Saturday, March 31, 2007

THE SANITY SQUAD - The Wimps of the West vs. The Mad Mullahs

In spite of the overwhelming technical problems encountered in making the last podcast, The Sanity Squad is now posted at Pajamas Media Politics Central! We have the reknowned Ed Driscoll to thank for fixing the recording and making it usable. We who are without technical know-how bow to his amazing talent!

In this go-around, the Squad analyzes the high stakes hold 'em game the Iranians are playing with the British (and the rest of the world). Iran seems awfully sure that the West is too conflicted and too corrupt to appropriately respond to their provocation of illegally seizing 15 British sailors and using them for political purposes (in direct violation of the Geneva Convention). What is going on in those clever little mullah brains as they play this dangerous game? What should the West do and why is their response to this crisis so important for the future of civilization?

Join Siggy, Shrinkwrapped, Neo-neocon, and me as we discuss the latest Iran Hostage Crisis and the Iranian agenda; including Ahmadinejad and his nukes; and the psychopolitical factors that obstruct and limit the Brits ability to respond. Will the Wimps of the West be able to act decisively against the Mad Mullahs? Tune into The Sanity Squad for psychological and political analysis of this escalating world crisis.

All podcasts of The Sanity Squad can be found here; and you can also download them from iTunes. (search for Pajamas Media)

(The Sanity Squad cartoon is drawn by Eric Allie, whose collection of political cartoons can be found here and here).

THE RETURN OF THE COPPERHEADSTINFOILHEADS

According to Wikipedia, the Civil War era "Copperheads":
"...strongly opposed the war, for which they blamed abolitionists, and they demanded immediate peace and resisted draft laws. They wanted Lincoln and the Republicans ousted from power, seeing the president as a tyrant who was destroying American republican values with his despotic and arbitrary actions.

Some Copperheads tried to persuade Union soldiers to desert. They talked of helping Confederate prisoners of war seize their camps and escape. They sometimes met with Confederate agents and took money. The Confederacy encouraged their activities whenever possible. [1] Most Democratic party leaders, however, repelled Confederate advances.

Some historians, such as Richard Curry, have downplayed the treasonable activities of the Copperheads, arguing that they were traditionalists who fiercely resisted modernization and wanted to return to the old ways."


Remind you of any modern-day "progressives" who want to return to the good old days and ways before 9/11? Mackubin Owen thinks it does:
The Copperheads exploited the North's widespread antiwar sentiment.

They actively interfered with recruiting and encouraged desertion. Indeed, they generated so much opposition to conscription – including armed resistance in some places and the infamous draft riots in New York City – that the Army was forced to divert resources from the battlefield to the hotbeds of Copperhead activity in order to maintain order. Many Copperheads actively supported the Confederate cause, materially as well as rhetorically.

The Copperheads were particularly dangerous because of the substantial influence they exerted on the Democratic Party. During the election of 1864, the peace Democrats wrote the party platform, and one of their own, Rep. George Pendleton of Ohio, was the party's candidate for vice president. Until Adm. David Farragut's victory at Alabama's Mobile Bay, Gen. William Sherman's capture of Atlanta, and Gen. Philip Sheridan's success in driving the Confederates from the Shenandoah Valley in the summer and fall of 1864, hostility toward the war was so profound in the North that Lincoln believed he would lose the election.

Fortunately for the country, the turn of events on the battlefield permitted a coalition of Republicans and "war Democrats" to reelect Lincoln in 1864. Of particular importance was the fact that Union soldiers voted overwhelmingly for Lincoln, abandoning the once-beloved Gen. George McClellan because of the perception that he had become a tool of the Copperheads.


Go ahead and read it all to see how the "tinfoilheads" of today have inherited the obstructionist--and treasonous--mantle of the Civil War copperheads. It's quite stunningly relevant.

Today's tinfoilheads have the same unreasoning hatred and bile directed toward the President. They aid and abet the goals of the enemy and prefer the path that weakens the country as long as it takes down the evil Republican President (Lincoln was a Republican, did you know?).

The tinfoilheads have no shame whatsoever as they pursue their political agenda--no matter what the cost. They can't even stir themselves to stand up for one of America's most important allies when an act of war has been committed against them--they are too afraid of the negative implications for their own antiwar posturing--a stance they take, not out of principle, but out of a desire to reassert a failed ideology and regain a position of power to implement it.

As, John at PowerLine puts it:
Lord knows the Democrats would not want to insert Congress into an international crisis. In the same spirit of non-insertion, Pelosi departed for the Middle East, where she will visit Syria, Israel and the West Bank. I suppose we should be grateful that she won't stop by to pay her respects to Ahmadinejad.

Nor would they want to admit that we have actually been fighting Iranian forces for some months now in Iraq. No, the tinfoilheads in the Democratic Party and the lunatic left (becoming more and more indistinguishable unfortunately) would rather take their idiotic conspiracy theories public; uninterested in any facts or examining their own premises. Denial and paranoia run deep in the psyche of the tinfoilheads, who would rather believe the country has more to fear from the "bloodthirsty tyrant" in the White House (how the Copperheads referred to Lincoln), than from terrorists in Iraq or Iran.

The truth is that the Copperheads in all their perfidy and treason have been reincarnated in todays antiwar tinfoil hat brigades, and they use the same style of rhetoric to actively work to defeat America and encourage tyranny.

Friday, March 30, 2007

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

Charles Krauthammer makes perfect sense today (as always) in assessing the lame rationalizations of Democrats who insist that Afghanistan is strategically more important than Iraq:
Of all the arguments for pulling out of Iraq, its comparative unimportance vis- a-vis Afghanistan is the least serious.

And not just because this argument assumes that the world's one superpower, which spends more on defense every year than the rest of the world combined, does not have the capacity to fight an insurgency in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan. But because it assumes that Afghanistan is strategically more important than Iraq.

Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents. One is in Afghanistan, a geographically marginal backwater with no resources, no industrial and no technological infrastructure. The other is in Iraq, one of the three principal Arab states, with untold oil wealth, an educated population, an advanced military and technological infrastructure which, though suffering decay in the later Saddam years, could easily be revived if it falls into the right (i.e. wrong) hands. Add to that the fact that its strategic location would give its rulers inordinate influence over the entire Persian Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf states. Then ask your Martian: Which is the more important battle? He would not even understand why you are asking the question.

Al-Qaeda has provided the answer many times. Osama bin Laden, the one whose presence in Afghanistan presumably makes it the central front in the war on terror, has been explicit that "the most serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War that is raging in Iraq." Al-Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has declared that Iraq "is now the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era.''

And it's not just what al-Qaeda says, it's what al-Qaeda does. Where are they funneling the worldwide recruits for jihad? Where do all the deranged suicidists who want to die for Allah gravitate? It's no longer Afghanistan, but Iraq. That's because they recognize the greater prize.

The Democratic insistence on the primacy of Afghanistan makes no strategic sense. Instead, it reflects a sensibility.


But that is the fundamental emotional and irrational character of today's Democrats, who would rather wallow in their hatred of Bush to compensate for their own lack of integrity and gumption. These hallow women and metrosexual men that make up the Democratic leadership are immature, petty, and self-serving. Even combined, they fail to achieve a level of maturity superior to the most confused adolescent. What they desire more than anything is popularity. They repeatedly choose to do what is easy instead of what is right as they focus on the trivial and the ephemeral so that they can score points.

Their irresponsibility is turned into some sort of virtue, as they prance about claiming to do the "will" of the people. The same "will" that voted in George Bush in 2004 in the only poll that matters (but that didn't count).

Leadership means doing what is right, even if it is not popular. It means putting the interests of the country above one's own narcissistic needs. It means taking the time to understand the realities on the ground and applying sense, not emotion or wishful thinking to the problems that face us. It means working together for a US victory, not in saying with adolescent snarkiness that this is a "Republican war". What a bunch of children.

Gagdad Bob writes and I must agree with his diagnosis:
Ontologically, leftism is "the substance of nothing," which is why politically it is the party of nihilism. There is no leftism without the intoxicated celebration of tearing down, of thanatos, the death instinct. When I say Democrats are the party of death, I mean it quite literally, but as always, in a way that the leftist cannot possibly understand. This is why, when they read this, they will have the subjective experience that I am "hitting" them instead of teaching them. Which is why they keep coming back, because they wish to be hit, as it gives them sanction to hit back -- which is what they wanted to do to begin with.

Not only is the leftist destructive, but his primary unconscious identification is with a destructive or absent object instead of a nurturing one. Bear in mind that I am mainly talking about activists and true believers; respectfully, the majority of Democrats are basically too stupid, too busy, or too informed by habit to know what they are supporting, but have simply internalized a "ruling cliche" repeated endlessly by the MSMistry of Truth, such as "Democrats are for the little guy" or "Republicans only care about the rich." But the true leftist believer is a sick soul and a dangerous person, probably a sociopath, not in terms of the DSM, but in terms of their unconscious mental structure.

In the sense I am discussing, the sociopath is someone who, for whatever developmental reason, was not safely ushered into the human community by benign parental objects, but was excessively frustrated or traumatized, leaving them deeply alienated and cynical.


The immature Democrats are completely unable to lead, particularly in difficult times when sound judgment, moral clarity, and an ability to tolerate ambiguity and are essential. Indeed, in so many ways they have become the "party of death" but have managed to satisfactorilly disguise that reality within a faux compassion and concerned sensibility. In truth, they care for nothing but their own power.

I do not say this lightly, but I cannot be sanguine about the terrible toll their immaturity and malignant narcissism will take on this country and the world if they manage to get their way. Their profound irresponsibility and obtuseness is only highlighted by the fact that they have carefully, in advance, set it up so that even if the worse comes to pass, they will deliberately shirk any responsibility for their actions and externalize the blame onto the usual suspects.

But we will all end up paying the price for their dangerously juvenile inability to appreciate that their actions and willful denial of reality will result in serious and catastrophic consequences.



Thursday, March 29, 2007

ANOTHER TEXTBOOK EXAMPLE OF DISPLACEMENT

Displacement is a psychological defense mechanism that is in there among the ones classified as neurotic (along with intellectualization, repression, reaction formation, and dissociation). It can be defined as:
...the separation of emotion from its real object and a redirection of the [usually intense] emotion toward someone or something that is less offensive or threatening in order to avoid dealing directly with what is frightening or threatening

I have discussed at length this mechanism as the primary foundation of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), particularly in its vilest, most virulent form exhibited by otherwise relatively normal people.

Captain Ed today links to an article from Germany that gives us another textbook example of displacement at work:
The German political establishment, which will no doubt loudly lament the result of the poll, is largely responsible for this wave of anti-Americanism. For years the country's foreign ministers fed the Germans the fairy tale of what they called a "critical dialogue" between Europe and Iran. It went something like this: If we are nice to the ayatollahs, cuddle up to them a bit and occasionally wag our fingers at them when they've been naughty, they'll stop condemning their women to death for "unchaste behavior" and they'll stop building the atom bomb.
That plan failed at some point -- an outcome, incidentally, that Washington had long anticipated. Iran continues to work away unhindered on its nuclear program, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reacts to UN demands with an ostentatious show of ignorance. The UN gets upset and drafts a resolution.

Another item on the Iranian president's wish list is the annihilation of Israel. But that will take a bit longer. In the meantime, just to make sure it doesn't get out of practice, the regime had 15 British soldiers kidnapped a few days ago. But it's still all the Americans' fault -- that much is obvious. ...

Not a day passes in Germany when someone isn't making the wildest claims, hurling the vilest insults or spreading the most outlandish conspiracy theories about the United States. But there's no risk involved and it all serves mainly to boost the German feeling of self-righteousness.


And, to add icing on the cake, the author, Claus Christian Malzahn, rightly points out the secondary gain that further enhances the psychological act of displacement as it improves the self-esteem of the person so engaged: it just makes them feel so good about themselves for speaking "truth to power".

Nevermind that from a psychological standpoint, it represents the psyche at its most cowardly, and deep in the throes of self-preservation. This is not necessarily a bad thing from a survival perspective. But what always gets to me is the high level of self-righteous, moral superiority and self-congratulation that always seems to go with the displacement.

The left practically have a corner on this defense mechanism these days. Their lack of insight and unwillingness to face either the truth about themselves (which is unbearable) or the real enemy that threatens their existence (which is too frightening).

Like a deer in the headlights, this particular form of denial keeps them immobilized and frozen, focusing on trivialities and blithely unaware of the lethal danger that is speeding toward them.

This reality and the consequences that go along with ignoring it are, of course, why displacement is considered neurotic and not a particularly healthy--or smart-- way of coping.

"PERFECT' TOTALITARIANISM, IMPERFECT FREEDOM & BIOLOGICAL FANTASIES

Avaro Vargas Llosa writes in TCS about the impossibility of "perfect" totalitarianism (a perfect oxymoron, in my opinion):
What "The Lives of Others'' reminds us of -- and the reason it is such a timeless work of art -- is that man is capable of totalitarianism, but not perfect totalitarianism. Even when all the pegs are in place, something will alter the clockwork mechanism of the regime. That ``something'' is human nature, pure and simple. Nobody in the film is a perfect totalitarian in the sense that no one -- not the bosses, not the servants, not the victims -- acts in the way that the logic of the system dictates they should act in any given circumstance. There will be moments of weakness in the least humane of despots and moments of fortitude in the most hopeless victims that will shatter the perfect order of the totalitarian system.
The minister who uses the power of the Stasi to satisfy his libido rather than to preserve the German Democratic Republic's ideological purity, and who blacklists a theater director for reasons that have little to do with cultural orthodoxy, ensures that the system is less than perfect: His actions have consequences that in small ways subvert the order he is supposed to preserve by triggering the gradual disobedience of a subordinate, the moral awakening of an artist who has shown no prior penchant for rebellion, or the self-doubt of a woman torn between her career and her heart. Emotions, intuitions, and free expressions of will begin to erode the edifice of oppression in the most unpredictable circumstances....

The lesson of our time, a decade and a half after the fall of communism in Europe, is that the slow, almost geological, accumulation of little bits of heroism throughout society can bring down a totalitarian giant over time. These acts of heroism, both inside and outside the structure of power, constitute the best hope for countries in which governments continue to enslave millions of people today.

But even if these acts of silent heroism are not enough to cause all despots to come tumbling down, they are at least enough to keep the human spirit alive. That is a comforting thought.(emphasis mine)


It is indeed a comforting thought, especially in light of the unbelievable idiocy and totalitarian proclivities of some people in the teaching profession:
...the Hilltop Children’s Center in Seattle has banned Legos.

A pair of teachers at the center, which provides afterschool activities for elementary-school kids, recently described their policy in a Rethinking Schools cover story called “Why We Banned Legos.” (See the magazine’s cover here.)

It has something to do with “social justice learning.”
[...]
The root cause of Hilltop’s Lego problem was that, well, the kids were being kids: There were disputes over “cool pieces,” instances of bigger kids bossing around little ones, and so on.

An ordinary person might recognize this as child’s play. But the social theorists at Hilltop saw something else: “The children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive.”

This is probably as good an example as anything of the kind of biological fantasies that swirl around in the minds of tyrants not too dissimilar from those teachers. The teachers at Hilltop justify their particular brand of "selfless" tyranny and malignant narcissism by couching its oppression in terms like "social justice", but it is tyranny nonetheless. Because, unlike the capitalist system they abhor, where basic human nature--both the good and the bad parts--is harnessed and made socially useful, the ideologically-motivated teachers intend to stamp out all the parts of human nature they don't happen to like.

Someone should tell them it has been tried before, and by much smarter tyrants than they will ever be. It won't work.

A Cato Institute Policy Report from 2005 notes:
In the spring of 1845, Karl Marx wrote, ". . . the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of social relations." Marx's idea was that a change in the "ensemble of social relations" can change "the human essence."

In June 2004 the communist North Korean government issued a statement to its starving citizens recommending the consumption of pine needles. Pyongyang maintained that pine needle tea could effectively prevent and treat cancer, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, cerebral hemorrhage, and even turn grey hair to black.

Tragically, human nature isn't at all as advertised, and neither is pine needle tea. According to the U.S. State Department, at least one million North Koreans have died of famine since 1995.

Marx's theory of human nature, like Kim Jong Il's theory of pine needle tea, is a biological fantasy, and we have the corpses to prove it. Which may drive us to wonder: if communism is deadly because it is contrary to human nature, does that imply that capitalism, which is contrary to communism, is distinctively compatible with human nature?

The Cato article goes on to discuss evolutionary psychology, which is a relatively new area of psychology that "seeks to understand the unique nature of the human mind by applying the logic and methods of contemporary evolutionary biology and cognitive psychology."

Somewhere between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene era, when humans adapted from a "hunter-gatherer" to "agricultural" mode of living, the physiology and structure of the human brain--and hence, human psychology--was finalized by the concerted environmental and biological pressures on the human species during the previous 1.6 million years. In other words, modern human beings have the brain of their stone age ancestors. Our brains are not designed specifically for the "modern" world that we live in.

The article goes into some of the recent research of evolutionary psychologist, who are trying to understand exacly what "human nature" is all about. Basically, the results of their research shows that we are hard-wired--and therefore psychologically the same "hunter-gatherers" of 50,000 years ago. OUr social interactions are thus defined and limited by those ancient humans. Their findings are:

- HUMANS ARE COALITIONAL
We tend to form into groups of 25 - 150 most easily. Larger groups--where we do not have face-to-face contact with other members, are instinctively considered less trustworthy; and we tend to think often in terms of "us" versus "them". Having said that, when we develop social institutions that reinforce this built-in coalitional tendency (e.g., representative, democratic government) social tensions are relaxed and societies can thrive. OTOH, when political rhetoric encourages people to identify themselves as members of groups with no biological basis (e.g., "rich" versus "poor") tensions rise and animosity interferes with social stability. Free trade, or capitalism, encourages us to be wary of other groups, but also wo view them as partners in mutually beneficial trade; rahter than as "enemies".

-HUMANS ARE HEIRARCHICAL
If you look around you will see evidence of this in every aspect of our life. Most social organizations have formal heirarchical structures (president, VP and the like). Even in area that aren't "formally" organized (e.g., high school or middle school) dominance and status issues are a primary concern of the students who vie with each other to be the most "cool". We so dislike being at the bottom of a heirarchy, that we naturally form coalitions that help to check the power of the dominant groups.

-HUMANS ARE ZERO-SUM THINKERS
We have difficulty in thinking of resources or wealth as ever-expanding, and tend to think that their gain must be our loss. This leads to envy and all the associated social and political conflicts. And yet, the first two characteristics (coalition and heirarchy forming qualities) show that by working together and engaging in mutually beneficial trade and thereby increasing productivity, wealth can be created beyond what we think it can. But this tendency from hunter-gatherer days makes us have difficulty understanding our own economic system (especially if coalitions are formed which enhance the "us" versus "them" thinking).

-PROPERTY RIGHTS ARE NATURAL
In order to prevent the allocation of all resources to those at the top of heirarchies, the recognition of individual property rights has been part of our make-up for thousands of years. Animals mark out territories for exclusive use in foraging, hunting, and mating--and so did our ancestors. This is "hard-wired" into our species as a survival tool.

-MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL EXCHANGE IS NATURAL
Trade, exchange, and division of labor are human universals that existed long before complex societal structures.

-WE CAN NAVIGATE THE "US" vs."THEM" CONUNDRUM BY TRUST
We have a biological capacity for and need to trust others. This psychological trust enables us to solve otherwise unsolvable social problems--e.g., how to deal with strangers; outsiders; and other groups. Without this biological instinct to give other humans the benefit of the doubt, complex social interactions are impossible.

An article in the LA Times titled "The Anatomy of Give and Take" discusses some recent research that tries to explain the economic interaction of humans, using high technology equipment such as MRI scanners. In one such experiment, two individuals are pitted against each other in an attempt to see which one could maximize their financial gain in the marketplace:
As the pair wavered between cooperation and betrayal, scientists recorded how their brains changed. The researchers hoped to discover the secret of trust — the human variable missing from the mathematics of modern economics.

The terms of the experiment were simple: At the beginning of each round, Belur could put up to $20 in play. Any investment automatically tripled. Tang then decided how much to return and how much to keep.

Belur's safest strategy was to hoard all of her money. Tang's most logical move was to cheat her partner at every opportunity.

There was a riskier but potentially more profitable way.

They could trust each other.

The experiment was part of a new frontier in the exploration of the brain — a field called neuro- economics that seeks to understand the biology underlying economic behavior.

In universities and research centers across the country, scientists are probing the brain with coin flips, $5 bills and gift certificates from Amazon.com. Bit by bit, they are assembling a mosaic of the financial brain, identifying how competing neural circuits shape decisions.
This is an example of a new scientific field known as "neuroeconomics", which trys to figure out why people trust each other, when economic theory says they won't. The field of evolutionary psychology has evidence that such trust is built into our brains, and it is what makes such economic activities as "trade" and "production" possible.

Matt Ridley, in his book The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation tackles this particular issue head-on (and is well worth reading, I might add).

The point of all this discussion is to emphasize that human nature must be taken into account as we evaluate the usefulness and consequences of certain economic and political systems that are advocated in the world today.

Humans are clearly well-suited to some economic and political systems and not to others. Some social, economic, and political systems--socialism and communism to be precise-- are nothing more than the Procrustean bed of mythology that try to adjust human nature to their "perfect" theories. That is why their implementation almost always end in either in catastrophic human misery and death (when the theory is applied ruthlessly and viciously) or stagnation and decay (when applied nonchalantly and accepted passively).

Many will say that it is capitalism that destroys humans, spiritually and physically, but they are incorrect; and all the evidence leans to the exact opposite conclusion. In fact, among social, political and economic systems, democratic capitalism is probably the one and only system that is most consistent with human nature in that it allows all aspects of human nature to express itself in socially acceptable ways that can benefit the individual and the society-at-large.

Capitalism does not pretend that those messy and omnipresent negative human emotions can be "stamped out" by the will of a tyrant or even an elementary school teacher in Seattle, for that matter. It accepts human nature as a given and provides a system through which humans are able to sublimate and redirect those negative emotions to better both themselves and incidentally the larger society. As economic systems go, this is a miraculous psychological breakthrough; and it is why capitalism dovetails so nicely with political systems that promote individual freedom and democracy. Altogether, these theories come as close to "perfection" as humans are likely to get--and it isn't accomplished by making humans survive on pine needle tea; or squelching their quite natural inclination to stake out a territory and mark it as their own.

And, far from encouraging the "survival of the fittest", capitalism encourages cooperation for mutually beneficial trade as well as for competition. Instead of encouraging war and dominance; capitalism thrives on trust and human cooperation; as well as alliances to maximize productivity and wealth creation.

Far from concentrating wealth in the hands of a few, capitalism makes it possible for anyone to accumulate wealth (contrast for example the number of people who earn over $100,000 a year in the U.S., with those do in Cuba. The only really wealthy person there is Fidel Castro and his cronies. Likewise, in Iraq, the only wealthy were Saddam and his thugs).

Envy and greed are both real human emotions that will always be part of the human condition, but only in a capitalist system can one transform both envy and greed into socially acceptable actions that improve one's own lot without attacking or destroying others. As Llosa's article on "The Lives of Others" demonstrates so clearly, it is actually in the totalitarian systems that emotions like envy and greed are allowed to run amok because they are pushed into the unconscious and given no healthy outlet. Because of that, their destructiveness in those societies is unchallenged and unparalleled.

Human nature is what it is. This is not at all tragic; it is a simple truth. The biological fantasies of the leftist utopians; and the delusional fantasies of communists and socialists and all their 21st century heirs, have lead to incalculable levels of human suffering all over the world, as the proponents of these theories have tried to force humans to evolve into some sort of "ideal" state.
All such systems have failed the real-world tests in the last century; and all current versions of these ideologies will also eventually fail and fade away. To the extent that they attempt to incorporate some aspects of "human nature" into their failing system, they may last a bit longer as they slowly chip away at the human spirit and work to extinguish it; but it is actually much more likely that human nature will transform the perverse ideology than that the reverse will happen.

What we see in the Middle East today is the re-assertion of human nature after years of being crushed under the oppression of yet another social system that has attempted to rebuild humans along the lines of a religious "ideal", spiked with totalitarian fantasizing. For all the opposition to giving democracy and freedom a chance in Iraq in Afghanistan, the seeds have been planted and there is little doubt that those seeds will grow as healthy human nature reasserts itself after decades of oppression.

Ask yourself how many deaths will it take before despots like Kim Jung Il with his theory of pine needle tea will be wholly and unequivocally discredited in the minds of those pathetic socialist teachers/oppressors at Hilltop Children's Center in Seattle? Oh, they would be so shocked!shocked! at the idea that their little exercise in "social justice" lays the moral foundation for a social system quite indistinguishable from Kim's paradise, where all structures belong to everyone and no one; where the individual means nothing and his desires and needs are subservient to the state; and where nothing is special and everything is "standard" (except of course for Dear Leader who looms rather large).

How much human misery and oppressive injustice will it take before the social engineers of today's neo-fascist left abandon their attempts to force human beings to adapt to their fantasies? When will their "moral awakening" occur? As SC&A noted once, " Utopias cannot be created without imposing tyranny.

In a post titled "Utopian Dreams and Nightmares" I wrote about the differences between today's left who advocate the New!Improved! versions of totalitarian ideologies; and the selfish capitalists they so despise:
The do-gooder leftist in all the various ideological incarnations--the antiwar crowd, the environmental crowd, the communists, socialists, and assorted collectivists--offers the rationale that he does what he does for the "common good" and for "social justice", "peace" and "brotherhood". His high-minded, self-righteous rhetoric justifies (to him anyway) imposing his will and beliefs on others for their own good; and he will not hesitate to use whatever coercive capablity he has at hand to get others to do what he wants and what he says.

The capitalist, on the other hand, is overtly out to pursue his own selfish profit, and understands he must use persuasion. That is, he must convince people that his ideas and the products of his mind are better than all the rest so that they will be willing to part with their hard-earned money to possess them. His desire for power over others is manifested in an indirect manner because people must wnat what he has to offer and believe that they will benefit from an interaction with him.


Imperfect freedom and selfish capitalism do not rely on biological fantasies for their implementation. That is why they work.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

INSANITY ROUND-UP

Well, due to technical difficulties, The Sanity Squad will not have a podcast this week (we recorded one, but the software malfunctioned--how insane is that?); so, I thought I'd direct you to some other choice links:

First for your midweek dose of insanity, head on over to see who won this week's Whacky Awards! I honestly don't know where Siggy finds some of these people, or what planet they hail from.


Next, GM Roper has a round-up of the psych-bloggers in this post, which is sure to help you analyze the political craziness that runs rampant today.

Last but not least, The Anchoress has put together an outstanding collection of links that take you from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Enjoy!

A MATTER OF PRIORITIES

Regarding the "sewage tsunami" in Gaza: (cartoons from Cox and Forkum)




I don't know why anyone is surprised at this. Hamas has made it clear what its priorities are and its agenda is no secret. What is really fun is to read the articles about this sewage story and notice how it is --as always--Israel and the Jews who are to blame for the poor plight of the hapless Palestinians.

And all the millions and millions of dollars in aid that the world has given to the Palestinian people has gone...for what?

Guess.

Keep that financial support coming!**



**This message of Peace and Social Justice was brought to you by the left, who doesn't have a f***ing clue.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

THE SANITY SQUAD - A New, Improved Iranian Hostage Crisis

This week, the latest podcast of The Sanity Squad at Pajamas Media focuses on the obsession with the confession of key Al Qaeda psychopath, Khalid Sheikh Muhammed (affectionately known as "KSM"), who has been singing like a bird in Gitmo. Whether that confession is the product of braggadocio and waterboarding, or the real deal, the question becomes: why are we so obsessed with the context of his confessions rather than the content of his crimes? As per usual, the MSM and the left are mostly obsessed with with inconsequential aspects of this malignant mass murderer's revelations of evil.

Can you say the word D-E-N-I-A-L ?

Is their confession obsession just another attempt to pretend that 9/11 was simply a sad and tragic event that just happened, like some sort of natural disaster; and not a horrific act of war on the scale of Pearl Harbor?

If you want to know about KSM, read this; then take a look at his confession. Is there anyone who doubts his stellar credentials as a mass murdering terrorist kingpin? Whether he's also a braggart or not is wholly immaterial. This is a guy directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent lives. But somehow, since his capture he has morphed into just one more "victim" of brutal American torture.

This is all part of the unbelievable insanity that continues to swirl around the prosecution of this war, the most "politically correct" war in history.

Join Shrinkwrapped, Neo-neocon, Siggy and me as we enter into the mind of a mass murderer; then into the mind of the mass media and the political left, who simply can't quite grasp the enormity of the evil we are up against in this war on terror--or just don't care.

All podcasts of The Sanity Squad can be found here; and you can also download them from iTunes. (search for Pajamas Media)

(The Sanity Squad cartoon at the right is drawn by Eric Allie, whose collection of political cartoons can be found here and here).

DON'T ASK

You can tell I'm in a really really bad mood today because this is the second song parody I've posted. It has just been one of those days. Don't ask.


A FEW OF MY LEAST FAVORITE THINGS

Bombs on "insurgents" and al Qaeda hideouts
Nancy Pelosi in one of her big pouts
Loud angry leftists with Che on their frock
These are a few of the things that I mock

Democrat leaders who froth and who blather
MSM marxists; Code Pink in a lather;
Moonbats who fly like those monkeys with wings
These are a few of my least favorite things

Murtha and Kerry and Gore in his green dress
Postmodern delusions make me ill, I confess
Moveon's George Soros who pulls the left's strings
These are a few of my least favorite things

When the truth bites
When what's real stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my least favorite things
'Cause nothing is quite...as bad!

REPRISE - THE IRANIAN CIRCLE GAME

Jack Kelly says that the British must respond firmly to Iran's provocations. Yeah, right.
"No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy," Lord Nelson said.

Lord Nelson, alas, was killed at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The captain of the HMS Cornwall is Commodore Nick Lambert, a more modern sort. He did nothing as six Iranian speedboats seized the boarding party from his ship as they were leaving the freighter they had inspected in Iraqi territorial waters.

The 14 men and one woman have been taken to Tehran, where the mullahs are threatening to try them as spies.

U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Erik Horner, executive officer of the USS Underwood, which shares patrol duty in the Shatt al Arab with the HMS Cornwall, expressed surprise that the British let their sailors and marines be taken without a fight.

"U.S. Navy rules of engagement say we not only have a right to self defense, but also an obligation to self defense," LtCdr Horner told the British newspaper the Independent. "Our reaction was 'Why didn't your guys defend themselves?'"

British rules of engagement "are very much de-escalatory, because we don't want wars starting," the former First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West, told the BBC.

"Rather than roaring into action and sinking everything in sight we try to step back and that, of course, is why our chaps were, in effect, able to be captured and taken away," he said.

Lord Nelson never met Admiral West or Commodore Lambert, of course, but he knew the type very well: "If a man consults whether he is to fight, when he has the power in his own hands, it is certain his opinion is against fighting," Lord Nelson said.

So Britain has responded to the seizure with stern words. "We have certainly sent the message back to them very clearly indeed," said Prime Minister Tony Blair. "They should not be under any doubts at all about how seriously we regard this act, which is unjustified and wrong."

But actions -- or in this case, inactions -- speak louder.


Read it all, because within this story we have highlighted and encapsulated the suicidal and absurd political correctness of the West as it deals sensitively with the Islamofascist thugs who make no bones about their intention of destroying us.

They provoke. We issue stern words. They escalate and use military force. We send diplomats to make nice. They tell us clearly and repeatedly what they their plans are. We don't believe them.

Personally, in addition to the tyrants in Iran, I blame Jimmy Carter; whose behavior under similar circumstances paved the way for making hostage-taking not only an effective strategy to use against the West, but also a way to get Western wimps to engage in an orgy of self-recrimination and hopelessness; as well as for leftists to indulge in the usual psychotic conspiracy theories.

But, I suppose, we can always hope that there is a leader in the West who can respond appropriately to the Iranians latest move in their circle game. And with that thought, let me reprise this blast from the past, sung to the tune of "The Circle Game":

THE IRANIAN CIRCLE GAME

Yesterday the UN got to wondering,
If Tehran would ever get a clue?
A fearful world could hear the mullahs thundering
That Islam had to have a nuke or two.

As Mahmoud ambles slowy through the seasons
And the mullahs play their games with the EU
They give words, excuses, promises and reasons;
Then provoke and bluster seemingly on cue.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the lying mullahs go up and down,
The West is captive to taquiyya every day
We can’t believe a single thing they say
Their words and deeds are lame...
So we go round and round and round
In their circle game.

Ahmadinejad waits for the 12th Imam now,
Sure that Blair or Bush won't rein him in;
And he's got those fifteen British prisoners
That he can use for diplomatic spin.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the lying mullahs go up and down,
We’re captive to taquiyya every day:
We can’t believe a single thing they say
Their words and deeds are lame...
So we go round and round and round
In their circle game.

The years go by and soon they'll have their weapon,
And the left will still be blaming Bush,
It's true;
Meanwhile Iran won't care what toes they step on,
As they proceed to wipe out all the Jews.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the lying mullahs go up and down,
We’re captive to taquiyya every day:
We can’t believe a single thing they say
It's just insane...
Can't someone put a stop
to their circle game?

Monday, March 26, 2007

TIME OUT OF MIND ***Updated***

Noemie Emery has a great column in The Weekly Standard that rips Time magazine for its assessment of the current Administration and conservatism. In "How the Right Went Wrong", the writers at Time seem to have conveniently forgotten how, in a similar analysis done toward the end of the Reagan's Presidency (1987), they unanimously dismissed his legacy; while in the new article, they wax nostalgic about what a great man Reagan was; a beacon of purpose and clarity, a statesman of genuine vision and character, dwarfing the pygmies who have frittered away his inheritance. But when he was president:

A dim bulb, leading an unpopular movement, and presiding, ineptly, over a culture of avarice: To be fair to Time, it was hardly alone in this assessment of Reagan, which at the time was conventional wisdom, expressed in a number of markets and venues, by the establishment press. In the book The Reagan Legacy, a collection of essays published in 1988, David Ignatius of the Washington Post called Reagan's foreign policy an out-and-out failure, and said he was leaving a legacy of terrible problems for administrations to come. "Compared to the Reagan record of nonachievement, former President Jimmy Carter looked like a master diplomat," intoned the author. "Because he concentrated so much on image rather than substance, Reagan leaves behind an array of unresolved substantive problems. His successor will inherit a collection of outdated strategic premises, alliances that don't quite adhere, [and] roles and expectations for America that no longer hold." In the book Landslide, published the same year, Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times and Jane Mayer, now of the New Yorker, reiterated the Time view of Reagan as reality-challenged, fact-averse, and inert in the face of catastrophe: "Far from bequeathing a dominant Republican party to his successor, Reagan no longer commanded even the conservative coalition that had brought him into power. Right wing activists who had rejoiced at his elections now dismissed him as impotent and soft."

Tumulty says the Republicans today are facing defeat in 2008, with a demoralized base and an electorate eager to change horses in Washington. According to McManus and Mayer, they faced the very same prospect in 1988: "When GOP voters were asked if they would vote for Reagan, only 40 percent said yes." And through Reagan's two terms, the New York Times's James Reston, arguably the era's most prominent establishment windbag, denounced the president unrelievedly as a showman and hypocrite who conned the American people into blithely supporting his inept and callous regime. It was on November 4, 1984, after Reagan had won his historic 49-state landslide, that Reston really unloaded, not only on how much he detested the president, but how much this feeling was shared by his peers:

Among the losers in this Presidential election campaign you will have to include the nosy scribblers of the press. Not since the days of H.L. Mencken have so many reporters written so much or so well about the shortcomings of the President and influenced so few voters. . . . Some editorial writers and columnists and most Washington reporters were on to his evasive tactics, easy cheerfulness, and unsteady grasp of the facts. They did not hesitate to point out his deficits, personal and fiscal, condemn his windy theorizing, and mock his zigzag contortions, but Mr. Reagan had the photographers and television cameramen for allies and proved that one picture on the nightly news can be worth a million votes. . . . It is said that the people get the government they deserve, which is undoubtedly true, and also that what they see is what they get, which is not true. For the world of television is the world of illusion, and what they see and hear--all those promises of peace and prosperity--are precisely what they are not likely to get in the next four years.
Peace and prosperity, of course, were exactly what they would get from Reagan.

Which it took Time and the Times 20 years more to admit.

Clearly a magazine with such a spectacular track record of failure in the prognostication of Presidential legacies has not earned the right to be taken seriously on such matters today. Either they were completely incompetent when they analyzed the events happening around them back in the 80's; or they were deliberately misinforming the public then and marching to their own ideological agenda. In either case, their opinions today are not worthy of any attention.

Rather than humbly admitting they haven't the slightest idea about how to assess the future's analysis of present events--except, of course their own wishful thinking; which happens to be exactly as useful as yours or mine--they instead, conveniently do not mention their previous incompetence and irrelevance as they arrogantly manipulate public opinion. And, of course, Time is not the only one; there is an whole cadre of leftist ideologues who have the same execrable track record on such prognostications.

During Reagan's confrontation with communism and the Soviet Union, the pundits and critics were completely unable to see or understand the key issues and wallowed in the same kind of hysteria and shrillness that we are subjected to today. They didn't know what mattered and what did not during Reagan's Presidency; they likewise haven't a clue about what will matter in the long run in assessing this adminisration's impact and all the changes and forces that have been set in motion by its actions.

If we go back even further in time, we can appreciate how completely irrelevant and useless the Time article-- and all such agenda-driven analyses--are when articulated during times of great change and social upheaval. John Dwyer at American Thinker, reminds us of the shrill and angry voices of retreat and surrender were present even when Abraham Lincoln was Commander-in-Chief during the Civil War:

Never Call Retreat was the last of eminent historian Bruce Catton's Civil War series. Section 3 of Chapter One is titled "The Politics of War." In it you will read the following

"During many unrewarding months of war, public men in Washington became convinced that the country's woes came from bad leadership. This belief was pessimistic but comforting, because there was always somebody to blame for misfortune, and so whenever bad news arrived, eloquent letters were written...Congressman William H. Wadsworth, a border state conservative, took heart after Fredericksburg (1862) ‘a nation which Lincoln and his controllers could not destroy in two years is immortal.' Ultra-radical senator Zachariah Chandler asserted that folly reigned supreme and complained of ‘fool or traitor generals.'

"....Reflective liberal-intellectuals like George Bancroft...summed up the complaint (about Lincoln's leadership) in a letter to fellow liberal Francis Lieber: ‘How can we reach our president with advice? He is ignorant, self-willed, and is surrounded by men some of whom are almost as ignorant as himself...what to do, when his power must continue for two years longer and when the existence of our country may be endangered before he can be replaced by a man of sense. How hard, in order to save the country, to sustain a man who is incompetent.'"

I would argue that, in the case of Iraq and the war against Islamofascism, America and despite cowardly congressional actions, America must never call retreat.

Of course, those histrionic and irrelevant voices of doom and gloom still desire to drag this country down into defeat and surrender (or, as Larwyn appropriately notes, Greenwald's message is: "Surrender Now! Before it's too late!") disguised as "realism". Their claim to being "reality-based" is based on the ludicrous "fact" that they are perfectly willing to face "reality" in order to acknowledge that defeat is the only option available.

Does it even occur to them that this willingness to "face reality" as they refer to it, is just another psychological maneuver (specifically DENIAL) meant to disguise an ideological agenda that wholly depends on American failure and defeat for its own success? That it is their wish/fantasy/desire--and not "fact" at all?

One conclusion we can surely make from the two historical examples noted above is that in times of crisis and change--particularly when major changes have been set in motion--no one can fully appreciate how things will settle out. It is at best a complex system upon which many things depend. Another truth that just jumps out at you from the above two examples is that wishful thinking based on ideology will always seems to trump critical judgment when it comes to perceiving reality.

There are few individuals who can stand outside the ideological boxes in which they willfully enclose themselves, and objectively evaluate all the ripples racing outward from the present into the future time-space continuum. In other words, all the bullshit we read today by so-called "historians" and "experts" about how the events in Iraq and the Middle East will be viewed tomorrow are not "history"--they are merely the ridiculous ramblings of today's ideologues and agendanistas trying to push their present agenda into the future. They willingly allow that agenda--whether it be mere partisan politics exercised for short-term gain; or the more malignant totalitarian politics of today's leftist anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-freedom group mindset--to distort not only the present, but to proactively distort the future.

You can bet that those who were incapable of seeing Lincoln's greatness or appreciating Reagan's vision live on today in mindset of all those sufferering from end-stage BDS and its co-occuring syndromes.

They will do almost anything to make you believe that they and they alone can predict how history will judge this administration. They will do anything to make you accept that history is a done deal and is on their side.

But history is on the side of reality; and reality is not something you can make-up or spin or simply feel. It exists outside of what anyone would like to believe or think or feel; no matter how comforting it may be believe a certain way.

I happen to be inclined to think that Bush will do just absolutely fine by history--just as Lincoln and Reagan did despite all their critics. Those critics and detractors were clearly not in their right mind and were mindlessly reacting to potent psychological forces that clouded their judgment and limited their ability to appreciate the reality and truth of their time.

A little humility and insight would have gone a long way, perhaps, then as now.

I certainly could be wrong in my own analysis, but I am willing to wait and see. Meanwhile, I know that we must never call retreat; and that whatever the cost, we must stand and fight for the values and freedoms that have made our civilization so great. I am not ready to surrender and submit; and I will do everything in my limited power to preserve the blessings of liberty for myself and my daughter's generation. I would rather my generation make the sacrifices today so that her's will not have to.

Today's doomsayers would have you believe that to be "progressive" a person must ignore the unpleasant reality of 9/11; and pretend that we are not at war with Islamic fundamentalism. Being "progressive" today amounts to marching backwards over that Clinton/Gore bridge; back to the much more comfortable and safe denial of the late twentieth century.

No, the political right--for all its policy failures and the omnipresent hypocrisy of many of its members-- has not gone anywhere near as "wrong" as the political left, who proudly would rather piss away all of Western civilization rather than face themselves in that mirror of insight.

And no matter what the final decision of history, you can be sure that the left will triumphantly congratulate themselves for their perspicacity and courage; even as the real heroes do all the work and make all the sacrifices; and as the real leaders bear all the burdens.



UPDATE: OTOH, certainly enough time has passed since Jimmy Carter was President for us to take a rational look at his legacy, which Jules Crittendon does in this post:
Jimmy Carter is proud of the mistakes he made in the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. He brags to this day of how he talked tough to the mullahs, conveying the message quietly that if any of the hostages were harmed, he would blockade Iran’s ports. He froze the Iranian government’s assets in the United Sattes and began what was essentially ransom negotiations with kidnappers.

Carter’s resolve not to do anything sent a clear message to Iran: It’s party time with American prestige and power in the world. The 53 hostages came home alive, and thousands of people have died since as a direct result of Iran’s boldness and deceit, including hundreds of Americans murdered in cold blood.


So, considering the historical evidence of his incompetence, appeasement and self-righteous bloviating (which continues to this very day); and considering the monster his policies actually created and continues to enable, why isn't the left protesting outside his door and carrying placards that attest to what a sanctimonious asshole he is? Just asking.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

CARNIVAL OF THE INSANITIES

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Time for the weekly insanity update, where the insane, the bizarre, the ridiculous, and the completely absurd are highlighted for all to see! This has been a week of rare idiocy (as always!). So, if you want to remain sane, the best thing is to poke some fun at the more egregious absurdities.

And, while you are in the Mood for Madness, click on the image of Siggy on the right to go directly to the Weekly Whackjob Awards!

Send all entries for next week's carnival to Dr. Sanity by 8 pm ET on Saturday for Sunday's Carnival. Only one post entry weekly per blogger, please. And you might read this before submitting an entry.

Thanks for all the submissions. I try to use as many as possible! SO MANY INSANITIES! SO LITTLE TIME!!!

1. Uh-oh, the British soldiers are really in trouble now. As if the Iranians give a rat's ass about it. Meanwhile, British society is becoming more Muslim than Mohammed, some say... a nation of sheep! Elsewhere, a death notice has been put up.

2. Still only "freedom fighters", you know, fighting for the downtrodden; but actually, these particular animals' behavior is not "species-appropriate" either. At least we like to think so. Maybe not.

3. We no longer question their patriotism. They have none to question.

4. Not the public image this company wanted to portray....But maybe they were multiculturalists gone wild? Or, possibly ambassadors?

5. Hard-hitting, investigative journalism. Inquiring minds want to know. No, really? They have an agenda?

6. Whoa boy! Get out the conspiracy detection meter. And while you're at it, the cuteness detection meter. Both would be on overload! And how about an alien perspective on the Presidential candidates?

7. Did you ever wonder what the Beatles would sound like if they'd been from New Delhi, instead of Liverpool? Wonder no more. And he went where no man has gone (or ought to go) before.

8. Kung pao chickens. Somehow, this seems appropriate. As does the idea of "big sister". (Oh, regarding that latter link: turnabout is fair play)

9. Sand... Just go watch. And this too: Rachmaninoff had big hands. (another link to it)

10. Go ahead and ask what your country can do for you...it's all about you, isn't it? What we need is a dysfunctional personality warning system....

11. Some people just say one thing and mean a mother. Or, maybe they mean to go father?

12. A year without toilet paper? A bum deal!

13. St. Alfonzo's martyrdom... but it is not his fault!!

14. What do Janis Joplin and a grad-grubbing Charles Schumer have in common? (you'll never guess, so click on the link)

15. Too many cars? Way too many houses.

16. The Carnival of the Newbies and the Kharnival of the Iranities!

17. Procrastination is very taxing.

18. A march toward madness? Yet another march toward madness down the 'magnificent moronic mile'.

19. Levitating children is fun if you can get away with it!

***************************************
Carnival of the Insanities can also be found at The Truth Laid Bear's √úberCarnival and at the BlogCarnival.

If you would like to Join the insanity, and add the Carnival of the Insanities button to your sidebar (clicking on it will always take you to the latest update of the Carnival), click on "Word of Blog" below the button to obtain the html code:

Heard the Word of Blog?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

WE ARE ALL SERFS NOW

Caroline Glick today in the Jerusalem Post talks about some students at Cambridge University who had the sheer audacity to mock the hypocrisy of Muslims because they accuse British society of racial prejudice while at the same time calling for its violent destruction. How did these politically incorrect students mock them? By publishing in their student magazine some of the Danish cartoon caricatures on the one-year anniversary of that brouhaha. Reprisals--including death threats-- on the students by Muslims, their College, and the police were swift. Glick notes:
The persecution of these students provides a case study of the two-pronged offensive being carried out today against Western culture. First there are the jihadists, who call for our destruction. Then there are the leftist intellectuals and public figures who defend radical Islamists and work to silence those who criticize them by criminalizing speech and condemning free thinkers as racists.

The direct consequence of this two-pronged offensive is the repression of free thought.

Meanwhile, the free speech that is being promoted by these leftist "intellectuals" in this country includes defecating on the US flag.

None of these peaceful protesters would ever be so insensitive as to hurt the feelings of Muslims (even the most radical of them); but it is OK by them to trash and vilify America; carry around extremely vulgar and obscene signs depicting Bush and Cheney; signs saying "Death to the world's #1 terrorist pig Bush and his Sheep" and "Kill Bush Bomb His F--king House" and wearing t-shirts that say "We are all Palestinians Now".

You won't see a single one of these morons taking it to the streets for the rights of their fellow students to publish the benign caricatures on the right side of this page.

If, indeed, "We are all Palestinians now", then you will see no middle-aged, grinning hippie-type upset by the following facts of Palestinian life :
…Palestinian kindergartens teach their charges to march and sing the ditty, ‘HAMAS! HAMAS! JEWS TO THE GAS! It goes without saying that proud parents applaud. Not a word from Massad as children of suicide bombers appear on state television proudly parrot what they are taught hold up a hand, fingers outstretched and declare their pride in the mother that killed ‘this many Jews!’

That protester's sanctimonious hatred of America and Israel- sanctioned by leftist multicultural dogma--allows the "oppressed" masses in Palestine-- to get away with murder and child abuse...literally.

Nor will you see today's leftist feminists marching in solidarity with this woman ; or outraged by the pervasive institutional sexual hypocrisy and subjugation of women that is just "oppression business as usual" in the Middle East.

These "champions of social justice" have no time for such frivolous trivialities since they are proudly baring their breasts against American "imperialism" and aggression. They are defiantly "speaking truth to power", strutting their incredible cowardice in front of the cameras for all to see.

Because either they are too afraid to confront the real, malignant evil that is spreading like a cancer around the world; or, as Glick suggests, they are deliberately working in tandem with that evil, to overthrow freedom, democracy and enslave the world to its horrific vision.

In the first case they are in psychological denial and using displacement, projection and paranoia to avoid a lot of upleasant truths about their malignantly narcississtic selves. I won't discount the fact that they are also incredibly stupid, naive and malicious. It is likely there are elements of all those processes.

In the second case, they have allowed themselves to become--wittingly or unwittingly--a crucial part of that evil and indistinguishable from it--just like the protester below. Either way, they have chosen to drag us down the road to serfdom; and --God help us (or, as the Islamists say, Inshallah, Allah willing)--we will indeed all be Palestinians soon.

Friday, March 23, 2007

ONE SMALL PSYCHOLOGICAL STEP FOR ACADEMIA...

...AND A GIANT LEAP FOR MARXIST/ISLAMIST 'SOCIAL JUSTICE'.

The story documented in the previous post demonstrates clearly the consequences of worshipping at the altar of multiculturalist / politically correct dogma. These ideas have been taken to the ultimate absurdity by the political left and we will all suffer for their irrationality.

In a case closer to home, John Podhoretz reminds us that those who preach this ideology always seem to escape unscathed from the havoc they create for others (read the entire article):
IT seems that the trumped-up charges against three young men who played for the la crosse team at Duke University will be dismissed either today or sometime next week.

That will mostly end their ordeal, though they'll still have to deal with millions of dollars in legal fees (which, in the end, the city of Durham, N.C., will probably have to pick up).

The same can't be said of their false accuser - who is in a world of trouble, since you're not supposed to make false accusations to the authorities...

Yet some of the most disgraceful actors in this case will go unpunished.

I'm referring to a huge cohort of the professors at the top-flight university attended by the three unjustly accused men.

Some 88 of them - more than 10 percent of the entire Duke professoriat - engaged in a shocking rush to judgment in the weeks following the party where the accuser falsely alleged she had been raped....

Since the academic work of those who organized the ad centers around the notion that the white male power structure subjugates and violates all those who are neither white nor male, the case was actually a dream come true for them...

So here the accusation of a race-and-sex crime falls right into their laps.

Ah! At last! Proof!

Here it was: Real-world support for their absurdly airy conspiracy theories....

So what if the lives of young men in their charge were at stake? It was time to "turn up the volume" - not to save countless African-American women from rape, but rather to justify their own ideas.


Do you begin to understand the intellecutal and moral bankruptcy of today's political left?

As a consequence of their unquestioning belief in a bankrupt ideology they have become the very essence of the evil they claim to oppose.

Because their ability to think rationally has been severely compromised by that ideology, today’s left is bereft of ideas and reduced to relying on mere Marxist rhetoric and tired, worn-out slogans that are trotted out in every circumstance and situation. They dare not face the real and pressing injustices of the world; instead, they mouth the multicultural and politically correct dogma, offically approved and sanctioned by the high priests of their ideology.

That female judge in Germany was only acting on the principle that all culures are equally good and wonderful--except for Western culture which is uniquely bad (The First Commandment of Multiculturalism). She understood clearly that the religion of Islam whose holy book sanctioned the beating of women must be correct, since Islam is clearly being oppressed by the patriarchal society of the West.

Those professors at Duke were only acting on the principle that any white, male patriarchal society and its members are guilty guilty guilty, no matter what the facts or truth may happen to be.

Don't wait up late at night waiting for an admission that they were wrong or that they made a mistake. In their ideology, that is not possible.

This is what passes today for "social justice" on the left. They march in the streets in solidarity with the Palestinian suicide bombers and murderers, while wearing the fashionable cute scarf popularized by the heroic personage of Yasser Arafat (while also sporting their Che T-shirts, of course).

Like the privileged academics at Duke, "...They're fighting the white patriarchy. They're on the side of the dispossessed and oppressed. They're giving voice to the voiceless. They're giving hope to the hopeless."

In short, they have morphed into the very worst kind of bigoted, sexist, and racist hatemongers they claim to be fighting against.

I wrote in that earlier post:
When confronted with the real evil that exists in the world, e.g..the reality of gays being tortured and murdered systematically in Islamic countries; or the reality of the oppression and humiliation of women; they recite facile multicultural and politically correct mantras that conveniently prevent them from making judgments about such behavior, or from having to take action to stop it.

Let’s face it. If feminists can adore Bill Clinton, even after Paula and Monica and all the sordid details; then it is only one small psychological step further down this path for them to embrace the institutionalized misogyny of Islam.


How long before those academics and their ideological handlers convince this country into taking that final psychological step into the swamp of nihilism and moral hopelessness?

How can they possibly live with themselves?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"NO CAUSE FOR ALARM"

He beat her and threatened her with murder. But because husband and wife were both from Morocco, a German divorce court judge saw no cause for alarm. It's a religion thing, she argued.

The Koran seems to have become the basis for a court decision in Frankfurt.
The case seems simply too strange to be true. A 26-year-old mother of two wanted to free herself from what had become a miserable and abusive marriage. The police had even been called to their apartment to separate the two -- both of Moroccan origin -- after her husband got violent in May 2006. The husband was forced to move out, but the terror continued: Even after they separated, the spurned husband threatened to kill his wife.

A quick divorce seemed to be the only solution -- the 26-year-old was unwilling to wait the year between separation and divorce mandated by German law. She hoped that as soon as they were no longer married, her husband would leave her alone. Her lawyer, Barbara Becker-Rojczyk agreed and she filed for immediate divorce with a Frankfurt court last October. They both felt that the domestic violence and death threats easily fulfilled the "hardship" criteria necessary for such an accelerated split.

In January, though, a letter arrived from the judge adjudicating the case. The judge rejected the application for a speedy divorce by referring to a passage in the Koran that some have controversially interpreted to mean that a husband can beat his wife.


Even the female judge saw through this thinly veiled (no pun intended) attempt to suggest that Western values are anything but evil and oppressive.

NOTE TO FEMINISTS: This is a case of multicultural relativism at its finest! You should be proud! Keep up the good work.

THE DEMOCRAT'S NARCISSISTIC NARRATIVE OF DEFEAT

Surge, what surge? If you look at the news headlines and the buzz in the blogsphere, there is nary a word about surges.

Just a few short weeks ago Democrats were quite adamant that a surge of troops into Baghdad was a god-awful and foolish idea. Who seemed to be saying that it was sheer stupidity to imagine that anything the US could do would change the hopeless quagmire that is Iraq.

Fooled again.

This week, antiwar protesters are sitting in the offices of Democrats who they say aren't working quickly enough or enthusiastically enough to suit them.

The antiwar protesters are worried, you see. What will happen to them and their cause, if the unthinkable happens? That is, if things start to improve in Iraq. Imagine how discouraged they must already be to have discovered just the other day that Iraqis are "optimistic"; and that they don't believe their country is in the middle of a "civil war".

It sounds to me like the leftist template for this war is in danger of being cracked wide open. The most recent antics of the antiwar clownscan hardly be taken seriously by any adult. They only expose themselves as immature, silly, and grossly out of touch with reality. Scroll down through the pictures at the link above to get a full flavor of how the left "supports the troops". They appear to pride themselves on their cleverness and irreverent use of profanity and vulgarity--as if somehow this makes them real grownup people and not simply a bunch of narcissistically self-absorbed adolescents.

Rich Lowry has this to say:
When President Bush announced a surge of troops into Baghdad in January, Democrats pounded him for the folly of putting U.S. troops in the “middle of a civil war.” Two months later, the question is, What happens to a civil war if only one side shows up to fight it?

The Shia militias that had become the main driver of violence in Baghdad are ducking and covering. Mlitia leader Moqtada al-Sadr is in hiding, perhaps in Iran. His fighters aren’t resisting U.S. troops who have begun conducting patrols in his stronghold of Sadr City. According to Gen. Dave Petraeus, 700 members of Sadr’s Mahdi Army have been detained in recent months.

This hardly means that peace and harmony reign in Baghdad, but it has reduced the killing significantly. If at the beginning of the year anyone had predicted such progress from the addition of just two U.S. combat brigades in Bagdad (six brigades eventually will be part of the surge), he would have been derided as a delusional optimist.

This progress might be transitory, but it illustrates the falsity of a key assumption of Democrats. They prefer to talk of Iraq in terms of a civil war because it suggests that nothing can be done about the violence, that it is running its own hermetic course. Well, it clearly isn’t. What the U.S. does matters. If we hadn’t surged, Baghdad already might have descended into the genocidal fury toward which it was headed earlier in the year.

....According to a U.S. intelligence report quoted by the New York Times, captured materials from al Qaeda in Iraq say that the group sees “the sectarian war for Baghdad as the necessary main focus of its operations.” So the Democrats profess to want to fight terrorists in Iraq, and al Qaeda in Iraq is making Baghdad its focus. It would stand to reason, then, that the Democrats wouldn’t want to undermine our effort to control Baghdad. Our counterinsurgency mission there is a counterterrorism mission. It aims to squeeze out terrorists, neighborhood by neighborhood.

Nonetheless, Democrats in the House and Senate are attempting to force our troops from Baghdad, exactly as al Qaeda in Iraq wants. There is an essential symmetry to the goals of Sunni militants and Democrats here at home with regard to the disposition of our forces — the fewer, the farther away from Baghdad, the better (needless to say, for vastly different reasons).


Lowry goes on to say that each side--the opposition to the war and the supporters of the war--are completely invested in their respective narratives of the war. The left is invested in a narrative of defeat; while Bush and his allies are invested in a narrative of success.

Think about that carefully for a moment.

A significant portion of our population is completely invested in making sure that the US suffers a significant military defeat at the hands of an enemy who find it perfectly acceptable to do things like this; and this.

Oh yeah, how could I forget. The compassionate left and the Democrats are adamantly against this war (and all wars, of course), "for the sake of the children."

Mouthing the usual platitudes; frolicing semi-naked in the streets for the sake of "peace"; or engaging in pious--and meaningless-- posturing during Congressional debates makes all of them feel so darn good about themselves and what great guys and gals they are, though.

It's hard to ask them to give up their narrative of defeat when so much of their precious self-esteem is utterly dependent on it. I wouldn't want to hurt their feelings or anything.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

LITE BLOGGING, GREAT LINKS

Sorry for the light blogging. I am under a deadline to finish a major project by the weekend and haven't had much time.

So, let me give you a few links to enjoy!

Siggy has posted his Wednesday Weekly Whacky Awards -- and this week you are in for some serious insanity. This week, pay particular attention to the Thomas Szaz Psychotherapy Award and the HRT Prize. Unbelievable.

If you have not read Gerard Vanderleun's incredible piece at American Digest that discusses the 4th anniversary of the Iraq war, then go and read it. I linked to it before, but it is really excellent and worth your time.

Fausta's blog has been banned in China! She tells me that Dr. Sanity has also been banned. I sincerely hope so!

The Anchoress has a list of great links up herself--she does all the work, I link to her!

And, Susan Estrich pays tribute to Cathy Seipp, who passed away this afternoon quietly.

That's all for now. I'll be back blogging tomorrow sometime.

THE SANITY SQUAD: Confession Obsession

This week, the latest podcast of The Sanity Squad at Pajamas Media focuses on the obsession with the confession of key Al Qaeda psychopath, Khalid Sheikh Muhammed (affectionately known as "KSM"), who has been singing like a bird in Gitmo. Whether that confession is the product of braggadocio and waterboarding, or the real deal, the question becomes: why are we so obsessed with the context of his confessions rather than the content of his crimes? As per usual, the MSM and the left are mostly obsessed with with inconsequential aspects of this malignant mass murderer's revelations of evil.

Can you say the word D-E-N-I-A-L ?

Is their confession obsession just another attempt to pretend that 9/11 was simply a sad and tragic event that just happened, like some sort of natural disaster; and not a horrific act of war on the scale of Pearl Harbor?

If you want to know about KSM, read this; then take a look at his confession. Is there anyone who doubts his stellar credentials as a mass murdering terrorist kingpin? Whether he's also a braggart or not is wholly immaterial. This is a guy directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent lives. But somehow, since his capture he has morphed into just one more "victim" of brutal American torture.

This is all part of the unbelievable insanity that continues to swirl around the prosecution of this war, the most "politically correct" war in history.

Join Shrinkwrapped, Neo-neocon, Siggy and me as we enter into the mind of a mass murderer; then into the mind of the mass media and the political left, who simply can't quite grasp the enormity of the evil we are up against in this war on terror--or just don't care.

All podcasts of The Sanity Squad can be found here; and you can also download them from iTunes. (search for Pajamas Media)

(The Sanity Squad cartoon at the right is drawn by Eric Allie, whose collection of political cartoons can be found here and here).

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

WHEN KARL MET SIGMUND--Second Time Around

Yesterday a commenter suggested that I not quote or refer to my previous posts so much. I hate to disoblige him, but, not possessing infinite time, I do what I can to discuss as succinctly as possible some very complex issues (my critics would say that I am hardly succinct, and at times they are absolutely correct). Rather than include arguments from my older posts in which I have talked relevant ideas, I will just link to those posts. Some people will read them, and some won't. Nevertheless, I link to them so that I don't have to repeat myself or my arguments/ideas over and over.

Today I am going to upset that commenter even more! I am going to reprint an older post from August of last year, because it is relevant to the other post today; and because I am pretty much overwhelmed with non-blogging work. Additionally, it has multiple links to even earlier posts of Dr. Sanity!

So, like it or not, here is take 2 on "When Karl Met Sigmund":

Many have observed that the fields of psychology seems to attract those on the political left. As far as I can tell, there is no really good explanations about why this should be, but I have a theory.

It is a theory that goes back to when Marx met Freud--not literally, but intellectually. For Marx's followers, it was love at first sight. But for poor Sigmund, the relationship was toxic--at once popularizing his thoughts among the intelligentsia, but at the same time distorting them out of all recognition.

Let me explain.

We will have to go back to the first half of the 20th century to understand how and why this all came about.

In the 30's and 40's it became increasingly clear to Marxists that something was fundamentally wrong with the master's economic hypotheses. Like the followers of Jesus, they had been waiting so long for the expected collapse of capitalism, and had been so encouraged by the Great Depression, they expected that it wouldn't be long now.

But like a bad dream, capitalism rebounded stronger than ever.

Why, they asked themselves, are the proletariat not rising up in rebellion against the oppressive forces of capitalism?

By the 50's, capitalism was actually flourishing, and so too were Marx's "oppressed proletariat". Far from rising up against their "oppressors", they were buying into the capitalist system and the "American Dream". The sharp differences between the classes was eroding, and more and more of those in poverty were finding their way into the middle class and gaining hope for themselves and their children.

Not only that, the proletariat astonishingly seemed relatively happy and content!

Happy and content people do not generally initiate violent revolutions nor rise up against their oppressors--particularly when they don't feel oppressed, but feel empowered.

And, furthermore, much to the puzzlement and subsequent rage of the intellectuals, in those places in the world where socialist and communist theory had triumphed, wealth was disappearing; initiative was in decline; and the human misery index was climbing.

The "great experiment" in the Soviet Union was failing abysmally; and in 1956, when Soviet tanks rolled into Hungary and violently crushed all dissent, it was obvious to anyone with half a brain that the socialist utopias were not all they were cracked up to be. Even today, many on the left cannot bring themselves to admit that the application of Marx to the real world had only succeeded in bringing about abject poverty, misery, death, and slogans. Many many slogans.

Instead of creating a utopia for the proletariat, Marx and his theories only generated the conditions for societal suicide.

One might have hoped that the resultant rage and frustration of the intellectuals who mastermined the whole thing could have been directed inward, resulting in a suicide pact that would have eliminated them from history.

History was not so fortunate.

Instead, it was about this time that Karl's descendents met Sigmund. In searching around for explanations for the sad failures of Marxism, Freud's theories of the unconscious seemed like a lifeline--a potential explanation of why everything had gone wrong.

Instead of blaming the theory, they blamed human nature.

Instead of understanding how capitalism worked with human nature, instead of against it, they claimed that capitalism had psychologically repressed the proletariat!

If only they could tap into that instinctual energy, then they could have control over the proletariat and bring about the desired political and economic result.

So it was that the relationship was initiated. As Stephen Hicks notes (pg 167-8):

...Marcuse concluded [that] capitalism's repression of human nature may be socialism's salvation. Capitalism's rational technocracy suppresses human nature to the point that it bursts out in irrationalisms--in violence, criminality, racism, and all of societies other pathologies. But by encouraging those irrationalisms the new revolutionaries can destroy the system. So the first task of the revolutionary is to seek out those idividuals and energies on the margins of society; the outcast, the disorderly, and the forbidden--anyone and anything that capitalism's power structure has not yet succeeded in commodifying and dominating totally. All such marginalized and outcast elements will be "irrational," "immoral," and even "criminal," especially by capitalist definitiion, but that is precisely what the revolutionary needs. Any such outcast element could "break through the false consciousness [and] provide the Archimedian point for a larger emancipation."

As I noted in this post, Freud argued that human instincts are indeed out of sync with modern civilization; and that aggression and other instinctual needs, once absolutely necessary for survival in a dangerous world, are now frequently only archaic impulses that impede our ability to live happily in the present day and age.

He posited that the same aggression that was once directed towards survival, in the modern era is frequently turned inward, to the self, rather than outward toward the environment, and causes the psychological phenomenon of depression. In psychiatry we refer to this as "aggression turned inward".

But the mistake the Marxists made in marrying their theory with Freud was in thinking that somehow this fundmental aspect of human nature was only present under capitalism. If they thought for a moment, they might have realized that violence, racism, criminality and all the other pathologies of society, are actually pathologies of the individual--independent of the society.

Individual human nature must be taken into account when one evaluates the usefulness and consequences of certain economic and political systems that are advocated in the world today. Humans are clearly well-suited to some things and not to others.

But there are some social, economic, and political systems that like to indulge in biological fantasy and place human beings on a Procrustean bed to try to adjust human nature to their theories. The more out of touch with reality are the biological fantasies , the more the society tends toward catastrophy, human misery, and death. The worse of those societies are engaged in constant war/jihad and domination over others. You can identify them by the accumulation of wealth in the leaders as the followers become more and more impoverished.

The left somehow continues to believe that capitalism is what brings these things to pass, despite all historical evidence to the contrary. The truth is that, among social, political and economic systems, democratic capitalism is probably the one and only system that is most compatible with human nature.

Although portrayed as encouraging the "survival of the fittest", capitalism simultaneously encourages cooperation for mutually beneficial trade as well as competition. Instead of encouraging war and dominance; capitalism encourages trust and human cooperation; as well as alliances to maximize productivity and wealth creation. Far from concentrating wealth in the hands of a few, capitalism makes it possible for anyone to accumulate wealth (contrast for example the number of people who earn over $100,000 a year in the U.S., with those do in Cuba. The only really wealthy person there is Fidel Castro and his cronies.

But the Marxists of the mid 20th century were correct in a way, when they started their love affair with Sigmund. Freud's theories do indeed explain why capitalism is successful in the real world and marxist theory is not.

Capitalism allows the basic nature of man to creatively express itself by mastering the physical world. The instinctual energy Freud spoke of is directed away from the destructive pursuit of power over other people and sublimated toward acts of creation, which further both the individual's life and all of civilization.

The Marxist intellectuals big mistake was in not recognizing the difference between repression and suppression. And in not understanding the way psychological defense mechanisms work.

They correctly noticed that the instinctual energy of the proletariat was being harnessed both for the individual's good as well as the society under capitalism; and yet were unable to appreciate the fact that unless you accept the reality of human nature and give it the freedom to transform all its most negative aspects into something positive for the individual and the culture/society, then you end up crushing all human initiative, creativity, and productivity.

Societies can either encourage the development of healthy, mature psychological defenses with which to cope with reality; or they can encourage the development and expression of the worse aspects of human nature--i.e., those which result in violence, racism, criminality and all the other pathologies. Either way, social, political and economic systems can only encourage certain human traits that result in civilized behavior; or, they can encourage those that are barbaric and antisocial. Human nature is the same, though, no matter what type of society or political system it finds itself in.

Simply put, totalitarian systems--whether from the left or the right (and that includes Marxism in any of its incarnations, whether religious or secular)-- actively promote the most negative, primitive, and immature aspects of human nature. In fact, they give a societal/institutional blessing to such behavior; and thrive on the resulting projection, paranoia, distortion, and denial of reality.

So the relationship between Marx and Freud has not really accomplished what the left's intellectuals wanted. Instead of diagnosing the pathology of capitalism, real understanding of Freud's psychological theories actually exposes the inadequacies and fatal flaws of Marxist theory.

Because nowhere is there more violence, naked aggression, envy, greed, oppression, racism, injustice, slavery, poverty, and misery than in the shining examples of socialism and communism in today's world.

So, getting back to my theory of why psychology seems to attract so many on the left. It relies on the fact that many of those who pursue advanced education are, by the time they reach college, pretty much already immersed and completely brainwashed by the ubiquitous Marxism that infuses almost all aspects of K-12 education. And modern Marxism relies heavily on the popularized and distorted tenets of Freudian thought for its continued existence.

Therefore they tend to be already invested in the psychological holy trinity: the deification of victimhood; the supremacy of feelings over reason, and the glorification of self-esteem over self-control; and are predisposed to think of a career in psychology as the heroic pursuit of "social justice" for the poor, unhappy and oppressed masses.