Category Archives: Opinion

Real Twaddle

Once in a while you see a video that is so full of crap that you cannot remain silent

 

This whole “Real Man™” thing is quite laughable, and is a creation of women.

Women dream of “finding that special someone” – and there is nothing wrong with that… but all too often they have a list of non-negotiable qualities (must be tall, handsome, confident, brave, bold, charming, adventurous, generous, honorable..), that said list only increases in length as they get older and their charms (and options) fade.

If that wasn’t bad enough, women are actively putting off marriage, effectively sacrificing it on the altar of career. Too many times they hit the big three-oh and — shock horror — find that not only can they not get the men that they want, but the ones they rejected in the past for the most trivial of reasons (“he’s too short” “his eyes are too close together”) are now off the market, or looking past them to younger, hotter, tighter models. What follows looks a lot like the five stage of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Acceptance… and Cats. Don’t be that girl.

At the same time, the kind of men that they are looking for (fit, healthy and affluent) are starting to realize their value. What then follows is a game of musical chairs throughout their thirties and forties. By fifty, it is a bloodbath with dozens of women chasing each “eligible” man… only to find that he is chasing girls ten or even fifteen years younger.

So how does a girl marry once and for life? Here is my advice, based in observation and personal experience:

  1. Marry Young: These days, women are putting off marriage into their thirties, a point at which their most fertile and attractive years are behind them. And they are shocked to find that the men that they want don’t want them. Bottom line: Give us the best years of your life (your twenties, and anyone who is trying to tell you otherwise is either competition or is trying to sell you something), and we will give you the rest of ours.
  2. Be Chaste: Statistically speaking, a virgin bride has a 96% chance of reaching her tenth wedding anniversary. Add one pre-marriage sex partner and that probability drops to 76% (comparison: for a man to experience the same twenty-point drop, he has to have seventeen partners). Add nine more notches to her gun-belt and the probability of a ten-year marriage drops to 15%. Mathematics doesn’t care whether you like it or not.
  3. Grow your hair long: “You look so much nicer with your hair cut short”, said no man, ever. Yes, it is hard work, and yes, it is convenient — but then, so is growing old alone. Your move.
  4. Dress to impress…: Walk around the typical supermarket and you will see them out in force: young women wearing ugly shoes (crocs/uggs/flipflops), sweats, and that disgusting pineapple hairstyle that is the hallmark of the lazy woman. The good news is that with such low standards everywhere, it is easy to stand out: Proper shoes (with a heel) and a nice flowing dress. And for heaven’s sake, do something with your hair.
  5. …but don’t overdo it: Too many women confuse “sexy” and “beautiful”. If you dress like a stripper, don’t get annoyed when we treat you like one. A Real Man™ wants you to be his personal slut, so save the lingerie, booty shorts, tank tops and thongs for his eyes only.
  6. Don’t be fat: This is huge, if you’ll pardon the pun. Too many (about two-thirds) are overweight. Excess poundage in women kills attraction in men in the same way that shortness in men does for women.
  7. Be nice: Too many women confuse “strength” with being bold, brash, brassy, bossy or bitchy. Being able to belch, fart and cuss like a man may seem to work for a while, but it will drive the “Real Men™” away; to them, “Strong and Independent” looks a lot like “Annoying and Irritating”. Instead, concentrate on feminine strength. Kindness, respect, vulnerability… men are drawn to these. “If you want to attract a gentleman, behave like a lady“.
  8. Be Honest: Too many women try to become what the man wants. If you have to pretend to be the woman he wants to marry, the marriage will not work.
  9. Be Humble: Entitlement is another attraction killer. If you want a man who will lead you, be prepared to follow. If you want a man who is willing to die for you, be prepared to live for him.

A “Real Man™” won’t settle for leftovers. We want you at your best, and won’t settle for anything less. We want to be your first love, not your last resort.

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Illusion, Delusion, and Disillusion

Or: “Ewwwww…”

Once in a while, you see a story in the news that makes you shake your head sadly and wonder what the writer was thinking — or smoking — when she wrote it. This is one such story.

Where have all the good men gone? These sassy, sophisticated, solvent women say they are struggling to find other halves that can measure up

The Daily Mail is no longer accepting commentary, I have decided to reprint the story in its entirety and add my commentary in-line. I wouldn’t normally do anything that extreme, but this article contains so many untruths, half-truths, and outright delusions that I felt it was necessary. As best I understand it, copying for the purpose of discussion and comment is legal, and is therefore not a copyright violation.

The title alone sets the tone. “measure up“? To whose standards? But on to the bye-lines:

  • Five single women share why they’ve struggled to find men worth dating

Correction: Five middle-aged single women share why they’ve struggled to find men they believe to be worth dating. There. Fixed that for you.

  • They ask if it is possible to find independent, attractive mid-life daters

Possible? Certainly. Probable? No. “Independent, attractive” men are rare beasts, and they are in astronomically high demand.

  • One dating coach says there are seven women for every man aged 40-55

Correction: seven desperate single women for every eligible man aged 40-55.

So much for the bylines, now on to the purple prose…

At 48, Jane Townsend is beautiful, independent — and single. She keeps fit, takes great care of her appearance and is looking for a man who is active, in good shape, articulate and emotionally open.

Given her good looks and vivacious nature, eligible suitors must surely be beating a path to her door.

“Good looks?” “Vivacious nature?” Let us gaze upon the wonderfulness of this pulchritudinous creature…

Jane Townsend, 48, was told by one relationship coach that women her age should go for men 15 years older, making her current dating goal a man aged 63 

Do you want to you have sex with this woman? Me neither.

Yet as Jane, from Sheffield, explains, it has been a struggle: ‘The men out there are delusional…

It’s Jane who is delusional. She is looking for a handsome, fit, charming man in his fifties – the mythical “Silver Fox”. trouble is, every woman her age is dreaming of bagging one of those, and there are plenty of younger ones who would love to bag him as well. As a result, any man over 50 who has a little money in his pockets and is in good physical shape can *easily* find a wife ten years younger, and probably fifteen — and if he is just interested in casual, commitment-free dating he can go all the way down to the early twenties. There are several websites out there for that. Looks to me like the poor dear has a bad case of DPS (Disney Princess Syndrome).

…I went out with a guy who lied about his age, saying he was 47 when he was 50…

Women lie about their ages all the time. But let a man do it and it’s suddenly a heinous crime. And why does that three years make such a difference? It’s not like he said he was thirty…

…who then had the gall to tell me he wanted a younger woman so he, as he put it, “could breed”.

What gall! How dare he! To be fair, that was a little crass, but at least he was up-front and direct about his requirements instead of lying, leading her on, or telling her what she wanted to hear…

‘After my divorce, I gave up my prime dating years to raise my two girls, expecting that when they left home, I’d have time left…

You made a choice; a noble, rational one. But choices have consequences. Didn’t anyone tell you that a woman’s attractiveness has a short shelf life? When they did, were you even listening?

…But there has been a shift and now the men aren’t there. Where I live it’s hard to find someone cultured unless they’re eating yoghurt, and the men my age all seem to be — well — more than a little overweight.’

Fair point; let’s take a look at the current crop of fifty-something men out there:

  • Some are happily married and off the market (they don’t want you).
  • Some are unhappily married and looking for a side piece (you don’t want them).
  • Some are divorced and ruined (you won’t want them).
  • Some are dating younger women (They won’t want you)
  • Some are doing the Sugar Daddy thing (they definitely won’t want you).
  • Some have given up entirely (you definitely won’t want them).
  • Widowers (and widows) are the best bet for marriage.. but they are in short supply and are snapped up very quickly.
  • Divorcees are a crap-shoot; nuggets of gold amid a whole lot of dross (good luck with that).

A divorced woman looking for a wealthy, in-shape, marriage-minded man in his fifties is like an overweight thirty-something-year-old plumber seriously expecting to hook up with a blonde, large-breasted cheerleader. Good luck with that.

Having been matchmaking single men and women for Femail’s Blind Date column for the past six months, I’d like to say Jane’s experiences are the exception…

If that is the exception, what is the rule?

…but what has struck me is just how many attractive women apply who seem to have so much going for them. They are in great physical shape, living full and interesting lives. Yet finding suitable men for them to date seems to be a heroic challenge.

“Attractive… so much going for them…” According to whom? Other women? It is written: “Ancient Egyptians worshiped cats. Cats have never forgotten this.” In the same way, women who have enjoyed incredible power in the dating market in their twenties are often the last to know when it that power is gone, never to return. The real problem is when they still think that they have the same sultry allure that drove men wild at ninteen, and have calibrated their expectations accordingly. Women in their fifties are at a considerable disadvantage.

This has left me wondering why a generation of single, sexy, solvent women just can’t find love.

Again with the gushy praise; enough already! To put it succinctly: men are attracted to youth and fertility. Always have been, always will be. Conversely, women are attracted to status and strength (physical/mental/emotional/financial). Always have been, always will be.

What immediately strikes female mid-life daters — of whom I am one — returning to the dating scene in later life after a marriage or long-term relationship, is the lack of single men.

What you actually mean is “The lack of single, handsome, healthy, wealthy, charming marriage-minded men”. Granny was right; young women have the pick of the men, older gals have to battle over the leavings. You should have listened to her.

According to Jo Hemmings, a behavioural psychologist and dating coach, there are an estimated seven new women for every man on the dating scene in the 40-55 age group, so availability is clearly a big issue.

This statistic seems sketchy. If each break-up puts one man and one woman back on the dating market, the numbers should be roughly equal. I suspect that we are seeing the Pareto principle in action: 80% of women are chasing the top 20% of men and ignoring the rest. When 80% of the women are chasing 20% of the men, the result can hardly fail to be anything else but a bloodbath.

‘I’ve had clients coming to me wondering: “Am I asking too much to find an attractive, independent, solvent guy of my age?” ’ she says.

Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: “You should have thought of that when you were 24”

As she explains, part of the issue is that when divorce strikes, men and women react in different ways.

Men’s relationships frequently overlap; they won’t leave one partner until they find another, so they are never really single.

ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. Three-quarters of divorces are initiated by the woman. In most cases, the man has no clue until she serves him with papers, leaves with the kids, or worse, has him thrown out of their house. (See #9 here). And in almost every case, she had everything planned in advance and had a “spare” lined up. This is borne out by reality as well as anecdote. Observe how many women “break up with (i.e., leave) their husbands and just happen to find a wonderful boyfriend “a few weeks later”.

…By contrast, women take longer to recover from a break-up. They often step out of the dating ring completely, sometimes for many years, to rebuild their lives or to focus on bringing up children.

Wrong again. Men commit suicide at nearly 5x the rate of women – up from 2x in 1982. And a leading cause of suicide among men over 40 is divorce. But women are always the victims, because women say they are — and data be damned.

‘When they return to dating, it’s really hard for them,’ says Jo. ‘There aren’t as many men because they have a wider pool. Men realise quite quickly that there are far fewer of them than there are women of a similar age. They then date much younger women, creating a huge void in the market.

Young pretty women run the game through their twenties. Because They Can. But after 30, men start to realize their value, the balance of power starts to shift.  After 40, men have all the power, so they can afford to be picky. And if they find themselves healthy, wealthy and single in their fifties, they will date the youngest, hottest girl they can find. Because They Can.

‘Traditionally women go for men who are their age or slightly older, so they are left wondering where all the men have gone.’

Not entirely true. Women prefer older men when they are young. But older women prefer younger men. When 48-year-old Jane found out that her 47-year-old date was actually 50, she was disappointed. Why is that?

When Jo coaches women on dating, she tells them to accept the reality. ‘It’s just a fact that there is a lack of available decent men,’ she says.

Definition of “Decent”, please? I’m guessing it looks a lot like: “Attractive, slender, tall, healthy, wealthy… stupid enough to think that he can’t do better than me.”

‘It’s tough when you’re looking for love. You have to realise that it’s not about you, it’s just a numbers game.’

It was always a numbers game. It was a numbers game when you were 18 and irresistible. What changed is that now, the numbers are not in your favor. And they never will be again.

But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Men, indoctrinated over generations to pursue younger women, are instinctively reluctant to consider those of a similar age to their own, even ones who look youthful and attractive.

What utter crap. In every society that has ever existed, throughout all of known history, men have prized youth and fertility in women, while women have prized strength and wealth in men. It’s not “indoctrination”, it’s biology, you stupid cow. I think I just found the source of the problem.

It is something I regularly notice when I set up dates.

Men need to open their eyes to the amazing women in their own age bracket.

Amazing? Where? And why should they, if they can do better?

With the statistics against them, women are motivated to want to look after themselves and make the best of what they have…

What other choice do they have?

..while there is no incentive for the men to do the same.

There is plenty of incentive… to pursue younger, more attractive women. As a general rule, the amount of effort a man is willing to expend in the pursuit a woman is based on his perceived value of her. And younger women are perceived as being more valuable. That’s not “indoctrination”, it’s biology. But by the time most men reach their fifties, their libido is no longer in the driving seat, and many have come to the conclusion that the juice is no longer worth the squeeze. So they get fat and unfit because they just… don’t…. care.

Jo says: ‘This generation of men don’t bother to make the effort to represent themselves in an attractive way, even online. Or they just list what they don’t want in a woman and say nothing about themselves — because they can.’

Because. They. Can.

And those men who do make an effort are in a position to be very choosy.

BINGO! Just like the girls were back in their twenties.

Online dating coach Suzie Parkus, of meetyourmatch.club, observes: ‘A man who has aged well, has a good outlook on life, a joie de vivre about him and who has seemingly done well for himself is very attractive to his peers. However, for the most part he is drawn to younger, sexier, more vibrant models.

BINGO! And such a man has literally hundreds of women pursuing him.

‘It has a lot to do with his self-perception in terms of being able to choose who and what he wants in a partner because he has the right to, given that he is in high demand.’

BINGO!

While good-looking men can pick and choose, attractive women such as Jane effectively become the victims of their drive to remain active and youthful.

“Youthful”? Compared to what?

Women in the over-45 bracket are the biggest buyers of beauty products, accounting for 58 per cent of the market. Last year, the 45 to 54 age group spent an average of £2,238 a year on beauty products, up 4.1 per cent on previous years.

Women in that age group should be playing with their grandchildren and not spending thousands of pounds a year on makeup and lingerie. But that’s just my opinion…

Jane says: ‘Women see the writing on the wall and take a grip on their health and beauty, staying active, keeping abreast of current affairs, studying, keeping beautiful.

Yes, I‘ve already seen your definition of “Beautiful”… and I’m not impressed.

‘I go to gym classes (made up mostly of women), whereas men my age just think they don’t have to make the effort because there are always dozens of younger women who will go out with them.’

BINGO!

A woman who looks great, feels good about herself and is solvent and independent-minded won’t be drawn to a man who has let himself go, or who may be interested in her but is far too old. So these magnificent midlife daters fall into a void.

There is no “void”, they’re just too damn picky. Your self-image is irrelevant. Your wealth is irrelevant. Your independence is irrelevant. Your magnificence is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated…

And it’s not just about looks — there is a difference in mindset between the sexes too.

As Jane will attest, middle-aged and 50-plus men tend to be set in their ways, less adventurous and less youthful in outlook. They want someone to look after them, while their female counterparts are looking for someone to explore the world and have fun with.

And all middle-aged women are sexy, svelte and stylish. Classic Apex Fallacy thinking. Let’s cut the crap, shall we?

By age 50, most men have either achieved their dreams or given up trying. Too many of them have had the moxie beaten out of them by the world, the culture or a rapacious spouse who spent money faster than they can earn it. More often than not, they have been mauled by a divorce and don’t want to go through that again. They want a quiet, predictable, happy life in a tranquil home with a pleasant, caring, respectful, attractive and sexually adventurous partner. This is a bad time for either side to try to re-live their twenties. I wonder why these “beautiful”, “amazing” “magnificent” women think they can… Perhaps it is because friends, family and poor-quality journalists keep inflating their egos by telling them how wonderful they are and how “any man would be lucky to have you”.

Jane was told by one relationship coach that women her age should go for men 15 years older, making her current dating goal a man aged 63. This is even less appealing, as it is effectively a different generation — and one with very different aspirations. ‘I’ve cared for children and my parents, and I don’t want to care for a man again,’ says Jane, summing up the attitude of many in her situation.

‘Older men are so set in their ways, you almost feel more like a carer than a girlfriend.’

Then feel free to grow old alone. Nobody is listening.

Lucy Verner, 46, is another frustrated midlife dater who has been single since splitting from her husband seven years ago.

‘I found internet dating absolutely awful,’ she says. ‘I live in East Kent and it’s such a small pool. There are exceptions, but on the whole I found the men who made contact were older — and certainly looked older — than me.

So move!

‘Men of my age target younger women and I don’t fancy the older men, so it’s a real problem. I’ve stopped looking. Having to get back in the dating market, I focused on getting myself fit again. But many men don’t seem to make the same effort.

Translation: “WAAAH! The top men don’t want me and I’m FAR too good for the average ones”

‘Online you see selfie pictures they have taken of themselves half-naked in bathrooms or slouching on sofas. Where is the effort in that?

‘Very few men are happy to be by themselves, too. They lurch from one relationship to another, whereas middle-aged women are a lot stronger and more self-assured than they were in the last generation.

If you’re so strong and self-assured… why do you need a man?

‘I have two children and a career to manage and I’m forthright. I think men find women like me intimidating.

No, we find you annoying and irritating. If you’ve got it all going on, you don’t need us.

‘I want a strong, independent man. Why is that so hard?’

Because every other past-her-prime divorcee your age is chasing the same few men. And we all want to know the same thing: How/why did your marriage end?

Julia Van Der Wens is 54. She was just 19 years old when she got married, and was with her husband for more than 30 years before he left her 18 months ago.

Why did he leave her? Bring him on and let him tell his side of the story…

‘I was devastated, of course, but I made the decision to keep on living my life. I lost weight, started getting into sport and now I look and feel the best I’ve ever been.

Oh… so you got fat while you were married, and didn’t look your best for him? That might explain it.

‘The problem isn’t the men not liking me, but me not fancying them.

And there it is: the dictionary definition of “Entitlement”.

I want someone athletic, not pot-bellied. Most of the men I meet seem really unfit.

An athletic, single wealthy man in his fifties is probably dating college-age girls. And you are starting to sound like an entitled, nagging shrew.

‘I tried dating websites but two of the men I met were at least ten years older than their photo. Sometimes I think I’m never going to meet anyone.’

And women have never done anything as shallow as that! How many hours did you spend in makeover-land for the photo-shoot for this story?

Lesley Roberts, 52, was married in her 20s and divorced in her 30s. She did meet someone new, but they split up after a couple of years and she has now been single for two years.

“Split up”? If he left her, she would say so, because woman=victim. I’m going to assume that she left him. So she has a track record for breaking a sacred vow. Good to know.

‘Men my age are all up for a pipe and slippers life, and I’m not,’ she says. ‘When I got married my husband was six years older than me, but I wouldn’t take that age gap now because men aged 52 to 60 are boring. They just don’t have any oomph in them.

Nothing like a divorce to take the “oomph” out of a man. And you should know. Sounds like he dodged a bullet when you left him.

‘Once they get past 48 they seem to turn into Victor Meldrew, yet women are making an effort and looking great.

In whose opinion? Yours? Other women’s? Self-praise is no recommendation.

I just decided that I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. I was going grey, so I went blonde.

Fake it till you make it. Good luck with that.

‘At this stage of my life I need someone who is independent. I’ve set the bar now and I don’t want someone who needs looking after —unless he shows he can look after me first.’

How high is the bar? If no suitable men are interested, either lower it or get some cats.

Should middle-aged women just forget men of their own age and date younger ones? Some argue that this is the way forward.

 HAHAHAHAHA! Good luck with that.

‘Younger men are drawn to older women as much as older men are drawn to younger women.

Nice try, but… nope! Older men are drawn to younger women because of biology. The reverse is unnatural and likely a result of feminist “indoctrination”.

And this is not a new phenomenon,’ says Suzie Parkus. ‘They are drawn to the confidence and life experience of older women, especially those who don’t look their age.

‘This is something I have experienced at first hand, as well as being told it by younger guys when I was matchmaking.’

Did those “younger guys” propose? Didn’t think so.

Laura Hall agrees. Tall, slim and gorgeous, the 42-year-old redhead has been single since her divorce in 2011.

Looks like we’re worn out “beautiful” and have moved up to “gorgeous”. If she was really was “gorgeous”, why is she still “single”? Having said that, she is easily the best looking of the bunch. By an amazing coincidence, she is also the youngest.

Smart and sassy, Laura has a doctorate in physics and works as an optical engineer, yet she finds the dating sites full of men her age and older who just seem lazy.

We’re not lazy. We just don’t care. Your PhD and fabulous career does not impress the kind of man you are looking for. And the rest presumably do not think that your fabulousness is worth the effort.

‘I prefer younger men now because they are fun, whereas the older ones are boring,’ she says. ‘It’s not even an aesthetic thing but a character thing. I can’t stand the fact that older men really don’t know how to support themselves.

SO WHY ARE YOU HERE????

‘I think women have been raised to believe they are winning an amazing prize to get a man, who then has a sense of entitlement — so he puts in no effort whatsoever and always thinks he can get better.’

No. Women are the ones with the entitlement. It’s written all over this article. Entitlement is wanting something that you cannot get. And if he can get better, why shouldn’t he?

Yet for many women, dating a much younger man still comes with too much baggage — and again, the playing field is not a level one.

Jane Townsend says she is often approached by men in their 20s.

Approached for what? For sex? For marriage? For practice?

‘The last date I went on he was 23 — and he was interesting and articulate and we had lots in common. But society says I shouldn’t be dating men like him.

Date him all you want! Good luck to you. Honestly. But don’t be surprised when you find out that he married someone else and was only using you for practice and entertainment until something better came along.

‘I’m called a cougar — which makes me out to be predatory — yet it’s perfectly acceptable for men to go out with Barbies half their age.’

Once again, arguing with Biology. Already asked and answered.

I know from my experience of talking to women who write in for a blind date how many want a younger man because men of their own age just don’t appeal any more.

Unless men change their attitude to dating women of a similar age to them, and make more effort with their personal care (and most women accept this is unlikely), it is hard to see how the situation can change for these gorgeous women.

There’s that “gorgeous” again. Self-praise, and all that. If men are getting what they want, why should they change?

But Jo Hemmings says we can still take heart. Her advice is to go online frequently, make the approach, don’t rule out meeting people in real life and be as socially active as you can.

‘Knowledge is power, so get the determination to take charge,’ she says.

‘You’ve got to make the choice to be that one woman in seven. It’s tough but possible.’

So you’re betting your future happiness on seven-to-one odds? Good luck.

So… what can I say to help women over fifty? Here are a few rules of thumb:

  1. Don’t divorce. A woman over 40 will find it very hard to find a husband. A divorced woman will find it twice as hard, as divorcees are statistically a bad bet for marriage. If you divorce, do so with the assumption that you will spend the rest of your life alone.
  2. If a man does not want to have sex with you, he’s not going to approach you, let alone marry you.
  3. You’re not eighteen anymore. From 18 to 30, women rule the dating world. They have youth and beauty. But what mother Nature giveth, Father Time taketh away… and they are usually the last ones to realize it.
  4. Neither is he. While all this is going on, quality men have been banking wealth, building character, and gaining experience… all of which are incredibly attractive to women of all ages.
  5. Stop choosing men who aren’t interested in you. Draw a Venn diagram with the men who are interested in you in one circle, the men you like in another. Choose from the intersection. If there is no intersection, raise your standards and lower your expectations.
Venn Diagram.jpg

Or get cats. Your choice

 To save you some pain, let me sum up the entire article in one sentence.
 “WAAAAH!! Middle-aged women complain bitterly that the men they want don’t want them”

Actually, that would have made for a far better and more accurate headline… but it wouldn’t have sold well to the ladies who will pay good money to be told what they desperately want to hear.

Thank you and goodnight

Missing the point

I just stumbled across this story.



They are no longer accepting comments, so I thought that I would add one here.

“Working class men are becoming poorer because they have lost the habit of living with a partner, economists said yesterday”

Nowhere in the article does it address one simple and obvious fact: Women don’t want poor men. That’s not a bug, it’s a feature; nothing wrong with that at all; when a woman bets her future on a man, she wants one who can provide for her and the children that they will make together.

Stop blaming men for women’s rational choices

Christmas in… August?

Just got this in my email:

 

My coverage does not run out until the end of the year, but they are trying to get me to pay up now; more than four months before the bill is due.

*SIGH*… They do this every year.

Six of the best

Six Quick and Easy Reforms to Lower the Cost of Healthcare

  1. Make all medically-necessary health expenses fully tax-deductible: Abolish the 10% AGI requirement. Do away with Health Tax Shelters such as FSAs and HSAs. Who loses: the Government and the banks. Who wins: Everybody else.
  2. Get rid of “sweetheart deals” that benefit only Insurance companies: All this “in-network” and “out of network” rubbish need to stop. Once upon a time, insured people paid full price so that the uninsured could get healthcare at zero or low cost. Then the Insurance Companies made a grab for the money that was left on the table. Providers were offered lower, fixed rates with insurance companies. Insurance companies need to pay the same as everybody else. Who loses: Insurance companies. Who wins: Everybody else.
  3. Allow providers to negotiate discounts: Under current Medicare Law, it is illegal for a Provider to offer you a discount. Who loses: The Government and Insurance companies. Who wins: Everybody else.
  4. Require Insurance companies to settle bills immediately: Medical care is the only area where you have no idea what it will cost you until you get a bill, weeks, often months, later. When you go to the pharmacy, you know how much your drugs will cost before you leave. A similar system needs to be implemented for medical care. Who loses: Insurance companies Who wins: Everybody else.
  5. Menu Pricing: Customers have a right to know the cost wherever possible, and shop around if necessary. Who loses: Doctors. Who wins: Everybody else.
  6. Discourage frivolous malpractice lawsuits. The way things stand, Doctors have to pay thousands of dollars a month. That pushes up the cost for everyone. Who loses: Lawyers and folks who want to sue for malpractice. Who wins: Everybody else.

Google Goes Googly

I’ve been a “fan” of Google for more than ten years. However, they just did something that made me feel very uncomfortable.

They recently updated their YouTube App, but when I went to The Android Market Google Play store I was confronted with the following horror-show:

That’s a bloody awful lot of permissions!

Why all the new permissions? Why does YouTube need access to my contents (which they already own) device info (which they already know) and Contacts (which they already store)?

But wait! There’s more! A few days later they replaced the “Not Now” link (why not a button?) on the nag screen nag screen with a thirty-second countdown timer:

Update Or else

This screen comes up every time the app is started, which is extremely annoying, Google are playing hardball in their attempt to get you to get you to upgrade… and sign away a load of your personal information for which they have no clearly explained need.

Unlike most users, I do not use my main account to watch YouTube, so it doesn’t affect me. Instead, I use a secondary account with no Contacts for them to scarf, so updating is no big deal for me. I advise other users to do the same. But it is enough to make one wonder…

Google, what on Earth are you playing at?

In. Equality

Hot on the heels of April Fools’ Day, apparently today is “Equal Pay Day”. It is not to be confused with “Equality Day”, which is in August. How many more of these feel-good political-BS Hallmark™-Holidays do we need? But I digress…

According to USA today, “Women make up roughly half the workforce. But in 2015, female full-time, year-round workers made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20%… Tuesday is Equal Pay Day, a symbolic day for advocates in the U.S. to show support for women in the workforce and draw attention to the gender pay gap.”

Close but no cigar

It is my contention that we don’t have a gender pay gap, we have a gender work gap. While it is true that the *average* man earns more than the *average* woman, this is a misleading fact: Think about it: the average schoolteacher/nurse/clerical government worker (mostly women) earns less than the average roofer/plumber/truck driver/oil rig worker (mostly men)… which is why the pay gap is bogus. Women choose jobs and careers that are less stressful, more convenient and provide better benefits. Men do most of the dirty/difficult/dangerous jobs, which, naturally pay more. And what thanks do they get? “Waaaah!

Even within the same professions, men and women make different choices, in the medical profession, most dermatologists (9-5, low risk, predictable workload, no emergencies) are female, while most ER Trauma surgeons (blood, guts, bullets and screams at 3AM) are male. Women tend to gravitate toward comfortable, air-conditioned, predictable office jobs. They do not generally want to work in hazardous environments, out in the elements or at night. Men to be drawn to high-paying jobs, often in unsanitary or triple-D (Dirty/Difficult/Dangerous).

Do not misunderstand me here: If a man and a woman do the same job with equal effort and competence, they should receive the same rewards. But there is a saying in the financial markets: “It’s all in the price“. What this means is that the price of a stock reflects all that is know about the performance of the underlying company, its values and its reputation.

Let’s take a look at the sporting world: Among professional tennis players, the men move faster, hit harder and have more stamina than the women. A men’s match is best of five sets, a women’s match is best of three. Men attract bigger crowds and bigger sponsorship deals. And yet there are some who think that women tennis players should be paid the same as men. But competitive sports are a meritocracy – the fact that the women players may “work harder” than men is irrelevant; it’s all in the price. It’s not all one-sided though; as an extreme example females in the porn industry get paid five times more than their male counterparts.

Once you control for the same job, the “pay gap” drops to less than 5%, and in some cities (Atlanta and Chicago, among others) women actually out-earn their male counterparts. Is there a pay gap? Perhaps, but it is not as bad as people like to think that it is, and government intervention won’t fix it, in the same way that they couldn’t fix poverty or drugs. But even when two people do the same job, there are differences: For one thing, women are less likely to ask for a raise; sorry girls, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

For another thing, men tend to work longer hours than women. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014

“…even among full-time workers (those usually working 35 hours or more per week), men worked longer than women—8.4 hours compared with 7.8 hours.”.

That’s three hours a week, or 7.5% more hours. So if the men are working 7.5% more hours and getting paid 5% more, who is really getting the sharp end of the stick here? This can be seen in most office buildings: take a walk around the floor at 6PM. How many men are working late? How many women?

Even Forbes magazine admits what most of us already know: Men work longer hours than women. Of course, those who insist that women do the same work as men for 20% less forget about one crucial point: If profit-driven, greedy corporations know that women are cheaper and just as good, why don’t they replace their men with cheaper women? That’s a question that the pay-gap-advocates cannot answer and continually avoid. Indeed, one female CEO has gone on record to say that she will not hire women. Why? Short answer: Men get things done, women create drama. If a man had the temerity to say such a thing in public, he would be ostracized, disgraced and probably jailed. Equality. Yeah, right.

It seems that women have plenty of advantages as it is; there are almost twice as many female students in the US as male (great for guys who like chasing girls, lousy for girls looking for a M.R.S. to go with her B.A.). Women get more grants, loans and government help than men, who are beginning to look more and more disadvantaged. But the majority of less-useful degrees are pursued my women.

Why are so many women taking Psychology  and Sociology, and so few are studying Philosophy and Physics? This is reason why there is a dearth of women taking STEM subjects; for precisely the same reason that only 2% of Chess Grand Masters are female; not because of some vast conspiracy to keep them out of the winner’s circle, but simply because they don’t want to.

And let us not forget that married men make more money than single men – for precisely the same reason; they will work longer, less convenient hours, and put in extra time and effort. Yet you never hear single men complain that they are “victims” need government-level “help” and “encouragement” in order to achieve “equality”; they’re probably too busy drinking beer, watching games, chasing girls and enjoying life – and good luck to them.

Bottom line: Life isn’t fair. But it is not as systematically unfair as you would like to wish it were. So make your choices, and live with them. It’s all in the price.

Strike! And be damned.

This just in from the Trump-got-elected-and-I-can’t-stop-crying department.

I recently ran across the announcement for a “women’s strike”, scheduled for March 8th. I must confess that I found this highly amusing for several reasons.

  • The strike was organized by the same folks who organized the women’s marches.
  • As best I understand, the women’s marches were originally supposed to be a global celebration of Queen Hillary’s Coronation Inauguration. Once the unthinkable happened and – shock horror –Donald Trump won, the organizers were unable to get their money back, so like sore losers, they organized the women’s march.
  • If those marches had any effect, I have yet to notice it. The joke that Trump got more fat women walking in a week than Michell Obama could do in eight years is just delicious schadenfreude.
  • A large number of white women voted for Trump? Why? Because is a man. In a world where masculinity is denigrated and maligned by feminism, the culture and the media, a strong, confident, powerful man who works hard, goes after what he wants, and has wooed and wedded some of the most beautiful women in the world is a rare and desirable man.
  • Non-college-educated folks turned out to vote for Trump. Some people (i.e., the Media) trumpet this as “only rednecks who live in flyover states would be so stupid as to vote for Trump” (also known as the “you-must-be-stupid” theory). Perhaps this is true, but it is also true that America’s colleges have become hotbeds of Socialists thinking and, in some cases, indoctrination. It would be interesting to slice this by age; how did college-educated people over 40 vote?

This got me to thinking: what would happen if all of the women simply failed to show up for work?

The first thought that came to mind was a quote from Deep Thought: “And whom would that inconvenience?” What are the commonest career choices for women?

According to the Department of Labor, the commonest choices are secretarial, teaching and nursing.

  • Of those three, the lack of nurses would hurt the most. no doubt about it, people would die… until the hospitals were able to replace them with junior doctors, orderlies and other volunteers.
  • The lack of teachers would not hurt all that much. After all, mommy would be home, and the kids would no doubt be disconsolate to not have to go to school.
  • I’m not sure about the loss of secretaries and clerical assistants. A significant number of those are in Government, and a significant number of those are paper-pushing functionaries. I suspect that in the short run, nobody would notice their absence. In the long term, their employers will either discover new efficiencies that get the job done, or discover that they can get along just fine without you. And fewer Government Employees means lower taxes – double-win!

I then followed that train of thought to its logical conclusion: “what would happen if the men went on strike?

  • No police/military/National Guard: No law enforcement or military? Every man for himself? The thugs would have a field day. If you want to know that they would look like, look no further than the Louisiana Superdome in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: “Inside the Superdome, things were descending further into hell. The air smelled toxic. People had broken up into factions by race, separating into small groups throughout the building… A few of these groups wandered the concourse, stealing food and attacking anyone who stood up to them….A man had been caught sexually assaulting a young girl. Reports of other rapes were widespread.”  Without law enforcement, women lacking the protection of a man would be at risk.
  • No fire services: If your house burns down, tough.
  • No engineers: Remember those pencil-necked Geeks you made fun of in school? They are now the guys who keep our society running. And the overwhelming majority of the engineers who keep our water, power, communication and sanitation systems operational are male. How long would it be before the power went out? How would all of those smart-phone-addicted women survive when their iPhones ran out of power?
  • No plumbers/heating/Air-conditioning/electricians/mechanics: Good luck when your stuff breaks down.
  • No roofers/builders.construction workers: Nothing gets built either.
  • No truck drivers: Think about this: no food deliveries to our major cities. Stores would run out of food in about three days (the normal gap between deliveries), and then the food riots will start.

Basically, without men, nothing gets built, fixed, designed, manufactured, shipped, transported or defended. And they get no recognition for this.

So go ahead with your “women’s strike” Personally, I doubt that you will get anywhere near the turnout that you expect – the women’s protesters are looking even more deranged than the Tea Party at it’s worst moments. I doubt that anyone besides the media will even notice. Life will go on without you. And some of you will likely get fired. But will that be enough for you to realized that you might be wrong? I doubt it.

I will end with the words of Churchill:

“Do your worst, and we will do our best“.

How not to end up on Judge Judy

I don’t watch much TV, but once in a while I blunder into an episode of Judge Judy. I find this program both amusing and somewhat saddening; almost all of the “cases” that come before the judge seem to fall into one of several common categories. It seems to me that most of those folks would have avoided this unfortunate predicament by following the following rules.

  1. Do not live with someone without being married to them.
  2. Do not get pregnant outside of wedlock.
  3. Do not lend money. Shakespeare was right: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”. If you can afford it, give it to them – but do not lend.
  4. Clear Communication: If you are lending or selling something to someone, communicate that clearly and get it in writing that they understand this. If you don’t have it in writing, you gave it to them.
  5. You are not her ATM! Guys, do not spend money on a girl you are not in a serious relationship with. Most girls *will* string you along with vague promises of future delights, and will drop you like a hot brick as soon as the money runs out. Because. They. Can. If you are already in this situation, test her with a financial crisis that removes your ability to give her money and see what she does.
  6. Guys, stay away from single mothers. There are all kinds of very good and sensible reasons for this, which I am not going to go into here. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

Agree? Disagree? Did I miss anything?

TAXI!!

This morning, I got this email from Lyft, a company with whom I have an account that I have had for over a year but never actively used:

lyft

Let’s disassemble that, shall we?

“We created Lyft to be a model for the type of community we want our world to be.”
And there was me thinking that you created Lyft to make money. How altruistic of you. And what’s with the “community” talk? I thought you were a business.

“…diverse…”
We already have enough diversity. How about some unity?

“…inclusive…”
Inclusive of whom? Inclusive of illegals who have no business being here? Inclusive of Islamic Jihadists who want us converted or dead? Inclusive of Muslim Moderates who resolve their confusion and turmoil by shooting up scores of homosexuals in a club? Tell me more about this “inclusivity” thing; I’m not sure I understand.

“…and safe.”
Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” America is not, and was never intended to be, a safe space.

“This weekend, Trump closed the country’s borders to refugees, immigrants, and even documented residents from around the world based on their country of origin.”
You obviously haven’t read the executive order. It does no such thing. Here are some of the highlights:

  • “The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.
  • Immediately upon receipt of the report… the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.
  • After the 60-day period… expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.
  • “…the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.”

As you can see, it is by no means a blanket ban; it is an invitation for other nations to either help us, or be counted among the enemy. It is a “put-up-or-shut-up” challenge. But let’s continue:

  • I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.
  • I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.
  • Notwithstanding the temporary suspension… the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

AS you can see, there are specifically crafted exceptions. Nothing to see here folks, move along. Now back to the good people at Lyft…

“Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft’s and our nation’s core values.”
And accepting mass immigration from nations who hate us is not exactly smart. Oh, and “our nation’s core” values are binding on American Citizens and Legal Residents and no one else.

“We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”
That’s nice. And there is that lovely word “Community” again. Even nicer. But where were you when Hillary was calling me and half of the country “a basket of deplorables“? Where was your “Community Spirit” then? Were you standing firmly then? No, all we heard from you lot was *crickets*.

“We know this directly impacts many of our community members, their families, and friends.”
There is your favorite word again. You’re not a social club, you are a business. Start acting like one.

“We stand with you, and are donating $1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution. We ask that you continue to be there for each other – and together, continue proving the power of community.”
You really love that word, don’t you? Can’t you come up with at least one synonym for “Community“?

There is a fine line between loyal opposition and insurrection. When a person does that, it is called protest, and is the right of any individual. When a publicly-traded corporation does it, it looks a lot like treason.

What you do with your personal share of the profits is entirely up to you (as long as you don’t donate money to the wrong causes). Whether your company gets any of that money from me is up to me.