The only thing single mothers are “victims” of is their own choice to have sex with men they’re not married to. Liberals seem to believe that drinking soda is voluntary, but getting pregnant is more like catching the flu.
It would be hard to make the case that fast food, plastic bags and cigarettes do more damage than single motherhood.
– Controlling for socioeconomic status, race and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is that he was raised by a single mother.
– At least 70 percent of juvenile murderers, pregnant teenagers, high school dropouts, teen suicides, runaways and juvenile delinquents were raised by single mothers.
– A study back in 1990 by the Progressive Policy Institute showed that, absent single motherhood, there would be no difference in black and white crime rates.
So liberals don’t try to make that case. They just say they’re against “shaming” and then go back to shaming gun owners, non-recyclers, smokers and “Big Gulp” aficionados — while subsidizing illegitimacy.
I used to hate politics. Then I met Ann Coulter.
In case you haven’t seen PCU, allow me to explain: I am only one of many in my generation who grew into adulthood harboring a strong desire to avoid all forms of political discussion. For many of us growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, the deafening liberal attacks coming across cable news, talk radio, and then the internet defined politics as a source of talking-head tsuris and therefore best avoided at all costs.
The unavoidable reality hit when I enrolled in grad school and promptly learned the phrase: “Everything is political.” And that was before I got the chance to interview the prospective film studies professor who declared himself a communist without blinking an eye.
Critical theory, my chosen area of study, comes in many forms. The most memorable (and popular) being a series of schools based on race/ethnicity/gender/sexual demarcations that could easily be classified under the heading “White Men Are Coming To Get You Studies.” All theories are taught under the general pseudo-philosophical guideline of postmodernism. I could spend entire articles trying to explain that one. Instead, I’ll just let this handy little comic do it for me.
Nothing I learned made sense yet all of it was accepted as holy. Any time I would question these ideas I would receive furrowed brows, gobsmacked expressions, or simply be told in so many words that I just “didn’t get it.” These reactions probably wouldn’t have bothered me so much except for the fact that they were coming from the professor who would sign off on my thesis, providing me with the paperwork I needed to graduate and get the hell out of Dodge.
Hell. I was in hell. Instead of being taught how to think, I was paying to be told what to think. Waiting in the airport for my flight back to campus after winter break, I contemplated throwing in the towel. And then, I heard an angel’s voice and a bright light beckoned me to the bookstore in the terminal…
Okay, not totally. But I do know for a fact that finding Ann Coulter’s Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right on my way to the plane was a divine appointment. Three hours later I landed on solid ground and felt my feet beneath me for the first time in 18 months. Finally, someone was making sense.
Perhaps if conservatives had had total control over every major means of news dissemination for a quarter century, they would have forgotten how to debate, too, and would just call liberals stupid and mean.
Ann waited until page 2 to verbalize the crux of the problem I’d been facing: This liberal professor had total control and, therefore, could demean and dismiss me whenever he liked.
Or so he thought and so did I, until I met Ann Coulter.
Can you get a freelance job in five days? You definitely cannot get a freelance job in five days if you do not try.
People in their twenties (also known as People Most Likely to Be/Want to Be Freelancers) send me emails on occasion. Oftentimes, they want to know: How can I get a freelancing job?
Most of the time I don’t reply. I’m too busy freelancing.
TIP #1: You’re not unemployed
Recently, a twentysomething I know and like emailed me, and she was like, “I’m unemployed!” And I was like, “No, you’re not. You’re self-employed.” With this easy rhetorical trick, you can go from unemployed to self-employed in under 60 seconds.
Once upon a time, I was unemployed. Really, it wasn’t that long ago. The biggest obstacle between you and employment is your brain.
Side-effects of unemployment can include but are not limited to: low self-esteem, depression, loneliness, anxiety, and paralysis.
You don’t have to be unemployed to be a freelancer — that’s the great thing about freelancing: anyone can do it — but the unemployed may find the gravel shoulder on the journey to employment is made of freelance gigs.
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Kathy Shaidle: Talent Isn’t Everything: 5 Secrets to Freelance Success
Religion, God, transcendence, spirituality: do these things exist independently of the human mind or are they products of neurochemical firings of the brain? When Saul had his revelatory experience on the road to Damascus, had he fallen under the spell of a seizure, as some have claimed, or was it a flash of the divine that caused his conversion to Christianity? When Fyodor Dostoevsky experienced the self-transcendent moment he describes below, was he momentarily elevated into a mysterious mystical realm or was he having a fit of temporal lobe epilepsy?
The air was filled with a big noise and I tried to move. I felt the heaven was going down upon the earth and that it engulfed me. I have really touched God. He came into me myself, yes God exists, I cried, and I don’t remember anything else. You all, healthy people . . . can’t imagine the happiness which we epileptics feel during the second before our fit . . . I don’t know if this felicity lasts for seconds, hours or months, but believe me, for all the joys that life may bring, I would not exchange this one.
Over at the Atlantic, two scientists and doctors–the renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks and radiologist Richard Gunderman–are debating these fascinating questions.
In his new book Hallucinations, Oliver Sacks writes, “One must wonder to what extent hallucinatory experiences have given rise to our art, folklore, and even religion.” In his recent piece for the Atlantic titled “Seeing God in the Third Millenium,” he went on to argue:
Hallucinations, whether revelatory or banal, are not of supernatural origin; they are part of the normal range of human consciousness and experience. This is not to say that they cannot play a part in the spiritual life, or have great meaning for an individual. Yet while it is understandable that one might attribute value, ground beliefs, or construct narratives from them, hallucinations cannot provide evidence for the existence of any metaphysical beings or places. They provide evidence only of the brain’s power to create them.
When I interviewed Sacks for a profile, his words were slightly softer: “There is always a brain basis for these various religious states, although this says nothing of the meaning or value of hallucinations. I don’t think it’s at all reductive.”
Continue reading at Acculturated.
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Only one public policy has ever been shown to reduce the death rate from such crimes: concealed-carry laws.
Their study controlled for age, sex, race, unemployment, retirement, poverty rates, state population, murder arrest rates, violent crime rates, and on and on.
The effect of concealed-carry laws in deterring mass public shootings was even greater than the impact of such laws on the murder rate generally.
Someone planning to commit a single murder in a concealed-carry state only has to weigh the odds of one person being armed. But a criminal planning to commit murder in a public place has to worry that anyone in the entire area might have a gun.
You will notice that most multiple-victim shootings occur in “gun-free zones” — even within states that have concealed-carry laws: public schools, churches, Sikh temples, post offices, the movie theater where James Holmes committed mass murder, and the Portland, Ore., mall where a nut gunned down shoppers a few weeks ago.
Guns were banned in all these places. Mass killers may be crazy, but they’re not stupid.
If the deterrent effect of concealed-carry laws seems surprising to you, that’s because the media hide stories of armed citizens stopping mass shooters. At the Portland shooting, for example, no explanation was given for the amazing fact that the assailant managed to kill only two people in the mall during the busy Christmas season.
It turns out, concealed-carry-holder Nick Meli hadn’t noticed that the mall was a gun-free zone. He pointed his (otherwise legal) gun at the shooter as he paused to reload, and the next shot was the attempted mass murderer killing himself. (Meli aimed, but didn’t shoot, because there were bystanders behind the shooter.)
In a nonsense “study” going around the Internet right now, Mother Jones magazine claims to have produced its own study of all public shootings in the last 30 years and concludes: “In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun.”
This will come as a shock to people who know something about the subject.
The magazine reaches its conclusion by simply excluding all cases where an armed civilian stopped the shooter: They looked only at public shootings where four or more people were killed, i.e., the ones where the shooter wasn’t stopped.
If we care about reducing the number of people killed in mass shootings, shouldn’t we pay particular attention to the cases where the aspiring mass murderer was prevented from getting off more than a couple rounds?
It would be like testing the effectiveness of weed killers, but refusing to consider any cases where the weeds died.
Image courtesy shutterstock / Darren Liby
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As every Jew will tell you, in the traditional Jewish calendar Hanukkah is not big deal. It reached its present status because it happens to fall at the same time as Christmas. Jewish parents, therefore, turned it into a gift-giving holiday so that their children didn’t feel completely left out from the happy, generous, celebratory Christmas season.
The fact that it’s not a big religious holiday, though, doesn’t mean that Hanukkah doesn’t commemorate an extremely important event, one that has enduring meaning to all freedom seeking individuals. For those who don’t know it, the story of Hanukkah is as follows:
Since time immemorial, nations have fought over that small patch of land we now call Israel. Considering that nature was less than generous in endowing Israel with fresh water or arable land, there must indeed be something special about the Holy Land, some transcendent aura, that has made it such a tantalizing prize to so many nations and people.
In 168 B.C.E., Greek soldiers located in modern-day Syria seized the great Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and defiled it by dedicating it to Zeus. Jews were appalled and offended, but still passively accepted this insult, for fear of incurring even greater wrath from the Greeks. Human nature, though, is human nature, and you cannot appease a tyrant. Heartened by Jewish passivity, the very next year, Antiochus, the Syrian-Greek emperor, mandated that any Jews who observed Jewish rituals would be put to death. Just to make sure he was completely clear, he also ordered that all Jews must affirmatively worship the Greek gods.
image courtesy shutterstock / Wally Stemberger
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President Obama’s bid to control what your children learn in school is surely one of the most important and disturbing of his many transformative plans. Not only is Obama’s attempt to devise what is in effect a national K–12 school curriculum arguably unconstitutional and illegal, the fact that most Americans have no idea that the new “Common Core” (a.k.a. Obamacore) even exists may be the most troubling thing about it.
Today’s Washington Post features an article on the controversy being kicked up by the new English curriculum that 46 states and the District of Columbia are just now waking up to. Not coincidentally, this new education war is hitting less than a month after Obama’s re-election, just in time to prevent the public from taking the most effective step it could have to block the changes. You have to get nearly to the end of today’s Post article even to get a hint of the fact that Obama is the real force behind the new curriculum. Following that link takes you to an article that more frankly lays out Obama’s role in commandeering the substance of what’s taught in the nation’s schools. The print version of this September 21, 2012 article featured a more revealing headline than the web version: “Education overhaul largely bypasses Congress.”
image courtesy shutterstock / Valerii Kotulskyi
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The 79 million boomers alive today make up over a quarter of the entire American population. Last year, the oldest members of the generation turned 65. For the next 18 years, 10,000 boomers will turn 65 each day, according to the Pew Research Center. Today, the average life expectancy for women in America is 81 years old. For men, it is 76 years old. According to Gallup, the expected retirement age in the United States is 67. So, as Boomers enter into the retirement that precedes the end of their lives, will they find meaning and satisfaction as they age? Will they thrive, flourish, take a slow ride off into the sunset?
This is an enormously important question not just because of the implications it has on the happiness of real people, but also for the consequences it will have on society, social services, and our culture as a whole. As Pew points out, “By force of numbers alone, they almost certainly will redefine old age in America, just as they’ve made their mark on teen culture, young adult life and middle age.”
The baby boomers are becoming characterized by startlingly high rates of depression and pessimism. Boomers are more depressed and less satisfied with their lives than both those who are older and younger than them, according to a study published in the American Sociological Review in 2008.
Women, in particular, are suffering. In the American population generally, women tend to be more depressive than men, and this is true of the boomers as well. In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 1999 and 2004, rates of suicide increased by 20 percent for 45-to-54-year-olds, a far greater increase than that experienced in nearly every other age group. Among women who were 45-to-54-year-olds, the increase was a staggering 31 percent. Suicide aside, boomers have found another way to cope with their doldrums: according to the National Institute of Health, between 2002 and 2011, the number of illicit drugs users aged 50 to 59 tripled.
What is going on? This is a generation that is better educated, more successful, and has better access to health care than the generations that directly preceded it. This is the generation whose women benefitted from the gains of second wave feminism.
Experts on aging, depression, and happiness are at a loss for what is causing the boomers’ funk. One explanation is stress. “Much of the research is pointing to daily stress as a precipitator of their depression,” according to Donald A. Malone, Jr., the director of the Mood and Anxiety Clinic in the department of psychiatry and psychology at the Cleveland Clinic.
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DON’T BE A DREAM CRUSHER!
This article is utter drivel.
Your article is b.s.
And Susannah Breslin should not be a writer.
Maybe one day you too will be a story teller as opposed to a blow hard braggart.
I’ve written about negative feedback here before: “This Is Why You’re Stupid, or How to Deal with Criticism on the Internet.”
For the most part, criticism of this sort doesn’t bother me. They’re responding to what I wrote, not me.
Plus, I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’ve gotten used to it.
Supposedly, the web is a “conversation.”
Meanwhile, brands are obsessed with consumer “engagement” — but only so they can figure out how they can turn it into profits.
(I ought to know, I used to be a Facebook whisperer.)
I think the real reason people communicate online is because they are communicating with themselves.
It may look like a blog post, an article, a tweet, a status update, an infographic, a photograph.
But what you’re witnessing is someone engaged with, holding a conversation, communicating with themselves.
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The Papyrus of Ani was created in Egypt about 1250 B.C. It represents the best preserved, longest, most ornate, and beautifully executed example of the form of mortuary text known as The Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Ani was an important Temple scribe. He and his wife Tutu chose from among some 200 available prayers, hymns, spells, and ritual texts the 80 that most appealed to them. Their completed scroll measured some 78 feet long by 15 inches in height. Their likenesses were painted among the elaborately crafted hieroglyphic vignettes. This individualized papyrus roll would be buried with them, with the intention of opening a gateway in the afterlife. If successful in persevering through the trials they encountered there, they would be free to eventually feast and dally with the gods.
As a magical, polytheistic religion, the Egyptian faith was alive with creativity and energy. It involved a continuous interaction between the individual and the various deities who constituted its elaborate and exalted pantheon. The dignity afforded the observant Egyptian was an invigorating state. One who had led an upright moral life, had shown respect to the gods, and been strong enough to proceed through the dangers and trials of the afterlife, was invited to join the gods—playing board games in beautiful fields, drinking beer, eating, even making love. The successful adherent would reach a stellar glory of his own, at last a member of that hierarchy he had honored throughout his life.
The prayers of The Egyptian Book of the Dead are connected to certain archetypal images. Thus an invocation to Osiris, the Lord of the Underworld, will be written within a painting (or vignette) of that deity. The meaning of the scene is a marriage of word and image, reaching well beyond the merely verbal level of comprehension. One of the best known examples is the Weighing of the Heart scene below. The heart (the moral integrity of the deceased, his conscience) is weighed against the feather of Truth and Justice. If the cumulative effects of a person’s life have allowed his soul to be as light as the feather of Truth, he or she is judged pure and allowed to continue on with the journey. However, if the person’s heart is weighted down with the burden of sin, his soul is flung to the great monster who awaits the recording of the verdict and is no more.
Plate 3: The Weighing of the Heart. (As restored © 1994, 1998 James Wasserman)
In 1888, Ani’s papyrus was acquired by Sir E.A. Wallis-Budge, assistant Keeper of the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum and author of numerous books on ancient Near Eastern civilizations. He described the Papyrus as the largest he had ever seen. “… I was amazed at the beauty and freshness of the colours of the human figures and animals, which in the dim light of the candles and heated air of the tomb, seemed to be alive.” Budge recognized the Papyrus of Ani was the greatest of such scrolls ever found.
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In the spring of 2008, when I was a junior in college, I was sitting in the student center, waiting to meet up with a friend—let’s call her Nicole—for coffee. Nicole was a freshman girl who had graduated from an elite northeastern high school at the top of her class. She came to school hoping to study economics. In the nine months that had passed since she first stepped foot on campus, she had become a different person. She talked less. She stopped exercising. And she started walking around with her eyes to the ground. The lively girl I had known in the fall, who reminded me of so many freshman girls I had met as editor of a campus publication and vice president of my sorority, had recently been placed on suicide watch by the university health clinic.
What had happened?
Not long after she arrived on campus in September, Nicole had started hooking up with a guy who belonged to one of the more popular fraternities on campus. As she explained to me over coffee that day, one night in the fall, she got drunk and ended up having sex with this guy in his dingy frat room, which was littered with empty cans of Keystone Light and pizza boxes. She woke up the next morning to find a used condom tangled up in the sheets. She couldn’t remember exactly what had happened that night, but she put the pieces together. She smiled, looked at the frat brother, and lay back down. Eventually, she put her clothes on and walked back to her dorm. Mission accomplished: She was no longer a virgin.
This was a routine she repeated for months. Every weekend night, and on some weekday nights, she would drink so heavily that she could remember only patches of what happened the night before and then would have sex with the same fraternity brother. One night, she was talking with someone else at the frat when the brother interrupted her and led her upstairs to have sex. On another occasion, they had sex at the frat, but Nicole was too drunk to find her clothes afterward, so she started walking around the house naked, to the amusement of all of the other brothers. She was too drunk to care. Eventually, everything went dark. Next weekend, she returned to the frat.
On that spring day, as Nicole told me these stories, she didn’t make eye contact with me.
When I asked Nicole if she was still hooking up with the same frat boy, she shook her head. She explained that the entire time she was having sex with him he never once spoke to her or acknowledged her outside of his fraternity’s basement. Not in the library, not in the dining hall, not at the bookstore.
“One time, I waved at him in front of the food court and said hi, but he just ignored me.”
“Was he with anyone?” I asked—as though that would make a difference.
“A bunch of his friends.”
I later told Nicole’s story to a close guy friend. “What a jerk, right?” My friend, also a frat brother, objected: “After the first time, it starts becoming the girl’s fault, too.” Nicole and the frat brother were just hooking up, after all—what didn’t I get?
Continue Reading at The Atlantic for Emily’s moderate, middle-ground solution…
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Lady Gaga: ‘I Quite Like the Transference of Strength I Feel By Submitting To a Man – Being Under Him.’
This month, I’ll be chronicling my life as a freelancer.
This is Day 1.
TIP #1: Timing is everything.
I spend several days and one therapy session trying to figure out what to do with my Forbes blog this month.
Last month, I didn’t post much at all. The month before that, I wrote about obscenity. Originally, this blog was about what happened after I got downsized.
My therapist tries to convince me that whatever I do will be good.
I wait until I have 30 minutes left in the day, EST, and then I start.
TIP #2: Work slower.
Have you heard of the slow food movement? It’s part of the slow movement. Apparently, there’s something called the slow work movement. Pete Bacevice is its philosopher.
I decide I’m a recovering workaholic. The slow work movement will be my Alcoholics Anonymous. I will take 30 days to become a slower worker.
In theory, if you work less, you are happier. I am not sure how to get there. But I will try.
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Not too long ago, I praised Miss Dunham’s critically acclaimed HBO show “Girls” for its candid depiction of the hook-up culture. With its painfully awkward and unerotic sex scenes, the Emmy-nominated show revealed just how grim and degrading sex in the era of post-feminism has become, especially for women.
The show’s message that casual sex leads to the objectification of women stood in direct contrast to the standard pop culture trope — found in shows like “Sex and the City,” magazines like Cosmopolitan, and movies like “No Strings Attached” — that sex with no strings attached empowers girls.
“I felt like I was cruelly duped by much of the television I saw,” Miss Dunham told the New York Times last spring on the eve of the debut of “Girls.”
“I heard so many of my friends saying, ‘Why can’t I have sex and feel nothing?’ It was amazing: that this was the new goal,” she said in another interview with The Times.
Sex, in other words, is not a casual thing. To act like it is leads to the objectification of women.
That was Miss Dunham 1.0.
To Miss Dunham 2.0, women really are just sexual objects, after all. They make important decisions, like voting for president, by consulting what goes on between their legs rather than by what goes on between their ears. As she advises in the ad, “You want to do it with a guy who cares whether you get health insurance and specifically whether you get birth control.”
Translation: The kind of guy you should have sex with (or vote for) is someone whose primary concern is not with who you are, what you want, or what you think, but with you not getting pregnant with his kid. To me, this guy sounds like a jerk. To Miss Dunham, this guy sounds like Barack Obama. This must be a joke right? “The video may be light, but the message is serious,” Miss Dunham tweeted last week.
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A grand and powerful woman I once knew died after two encounters with cancer and a devastating stroke took her from the realm of normal life into the storm tossed waters that surround us all on every side. She’d never been a religious woman and, growing up in a segregated South where so many churches and churchgoers defended a brutal system of institutionalized injustice and cruelty, she was always a rebel against the conventional piety and ritualized religious life she saw around her.
But late in her life when the winds around her howled and the dark waters were rising, she was driven to face the truth behind the illusions and the pretense, and told the person she loved best in all the world that “I’ve made my peace with God.”
That is something we all need to do. It involves a recognition of our helplessness and insufficiency before the mysteries and limits of life. Like the First Step in the Twelve Step programs, it begins with an acknowledgment of failure and defeat. We each try to build a self-sufficient world, a sturdy little life that is proof against storms and disasters — but none of us can really get that done.
Strangely, that admission of weakness opens the door to a new kind of strength. To acknowledge and accept weakness is to ground our lives more firmly in truth, and it turns out that to be grounded in reality is to become more able and more alive. Denial is hard work; those who try to stifle their awareness of the limits of human life and ambition in the busy rounds of daily life never reach their full potential.
To open your eyes to the fragility of life and to our dependence on that which is infinitely greater than ourselves is to enter more deeply into life. To come to terms with the radical insecurity in which we all live is to find a different and more reliable kind of security. The joys and occupations of ordinary life aren’t all there is to existence, but neither are the great and all-destroying storms. There is a calm beyond the storm, and the same force that sends these storms into our lives offers a peace and security that no storm can destroy. As another one of the psalms puts it, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Accepting your limits and your dependence on things you can’t control is the first step on the road toward finding that joy.
Via Meadia hopes that all our readers survived Hurricane Sandy with their lives intact and their property whole. And more than that, we hope that our readers will take the opportunity that a storm like this offers, step back from their daily lives, and reach out to the Power who plants his footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm. Getting the right connection with the highest power of all not only gives you a place of refuge when the big storm finally comes; it transforms daily life and infuses ordinary occupations with greater meaning and wonder than you ever understood.
Hat tip: A
Image courtesy shutterstock / dundanim
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Last week, I talked about Ann Coulter’s new book Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama.
Like all her books, this one is difficult to write about in a thousand words or less.
They’re always packed with quotable quotes, shocking discoveries from MSM archives, little-known historical nuggets — and infuriating stylistic tics (like speed-bumping serious arguments with sarcastic, and sometimes obtuse, jokes).
So I’m back with more about Mugged, along with an investigation into what I call Coulter Derangement Syndrome, or CDS.
You know what I mean:
Ann Coulter’s very existence sets millions of folks off.
(Some of those people even call themselves conservative.)
What’s that about?
And how does CDS impact the reception for, and potential impact of, Mugged?
Speaking as a foreigner, can I just say on behalf of the rest of the world that America should either have that “frank discussion about race” pronto – or shut the hell up about it.
Yeah, yeah, slavery, blah. We know.
But it is SO weird watching you guys from a distance, obsessing over a horrible thing that happened 150 years ago.
When the topic turns to race, the same nation that invented Hollywood, jazz, and manned space flight transforms, Hyde-style, into a shriveled hypochondriac with Tourette syndrome, nervously taking its “tolerance” temperature (rectally) every half hour and announcing the embarrassing results to all within earshot, between yelling “Selma! Juneteenth!! Tuskgeegee!!!” over and over again.
We kinda wanna slap you.
Is Apple (AAPL) a sin stock?
That’s the question Gerry Sullivan, portfolio manager of the Vice Fund (VICEX), raised in his interview with Forbes capital market reporter Abram Brown in “Guns, Booze and Gambling: Sinful Stocks for a Recession-Proof Portfolio.”
Brown asked Sullivan if the vice industries-focused fund was considering adding any new sin stocks.
Here’s Sullivan’s response:
I’d consider video games an addiction. Apple products too. We’ve actually gone through and asked, is Apple a vice stock?
So, is it?
I asked tech experts, sin stock specialists, and a Jesuit priest.
What’s a sin stock?
The Vice Fund concentrates on four sectors: alcohol, tobacco, gaming, and weapons/defense. Investopedia defines a “sinful stock” as “Stock from companies that are associated with (or are directly involved in) activities that are widely considered to be unethical or immoral.” More broadly, vice industries tend to have higher barriers to entry, may or may not produce products that are harmful or addictive, and could have complex legal and tax issues.
The way investor James Altucher sees it, Apple is a “spice stock,” somewhere between a vice stock and not.
“I would not think of [Apple] as a vice fund, but I certainly use the iPad as an escape, so it depends on how we define vice,” Altucher says in an email. “Although I guess the best thing would be if I just meditated on planes, instead of played Temple Run the entire time.”
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I sit outside on the Sprinkles bench. People stop and stare at the Cupcake ATM. Sometimes, they pose in front of it, holding up their box with a cupcake in it and smiling.
One of the selections from the Cupcake ATM is a Doggie Cupcake. It has a sticker on the box with a bone on it and a little edible bone on top of the frosting so you don’t get confused and eat it, thinking it’s for humans.
Later, I will show Jake the Doggie Cupcake. Jake will not be aware it came from a Cupcake ATM and will not care. He will smell it and smile widely. He is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and blessed with a sunny disposition. I will hand him the Doggie Cupcake, which he will take to his dog bed, where he will eat the cupcake with gusto. Finished, he will look at me expectantly, wanting more.
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Last month Dr. Helen blogged about the development of sex-robots.
Now Susannah Breslin — the most talented journalist writing about pornography today — has a fascinating report on an industry in transformation.
Fixx is the market research manager for the Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network, an online adult company that bills itself on its website as “THE #1 ADULT VIDEO ON DEMAND THEATER IN THE WORLD!” Among other properties, AEBN owns PornoTube, an X-rated YouTube, and xPeeps, an adult webcam site that encourages users to “xpose yourself.” It also produces the product Fixx is hawking.
I stick my finger into the rubbery, flesh-colored slit on the side of a plastic grey peanut the size of a very large loaf of bread. This is RealTouch, an “award-winning male masturbator” designed by a former NASA engineer that syncs with adult movies to simulate sex for the male with which it is interacting through your computer’s USB port. The device retails for $325, and the package includes 120 RealTouch VOD minutes, anti-bacterial cleaner, and a 90-day limited warranty.
More recently, the company has begun marketing the RealTouch JoyStick, the lingam to the RealTouch’s yoni, which is to say it looks like a dildo. Available only to adult webcam models at this time, the joystick serves as a remote control for the RealTouch device, enabling users in remote locations to have “True Internet Sex™!”
Per Fixx’s instruction, Savannah Steele, a busty blonde porn star in a lab coat, moves the joystick, and the mechanism tightens around my finger and increases speed.
“It feels like having sex with a robot,” I announce. I extract my finger and wipe it off with a wet wipe from the box on the table.
Earlier this year I reviewed Doug Rushkoff’s graphic novel A.D.D Adolescent Demo Division. The sci-fi vision of a near-future with hyper media-savvy youth. He predicted this development and also the response many Millennials will have:
In your email, say who you are, explain exactly what happened, and attempt to be succinct. Make it clear that you will not be doing business with them if this is where things are left. I wanted to do business with this store because it was the easiest choice, so I was trying to get a win-win solution: I get the customer service I want so I can buy the product I want, and they get my money.
I’m pretty adept at figuring out what people’s emails are. This is because I’m also a journalist, and I have to do that on occasion. Can’t find the CEO’s email? Identify the email format company for others at the company. Is it firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com? Identify the email template and the CEO’s name, and you can probably figure out what his or her email is. After you think you have it, run it through Google and see if you get a hit.
Why would you email the CEO if you don’t expect a response? Because you’re going to use this email to get what you want.
But really start from the beginning and read the entire post. It’s another example of why Susannah Breslin — a woman undergoing chemo therapy for breast cancer and still churning out fun, inspiring career and life advice every week — should be on your “Read Everything They Write” list.