patrons. The Asian pivot may come too late to keep little Thailand securely in Uncle Sam's camp.

It starst with the big one. Thailand is stepping closer to china. Thailand has something to gain by receiving whatever support it may need from a rival patron to the USG. This could be financial lifelines like Russia needed when the USG system attacked them in December. This could simply be getting on friendlier terms with the one major threat that has Thailand a client of Uncle Sam in the first place. Thailand also has something to offer China. Even if small, it is a propaganda play. Per the article, "China has been looking to opportunistically coddle Thailand’s non-democratic rulers, while Thailand, for its part, has been going out of its way to show Washington and the world that there are partners willing to do business without fretting about regime legitimacy." If Thailand emerges from this coup with either a very limited franchise or continued delays to restarting voting, Uncle Sam may try financial blackmail. This is where deep Chinese pockets come in handy. The USG system's power is through economic control, but the diluting of the dollar has weakened it. Countries now have to play the politician's donor source game. If they make a change in support on an issue, politicians need new donors to stay in power for the next election. This is not too different for regimes changing political systems or asserting control vs. USG.

It is not just China Thailand is cozying up to. Russia is making inroads in Thailand. Thailand is changing internally its orientation to Russia as well. Look past the eye roll inducing leftist boilerplate in that little essay to see the details of a nation's power holders attempting to clean out corrupt elites and make new friends as they push out their old patron. The Russians are aware that the West has not paid attention to Thailand. The Russian-Chinese access sees an opportunity to demonstrate to the little nations around the globe that their alternative to the USG system is not a fraud. Thailand should press to get as much as they can as an early adopter. These moves like airfield changes and small economic deals add up over time. Power projection matters to a global empire based on air and naval supremacy across the oceans. Look at the difficulties America had with securing supply routes into Afghanistan. Logistics matter, ports matter, airfields matter.

How long the door stays open for Thailand to make moves is unclear. America's foreign policy is like a drunken NFL player being told no by a stripper; who knows what will happen next and where it will happen but it will be something violent. Thailand's best hope is to solidify as much as possible with rival patrons while USG is tied doing the bidding of Soros, Nuland, Kagan and the Middle East obsessed power brokers in DC. Thailand is a long time ally of America. Thailand has been a useful ally to America. Thailand is an ally looking for new friends. When smaller nations with decades of American support and deep ties are looking elsewhere, the geopolitical alignment and system is facing a shake up much sooner than the population expects.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Announcement - Social Matter Posts

After some thinking, I contacted the leadership at Social Matter about publishing my Sunday pieces there from now on. They accepted the offer. I am thankful for inclusion and for finally having an editor. From now on, my Sunday pieces will be there. I'll still do my follow up Monday piece here, since my Sunday-Monday posts are almost always tied together by subject matter (twin posts). My goal this year is to cute back on posts to 4 a week. I'm having a hard time with that because the world is a bit crazy, and I find enough interesting stuff that I feel like sharing.

This week's Sunday post is at Social Matter. Go read it there.

If we review the last year, there has been active wars in Ukraine, Yemen and Syria. There has been wretched chaos in Libya. China is up to something in the South China Sea to route around USG patron concerns. Russia was sanctioned, had their currency attacked by the USG system, had a color revolution attempt be weak and recently enjoyed the USG admitting defeat in Ukraine. Anything going on in Thailand? It has been a year since the coup, and not a peep has emerged from Thailand. The pushback on democratic evangelism will start at the edges with Thailand's coup being an early sign.

Read the rest there.

Friday, May 22, 2015

New Neoreactionary Site "The Future Primaeval"

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the guys at More Right as one of my weekly neoreactionary reads. I commented how they reminded me of a European salon with their high quality discussion and air of class. It appears that last night the guys of More Right decided to leave More Right and start a new site, The Future Primaeval. If yesterday's post is any indicator, there are fantastic things to come from these guys.

As a lover of discussing the whole story or hidden history, there is a post I really enjoyed. "White Man's Burden Revisited" writes of Rudyard Kipling's well known poem White Man's Burden from 1899, but also of the lesser known Kipling poems of 20 years later that revisit the idea of Europeans coming into contact with the "other" and the necessary reactions or actions Saxons should take. I won't post anything, go there and read it.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Aussies in Egypt in World War One

The Seven Year's War was the first true world war. It spanned multiple theaters over multiple continents and hemispheres. To us though, the Great War would be what the modern world would call World War One as it was quickly followed by World War Two. One day when everything is settled, an insurgent historian movement can relabel them the "German Wars". Below is a photograph from the Great War. The Australians who were fighting for the Crown were in Egypt. The action in the background is far more fascinating because of everything that has gone on in archaeology since 1918 and what a tourist trap the Sphinx has become. Never again will people rest on the clavicle of the Sphinx.
 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Mad Men Spin Off

Deadline beat me to this but I'm going to pitch you a show. AMC is hurting as it relies on The Walking Dead, and the so-called "Golden Age of Television" that started with the arrival of The Sopranos might be ending. We could use something new. We also need to move forward with the nostalgia cycles, and get into the '70s.
It's 1975. It's New York City. A recent college graduate with a lot of family money to fall back on, a lot of connected people to use and few strings attached to her hits the city. She arrives fresh out of Vassar to explore the city as it faces financial crisis, devolution into "The Warriors" and "Taxi Driver" territory,  and the wild year of 1977 with everything that went nuts during the Summer of Sam and blackout. There are also amazing house parties where dance parties take advantage of the available drugs to create a movement that will be commercialized as disco. There is the absolute Peak Sex era as mid and late Boomers hit that 18-30 age window just as the pill is widely adopted, inhibitions are removed, clothing is revealing, there is NO AIDS and virtually no fatties. Inflation is rampant and nothing feels permanent. The city feels like it may sink into a hole. Watch as a young woman navigates it all. This young woman is one you've watched grow up. You know her family. Will she give in too familial destiny or will she survive and thrive. Tune in for Sally Draper.
Admit it. This would work. We can work on the title. The period piece echo of the '70s would work now due to nostalgia cycles ('70s/'90s currently). Sally Draper is played by Kiernan Shipka who is young, so AMC would want to wait 18 months or so for this. They can start filming when she is 17/18, since her looking young would add to the Alice in Wonderland feel to the show. She can be costumed and done up to look 22/23 easy, looking younger is always Hollywood's problem. A television show exploring the horrendous dark era of NYC would be great. This would get the chattering class going too as the SWPLs love to romanticize the gritty, authentic NYC that was in reality riddled with crime and degeneracy.

The reason why this works is also because the makers of Mad Men hit a God damn gold mine with Kiernan Shipka. Note that they moved her to a starring role designation as the show went on. Two things happened that made her a character that you liked seeing onscreen and usable. First, she managed to grow tall during a break so they could age her in the show and it flowed perfectly. Huge break there. Second, she managed to display better acting than most of the other women on the show. Only Elisabeth Moss as Peggy was better consistently. Watching her in season four, Shipka managed to switch how she would play Sally in a really fantastic way. She could play child of divorce Sally, little kid Sally, and then in a really weird mimic of what actual kids do, "Mini Betty". "Mini Betty" smoked, manipulated Don, threw fits, and acted cold. Sometimes Kiernan Shipka copied January Jones' mannerisms and behavior in a perfect yet weird way that you see children of divorce do when a parent is gone. Her growth from Sally who could never do anything right to Sally the rock of the family who acts more adult than the adults was great to watch because everyone has one friend who was more mature than their divorced parents.

We would watch this. Hollywood would have a built in audience, and could have a new female centric vehicle to explore '70s women's issues. Does she turn into Don with '70s hedonism more permissive than when he was on the prowl in the '60s? Does she chase older men to feed her daddy issues? Does she mimic her dead mom? That is part of the appeal. The other part is that this is practically ready made. Kiernan Shipka makes it happen. No one in the first season or two could have seen this coming. If the Emmys wanted to recognize an outstanding achievement, they could award Kiernan Shipka a special Emmy for exhibiting more talent before she could legally drive than most actresses show throughout their career. Whether this show happens or not, good luck Shipka making the leap to adult roles. If you liked Mad Men and if you like period pieces, you would tune in.

Why "The Carousel" Scene Is Special

I alluded to "The Carousel" scene from the season one finale of Mad Men. I checked through my blog and could not find where I discussed the scene before. This is Don's famous pitch to Kodak. To go meta on this, it is also the entire pitch to the viewers about the show, Peak America and what is lost.

I cannot do it justice. Television is generally a poorly used medium. Mad Men dedicated itself to relishing the mid-20th Century aesthetic. Part of Mad Men's artistic success came from having a small audience and capturing the '60s nostalgia present in the mid-'00s. They could focus on crafting a great period piece for the Boomers as they shuffled into old age and a Millennial generation curious about it. This scene is one of the greatest scenes in television history. Occasionally you hit solid gold in season one. Here is the full monologue:
Don Draper: Well, technology is a glittering lure. But, uh, there is the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product. My first job, I was in-house at a fur company, with this old-pro copywriter, a Greek named Teddy. Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is new.Creates an itch.You simply put your product in there as a kind of calamine lotion. But he also talked about a deeper bond with the product. Nostalgia. It’s delicate, but potent. Sweetheart. (lights switch off, changes slide)  
Teddy told me that in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound”.(changes slide) It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.(changes slide) This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine.(changes slide) It goes backwards, forwards, (changes slide) takes us to a place where we ache to go again.(changes slide) It’s not called the wheel. It’s called the carousel.(changes slide) It lets us travel the way a child travels. (changes slide) Round and around, and back home again. (changes slide) To a place where we know we are loved.(changes slide)
The set up is great. Don has a pitch to a client, so the show can use this set up to pitch you an idea. What is even better is that within the story being told to you, there is another story told. Don is passing along old time tested knowledge. "A Greek named Teddy" sounds old timey. This pitch is not the pitch for the product. This pitch is to you about this show. It is the end of season one, maybe you liked it and maybe you were meh about it. Do not just go for the flashy and the new. Come along for this ride with us. We, the team putting this entire show together, are going to get you with an even deeper bond: nostalgia.

The nostalgia is Don selling you on old America. This is an actor in 2000s America portraying a Kennedy era American, Peak American. He represents what you remember and knows what those of you younger folks secretly want. He is costumed as an "ad man". There is an aching, pained feeling that the America that was functional and powerful is gone. This is why it hurts. You know it's gone. That sentimental bond is with the old America. You cannot openly say it because of Progress! but we know it is there. We'll find a way to pitch, present and recycle it to you.

Mad Men will bring it back for you. Advertising is not as much about the product as who the consumer buying that product wants to be. You want to live in that lost world and want to take pride in the nation that went to the moon. The overwhelmingly white audience wants to enjoy these things guilt free unlike the social mores barring any form of white pride in modern America. Mad Men is a time machine. For one hour on Sunday, you can go back. When men were men, women were women, America at peak and so many handsome and pretty, thin white faces. It is just a memory now. It will hurt, but you will remember, we will remember. Tune in and just melt back into that old world, that time and that place where you feel at home.

The Mad Men Finale

I am thankful for the Mad Men ride. I laughed. I enjoyed the visual aesthetics. I rolled my eyes at the insertion of modern 2000s issues and concerns into 1960s America. The finale even had one of those; "I feel like everyone is judging me". Whatever. Mad Men can take its place in great television just for "The Carousel" pitch to Kodak scene at the end of season one. I've written about it before, but that scene was about how Americans in the '00s viewed old peak America and how it is a painful, aching feeling for that lost moment. Mad Men became too much of a soap opera and progressive performance piece, and had fallen into a trap of "and then watch what happens" because Weiner did not wrap up anything. Ending a show well has grown in importance. The Sopranos had a great ending that for one little bit at the absolute end angered fans. LOST fell off the wagon like all J.J. Abrams projects after a few seasons and muddled along. Mad Men should have ended two seasons ago. How does one do it? Weiner pulled off a good ending.

Life goes on. Change is difficult, better to call it growth. No one really changes here, they just grow comfortable with their position within new circumstances. Don is still ad man Don dreaming up perfect pitches. Peggy is doing creative work with an office romance who gets her, and whom she allows herself to love (she rejected the lustful Pete way back). Roger has a younger, but generationally appropriate woman who can still rev his engines. Joan is still business perfect Joan, seeking self actualization through work, who can bang men when she wants even if they now have to be much older. Pete is still business Pete, but maybe now knows he wants the life he thought he wanted ten years ago. As the show moved on, viewers saw how these five people had ideas about themselves and saw them slide away as the world around them changed. This was effectively done with Don by having his dress rarely change even as the '50s look became more and more square. These core characters often fought change. Not just around them as America changed but personally. Peggy had to deal with a beau who wanted to shack up, not get hitched. The men had to deal with no fault divorce and the decline in tolerating extramarital shenanigans. Joan had to deal with the change of having every guy lust for her in 1960 to being seen as a matronly figure that only older men wanted by 1970.

Life goes on. This was actually a great ending considering how terrible the show's final season had been. I had expected Don to end up at the edge of the Pacific and walk into the water to kill himself or at least metaphorically wash away the sins of his past in an oceanic baptism. We saw a different piece of the Christian ritual toolbox as Don performed a huge confession to a confused Peggy via phone call. Peggy, the Catholic good girl, hears his confession to every dirty thing he did. She does not believe it, because Don's con worked so well on her. She gives him the "that's not true, you're a good guy, come back" pep talk, and how close is that to real confession? How much does the man in the collar know about you to hear you confess your darkest misdeeds and grant absolution? This scene is an echo of the blatantly obvious Clint Eastwood-Hmong kid locked screen door confession at the end of Gran Torino. Peggy might not have understood Don, but he chooses her to confess everything to. "We have a connection, you idolize and respect me, now hear my dark secrets". An average priest probably knows less about a confessor than what Peggy knew about Don the person. Don hangs up, sits on the ground and resembles a spaced out druggie as he comes to grips with his isolation. His kids won't be with him, he is single again, even the last connection to his Whitman days is gone. It's just him.

Life goes on. Don sits there looking refreshed with the Pacific behind him. He looks clean, focused, and has great posture for the meditation session that Don skeptically looked at during his first arrival to the retreat. That flicker of a smile as he meditates and bellows out "Aum" followed by the famous "Teach the World to Sing" Coke ad implies all you need to know. Peggy's dream was to write a catch phrase. Don is going to give the world the most memorable ad. Weiner lied years ago about this series showing the downfall of a man. I would expect nothing less from a Hollywood figure writing a show about advertising. If anything, this show showcased a man who was a fraud, be exposed as a fraud to the people he should have cared about most, and then to come to grips with the lie and accept it. Draper will go back to McCann, sell America Cokes and make a nation, a world, forever remember that having a Coke is akin to sharing a memory, a moment, a great happy moment for all of us, and then it is gone.

Life goes on.

Don Draper: Jewish Avatar

I had drafted and outlined this essay and was feeling good about my interpretation of Don Draper that cut through the bull. Then Mad Men creator Matt Weiner opened his mouth and said it.
This is the story of America, this assimilation. Because guess what, this guy Don has the same problems. He’s hiding his identity, too. That’s why Rachel Menken understands Don, because they’re both trying desperately to be white American males.
This might sound confusing since Don Draper was a white American male, played by a white American male actor. Don Draper is an avatar for the Jewish experience of otherness. It is not about Don being a symbol of declining mid-20th centruy American power. Don never declines. He actually rises to control the Coca-Cola marketing that shows up on your television screen repeatedly. He is not the symbol of the reduction of male power through the '60s, as he ends the decade a multi-millionaire with young, strange women still sleeping with him. The Draper experience is the 2nd half of the 20th century Jewish life.

Let's review Don Draper's life.

1. He is born in the '20s to a poor family.
2. He reinvents himself, living a lie to cover his roots to everyone around him to fit into rich and powerful white NYC society.
3. He has great verbal IQ and is creative.
4. He is a sales man, a hustler, a smooth schmoozer.
5. He is a degenerate.
6. He lies constantly.
7. He always has one foot out the door.
8. He is in high need of praise to feel good about himself.
9. He marries a good blonde WASP.
10. He is self centered, self obsessed and constantly hung up on his background and history.

Don is Dick Whitman (white man) might be from Appalachia Pennsylvania, but is definitely rural prole. You could erase that childhood bio, substitute born to a poor Jewish immigrant family that lived in settlement houses and read Marxists texts, and the rest of his life would be the same and stereotypical of many succesful Jewish guys' lives in 20th and now 21st Century New York. Jordan Belfort is Don Draper-esque but a full blown criminal. The Ivy League is full of children of these Jewish men who married outside their faith after they "made it". I met an assortment of Cashews (Catholic-Jewish), Mu-shews (Methodist-Jewish) and P-shews (Protestant-Jewish) who all had the same backstory of dad making big bucks and meeting a cute shiksa.

Don's feeling of an outsider, unaware of how the establishment works, is the Jewish POV of that old WASP leadership gang. He is an outside observer, new to this world of money and success. His worry that they will always uncover his secret and cast him out mirrors the nagging feeling in that Jewish, middle man minority mind. Don apes the look, thoughts and actions of the WASPs he has to deal with, but he never feels quite at home. Don constantly feels like he is a fraud and needs validation in everything he does, which is an amazing neurosis for such a successful man. The fear is not just in his environment but in his identity, his core. That is not a stereotypical WASP or white concern but more in line with the self-obsessed culture and religion that spawned psychoanalysis (Dr. Freud's).

Steve Sailer has been all over Matt Weiner's retconned childhood fueling this show. Sadly, Weiner's lack of dealing with the past and properly viewing the past colored this show in weird ways. Weiner is a critically acclaimed Hollywood artist with a very high net worth, yet he cannot let anything go. That is something stressed in the finale where Don says to Anna Draper's niece, "blah blah put it behind you, blah it gets easier as time moves on". The irony is it does not. Draper was standing in California in 1970 at the end of a weird odyssey, strangely trying to fix a woman he barely knew who was the niece of the wife of the man he assumed the identity of, defeating his very statement. That is not Draper talking. Those are Weiner's written words. This is Weiner's creation, his story, so stop looking at Don Draper for the handsome, Anglo male of money and power that he appears to be. See him for what he is: a vessel to tell the story of insecure Jewish Americans coming to grips with their place in the American power structure. It is 2015, and even now, they do not want to admit it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

States Are Economically Larger Than People Realize

The whispers and murmurs of secession grow with each passing year. Polling firms are even asking if people want to secede now. This is partly because things get worse and weirder with each passing year, and partly because the voting Wurlitzer is not playing the tune the people have been programmed to expect. Alternative solutions are being contemplated. One thing that mentally holds Americans back is the idea of states standing on their own. Regional breaks make sense and are easier to swallow. Culturally or socially, Americans can see the drifting apart supporting secession but they still fear being too small to be independent. What many Americans fail to realize is the true size, scale and economic power of their states.

Independent American states compare remarkably well to foreign nations in terms of absolute GDP. The top half of US states would be top 50 internationally for GDP. Independent nations with clout make up that map. Cobbled together into regional breaks, rump American states would be powerful on an absolute GDP basis like G7 member nations. A hypothetical Dixie would have a top 10 GDP. A Midwestopia would be a balanced powerhouse. Competing for the English speaking population would force these regions to work more efficiently and provide better service for their citizens to entice membership. An interesting trick would also be what states would unleash economically if they did not have the Federal government to rely on for transfer payments? Do Oregon and Maine bring back the forestry and paper jobs that they voted away? How much growth is created by necessity?

Each State With Absolute GDP Sister Nation

Skeptics would scoff at the notion and laugh at the state-nation comparisons. This is easy to do for progressives as it would reveal cursory evaluation of the true numbers without understanding. Plus, the maps usually try to not duplicate nations used. The American states are far richer and more powerful than those absolute GDP comparisons reveal. The better measure to look at is GDP per capita. That is listed on the map below. When you look at those numbers, you see that all American states are incredibly wealthy compared to the rest of the world. The nations popping up there are duplicates and reveal wealthy countries like Netherlands, France, Japan, Italy, etc. When one looks at both measures combined (absolute and per capita), the numbers make independent states even stronger than progressive favorites in Scandinavia or even Asian Tigers. Similar to the absolute GDP measure, cobbling states together into regional states would create strong states able to compete on the global market for commodities. With the natural resoruce bounty of the continental United States, regions would be large players in a variety of important goods, services and basic necessities. All of this without the NYC-DC axis in control.

Each State With GDP Per Capita Sister Nation

Now there is a flip side to this. America's FIRE economy skews some items as does the current federal regulatory regime. Some wealthy blue states are overinflated due to their reliance on real estate and finance. Another problem is that some blue states are no longer balanced with manufacturing, agriculture or natural resource industries and are service economies. When blue state pundits and even little people say America does not make anything anymore, it is really "my section of America got rid of our manufacturing". Drive through the South and Midwest. While it is definitely smaller in size, the manufacturing in America is now more concentrated in specific regions. What happens if red states or even purple states remove the "degree for the good life" demand from education or physically remove populations that make the search for the good life/schools a driving force? The university system everywhere takes a hit. In a global view, universities are an export industry for the US, and especially for a state like Massachusetts. The states that grow food, generate raw materials and can remain competitive from a manufacturing standpoint oftentimes vote rightist and skew culturally red. A break up could reshuffle the current FIRE dominance and remove control of the bounty of the Lower 48 (and Alaskan oil) from the USG and paper shuffling elite.

That is part of the problem with secession ideas. Removing that control of resources from mandarins in the NYC-DC axis is a huge blow. Controlling the bounty that is the American geographic jackpot is the ultimate communist goal. Look around the globe. Few if any spots are as rich in minerals, oil, water and can produce the food that America does. I'm sure 100,000 Midwest farmers and Texas petrol engineers could turn Africa into an economic powerhouse, but they would still have to deal with infectious diseases and other natural problems not found here. As one looks around the globe, the struggle of nationalist sentiment vs. USG globalist reach is really a fight over local control of their lives vs. the needs of the global cabal to control the commodities in that same region for their gain. Keep talk of secession going. If anyone questions the reality of a state becoming independent, remind them of regional states that could form. If they are a true believer progressive, just remind them that Sweden is weaker independently than many American states. Let the talk continue and remind people that states and communities are stronger than they think.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Secession Would Allow for Renewed Group Rituals

The culture war is an ongoing fight with one side steadily winning each round as they are aligned with the referees. The larger picture though is that it is not purely that two sided struggle but an all against all struggle. We lack cultural cohesiveness. This is evident even in the most basic of national holidays like July 4th, the mishmash reaction to remembering 9/11, the patchwork of MLK day recognition and even the demonization of Columbus Day. These national ritual moments do not work or work opposite of the original intent. America loses cohesion by hitting these days, and not having enough to share culturally and socially, which only stresses our differences. Not a perfect solution but regional secession could allow for a renewal of group rituals that would affirm identities and what the Arabs call asabiyyah.

I've touched on the idea that there is no "America" but there are multiple Americas that different thedes envision when they think of their nation. Part of this is scale, but the other part is simply a population that is far more diverse not just in ethnicity or religion but simple life experiences. There is no shared struggle or experience that all Americans endured. The accrued cohesion from the nation enduring the Dust Bowl with the Great Depression (all regions hurt) followed up by the struggle of World War Two has long run out. A 90% white nation that was wrecked by a financial and agricultural crisis causing massive migration to vanquish foes on a global scale has some easy experiences to share and find common ground from which to build. America does not have that, and does not even have the same values to call one struggle or the other something all can share. A far more dangerous situation is how the founding myths of America have been turned into horrifying events by the progressive education and media system. Who-Whom and what is politically useful at the moment.

This is where regional secession starts to make sense. Founding myths are much easier to envision for regions, and far easier to celebrate without the need to appease the other thedes. The progressive Acela Corridor region could easily rework the Shining City on a Hill, Puritan perfection myth. The northeast, always striving for an idealistic utopia. The utopia might now be about "girls" with penises and gays getting married, but it would be marching forward from Puritan origins. The South has Dixie, and without having to be sensitive to blue staters, could celebrate the Stars and Bars, cry the Rebel yell, and eat pecan pie made by women in gingham tops. Texas and California have their unique traits, and Texas practically is its own nation with strong Texas identity. Blacks would need a spot or else its move to Acela Corridor and avoid evil, racists whites in Dixie and the Midwest. The Heartland with it's flyover Christianity could celebrate the prioneer-farmer-Christian outpost myth of settling and working with the land. Those monuments to the Indian Wars (they exist) could be publicly celebrated without a progressive chastising the crowd. The West could embrace the Euros who made it to the ends of the earth pioneer/freedom spirit.

Smaller units, whether state or region, make more sense because of our scale issue and immigration transformation. Consider Steve Sailer's points on the Romney vs. Obama voter breakdown. There is the core versus the fringe. There is also the happily married white voters go Romney and "affordable family formation" voters go Republican ideas. The red vs. blue divide started with simple votes and has carried down to a cultural split of Starbucks SWPLs vs. NASCAR 'Muricans with differing points of view on religion, family size, food or fitness. One cannot argue that even blue states share a common form of liberalism as California is shaped by Mexican immigration into acting like a socialist Latin America nation while New England is so white that it resembles Western Europe. Would the Mex-Ams want to embrace Massachusetts' pushed degeneracy? They shut down gay marriage in 2008. America has stuffed far too much diversity and wildly different groups, not just ethnic but racial and religious, that there is no cohesive culture. That is all social legislation is in our culture war: the legal codification of one's culture on the other because socially, no one feels secure in their culture's dominance anymore.

With such a wide swath of humanity to appeal to, lowest common denominator and inclusion makes shared meaning moments or pushes far less effective. Broken into smaller units with a more homogeneous population, the number of items shared of the population rises. It becomes easier to focus on the shared traits to celebrate and enforce through rituals for an oceanic feeling of oneness with the group, community and wider social unit. The racial splits caused by immigration actually would help enforce smaller states from merging because with renewed cause for community building and years spent defining and enforcing said identity, why would anyone want to merge back into the American identity? What identity? How different is the selection process for the tribe of that unit? It will probably be too different to merge. In a regional break up scenario, the irony would be each region (sans California or Texas) being able to say they are carrying on the true American ethos or character.

These would be cultural and social actions with overt or implied government support, but there would be a way for a government to supply a tailwind to these acts. However one would rearrange their region, our cities could be a huge opportunity for this group ritual and social cohesion issue. For decades, cities were and are managed for the needs of the progressive machine and democratic politics. New York's "Deep City" could only let so much dysfunction occur before destroying Tammany or later, starting "Giuliani Time!". Baltimore is a nice example because in the '70s and '80s, the $1 homes program and other homesteading acts were progressive endorsed programs to save the city and pull in decent inhabitants. They had to do this so the pus filled city would not become Mad Max to the point where Democrats lost over and over. Fix the rot just enough. Now that the progressives need dysfunctional people, the heroin trade can set up in West Baltimore, and since federal control of local police is desired by the cathedral, they will encourage and enable the underclass to burn the city down. Imagine our cities oriented towards safety, security and shared enjoyment. A proper physical removal of problem groups from cities would come first. Think of all the formerly horrid, worthless real estate that suddenly becomes valuable and empty. Those wretched neighborhoods in Memphis and Cincinnati once had kids riding bikes after 7pm and low crime. A massive city reclamation and rehabilitation project could pull in the young to work on cleaning up the cities and simple public works like small parks. A policy quirk could be, you rehab the area and clean out a house, you get it (tax auction properties are in the thousands in some cities). The German expression volksgemeinschaft comes to mind as this would be work to reinvigorate the community and create the shared experience and struggle in reclaiming what was lost but building something new that is worthy.

Does this fix everything? No. Does it allow for a healthier group celebration because it allows for exclusion of groups or those not aligned with the group's interest? Yes. The absence of forced inclusion helps strengthen the focus on the group proper. This can fight atomization by recognizing that there is a shared struggle and identity, and that you, random member of the community, have felt that struggle and contribute to the group's experience. This is why that nagging feeling happens each 9/11 or July 4th. You cannot indulge in the anger at the attacking Muslims because Joe Rothstein on MSNBC will mention that Muslims are victims of Western profiling and microaggressions or the president himself will blurt out "Well, yeah, you know, Crusades!". That nagging feeling gets kicked up a notch when the forced diversity tokens show up in "Tribute to America" parades, shows or telecasts when you just spent months watching black protestors shout about Amerikkka and hating the nation. Money ties this nation together. Anything earned on price is lost on cost. The last symbol that Americans rallied around after 9/11, the American flag, is now on the cutting edge for offensive in California schools. Carrying on the sham and fraud is unhealthy. While not a panacea, secession and a regional break up could fix some of these problems of alienation and atomization.

Building Networks and Trust

After taking time to review death threats and make a will in case my assassin shall strike, it dawned on me this is a great lesson on trust. If one is engaged in building a network of people opposed to a regime or to be a long march conspiracy, one has to create and have trust in one's network. No one is going to listen nor take a next step and engage with any network that is untrustworthy. John Kenneth Galbraith expressed this when writing and admitting how Keynesians kept quiet and denied the conspiracy of Keynesian takeover until it was all clear with the final victory. Building a network involves reaching out to people, and if they see you constantly attacking nominal allies, they will not be receptive. When I posted my financial blog reads, I noted they are the dissident financial information sites and that many share or work with one another. Not all are 100% in step, but they all dislike the current economic and financial regime. The Manosphere, HBD sites and MPC (three examples) are not buying our entire buffet of beliefs but they do share some common views and generate great insights monthly if not weekly. Keep them in the spider web and use the helpful concepts as they pop up. They never have to or will be core of what you consider "intellectual leaders" (whatever that means), but they can be useful. Do we want to seek the truth? If so, use truthful, accurate sources. Roosh just went on national television (Dr. Oz), and he also just reviewed Culture of Critique, exposing many young men to some ideas not allowed in the regular media. Useful thoughtcrime. We should all keep trust in mind when engaging with one another. It is the foundation for cooperation and coordination.

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This comes from Mike threatening to kill me two or three times and going on a doxx hunt of me because I laughed along with an MPC joke on him being a flamer. I played along with his hysterics so everyone could see the monster. Keep in mind: he accused the MPC guys of doxxing his sister just a month ago like it was some horrendous crime. Almost all of Friday's freak out is documented here on MPC. A very comical rundown of the freak out from "The Right Drama" is here. Thank you all for support, emails, screen shots, messages and follow ups of his hysterics (including this morning). If you read the weird tweets he sent (deleted now) where he kept barking for an apology and expressed his anger, it reads like a weird S&M routine. I'm an Italian accountant who lives in a giant city. "Shucks he got me good", I thought lying on my couch checking my tablet while watching a "Poirot" episode. I realized his insecurity was at "11" when he later said to a guy that I was a slimey accountant who sometimes posts a lingerie blog, skipping over this one entirely. That one has 113 posts over 5 years, so good way to funnel followers there and not here where 300 posts happen each year. He's still going on about that lingerie blog today, as if my wife doesn't already know of it. Total SJW behavior.

This should not surprise anyone. Mike flipped out months ago threatening to dox people. He attempted to do so Friday. He also ironically started calling himself leader of nrx as a joke, until he said it wasn't a joke. There are no insults of Mike that can top the truth written here about him on MPC threads, especially here:

Mike is unmarried, childless and has f**ked rachel skrillex yet advocates traditional behaviors
Mike is an atheist but the endarkenment advocates a return to religion.
Mike has no science, technical, comsci, or architectural training yet spouts off on tech and commercial concepts.
Mike has no proof of any capabilities or smarts yet calls all of mpc, dumb, boorish losers.
Mike f**ked rachel skrillex but says mpc has no dignity and is garbage.
Mike is a public figure with the same number of twitter followers as a popular teenage girl in your hometown.


This is pretty mean to Rachel Haywire, but maybe she taught him the S&M terminology. I feel bad for Mike, and realize why he gets very upset at the slightest criticism. He is over 30, no wife, no kids, lives a frugal life, no degree, kind of-sort of has a job... he has nothing so he has to protect the Internet persona. It's like underclass women who claim to have high confidence yet flip out at the slightest dis. When you have nothing, you have to protect anything and hold the line or else all of your failings are open to criticism. I'd pray that he finds peace in his life but he's an atheist so why bother? No one is perfect, but I am honest with myself as a slimey Italian accountant with a lingerie blog.

The name Michael Rossi will stay to the side of the blog. Amazing that I was talking about remaining anonymous yet had a name on my blog for years. So weird, hmmm, why would someone do that? Hmmm. Good thing is, this is the Internet, so I can walk away at any time. Some people are saying neoreaction is dead, maybe, but you can't kill a network of people seeking the truth.

This is just a shit post. A real post will be going up today... on this blog, not my lingerie blog.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Who Lost China Update

One day we'll read the "Who Lost China Again?" op-ed in the NY Times followed up by a Vox inforgraphic heavy explainer for why and how we lost them and how it affects white, Millenial and progressive Americans daily lives. By then, how many white, Millenial progressives will be left? Will they all emigrate to New Zealand and Canada? Probably. China is playing a long game so here are some links about some of their long moves.

  • Koos Jansen is an excellent China and gold watcher. His latest is on the new Silk Road that China is building. This is the overland compliment to their String of Pearls ports and supply chain idea. Iran matters here, as does India. Wait, you thought Barack Obama penned the Modi Time's 100 essay (with praise) and you thought Modi later being on the cover of time this spring were out of nowhere? No! The cathedral is incredibly paranoid that India will align with Russia and China. China is smart, make friends with India and Russia, and they secure their huge borders. Then they can look outward to the Pacific.

  • It appears the Chinese will have to announce their gold holdings to get what they want from the IMF regarding the SDR moves. With all of the pro- and then anti- talk about the SDR, and the instability that an SDR basket would create per the writing of others, the move to an SDR for global trade and finance is a temporary one as China-Russia get stronger. The path could be King Dollar to SDR basket with temporary realignments to new gold system. Gold is the final endgame. I like the idea of a gold backed crypto-currency. Let's get that going.

  • China and Russia inked some more deals. This latest invovles lending to Russian firms by the Chinese. Yes, State Department geniuses, cutting off Russia was going to limit them from being able to do business with anyone else. Just like those wizards of Wall Street, other people would love to get a piece of that Russian commodity powerhouse. China already gets much from Africa, but transit from Africa would bump into the American Navy. The Chinese are not ready to confront that beast... yet.

  • Do not take these wanrings of global change and a new financial alignment from me. Read Bill Gross on the idea that this is all ending. Mr. Gross knows the generational bull run in bonds must end as there is no place for yields to go any longer and no borrower on the margin who has any credibility. There is a reason certain people were not loaned money with regularity or low rates for ages; they cannot pay it back. Equality is a dream.

There are no allies only interests, and our ruling elite's interests diverged from China's a while ago. The biggest change was when the Anglo-Soviet split ended, and the US did not need to use China against the Soviets any longer. No real shared interest after that, and what slowly built up was a Mutually Assured Economic Destruction... but even that has changed. Politically and socially, Harvard and the NY Times might dream up new perversions and new schemes for breaking domestic political enemies under the guise of equality and rights, but these have no use for China. We call a childless single working woman at age 29 an "independent, strong woman". The Chinese call them "yellowed pearls". We do not have to touch anything else, because that gender worldview difference informs you enough. The truth is that we already lost China. The truth is China was never really ours to lose.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kids Play War, Leon Gimpel, Paris 1915

One hundred years ago, the slog of World War One had set in, which would only stop when the old world was finally crushed. I saw these pictures elsewhere from Paris during World War One. The photographer was Leon Gimpel*. What he did was stage photos with the children who played little games of cops and robbers only transposed to the French and Germans in the streets. Knowing that Gimpel helped create everything from basic poses to the very "toys" they used to play, the pictures lose a little emotion. By creating a message and using the kids for whatever message he wanted, the very message of children playing fighting games in the middle of a war changes. It is not organic anymore. Kids playing war in the middle of a war is a fantastic example of that odd awareness children have of adult things but transformed through a child's mind into their concepts, like light hitting a prism and becoming a rainbow. Gimpel playing with this to stage "battle play" warps this. It is tainted. An innocent play game representing a dangerous thing that could make a viewer stop and think has become an adults exploitation of children to push some point. Still, the photographs are wonderful to see.

Interesting choice of staging


Did Gimpel provide the clothing too? Awesome toy rifles.

 
The kid in red is starting to creep you out

 
The kid in red is like an evil sprite

Only one kid has the stones to shoot... the evil bastard in red

 
For kids playing, no one looks happy

Final proof that this is staged by Gimpel. An awesome plane...


...hung from a telephone pole by a kid that is maybe 2 feet tall with a gut

*If you're confused why an adult wouldn't just take pictures of the kids playing and catch the spontaneous order and organic feel to children handling a war time situation on native soil, Gimpel was a Jew. Exploiting kids... must be genetic. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Have You Tried Intermittent Fasting?

I had read plenty from Mangan on the positives of Intermittent Fasting. I decided to check out other websites as well. I noticed a few websites lists or write ups on different types of fasts. I messaged Mangan to post on a schedule for fasting, and he crafted one. I promised him a review after incorporating fasting into my weekly diet. I can't go full paleo, and wouldn't want to, and I can't go a full week of scheduled fasting, so I found a schedule that worked for me.

Basics
- I work out 3-4 days per week. I would not fast on training days or the day directly after.
- I used the "16 hours fasting, 8 hour window of eating" fast. This fast was 16 hours of no food, then an 8 hour window of eating, followed by another 16 hour window of no food.
- I started the fast at 7pm on Wednesday and ended it at 11am on Saturday.
- I eat 3 regular meals, a banana or yogurt as a snack, and then a combination of protein bar/shake twice a day.

Pros
- Once you break habits, fasting in this manner is easy. You are in essence just delaying breakfast and eliminating post-dinner snacking.
- 8 hours is a wide window to fill in your caloric intake. It is not a forced "Let's gulp down 2000 calories at once" fast. I created an every other hour feeding method like: 11am - breakfast, 1pm - lunch, 3pm - snack, 5pm dinner, right before 7pm, protein bars/shakes.
- If you have any casein protein powder, it might be best and helpful with getting thru the overnight fast as it breaks down slower.
- Slight weight loss immediately seen on the scale of 5 lbs.

Cons
- I had some headaches at night. I messaged Mangan. He said he did not have those. Might have just been me, maybe a carb deficit. Maybe just dehydration as I drank more water after messaging him, and they went away. Not bad in total.
- Tough part was the late at night period before bed. Stomach was hungry then, but doing a shake right before 7pm was better than sneaking in a small half sandwich. Once I slept, the morning routine was easy to fast thru if I brewed a large cup of tea.
- The urge to snack was high.

Helpful Hints
- Drink some coffee or tea in the morning. Caffeine is an appetite suppressant anyway.
- Drink plenty of water. Doesn't hurt to fill the stomach with water.
- Drink a nighttime sleep aid tea to help you if a growling stomach will prevent you from falling asleep.

This was actually a lot easier to execute than I expected. The second week of fasting was much easier than the first after knowing how my body reacted. I will be doing this from now on from Wednesday nights to Saturday mornings. Paleo is a bit of a pain due to having to eat separately from what the rest of the family eats. I have turned my paleo habits into a general, "eat fewer refined carbs, more nuts and fruit" diet. I now even eat and enjoy salads, which at 23, I never thought would happen. Fasting is just a routine change and not even that hard. The toughest thing was the late night stomach growls of "feed me" and the simple, conditioned urge to snack after 8pm or so. It's part conditioning and part accessability. It's amazing how much we Americans have become grazers. I'm a pretty fit guy, so I can't imagine how hard it would be for a fatter person who snacks constantly. You can break the conditioning. It will take some effort. If the science is anything to believe, then the results and consequences are worth it.
 
***If you have tried fasting or do fast regularly, please leave a comment below***

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Whole Foods Prepares for a Darker Future

Hard times are ahead. Inflation is all around you, and has been an ongoing thing since the dollar peak of 2000. Just look at ice cream, bleach and other household products that maintained their price while shrinking their product size. Reese's peanut butter cups are smaller now. Miracle Whip went from a rich, thick spread to the watery jiggly jar of crap because they could not push raw material cost increases onto their customers. Pushing price increases is one thing, overhauling product amount is another. Preparing for decline takes all forms, and large corporate moves are no different. Whole Foods is now preparing for the future by contemplating a Millenial freindly, more flexible and cheaper chain of stores.

This is framed in a fun way to meet the needs of those cool Millenials, but planning a chain of stores around this concept of "cheaper and flexible" is a huge investment with long term vision. People mocked Whole Foods as Whole Paycheck due to its high costs, but Whole Foods built a market. If you look at the chart for Whole Foods (WFM), they built an incredibly successful company that rode the organic wave to success. Like Apple and the latest tech gadgetry, they also pitched the idea of being part of the cool, enlightened crowd by shopping there. Whole Foods was selling overpriced organic food, but the brand came with some cache for that SWPL crowd and upper middle class crowd. Middle class strivers would then duplicate them to make sure they were keeping up and enlightened.

How many of their customers bought their entire grocery checklist at Whole Foods? Whole Foods knows. They have the data on their customer base. What they may also know is that hard economic times are ahead for the future SWPLs of America and the striver middle class that added heft to their bottom line may evaporate entirely. Student loans take a bite out of one's budget, and the pricey asiago might be the first to go. A Whole Foods shopper is not just some hip 21 year old. You will see a wide range of ages there, but the bumper stickers on the cars will usually be 2O12 or OFA. A little deeper into this is that Whole Foods might be looking at graduating classes and percentages of births each year. They see many more minorities who don't give a shit about status signaling with their cheese and beef purchases. SWPLs are not having kids, too, so this slim chain might be preparing for a smaller market.

Twilight in America has its markers. Peak SWPL probably passed, and we just need to mark the exact date. Gentrified neighborhoods not absolving them from roving riot gangs in Baltimore should signify to them that the delusion is over in America. Millenials are not having kids, and college enrollment is down, so where are those future Whole Foods customers going to come from? Whole Foods can have a lock on a status marker, but what happens when there is no one left who wants and values said marker? Whole Foods can get slim and smaller starting now rather than being a chain of gigantic and seldom busy caves of conspicuous environmentalism. Sorry Whole Foods, but I'll pass. It's not that I don't appreciate organic produce and agricultural craftsmanship. It's that I only get my organic stuff from Amish farmers at the local farmer's market.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Putin is the West's Creation

When the media creates an object of hate, it is amazing to watch the coordinated flood of attacks that none will admit is coordinated. The pure anger the media complex feels towards Vladimir Putin is strong enough to be felt through computer screens. Whether it is legitimate criticism, snarky insult throwing or ethnic animus fueled diatribes, the American media is unrelenting. There is an undercurrent of fear in all of it. A fear that Putin, and what he represents (Russia's deep state), understand the current USG leadership and can break free from it, pulling others away as well. What all of these pundits and righteous keyboard warriors miss is that Putin is a result of the West's predatory moves in the 1990s.

Putin the man is a product of Russia. Son of a military veteran, KGB agent, reliable comrade. He is a man made in the late Soviet era. How he became leader of the Russian nation is a creation of the West's suite of moves throughout the 1990s. There is a wonderful article that describes the rise and fall of the '90s Russian oligarchs. Read as a simple record of the rocket like rise of a handful of men who often had dual citizenship (Russia and Israel) followed by a nearly as quick crash to earth, one can miss the deeper read to it. These handful of men were the prime beneficiaries of the US guided privatization system of the 1990s. The system was based on vouchers for shares of firms where companies would be auctioned off. The initial idea would be that many of the management teams and professional workers would end up with a share of the equity in firms. This did not happen. The speed of the auctions with little educational efforts and confusing presentation of the system in a nation with a different history for law gave an advantage to anyone with insider access and who had some banking expertise. The bankers with capital also went around with cash and bought up vouchers from the little people to amass tons of vouchers for auctions. If this sounds like what Alexander Hamilton did with scrip and federal debt, it's close. The later loans for shares program allowed rigged bids so that bankers like Khodorkovsky could gain 78% of Yukos which was valued at $5 billion for just $310 million dollars. Berezovsky got oil giant Sibneft worth $3 billion for just $100 million. This is how so much wealth was consolidated in the hands of so few.

If you read the linked article, it is not just money moves that were a problem. These new tycoons were eager for joining forces with the West. They were also eager for political control, including control of the armed forces. Each suggestion they had was for greater control over the state apparatus and a quick engagement with the same power that had just spent decades demonizing Mother Russia. The end of Communism was just junking a system of governance for a new one, as the same crew was still in charge, so these moves by the oligarchs were legitimate moves to upend the order of the prior decades. To the security state hierarchy, that is a direct challenge and immediate threat. The men making these moves own the media, own an insane percentage of the national means of production, and have continuously amassed millions (or billions) as the nation has experienced a crash in social standards and a hyperinflation. These are the billionaires that pushed to keep Yeltsin in power when it was blatantly obvious by 1996 that his reforms were serving so few. Come 1999, the wonder must be, "when will it ever be enough for these men".

The link explains how the real battle was between Berezovsky and Primakov. Primakov represented the security state, and he wanted to make moves against Berezovsky. Berezovsky struck first to have Primakov removed, but Primakov struck back. Berezovsky liked to think he was the man who found Putin in his obscure position for the leadership role. The article above considers Putin a compromise candidate, and one that tilted towards the security state. Let's get real about this, and read Putin's page on La Wik. Putin was a KGB agent who worked in East Germany, which was the Cold War hot spot, had worked his way up not just on a security basis to circles of power in St. Petersburg and then Moscow, to later be the head of the FSB (post-USSR KGB). That guy is not obscure. Putin was a piece of the security state machinery. Primakov, and the itnerests he represented, would have to use a face of a younger generation to get back at the oligarchs.

Putin's installation was a compromise but a move by the more nationalist feeling and paranoid elements of the Russian state. If the US sticks to the Bush 41 idea of not encroaching on the old USSR sphere of influence regions, the Russian security state probably does not react in that manner. If the Harvard-Wall Street-US Treasury boys do not pillage the economy with help by favored insiders, the entire domestic evolution in Russia is different. Hyperinflation, default, massive concentration of wealth... does any of it happen without the US pushing as hard as it did financially? Creating mega-wealthy insiders who then manipulate an election to continue their pillaging of the economy, how much paranoia and defensiveness is due to American moves?

The American academic and media infrastructure is quick to point out any American origins to foreign figures that come back to bite American interests. There are books about Vietnam that try to spin Ho Chi Minh as American aided because he may or may not have received a rifle during WW2 despite the fact that he was leading a liberation group for decades before that mythical meeting. These pundits who froth at the mouth when reporting on Putin could do us all the favor of explaining how his rise and stance towards America is all due to American meddling in the domestic realm of a beaten foe. They cannot do so. It would admit fallibility, and their insecurity and control of the system depends on righteous infallibility.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Think 180 From Vox + You Find Truth

Sometimes the media gets it so wrong that they get it right by giving reality an outlet even if it is to say that it is wrong. This has been on display in record amounts since 2009 as the media is trying to find every excuse for the lack of change in DC except laying it at Obama's feet. People now talk about the intractable bureaucracies and lobbying power brokers as the true power holders. A recent one is this horrible yet amazing Vox article on how Russia gets America so wrong and misunderstands America. Max Fisher is so committed of a cathedral organ, that he does not see how the other side is actually right. By printing it and pointing at it to mock it, he gives audience to reality.

It starts by actually stating reality of what America did to Russia after the end of communism, with a few important details missing, but Fisher presents this as Russia's interpretation of what happened, not what good progressives believe happened.
In this telling, Moscow capitulated at the end of the Cold War, and even tried to make itself a friend to the far more powerful United States. But an irrationally aggressive America has instead sought repeatedly to weaken, control, or even destroy Russia. Their country, in this view, is insecure against an overwhelmingly powerful West. Its actions that we see as aggressive are actually defensive. And Moscow is kept safe only by careful vigilance and by the nuclear arsenal that you hear Russians cite over and over.
This is the version of history you hear in Russia from detached foreign policy pragmatists, from pro-Putin ideologues and anti-Putin ideologues, even from members of the pro-Western political opposition who support what they believe be to a Western agenda of weakening Russia.
Fisher does not for one moment stop to question if the reason everyone in Russia across the political spectrum believes this because it is true. He simply states it and chalks it up to a misunderstanding. This is how we know Vox is regime public relations and has nothing to do with journalism. This is textbook "whocoodablamedus" lies of omission. Fisher is carefully side stepping the Bush 41 position of not racing to expand NATO that was overturned by the Clinton gang. Fisher does not cite the Rape of Russia as economic writers like Anne Williamson have described the '90s looting. Fisher does not mention the Clinton administration support for Boris Yeltsin's re-election, which in retrospect was to keep the economic hands in the bureaucracy in place in Russia so Harvard, Soros and the West could loot state assets for a longer period of time. Yeltsin's dramatic comeback re-election was orchestrated by the '90s oligarch media with massive money from the "Seven Bankers" who the US Shock Therapy privatization scheme enriched. Fisher will not even admit that the base assumption of the US being the hyperpower and Russia a weaker power ripe for pillaging and subversion is undeniably true.

Fisher quotes a founding member of an opposition party (Vlad Lukin) with a money quote. This is something many in the alt-right would say with ease.
It is in the genes. America has a simple ideology – that there is only one truth in the world, that truth is held by God, and God created the United States to be an embodiment of that truth. So the Americans strive to bring this truth to the rest of the world and to make it happy. Only after that will everything be well. This ideology has a strong influence on their policy. A wise traditionalist and a geopolitical expert, Kissinger had good reason to call such politicians "Trotskyites" for advocating a world revolution, albeit in their own way, but always in the front and in shining armor. This is a tempting ideology and has been professed by different countries at different times, not only the United States.
Universalism. Shining city on the hill. Evangelical export of its values. Trotsyites. This is basic stuff that one can see if one chooses. Fisher is a guzzler of Kool-aid, so he sees this religious notion as problematic. America just defends democracy and human rights, see noobs, and in Fisher's admission does not see that he calls the US point of view on democracy and progressive labelled "human rights" as a religious truth that should be spread to all. What right does the US in playing hero defender of any of that around the globe? Fisher plays right into it like a true believer.

The idea of aggression is an interesting one here because Fishers states military movements as aggression and positioning military hardware as aggressive because he cannot see that social subversion of the other is aggressive. What right does Fisher and his ilk have to push Lady Gaga and the Gay Brigade onto Russians, Turks, Iranians or the Chinese? That is a form of social aggression. Our Hollywood exports are a product, and when laced with ideas and themes straight out of Harvard for social change, it is weaponized. The Beatles three minute rock songs might not be weaponized but Will + Grace "Just Like Us" garbage is. The progressives only want to remind you that words are weapons when they want to play the victim or righteous hero.

Fisher's essay is still insightful because it does paint a Russia that aware of the American method and ideas, Russia might all be onto maintaining independence. They don't want Hillary as president since they fear a return to the '90s but the American media can't mention the '90s because it reveals the deep ties between Team Blue-Big Money and greedy, rapacious behavior. This also explains not just Russia's anti-NGO, anti-gay propaganda and anti-prog moves but China's as well. China is cracking down on feminists, professors pushing Western garbage and other prog elements. Maybe this gives Russia too much credit but keep in mind, Putin has said "we" when referring to monetary and economic policy when discussing China and Russia before and Xi has not stepped in to correct him. By allowing a foreign leader to articulate your own position in a public setting is a pretty big tell. Russia gets it. China might get it, too. At a minimum, China knows if Russia is subverted, they are next. Putin is not your friend, Westerners, but if you hate the USG Imperium, it would be hard to find a better figure that shares your interest.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Where's Our Rodin?

If you push people connected to the art world about why there are no new Xs or Ys, they like to say we have moved beyond that or that the medium has been explored thoroughly. I do not buy it. I will use a counter example: Auguste Rodin. He is recent enough in history that we had art academies for him to apply to and be rejected by, yet he is of a distant enough world that we cannot duplicate him now. Rodin lived when you could comfortably live poor. I should not say comfortably, but you could choose to live a rather poor life and not fear for your life even in cities. Cities were under different management then, and filled with different people. Rodin could live cheaply and concentrate on his work. Rodin just pops up and slays the world of sculpture.

We don't really have any Rodins popping up despite all of our progress? All of our leisure time and material wealth, and we cannot produce an artist to take a medium to a new level. Strange. Some of the problem might be a smaller audience seeking engaging art. That might not be so since some of his commissions were public works. It is just that our public works would not select for something where the artist creates, but where the artist creates with proper progressive programming. Even worse, it might be a soulless corporate piece of art exhibiting abstract ideas. "Fluidity, Inclusivity and Diversity!" If you are ever in Paris, check out the Rodin museum. It is worth the walk and time.

Enough has been written about him that my little blog will not add much. I'll share a passage from Stefan Zweig's memoir, The World of Yesterday, when he spent an evening dining and engaging with Rodin, and the master decided to work a bit.

After dinner we went over into the studio... Finally the master led me to a pedestal on which, covered with wet cloths, his latest work, a portrait of a woman, was hidden. With his heavy, furrowed peasant's hand he removed the cloths, and stepped back. "Admirable" escaped from my lips, and at once I was ashamed of my banality. But with quiet objectivity in which not a trace of pride could have been found, he murmured looking at his own work, merely agreeing: "N'est-ce pas?" Then he hesitated. "Only there at the shoulder... just a moment." He threw off his coat, put on a white smock, picked up a spatula and with a masterly stroke on the shoulder smoothed the soft material so it seemed the skin of a living breathing woman. Again he stepped back. "And now here," he muttered. Again the effect was increased by a tiny detail. Then he no longer spoke. He would step forward, then retreat, look at the figure in a mirror, mutter and utter unintelligible sounds, make changes and corrections. His eyes, which at table had been amiably inattentive, now flashed with strange lights, and he seemed to have grown larger and younger. He worked, worked, worked, with the entire passion and force of his heavy body; whenever he stepped forward or back the floor creaked. But he heard nothing. He did not notice that behind him stood a young man, silent, with his heart in his throat, overjoyed that he was being permitted to watch this unique master at work. He had forgotten me entirely I did not exist for him. Only the figure, the work, concerned him, and behind it, invisible, the vision of absolute perfection.
So it went on for a quarter or a half hour, I cannot recall how long. Great moments are always outside of time. Rodin was so engrossed, so rapt in his work that not even a thunderstroke would have roused him. His movements became harder, almost angry. A sort of wildness or drunkenness had come over him; he worked faster and faster. Then his hands became hesitant. They seemed to have realized that there was nothing more for them to do. Once, twice, three times he stepped back without making any changes. Then he muttered something softly into his beard, and placed the cloths gently about the figure as one places a shawl around the shoulders of a beloved woman. He took a deep breath and relaxed. His figure seemed to grow heavier again. The fire had died out. And then the incomprehensible occurred, the great lesson: he took off his smock, again put on his house coat and turned to go. He had forgotten me completely in that hour of extreme concentration. He no longer knew that a young man whom he himself had led into the studio to show him his work had stood behind him with bated breath, as immovable as his statue.
He stepped to the door. As he started to unlock it, he discovered me and stared at me almost angrily: who was this young stranger who had slunk into his studio? But in the next moment he remembered and, almost ashamed, came towards me. "Pardon, Monsieur," he began, but I did not let him finish. I merely grasped his hand in gratitude. I would have preferred to kiss it. In that hour I had seen the Eternal secret of all great art, yes, of every mortal achievement, made manifest: concentration, the collection of all forces, of all sense, that ecstasis, that being-out-of-the-world of every artist. I had learned something for my entire lifetime.

May we find our Rodin. May there be enough art lovers out there to appreciate him. May Western civilization or humanity find someone who can reach that ecstasis, and bring us to new heights.