Saturday, June 30, 2007

BEYOND DENIAL & DELUSION---The SALAD Days of the Political Left

Not that long ago, I wrote this piece on the rational fear of Islam and suggested that:
...being afraid of "the religion of peace" after the innumerable acts of violence, terror and depravity committed in the name of Allah is not exaggerated; not inexplicable; and most certainly not illogical....

What the OIC is exhibiting is a sort of meta-Islamophobia--an Islamophobicphobia, to be precise; or, as I would define it, " an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of mere criticism of Islam, as well as a pathological reluctance to hold it to account for the actions and behavior of its followers."

There is much written both in the Middle East and in the West about the proposition that Islam is "under siege" and that hatred of Islam is a rising concern. This has been repeated frequently particularly since the global war on terror (which actually is a global war on Islamic fanatiacism). Those who decry this reality are not only reluctant to admit that the wave of terror and irrational hatred sweeping the world is specifically associated with the religion of Islam; they simultaneously blame the victims of the terror and the objects of the irrational hatred as the one's responsible for its existence. Islam is given a free pass and the shouts of "God is Great" that precede the latest atrocity apparently have nothing to do with what is written in the Koran.

It is getting harder and harder to keep a straight face as the knee-jerk denial and sanctimonious utterings of organizations like CAIR and the OIC fill the news media on a daily basis.

Islamophobia? Anyone who by now has not realized that Islam has given carte blanche to the fanatics in its midst is either completely out of touch with reality, or living on another planet (e.g., planet Hollywood, or planet Marx).


The recent terrorist attempt to blow up as many people as possible that was stopped just in time in London has had the effect of bringing out once again those who are in complete denial about what is happening in the world today. You will probably not be shocked to discover who some of these people are- here's a sampling if you want to go look for yourself:

Atrios - oh, the silliness of it all ! (check out the insane comments if you have the stomach for delusion with a touch of self-satisfied smirking). He even manages to throw in a right wing bomber decoy to throw you off the scent (wink, wink!)
Comments from Left Field - Terrorism lite: the "almost" terrorist attack!
Taylor Marsh - A world full of pussies.
No Quarter - London Bomb-What a crock of crap!!

I wish I could tell you that the political left in this country was out of its friggin' mind...but I can't, because it is increasingly clear that if you could put all the combined synapses of all the the above bloggers together you would not get a single logical or coherent thought about the war that is being waged against the West by the religion of peace.

These bloggers and many of their readers are on a mission to go where no human has gone before. They are beyond mere denial and delusion; beyond psychosis even. I regularly treat schizophrenics who have more respect for reality.

Sadly, they suffer from a totally debilitating disorder: Severe Acquired Leftist Anencephalic Dementia (SALAD). Their minds are simply not there any more! The cognitive dissonance of believing so many bizarre and contradictory fantasies; the mental contortions and fits necessary for them to retain their ideological myths has caused their minds to softly and silently vanish away (that's what happens when the snark is a boojum, you see).

It's a terrible and agonizing affliction. And I feel for them--a mind is a terrible thing to waste, after all; but we can rejoice because I am certain they haven't noticed and therfore feel no pain whatsoever.

Greg Gutfield has some thoughts at the HuffPo, "7 Things We Know About Today's Car Bombing", which you should read in its entirety. But here he captures the essence of the insanity we are dealing with in point 1:
Folks, I just spent three hours surfing the net and did I learn a lot! Did you know that most of the news we get is controlled by the Bu$hies? Let me enlighten you about today's so-called terrorist bombing attempt in London:
1. There is no proof that this was terrorism. With Blair gone, there IS no more terrorism in the UK. This was obviously just someone's car, probably belonging to a nail salesman, who kept a lot of samples in his car. He was on his way to a barbecue, of course, which explains the propane. And he needed the extra gas, too, because - hello! - he was driving a gas-guzzler (instead of a hybrid, which is really mean-spirited).

So in effect, this was some right-wing, global warming-enabling carpenter on his way to char little animals for his own gratification.


Also, if you haven't listened to this gentleman, give yourself a real politically incorrect treat and check it out:



A rational, healthy fear of Islam's barbaric medievalism and its desire to subjugate the entire human race under the yoke of its god is perfectly appropriate and continually justified by the fanatical behavior of millions of Muslims everywhere on the planet. There is something terriby wrong with this religion and its followers; and it threatens every civilized person.

This is not Islamophobia; this is common sense.

And, as a parallel, there is something terribly wrong with the political left and anyone who is able to continue to pretend that terrorism is just some vast right wing conspiracy promulgated by the Bu$hies and Big Business to oppress the masses. They can rationalize, minimize, distort, deny, ignore, and delude themselves all they want; they can add some mixed-up Greens to the SALAD and scream about global warming; but it is very hard not to laugh--and they really do suffer from a debilitating and crippling cognitive malfunction.

UPDATE: OK, so I don't display a proper respect for their disability. Tough.

UPDATE II: Breaking news: Glasgow Airport hit by car bomb. No links yet.

UPDATE III: Pajamas has the story.

Friday, June 29, 2007

PEACE LIKE A RIVER, i.e., DENIAL RIVER

ShrinkWrapped has an excellent discussion on how people's conscious thoughts and actions, often reflect contradictory unconscious desires. In particular, he focuses on unconscious aggression:

Nowhere is this more significant than in our understanding of aggression. People typically fear their primitive aggression and defend against their awareness of the intensity and depth of their aggression as well as against the expression of their aggression. Yet it is a truism that unconscious impulses always seek ways to find discharge. It is not uncommon to see parents who are committed pacifists, who commit themselves to having homes which display no evidence of aggressive toys, raise children who are themselves aggressive and problematic; via the magic of unconscious processes which include identification and projective identifications, fantasy formation, primitive parent-child introjection and incorporation, among many others, the child becomes the agent for expressing the parent's disowned and disavowed unconscious aggression.

When our oldest was ~5, he often played with a neighboring child whose parents were ideological liberals and aggressively anti-aggression. This child owned no guns and wasn't allowed to play with toy soldiers, watch violent cartoons, etc; there were many other rules governing his play too numerous to enumerate. His parents were what one might refer to as "controlling" people (which is why we did not maintain a long term friendship.) We would carefully place our son's militaristic weapons/toys out of sight when this child came to visit. On one of his last visits, in his mother's presence, he quite cleverly took bites out of his grilled cheese sandwich in just such a fashion as to create a gun which fit quite nicely in his tiny hand; he proceeded to shoot everyone and everything in sight. His mother was quite apologetic, though I suspect managed in her own mind to blame us for her son's behavior. You will not be surprised to find that he was having some "issues" in kindergarten with aggression.
[...]
I have wondered for quite some time if this kind of projective identification is an aspect of the Left's fascination with, and (denied) support for, anti-civilization violence.

Indeed. This is the sort of psychological dynamic that is hard for a psychiatrist to miss--unless he or she has issues with their own aggressive impulses.

Shrink is absolutely correct in asserting that by denying our own aggressive natures we end up enabling and supporting the aggression of others. The most blatant example is the appeasement of terrorism and terrorists by the political left and the Democrats; or any who are totally invested in seeing themselves as "antiwar" as they cozy up to enemies whose explicit goal is to destroy our civilization.

Thomas Sowell wrote an essay sometime back about "pacifists versus peace", and said:

One of the many failings of our educational system is that it sends out into the world people who cannot tell rhetoric from reality. They have learned no systematic way to analyze ideas, derive their implications and test those implications against hard facts.
"Peace" movements are among those who take advantage of this widespread inability to see beyond rhetoric to realities. Few people even seem interested in the actual track record of so-called "peace" movements -- that is, whether such movements actually produce peace or war.

Take the Middle East. People are calling for a cease-fire in the interests of peace. But there have been more cease-fires in the Middle East than anywhere else. If cease-fires actually promoted peace, the Middle East would be the most peaceful region on the face of the earth instead of the most violent.
[...]
There was a time when it would have been suicidal to threaten, much less attack, a nation with much stronger military power because one of the dangers to the attacker would be the prospect of being annihilated.

"World opinion," the U.N. and "peace movements" have eliminated that deterrent. An aggressor today knows that if his aggression fails, he will still be protected from the full retaliatory power and fury of those he attacked because there will be hand-wringers demanding a cease fire, negotiations and concessions.

That has been a formula for never-ending attacks on Israel in the Middle East. The disastrous track record of that approach extends to other times and places -- but who looks at track records?

Many people have forgotten that one of the most well-known pacifists of all time--Gandhi--proposed that nothing should have been done about the holocaust or the Nazis. How many of his admirers have considered what the consequences would have been if the world had followed Gandhi's lead? How many millions more people would have died? How many today would live under the boot of the Nazi philosophy?

Antiwar protestors always make a point of asking rhetorically what war is good for? You have heard them chanting this query at almost every one of their peace marches. The truth is that no sane person wants war, but aggression may be the only possible response to evil.

And in human history, there have been many evils far worse than war.

As Sowell states, there has been more attention paid to cease-fires; treaties; and prevention of war in the middle east than anywhere else on earth. The result has been the continued enabling and appeasement of an intolerable evil that thrives on hatred and that has grown strong and sure of its holy mission to kill.

But still, even today after decades of self-delusion, the rhetoric continues, as diplomats insist on getting back on "the roadmap" that should lead to peace; but which--surprise! surprise!--seems to lead only to more violence and death.

Maybe it is time to give up on the idea of a Mideast Peace where it has come to either enabling one group of psychopaths versus another?

By not getting in touch with our own aggression, we have abandoned the very means by which peace could actually come about.

This reality puts me in mind of a patient--I'll call her Petunia.

Petunia was a young woman with many problems, but she was particularly upset one day because this boyfriend that she had broken up with just wouldn't leave her alone. On closer inquiry, I discovered that in the past week she had phoned him 4 times; picked him up from work every evening; and let him spend the night at her apartment twice.

"I thought you said you were upset because he's not acting like the two of you are broken up?" I asked in some surprise.

She looked at me in astonishment. "He isn't! He seems to think we are going to get back together."

"But aren't you giving him that impression by initiating phone calls to him and picking him up and especially by letting him spend the night at your house," I countered?

Petunia did not understand my confusion. "So? That doesn't mean I want to get back together with him. I'm just being kind." She smiled then--contemplating, I suppose, what a nice person she was.

She truly couldn't understand how her behavior might lead him to think she really didn't mean exactly what she said.

Like Petunia, the antiwar crowd seems to think that all they have to do is be "kind" and chant pleasant slogans about "peace" and "support the troops by bringing them home" and as if by magic, peace will break out! Why is it, do you suppose, that these same clueless, insightless and pathetic people never protest against the real warmongers in Tehran, Damascus, Gaza, Beirut... or Somalia or Sudan or--well, anywhere..and only seem to be able to protest against America and Israel who continually work hard to prevent the loss of innocent lives, particularly in comparison with those that they fight.

There is a serious problem here in understanding that a person's actions speak louder than their words. And, from a psychiatric perspective, even if the actions are not louder, then they are far more honest.

This is why, though I listen carefully to the words people say, I also carefully observe how they behave if I really want to understand what is going on inside their heads. The discrepancies that lie between actions and words are most revealing, as ShrinkWrapped noted above.

If the peace movement really were a peace movement, its members would be denouncing the true threats to peace and trying their damndest to disarm and neutralize the likes of Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah etc. etc.

Instead, like the parents who are so desperate to squelch their own aggressive impulses they unconsciously enable and facilitate their children's violent behavior; these "pacifists" actually champion the terrorists; rationalizing terrorist behavior; refusing to call them to account for their uncivilized and barbaric actions;, demanding cease-fires with them (never acknowledging that there is no way to hold them to account when they break the ceasefire, as they inevitably do); and have little or nothing to say about the standard terrorist operational policies that deliberately target the innocent.

You can find these these brave and loving peace activists marching in solidarity with these foul groups; proudly wearing the latest "hate couture", and imagining that their fashion statement shows how tolerant and compassionate and virtuous they are. They are unable to even appreciate the irony that it serves to demonstrate the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of their pacifist ideology.

In today's world, those who are truly evil know they can get away with practically any horror; and that there will always be a large cadre of dupes who are willing to rationalize, excuse, or minimize any atrocity.

For all their rhetoric to the contrary, the actual beneficiaries of the "antiwar" movement are the warmongering tyrants of the world whose naked aggression remains unchecked and is always rationalized away. The only outcome in the real world of all that lovely pacifism is the triumph of evil.

War is a always a terrible choice. No reasonable person could believe that it is benign or intrinsically "good" to wage war. Yet, it is sometimes a choice that reasonable people need to make simply because evil exists in the world and it cannot go unchecked--that is, not if you truly care about innocent human life.

If you cannot consciously tap into the aggressive side of your human nature and permit the use of aggression and even violence to serve the good; you will inevitably end up serving all that is evil in the world.

Pacifists cannot deal with this simple truth. In reality, they don't care much about human suffering, misery or even death; let alone the legacy of evil in the world. Through a variety of psychological defenses, they have managed to deny, displace, distort, and project real evil away. There cannot be found even a trace of psychological insight among all those angry marchers who violently and adamantly demand peace at any price.

For the carefree members of the antiwar movement, the triumph of evil is unimportant when compared to their own narcissistic need to appear virtuous and good. Like the parents ShrinkWrapped writes about, they will always find a way to externalize the blame for the consequences of their own self-delusion. Like Petunia, they will emphasize rhetoric over action; good intentions over actual behavior.

Antiwar activism is simply part of the left's ongoing struggle against reality; specifically, the reality of human nature. Aggression and violence are an integral part of human nature and are essential for human survival. These dangerous human qualities can either serve that which is good and decent about humanity, promoting human life and liberty and civilization; or, they can be used to support that which opposes life, liberty and civilization.

That is how the unconscious works; and how projective identification protects the user from having to come to terms with their own aggression. As these insightless fools bask in the glow of their radiant virtue, they fail to notice their own complicity with and appeasement of evil. Having absolved themselves of the requirement of making difficult moral choices in the real world; they have instead chosen the easy and facile rhetoric of self-delusion. That is why they are not bothered by real human suffering in the here and now; or by real oppression and tyranny. Their primary concern is in maintaing the fantasy that they are devoid of all those evil aggressive impulses that they, and they alone are the embodiment of perfect "peace" , "justice", and "brotherhood".

The track record of pacifism is horrendous. Not only do "peace movements" fail to bring peace; but by protecting, appeasing, and minimizing true evil, they ensure that war--when it inevitably comes--costs even more in terms of human suffering and lives.

FROM UTOPIA TO PLEASANTVILLE THEN DIRECTLY TO HELL

Utopias are just not what they used to be:

What all the earthly paradises promised by social re-engineering projects have in common is not that they are free from unpleasantness and want; Stalin offered a vision of barracks life, cafeteria food and compulsory day-care and people were willing to kill for it; modern environmentalists present one of five-minute showers, subsistance living and rationed toilet paper and they are willing to descend on your home in order to achieve it. They are bleak, unpleasant paradises. The attraction of these earthly utopias is not pleasance but freedom from doubt. Entry into a place where all the answers are supplied and there are no more dilemmas. What is required of that Brave New World above all is the final banishment of Hamlet's soliloquy. The attraction of Communism, a world ruled by the Greens or lashed under the chains of Sharia Law is they leave no room for doubt. They offer a place where every aspect of life will be regulated, our carbon footprints measured at intervals, our piety audited periodically and we shall be rid at last of our greatest burden -- freedom and uncertainty.

For that reason people like the "environmentalists" that Tim Blair describes derive satisifaction from forcing people into line. It is the Global Warming line in this instance, but any line would have done. Any port which will shelter them against the storm of doubt. The very same people who were yesterday's Communists are today's environmentalists and tomorrow's Muslim converts. It's really all the same religion to them.

Pleasantville, a movie from the late 90's, tells the story of the perfect utopian town of the imagination, where everyone is happy and everything is so...pleasant and conformingly normal. Anyone who gets out of lockstep with the pleasant program is suspect and extremely threatening to the one-dimensional black and white characters.

But the "happiness" and the uptopia of Pleasantville is not nearly as fulfilling for those who live there as those who desire perfection might imagine. Rather than being the nostalgic utopia of the protagonist's fantasies, Pleasantville is actually a dystopia where the inhabitants' freedom of choice and expression is severely limited, thus stunting their personal growth and development and keeping the entire society stagnant and boring.

But it is a wonderful place for those whose main desire in life is to exert control over others.

As Wretchard notes in his excellent analysis, it is all about minding other people's business.

Satan infamously commented in one of his many literary appearances that it is far far better to reign in hell, than to serve in heaven....

And all pathways that begin with a fantasy utopia, will pass through dystopia; and then proceed directly to hell.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

IT"S STILL A FLAG OF SURRENDER...

...no matter how you dress it up.

FOR POETRY LOVERS AND CONGRESS HATERS

This just has to be shared. It is by The Corner's John Derbyshire and he has, I think, captured in the rapture of his poetry (style and meter stolen from elsewhere, but what the hey! ) captured the essence of all rational people's perspective on today's Congress. Here is a short bit:

Come, friendly bombs, fall on D.C.!
It's not fit for humanity.
There's nothing there but villainy.
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs, and blow to kingdom come
Those pillared halls of tedium—
Hired fools, hired crooks, hired liars, hired scum,
Hired words, hired breath.

Mess up this mess they call a town—
A seat for twenty million down
And rights to the incumbent's crown
For twenty years.

...
And smash his desk of polished oak
(Paid for by honest working folk
Toiling 'neath taxation's yoke)
And make him yell.


Definitely make him (or her) yell.

THE MYSTERY OF THE INVISIBLE PALESTINIAN MIDDLE CLASS

*Note: the following post was written jointly by Dr. Sanity and Sigmund, Carl and Alfred and is cross-posted.

Classical Marxist socialism predicted that because of the exploitative nature of capitalism and the oppression of the workers (proletariat) by the capitalists (bourgeoisie) that the masses of the "exploited" would become revolutionaries and sweep the evil capitalists out of power, instituting a "workers' paradise."

Sadly for them, the places where this process was helpfully encouraged in the last century by actual violent revolutions--such as in the Soviet Union and Cuba--the "workers' paradise" thus created turned out to be more of a workers' hell on earth. Nevertheless, indoctrinated little socialists and communists elsewhere--such as in the U.S, where unimaginable wealth was apparently being created off the backs of the poor proletariat.-- waited hopefully for the oppressed workers to join the revolutionary wave.

Much to their surprise and dismay, the clever capitalist system was actually co-opting the oppressed workers, and helping them enter the dreaded "middle class".

Marx always expected that the middle class--which he described as composed of the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant etc--would own some property, but not sufficient to have all work done by employees or workers. Those in the middle class must also work in order to survive and are thus simultaneously members of Marx's proletariat as well as his bourgeoisie. He expected that the middle class would disappear as capitalism developed, since the only sustainable positions were the ones of his dialectic.

This, however, is not what actually happens in the real world as it turns out.

Whenever the workers are given liberty and allowed to pursue their own happiness (and not the state's), the middle class has continued to expand. In fact, the values of this particular economic group have come to anchor society in the United States. Far from wanting to ignite a worker's revolution as Marx predicted, they enjoy the creature comforts of the capitalist system and feel themselves empowered by it. Worse (from the communist/socialist's perspective anyway), the typical person in the middle class believes that he or she can better themselves by using the many opportunities offered by a liberal, capitalistic democracy.

Even in Communist China, capitalistic pursuits and entrepreneurship have become the true "opiates" of the masses--in the sense that to the degree people are free to pursue their own happiness and work for their own interests--i.e., where they have economic freedom, even if they don't have political freedom-- they are relatively content, and are unlikely to fulfill the ardent communist/socialist's revolutionary fantasies.

Let's switch gears now and look at the scenario that has been playing out in the Middle East for the last half century or more. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has all the trappings of a perfect Marxist drama: the oppressed and poverty-stricken proletariat who have been dispossessed from the land that should be rightfully theirs; and the evil, oppressive and exploitative Jew.

There is only one way that the Israelis could have achieved a country of plenty in the midst of the arid and empty desert --and that must be by exploitation, oppression and abuse of the Palestinians. I mean, just look at what Israel has been able to accomplish since its founding! Not only have they managed to create a country that exemplifies western values, but their people are prosperous, industrious, educated, and contribute to the advancement of humanity in every way. And, they managed to do all this in only a few decades; while their Arab counterparts (including the Palestinians) have not been able to create much of anything over hundreds of years. In fact, if it wasn't for the discovery of oil in the Middle East, there would not be any wealth at all to sustain most of the countries surrounding Israel.

As this Marxist play continues act after repetitive act, highlighting the dialectic of oppressor versus oppressed, we can begin to understand why the political left have supported the Palestinian and Arab cause against Israel; and why jihad and shar'ia have become the preferred "revolt of the masses".

It was no coincidence that the Al Aqsa intifada was unleashed when it was.
"Whoever thinks that the Intifadah broke out because of the despised Sharon's visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is wrong," Imad al-Faluji, the Palestinian communications minister, declared in March. "This Intifadah was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat's return from the Camp David negotiations."

The Camp David negotiations that might possibly have lead to a real peace accord between the Palestinians and the Israelis was the doomsday scenario feared by every faction of the corrupt Palestinian regime and even Palestinian opposition parties (who wanted their turn at the trough). Why? Because peace with Israel meant the Palestinian psychological dynamic would change for good.

When nations that are that are led by or are under the influence of tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify their actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the tyranny.

Peace with Israel would highlight a few realities that the Arab world leadership does not want to face. Overnight, the Palestinians would have the most successful Arab world per capita economy. The Palestinian standard of living would be unparalleled in the Arab world. That economy would grow as foreign investment would flood the region, pouring into already established, but dormant free-trade zones with Israel and themselves. This is no small matter- free trade is is the truest expression of peaceful relations. Countries and regions at peace manage to put aside the differences they have and instead, focus on the things that unite them so that trade and the resulting growth and wealth, remain facilitated.

Wars are not good for free trade. Notwithstanding the 'military industrial complex' (who make far more money in peaceful times than they do during war), the generations of free trade of goods and services provide far more money, income and benefits to society at large and demonstrably raise the standard of living for those nations.

Wars interrupt growth and the process of wealth creation. For the Palestinians, peace with Israel would mean the emergence of a middle class; and a middle class is necessary for all healthy and civilized societies.

For the Palestinians, a healthy middle class means that their focus would be redirected away from the dysfunctional values that promote an endless conflict, to those that promote growth and opportunity for its citizens. In a healthy Palestinian society, parents would want their children to go to school and use the tools of education to build a life and a future filed with possibilities. In the current unhealthy society, parents take pride in sending their children to schools where they are taught to hate. Those parents beam with pride as they hear their children commit themselves to kill and destroy; and are rewarded by the society at large when their children blow themselves up.

Nations with a healthy middle class have some other things in common, something that makes both Hamas and Fatah as they vie with each other for power, tremble in a common fear: a successful middle class demands that government answer to them, and not the other way around. Democracies are not developed or sustained by the political extremes- they are the trust and legacy of a vibrant, functioning middle class.

A healthy middle class can be defined in many ways, but in the end, it is human nature that dictates reality. If an individual desires to achieve and succeed are recognized and rewarded by the society, then that society will be a healthy society.

In the most successful societies there is a large middle class, and anyone has the potential to succeed if they have a good idea, commitment to work and plenty of drive. America, Canada, the UK, Australia and Israel are all examples of societies that while very different, are very successful. As the barrier to entry into the middle class becomes more onerous and difficult, requiring expensive and hard to obtain permits and licenses; societies are less successful and become progressively more likely to fail. The nations of the Arab world is a good example of that. There is no middle class in most of the middle east; only an elite, plundering class who are the beneficiaries of the oil wealth the land is blessed with; and a lower class, condemned by the elites to poverty, ignorance and oppression.

When there are few barriers to entering the free market, then the middle class can thrive; and the more successful the entrepreneurs and community becomes, the greater the stake the people have in maintaining peace and prosperity. Thus, it is far more likely that the society will refrain from making war upon it's neighbors except to defend itself. A prosperous and free middle class, engaging in free trade and pursuing their own lives, liberty and happiness is the ultimate expression of commitment to peace.

The Palestinians live right next door to a very successful society--certainly the most successful and free society in the entire middle east. Israelis know and understand the value of higher education. They know and understand the value of a healthy and free press. A peace treaty with Israel would be the first step to a Palestinian middle class. Within one generation, Palestinians working in economic partnership with Israel would find unheard of economic empowerment.

A peace treaty with Israel would mean that the Palestinians would dictate their own future. A peace treaty with Israel would level the playing field and thus offer each and every Palestinian the opportunity to succeed, and not be subject to failure before they even began. Success is not always easy and success is never guaranteed; but even with failure, a middle class mindset sees new, open doors and possibilities.

It is no coincidence that the Israelis have for years, attempted to facilitate the emergence of a Palestinian middle class. It is also just as clear that successive Palestinian regimes, political leaders and religious authorities have done everything they could to thwart those plans. When Israel pulled out of Gaza, they attempted to leave the structures--apartment buildings and greenhouses and such that might raise the standard of living for the Palestinians who moved in. The results of this generosity can be seen to the right.

It is in the interest of both Palestinian and Arab leaders to blame the failures and poverty of Palestinian society on Israel. In this, they are simply acting out the middle eastern variation of the Marxist drama by claiming that they have been "oppressed" by the very existence of Israel and cashing in on their victimhood. Thus an empowered middle class with a stake in peace and a desire for prosperity and commerce is the last thing the tyrants and terrorists of the middle east would want to emerge from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A middle class demands accountability. A middle class demands responsible government and a middle class demands opportunity. Thus, the Palestinians are forever doomed to exist in poverty and misery (whether in the primitive "camps" in Gaza; or Lebanon or anywhere in the ME) as an everlasting testament to Israeli and Western "oppression."

The Palestinian political, cultural and religious leadership in both Hamas and Fatah are united in one area: they are afraid they will rightly be held accountable for the poverty, misery, havoc and destruction they have wrought for the last half century; and for the dark curtain they have drawn around the Arab world. It is the Arab world that has kept generations of Palestinians impoverished and without hope.

Redemption for Palestinians will come about as the result of peace with Israel and the establishment of healthy and vibrant middle class, with middle class sensibilities and values. The hate, bigotry and racism of Islamist extremists will have the potential of finally being replaced with openness and the same commitment to equality and fairness so valued by the middle class of healthy societies worldwide.

For over six decades, the racism and bigotry of the Arab world has been rejected by the middle class of civilized societies. That is something the Palestinians need to think about.

Marx believed that the capitalist system would ignite a worker's revolution, but the reality is that those workers began to enjoy the creature comforts of the capitalist system and felt themselves empowered by it. As stated earlier, the worse aspect of this reality--from the communist/socialist's perspective anyway--is that the typical person in the middle class believes that he or she can better themselves by using the many opportunities offered by a liberal, capitalistic democracy. The middle eastern variant of the Marxist dialectic holds that Palestinians--indeed, all Muslims--are oppressed by the decadence of Western/Christian/Jewish capitalism and democracy and that the only way to get rid of this oppression is through jihad. Thus the elites are invested in encouraging jihad and endless war as they live off the oil profits and bask in their own corruption; while the Arab (especially the Palestinian) proletariat can only look forward to blowing themselves up for Allah as the highest achievement they can aspire to. The pursuit of their own happiness or working for their own interests is simply not an option.

From infancy on, the individual is taught to believe that he or she belongs to the Islamic state and exists solely to fulfill that state's religious revolutionary fantasies. But in reality, those in power are nothing more than the petty bourgeois Marxists whose sole concern is in maintaining their power over others and enriching themselves along the way. Without a chance to pursue their own happiness, there will never be a Palestinian middle class who will have a stake in peace with Israel; and neither will they ever have a stake in peaceful coexistence with any other successful culture or society.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

DEATH TO...WELL...EVERYBODY

From the invaluable Cox and Forkum:

MULTICULTURALISM: The Universal Chorus of Disharmony

This should come as no surprise to anyone; and would be particularly devastating to those who rabidly promote "multiculturalism" and "diversity" as some sort of holy grail to strive for--would be that is, if they were amenable to rational argument to begin with:

Putnam’s study reveals that immigration and diversity not only reduce social capital between ethnic groups, but also within the groups themselves. Trust, even for members of one’s own race, is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friendships fewer. The problem isn’t ethnic conflict or troubled racial relations, but withdrawal and isolation. Putnam writes: “In colloquial language, people living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down’—that is, to pull in like a turtle.”

In the 41 sites Putnam studied in the U.S., he found that the more diverse the neighborhood, the less residents trust neighbors. This proved true in communities large and small, from big cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Boston to tiny Yakima, Washington, rural South Dakota, and the mountains of West Virginia. In diverse San Francisco and Los Angeles, about 30 percent of people say that they trust neighbors a lot. In ethnically homogeneous communities in the Dakotas, the figure is 70 percent to 80 percent.

Diversity does not produce “bad race relations,” Putnam says. Rather, people in diverse communities tend “to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television.” Putnam adds a crushing footnote: his findings “may underestimate the real effect of diversity on social withdrawal.”

Wretchard once wrote that, it isn't "... the universal chorus of harmony" that the multiculturalists have propagandized, "but religious conflict at its most primitive level." He was speaking at the time about the the hysteria surrounding the Mohammed cartoons, but the same thought is easily applicable to all aspects of multicultural dogma.

In other words, multiculturalism as a doctrine brings out the basist, most uncivilized and least admirable aspects of human nature.

To the extent that immigrants to this country refuse to be assimilated into American culture and are actively encouraged not to do so by the diversity crowd, then the "melting pot"analogy that was once described the foundation of American strength and resiliance, has morphed into a swirling conglomeration of immiscible liquids. If the container in which they are held is fractured in any manner, each will flow his own way without regard to the other simply because they share no common bond or meaning that holds them together.

Think about what multiculturalism preaches in its high-minded rhetoric. Then WATCH WHAT IT BRINGS ABOUT in real life. It is in the tribal and entitlement behavior that you begin to see the toxicity of this dogma; as well as the essential oppressive nature of the politically correct behavior that adherence to the religion of multiculturalism demands of us.

Having given up any objective standard by which to mediate the vastly different perspectives and world views that each disparate group brings to the table; having encouraged the cannibal and looter cultures to imagine they are as worthwhile as the producer and creator cultures; having abandoned reason altogether in favor of expressing some feel-good platitudes about a supposedly essential "need to belong" to one's race, tribe, religion or group first and foremost; the outcome is what Stephen Hicks refers to as "group balkinization" --with all its inevitable and inescapable disunity, disharmony and conflict.

One wonders how anyone could expect a different outcome?

Why, in other words, would universal brotherhood--or even peaceful coexistence for that matter--result from a dogma that is antithetical to the concept of the universalism of human experience that is the bedrock of civilization; and instead glorifies culturalnand tribal differences, no matter how insane or irrational, violent or destructive are the cultural practices or beliefs that bring about those differences?

Multiculturalism teaches that what is truly important above all else is belonging to one's sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious identity, and not that one also belongs to the family of humankind. If the former is held superior, then "social withdrawal" from community and a pervasive distrust of other groups follows quite naturally.


The only "universal" that is shared under such circumstances is a committment to disharmony and, lurking beneath the overt moral relativism, is a grandiose sense of entitlement from each group as it jockeys for postion in the victimhood status heirarchy.

We already see the same dysfunctional dynamics highlighted by the study linked above playing out on the world stage.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH

Dymphna writes it, and I wholeheartedly concur.

Please, Mr. President. Do not let yourself become just one more pandering, appeasing nincompoop like the Jimmy Carters of this world.

You have a chance to redeem yourself with the many millions who voted for you. At 11:30 a.m., when you speak tomorrow at the Washington Islamic Center, you could put all of our hearts at ease if you change the direction and tenor of your communications to Muslims in this country.

Sir, you must stand up for our pluralist values. You must ask the Muslims you address tomorrow to disavow the Islamists who were responsible for September 11th. You must forcefully tell them to rein in their children in this country, twenty-five per cent of whom think suicide bombing attacks are a justifiable and honorable way to deal with the enemy.

You must name the enemy out loud to the Muslims you will be addressing. You must specifically condemn Hamas and Hezbollah by name. It is not sufficient or honorable for you, as the sitting President, to vaguely refer to “terrorists.” It is imperative that you say it: Islam as it is practiced by many of these groups is not a religion, but a political ideology which seeks to dominate the rest of us by force.

You must tell these Muslims – at least the ones who are American citizens – that it is wrong to refer to Israel or to American Jews as the “Zionist lobby.” You know very well there is a vocal Muslim lobby in this country. You must address them directly: if they do not refrain from anti-Semitic remarks, then you, as a Texan, will speak forthrightly about the powerful, well-funded Islamist lobby, led by the Muslim Brotherhood and its followers and fellow-travelers....


Please, Mr. President. Read what Dymphna has written. Do it for our great nation, under God, with its liberty and justice for all.

Mr. President, you must stand up for America.

CONGRESS TO WITHDRAW FROM WASHINGTON. -- Will Redeploy Somewhere Safe

Its way too dangerous for our troops to be in Iraq (its a quagmire and the majority of Americans don't support it anyway) ; and even Afghanistan, home of the "real" war on terror, must be abandoned (despite the fact that even the enemy admits defeat...).

So, with Congressional approval at an historic low (gee, I wonder why?) the course of action suggested in this cartoon by Eric Allie should definitely be considered:



Perhaps, along the lines suggested by John Murtha a while back, Congress could redeploy to someplace where their approval rating is much higher...say, Tehran or Damascus? Just send in Nancy Pelosi to speak to the friendly guys in those places so she can lay the groundwork for peace in our time.

Monday, June 25, 2007

ARE IDIOTS OF THIS MAGNITUDE BORN OR MADE?

I have it on good authority that there are certain situations when a woman of Islam does not need to seek the permission of her husband to go without the veil:
Interviewer: "Dr. Al-Astal, we have seen that some of the female martyrdom-seekers set out on their martyrdom operation without a veil. To what extent does our religion allow women, when they embark upon jihad for the sake of Allah, to use means of camouflage such as removing the veil?"

Yunis Al-Astal: "When jihad becomes an individual duty, the husband's permission or consent is not required, because jihad becomes like prayer. Just like a woman does not have to ask for permission to pray, to fast during Ramadhan, or to give charity, she does not need to ask for permission when jihad becomes an individual duty. In my opinion, in places invaded by the enemy, jihad becomes an individual duty.

"With regard to your question about the veil, especially when it comes to martyrdom-seekers who had to go into the Zionist cities deep in Palestine - jihad is a duty, and so is wearing a veil, but the duty of jihad is ten times great than the duty of wearing a veil."


The psychopath being interviewed in this TV program is "Dr." Yunis Al-Astal, a Palestinian MP from Hamas. Clearly he was given his doctorate by one of the many fine Palestinian academic institutions that Hamas (and Fatah) has worked so hard at building to bring a better life to the people they represent. I believe the discipline Al-Astal majored in was Genocidal Studies, a popular area of study in that part of the world.

Women suicide bombers? Now there's an Islamic, and quintessentially Palestinian, cultural tradition that begs to be psychiatrically analyzed.

To those multiculturalists out there who insist that cultural traditions cannot be interpreted psychodynamically; or claim that all cultures and cultural practices are equally good, I beg to differ. Palestinian culture, along with the wider Arab/Islamic culture of the Middle East, is so pathological and so unbelievably dysfuntional that I simply cannot resist pointing it out as often as possible.

Consider for a moment the supposedly educated speaker in the TV program quoted above who authoritatively comments about the priority of jihad duty over wearing a veil; and then also consider the following TV interview translated from the always enlightening MEMRI . The discussion is an attempt to explain why more Muslims have not won Nobel Prizes :
Samir 'Ubeid: "Why has the prize been awarded to 167 Jews, and to only four Arabs out of 380 million Arabs - and all four are considered traitors? For example, Al-Sadat got the prize during the normalization process, and as a price for Camp David, together with Begin, who carried out the Deir Yassin massacre, and who was in the Hagana gangs. Later, the prize was awarded to [Ahmad] Al-Zewail, in order to buy his invention, and Al-Zewail has disappeared since."

Interviewer: "You mean the Egyptian Ahmad Al-Zewail?"

Samir 'Ubeid: "Yes, the Egyptian chemist. The prize was also awarded to Muhammad ElBaradei, and in this case, it is soaked in the blood of the Iraqi children and people. [...]

"Mother Teresa was brought, along with a group of people like her…"

Interviewer: "Some say the prize was awarded to her for her missionary activity in Africa, India, and so on..."

Samir 'Ubeid: "Let’s assume she was righteous, according to the logic of the media, which is now controlled by the Jews and Hollywood. When they awarded the prize to Teresa, they were trying to award an 'artificial hymen' or 'artificial honor' to this prize.
"My colleague said that there is democracy. What democracy is there, if out of 1.5 billion Chinese, only two or three were awarded the Nobel? If you examine the Russian scientists and writers, who shook the world with their literature and their knowledge...

"What about Sakharov, what about Tolstoy? In addition..."

Interviewer: "But Sakharov was awarded the Nobel prize."

Samir 'Ubeid: "I meant Chekhov. Chekhov! Chekhov! [...]

"Are we Arabs not included in the transfer of the scientific genetic code? We, the descendants of Al-Khawarizmi, Al-Jahez, Al-Razi, Avicenna, and Ibn Al-Haytham - are we all born idiots? Is there not a single scientist among us? Are we not included in the genetic code? Is intelligence not transferred down among us Arabs?"

Interviewer: "Scientific creativity occurs in freedom and democracy, brother."

Samir 'Ubeid: "Democracy does not explain how it was awarded to 167 Jews, from among those 15 million scattered around the world, while abandoning 1.5 billion Chinese, a billion Indians, and 380 million Arabs. This is racism. [...]

"The [Grameen] bank for the poor won the prize because some of its shareholders are giants like Haliburton and others. [...]

"They infiltrated this bank, which came to be in the pocket of the Freemasons. This prize stems from the core of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
Let us analyze the remarkable cri de coeur of the interviewee. His is a hearfelt and passionate exclamation that stems from his righteous outrage and indignation at the unfairness of it all: "Are we all born idiots?"

That is a very important question, indeed. Are idiots of the magnitude displayed by the two experts above born--or are they made? If the former is the case, then there is not much hope that the culture or the religion will ever be able to function normally in civilized society.

I am not aware of any research that suggests that the differences in intelligence between different religious groups is large enough to account for such a significant discrepancy in outcome regarding the Nobel Prize. And it is worth noting, that, not only is the Nobel Peace Prize not awarded much to Islamic politicians (I wonder if that could it have something to do with the fact that many of them are psychopathic tyrants, despots, and religious bigots?) or even to citizens of the rigidly controlled Islamic regimes; there is also a noticeable lack of Arab/Islamic winners in all the other categories--i.e., medicine, physics, chemistry; as well as in literature and economics. Other subtle clues that might explain this state of affairs might found here, here, and here.

According to the second interviewee, this unfair outcome has something to do with a deliberate Jewish plot/conspiracy and is likely the reason why the learned doctor in the first interview so delightfully encourages women to kill Jews with girlish abandon.

If all this Islamic intellectual discussion sounds familiar, it should. Jewish Conspiracies is another discipline (along with Genocidal Studies) that is a favorite academic field of study in the institutions of higher learning (such as they are) of the Middle East. Indeed, these complex disciplines are taught even in institutions of lower learning, so that a vast majority of the Islamic population are completely conversant with them and find them extremely helpful for explaining away the oppressive, barbaric, and primitive aspects of their culture and religion.

The ubiquitous unwillingness to look within themselves or their cultural and religious practices to understand the serious defects that keep them among the most backward and ignorant people on the planet, despite their access to great wealth, is the psychological foundation of their dysfunction.

The psychodynamic explanation has been discussed many times on this blog, and it is a psychological defense mechanism called projection--which in more extreme and bizarre forms is referred to a paranoia. And this cultural projection and paranoia serves a very important purpose for the culture: it allows them to maintain a delusional sense of grandiosity and superiority, despite the obvious evidence to the contrary in the real world. Thus, they never have to confront their own inadequacies and failures. If everything is the fault of the Jews, then the solution is to eradicate the Jews and all will be well!

SC&A once observed:

By the year 2020, the projected Arab population will reach 400 million. Currently, there are less than 100 universities in the Arab world. Of that number, at least 10 are 'Islamic' universities that do not teach anything other than theology. Notwithstanding the obscene wealth generated by these oil rich nations, there is not a single Arab institution of consequence. There is no major research and no important scholarship that originates in the Arab world. In fact, the greatest scholarship concerning the Arab world and Middle East, originates outside the region, in America or Europe.

This is but one example of the consequences of the cost of dysfunction and repression.
...
Indeed, the total number of books translated into Arabic during the 1,000 years since the age of Caliph Al-Ma’moun [a ninth-century Arab ruler who was a patron of cultural interaction between Arab, Persian, and Greek scholars—WPR] to this day is less than those translated in Spain in one year.



The abysmal backwardness found in this culture and region of the world has been studied and several explanations just seem to leap out at the investigators :
The barrier to better Arab performance is not a lack of resources, concludes the report, but the lamentable shortage of three essentials: freedom, knowledge and womanpower. Not having enough of these amounts to what the authors call the region's three “deficits”. It is these deficits, they argue, that hold the frustrated Arabs back from reaching their potential—and allow the rest of the world both to despise and to fear a deadly combination of wealth and backwardness.


Or here:
The oil wealth is matched by social backwardness, and the only other region of the world with an income level lower than ours is sub-Saharan Africa. Productivity is decreasing, scientific research is virtually nonexistent, thzione region is suffering a brain drain, and illiteracy afflicts half of Arab women.


Or here:
The report mentions a number of factors that block the dissemination of knowledge. Among these factors are authoritarian and over-protective child rearing, the deteriorating quality of education in many countries in the region, curricula in schools that encourage submission, obedience, subordination and compliance rather than free critical thinking, the lack of autonomy at universities and the poor state of university libraries.


Note that nothing in these three separate reports implicates the fictitional Protocols of the Elders of Zion as the cause of Arab/Islamic intellectual stagnation! Nor do they provide any evidence of a Zionist conspiracy to restrict the development of Muslim IQs.

Yet, I would venture to say that a significant number of Muslims, like the good "doctor" who exhorts women to be suicide bombers and the gentleman interviewed by Al-Jazeera, are unwilling to consider their own cultural and religious beliefs and practices as causative and find it completely "logical" to blame Jewish conspiracies for their impoverished status in the middle east and elsewhere.

No, the members of this culture and this religion are not born idiots...rather their idiocy is carefully and deliberately crafted and molded by the societal and religious dysfunction so rampant in the Islamic world. Ignorance, stupidity, violence and blind obedience are rewarded; clear thinking is not particularly valued and often punished.

"Intellectual" debates about whether women should wear a veil when blowing themselves to kingdom come; or how grateful they should be to Allah that her sacrifice of her son has been accepted are not the hallmark of a sharp cognitive capacity, but rather indicative of a societal brainwashing that is so deep and totally pervasive that it has stripped women not only of their individual identity, but also separated them completely from their brains.

The stupid and the willfully blind are never willing to confront the true malignancy within and will forcefully denounce anyone who exposes their self-delusion, since that self-delusion is all that stands between them and a complete collapse of their basic assumptions about themselves as a culture or religion (i.e., that they are "religion of peace" is one, often-mocked self-concept).

To maintain the psychological denial, projection and paranoia on a cultural level takes quite a bit of group psychic energy. Constant vigilance must be maintained to prevent reality from undermining the fantasy. Consequently, there is little encouragement of independent thinking (too dangerous) or autonomous functioning (rules must be developed for even the most simple interpersonal interactions). Reality, truth and reason are the natural enemies of delusion, and all the cultural institutions must strive to eradicate any fertile ground for these to develop.

SC&A again (he is an expert on this part of the world, after all):
This is the kind of environment that allows for and justifies ‘honor killings.’ This is also how many young women are recruited into terror. If they are thought to have shamed the family, an act of terror serves as act of redemption for their family as well as themselves. The higher ‘morality’ of indiscriminate killing of innocents makes up for their transgressions.

This highlights another reality. In Arab cultures, there is no real reward or recognition for loving the sanctity of life. Those who profess a desire for real peace, non-violence, less corruption and less oppression are considered reformers.

In societies and cultures where increased violence is often seen after religious services (unique in the Abrahamic faiths), little emphasis is placed on self improvement, the betterment of society (the ‘real jihad,’ we are told) or humility. Rather, worshipers are whipped into a murderous frenzy directed at non- members. Each week, the hate is elevated.

These realities have brought Arab nations to their knees. Repression, oppression, terror, genocide and hate flourish. Entire populations are groomed to know only hopelessness, and not hope. There are failed economies, failed civil infrastructures and failed educational infrastructures. A child born in the Arab world today has little hope of achieving success on his own. There is little in the way of opportunities or a way out if the bleakness. There is no bright future to look forward to.

The only promise and guarantee that child can count on, is being taught to hate.


The only equality a woman in this sick culture can aspire to is as a suicide-bomber (and do they also get 72 virgins for their trouble? Inquiring minds want to know). Death, death, wonderful death is drummed into them during practically every waking moment because life is impossible when there is so much psychopathology. I can only imagine how the poor bastards--male and female alike, but perhaps specially the invisible women-- raised in such a pathological and dysfunctional environment must absolutely long for death after a lifetime of being hit over the head repeatedly by this cultural garbage.

The indoctrination into cultural idiocy starts young and continues throughout life, but the good news is that there is little evidence that the rampant idiocy found in Islam is biological or genetic. On the contrary, all evidence points to the fact that the underlying ideology of Islam as it is now practiced in many places around the world deliberately ensures the "dumbing down" of the intellectual and moral functioning of its adherents.

So developing just a teensy bit of psychological insight into the denial, projection and paranoia that has run amok in the dysfunctional culture and religion of Islam could be an extremely helpful first step to finding real solutions to your very serious problems. Blaming the Jews is fun and all, but if you want to get serious about those Nobel Prizes, then you need a complete intellectual, moral and spiritual overhaul.

Sadly, Al-Astal represents compelling evidence that it is unlikely any insight will be developed in the present generation of Palestinians; and, since they have taken great pains to make sure that the next generation remains handicapped by the pervasive cultural idiocy, we might as well not expect any at all for some time to come.

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

IT'S ALL ISRAEL'S FAULT !



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, 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.

**NOTE: I am now getting many more submissions than I can possibly include in the weekly Carnival. Please don't be offended if your submission is not used (oh, okay, be as offended as you like) as it only means that for a variety of reasons I wasn't able to fit it into the "flow" as I put together each Carnival.

REMEMBER, THERE ARE SO MANY INSANITIES AND SO LITTLE TIME!!!

1. Guerrilla action or gorilla action? Good terrorists? Might as well pay them all...it's only fair...but this is priceless.

2. Too bad they couldn't give him a knighthood ....Top 10 things Osama has been doing since 9/11. Though I have it on good authority he's founded a fraternity at a local university, Alpha Qaeda House. Jihad-4-Ever, man! The frat's official poem!

3. Border security = apartheid... Come on...biofeedback is torture??? Give me a break.

4. The Stalinists are at the gate! Well, well, well.

5. At least everyone is finally united, right? They certainly agree on one thing... Surely everyone ought to agree that Fidel should run America's sicko health system.

6. War is hell and we're depressed--can we leave now? Hah! Trading blood for oil--I knew it!


7. "It's never wise to satirize the Episcopal Church." They defy parody.

8. Oh no! This revelation can only mean genocide is imminent in Greenland ! Clarity? That's not the word I would use.

9. Narcissism kills. .. and extreme self-indulgent stupidity is suicidal. It's as plain as the nose on Ted Rall's face....

10. Nostalgia for those good old days.

11. Manage your life by calling in sick...to have enough time to manage mine, I'd need to call in dead. Every problem in life will eventually be labeled a disease anyway! A crippling mental condition is clearly a great thing to have....

12. Overly neat fridges are a sign of mental illness! Or a sign of the apocolypse, perhaps?

13. Birds of a feather? Or the cat's meow (make that a hissss)?

14. An arresting affair ...Public displays of affection deception

15. Was a burning bush involved? And does it mean that St. Christopher will be reinstated?

16. Stupid products are not just American-made anymore!

17. NASA needed help, and who ya gonna call?? (no, not Ghostbusters)

18. Yoda is one ugly dog.


***************************************
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, June 23, 2007

ECONOMIC ABSURDITIES AND PROGRESSIVE FANTASIES

Tim Harford, the "Undercover Economist" makes some compelling arguments against socialized medicine's desire to control your life by paying for your health care--case in point is England's proposed ban on smoking in pubs:


So far, the English pub remains a smoker’s paradise. Far from being an argument for government regulation to fix an externality, it’s evidence that the smokers value their freedom to smoke more than the staff and non-smokers value a smoke-free environment. Many of the people who grumble about smoky pubs wouldn’t go to smoke-free pubs either, or smoke-free pubs would already exist.

If non-smokers really felt strongly about second-hand smoke, these smoke-free pubs would attract flocks of high-paying non-smokers and staff would queue to work there even at lower wages. In practice, the ”smoke-free” gap in the market has so far been filled by places such as Starbucks.

The smoking ban is usually phrased as a ban on smoking in ”enclosed public spaces”. Of course, a restaurant or pub is not a public space: it’s a private space in which the public gather. (If you think a restaurant is a public space, try bringing a picnic along to one.) The irony of the legislation is that it forces smokers into what genuinely are public spaces - the pavements outside restaurants and office buildings - and produces a small externality where previously none existed.

Those who argue that smoking should be restricted because of the costs to the National Health Service are on even thinner ice. If I offered to pay for your private medical insurance out of the goodness of my heart, you would be unimpressed, and rightly so, if I then turned round and claimed that your smoking was now costing me money and so I had the right to hide your cigarettes. Similarly, the UK’s decision to fund healthcare from tax revenues does not thereby give the government the right to restrict our freedom to take personal risks.

In any case, this is a dangerous argument. We all have to die in the end, and a sudden smoking-related heart attack is a cheap way to go compared with 30 years of state pension or round-the-clock nursing care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. If smoking turned out to be a money-saver for the government, would that really justify a cigarette subsidy? Economic arguments can be double-edged; sometimes they are best not wielded.

And in America, there is suddenly a growing hissy fit on the part of the "progressive" left regarding their inability to compete in the radio talk show market, thus prompting them to demand equality of outcome--a sort of "affirmative action" for the oppressed free speech of leftists. As Jeff Goldstein notes, the left requires a legislative "fix" to stifle market driven free speech.

Considering their "pro-choice" rhetoric, you have to admire the chutzpah of their "screw your choice" behavior, which is consistent in that it reveals in dramatic fashion--for anyone who cares to think about it anyway--the totalitarian dreams of the political left.

It also give new clarity to one of the issues that I have talked about on this blog repeatedly, and that is the complete betrayal by the political left here and in Britain of the values and freedoms upon which both countries are founded.

Psychologically, they have managed to deceive themselves into thinking that whatever they do is for the "good" of the country. Take a peek at the comment thread in the Think Progress link above, and think tyranny--which is their idea of "progress" it seems.

Of course, they couch their tyranny in intellectual terms ("It's the PUBLIC airwaves, f***head", one brilliant commenter responded to another who happened to object to the idea of closing down talk shows on the right that enjoy a large market share of listeners).

When it comes right down to it, they are all about, and have always been about, power and control over others.

No one should be surprised at their totalitarian fantasies. Just observe their "patriotic" behavior when it comes to their country fighting a war against the barbaric evil of Islamofascism. They have made common cause with the neo-Marxist fascists of the 21st century; just as they did with the original Marxist fascists of the 20th. Their current machinations to ensure defeat are--from their POV--selfless and courageous actions in order to "protect" this country from what they have always perceived as the "true" evil--anyone who stands in the way of their totalitarian dreams.

John Kerry, their most recent Presidential candidate believed that the "true evil" during the Vietnam War was America and the U.S. Military--not the communist North Vietnamese; Teddy Kennedy believed that the "true" evil during the Cold War was Ronald Reagan --not the USSR.

We all know who today's Democrats believe is the "true" evil in the world today.

Their current crop of Presidential candidates are practically tripping over each other to see which one of them can sell out the values of this country faster (and sadly, when it comes to standing up for the free market and free speech, most of the Republican candidates aren't much better).

Today's political left represents the historical confluence of socialism, communism, and fascism. All three ideologies are nothing more than the utopian fantasies of the basic totalitarian mindset.
It is this same mindset, rooted in collectivist hubris and moral relativism, that forms the basis for almost all leftist thought today; and, it is also the basis for the rise of Islamofascism over the last half century.

The alliance between historical remants of those failed 20th century ideologies--responsible between them for more human misery and death than ever before known in history--and the Islamic fanatics (who represent the 21st century totalitarian mindset) becomes more evident every day. Neither will stop until their particular brand of secular or religious "sharia" is imposed on everyone.

Their mutual goal and progressive utopian dream is simple: they desire to control the human mind.

The tyranny that each group desires to impose is not viable in a world where human thought is free; that is why they focus on stifling free speech and controlling choice. Then they cover-up their true motivations by assiduously working to make you believe they do it for your own good! Aren't they sooooo compassionate and concerned? You betcha.

Laughably, they also argue that their policies are "pro-choice" and that they are the true champions of "free speech."

It is just your choices and your speech that must be controlled, after all!

The psychological contortions they go through in order to rationalize their little progressive fantasies is actually quite remarkable. You will be unable to find better examples of psychological projection, delusion, and denial in any psychology textbook.

Friday, June 22, 2007

SELF-DECEPTION, PARADOX & ATTAINING PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH

Gagdad Bob once wisely pointed out at One Cosmos that:
If truth exists, it seems that it is something that we would want to align ourselves with, no? For truth is what works, isn't it?

Not necessarily. With psychoanalysis, Freud articulated an entire system of thought that essentially comes down to a means for investigating the many ways in which human beings lie to themselves. Thus, in a sense, these lies "work" -- i.e., they have a function -- or they wouldn't have been erected in the first place.

For example, one routinely sees adults who were abused or neglected as children by their parents. This is the truth. But this truth doesn't "work" for an infant, because it would make living intolerably painful -- impossible, really. Therefore, in order to go on living, the child erects the lie, "my parents love me. There is something wrong with me." Interestingly, on some level, one must know the truth in order to erect the lie. Psychoanalytic therapy, in its broadest sense, is simply a search for truth....

Therapists more than many, appreciate the fact that people engage in all sorts of self-deception all the time. Psychiatry and psychotherapy is essentially a search for the truth; which is sometimes hidden beneath layers and layers of self-deception and cleverly deployed psychological defenses that protect and insulate the individual from confronting something painful and devastating to their world.

It is for this reason that psychotherapy can take a great deal of courage on the part of the patient; and a great deal of persistant probing on the part of the therapist. Simply put, psychological health and the ability to function optimally in life absolutely depends on being able to recognize reality effectively deal with it. Self-deception is fundamentally dysfunctional, and over the long-term potentially lethal.

Psychological defense mechanisms are unconscious strategies that are automatically enlisted by the psyche when reality threatens to overwhelm the individual. When an immature defense is put up to block the pain--such as denial or projection-- it may be extremely effective in the short-term, it sets in motion a cascade of psychological consequences that inevitably result in long-term misery for the individual. An analogy would be the clinical use of methadone--itself a highly and extremely addictive opiate, but with less painful and agonizing withdrawal symptoms--to help a person detox from heroin. The individual becomes addicted to the methadone and it must then be maintained for life.

In the example above that Bob uses, the child is able to retain his love for the abusive parent, but instead concludes that something is wrong with him. This incorrect conclusion, born of faulty psychological logic, will impact his life in all areas: relationships, work and will impede any chances he has to achieve success, personal fulfillment and happiness, or genuine intimacy.

It is not my intention to suggest that the only way to cope with stress is to use psychological defenses. On the contrary, there are many factors that come into play, such as the individual's temperment and inborn biological/physiological protections; the presence or absence of social or environmental supports, hope and faith and even luck or serendipity may play a role in helping someone get through difficult times.

In fact, all these factors--biological, social, cultural, religious--all interact together and, in times of stress, have a considerable impact on which psychological defense is ultimately erected to protect the individual.

And it is all these factors that come into play when trying to understand why a supposedly mature person uses immature psychological defenses.

If a person experiences an overwhelming number of environmental insults without sufficient biological resiliency, he will fail; if he has enough of the protective environmental factors (e.g., love, health, education) he is relatively invincible to the vissictitudes of life. If he or she is born with normal resilience, but the culture is severely pathological and thus the environment is not conducive to the development of psychological maturity, then the individual will go down with the culture, unless he is able to escape from its influence.

Let us for the moment say that all biological factors being equal (and, of course, they are not) then the primary determinants will be the degree to which those environmental factors control the life and activities of the person.

While it is true that even healthy people may transiently use the immature psychological defenses, they do so only as a temporary measure; until they psychologically prepare themselves to deal with the threat. An example is the reflexive denial when suddenly hearing about a loved one's death. The mind is simply not able to handle the catastrophe immediately and it uses simple denial to briefly cope with an unacceptable truth.

But within a brief time, reality will set in; and, if the confluence of factors in their life has led them to psychological maturity, the ego is able to handle the painful reality--they will suffer, they will grieve, they will grow; and then they are able to move on.

This process does not happen in some cultures or societies.

Environmental and cultural factors can encourge individuals to deploy mature defenses; or they may encourage the deployment of the immature and primitive defenses. The immature defenses are infectious. They can spread like an epidemic through a population--particularly if they are culturally or religiously sanctioned. This is because they offer the simplest and most gratifying explanation for an individual's or a society's problems ("It's all the Jews fault!", "If it weren't for those Blacks!", "Republicans hate the poor!" and so on).

From The Wisdom of the Ego:
The capacity to use social supports involves the ability to metabolize, as it were, other people once they are found. This capacity is inextricably bound to potential for psychosocial maturation....

In order to treat the experience of being loved as if it were a gift and neither a danger nor a right, we need the ego capacity of being able to absorb those who love us. If we marry someone much richer than ourselves, shall we feel grateful or envious? If our tennis partner always beats us, doues our game improve or does our self-esteem plummet? If our father is in some was a disaster, are we determined to avenge ourselves by becoming really good fathers, or do we do unto other as was done to us?
[...]
...the process of metabolizing social supports is far more subtle. We can teach people ideas. We can teach someone to view a glass as half full rather than half empty; we can teach people to have positive attributions. But how to teach people to treat an onrush of love as a gift and not a threat is a more daunting task, one that requires grace or at least consummate skill.

Ego maturity, and the ability to deploy the healthier, more mature defenses comes about as a result of one's experience with the problems of life and the increasing ability to tolerate paradox. Vaillant recounts this brief story, which is very telling:
...a College man who was both a model for mature defenses and a distinguished career diplomat to the Arab world told me that he was on his way to address a B'nai B'rith group. I asked him what he planned to say about the dilemma of Palestine. He replied that he would quote the wise man who observed, "When in a conflict both parties have the moral right on their side, that is the meaning of tragedy." A paradox. Yet Eugene O'Neill suggested that the tragic alone has that significant beauty which is truth. A second paradox. But where does the capacity to tolerate such paradox come from?"


Let us look for a moment at the tragedy that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One side of that conflict has attempted to come to terms with this paradox multiple times; and has acknowledged that there is moral right on both sides of the conflict. That side has repeatedly and earnestly tried to make peace by giving the other side what it says it wants. That side is Israel, who has given the Palestinians everything they need to create their own state and to make a life for themselves and their people.

It is the completely dysfunctional Palestinians, whose envy and hate (societally, culturally and religiously inflamed,) have led them to repeatedly refuse the gift given freely by the Israelis. Instead, they cling to their denial of the reality of Israel; they resort to a barbaric and primitive paranoia and projection blaming the Israelis and the Jews for their own squandering of billions of dollars, their own choice to spend that money on weapons and arms instead of schools and institutions that might make the future brighter. Indeed, the homicidal and suicidal rage encouraged by the culture is the only behavioral choice that allows them as a culture to keep their distorted grasp of reality intact.

The social, cultural and religious supports for the individual Palestinians have abjectly failed them and cannot facilitate emotional maturity. And the external social/environmental supports (such as they are) for the entire culture continue to enable the culture's dysfunctional behavior by never permitting them to suffer the consequences of their actions (the enabling by the intellectuals of the West); and by maliciously using their plight for the purpose of oppressing and controlling other middle east populations (the so-called "friends" and fellow muslims of the Islamic world).

Thus, the Palestinians are trapped forever in the grip of an immature, barbaric, and primitive cultural ego; their plight cynically manipulated by their "friends" and fellow muslims; and their dysfunctional behavior rewarded monetarily and excused by the "superior" intellectuals of the West. Homicide and suicide are the lifestyle of choice. [Note: that is why it is especially sickening that the enabling selfless psychopaths in the West, who see themselves as "antiwar" and "peace" activists have chosen to use the headscarf of the Palestinian people as some sort of a fashionable peace symbol. It is indeed a symbol, but not of what they imagine.]

In this sick and pathological environment, Palestinian children have practically no chance whatsoever of growing up to achieve any degree of emotional or psychological maturity. The environment is far too toxic to support ego maturation. And when they are physically mature, they will pass the psychological toxicity onto their own offspring. Hence, generation after generation will miss the opportunity to break out of the cycle of violence and death to make a better life for themselves and their children.

This is what happens when the environment encourages the development of seriously immature psychological defenses.

Meanwhile, the Israelis quietly go on; growing economically, building universities and engaging in civilized behavior, using their psychological and spiritual wisdom as a motivation to keep trying. Surrounded by those who want only to exterminate them, the Israelis have, time and again, refrained for the most part, from giving back what they are receiving. As a society, culture, and a religion, they have achieved a degree of maturity and wisdom that allows them to be dispassionate as well as compassionate, and not indulge in the kind of mass hysteria and dysfunction that is seen daily in their fanatical enemies. As a people they keep on trying and hoping for a breakthrough; because fundamentally, they want to bring about a better life for their children--a simple goal that Jews have always and in all places desired.

SC&A touched on these issues here and here and rightly points out:
Now, let’s think about that for a minute. Does anyone seriously believe that there are any Jews, anywhere, that are fixated (read: obsessed) on the Arab world? Does anyone really believe that the vast majority of Jews wake up every morning and ask themselves, ‘What can I do to screw an Arab today?’

Does anyone really believe that Jews- like everybody else- put aside concern for their family, jobs, community and whatever needs they might have, just so they might focus on undermining the Arabs and Arab world?

What could Jews- or anyone else, for that matter, anywhere, do to Arabs what their own dysfunctional political and ‘religious’ leadership haven’t already done to insure the failure of Arab society? As it is, according to the UN Human Development report, the Arab world already has just about the lowest levels of education in the world, save for sub Saharan Africa

Further, when it comes to those who encourage and enable Palestinian dysfunction:
A rational and civilized person would see the situation for what it is. A desperate bigot would will rationalize and attempt to divert attention away from the obvious- because in acknowledging obvious realities, they have to acknowledge their own failures. To a bigot or anyone with with clear psychopathies, that is intolerable. To see that the emperor they worship has no clothes is for them, catastrophic, because they cannot tolerate the truths that expose them. For example, supposedly ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ ideologies are ferociously adamant in their support of the Palestinian and Arab causes, notwithstanding the openly misogynistic, anti gay and racist ideologies they espouse. They cannot repudiate those agendas, because to do so would be to admit that their supposed ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ ideologies are a facade. Their primary interests lie in their own gratification and self aggrandizement. Violence against gays, women and minorities is acceptable as long as it takes place far away. The moment someone speaks in away they don’t like, they work themselves into a frenzy. To attack an unknown in a faraway place is acceptable- to attack their ideas is to unleash an irrational and even violent fury.


What do the Palestinians want? They encourage their children to blow themselves up and die so that the adults can maintain their "honor" and continue on their dysfunctional path of destruction and death. This is not behavior compatible with either individual or cultural health. In fact, it is a culture that is inexorably pursuing suicide with a breathtaking single-mindedness.

In order to grow psychologically and develop the ego strength to live in a civilized world, the children of Palestine requre a different environment. If some Pied Piper could lead them away from the broken and severely impaired adults; or if someone called those adults to account for the irrational, culturally sanctined malignant narcissism that is cloaked in religious sanctimony--then there might one day be a resolution to the tragedy and a future for today's Palestinian children.

A healthy environment--one that encourages healthy relationships between men and women; and between all individuals--is essential so that children can learn to deal appropriately with loss, sorrow and all the unbearable unfairness of life that characterizes the human condition. In such environments, the individual thrives, matures, and gains the wisdom necessary to change what is able to be changed. In such environments, there is no need to encourage denial, paranoia or projection, because the resultant psychological maturity permits access to the mature emotional defenses that give meaning and bring satisfaction to life.

Each of the mature defenses which help the mature adult resolve the ambiguities and paradoxes of his or her life, has an inherent paradox associated with it (see the Table below).

Civilized societies and cultures encourage and support the individual in the pursuit of his or her own life, happiness and psychological growth. These societies do not lay claim to an individual's life for the glory of the state; and in turn all members of the societey benefit as the culture's productivity, wealth and benevolence increases.

In other words, paradoxically, those political, economic, cultural and religious factors that encourage what is best for the individual's growth and maturity, are exactly what encourage the positive evolution and maturation of societies and cultures.

Psychological maturity makes all the difference in the world between war and peace. Mature psychological defenses enable creative solutions to conflicts in ways that are positive for both the individual and society. They also permit the use of force for self-defense when necessary, without all the useless hand-wringing and vapid moralizing about "peace" and "brotherhood" (which is essentially a manifestation of psychological denial and represents an aggressive attempt to avoid dealing with reality.

The immature defenses--such as denial, projection, paranoia--are not amenable to reason; and those who use them cannot be negotiated with. On the contrary, the use of such defenses by any nation or a culture or group inexorably whittles away at civilized behavior, eventually causing the individuals within the culture to abandon it completely. When a culture reaches that psychological dead-end, it has no future because the suicidal/homicidal rage will cause it to implode.

That is a perfect description of the state of Palestine and the future of the Palestinians.