Arch Stanton Guest Post: Episode 15 of Today I Learned – Newport Sex Scandal

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Today’s episode has it all, assuming “all” is tons of gay sex and Franklin Roosevelt and the Navy. Do I have your attention? I know Disillusioned Dilettante is listening closely because of one of those specifics (spoiler – he’s a big FDR fan!).

In 1919, a senior member of the US Navy was hanging out in a Naval training base in Newport, RI when he overheard a rumor of a particular subculture seeping below the coast town’s veneer – Bronies. JK, there was talk of gay stuff happening at the Army and Navy YMCAs as well as the Newport Art Club (shocking!). This senior member, Ervin Arnold, felt it was his responsibility, nah, his DUTY to dig into this. He petitioned his superiors to conduct a full investigation into reports of parties of homosexual activity, liquor, cocaine, cross-dressing and, I quote, “effeminate behavior”. I don’t know about you guys, but these parties sound pretty rowdy.

Eventually, this investigator took root in the senior ranks of the Navy, including then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt. See, FDR was eyeing the White House as a possible future VP in the near future, and thought a good ol’ moral crusade could thrust him (pun absolutely intended) in national prominence. After failing to find a dedicated third-party to manage the investigation, Arnold was placed in charge of ferreting out the homosexual behavior, and boy, did he have a strategy. You see, Arnold proclaimed to be an expert at spotting gay men, in what is certainly the first documented report of a gaydar.

Arnold went through the available sailors and tapped thirteen of them based on their youth and looks to identify all the gay stuff in Newport. The underlying strategy involved getting gay. Seriously. The Navy trained these guys in gay stuff, and dropped them into the scene to document what they experience firsthand. The men were set lose, “observing all and ears open for all conversation and make himself free with this class of men, being jolly and good natured, being careful to pump these men (ed: NICE) for information, making them believe that he is what is termed in the Navy as a ‘boy humper,’ making dates with them and so forth” and were outright encouraged to have gay sex in order to uncover the other gay men in order to locate the “cocksuckers and rectum receivers and the ring leaders of this gang”. I imagine much of the planning involved conversations like “…and you can suck him off, but it’s totally NOT gay because you’re straight.” This is like Charlie Kelly attempting to retrieve a cat of the wall in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wco2uE6vyQ) – the only way to root out the gay stuff is to add a ton more gay stuff to the pile, but it’s okay because all these guys were totally not gay, just extremely patriotic.

The logic here is astonishing, even by interwar America standards. So these guys went out there and just plowed their way through the underground gay scene of Newport, doing tons of drugs and dudes. Over the course of three weeks, fifteen sailors had been arrested, dragged before a military tribunal and dumped into prison for being gay. While unsettling, it was still pretty normal for the time frame of everyone to be terrified of “TEH QUEERZ!”. During the military tribunals in which gay guys were testified against by their TOTALLY NOT GAY ex-lovers, the court frequently had to pause and ask for clarification for what certain terms or acts were. Oh to be a fly on that wall. To see a bunch of stodgy old New England Protestants listen to TOTALLY NOT GAY sailors report about “cock sucking”, “sucking off”, “screwing in the rectum”, “browning” (I have NO IDEA what browning is either), and “giving loads” would have been a delightful experience.

One gay spy reported he sucked off one guy in an alleyway, but never got his name, which had to have been a debilitating way to fail a mission. Another fingered a local reverend who, despite eleven counts of “gay stuff” – I mean, “moral contamination” – was eventually let off due to his nobly standing in to assist the sick during the influenza epidemic a few years prior. Oh yeah, and because he wasn’t actually a sailor. Turns out, you can’t try someone in a military tribunal if they aren’t in the military. And “by let off”, I mean Arnold immediately turned around and tried him a second time in a federal court, because double jeopardy is no match for being gay.

This investigation eventually got picked up by local newspapers who were by no means pro-homosexuality, but definitely thought it was a little suspicious the Navy is encouraging their sailors to gobble dicks in order to prosecute the others who may or may not actually be in the Navy. This was picked up all over the country, where it was eventually revealed FDR not only signed off on this, but got regular reports delivered to his office of the gay activity. FDR – homoerotic romance novel early adapter.Still trying to diddle his secretary in a different, bigger office, FDR resigned from the Navy when the heat picked up and was officially condemned by Congress for his involvement in the gay Gestapo. He and his running mate, James M Cox (I SWEAR TO GOD FDR RAN WITH A GUY NAMED ‘COX’ WHILE EMBROILED IN A GAY SEX SCANDAL), lost to Herbert Hoover. Nothing bad happened while Hoover was in office.

Arnold was pushed out of the Navy, but suffered no repercussions for his role in the sexiest task force the US Navy ever embarked on. I like to imagine he was just trying to prank his friends by tricking them into blowing dudes in the name of military superiority by assuring them it’s definitely not gay. Either way, I’m sure they look back fondly on the summer they sucked their way through Newport. Ahhhh, to be young again!

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Cross- and Intra-Asset Correlations are Plummeting…

Volatility is skyrocketing. VIX…soar, like Eagle. The 30 year bull market in fixed income is coming to an abrupt end. Trade wars on a global scale are looming. Currencies and hard assets are getting thrashed. The 10 year bull market in equities has already baked in a massive tax cut and is running out of steam. Recession on the horizon. Prospects are bleak. Correlations are down.

It’s becoming a stock picker’s market…

Daddy’s gotta go to work.

In other news…God!:

Great bumper sticker. Wonderful. It NEVER gets old.

This post is brought to you by:

Even if your Kumho has a lot of mileage, you’ll still feel comfortable letting your family ride that rubber.

Want Jeff Gundlach to Invest?

Want Jeff Gundlach to actively invest in your business but can’t seem to grab his attention?

It’s easy! Befriend a business reporter. Plant a headline similar to the below:

Mr. Gundlach’s assistant has forwarded you a calendar invitation and Mr. Gundlach’s private plane is now rapidly approaching your location. Zuckerberg is out? Bezos is in? Gundlach will get this train (mind the pun) back on the tracks…and he’s DEFINITELY not taking a passive role.

Guest Posting by The Shadow: Advice to New Grads: Scale or Bail

The Shadow, mildly frequent reader, first time poster, and all-around international man of mystery, wishes to share the following WSJ article with this readership, given our collective (FUCK, I can’t believe I just used the “C-word”) capitalist bone-bone.  Without further ado, here’s the article for your sweet saline finish:

Advice to New Grads: Scale or Bail

Want to change the world? Don’t bother volunteering—get a real, ‘boring’ job.

By Andy Kessler

Dear Grads: How can you make an impact on this world? Michael Keaton told Kent State students, “I’m Batman.” Ronan Farrow encouraged Loyola Marymount’s class of 2018 to “trust that inner voice.” Human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney told Vanderbilt grads last week, “Courage is needed more than ever.”

Maybe you’re looking for something less vacuous than warmed over “Wizard of Oz” themes? If so, put down your JUUL vape pen, unplug from “Fortnite,” tuck in your “I Am the Change” shirt, and listen up. Scale or bail.

Many of you graduates think you want socially conscious careers—giving back, fighting injustice and making a difference. “Well, you know, we all want to change the world.” You want to reduce inequality, end poverty, comfort the homeless, expand human dignity. Guess what? Me too! But you’re going about it the wrong way.

Some 44% of millennials believe they do more to support social causes than the rest of their family, according to the 2017 Millennial Impact report. If you’re volunteering at shelters or working for most nonprofits, that’s all very nice, but it’s one-off. You’re one of the privileged few who have the education to create lasting change. It may feel good to ladle soup to the hungry, but you’re wasting valuable brain waves that could be spent ushering in a future in which no one is hungry to begin with.

There’s a word that was probably never mentioned by your professors: Scale. No, not the stuff on the bottom of your bong or bathtub. It’s the concept of taking a small idea and finding ways to implement it for thousands, or millions, or even billions. Without scale, ideas are no more than hot air. Stop doing the one-off two-step. It’s time to scale up.

I hear you talking about food deserts and the need for urban eco-farms to enable food justice. You certainly have the jargon down. You can hoe and sickle and grow rutabagas to feed a few hungry folks, but then it’s really all about you. A better option: Find a way to revamp food distribution to lower prices. Or reinvent how food is grown and enriched to enable healthier diets. Call it a Neo-Green Revolution.

Don’t spend all your time caring for the sick. Prevent disease. Gene therapy, early detection and immunotherapy can change the trajectory of disease because they scale. Don’t build temporary shelters. Figure out how to 3-D print real homes quickly and cheaply. Why tutor a few students when you can capture lessons from best-of-breed teachers and deliver them electronically to millions? That’s scale.

Scale is about doing more with less. From just an idea, you really do get something for nothing. It’s about the productivity increases that create wealth. There is too much talk of sustainability, the fight over slices of a pie, zero-sum games. That’s the wrong framework. You need sustainability only if you stick to one-off moves.

Perhaps you’re doubtful. You’ve been drilled to fear a dystopian future. Relax; the world is not going to hell in a Whole Foods handbasket. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is not a documentary. Technology exists to enable scale. Only with productive jobs can you figure out which problems are important and have a fighting chance to scale and solve them.

I know what you’re thinking: A “real” job sounds boring. Your business-intelligence analyst title won’t sound as interesting at EDM festivals compared with your friend’s project to raise $10,000 and clean up a few tenements in a Rio de Janeiro favela. But I can guarantee you’re the one having real influence.

Everyone asks, “What do you do?” If you’re employed in a business that scales—and most “boring” jobs are—tell people you’re solving global poverty. Because it’s true. You’ll be more significant than selfish socially conscious conspirators. They get psychic gratification while you get the job done.

I understand that you’re young and striving for a purpose—intentional inclusivity, whole self, intersectionality, detoxifying oppression, whatever. Great. Keep that fire in your belly. But when you see oppression, think opportunity. Channel that energy to change the stagnant status quo through scale in education, banking and especially government.

If you don’t think I’m credible, you too can listen to Bono. As he told Georgetown students a few years ago, “Entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.” Of course it does. Want to change the world? Stop doing one-off volunteering and scale up.

Arch Stanton Guest Post: The Most Ambitious Crossover in History

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Hey have you heard there’s a new “Avengers” movie? It was pretty easy to miss, since it’s only been E V E R Y W H E R E for the past two months leading to it’s record-breaking opening weekend. Suck it “Titantic”! Part of the endless parade of promotions for the movie about CGI’d superheros fighting a CGI intergalactic bad guy is repeatedly calling this film, “the most ambitious crossover event in history”, which seems a bit presumptuous if you ask me. What about that other time Marvel made an “Avengers” movie? Or the time they made those “Marvel vs Capcom” videogames? Or the time “Friends”, “Mad About You” and “Seinfeld” all had a TRIPLE crossover about a blackout in New York City? (Do you not remember this episode of “Seinfeld”? It’s because NBC ordered it, and the other two shows fell in line, while the writer’s on “Seinfeld” entirely ignored it.) What about the time THE DONALD hung out with Grimace in a McDonald’s commercial? These were all mighty fine examples, but I can think of one property ripe for a crossover. Without further ado, here is the dumbest thing you will read this week….

“GEICO SPOKESMEN: INFINITE MASCOTS”

[SCENE: A nondescript strip mall in small-town, located between a Chinese buffet that apparently has a half-off special everyday and the last remaining roller disco in the Western hemisphere. Night has fallen, but there’s a large table towards the back of the office, visible from the parking lot due to the lights illuminating the conference room.]

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GECKO: [In a faux-…British? Australian? accent, it doesn’t matter you’re already doing the voice in your head] I have gathered all of you here today in the Geico Fortess of Solitude in order to address rumors of destruction and chaos in which we have never seen. We have faced formidable foes in the past – last year, we were nearly capsized fighting off Flo, and only at the last minute able to banish her to the Phantom Zone by bundling home and auto insurance together. We…

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CAMEL: GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS?

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PINWHEEL PIG: Knock it off, Camel. Let’s get to it Geico – I got a blonde on a jet ski to get back to in order to make everyone very uncomfortable with the suggested implications.

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“DID YOU KNOW…” GUY: Did you know… today is Monday, and you are a one-joke mascot Camel?

PINWHEEL PIG: Uncalled for. We are all just as valuable to Geico’s ever-expanding marketing footprint.

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ODDLY-GROWING WEIGHTLIFTER: HULK SMAAAAASH!!

“DID YOU KNOW…” GUY: Did you know… this commercial makes my penis recede into my stomach every time I see it?

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WHATEVER THESE ASSHOLES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE: [plays twee chord]

GECKO: We’re going off the rails, people. Focus. We need an organized plan, throwing everything we’ve got at this next…

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EASILY OFFENDED CAVEMAN: Are you going to tell us what this is or what? This is an unwieldy platform for a movie because we have to split a movie among a dozen-plus characters while establishing their motivations or character growth, all while telling a coherent story. This is a big ask, even for the sharpest among us. Isn’t that right? [gestures to his left]

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MONEY-WITH-EYES: [continues staring vacantly]

[rest of table nods in solemn agreement to the endless reserve of wisdom dispelled by Money-With-Eyes]

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THIS MAYONNAISE-EATING MOTHERFUCKER: Wise words indeed, Money-With-Eyes. We all remember this strategy when we defeated Erin Esurance and relegated her to a life of fan-made hentai porn (NOTE: https://priceonomics.com/how-esurance-lost-its-mascot-to-the-internet/)

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MISCHIEVOUS WOODCHUCKS: Aww hell yeah! We totally remember Rule 34-ing that dirty slut into 4chan. We ARE naughty beavers after all! [high-five each while the rest of the room groans, with some cloying steel guitar and tiny guitar fiddling amongst the noise]

ODDLY-GROWING WEIGHTLIFTER: [takes the guitars and smashes them through the table like John Belushi in “Animal House”]

“DID YOU KNOW…” GUY: Did you know… I have been DYING to do that forever now?

GECKO: [over the noise] We need to focus! We all need to get on the same page as soon as possible before… [thunder cracks and light illuminates the dark parking lot, the smoldering husk of a hatchback suddenly folded up. Mayonnaise-Eating-Motherfucker mouths, “my ride…”. A second burst of lighting fills the sky with only a shadow visible in the front window]

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