Saturday, February 28, 2009

Paul Harvey, Good Day

Good night Paul. My (albeit very cursatory) farewell;

Useful Idiots

Good god. What a bunch of genuine, worthless morons.

Tim Robbins explains;

The Crisis of Credit Visualized

Excellent and outstanding simplification of the credit crisis (almost as good as my book ;)

Every adult and child should watch this, especially the idiots who like to blame the current recession of Bush.


Spit on the Face

I am 33 years old.

I have chest hair.

Ear hair.

Nose hair.

You name it, I have it. Soon those hairs will turn gray as I further my aging into middle age-hood.

Thus, one would think that given my age I am not some young man, or late teenager, certainly not a child, and definitely not a toddler.

Tell that to my girl.

We were eating sushi for my birthday. I had a little bit of wasabi or something on my face.

Now, does said girl say, "Captain, you have something on your face. You should wipe it off?"

Does said girl say, "Captain, go to the bathroom and clean up your face. You have some crap on it?"

Does said girl say, "Captain, hold still while I take this napkin and wipe the food from your face?"

No, what does she do?

She licks her thumb, plying a near gallon of saliva and spit on it and then circa my mother in 1978 starts to smudge off the grit on my face with her spit-laden thumb.

I stood there in utter shock because my brain was caught between being grossed out by having spit smushed on my cheek and coming to grips with the concept that a full grown woman was actually doing this to a 33 year old man (replete with nose, ears and elbow hair).

I just stood there, giving the girl a look of disbelief. I said, "Did you just do what I thought you did?"

She giggles and walks to her car.

Worthless College Classes

Anybody see the relationship I see?




Anti-Arpaio Protest Today - marchers aim to raise national awareness (by JJ Hensley of The Arizona Republic)

In the 11 months since Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon kicked off the informal campaign against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio with a speech at the Cesar Chavez luncheon, politicians and pundits from around the country have followed suit.
They've written letters calling for federal investigations, staged demonstrations at meetings of the county supervisors, picketed daily outside Arpaio's office in downtown Phoenix and held candlelight vigils.
And little has changed.
The profile of those calling for federal intervention has risen, from Gordon to the head of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers.
Still, workplace raids and immigration dragnets by the Sheriff's Office persist.
Today, organizers say nearly 1,000 demonstrators are scheduled to march through downtown Phoenix in another effort to call attention to Arpaio's immigration-enforcement tactics and the agreement with the federal government that allows sheriff's deputies to act as immigration officers.
"They're trying to use me as the whipping boy," Arpaio said.
"The underlying effort is to get the president to do something about illegal immigration," he added. "I have no objection (to the protest), but I'm not going to change my policies."
This protest does come with a dose of celebrity - former Rage Against the Machine lead singer Zach de la Rocha asked fans to join him in protesting Arpaio - but organizers agree with Arpaio that the march is designed to bring national attention to Maricopa County as much as it is to raise the awareness of residents.
"I think the people of Maricopa County have become numb to the outrageousness of Arpaio's actions," said Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and one of the march's organizers.
"The rest of the country is here to shake Maricopa County by the shoulders and say, 'What has happened in your community is not right,' " Newman said.
Voters failed to heed those same cries in the fall.
In the months leading up to Arpaio's victory over former Buckeye Police Chief Dan Saban, that was the consistent message from Arpaio's critics.
Arpaio went on to receive just more than 55 percent of the votes to win his fifth consecutive term in office.
That's probably part of the reason this incarnation of an anti-Arpaio campaign has a national flavor, said Michael McQuarrie, a sociology professor at the University of California-Davis.
"The civil-rights movement was successful by really leveraging national-level politicians and national-level allies and outflanking the local folks," McQuarrie said.
The tactics, goals and outcomes of the civil-rights movement are frequently invoked in this campaign against Arpaio, who is sometimes depicted as a "modern-day Bull Connor," the Birmingham, Ala., police commissioner who famously fought civil-rights activists with attack dogs and fire hoses.
Arpaio points out that he is simply enforcing the law, and if people want him to stop, they should change the laws.
Changing the federal policy that allows local law-enforcement agencies to serve as immigration officers is one of the main objectives to this weekend's activity, Newman said.
President Barack Obama, who appointed former Gov. Janet Napolitano as secretary of Homeland Security, has signaled a shift in immigration policy that would rely less on work-site enforcement and focus instead on employers who hire illegal immigrants and overall immigration reform.
Napolitano also has signaled her intent to review all immigration programs, including the 287 (g) agreement.
Even if that federal authority were voided, a pair of state laws would allow Arpaio to continue the workplace raids: using the state's employer sanctions law to launch ID-theft investigations and work-site enforcement, and arresting illegal immigrants on suspicion of being co-conspirators in their own smuggling.
Given the support residents here have shown for Arpaio, along with politicians and ballot measures that are tough on illegal immigrants, holding Arizona up as a national example of immigration enforcement gone wrong is the best hope for change, organizers said.
McQuarrie said the prospect of today's march getting lost in the wave of anti-Arpaio activism makes it imperative for organizers to seize on something positive.
"When the civil-rights people were doing the protest thing, that was sort of new. Now, protests have become an important performance, but it's accepted as performance, and it doesn't come with the same sort of moral outrage as it used to," he said.
"But protest often works because it forces people to make a choice. It's impossible to ignore the disruption."

Email comments and questions to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pour Yourself a Martini, Light Up a Cigar...

and if you have the time read an interesting, but true tale of a gumshoe blogger and the weird and crazy path his detective skills inadvertently led him.

Then go on to part II.

Then pour yourself another martini and be thankful you're not "Single in the Suburbs" and relatively sane.


Oh, isn't that heavenly!?

Americans will pay for their stupidity.
27 Feb 09

Question Time With Brandon the Occult Killer

Dubbed the Occult Killer by the media, Brandon is serving 6 to 12 years in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Brandon’s crime: he killed his best friend in a drunk-driving accident.

Chris H wrote:

Hola and greetings, I dunno man... "we had games of Sorry that ended in violence", "we threw our weight around"... Sounds like you were getting involved in some action that goes against your later comment of being done and not wanting to be a repeat offender. Why did you refuse the cell move order? Surely if you want to get parole you should be doing anything and everything you can to keep your nose clean. Is moving cells such a big deal?Brandon responded:

I guess I should know better than to think that sarcasm and subtle exaggeration can be conveyed by print alone. What my small crew and I did in county was more like “Jackass” pranks than beatings and stabbings indicative of incarcerated badasses. “Antiquing” guys beds with baby powder, overflowing toilets, and “upstate prep school for first timers,” which was basically Fight Club hosted in my cell. For jail (or damn near anywhere), it was harmless fun.

Now, I want you to do me a favor and reread that blog. This time, picture Dr. Evil’s monologue (note-which I probably don’t need to include, but it’s from the movie Austin Powers-Sue) about his childhood: “Summer in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we’d make meat helmets. When insolent, I was placed in a burlap sack and beaten with reeds, pretty standard…My father made outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. He accused chestnuts of being lazy…”—this is the tone I’m trying to set.

About the cell move, I was set up to take a fall. My cellie at the time was Magic Show, a guy I had met on I-block a few years ago. He was an alright dude, so I took him in when his old cellie was busted for running numbers and landed 45 in the Twist. That guy, Brian, is always messing with the cops and getting other inmates in trouble, generally breaking prisoner code and being an all-around bad money douchebag. I should have known he would come back and raise hell about getting Magic back as a cellie, and that’s what he did.

45 days later, I’m woken up by a call to the desk. The CO, one of Brian’s best buds, throws me some roundabout farce to the tune of “Brian’s bottom bunk status, would you mind giving up yours and moving out?”

He doesn’t issue a direct order, just kindly asks. I’m not giving up anything to the pile of shit, so I kindly respond “no thanks.” 15 mins later, I’m drinking coffee getting prepped for clothing exchange when I get called back to the desk. I’m then informed that the move I just agreed to is complete and I should pack. I was annoyed, now enraged, and begin to throw a fit. Why should I allow myself to be jerked by this asshole who doesn’t understand no? A phone call later, I’m being escorted to the box by a Lt. and 2 CO’s, one with a camcorder. All I can think of is the DOC policy “planned use of force will be video taped.”

More than anything, I was disappointed in Magic. I’d known him for a while, helped him into a cell, and he hung me out to dry. I don’t expect much, a simple objection like “he’s a good dude, don’t mess up his job” would have sufficed, something! What I should have done was eaten it and acquiesced to the move, then dropped a formal grievance on the CO. Afterwards, I would kindly ask him to expire in an auto accident on the drive home, i.e. ‘I hate you, die.’

It was a bad situation I mishandled, but it felt good to stand up to the cops and be in the right, regardless of being punished. Besides, it was only a class II infraction, which drops off after 6 months, not to mention my first offence. If my charge alone doesn’t hem up my parole, little else will.

Click here to read Brandon’s intro blog.

Click here to read more from Brandon at Prison Mom.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Email comments and questions for Brandon to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I am so buying one.

ht to Kate

A, Oh! Copernicus!

You're daily funny ha ha.

How Commercials Predict a Collapse of Society

The human brain, constantly bombarded with commercials on TV, the internet and the radio automatically tune them out so as not to waste precious calories of energy paying attention to them.

However, though my brain has more or less made it so the stimulus from commercials never really gets past my brain stem, something went atwitter in my brain while watching my favorite TV show, Hogans Heroes.

It was daytime and the commercials were all of the daytime TV variant;

"Are you a loser? Then go to college at your local degree mill! We offer Phd's in just 18 months!"

"Are you struggling under debt? Then call the Dead Beat Debt Consolidation Program. Expert financial advisors are standing by now to show you how to not pay back the money you owe!"

"Injured or just willing to say you've been? Call Chitty Ays Lawyers at 1-800-GOEF-SOCIETY."

And so forth and so on.

However, what went atwitter was the sheer volume of these commercials and just what a high percentage of them were for losers. It's almost as if all people during the daytime are idiots and the marketing suggests it. But what was truly eerie was I started to take note of just what percentage of the commercials were for losers during the rest of the day.

These commercials are on ALL THE TIME.

Extract yourself, if you will, from the US and imagine you're from a more "responsible" or "mature" country like Finland or Sweden. You come over here and on the TV is nothing but commercials for debt consolidation, credit cards, worthless degrees and personal injury lawyers. We don't see it, because we're inundated with it, but that still doesn't mean it isn't happening, nor does it change the statement it makes about America. If you take the time to actually observe just what a high percentage of total commercials these "loser" commercials account for, it is a scary testament to the status of the average American.

It doesn't matter if it's daytime TV (although there is more of a frequency) these commercials account for a jaw dropping percent of total commercials. Yes there is the debt consolidation and 2 year degree mills, but can you remember the last time you didn't hear a damn commercial for Viagra? Or some commercial for another stupid, inane weight loss program (because that "eat less and exercise more" concept is so freaking hard to understand). Or a check cashing place?

When I started paying attention to the commercials, two I find particularly interesting because they are a testament to the deteriorating economic condition this country's in;

Consignment shops


Cash for gold or "gold brokers."

People are hocking gold and personal items for cash, AND I HEARD THESE ADVERTISEMENTS ON TALK RADIO!

The larger point is this; commercials are a free market (and therefore very accurate) reflection of society. And whereas I would like commercials to be for things like personal F-16 fighter planes, documentaries on economics, encyclopedias, hovercars, surgeon school and other goods and services which would indicate a successful, productive and educated society, sadly it's the complete opposite.

Sex pills, means by which you can get "cash quick," weight loss, debt relief, lawyers, consignment shops, you name it, all point to a society that has not only lost its desire to be industrious, responsible and hard-working, but to a society that is on the brink of collapse.

Of course, again, I'm just the ole fuddy duddy. The curmudgeon that likes to spoil everybody's good time. The meanie that points out mean and harsh things (no matter how true they may be). But if you don't believe me, just try it yourself. Next time you're watching TV or listening to the radio or surfing the net, actually listen/watch/read the advertisements and see just what a high percentage these commercials are.

It really is eerie and depressing at the same time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Classes on Investing and Stocks

Hey, you!

Take a class!

Do it now! Do it!
25 Feb 09

From Warrior (Letter 5)

Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.



Hey bud, how are you? First, let me apologize for the delay. It’s been a crazy month. I was ill for a minute with a nasty cold, then had to move to a new building, went through three bunkies, now here I am again. Whewww….

So allow me to start from the holidays. Obviously I’d rather spend time elsewhere, but they weren’t too bad,
Christmas I woke up to a hot Arizona day. You wouldn’t even imagine it to be winter given that it was so warm. We always seem to be locked down come the holidays. The prison is always “short staffed” because so many officers call in sick. Unfortunately we had no rec, but were able to make phone calls. Everyone was on the phone on that day. Some guys had visits too. The dinner was a piece of turkey, stuffing, peach cobbler with whipped cream, vegetables and a roll. All in all it was a quiet day.

New Years was a different story. As I’ve mentioned emotions run high around the holidays. Well, for some reason on the day we were all scheduled to receive our commissary items, commissary staff wouldn’t make it down. New Year’s was on a Thursday and commissary people don’t work on Friday. So rumour had it that we all weren’t going to get commissary until the following week on Monday.
Now one thing other than mail that a man locked up looks forward to throughout the week is commissary. Given that the yard was dry with no drugs either just added to the reason for everyone to rally together.
So as dinner happened, everyone refused to lock down. You should have seen it, every officer was in our building with mace in hand. Captains, sergeants, and lieutenants all came to try and deescalate the situation, but no one was having it. We demanded to talk to the warden and only the warden. It was intense. I thought I was about to eat a face full of chemicals and end up in the hole.
He came down, and claimed he didn’t have the authority to override the commissary people because they are a contracted company. He did it anyway because he was about to have a riot occur over store. A security issue trumps everything. So we eventually received our store and Homeland Security went down a couple of colors.
We all ended the year wired on coffee and chocolate, and banged our cell doors like mad as the clock struck 12:00. What a way to end ’08!

The holidays had me swamped. A bunch of birthdays kept me bust sketching portraits of loved ones. I’ll sketch you a picture or portrait one of these days.

I took your advice and picked up a subscription to Writer’s Digest. I really enjoy it. I’m going to try and enter some stories in their competitions and see where it goes.

I wish you and your loved ones all the best. Hope the day and week has been good to you. Keep it positive always. Remember what Buddha said, “A man may conquer a thousand men, in a thousand different battles, yet he who conquers himself is the greatest victor.”

Much love,


Click here to read Warrior’s latest story.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Email comments and questions for Warrior to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Yes, You Can Run Away From Your Problems

Is it bad of me to take joy in watching these people lose their cars?

Eh, who knows. Maybe Dubai will start an immigration campaign to recruit overtaxed, productive Americans.

Ummm, I'll Take "Parents Are to Blame" for $600 Alex

All humans are equal. Not due to some kind of doctrine or text written up by some old fogeys in the 1700's, but because it's true.

All humans have the same DNA and ergo, barring instances of mental impairment, all humans genuinely, literally and factually are equal.

Ergo, why I don't blame the kids, I blame the parents.

But you can see where this is going; we're going to prevent kids from excelling as it may be deemed racist.

Help us all.

ht to Maggie's Farm

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Joe Soucheray Should Replace Sean Hannity

I'm driving down to Mankato, a regional town about 70 miles to the south of the Twin Cities. The problem is that my favorite radio show at this hour, Garage Logic with Joe Soucheray is on an AM station. Thus, as I drive further and further away Joe's voice is garbled out, progressively replaced with static and then intermittent excerpts of Jesus stations and country. Soon, the background noise is too much to handle and I click to KTLK 100.3 FM to rely upon their longer radius of broadcast. Who else is on, but Sean Hannity?


In his nasally pinched voice "Hello my friends" and all the people calling in "You're a great American Sean Hannity" I want to drive to New York or wherever he is an punch him. Not that I don't agree with him. Not that I don't personally like him. Not that I don't appreciate what he does for the country, but the whole idea that Sean Hannity has the SECOND most popular radio show on talk radio is annoying. And the reason it is annoying is not because of Sean Hannity himself, but because of the people that listen to him.

Sean Hannity is milquetoast. He's boring, it's predictable and it's cookie cutter. But that is also his audience. The stay at home mom that realized her child psychology degree wouldn't land her a job, ended up getting married, having a kid and now, NOW at the age of 40 while staying at home realizes than the past 22 years she was voting democrat all this time was wrong.

"Oh well! *giggle giggle* I guess at least I got Hannitized!"

Or the college kid who couldn't defend himself out of a paper bag if he was really tested on free market philosophy and only does so to belong to some semblance of a club.

Or the mindless American patriot who thinks that because this was a great nation, it still is a great nation and since our greatness is great and because this is the greatest nation, then we'll continue being the greatest nation because of the simply fact we're Americans, and therefore we must be great.

And this is my main contention with the show, is his listeners. They are just as cookie cutter and predictable and mass-produced suburbanite home as his show. There really isn't a lot of depth. There really isn't anything but platitudes and pleasantries of that disgusting and annoying and Minnesota-fake-nice;

"You're a great American Sean Hannity."

"You're a great American too, sir!"

Oh just drop the fakeness, please.

No, but there I am trapped, forced to listen to Sean Hannity as my only other option is NPR or the Christian rock station.

I want somebody that is unique and real. Give me a anger filled, angst ridden, tirade-spewing Michael Savage.

Give me the incredible wisdom of Dennis Prager.

Heck, I'll even settle for the goofy, yet lovable Mike Gallagher.

But Hannity?

"You're a great American! Hello my friend! Isn't America great! We're all great patriots eating at Applebee's shopping at Ambercrombie and Fitch. Communism sucks! And that's why this is a great nation! Hurray for us, we're all Americans! I want a suburbanite townhome with an SUV! Let's watch American Idol! I'll order some chicken quesadillas, but not too spicy!"

Ergo, let me at least beg and plead with the local FM talk station here in Minneapolis, KTLK.

Look, you poached all the good talent from AM 1500;

Rush Limbaugh
Jason Lewis
and (though I don't agree with it, he is the second largest radio show) Sean Hannity.

Since you got Jason Lewis and he's gone national, could you perhaps do the world a favor and replace Hannity with Joe Soucheray? It would be the nail on the coffin of AM 1500 and then you guys wouldn't have to be splitting a market that isn't big enough for two talk stations. Souchery would do immensely better locally, but could feasibly replace Hannity.

Besides, I wouldn't have to be forced into the horrible decisions as to whether to listen to Sean Hannity or NPR which leaving the metro area.

When Men Leave the Market

I have received a fair amount of criticism from my regular readers about the "pro-male" bent I have taken in the past year at the PERCEIVED sacrifice of economics. But I shall make two points;

1. No matter how much brilliant and empirical economic data I posted, and no matter how much if people had adhered to it, we wouldn't have had this economic crisis, it never seems to stick with the average population because it is math and therefore boring. Additionally, unless I say, "free money for every one, Barack Obama ponies" nobody is really interested in economics, no matter how much it may solve all of our problems today.

2. The "man world" is DIRECTLY related to the economic crisis we face today AND IS ALSO THE SOLE SOLUTION to our economic problems today. It is the forefront of the battlefield and is precisely where all economic analysis should be focused (that is assuming we care to solve our little economic problems we face today). You want the recession to end? You want unemployment back to 4%? You want oil back below $2 a gallon? You want the US back on the road to supreme economic and military dominance and security? You want a world where your precious little children actually have a future? Put men back in charge (of course, what is funny, is if things keep going the way they are, men will inevitably end up in charge again, but it won't be the nice ones who appreciate democracy and the sanctity of women).

Regardless, I have been meaning to tie the two together in a brilliant piece I've been planning for a while, but frankly, I really am disincentived to do such a thing because, well... I'm too busy pursuing my own selfish pursuits. It will come, but I, like many other men, are no longer trying to do "what's best for society" and instead are packing it in for our own finite lives and enjoying it while we can before a collapse inevitably comes. Besides, if nobody is going to listen, then imagining I'm on the wild west frontier in Red Dead Redemption is much more fun than yelling into a hurricane.

Ergo, allow me a quote and a link which will only provide further evidence to the ground swell of a movement fueled by 2 generations of genetics in men being suppressed, which, in the end will have their day in the sun;

"After 45 years of being told they are pigs, sexist, and good for nothing, men have quit trying to please others, so they slap on a baseball cap and don’t talk much. And with good reason."
"What do you have to offer these men you call child-men if they do man up? Are you going to ensure that they have fair access to their children should they divorce? Will you make sure that they aren’t hauled off to jail if the wife makes false accusations of domestic violence? Will you let them keep the earnings and property that they worked for over years rather than have them turned over to their wife, even if she cheated and was abusive? Will you shield the millions of men who live in fear of their significant other but have nowhere to turn for help? Will you make marriage, in other words, as valuable to men as you think it is for women?"
"Well, such are the fruits of half a century of organizing gender relations along the lines of women’s immediate desires. Long term, it has resulted in men bailing out, going “John Galt” in the gender economy. And I can understand the disappointment. But I don’t share it. As you sow, so shall you reap."

Sadly, and I want you to pay attention to this statement;

Men DO account for HALF the population and unfortunately MUST be considered when opining about sociological, economic and political matters.

In the meantime you will forgive us if we just plain opt not to marry, breed, or just in general, participate in society. Because, well frankly, what's the upshot?

In the meantime, enjoy the decline!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dr. Robert Shiller Finally Updates His P/E Data

Robert Shiller, as some of you know, is arguably one of the finest economic minds in the US. Which is of course why he isn't in Obama's cabinet.

Regardless, he has hands down the best economic data regarding a very important measure, the Price to Earnings Ratio.

Now I've mentioned this ratio before as to how it is used to gauge whether a stock is over or undervalued. By comparing the price of a stock to it's earnings you compare essentially what you pay versus what you get. The resulting ratio the Price to Earnings Ratio or "P/E" ratio essentially shows you what you pay in stock price for one dollar in earnings.

Historically the average stock represented by the S&P 500 has traded around a P/E of 15, denoted by the horizontal blue line. And though the stock market has taken a 25 year hiatus from sane and rational valuations due to dotcom bubbles, housing bubbles, oh and that whole thing where the Baby Boomers were told to invest their money in the stock market for retirement, it has finally returned to a more sane P/E of 13 (as Dr. Shiller FINALLY updated
this somewhat vital statistic on his web site);

Now a lot of people would say, "wow, gee whiz, now is the time to buy! We're finally below 15" but hold on there little buckaroos. There's just one little catch.

The "E" in the P/E ratio is earnings. Earnings from the previous 12 months. In other words, the past. The problem is the past is not what concerns people or drives stock prices. It's the future, and right now the future looks bleak. Sure earnings were alright for 2008, but 2009 they look to be horrible. And while the P/E ratio may be lower now, if earnings drop, then "E", the denominator of the P/E ratio will also drop, driving up the P/E ratio, meaning you're still paying too much P for what is going to be a dwindling or not existent E. Long story short, you could easily see a Dow Jones of about 5,000.

But don't worry about it, I hear Obama will save us.

Total Systemic Failure

It was 1998 and I was working for Norwest. I was a foolish, idealistic young analyst who actually thought that profitability and efficiency were things that corporations would like to achieve. Led through my studies in college to think somehow managers and bosses would appreciate faster, cheaper and more efficient ways of doing things, I thought that if I could find a way to do something better they would appreciate it.

Now, already many of you are seeing the train crash coming, but in my defense they falsely led us ground troops to believe that Norwest did indeed care about efficiency. That maybe, somebody up top had realized that the brains of tens of thousands of individual employees might actually add up to a higher gross IQ than the handful of managers’ IQ’s. They did this with a “best practices program.”

You see, if you came up with a way to do something better, you could get a $25 savings bond!

Oh goodie!

And so in the monthly staff meeting we’d all be corralled into a big room, listening to management drone on about things irrelevant to our jobs and sure enough Suzi in processing came up with a way to save half a ream of paper per decade, and wow, what a great idea, Suzi, here’s your $25 savings bond for what is ultimately an insignificant contribution. I was of the opinion that getting rid of these meetings which tied up and lost hundreds of hours of labor would be a real efficiency achiever, but thought it better not to mention that

However, I did come up with an idea. A genuinely good and solid idea.

Part of my and the other analysts’ jobs was to take an hour out of our day and file all the paper work that had culminated throughout the course of our work. This was a tedious process as filing typically is. Common sense would dictate that instead of paying 8 analysts $18 an hour to file, we could hire a full time admin for about $10 to do the filing and save some money. However, my idea was even better.

“Why don’t we buy some scanners and scan this stuff in? We could then do away altogether with the filing, we’d free up some office space without the need for file storage, we could even cut down on rental expense as we wouldn’t need that much office space.”

Now this was 1998 and scanners did exist back then, and the idea of scanning was not a new and revolutionary idea. And so one would think that a large firm like Norwest would have the capital to buy a couple scanners and be eager to capitalize on this opportunity for increased efficiency.

One would think.

And that is the problem.

You see, in corporate America you are not paid to think. Oh sure, they have “best practices programs” and they feign like they want you to think. But if your thinking goes beyond saving paper, or saving toner, or perhaps being so revolutionary as to suggest cutting down on electricity by making it mandatory policy that you turn off the lights in the break room, and starts to enter the realm of management, then you start to scare people. Because the only true and real way corporations, the economy and society at large advance or progress is through innovation and change. Rethinking and redoing entire processes or the way business advances. But when one intelligent, idealistic individual, that hasn’t had the creativity kicked or brainwashed out of him comes up with that idea, that idea may be so changing it may obsolete some managers jobs that should have never been in the first place.

Naturally my idea was not implemented (well at least not as first, I found out 9 YEARS – and lord knows how much in wasted labor - LATER they finally did start scanning in documents), but it taught me an important lesson; logic does not always rule corporations.

Now, despite this wisdom I gained long ago, it is that damn natural, intuitive economist in me that automatically wishes to maximize production and maximize efficiency that still persists within. It’s not something you can turn off, it’s just this moral code programmed into your DNA, constantly nagging at you to progress and screaming aloud as you run into inane, obsolete and pointless instances of corporate idiocy. Regardless, I should not have been surprised when I ran into the most recent (and one of the more unbelievable) instances of corporate idiocy last week.

Like everybody else, one of my clients who shall go unnamed is having trouble boosting sales in this economy. It is a retailer that sells “stuff” and we’ll just leave it at that. Ergo, they wanted to find a way to get more people in the door.

Now, knowing this market and working with them before, after sitting down and doing some research I found a market that had yet been untapped or approached by any of this firm’s competitors. This market was wide open, not saturated, not even penetrated and I had it pegged.

I contact my contact at the corporation, send him some preliminary findings and say, “Hey, I found this market you could advertise to, what do you think?”

My contact said, “That would be great, but we’d have to go through marketing first to see how we would advertise to it.”

And now, yes, for those of you with experience in the corporate world, you see the train wreck coming. Working with marketing.

We waited a solid month before we thought maybe we should follow up with marketing to see if they got our idea. My contact contacted his contact in marketing who said, “Oh yeah, yeah, I got your e-mail, just haven’t had time to look at it. I’ll get back to you in a week.”

Sure enough, another month goes by and my contact contacts his marketing contact again.

“Oh, geez, sorry, yeah, sorry about that. We’ve just been swamped.”

Meanwhile sales are plummeting and people are starting to fear for their jobs.

Another month goes by and my contact at the firm finally has enough, decides to go over marketing’s head, and sends out an e-mail campaign to the predetermined target market.

All it took was one week and the sales department was flooded with calls from interested customers. They had people calling, not only interested in the product line, but willing to fork over good money.

Now one would think this was a good thing.


Sales INCREASED not only by a little, but by a lot, 20% for some lines, 40% for another.

Sales INCREASED based on a simple and costless e-mail campaign.

I had brought the firm business.

I had brought the firm MONEY.

It would be like going to a house with a $1,000 bill, knocking on the door and saying, “Hello, here, have some money.”

One would think the recipient of the money would be happy, if not ecstatic.

Ah, but there you go thinking again.

Sure enough, in true American corporation form my contact received a complaint from marketing. He hadn’t gone through the proper channels. The e-mail campaign was not authorized by the head of marketing, and even though it did receive authorization from executive management, marketing was not pleased.

Now I am of course critical of the Obama administration and their efforts to turn around this economy. I think their strategy is inherently flawed and will not work. But, in intellectual honesty it is not just the government that is to blame for the lack of recovery, but the American people, particularly corporate America.

I don’t know what to call it, but it’s like a disease. It’s like when the organs of a patient start to all shut down and fail at the same time. A “systematic failure” of sorts. That there is no one thing wrong with any one particular part of the body, but that there is something inherently wrong with the entire body and it is practically untreatable. And thus is the same with corporate America.

Almost on a cellular or individual level where people are so incompetent and so stupid they are incapable of the independent thought necessary to make logical decisions, their decisions or indecisions cost corporate America billions. Lost clients. Lost markets (anybody remember IBM scoffing at point and click interfaces or Ben Franklin retail stores turning down the Walton brothers?) Oh, and the fact this whole housing crisis could have easily been avoided. It is only by sheer economies to scale or massive government bailouts that some of these corporations ever manage to eek out a profit in the face of inept managers and incompetent executives.

However, in these dire economic times, we cannot afford to be so damn stupid if we sincerely expect to turn this economy around.

Norwest is going to wait 9 years to start scanning in documents for their back office operation? Are you nuts? Why?

You bitch and complain about increased sales, practically free money, because it didn’t go through the right god damned channels?

You cave in time and time again to the UAW, knowing full well you can’t afford to stay competitive, and then go for a taxpayer bailout?

Or you ignore the sheer convincing and damning statistics that there is no way in hell your client’s condo development is going to sell and finance it to the tune of $40 million anyway?

With such boneheaded moves, it is practically guaranteed that the corporate sector of the US will play no part in getting the country out of this recession.

People in corporate America are going to have to wake up and realize that there just isn’t any more room for such idiocy. The economy is going to get so dire and so tough that you will not be able to afford petty arguments about somebody in some other department going over your head and ignoring protocol. The economy is going to contract so much that hard and difficult decisions must be made and cannot just be passed on to future generations. The economy is going to crash so bad that corporations in general better get with the program of efficiency and extremely competitive capitalism real quick because in this environment only the strongest, fastest and most efficient survive (the rest just go for a bailout). And this whole thing about promoting people who don’t rock the boat, conform and are your little corporate-yes-men over those who are willing to make difficult decisions and blow the whistle if there is something wrong. Yeah, those days are over. It’s the assholes and jerks who make the tough decisions, blow the whistles and eat yes-men for breakfast who going to be your next boss…that is unless of course you would prefer the company to go bankrupt and have no job at all.

Sadly, I think the reason for such idiocy in corporations is the same reason we see idiocy in government. Both institutions pull their labor from a dumbed down and entitlement-driven population ala the movie “Idiocracy.” This also parallels my “total systematic failure” theory in that at the cellular level, the basic unit of labor is corrupted. When you only have idiots or spoiled children to choose from, is it any wonder none of the corporations seem to be able to make a profit, let alone had the incredibly simple foresight that was needed to see the housing crash coming? Worse still is that who precisely is going to turn around these corporations and institutions? Government is ruled by ignorant masses who believe they won’t have to worry about their mortgage or paying for gas as testified by Obama’s election. Corporations are headed up not by leaders, but by nepotists and cronies who have no managerial or leadership abilities but rather connections and rich parents. Schools, good lord, children teaching children. Alan Greenspan can’t teach economics. I can’t teach dance. But some 23 year old with no experience, living with mommy, BUT HAS A TEACHERS LICENSE can teach anything as long as you give them the textbook to teach out of. The t-cells or white blood cells needed to repair the US economy are either shunned from the organs and institutions that comprise it or are attacked and weeded out. And thus the organs will continue to deteriorate, continue to atrophy and ultimately fail.

Alas, the only thing the white blood cells can do is sit and watch.

(Future post along the same lines coming soon – How Blunt, Truthful, Meanie Manly Jerks Will Become Sought After in this Economy)

Argentina and the Falklands

Just watching a documentary on the Military Channel about the defeat of Argentina at the hands of the British during the Falkland Islands war.

And what I like about it is not so much how the Brits roundly defeated the Argentinians, but how today Argentina and their nepotist president, Cristina Kirchner make the occasional threat or claim to the Falklands despite the Falkland Islanders insisting they're British.

You see, a democracy is where the people get to decide whether...never mind. Something tells me that Argentinian nationalists will ignore the wishes of the people on the island and it'll just be easier to beat the Argentinians again if they're so stupid as to try to take over the islands again.

Mortgage Debt as a Percent of Disposable Income

Debt is typically the cause of every major recession and depression throughout the history of the world. Through easy credit, people borrow money they can never hope to repay either investing it in foolish things such as Dotcoms or Tulip Bulbs, or perhaps not investing it at all, preferring to do the American thing and buy SUV's, trips to Europe or degrees in philosophy for their spoiled brat children.

This triggers a recession because the funds borrowed could have been lent to the productive members of society and thusly invested in much wiser and productive things, but since they weren't, this results in a decrease in production which is the definition of a recession.

Now I caught a lot of flak for my posting Canada might be a better place to live in the near future, but again, to show that this is not just some whim or me being in a foul mood, take a look at who has been abusing their mortgage debt;


It is an obscure statistic, but mortgage debt as a percent of disposable income is a way to measure how much debt different people in different countries take on relative to the only thing that can pay it back; disposable income. Again, surprise, surprise, our Canadian brothers to the north have taken a more conservative stance and is why they will not suffer as much as their southern neighbors.

The scary thing, is mortgage debt isn't the only kind of debt. There's government debt, corporate debt, student debt, you name it. And when you add it all up, never has the US had more debt relative to GDP (second chart down). And when you look at what we're spending this veritable mountain of debt on (the stimulus, propping worthless auto companies, handouts and welfare) what possible semblance of future production can we expect?

A Captain's Pet Peeve

As you all know I am NOT a real captain. When younger I contemplated joining the military, but I wasn't ever in the military and about the only public service work I did was as a security guard at my college's campus cop program.

However, despite me readily admitting this, about once every six months or so I get the "Oh yeah, well my uncle was at least a REAL captain in the military." Or "Well you're not a REAL captain like I was."

So, since I received another one of these comments recently I think it behooves a vocabulary lesson. Today's word is;


1. the commencement of two or more stressed syllables of a word group either with the same consonant sound or sound group (consonantal alliteration), as in from stem to stern, or with a vowel sound that may differ from syllable to syllable (vocalic alliteration), as in each to all. Compare consonance (def. 4a).
2. the commencement of two or more words of a word group with the same letter, as in apt alliteration's artful aid.

You see, when setting up this blog originally, I wanted to have a catchy title. And not just a catchy title, but a title relevant to the topics that would be discussed. Since it was going to be about capitalism I thought "captain" would provide the (here's the first use of today's word boys and girls) ALLITERATION required to make the title "Captain Capitalism" a catchy and rememberable name.

See how it works, the "ka" sound in "captain" plus the "ka" sound in "capitalism?" Like "ka" "ka" right after each other? Catchy, isn't it?

One might even notice the first syllable is the same; "CAPtain CAPitalism."

This is why some people call me "Cappy Cap" which is a simplified and cuter alliterated version.

Now, the lesson we can gain from this is that while no doubt all of you, like me, do appreciate the service of the hard working men and women in the US military, like any organization there are still jerks. And for those of you in the military who want to "score one on the ole Captain" by pointing out he's not a "real captain" I'd like to shake your hand for your service, but slap you upside the head for your idiocy.

Ergo, whether you're in the military or not, please don't make a fool of yourself and use the "well I'd least I don't try and pose to be a captain" argument. It will be summarily ignored just like all the other "when the pentagon has to have a bake sale" bumper stickers.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sneakers O'Toole

I don't think Sneakers O'Toole will let you have his sneakers;

Watch more Megavideo videos on AOL Video

Stuff White People Like: Black Music That Blacks No Longer Listen To

22 Feb 09

The Explanation (by Two Tonys)

Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences for murders and violent crimes. Left bodies from Tucson to Alaska, but claims all his victims "had it coming." Recently diagnosed with liver cancer, and is in chemotherapy fighting to prolong his life.

My daughter who’s 100 miles north came with my son-in-law and my youngest grandson. The kid’s 3 and wild and says I’m a monster and wants to throw rocks at me. He’s a cutie, says what he wants and basically does what he wants.

My daughter’s coming back with her 12 year old. He doesn’t know why I’m in this shithole, but he suspects. So I’m feeling I’m going to have to take him for a few laps and try my best to explain without fuckin’ up his brain.

He’ll get several stories. I’m thinking it’s best if I weigh in. Leaving out all of the details. What do you think? I can’t just go out there and say, “Oh yeah, kid, your ol’ granddaddy snuffed a few motherfuckers along the way, but they all asked for it.”
I’ve got to figure this out or ponder it real good. Or should I just shut the fuck up?

Hey, what if when I get over to the other side and all those assholes I put down are waiting for me? Fuck ’em! I’ve got to have a few old pals over there. If not, fuck, ’em. I’ll just have to deal with them. What can they do, kill me?

Click here for one of Two Tonys’ Murder Stories

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Email comments for Two Tonys to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Percent of Students that Major in Engineering or the Sciences

Part of a larger study to ascertain which countries may have a brighter and better future than the US, I found data that allowed me to calculate what percent of students were majoring in engineering or the sciences. The point being of course that "sociology" majors or "journalism" majors don't really advance society or technology at all and are basically hobbies rich, spoiled suburbanite Americans like to major in thinking somehow they'll produce the wealth necessary to support themselves throughout their lives (which they won't).

Alas a good metric to gauge the future productivity of a nation is to measure what percent of the students major in something worthwhile, and thus these statistics from the OECD (2006)

As one would have previously guessed Asian nations score rather high with Korea having over a third of their students majoring in engineering or the sciences. The Scandinavian countries fair rather well, except Iceland which may go a long way in explaining why their country collapsed and others haven't (engineers tend to have enough math skills to know you can't spend more than you earn). Mexico beats out Canada by a wide margin, but Canada is not as bad as the US where only 15% of our students major in something worthwhile.

It's not that difficult to understand that if your country majors in worthless subjects then your future productivity is going to suffer, but the problem you run into is where capitalism has produced so much wealth in the past it affords the masses the LUXURY of majoring in a hobby and not a career.

Alas, fluffy el crapo degrees will be with us for a long time.

He Loves Me , He Loves Me Not?

Do you remember what it was like hankering after the Narcissists approval?

Once the honeymoon period ended , do you remember entering the devaluation period? When every good thing you ever did was for someone else? , neglecting your own needs to fulfill his?

The saying often heard is: "every action has a reaction" but with the narcissist "Every action has a BACKWARDS reaction"

* He reacts with contempt at what should evoke compassion

* He reacts with aversion to what should attract

* He reacts with rage to what should please

An Infinite Maze

The narcissist has a very twisted way of acting towards a person, during the devaluation period , you are at this time working harder everyday to either please or appease the narcissist. Everything you do he will deem wrong.

You start to believe you just can't get anything right and he never bothers to reassure you, so you work harder to ....fix things, you strive to cook more exciting meals, clean the house , rub his ego , kiss up and generally exhaust yourself trying to cater to the narcissists childish temper tantrums and attention seeking.

You seek his approval on everything, because you want him to accept you for who you are, you want him to notice the good in you, you want recognition and to know you are being seen and heard, you want only to feel alive. Trying to gain this from a narcissist is like attempting to jump off a high rise building and expecting to fly. The end result is always the same - "descent into failure"

You want the man you fell in love with in the beginning to come back and treat you like the love of his life again. But as time goes on your expectations drop and you find yourself settling for just a word, a glance, or a warm embrace because you feel anything is better than what you are getting right now.

What you are doing is settling for less than you deserve because your expectations of what he can offer drop every time he abuses you, so instead of reaching for the stars you reach for a cloud.

Running after every single reaction he has so you can gauge how to elevate (the pleasing reaction) or appease it. (the negative reaction) It's like an infinite marathon, one you cannot possibly win, because there is no end , no trophy , and no ribbon declaring 1st place because you will always be the loser.

Don't take my word for it, just ask any victim of pathological abuse. I can guarantee the answer you get will be: "no matter what you do , it won't make a spit of difference in the way he treats you" and they would be right.

When you do something selfless the narcissist will deem you selfish , in other words.... you can't win.

You tell him you love him and boom he will get angry and tells you that you don't, you try to prove your love to him and he will accuse you of being an attention seeker.

If you give up smoking , the narcissist will create incredible stress to the point where you start again, all the while wagging his finger at you: "You have no willpower, it's pathetic, can't you just stick to something?"

You can try as hard as possible to stay in his good graces but I am here to tell you that you will NEVER get into his good books, nor his graces, not ever, you were never in them to begin with.

It's a one way street and if you can't follow his directions he's going to kick you to the kerb.

Why does it have to be this way, why is he like this?

It's because the narcissist point blank refuses to listen to you, that's why, the only time he is paying any attention to you is when he is making it all about him and he is demanding you do the same. You are only a mirror, a reflection. He cannot relate to you only an image.

The narcissist overcompensates, ie: he behaves in a critical and superior way towards others, and will project all his anger, rage, and bad qualities onto you in order to protect himself from the dangers of being criticized , rejected, humiliated and threatened.

He is purely Ego-syntonic (behaviors are "insync" with the ego (no guilt)

He is never Ego-dystonic (behaviors are "dis-n-sync" with the ego (guilt)

Ego-syntonic is a medical term referring to behaviors, values, feelings, which are in harmony with or acceptable to the needs and goals of the ego, or consistent with one's ideal self-image. - Wiki

The narcissist therefore does not perceive that his problems are related in any way to himself. In other words he is ego-syntonic , ie: "Theres nothing wrong with me! everyone else is the problem!"

He holds up a shield , in order to deflect any words or deeds that might be a threat to his perfectly created "Godlike" image of himself.

He sees your vulnerability as something to be exploited. A predator will stalk his prey for hours looking for any weaknesses before moving in for the kill. The narcissist is exactly the same, he doesn't choose to exploit your vulnerabilities, it is an automatic process for him like sneezing.

However it doesn't stop there, ever notice the way a cat will play with a mouse once he has captured it? he releases the mouse momentarily to give the mouse the illusion that he is free, only to run and catch him again. This is oftentimes a repeated process and the narcissist does the same with you. You become increasingly frantic and you have no idea how long this game will last or if you will end up being devoured. It's all just a game. The narcissist gets a sadistic pleasure from watching your panic and confusion.

Does this mean then , that you are a sore loser? no it doesn't, the rules of his game were not fair in the first place.

The Ride Of Your Life?

His version of what he deems "Love" isn't love, submissiveness and obedience to him - in his eyes is "love" and if you dare deviate from this false perception , you will pay for it dearly.

Remember when everyday life for you consisted of a high emotionally-charged roller coaster where excitement could be replaced by fear in a split second?

Remember wanting nothing more than to get off this ride?. That's what life with the narcissist is like, everyday is a roller coaster of upside down, ass backwards , up in the air emotions, the only trouble is once you get on this ride you don't have the option of getting off.

One minute he is treating you like a Queen and in a split second he's treating you as if you have committed high treason, the spitefulness spewing forth from his lips overwhelms you, and you end up feeling like your head is on the block.

You spend most of your days and nights reliving every conversation, every glance, every facial expression and even his body language in an attempt to find out just what it is you said or did that keeps setting him off , and unlike a firework which gives you ample time to move before the big bang, the narcissist's reactions are so fast you don't have time to get out of the way before he blows up in your face.

You slowly become an expert in body language , you might even read books on the subject in order to better know your narcissist, and yes, as ridiculous as this may sound to others, it's the desperation the narcissist causes his victim that leads her to this place. (it led me there)

However you come to learn that the only thing predictable about the narcissist is his unpredictability.

And thus the damage is done , And every time you throw this shark some meat , he will maul it , devour it , and spit out the bones.

Changing The Impossible

So why attempt to change the impossible, you won't ever be able to change the narcissists perception of himself because he is forever going to tell you that he is blameless.

If anyone by their own power has ever changed a malignant narcissist for the good, then that's something that should be in the Guinness Book Of World Records. I'd even pay to see that one.

I am not trying to put down your abilities or even tell you that you are not smart enough or good enough to change the malignant narcissist. Even psychologists have failed in their pursuits to cure him of his pathology. The victim is the last person in the world that will be able to change him.

I am sorry but some things that need to change for the better are only possible with God and this is one of them.

Planting The Evidence - An Inside Job

If you have heard the term: "Walking on egg shells" you'll instantly recognize it, because you have a lot of experience in that area having walked on them for most of your relationship.

If you pluck up the courage to explain his cruel treatment of you, he will just abuse you even more. He will filter those words out and then spit them right back at you, point an accusing finger, and say: "There there! look its you , you're the one with the blemish"

Pretty much the way a three-year-old will track dirt all over the carpet then throw some on his sibling to make sure that when discovered he won't be the one caught with the evidence.

See that's just what the narcissist does, he plants the evidence of wrong doings onto you , that way he is blameless, perfect and untouchable (in his eyes of course)

Sadly some victims who are taken to court to further bleed them, are not believed. Why?, because the narcissist is spiteful, and will plant all the evidence of betrayal in your direction. If he wants your children, your home, or money he will find some way to plant the evidence in the minds of others that you are "a bad mother" , "a bad wife" , "A cheater" or that "He was the breadwinner and you were the drunk" .......It's an "Inside Job" is what it is.

The courts are played and manipulated just like you are. All you are to a narcissist is a pawn on a chessboard, that he can move around in any direction he pleases.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Do you remember as a child, picking petals from a flower whilst repeating: "he loves me" "he loves me not" ? you do the same now don't you? but instead of using a flower, you use his actions & reactions to gauge if "he loves you" or "loves you not"

Stop picking the imaginary petals, realize that you do have an answer, and although it might not be the answer you want to hear, once accepted, will end up saving a shred of who you once were and the strong person you can become.

The narcissist is denying you the right to life, the right to be free , what he actually does is force and manipulate you into believing you are worthless.

You need to release those petals into the wind, stop seeking his approval, and know these truths..."You are worth so much more. You deserve the very best of real love and it's realized promises... You are already a remarkable human being because despite all the abuse , you survive and fight, but the truth is , there comes a time when the surviving has to stop and the living can begin.

So accept these truths, and your "right to life" and make it your choice today, you'll be glad you did.


Finally, the Law Goes After Joe Arpaio -- the Most Abusive Sheriff In America (by Emptywheel at

The House Judiciary Committee made a critical and public step to rein in a terrible Arizona "lawman."

You have probably heard of the shamelessly self professed "Toughest Sheriff in America", Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. For years he has been making a PR spectacle of himself, all the while running an unconstitutionally deplorable jail system, letting inmates die under tortuous conditions, and violating the civil rights and liberties of everybody in sight, especially minorities. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee made public a critical and public step to rein in the Most Abusive Sheriff In America.
From the HJC press release:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), and Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Crime Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) called on Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to investigate allegations of misconduct by Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Sheriff Arpaio has repeatedly demonstrated disregard for the rights of Hispanics in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Under the guise of immigration enforcement, his staff has conducted raids in residential neighborhoods in a manner condemned by the community as racial profiling. On February 4, 2009, Arpaio invited the media to view the transfer of immigrant detainees to a segregated area of his "tent city" jail, subjecting the detainees to public display and "ritual humiliation." Persistent actions such as these have resulted in numerous lawsuits; while Arpaio spends time and energy on publicity and his reality television show, "Smile… You're Under Arrest!", Maricopa County has paid millions of dollars in settlements involving dead or injured inmates.
"It is time for the federal government to step in and uphold the rule of law in this country, even in Maricopa County."

"Law enforcement is not a game or a reality show, it is a public trust," said Scott. "There is no excuse for callous indifference to the rights of the residents of Arizona, whether in their neighborhoods or as pretrial detainees."

The full official text of the letter to Napolitano and Holder is here.
It is high time that somebody on the national scene notice, and the Federal government take action on, the egregious and violative conduct of Joe Arpaio.
Joe Arpaio is a two bit carnival barker and huckster, not a dedicated law enforcement official. The opportunistic man came into office running against a fellow Republican and incumbent Maricopa County Sheriff, Tom Agnos, by bad mouthing Agnos and arguing that the entire Maricopa County Sheriff's Department needed to be cleaned up. In fact, Arpaio's winning campaign was predicated upon his willingness to mock the very department he was running to lead and promise to expose the dirty laundry of Agnos and the Sheriff's Department for its involvement in the infamous Buddhist Temple Murder case (link is a fascinating three part story), a seminal case in textbooks on coerced confessions (from the fact that four separate coerced false confessions were obtained to a single crime). Arpaio promised to restore honor to the department, and also swore he would serve only one term in office. Five terms and seventeen years later, Arpaio has failed miserably on both promises.

The upshot of the House Judiciary Committee's missive to Attorney General Holder and DHS Secretary Napolitano is that Arpaio's:

...repeated course of conduct, which values publicity opportunities over the civil rights of residents of Arizona, is too disturbing to leave enforcement of the civil rights laws to private litigants. There are several tools at the federal government's disposal to address these allegations, and we urge their prompt consideration and application.

In short, the HJC is demanding that a full panoply of federal civil and criminal laws and remedies be brought to bear by the arms of federal law enforcement. One of the grounds for the HJC demand is Arpaio's acts earlier this month, described in the letter as follows:

Most recently, on February 4, after making sure to alert the media, Arpaio reportedly paraded approximately 200 suspected illegal immigrants in shackles to a segregated area of his "tent city" county facility, where they will supposedly remain until they are adjudicated and have served any sentences they face for local violations. The New York Times described this conduct as "ritual humiliation." The men who Arpaio is displaying like trophies are reportedly in pretrial detention, not having been convicted of any crime.

If you want to understand the true extent of Sheriff Joe's war on brown people, the Phoenix New Times' expose "Guadalupe Made It Clear That Joe Arpaio’s Attacking Anyone With Brown Skin" is an absolute must read. Seriously, it is a long piece, but to call it chilling and important would be an understatement, and it is superb start to finish. Here is a taste:

With spirited protesters and helmeted deputies on horseback, the night of April 3 in Guadalupe was like some historical reenactment, albeit in miniature, of a late-'60s anti-war melee. You know, the kind chronicled by Norman Mailer in one of his seminal "non-fiction novels" of the era, such as Miami and the Siege of Chicago or The Armies of the Night.
Following up on his criticism of Arpaio during a César Chávez luncheon in March, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon addressed a letter to the U.S. Justice Department asking for an investigation of the sheriff. The letter was dated April 4, the second day of the MCSO's Guadalupe sweep, and the MCSO's actions in Guadalupe figured prominently in the missive.

Egregious to be sure, but hardly the only such acts by Arpaio, and certainly not the worst. Let's go through some of the others alluded to in the letter, although not described in detail.
Arpaio was little more than halfway through his first term in office when his policies and jail conditions first came under investigation for abuse by the US Department of Justice. Shortly after that, and still during his first term in office, young Scott Norberg died in Arpaio's jail as a result of said policies:

[Norberg] was in Arpaio's jail just 15 hours before he was handcuffed by guards, kicked, stomped on, and then strapped into a restraint chair. There, guards held a towel over his head, literally suffocating him. Medical records later revealed that he had been shot with a stun gun at least 14 times and beaten so badly that his larynx cracked.

That one cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County $8.25 million, but did not deter the Most Abusive Sheriff in America; instead, he seemed to get off on the notoriety. There were more unnatural deaths in Arpaio's jails, from a variety of causes, after Norberg. The belligerent Arpaio finally stopped the deplorable use of the restraint chair in 2006 after fighting demands by citizens and federal overseers on the issue for nearly a decade.
What caused Arpaio to finally give up his demonic obsession with the restraint chair that killed Scott Norberg? Ah, glad you asked:

On March 29, 2006, a $9 million court judgment was leveled against Arpaio and the county in the beating and restraint-chair death of inmate Charles Agster III.

Agster, 33 and mentally retarded, was arrested for trespassing on August 6, 2001. Detention officers at the Madison Street Jail pulled a hood over his head and slammed him into a medieval-looking restraint chair. The hood around Agster's throat smothered him to the point that he became brain dead. He was pronounced legally dead three days later on August 9, 2001.

Agster's death should have been prevented. Two years before he was killed, the county had paid $8.25 million to settle the Norberg suffocation suit.

There was at least one more death at the restraints of Arpaio's cherished chair, Clint Yarborough in 2005. It should be noted that neither Norberg, Agster, nor Yarbrough were ever tried or convicted for the charges they were arrested on; none of them lived to see their first court date and died innocent men under the law. Those are just the deaths associated with the medieval restraint chair, there have been numerous deaths from improper or complete lack of medical care, neglect and other perils.
One of the other examples of the decrepit conditions Arpaio presided over is that of Kathleen Carey:

Like most attorneys, Kathleen Carey leads a busy life. So she didn't take much time to examine what looked like a pimple on her arm. Twelve days later, Carey's arm had ballooned to nearly twice its normal size, and pus was oozing from a boil where the zit had been.

After $180,000 in medical bills, four doctors, and two hospitals, Carey learned that the supposed pimple was actually the flesh-eating "superbug" bacteria commonly known as MRSA staph infection. You may recognize MRSA from recent news reports, following a study concluding that more Americans die each year from antibiotic-resistant MRSA infections than from HIV/AIDS.

MRSA commonly spreads through hospitals, but Carey hadn't been to a hospital or doctor for months before her infection. So where did she get the potentially fatal infection?

Carey says she knows exactly where she got it -- the Maricopa County Jail. She wasn't there as an inmate, but as an attorney visiting her client.
Carey is one of many Maricopa County residents who've never been booked into Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails but who are paying dearly for conditions inside his lockups.

Vermin, filth, medical care suggestive of POW camps, chronic mismanagement, the wanton destruction of records, and a steady parade of corpses in Maricopa County jails have cost taxpayers an astonishing -- and until now, undisclosed -- 41.4 million dollars.

Don't know if you caught that or not, but that is nearly $42 million dollars (and that was as of over a year ago, the figure is now higher) that Maricopa County has paid out due to the Most Abusive Sheriff in America's detention policies and procedures. Want to know how that compares to other big municipalities? Get a load of this:

There simply isn't another jail system in America with this history of taxpayer-financed litigation.

New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston, for example, collectively housed more than 61,000 inmates per day last year. From 2004 through November of this year, these same county jails had a combined 43 prison-conditions lawsuits filed against them in federal courts.

In the very same three-year time frame, despite housing a mere 9,200 prisoners per day, Sheriff Arpaio was the target of a staggering 2,150 lawsuits in U.S. District Court and hundreds more in Maricopa County courts.

With a fraction of the inmate population, Arpaio has had 50 times as many lawsuits as the New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston jail systems combined.

But Sheriff Joe's reign of terror does not end with the immigrant bashing and inhuman detention policies and facilities. When the Most Abusive Sheriff in America disagrees with colleagues, even fellow police officers, he attacks them with not only rhetoric, but the heavy dark hand of his department:

The sheriff raided municipal buildings in Mesa in what appeared to be nothing more than a blatant political maneuver against Arpaio's perceived enemy, Mesa Police Chief George Gascón.
As a public safety effort, the pre-dawn October 16 incursion into Mesa City Hall and its library was laughable — it netted just three undocumented workers. A couple of former county Superior Court judges criticized Arpaio's action in the East Valley Tribune, with former chief judge of the court Colin Campbell calling the raid "bizarre" and "extraordinary."

Last, but far from least, Sheriff Joe has waged a jihad against the local investigative weekly newspaper in Phoenix/Maricopa County, the Phoenix New Times. Arpaio long felt the New Times coverage of him was too strident; not content to address his concerns in the media and public sphere, Arpaio arrested the publishers, Michael Lacey and James Larkin, on trumped up asinine charges (that were almost immediately dismissed without ever seeing the light of a courtroom). However, if you cherish the First Amendment and the freedom of the press, Larkin and Lacey's arrests by Arpaio were not even the worst part.

In a breathtaking abuse of the United States Constitution, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, and their increasingly unhinged cat's paw, special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik, used the grand jury to subpoena "all documents related to articles and other content published by Phoenix New Times newspaper in print and on the Phoenix New Times website, regarding Sheriff Joe Arpaio from January 1, 2004 to the present."

Every note, tape, and record from every story written about Sheriff Arpaio by every reporter over a period of years.

In addition to the omnibus subpoena, which referred to our writer Stephen Lemons directly, reporters John Dougherty and Paul Rubin were targeted with individual subpoenas.

More alarming still, Arpaio, Thomas, and Wilenchik subpoenaed detailed information on anyone who has looked at the New Times Web site since 2004.

Every individual who looked at any story, review, listing, classified, or retail ad over a period of years.

The article the passage immediately above was quoted from, "Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution", was written personally by the two publishers, Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin, and is as chilling as was Arpaio's attempt to silence them. Again, it is a feature length article, but a serious must read.
This post could easily be three or four times the already tedious length and still not have room to touch on the bill of craven particulars against the Most Abusive Sheriff in America, Joe Arpaio. But it is a start, and renders an idea as to why Chairman Conyers, Representative Nadler and the others on the House Judiciary Committee have requested the civil and criminal powers of the United States Government be brought to bear on Joe Arpaio. He isn't the toughest, he's the most abusive. It is imperative that Attorney General Holder and DHS Secretary Napolitano heed the call and address the long overdue matter. Secretary Napolitano, of all people, ought to understand the menace to society as a whole, and the citizenry of Maricopa County in particular, that Arpaio poses. It is time for it to be stopped.

Email comments and questions to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.
Shaun P. Attwood

Friday, February 20, 2009

Why Obama is a One Termer

Along the lines of the ignorance piece I wrote a while ago, I think the term "trillion" actually may have woken some of the people in the US up to just how severe a problem the US faces and just how much their ignorance is about to cost the US.

Again, the vast majority of my 20 something friends at my bar believe Obama is their savior and will solve this problem. But it is an interesting expression to see on their faces when their savior promises $1.2 trillion of their money to bail out the deadbeats of the US.

You see, TRILLION, kind of registers with the kids. They, despite their public school upbringing, realize that a TRILLION dollars is a lot of money. And even they ask the simple question;

"Well, how are we going to pay for it?"

And thus the thought process that goes down deep into the rabbit hole begins and thus the zygote of a conservative is born.

They are at least smart enough to know that we don't have the money now. And despite failing Econ 101, they know that we're going to have to borrow it. And despite having no knowledge of social security finances, they realize that ultimately it isn't going to be their Baby Boomer parents paying for it. It's going to be THEY who are paying for it.

Thus the expression on their faces.

Like I said before, you can't argue with the ignorant. All you can do is watch them get what they've always wanted and realize just what a hellish nightmare they got themselves into.

The more and more I see what Obama is doing and the more and more I see the young, stupid, ignorant people of this country realize they just got saddled with a $1.2 trillion debt, the more and more I realize Obama is a one termer.

Witholding - The Psychopath/Narcissist As A Spoiled Brat.

By not giving you what the narcissist knows you want, he can make himself feel important. This is called "With holding" for example: A child can be bored with a toy and about to put it down when he notices that some other child wants it, then he plays "Keep away" by keeping the toy to himself even though he is bored of it or finished playing with it.

If the other child happens to plead for it, he just becomes more and more determined to keep the toy away, clutching it tightly to himself and yelling "NO"

The narcissist is a fully grown person but every bit the three-year-old, and not a sweet one either.

This stunt is a power play too, of course. For example: When someone says "Will you...?" or "Can I..?" the first thing out of his mouth is "You'll have to wait". However long you can wait, the narcissist will make you wait longer or they will often make you beg or grovel for what you want also.

When the narcissist sees your eyes light up on something you want, they look at it and see nothing but a stick to use a leverage on you. God Almighty wants to make you pray to him for it.

Narcissists do this with every aspect of your needs or wants. These can be your sexual needs/wants, money, attention, conversation etc

If a narcissist finds out what you like , he is sure to take it away from you. For Example: You tell the narcissist you love going to the movies, from that point on you notice you never go to the movies together again.

Why does he do this? Because he wants the whole world to revolve around him and his wants and needs. He doesn't give a flying fig about yours.

Many victims of narcissists have told me that the narcissist would ask them what they wanted for a birthday/christmas present and to write out a list, on the special day in question the victim found that absolutely nothing she asked for on the list was chosen. In fact some victims have been given as a gift something the narcissist knew she didn't want.

Sometimes he punishes by withholding what he knows his partner wants most, affection, attention, companionship, children, sex, money, his presence, whatever will cause her the most distress. Sometimes his reaction to criticism or whatever else he is punishing is so extreme that his partner never dares do it again and tiptoes around his delicate ego.

These sadistic acts are his way of punishing them for not being docile, obedient, admiring and adoring as he expects them to be in view of his uniqueness, cosmic significance and special entitlement.

Withholding (the silent treatment), countering (refuting or invalidating the spouse's statements or actions), discounting (putting down her emotions, possessions, experiences, hopes, and fears), sadistic and brutal humor, blocking (avoiding a meaningful exchange, diverting the conversation, changing the subject), blaming and accusing, judging and criticizing, undermining and sabotaging, threatening, name calling, forgetting and denying, ordering around, denial, and abusive anger.

During periods of frustration which are brought about as a result of their needs not being met narcissistic people will certainly make you aware of your inability to meet these needs. Such as with holding or the "silent treatment" , sulking, discussing things they know upset you or behaving in ways they know you find hurtful regardless of whether or not they are related to the frustration he thinks you have "caused"

If their frustration stems from their own inability to meet their wants and needs e.g. not getting a promotion, losing at sport, receiving criticism for work they have done etc. the frustration is usually transferred onto the people they interact with (often their nearest and dearest)

The Narcissist can with hold anything he wishes. Like Gareth Rodger did, he can use the silent treatment, switch his phone off , refuse to talk , then blame shift or project this back onto me and leave me with the guilty feelings.

He wants you to take what he offers and be satisfied with it even if it isn't what you asked for or is inappropriate. In other words: He will give you a gift he knows you hate but expects you to praise and adore him despite this fact.

It all amounts again to ..self, self self with the narcissist.

You can try with holding your (the victim) own attention, physical closeness and gifts, but playing and stooping to the narcissists level just to "teach him a short lived lesson" or "A short lived lesson he will ignore anyway, then punish you for inflicting upon him" is a bad idea.

Or you could try and show no interest in things you really are interested in, you can bet your bottom dollar the narcissist will then give you the things you want, but it's a backwards-ass way of doing things and why should you tolerate it!

Kick the dirty dog to the kerb where he belongs and never look back. The only way to get away from the narcissist is to abandon him.

Parts of this article were taken in part from Kathy Krajco

Shock Tactics Of The Pathological.

Please bear in mind that not all narcissists are psychopaths, but all psychopaths are narcissists.

Psychopaths/Naricissists all use "shock tactics" , why? because they work! that's why, it enables the psychopath to get what he wants from his victim(s)

They shock you by reacting to a situation in a way that spins your head ,for example: like seeing an apple fall up a tree would or going to shake the hand of someone and they bend down to tie their shoelace at that precise moment you have reached out your hand.

This is to disarm and confuse you pretty much in the way a robber would hit his target on the head before he robs them of their property.

You are for all intents and purposes, intellectually incapacitated, perplexed. the you try and figure out what's "just happened" you are disarmed, because you don't know what is going on. Your mouth hits your chin and you think there must be some sort of misunderstanding, a mistake. So you try to make heads or tails of it and try to smooth it over.

The next thing you know , you have been run over by a speeding freight train. This is called a "Shock Tactic"

Shock tactics prove that seeing isn't always believing, because afterwards you wonder if you imagined it, or think you span must have missed something.

The psychopaths behaviour was so bizarre that you cannot believe it happened especially when he seems to normal a few minutes after the incident.

Denial - that is the typical reaction. to act like it didn't happen. That's what normal people do when they can't get their minds around something. In this case, it's a big mistake, because that is exactly what the psychopath/narcissist wants.

Then it never happened, you see. His crazy behaviour never happened. Really. He never abused you. Really.

Never forget for a moment, that the narcissist "isn't all there": he lives in the Looking Glass, the Land of Pretend, where acting makes it so. Truth has no relevance in that world. It doesn't even exist. The next day he acts like it didn't happen. That's his way of saying, "let's pretend it didn't happen" When you play along and act like it didn't happen, it didn't happen & thus the narcissists slate is clean, and he's not a crackpot.

So it's no wonder that narcissists like shock tactics when they discover how well they work at getting people into denial and Acting Like It Didn't Happen

This is especially true when they hear idiots commenting "Look, today he's acting like nothing happened. Well, okay, he has a terrible temper, but he's basically a good person, because see? he doesn't carry a grudge" the narcissist thinks "Give that idiot an award!"

The Three Elements To A Narcissists Shock Tactics

* Perversity

* Extremism

* Surprise

Perversity in the strictest sense of the word, is , "throughly twisted" In other words, perverse behaviour is not just odd, aberrant , or off course: It is backwards or upside down, the antithesis of what would be appropriate.

A perverted reaction to something shocks us, it is the opposite of what we expected. It also disarms us, because, in our interactions with others, we act with a view to the reaction we can expect in return. For example, you don't tell someone you love them to make them mad at you. If this is the first time you have told that person you love them, you might not know what to expect, but anger isn't one of the possibilities you have in mind. So, when the narcissist reacts with anger, you are stunned!

Usually we do know what to expect , and when we are wrong, there is normally some logical reason for it. for example: Sometimes we get an unexpected reaction because we didn't see the action from the reactor's point of view.

Yet certain behaviours are so universal that we know what to expect even from a stranger with a different language and culture. Or even from an animal. For example: showing love evokes affection. Doing a favour evokes gratitude, appeasement evokes peace.


When you try to bring peace to a situation by appeasing the narcissist, he will spit back in your face and rage at you

When you show love to the narcissist , he will push you away

When you do a favour for the narcissist he will not acknowledge it .

The narcissist reacts with hatred , resentment and aggression instead of reacting in what should evoke: affection, gratitude, and peace.

He is vicious, violent (physically or verbally) he is like a child who cannot restrain his own behaviour. The only reign on it is what he thinks he can get away with. So , behind closed doors with his family or a lone employee, he goes over the top in wanton meanness. It makes him feel as unbounded as God.

Lastly, "the element of surprise". His temper flares in a fraction of a second and unexpectedly, for some anti-reason.

The narcissists shock tactics are a device, that's all. This type of reaction is called "An Insult". An insulting reaction for example: You throw water on a fire to put it out...only to have it flare up into a raging fire that vaporizes the water.

In other words, an insult is a blow back reaction, one that flies in the face of the stimulus. A narcissists perverted reactions to things are insults, and they do insult you, they work!. For example: you try to appease him when he gets mad about something, instead of cooling off he does the opposite and flies into a rage over what you just said and attacks you all more vehemently.

The narcissist cannot help but discover at an early age that normal people are taken aback by such absurd behaviour.

Why do narcissists do this? there is only one reason: he wasn't angered by anything in the first place. That is, his anger wasn't a defensive reaction to anything you did. If it were, he would cool off when you try to appease him, because his purpose is achieved. He takes your attempt to appease as a sign of weakness and revs up his engines, getting much madder. His objective is to run you over.

Narcissists are amoral, so since shock tactics get them what they want, they use them. That's really all there is to it. Nothing deep, smart or fascinating about it. Even a dog learns to growl and act ornery if it gets what it wants that way.

The moment you deviate from the narcissists script, he snarls like a dog, in other words: the moment you start acting like his equal or as though you deserve anything. His sudden surliness at such moments is just his way of saying "don't go there." as if he were herding stray cattle back in the right direction. Play along, say or do nothing that contradicts his lies and delusions. it's hard enough to believe them, and you are hurting him if you are not helping him believe them.

Let's say the narcissist has gone off about something. You try to smooth it over by saying, "Oh , come on. Let's not fight. I didn't mean anything by that, really. i'd never want to hurt you"

He gets madder and madder yet.

Why? because that isn't what he wants you to do. You still are not playing along with his script in Pretend. You didn't admit any wrongdoing. What you said to appease him doesn't appease him because it doesn't reflect on him as grand and on you as a guilty , despicable thing.

The narcissist is a mental three-year-old who knows only one trick: "Throw a temper tantrum whenever people aren't doing what you want them to do, and keep throwing it until they get it right"

People are perplexed by off-the-wall reactions to things, they cannot imagine why anyone would do that. Even seeing it happen doesn't quite make them believe it because it's too crazy to really have happened so we go into denial about it.

Normal people would never degrade themselves by behaving in this childish manner, they don't realize that the narcissist is different - a being with a towering ego and zero self respect , who therefore is not above behaving childish, irrationally, or insanely on purpose..... just to get his way with you.

Because he never has to know he's doing that. He can forever not know he's doing that. That's what his Magical Thinking Machine is for.....Playing Pretend.

Parts of this article taken from Kathy Krajco