The slow creep of the TSA / new site review

October 27, 2012

By J. DeVoy

Roosh, the celebrated love tourist and proprietor of Roosh V, has a new project titled Return of Kings.  In one of its first posts, he addresses the TSA’s gradual metamorphosis into a pseudo-police force accountable to no one but themselves.

Roosh’s experience is not as jarring as Amy Alkon’s.  However, it is jarring to read as a citizen of a country that professes to have and protect the Fourth Amendment.

With the flats of his hand he pressed through every inch of my torso. He lifted my shirt slightly and felt around my jean waistline. Then he ironed my legs and the side of my thighs. He didn’t touch my crotch area. [...] I had thought the pat down was going to be similar to how some nightclubs do it, but it was intimate enough that I’m sure the agent knows I’m not skimping on my deadlifts.

Roosh even comments on the TSA’s proclivity for stealing passenger’s possessions.  While not apropos to his article, it is worth noting that TSA agents have included alleged child molesters, proving once again that there is no bar too low for entry into the blue shirt brigade of losers and misfits.

Finally, a solution is proposed that is equal parts critique of the TSA’s inability to truly fulfill its stated mission and indictment on the complacency of cowed Americans:

It took about four minutes for my pat down procedure while the x-ray machine takes 15 seconds. If just 10% of flyers opt out, the whole thing shuts down and they’ll have no choice but to stop using them. The fact that most Americans don’t want to be inconvenienced for only four minutes tells me how much they care about having an increasingly authoritarian government.

Return of Kings looks to be a kind of introduction to Roosh’s school of lifestyle and travel advice.  If books such as “Bang Poland” and “Don’t Bang Denmark” don’t appeal to you, I feel bad for you.  However, if you’re weary of American culture that chides you for not thinking a costly, debt-financed B.A. from Bovine University is impressive, and skeptical of following the traditional path of a soul-crushing cube job to support a widening wife and your(?) insatiable-yet-ungrateful spawn, the site seems to be a soft introduction to the kind of subversive thoughts that have led others to ditch the American rat-race.


Michael Lucas Pays Homage to a Friend

April 25, 2012

By Laura Tucker

Michael Lucas of Lucas Entertainment recently wrote a heartbreaking post about the suicide of former porn actor turned personal trainer Dror Barak.  Lucas describes Barak as “shy, smart, sweet-natured, and serious,” someone who helped him out at the gym because Barak was worried Lucas would hurt himself.

Lucas takes aim at the commenters on the websites reporting Barak’s death, countering their cold-hearted sneers with warm stories about his friend.  Props to Lucas for calling out those who chose to make assumptions about a man they didn’t know.

Nice people don’t do porn, one commenter said. Well, here’s one who did.

Read Lucas’ post here.


Unsolicited praise post

April 8, 2012

By J. DeVoy

I am capable of liking things.  For now, here’s two:

Philly Law Blog, http://www.phillylawblog.com

Disclaimer: I have come to use the blog’s writers, Jordan and Leo, as a sounding board for various ideas and talk with them one or two times a week.

Jordan and Leo are two young attorneys in Philadelphia who write about, well, the practice of law.  However, they don’t discuss iPads and SEO, but the actual practice of law – not the smoke and mirrors that allegedly generate “leads” from twitter and general web traffic.  Take this piece from Leo about the requirement that lawyers must be competent in handling plea deals:

“The decisions laid out by Kennedy means that criminal defense lawyers are now required to inform their clients of plea bargain offers, regardless of whether they think the client should accept them, and must give their clients good advice on whether to accept a plea bargain at all stages of prosecution. If they don’t, Kennedy said, they will run afoul of the Sixth Amendment right to assistance of counsel during criminal proceedings. ‘The right to counsel is the right to effective assistance of counsel,’ Kennedy said.”

No shit. It’s my duty to inform my client of any offer that a DA presents to me. And after I tell my client of any offer, I advise my client whether I think we should tell the DA to shove it.

Or Jordan’s makeshift manifesto about going into practice on his own, to fight the battles he wanted:

Oddly enough, I didn’t leave the firm because I had to. I left because I wanted to. I was bored, personally and professionally. There had to be more to life than billing a .1 for every email I received, right? It sounded stupid when I told them I was leaving. It sounded silly. It sounded like the idealistic musings of a young baby lawyer who didn’t know any better, probably throwing away the best thing that ever happened to him. This was the type of job many lawyers, young or old, would kill for. The partners thought I was crazy. They partners even took me and my wife out to dinner, and put us up in a nice hotel to try and get me to change my mind and to remind me what I was throwing away. The point was well taken.

However, I had always pictured myself as a small town lawyer, like the ones you read about in John Grisham novels. I wasn’t in this for the money or prestige. After a few years in practice, I was determined to build a practice one client at a time. To do a good job for everyone who came into my office, and if I couldn’t do that, refer them to someone who could. I wanted to build a practice based on integrity, honesty, and a commitment to justice. Not overnight, but over time.

I like the blog and I like its authors.  If it’s not already on your reading list, consider adding it.

City Athletic Club, Las Vegas, Nevada

Disclaimer: I am a customer

When this gym opened up, it seemed to good to be true – modern equipment, a clean locker room, a pool, friendly and knowledgeable staff who weren’t trying to constantly upsell me on personal training.  (Gym locker rooms can be the stuff of horror stories you never forget.)  Three months later I’m still enamored, and if anything it has improved.

City Athletic Club is located in The Lakes neighborhood of Las Vegas, on West Sahara between Cimarron and Buffalo (incidentally, across from a pretty good sushi place).  It is a little more expensive than Las Vegas Athletic Club, but justifiably so: City Athletic Club’s advantage is exclusivity, and it limits its membership to a fixed number of possible members just like a country club would.  The result is that I don’t have to wander around the lifting area looking like I don’t know what I’m doing because every bench and cage is occupied at 7, 8, 9 or 10 at night.

The equipment is always clean, it is modern, and it works well.  While there are plenty of machines and nontraditional training tools like bosu balls that are highly correlated with fuckarounditis (see also), there are more than enough barbells and power racks for serious lifting.  There are also a wide variety of classes available with a standard membership.  They aren’t for me, but the schedule is impressive, and many may find the sessions valuable.

One thing that I think makes City Athletic Club so great is that the owner, Jae, is constantly on-site.  He’s always talking to his staff and his customers, setting up and adjusting new equipment, and continuously trying to enhance the experience his business offers.  I’m very impressed at his involvement with the club’s day-to-day operations and think it bodes well for the gym’s success.


In Defense of Doctor Who

October 3, 2011

By J. DeVoy

At The Spearhead, I have a new post about The Doctor.

If you have not watched this season of Dr. Who, which concluded on Saturday, cancel all of your plans for this coming weekend and buy a season pass on iTunes or Amazon.  I powered through about two-thirds of the latest season this weekend, courtesy of crippling sinus pressure (my body had forgotten what it was like to actually experience weather).  Steven Moffat – the show’s main writer – is a genius, and I wish my legal writing could embrace the kind of dizzying forays into a million different directions that Dr. Who travels under his tenure, only to resolve with a crushingly obvious and brilliant conclusion.


Around the Intertubes – March 13, 2011

March 13, 2011

By J. DeVoy

Some recent finds that warrant sharing:

At the re-vamped In Mala Fide, in which godfather Ferdinand Bardamu has assembled a stable of bloggers for a contribution-based society and political forum, 4chan and Anonymous receive an interesting and in-depth treatment.  As the workforce and academy become more feminine, and men participate less in education, the workforce and their communities, Anonymous’ destructive antics are just one manifestation of men dropping out of society.  Rather than playing Call of Duty for entertainment, though, they’re DDoS-ing Visa.

Speaking of Anonymous, Zero Hedge reports that they’ll (allegedly) be picking up where Julian Assange failed and releasing damning information on Bank of America.  At the heart of this embarrassment will be Bank of America’s shady behavior in forcing the foreclosure of thousands of homeowners across America.  More to the point, remember when Bank of America acquired Countrywide and the heapingly full, stinky diaper of subprime and other “exotic” mortgages it owned?  It’s hardly surprising that BoA is in their current position, in light of that, and really needs to cover its losses.  Anonymous’ first demand is the resignation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake.

As for the worst case scenario, Crime and Federalism‘s archives has information about surviving financial armageddon.  No, society will not collapse in a Mad Max fashion, but there will be the kind of home invasion, rape, robbery and kidnapping activity one would expect in a second world kleptocracy.  Read all about it here, here and here.  If you want to insure your loved ones against kidnapping and ransom, or just get a sweet payday if they go missing, such services are available through Lloyd’s of London and New York International Group, but designed for high net-worth individuals and company managers.  We have a way to go before Progressive’s bangable, hipster-looking spokeswoman “Flo” and Geico’s gecko mascot start battling for your kidnap & ransom policy dollars with the usual volley of inane advertisements.

The Department of Homeland Security is no longer just impounding domains – it’s bringing criminal charges against people who link to infringing content (e.g., filestube).  Brian McCarthy, operator of channelsurfing.net, now faces criminal copyright infringement charges for contributory infringement by linking to sites hosting the pirated content.  Allegedly, he was arrested.  While heartening to see government stem the tide of piracy that erodes content producers’ earnings, this seems to be going too far: After a criminal trial and forfeiture of the defendant’s assets, little, if anything is left for recovery in civil actions.  While perhaps tinfoil hat territory, it’s possible that the government has seen that piracy is lucrative, but wants to keep the spoils for itself and will act to block individuals from taking money that could go to the state’s largess – analogous to the Depression-era policy forbidding the ownership of physical gold.

I will never, ever get tired of this unironic painting of Barack Obama.


When feminism and art clash

January 14, 2011

By J. DeVoy

“Pierce Harlan,” contributor to the False Rape Society, posts an interesting historical account about an 89-year-long feud between feminists and sculpture in New York City.

A teaser from the article:

What was so offensive about this statue? MacMonnies had the audacity to give vice a feminine face, and to depict virtue as decidedly male. The reaction of many women to this statue, from 1922 to today, is eye-opening.


Practice Pointer

December 28, 2010

Siouxsie digs up a great pwning from the 1970s here.

For more of the same, check out Jackass Letters.


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