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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Gay Agenda: Death Threats (courtesy of EBGET)



Having offended a large male-only group which meets in private and underground to indulge in illegal activities, NMP Thio Li Ann and the new AWARE committee face death threats from a masculine gay and jihadist sleeper

Remember: anal-penetrative sex is inherently damaging to the body and a misuse of organs, like shoving a straw up your nose to drink!

http://ebget.blogspot.com/
"It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.'" - Sam Levenson

***

"The absence of effective State, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power. The prime need is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise. We grudge no man a fortune which represents his own power and sagacity, when exercised with entire regard to the welfare of his fellows. Again, comrades over there, take the lesson from your own experience. Not only did you not grudge, but you gloried in the promotion of the great generals who gained their promotion by leading the army to victory. So it is with us. We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.

No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar’s worth of service rendered—not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective—a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.

The people of the United States suffer from periodical financial panics to a degree substantially unknown among the other nations which approach us in financial strength. There is no reason why we should suffer what they escape. It is of profound importance that our financial system should be promptly investigated, and so thoroughly and effectively revised as to make it certain that hereafter our currency will no longer fail at critical times to meet our needs...

Moreover, I believe that the natural resources must be used for the benefit of all our people, and not monopolized for the benefit of the few...

Nothing is more true than that excess of every kind is followed by reaction; a fact which should be pondered by reformer and reactionary alike. We are face to face with new conceptions of the relations of property to human welfare, chiefly because certain advocates of the rights of property as against the rights of men have beemi pushing their claims too far. The man who wrongly holds that every human right is secondary to his profit must now give way to the advocate of human welfare, who rightly maintains that every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.

But I think we may go still further. The right to regulate the use of wealth in the public interest is universally admitted. Let us admit also the right to regulate the terms and conditions of labor, which is the chief element of wealth, directly in the interest of the common good. The fundamental thing to do for every man is to give him a chance to reach a place in which lie will make the greatest possible contribution to the public welfare. Understand what I say there. Give him a chance, not push him up if he will not be pushed. Help any man who stumbles; if he lies down, it is a poor job to try to carry him...

If I could ask but one thing of my fellow countrymen, my request would be that, whenever they go in for reform, they remember the two sides, and that they always exact justice from one side as much as from the other. I have small use for the public servant who can always see and denounce the corruption of the capitalist, but who cannot persuade himself, especially before election, to say a word about lawless mob-violence. And I have equally small use for the man, be he a judge on the bench, or editor of a great paper, or wealthy and influential private citizen, who can see clearly enough and denounce the lawlessness of mob- violence, but whose eyes are closed so that he is blind when the question is one of corruption in business on a gigantic scale. Also remember what I said about excess in reformer and reactionary alike. If the reactionary man, who thinks of nothing but the rights of property, could have his way, he would bring about a revolution; and one of my chief fears in connection with progress comes because I do not want to see our people, for lack of proper leadership, compelled to follow men whose intentions are excellent, but whose eyes are a little too wild to make it really safe to trust them...

This New Nationalism regards the executive power as the steward of the public welfare. It demands of the judiciary that it shall be interested primarily in human welfare rather than in property, just as it demands that the representative body shall represent all the people rather than any one class or section of the people.

I believe in shaping the ends of government to protect property as well as human welfare. Normally, and in the long run, the ends are the same; but whenever the alternative must be faced, I am for men and not for property, as you were in the Civil War. I am far from underestimating the importance of dividends; but I rank dividends below human character. Again, I do not have any sympathy with the reformer who says he does not care for dividends. Of course, economic welfare is necessary, for a man must pull his own weight and be able to support his family. I know well that the reformers must not bring upon the people economic ruin, or the reforms themselves will go down in the ruin. But we must be ready to face temporary disaster, whether or not brought on by those who will war against us to the knife. Those who oppose all reform will do well to remember that ruin in its worst form is inevitable if our national life brings us nothing better than swollen fortunes for the few and the triumph in both politics and business of a sordid and selfish materialism...

The object of government is the welfare of the people. The material progress and prosperity of a nation are desirable chiefly so far as they lead to the moral and material welfare of all good citizens... We must have—I believe we have already—a genuine and permanent moral awakening, without which no wisdom of legislation or administration really means anything; and, on the other hand, we must try to secure the sodal and economic legislation without which any improvement due to purely moral agitation is necessarily evanescent."

--- The New Nationalism (Speech at Osawatomie, Kansas, August 31st, 1910) / Theodore Roosevelt
Felicitas est parvus canis calidus.
Afghan cleric defends controversial marriage law - ""The law ... which I created I see as correct for both men and women," he said. "We have given rights to both men and women, even better than rights given to women in the West. We give women more in this law." I asked him about reports that if a woman does not comply in having sexual relations with her husband, then the husband can refuse to feed her. "Yes, I said that," Mohseni said looking me in the eye. "When a couple marries, sex is a part of marriage, and they agree to that."... Mohseni added that a wife wearing makeup "prevents a man from thinking about other women on the streets and he can just think of his wife."... According to Mohseni, the West is imposing its beliefs on the Muslim world because they don't understand."
I love it when people claim those who disagree with them don't understand.

Why it can't be more of the same - "She readily concedes that Singapore's economic growth record to date has been impressive but notes a disturbing 'growth fetishism' here. Growth is a means but not an end in itself. Focusing on 'how much' growth does not necessarily tell us 'how good' it is, or 'for whom', she says, pointing to a stagnation in median real wage and a decline in low-income wages, despite rapid gross domestic product (GDP) growth here... Ultimately, economic growth, she says, should seek to increase the 'income, welfare, stability and security of all Singaporeans'. 'It should be 'growth for people', not 'people for growth'. 'In the long run, a lower rate of growth which delivers a higher ratio of benefits to Singaporeans may be more desirable than a higher rate of growth which is more unstable and inequitable,' she says."

Philip, your dad just slapped me - "Mr Jeyaretnam’s book also contains good legal advice for a layman like me. Chapter 19, titled “Presumption of innocence - The right of accused persons” supplies many useful tips on what to do when the police pays people a visit. At least I now know that the first thing I need to do is to ask “Friend, what are the charges against me?” followed by “Wait, I need my lawyer, and you better don’t ask me to blindly follow you back to police station, or else my lawyer can tell you and your boss a lot of things later.” I have also learnt that if I ever land myself in court (heaven forbids that, of course), I’d be better off engaging a lawyer to tell the Judge as many stories as possible, and not to assume that if I keep silent, I am presumed innocent. It is particularly scary to read the part on the possibility of how, in Singapore, other people who are being charged can save their own skin by implicating me and getting me in trouble before the law, even when there is no direct proof that I have done anything wrong. Solution: I better make friends with more lawyers in times of peace."

What is a “Jesus Body?” « Quirky Japan Blog - "These are my theories about what a “Jesus body” might be:
1. An emaciated body like Jesus after his 40 day and night “diet” in the wilderness?
2. A body that makes you say “Sweet Jesus!” when you see it?
3. Something about stigmata?
4. A reference to the Eucharist. Maybe the diet pills are in a wafer form, representing the “body of Jesus”?
5. A perfect body."

Name Not on Our List? Change It, China Says - "The bureau’s computers, however, are programmed to read only 32,252 of the roughly 55,000 Chinese characters, according to a 2006 government report. The result is that Miss Ma and at least some of the 60 million other Chinese with obscure characters in their names cannot get new cards — unless they change their names to something more common... There are nearly enough Chinese named Zhang Wei to populate the city of Pittsburgh. Nicknames are liberally bestowed in classrooms and workplaces to tell people apart. Confronting three students named Liu Fang, for example, one middle-school teacher nicknamed them Big, Little and Middle."
This is why you need a language with an alphabet

'Miseducation of Women' Author calls Bridget Jones a syndrome
"A professor of education policy... Mr. Tooley sparked debate by asking why schools treat boys and girls identically when they are clearly different, a practice he says is at odds with the real needs and desires of girls and young women... I'm quite careful to distinguish between different sorts of feminists. There are some feminists who do recognize it, who recognize that there's a problem with the way women are forced, or led, to behave... As soon as they're allowed to make choices, you get boys and girls going the way traditionally you'd expect them to: the majority of boys into engineering and technical subjects, the majority of girls into traditionally called "softer subjects." And that's seen as a big problem by the Equal Opportunities Commission and other feminist lobbies... the injustice, of trying to force men and women into ways in which they don't want to go. Some of those women and men would be moving in ways they wouldn't necessarily want to go, even though the majority are responding to stereotypes... Women seemed to appreciate what I was saying, and supported me, so, yes, there's been considerable support. [Theres been] universal condemnation from the press and the media. [laughs] The contrast could not be more clear."

Why night owls are cleverer and richer than people who get up early

Ready, aim ... fail - "Goals have a dangerous side. Individuals, governments, and companies like GM show ample ability to hurt themselves by setting and blindly following goals, even those that seem to make sense at the time. These skeptics draw on a broad array of large-scale failures - the design of the Ford Pinto, the Enron collapse, the rash lending practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - as evidence of the pernicious effects of goals... Goals, they feared, might actually be taking the place of independent thinking and personal initiative. Goals gave us GE and Southwest, but they also gave us GM and Enron... what people do when they fall just short of their goals [is] lie to make up the difference... In a famous 1999 study by the psychologists Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris, subjects watching a video clip were told to count the number of times people in a group pass a basketball among themselves. Most concentrate so hard on the goal that they become blind to other information, utterly failing to notice when a woman in a gorilla suit walks through the middle of the group. Other work suggests that goals with rewards, if not carefully calibrated, can short-circuit our intrinsic enthusiasm for a task - or even interrupt our learning process... the greatest risk appears to lie in overly simplified goals. Reducing complex activities to a bundle of numbers can end up rewarding the wrong behavior - with engineers concentrating on less promising but more straightforward research, for example, to rack up more patents."

Have you got a Frenemy? The pretend friends who secretly hate you and delight in making you feel bad - "They criticise your loyal boyfriend, turn their nose up at your favourite outfits and induce feelings of paranoia and self-doubt. Most of us have at least one 'frenemy' - slang for an enemy masquerading as friend - and this week actress Gwyneth Paltrow used her website to detail her own experience of this malign breed of acquaintance... Do men have friends like these, too? Or is it just us? When we were writing a book that touched on the subject, we couldn't come up with a single male example. We tried - in the interests of fairness - but men just didn't seem very forthcoming. Or else they were just baffled about the whole concept of having a friend you didn't actually like... bump up against any female conversation public or private and, sure as hell, there'll be analysis, forensic examination, rumination, cogitation and a vast amount of brain space being taken up with trying to work out why she did that on that day in that way to ME! We seem to tie ourselves up in knots."
... women

China to issue new list of simplified Chinese characters

Yahoo Quietly Pulls The Plug On Geocities - Boo, we'll lose a lot of good content.

Let me google that for you - "This is for all those people that find it more convenient to bother you with their question rather than google it for themselves."
I think giving people wrong information is still more fun.

YouTube - Parallel Parking Made Easy With Extra Wheel - "There are plenty of people out there who find parallel parking a hard task. Here's one solution. It is an extra wheel used especially for parking up."

A Sarong Party Girl - "The ang mor men are also tempting me, what. It's two-way temptation. I'm tempting them away from their frumpy wives with their water-retaining ankles, while they are tempting me away from typical stoner Singapore men with their boring lifestyles... ang mor men treat their women with so much more respect than Asian men do. Asian men are only interested in having us so that we can have children and form a family. Asian men see us only as wives. In their eyes, we are these boring, quiet, obedient and meek mice. Whereas what the ang mor men see are sexy, long-haired, provocatively-dressed sirens. In other words, unlike Asian men, they see us as individuals and not stereotypes... when I'm at a bar, I can approach an ang mor man, even a stranger, anytime and they will chat with me, buy me drinks. So pleasant! Whereas these Asian men are downright unpleasant - always coming up and trying to chat and buy me drinks. I mean, they're complete strangers! What do they think I am? The sleazeballs!"
"Singaporean men marry foreign women because they are losers.
Singaporean women marry foreign men because Singaporean men are losers."
"The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase; if you pursue happiness you'll never find it." - C. P. Snow

***

How many mistakes can you spot in the following?


Subject: NYTimes.com: The New York Times in Print for April 22, 2009

Message: The New York Times E-mail This
This page was sent to you by: ***@hotmail.fr

Message from sender:
Dear friend, Greeting in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. I am Mrs. Alizeta Ouedraogo, a widow to late Theodore Ouedraogo. I am 54years old, a new Christian convert, suffering from long time pancreatic cancer. From all indication, my condition is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that I won't live more than six months according to my doctors. This is because the cancer has gotten to a very bad stage. My late husband was killed during the Cote'd Ivoire civil war, and during the period of our marriage we couldn't produce any child. My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth. The doctors has advised me that I may not live more than six months; so I now decided to divide the part this wealth, to contribute to the development of the less privileged ones around the globe. I selected you after visiting the Internet and I prayed over it. I am willing to donate the sum of 5,000,000US dollars, to help, widow and they less privileged ones in the rural areas. Please I want to note that this fund is lying in a state owned bank. I honestly pray that this money, when transferred will be used for the said purpose; because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition without Christ is vanity. May the grace of our lord Jesus the love of God and the fellowship of the holy sprite be with you and your family. I await your urgent reply. Yours Sister in Christ. Mrs. Alizeta Ouedraogo.

TODAY'S PAPER
The New York Times in Print for April 22, 2009



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Friday, April 24, 2009

"It is equally offensive to speed a guest who would like to stay and to detain one who is anxious to leave." - Homer

***

Quotes:

You're the only person I know of in Singapore who I can disagree with and not piss off

A lot of what activists do in Singapore is just active civic participation in other places.

Ça va?... Only if you're feeling well, then the class will start. (We will only start the class if you're feeling alright)

[On choosing 1, 10, 100 or 1000] All of you have just declared how many words you want to say in français

[On thinking] In America they go 'err'. In France they go 'uhh'.

Parler... We are 'er' specialists.

Le Pull. This one *points to La Poule* is [a] live chicken. We still want to buy our sweater... We nearly started buying chicken[s] in that shop.

Look at all these good students, seated with their books. Today, we will cross the barrier, and go somewhere else. In our minds.

[On the only girl present] It is very rare at Alliance to have boys dominating... So we will exploit her.

It is better for you to have your break now. Because you are going to conjugate [later]

Un arbre... À droite est un petite maison... Petite means small. It can also mean pretty... I didn't say mini. Petite maison.

[On drawing] Un petit chien, un petite chat... If you cannot use either, here's another option: un petite kangourou... out of the 3, nobody should have a tiger or what.

We have some nice names for dogs. Milou. [Female student: So cute! *squeals*] Midor. Half gold, half wolf.

[On practice] I would like you to label items in your home environment... Find a way. Don't get chased out.

We have all worked very hard. ***, not so hard. Come up.

When you make a mistake about numbers, it's a nice observation, students always miss by 10. (with)

[On referring to the textbook] Le look pastoral... You have the Bible open.

[To me] Your second sentence... You have what we call FSS. Foreign Speech Syndrome.

[Student: J'ai deux voitures bleue. Paul est mon ami] There's a link. I have 2 cars. Paul is my friend. Maybe Paul gave me 1 car.

If you say "J'aime chemise", we will think someone's name is chemise. Hi chemise.

[On repeating a phrase fast] [On a marker] Throw the pen down and sharply say 'I love Classical Music'

[Student: Vous être jolie] Where is the passion?

[Student: Je peux aller des toilettes] You are able to go to the toilet. [Student: I want to go to the toilet]

[Me: J'air dix pomme de terre] You want us to be impressed by that?

***, you will speak English to her. But she will ignore your English and only reply to you in French. This will train your brain to ignore the English.

We ignored this hostile language called English. One will start in English. The other will reply in French. Then one replies in French. Then the other replies in French. It means English has been defeated.

I have a feeling that an ambulance is coming. Someone has been stabbed... he only has a few words left. 'Je. Parle. Français'.

[Student, choosing to initiate the conversation: Why're you so late?] *laughs from everyone* [To the partner:] You give him power [by letting him start]. But at least he went beyond 'hi'.

If you're going to France, you better buy this [eau de toilette]. You better not buy this [eau des toilettes].

In 3 examples you had 3 wrong points of emphasis. Je peux aller aux toilettes. I can go to the toilet. Je peux alles aux toilettes. I can do a lot of things, including going to the toilet. [Student: Can I say 'J'ai besoin aller aux toilettes?'] You already have 3 options, you want a 4th one. Next time just say 'Excusez moi. Les toilettes'

What is the difference between the vécés et des toilettes? We will not go into that now.

[Student: Combien ça fait?] Wow. You were trying to do [it] without looking at the book. [Student: I was looking at the board]

[On introducing self to classmates] Bonjour. [Other student: Bonjour] Au revoir... [Teacher: ***, why don't you start with the girls?]

Cette robe bleue avec ces chaussures? Hum hum. [Teacher: No, not hum hum. Mmm mmm.

[Me in labelling stuff at home in French: I think I'll label stuff in the office] Me too. [Me: Home is for resting]

[Me doing the 'ignore English' exercise: Je ne parle {pas} anglais] Too bad.
"All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed."
- Sean O'Casey

***

An interesting theory I'm pondering is that the AWARE takeover shows what might happen if the PAP lost control of Singapore to Opposition Parties in a freak election result.

Complacent old regime which has been in power forever and cannot envision losing it <-> Complacent old regime which has been in power forever and cannot envision losing it
Hijacking of old organization working for the good of all women by radical minority <-> Hijacking of old government working for the good of all Singaporeans by radical minority
Taking over of secular organization by religious fundamentalists <-> Taking over of meritocratic government by those who do not believe wealth makes right
AWARE secretariat locking Josie Lau out of her email <-> the Civil Service refusing to obey its new political masters
Extraordinary General Meeting <-> Referendum called after a 'freak' election result
Both sides demonising the other <-> Both sides demonising the other
Death threats to new AWARE committee <-> Someone threatening to send in the army
Apathetic Singaporeans <-> Apathetic Singaporeans

Of course, it is doubtful the Opposition Parties will be able to get as organised as the Christian Fundamentalists. Maybe they need a "politician mentor" (if Thio Su Mien is a "feminist mentor", the Great Leader is a "committed democrat" and we can set up the People's Republic of Singapore)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Alaralatanalara - the password of the second Throben Door.

Strangely enough, we only get Japanese, French and Spanish hits when searching for the password.
Stupid media headlines:

"SM Goh praises S'porean designs at Milan International Furniture Fair"

What do you expect him to do, diss them?!
"I am not ashamed of paying for sex. I pay for food. I pay for clothing. I pay for shelter. Why should I not also pay for sex?"

Recent extended correspondence:

me: See http://articles.latimes.com/2006/sep/21/world/fg-bride21

One of the benefits of globalization. It's not just us [in Sg]!:)

I don't think i've ever asked you this, but would you mail-order?

gssq: If I could mail-order a very-good fit wife, maybe. But there's a matching problem.

It's just like in theory enlightened despotism is the best form of government. But how do you ensure the despot is enlightened?

me: the matching problem is easier to resolve than you think
a) research
b) try before you buy
c) yank her passport and kick her back - as you can see from the article the power imbalance [represents] an inherent return policy of sorts:)

Put it this way, treat it like you're buying a new car or a new computer. Surely you will study/try out/explore/talk first rather than [just] telling the agent: "give me this one"

And pick a reputable agent that allows you take a look first.

Although I suspect you, like me, are looking for qualities that are very unlikely to be found in the kind of person who would end up on the auction block.

gssq: Har.
a) How? Google them?
b) Har? Can ah
c) I'm looking for a wife, not a car, computer or slave

It's cheaper to hire a cook, maid and wh0re than get a wife like this anyway

me: a) They fly you there for trips. In most cases I'm told you can talk to them a bit via email or even letter correspondence first. If you get a good agent he'll let you kick the tyres before you buy - that's where the Internet comes in (ie. forums and such - admittedly [the feedback is] not quite as detailed as sammyboy from a cursory examination)

b) Conjugally, I am not sure (doubt it), but you can check them out first in other ways - see a)


c) A wife is needed to drive you, calculate your taxes (okay I doubt my parents' marital model applies here), and obviously the kind you purchase, while not exactly a slave, is a bit closer to the maid paradigm than the [traditional courtship-based] life partner paradigm.

Cook - according to the net the median salary of a sous chef is about $20k in SG (I assume per annum) http://www.payscale.com/research/SG/Job=Sous_Chef/Salary

Maid - standard live-in maid pay scales are about $1000 per month (salary + levy + plane ticket (it's market practice to pay for a plane ticket back once a year) + agency cost + 5k immigration bond which in this case we assume you'll never get back)

wh0re - standard overnight is about $300-$800 depending on the quality, location, context etc, so let's say you have conjugal bliss twice a week, that makes it $3-6k a month.

Add it up, and we're talking about recurring $40k per annum, excluding the costs of grocery, increased utility [bills], and other daily expenses, etc etc.

A wife who can deliver a recent standard of all 3 may need some research, but the costs of most mail-orders I've seen is pretty much a one off $15-30k type deal, and let's say throw in another $5-10k or so for set-up costs, wardrobe, wedding, etc, and from then on it's just providing for [live-in] expenses in aeternam.

gssq: I doubt the kind you buy can drive....

Find me a Viet wife who can cook like a sous chef?
I rarely hear of maids going back every year.

You get a different WL each time. Vs the same wife all the time. And I don't necessarily want overnight.

And what's the other expenses of a wife?

me: The point i'm trying to make is that you get a generalist for cheaper - *much* cheaper - than hiring specialists in each of the three fields you mention.

And don't diss Viet cooking:)

I hear of employees paying for maid tickets back, or giving in cash if they don't want to go back. Not super common, but not unheard of either.

You may not want overnight, but you essentially *get* overnight for a wife. You trade in variety for consistency and availability (although utility functions differ, I get the impression you would prize the latter more than the former)

unless you're easily besotted/bullied into buying LV handhags for her, most of the other wifely expenses in a mail order context are quite insignificant (apart from grocery, utility costs, and daily expenses).

Hell you even get tax deductions!
(And childcare/offspring costs are more without a wife - single parents dont' get a lot of deductions/options nuclear families do)

gssq: I don't want children. Or a "wife" who's just a maid/cook/wh0re

me: So you shouldn't have said "i can hire a maid/cook/wh0re for cheaper" in the first place, which is demonstrably wrong.

And for a mail order wife you CAN get more than a maid/cook/wh0re - with research and matching, which is patently simpler than the normal quest for a r/ship.

gssq: Cook gives better goods. And you don't need a sous chef. Wh0re gives better service and variety. And I don't need overnight.
If you don't buy things for the wife, even a Viet might leave you.

me: as i said, don't diss vietnamese cooking, but realistically, even a school canteen aunty will charge at least $10k a year to be your full-time cook

wh0re - not necessarily better service. Even if you don't want overnight, one pop for $100-150 twice a week still sets you back about $15k a year.

hold her passport. and you don't have to buy as many things as you would a normal wife. just threaten to cut off her remittances back home.

gssq: I'll get a tiffin service.
Viets can only cook Viet food

How do you know the Viet will have good service like a WL? Ceteris paribus...

That's even more of a mockery of a marriage than normal mail order brides.
And she can run to the police and you can go to jail.

me: How much is a tiffin service in SG, actually?

And in a tiffin service it's primarily uni-cuisine (ie. it's chinese tiffin or indian tiffin, i don't know of any decent tiffin services that do both, if you do pls let me know. Or if you start one)

Because the variance of WL service is huge. [With a mail-order] it's not necessarily better service ([although] I'll admit that at least with a WL you can move on [if it sucks, whereas] with a mail-order, unless there's try-before-buy you can't get very far)

eh.. no. the police can't stop you from cutting off her remittances. And if you know what you're doing she wont' have the wherewithal to find a divorce lawyer. And from anecdotal evidence, the police can't do very much if you aren't physically abusive, but just keep her passport locked away. And don't forget, she'll probably be here on a social visit pass of some sort which needs your support in order to maintain (unless you're dumb enough to get her PR or citizenship from the get-go).

gssq: $5 a meal? I'll start a tiffin service
Viet wife is all Viet food. Unless you make her cook non-Viet food.

Upset women have ways of escalating and aggravating and making your life miserable, as you know. And I don't want a slave. What's the point

me: It's probably easier to get her to learn to cook non-Viet food than have multiple tiffin services for multiple cuisines. Besides can always eat out what.

Anyway even you must concede the ridiculous point that it's cheaper to pay for 3 specialists on a regular scale, rather than buy one generalist up front, even after controlling for differences in quality/quantity of service. (should point out you potentially get way more quantity than a wh0re, theoretically)

If you consider the potential of getting some additional holistic synergy / extra emotional liao from the generalist, it really increases the value proposition.

I'm not saying you have to abuse/mistreat her. I'm just saying that mail-order is one avenue for getting what you want, if you really feel that you are too sian to go through the normal relationship acquisition process. Not saying you have to settle.

gssq: I doubt there will be holistic synergy from treating her like an investment
Why will I get what I want from mail-order?!

me: They're *all* investments. *heavily* I'm surprised this point even needs mentioning.

to recap - you say you are ready for a long-term r/ship, but you are unable to go through the process of acquiriing one for a variety of reasons

I'm just saying that a mail-order gives you the possibility of attaining one in a process that is relatively less random, and hassling (repeated failures and multiple shots in the dark) than normal avenues.

gssq: If you view a relationship as an investment, your investment will evaporate

me: Look at our parents' generation. Viewing marriage as a long-term equity investment works out pretty damn well for them, even if they don't use those terms of discourse.

Anyway even if you don't want to view it in NPV terms, why not view it as an alternative relationship sourcing mechanism with just more up front costs? You can still potentially find your caring/loving/whatever partner, with a little bit of legwork, in a process that's potentially less taxing/onerous/frustrating than the normal one which you have made clear no longer works for you.

[Ed: HWMNBN: "btw, other than HWMNBN i don't know what tags you want to use.

was torn between conversations, economics, family, food, life, muppets,
observations, rape, sex, slavery, and women."]

Links - 23rd April 2009

"The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, then having the two as close together as possible." - George Burns

***

Couples to test 'intimacy' device - "Couples in long distance relationships are being sought to try out a prototype device designed to communicate intimacy from their bedrooms... The device allows couples, who are separated by distance, to draw in light on each other's bodies or beds."

Jackie Chan: Chinese people need to be controlled - ""I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," Chan said. "I'm really confused now. If you're too free, you're like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic." Chan added: "I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do what we want.""
Addendum: "However, he lost some of his goodwill among the audience when he criticised the quality of Chinese-made goods. "If I need to buy a television, I would definitely buy a Japanese television," he said. "A Chinese television might explode." "

QDB: Quote #414593 - "A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you're a great guy, but I don't like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired."

No Snickering - That Road Sign Means Something Else - "In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty high. But Britain is full of them. Some are mostly amusing, like Ugley, Essex; East Breast, in western Scotland; North Piddle, in Worcestershire; and Spanker Lane, in Derbyshire."

Women: Orgasm In A Spray Undergoes Successfull Trials - "The spray, developed by Australian company Acrux, contains the male sex hormone testosterone. It was initially designed with post-menopausal women in mind, but has also been shown to work for young women with a low libido... The study concluded that there was a significant rise in the number of women who experiencing orgasms during sex at the end of the fourth month for the women on the highest dosages of the spray. The only recorded side effect was a small increase in body hair among some of the participants."

China 'acting like a child' - "THE Dalai Lama on Wednesday accused China of 'acting like a child' in cracking down on Tibetans and other minorities, saying it lacked the moral authority of a genuine superpower... He said the government routinely arrested individuals with different views, but stressed that 'such a big nation of over one billion people (should have) no need for such sort of fear.' 'One or two persons have different views, and immediately they are in trouble with the government. No. You're a big nation. You should have more self-confidence.'"
Sounds familiar.

University of the bleedin' obvious - "Scientists have demonstrated something that many women suspect and most men would admit only to themselves: pictures of scantily-clad females turn women into sexual objects in the minds of men... other groundbreaking studies from the archive: Fake orgasms differ from real ones
The rhythm method of contraception is unreliable
Men are attracted to women who wear red
The more fit you are the longer you will live
Living near a busy road increases the risk of asthma
Hurrying makes people less attentive
Giving up smoking is good for your lungs
Binge drinkers are more likely to fall over"

Islam a political target in Norway - "The leader of the country's main opposition party has warned that it is facing "sneak-Islamisation", while some prominent Muslims say they face growing "persecution"... Earlier this year, the Labour Party's governing coalition suggested it would allow police officers to wear headscarves with their uniform, in the hope that it would attract more Muslim women to the police force. But after widespread criticism of the proposal, the government dropped the idea. On International Women's Day in March, Syrian-born Sara Azmeh Rasmussen protested against headscarves by burning hers in public in the capital, Oslo. Ms Jensen's Progress Party has produced a list of special measures it says Muslims have requested to accommodate their religious sensitivities and traditions. On top of changes to the police uniform, the list mentions prison inmates wanting Halal food, and parents of teenage girls demanding that schools separate their daughters from boys during sports lessons... not all Muslims agree with Mr Mahmood. "Three to four articles critical of religion and the burning of a headscarf is not persecution of Muslims; it is a process of modernising," says Shakil Rehman, another Labour Party member. "Criticism isn't a smear campaign, but necessary progress." "
Apparently, opposing segregation of boys and girls during PE = "Islamophobia"

America's Newest Profession: Bloggers for Hire - "In America today, there are almost as many people making their living as bloggers as there are lawyers. Already more Americans are making their primary income from posting their opinions than Americans working as computer programmers or firefighters... Pros who work for companies are typically paid $45,000 to $90,000 a year for their blogging. One percent make over $200,000. And they report long hours -- 50 to 60 hours a week."

Oldest profession gets creative in downturn - "In [Germany,] one of the few countries where prostitution is legal, and unusually transparent, the industry has responded with an economic stimulus package of its own: modern marketing tools, rebates and gimmicks to boost falling demand... Free shuttle buses, discounts for seniors and taxi drivers, as well as "day passes" are among marketing strategies designed to keep business going... Germany has about 400,000 professional prostitutes... Berlin's "Pussy Club" has attracted media attention with its headline-grabbing "flat rate" -- a 70-euro admission charge for unlimited food, drink and sex between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m... "Our offer might sound like it's too good to be true, but it's real. You can eat as much as you want, drink as much as you want and have as much sex as you want."... Other novel ideas used by brothels and prostitutes include loyalty cards, group sex parties and rebates for golf players. Hamburg's "GeizHaus" is especially proud of its discount 38.50 euro price... "Our philosophy is: we provide an important service and even in a recession there are some things people won't do without."... "A 30-year-old came up to me and said 'I lost my job so will you give me a discount?'.""

Reality check: You're not going to make money from your blog - "This seems like a good time to tell you the advice my writing teacher gave our who class in graduate school: Writing for a living is a very, very hard life. If you can do anything else for a living, you should."

Pinkdot: The First-ever Official Public Gathering for a LGBT Cause in Singapore! - One comment: "Hi, From what I understand, the purpose of Pinkdot is to gather ppl (gay, straight, in between) to support the freedom to love... ie. It is not a primarily "gay event". So to me, the titling of this event as "LGBT Public Gathering" seems to run COUNTER to the main purpose of Pinkdot, which was to get rid of the distinction between LGBT and non-LGBT in the first place, in order for everyone regardless of sexuality to reaffirm open-mindedness"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HWMNBN: that's right, if we had a straight pride parade they would be picketing us as rubbing our cisbias in their face.


Homotography: Art :: Human Furniture by David Blázquez - "We have recently seen photographer Carlotta Manaigo fuse model Jakob Wiechmann with furniture pieces for Dazed & Confused (see here), but Spanish artist David Blázquez takes the concept to a whole other level with his living art exhibition Human Furniture (‘MOBILIARIO HUMANO’). David creates beds, bathtubs, dining tables, book shelves, sofas and more, with naked human bodies."
He seems to only use men whose unmentionables are somehow hidden. I can see how, for his purposes, it's harder to work with women.

Why men are more intelligent than women - "The answer is: They aren’t. The orthodoxy in intelligence research...had been that men and women had the same average intelligence, but men had greater variance in their distribution than women... This conclusion, however, was manufactured out of political expediency. Not wanting to discover, or a priori denying, any sex differences in intelligence, psychometricians simply deleted from the standardized IQ tests any item on which the performance of men and women differed. More recently...an increasing number of studies that cast doubt on this politically correct conclusion. Studies...all conclude that men on average are slightly but significantly more intelligent than women, by about 3-5 IQ points... men are more intelligent than women, not because they are men, but because they are taller... once we control for height, women are slightly but significantly more intelligent than men"
This seems to contradict what is known about gender variance.

Shoveling - "The worst kind of boss is the boss who, as the pieces of your soul fall silently away, makes you feel good about your job shoveling shit."

Police nab Norwegian pair during high-speed sex - "A Norwegian man faces a heavy fine and a driving ban after police caught him having sex with his girlfriend while speeding on the motorway, police said Monday... "It was veering from one side to the other because the woman was sitting on the man's lap while he was driving and doing the act, shall we say""
Life's Calendar

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"When everyone is against you, it means that you are absolutely wrong-- or absolutely right." - Albert Guinon

***

32 Signs of the Buddha:

1. He has feet with a level sole
2. He has the mark of a thousand-spoked wheel on the soles of his feet
3. He has projecting heels
4. He has long fingers and toes
5. His hands and feet are soft-skinned
6. He has netlike lines on palms and soles
7. He has high raised ankles
8. He has taut calf muscles like an antelope
9. He can touch his knees with the palms of his hands without bending.
10. His sexual organs are concealed in a sheath
11. His skin is the color of gold
12. His skin is so fine that no dust can attach to it
13. His body hair are separate with one hair per pore
14. His body hair are blue-black, the color of collyrium, and curls clockwise in rings.
15. He has an upright stance like that of brahma
16. He has the seven convexities! of the flesh
17. He has an immense torso, like that of a lion
18. The furrow between his shoulders is filled in
19. The distance from hand-to-hand and head-to-toe is equal
20. He has a round and smooth neck
21. He has sensitive taste-buds
22. His jaw is like that of lion's
23. He has a nice smile
24. His teeth are evenly spaced
25. His teeth are without gaps in-between
26. His teeth are quite white
27. He has a large, long tongue
28. He has a voice like that of Brahma
29. He has very blue eyes
30. He has eyelashes like an ox
31. He has a white soft wisp of hair in the center of the brow
32. His head is like a royal turban
"Humor is just another defense against the universe." - Mel Brooks

***

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Cicada Deciphering Hieroglyphics music blogspot.com


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What main plant would be missing from Italian food (esp. sauces) prior to 1493?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Edward Murrow on Dissent

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular."

--– A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy / Edward R. Murrow
"If absolute power corrupts absolutely, does absolute powerlessness make you pure?" - Harry Shearer

***

Daisuke Shima Heralds in 10 Years of an Erect Japan - "ED is becoming a big problem in Japan, with 1 in 5 men reporting only grapefruit-level hardness on Pfizier’s highly scientific scale of konjak (jelly) to ripe, red apple... “Some men say that if you normally have wood, Viagra turns it metal!” Why might a penis as hard as a grapefruit be cause for concern, when it’s listed on the scale as “plenty sufficient for penetration”? Interestingly enough, while most agree with the western stereotype that Asian men tend to be on the small side, the Japanese hold the fierce belief that they are much harder than Americans. Getting it up isn’t just a matter of being able to get off or not, it’s a point of national pride."

No sex please we're Japanese - "Only in Japan would a popular weekly newsmagazine deem it necessary to exhort the nation's youth to abstain from sexual abstinence: "Young people, don't hate sex," AERA magazine pleaded... More and more Japanese men and women are finding relationships too messy, tiring and potentially humiliating to bother with anymore... young women no longer feel bound by the Japanese tradition that says a woman unmarried after age 25 is like a Christmas cake on Dec. 26 — stale... Japanese men sometimes propose to women with lines like: "I want you to cook miso soup for me the rest of my life."... [In 1997] the happiest people were in their 20s, and twentysomething women were the happiest of all: 77.7% said they were content with their lives... Many young Japanese women live carefree lives, staying at home with their parents, paying little if any rent, letting their mothers cook their meals, clean their rooms and do their laundry... A few years ago, Tokyo Gakugei University sociologist Masahiro Yamada coined the phrase "parasite singles" to describe young people who sponge off their parents... the most carefree of the parasite singles tend to be women; the men are more serious about establishing careers and moving out on their own one day... "The good men are all married," writer Junko Sakai says. "Those left behind are all nerds or without jobs or violent or not nice-looking."... Yamada says young men and women need to get more realistic. Men need to start helping with the housework and supporting their wives' careers. Women need to stop waiting for the flawless man who's never going to show up."
I like the summary: 'Why are all the good men married or nerds or poor or violent or ugly?'

Laughing gas kills comedian - "A COMEDIAN died after accidentally overdosing on laughing gas while watching computer porn, an inquest heard."
At least he died happy - doubly happy.

No money so oral sex will do - "Two female cleaners who could not come up with any money during a robbery were instead forced to perform oral sex on the robber."
Malaysia Boleh!

Cognitive Daily: Even isolated cultures understand emotions conveyed by Western music - "Are there musical "universals"? In other words, do the emotions conveyed by music depend on what we've learned through our culture, or can anyone perceive the emotion intended by a composer of a given musical work? Does "good" or pleasant music have cultural boundaries?... Both Western and non-Western listeners recognized the intended emotion at rates significantly higher than chance (the dotted line on the chart). So even people who've never been exposed to Western music can understand the intended emotion."
I like how everyone hated dissonant music.
[Addendum: It looks like some things are universal after all, and music is a universal language. I wonder if these tribesmen would have found 20th century music disgusting]


Chim fired up over battle of the sexes - "It is time for men and women to sit down and talk before their relationships disappear down the plughole of materialism, says cultural adviser and comedian Jim Chim Sui-man... The "sins" of Hong Kong women include demanding men pay for everything, being late for every date, an unquenchable desire for luxury goods as gifts, lack of knowledge of current affairs and an inability to do housework. Mens' "sins" are low academic qualifications, low income, no confidence, staying at home and overusing the internet... "The first thing a mother asks about her daughter's boyfriend is what his job is and then what area he lives in rather than asking how the boy treats and shows concern for her daughter," Chim said. "Perhaps one day we will see men and women putting price tags on their partners, who will be put up for sale in internet auctions," Chim joked."

To offend the French, fondle a slice of cheese - "The Gallic Shrug is one of many simple but brutally effective gestures listed in a new travel guide produced by the Paris tourist board. Aware that it can do very little to change the stereotype of the arrogant Frenchman, it wants to help discerning visitors blend in by using the same body language... Le Camembert, which is used to tell somebody to shut up. You hold your hand in front of you in the shape of an L, and then slowly bring thumbs and forefingers together, as if gently clasping a small slice of soft cheese. A blank face — signifying vast indifference — completes this traditional French pose... The board is even encouraging Britons to send in pictures "of yourself imitating a Parisian" with the prize of a weekend in Paris."
STB should take a slice from their cheese wheel

France 'Gallic Moan' proves answer to hard times - "Vie De Merde" -- which means roughly "Life Sucks" -- was launched 15 months ago around a simple concept: tell the world a one-liner about your day that is guaranteed to give strangers a chuckle. The site's English version, "FMyLife.com" -- "FML" for short -- became an overnight sensation in the two months since its launch, with some 1.7 million people logging on each day, and huge fan groups on Facebook and Twitter."
Hah, so it came from France.

An endless measuring of red tape - "He argues that the reason why Ofsted and the Quality Assurance Agency have been so successful in expanding their activities is that the inspection system has become institutionalised. He suggests that "there is much potentially to be lost, and little to be gained, through challenging this system of regulation"... He then goes on to argue that the "problem with audit and inspection is that they are based on the assumption that the performance of an organisation can be measured and that improvement can be demonstrated over time". He also rightly argues that league tables are part of the problem... many staff are experiencing QA as "something that slows down the organisation through creating burdensome and unnecessary work""

The painful truth about trainers: Are running shoes a waste of money? - "The injury rates have actually ebbed up since the Seventies - Achilles tendon blowouts have seen a ten per cent increase. (It's not only shoes that can create the problem: research in Hawaii found runners who stretched before exercise were 33 per cent more likely to get hurt.)... It was an astonishing revelation that had been hidden for over 35 years. Dr Richards was so stunned that a $20 billion industry seemed to be based on nothing but empty promises and wishful thinking... Runners wearing top-of-the-line trainers are 123 per cent more likely to get injured than runners in cheap ones"
"empty promises and wishful thinking" sounds like cosmetics too

Inclement Weather Linked to Headaches - "For every 5 degree Centigrade (9 degrees Fahrenheit) increase in temperature, both migraine and non-migraine headache risk went up 7.5 percent over the next 24 hours."
This might explain why Singapore is bad for health, if it also applies when it's hot all the time.

Poor Texas - "Texas, with its glorious free market regime and deeply incentive-creating 25 percent rate of health uninsurance, has a per capita income of $37,187; nanny-state New Jersey, with its oppressive taxes and regulation of everything (what it takes to get permission to cut down a dying tree … ), has a per capita income of $49,194."
I'm sure the libertarians will find some way to blame government anyhow.
"In some circumstances, the refusal to be defeated is a refusal to be educated." - Margaret Halsey

***

Transcribed (or otherwise gotten) by HWMNBN:


"There came to me an angel, and his essence was fire.
His garments were of spun gold, and his eyes were blazing scarlet.
His sword shone with holy flame, too bright to look upon,
And by that sign I knew him for Michael, dread minion of my father's God.

I knew that he meant me to kneel before him.
So I did not.
I knew that he meant me to fear him.
So I did not.
I knew that he meant me to be humbled.
So I was not.

He said unto me,
"Caine, first-born of Adam,
I bring to you the word of the Lord:
Repent of your crime and you will be forgiven.
Turn with humility towards your God
And He will cleanse you of all sin.
For He is a God of mercy,
who forgives the outcast
And makes a place for him among the blessed."

I felt pride well up inside me at his words, and I answered,
"I gave Him my heart's own worship,
And He deemed it unworthy.
I offered Him the fruit of all my labours,
And He deemed it too little,
And when I offered Him blood, as He had taught me to do
He cast me out.

Of what should I repent?" I demanded.
"For what beg forgiveness?
For what prize should I fall to my knees,
And worship again that God whose face was turned from me
when I loved Him most?"

Then the angel grew angry
His eyes blazed with scarlet fire
And the flames of his sword scorched my clothes and my flesh.
"Creature of pride, " he pronounced,
"be thou damned, then.
Not by my will, but by thy own words.

My fire shall be an enemy to you,
that you and your children shall fear
until the end of time.
Not all the magic that you have learned can tame it.
Not all the power that you have gained can withstand it.

Such is the curse I set upon you.
Until the day your spirit is humbled.
Such is the cost of your defiance."

I said, "So be it." And still I did not kneel.
The angel left me then, and I was alone.

Then came another angel, riding the winds of morning.
Behind him all the hues of heaven
spread out across the horizon,
And the demons of night fled at the sight of him.
I knew him for Uriel, shepherd of the sun,
And I stood my ground proudly
As he came to earth before me.

"Caine", he said, "first-born of Adam.
Your brother's soul cries out for your redemption,
And God has heard his pleas.
Say only that you would leave this land
And return to your father's embrace
And it will be done."

"Once again," I said, "my brother speaks to God,
Once again his words are favoured over mine.
I do not ask for his pity, nor for yours.
I will make my own fate in lands east of Nod.

And establish my kingdom in exile.
I will set my children on golden thrones
And we will rule over Seth's brood together.
For surely it is better to rule in the darkness
Than to humble myself falsely in the light."

The angel's face grew white with fury.
And the light of dawn behind him becamse a sea of blazing poison unto me
"Wretched creature! Damned for your pride,
Now doubly damned for your defiance.
The light of the sun shall be your enemy
Searing your soul when you gaze upon it, burning your flesh to ash.
Those of your blood who would rule the earth
Shall cower in the dust by day, fearing the light,
And the sons of Seth who seek after power
Will hunt them down as they sleep even as the dead sleep
Unable to defend themselves or beg for mercy from those who hunt them
Thus shall your kingdom be, your prideful empire.
Its throne made of fear, its crown cast in shadows."

I could not answer him, for
the sun rose then
I meant to stand my ground before it
But its rays were as venom upon my skin
And within my veins, that
blood which ran so cold with anger and pride
Began to boil, molten as the sun's own fire.
I fled the light, to the nearest place of safety.
Which was the earth itself, cool beneath my feet
And in that place, sheltered
in the darkness of the world below
I cursed the name of the
one who had driven me there,
And of his eternal Master.

And when the day had passed, and
night fell once more
I arose from my resting place to see a third angel awaited me.
His eyes were jet, twin mirrors of the night
His wings were shadow, that beat
about his form like wild winds
And I knew him for an angel of divine wrath.
Dread Gabriel, by whose hand Sodom was destroyed.

"Caine", he said, "in you the seed
of Adam is doubly shamed,
And all the laws of life defiled.
Yet even such a soul as yours may
yet be saved
By true repentance.
Forswear your sins and return to
His fold,
And all will be as new again, all sins forgiven,
all wrongs undone.
The Lord grants you this, your
third and final path to forgiveness.

To him I said simply,
"I am what God has made me."
And still I would not kneel.

The black wings beat with fury
And the voice of the angel echoed with rage.
So fearsome was his dread display
That the very night itself did seem to tremble.
"Then be thou cursed forever,
and set apart from all living things.
Neither living nor dead yourself,
neither human nor beast.
You shall walk the earth in darkness,
and all your children with you.
Unchanging, undying and ever without hope.
Blood shall be your only food,
and all your dreams shall be ash.
Life, and love shall wither at your touch,
and hunger shall devour mercy.

And those you treasure most of all,
the offspring at your pride,
Shall war amongst themselves
according to their blood:
Brother against brother,
young against old,
weak against strong.
Until the best are vanquished
and the ranks of your family laid waste.
Then you will walk amongst them
as judge and know
the ultimate torment.
Which is for a father to condmen his own children.
So has God done with you, this night.
So shall you do with your own,
untli the end of time."

He left me alone in the darkness then,
To suffer the pain of my changing.
The blood-hunger rose in me like a flood tide.
The beast began to gnaw at my soul.
Still I would not kneel."

[Addendum (the last part of the fragments):

Then there came a fourth angel,
with wings as pale as moonlight
His face was a thing of alabaster beauty,
And his voice was finer than the
finest music.
I knew him for Raphael, patron of all healing.
And I stood my ground before him.
Even as I trembled to hear what his
curse would be.
"Behold," he said, "the Lord is merciful.
Even to the undeserving.
I give you a path to seek peace for
your soul
Even in this bitter darkness.
I give you the light of hope, for
you and your children,
To await the day when anger fades
and pride gives way to yearning.
The name of this path is Golconda.

And those who seek it with a true
heart may yet gain salvation,
Though they walk in the night as
demons
And bear the curses of a thousand
angels."
He left me then, without hearing
my reply.

And again I was alone.
When he was gone, I knelt in
the darkness.
And I wept.]

--- The Erciyes Fragments, "Temptations"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"History is more or less bunk." - Henry Ford

***

Interesting information on Romantic Relationships:


Standards for relationships
- ♀ have higher expectations
  • Younger ♀ expect more intimacy than ♂ or older ♀ do
  • Younger married ♀ more lonely than married ♂
- ♀ standards less likely to be met
  • ♂ & ♀ have same expectations
  • ♂’s expectations more likely to be fulfilled
Characteristics desired in a mate
- ♂ & ♀
  • Honesty
  • affection
  • kindness
  • companionship
- ♂
  • Physical attractiveness
- ♀
  • Intelligence
  • occupational status
  • socioeconomic status
  • ambition
- ♂ & ♀ agree more important for ♂ to
  • Have prestigious career
  • Have high-paying job
  • Be athletic
  • Do chores outside the house
- ♂ & ♀ agree more important for ♀ to
  • Be physically attractive
  • Do chores inside the house
Relationship initiation
- More common for ♂ to ask ♀ out on date
  • ♂ use direct strategies to initiate; e.g. asking
  • ♀ use indirect strategies; e.g. hinting
- Dating scripts
  • Conceptualize ♂ role as proactive:  ask for date, decide what to do, driving, kissing
  • Conceptualize ♀  role as reactive:  getting ready, worrying, waiting, accepting/rejecting advances
Intimacy
- ♀ define as self-disclosure
- ♂ define as physical proximity/sex

Love Styles
- score higher on storge and pragma
  • friendship based on interests: Love may take time to develop. Desire a long term relationship based on mutual trust, making a home and raising a family together.
  • shopping for a suitable mate: Wants relationship to work well, partners are compatible and satisfy each other’s basic or practical needs. Relationships based on satisfactory rewards rather than romantic attraction.
- ♂ score higher on ludus
  • game for mutual enjoyment: Love as series of challenges and puzzles to be solved. Date several partners, move in and out of love affairs quickly and easily. Refuse to make long-range plans, wary of emotional intensity from others
Sexuality
- Motives for sex
  • ♂ have recreational attitude
  1. Pleasure, tension release is goal
  2. Relationship not required
  • ♀ have relational attitude
  1. Sex conveys intimacy, love
  2. Relationship integral
  • Older respondents don’t show sex differences
Maintenance strategies
- Wives display more openness, networks & shared tasks
- Best predictor of couple’s commitment is wife assurance
- Wives accommodate to husband’s preferences
- People who score high in expressivity and/or femininity put more effort into relationship

Marital satisfaction
- Gender roles
  • Traditional gender roles -> lowest satisfaction
  • Androgynous -> highest satisfaction, longest relationship
- Power distribution
  • Power differential
  1. Egalitarian most satisfied because of equity
  2. Husband-dominant next most satisfied
  3. Wife-dominant least satisfied
- Characteristics of him but not her
  • Temperament
- Types
  1. Positive temperament = affectionate, excited
  2. Negative temperament = nasty, enraged
- Men’s marital satisfaction tied to own temperament
- Women’s tied to own + husband’s temperament
  • Husband’s emotions affect wife’s emotions (but not vice versa)
Conflict management
- Men
  • Avoid/distract; avoid escalation
  • Coercion, aggression, control tactics
  • Negativity bias:  Interpret lack of loving behavior as hostility
- Women
  • Negativity
  • Positivity bias:  Interpret lack of hostility as love
- Demand/withdraw pattern
  • Wife demands (nags)
  • Husband withdraws
Gay and Lesbian Relationships
- Relationship development
  • Gays emphasize physical characteristics
  • Lesbians emphasize personality characteristics
- Relationship initiation
  • Out of friendship most common
  • Gays place greater emphasis on sexuality
  • Lesbians place greater emphasis on intimacy
- Intimacy and sexuality
  • Lesbian have greater intimacy then heterosexual couples
  • Gays versus heterosexual men
  1. Less faithfulness
  2. More partners
  3. Equal frequency of sex
Reasons for high divorce after cohabitation
- Selection bias
  • Less traditional views of marriage
  • Women more career oriented & financially independent
  • Men less financially successful
  • Poorer communication skills
- Qualitative differences between cohabiting & marriage
  • Less satisfaction w/ relationship
  • Higher rates of domestic & child abuse
  • Lower marriage quality
- Changes in relationship between cohabiting and marriage
  • Division of labor
  • Broadened view of family

Monday, April 20, 2009

"The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it." - George Bernard Shaw

***

EBGET explains how the Singapore economy (and system) works:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
men: pay taxes to the government, invest $ in the economy, serve NS for defence and spend money on women
government: takes taxes from men, spends $ on defence
defence: enslaves men, protects women
economy: $ invested in by men, absorbs $ from women, gives shoes to women
women: protected by defence, given $ by men, spend $ on economy, get shoes from economy

More at EBGET: screw AWARE.
I am unnaturally amused by the term:

"neuf cent quatre-vingt-dix-neuf millions neuf cent quatre-vingt-dix-neuf mille neuf cent quatre-vingt-dix-neuf"

"Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes." - Norman Douglas

***

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas
Ursula K LeGuin (from The Wind's Twelve Quarters)
(or: Why [almost] no one is a pure Utilitarian)


With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city Omelas, bright-towered by the sea. The ringing of the boats in harbor sparkled with flags. In the streets between houses with red roofs and painted walls, between old moss-grown gardens and under avenues of trees, past great parks and public buildings, processions moved. Some were decorous: old people in long stiff robes of mauve and gray, grave master workmen, quiet, merry women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked. In other streets the music beat faster, a shimmering of gong and tambourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance. Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows' crossing flights over the music and the singing. All the processions wound towards the north side of the city, where on the great water-meadow called the Green Fields boys and girls, naked in the bright air, with mud-stained feet and ankles and long, lithe arms,exercised their restive horses before the race. The horses wore no gear at all but a halter without bit. Their manes were braided with streamers of silver, gold, and green. They flared their nostrils and pranced and boasted to one another; they were vastly excited, the horse being the only animal who has adopted our ceremonies as his own. Far off to the north and west the mountains stood up half encircling Omelas on her bay. The air of morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned withwhite-gold fire across the miles of sunlit air, under the dark blue of the sky. There was just enough wind to make the banners that marked the racecourse snap and flutter now and then. In the silence of the broad green meadows one could hear the music winding throughout the city streets, farther and nearer and ever approaching, a cheerful faint sweetness of the air from time to time trembled and gathered together and broke out into the great joyous clanging of the bells.

Joyous! How is one to tell about joy? How describe the citizens of Omelas?

They were not simple folk, you see, though they were happy. But we do not say the words of cheer much any more. All smiles have become archaic. Given a description such as this one tends to make certain assumptions. Given a description such as this one tends to look next for the King, mounted on a splendid stallion and surrounded by his noble knights, or perhaps in a golden litter borne by great-muscled slaves. But there was no king. They did not use swords, or keep slaves. They were not barbarians, I do not know the rules and laws of their society, but I suspect that they were singularly few. As they did without monarchy and slavery, so they also got on without the stock exchange, the advertisement, the secret police, and the bomb. Yet I repeat that these were not simple folk, not dulcet shepherds, noble savages, bland utopians. There were not less complex than us.

The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can't lick 'em, join 'em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy. How can I tell you about the people of Omelas? They were not naive and happy children--though their children were, in fact, happy. They were mature, intelligent, passionate adults whose lives were not wretched. O miracle! But I wish I could describe it better. I wish I could convince you. Omelas sounds in my words like a city in a fairy tale, long ago and far away, once upon a time. Perhaps it would be best if you imagined it as your own fancy bids, assuming it will rise to the occasion, for certainly I cannot suit you all. For instance, how about technology? I think that there would be no cars or helicopters in and above the streets; this follows from the fact that the people of Omelas are happy people. Happiness is based on a just discrimination of what is necessary, what is neither necessary nor destructive, and what is destructive. In the middle category, however--that of the unnecessary but undestructive, that of comfort, luxury, exuberance, etc.--they could perfectly well have central heating, subway trains, washing machines, and all kinds of marvelous devices not yet invented here, floating light-sources, fuelless power, a cure for the common cold. Or they could have none of that: it doesn't matter. As you like it. I incline to think that people from towns up and down the coast have been coming to to Omelas during the last days before the Festival on very fast little trains and double-decked trams, and that the trains station of Omelas is actually the handsomest building in town, though plainer than the magnificent Farmers' Market. But even granted trains, I fear that Omelas so far strikes some of you as goody-goody. Smiles, bells, parades, horses, bleh. If so, please add an orgy. If an orgy would help, don't hesitate. Let us not, however, have temples from which issue beautiful nude priests and priestesses already half in ecstasy and ready to copulate with any man or woman, lover or stranger, who desires union with the deep godhead of the blood, although that was my first idea. But really it would be better not to have any temples in Omelas--at least, not manned temples. Religion yes, clergy no. Surely the beautiful nudes can just wander about, offering themselves like divine souffles to the hunger of the needy and the rapture of the flesh. Let them join the processions. Let tambourines be struck above the copulations, and the gory of desire be proclaimed upon the gongs, and (a not unimportant point) let the offspring of these delightful rituals be beloved and looked after by all. One thing I know there is none of in Omelas is guilt. But what else should there be? I thought at first there were no drugs, but that is puritanical. For those who like it, the faint insistent sweetness of drooz may perfume the ways of the city, drooz which first brings a great lightness and brilliance to the mind and limbs, and then after some hours a dreamy languor, and wonderful visions at last of the very arcane and inmost secrets of the Universe, as well as exciting the pleasure of sex beyond all belief; and it is not habit-forming. For more modest tastes I think there ought to be beer. What else, what else belongs in the joyous city? The sense of victory, surely, the celebration of courage. But as we did without clergy, let us do without soldiers. The joy built upon successful slaughter is not the right kind of joy; it will not do; it is fearful and it is trivial. A boundless and generous contentment, a magnanimous triumph felt not against some outer enemy but in communion with the finest and fairest in the souls of all men everywhere and the splendor of the world's summer: This is what swells the hears of the people of Omelas, and the victory they celebrate is that of life. I don't think many of them need to take drooz.

Most of the processions have reached the Green Fields by now. A marvelous smell of cooking goes forth from the red and blue tents of the provisioners. The faces of small children are amiably sticky; in the benign gray beard of a man a couple of crumbs of rich pastry are entangled. The youths and girls have mounted their horses and are beginning to group around the starting line of the course. An old woman, small, fat, and laughing, is passing out flowers from a basket, and tall young men wear her flowers in their shining hair. A child of nine or ten sits at the edge of the crowd alone, playing on a wooden flute.

People pause to listen, and they smile, but they do not speak to him, for he never ceases playing and never sees them, his dark eyes wholly rapt in the sweet, thing magic of the tune.

He finishes, and slowly lowers his hands holding the wooden flute.

As if that little private silence were the signal, all at once a trumpet sounds from the pavilion near the starting line: imperious, melancholy, piercing. The horses rear on their slender legs, and some of them neigh in answer. Sober-faced, the young riders stroke the horses' necks and soothe them, whispering. "Quiet, quiet, there my beauty, my hope..." They begin to form in rank along the starting line. The crowds along the racecourse are like a field of grass and flowers in the wind. The Festival of Summer has begun.

Do you believe? Do you accept the festival, the city, the joy? No? Then let me describe one more thing.

In a basement under one of the beautiful public buildings of Omelas, or perhaps in the cellar of one of its spacious private homes, there is a room. It has one locked door, and no window. A little light seeps in dustily between cracks in the boards, secondhand from a cobwebbed window somewhere across the cellar. In one corner of the little room a couple of mops, with stiff, clotted, foul-smelling heads, stand near a rusty bucket. The floor is dirt, a little damp to the touch, as cellar dirt usually is.

The room is about three paces long and two wide: a mere broom closet or disused tool room. In the room, a child is sitting. It could be a boy or a girl. It looks about six, but actually is nearly ten. It is feeble-minded. Perhaps it was born defective, or perhaps it has become imbecile through fear, malnutrition, and neglect. It picks its nose and occasionally fumbles vaguely with its toes or genitals, as it sits hunched in the corner farthest from the bucket and the two mops. It is afraid of the mops. It finds them horrible. It shuts its eyes, but it knows the mops are still standing there; and the door is locked; and nobody will come. The door is always locked; and nobody ever comes, except that sometimes--the child has no understanding of time or interval--sometimes the door rattles terribly and opens, and a person, or several people, are there. One of them may come in and kick the child to make it stand up. The others never come close, but peer in at it with frightened, disgusted eyes. The food bowl and the water jug are hastily filled, the door is locked; the eyes disappear. The people at the door never say anything, but the child, who has not always lived in the tool room, and can remember sunlight and its mother's voice, sometimes speaks. "I will be good, " it says. "Please let me out. I will be good!" They never answer. The child used to scream for help at night, and cry a good deal, but now it only makes a kind of whining, "eh-haa, eh-haa," and it speaks less and less often. It is so thin there are no calves to its legs; its belly protrudes; it lives on a half-bowl of corn meal and grease a day. It is naked. Its buttocks and thighs are a mass of festered sores, as it sits in its own excrement continually.

They all know it is there, all the people of Omelas. Some of them have come to see it, others are content merely to know it is there. They all know that it has to be there. Some of them understand why, and some do not, but they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child's abominable misery.

This is usually explained to children when they are between eight and twelve, whenever they seem capable of understanding; and most of those who come to see the child are young people, though often enough an adult comes, or comes back, to see the child. No matter how well the matter has been explained to them, these young spectators are always shocked and sickened at the sight. They feel disgust, which they had thought themselves superior to. They feel anger, outrage, impotence, despite all the explanations. They would like to do something for the child. But there is nothing they can do. If the child were brought up into the sunlight out of that vile place, if it were cleaned and fed and comforted, that would be a good thing, indeed; but if it were done, in that day and hour all the prosperity and beauty and delight of Omelas would wither and be destroyed. Those are the terms. To exchange all the goodness and grace of every life in Omelas for that single, small improvement: to throw away the happiness of thosands for the chance of happiness of one: that would be to let guilt within the walls indeed.

The terms are strict and absolute; there may not even be a kind word spoken to the child.

Often the young people go home in tears, or in a tearless rage, when they have seen the child and faced this terrible paradox. They may brood over it for weeks or years. But as time goes on they begin to realize that even if the child could be released, it would not get much good of its freedom: a little vague pleasure of warmth and food, no real doubt, but little more. It is too degraded and imbecile to know any real joy. It has been afraid too long ever to be free of fear. Its habits are too uncouth for it to respond to humane treatment. Indeed, after so long it would probably be wretched without walls about it to protect it, and darkness for its eyes, and its own excrement to sit in. Their tears at the bitter injustice dry when they begin to perceive the terrible justice of reality, and to accept it. Yet it is their tears and anger, the trying of their generosity and the acceptance of their helplessness, which are perhaps the true source of the splendor of their lives. Theirs is no vapid, irresponsible happiness. They know that they, like the child, are not free. They know compassion. It is the existence of the child, and their knowledge of its existence, that makes possible the nobility of their architecture, the poignancy of their music, the profundity of their science. It is because of the child that they are so gentle with children. They know that if the wretched one were not there sniveling in the dark, the other one, the flute-player, could make no joyful music as the young riders line up in their beauty for the race in the sunlight of the first morning of summer.

Now do you believe them? Are they not more credible? But there is one more thing to tell, and this is quite incredible.

At times one of the adolescent girls or boys who go see the child does not go home to weep or rage, does not, in fact, go home at all. Sometimes also a man or a woman much older falls silent for a day or two, then leaves home. These people go out into the street, and walk down the street alone. They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas, through the beautiful gates. They keep walking across the farmlands of Omelas. Each one goes alone, youth or girl, man or woman.

Night falls; the traveler must pass down village streets, between the houses with yellow- lit windows, and on out into the darkness of the fields. Each alone, they go west or north, towards the mountains. They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.
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