Syria – Bad Analogies Lead to Bad Decisions

Syria is not Iraq or Afghanistan.  Detractors of a strike on Syria (on both the left and the right) draw illusions to  recent military interventions and try to convince us that those pasts will inevitably repeat themselves.  That is foolish.

The use of US military force has, in the past, been an effective, targeted tool to send short and brutal messages that the US will not stand for gross human rights violations.  Remember Clinton’s bombing sorties in Iraq and Sudan. The US didn’t try to take over the country or even dispose the regime.  But they certainly sent a strong message that gross indecencies will be punished.

I am not sure how I feel about the US bombing Syria. I think that what Assad is doing is horrific and I think the US is likely the only country that can provide an effective deterrent. Thugs like Assad seem to only respond to strength and the US has strength.  That said, I am a pacifist at heart and as a general rule feel that violence tends to escalate.  

So, I don’t know if bombing Syria is a good idea.  What I do know is that the arguments the left and right are using to oppose it, are deceitful.  A strong message can be sent to Syria in a surgical, powerful way.  It is nothing like the morass that Bush got the US into in Afghanistan and Iraq (which Fox News supported of course). Clinton had a recipe that worked.  He used it rarely, but he made the world a safer place with it. 

Cheaters – Once Decided, They Act Fast (or Do They?)

A study by ashleymadison.com shows that their average members has a physical affair with someone within 36 hours of posting a profile on their website.

For those not familiar, ashleymadison.com is a website catering to those who want to have affairs.  It is similar to any other adult dating or hookup site but its target audience is married people seeking to hook up outside the marriage.

In a study of their users, they found that the typical user will set up a profile Monday morning, actively look for potential partners and send emails during his/her lunch hour, connect electronically with someone on Monday night, and meet in person on Tuesday. 36 hours!

Really? I am not buying it.  Hookup sites notoriously have many more people seeking online flirting and friendship than people looking for physical relationships.  Plenty of Fish recently shut down its casual encounters portal when it discovered that 90% of female profiles were actually men in real life.  

The fact is that most online prospective online hookups are not (prospective hookups I mean).  It may be good marketing for Ashley Madison to say you can be in bed with the philanderer of your choice within 36 hours of joining, but I am not buying it. 

I believe the beginning of the story – after a tough weekend, many profiles are posted on a Monday morning. I also don’t doubt that the posters spend many hours in the early days checking out profiles and reaching out to potential partners.  But the next step – a 12 hour turn-around to being in bed with someone – rarely.  More likely, what follows is lots of emails, IMs and online chats with dudes pretending to be women and, when people really are who they say, frustrated men and women looking for a little flirtation and attention but with no real intention of going further.  

I have no doubt that affairs eventually happen for ashleymadison members, but it is only for the patient and persistent.  As a believer in ethical non monogomy and a big disbeliever in cheating, I kind of hope I am correct.

 

Chuck Klosterman discussion questions

A few friends and I were having a discussion around Chuck Klosterman’s insane conversation questions.  One asks: you need to have your home repainted. You get multiple quotes and there is one that is definitely the best quality and the best price.  The only quirk is that the painter who submitted the quote said: I will do a great job, but i need porn to be playing as a paint; it is my muse.  The question is, do you still hire him.

I found it very interesting to hear the perspectives from around the room as we discussed it.  What is yours?

The Casanova Cocktail

looks yummy

Tales of the Cocktail brings brands from all over the world into one city. With the makers and brand ambassadors present, there cannot be a better place or time to become acquainted with and fall in love with these amazing products. This year, much of our amor goes to The Spirit of Italy.

 

  • ¾ oz. (22ml) Varnelli Anice
  • 1 ½ oz. (45ml) Pear-flav. Vodka
  • ½ oz. (15ml) Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1 oz. (30ml) Fresh Lime Juice
  • 3 Dashes Creole Bitters
  • 2 Wedges of Bartlett Pear

Method:

In a mixing glass place the pear wedges and muddle them. Add the rest of ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish: Dehydrated pear slice and star anise floating atop.

The Spirit of Italy is an organization of eight companies that it was founded in 2011 by some of Italy’s finest producers
of Spirits, Amari, Liqueurs and Aperitifs…

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Swingers have lower divorce rates and higher relationship satisfaction

I really like swingers.  They tend to be fun, happy, non-judging – overall great folks to be around.  Well,  research seems to back up my belief — swingers are happier.  Check out these figures from a study out of Bellarmine University, on 1092 swingers that found “swingers bond better in a relationship than monogamous couples”. A few stats:

– Half of those who rated their relationship very happy before becoming swingers maintained it had become even happier;
– 90% of those with less happy relationships said swinging improved them;
– swingers rate themselves happier (59% of swingers rate themselves as “very happy, versus only 32% of non-swingers who say the same).

Interesting to say the least.

New Percy Jackson movie – wildly underrated

At my daughters’ insistence we saw the new Percy Jackson movie this weekend.  I was not expecting much as it had received about a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes.  

Maybe my expectations were low, but I really enjoyed it.  The characters were very likeable, the story made sense and flowed well and the effects were great.  Sure, it ain’t Shakespeare, but it is not suppose to be.

So, I looked at the Rotten Tomatoes site to find out what was so egregious.  Here is what struck me —  70% of audience voters liked it.  The whole reason a movie like this is made is for audience enjoyment… point finale.  It had no grandeur ambition – it was not going for originality, artistic statement or a meaningful metaphor.  For critiques to pan it because it doesn’t do more that entertain is to miss the point of this movie.  The critiques were wrong and, as evidenced by 70% of audiences confirming the movie did exactly what it set out to do.