Saturday, February 28, 2009

LIFE IMITATES ART

I first heard President Obama's pick to lead the Council of Economic Advisors, Christina Romer, opining on several news shows the other day, talking up Obama's stimulus plan and budget; and was immediately turned off by the chirpy, syrupy, condescending tone that came from the rather fixed smile on her face.

My instantaneous negative reaction was not only to what she was saying about the economy, which seemed both forced and cheerfully false; but to her demeanor which also seemed exceptionally... forced and cheerfully false. Then it came to me who she reminded me of!

Harry Potter's Professor Dolores Umbridge! All Romer needs to do is wear some pink.

Once again, life imitates art.

Friday, February 27, 2009

THE NEO-MARXIST'S MODUS OPERANDI: REDISTRIBUTE THE WEALTH AND ENSLAVE THE HUMAN MIND

Since current thinking on the left seems to denigrate a lifestyle devoted exclusively to pursuing wealth, money, and objects (sneeringly referred to as "materialistic"); as opposed to a more austere lifestyle emphasizing spiritual or mental development, then most of them should be relatively sanguine about Obama's plan to to tax the rich to pay for all his grandiose social programs, as well as to reduce the $$trillion deficit.

If we want to save the planet and be morally virtuous, we are told, we must stop our incessant "buying of things we don't need." Church sermons encourage everyone not to lose sight of the REALLY IMPORTANT things and to reject the disgusting materialism of our capitalistic society. Hardly a day goes by when there is not an editorial, article or impassioned plea for us to stop listening to advertisements that "force" us to buy more and more.

As Siggy has often remarked concerning the difference between conservatives and leftists, "Conservatives believe they have better ideas. Leftists believe they are better people." And, they intend to make you a "better" person whether you want to be one or not.

To listen to these people you would think that human beings are entirely spiritual beings, existing in a golden glow of non-material nothingness. You would think that people are not composed of matter and have substance in a 3-dimensional, material world. Or, you could cue the Madonna music and believe exactly the opposite: that we are living in a material world, and that human beings are nothing more than physical, material creatures. And, of course the Obama Administration is going to rescue us from ourselves and make it so that we don't have all that money to spend on such useless "things". He says that he's only going to "soak the rich", but as the WSJ notes, there's only one teensy little problem:
Even the most basic inspection of the IRS income tax statistics shows that raising taxes on the salaries, dividends and capital gains of those making more than $250,000 can't possibly raise enough revenue to fund Mr. Obama's new spending ambitions.

Consider the IRS data for 2006, the most recent year that such tax data are available and a good year for the economy and "the wealthiest 2%." Roughly 3.8 million filers had adjusted gross incomes above $200,000 in 2006. (That's about 7% of all returns; the data aren't broken down at the $250,000 point.) These people paid about $522 billion in income taxes, or roughly 62% of all federal individual income receipts. The richest 1% -- about 1.65 million filers making above $388,806 --paid some $408 billion, or 39.9% of all income tax revenues, while earning about 22% of all reported U.S. income.

Note that federal income taxes are already "progressive" with a 35% top marginal rate, and that Mr. Obama is (so far) proposing to raise it only to 39.6%, plus another two percentage points in hidden deduction phase-outs. He'd also raise capital gains and dividend rates, but those both yield far less revenue than the income tax. These combined increases won't come close to raising the hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue that Mr. Obama is going to need.
Bummer.

But don't worry. Obama and his minions are sure to come up with another way to squeeze more money out of those who create it so they can transfer it to those who don't.

Let's stop and think about the Marxist modus operandi for a moment. If you take the anti-materialistic and anti-capitalist, "redistribute the wealth" message to its logical extreme, you must inexorably reach the conclusion that the highest values of society should be to encourage a virtuous--and equal--poverty for all; while homelessness and hunger would be proof that an individual has attained the highest moral plane. From the perspective of the "anti-materialists", malnourished children in societies of mud huts wearing rags and owning nothing- would be the epitome of human existence; since the possession of material wealth only condemns us to meaningless and empty lives given over in pursuit of meaningless and empty things. Clearly the poor have managed to eke out a life of powerful meaning and spiritual worth.

Only one problem with all this Marxist and neo-Marxst BS: human beings are not either spiritual or material. They are both at the same time. And, even more important for this discussion, there is a direct link between human freedom and those material goods the left incessantly tells us we should shun. Consider: all the marvelous goods and services that our incredible capitalistic society makes possible would not exist unless there were thinking, rational MINDS creating them.

The clothing, toys, electronics, food and other material goods that we "don't need" were created by human MINDS, who first imagined them in their thoughts, then found a way to make their thoughts real. When Marxists (or closet Marxists like Barack Obama) talk about "controlling the means of production" they are quite simply talking about controlling the human MIND. And when they talk about limiting your ability to pursue your happiness, i.e., obtain goods that you value; they are talking about controlling the human spirit.

When utopians dream of societies were wealth and material goods somehow mysteriously drop down from the skies above; or when they "imagine no possessions/I wonder if you can / No need for greed or hunger/A brotherhood of man", they are actually imagining a world where the human mind and spirit have been deliberately murdered; sacrificed to some "ideal" bouncing around in some slacker's fantasy. When they talk about "soaking the rich", they are actually talking about decreasing YOUR standard of living and capping your dreams and ambitions. The creation of wealth is what drives economies; not its redistribution.

The entire history of humanity has been driven by those individuals who have the unique ability to make the non-material real; to create wealth out of nothing but ideas. And, while those productive people have definitely benefited materially from their creations; the side effect has been that all of humanity has also benefited. In fact, this transformation of abstract concepts into material goods; of the spiritual into the physical--has been largely responsible for mankind's evolution from caves to modern cities and civilization.

Modern-day Marxists (or, neo-Marxist fascists as I often refer to them) and all their totalitarian cousins (including the environmental fascists and the smiley-faced bureaucrats who think they can spend your money better than you can) would have you believe in typically contradictory postmodern style that:

  • wealth is created off the backs of the poor, suffering underclass by the always oppressive and exploiting upper classes; and


  • wealth and consumerism are very very bad because they devastate the environment and destroy the planet.


  • In the first instance, wealth is considered something good that is being stolen from its rightful owners by the evil capitalists; and in the second instance, the very act of creating wealth and consuming it is bad and inevitably mucks up the planet. What unites the two contradictory positions is the underlying desire of both camps to control and enslave the human mind and spirit.

    The creation of wealth is only dependent on human thought, human ingenuity, and human desire (all non-material, yet important components of spirituality and mental development) ; and these are the foundations of the material progress you see all around you in the United States. When those non-material components of human existence are extrapolated to the real world, the results are the goods and services that overflow in abundance in economically free societies.

    By appreciating those goods and services, we pay homage to the human mind.

    By purchasing those goods and services, we honor human creativity as we pursue that which we value and which gives our lives meaning.

    By enjoying the material things that make my life easier and more enjoyable, we are celebrating the human spirit.

    By means of materialism --pursuing wealth, money and objects--free people happily provide the means by which many humans can benefit from the imagination of one. In other words, we contribute to the advancement of humanity from poverty to wealth; from homelessness to shelter; from hunger to satiety.

    By embracing materialism and honoring the human mind, we are embracing the the highest spiritual and mental development of humanity.

    The reason to enjoy and appreciate all those materialistic "things" is because they are human thought made visible. When we give "objects" to people we love those objects become concrete expressions of our love. And, as physical beings living in a physical world, it is a function of our essential nature to translate the abstract, the intangible, the non-corporeal--the spiritual, if you will--into reality.

    What those who constantly lecture us about the "shallowness" of pursuing material things forget--as they busily attempt to limit our ability to create, let alone pursue them--is that human freedom is inextricably bound up in that "shallow" pursuit. In fact, next time you enter a store and see the incredible variety of wonders for sale--no matter how silly or trivial or "non-essential" they may be--remember that every single one of them is a concrete expression of a human mind. Every time you buy one of those goods (interesting name for material things, no?), you are celebrating the freedom of that mind.

    So, the next time you hear the political left and other neo-Marxist thugs and nannies talk about the necessity of "redistributing" wealth, remember that what they are talking about is nothing less than the enslavement of the human mind and spirit.

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    ABOUT THAT CAMPAIGN SPEECH LAST NIGHT

    I think Charles Murray encapsulates what I was thinking:
    Is He Really This Ignorant?

    About halfway through the speech, my wife, watching me mutter darkly at the television screen, said: "Why are you so upset? He hasn't said anything." And that pretty much sums it up.

    I know the speech was supposed to be upbeat and not for policy wonks.

    But I'm worried that it's not just a matter of what he chooses to put in speeches, but what he knows. It looks very much as if the president is oblivious to everything we've learned about social programs and educational reforms in the last 40 years—and by "we" I include policy analysts on the left as well as right. The guy never indicates that he is aware that we've tried a whole bunch of the same stuff he wants to try and evaluated it repeatedly and—read my lips—it doesn't work.

    He makes a great candidate, though
    .

    Indeed. As if the campaign of 2007-2008 wasn't long enough, now it can be understood that it has been extended for another few years. A friend and I were talking last night and, like Murray, we simply couldn't believe that this guy intended to repeat all the leftist policy mistakes of the last century or so, and pretend that he is pushing something new and improved. It boggles the mind, really. But my friend managed to put it all in context. He pointed out that Obama would simply do what all the rest of his intellectual comrades have done when their beautiful fantasies don't work and inevitably bring on a situation far worse than the original problem they were trotted out to solve: he'll simply say, "But I meant well."

    And all will be forgiven. Memories will be quickly wiped clean; and in a few years another leftist demagogue will rise and bring forth the same useless notions and label them hope and change. And the cycle will repeat itself yet again.

    UPDATE: Why am I not surprised at this? The MSM was quick to hail the "historic" speech made by our Messiah, and gleefully report how much everyone loved it, but they can't avoid the reality: it was just a bunch of platitudes punctuated by more calls for government spending and expansion. Here's what the economic side of the country heard, hidden in the hopeychangey stuff.

    AN EXAMPLE OF THE PARANOID 'ZEITGEIST'

    This is a perfect example of the paranoia, projection and delusion that infect the Muslim world today, and that I talk about in the previous post (hat tip: Siggy):




    Ahmad Abd Al-Salam: "The Jews 'will not fail to corrupt' the believers. What does this mean? The Jews are never remiss - they invest their utmost efforts, day and night, in conspiring how to corrupt the Islamic nation, the nation led by the Prophet Muhammad.

    "I want you, Muslim viewers, to imagine the Jews sitting around a table, conspiring how to corrupt the Muslims, and how to destroy their worldly and religious affairs. The Jews 'will not fail to corrupt you,' and this is why we hate them."

    The Jews "Infect Food with Cancer and Ship It to Muslim Countries"
    "The Jews conspire day and night to destroy the Muslims' worldly and religious affairs. The Jews conspire to destroy the economy of the Muslims. The Jews conspire to infect the food of the Muslims with cancer. It is the Jews who infect food with cancer and ship it to Muslim countries."

    "We Hate the Jews Because They Spare No Effort in Stripping Muslim Girls of their Clothes";

    "Sexual Temptations... Were Conspired By the Jews"
    "We hate the Jews because they spare no effort in stripping Muslim girls of their clothes. It is the Jews who conspire to have Muslim girls, and even married Muslim women, wear clothes that are tight, short, or see-through, or clothes that are open from the front, or the back, from the right or the left.

    "The Jews 'will not fail to corrupt you,' and this is why we hate them. The Jews conspire to destroy Muslims. The Jews conspire to bring Muslim youth down to the pit of sexual temptation. The sexual temptations, which are prevalent worldwide, were conspired by the Jews."


    Frankly, you can't get much more paranoid or delusional than this.... In a healthy culture or society, someone like Al Salam would be marginalized--or hospitalized and treated for his paranoid delusions; but, in the Middle East, he is revered, and his words are considered intellectually and morally profound, and are ingested like manna from the desert, unquestioningly and without hesitation into the mind of the credulous population.

    Notice how neatly his bizarre accusations relieve Muslims from having to take any responsibility for sexually "impure" thoughts; instead, their thoughts and behavior only come about due to a "conspiracy" of the Jews to "corrupt". Note also the profound hypochondriasis and fear that they are being infected by a "cancer"--again, a plot presumably put together by the Jews. The reality, of course, is that such hypochondriacal fears are a manifestation of the fragmentation of the of Muslim self/identity (see here for a discussion of the dynamics); and the real cancer that threatens to destroy them comes from within their own sick and dysfunctional religion.

    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    MALEVOLENT ZEITGEIST = MALIGNANT PARANOID STYLE

    In "The Islamic World's Malevolent Zeitgeist", George Jonas expresses the reality of the situation in the Middle East (read the entire piece):

    Some believe choosing Netanyahu advances the chances of peace in the Middle East; many believe it sets it back. I think it makes no difference.

    For over 60 years, Israel has been fighting to exist. For the same length of time, the Arab/Muslim world has been fighting for Israel not to exist. If peace came today, it would, by definition, be a victory for Israel. I don't think the Arab/Muslim world is emotionally ready for that....

    Taking a nuanced view of Islam today makes about as much sense as taking a nuanced view of Germany under Hitler or Russia under Stalin would have made. If Islam were a musical piece, no matter how richly orchestrated, right now we'd hear no harp or flute, only crashing cymbals. The fact that Islam is a religion of peace and compassion for many, a peaceful and compassionate pilgrim, is immaterial as long as the spirit in the Arab/Muslim world is hostage to militants who regard Christians as "crusaders," and Jews as pigs and monkeys. It isn't just the rockets aimed at Israel or the suicide bombers let loose against the inhabitants of London, Madrid, Mumbai, New York or Washington. The recent threats against barbers in Taliban-controlled lands for shaving the beards of believers serves as a reminder that the atrocities against Christians, Hindus and Jews are dwarfed by the atrocities the terrorists of Islam commit against their Muslim brethren.

    So, what is the "zeitgeist" of the Middle East that Jonas refers to? What is it that makes them emotionally unable to accept a successful, democratic and non-Muslim state in the middle of all their Muslim dysfunction and failure? In psychological terms, the answer to that question is that they suffer from a malignant and destructive paranoid style.

    Instead of coming to terms with the reason their societies and cultures are so dysfunctional and toxic; instead of facing a series of unpleasant truths about their backwardness and lack of achievement; or qustioning the religion that keeps them that way; or the leadership that manipulates them and needs them to remain backward and willing to descend in barbarism on cue; they have allowed their society to regress to a concomitant primitve emotional level where a paranoid world view is all that stands between them and total psychological disintegration .

    Under these poisonous circumstances, paranoia does not wax and wane. It must continually expand and try to incorporate and explain more and more data that documents their multiple failures as individuals; as a culture, as a religion. Rhetoric and behavior must always escalate to ward off the encroaching reality.

    Thus, without ever having to question their own evil, they can psychologically project it onto the Jews, whose success in the face of Islam's failure is a shame too great to bear.

    One of the hallmarks of the paranoid, and paranoia in general, is the ability to fixate (or obsess) on one particular point to the exclusion of all other reality and to select that point as the "evidence" of their predetermined delusion.

    The paranoid is actually quite perceptive--rigidly so; and they focus their attention only on those details that give support and credence to their beliefs.

    David Shapiro, in his book Neurotic Styles comments on the Paranoid style:


    In the paranoid person, even more sharply and severely than the obsessive compulsive, every aspect and component of normal autonomous functioning appears in rigid, distorted, and, in general hypertrophied form....[The]paranoid person's attention is so purposefully and narrowly directed as to amount, not merely to rigidity, but to a fixed bias.

    Normal people are able to see things in context; processing information appropriately and connecting dots that should be connected. Thus their conclusions and their judgement are more reliable and unbiased. The paranoid's pre-existing bias distorts his judgement and makes him unable to place facts or events in any kind of appropriate context. Dots are connected, it is true, but the only connection that exists between them is the false premises that created them.

    Paranoia and projection come in all sorts of neurotic and psychotic flavors.

    There is a scene in the movie A Beautiful Mind, where the mathematical genius John Nash has wallpapered his office walls with literally thousands of pages from newspapers, magazines, and other sources purportedly to demonstrate linkages. The room is total chaos; a giant complex spider-web of insane conspiracy, that accurately reflects the disorder and confusion in his mind. But he has kept most of this locked away from the view of others. To others, he appears complex, persuasive, sure of himself and often brilliant. It is not until his collegues enter his office and find the disordered nest of all his insane connections do they understand the extent of his illness.

    It is always stunning to me that logical processes are usually preserved even in the most extreme cases of paranoia. And when you understand the faulty premise on which the logic is based, it makes a certain kind of wierd, distorted sense. And, it almost always feeds the ravenous grandiosity of the paranoid person.

    They are always the focal point of the conspiracy. They are special; a very important person, specially selected by the FBI, aliens--or whoever--to victimize. This knowledge is both frightening and exhilarating at the same time to the paranoid. He is victimized and becomes the innocent object of the devious and despicable actions of the "other" because he is special in some way.

    And, indeed he is, since the origin of the negative or hostile emotions/behaviors seemingly directed at him are deeply buried within his own mind.

    The paranoid has an explanation for even the most bizarre connection (e.g., "I am hearing voices in my head saying strange things. Why would that happen? Wait! The other day I noticed a man following me. The FBI follows special people with special knowledge and wants information from them. I am special. The man following me must be from the FBI. The FBI has all sorts of special technology. Thus, the FBI must have implant a microelectrode in my brain to try to control me and get the information they want from me. etc. etc.")

    I actually had a patient with this particular delusion who brought in thousands of pages he had written documenting every single look that strangers gave him; convinced that all strange people were from the FBI, assigned to keep tabs on his every coming and going. The circle of people involved in this conspiracy kept growing; the plot kept widening and widening becoming more and more complicated; sucking in everyone he came in contact with.

    This spreading circle of conspiracy was absolutely necessary to account for the obvious discrepancies and increasingly apparent distortions that people would notice in his explanations. Every question that threatened his complex conspiracy, eventually caused an expansion of the circle of paranoia. Eventually, all the connections and rationalizations become to complicated and bizarre to maintain.

    It is next to impossible to break through the paranoid's near-impenetrable wall of complicated logic and connections that surround the basic psychological conflict driving him.

    Let us consider the paranoid mindset--or "zeitgeist" prevalent in the Islamic world. The basic premise that the real problem lies outside their own culture and religion is faulty; but this psychological tactic prevents those who dwell in the Arab/Islamic world from ever having to take any responsibility for their despicable actions or their abject failures as societies.

    Some time back, Lisa Beyer wrote about the "big lie" of the Middle East:

    ...the pan-Arabism that once made the Palestinian cause the region's cause is long dead, and the Arab countries have their own worries aplenty. In a decade of reporting in the region, I found it rarely took more than the arching of an eyebrow to get the most candid of Arab thinkers to acknowledge that the tears shed for the Palestinians today outside the West Bank and Gaza are of the crocodile variety. Palestinians know this best of all.

    To promote the canard that the troubles of the Arab world are rooted in the Palestinians' misfortune does great harm. It encourages the Arabs to continue to avoid addressing their colossal societal and political ills by hiding behind their Great Excuse: it's all Israel's fault. Certainly, Israel has at times been an obnoxious neighbor, but God help the Arab leaders, propagandists and apologists if a day ever comes when the Arab-Israeli mess is unraveled. One wonders how they would then explain why in Egypt 4 of every 10 people are illiterate; Saudi Arabian Shi'ites (not to mention women) are second-class citizens; 11% of Syrians live below subsistence level; and Jordan's King can unilaterally dissolve Parliament, as he did in 2001. Or why no Middle Eastern government but Israel's and to some extent Lebanon's tolerates freedom of assembly or speech, or democratic institutions like a robust press or civic organizations with independence and clout--let alone unfettered competitive elections.

    Indeed, if Israel did not exist, the Arab world would have to invent it, because without Israel to blame all their problems on (and, by extension, America), the nations of the middle east would not be able to go on.

    David Frum suggested in an article titled, "Why is it Always About Israel?" that:

    Might it not be closer to the truth to say that Arab radicalism is the cause of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute--not the result of it? There is no peace because Israel's neighbours--and too many of the world's Muslims--cannot accept the right of a non-Arab, non-Muslim minority to live unsubjugated in the Middle East. That is the true "core" of the dispute, and it cannot be fixed by negotiation.
    Frum was correct in suggesting that the problem cannot be fixed by negotiation, but he is off the mark about the source of the problem. While it is true that Arab radicalism deliberately promotes the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and continually disrupts any possibility of resolving it, the cause of that dispute lies in the psychological dysfunction of the Arabs themselves, aided and abetted by the perversion and extension of all the worse elements within Islam.

    Those who dwell in this paranoid culture have closed off their rational, thinking minds; and with the encouragement and justification of the most medieval aspects of their religion are operating on the basis of the most primitive and dysfunctional of unconscious needs and feelings.

    They are indulging in group projection and paranoia--deliberately developed and encouraged by their dysfunctional leaders--in order to maintain their dysfunctional identity, as well as their dysfunctional political and pseudo-religous agenda.

    And there does not seem to be any limit to the self-delusion that is rampant in the middle east.

    But Siggy captures the reality that they are desperately trying to avoid:
    Many in the Arab world defiantly declare their ‘Arab pride,’ but of course, that really isn’t true. That is a kind of projection. If there really was Arab pride, they would be digging holes for the foundation of schools and factories, and not digging holes to bury IED’s. If the Palestinians wanted to reflect Arab pride, they would build hospitals and not rockets and missiles.

    The Arab world is not fighting for freedom and democracy. They are fighting to retain the values of oppression, tyranny and dysfunction. There is so much self hatred of what they have come to stand for, that they are willing to blow themselves up in the process. Subconsciously, they must know what they are fighting to preserve and how they are fighting, is repulsive to any decent, civilized and religious adherent of any faith.

    In truth, the Arab world cannot be proud of itself. The Islamic and Arab cultures that contributed mightily to the progress of mankind, have willingly become the poster children for religious intolerance, hate, violence and even genocide. There is very little the Arab world has to be proud of- and pointing to past glory only serves to highlight how far they have fallen. All the phony ‘Arab pride’ in the world has not motivated them to build. All they have done is destroy- and that destruction is a symptom of self hatred. People who hate themselves, destroy everything around them. People that believe in their higher selves, build. The same is true for nations. Nations, societies and cultures are not remembered for what they destroy. They are remembered for what they have built.

    The behavior of the Arab world is not really about pride...indeed, what do they have to be proud of? They have perverted beyond all recognition a religion that once upon a time could compete head-to-head with Christianity and Judaism in what it contributed to the whole of humanity. They long ago abandoned the ability to create, and now only possess the capacity to destroy. Their people live in poverty and oppression, controlled only by the belief that their situation is the fault of "the Jews" or America.

    This is the legacy of a paranoid, malevolent zeitgeist:The evil that oppresses them lies wholly within themselves but because it must be actively externalized, their culture can bring only death and destruction to everything and everyone they come in contact with.

    Jonas concludes:
    It's not their assets that define nations or religions in given historic moments but their liabilities. Goethe and Beethoven were part of Germany's heritage even between 1933 and 1945, but the mass murder that defined Germany in the Nazi era was beyond redemption by poets and composers. Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky always belonged to Russia, but the definition of what being Russian meant during Stalin's epoch came from the frozen corpses of the Gulag. Similarly, Islam's definition in our times won't come from the poetry of al-Maari or the medical canon of Avicenna, but from the fatwas of Ayatollah Khomeini and the press releases of Osama bin Laden.

    That's why it isn't Peres' choice that determines the chances of peace in the Middle East. Who couldn't negotiate peace withal-Maari's progeny? And with bin Laden's , who can?


    UPDATE: Maybe you can't negotiate with them, but you can send them American taxpayer money. Just more rewarding bad behavior--which seems to be the unifying theme of the Obama Administration so far. Financial crisis? What financial crisis?

    Monday, February 23, 2009

    WE ARE ALL PSYCHOTIC NOW

    Michael Ledeen has discusses our new hopeychangey foreign policy:
    I see where Amnesty International and the other human-rights organizations were shocked when Hillary sold out the Chinese people the other day. Perhaps they will now say the same about Senator Kerry's glorious appeasement swing through the Middle East, kissing, wherever his lips happened to settle—UNRWA (serving as a Hamas proxy), Dictator Assad, and so forth—proclaiming that we want to "talk to everybody."

    But that's a deception. This administration has no apparent interest in talking to democratic dissidents, or even talking about them. It's all about power; they want to talk to the rulers and the autocrats; their own kind, in short.

    Which is where the Left has arrived at the end of its long journey from the Revolutionary Parliament in Paris in the 18th century. Its ideology, as Hegel forecast, having been rendered irrelevant by the changes in the real world, they can no longer explain the world, let alone change it effectively. So they are left with an insatiable desire for power. As we once said about a failed Republican president, they are not very good at the "vision thing." They just scramble around trying to grab whatever they can, and from time to time emerge with incoherent babbling about "cowardice on race," claims that tax increases are actually tax cuts, promises about reducing the deficit that they cannot possibly accomplish, and appeasement of our enemies, since somebody else once advocated support for freedom around the world.


    Ledeen calls Obama's foreign policy team "a bunch of elitist snobs." I would refer to them as morally and intellectually bankrupt--because that is what the Democrats with their "progressive" leftist ideology have evolved into. The leftist ideologue now in the White House thinks of himself as a 'pragmatist', but frankly, for all his education and glibness, he's an idiot; and if this represents a new sort of "therapy", then we are all psychotic now.

    Psychiatry used to be all about helping people get back in touch with reality and facing unpleasant truths, so that they could live their lives more effectively. It used to be about turning "hysterical misery into ordinary human unhappiness"--not flipping a psychotically depressed person into a psychotic mania.

    But our new "Therapist in Chief" has a plan which will bring happiness and love into the difficult lives of the people of the world. Obama himself is the new religion, and he aims to be the opiate of the masses.

    He and the intellectual giants he has sent round the world to spread his message are busy rhetorically "undoing" the 21st century and rewriting history and reality so as to sedate the population and eliminate all that fear and anxiety floating around.

    They have shrewdly calculated that a large majority of Americans would prefer to pretend that there is no danger; there is no war with Islamic fundamentalists; and that everything is now going to be hunky dory because that Republican monster in the White House is no longer in charge.

    My goodness how the nation suffered under George W. Bush!

    When Obama came into power, the Constitution was practically in shreds. On a daily basis, Hollywood stars were imprisoned because of their courageous efforts to stand against the evil Darth Cheney and BusHitler. How fortunate that Sean Penn is now proud to live in this country again! He made a point of saying so last night at the Academy Awards as he accepted his Best Actor statuette. I'm sure he can't wait to show it to his friend Hugo.

    And don't forget those "Christofascists" who had almost completely taken over under the last Administration and how the American population was forced to go to church, praise the Lord, and carry to term those pestiferous unwanted babies. Everywhere, gays and women were persecuted and oppressed.

    The economy is obviously in the toilet, and if it weren't for the new $$$Trillions that our courageous Obama is bravely spending to get us out of debt and ruin, we would soon all be in the poor house. Capitalism has failed! (even in all those socialist and communist countries that we intend now to emulate; and who continue to be much worse off than the U.S.)

    And, let's not forget the historically large numbers of troops who have been killed fighting an enemy against whom it is just not possible to win! Didn't that moron Bush know that people die in wars and that the war in Iraq was LOST? What a monster. And not only were all those poor, oppressed suffering troops dying for a lost cause, they were also raping, pillaging and torturing innocent civilians who never wished to harm us (just go to the movies and you'll see it all there in black and white and color). But, in a few short weeks, Obama has fixed all that.

    What about our deteriorating our national image and alliances! Ruined and in tatters. The French and Germans [used to] hate us. The UN always seemed to be pissed off at America; as were almost all those peace-loving, terror-sponsoring states in the Middle East and around the world! And here we are finally able to get our credibility back with the regimes in Iran and Syria! What could be more important than that? We are even taking part in international anti-semitic hatefests again! Who knew that all we had to do to regain credibility with the totalitarian regimes of the Middle East was to sacrifice a key democratic ally in the region!

    Clearly the correct solution to all these horrible problems was to elect Obama and get rid of the Republicans. Now we can at last go back to the peaceful sleep of the Clinton WonderYears--or was it the Carter WonderYears? I forget, but either way, we'll be much better off.

    Obama has built us a bridge back to the 20th century!

    His strategy is a simple one, commonly referred to in my profession as psychological denial, but these days postmodern pundits of the left egged on by psychology eLITEists have repackaged denial and psychological blindness as reality-based progressivism.

    The left has been sleepwalking through history for some time now, and with the election of Barack Obama, America is now joining them in their sleepwalk back in time to those thrilling days of yesteryear when political giants like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were effectively "dealing with terrorism"; a time when "being tough on terrorists" was simply a matter of bombing a few aspirin factories in the 3rd world and standing up to Saddam Hussein. Whatever.

    It made so much more sense when Bill Clinton did it and said it; and his tough actions prevented any attacks from happening in the U.S., didn't it? And who could forget Jimmy Carter's brave and principled stance for freedom; especially the kind of freedom promised by thugs like Hugo Chavez or peaceful groups like Hamas?

    Don't answer those questions--don't even think about them. I wouldn't want anyone's head to explode,

    Real history moves forward in time, not backwards; and the implications and consequences of what happens today can't always be assessed for years to come....but you try to stay awake and do the best you can in the moment.

    Let me cut to the chase. I've said it before, but never has it been so obvious. The Democratic Party has lost whatever anchor it once had in the real world and is blowin' in the wind. It has become the party of nothing; led by vapid nothings, who stand for nothing. Pragmatism? This is psychosis.

    If their insane behavior weren't so predictable based on inevitable outcomes of the 'principles' they pretend to espouse, it would be quite painful to watch.

    Saturday, February 21, 2009

    POOP



    [Cartoons by Michael Ramirez ]

    And consider this, which should be titled: No-Hope and Chump Change

    So, to sum up the situation thus far:



    [Cartoons by Chip Bok]

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    THE 'GOLDEN HOUR' GIVES WAY TO POLITICAL KUMBAYA

    About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post commenting on Wretchard's "Three Conjectures".
    Here is part of that post:

    The reality of the Islamic threat to the world is incredibly sobering. And if you have any doubts about that conclusion, or are tempted to dismiss this discussion as "fearmongering", then I urge you to read this post, and then this post from archives of The Belmont Club.

    The first link discusses what is called "the strategic issue of our time": Is Islam compatible with a free society. The latter evaluates three conjectures about Islam and terrorism; a discussion that remains all-too relevant today:

    Conjecture 1: Terrorism has Lowered the Nuclear Threshold
    These obstacles to terrorist capability are the sole reason that the War on
    Terror has not yet crossed the nuclear theshold, the point at which enemies fight each other with weapons of mass destruction. The terrorist intent to destroy the United States, at whatever cost to themselves, has been a given since September 11.
    Only their capability is in doubt.
    Their capability several years after the above was written has almost certainly improved dramatically. We know with almost complete certainty that a day is coming when we can no longer pretend that we have lots of time to stop the mullahs. Even as the international community ineptly moves toward some useless sanctions; there are too many among the world powers whose indifference will thwart any positive benefits such sanctions might have--as they did with Saddam. I would say that the Criteria to exceed Conjecture 1 have been satisfied. The threshold was lowered and terrorists either have nuclear capability or will have them imminently.

    Conjecture 2: Attaining WMD's Would Destroy Islam
    This fixity of malice was recognized in President Bush's West Point address in the summer of 2002, when he concluded that "deterrence -- the promise of massive retaliation against nations -- means nothing against shadowy terrorist networks with no nation or citizens to defend." The enemy was equally indifferent to inducement or threat. Neither making nice -- Jimmy Carter's withdrawal from Iran, Reagan's abandonment of Lebanon, Bush's defense of Saudi Arabia, Clinton's rescue of Albanian Muslims from Serbian genocide, the payment of billions in aid to Egypt and Pakistan -- nor the gravest of threats would alter the enemy's intent to utterly destroy and enslave America. Allah had condemned America. The Faithful only had to find the means to carry out the execution.

    Because capability is the sole variable of interest in the war against terrorism, the greater the Islamic strike capability becomes, the stronger the response will be. An unrepeatable attack with a stolen WMD weapon would elicit a different response from one arising from a capability to strike on a sustained and repetitive basis.

    As we see from the MEMRI article from a few short days ago quoted above; this position has continued to be promoted by Islam's radicals, who appear to speak not only for themselves, but an increasingly larger number of Muslims worldwide. You also might want to check out this map from an Islamic website; and this documentation of the bloody borders of Islam's expansion since 9/11.

    I think it is fair to say that all bets will be off when Iran's nuclear capability becomes not just a threat, but a reality. I suspect that Ahmadinejad's defiant and bellicose position indicates that they already have some limited capability which they will not hesistate to use if the West tries to shut them down.

    The second conjecture posits that there will be an escalating exchange of nuclear attacks that will inevitably result in the destruction of Iran and other muslim nations, possibly Pakistan or Syria; but since the threat of terrorism is transnational, the threat's full eradication of necessity will escalate beyond Iranian borders.

    Does Islam care about this possibility? In the almost four years since the conjecture was written there are clear signs that some Islamic countries are concerned and risking quite a bit to prevent this scenario. But the great majority welcome it as "Allah's will" and some even have intentions of precipitating it to give credibility to their own little religious sect.

    The problem is that for the seeds of democracy and freedom to break through the infertile Middle Eastern ground in which they have been planted, let alone to bloom--a hope initiated by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by the Bush Administration--we are talking in terms of decades.

    Thus, time is not on our side as Al Qaeda and Iran both rush toward accomplishing their apocolypse; and as the political left in this country is more intent on bringing down Republicans and doing battle with global warming than they are are preventing a devastating clash between the forces of civilization and the forces of barbarism.

    Conjecture 3: The "War on Terror" is the Golden Hour -- the final chance
    It is supremely ironic that the survival of the Islamic world should hinge on an American victory in the War on Terror, the last chance to prevent that terrible day in which all the decisions will have already been made for us. That effort really consists of two separate aspects: a campaign to destroy the locus of militant Islam and prevent their acquisition of WMDs; and an attempt to awaken the world to the urgency of the threat.

    The policies initiated by President Bush bets everything on the hope that Islam can be changed if it is infused with some democratic opportunities and freed from some of the political and religious tyranny that has dominated the Middle East. If such a democratizing process had been started--and carried through-- twenty years earlier when the threat of Islam first came into Western consciousness...well who knows how much the situation might have changed by now? But the West, in its hubris, did not take the growing threat seriously enough because they were "realists"; and even today many in the "reality-based" community still dismiss or minimize it scornfully.

    Even the devastating attack within our borders that finally spurred us to mobilize our resources and fight back both militarily and strategically is fading from our collective memory. Remembering 9/11 is now considered an act of "fearmongering" for political gain; and those who want to wipe it out of historical significance have the human tendency to forget whatever is unpleasant (sometimes called psychological denial by people in my profession) working in their favor.

    And, contrary to the infantile imaginings of the antiwar and so-called "peace" movements, Bush's strategy actually represents the best possible hope for peace; even if it is slight. He has pursued the strategy, despite growing unpopularity in the polls, not because it will bring political glory, but because it is the 'best' option out of a plethora of really bad options.

    It is a strategy that faces the grim reality of Islamic contradictions and historical brutality; yet has enough optimism and goodwill in it to be genuinely worth the price we are paying in Afghanistan and Iraq. If it works--and I haven't entirely given up hope yet-- millions of deaths might still be prevented.

    If the peace crowd really cared about peace, then they would do well to reconsider their own perverse antics; and the Democrats their knee-jerk opposition to Bush.

    Because, if both the antiwar fanatics, and the Democratic Party they increasingly seem to control, succeed in their determination to undermine the war in Iraq or the war on terror in general (as opposed to working to win it) ; or, if the Islamic extremists succeed in eliminating any voices for moderation and tolerance; then there will be only one strategic option open.

    Whether it is appreciated or not, these last few years have indeed been our "Golden Hour" --the short time we have to deal with the threat that is represented by the radical elements of Islam.

    So much of the last four years has been wasted and frittered away by the left and their carping and undermining of Bush's strategic ploy. The continual appeasement, encouragement and cover given to those who would destroy us without mercy, has markedly diluted what we might have accomplished up to now with our aggressive pursuit of a strategy that answers the strategic question of the day with a "yes".

    The 'Golden Hour' is rapidly approaching an end. As the clock ticks down to answering "no" to that fundamental strategic question; and as we creep closer and closer to the ultimate confrontation with a medieval, uncompromising and fanatically ruthless religion which intends not only to obtain nuclear weapons, but to use them; there will be no deus ex machina --and no pointless protest marches with clever placards--that will be able to save the millions of lives lost in that conflagration.

    ANSWER, Code Pink, most of the Democratic Party and all the other leftist nutjobs are already preparing to blame Bush if the worse happens. Rational minds--and history, if it survives--will recognize the truth: that President Bush has chosen a strategy and done everything possible to change the course of history. That the strategy was implemented too far along in the process to be able to wholly succeed; or that the enemy is even more nimble and eager to embrace death than western sensibilities could have possibly predicted-- are painful realities that must be faced.

    Sir Winston Churchill once observed, "One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.

    We in the West need to stop flinching at the reality that faces us. David Ignatius clearly had a wake-up call as he evaluated Mowatt-Larssen's analysis of the Al Qaeda threat--and the rest of his cohorts need to have the same kind of alarm bells go off in their own heads.

    Time is running out.


    Let's have a status check now that the evil BusHitler is out of office and the Messiah of Hope and Change has been substituted. Here's what's happened so far (in the last three months--and today I'm not even going to include the economy which, since the One ascended into heaven the White House, has achieved weightlessness):

    North Korea has just announced that it plans to launch a new Taepodong-2 missile capable of reaching the United States.

    China, which holds hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. Treasury bonds and will be asked to loan us billions more, advised the Obama administration to drop the "buy American" talk in the new Democratic stimulus program.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently bragged that his country would soon go nuclear, and that President Obama's offer to talk without preconditions revealed a new passivity in the West.

    Russia just announced that it had developed a new strategic relationship with Iran, and warned that American-sponsored missile defense for Eastern Europe was unpalatable.

    About the same time, the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, on Russian advice, disclosed that it may no longer allow Americans to use a base in their country to supply the war effort in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan just released from house arrest A.Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistani nuclear bomb, who had sold nuclear technologies to the likes of Libya and North Korea.

    This rather provocative behavior reminds us that President Obama's laudable assurances of a new age of American diplomacy may often be ignored -- or exploited -- rather than always appreciated.

    Additionally, we have this news from the always reliable (reliable in the opposite direction you want it to be) United Nations:

    Iran has now built up a stockpile of enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb, United Nations officials acknowledged on Thursday.

    In a development that comes as the Obama administration is drawing up its policy on negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear programme, UN officials said Iran had produced more nuclear material than previously thought.


    To recap:

    Conjecture 1: Terrorism has Lowered the Nuclear Threshold -----> is there anyone who doubts that the nuclear threshold has been lowered? Remember the exploits of A.Q. Khan , just recently released?

    Conjecture 2: Attaining WMD's Would Destroy Islam------> Let's get real. Islam already has nuclear weapons (Pakistan, remember? ) and we are simply waiting for the most fanatical elements of a religion that no longer has any control over its extreme message, to develop the capability of delivering them. Does anyone doubt that? Remember that Iranian clerics have already issued a fatwa approving the use of nuclear weapons against the enemies of Islam. They have all their ducks in a row. Or, if you downplay nuclear WMD, consider this news from yesterday.

    Conjecture 3: The "War on Terror" is the Golden Hour -- the final chance------> What? You haven't heard? The "war on terror" is no more--it's so....yesterday, dude. We have entered an age of golden rhetoric. We are going to engage our enemies with words and compassionately listen to them. I predict that soon, the Democrats will tire of "the good war", i.e., Afghanistan; which they "supported" in contrast to Iraq, where they said we could never win. In fact, Harry Reid famously announced the war in Iraq was "lost". Now that the antiwar left can't whine about Iraq, we will see them turn their bottomless desire to appease and surrender to the Afghanistan front.

    In short, if our "golden hour" is not completely over with the changing of the guard in Washington, then there are only a few seconds at most left on the clock.

    You can disagree with the conjectures as they are presented, but whether you agree or not, the world is rapidly becoming a lot less safe as a one-sided wave of political kumbaya sweeps across the globe out of the mouths of losers like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. I can't wait to see what's in the mysterious letter from Hamas! I'm certain that they are finally willing to lay down their arms and work toward peace, aren't you?

    Kumbaya my lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my lord, kumbaya
    Oh lord, kumbaya

    Someones singing lord, kumbaya
    Someones singing lord, kumbaya
    Someones singing lord, kumbaya
    Oh lord, kumbayah

    Someones laughing, lord, kumbaya
    Someones laughing, lord, kumbaya
    Someones laughing, lord, kumbaya
    Oh lord, kumbaya

    Someones crying, lord, kumbaya
    Someones crying, lord, kumbaya
    Someones crying, lord, kumbaya
    Oh lord, kumbaya

    Someones praying, lord, kumbaya
    Someones praying, lord, kumbaya
    Someones praying, lord, kumbaya
    Oh lord, kumbaya

    Someones sleeping, lord, kumbaya
    Someones sleeping, lord, kumbaya
    Someones sleeping, lord, kumbaya
    Oh lord, kumbaya
    Oh lord, kumbaya

    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    SANTELLI'S TEA PARTY

    What I was just saying in this post! It's time to misbehave.

    GO WATCH

    SHE MAKES A TERRIFIC MOM...NANNY...SYMBOL !




    [Cartoons by Steve Breen]

    I'm told that our new President is big on symbolism. Therefore, I'm sure he will embrace the Octomom who symbolizes the victory of youth, hope and change over maturity, judgment, and common sense. She's also symbolic of the nanny state to come, creating ever more little victims that she can "love".

    Or, perhaps this symbolism is more to President O's liking:



    [Cartoons by John Cole]

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    IN THE FACE OF THE PROGRESSIVE LEFT'S 'GHOULISH OPPORTUNISM', WE MUST MISBEHAVE

    Jonah Goldberg in "The Evils of Big Peanut" brings up an issue that I've been meaning to talk about:
    I'm all in favor of throwing the book at anyone and everyone remotely responsible for feeding dangerously unsafe food to kids and other consumers. I'm also perfectly willing to admit than I think the government has a role in assuring food safety (the Constitution does say we need a government to "promote the general Welfare" and food safety seems like it fits that bill). But, I am getting a little sick of this chorus about how the Peanut Corporation of America's malfeasance proves that Bush was evil, regulations are great and we need so many more of them.

    From what I understand so far, the CEO of PCA is a criminal who deliberately sought to circumvent the rules in order to sell tainted peanut butter. His company is bankrupt and going out of business and he may see jail time.

    I wish he'd been caught sooner, but that hardly sounds like he's getting away scot-free.

    If we need more food inspectors, great, let's have more food inspectors. I can think of tens of thousands of government workers I'd fire in order to create plenty of space on the payroll for more FDA cops. But what system do these people think they can create that will protect against individual bad actors like this, always and everywhere? Heavy state intervention hasn't prevented Chinese companies from poisoning people (and they punish bad managers with a bullet to the back of the head). France still puts a little antifreeze in its wine from time to time.(emphasis, mine)


    This reminds me of a video I (and others) recently posted of Milton Friedman speaking on the Phil Donahue Show about Capitalism and Greed:


    The relevant exchange in that remarkable video goes as follows:
    DONAHUE: When you see around the globe the maldistribution of wealth; the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries; when you see so few "haves" and so many "have-nots"; when you seee the greed and the concentration of power....did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism and whether greed is a good idea to run on?

    FREIDMAN: Well, first of all, tell me is there some society you know that doesn't run on greed? You think Russia doesn't run on greed? You think China doesn't run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy--it's the other fellow who's greedy! (Laughter from audience). The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under orders from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way.

    The only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you're talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where the've have had capitalism and free trade. The record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities unleashed by a free enterprise system. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, its exactly from the kinds of societies that depart from that.


    Human greed--as well as all the other evil that humans can potentially do to each other--is a part of human nature that is not going to go away no matter how much you wish and hope and pray; no matter how enthusiastically you enforce "anti-greed" legislation or come up with new and improved ways to force human being to be "better." Greed will always be an element--indeed, a driving element--of all social, economic and political systems. As one disgruntled communist once put it: Capitalism pits man against man; under socialism, it is the opposite.

    To echo Milton Friedman, "What system do you know of for which this is not true?"

    I wrote the following, which is relevant:
    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 (particularly the healthy or 'mature' defense mechanisms such as sublimation, anticipation, humor, altruism and supression) .

    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 (which is what the mature defenses do so creatively), then you end up crushing all human initiative, creativity, and productivity.

    Societies can either encourage the development of these 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.


    On some level, the ghoulish opportunists that Goldberg writes about know this to be true. But in their utopian fantasies, they like to pretend that they can make people better.

    In the movie Serenity, Captain Mal Reynolds has witnessed the horrific nightmare that came about from the lovely utopian dreams of his universe's 'do-gooders' and decides it is time to take a moral stand against such naked evil: "Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave."

    "Making people...better", i.e., eliminating fundamental aspects of human nature, is every tyrant's wet dream, because it offers unlimited potential to exert power over others.

    Wretchard, writing about Vaclav Klaus' spirited defense of freedom in the face of 'Europism', 'global warmin alarmism' and the ghoulish opportunism of that would use worldwide economic crisis to forward a failed ideology, has this to say:
    To listen to Klaus is therefore to simultaneously hear echoes of the past and intimations of the future. For as Klaus notes in his recent speech about ‘Europeism’ which is excerpted after the “Read More”, some of the ideas which his generation fought so hard to defeat behind the Iron Curtain have found new and darker homes in the intellectual centers of Western Civilization; and now stride forward in their mutant forms into the public space. But while Klaus’ speech is ostensibly addressed to Europeans, it is really pitched at a wider audience. In the United States — and even the repressed and fundamentalist societies of the Middle East — an expanded state control over the individual is being increasingly pitched as the face of the future. Klaus’ speech argues that it is no such novelty but an ancient and corrupted thing; that underneath the smooth production values, the cunning sound-bites and outwardly youthful appearances, the deceptive packaging of hope and change, this progressivism is nothing but freedom’s old enemy — and man’s.


    Freedom's old enemy is once again on the rise---and it is time for all those who love liberty to misbehave.


    (click on the image for a first-person account of traditional American 'misbehaving')

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    THE PEPSI NARCISSISTIC GENERATION'S DEPRESSION

    There is no question that the U.S. is definitely in a significant economic slump right now (as is most of the world economies), but if you spend some time at the malls you probably have observed that people are actually out there still buying things and that life seems to go on, despite the economic downturn.

    So, why all the pervasive economic doom and gloom?? Why is this an economic "armegeddon" according to the official Obama Administration fearmongering rhetoric?

    I submit that The One is simply creating yet another Democratic victimhood constituency (the entire American population this time, who He is insisting has been the "victims" of George Bush and the Republicans) and is appealing to our essential narcissism:



    (from Dry Bones)

    Meanwhile, don't expect anything great from the stimulus bill...as Instapundit notes,
    "No surprise: As was obvious to anyone who was paying attention, it was always about paying off special interests, not helping the economy."

    Vero Possumus! should be changed to, "It's all about ME!" (Can anyone out there translate that to some official sounding Latin--you know, to give it a less self-absorbed tone?).


    (h/t STACLU)

    Monday, February 16, 2009

    CAN TEAM OBAMA GET A LIFE? DON'T COUNT ON IT

    Even after George Bush has left the White House, the Bush Bashing continues unabated on the left. Many are practically salivating at the opportunities that exist to continue to denounce and unassailably prove once and for all that he is as dumb as they believed all those years; that he was as evil as they insisted he was all those years and that he should be investigated and a "Truth Commission" set up as soon as possible.

    Not a day goes by in the hopeychangey Obama Administration that we don't see some new story about what a horrible president Bush was--the 'worst in history'--and that is really some pronouncement coming as it does from the ethically and morally challenged Harry Reid.

    Even the supposedly supremely sanctified and post-partisan (LOL!!) Obama Administration regularly has been using the previous President as all-purpose scapegoat:
    Sec. Clinton went abroad this week and immediately, and yes, gratuitously, blamed Bush. On her initial tour abroad, Sec. Clinton announced that she would follow an approach that “values what others have to say”: “Too often in the recent past, our government has acted reflexively before considering available facts and evidence or hearing the perspectives of others.” And then she promised a policy “neither impulsive nor ideological.”

    Yet can’t Team Obama get a life? We are now into month two; and will it always be “Bush did it?” (I don’t recall Bush circa 2001 in a constant anti-Clinton mode)


    But don't expect Team Obama to 'get a life'. This administration is made up of nothingness (or "0" on its own); it is simply the exact opposite, or the "flip side" of Bush Derangement:
    A strange thing, this Obama worship (cf. the New York Times op-ed on Sunday where the columnist imagined having sexual relations with Obama) and Bush hatred (cf. the Will Farrell Broadway show trashing Bush, and showing images of his purported penis). They are flipside manifestations of the same sickness that has taken hold of a large subset of the population. Millions seems to think by demonizing A and worshipping B, then once intractable problems (that transcend both A’s faults and B’s merits) suddenly, magically will disappear. But the apocalyptic style is quite dangerous, and the 20th century should have told us that answers are not found through fixating evil on “them” and seeking a “He” to address it. In the meantime, civility is prized, and one should criticize Obama in a spirit and tone that are the exact opposites of the way in which Bush was demonized.


    Since the beginning of the Bush Presidency (and needless to say that timeframe hardly provides any historical perspective, only the usual leftist perspective) , we have been innundated with constant reports and polls about how he is the worst President in history and that history will not be kind to him.

    Let me be very frank here. Who the f**k cares about any poll claiming that the generic "American public" thinks that history won't be kind to him? Why the hell would any reputable newspaper print that sort of crap in the first place? Forgive my language, but this kind of agenda-driven nonsense really infuriates me; and I suspect it is one of the reasons why the MSM is no longer considered very "reputable".

    There are two reasons we are being constantly subjected to this kind of propaganda. The first is that historical revisionism is not something that is confined to psychotic regimes in the Middle East who convene "scientific" conferences to "prove" that the Holocaust did not even happen (I'll bet a Gallup poll in Iran, or anywhere in the muslim world for that matter, would have even more than 54% of the population agree that it didn't. Are we supposed to believe that such a poll has anything to do with reality?).

    The second reason is that in our lovely postmodern world, where reality and truth are only relative and anybody's "reality" is as good as anybody else's; is is just a matter of a poll or two, constructed along ideological lines to fit a particular template; that can somehow determine today, what history will say many tomorrows from now. With enough repetition and passion, "history" can be set in stone in the temporal present. Any postmodern demagogue worth his Marxist salt can do it!

    I mean, why bother to wait for time to pass when you have a socialist/Marxist utopia to build today?

    You've got to ask yourselves what the lunatic political left even know about history--except that it is something to be constantly revised to dovetail with their ideological spin du jour. Take this particularly assinine bit of pseudo-intellectual pablum resentfully spat out about the time that Ronald Reagan died:
    In hindsight, it's easy to see that Reagan's election was the end of many things - the end of the '70s, and the mood of experimentation that went with it (the '70s were when the '60s went mainstream); the end of the "Vietnam syndrome," and the temporary popular revulsion against imperial military adventures; the end of the political alignment that emerged from the New Deal, the end of the New Left and its hopeless ambitions - the end, really, of the post-World War II era....

    But I'll leave the pluses and minuses of Reaganomics for the historians. At this late date, it's hardly worth arguing about. Reagan's foreign policies, on the other hand, still make my blood boil, even after all these years. His decision to challenge the Soviets on every front - which, given the senility and paranoia of the Breshnev-era Soviet leadership, could easily have led to war - is, of course, relentlessly promoted by the conservative propaganda machine as the masterstroke that ended the Cold War. In reality, it was the end of the Cold War (made possible by Mikhail Gorbachov's rise to power) that headed off the disaster that Reagan's recklessness might otherwise have triggered.


    Read it all to get the full flavor of spite and bitter resentment the author describes that the mere election of Ronald Reagan fomented in his aching breast. He will "leave it to history" even as he revises and rewrites what history has already seen. Clearly, the writer understood then--as the pathological liars of the left understand now--that their day is passing into twilight. That is why polls are reverently worshipped and so essential for them to get out their message. They are incapable of rational argument to support their ideas (or lack thereof), so are desperately trying to prove that their ideology is at least more popular.

    For them, popularity will always trump truth and reality. They will never acknowledge, let alone take responsibility for the millions that their ideology killed in the last century and the unbelievable depths of human misery their ideas wrought. They will only continue their con, protected by the fog of postmodernism.

    Today's political left might have a few transient moments of glory left in them, but the perfidy and nihilism that is destroying civilization and which is relentlessly promoted by their mindless minions through the irrational postmodern rhetoric we've come to expect from the MSM has now been fully exposed.

    The left deeply fears neoconservatism and the economic and political freedom that it supports, and will stop at nothing to discredit its ideas. But they cannot do it using reason, reality, and truth; so these impediments they must abandon.

    Neoconservatism is far from perfect. After all, neocons are ordinary human beings --as opposed to Obamacons who are perfect beings of pure (and vague) "hope and change" postmodernism. As I noted in "What the World Needs Now":
    The problem is countering the source of this pervasive nihilism, promulgated and promoted by the West's own intellectual elites under the pseudonym of postmodernism.

    And the only intellectual remedy brought forth in the last five decades to nullify postmodern philosophy and rhetoric is neoconservatism.

    If you listen at all to the MSM, you might begin to think that neoconservativesm is either in dissaray, dead and abandoned by all its former adherents.
    Indeed, the left said pretty much the same thing even before Ronald Reagan got elected in 1979. It was wishful thinking then, and it is wishful thinking now.
    Today's left is a nothing more than the hallow shell of what was once known as "liberalism"; and it is held together by the empty and meaningless rhetoric of postmodern intellectual nonsense, otherwise known as political correctness and multiculturalism (or, cultural relativity).

    Neoconservatism as an intellectual theory actually arose from the observation in the 1960's that classical liberalism had been hijacked by the left and its essence literally reconstructed to suit the needs of socialists and communists who were beginning to realize that the jig was up for them.

    All over the world it was becoming apparent that political and social collectivism was an abject failure. Where implemented, such policies led to intractable poverty and misery economically; and unbelievable oppression and the crushing of the human spirt politically and morally.

    I have discussed elsewhere how the recent revival of socialism and its collectivist/totalitarian agenda in the late 20th and early 21st century was made possible by the adoption of postmodern epistemology, rhetoric and politics by western intellectual elites....

    The rise of neoconservatism represents the only modern intellectual counter and the only known antidote to the infection of postmodernism and its resultant toxic effects on philosophy, rehtoric, and politics.

    In order to succeed in undoing and undermining the clear and unambiguous evidence of socialism's and communism's utter human toxicity, the totalitarians of the political left had to undermine nothing less than reality, reason, and truth. Furthermore, they had to deconstruct and invalidate human consciousness, making sure that the everyone understood that the only apparatus available to humans for perceiving reality--the mind--was completely unreliable, and that the evidence of the senses must therefore be discounted. This intellectual strategy resulted in a pervasive cultural relativism and intellectual nihilism that permeated all aspects of society and intellectual thought. Words and language were redefined to mean whatever one wanted; history was deconstructed--ostensibly to expose it's lies, but really to render it meaningless; and the ideas and values that were the foundation of Western civilization were mocked and shown by postmodern "logic" to be no better than any other random ideas.

    So today's polls seriously presented as meaningful and full of import by a somber MSM at the behest of their political masters is nothing more than an attempt to hijack history and historical analysis. To strip it of its very meaning in the true postmodern tradition, and to ensure that it cannot be used by true scholars to expose the pathetic lies, abject economic failues and horrific human legacy of leftist thought.

    I don't know what history will ultimately make of George W. Bush's policies--those policies and their implications are still reverberating and having an impact in the world. Change--particularly change that has historical consequences-- is never tranquil and will always be messy and tumultuous. My own opinion is that, like Reagan's actions in the Cold War --deeply controversial and heatedly denounced at the time--Bush's actions in the last eight years will ultimately set the stage for civilization's ultimate victory against the tyranny and oppression of Islamofascism. There are many factors that will have to be considered by future historians; not the least of which is the advantageous and treasonous alliance that the political left of America has made with the Islamic fanatics and which is an attempt to mitigate Bush's policies.

    Indeed, if one looks closely so far at the Obama Administration's modus operandi, they have--in typical postmodern, contradictory fashion--rhetorically "undone" Bush foreign policy, while secretly trying to keep aspects of it that will cover their asses.

    I am willing to wait and let rational and non-hysterical scholars of the future (and not the hysterical Hollywood/Congressional types) sort out those factors.

    Team Obama is going to milk BDS for all the political capital it can, because for the losers of the political left, the only way to make yourself look good is to denigrate your competition.

    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    OBAMAMANDIAS

    DEDICATION: In imminent anticipation of the passage of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid "Stimulus" Bill. If it passes today, on Friday the 13th, it will be completely appropriate.

    OZYMANDIAS (updated)

    (with apologies to Percy Bysshe Shelley)

    I met a time traveller from our future land
    Who said: "A vast and endless stimulus plan
    brought forth early in Obama's reign,
    utterly sank the economy, or what remained;
    And shamed the Messiah's cold command
    Of grandiose ambitions not quite dead,
    But shattered upon Supply and Demand.
    The One who mocked them; who once had said,
    "Vero possumus", but then never could
    Repeal reality and so declined
    His name was Obama, The One, The Light
    So young and well-spoken, very refined;
    Who promised to banish the scary night

    Pay for mortgages, gas for free
    Round the colossal decay of liberty

    Prosperity and Peace cower out of sight."

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    DR. SULTAN SPEAKS TRUTH TO ISLAM

    My guess is that they don't like it much.... What a courageous woman this is!

    HE'S 'THE ONE'

    Well what do you expect to happen when you deal with too much debt by spending more?
    “First of all, when I hear that from folks who presided over a doubling of the national debt, then, you know, I just want them to not engage in some revisionist history.” – President Barack Obama, February 9, 2009

    President Barack Obama has recently begun denigrating Republican attempts to pare back the bloated “stimulus” bill by asserting that a party which oversaw a large increase in the national debt has no business lecturing anyone on fiscal
    responsibility.

    It is true that, between 2002 and 2009, the budgets largely shaped by President George Bush will have run cumulative budget deficits of $3.35 trillion. This calculation credits the entire 2009 budget deficit and TARP costs to Bush , even though Obama will have signed most of the discretionary spending bills and overseen much of the TARP spending.

    But Obama does not have much high ground. The “stimulus” bill alone will create more debt (approximately $1 trillion including interest costs), than Bush’s first three years of budget deficits combined ($948 billion). And adding the “stimulus” bill to a realistic budget baseline yields a projected 2010-2017 cumulative budget deficit of $8.4 trillion. – 2.5 times the size of President Bush’s deficits over the same 8-year time period.


    Yeah! He's No.1 !!




    [More Cartoons by Eric Allie ]

    And, in case you are still interested since it is going to pass anyway, here are 800 billion (more or less) reasons to be worried.

    And here is something quite brilliant and hilarious.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    THE DAWNING OF THE AGE OF DIPLOMACY !

    (NOTE: The Age of Aquarius is mere astrological bulls**t; it is the Age of Obama that will truly usher in the wonders of the New Millennium! Peace out.)

    When Barack is in the Rainbow House
    And pigs fly in the Middle East;
    Then peace will guide the planets
    And the Lamb will feed the Beast!

    This is the dawning of the age of diplomacy!
    The age of diplomacy!
    Diplomacy!
    Diplomacy!

    Harmony and much appeasing;
    It's Hudna and Sharia pleasing!
    No Guantanamo or Bushie terror--
    A Utopia sans human error!
    Mystic imam's revelation
    And jihad's true liberation!
    Diplomacy!
    Diplomacy!

    When Barack is in the Rainbow House
    And pigs fly in the Middle East;
    Then peace will guide the planets
    And the Lamb will feed the Beast!

    This is the dawning of the age of diplomacy!
    The age of diplomacy!
    Diplomacy!
    Diplomacy!

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    FATAL CONCEITS, COMPLEX SYSTEMS, AND THE NARCISSISM OF BARACK OBAMA

    I thought it was interesting last night in the Press Conference that President/Messiah Obama had absolute certainty that his $$ Trillion 'stimulus' was the only thing that could save us from utter and irreversible economic catastrophe. His certainty about this leads me to conclude that he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about.

    Let me explain the reasons for this conclusion.

    James K. Glassman in Commentary today discusses "Stimulus: A History of Folly" where he carefully looks at all the situation since the Great Depression when the government used fiscal or monetary 'stimulation' to get the economy moving again. He concludes (and please read the entire thing):
    The truth is that we have learned almost nothing about the use of fiscal stimulus since the Great Depression, and it is a fatal conceit to assume that we can hurriedly construct a fiscal policy that will produce the prescribed results today. Economists seem to admit this fact by advocating what they prefer anyway, for political or ideological reasons....

    On being presented the Nobel Prize in economics in 1974, Friedrich von Hayek devoted his Stockholm lecture to acknowledging the severe limitations of his profession. “It seems to me,” he said, “that this failure of the economists to guide policy more successfully is closely connected with their propensity to imitate as closely as possible the procedures of the brilliantly successful physical sciences—an attempt which in our field may lead to outright error.” Government simply cannot know enough to direct an economy successfully, and when the President claims that his fiscal stimulus plan will create (or save) at least three million jobs, he is taking a wild, and dangerous, leap. Said Hayek:
    If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible. He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants.


    What is that environment? First, it provides a confidence that, in a crisis, bank deposits are safe and insurance policies will be paid in full. Such confidence can be provided only by the government of the United States in its legitimate and essential role as the lender of last resort. Second, the environment supports, rather than denigrates or browbeats, productive members of society. The U.S. will not emerge from a serious recession unless businesses and investors lead it out. Third, it recognizes that Americans have undergone a financial calamity and that we need time to adjust; we cannot, like a car battery, be shocked back to life, and we aren’t in the mood to have someone blow in our ear.

    In fact, stimulus may be precisely the wrong metaphor. Rather than getting jazzed up, we need to be calmed down and to take the time to learn from the Great Depression, a time when government did too much, not too little.


    What our Fearmonger-in-Chief has left out of his grandiose certainty that only his plan will save us from certain doom is the fact that the economy is a complex system. In fact, it is a very very complex system.

    Michael Crichton gave a classic talk some years back about complex systems and how difficult it is to predict what they will or won't do; let alone to try to 'manage' them. Crichton's speech was primarily about how badly the environment was being managed by "environmentalists"; but his concluding ideas are very applicable to the unintended consequences that always result from any attempt to intervene in a complex system:
    Now, if we are to do better in this new century, what must we do differently? In a word, we must embrace complexity theory. We must understand complex systems.

    We live in a world of complex systems. The environment is a complex system. The government is a complex system. Financial markets are complex systems. The human mind is a complex system---most minds, at least.

    By a complex system I mean one in which the elements of the system interact among themselves, such that any modification we make to the system will produce results that we cannot predict in advance.

    Furthermore, a complex system demonstrates sensitivity to initial conditions. You can get one result on one day, but the identical interaction the next day may yield a different result. We cannot know with certainty how the system will respond.

    Third, when we interact with a complex system, we may provoke downstream consequences that emerge weeks or even years later. We must always be watchful for delayed and untoward consequences.

    The science that underlies our understanding of complex systems is now thirty years old. A third of a century should be plenty of time for this knowledge and to filter down to everyday consciousness, but except for slogans—like the butterfly flapping its wings and causing a hurricane halfway around the world—not much has penetrated ordinary human thinking.

    On the other hand, complexity theory has raced through the financial world. It has been briskly incorporated into medicine. But organizations that care about the environment do not seem to notice that their ministrations are deleterious in many cases. Lawmakers do not seem to notice when their laws have unexpected consequences, or make things worse. Governors and mayors and managers may manage their complex systems well or badly, but if they manage well, it is usually because they have an instinctive understanding of how to deal with complex systems. Most managers fail.

    Why? Our human predisposition treat all systems as linear when they are not. A linear system is a rocket flying to Mars. Or a cannonball fired from a canon. Its behavior is quite easily described mathematically. A complex system is water gurgling over rocks, or air flowing over a bird’s wing. Here the mathematics are complicated, and in fact no understanding of these systems was possible until the widespread availability of computers.

    One complex system that most people have dealt with is a child. If so, you've probably experienced that when you give the child an instruction, you can never be certain what response you will get. Especially if the child is a teenager. And similarly, you can’t be certain that an identical interaction on another day won’t lead to spectacularly different results.

    If you have a teenager, or if you invest in the stock market, you know very well that a complex system cannot be controlled, it can only be managed. Because responses cannot be predicted, the system can only be observed and responded to. The system may resist attempts to change its state. It may show resiliency. Or fragility. Or both.

    An important feature of complex systems is that we don’t know how they work. We don’t understand them except in a general way; we simply interact with them. Whenever we think we understand them, we learn we don’t. Sometimes spectacularly.


    I urge you to read Crichton's entire argument, because it is extremely good and unquestionably relevant (and devastating) to the fatal conceit that this hugemongous spending spree our manic and hysterical government is about to engage in is going to solve our economic problem. It is actually much more certain to have unintended and severely negative consequences that no one could have possibly imagined.

    Consider for a moment the Fannie and Freddie Lending Fiasco that was a critical factor in the mortgage meltdown. Did the government and its stooges like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd--whose intentions were sooo pure and good and compassionate (I mean, who could possibly object to making the American dream affordable to low-income citizens who could not afford a mortage?)-- even imagine in their wildest fantasies that such a benign and well-meaning intervention could have such dire consequences for the entire financial system?? Of course not. First of all, they could not imagine it because they were thinking linearly; and second, they were too busy patting themselves on the back for being such wonderful, compassionate and well-meaning people it was hard for them to appreciate they were functioning in a narcissistic and self-gratifying bubble of emotion.

    Barack Obama not only has been hailed as a Messiah by the clueless left, he actually seems to think of himself as The One; and the fatal conceit that he knows how to 'properly' manipulate the complex system known as the US Economy is nothing but a grandiose narcissistic fantasy that is doomed from the start.

    I repeat, he doesn't have a clue to what he is doing, or what unintended economic consequences he and the Democratic Congress are about to unleash. But, since we are all in this together, we are all about to find out.

    I notice Obama keeps saying that he inherited the current $$ Trillion debt from the evil BusHitler; but at least it took Bush 8 years to get us that far into debt--Obama's spending spree will triple that inherited debt in a mere 3 month timeframe! One wonders what the Miracle Worker will do for an encore? i.e., when his stimulus doesn't stimulate in the same way FDR's stimulus didn't back in the 30's and actually prolonged the Great Depression.

    I think the failure of the stimulus will be the impetus and the justification to fully nationalize a number of key industries. Make no mistake: it will be business and the Market that will be blamed for the failure of Obama's recovery plan; and certainly not the government or any of the plan's architects. Knowing the underlying neo-Marxist and fundamentally fascist ideology that drives the President and many of his more extreme supporters (who regularly stoke the fires of class envy and identity politics) you can bet that they really don't much care what happens either way. Because, once the stimulus is passed, no matter what happens, we will be on an almost irreversible course toward socialism and economic suicide.

    UPDATE: (from Ace)