Sunday, October 31, 2004

50 Reasons to Vote for George Bush

American Digest has a photo essay on 50 reasons to vote for George Bush. I hope you'll go take a look at it before Tuesday.

Woe is Me

The NY Post has the lowdown on the full 18 minutes of the Osama tape (of only 6 were shown on Al Jazeera). It sounds like Osama is distressed at the many setbacks dealt to him and his organization over the last 3 years:

October 31, 2004 -- Osama bin Laden doesn't seem nearly so cocky in the unedited version of a videotape aired on al-Jazeera, complaining that the manhunt against him has hampered al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden's newest tape may have thrust him to the forefront of the presidential election, but what was not seen was the cave-dwelling terror lord talking about the setbacks al Qaeda has faced in recent months.
Officials said that in the 18-minute long tape — of which only six minutes were aired on the al-Jazeera Arab television network in the Middle East on Friday — bin Laden bemoans the recent democratic elections in Afghanistan and the lack of violence involved with it.
On the tape, bin Laden also says his terror organization has been hurt by the U.S. military's unrelenting manhunt for him and his cohorts on the Afghan-Pakistani border.
A portion of the left-out footage includes a tirade aimed at President Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, claiming the war in Iraq is purely over oil.

Poor, poor Osama. I'll bet he's suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Maybe he can sponsor a Soprano's-like TV show, so that we can get a sympathetic view of the trials and tribulations of being a homicidal, megalomaniacal, fanatical, cave-dwelling parasite . I'm sure there's a niche market for it.

Some Pre-Election Psychiatric Tips

The next few days are bound to be stressful for all. So, I have consulted with my feline colleagues to give you the best psychiatric advice on how to handle all the insanities we can expect up and through November 2 (and hopefully NOT beyond!)

STEP 1 : RELAX (as best you can under the circumstances)

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Step 2: Remember, appearances can be deceiving!

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Step 3: ALWAYS expect the unexpected (and be prepared);

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Step 4: And finally, pray that everything will work out....

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And, when it is all over, remember we are all in this together!
Choose Wisely!


Saturday, October 30, 2004

Found in Translation

Click to enlarge and see what Osama is *really* saying to the American people (when he's not spouting John Kerry's and Michael Moore's propaganda--for more on a comparison of the Osama/John/Michael talking points, see HERE --hat tip LGF)

From Cox and Forkum Posted by Hello


With the last holdout finally returning to the fold, it is now unanimous! 100% of all the world's terrorists endorse John Forbes Kerry for U.S. President!

Kim Jung Il
the Mullahs of Iran
Islamic Jihad
Michael Moore

What a man Kerry must be!

Friday, October 29, 2004

He Has A Plan

John Kerry has a plan! Over at Tim Blair you can click on the link and Kerry himself will tell you about it!! (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)

Message From A Cave

I am willing to admit I was wrong. Apparently he decided to take me up on my double dare. But think how nice it will be when we do finally kill him.... For now, we can sit back and see how eerie it is to hear John Kerry's talking points coming from the mouth of a mass murderer.

UPDATE: HERE is the text of the mass murderer's little speech, if you are interested. It sounds a lot like many of the paranoid psychotic patients I have dealt with over the years, except that most of them make some sense.

UPDATE II: Wretchard thinks that beneath all the tough talk, Osama was asking for a time out:

It is important to notice what he has stopped saying in this speech. He has stopped talking about the restoration of the Global Caliphate. There is no more mention of the return of Andalusia. There is no more anticipation that Islam will sweep the world. He is no longer boasting that Americans run at the slightest wounds; that they are more cowardly than the Russians. He is not talking about future operations to swathe the world in fire but dwelling on past glories. He is basically saying if you leave us alone we will leave you alone. Though it is couched in his customary orbicular phraseology he is basically asking for time out.
The American answer to Osama's proposal will be given on Election Day.

Osama is endorsing John Kerry. He and his stooges are on the run and he wants a time out. Don't give it to him. Vote for George W. Bush

Continuing Insanity

I awoke this morning feeling particularly down and realized that I am more anxious about this election than I have been willing to admit to myself. I look around and see --even more than usual--the headlines of the day as they unrelentingly spin and gyrate to defeat Bush. I listen to the droning voice of John Kerry and am overwhelmed by the incredible desperation of a man who would sell his country to the enemy and say anything to be President. The continuing insanity whirling around us as we approach November 2nd is scarier than the most frightening Halloween nightmare. Let me illustrate.

  • A "study" suddenly published in Lancet claiming that 100.000 Iraqi deaths were "caused" by the US led invasion. Quite frankly, I read the study and it is deeply flawed; the data are incredibly unreliable (obviously not a single one of these are combatants? One wonders about who killed 1000 Americans during this time?) and, even if there WERE something to this 1)WHAT THE HELL ARE RESEARCHERS DOING IN A WAR COLLECTING SUCH DATA??? AND 2) WHAT POSSIBLE PURPOSE COULD IT SERVE TO PUBLISH THIS INFORMATION SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION (can you guess?)
  • Continued BULLSHIT about the "missing" Iraqi explosives as the Left and the Kerry campaign continue to try to make the Commander in Chief personally responsible for the day to day events in the war. What does this matter? Would it be any better if these explosives were controlled by Saddam and the Baathists as Kerry would like?
  • Kerry is saying that the nation is "polarized" and he should know, since his entire campaign has been focused on emphasizing and encouraging the polarization. A nation in a time of war deserves better of its politicians. Shouldn't we expect that a candidate for president shouldn't give aid and comfort to the enemy? On polarization: Senator Kerry appears to be deeply polarized himself, since his statements come down on every possible side of every issue. On giving aid and comfort to our enemies: Kerry did it in 1971 for personal gain, why not now?
  • RantingProfs points out the incredibly hospitality of France for all types of human scum including Arafat and Mugabe; and wonders if there is ANYONE that isn't welcome in that country--then answers her own question.
  • Good news about Iraq and the spirit of her people that will never make its way into the mainstream media
  • The incredible achievement of Afghanistan and its free election--all due to President Bush and his vision--has all but faded into obscurity. Do you remember the dire predictions about trying to hold free elections there? Do you remember how these predictions were used AGAINST Bush's policies; And the success of democracy in Afghanistan was even used to demonstrate Bush's failure? Yet, now that Afghanistan has exceeded all expectations and millions of people have voted and elected a president--what have you heard?
  • Can you imagine what our current world would be like if the media of today had covered World War II?
  • Can any jerk who makes a video threatening to "make the streets run with blood" in the US get media attention?
  • What is John Kerry hiding? Why has everyone forgotten "Christmas in Cambodia"? Kerry's failure to release his military and medical records? Teresa Heinz' failure to release her tax records? How come Kerry gets a free pass on all this? What about the questions of his self-inflicted wounds?
  • The vitriol directed by the mainstream media against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and their charges against Kerry; while any crackpot with "charges" against Bush become front page news and automatically believed by the media (at least CBS)
  • Fahrenheit 9/11 is "mainstream" while it is somehow wrong for "Stolen Honor" to be aired.
  • Over 70,000 people killed in a FEW MONTHS by the genocide in Sudan perpetrated by Muslims; while the world anguishes about 1500 Palestinians killed in 5 YEARS of the Intifada by Israel. (Link from Big Pharoah)
  • John Kerry is endorsed by the Communist Party, Iran, Yasser Arafat, Kim Jung Il, and terrorists the world over and noone seems to wonder why?
  • A columnist for a British newspaper calls for Bush to be assassinated, then claims he was just joking

There are so many bizarre and distorted stories in the news related to this election and world events, I couldn't even begin to list them in one lifetime.... I think I will just close my eyes and ears and watch Star Trek reruns until Tuesday.


Thomas Sowell has some words about the disgraceful media and their unrelenting spin to support Kerry and other Liberal causes.

The question is not whether the media should express opinions or give editorial endorsements favoring one candidate or another. The issue is whether their main function -- supplying information to the public -- is corrupted by double standards in how they report or withhold news that could help or hurt their favorite causes and candidates.
Unsubstantiated claims about George W. Bush's National Guard service more than 30 years ago have been hyped in the media for months, even before the forged documents were used by CBS News. But eyewitness accounts by veterans contradicting Kerry's version of his service in Vietnam have been kept out of much of the media.
There have been numerous other examples of similar double standards. When integrity is missing, that is far more dangerous than "missing" explosives.

I can't help but remember when Kerry claimed that his dying mother gave him three words of advice: "Integrity, Integrity, Integrity" ? (Nevermind that this was probably another of Kerry's many made-up stories.) Is it too much to ask that both the candidate and his rabid supporters in the mainstream media display some of that integrity? Or is that why Kerry's mother had to remind him three times about it?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Choice

LOL, LMAO, and LMFAO ! (hat tip: Polipundit)


A friend of mine emailed these to me and I thought I'd pass them on! Keep scrolling down and Enjoy!

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Liberal Fury

VDH has another excellent column today:

In contrast, the universities, the arts, the major influential media and Hollywood are predominately liberal -- and furious. They bring an enormous amount of capital, talent, education and cultural influence into the political fray -- but continue to lose real political power. The talented elite plays the same role to the rest of America as the Europeans do to the United States -- venting and seething because the supposedly less sophisticated, but far more powerful, average Joes don't embrace their visions of utopia.

Elites from college professors and George Soros to Bruce Springsteen and Garrison Keillor believe that their underappreciated political insight is a natural byproduct of their own proven artistic genius, education, talent or capital. How then can a tongue-tied George W. Bush and his cronies so easily fool Americans, when novelists, actors, singers, comedians and venture capitalists have spent so much time and money warning them of their danger?

For all Sean Penn's rants, Rather's sermons, Michael Moore's mythodramas and Jon Stewart's postmodern snickers, America, even in times of a controversial war and rocky economy, is still not impressed. National Public Radio, "Nightline" and the New York Times are working overtime to assert their views in this philosophical debate; Jimmy Carter and Al Gore -- not George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole -- are fuming. Most Americans snore or flip the channel.

Let us hope that on November 3rd, the elite will meet to rage about their defeat. Sweet! (Sorry! I got into rhyming mode and got carried away!)

Sleepy Interns Committing Key Errors

This is a surprise? We were saying the same thing 30 years ago when I was a lowly intern. (hat tip: cooky)

Bush Ads

For your viewing convenience, American Daughter has collected all 14 of the Bush TV ads on her site. They include the Swift Boat Ads. Go take a look!

A Humble Acknowledgment

I am chastened. I am humbled. As a lifelong Yankee fan who watched in abject horror as my beloved Yankees fell apart in the American League Playoffs, I now find within my soul a grudging admiration for...of all teams....the Boston... Red Sox (There! I said it! I am taking the first steps toward recovery!)

If the Bambino can finally forgive them, maybe I can find it in my heart to acknowledge that they aren't so bad..... And, anyway, it's REALLY REALLY GOOD that the American League won the World Series! You do remember the political implications of that in an election year, don't you?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Roger Simon comments:

"It's hard to imagine a world without Arafat. What will it mean?"

Here's how I imagine it:
  • The Palestinian people might have a REAL chance at peace for the first time in 20 years
  • Israel might have a REAL chance to negotiate a peace with the Palestinians for the first time in 20 years
  • A peace conference that is set up after Arafat's death just MIGHT have a chance to succeed
  • The next President of the Palestinians might actually be someone who cares about the Palestinians and their future
  • Hamas, Al Aqsa and other terrorist groups might not have a stooge among the Palestinian Leadership
  • There will be a sigh of relief by every sane person in every sane country of the world at his passing and a prayer that maybe, just maybe, things will get better in the Middle East
  • There will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth by many of the world's most prominent evil-doers at the loss of one of their own
  • There will be sanctimonious accolades and honeyed speeches of admiration for someone who condemned his own people to years of unnecessary misery and poverty
  • Idiots will pronounce great sadness over the passing of this great muslim leader--the same ones who are sad that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power
  • The Earth will continue in its orbit; the sun will continue to shine (only brighter); and all the stars will twinkle at the rebirth of hope in a small, dark part of the universe.

A Simple Comparison

Just remember that John Kerry would have left Saddam Hussein in power with explosives and weapons lying around for any terrorist to take.

All Things To All People or Nowhere Man?

Jeff Jacoby makes some interesting points about Kerry's recent religious conversion:

I have been following John Kerry's career for 22 years, ever since his 1982 run for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. I have encountered him in small private gatherings and in large public settings. I have spoken about him often with people who know him well. I have read innumerable accounts of his non-political passions and pastimes. And if at any point during all those years you had asked me whether I thought Kerry was a religious man, I would have answered without hesitation: "No, not at all."

Read the whole thing. It is yet another reality check on the question of the day: Who is John Forbes Kerry?

In John Kerry we have a Man For All Seasons; a Jack Of All Trades; a Johnny Come Lately; and a Johnny on the Spot. He is a Holy Man and simultaneously non-religious; an Aggressive Pacifist; a Snowboarding Windsurfer; He's Black, White, and Rainbow; He's For and Against; Up and Down; Over and Out; He's in two places at once; He's an Internationalist American; and a Communist- supporting Democrat. He's endorsed by all the wonderful Enemies of the US and by allies who won't lift a finger to help us; He wants to "stay the course" and run away; He's an articulate nincompoop; a man of too many words. A serially exaggerating prevaricator. He's open, honest and trustworthy except about his record; his plans; and his desire for power; He's simultaneously pro and anti-war; pro and anti-troops. This man of many faces; botoxed and tanned married a Republican billionaire's widow. This man of the people who owns more homes and cars than a baseball team can't remember the stars of his "beloved" Red Sox. He's "giddy" and manly; a wimp and a wonk. He for everything, especially himself. He's determined to be President of the US, even if it kills us. He is all things to all people or maybe a nowhere man for nobody.

Not only wouldn't I vote for this inauthentic, dissembling narcissist; I wouldn't even give him the time of day if he were the last politician in the galactic spiral.

UN believable

Ann Althouse, guest blogging at Instapundit comments on UN culpability in the Al QaaQa explosives story:
"The New York Sun reports that the US asked the IAEA to destroy the looted explosives in 1995
Nine years ago, U.N. weapons inspectors urgently called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to demolish powerful plastic explosives in a facility that Iraq's interim government said this month was looted due to poor security.
The chief American weapons inspector, Charles Duelfer, told The New York Sun yesterday that in 1995, when he was a member of the U.N. inspections team in Iraq, he urged the United Nations' atomic watchdog to remove tons of explosives that have since been declared missing. Mr. Duelfer said he was rebuffed at the time by the Vienna-based agency because its officials were not convinced the presence of the HMX, RDX, and PETN explosives was directly related to Saddam Hussein's programs to amass weapons of mass destruction.
Instead of accepting recommendations to destroy the stocks, Mr. Duelfer said, the atomic-energy agency opted to continue to monitor them.
By e-mail, Mr. Duelfer wrote the Sun, "The policy was if acquired for the WMD program and used for it, it should be subject for destruction. The HMX was just that. Nevertheless the IAEA decided to let Iraq keep the stuff, like they needed more explosives."

The latest updates on efforts by the NY Times and CBS to pull an "October Surprise" on the Bush Campaign can be found at Belmont Club, Captain's Quarters, and Roger Simon.

You know, people like John Kerry want it both ways. They want to say that Saddam was NOT a threat in spite of the fact that he had accumulated enough weapons to arm a small planet (including, I still believe, WMDs); yet it is President Bush's fault that in the 10+ years of "inspections" and "disarmament" supervised by the UN, Saddam managed to increase his dangerousness and continue to accumulate all sorts of weapons. How efficient and effective of the UN! They surely represent the hallfmark of incompetence, greed, and fraud. The missing explosives are probably in the same location as the WMD.

Meanwhile, John Kerry places the blame on President Bush and demands an explanation, which in my opinion shows two things: 1) John Kerry is an opportunistic jerk who will say anything to get elected; and 2) The United Nations has even more explaining to do. On top of the monumental "oil for food" scandal, we now find out that it was UN officials who were derelict in their duty, not President Bush; not the U.S. military.

The final word comes from Wretchard and is worth emphasizing:
"Although it is both desirable and necessary to criticize the mistakes attendant to OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom], much of the really "criminal" neglect may be laid on the diplomatic failure which gave the wily enemy this invaluable opportunity. The price of passing the "Global Test" was very high; and having been gypped once, there are some who are still eager to be taken to the cleaners again."

UPDATE: (via Hugh Hewitt) : The Pentagon has satellite photos of truck activity at Al QaaQa prior to the Iraq War.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Optimism Option - Freedom on the March

Next week this country will be facing an important choice at the polls. I know which candidate I will choose, and I will choose him because of his optimistic vision of our country and the world. I deeply believe, with every fiber of my being, that unless we confront Islamofascist terror and defeat it conclusively ( in the short-term by killing them; in the long-term by aggressively promoting Freedom and Individual Rights) that our entire way of life is at great risk. I want my daughter to grow up in a world where she is free to pursue her dreams, as I have been free to pursue mine. Where only her own talent, abilities and hard work stand between her and her goals. I love America and all that it stands for. America's values are worth fighting for; worth dying to preserve. The first part of a new century is a good time to renew our country's committment to Freedom, Individuality, and Democracy. We can continue to be a beacon for those values in a world of oppression and misery; where the forces of totalitarianism still have a foothold.

If you want a sample of the "optimism option", here is President Bush, speaking to Sean Hannity and responding to a the question, "if John Kerry were president would he make this country more vulnerable and more susceptible to terror attacks?" (hat tip: PowerLine)

You know, that's ultimately the decision the people are going to have to decide in this campaign and it is by far one of the biggest issues in the campaign. What I say is that his point of view is dangerous because it's very limited in nature. He says this is primarily a law enforcement and intelligence-gathering operation. He says we must pass a global test. He says that -- he hasn't changed his position on Iraq. He has changed his position on Iraq. A lot. And I think all of that adds up to is a -- in my judgment -- is a strategy that would not enable us to win. And he said he wanted to reduce terrorism to a nuisance. To me that is not the right strategy in the world in which we live in. The strategy should be to defeat these terrorists in the short term by bringing them to justice using all the assets at our disposal. In the long term by encouraging free societies to emerge. I think one of the most hopeful and amazing things that has happened in recent history is the fact that millions of people in Afghanistan went to the polls to vote for president. The first voter was a 19 year old woman. I cannot tell you how exhilarating and hopeful that makes me feel about my deep belief that every person wants to be free in the world. It just was proved and Sean, I would ask you to go think about what public opinion was like as to whether or not -- several years ago -- as to whether or not a democracy would ever emerge in Afghanistan. It is an amazing phenomenon -- I love to tell the youngsters in the crowd that come and see me to think about -- and I want you to remember what has happened in a brief period of time. A society has gone from darkness to light because freedom is on the march.

It is one week until Election Day. Make sure you VOTE !


John Kerry seems to have a strong tendency to claim he was someplace he couldn't possibly have been(in the Mental Status Examination, this is referred to as "disorientation") :


Meeting with United Nations Security Council members

Game 6 of the 1986 World Series

Does anyone else see a pattern here????

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Psychopathology of Terrorism

What is a Psychopathic Personality, or Antisocial Personality Disorder?

There are two terms in the psychiatric literature that describe a particular personality disorder that is socially deviant, dangerous, and frequently criminal: The first term is Psychopathic Personality; and the second is Antisocial Personality. The former term is the one I prefer, because it gives some insight into the inner state of these persons, while the latter simply describes their behavior.

There is a tendency on the part of the public to view terrorism as a psychotic aberration, since those who commit terrorist acts appear to others to be out of touch with reality. Professor Raj Persaud in an article in the BBC News recently said:

While we await the fate of Ken Bigley, held hostage by gunmen in Iraq, we wrestle with the nature of death visited on his two American fellow hostages, each of whom was beheaded.
These horrors seem inconceivable to us - what kind of people commit such acts of barbarity?
The aim of terrorists is to cause widespread fear in order to oppose an enemy which is usually stronger militarily.
One obvious theory to explain the kind of behaviour committed against the American hostages is that it is the product of a non-rational, disturbed or psychotic mind.

Certainly some terrorists have a "non-rational, disturbed or psychotic mind." (Richard Reid, for example). But here we are dealing with a fine line between reality and delusion. In previous posts, I have discussed psychological defense mechanisms, such as Projection. Almost everyone uses Projection at some point in their life. Healthier people will abandon this defense as they mature and develop defenses that are more adaptive in the real world. Those who do not abandon Projection as a primary defense can be thought of as "pre-psychotic" and they will appear more and more paranoid by the outside world as time goes on. In some instances, they will actually descend into paranoid delusion.

But terrorists, by and large, do not suffer from psychosis, i.e.,they are not usually overtly paranoid (some are). They do cling to Projection as a defense mechanism, however. They may have paranoid traits; they may have delusional, conspiracy-based thinking, but they don't have what we call in psychiatry a "thought disorder". What they have is defect in their personality structure. In Part 2, I will discuss the theories that explain the origin of this personality defect, but for now let me describe what a psychopath is.

The psychopathic personality is fairly well-described in the psychiatric literature (I refer you to Abnormalities of Personality, by Michael H. Stone, for an overview of all personality disorders). There are certain traits that are associated with this personality and they are:

1. A glib, superficial charm (think Yasser Arafat; Saddam Hussein and many others)
2. A grandiose sense of self-worth (Osama Bin Laden; Hussein; Al Qaeda's manifesto; attitude toward events that happened 1000 years ago)
3. A need for stimulation / proneness to boredom(enjoyment of near-death experiences; destruction and mayhem for the sake of destruction and mayhem)
4. Pathological lying (no need to tell the truth to infidels; truth in the service of one's goals is malleable)
5. Manipulative behavior (convincing adolescents and children to commit suicide)
6. Lack of remorse or guilt for their behavior (the most heinous acts are presented as something to be proud of and accepted by their acolytes as such)
7. Shallow affect (no real concern for others,e.g., Iraqis or Afghanis who are Muslim are just as likely to be murdered; despite saying that they care about other Muslims)
8. Callousness / lack of empathy (inability to connect with their victims; cold-blooded murder of children--e.g., Beslan)
10. Lack of the usual behavioral controls (e.g., impulsive, reckless) (off-handedly referring to Jews, Women etc. as "dogs", "monkey", sub-human; Saddam's sons and their behavior toward athletes who lost; many other examples of a complete disregard for thousands of years of civilization and self-control)
11. Promiscuous or deviant sexual behavior/attitudes (male dominant/misogynistic; homosexuality condemned, yet behind the scenes sexual abuse of both male and female children)
12. Irresponsibility (sense of entitlement; jealousy; envy of the West)
13. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

Many of these traits overlap with the narcissist (e.g., the grandiose sense of self-worth). The traits that generally are ominous and not seen in the pure narcissist are the lack of remorse or guilt for their behavior and the callousness and lack of empathy. Those qualities, combined with the irresponsibility, impulsiveness and failure to accept responsibility for his own actions make the psychopath a danger to others and a serious threat to civilized society.

The antisocial behavior and criminality exhibited by the psychopath can be anywhere from mild to severe. A mild case might be a man who runs off with the assests of his company, changes his name, abandons his family and pretends that the person he previously was never existed. An extremely severe case , would be the man in the mask parading before videocameras as he cruelly and deliberately slices off the head off of a helpless victim. Most people describe this as "sick", but psychopathic personality disorder is not an illness--it is a way of viewing the world, a way of life.

Psychopaths can form groups, where they nurture the delusion that all "outsiders" (e.g., "infidels") are bad and they will exhibit their antisocial behavior toward those outside their own group. They can enlist non-psychopaths into their ranks because they are superficially charming and glib; they lie easily; and they are extremely manipulative to get what they want at the moment. You can see this in characters like Jim Jones, who was able to convince many people to commit suicide at his command. This is not much different from the tactics used by Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Al Qaeda leaders who convince their drones that suicide is a reasonable alternative to living.

The Terrorist "Script"

Sylvan Tomkins, a brilliant 20th century psychologist developed the concept of "Scripts" as a pschological tool to understand behavior. I think this concept is particularly useful in describing Islamofascist terrorism:

Literally, as a piece of writing, a script is an instrument for the management and effective control of a play, film or broadcast. In this counselling /therapeutic context scripts are the tools with which we manage our adult life.
From our earliest and formative years we build a library of scripts through and with which we respond and react to life's ups and down, day by day, minute by minute. Any stimulus is categorised and linked to our response and via our memory is stored in our data base or library. When that same stimulus reoccurs the script will be retrieved and used again at least whilst the response is effective and provides positive affect; that is, it makes us feel better. As we grow older our resource data base increases.

Common "scripts" are used to direct the attitudes and behaviors of the psychopath. In their mind, these attitudes explain the world for the psychopath, and their behaviors give shape to the underlying personality. Scripts are sets of ordering rules that govern how a person interprets, predicts, and behaves in typical and repetitive situations--the kind of situations that make up most people's everyday lives.

For example, a compulsive person's script might say, " I must work diligently at all times." While a psychopathic person might have a script that goes, "I am entitled to take what I want when I want it from whoever has it." The psychopathic terrorist's script is similar to this latter example, but adds, "I am holy and pure in thought, word, and action; and those I don't like because they have what I want or who believe differently from me deserve only death and contempt."

The primary themes that run through the psychopathic person's scripts are: Jealousy, greed, wounded pride, envy, desire for control and power, and self-hatred. These themes often generate certain emotions such as hostility, vengefulness, contempt, and sadism.

Normal people who experience guilt and shame when they do something stupid or bad, and it becomes public, find it difficult to believe that psychopathic people do not feel guilty or shamed by their behavior; or that people caught in the middle of a criminal act can continue to deny any responsibility for that act. It seems incomprehensible. Yet, I have seen this over and over again in my clinical practice. One of the clinics that I cover is at the county jail. In all the years that I have been seeing inmates there, I can count on one hand the number of my clients who take ANY responsibility for why they are in jail. Believe me, I have heard it all. "It was that bitch's fault" (wife-beater); "The police set me up (drug dealer); "I was stoned" (robbery); "It was someone else" (murder); "She was willing" (a 40 year old man molesting a 13 year old girl). I could go on and on.

As we turn now to Islamofascist terrorists, we can begin to see that they meet almost all the criteria listed above for psychopathic traits. They even use the same excuses for their unwillingness to accept any responsibility for their own actions.
"It is the Jews who committed 9/11"; "America is the oppressor"; "Your actions made us have to behead these people"; "Allah says we must kill infidels". Everyone else is to blame for their problems. Everyone else is to blame for their social system and governance. They are poor because of the actions of Israel, America, or anyone else who is thriving. The Palestinians have perfected victimhood as a science. And so it goes. The terrorists' scripts emphasize the wrongs done to them (some of these wrongs go back hundreds of years); the envy and jealousy they feel for the Jews; vengeful fantasies; sadistic power (who exemplifies this better than Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat--both of whom are terrorists down to their deepest souls--who have sold out their respective people for unlimited power and self-aggrandizing glory).

Part II of this post will discuss the origins of the psychopathic personality. How do such personalities develop? And, what can be done to control or eliminate them from civilized society.

A Few Funny Items

Betsy's Page has a link to a funny anti-Kerry ad. And, Protein Wisdom has a hilarious take on the supposed "Monday Morning October Surprise" that several bloggers have alluded to (here, here). Make sure you click on Protein Wisdom's link to a "Washington Times" story.

And the actual Washington Times story this morning is also funny, but this one is true. Remember when John Kerry in debate #2 said that he had gone and spoken to the members of the UN Security Council prior to the passing of Resolution 1441 back in 2002? Well, guess what? He was lying. Ha-Ha.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

IQ Wars

Bet you didn't know this. (hat tips: Betsy's Page and Jim O)


PowerLine has a retort for all those out there who have had their Bush/Cheney signs stolen, defaced, or otherwise tampered with. (click to enlarge)

Hah.... Posted by Hello

Kerry's REAL Band of Brothers

(Hat tip: Little Green Footballs)

Posted by Hello
Ben Johnson over at has a round-up of endorsements for both Kerry and Bush. Kerry, it turns out, has successfully been able to convince the remaining members of the axis of evil; as well as al-Jazeera, the Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat; and other international stalwarts for peace and freedom, to endorse him. Months after John Kerry boasted of having received secret endorsements from anonymous foreign leaders around the world, many of the gaps have been filled in. The leaders of the world have weighed in on the 2004 presidential election. Click on the link above to read about all these key endorsements by world leaders; and also to see which candidate picked up the coveted endorsement of the Communist Party! (no surprise here)

Saturday, October 23, 2004


From a friend of Roger Simon's, come the best news I've heard all year! Apparently there is documentation and some collaboration that Osama Bin Laden is Osama Bin Dead. I have believed this for two years now, for reasons I described here. And, more recently, I discussed a post by FroggyRuminations that went into some of the national security reasons why Bush is not making a big deal of Bin Laden's demise; and why Kerry feels free to harp on the opposite (Even as recently as yesterday, John Kerry was literally beating this dead horse since he knows that Bush can't say anything).


Let's just say that one or both of the following statements must be true: 1) he's either dead as a doornail; or 2) he's a cowardly, sniveling souless, psychopath, cowering deep in a cave somewhere.

Stolen Honor

Roger Simon reviews the film "Stolen Honor", which is available now online (via Instapundit). It takes about 45 minutes to watch.

Intellectual Moron

I have discussed my (negative) feelings about Paul Krugman in previous posts. As a psychiatrist, I have tried to understand why I despise this man so much--even more than I hate Michael Moore--which is a lot, I admit. There are many reasons that he provokes such a visceral reaction, but his editorial of today takes the cake.

"If the election were held today and the votes were counted fairly, Senator John Kerry would probably win. But the votes won't be counted fairly, and the disenfranchisement of minority voters may determine the outcome. "

How, precisely does Krugman know this? Has he looked into his magic ball? Has he used his magic wand to determine that votes won't be counted fairly (naturally they won't be counted fairly only for HIS side)? Have minority voters been "disenfranchised" because now the polls say that TWICE as many will be voting for Bush than did in the last election? No, he claims that those of you poor deluded people who listen to cable news are getting a "distorted picture" of the polls. The VERY same polls he uses to make his case, I might add. Krugman is lending his voice to give credence to the widely held DEMOCRATIC belief that somehow --because their candidates don't get elected--the system must be rigged. Nevermind that if you look at history, the Democrats themselves have a long, distinguished history of rigging the vote in their favor; "disenfranchising" minorities; and engaging in plenty of illegal behavior to win.

Over and over again, Krugman and people on the Left have insisted that it is the Republicans and the Right who are the origin of hate, war, and suffering. That the Republicans are taking this country to Hitler's Germany. They repeat this mantra like it was a holy chant from the holy book of the Left.

While granting that there is certainly a lot of hate in individuals of both sides (hate, after all, is a HUMAN emotion and all of us are human), the interesting thing about the hate that Krugman generates is that it is disguised and self-righteous. It is then "projected" onto Bush and the Republicans, so that he (Krugman) does not have to take any responsibiity for feeling that way. In Krugman's opinion, his way of viewing the world is the only correct way, so why should he have to provide any evidence? The Gospel according to Paul Krugman. So holy that he never needs to examine his own emotions, beliefs, or premises.

Some part of Paul Krugman recognizes that something dreadful is going on in the world, but he cannot face it directly because it is too threatening to his world-view and his holy scripture; and facing the truth might make him have to go into his own heart of hearts to examine the origins of that dreadful terror. Hence, displacing his anxiety to a less threatening authority figure (e.g., Bush/Republicans) is easier than facing the source of the anxiety.

The three psychological mechanisms (projection, denial, and displacement) that Krugman routinely displays in his writings are the source of almost all human misery, genocide, racism, anti-semitism, sexism, and now terrorism that we see all over the world. If Paul Krugman wants to know where these attitudes originate, then he needs to look in the mirror, not at the Republican Party.

2004 finds the Democrats rather desperate. They stand to lose more than the presidency this election--they stand to lose any credibility they ever might have had with most of the American public. Having given their political party to the anti-American coalition of the extreme Left, they now have adopted the loser slogans of victimhood that this coalition promotes. They have sold their souls--and along with those souls, their country-- for Power.

In Krugman's case, he has also sold his intellect. This man has consistently used his economic and scientific knowledge to distort the truth and bend it in the direction of his own candidate. He has tried this exact same tactic before (see here). Frankly, he is probably going to be the most proactive sore loser of all time on November 2.

Do you remember Dr. Robert Stadler of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged? The "scientific" apologist for those totalitarian thugs that wanted to take over the world? Rand thought that people like Stadler carried the greater burden of evil, primarily because he used his intellect to support evil for his own personal gain--even though he knew and understood the consequences of doing so.

Michael Moore is a moron, but he makes no claim to be an intellectual, and his distortions are not in the least bit subtle or clever. Krugman claims the mantle of the intellect--which only proves that intellectuals can be just as moronic as idiots. His is the greater evil, and someday he will have to live with that truth.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Plans vs. Realities

Thomas Sowell has something to say about "Plans"(hat tip: Betsy's Page):

Who said, "if you hold your fire until you see the whites of his eyes, you will never know what hit you"? It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt and he said it on May 27, 1941. It applies even more today.
If you are going to go to war against terrorists in a nuclear age "only as a last resort" and also only when it meets international approval, you might as well not bother. You could see a mushroom cloud before you see the whites of their eyes.
FDR said something else that has relevance today: "If we are to be completely honest with ourselves, we must admit that there is risk in any course we take." He said that on December 29, 1940. But today there are those who think you can "plan" everything and that anything bad that happens is the fault of leaders who did not "plan" for it right. "Plan" seems to be a magic word politically.
No one asked FDR why he did not "plan" for the devastating surprise German counter-attack that led to the Battle of the Bulge. We were adults and knew that wars don't run on a timetable or a road map, much less on an itemized budget.
Some today may take seriously Senator Kerry's demands to know what the war in Iraq will cost and when our troops will be out of Iraq, as well as the administration's plan for the rest of the war on terrorism. But President Roosevelt said, "Nobody knows when total victory will come" and "The American people will never stop to reckon the cost of redeeming civilization."
That was said in 1943. The war would end two years later. But no one knew that at the time and no one expected the President to know. As for a "plan" -- Senator Kerry's magic word -- we had plans to invade Japan in 1946. But the atomic bomb spared us (and the Japanese) a bloodbath that would have dwarfed the death toll from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Back then, we knew that the job was to win the war, not to score political points over it. We didn't even have these debatable "debates" of today. The idea of choosing a wartime leader on the basis of quick-reaction sound bites would never have occurred to anyone.
Sound bites are usually not very sound. Those who have spent their whole political careers talking may be very glib, but what have they actually done? It is amazing how long that question has been kept off the table by the Beltway media, who are on record as being for Senator Kerry by 12 to one.
Neither Senator Kerry nor Senator Edwards has administered anything. Nor have they created a single piece of major legislation in their combined two dozen years in the Senate. Both have incredible records of absenteeism at meetings of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
But they talk a great game. And they have "plans."
What they also have is utter irresponsibility.

Read the rest. And think about how World War II would have ended if John Kerry had been president.

Documenting Saddam's Ties To Terror

Deroy Murdock, a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University has put together a presentation documenting Saddam Hussien's connections to terror. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Rice Pudding(head)

You probably are not aware that there are TWO important Rices in this year's election. The first Rice is, of course, the intelligent, brilliant, and current National Security Advisor to the Bush Administration, Dr. Condoleeza Rice. The second, who is much less well-known, is an advisor to the Kerry campaign and a former Clinton Administration member, Susan Rice. The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes, has an article about the latter Ms. Rice, discussing terrorist Zarqawi:

Here's what Rice said Monday in response to a question about the Kerry campaign's "position on Zarqawi":
"Our position is that he poses a major threat now in Iraq, a threat that frankly wasn't there before the U.S. invasion. But now we have got to go after him and capture him or kill him. Before the invasion, he was in non-Saddam controlled area, very minor, and didn't pose any imminent threat to the U.S., and was not in any way cooperating with al-Qaeda."

She's right about two things: (1) that Zarqawi "poses a major threat now in Iraq;" and (2) "we have got to go after him and capture or kill him."

Everything else is wrong.

Well, who is this person and why should we listen to her? Well, it turns out as Hayes notes above, we shouldn't. Some googling discovers that Ms. Rice has a history of questionable judgement. For one, she was an advisor to the Howard Dean campaign prior to his implosion and exit from the Democratic primaries. To wit:

Dean's team includes Susan E. Rice, former special assistant to President Clinton for national-security affairs and assistant secretary of state for African affairs. Conservatives and hawks might have a natural inclination for a female African-American national-security specialist named Rice. But it's unlikely that Condoleezza Rice would ever utter words considering the domestic political effect of ignoring genocide. As Samantha Power wrote in the September 2001 issue of The Atlantic Monthly:

At an interagency teleconference in late April, Susan Rice, a rising star on the NSC who worked under Richard Clarke, stunned a few of the officials present when she asked, "If we use the word 'genocide' and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?" Lieutenant Colonel Tony Marley remembers the incredulity of his colleagues at the State Department. "We could believe that people would wonder that," he says, "but not that they would actually voice it."

Rice does not recall the incident but concedes, "If I said it, it was completely inappropriate, as well as irrelevant."

So, here is the other Ms. Rice worrying about using the "G" word and the impact it might have on national elections. All style and no substance. Is it any wonder she migrated to the Kerry campaign after Dean's went belly-up?

What a puddinghead.


From Right Wing News comes a list of reasons why Kerry should NOT be President of the US. I have extracted some of the quotes, specifically the ones from Kerry himself to give you an idea of how Kerry is the candidate who has come down firmly on both sides of every issue; and he has consistently said what he thinks he needs to say at the time to gain votes. What is particularly scary is his changing stories about his position in Iraq and the War on Terror. Read for yourself:
  • "There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50 calibre machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down." -- John Kerry, April 18, 1971
  • "To attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of to us the height of criminal hypocrisy." -- John Kerry, 1971
  • "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." -- John Kerry, 7/12/04
  • "President Clinton was often known as the first black president. I wouldn't be upset if I could earn the right to be the second." -- John Kerry, March 2004
  • "I don't own an SUV," said Kerry, who supports increasing existing fuel economy standards to 36 miles per gallon by 2015 in order to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil supplies....Kerry thought for a second when asked whether his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, had a Suburban at their Ketchum, Idaho, home. Kerry said he owns and drives a Dodge 600 and recently bought a Chrysler 300M. He said his wife owns the Chevrolet SUV. "The family has it. I don't have it," he said." -- The Guardian, April 23, 2004
  • "I'm a liberal and proud of it". -- John Kerry on July 21, 1991
  • "Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president." -- John Kerry 12/20/03
  • "Iraq may not be the war on terror itself, but it is critical to the outcome of the war on terror, and therefore any advance in Iraq is an advance forward in that and I disagree with the Governor [Howard Dean]." -- John Kerry, 12/15/03
  • "If you don't believe ... Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn't vote for me." -- John Kerry, USA Today on 2/13/03
  • "If you think I would have gone to war the way George Bush did, don't vote for me." -- John Kerry, Jan 2004
  • "It would be naive to the point of grave danger not to believe that, left to his own devices, Saddam Hussein will provoke, misjudge, or stumble into a future, more dangerous confrontation with the civilized world....He has supported and harbored terrorist groups, particularly radical Palestinian groups such as Abu Nidal, and he has given money to families of suicide murderers in Israel. ...We should not go to war because these things are in his past, but we should be prepared to go to war because of what they tell us about the future." -- John Kerry 10/9/02
  • "Yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way. How can he possibly be serious? Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq? My answer is no - because a Commander-in-Chief's first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe." -- John Kerry, 9/20/04
  • "I agree completely with this Administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq - Saddam Hussein is a renegade and outlaw who turned his back on the tough conditions of his surrender put in place by the United Nations in 1991." -- John Kerry, 7/29/02
  • "It's the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time." -- John Kerry, 9/06/04
  • "Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts said during last night's Democratic presidential debate that the threat of terrorism has been exaggerated. "I think there has been an exaggeration," Mr. Kerry said when asked whether President Bush has overstated the threat of terrorism. "They are misleading all Americans in a profound way." -- Washington Times on Jan 30, 2004
  • "I'm an internationalist. I'd like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations." -- John Kerry, 1970
  • "John Kerry said yesterday that he will treat the war on terror "primarily" as law-enforcement action..." -- Washington Times, April 19, 2004

And of course, don't forget the "Global Test" or the "Nuisance" that is the War on Terror.

Or, how about this, from the Washington Post(via Polipundit), October 20:

  • Kerry’s belief in working with allies runs so deep that he has maintained that the loss of American life can be better justified if it occurs in the course of a mission with international support. In 1994, discussing the possibility of U.S. troops being killed in Bosnia, he said, “If you mean dying in the course of the United Nations effort, yes, it is worth that. If you mean dying American troops unilaterally going in with some false presumption that we can affect the outcome, the answer is unequivocally no.”

These are the words of Man Who Would Be President and Commander-in-Chief in a time of war. I don't know about you, but the thought of Senator "Say Anything" Kerry becoming the Leader of the Free World deeply troubles me--and scares me to the depths of my soul.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Welcome to all Instapundit readers ! I'm somewhat overwhelmed by all the traffic, but I hope you browse around and enjoy the site! Feel free to drop some change in the tip jar!

PS: The post linked to by Glenn is here.

The World Is Safer From the UNaware

And this man's opinion should matter to us because........? At least the Iraq War has made us aware of how contemptible the UN and its leaders are (if we didn't already know).

From Cox and Forkum (go see all their great cartoons) Posted by Hello

Politics, Lawyers, and the Flu Vaccine

The Weekly Standard has an article that cuts to the chase of the Flu vaccine shortage:

JOHN KERRY wasted no time jumping on President George Bush about the unexpected shortage in flu vaccines this year. Why wasn't Bush paying attention? He should have done things differently. And of course Kerry had a "plan" to solve the whole mess.
If Kerry thinks he can solve the flu vaccine problem, he need look no further than his own running mate, trial lawyer John Edwards. Vaccines are the one area of medicine where trial lawyers are almost completely responsible for the problem. No one can plausibly point a finger at insurance companies, drug companies, or doctors. Lawyers have won the vaccine game so completely that nobody wants to play.

The article goes on to document--from polio to pertussis--how each drug company eventually got out of the vaccine-making business when it became obvious that no profit could be made because of the inevitable lawsuits that came with immunizing millions of people. Someone, somewhere was bound to have an adverse event.

The author of the article, William Tucker, also takes aim at the other culprit responsible for the abysmal state of immunization in this country--the Centers for Disease Control:

Each year in February, the Centers for Disease Control meets with the vaccine-makers--all two of them--and decides which strain of the virus to anticipate for next year. Then they both make the same vaccine. Last year the committee bet on the Panama strain, but a rogue "Fujian" strain suddenly emerged as a surprise invader. A mini-epidemic resulted and 93 children died, only two of them properly vaccinated.

With several companies competing in the field, as was once the case, somebody would have been more likely to produce a dark horse vaccine. If that rogue strain emerged, the dissenting company would hit the jackpot, and there would be ample supplies of an effective vaccine, at least for those most at risk. In the "planned economy" of the CDC, however, there is no back-up for an unexpected turn of events. This year there isn't even a front line.

Are trial lawyers ready to accept responsibility for their starring role in creating this health hazard? Don't hold your breath. "This is just the typical garbage and propaganda from the drug manufacturers," says Carlton Carl, spokesman for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. "There's absolutely no disincentive for making vaccines. American companies don't do it for the same reason they're sending jobs overseas--because it increases their profits."

To me this is simply UNBELIEVABLE. Not being able to make a profit because the system is completely rigged against you seems to me to be a HUGE disincentive. Being blamed for every negative reaction to your vaccine and held financially liable for all these events might also be a significant disincentive. Not to mention the vilification of your company in the press and by certain members of Congress. Or, how about this moronic observation after the first debate (hat tip, Michelle Malkin):

The lack of flu vaccine affects every family. It is ready-made to take off as a political issue. Someone made a mistake. Where is the accountability? If the free market can’t provide flu vaccine, the government should step in. The Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress. If fear of lawsuits is preventing American companies from manufacturing flu vaccine, as Bush asserted in the debate, a law could be passed to provide protection. Even John Edwards, Mr. Trial Lawyer, wouldn’t oppose an emergency health measure. But lawsuits are not the obstacle, and Bush knows it. There’s not enough profit in vaccines, and the pharmaceutical companies have grown greedy on his watch.

Yeah. Right. The Free Market is responsible for this mess. Does anyone remember Hilary Clinton's 1993 "Vaccines for Children" Program? Here is how Newsmax explains it:

Hillary's vaccine crusade was being pushed by her Children's Defense Fund mentor Marian Wright Edelman - even though U.S. child vaccination rates at the time were considered relatively high by medical experts.

But that didn't stop Sen. Clinton and her "reformers." She pressured Congress to back the disastrous plan in a bid to make vaccines more available to poor, uninsured and underinsured children. In the process she turned the government into the major purchaser and distributor of vaccines.

Oops! Unfortunately for the familles of the 11 children killed by the disease so far, things didn't quite work out the way Hillary had planned.

As noted by the Kansas City Star this week, the decision to force vaccine makers to discount their price resulted in "declining financial incentives to develop and produce vaccines."
What's more, the vaccination rate "barely budged" after the Hillary-Edelman brainchild was implemented.
Hillary's "reform" did, however, manage to leave the nation thoroughly unprepared to handle the current flu crisis.

It took several decades to get us into the current vaccine crisis. But, obviously, it is all Bush's fault. And the pharmaceutical companies' fault (those DARN pharmaceutical companies that want to MAKE A PROFIT from their business--how shocking!). And OF COURSE, the solution is MORE government regulation and control of the process.

Here are my dual recommendations (as a physician and parent):



Does the Law of Supply and Demand mean anything to anyone anymore?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Insanity Unlimited

You know, there are just sooooo many insane things happening today, I'm just going to list them without my usual ascerbic comments.

Those should keep you busy for a while. I'm wondering if the world's water supply should include antipsychotics and antidepressants. Nah....probably wouldn't help.

UPDATE: Thanks to an alert reader (see comments) we have a new entry into the insanities of this day:

Bush Secret Plan to Draft Elderly Revealed !

Scrappleface has a post that satirizes the latest desperate attempts by the Kerry Campaign to scare both young and old in this country by claiming that Bush has a "secret plan" for a military draft and a "January surprise" for elderly social security recipients. Read it--it's VERY funny and right on target!

The Breck Boy

You are not going to believe this video of John Edwards fixing his hair. GEEZ!!! He spends more time on it than I do on mine (it shows). It is eerie to watch the incredible vanity and childlike intensity that Edwards exhibits --I wonder why anyone would let a video be made of him doing this?? Ah well, such are the vicissitudes of narcissism....
(thanks to Polipundit)

Monday, October 18, 2004

President Bush's Optimistic Vision

I will vote for George W. Bush in November because I am an optimist, and I recognize that same trait in him. He has a vision of where he is going in the War on Terror, and that vision is a grand and hopeful one, worthy of America. It is a vision expanding freedom and democracy in the world--and without freedom and democracy, there can be no real peace on earth.

In John F. Kerry, we are presented with a pessimist of the worst sort--a "Grima Wormtongue" who is not only deceitful about his pessimism in order to advance his own quest for power; but who is willing to sacrifice all that America stands for in that quest. There is no national policy--even in a time of war--that he is not willing to undermine; and the evidence is mounting that our enemies around the world are taking full advantage of his unwise and self-aggrandizing words.

Wretchard had a fine post on September 29th that analyzed the data on the insurgency/terror attacks in Iraq, which the NY Times had reported as 'sprawling' and 'sweeping' and 'widespread'.
So everything checks out just as the New York Times article reported it. All the facts are individually true, but Prime Minister Allawie's assertion that most provinces are "completely safe" and that security prospects are bright are also supported by those same facts. Such is the fog of war.

This is a classic example of "the glass is half empty/half full" scenario. Depending on how you look at the data, it is one way or the opposite. This is primarily a psychological argument, since those who are hopeful/optimistic see it one way (half full); those who are defeatist/pessimistic see it the other (half empty). You can never prove the other side wrong, because the data can support either view.

But there are other data that support optimism and hope as having positive impact on individuals as well as situations. Optimism is positively and highly correlated with mastery and self-esteem. It is negatively correlated with anxiety and neuroticism. The correlations appear to be higher for women than for men. The test that measures optimism is strongly correlated with reported use of particular coping strategies such as emotional regulation strategies (sublimation, humor, and anticipation) and strongly negatively correlated with avoidant coping strategies (such as fantasy, acting-out, repression, projection, hypochondriasis and passive-aggression). Optimism was also found in some studies to improve health and lead to substantially better illness outcomes and longevity; while pessimism was found to predispose to illness and to increase mortality.

As one researcher commented, "It confirmed our common-sense belief. It tells us that mind and body are linked and that attitude has an impact on the final outcome — death." There is likely a strong biological component to both optimism and pessimism. There are pros and cons to both styles. Extreme optimism can be a denial of reality and pain. Extreme pessimism can be depressing and inexorable lead one to disaster, because it focuses only on the negative and catastrophizes events.

Genuine optimists are not in denial. They see the situation for what it is, yet are also able to mobilize the energy and effort necessary to be able to push through, persevere and complete a task despite setbacks. A healthy dose of optimism can be uplifting and hopeful. Achieving a balance of being realistic and hopeful can be a challenge. A perfect example of unhealthy optimism is the gambler who always believes that his risks will result in winning. It is easy to see that this is more than optimistic, it is delusional, because the individual denies the reality of statistics and chance inherent in gambling and can grossly overestimate his/her odds of winning.

The huge advantage of the optimist appears when reality in all its unpleasant aspects is faced unflinchingly and taken on. The optimist will work to identify strategies that have a potential for success and be much more likely to implement them. Optimists, because they are focused on success, will be quicker to abandon a failing strategy and substitute one with a greater chance of working. While their psychological state does not guarantee success, if success is possible, the optimist will have a great chance of finding it.

Pessimists on the other hand, are very good at looking at reality and acknowledging the unpleasantness; but the problem is that it makes them flinch, and they give up searching for solutions much earlier than the optimist would. Failure becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for the pessimist, who at heart believes that is the only possible outcome anyway. They can accuse the optimist of living in a "fantasyland", but that accusation can just as easily be applied to them, since "failure" can become a fantasy as readily as "success" can.

In the end, the determination of failure or success in Iraq will have to wait for events to unfold. The pessimists would have us pack up and go home, thus guaranteeing failure. The way of the optimist is to persevere and keep the eyes on the prize (an Iraqi Democracy in the Middle East). Failure may also result, but it is not a given.

So, although the data may be neutral and can be interpreted as either positve or negative; the psychological underpinnings of data analysis have significant implications in the real world. Most people understand this fact intuitively, and will tend toward the political candidate who is a healthy optimist and who is likely --particularly in a war--to lead the country to victory.

All in all, I tend to see the glass as half full--as does President Bush. That kind of optimism will improve my own health and sense of mastery over the world; and may very likely also have a positive impact on what is going on in Iraq at the same time.

I will vote for George Bush because he has an optimistic vision of the world--and it is in that world I want my daughter to live.

The World Series and The Presidency

An interesting statistic:

The President of the United States has often thrown out the first pitch to start a new baseball season. What many people do not realize is that during presidential election years, the league that wins the World Series determines which party wins the White House. The New York Times carried an article in October 1976 explaining that the Democrats win the White House if the National League wins the World Series and the Republicans win if the American League does. As of 1976, there had been 18 presidential elections since the first World Series in 1903, and this theory worked 12 out of 18 times. In the modern baseball era, since 1940, the theory has been right 8 out of 9 times–the exception being 1948, when Truman surprised everybody in winning. So, with the Cincinnati Reds winning the 1976 World Series, this article concluded, “I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 1976 Presidential election will be Jimmy Carter.” And what do you know, it worked again! (from: Smith, Gary. Statistical Reasoning. 3rd edition. United States: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1994)

I have one thing to say about this: GO YANKEES !

The NY Yankees doing what they do best--winning the World Series! Posted by Hello