Saturday, November 21, 2009
Knox is the typical American female spoiled brat who now faces a life sentence for her role in the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher.
Knox sealed her own fate when she concocted several different versions of the what happened the night of Kercher's murder. Most disturbingly, Knox tried to implicate a local African business owner, Patrick Lumumba, of the crime but he was released after law enforcement officials cleared him and Knox's story changed.
This case is controversial because Knox is a relatively attractive, affluent, and white American female who is presumed to be innocent of such crimes by other Americans. Europe tends to be more realistic in their approach to judging women, and they tend to let the facts be their guide.
It is a forgone conclusion that Knox will be convicted and sent to prison for a long time. This case gives Men's Rights Advocate like me a sense of justice when American females get their due for heinous crimes that they may have gotten away with in the USA.
It also serves as notice to other American women that they cannot participate in crimes, implicate innocent people, change their stories and expect to be let off the hook like in the United States.
May the soul of Meredith Kercher rest in peace when Knox is finally locked away for good.
Friday, November 13, 2009
That's the key message from Charles Ortel of Newport Value Partners.
The U.S. and other developed countries have lost the discipline they once had and are now trying to borrow and spend their way out from under the mountains of debt they accumulated in recent years. In the process, they're prolonging the agony and moving closer to defaulting.
The U.S., at least, won't actually default, says Ortel, but as our situation worsens, the value of credit default swaps (insurance against default) should rise. So Ortel continues to recommend CDSs to his clients.
5-year credit default swaps on U.S. soverign debt currently trade for about 25 basis points (which means it costs $25K per $10M of notional value). How does that compare to other countries or states?
- Japan = 72 bps
- United Kingdom = 56 bps
- Germany = 21 bps
- California = 177 bps
- New York = 85 bps
No good news there. Ortel sees the DOW eventually heading back down to the 5,000-6,000 level, below the lows of earlier this year.
What will pull the nation out of this state of decline?
Instead of rewarding government workers with ever larger salary and benefits packages, we should fire whole swaths of them. Instead of borrowing more to spend on "stimulus," we should get out of the way and let the private sector do its thing.
In the meantime, about all investors can safely own is gold.
Monday, November 9, 2009
More of us have huge expectations of ourselves, our lives and everyone in them. We think the universe resolves around us, with a deluded sense of our own fabulousness, and believe we are cleverer, more talented and more attractive than we actually are.
We have trouble accepting criticism and extending empathy because we are so preoccupied with ourselves.
Am I making you angry by telling you this? It figures. Narcissistic or egotistical women do have an overwhelming sense of entitlement and arrogance.
Of course, I joke, but researchers say there is growing evidence of an epidemic of ego-itis everywhere.
Once a traditionally male syndrome, narcissism generally begins at home and in schools, where children are praised excessively, often spoiled rotten and given the relentless message that they are 'special'.
Psychology professors Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell analysed studies on 37,000 college students in 2006.
In a survey, 30 per cent of them said they believed they should get good grades simply for turning up.
But the sphere in which the signs of self-obsession are perhaps most obvious, and the consequences most immediately felt, is the dating one.
In a recent magazine article, four women in their late 20s and 30s shared their thoughts about why they were still single. A 39-year-old beauty director claimed to be too independent for a relationship.
A 38-year-old music agent attributed her single status to the fact she was an alpha female - independent, feisty, strong-minded, high-achieving and intimidating.
She pointed out that she owned a gorgeous flat with gorgeous things in it, had a nice car, was a member of a fancy gym and wore designer dresses. 'I do what I like, when I like,' she said.
She'd been told, and appears to believe, that she's too successful and too well-educated for most men.
The third woman, a 30-year- old arts writer and curator, has been having too much fun to settle down.
Another, a 29-year-old, said she was too picky. She was looking for a guy who is (just) tall enough. And (just about) good-looking enough (but not too good-looking so that she'd play second fiddle).
He needs to be successful, solvent and driven. He must also be long on genuinely good jokes, with a decent sideline in bad ones that only she finds funny.
He needs to 'speak good restaurant', to have no special dietary requirements and to always be discerning without ever being fussy.
He needs to be clever without ever making her feel stupid. He needs to 'get' but not 'know' fashion...and so the list went on.
She concluded that she would rather eat wasps than share her Sunday with anyone who fails to measure up to her idea of Mr Perfect.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with having high expectations. But being delusional and having a totally unrealistic blueprint are an altogether different matter.
And they often go hand in hand with acute ego-itis. As Margot Medhurt knows only too well.
She is the founder of Yours Sincerely, an Edinburgh-based personal dating and introduction agency for professionals. She has almost 30 years' experience in the industry and has noticed a significant rise in this phenomenon in recent years.
'It used to be that most women who joined a dating agency had a pretty good idea of where they stood in the eligibility stakes,' she said. 'But in the past few years, I've noticed that there are a significant number of women who don't.
'They tend to be in their 30s, and there is a wide discrepancy between how they perceive themselves and how others see them.
'They are often very plain, but see themselves as being absolutely fabulous, exceptional people.
'They invariably reject every guy's profile I send them. But if a guy rejects their profile, there is all hell to pay. There is disbelief. They are really saying: "I'm so fabulous. How dare he turn me down?"
'In the past few years, I've noticed a real sense of entitlement among this small group of women. The idea that a guy might not find them as amazing as they find themselves doesn't enter their head.
'They often become indignant and angry towards me, demanding to know why a guy dared to turn them down. Most people simply accept the facts of the dating game: some people will find you attractive and others won't, in the same way that you'll be drawn to some but not others.
'These women, however, are unable to get their heads around the fact that the rest of the world might not share the distorted, inflated view they have of themselves.'
She said she had a eureka moment when she read a recent article about the rise in narcissism among women.
According to the American research, there has been a 67 per cent increase in it over the past two decades, mainly among women.
An estimated ten per cent of the population suffers from narcissism as a full-blown personality disorder.
The symptoms include: a grandiose sense of self-importance; the belief that he or she is special or unique and in some way better - either intellectually or physically - than others; a requirement for excessive admiration; a sense of entitlement, whether to fame, fortune, success and happiness or simply to special treatment; enviousness of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her; an inability to empathise; an inability to admit a mistake; and haughty behaviour or attitude.
What researchers have also identified, and are far more worried about, is what has been described as 'normal' narcissism - a cultural shift that has seen even non-narcissistic people seduced by the emphasis on material wealth, physical appearance and celebrity worship.
The researchers believe our culture brings out narcissistic behaviour in almost all of us.
They blame the internet (where 'fame' is a click away), reality television (where the lure of fame without talent is most prevalent), easy credit (which enables people to buy far beyond their ability to pay), celebrity worship, our highly consumerist, competitive and individualistic society, and a generation of indulgent parents who have raised their children to think they're special, amazing and perfect.
According to Twenge, this focus on self-admiration has caused a cultural flight from reality to the land of grandiose fantasy.
We have phony rich people (who actually have massive mortgages and piles of debt), phony beauty (via plastic surgery), phony celebrities (via reality TV and YouTube), phony genius students (with grade inflation) and phony friends (with the social networking explosion).
'I had noticed this trend, but wasn't really sure what it was all about,' says Margaret Medhurt.
'However, when I read that article and thought about the unrealistic expectations and sense of entitlement among some of the women, it really struck a chord.
'One of the cases that brought it home to me involved a 38-year-old businesswoman.
'I knew there were going to be problems right away. As soon as someone joins the agency, we get things moving very quickly - but this wasn't quick enough for this woman.
'She wanted a date immediately. The first man I sent her profile to declined an introduction and she was extremely cross. She couldn't accept it and she couldn't even be polite about it.
'In three weeks, three men turned her down. I explained that it takes time to meet someone but she just got angrier and angrier. She was demanding to know why these guys did this. I was trying to get the balance right - between being honest with her and being tactful.
'I think, ultimately, she had a very flawed perception of herself. And she almost couldn't bear that it was being challenged. It was as if she couldn't deal with the fact that some guys didn't think she was amazing - and she left.'
Men, traditionally regarded as the more self-centred of the species and the rogues of the mating game, are left scratching their heads and pondering Freud's famous question: what do women want?
David Baxter (not his real name) is a 40-year-old management consultant. Previously married for nine years, he joined a dating agency in the summer.
He says he's not perfect, but is told he's an eligible and pleasant guy with a lot to offer.
'I've had three successive dates recently with ladies in the late 30s to early 40s age bracket that have left me dumbfounded,' he said.
Friday, November 6, 2009
The shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, is of Arab Jordanian descent.
When are we going to learn that just because someone is a US citizen does not mean he is "American" per se? This individual killed young soldiers because his core was Islamic extremism incompatible with his "American" charade.
When are we going to wake up? This is but the first of many instances like this I fear.
My heart goes out to the families and communities of the victims, and may the naivete of the United States finally subside to permit us to open our eyes.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Yesterday I was having an intelligent discussion with a very perceptive young lady from Europe. This young lady was confused when an American female acquaintance of hers stated that she does not know if she wants to settle down and have children even though she has a nice boyfriend. The American's rationale was, "I'm only 32 years old!"
My friend who is all of 20 years old, is correct to be perplexed as such feminist-inspired thinking. The American female is deluded into thinking that 32 is young; in fact 32 is over the hill as far as clear-thinking men are concerned.
It takes a trip out of the US to listen to how others view American foolishness. This 32 year old, who is slightly overweight and quite plain-looking, needs to do her future children a favor by choosing to not have them at all. I shudder at the thought of what kind of mother she would be with such a deluded mentality.