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Showing posts from January, 2013

Living like Lana Del Ray

'Lana Del Rey appeals to good girls because she’s the quintessential romantic bad girl: sultry, pouty, with thin white tee shirts and tiny denim shorts, the kind of girl who’d be leaning up against her boyfriend’s hot rod in the school parking lot. And what makes her most appealing is her vulnerability – that hidden sweetness, and softness, that gives her a kind of frayed innocence beneath that bad girl image. Critics have dismissed this image as highly calculated; but having a calculated image never stopped the same critics from praising Lady Gaga. I think the real reason they despise Lana Del Rey’s image is because it challenges the feminist idea that women should ball up their vulnerability and stuff it in the back of a dark, dark closet because it’s totally useless and also highlights gender differences, which are verboten. Women don’t have a special kind of vulnerability that’s different from men’s – stop singing about it! You’re just pretending, putting it on for a show...

S…

The Reign of the Collective

Surely there must be politics behind what Rushdie, Kamal, Ashis, and scores others go through. But if you want to understand the wellspring of intolerance that's frequently unleashed in India, you have to look hard and deep at the role culture plays in fostering such a mood.

Any culture that's collectivistic in its orientation advocates stripping the individual of rights. Especially those that may seem to threaten the collective's sensibilities. What's more, the collective also dictates social strictures that make its way into law. Such laws are crafted to allow the collective to lord over the individual. Its stipulation to the individuals center around saying, 'you, the individual exists for us'.

Cultures that take to individualism advocate just the opposite. They mandate the collective to be subject to the individual. They design and allow the collective, so individual rights can be better protected. In collective cultures like India, individuals don't s…

Long live the Republic!

I'll begin by quoting our founders on democracy. James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, said that in a pure democracy, "there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual." At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Virginia Gov. Edmund Randolph said, "... that in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy." John Adams said, "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." Alexander Hamilton said, "We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real Liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship."
The word "democracy" appears nowhere in the two most fundamental documents of our nation --…

The Narcissist

You thought Barack's inaugural speech was about his hardcore liberal vision for America?

Think again.

The President under the garb of a vision was articulating his distaste for America and its founding ideals. What's more, he did what is so used to doing whilst mouthing off to his cabal. Make a grandiose display of his narcissism, loud and clear.

As Fay Voshel noted, I believe that Erich Fromm, author of The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness can help us understand just what we are dealing with in president Obama.  His analysis of malignant narcissism fits Barack Obama's profile to a tee.
One of the chief characteristics of the malignant narcissist: He is interested only in himself, his desires, his thought, his wishes... his ideas, his past, his plans; the world is real only as far as it s the object of his schemes and desires; other people matter only as far as they serve him or can be used; he always knows everything better than anyone else.

Death is a Deterrent!

First things first.

Kudos to the Justice Verma headed three member committee, and the supporting team for their 600 page report on how to make laws against sexual violence a bigger deterrent. 

But I have to disagree with Justice Verma when he says there's research evidence to show death penalty doesn't act as deterrent. Maybe he should read former public defender Jay Gaskill on the issue of death penalty and deterrence before he jumps to conclusions. 

Here's an excerpt from his essay, 'Death, Deterrence and Reform'.

The deterrence effect of the death penalty for deliberate killings has been widely studied with allegedly “inconclusive” results. A number of experts and organizations still claim that the death penalty doesn't work. But no respected study actually rules out death penalty deterrence, and some experts have found strong indications of a deterrence effect.

On this topic, many of my good hearted humanitarian friends are deeply out of touch with the common wi…

54,559,615 Innocents Murdered! Time taken, 40 Years!

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade. The National Right to Life Committee estimates that, in that time period, there have been 54,559,615 abortions in America...

That means, "The number means there are more than 3,300 abortions daily and 137 abortions per hour every hour in the United States. Translated another way, an abortion is done about every 30 seconds in the United States."

President Obama commemorated the day by reaffirming his support for abortion. "On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we reaffirm its historic commitment to protect the health and reproductive freedom of women across this country and stand by its guiding principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters, and women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care. Today and every day, my Administration continues our efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and …

11-6-2012: The Day America Changed

November 6, 2012 is the day America changed. 8 to 9 percent unemployment is the new normal. It’s good enough. 46 million people on food stamps is OK. It shows we care. Debt spending is good. It will get paid off some day and if not, our kids can worry about it. Trillion dollar deficits make sense. Socialized medicine is good. It will cost more, but did you honestly believe it wouldn’t? It doesn’t matter what you were told. Catholics should pay for abortions. Sandra Fluke is a prophet. Abortions and birth control should be free. We should fund abortions overseas, too. The First Lady should be allowed to blow millions on lavish vacations. The White House parties should cost millions, too. The president should play as much golf and basketball as he pleases. They deserve it. They work hard.  They’re Democrats. Greedy Americans should pay more taxes and millions of Americans who pay no taxes should receive more free money. It’s only fair. Businesses can afford to pay more taxes too. That’s wha…

Hold Me

By the Idiots, For the Idiots...

'You know you live in a Country run by idiots if…
You can get arrested for expired tags on your car but not for being in the country illegally.

Your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more of our money.

A seven year old boy can be thrown out of school for calling his teacher “cute”, but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable.

The Supreme Court of the United States can rule that lower courts cannot display the 10 Commandments in their courtroom…while sitting in front of a display of the 10 Commandments.

Children are forcibly removed from parents who appropriately discipline them while children of “underprivileged” drug addicts are left to rot in filth infested cesspools of a ‘home’.

Hard work and success are rewarded with higher taxes and government intrusion, while at least some slothful, lazy behavior is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing, a…

The Good & Bad of Brand Loyalty

There's learning in knowing why Jaden doesn't heed to us when it comes to homework. He wants to stick to his teacher's approach on how its to be done. Any attempts to try and talk alternatives are stonewalled.

Let me tell you why.

By virtue of her position, Jaden's teacher wields power over her class of students which brings within its wake, unquestioning obedience. The formal circumstances associated with a school's environment perceptually heightens the strength of the power being wielded. Jaden and his classmates come to learn in no time, school's where one has little choice (not so at home) but to obey. The impressionable age that Jaden and his classmates are at, adds to the effect. In fact, Jaden comes home believing his parents can't know better than his teacher.

So he insists it will be the way of his teacher.

In many ways when consumers turn loyal, they are in effect doing the Jaden-homework-act. They buy into a value proposition to the extent they…

Who Needs Pictures

Sensitization: Why Indian Society doesn't stand a chance

If you consider the social variables that divide Indian society you'll see why breeding sensitization will remain a pipe dream. Sensitivity is called for when you engage with an 'other'. Engaging with care calls for understanding and empathy for the other. Such understanding and empathy is easy if the other is of 'your kind'. For example, its easier for gays to empathize with other gays because they share a similar lifestyle and sexual orientation. Conversely, heterosexuals will find it hard to connect to homosexuals precisely because the two part ways when it comes to the procreative act. 
India's populace is wracked and divided as a society by innumerable social variables. People differ, one from another in their identities on caste, sub-caste, creed, ethnicity, religion, language, customs, practices, norms...the list is endless. This means for every group of 'similars' in India, there are many others packed with people who are 'dissimilars'.…

The Paradox of Liberty

The paradox of liberty extends to its defense and preservation.  If force can take away liberty, force is necessary to preserve it.  It is the hatred of violence alongside the willingness to use violence that preserves liberty.  In order for us to live as free men, we have to hate the violence that takes away liberty, yet at the same time, we must embrace the violence that preserves it.  That is the paradox our founders appreciated and made work for over 200 years. 
'Modern liberals, however, do not fear the "long train of abuses and usurpations" because they do not believe in popular sovereignty.  They worship tyrannical authority.  Liberals show affection to and apologize for evil men like Hugo Ch├ívez, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Mao Tse-Tung, Bill Ayers, the Muslim Brotherhood.  They show disdain for patriots like John Adams, Patrick Henry, Joe McCarthy, Ronald Reagan, and the Tea Party.  Liberals fear their liberty-loving neighbors more than they do their power-hungry …

Why gender-sensitization is chasing a pipe-dream

My problem with gender sensitization as a solution to violence against women stems from the specificity being asked for in its practice. Meaning, all recommendations converge on promoting greater sensitivity towards women. Its understandable why, as such exhortations come in the aftermath of a horrific crime.

The problem with this approach is its lack of 'genericity'. Here's how.

Ensconced behavioral traits possessed are generic in the way they get displayed in exhibited behavior. Every context that results in a certain behavioral response will see a repetition of the response, despite changes for example in the people party to it, or the place it gets displayed at, if the context is held intact. Take the ability to be sensitive. It wouldn't matter who the object is, for sensitivity to play out. The response of a sensitive person will always be measured and empathetic. Conversely an insensitive person will continue on exhibiting insensitivity no matter who its being d…

When Win-Win is brilliant Marketing

There's something spectacular about the way Alphy handles our verbal back and forth. All the times (which is most of the times) she's pinned me, I've come out the exchange grinning. That's because though I'm the one calling out touche', she's executed her scores with grace. Meaning my loss hasn't meant lost pride. Alphy's graceful sophistication ensures I am left standing, grin intact.

Now that's a quality I probably won't ever have. If I've prevailed, you can the bet the other party is lying in wait to settle scores.

Scary!

The ability to score and have your opponent enjoy the experience is truly remarkable. In some way that's the way of a few marketers too. Take Kerala Tourism for example. Their monsoon holiday marketing is remarkable in the sense it gets people to buy in to the worst holiday possible (when it rains in Kerala, it pours!), by presenting it as precious opportunity to kindle a romance. In fact the strapline to the pr…

I will not be disarmed

Senator Dianne Feinstein,

I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one. I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America. I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man. I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformat…

Forgiveness

Choices we make dictate lives we lead

The point that peer influence can prompt adoption of a certain behavior is well taken. Agreed, herd mentality may have played a part in the horrific Delhi rape case. But to the question asked, does that make the 'influenced participant' liable for the act, is easily answered.

Absolutely yes! Let me explain.

Take the case of serial killers. The fact that most have had abused childhoods has been found in some cases to be a contributing factor to their murderous behavior. In the research paper, 'The incidence of child abuse in serial killers', Heather Mitchell & Michael J Aamodt note, 'with these considerations in mind, the prevalence of childhood abuse found among lust serial killers could be counted as a contributing factor toward creating a dysfunctional way of dealing with others, consistent with the punishment that they doled out to others. Since a portion of the murderers experienced no abuse, it may not be considered as the sole contributing factor or caus…