False Flag Coming? The Last Time the Ukies Were in This Sort of Trouble, They Shot Down an Airliner, and Now They Are in Much Worse Trouble Than Then

Some Background on the M17 Ukrainian False Flag Shoot-down of a Malaysian Passenger Jet to Blame Russia and the Separatists

It was shot down by a Ukrainian jet, the one that returned to his base in Kolomoisky’s territory minus one missile. He fired the missile at the plane. It hit the plane on the right hand side near the wing. Then he unloaded a 30 mm machine gun at the cockpit. The cockpit was riddled with holes from a 30mm gun. It looked like a bloodbath in there. That’s all it took to take down the plane.

Dozens of witnesses on the ground saw the jet rising towards the plane and then the plane started falling from the sky. No one saw a Buk trail, and the US CIA says that there was no BUK missile in separatist hands at the time. Half of the CIA says the plane was downed by a Ukie jet.

There was a Spanish air traffic control reported who was tweeting in real time about the incident. He said that Interior Ministry people came into the tower and started asking, “Did we just shoot down a jet? Why did we shoot down that jet?” It was obvious to them that Ukraine had downed the jet. The Interior Department people then confiscated all of the air traffic control tapes and all of the foreign traffic controllers were laid off. I watched this Spanish ATC guy tweeting these tweets in real time. It was shocking to say the least. He’s a real person as he was tracked down by a reporter later in Spain.

The affair seems to have been done by a faction of the Ukie military close to (((Kolomoisky))) who almost runs his own army over there in Dnipro. And yes, the purpose was to kill Putin’s jet but they missed and shot down M17 instead.

The European team took its sweet time to go out there. It finally showed up two weeks later. They claimed that rebels were keeping them away from the site but the rebels said that they EU people were free to come to the site. When the first reporters got there, they reported that drunken rebels were everywhere. This was to add to the fake “drunken rebels downed the jet” story. However, the rebels are not allowed to drink alcohol and they said no one was drunk. This appears to be a fake story.

There were a lot of reports that the rebels were messing around with or disrespecting the dead bodies. But since no inspectors came out for two weeks, the rebels had those bodies on their hands and they had to deal with them. They brought in a refrigerated truck to store the bodies in.

An interview with two rebels talking about taking down the jet soon appeared. It was quickly denounced as an SBU fake by Ukrainian intelligence. The two rebel leaders named in the tape do not even exist.

However, hackers broke into the site of (((Kolomoisky)))’s Dniper Battalion and on their private Facebook page they were congratulating each other over the attack. The high spirited discussions were posted online. Another hack found a letter written by US DIA agent operating out of the Embassy in Kiev asking the Ukrainians when the jet shootdown false flag was going to happen. So this shows foreknowledge.

A British BBC news team went there and recorded interviews with locals saying that a Ukrainian jet was seen right behind the jet at the time and that the plane went down soon after. This interview went on for about 10 minutes. It stayed up on Youtube for about one week until it disappeared, never to be seen again. Queries to BBC were met responses that there was no such video.

An early Malaysian investigation involving 133 people found that a Ukrainian jet had downed the plane. It was published on the first page of a Singapore magazine. The issue soon disappeared from the stands and the Net. Soon afterwards, the entire investigation team was fired and a new fake team was put in instead. And the government changed its tune on who did it. We do not know why the government changed its mind on this issue.

An Australian government team then investigated the attack. If the plane were blown up by a Buk, the Buk would have hit above the plane and wound have showered the plane below with shrapnel. Everyone in the plane would be full of shrapnel. The Aussies examined eight bodies and found no shrapnel, and therefore concluded that no Buk had been fired. The team was quickly fired by the government and their report disappeared.

Malaysia was coerced into giving up the black box which they recovered to the Dutch. The Dutch has since kept the box and will not let anyone look at it. The Dutch then wrote a huge fake report about the attack, saying it was downed by “flying projectiles” which could be missiles and 30mm bullets. This report was then shelved and a new team was put in in their stead.

Supposedly an investigator went out the site months after the crash and searched around and found a tiny bit of scrap metal. He brought this back to the investigation and they immediately announced that it was a piece of a Buk missile. How they proved this is not known. Why there was only a single piece of Buk at the site when there should have been thousands is not known. A new report was written blaming Russia and the separatists for the downing of the jet. The entire report was based on this one piece of metal and how they could determine that this metal was a piece of a Buk missile is just beyond me.

No one outside of NATO countries has been able to look inside the black box ever since. NATO has not told us what is in the black box; no one has any idea what is in there.

The Ukies set up a false flag involving a Buk missile near the place where the plane was downed. A CIA photo shows people in Ukrainian army uniforms with beer bottles scattered all around the launch site. The idea was to set up the fake idea of drunken separatist rebels shooting down a jet out of incompetence.

In addition, the day before the attack, a Ukrainian force drove a Buk missile across enemy lines. A truck with a Buk missile on it showed up at a gas station near the site of the shootdown looking to fill up its tank. The men wore army uniforms and said they were Russian soldiers. They wore Russian uniforms. But they spoke oddly, speaking Russian with Ukrainian accents and they used phrasing that most Russian native speakers would not use.

In my opinion, this Buk was driven here and parked to where locals could see it order to set the stage for the false flag – “See, the Russians had a Buk in the separatist area after all!”

The rebels said we never had a Buk because the Russians would never give us one. Immediately after the jet went down, stories went out from the US accusing the rebels of doing it with a Buk missile. Before there had been the slightest investigation into the matter! Obviously they were working from a preconceived script. The US claimed it had all sorts of evidence pinning the attack on the separatists. But they never revealed any of the evidence.

And the story kept changing almost every day. When the story keeps changing, you are almost always dealing with some sort of false flag or fake attack. The US never presented any of this intelligence evidence that it said that it had, claiming it was classified. This is where I first saw Atlantic Council (NATO) – CIA – Deep State agent Elliot Higgins doing his fake “citizen journalist” work. He has appeared many times since, every time to defend some false flag, lie, or fake attack. I hope they pay this spy well.

Alt Left: Why Did Those Malaysian Jets Keep Crashing and Getting Shot Down?

Notice all those Malaysian jets that kept going down? After he made that statement, very weird things started happening to Malaysian jets. Remember the jet that went on auto-control, turned around, and ended up in the middle of the Indian Ocean? Remember the Malaysian jet, the M-17, that the Ukrainian oligarchs shot down as a false flag to pin it on Russia and pro-Russian militias? Ever since he talked shit about the Jews, his planes keep crashing and being shot down over and over under very fishy circumstances.

I don’t think it’s the Jews who are doing it. It’s the West, and the West is in bed with the Jews or Israel more properly.

Car Repairs

I was having trouble with my key mechanism in my car. I had broken it myself by using both a trunk key and a door key in the ingnition. What’s weird is they both worked, but not very well, and in the process of using the trunk key in the ignition, I had damaged the lock mechanism, so I needed to replace the lock mechanism. I ordered the part, $130, and paid my brother, $40, to fix it. Cost: $170.

I just got my car smogged. We have to do this in California regularly. Cost: $80.

They told me that I needed to change my tires because one was down to the metal showing. And it was in the front. Metal showing is very bad. And a tire about to blow in front is extremely bad. Rear is not nearly so bad. So I took it to a tire place and replaced both rear tires for $220. And I knocked them down to $60 for the realignment because the car was out of alignment. This had caused uneven wear on the tires. You need to realign your car every time you replace tires if it needs it. Total: $280.

They told me I needed to replace my rear brakes. My mechanic told me I could let it go for maybe a month. I had money at the moment,  so I chose to just get it done. If your money situation is bad and you need to spend big money, say on car repairs, spend the money when you have it because who knows when you will have it again? Both brakes: $280.

I do need to replace my rear shocks right now. My mechanic is Guatemalan, so he lets me buy my own parts and bring them in to him to fix, and he only charges me for labor. Cost of shocks: $235. Cost to replace them: $240. I really do not want to spend this money and my brother has told me to not do it on the basis that it costs more to fix that stuff than the car is worth. I’m not sure if that is true, but it’s a bad argument because to replace my car with a decent used car will cost me minimum $5,000, and I don’t have it. So I need to keep pouring money into my car, which has 107,000 miles on it.

Total spent just recently: $810.

I really don’t want to spend the money and the shocks do not need to be replaced at the moment. You only need to replace them when you start noticing obvious problems with driving like braking, steering, or turning and I’m not having those yet. But I have the money now and God knows when I will have it again, so I think I should do it. Total cost will be: $475.

He wants to also look at struts, but I won’t replace those if they need to be replaced. Shocks are in the back, struts are in the front. I will only replace them if they are broken and leaking. You only need to replace your struts if your car is literally bouncing up and down when you drive or if you are bottoming out when you go over railroad tracks or potholes. Otherwise don’t bother, and it’s another $500 anyway, which I absolutely do not have.

Total needing to be spent at minimum: $475.

“Oranges and Lemons,” by Alpha Unit

Humans are among the few mammal species unable to synthesize Vitamin C from glucose. All of our Vitamin C has to come from our diets. If you were somehow to end up with no Vitamin C in your diet whatsoever for a prolonged time – say, three or four months and counting, indefinitely – it is no exaggeration to say that the repercussions could be dire.

Without Vitamin C we can’t make collagen, and without collagen your body can’t repair your skin, bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons, blood vessel walls, and teeth. You need fresh food in your diet, either from plant or animal sources, to get this done.

Wherever you find people going without fresh food for long periods, you’ll find Vitamin C deficiency, or scurvy.

Scurvy has been prevalent throughout much of human history. It likely began to occur in humans during the development of agriculture. According to biologist Thomas Jukes, once people in temperate zones adopted an agrarian lifestyle they were able to store grains for use during winter. They were also able to spread into other temperate regions previously uninhabitable due to the lack of food supply during winters.

But because stored grains are extremely low in Vitamin C, it is likely that these ancient peoples developed scurvy during the long winter months because grain dominated their diets.

During long journeys or overland campaigns, such as the Crusades, scurvy inevitably appeared.

The first written account of a disease likely to be scurvy comes from the Eber Papyrus of ancient Egypt, dated to 1550 BC. The Papyrus not only diagnosed scurvy but prescribed that its victims be given onions, which contain Vitamin C.

Throughout maritime history, people had to figure out not only how to transport themselves across seas and oceans but how to stay healthy along the way. They were clearly relatively successful at both. Millennia ago, Austronesians were the first humans to invent oceangoing vessels; they colonized a large part of the Indo-Pacific region. Early Polynesians were superb seafarers and traveled thousands of miles exploring and settling the region we know as the Polynesian Triangle (drawn by connecting the points of Hawaii, New Zealand, and Easter Island).

Somali seafarers developed extensive trade networks, and Somali merchants at one time led commerce between Asia and Africa. Chinese merchants sailed the Indian Ocean and traded throughout Southeast Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and East Africa.

How did ancient seafaring peoples deal with scurvy?

Stefan Slater writes that Polynesian seafarers relied on freshly caught fish, crustaceans, and octopi, and would sometimes slaughter some of the animals they were transporting for breeding stock. Jin Ding, Chaojan Shi, and Adam Weintrit report that the diet on Chinese sailing ships included green tea, which contains more Vitamin C than black tea. They also say that Chinese ships began to carry gardens with them, growing soybean sprouts, which are high in Vitamin C.

So there is some evidence that ancient seafarers knew the importance of keeping fresh vegetables and meat in their diets on long voyages.

For Europeans, it wasn’t until the Age of Sail that the problem of scurvy truly came into focus. Wealth and national interest were at stake in ways they hadn’t been before.

Advances in naval technology and a rush for exploration and conquest brought Europeans the “plague of the sea.” Scurvy was the main occupational disease of what historians call the European Age of Exploration. More sailors died of scurvy than all other causes combined, including battles, storms, and other diseases.

Jason A. Mayberry makes the case that a unique confluence of conditions made scurvy and seafaring a deadly combination for Europeans. In his essay “Scurvy and Vitamin C,” he draws upon the work of Stephen Bown, author of Scurvy: How a Surgeon, a Mariner, and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail.

First, countries had difficulty maintaining sufficient crews for their naval vessels, so they relied on impressment: the taking of men into the military by compulsion, with or without notice. It had been legally sanctioned in Britain since the time of Edward I.

It was basically kidnapping. Gangs of men would go into port towns looking for “recruits.” They would club a man and drag him back to the ship. The man’s family might have no idea what happened to him, and many of the men never made it back home.

Some had experience at sea, some didn’t. Some were in poor health to begin with, being homeless, convicts, or elderly. On average a third of a ship’s crew was made up of impressed men.

Even the men who volunteered for naval service were often in poor health. Many would volunteer in order to secure a place to sleep and get regular meals. Sometimes boys who were orphans or runaways would join.

A second reason that Vitamin C deficiency was hastened during this period were the working conditions on ships. Discipline was harsh and included flogging, keelhauling, and starvation. The body needs more Vitamin C when it is under stress, and sailors had heightened stress in the form of physical exertion, exposure to the elements, fear of battle, and sleep deprivation.

The third and main factor in the development of scurvy was clearly the diet onboard ships. What mattered most for food supplies was that the food be storable for long periods without spoiling. The nutritional content of the food was of little concern for those in charge. What was most important to them was to maintain a suitable labor force at the least possible cost.

A typical weekly ration for a sailor, according to Bown:

  • 1 lb. hardtack (biscuit) daily
  • 2 lbs. salted beef twice weekly
  • 1 lb. salted pork twice weekly
  • 2 oz. salted fish 3 times weekly
  • 2 oz. butter 3 times weekly
  • 4 oz. cheese 3 times weekly
  • 8 oz. dried peas 4 times weekly
  • 1 gal. beer daily

Sometimes the rations included dried fruit or barley meal. But the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables left the diet almost completely devoid of Vitamin C.

Compounding this problem was that even the food sailors had access to wasn’t always fit to eat. Spoilage was a huge problem on ships. Ships were a dark, damp, and sometimes waterlogged environment for sailors and their food, and this led to moldy, worm-eaten bread, or other dried foods. Meat would begin spoiling almost as soon as it left port, no matter how salt-laden it was.

European navies did provide surgeons and surgeon’s mates on ships, but most of a surgeon’s time was spent caring for battle wounds instead of focusing on the treatment and prevention of disease.

All of these factors made scurvy the leading cause of death during the Age of Sail.

The onset of scurvy is a slow progression, Bown and others inform us, usually appearing after 60 to 90 days of a Vitamin C-deficient diet. This is when the body’s lingering stores of Vitamin C are depleted. The initial symptoms are fatigue and muscle aches. Upon waking, a scurvy victim’s joints will ache.

During the second stage, his gums begin to swell and will bleed with slight pressure. The teeth become loose at the roots. He also feels pain throughout his joints and muscles.

During the third stage, the gums begin to rot. They also bleed profusely. The victim’s flesh becomes gangrenous and will spontaneously hemorrhage. His skin, especially on the legs and feet, develop ulcers that turn gangrenous. As connective tissue fails, long-healed broken bones begin to refracture, and long-healed wounds begin to reopen. The legs cramp so severely that the person cannot walk.

At this point the person is in excruciating pain.

In the final stage of scurvy, the person gets a high fever. His skin develops black spots and he begins having tremors. He will drift in and out of consciousness for a while, and then he dies.

An estimated two million sailors died of scurvy between the 15th and 18th centuries. The science at the time was of very little use in treating them – even though various people throughout European history had made the connection between citrus fruits and the prevention of scurvy.

On July 8, 1497, Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon, Portugal, in search of a passage to India. On January 11, 1498, the fleet anchored off Mozambique. After five weeks at sea, the crew began showing the symptoms of scurvy.

Fortunately, some weeks later, they arrived at Mombasa, on the coast of Kenya, where they met local traders who traded them oranges. Within six days of eating them, the crew recovered. Da Gama left Africa and began his voyage across the Indian Ocean to Kozhikode (or Calicut to Westerners).

After staying in India for four months, da Gama left for a three-month journey at sea in which scurvy killed many of his sailors. On January 7, 1499, the ships anchored at Malindi, Kenya, where the sailors, remembering their previous cure in Mombasa, asked for oranges. Still, more sailors died of the disease “which started in the mouth.” Six months later the survivors made it back to Lisbon.

Did Vasco da Gama alert any ship owners or controlling authorities of what he had discovered about treating scurvy? No one knows.

Sir Richard Hawkins had discovered a cure for scurvy in 1593 when it appeared in his crew in southern Brazil. He reported that oranges and lemons had been a remedy for his men. To whom did he report this? What did they do with the information?

The Dutch had known about the value of citrus fruits since at least the late 16th century. According to J. Burnby and A. Bierman, who wrote “The Incidence of Scurvy at Sea and Its Treatment,” the Dutch East India Company bartered for lemons in Africa and also established vegetable gardens and orchards in their colonies to provide fresh citrus to their ships. How did the Dutch manage to keep this knowledge to themselves? Was that their intention?

Burnby and Bierman also write about an Elizabethan merchant, Sir Hugh Plat, who had an interest in botany and gave bottled lemon juice to the commander of the first fleet of the English East India Company. It was only the crew of the flagship, Red Dragon, which received a daily allowance of lemon juice. It was also the only crew that remained relatively free of scurvy. What did the English East India Company do with this information?

In the early 1600s John Woodall, a surgeon for the same East India Company, described the symptoms of scurvy and recommended that ships’ surgeons inform Governors of “all places they touch in the Indies” that the juices of oranges, lemons, limes, and tamarinds be used as medicine for scurvy.

The East India Company actually supplied “lemon water,” as it was called, for its ships until 1625, when the Company chose not to provide it because “the woman supplying it wanted 12d. a gallon above the usual price.” The return voyage of 1626 was badly afflicted with scurvy because they had bought tamarinds in the East Indies which they presumed to be as effective as lemons. All sour fruits and even acids such as vinegar were erroneously thought to be cures for scurvy.

J. F. Bachstrom, a Lutheran theologian and physician, wrote in 1734 that there was only one cause of scurvy – the absence of fresh fruits and vegetables for a long period. No drugs would help, nor would mineral acids. Were any companies or government entities aware of his findings? If so, did they take them seriously?

Europe was slowly making headway against this problem nevertheless. In 1739 James Lind, a former physician’s apprentice, volunteered for the Royal Navy and was designated a surgeon’s mate. After seven years in that position, he was promoted to surgeon on HMS Salisbury. It was on this ship that he performed his famous scurvy experiment.

Lind showed an insight ahead of his time by understanding that, to develop a cure, treatments must be compared simultaneously in similar patients. He had envisioned the concept of clinical trials, as rudimentary as his idea might have been.

After eight weeks at sea, and when scurvy was beginning to take its toll on the crew, Lind decided to test his idea that the putrefaction of the body caused by the disease could be prevented with acids. He divided 12 sick patients into six pairs, and provided each pair with a different supplement to their diet: cider, vitriolic acid (diluted sulfuric acid), vinegar, sea water, two oranges and one lemon, or a purgative mixture.

Only the pair who took the oranges and lemons improved.

You would think that Lind had established a clear connection between citrus and scurvy and that the Navy would have taken immediate action. But neither happened.

Lind continued to believe that there were multiple causes of scurvy. He also advocated a method of preserving the virtues of oranges and lemons that involved boiling the juices. Unbeknownst to Lind, boiling destroyed the active ingredient in citrus juices – Vitamin C. When the boiled juice was tried on ships as a preventative measure and found lacking, people began to dismiss the whole idea that citrus fruits were effective against scurvy!

In 1753 Lind published his Treatise on the Scurvy, considered a classic of medical science. But it took the Royal Navy over 40 years to adopt Lind’s recommendations. This happened under the direction of Sir Gilbert Blane, who had been appointed Physician to the Fleet.

Blane was familiar with Lind’s work and had the power and initiative to bring about change, Mayberry states. He organized an experiment on HMS Suffolk on a 23-week trip to India. The sailors were given a mixture of rum, water, sugar, and lemon juice. A few sailors developed a slight case of scurvy. They were given additional rations of lemon juice and the scurvy was quickly cured.

With the results from the HMS Suffolk and the power of his position, Blane was able to ensure that fresh citrus juice became a staple in the British Navy. For the British, scurvy had finally been conquered.

The question remains: why did it take so long, when so many had found the cure time and time again?

Burnby and Bierman note that there was the view among ship owners and government authorities that seamen were expendable. They also suggest that seamen themselves might have been reluctant to take part in experiments that might have settled the issue. But they mention other considerations, mainly the problem of “sheer impracticability.”

How does one store many thousands of oranges and lemons on an overcrowded man-of-war laden with guns, gunpowder, and shot? Using the juice of citrus fruits was certainly a space saver but it readily became moldy, especially under poor storage conditions, which were usually the case.

Speaking of practical considerations, how long can it be practical to treat your work force as if they are expendable? There were no sailors’ advocates at the time to make it impractical for businessmen and governments to do so. Nothing stopped or even slowed Europe’s exploration and colonization, so losing sailors to scurvy was just one of the costs of doing business.

“Judgement Day,” by Alpha Unit

The British cargo ship Norham Castle, built in Glasgow, was launched in 1869 as a tea clipper for the trade with China. Clipper ships, sleek and three-masted, were designed for speed. Their production took off in the 1840s because of a growing demand for faster delivery of tea from China.

The Norham Castle transported tea and eventually mixed cargoes to places including Australia and New Zealand. In 1883 she was sailing near the Sunda Strait, which is located between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. It just so happens that most of Indonesia’s more than 130 active volcanoes lie between Java and Sumatra, the most famous being the stratovolcano (the steepest and most deadly kind) known to Westerners as Krakatoa.

By the summer of 1883 seismic activity around Krakatoa had been intensifying for months, producing earthquakes, steam venting, and ash eruptions. The three peaks of Krakatoa served as an exit for a huge magma chamber beneath. There is some speculation that an earlier eruption had clogged the neck of one of the peaks, creating an incredible amount of pressure building up below the blockage. The volcano was overdue for a climax.

Around 1:00 p.m. on August 26, a volcanic eruption sent a cloud of gas and debris about 15 miles into the air. The eruption was continuous, with numerous explosions. Capt. W.J. Watson of the Irish merchant ship Charles Bal reported that the noise was like the continuous discharge of heavy artillery. The noise intensified and was accompanied by a hail of ash and pumice. Ash eventually blanketed everything within thousands of square miles, plunging the area into darkness that would last two and a half days.

Capt. Watson said that the intense blackness made it impossible to see to any distance. There was also a small tsunami on the shores of Java and Sumatra.

Early in the morning on August 27, a series of explosions began triggering more tsunamis. The third of these explosions was the most horrific, so violent that it was heard about 1,900 miles away in Western Australia – and about 3,000 miles away on the Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues. People there thought the blasts were cannon fire from a nearby ship.

The noise from this explosion is arguably the loudest sound ever recorded. The barometer at a gasworks in Batavia (now Jakarta), 100 miles from Krakatoa, registered a spike in pressure of over 2.5 inches of mercury, which converts to over 172 decibels, at 100 miles from the source. (For context, if you were operating a jackhammer you would be subject to 100 decibels.)

At above 194 decibels, sound waves stop traveling through the air and begin pushing the air along with them – and the resulting “wind,” or shock wave, can blow anything in its path to pieces. Closer to Krakatoa the sound was well over this limit.

The shock waves created by the Krakatoa eruption shattered windows and shook homes within a 100-mile radius of the volcano. The shock waves were so powerful that they were recorded by barometric stations around the globe.

The tsunamis created by the eruption proved most deadly. More than 36,000 people were swept out to sea in the series of tsunamis caused by the volcano’s collapse, which created a wall of water over 100 feet high that wiped out scores of coastal villages on Java and Sumatra. The tsunami carried the Dutch ship Berouw a mile inland, killing all 28 crew.

The eruptions also created pyroclastic flows – avalanches of lava, ash, and pumice. These flows scorched everything in their path, whether passing ships or coastal villages. Michael Bubb writes:

Of the 36,000 deaths, around 4,500 were attributed to the pyroclastic flows which would have arrived just after the tsunamis. Most likely the 4,500 who met their fate with the flows had reached higher ground or shelter to avoid the rushing water, only to be engulfed in fire and ash.

Unimaginable horror was unfolding on the Sunda islands.

This catastrophe marked a series of “firsts,” says geologist David Bressan. It was the first global catastrophe and the first news story to go around the world, thanks to modern communications.

As the Sunda Strait was and still is an important passage from the Indian Ocean to the Chinese Sea, news about the eruption and destruction of harbors and lighthouses in the area were of special interest to merchants, politicians, and the public in general…

Krakatoa was also the first scientifically well recorded and studied eruption of a volcano, from the very beginning to its disastrous ending.

The study of what was left of the former island of Krakatoa also spawned a new scientific discipline: disturbance ecology. Observations made at Krakatoa were valuable for understanding the colonization of devastated or newly formed terrain.

And what of the clipper Norham Castle? On Sunday, August 26, the vessel was at the eastern entrance of the Sunda Strait, along with another ship, the Sir Robert Sale. On Monday morning both vessels entered the Strait but because of blackened skies neither made much progress.

Capt. O. Sampson of the Norham Castle reported that Krakatoa “appeared to be alight with flickering flames rising behind a dense black cloud; at the same time balls of fire rested on the mastheads and extremities of the yardarms.”

In the wake of the devastating eruption, Capt. Sampson wrote in his official log:

I am writing this blind in pitch blackness. We are under a continual rain of pumice and dust. So violent are the explosions that the eardrums of over half my crew have been shattered. My last thoughts are with my dear wife. I am convinced the Day of Judgement has come.

By the morning of Tuesday, August 28, Krakatoa had gone silent. The volcanic island had almost entirely sunk, except for the southern third. The blackness of the sky was slowly beginning to lift. The Sir Robert Sale and the Norham Castle finally made it through the Strait.

Alt Left: Who Targeted Ukraine Airlines Flight 752? Iran Shot It Down but There May be More to the Story

This is the dead truth about what happened with the shootdown of that airliner. At first I accepted Iran’s denials, and later I accepted their admittance that they did it. But very odd questions starting coming up right away.

And indeed, authorities in Iran now say that the US used electronic warfare on the air defense system, resulting in the shootdown. The Tehran Cyber Research Center said that an accidental shootdown is ruled out.

Instead, the system was hacked by the Americans, resulting in the shootdown. I’m not even sure if that is true. But the radio system of the man who shot down the airliner had been jammed, presumably by the US.

Iran thought that they had seen several cruise missiles coming inland off the Gulf towards Iran. These could have been errors or a result of US electronic warfare which can make fake objects appear on radar screens. At some point, Iran’s air defenses determined that the cruise missiles were a false alert, but they were unable to communicate this to the man who shot down the airliner because the communications system was jammed.

I actually have a better theory on how this all happened. I will elaborate it in a future post. My theory is that the jetliner was not an accidental shootdown at all. But it wasn’t Iran’s fault either. It’s complicated.

Who Targeted Ukraine Airlines Flight 752? Iran Shot It Down but There May Be More to the Story

Global Research, January 16, 2020

The claim that Major General Qassem Soleimani was a “terrorist” on a mission to carry out an “imminent” attack that would kill hundreds of Americans turned out to be a lie, so why should one believe anything else relating to recent developments in Iran and Iraq?

To be sure, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 departing from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on the morning of January 8th with 176 passengers and crew on board was shot down by Iranian air defenses, something which the government of the Islamic Republic has admitted, but there just might  be considerably more to the story involving cyberwarfare carried out by the U.S. and possibly Israeli governments.

To be sure, the Iranian air defenses were on high alert fearing an American attack in the wake of the U.S. government’s Civilian passenger flights were still departing and arriving in Tehran, almost certainly an error in judgment on the part of the airport authorities. Inexplicably, civilian aircraft continued to take off and land even after Flight 752 was shot down.

Fifty-seven of the passengers on the flight were Canadians of Iranian descent, leading Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to point the finger both at the Iranian government for its carelessness and also at Washington, observing angrily that the Trump Administration had deliberately and recklessly sought to “escalate tensions” with Iran through an attack near Baghdad Airport, heedless of the impact on travelers and other civilians in the region.

What seems to have been a case of bad judgements and human error does, however, include some elements that have yet to be explained.

The Iranian missile operator reportedly experienced considerable “jamming” and the planes transponder switched off and stopped transmitting several minutes before the missiles were launched. There were also problems with the communication network of the air defense command, which may have been related.

The electronic jamming coming from an unknown source meant that the air defense system was placed on manual operation, relying on human intervention to launch. The human role meant that an operator had to make a quick judgment in a pressure situation in which he had only moments to react.

The shutdown of the transponder, which would have automatically signaled to the operator and Tor electronics that the plane was civilian, instead automatically indicated that it was hostile. The operator, having been particularly briefed on the possibility of incoming American cruise missiles, then fired.

The two missiles that brought the plane down came from a Russian-made system designated SA-15 by NATO and called Tor by the Russians. Its eight missiles are normally mounted on a tracked vehicle. The system includes both radar to detect and track targets as well as an independent launch system, which includes an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system functionality capable of reading call signs and transponder signals to prevent accidents.

Given what happened on that morning in Tehran, it is plausible to assume that something or someone deliberately interfered with both the Iranian air defenses and with the transponder on the airplane, possibly as part of an attempt to create an aviation accident that would be attributed to the Iranian government.

The SA-15 Tor defense system used by Iran has one major vulnerability. It can be hacked or “spoofed,” permitting an intruder to impersonate a legitimate user and take control. The United States Navy and Air Force reportedly have developed technologies “that can fool enemy radar systems with false and deceptively moving targets.”

Fooling the system also means fooling the operator. The Guardian has also reported independently  how the United States military has long been developing systems that can from a distance alter the electronics and targeting of Iran’s available missiles.

The same technology can, of course, be used to alter or even mask the transponder on a civilian airliner in such a fashion as to send false information about identity and location. The United States has the cyber and electronic warfare capability to both jam and alter signals relating to both airliner transponders and to the Iranian air defenses. Israel presumably has the same ability.

Joe Quinn at Sott.net also notes an interested back story to those photos and video footage that have appeared in the New York Times and elsewhere showing the Iranian missile launch, the impact with the plane and the remains after the crash, to include the missile remains. They appeared on January 9th, in an Instagram account called ‘Rich Kids of Tehran‘.

Quinn asks how the Rich Kids happened to be in “a low-income housing estate on the city’s outskirts [near the airport] at 6 a.m. on the morning of January 8th with cameras pointed at the right part of the sky in time to capture a missile hitting a Ukrainian passenger plane…?”

Put together the Rich Kids and the possibility of electronic warfare and it all suggests a premeditated and carefully planned event of which the Soleimani assassination was only a part. There have been riots in Iran subsequent to the shooting down of the plane, blaming the government for its ineptitude.

Some of the people in the street are clearly calling for the goal long sought by the United States and Israel, i.e. “regime change.” If nothing else, Iran, which was widely seen as the victim in the killing of Soleimani, is being depicted in much of the international media as little more than another unprincipled actor with blood on its hands. There is much still to explain about the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752.

This article was originally published on the American Herald Tribune.

Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001.

Phil is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group that seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values and interests. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image: The remains of Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 (Source: AHT)

“What Should the Captain Do?” by Alpha Unit


Look, Cromie,  this isn’t a ship. You don’t have to go down with it!

  • from “Reilly: Ace of Spies”

In the popular imagination, there has been the idea that a captain is supposed to do everything in his power to save his passengers or die trying. But the answer to the question is “No.”  If a ship is sinking, and everything possible has been done to evacuate crew and passengers, the captain is under no obligation to remain at the helm and go to a watery grave. So where does this idea that a captain goes down with the ship come from?

Throughout history ships’ masters have shown this resolve to stay with sinking vessels, and it had less to do with lofty principle than with concerns over salvage rights. Under ancient maritime law, an abandoned ship could be salvaged by anyone able to put a line on it and bring it safely into port, according to Craig Allen, a Professor of Maritime Studies at the US Coast Guard and at Yale Law School.

The salvor may then be entitled to a substantial salvage award from the owners, based on the value of the abandoned ship and its cargo. So long as the captain or crew remained on the stricken vessel, however, the terms of any salvage arrangement can be negotiated, likely resulting in a lower salvage award.

So traditionally the captain stayed with a damaged ship to protect the ship owners’ interests. Even in the absence of potential salvors, with a captain on the ship it was easier for owners to arrange a towing contract to get the vessel back to port.

Maritime law holds that a captain is responsible for his or her vessel no matter what its condition. If his ship is in imminent peril, his responsibility includes executing the evacuation plan, which requires his presence for the duration. Out of a sense of duty, captains have believed that they must, if it can be managed, be the last person to get off the ship.

Although captains feel a moral duty to do so, it is usually not written that a captain must be the last person to leave the ship. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), adopted in response to the sinking of the Titanic, does not specify that the captain remain on the ship throughout the emergency.

In 1948 the United Nations created the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Its International Safety Code has been adopted by most maritime nations (including the US), but it doesn’t mandate that a captain be the last one off the ship.

Individual countries pass their own laws about the conduct of ships’ masters during catastrophes within their jurisdictions. “Abandonment” of a ship can be prosecuted in some jurisdictions; other countries have prosecuted captains for negligence, or if there are deaths, manslaughter.

Some captains have defended leaving their vessels during evacuation by pointing out that nothing required them to stay until the end. Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t help.

Alt Left: You Have No Idea the Sheer Volume of Vague, Nonsensical or Chickenshit Laws We Have

You would not believe how many laws, even crazy, insane, stupid, and vague laws there are out there. Laws so vague that you have no idea how not to break that law. Where you have no idea if you are breaking it or not. Where you have no idea what’s permissible behavior and what’s not permissible behavior.

Furthermore, with the sheer volume of laws, literally mountains of printed paper out there, no human can keep up with all of them.

Every week I learn of some stupid chickenshit law that I could probably go down on myself if I was so inclined. “Conspiracy to be an agent of a foreign power.” I just learned of that one today. What the Hell does that even mean? What am I permitted to do? What am I not allowed to do? No one knows!

“Harassment” is another one. What’s that? How do I know if I am harassing someone? What does harassment even mean? It could mean anything.

“Annoying or molesting a child” – the anti-grooming law. Literally you can go down on  this law for simply talking to anyone underage. A guy went down on it for a 15 minute conversation in a Pet Mart. I have no idea what they discussed.

“Contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” Even when a girl is perfectly legal, above the age of consent, they can still get you on contributing to delinquency if her parents get mad. Isn’t that stupid?

And if the age of consent in my state is 18, and I go to a state where the age of consent is 16 and have sex with a 17 year old girl, I committed committed the crime of “crossing state lines to assault a minor” or some BS. The age of consent in my state literally follows me around everywhere I go!

And say the age of consent is whatever in my state but I go to a foreign country where the age of consent is 15 and I live there for a while. I hook up with a 17 year old girl and I go down on sexual assault of a minor or some crap. That’s because when you leave the country, US laws continue to follow you everywhere you go like a nagging wife that won’t let go. And federal law puts the age of consent at 18.

So if you live in a state where the age of consent is 16, you can hook up with a 16 year old girl, but you leave the country and go to someplace where the age of consent is 12 and hook up with a 16 year old girl, and you committed sexual assault of a minor. These laws were put it to stop overseas pedophiles who were traveling to foreign lands where the age of consent was 12 or effectively nonexistent and molesting little children of both sexes, often for years on end. Look how they are being abused.

Suppose the age of consent is 16 in a state. You hook up with a 16 year old girl. Everything’s kosher. But now you take a picture of her naked or she sends you nudes on her phone like every woman I go out with nowadays does anyway. Now  you are “manufacturing child pornography” and “receiving child pornography.”

Suppose a 16 year old girl takes a picture of her own self and  keeps it on her phone. If the cops find it, she’s going down on “manufacturing child pornography” for taking a damned selfie.

If I engage in monetary transactions with anyone in Iran, Syria, Venezuela, or Cuba I can be arrested and look at serious jail time. I have no idea what sort of transactions are allowed if any and which are not allowed. You got me.

You can literally be arrested for traveling from the US to Cuba or North Korea. It is actually against the law to visit those countries as a tourist!

If you buy a gun you have to sign a statement that you don’t use illegal drugs. Well Hell, everyone uses illegal drugs. It’s actually normal to use dope and get high. And if you own a gun and happen to be using any illegal drugs during the time you owned that gun or lie on that form, you can be charged and serve 20 years in prison.

If you loan someone your gun for target practice and he uses it to commit a crime, you can go down for accessory to murder. That’s crazy. That’s like I loan someone my car and he kills someone and I go down on vehicular homicide.

Lie on a loan application? So what. Everyone does that. And anyway, it’s between you and the bank, right? Let the bank sue you. It’s no business of the state’s. But you can do serious time for this chickenshit offense.

You work for a company and you learn some of their trade secrets, whatever the Hell that even means. You quit and go work for some other company and you divulge some of the undefined trade secrets of your previous employer. You are looking at serious time now.

But what business is this of the state’s? It’s between you and the employer you violated the contract of, right?  And I don’t see why that contract should follow you around through the rest of your life after you quit the company. I mean while you still work there, fine. But after you leave? Twenty years down the road? Get real.

Did you realize that lying to a police officer is a crime? No one ever goes down on it because everyone lies to cops, especially criminals. I mean what do you expect them to do, tell the truth? I wouldn’t. Why should I? Only the stupidest criminal would tell the truth to a cop and get himself in trouble. No one ever goes down on it because obviously everyone lies to cops, but the law’s still there.

Lying in court is illegal. This is preposterous because everyone knows that people lie in court all the time. Most criminal defendants who plead innocent and go to trial lie on the stand. People lie on the stand all day, every day, year in and year out in this country. Everyone knows this guy is up there lying his fool head off. He’s often got his lawyer helping him lie like a rug.

Really 9

Did you know it’s illegal to lie to Congress? Why? Why should I tell the truth to those psychopathic lowlifes? They’re not deserving of my truthful statements. I’d lie to them just to show them how much I hate them.

Did you know it’s illegal to lie to a Grand Jury? Why? Who the Hell are they? A bunch of citizen-cops? Why do I have to tell the truth to them? The Hell with them.

On Black Women and Prostitution

I am getting an awful lot of blowback on writing about my recent discovery that Black women are far more likely to be prostitutes or quasi-prostitutes than other races of women. This is something that finally dawned on me after six decades of living. It has been suggested that my observation, admittedly not made on a scientific basis but instead on intuition, is simply false. Well, here are some facts. Black girls are 1 The linked article offers many possible reasons. 4 The article also said that 7 From the article:

The fact that more than half of girls who end up turning to lives of prostitution have grown up without fathers, suggests a need for male attention and acceptance. Additionally, the fact that more than ¾ of the girls who end up selling themselves grow up missing one of their parents is a sign that we need to rally behind our children as a community and support our single-parent families, remembering the notion that “it takes a village to raise a child….We need to teach our girls to value themselves and create a culture that supports that value.

Another possible reason for the high numbers of Black females working as prostitutes is the possibility that From New York City. In Brooklyn, Black women make up 1/3 of all women in the borough, but they are 9 One reason that Black women are so commonly arrested for prostitution is that they are far more likely to be streetwalkers than other races of women where women tend to see streetwalking as the lowest of the low. Here a Black woman who traveled around Europe and Africa as a single traveler was mistaken as a prostitute everywhere she went in Europe. In Barcelona, she was told that there were certain streets she should not walk down after 8 PM because everyone would think she was a prostitute. She goes walking down a street in Barcelona, and every hundred feet there is a new Black woman prostituting herself on the corner. They are all from Africa. How many people in Spain are Black? The number must be very low, maybe Twelve women on a tour in Dubai try to get into a bar. They are all barred except for two of them. Later we find out that the other ten were barred on the grounds that they were suspected prostitutes. As you can see this problem of Black women being seen as prostitutes is related to the fact that so many of them are just that. Among other reasons why this is bad is that Black female travelers get mistaken for whores everywhere they go, much to their consternation. So this harms the Black women who are not prostitutes too.

What Is This Man Doing Wrong?

From here. Very interesting article. What did he do wrong?

Why Hasn’t Game Worked?

Hello everyone. I’m in a unique situation. My purpose in writing this thread is to identify the problem so I can solve it. It’s not to whine or complain. It might seem that way, and if it does, then forgive me, I’m really sincerely trying to solve the issues here.

My situation is that I’ve been practicing Game (not just learning or ‘studying’, but actively going out and doing) for the past ten years. I first found the red pill in the form of David D at the age of 17, and I’m 28 now. For that entire time, I’ve been doing everything I’m supposed to do: I’ve done astronomical amounts of approaches on a consistent basis in all sorts of settings both daytime and nighttime.

I’ve read up on different schools of Game, tried many out, kept a journal of my interactions, reviewed what I did right and what I could improve on, and generally conquered every woman-related fear that I could identify.

My philosophy on Game and life in general could pretty much be summed up as follows: “If you’re afraid of it, all the more reason to go and do it.” I feel that whatever’s blocking me from getting laid inevitably has to do with fear – and so if I keep noticing fears and promptly taking the courage to overcome them, then eventually all of that fear-conquering will lead to improvement in my life.

And as a result, I have almost no approach anxiety. I overcame approach anxiety years ago. I can approach just about any girl in just about any place.

It’s no longer an issue for me. I even used to have friends and wingmen point out the most difficult sets, and I’d approach them just to prove to myself that I wasn’t afraid and to prove that hesitation and fear weren’t the reasons for why I wasn’t getting female affection.

But despite all of the work I’ve put in, I have nothing to show. I’m a virgin with the exception of times I hired prostitutes, which comes out to a grand total of 5 times. I haven’t had sex with any girl who wasn’t ‘working’.

I am not a troll. I am a man who has put in the time and work and courage to improve my life. It just hasn’t worked. And I’m trying to figure out why.

When I heard about Elliot Rodger, something in me changed. Things are serious now. I can see myself turning into him eventually if this problem isn’t solved. I’ve read the first 90 pages of the manifesto, and it’s like reading my own autobiography.

The way he describes the utter hopelessness he feels and the jealousy was like hearing my own story told back to me. The only difference between me and him is that I always believed in the possibility of success, and I went out and took the active steps necessary to achieve it. I put in the work, and I took the risks.

Oh, and I’m not a racist. And I never had any interest in guns. And I played AOE instead of WOW…But everything else, it’s like we had the same life.

I’m currently applying for English teaching jobs overseas, so I can get a girlfriend based on the Murr’kin factor, i.e. socioeconomic status. But I’m concerned that this might not work as well as I expect it to.

I’m concerned that whatever the “issue” is with my Game is going to follow me wherever I go. In another country I’m sure I’ll get dates. I may get hookups. I might even get sex. But it’ll be based on money, status, and nationality – and how long will it be before the girl starts to play me, use me, dig for gold, etc? How long before my lack of skill with women catches up to me?

I want to figure out what the #

So I’ve written a story about my life from the beginning up until the present with a focus on girls and Game. I’m sure there’s a pattern in there, which one of you experts can pick out, and be like “I found your problem!” At least I’m hoping for that.

My story is both inspiring and heartbreaking, hopeful and hopeless, enraging and highly comical, all at the same time. It will elicit mad props in one sentence, pity in the next, and raucous laughter not far behind. I think you will enjoy it.

So without further ado, here it is. Tell me what you think.

I was born in 1985 and had a reasonably happy childhood. There were no major financial or familial disruptions, no poverty, war, disease, or sudden loss. I’m pretty sure that some of my parents’ behavior bordered on abusive, but that can be said of almost everyone in this society.

As a kid, I mostly played videogames and romped around the house with friends – I didn’t care much for sports. People described me as strong-willed, highly intelligent, and cute. I never got into trouble in school (although, looking back, I fucking wish I had!).

I got a lot of toys, and my parents bought me pretty much whatever I wanted within reason. We were middle class, Jewish, and lived in a cookie-cutter neighborhood in the northwestern suburbs of Baltimore, MD.

My interests were mostly of a nerdy nature and involved games and computers – although I was never really identified as a “nerd” outright. I was never identified with any particular subculture. I didn’t really care about fitting in or being popular. I just wanted to have fun and live my life.

All of my friends were male, and I never had any female friends (something that persists up until the present day). But in elementary school, I didn’t care. Girls were like a foreign species; they weren’t interested in the things I liked, and I didn’t see any reason to want to hang out with them.

When I got to middle school, that started to change, as I started to feel attraction and desire for girls. It was in 6th grade that I experienced my first crush: a petite, slightly mousy little blonde with freckles. I had no idea how to get close to her, so I basically just admired her from afar while hoping that fate would somehow bring us together.

I was extremely afraid of the social repercussions for ‘liking’ a girl who didn’t like me back, so I was careful to never show that I ‘liked’ her. Whenever I saw her in class or the hallways, I would look at her as much as I could but would always look away if she looked in my direction.

Eventually I asked one of my gossipy, “in-crowd” friends to find out if she liked me by asking her friends. He did as I asked and inquired with her friends, and he reported back “No”, she said she didn’t like me.

And the result was quite dramatic – the girl came into class the next day red-faced and embarrassed, and everyone was looking at me with a strange look – a combination of laughter, derision, shock, and, “Oh boy, look what you did, you’re in big trouble.” I felt totally ashamed and couldn’t even look at her anymore.

I dreaded the classes that I had with her. Despite this, a few weeks later at the ice skating rink (the popular gathering place for kids after school), I approached her on the ice and tried to start a conversation. She just stared off into space and shook her head, not even making eye contact with me. But at least I tried. Even back then, I was consciously overcoming my fears and taking risks.

In 7th grade, I developed a crush on another girl. This time I learned from my mistakes and decided to ask the girl out directly without going through a third party. This girl was a little bit more outgoing then the previous one, and I had already had several conversations with her in various contexts.

So one day after the bell as everyone was going home, I approached her at her locker and asked her out on a date. She said no. But she was tactful about it at least. I still remember the walk home after that, feeling a mix of both pride and disappointment. I was proud of myself for taking the risk but disappointed that it didn’t lead anywhere. This pattern would become very prominent in the following years.

I don’t remember having any crushes in 8th grade. This was the time when I actually entered puberty. The two previous crushes were of an emotional nature – they were cute, and I wanted to be close to them because the thought of it felt warm and lovey. It was emotional but not sexual because I didn’t have any sexual desires yet.

But in 8th grade I had my first ejaculation, and I started to be attracted to girls sexually. I remember sitting in my seat, and whenever girls would walk by me up close, I would almost cream in my pants just from their presence a couple feet away. I remember running home as fast as I could to masturbate.

My dad was a collector of Playboy magazines, and I started using those. I was both bewildered and resentful of those images. I obviously enjoyed the feeling of sexual release, but I resented the fact that it seemed to be bugging me all the frigging time, and I couldn’t focus on my books and computer games anymore cause the damn magazines were calling me all fucking day!

In 9th grade, I started to become aware that other guys had girlfriends and I didn’t, but this didn’t really bother me all that much. I would have preferred to have a girlfriend, and I made some attempts here and there, but it wasn’t the main thing on my mind. My main interests were computer games (Age of Empires II), fantasy novels (LOTR, WoT), other assorted nerdy things, and politics (I had become a passionate environmentalist).

I did ask a girl to the Homecoming Dance though. She was a friend of my one of my friends, and I sat down to eat lunch with her and asked her to the dance. She declined. I was a little upset, but it wasn’t devastating. I picked up and continued my nerd hobbies. This mindset persisted through 10th grade, which was the final year in which I would identify myself as “happy.”

In the summer between 10th and 11th grades, I played an RPG called Final Fantasy IX on the PlayStation. In this game, the main protagonist slowly develops a relationship with a princess who joins the team and fights alongside him in the adventure. Through their trials, they grow closer to one another, and I felt the first tastes of what an actual relationship was like.

The entire time I was fighting monsters and solving puzzles and watching worlds be destroyed and the very fabric of time and space being bent, all I really thought about was how awesome it felt to be doing it all alongside a really cute princess!

The game is approximately 40 hours long, and I finished it in 4 days, so the intensity was definitely ramped up by that – and when I was finished, I felt a profound feeling that I had never felt before. I kept thinking about the princess. I was in love. I beat the game at 4:00 AM and remember sitting in my chair for almost an hour just bathing in a glow of the most inexplicable, exquisite feeling.

As the sun came up, I went out for a walk around my neighborhood in an emotional state which, looking back now, could probably be described as my first mystical experience. Everything in the world felt new, golden, full of life. I felt love in every leaf on every tree, every cloud, every rock. It was like the whole world was made of love.

I was, of course, smart enough to realize that she was just a character in a videogame. I’m sure a lot of boys would have continued to pursue her through anime and fan fiction. But I was smarter than that. I knew that what I was feeling was the taste of a love relationship, and that I could experience it with a real girl in real life.

The afterglow of this experience lasted for many days. But eventually I started to wish I had a girlfriend to experience this kind of love with someone in real life. I began to fantasize about hanging out with a girl at my house, sitting and talking, going for walks together, watching sunsets together, talking for long hours into the night, bringing her to my favorite activities. I even started to feel a sense of emptiness when I did the things I enjoyed.

They just weren’t the same anymore. I felt like I was missing something. And the more I enjoyed a particular activity, the more empty I felt while doing it. I started doing my hobbies less and less because it was getting quite painful to have a “good time” all by myself without anyone to share the experiences with. I started to dread having fun. All I could think about whenever I had fun was “This would be sooooooo much better if I was doing it with a girl.”

One weekend, my family was paid a visit by some cousins from another state – my favorite cousins! I had always enjoyed playing with them, perhaps more than anybody else. We had all the same interests and got along fantastically. This time, we played a board game together – Settlers of Catan – my favorite board game.

Here I was, playing my favorite game with my favorite cousins, and in the middle of the game, I was overtaken by a profound and crippling sense of loneliness and sadness. It just wasn’t the same. I needed a girlfriend. Nothing I did was enjoyable anymore without a female companion. I left the house in the middle of the game. I took a walk, attempting to process the incredibly overwhelming emotions I was feeling.

It was July, and in the weeks that followed, I felt very lonely. I even started to feel like I was going crazy from lack of female presence. There were no kids in my neighborhood who I knew (most of the neighborhood was strangely inhabited by old people), and there were no hangout spots for kids to meet each other despite being in a large metropolitan area.

Baltimore is like that. I had no idea where to meet girls, so I wanted school to start so that I could see girls again and have a chance to talk to them and find one to be my girlfriend. It was highly unusual – unheard of – for me to actually want school to start.

Summer was my favorite time of year, and I wouldn’t even suffer a person to mention “school” in my presence! They were required to say “S” instead. If a person mentioned “school”, I would correct them and tell them never to say that word. And yet here I was wishing for school to start!

But I wasn’t entirely idle. I tried to meet girls. One night I went to the movies to try to meet them. I knew that the movies were pretty much the only place where people my age hung out during the summer. So I plucked up a friend and went to go see a movie. He didn’t care about meeting girls and wondered why I was so adamant about doing so.

The entire time we were there, I looked around for cute girls to talk to and there weren’t any. It was a wasteland. Where were all the girls? After the movie was over, I did eventually find one pair of girls who had seen the same movie, and I went over and talked to them. I don’t remember what was said, but all I remember is that I left empty handed. When I got home, I cried. I was so angry I threw a garbage can clear across the back yard.

When school finally started, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. At least for the first few days. I soon realized however that none of the girls were interested in me. I was perplexed. I didn’t know what to do. I tried everything I knew of, and nothing led anywhere.

I started to sink into a depression. I stopped doing homework. I stopped doing my hobbies. I couldn’t bear to have fun anymore because the more fun I had, the more aware I became of the lack of companionship while doing it. My favorite activities were like torture. I slowly dropped most of them and dedicated my entire mind, life, and energy to finding a girlfriend.

Around this time, one of my friends met a couple of girls at a club (an underage, non-alcoholic dance club that specifically catered to 15-17 year olds). These girls lived in a town an hour away. I was the only one who had a car, so I drove him, myself, and one or two other friends down to their town to hang out with them.

It was a very adventurous thing to do at the time because the farthest distance I had ever driven was 10 or 15 minutes away in familiar territory. Driving all the way to this faraway town felt like crossing into the great unknown. But I did it and felt very proud of myself for taking such a risk to better my life.

When we got to their house, they had several other female friends over. It was really cool. They seemed a lot more laid back, fun, non-judgmental, and interesting than the people in my home town. My friend hooked up with the girl he had met at the club.

For my part, I was outgoing, social, and funny. My friend was shy, silent, and rather boring – but by the end of the night, my friend had a hookup, and I didn’t. I didn’t understand why. It was a pattern that would repeat itself many, many times from that day forward.

We visited that group several more times, and the girl my friend had hooked up with became his girlfriend. I felt it was smart for me to keep going there because she had lots of female friends. I continued to be funny and outgoing, but for some reason the group started to make fun of me and even bully me a little.

Probably because I was the only single dude there, the only dude without a mate. Single dudes receive more disrespect and derision than any other demographic in this society. I came to learn that quickly.

During this entire year, I took a proactive approach to meeting girls. I didn’t really know what I was doing as I hadn’t discovered Game yet, but I was trying, and I used whatever strategies I knew of at the time. Whenever I saw a girl who I was interested in, I found some way to talk to her. It may have been weird, beta-ey, white-knightey, stalker-ey, and ineffective, but I was trying.

I took my fate into my own hands and went about doing what I could. I even asked a girl to the prom. It was very scary – prom was a big, big deal. I was so nervous when I asked her to go with me. I was so proud of myself when I finally approached her and asked her to be my prom date.

But she declined. She had a look on her face that was like “Um, why are you asking me?” It was like there were two categories of guys, in her mind: Yeses, and No’s. And I didn’t fit either category – I was “N/A.” Not only did she not want to be with me in a romantic context, but the very thought of me in that context was alien to her – it didn’t even make any sense.

When 11th grade was over and summer came around, I occupied myself by volunteering for local political campaigns, for the upcoming 2002 election. I was still a very passionate environmentalist and had even risen to become president of both the Recycling Club and the Young Democrats Club at my school.

This latter position was extremely prestigious, since I lived in a very left-wing liberal area, and almost every family was die-hard Democratic. I arranged for sitting elected officials to visit the school and organized events in which I wore suits and gave speeches from podiums and was in a pretty “Alpha” position.

There were girls in the club, and girls from outside the club came to the events to see the politicians. But this prestige didn’t do anything towards attracting them romantically. For some reason I was still invisible to them.

When 12th grade was about to start, I contemplated my situation. I thought about why I had been without a girlfriend for an entire year. I couldn’t understand why everyone else seemed to be forming connections with girls and I wasn’t. Everyone except for my group of friends – we were the girl-less outcasts.

There were many subcultures at my school: the JAP’s (the popular kids), the skaters, the goths, the black kids (I’m not a racist, but I couldn’t hang with the black kids because whenever I did, they would practice WWE wrestling moves on me), the goody-goody teachers pets, the nerds, and the Russian immigrants who looked like hitmen at the age of 16.

I didn’t belong in any of those groups – I was “miscellaneous.” Everyone who didn’t have a group was part of my group. I didn’t have much in common with any of my friends other than the fact that none of us had anything in common with anyone else.

And my friends were just as clueless with girls as I was. I didn’t have any positive role models in this area. But there was one key difference between me and them: I tried to get girls, whereas they didn’t really care. They were all of the mindset of, “Girls don’t like us – oh well, let’s play computer games.” But I couldn’t settle for that. I was a fighter.

I came to the conclusion that the past year was just the universe’s way of testing me to see what I was made of. It had been an excruciating experience because it was meant to give me a taste of suffering so that when I finally did find a girlfriend, it would be that much more special and awesome.

I concluded that whereas 11th grade had been crap, 12th grade would be golden. I would find a girlfriend and enjoy my last year in high school with a girl at my side.

But 12th grade went by the exact same way as 11th, except this time I was getting bitter. I couldn’t understand why I had been categorically rejected by the entire female half of the population. I felt trapped with no way out. I kept trying, but the anger of failure was starting to eclipse my hope for success.

When senior prom came around, I didn’t even try for a date because I was jaded, and I knew I wouldn’t get one. I developed an attitude of, “I’m above all this stupid dating shit.” I even contemplated crashing the prom.

I thought about busting into the dance with a bunch of water balloons and throwing them at the people. I was really starting to hate the world. At my graduation, I just sat there, miserable, ruminating on how much I hated all of the spoiled, sexually active sluts and jocks.

And it was in this context that I stumbled across Double Your Dating by David DeAngelo. As soon as I read his long marketing pitch I knew it was for me, and I downloaded his ebooks. Reading DYD opened my eyes up to the whole charade, and I finally understood why girls weren’t liking me.

I was a “wussy.” I was putting girls on pedestals, treating them like queens when they hadn’t earned it and acting hesitant and non-confident. I was thrilled to find out that my looks weren’t as important as I thought they were, and that even a 5’2” socially awkward dork could transform himself into a stud whom women flocked to simply by changing his attitude and developing confidence.

Since there were no opportunities to meet girls during the summer, I bided my time until college began.

The college selection process had been a difficult one. I had no idea where I wanted to go and no idea how to even go about choosing. What criteria was I supposed to use when selecting a school?

I had good grades, scored very highly on the SAT’s, was active in extracurricular activities and  a talented writer, and I could have gotten into 9

It felt like shopping for clothes – it was the same type of mindset. Whenever I walked into the mall to buy clothes, I felt clueless about how to pick a style. There were just so many options, and no one had ever taught me anything about how to find my own personal unique clothing style. So I just bought plain, simple t-shirts, shirts that had funny sayings on the front. Either that, or I let my Mom pick my clothes out for me.

And so I ended up using the same strategy for college – I let my Mom pick. We visited about 4 or 5 schools, and eventually settled on George Washington University in DC. It would be a good choice, I thought, because I wanted to major in Political Science so I could run for congress and save the world.

In the summer before college, I read and studied David DeAngelo’s materials. I went to the mall to practice talking to girls and delivering cocky funny lines. Keep in mind, this was in the era before the pickup arts hit the mainstream – before Strauss’s The Game, before VH1‘s Pickup Artist.

It was so new and unheard of that the line, “Excuse me, I need a female opinion – who lies more, men or women?” actually worked. Stock openers actually got girls interested because they had truly never heard such things before!

When I got to college, I was prepared. I had an arsenal of cocky-funny lines, positive self-affirmations, attitudes and techniques, and success stories from other guys to keep me motivated and optimistic. I felt like I had been given the keys to a secret society, and life would be the polar opposite of what it had been up to that point.

As soon as I arrived on campus, I hit the ground running. I used everything I had learned from David D. I “used my amazing brain to figure out ways to succeed, rather than reasons to fail.” I walked around campus thinking, “I’m the Alpha male. I’ve got the secret knowledge that none of them know. I’m a rock star. I can get any woman. They all want me.” I repeated these affirmations constantly, and I adopted the body language to back it up.

And I was a star. Girls were into me. They were talking to me. Every time I hit them with a cocky-funny line, they would look at me like, “Omg, who are you?”, and they would suddenly start touching me and asking me questions about myself. One girl asked me out and offered to pay for my lunch! In every class, I talked to the girls I was attracted to, hit them with cocky-funny, and got amazingly positive responses.

In my dorm, I was a minor celebrity. My confidence and attitude blew people away, and I was popular for the first time in my life.

But I was afraid to escalate because I didn’t want to come across as “pursuing.” David D taught me that guys aren’t supposed to pursue girls – we’re supposed to just act really cool and let the women pursue US. This led to a sort of conundrum because eventually I had to show some interest, right?

I couldn’t just be cocky and aloof forever – eventually I had to drop some hint that I wanted the girl. But I didn’t know how to transition from one attitude to the other. On the rare occasion that I did, it would totally screw things up. If I showed any interest in a girl, things went quickly downhill. As long as I was aloof, girls respected me and pursued my attention, but when I displayed any interest in them at all, they lost their interest in me.


Eventually, this process played out with every single prospect, and eventually the novelty of “Mr. Cool” faded, and they saw me as just another guy. I kept meeting new girls of course. Every day I met a new girl, struck up conversations, and built up the attraction.

But I just didn’t know what to do with the attraction. I didn’t know how to translate that attraction into a relationship of any kind – be it sexual, romantic, or even platonic. Not only could I not have sex or romance, I couldn’t even make friends with girls. By the end of freshman year, I had not hooked up with one single girl nor did I have any female friends. I didn’t have any male friends either.

Oh sure, I had acquaintances. I did extracurricular activities and clubs, mostly having to do with politics. Washington DC is a large, diverse city, and there was always something to do. I went to events, rallies, art exhibits. The students I interacted with thought I was a cool dude and would approach and say hi to me on campus.

People gladly sat next to me in the dining hall and ate with me. But they were only into my persona – my David D persona – they weren’t into me. They didn’t even know me. Nobody did.

All I had was my DYD persona, which, like any shiny object, is highly captivating at first but after a while gets old. After a whole year in college, I had not explored friendship, intimacy or sex. At all. I was a loner – even though nobody knew it!

And I was extremely jealous of everyone who was doing those things. I would walk around campus, watching all the couples, wondering how they did it. How could they be so successful when they don’t even know any Game? WTF?

When school was over, I went on an all-expense paid trip to Israel, courtesy of the Jews. For 10 days I rode around on a bus with 50 other college freshmen and sophomores from various schools around the US. We stayed in 5-star hotels, ate banquet meals, had all of our activities planned out for us, and all we had to do was enjoy ourselves.

I was told by previous participants that these types of trips are prime opportunities to hook up with girls. I used everything at my disposal. I built up my skills, took chances and tried my very best to connect with girls.

It all came to a climax one night while we were staying in a Bedouin tent in the middle of the desert. On this particular night, I felt so confident that I just walked up to a girl who was eating, sat down across the table from her and just looked at her without saying a word.

She immediately started smiling and giggling and asking me about myself. We made deep, sensual eye contact. I was feeling like this was it – the girlfriend I’ve been waiting for all this time! I invited her for a walk around the camp, and she happily agreed. I was sure this was it.

And in the middle of the walk, a guy came up to us and introduced himself. He was her boyfriend. They embraced. I didn’t give up though! I hung around, hoping to find out that they were just kidding and she was really single.

But after a while, I figured out that they were a happy couple, and I wasn’t getting any. At the end of the trip, most people who wanted to hook up had done so, even the shy quiet nerdy kid. You know the type – every trip has one. The kid who everyone thinks is sexually hopeless – even he hooked up!

After 10 days, I was back in Baltimore for the summer. I met up with my high school friends, and we went to parties around town. Most of the parties we went to were high school parties – and I thought I had a better chance now that I was a prestigious college student. And I was right – I did get a lot of attention and respect.

But it was just like before – I didn’t know how to translate that into actual affection and intimacy. I kept a journal of my interactions wherein I listed the time and place, the name of the girl, the things I did well, and the things I could have improved on.

I regularly referenced my journal and shared it with a friend who also read DYD (I was the one who introduced him to it). Every party that my friends told me about I went to, and I talked to as many girls as I could. But despite all of this work, summer went by with no success.

Then came sophomore year. I started expanding my Game knowledge into other schools of thought. I started reading Ross Jeffries, RSD, Mystery Method, Juggler, and many others.

I continued listening to David D’s products, and had built up quite a collection of “Interviews with Dating Gurus” CD’s. I was very serious about it all. I continued keeping my journal. I still didn’t have any friends, and I was starting to doubt whether I would ever meet any girls through school.

So I took the next step. I “manned up”, and did something I had been mortifyingly afraid of – I started going to clubs. Clubs were extremely scary to me. I saw them as lawless places where a person could beat you up or kill you, and there’d be no consequences. Like the jungle.

I didn’t have any friends to go with me, so I went all by myself. I bought club clothes, found a hot club with a college night where I could get in, and one Thursday night, I showed up. I was almost pissing myself from the fear. I stood in line and was tempted many times to abort and go back to my dorm. But I stayed and finally got inside.

Upon entering, I saw the most extremely hot, sexy, dolled-up girls I had ever seen in my life. Every girl was wearing a push-up bra. They danced to raunchy rap music. There were go-go girls dancing on the bar. I felt like a little mouse.

But I approached. It was probably the scariest thing I had done in my whole life up to that point. I had no friends or wingmen encouraging me – I was alone. And I did it. After the first approach, I approached again. And again.

After that night, I felt really proud of myself, and I continued going to the same club each week.

Towards the end of the semester, I found the blog of a “community” guy in DC and emailed him. Very soon we were meeting up together and going to clubs together. I had a wingman! This guy was really knowledgeable about Game, and he taught me quite a lot. He brought me to the hottest club in DC, a place called Dream. For those of you who know DC, Dream was eventually renamed Love. That place.

I turned into an approach machine, and I had a lot of very interesting, confidence-boosting interactions there. After a few months, I had pretty much vanquished my approach anxiety.

As I started to meet more and more PUA’s, and they began to recognize me as “the kid who can approach any girl, in any set, at any time, and in any place.” I would dare people to point out difficult, intimidating sets of girls, and I would approach them just for the sake of conquering whatever little bits of fear still remained.

I also did approaches during the daytime. I approached on the campus quad, in the dining hall, in the library, on the campus shuttle, and on the street. I went to frat parties and approached all night. I did it without drinking alcohol. I don’t like alcohol and never have. 99.

I did, however, like a little weed now and then. And I got the idea that if I sold weed, I’d have stoners coming over to my dorm to buy it, and some of those stoners would be female. And I did indeed make plenty of customers, some of whom were female. But none of them stuck around – they just showed up to buy, and that was it. I tried to game them, but it didn’t go anywhere.

I think they might have sensed that I wasn’t a true stoner – I smoked from time to time, but didn’t develop a habit. It was maybe once a week at most. I also tried coke a few times thinking that it would give me some super-heroic confidence with women. But after a few uses, I didn’t really see what was so great about it – it made me more aggressive, but I already had that part down. I didn’t need any more of it. I needed to learn how to connect.

In the spring of sophomore year in 2005, RSD came to DC, and I took their workshop. I met Tyler, Twentysix (Extramask), Jeffy (jlaix), Papa, and all the crew. They were impressed by my dedication and by my unwavering willingness to put myself out there and try things.

They seemed quite taken aback by my revelation that I was still a virgin who hadn’t even kissed anyone yet. I made copious mental notes about the RSD guys’ body language and attitudes.

One funny thing that happened during the workshop: I got to see jlaix develop a crush on a girl he met at the club who happened to be in one of my classes. I saw him get almost to the point of crying over how beautiful she was and how much he felt the pangs of “oneitis” for her. I was pretty amused.

The year ended with no results. That summer, I went to a giant music festival called Bonnaroo. I expected it to be the easiest place to hook up.

I wanted to be sure that I had what it took, so I bought a handful of doses of every kind of drug out there – mushrooms, MDMA, opium, acid, etc, (none of which I had ever tried) and put it all into a little bottle and carried it around with me just in case I met a girl who wanted to do XYZ, so that I’d have it to offer her and could chill with her.

But that plan hit a little snag when I got randomly searched by an undercover cop. He found it all, except for my vitamin pills which looked like MDMA and which I had several dozen of. I’m glad he didn’t find my vitamins, or I might have gotten into trouble!

Upon returning home, I stumbled across a post on some seduction forum by a guy named Stephane Hemon of the website IdeaGasms. Stephane talked about the intersection of pickup and spirituality and had devised a system for fixing one’s inner game based on new-age spiritual principles.

He was a protégé of Steve Piccus and DavidX and advocated a very unique type of game that blended yoga, meditation, the occult, NLP, and good-old-fashioned approach-spam all rolled into one.

He had a girlfriend who was bisexual, and together they went around Montreal picking up girls to threesome and foursome with. The newsletters he wrote about the spiritual principles behind pickup game were very profound, and I started to consider him my main “guru” in the field.

That autumn, my junior year of college, I signed up for his forum and began posting my own thoughts and philosophies. The other forum members were impressed by what I wrote, and I became the most popular poster, second only to Stephane himself, so he made me the moderator of the forum.

I continued to go around my college campus, approaching and gaming girls and writing about my experiences on the forum to rave reviews. Even though I didn’t get any lays or hookups, the people there admired my courage, creativity, and persistence. I had hundreds of people rooting for me, encouraging me, and praising me for my devoted effort.

The following spring, 2006, Stephane invited me up to Montreal to visit him. This experience was one of the most eye-opening things that’s ever happened to me.

I took the train to Montreal, and when I got there, it was like stepping into a whole new world. Montreal was different from any place I had ever been before. There were the most incredibly, reality-bendingly attractive girls walking around on every square foot of every street in the entire city.

Have you ever had the experience where you saw a girl who was so hot that her hotness forced you to reevaluate your entire view of reality? Where you stared at her, thinking, “She can’t be real?” Well, I had incidents like that several times a day. I was completely shocked and stunned by the intensity and sheer neverending quantities of hotness walking around.

Having lived my whole life in the Baltimore/Washington area, I had no preparation for this. I used to think people – humans in general – were gross and disgusting with only a few exceptions here and there. My debut in Montreal showed me that the world outside of my home region is very different. I would never look at Baltimore or DC the same way again.

In fact, I was so impressed and delighted by not just the girls but also the general atmosphere and ambiance of the city that I decided to spend the whole summer up there. After my one week visit was over, I took the train back home, packed my belongings, loaded up my car, and drove 11 hours back up to Canada, where I would spend the following two months.

For two whole months, I hung out with Stephane, his girlfriend(s), and his students/followers. I lived in his old apartment (since he had moved into a new one, and still had 2 months left on the lease for the old one) for free, the same apartment where his infamous Intro to Female Ejaculation DVD was filmed.

I went out to bars and clubs, walked around the Plateau-Mont-Royal, chilled in Parc Lafontaine every day, and continued my herculean approach regimen. But after all was said and done, I got nowhere with girls. I didn’t even get one date. I got feedback from Steph and the forum guys, but no one could figure out what was going wrong.

I had to return to DC to finish up my last semester that fall. I had amassed enough credits to graduate a semester early, and the prospect of languishing in Baltimore until further notice filled me with dread, so I planned to move back up to Montreal as soon as my exams were over in December. And that’s what I did.

I’m not sure how I convinced the Canadian border patrol to let me through with a car full of furniture – I guess it was my absolute dedication to succeeding at this. I got an apartment in the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighborhood not far from downtown and continued my quest. I saw Stephane and the IdeaGasms guys less but occasionally hung out with them.

I ran into some problems though, mainly the extreme cold weather and the fact that I was an illegal immigrant who didn’t speak French. I couldn’t find any work. And the Quebecois girls were just not giving me the time of day. As soon as I approached them, they would pretend not to speak English – even though I could tell they were bullshitting. I got very lonely, cold, and depressed.

One night I went out for a midnight walk in the park (something I do very frequently), but it was so cold I began to get hypothermia and almost fell asleep. I almost died. I wasn’t ready for a Canadian winter.

And on top of all that, I had a falling out with Stephane. I publicly questioned the efficacy of his techniques on the forum, and he responded by immediately banning me – the moderator – and refusing to talk to me.

I responded by calling him a cult leader, starting an ex-Ideagasmers forum and writing articles about his deceptions and cult-like personality. At this point there was nothing anchoring me to Montreal, so after a month, I came back to Baltimore. This was January 2007.

The entire year of 2007 was uneventful and depressing. I got a roomshare in Baltimore and continued hitting the bars and clubs, but anyone who knows Baltimore knows what that’s like. Having just returned from Montreal, it was like going from a Porsche to a jalopy.

I cried a lot that year. I got kicked out of the room I was renting for reasons that were never explained to me and got another room. I was kicked out of there too, again for reasons not explained, and then decided to move back to DC. I couldn’t afford anything in the city, so I lived in Prince George’s County…and it sucked.

I went into the District two or three times a week to meet girls and expanded my hunting grounds to Adams Morgan and U Street. But nothing happened. I had no girlfriend, no sex, and no friends. I was completely alone.

In January 2008, one year after leaving Montreal, I was invited to visit Tampa Florida by an ex-Ideagasmer on my ex-IG forum. I flew down there for a week and hung out with this guy and his two female housemates who, needless to say, were quite attractive.

Just being in the presence of attractive girls on a regular basis was such a relief; it was like I was reawakening out of a dream (or more like a nightmare). That combined with mid-winter Florida warmth and sunshine gave me the hint that I should maybe move down there. It’s something I eventually acted on – although not quite yet.

That Spring 2008, I had a genius idea. I decided to become a certified yoga teacher! I had been taking yoga classes since college, and I liked it. It made me feel good.

And best of all, everyone knows that yoga classes are filled with attractive women bending over and contorting themselves into all kinds of shapes! It made perfect sense. If I become a yoga teacher, I’ll have automatic guaranteed access to attractive women, and I’d be in an Alpha-like position to boot! Scooooore!

So I took a 3-week intensive training course at an ashram in the mountains of Virginia. When I was done, I was a certified yoga teacher and began looking for positions teaching in Baltimore. I found a studio that was willing to hire me and began teaching.

But much to my chagrin, the client base was almost all middle-aged married soccer moms. I don’t think there were any single girls who came in. I taught throughout the summer and fall until the September 2008 financial crisis hit, and the studio lost clientele and went out of business.

A few months later, one of my friends invited me to come with him to Miami where he was investigating a medical school to possibly attend. I rode down there with him and spent a week in Fort Lauderdale, which is about an hour from Miami. We stayed in a very upscale area and spent most of the time chilling on the beach.

We also went to the famous Miami Beach where for the first time I saw female attractiveness on par with Montreal. I still prefer Montreal girls over Miami girls because the former have more feminine energy. The girls in Miami are extremely shapely and show a lot of skin, but their attractiveness is almost totally on the raw, physical level – they’re just hot.

But they don’t have that aura of femininity that the French girls have. A French girl can walk by me, and I feel her like a cool breeze, quenching the fires of my sexual frustration just by her mere proximity. Whereas a Miami girl is just hot and makes me desire her but not much else.

Nevertheless, the Florida sunshine coupled with the copious hotties on the beach reawakened my will to keep on fighting. I started to seriously contemplate moving down there.

2009 rolled around, and I wanted to move to Florida, but I didn’t have any job prospects. My friend the medical student decided to attend school there, but he wouldn’t be moving in until the following year. So for most of 2009 I just kind of got really depressed and started smoking weed more regularly since there wasn’t much else to do.

I visited Montreal again in June and spent about 2 weeks there staying with some friends who I knew from the Ideagasms days. It was a pleasant relief to be in the amazing ambiance of Montreal once again, and I resumed my attempts to connect with girls there. I went around to all the parks just like I had done 3 years before. I went to the bars and clubs.

But something was different this time. I no longer believed in my ability to succeed. I went through the motions, but I wasn’t really confident that anything would happen. I did it just to say to myself, “I’m doing it”, so that I would feel like I was working towards a goal, but I didn’t really think it would succeed.

I started going to bars just to sit and watch the girls rather than approach and talk to them. I still approached when I saw one that was particularly attractive and/or my type or when I was feeling a spontaneous breath of confidence. But I had very little faith that it would go anywhere. I wasn’t “afraid” to approach. I had long since conquered the fear. I just didn’t see the point in it.

In September of that year, I attended a hippie lovey gathering in Asheville, NC and was very impressed by that little town and its culture. I started to appreciate the small town vibe blended with the progressive thinking. I was dreading the prospect of another winter in Baltimore, so I said fuck it and moved down to Asheville.

I rented a room with some people I knew from the festival and started trying to fit in there. But it didn’t work. I don’t even know why. I love nature, mountains, forests, and hiking, and that’s what everyone’s into over there. But for some reason I still couldn’t make any friends. And the girls, despite being homely hippies, still didn’t want to get with me.

My strategy there was to meet people through activities rather than from spam approaching. I still did a lot of cold approaches in bookstores, crystal shops, drum circles. But none of it worked. I was empty handed and came back to Baltimore after a month or so.

In the fall of 2009, I had an…iiiiiiinteresting experience. I attended the Free Spirit Sacred Sexuality Gathering, a large, famous gathering of pagans and alternative-lifestyle types that takes place every fall on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Maryland. I saw “Sexuality” in the title, and figured it would be a good place to figure out just what the fuck was wrong with me, why I was still a virgin at the age of 24.

But when I got there, I was greeted by a dominatrix in leather directing me to my parking spot, jokingly threatening to whip my bottom if I didn’t find the space. Umm, yea.

Much to my chagrin, the vast majority of the attendees were BDSM people. I saw folks walking around the campground in bondage gear. I saw a lot of extremely obese people, some attaching clips to their nipples and having their partners pull on the string. I saw people whipping their subs right out in the open. Eww.

I felt disgusted almost immediately. But I stayed. I stayed for the entire 3 days. Why? Because there was a chance, just a tiny chance, that I might find someone who could help me with my sexual drought.

Not everyone was a bondage person – there were some normal sexually adventurous people there. I went around to the various workshops, meeting people, sharing stories, learning new things, and hoping for the best.

And in the midst of this giant sexual gathering, nobody played with me. After three days of enduring the sight of naked leather-clad obese sex slaves and listening to their screams all night, I came out of the experience with nothing to show for it.

Then in February 2010 I traveled to Costa Rica to take a TEFL course to become an English teacher. I spent a month and a half in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. I wanted to learn to teach English so I could move to another country.

The thing that impressed me the most about Costa Rica was the number of lingerie shops in the mall. In one mall, the main mall in San Jose, I counted 9 shops devoted solely to lingerie. I wanted to move there just for that. Also there were nice beaches and stuff. And volcanoes. Yay.

I visited all the sites by myself, and I was miserable. I climbed a volcano where I could see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from one spot. It was the coolest place I’d ever been. But I was miserable because I had no one to share it with. Just like when I was in high school, I couldn’t enjoy anything fun because the fun only made my lack of companionship all the more stinging.

I asked other tourists to take pictures of me beside the crater, as I was planning on using the pictures to look cool on Facebook or on a dating profile. But when I looked at the pictures later, I couldn’t use them, because I had a look of pure misery and bitterness on my face. I ended up deleting the pictures because there was no use for them. They didn’t say, “I’m adventurous and worldly” – they said “This sucks, why am I here?”

When I returned to Baltimore, I began training as an AFLAC insurance agent. I passed the Maryland insurance test and began selling. But I didn’t make a single sale because I didn’t believe in the product I was selling. I don’t believe in insurance. What the hell was I doing?

Summer went by, lonely and depressing. For the first time, I started having thoughts of suicide. I started seeing a therapist. I visited Montreal again, this time bringing a friend. I had been telling him for years how cool the place is, and he finally got up the adventurousness to come check it out for himself. We went to the bars on the Plateau, and he met a petite little Frenchie and hooked up with her. Yay for him. Why could he do it, but not me?

By this time, October 2010, my Florida friend had moved into his place in Fort Lauderdale, and I decided to make the move. I packed up my things and drove down there and moved into a spare room in his apartment.

At first it was pretty nice. It was such a relief to be out of the shithole cuckoo’s nest of Baltimore. I felt a sense of hope again, like I had a fresh start. I wasn’t depressed there. I started regularly approaching girls again. I had always been an approacher even in the most depressing periods.

But now I was once again doing it with regularity and motivation behind it. I got a job working at a Quiznos but found it incredibly boring and draining. Just then, my friend informed me of a tutoring company that he had done some work for and forwarded them my resume. Pretty soon I got the job and was traveling around Broward County Florida tutoring elementary and middle school kids in math, reading, and science.

After a month and a half, my friend got tired of me living with him and asked me to find my own place. I stayed at a hostel for a few nights, where I met a group of Brazilian exchange students (college-aged).

I regaled them with my version of the Brazilian national anthem which I had randomly learned a few years back (don’t ask me why), and they thought I was awesome and amazing – the most funny and entertaining American they had ever met. Being with the Brazilians was like a constant, never-ending, childlike laugh fest. With hot girls.

They found themselves an apartment where they packed themselves in, 7 Brazilians in a two-bedroom, which comes out to 3.5 Brazilians per room. It was 4 girls and 3 guys, and the girls of course got the beds, while the guys slept on air mattresses. Obviously.

And the apartment building was filled with Brazilians, all from the same exchange program. There were so many Brazilians in this apartment building, that whenever I visited them, I referred to it as “The Brazartment.”

I looked for apartments on my own and found one that was kind of far away from all the action. It was quiet, but I had to drive over 30 minutes to get to the beach. I got kind of lonely there. And since I was feeling particularly adventurous, and didn’t feel like spending a shit ton of money on an apartment, I got another genius idea. I asked the Brazilians if I could move in with them.

There was a slight problem though. “Where will you zlip?” they asked me. (translation: “Where will you sleep?”) There was no space in the apartment. So I used my creative skills and came up with the idea to live on their balcony in a tent. That’s right, I lived on the balcony. Well, it was more than just a balcony – it was more like a rooftop which their living room opened out to. It was fairly large.

And it overlooked the Atlantic Ocean, which was only 2 blocks away. So every night, I went to bed with the sound of waves, and every morning I unzipped my tent door to see the sight of the sun rising off the sea. It was a pretty good deal. I felt like it matched my sense of adventure and spontaneity.

But the female population of south Florida was another story. They were not impressed. When I told them about my living situation, they looked at me like I was some kind of bum. I lived there for 5 months, and during those months I was friendly, social, employed, and was running Game like the good ol’ days.

I talked to girls on the beach. I talked to girls in the bars and lounges. I talked to girls in the parks. I talked to girls in the Brazartment. I talked to girls everywhere. But no one was interested. I was invisible.

It was around this time that I discovered a blogger by the name of Roosh Vorek. The things he said made total sense to me. It explained why I was suffering so much – I was just in the wrong place! There was nothing wrong with me – I was doing what I needed to do. The problem was the culture around me. I started to seriously consider permanent expatriation.

But I wasn’t ready to give up on the USA quite yet. I reasoned that Roosh was right about the East Coast, but there had to be better people in other parts of the country – particularly out west. In the spring of 2011, I left Florida for a road trip that would last 4 months and cover over a dozen states.

I visited Montreal one more time (this time visiting Quebec City and points north – some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen in my life), and then headed out west. I drove straight out until I reached Kansas City, spent some time there, and then made my way out to Colorado, Utah, Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington.

I had no plans – I just went wherever my intuition led me. I arrived at the Pacific in San Diego, and then slowly made my way up the coast, stopping for a few days at every major city and town. LA, Santa Barbara, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Jose, Mendocino and Sonoma, Arcata and Eureka and then over to Mount Shasta.

Then I made my way into Oregon, staying in Ashland and Portland and then on to Seattle. I was going to visit Vancouver BC, but my passport got stolen in Portland. For 4 months I lived in my car and traveled with the wind. I was looking for a fucking place to live that wasn’t a shithole. I was looking for a new culture, a promised land. I was looking for a girlfriend.

I believed that there was some amazing, open-minded, slightly-hippieish-but-still-hot girl, living somewhere out in the West who was my soulmate, and I could find her if I just followed my instinct. I spontaneously befriended random people. I camped on the sides of mountains. I slept inside my car while parallel parked in towns and cities. I used couchsurfing. I did wwoofing. I searched on the internet for events and parties, gatherings and get-togethers.

I took baths in lakes and streams. I explored the redwoods, the deserts, the mountains. I went back down the coast again to Hollywood and the hills surrounding it. I drove the Boulevard and Mulholland Drive.

I went to Santa Barbara and walked the streets of Isla Vista, the same place that would later become famous because of another lonely, frustrated guy in a similar boat as me. While in Isla Vista, I remember sitting in my car watching all the hot sorority chicks and their boyfriends walking past me, brooding over how much I hated them for having lives of sex and pleasure…not knowing that there was another dude thinking the same things, probably no more than a few blocks away and videotaping himself thinking it.

I started heading back east again, first to Arizona. I played around in the canyons and red rocks. Then New Mexico, where I thought Santa Fe and Taos were really cool towns. I met a lot of cool people, but just didn’t have anything to anchor me anywhere. I continued on to Austin, Texas.

Then Louisiana. By this time it was getting late in the autumn, and it was too cold to be anywhere up north. I continued on to Florida, then made my way back up the coast back to Baltimore. I was out of money and needed to stay with my parents again.

A couple months later, in February 2012, I went to Israel again to live on a kibbutz-like farm dedicated to sustainability and permaculture. It turned out to be more of a Zionist indoctrination camp than a permaculture education program. I wasn’t comfortable staying there, so I left and wandered around the country thinking that my “roots” would come into play and that I’d be able to connect with people there.

It didn’t exactly work. It just made me want to get the fuck away from Jews. One of the places I visited was the Galilee, and I stood in the spot where Jesus supposedly fed all the people with the two fish. I started to wonder if maybe my plight was so deep and hopeless that only Jesus could save me. I thought about becoming a Christian.

After two months of wandering around the “Holy” Land, my parents were getting enraged at having to keep sending me money, so I came back to Baltimore.

I saved up a bit, and then went to Hawaii. I worked on a farm there, doing wwoofing, but it turned out to be the most militantly feminist, male-hating place I’ve ever been. I felt like an indentured servant. I didn’t like the north shore of Maui at all. It was like being a black dude in the south.

The racism (from native Hawaiians) and especially the misandry from the white people were so incredible I couldn’t stay. I assumed all of Hawaii was like that, and I didn’t have money to go around exploring all the islands anyway, so I came back home…again.

In the fall of 2012 I started using a dating site called FilipinoCupid.com. This was a major turning point for me, because it was the first time I had ever experienced positive attention from women. The girls on there were so sweet, and talked to me like I was a human being. I decided to go to the Philippines. I did so in March 2013.

It was like having the entire fabric of reality turned inside out – everywhere I went, girls were approaching me! They were asking me out! They were coming over to my table in the food court and asking me why I was alone! And these weren’t prostitutes. I can recognize a ho, and these weren’t. They just live in a culture where men’s needs are actually important, and a man all alone by himself doesn’t make sense.

In feminist America, a man alone by himself is a good thing – it means he’s not having sex with women, and that’s good because he’s atoning for thousands of years of brutally oppressing women and therefore his frustration is a good thing. And also heterosexual sex is rape.

But in the Philippines, men are treated like people, and celibacy is recognized as the painful, suffering condition that it is. I actually had sex. Twice! No, scratch that… three times! Two of them were working girls, and one was a girl who I had met on the website.

But it didn’t feel right. I wasn’t sure how to tell if it was real or if they were only trying to scam me or gold-dig. One girl who lived in another part of the country and who I had been talking to online for over a month, asked me to send her a cellphone in the mail so that we could talk.

A red flag went up, but I figured hey, it’s only like $25. If I get scammed for $25, I can live with that. So I sent her a phone, and sure enough, the very next thing I got was “Omg, I just got bitten by a rabid dog, I need $1,000 for medicine.”

And I didn’t even have the money to be gold-dug. I was almost broke. I was hoping to land a job teaching English or something like that, but Filipinos already speak English. There isn’t the market for it over there. So I ended up exploring another island and some mountains, and then went back home to Baltimore…again.

I considered going to another Asian country to teach English. But I had no idea which one to pick. I’ve always been attracted to Japanese culture…but then again, China’s really cool too. Or how about someplace tropical like Thailand or Vietnam? I couldn’t decide.

So I said, “Alright, I’ll go home and think about it for a while. I’ll meditate on it. Eventually I’ll get some profound insight on what country will be best for me, and then I’ll apply for jobs there.”

It was spring of 2013, and the weather was wonderful, so I decided to go and work on a farm an hour outside of Baltimore. A hippy farm. It was great to be in nature in a serene and bucolic setting. I really enjoyed that part.

But the hippies pissed me off so much. They were so misandrist. I remember a big butch lesbian loudly proclaiming that the next time she has to wash somebody else’s dirty dishes, she’s going to start “pulling off testicles.” She said it in front of everyone, and no one thought there was anything wrong with that.

I thought about saying “The next time I have to deal with misandry, I’m gonna start shoving broomsticks up vaginas.” But I assumed that would get me kicked out right then and there, so I refrained from saying it.

Nevertheless after 3 weeks, they decided to kick me out anyway. I’m not sure what I did. My theory is that I simply displayed masculinity, and masculinity wasn’t tolerated (in men) in that place. I believe that’s why they kicked me out.

Since I had sold my car before going to the Philippines and was without transportation, I decided to get a scooter. I bought a 50cc TaoTao, and called it a motorcycle. I started riding around town on my “motorcycle” and felt like a total badass!

Living in Baltimore, however, there was nothing to do. No social events to go to, except for yoga and yoga-related activities like kirtans and things of that nature, all of which were solidly feminist circles. There was nowhere that I could go to interact with normal, non-feminist people. The choice became one of two things: hang out with feminists or be alone.

So I chose to be alone, and I went forth into the wilderness. I set up my tent in the forest near my parents house, and lived in my tent from June 2013 onward. I used their house to shower and cook, but otherwise spent all my time in the forest next to a great big tree with 5 symmetrical trunks that looks like a temple.

I started to commune with the tree, with the spirit of the forest, asking the great mother Gaia earth goddess to help me, to guide me. I meditated. I prayed. I cried out to the universe to tell me what the fuck I was doing wrong. I asked for friendship. For a social circle. For guidance on what country to teach English in. Anything.

I became more and more miserable being alone. I needed companionship. I needed someone to talk to. I needed friends.

I became more and more miserable being alone. I needed companionship. I needed someone to talk to. I needed friends. But everyone in the whole fucking city was a feminist (or a black-and-white-stripe wearing hipster who I find repulsive). I was starting to go crazy from isolation. Who could I hang out with? Who would hang out with me? And that’s when I got my next genius idea: I called the Mormons!

I called them up and got two missionaries to come visit me in the forest. They were really nice and friendly, and the best part about them is that they weren’t feminists! I decided to go to church that Sunday and meet the whole Mormon crowd. For the next few months, I hung out with Mormons, and they were my primary (only?) social outlet.

As far as their beliefs…well…let’s just say I’m not so sure about the golden plates. Dum dum dum dum dum! But boy was it a relief to hang out with people who didn’t see me as a second class citizen because I have a penis.

Eventually I started to wonder if I should actually become a Mormon. We started talking about baptism. I saw myself joining the church, serving a mission, spreading Christia- I mean non-feminism.

And I got scared that I was getting carried away, and possibly making a rash decision based on loneliness and desperation, something I might later regret. I thought maybe Baltimore was playing tricks on my mind. I decided I had to get out immediately. I decided to put the Mormon thing on hold and think about it in a more neutral context, a more healthy context where I’m not lonely and desperate.

But I didn’t have the money to go anywhere for any length of time. I wanted to say goodbye to Baltimore forever and not have to come back at least until I had the stability to make it only a visit and not have to live with my parents. But there were no countries where I could survive on a budget of $600 (all my savings). No countries except one…


I knew lots of people who went to India and lived in ashrams (yoga monasteries) for only a few dollars a day – sometimes even for free. I figured I could stay there and get some relief and not have to worry about shit and take some time to evaluate my situation and figure something out.

And hey, ashrams would be filled with people who are open-minded, spiritual, highly adventurous…and some of those people will be female! A perfect chance to meet someone.

So in October of 2013 I hopped on a plane to India. At first I liked it. It was very fun and stimulating. The food was amazing. But the heat started to get to me. I took the train up north to Rishikesh, the “world capital of yoga”, which is in the mountains and cooler. I stayed in ashrams.

I went back down south, I traveled to a few different areas, but fuck, I just want to fucking get laid and I can’t take this shit anymore what the fuck is going on why the fuck am I in India what am I doing and where are the fucking girls at and why can’t I fucking get a girlfriend or even a female friend or a friend of any fucking kind, what the fuck is going on??????????????????????????

After 3 months, I ran out of money and began to starve. I found some nice Indians to take me in and let me stay in their house until I could come up with some money. I got a loan from my parents and came back to Baltimore…again…in February. Now it’s June, and I’m really reaching the end of my rocker here. I’m still hanging out with the Mormons (my only social outlet), who are probably the only reason I haven’t killed myself by now.

Last week I read the manifesto of Elliot Rodger. I really feel like his life was the same as my life. After all is said and done, we both got pretty much the same results. I put in 100,000 times more work than he did.

I took the red pill. I approached like a machine. I did over 1,000 approaches in the span of a year in college in the prime of my youth when I had all my hair, a decent wardrobe, and a universally recognized “bright future” ahead of me. Now I’m bald (probably from all the stress and lack of physical touch from women) and have no societal “place”.

I’ve done a grand total of 3,000 approaches (maybe more) throughout my career, and the only thing I’ve gotten from it is 3,000 pieces of evidence that no matter how hard I work and how many risks I take, I’m still not going to succeed. I almost wish I had never approached and never learned game because at least that way I’d still have hope that I could succeed if only I were to try.

3,000 approaches and not a single girlfriend. Not a single lay. Barely even a kiss. It’s like I’m just invisible. What the fuck is going on? Please, somebody, help me.

I’m ready to start teaching English in China or someplace in Asia, but I’m afraid that it’s only going to be my socioeconomic status and not my personality that they’re attracted to.

I’m concerned that I’ll be able to get dates but no physical affection – or if I do it’ll be short-lived, and girls will be dumping me left and right for the hotter, more sexually experienced English teacher in the classroom next to mine. I’m worried that I’m just “running from my problems”, and that they’ll just follow me wherever I go, be it China, Thailand, Ukraine, Brazil, or wherever.

Somebody please, tell me what I’ve done wrong. I put in the work.

Roosh likes to call people trolls for complaining about their situation and not doing anything to fix it. But I have done stuff to fix it. I’ve tried everything. I’ve gone to the ends of the earth. I’ve experimented and braved fearsome situations and put my reputation and even my physical safety on the line all in the name of conquering fears so that I’d be better able to attract women.

I did the work. And I want to know why it hasn’t worked.

Please help.

Sincerely, Daniel

Uber Is One of the Worst Companies in America


Fuck Uber.

But then, the whole taxi industry sucks, as the article makes clear.

Some argue, like former New York taxi driver Graham Hodges and author of Taxi! A Cultural History of the New York City Cabdriver, that the taxi industry is a kind of utility, similar to public transportation, water and electricity and needs to be dependable, meaning there needs to be regulation to ensure safe cars, honest drivers, and a fair payment scheme. What consumers need, according to Hodges, is avoiding “hyper competition, [and] we don’t want reckless driving, we don’t want drivers about whom we don’t know very much.”

I agree. This whole industry is just horrible. And it is similar to a public utility, a necessity. Call it a public utility and regulate the living Hell out of it. PG and E has a great business model. Public utilities do just fine. They almost never go out of business.

There Are One Million Terrorists in America

Good, hard, solid, scientific evidence:

The No Fly List is different from the Terrorist Watch List, a much longer list of people said to be suspected of some involvement with terrorism. The Terrorist Watch List contained around 1,000,000 names by March 2009.

Yeah right. There are a million terrorists in the United States. LOL! Is that supposed to be some kind of a joke?!

"Railroad Workers to Union Leaders: This Deal Is Unacceptable," by Alpha Unit

Back in 2008, there was a head-on collision between a Metrolink commuter train and a Union Pacific freight train near Chatsworth, California. Twenty-five people were killed, including an engineer, who was evidently texting at the time and may have missed a stop signal. After this collision Congress mandated Positive Train Control. This system monitors trains by computer and satellite GPS. It will stop the train if the crew doesn’t brake or slow down correctly. Had it been in place in 2008, the commuter train would have stopped before crossing into the path of the freight train. With this new collision-avoidance system, rail carriers have found yet another way to cut labor costs. They now want one-man crews on freight trains. Currently in the United States, trains operate with at least two crew members, one engineer and one conductor. Some trains are over 10,000 feet long and more than 15,000 tons. Engineers drive and take care of the engines but conductors do everything else. Engineers and conductors are licensed by the Federal Railroad Administration and undergo continual re-training and testing. But many of them – and their families – oppose the idea of one-man crews. They consider it an unacceptable safety hazard, and one of the main factors in their opposition is the grueling fatigue that train crews have to deal with. Train crews are usually on duty around the clock and may get only two or three hours’ notice to report for work, any time of day or night. They can be called to work again after only 10 hours off. Their shifts can be for up to 12 hours. Some of the duties of a conductor:

  • hopping off the train to throw the switch that moves the train to another track
  • adding or removing cars
  • updating the list of cars that carry hazardous materials – crucial for first responders in case of a wreck
  • problem solving if a mechanical problem stops the train
  • conferring with the engineer about hazards, speed reductions, or crossings coming up

Opponents of one-man crews cite the case of a disaster that occurred in July of 2013. An unattended crude oil train broke loose and rolled down a hill, derailing in the middle of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, igniting fires and explosions that killed 47 people. A sole engineer had been in charge of the train. Last month, thousands of railroad workers found out that their union officers had negotiated with one of the biggest freight carriers in the country to allow one-man crews. The union is SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (formerly the United Transportation Union), which represents conductors. The rail carrier is Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway (BNSF). Currently a SMART agreement requires a minimum of one conductor and one engineer in the cab on Class I railroads. But that agreement will soon expire. Conductors could lose jobs if railroads implement engineer-only operation.The deal struck by the General Committee of SMART would have a designated master conductor working either from a fixed or mobile location other than the train. It would be the first time that a conductor is in charge of train operation. The deal would boost the pay of conductors and other ground service workers, such as brakemen, switchmen, helpers, and yardmen. All these workers are eligible for promotion to conductor. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, which represents engineers, has clashed with SMART over the years. Many engineers’ jobs were eliminated several years ago when railroads introduced Remote Control Operation technology for railyards. As J.P. Wright and Ed Michael explain, inbound train cars can come to the yard to be received, separated, and regrouped into tracks so that outbound trains are built with cars all going to the same destination. A yard crew used to consist of engineer, brakeman, and conductor. Now yard crews have been reduced to a lone conductor with a remote control device strapped to his or her body. He operates the engine’s throttle and brakes to move cars, uncouples cars, and throws switches, talking by radio to the yardmaster and incoming engineers. At first BLET and UTU (representing conductors at the time) stood united against remote control, but an attempt to merge the two unions failed. The UTU broke ranks and agreed to remote control, eliminating engineers’ jobs. SMART is now trying to hold on to conductors’ jobs since this new industry move toward engineer-only crews. Rank and file members of SMART have to approve of the new deal, and a campaign is underway to get them to vote no on one-man crews. Both SMART and BLET are officially against one-man crews, but each union is willing to cut whichever deal benefits its members. Railroad Workers United was organized to bring all workers in the industry together to oppose one-man crews, regardless of their craft or union affiliation. As for the federal government, the National Transportation Safety Board has no objection to eliminating conductors on PTC-run trains. Amtrak, commuter railroads, and some smaller freight carriers already operate with lone engineers in the cab and haven’t found any reduction in train safety.

"Get Used To It – We Are Back, " by Nikolai Starikov

Pain Inflicting Techniques

by Nikolai Starikov for Vzgiad (Translated by the Russian Team)

The West is so used to this one-sided game that they seem genuinely surprised that Russia has responded to the West’s sanctions against her. That’s ok, let them get used to it. Live by the sword, die by the sword. That is only when we are talking about a battle sword and a “hot” war. If this is an economic war where the weapons are prohibitions and sanctions, the aggressor will end up getting more than he asked for. I unequivocally support the introduction of retaliatory sanctions against countries which in turn tried to “sanction” Russia. Why? For many reasons: – it is good for our economy and our producers; – it is important for the self-respect of our people, who never failed to punish an offender, who never lost their sense of reality; – it is necessary to foster respect for Russia not only inside the country but also beyond its borders. Russia is a superpower; we regained this status after the reunification of Crimea. Therefore, the boorish attitude towards Russia as a guilty child who must be punished and taught a lesson is futile. From now on, any aggressor must get used to the fact that he will pay dearly for his aggression. Retribution will be measured by the degree of the aggression. The aggressor will pay dearly with his economy and income for economic aggression. He will pay dearly with his soldiers’ lives and the loss of freedom to maneuver in the international sphere for military aggression. As has happened many times before, we didn’t start the confrontation. This is Russia who is being “punished” because … a war is going on near our borders after explicit and practically overt support of the coup d’état in Ukraine by the West. This is NATO that threatens to expand its infrastructure near our borders. This is our territory that is being shelled from the conflict zone. The West itself is not in danger. Russia does not take any hostile actions towards the West near its borders. But we are being punished. Well, we will punish you. You need us more than we need you. From now on, not a single cannon has the right to shoot near our borders without our permission. The world should understand it and remember. That’s how it’s been from  Empress Elizabeth Petrovna to Leonid Brezhnev. No one has the right to shoot near our borders without our permission, and especially across it. The whole European part of Eurasia is an area of our vital interests. Get used to it, gentlemen “partners”. That’s how it was, and that’s how it should be now. In the meantime, military and economic guns are shooting not only without our permission, but at us. Therefore, the shooters must and will be punished. Punished severely. That’s enough! Our kindness is mistakenly interpreted by the West as weakness. It’s time to answer aggression and political pressure on Russia with pain inflicting techniques. Just over a week ago in the article “Pain Inflicting Techniques in the Protection of Russia, I wrote the following:

It’s time for Russia to switch to a policy of pain inflicting techniques. Further continuation of the policy of peace only allows our enemies to increase their strength. We must stop simply smiling and respond to the attacks on us. Our actions should be faster and more painful than the blows of our opponents. As like in the ring, where against a heavyweight boxer, the weaker athlete can have only one advantage: speed. And deliver painful blows to the sensitive spots of a stronger opponent. What are the pain points of our geopolitical “partners”? You need to understand, evaluate and pick them out.

So that’s what happened. We understood, appreciated, and made our choice. And we have answered. Already being banned: According to the measures for implementation of the Presidential Executive Order No 560 of 6 August 2014 “On Adopting Special Economic Measures to Provide for Security of the Russian Federation” a 1-year ban has been introduced on the imports of agricultural products, raw materials, and foodstuffs from the following countries: – United States Of America – European Union countries – Canada – Australia – The Kingdom Of Norway The list includes: 1. chilled, fresh or frozen beef, pork, poultry, salted, dried, or smoked meat, fish and seafood. 2. milk and dairy products, vegetables, fruits and nuts, sausages and similar products, and other variety meat (including finished food products made on their basis). 3. processed foods, cheese, cottage cheese and other dairy products based of vegetative fats. It needs to be emphasized that the RF’s embargo on products from the Western countries does not extend to baby food and individuals bringing in goods from countries on Russia’s sanctions list. In addition, Russia has imposed a ban on the transit of Ukrainian airlines’ flights through its airspace. “There is one solution which was issued by the government. We’re referring to the suspension of Ukrainian airlines’ transit flights through Russian airspace to a number of countries – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Turkey,” said D.A. Medvedev. The sanctions that can be further implemented: 1. An airspace ban against European and US airlines that fly over our airspace to Eastern Asia, namely, the Asia-Pacific Region. 2. Changing the so-called Russian airspace entry and exit points for European scheduled and charter flights. This will affect transportation costs and fare prices for the Western carriers. “Our country is ready to revise the rules for using the trans-Siberian route, that is, to denounce the agreed upon modernization principles of the existing system,” stated the Prime Minister D.A. Medvedev. “This revision will apply in full to the EU countries. We will also discontinue talks with the US air authorities on the use of trans-Siberian routes.” This response to the aggression is not only justified but is the only right step for Russia. However, Russia is ready to stop the confrontation and start a peaceful and mutually beneficial cooperation. Russia was forced to introduce sanctions in response to those countries which have declared economic sanctions against us. This is a clear signal to everybody else: Don’t even think about it! It’ll cost you. Note that our sanctions will remain valid for one year. It’s enough for our “partners” to feel the pain and change their minds. If this doesn’t work, the sanctions can be extended. We’ll introduce them to new sectors where they will hurt you most and will still be tolerable to us. This is our country, and thus, the rules will also be ours. We have played by your rules long enough. Thank you, our dear partners, for abolishing your own rules. This has delivered us from the need to withdraw unilaterally. You didn’t expect this? Get used to it. We are back. Nikolai Starikov is the co-chair of the all-Russian political party “Party of the Great Fatherland” (POF), writer, publicist.

Russia Strikes Back Hard Against the West!

From the Saker. Thursday, August 7, 2014

You wanna be Uncle Sam’s bitch? Pay the price!

Dear friends, I just took a short break from my life in “meatspace” to comment upon the great news of the day: Russia is introducing a full 12 months embargo on the import of beef, pork, fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and dairy products from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and the Kingdom of Norway. Russia is also introducing an airspace ban against European and US airlines that fly over Russian airspace to Eastern Asia, namely, the Asia-Pacific Region, and is considering changing the so-called Russian airspace entry and exit points for European scheduled and charter flights. Furthermore, Russia is ready to revise the rules of using the trans-Siberian routes and will also discontinue talks with the US air authorities on the use of the trans-Siberian routes. Finally, starting this winter, Russia may revoke the additional rights issued by the Russian air authorities beyond the previous agreements. This is such an interesting and major development that it requires a much more subtle analysis than just the crude calculation of how much this might cost the EU or US. I will attempt no such calculation, but instead I would point out the following elements: First, this is a typically Russian response. There is a basic rule which every Russian kid learns in school, in street fights, in the military or elsewhere: never promise and never threaten – just act. Unlike Western politicians who spent months threatening sanctions, the all the Russians did was to say, rather vaguely, that they reserve the right to reply. And then, BANG!, this wide and far-reaching embargo which, unlike the western sanctions, will have a major impact on the West, but even much more so on Russia (more about that in an instant). This “no words & only action” tactic is designed to maximize deterrence of hostile acts: since the Russians do not clearly spell out what they could do in retaliation, God only knows what they could do next! 🙂 On top of that, to maximize insecurity, the Russians only said that these were the measures agreed upon but not when they would be introduced, partially or fully, and against whom. They also strongly implied that other measures were under consideration in the pipeline. Second, the sanctions are wonderfully targeted. The Europeans have acted like spineless and brainless prostitutes in this entire business, they were opposed to sanctions from day 1, but they did not have the courage to tell that to Uncle Sam, so each time they ended up caving in. Russia’s message to the EU is simple: You wanna be Uncle Sam’s bitch? Pay the price! This embargo will especially hurt southern Europe (Spain, France, Italy, Greece) whose agricultural production will greatly suffer from it. These countries also happen to be the weakest in the EU. By hitting them, Russia is maximizing the inevitable friction inside the EU over sanctions against Russia. Third, not only will EU carriers suffer from much higher costs and flight times on the very important Europe to Asia route, but the Asian carriers will not, giving the latter a double competitive advantage. How is that for a way to reward one side while hurting the other? The EU got one Russian airline in trouble over its flights to Crimea (Dobrolet) and for that the entire EU airlines community could end being at a huge disadvantage vis-à-vis its Asian counterparts. Fourth, Russia used these sanctions to do something vital for the Russian economy. Let me explain: after the collapse of the USSR, Russian agriculture was in disarray, and Yeltsin only made things worse. Russian farmers simply could not compete against advanced western agro-industrial concerns which benefited from huge economies of scale and expensive and high-tech chemical and biological research, which had a full chain of production (often through large holdings) and a top quality marketing capability. The Russian agricultural sector badly, desperately, needed barriers and tariffs to be protected form the western capitalist giants, and, instead Russia voluntarily abided by the terms of the WTO and then eventually became a member. Now Russia is using this total embargo to provide a crucially needed time for the Russian agriculture to invest and take up a much bigger share on the Russian market. Also, keep in mind that Russian products are GMO-free, and they have much less preservatives, antibiotics, colors, taste enhancers, or pesticides. And since they are local, they don’t need to be brought in by using the kind of refrigeration/preservation techniques which typically make products taste like cardboard. In other words, Russian agricultural products taste much better, but that is not enough to complete. This embargo now gives them a powerful boost to invest, develop and conquer market shares. Fifth, there are 100 countries which did not vote with the US on Crimea. The Russians have already announced that these are the countries with which Russia will trade to get whatever products it cannot produce endogenously. A nice reward for standing up to Uncle Sam. Sixth, small but sweet: did you notice that EU sanctions were introduced for 3 months only, “to be reviewed” later? By introducing a 12 month embargo, Russia also sends a clear message: who do you think will benefit from this mess? Seventh, it is plain wrong to calculate that EU country X was exporting for Y million dollars to Russia and to then conclude that the Russian embargo will cost Y million dollars to EU country X. Why is it wrong? Because the non-sale of these product with create a surplus which will then adversely affect the demand or, if the production is decreased, this will affect production costs (economies of scale). Conversely, for a hypothetical non-EU country Z a contract with Russia might mean enough cash to invest, modernize and become more competitive, not only in Russia, but on the world market, including the EU. Eighth, the Baltic countries have played a particularly nasty role in the entire Ukrainian business and now some of their most profitable industries (such as fisheries), which were 9 Ninth, and this is really important, what is happening is a gradual decoupling of Russia from the western economies. The West severed some of the financial, military and aerospace ties; Russia severed the monetary, agricultural and industrial ones. Keep in mind that the US/EU market is a sinking one, affected by deep systemic problems and huge social issues. In a way, the perfect comparison is the Titanic whose orchestra continued to play music while the sink was sinking. Well, Russia is like a passenger who is told that the Titanic’s authorities have decided to disembark him at the next port. Well, gee, too bad, right? Last, but most definitely not least, this trade-war, combined with the West’s hysterical Russophobia, is doing for Putin a better PR campaign than anything the Kremlin could have dreamed of. All his PR people need to tell the Russian population is the truth: “We did everything right, we played it exactly by the book, we did everything we could to deescalate this crisis and all we asked for was to please not allow the genocide of our people in Novorussia – and what was the West’s response to that? An insane hate campaign, sanctions against us and unconditional support for the genocidal Nazis in Kiev”. Furthermore, as somebody who carefully follows the Russian media, I can tell you that what is taking place today feels a lot like, paraphrasing Clausewitz, the “a continuation of WWII, but by other means”, in other words a struggle to the end between two regimes, two civilizations, which cannot coexist on the same planet and who are locked in struggle to death. In these circumstances, expect the Russian people to support Putin even more. In other words, in a typical Judo move, Putin has used the momentum of the West’s Russia-bashing and Putin-bashing campaign to his advantage across the board: Russia will benefit from this economically and politically. Far from being threatened by some kind of “nationalistic Maidan” this winter, Putin’s regime is being strengthened by his handling of the crisis (his ratings are higher than ever before). Yes, of course, the USA have shown they they have a very wide array of capabilities to hurt Russia, especially through a court system (in the US and EU) which is as subservient to the US Deep State as the courts in the DPRK are to their own “Dear Leader” in Pyongyang. And the total loss of the Ukrainian market (for both imports and exports) will also hurt Russia. Temporarily. But in the long wrong, this situation is immensely profitable for Russia. In the meantime, the Maidan is burning again, Andriy Parubiy has resigned, a the Ukies are shelling hospitals and churches in Novorussia. What else is new? As for Europe, it is shell-shocked and furious. Frankly, my own Schadenfreude knows no bounds this morning. Let these arrogant non-entities like Van Rompuy, Catherine Ashton, Angela Merkel or José Manuel Barroso deal with the shitstorm their stupidity and spinelessness have created. In the USA, Jen Psaki seems to be under the impression that the Astrakhan region is on the Ukrainian border, while the Russian Defense Ministry plans to “open special accounts in social networks and video hosting resources so that the US State Department and the Pentagon will be able to receive unbiased information about Russian army’s actions”. Will all that be enough to suggest to the EU leaders that they have put their money on the wrong horse? The Saker

An Alternate View on US Tourism to Nigeria

Tulio writes:

I still don’t buy it. I can go on expat forums and find plenty of people who had no issues in West Africa and enjoy living there. I trust people who actually LIVE there *long-term* and have to actually deal with normal people on a regular basis than someone dealing with scammers or someone flying there short-term to collect money. http://www.expatarrivals.com/article/interview-with-trish-an-canadian-expat-living-in-ghana http://www.expatarrivals.com/article/interview-with-carsten-a-german-student-in-ghana

Tell you what. I will be completely honest. I read a story on the monger forums about a White guy who went to a village in Nigeria and had the time of his life with 10-15 rotating women all fucking him the whole time he was there. They were very sweet, feminine and kind. I guess they wanted marriage. He experienced no crime, problems or anything like that. Understand that rural life in parts of Nigeria has not yet been destroyed. And the North was always a safe place to go, except now there is a war on. But before the war was on, the North was a very safe place, almost no crime, no corruption. It’s the polar opposite of the Christian and animist South which is pretty much morally nuked. I also went to some cool pickup forums – really monger forums (these were really cool places just full of regular guys, often single, roaming around the world trying to get laid). I believe they are still around if anyone wants a cool PUA site that’s not ruined by the recent Manosphere PUA types. There was virtually no Roissy/Roosh dickery/assholery going on, and why should there be anyway? We are all just guys trying to get laid, come on. Why fight? There was a section on Nigeria, and I went there out of curiosity. There were some Black men in the US who were very street-smart fellows (draw whatever conclusions that you will), and they could handle themselves very well in dangerous US Black ghetto situations and had been doing so for many years. They admitted that Nigeria was a highly dangerous and chaotic place but said that if you were Black and street-smart, tough, and knew what you were doing, it was doable. But even these men admitted that from the time you stepped out of the airport, people will try to rip you off and scam you right and left. Most if not all recommended that no White men go to Nigeria, but that Black men could visit a lot there easier than White men. These Black guys had figured out the games, culture and rhythm of the streets of Nigeria, and they were able to travel there regularly with minimal problems. But it was not for the naive or people who were not hard and tough-minded. These Black guys were really into Black women, and they said there were many beautiful Black women in Nigeria ripe for the picking. I would say that if you are very tough and street smart US Black man who wants an adventure, you might be able to do Nigeria with minimal problems. But I would not recommend that any White man go there. For one thing, Nigerian Blacks are unbelievably racist against White people. Remember Band on the Run?

Four Friends of Mine Who Went to West Africa

Steve writes:

RL: ‘People act like there is a difference between “a few Nigerian scammers” and “the vast majority of the good Nigerian people.” As far as I can tell, most of the people in that part of the world are liars, thieves, scammers, criminals and morally depraved lowlifes. “West African scammer” just means “normal West African person.”’ I’m willing to believe the truth is somewhere in between but this last statement can’t be true. There’s no way the norm is to be engaged in scamming. I don’t believe it. I’d love to see you travel to Nigeria and India and spend some time there and see if your opinion changes.

I would not go to any of those countries, especially Ghana or Nigeria, if my life depended on it. Way to chaotic and dangerous. I am not particularly interested in visiting shitholes full of dangerous psychopaths. I will never go to India. A good friend of mine, a young woman, went there, and she was terrified the whole time as guys creeped on her in a horrible way 24-7. She stupidly went home with two Indian animals, and the guys spent the whole night trying to rape her. Would not take no for an answer. Half the time she was there, she was sick as Hell. People say that most travelers to India get sick. I have heard of US Indians who say that every time they go home to India they get sick. Fuck that country. If I went to either of those shitholes, I am sure that I would hate them even worse than I do now as seeing is believing. I know four people who went to Nigeria or that general region.

  1. One man went there on safari and also to track down a woman who had ripped him off. She stole $2,300 from him and didn’t pay back any of it when he visited.
  2. A woman I know went to one of those shitholes, I forget which, and she had 24-48 hours of total nightmare. I believe she went there to try to track down some guy who stole money from her. There were repeated attempts to steal from her, kidnap her, assault her and rape her. She kept trying to find people she could trust, but they always turned out to be criminals too. Finally she ended up at a police station, but they were worse than useless as they were basically criminals too. Somehow she found some people she could trust and managed to get out of the country. She said she was lucky to get out alive.
  3. I know a woman who went to Nigeria, and nearly as soon as she stepped off the plane, a Nigerian woman assaulted her in the bathroom and tried to rob her. She said the you can smell the city all the way up in the air, and the whole place smells like rotting garbage.
  4. My friend, a Black attorney, spent some time in Nigeria and Ghana trying to invest in factories with local partners. I am not sure how it all worked out. He absolutely hated West Africans and said 9

I did hear of several women who traveled to Ghana for whatever reason and apparently did not have many problems. However, they all said that the poverty was horrible.

Trains That Go 5,000 Miles An Hour!

The amazing Vactrain. This has been merely a theoretical model, first proposed 100 years ago. A major proposal was unveiled by a man named Salter in the 1970’s;  however, his project was shelved due to huge costs – estimated at $1 trillion. Once it was built out, one could travel from New York to Beijing in 2 hours! Trains would go under the ocean, on the ocean floor or underground. People would be subjected to forces 1.4X gravity, so modifications would have to be made in the model to deal with that. All of these are theoretical at the moment, but China has unveiled plans to build a Vactrain going 620 mph. It is due to be completed in 2020. Exciting news! I do not understand engineering well, so if some of you do, you might be interested in the specifics.

Top Ten: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

World’s 10 most interesting cities where it safest for a woman to travel alone – Guess what? They are all White cities, except one that is mostly Asian with a White minority. 10 worst cities to visit in the US – Guess what? They are all non-White (generally Black) cities.

Japanese and Blacks

Tulio comments:

Virulent racism of Japanese towards blacks is something I always doubted. It seemed to contradict what black friends that have visited and worked there have told me. They said it’s absolutely fine and they have experienced little racism and what racism they do experience is stuff that tends to be directed toward foreigners in general such as being denied entry into Japanese only places. Now one place I thought would be extremely racist to black people is Korea. But according to this black guy living there, he said he’s experienced nothing but hospitality and warmth. That even shocked me.

First of all, I am very happy that well behaved Black Americans can have a great experience in Korea and Japan. Black people really ought to be free to travel to and have fun in as many countries as I could. That a Black American is afraid to travel to some country because they will treat him badly simply because he is Black is very painful for me to contemplate. Maybe we Whites don’t realize how lucky we are. However, a lot of Japanese Americans, both male and female, have very racist attitudes towards Blacks. I knew a Japanese American, and he was quite racist against Blacks. You see where these Black guys run around and have like 8 different kids by 8 different women and don’t support any of them. That’s profoundly offensive to Japanese people, especially Japanese men. In East Asian society, a man may father children with more than one woman, but he absolutely must support all of his kids. If he does not, he is just a lowdown dirtball. When these Black guys have 8 kids by 6 different women and don’t support any of them, to a Japanese man, you are little more than an animal. You’re basically a dog. Because that’s what a dog does. A dog just knocks up any bitch he can or as many bitches as possible, then runs away and leaves her and doesn’t help her raise any of the young.

Any Of You Going on the Road This Summer?

Isn’t it great to be on the road?

…the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.

Just wondering. PS I didn’t write that above. Wish I did though.

"It Ended With a '53 Buick," by Alpha Unit

My husband almost bought a Woodie. It was about 25 years ago. He had a neighbor who had one in storage, and she wanted to get rid of it. All he can recall about it is that it was a 1940-something Dodge and that the wood was badly warped. Even though she was going to give him a great deal on it, he passed. Way too much hassle, he decided. The hassle of maintaining these cars is one reason people stopped wanting them. They look beautiful, but they can be high-maintenance divas.

A Nash Suburban “woodie.”
Woodies weren’t “Woodies” until some time in the 1950s, I found out. Before then they were just station wagons. Station wagons were a way of transporting people and their luggage from train stations to their final destinations. They were directly descended from horse-drawn express wagons. Before the 1930s the passenger compartment of a vehicle was normally made of hardwood. A station wagon had the typical wooden body – built by a local carpenter, probably – and was used in a privately-run shuttle service. The 1923 Star was the first wooden paneled station wagon sold commercially (made by Durant Motors). But the Ford Motor Company sold more wood-bodied cars than any other manufacturer, according to Art Daily, building its own bodies in a plant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Ford Motor Company was vertically integrated; the wood – kiln-dried maple and ash framing, with mahogany panels – was harvested from the company’s expansive Iron Mountain first-growth timber tracts. It was harvested, kiln-dried, and aged, all in one facility. Skilled craftsmen hand-built, assembled, and trimmed each car’s wooden body as they would fine furniture. Then it was shipped to a local Ford assembly plant to be mated to its engine and chassis.

General Motors didn’t sell as many wood-bodied wagons as Ford. Since it wouldn’t have been efficient for GM to produce the cars in small numbers, says Art Daily, a few respected suppliers hand-crafted Chevrolet, Olds, Pontiac, and Buick woodies. Packard, De Soto, and Nash also offered wood-bodied wagons. Chrysler came out with its Town & Country wood-bodied wagon in 1941 and eventually began making wood-bodied 4-door sedans and convertibles. The Town & Country, with an all-steel roof and a white ash and mahogany body, is designated a Classic. People really want to see them. And get their hands on them. Wood-bodied cars were undoubtedly complex and expensive to build and required special care.

Many pieces were made of rare bird’s-eye maple, resplendent with natural whorls and unique flowing patterns. Woodies were beautiful, but they were weather-sensitive and subject to an early demise. Manufacturers issued instructions with each wood-bodied car that instructed owners how to sand and re-varnish the body every year. No one would tolerate that frequency of maintenance today, but it was a different era. And Woodies were fragile. A fender-bender that’d simply dent a metal car body could reduce a hapless Woodie to matchsticks. Brutal Northeast winters meant that these were essentially three-season cars, at best.

People who restore Woodies say that most of the ones they see are in bad condition. They commonly see both dry rot and termites. Eric Johnson, who rebuilds these cars, spoke to John Katz of Hot Rod and Restoration about the difficulty of restoring original wood.

I’d love to have a car with original wood. I’d love to keep it all original. But when you start taking an old wooden body apart, it’s like opening a can of worms. You may have seen only a few rotted areas when it was all together. But when you take it apart you’ll find tenons that are rotted out from where water got into it.

He says that sometimes you have to build a whole new reproduction body – something Rick Mack specializes in. He estimates that less than 1 percent of Woodies have good, original wood. He builds about a dozen woodsets a year and ships them all over North America. As Jeff Layton describes it:

The process is meticulous and time-consuming. There can be upwards of 64 wood pieces on a vehicle. Very few are straight or square; most bend in two directions, and some have a twist. Mack uses a hand-crank press to laminate and shape replacement wood. He then uses jigs, patterns, and templates to dictate where to drill holes, round corners, and router interlocking pieces.

Pieces are accurate to the originals within 1/64th of an inch, he says. (Once varnished and installed, even judges at car shows can’t tell if the wood is original.) Because many woodies were kept in storage during winter months, some of them can be found in pretty good condition. But to a lot of owners, proper maintenance was not a priority. Manufacturers understood this. Some people say that the last great year for the Woodie was 1949. Postwar auto production made handcrafting complicated and maintenance-intensive wood frames and panels hard to justify, according to David Traver Adolphus. During the 1950s, car design, along with the tastes of people who drove cars, underwent radical changes, he says, and woodies fell from favor. The Chrysler Town & Country was discontinued in 1951. The 1953 Buick wagons were the last of the real woodies from a major American manufacturer. Rick Mack drives a 1950 Ford Woodie wagon, even though it’s not a great idea in the Pacific Northwest. “Driving in the rain can make the wood swell,” he confesses to Layton. But he drives it anyway. He loves Woodie wagons.

“The Unsentimental Vision of Mark Twain,” by Alpha Unit

Mark Twain is a racist.

Or Mark Twain is most decidedly not a racist.

Well, it depends on who’s talking about him.

He actually occupied sane middle ground on the issue of race. Ground arrived upon with difficulty, sure. But isn’t sane middle ground the only place to be?

His novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, fed and force-fed to American kids for generations, was banned in various quarters right from the outset, labeled by its detractors as coarse trash. It wasn’t until much later that anybody cared that it contained the word “nigger.” In more recent times its use of this word and its depictions of Jim the slave have been decried for their potential to inflict catastrophic damage to the psyches of Black youth – and undermine the general welfare in these enlightened times.

Some people make the case that Huckleberry Finn is clearly an anti-racist novel. I tend to think so. But being anti-racist in Mark Twain’s time was not the same as being anti-racist now. Twain was not the equivalent of today’s American “liberal.” He didn’t deny the concept of race. He didn’t see racial distinctions as irrelevant.

What I admire about him is his recognition that Brown and Black people deserved to be respected in their own right. They weren’t less human than White people. Whites had no God-given right to treat them however they wanted.

Mark Twain did not entertain, either, any notion that Black people were automatically ugly in comparison to Whites. Because he actually saw them as people, he easily saw what he described as their beauty.

While visiting India, he compared a beautifully-garbed Indian delegation to what he and fellow Christians could have produced had they put on a show of their own. It wouldn’t have been as impressive, he said.

Then there would have been the added disadvantage of the white complexion. It is not an unbearably unpleasant complexion when it keeps to itself, but when it comes into competition with masses of brown and black the fact is betrayed that it is endurable only because we are used to it.

Nearly all black and brown skins are beautiful, but a beautiful white skin is rare…Where dark complexions are massed, they make the whites look bleached out, unwholesome, and sometimes frankly ghastly. I could notice this as a boy down South in the slavery days before the war. The splendid black-satin skin of the South African Zulus of Durban seemed to me to come very close to perfection…

The advantage is with the Zulu, I think. He starts with a beautiful complexion, and it will last him through. And as for the Indian brown…I think there is no sort of chance for the average white complexion against that rich and perfect tint.

Twain recounted this trip in Following the Equator, written toward the end of his career, in which he chronicles his travels to India, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. While traveling he got to see firsthand the way White colonizers interacted with those under their control.

He expresses sympathy for the Whites who must secure their lives in these strange territories they have put themselves in, and acknowledges the difficulties of both Whites and natives in trying to co-exist under trying circumstances. But he clearly recognizes that it is the natives who have the worst of it.

He tells the story of a White squatter who encounters some Aborigines while at his home – Aborigines who are clearly hostile. Afraid of what he sees as an imminent attack, the squatter persuades them to have a meal with him. It was a Last Supper of sorts; the pudding he served them contained arsenic.

Twain’s assessment:

It was better, kinder, swifter, and much more humane than a number of methods which have been sanctified by custom, but that does not justify its employment. That is, it does not wholly justify it.

He goes on to describe the way Whites had typically interacted with racial “others”:

In many countries we have chained the savage and starved him to death…In many countries we have burned the savage at the stake…In many countries we have taken the savage’s land from him; and made him our slave, and lashed him every day, broken his pride, and made death his only friend, and overworked him till he dropped in his tracks; and this we do not care for, because custom has inured us to it; yet a quick death by poison is loving kindness [in comparison] to it.

In assessing these and other acts that the civilized had committed against their inferiors, he concludes:

There are many humorous things in the world; among them the white man’s notion that he is less savage than the other savages.

This year marks the centennial of Mark Twain’s death. He was a great observer and critic of humankind, and remains an amazing teacher, to those who would be taught.

Every people he observed was of the same fallible humanity. The idea of one race’s inherent superiority over any other? A joke.


Twain, M., Warner, C.D., Paine, A.B. 1922. The Writings of Mark Twain, Volume 21. New York: Gabriel Wells Co.

Anti-Black Racism In Ecuador

This link is from Niggermania, but the site is a good resource for learning about racism against Black people. I’ve found that the White racist sites are the most straight up honest about the low-down on how racist a place is. If a country or culture is racist as Hell against non-Whites, the racists love it and cheer it on. Cultures or nations that are more tolerant are routinely derided by the racists as PC, hopeless, brainwashed, nigger-lovers, anti-racists, liberals, etc.

Now, these guys have no reason to lie. If a place is racist and nasty, they come right out and say so. If a place is relatively tolerant, they think that sucks, and they call that out loudly. I have some commenters who insist that racists would see a very tolerant place as a viciously racist place. But why would they do that? They hate tolerant lands.

On the other hand, there is a serious problem with misrepresentation of nations by their nationalist citizens, especially Latin Americans, who don’t like gringos in the first place, don’t like to be compared to unfavorably to Gringo Americans. Many middle to upper class White or mestizo Latin Americans will insist that everything is groovy down there. Easy for them to say; they aren’t feeling any pain. But ask a Black Latin American, and you might get a different story.

Anyway, according to this link, 20 years ago (1990) there was de facto Jim Crow discrimination against Blacks in Ecuador. For all intents and purposes, Blacks were not allowed to serve as police or military officers. They were effectively barred from medicine, law and most other high-paying professions. Instead they were largely relegated to field work.

That’s a screwed up situation, and it would be interesting to see if it’s still going on.

Here is another post that talks about being a tourist or ESL teacher in Ecuador. Apparently being a temporary foreign worker or bucks up American tourist of any color is a different matter altogether down there.

Black American tourists are unlikely to encounter serious problems, and the scene on the beach is a lot of fun for Black people, with lots of Black Ecuadorians and Black Colombians hanging out at the discos and partying. It looks like the scene on the beach is different from the rest of Ecuador in that the Blacks have created their own reggae – party scene on the coast.

On the other hand, it’s perfectly possible for de facto wealthy American Blacks (if you have the money to travel to Latin America as a tourist, you’re a rich American in their eyes) to go to a country and have a good time while the native Blacks are still suffering serious institutional discrimination. That’s because the American’s skin tone is washed away by his Rich American image.

Bad Place to Visit, Wouldn't Want To Live There

Repost from the old site. This article has produced a tremendous amount of controversy, angry comments, and even, oddly enough, virulent hate mail. I guess I hit some raw nerves. I stand by my comments that these cities are some of the worst in the world, and, in doing further research on the Net, have found only further support for my thesis. Some of these cities, such as Bogotá, for instance, have large wealthy districts that are apparently quite pleasant. If one is rich, one can make a nice life just about anywhere on the globe. But this is not important – what is important is how the majority live. The title is a play on the line, “Nice place to visit, wouldn’t want to live there”, said about many less-than-desirable tourist locales. This post is about the worst places on Earth to visit, and probably to live too. The ratings were based on research done on the Internet in various places, including here and here. I’m going to focus on the places that are dirty, smelly, crime-ridden, trashy, rip-off havens, unsanitary and dangerous (Third World), and avoid places that are merely depressing, unsightly, rude, etc. (First World). Why? Because I live in the US, and those Third World qualities are going to be the most disturbing to me. I’m also avoiding active war zones because everyone knows they are horrible. To be fair to the “Third Worldists” out there, I noted that many people slammed various places in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland, South Korea, Ireland Italy, the US, Great Britain and Australia for various reasons, mostly because they are said to be unfriendly, depressing, tacky, cheesy, boring, etc. Detroit seemed to top the list as worst US city, along with Newark (though it had one fan), East St. Louis and New Haven (though some liked New Haven) were runners-up. Various small towns in the Rockies (especially Idaho) and Texas also were listed. For some reason, a lot of people hate Vancouver, BC in Canada. To my thinking, many of the horrible cities below point out the catastrophe of Latin American, Indian, Indonesian and Philippine capitalism. In much of Africa, capitalism doesn’t seem to working very well. For all its faults, impoverished Cuba certainly does not resemble any of these Latin American hellholes in any way, shape or form. I don’t think that capitalism in the First World is failing, but looking at many of the cities below, it’s hard to argue that capitalism is doing anything but failing in those places. Some of the winners in the Loser Destination Contest: Colon, Panama: A dirty, crime-ridden disaster of a city. The most dangerous city in Latin America, full of residents who seem like they would just as soon knife you as say hello. Other than the free trade zone, the entire city seems to be sprawling slum. Colon has no redeeming qualities. This city topped many worst lists. Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador: Guayaquil is horrible. A stinking, steaming, downright dangerous heap of a city with miles of slums. With armies of glowering gang members, this place is dangerous even in mid-day. There are garbage dumps everywhere with corpses laying out in plain sight and guns going off all the time. Quito is similar. Guayaquil topped many worst city lists. Johannesburg, South Africa: How sad that this country now has one of the worst violent crime rates on Earth. Although popular with tourists, this city is downright dangerous. This city also topped many worst lists. This blog supports the Mandela government, but the problems of this tragic nation seem insurmountable. ***** Lagos, Nigeria, or the whole country: This city, and even the whole country, seems to top everyone’s list. Garbage is everywhere, the city stinks, the poverty is horrible, animals are slaughtered on the streets, and it seems that at least half the population wakes up every morning thinking, “Who can I rip off today?” Up to 9 Nigeria has what must be the worst government on Earth and the country is rated the second most corrupt on Earth. The national airlines are dangerous and not recommended. The ripoff attempts often start as soon as you land at the airport and won’t let up until you leave. It’s best to assume that most, if not all, Nigerians you meet in Lagos are out to rip you off in some way or another and then proceed from there. The city is full of impostors, and you really do not know if anyone is really who they say they are. The police and Customs officials are all crooks and so is 9 Most bank and post office employees are also crooked. Imagine waiting in line at the post office, and a group of swaggering gangsters with fake ID’s strut in to pick up their stolen goods reshipped from overseas. They go straight to the front of the line ahead of everyone else, pick up their stolen property, and walk away laughing, having paid off the Post Office clerks. Welcome to Nigeria. There are Internet cafes all over the city, where 150,000 full-time Internet scammers ply their trade in plain view of anyone to see, and the government doesn’t bat an eye or lift one finger to stop them. In many cafes, 8 The scammers started out with the famous 419 email scams but have now branched out into lottery, romance, auction, roommate, orphanage and check-cashing scams. The scams are continuously evolving, and Nigerian con artists are widely acknowledged to be some of the best in the world, as they have been practicing the art for decades now. On highways outside of Lagos, you can see numerous vehicles wrecked on the side of the road, or even in the middle of the road, some with dead bodies still in them or beside them. Thieves pick through the wreckage and rifle the corpses looking for stuff to steal. All of the roads are dangerous, as armed robbers often set up roadblocks to shake down travelers. Nigeria is now a world center for counterfeit pharmaceuticals, credit card fraud and drug dealing, and a district of Lagos, Oluwole, is now a world center for top-notch forgery. The FBI and the US Merchant Risk Council recently came to Nigeria and inspected 40 packages coming into the country from the US to check for stolen goods. 39 of the 40 packages contained stolen property. When the agents arrived at a Lagos neighborhood and tried to arrest an 18-year-old boy for reshipping scams that targeted US merchants, much of the neighborhood – up to 100 people – rushed out of their homes to defend the local punk from Big Bad Whitey. Although the country is awash in oil, the power goes out all the time because the government power company is so crooked. The power company has either stolen all of its own budget money or the power comes in, but the crooked company resells it on the side. As with elsewhere in Africa, Whitey is blamed for all the troubles here. Hatred of Whitey is higher in Nigeria than in much of the rest of Black Africa and the White visitor will definitely feel it. The degeneration of Nigerian society is complete, and the culture appears near collapse. Mobs lynch thieves in the street and kill them in public for as meager a crime as stealing a cellphone, yet crime rages on anyway. Anyone can just up and say they own your house, put it on the market and sell it and you are out a house. Law enforcement, courts and anything resembling government seem to be nonexistent. ****** ****** Lima, Peru: When they tell you to visit Peru, they don’t mean the nightmarish capital. There are teeming slums as far as the eye can see, horrible crime (although not a lot of violent crime), pickpockets everywhere, and on top of all that, the sun never comes out. The fog mixes with the smog and the filthy streets to make a toxic brew. Lima made many worst lists. But it has its fans, and the upscale Miraflores district is said to be nice. The execrable Shining Path took up their nihilistic, deranged war in this country for a reason – because Peru is a rotten heap of a country. ****** ****** Medan (Sumatra), Jakarta, Surabaya, Indonesia: Jakarta is a reeking city with terrible pollution, open sewers and wrenching poverty. Medan seemed to top many lists for worst city on Earth, though it has a few fans. It’s hot, dirty and polluted, with factories, thieves and leering, menacing men everywhere. There is also nowhere to stay, not that you would want to stay anyway. Besides Medan, the rest of Sumatra is much better. The river running through Surabaya is so polluted you might vomit walking across the bridge. As you suppress your gag reflex, you will look down and notice that people are actually washing their clothes in this river. ***** ***** Mumbai, Patna (Bihar), Calcutta, all large Indian cities, India: Indian cities are very dirty and teeming with some of the most miserably poor and wretched people you will ever see, but at least there is not a lot of crime. The Hindu religion keeps crime down because believers fear they will be punished by returning in the next life as something terrible, like one of the huge rats you see scurrying about. Mumbai has pollution that is so bad that people actually get lung cancer from breathing the air. Mumbai, a stinking and sometimes dangerous city, made many worst city lists. Patna is the sorry capital of Bihar, the poorest state in India. It’s dirty and miserable, and it’s almost impossible to even get a taxi to get you out of town, which means it’s hard to leave the place. Calcutta is generally agreed to be one of the worst cities in India. ***** Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang, China: Deadly pollution, mostly from coal. Bucharest, all of Romania: Stalinist pollution covers the whole country and everyone seems depressed. Bali (in particular Kuta Beach), Indonesia: Hopes so high, reality so low. It seems everyone is out to rip you off. Surly locals hungry for money. Dangerous roads, nightmarish traffic, rude, leering men. When it rains, the sewers flood into the streets. Very high crime rate, hustlers everywhere. Most of the rest of Indonesia is pretty nice. Kuta is a tourist trap gone to Hell. **** Manila, Philippines: A crime-ridden hellhole. There are armed guards everywhere, especially in front of banks due to constant bank robberies. Their nemeses, criminal gangs armed to the teeth, roam streets filled with prostitutes and transvestites. It’s a town where everyone seems like they are out to rip you off in one way or other, and the hotel workers and cab drivers are all crooked. The latest advice is to have your Filipino friend meet you at the airport and head straight to their place, thereby avoiding all the ripoffs and con artists that seem to descend on every tourist. Traffic is horrible, and pollution is so bad it kills people. But some people don’t mind it. **** Gdansk, Poland: Combine a high crime rate and daylight robberies with totally crooked, thieving officials, and you get this Polish city. However, a number of others said it’s just fine. **** Mexico City, Villahermosa, Mexico: Mexico City is a dirty, polluted city suffering an insane, surreal epidemic of street crime, especially violent crime. Add 20 million people, stir well, bring to a boil, cover with a lid of otherworldly smog, and simmer. Reportedly, tons of human waste are blown into the air every day, and much of the population has constant respiratory infections. The sewer system is reportedly above ground and more or less runs through lots of neighborhoods where many people are residing. Villahermosa is a Mad Max-style, violent, crime-ridden disgrace of a city. There are stabbings and shootings galore here, even with a 10 PM curfew in place. ***** Tangier, Morocco: This is a dangerous place with lots of street crime. That’s unusual for a North African country, but Tangier is so close to Europe that it is almost a part of Europe. ***** Cairo, Egypt: Cairo has horrible pollution, smells terrible, there is trash everywhere, nothing works, there are armies of miserably poor people and it boasts some outrageously awful traffic. In the souks there are huge rats and wild, mangy scavenging dogs running about in plain sight. There seems no escape from aggressive, pestering hawkers. On top of all that, all the Customs officials are criminals. The crime rate is fairly low, though. Thank President Hosni Mubarak. 25 years ago, Cairo was one of the great world cities. ***** Bangkok, Thailand: This gigantic city has pollution so bad you need to wear a mask over your face. However, some folks like this city and say it has many positive attributes. ***** Brindisi, Naples, Italy: No one seems to like Brindisi. It’s a sad, dirty, polluted and ugly city, with hostile, brawling, drunken locals, hungry stray dogs, belligerent drivers, horrible traffic, and miles of soul-killing tenements. You would think that despite all of that, being genuine Italians, they could still manage to make a decent pizza. Forget it: even the pizza is terrible. Brindisi topped many worst lists, although it has a couple of fans. I had never even heard of Brindisi and had to look it up on a map. It’s located in southern Italy on the East Coast, southeast of Naples. Naples has a great deal of crime, and many think this city is overrated as a tourist destination, although others say that, despite the drawbacks, it has its joys. All of southern Italy has a lot of crime, but it’s mostly property crime. ***** ***** Athens, Piraeus, or the whole country, Greece: Greece, especially Athens, gets mixed reviews. A lot of people really hate Athens; others don’t. The detractors say the city is dirty, ugly, depressing, polluted, and covered with garbage and traffic. I was surprised that Athens made the list, as I had always thought it was a wonderful city. The port city of Piraeus is a nasty place. The whole city smells like a giant sewage treatment plant, and the ocean offshore has a sickening color to it. ***** **** Suburbs of Paris, France: These tragic towns, full of hostile Arab immigrants angrily refusing to assimilate to French culture or join French society, are a sign that the French model is not working well, at least for some folks. There is a terribly high crime rate here, and cops and firemen often won’t go there because they get attacked as soon as they show up. These mournful towns are packed with angry, unemployed young Arab men who like to seriously riot every year or so, or even more often if the mood strikes them. Lately, they have been staging mini-riots every night. If only 100 cars are burned, that’s a good night. Otherwise, Paris, of course, is one of the world’s great cities. But that doesn’t mean you might not walk into a subway station reeking of urine and see junkies shooting up in plain sight. But still, Paris is a must on any serious travelers’ list. ****** Brussels, Belgium: As with Paris, the districts with many Arab immigrants are quite dangerous and unpleasant, but the rest of the city is as nice as any big city. Abidjan, Ivory Coast: With one of the worst crime rates in Africa (although it has plenty of competition), this city topped many worst lists. ***** Bangui, Central African Republic: One of the worst cities in Africa, as bad as Lagos. The crime rate is totally insane. The locals will try to steal everything you own and even a contingent of armed guards will not be enough to protect you. Your hotel room will feel like a war zone. This fiendish city made a number of worst city lists. Lonely Planet’s guidebook more or less tells you to avoid this city altogether. Here is a harrowing report of a visit to Bangui. ***** Bamako, Mali: Mali has one of the worst governments in Africa, admittedly a race with a lot of competition. Bamako is a sick joke of a town, where the tourist surcharge is rigorously enforced, and the ridiculous, potholed streets are undriveable by any vehicle. Guatemala City, Guatemala: A totally dangerous, dirty, polluted, terminal patient of a city, full of scary, heavily armed teenage soldiers. The soldiers are there to keep the teeming, crime-ridden slums that stretch as far as the eye can see, from overrunning the place. But this city has a few fans. Belize City, Belize: This sweltering, miserable, impoverished, crime-ridden, very dangerous city is built on a swamp, with a jungle for a backyard. The beggars are aggressive and even menacing, and shady characters shadow you on the streets as you walk about. Cops are nowhere to be seen. This is one of the worst cities in the Americas. But the rest of the country is a great place to vacation. ***** Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Sao Paulo is the industrial engine of Brazil. This major city is full of garbage and very dangerous. There are hustlers as far as the eye can see, chaotic streets that render maps useless, not enough cops and Godawful traffic. Rio de Janeiro, the popular tourist destination with the killer skyline perfect for any postcard, is a deceptive place. It’s a very dangerous city with lots of violent crime. Street gangs armed to the teeth regularly shoot it out in military-style wars with the cops. Death squads of off-duty cops funded by local businessmen roam the streets at night, murdering homeless, drug-addicted street kids and petty criminals with impunity in a sickening “social cleanup” campaign. There are pickpockets and muggers all about, often in menacing, youthful gangs (especially on the famous beach) and they frequently operate in broad daylight. A dystopian horrorshow of a city. ****** Nairobi, Kenya: Unfortunately, this city is seriously crime-ridden. Even locals admit that violent crime has reached catastrophic proportions. Caracas, Barquisimeto, or the whole country, Venezuela: The crime is very bad here, sadly, and there is garbage everywhere you look. This blog supports Hugo Chavez, but crime in Venezuela is a tragic, long-standing problem with no quick fixes. Guinea-Bissau: There is no water, no electricity, no place to stay, and the only hotel is half-demolished. San‘a’, Yemen: In a Dickensenian touch, children are actually chained up here in order to beg! Moynaq and Nukus, Uzbekistan: These two cities broiling in a merciless desert have been ruined and turned into ecological dead zones by Stalinist pollution. ***** San Pedro Sulu, Honduras: This sad town has a horrible amount of crime. Swarms of locals will attack you on the bus, trying to steal your luggage. You will have to fight them off if you wish to retain your suitcase. Like the rest of this wreck of a country, it’s full of US gang members gone home to Honduras. People here are very poor and desperate. If you can make it to the nice part of town and afford to stay there, though, you can be quite safe. ***** ***** Dakar, Senegal: According to some, this large West African city has horrible street crime – it is very dangerous. They say if you don’t have armed guards with you, don’t even go outside your hotel room. However, others report that they spent a week there and found it to be safe, in fact safer than many American cities. Violent crime is reportedly rare, and the country is one of the most stable in Africa, and has been that way since independence. ***** Port Au Prince, Haiti: This filthy, degraded, extremely dangerous and desperately poor mess of a city is best avoided at all costs. It sports open sewers, enslaved children, riots, killings and lots of other fun things. This blog did support President Aristide’s efforts to improve the tragedy of a nation called Haiti. Lome, Togo: Criminals are as common as mosquitoes here, walking around fearlessly in broad daylight in this terrible city full of miserable people and crooked taxi drivers. ***** Istanbul, Turkey: The 20 The rest of the country is a great place to visit, has many fans and is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Best bet for Turkey is just to head to the tourist spots and blow off Istanbul altogether. ***** Phnom Penh, Kampuchea: This city has become a very dangerous, crime-ridden place. The gangs of little girl prostitutes add a particularly poignant touch. ***** Bogotá, Colombia or really the whole country: Bogotá is one of the most dangerous places in the Americas but there seems to be agreement that Colon, Lima and Guayaquil are worse. Really, all of Colombia is dangerous as Hell, to be honest. This comment about Bogotá was recently rebutted by a Bogotán blogger, with more comments here. His post aggressively taking issue with this entry is in Spanish, but my Spanish is good enough to get the gist of it. Also I am getting a lot of comments coming in from Bogotáns on the Internet aggressively objecting to the content. The sole issue that these Defenders of Bogotá are taking issue with is my contention that the city is a very dangerous place. To be honest, Bogotá used to have a truly horrible reputation for crime, but in recent years, there has been a huge effort put into cracking down on street crime. For some more agreement that Bogota is dangerous, see Bogotá is scopolamine. This drug is used by crooks to disable their victims so they can rip them off. It is sprayed in the face, dumped in your drink or spiked into a cigarette. Bogotá hospitals receive an incredible 2,000 scopolamine victims every month, or an astounding 66 a day. The drug knocks you out and can cause medical problems. Colombia has one of the world’s worst road systems. Many roads are not even marked. Drivers are reckless and many cars don’t have headlights at night. Cows have a tendency to wander into the road. Taxis are totally dangerous and are best avoided, if possible. Women are advised to avoid all taxis at night. Anyone is advised to avoid any taxi that already has someone in it. In many cases, this is a criminal accomplice of the thuggish driver. In addition to getting scopolamine sprayed in your face, another popular scam is the “jump-start”: you are told that the taxi has stalled and asked to get out and help push. As you do so, the taxi driver leaves with your luggage. Buses are also best avoided. Thieves haunt the buses, waiting for you to fall asleep, at which point, they rip you off. Certain bus lines are frequented by thieves offering drugged gum, sweets, food and cigarettes. After the drug knocks you out, they rob you blind. In addition to theft and druggings, kidnapping and extortion are also rife on buses. In view of all of the above, it is nothing short of amazing that all of these Colombians are angrily protesting my characterization of their country as dangerous. Or perhaps they doth protest too much? ***** Managua, Nicaragua: This dirty, crime-ridden, dangerous disaster of a city has a bombed-out look about it. This blog supports Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista Party and prays that they can ameliorate this mess. ***** San Salvador, El Salvador: See Managua. Full of dangerous former LA gang members. Death squads roam the streets, slaughtering gangsters by the dozen, but for every one you kill, it seems five more pop up in his place. This blog supports the FMLN’s efforts to reform this ruined land, but the crime here has become so terrible, one wonders if anything short of an act of God could make things better. In fact, I used to make contributions too the FMLN’s weapons fund via an FMLN agent in Los Angeles during the 1980’s. ***** ***** Detroit, New Haven, Newark, Gary (Indiana), Hammond (Indiana), USA: Detroit topped all lists as the worst city in the US. An ugly, dangerous, depressing and filthy city with a downtown that looks like a war zone – a despairing district surrounded by miles of crumbling, abandoned industrial buildings, torn-down fences and rusting cars. Newark is similar, with few to no redeeming qualities. It’s a frightening, polluted city with a postwar look of miles of weedy, trash-strewn vacant lots where crumbling apartment buildings have been torn down. It’s also a dangerous city with a high crime rate. New Haven, despite the presence of Yale University, is similar. There are legions of homeless, begging drug users clogging the streets, and the crime rate is very high due to hordes of crack-dealing gangs shooting it out on the streets. Congress and Columbus Avenues are notorious for drive-by shootings, drug dealing and muggings. It is reportedly the HIV capital of the East Coast due to IV drug use. A lot of the more respectable people have been moving out for some time now. Although much of the city is quite ugly, New Haven does have its bright spots, thanks to Yale. There are nice parts of town, parks, trees, etc. Gary is yet another postindustrial Rust Belt train wreck of a town. A grimy town full of abandoned factories, overgrown lots, rusting fences, graffiti, barred windows and vomit. Go downtown and see tall buildings all boarded up, with no vehicles in sight and unhinged stoplights swaying in the wind – for all practical purposes, a ghost town. This was once a vibrant, working-class city, and now it looks like Road Warrior. Hammond is similar, a suicidally depressing city lined with shuttered factories on the shores of Lake Michigan. Yet another Rust Belt post-industrial ruin. ***** Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: A collapsing, dirty, crime-ridden hellhole. Osaka, Japan: I never would have thought that this city would make the list but according to my friend Tumerica, she says it is the worst city she has ever lived in. I tagged her with the title of this story. In blogging, tagging mean you are supposed to write on the topic – kind of like, “Tag, you’re it.” I will let her explain why Osaka is such a crappy place in her post here.

Chinese Teahouse Scam

Chinese tea scam, Chinese tea ceremony scam, etc etc. Many variations on a simple theme. You are walking along in big Chinese city and you are approached by young students,  male or female, speaking good English. Chinese people have a reputation for being very friendly, so you go along. They want to practice their English. You walk along for a bit and they suggest you go for some tea. They direct you to some Chinese tea shop. The menu comes, you order rounds of tea. Prices seem a bit on the high side, but not unusual. Some pastries come later. Then the bill comes, and it’s totally outrageous. You’re out $200-750, and you better pay up or else. The nice friendly young “students” act baffled by the whole thing. This scam is spreading all over China and it is nailing Americans and now Brits left and right. It’s epidemic. You go to the cops and they refuse to do anything about it. Stupid Americans! Haha! My God, scams are everywhere, aren’t they? Watch out!


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