Digital Cabinet

Polevaulter Donkeyman's rants, raves musings and flame wars

Archive for August 2012

As if Viagra was never invented

leave a comment »

The Indian market has recently been invaded by a “vagina-tightening” gel 18 Again



Cue predictable outrage from Jezebel

Jesus, India — couple this with your vaginal whitening cream and you’re really starting to give us a run for our pussy-shaming money. Time to step up our game, America. Did you really think we could coast on Vajazzling forever?


One wonders though, do Jezebel and Madeleine Davis have the same reaction towards Viagra? Do they prefer wet noodles inside of them? Are Viagra ads a form of cock-shaming? Is it OK to make men feel inadequate? No mention of that of course. What do you expect from Jezebel?


From an Indian newsmagazine

American author Naomi Wolf writes that while one could look at the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, grey hair and the loosening of skin on an older woman as a mark of experience, the proud scars of what one has lived through — advertising for ‘female’ products almost always projects ageing as a disease that needs to be fixed.


And advertising for ‘male’ products don’t project ageing as a disease that needs to be fixed? I have yet to see young men in ads for Viagra and Cialis.


Advertisements

Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 19, 2012 at 21:20

Posted in hypocrisy

Tagged with

Tha Grauniad has forgotten Eliot Spitzer

leave a comment »

The Grauniad on the twelve top TV lawyers:

The Good Wife has been hailed by many critics as a post-feminist legal drama, and it many ways it is: lawyer-turned-stay-at-home-mother Alicia Florrick is wronged by her powerful state’s attorney husband, who is caught red-handed in a sexual scandal and sent to jail (parallels with DSK are so obvious that viewers may wonder which came first: reality or fiction).

What?

The Good Wife has obvious parallels with DSK? Or maybe with someone else? Let’s tabulate.

The Good Wife DSK Eliot Spitzer
The Wife Stay at home mother, former lawyer Journalist Former lawyer, involved in charitable causes
The Husband Former State Attorney, now running for governor Former IMF chief, French Finance Minister Former state attorney-general, governor
Scandal, husband is caught up in Prostitution and Corruption Prostitution, alleged rape Prostitution
Years set in[1] 2009- 2011- 2008


But not a single mention of Eliot Spitzer in the article (nor in the comments)? What do the creators of the show say?

We came up with the idea about a year and half ago. There had been this waterfall of these kinds of scandals, from Bill and Hillary [Clinton], to Dick Morris, to Eliot Spitzer, to name just a few. I think they’re all over our culture. And there was always this image of the husband up there apologizing and the wife standing next to him. I think the show began when we asked, “What are they thinking?” And Robert and I started talking about it from there.


Guess reality did come before fiction. Pity that even with three journalists working on it, the Grauniad missed it. Does the Grauniad not have access to Wikipedia?


Footnotes


[1] In case of The Good Wife, when the show started, of course that doesn’t exactly imply that the show is set in 2009-, but it helps in clarifying what came first, reality or fiction.

Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 18, 2012 at 17:31

How Government leads to Xenophobia aka Blame Canada!

leave a comment »

Given the strong Canadian dollar and the suppression of the price of milk in the US due to government subsidies, Canadians across the border from Bellingham, Wash., have been flooding across the border to buy milk by the truckful:

Many Canadians are taking advantage of the high Canadian dollar by shopping across the border — with cheap milk and gas being two of the big draws — but some Americans are fed up with the cross-border crowd.

Some Bellingham, Wa., residents started a Facebook page calling for American-only hours at the local Costco.

On the Facebook page “Bellingham Costco needs a special time just for Americans,” residents write that they have seen flats of milk stripped away in seconds.

Some write that they have to wait in long lines at the Costco gas station as Canadians fill up first their cars, and then their gas cans.


The Facebook page states:

To our Canadian friends on here that think we hate you: You have to look at the root of the problem. Bellingham has laws that keep big box companys from expanding. The overcowding in this small slow paced town has agitated people. … So, the surface problem is overcrowding and the root problem is expansion. Basically, how would you feel if 10 extra people landed in your house out of your control and government officials wont let you do anything about it. You would be grumpy at those 10 people that you have no choice but to deal with. Are those 10 people to blame, no they are not.


So:

  1. Governmental subsidies keep the price of US milk artificially low.
  2. Government regulations keep businesses from expanding.


Solution?

  • Let’s discriminate against Canadians!! Who cares about the tripling of sales tax revenue due to the massive influx of Canadians?
“In the last two years, our sales tax generation has doubled or tripled the pace in the rest of the state, and its almost entirely because of the Canadians coming south,” [Ken Oplinger, president of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce] said.[1]


And finally to the person who setup the Facebook page: Those 10 extra people are NOT in your house, they are in Costco. And as far as I know, Costco is NOT your private property. Too many people forget what private property is all about.. But atleast you don’t blame the Canadians; that should count for something.


Take it away South Park:


Footnotes


[1] Facebook page calls for American-only hours at U.S. Costco

Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 17, 2012 at 12:02

Radical Feminism, thy name is Collective Punishment

leave a comment »

Julie Bindel on radical feminism:

She says that while the booklet’s insistence that lesbianism could be a choice was controversial, debate was equally heated around the suggestion that men were the enemy. “We were trying to challenge the excuses used by some heterosexual feminists as to why they lived with Nigel or John,” she says. “They said, ‘Oh, but my man is OK,’ as a way of refusing to look at the fact that some men really do hate women.”

“Being a heterosexual feminist is like being in the resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe where in the daytime you blow up a bridge, in the evening you rush to repair it.”

I also suspect that it is very difficult to spend your daily life fighting against male violence, only to share a bed with a man come the evening. … why some feminists then block out the possibility of sexual relationships with their political sisters and instead turn to men for intimacy is beyond me.


So:

  1. All men are Nazis
  2. All men are equally responsible for the crimes of some
  3. All men are violent towards women
  4. The Resistance in Europe collaborated with Nazis; they blew up bridges in the daytime and repaired them in the night (that doesn’t make sense does it? Unless it was part of a Keynesian stimulus)


I don’t agree with Rush Limbaugh on a lot, but I do think “Feminazi” applies to radical feminists.


Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 16, 2012 at 12:25

Way to Hide the Ball BBC

leave a comment »

The BBC in an article about whether social media is another dotcom bubble:

Henry Blodget, editor-in-chief of Business Insider, believes the excessive valuations put on some social media companies were partly due to weakness in the economy in recent times, which left investors desperate for opportunities. …

But he says the good news is that the current technology bust is unlikely to be as serious as the one in 2000.

“To call the social media situation a bubble in the same way as the dotcom bust is almost an insult to a real bubble,” he says.

He played a controversial role promoting internet companies at that time and so is well placed to comment.


No shit, BBC. Blodget publicly bigged up stocks which he privately disparaged.[1] As the SEC stated in its settlement with Blodget:

Henry Blodget, a former managing director at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Incorporated and the senior research analyst and group head for the Internet sector at the firm, will be censured and permanently barred from the securities industry, and will make a total payment of $4 million to settle the charges against him.

The regulators charged that, among other things, Blodget, of New York City, issued fraudulent research under Merrill Lynch’s name, as well as research in which he expressed views that were inconsistent with privately expressed negative views. Blodget’s conduct constituted violations of the federal securities laws and NASD and NYSE rules, which require that, among other things, published research reports have a reasonable basis, present a fair picture of the investment risks and benefits, and not make exaggerated or unwarranted claims.


Footnotes


[1] Blodget’s internal e-mails

Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 15, 2012 at 11:46

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Agent Haddon Goes Wild for Taxes

leave a comment »

Author Mark Haddon has come out for higher income taxes on the wealthy like him:

“I’m a wealthy person. Austerity measures introduced by the coalition have caused real suffering to many people, but my comfortable life hasn’t changed in the slightest. Why have I, and people like me, been asked to contribute nothing?” Haddon told the Sunday Times he had annoyed his accountant by insisting on paying all tax that was due rather than seeking to avoid it. “I should be paying more tax,” he said.

(emphasis mine)


Mr. Haddon clarified on his blog:

also, for the record, all those on twitter and in the guardian comment columns who suggest that i simply send an extra cheque to the HMRC are missing the point. i am talking about a systemic, moral and political problem not personal feelings of guilt. and, in point of fact, i do send an extra cheque, but i send it to oxfam. some people think that’s wrong, too, but you can’t please everybody…

(emphasis mine)


Some questions for Mr. Haddon:

  1. What in your mind is the optimum marginal tax rate you should be paying?
  2. Why did you not cut a cheque to the HMRC based on your desired rate rather than paying only what was legally required?
  3. Did you take advantage of any deductions such as the personal allowance?
  4. Do you take any advantage of tax sheltered schemes such as Individual Savings Accounts, Pension Funds, National Savings Accounts, and other such devices?
  5. Would you release your tax returns (present and past) to the public?
  6. Do you take a deduction off your tax/taxable income because of your charitable contribution to Oxfam?
  7. Given that you do send an extra cheque to Oxfam (and your language makes it seem you see it as an adequate replacement for the tax you should be paying to the HMRC but don’t), if your tax rates are increased, would your contributions to Oxfam decrease? Do you think that higher tax rates would decrease contributions to charities by others?


To be charitable to Mr. Haddon there is a collective action problem here. He does not want to contribute alone to the HMRC, since his individual contribution would be minuscule given the total tax revenue. But that does not get him off the hook. His desire to pay more tax implies that the government spends wisely, so it speaks volumes that he does not trust the government enough to voluntarily give it more money, in fact he trusts Oxfam more. Is his call for higher taxes just a signal to all the “right-minded” folk that he is one of them?


And one final point. Mr. Haddon talks about the systemic, moral and political problem of low taxes and high austerity. But his solution is not to convince his fellow 1%-ers to contribute to charity to alleviate the hardships of people he claims to care about; it is to use the power flowing from the barrel of a gun, to force others to adopt his moral positions and to live as he prescribes.


The last word goes to Mr. Haddon:


P.S. Title of the post alludes to Agent Z Goes Wild, a children’s book by Mark Haddon.


Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 14, 2012 at 11:58

Dear New York Times, You Need to Try Harder

leave a comment »

From a New York Times article on the staggering wealth generated by casinos run by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Indian tribe in Minnesota:

Alan Meister, an economist who compiles tribal gambling data, said Minnesota’s 18 tribal casinos earned a combined $1.4 billion in 2010, although the Shakopees’ portion of that is unclear. But even if the tribe accounted for nearly the entire $1.4 billion, its philanthropy would compare well with corporations, even though the tribe receives no tax write-offs for giving.

For example, the tribe’s $28.5 million in charitable cash contributions in 2010 was more than those of several Minneapolis-area Fortune 500 companies, including the 3M Corporation, which had 2010 revenue of $23 billion, and U.S. Bancorp, which had $19.5 billion in revenue in 2010, according to the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

The New York Times of course fails to mention:

Indian tribal businesses do pay a wide variety of taxes, including taxes on wagering, occupational taxes, and employment taxes. For federal income tax purposes, however, Indian tribes are governmental entities and, as such, are not required to pay taxes on the income generated by the Indian tribes, including income generated by commercial activities.

State governments have no control or authority over Indian tribes unless specifically authorized by Congress.
  • In 2011, 3M was on the hook for USD 1.674 B (USD 331 M deferred) in corporate income tax.


The NYT does though thankfully concede:

tribal facilities do not pay direct state taxes because of the tribes’ status as sovereign nations.


And why have the Shakopee Mdewakanton been so spectacularly successful? From the NYT article

The primary anxiety is competing casinos being hurriedly opened by states in pursuit of new revenue. But more menacing, tribes say, is a sophisticated and growing movement to legalize Internet gambling under state laws that would give those states the potential power to regulate and tax online gambling even on reservations.


Monopoly profits being made due to laws which previously banned internet gambling and restricted casinos? Somehow I don’t have much sympathy for the Indian casinos.


Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 13, 2012 at 20:20

Grauniad and Nick Cohen, Your Bias is Showing

leave a comment »

Nick Cohen of The Observer has a column up on the prosecution of Simon Walsh for the possession of extreme pornography. A quote:

Charges of possessing extreme pornography are enough to destroy any man. When the Crown Prosecution Service added the allegation that the pornography included an image of child abuse, Simon Walsh’s disgrace seemed complete. He was a barrister, a City of London alderman, a magistrate and one of Boris Johnson’s appointees on the London Fire Authority. The mention of paedophile porn, and gay porn at that, sent these venerable institutions running.

I know it is hopeless to seek to dent Boris Johnson’s self-portrait of a carefree British patriot in this moment of Olympic euphoria, but it’s all an act. In the 1930s, a journalist confronted Brendan Bracken, Churchill’s bumptious sidekick, and bellowed: “You’re phoney! Everything about you is phoney! Even your hair that looks like a wig – isn’t!” Bracken had a mop of red hair to match Johnson’s mop of blond. If Johnson were a true, plain-speaking patriot, he would have stood by Britain’s best principle that a citizen is innocent until proven guilty. But he is a phoney, and his officials fired Walsh without a second’s thought.


Given that Cohen has taken, the requisite Guardian mandated, potshots at a Tory politician, what he chooses not to mention in his column is illuminating:

  1. The law under which Walsh was prosecuted, the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, §63 was passed by a Labour controlled Parliament.
  2. The law was heavily promoted by then Labour MP Martin Salter
“No-one is stopping people doing weird stuff to each other but they would be strongly advised not to put it on the internet. At the end of the day it is all too easy for this stuff to trigger an unbalanced mind. These snuff movies and other stuff are seriously disturbing. Many police officers who have to view it as part of their job have to undergo psychological counselling. [The Act] simply plugs a hole in the law because the Obscene Publications Act is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard as far as the internet is concerned. This new law is designed to meet the challenge of the internet.”[1]

“I am absolutely thrilled this law has been passed. But most of all I am delighted for Liz. If we can reduce some peoples’ temptation to watch violent images, including rape and mutilation, then that is a good thing. It is also important we protect the women who are in these videos.”[2]


But of course, no mention of Labour or any Labour MP anywhere in the article.


Footnotes


[1] ‘Extreme’ porn proposals spark row

[2] Justice for Jane as bill becomes law

Chik-fil-A knows its consumers

leave a comment »

Seems relevant given the shenanigans over Chik-fil-A:



Source


Moral of the Story: Make sure the people you support actually do buy your products?


Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 11, 2012 at 12:56

I Would Do Anything for My Country, But I Won’t Pay a 75% Marginal Income Tax Rate

with one comment

Will Smith (while promoting Men in Black III in France):

I have no issue with paying taxes and whatever needs to be done for my country to grow. I believe very firmly that my ability to sit here—I’m a black man who didn’t go to college, yet I get to travel around the world and sell my movies, and I believe very firmly that America is the only place on Earth that I could exist. So I will pay anything that I need to pay to keep my country growing.


Interviewer:

Do you know how much in France you would have to pay on earnings above one million euros [under new French President Francois Hollande’s proposal]? Not 30%. 75%.[1]


Will Smith:

75?! Yeah, that’s different, that’s different. Yeah, 75. Well, you know, God bless America.


(Interview at 0’20”)



Hat tip: Ed Krayewski at Reason


This Meat Loaf fella seems to have multiple disguises.


Footnotes


[1] Indigestion for ‘les Riches’ in a Plan for Higher Taxes.

Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

August 10, 2012 at 23:52