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June 2015

I Fear it’s a Little Camp

Michael J Totten relays the splendour of a notable megalomaniac:  

Gurbanguly Mälikgulyýewiç Berdimuhamedov just erected a 69-foot statue of himself in the centre of Ashgabat, the capital [of Turkmenistan]. He’s up there on a golden horse atop an enormous slab of marble that looks like an iceberg. He’s compensating. Two years ago he fell off a horse at an official race. The only reason we even know this is because a brave person in the audience captured it on amateur video and uploaded it to the internet. All the other riders rode past him as he lay flat on his back in the dirt, but he was declared the winner regardless and awarded an 11 million dollar prize for his “performance.” This clown follows President Saparmurat Niyazov, who died in 2006 of heart failure. He renamed months of the year after himself and his family. He built a 60-foot statue of himself that slowly rotated so that his face was always in sunlight.

The first in a possible series.  

But really, Berdimuhamedov’s statue. You should see the thing.

Elsewhere (165)

Heather Mac Donald on post-Ferguson policing: 

This incessant drumbeat against the police has resulted in what St Louis police chief Sam Dotson last November called the “Ferguson effect.” Cops are disengaging from discretionary enforcement activity and the “criminal element is feeling empowered,” Mr Dotson reported. Arrests in St Louis city and county by that point had dropped a third since the shooting of Michael Brown in August. Not surprisingly, homicides in the city surged 47% by early November and robberies in the county were up 82%.

See also Thomas Sowell on the same. And the last item here now seems somewhat prophetic. 

And Theodore Dalrymple on social work and deservedness: 

I called a social worker and made a disastrous mistake in my first sentence. “I have a particularly deserving case,” I said, thinking to arouse her interest and forgetting for a moment that desert in any traditional sense was a concept that had long been banned from the lexicon of social work. Far from arousing her interest, let alone compassion, it aroused her hostility. If I thought a case was particularly deserving, it followed that I must have thought that some cases were relatively or even absolutely undeserving. In short, I was judgmental, that is to say censorious, cruel and Victorian.

The abandonment of distinctions between the unfortunate and the merely verminous is a phenomenon we’ve seen before. As when the Guardian’s Zoe Williams wanted us to believe that the problem with ‘problem families’ is simply that they’re poor, and nothing whatsoever to do with how they choose to abuse their equally poor neighbours. And so attempts to deal with people who repeatedly play loud music at 3am or throw pets from top floor windows are framed as a “demonization of the poor” and “trying to shunt people out of society for not being rich enough.” According to Zoe, we should be “unstigmatising,” which is to say, non-judgmental. A result of which is that empathy, or feigned empathy, is shifted from the working class victim of crime and antisocial behaviour to the working class perpetrator of crime and antisocial behaviour, on grounds that the thug or criminal is in some way being oppressed and, unlike their neighbours, being made to misbehave.

Presumably Ms Williams’ own neighbours have little in common with, say, the delightful Stuart Murgatroyd, a father of twelve who has never worked and boasts an extensive criminal record, not least for robbing the elderly in graveyards, and whose attempt to challenge an antisocial behaviour order was cut short at the very last minute due to him being arrested for assaulting the mother of his children, herself a convicted getaway driver, on the steps of the courthouse. And I suspect our infinitely compassionate Guardianista has yet to experience an all-night eleven-hour rave being hosted next door, which would doubtless give her an opportunity to practise that non-judgmental piety.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments. It’s what these posts are for. 

Friday Ephemera

Tiny origami robot folds itself, performs tasks, dissolves into nothing. // The road to success. // Days of future past. (h/t, Pootblog) // Eco-pod. You want one and you know it. // Plants and mirrors. // Cloudreporter. // Here’s some weather in a box. // Balloon creatures. // Hot dog style guide. // I think we need more logos. // A map of horror movie locations. // Odorous alarm clock. If you’re going to wake up to a smell, why not make it one of these? // Octopus lugs coconut shells. // It’s probably best not to try this at home. // Avengers interface porn. // At last, a 10-storey urban playground. // Smart device gesture sensing. // Done with magnets, marbles and sand. // Oh dear, something is sucking the eggs. (h/t, Julia) // And finally, I’m having second thoughts about this cunning plan.  

High Maintenance

Attention, amorous menfolk. The rules of dating feminists, especially brown ones, have been updated

Yeah, I said it: I absolutely refuse to even touch my wallet while on a date with a man. 

The fierce young lady saying it, yeah is one Tiffanie Drayton, whose deep feminist wisdom will shake your tiny world:

I am a thinking, hardworking, autonomous human being. I am also a woman, and a Black woman at that, who is constantly fighting for the right to claim an independence that has been hindered and even made secondary to that of my male peers. 

Damn those bastards. And therefore Ms Drayton has decided that politicised freeloading is the way forward:

Why should I believe I must overcome this inequality without the assistance of a man who wants to pursue me romantically? Why is my effort to reach for the cheque anything more than pretence? Society has never treated me as “equal” to the man sitting across from me, yet all of a sudden the playing field is levelled? 

Yes, relying on a man to pay the bill, every time, is proof of Ms Drayton’s emancipation and empowerment as a thinking, hardworking, autonomous black woman. It’s how she fights for the right to claim her independence. It’s also reparation for collective male sin. Oh, sweet serendipity.

In other words, a man who pays for a date is merely compensating for society’s imbalance and inequality. He is restoring equality. This is especially true in dating White or Asian men who - statistically speaking - has [sic] a weekly median income of nearly 2-3 times that of women of colour.

You see, by paying for everything she wants, whenever she wants it, your money is simply being “returned to the women from which [sic] it was displaced in the very first place.” And so the proudly feminist author “completely rejects the premise” that “I have to pay my own way.”

Ms Drayton is a “freelance writer and activist,” one who struggles daily with The All-Powerful Patriarchy™, and also grammar. Regarding her tweets on racism and sexism – sorry, her “lectures” on racism and sexism - she says

Google gets paid. I should too. 

She adds,

If discussions on racism make you uncomfortable, avoid everything I write. 

Given the dating conditions above, potential suitors may wish to expand that idea to contact in general.