Saturday, February 27, 2010

THE LEFT'S DEEP, DARK SECRET AND WHAT THEY ARE DESPERATE TO HIDE FROM THEMSELVES

This analysis from Andy McCarthy seems exactly right to me:
...I think our side is analyzing this all wrong: Today's Democrats are controlled by the radical Left, and it is more important to them to execute the permanent transformation of American society than it is to win the upcoming election cycles. They have already factored in losing in November — even losing big. For them, winning big now outweighs that. I think they're right....

The Democratic leadership has already internalized the inevitablility of taking its political lumps. That makes reconciliation truly scary. Since the Dems know they will have to ram this monstrosity through, they figure it might as well be as monstrous as they can get wavering Democrats to go along with. Clipping the leadership's statist ambitions in order to peel off a few Republicans is not going to work. I'm glad Republicans have held firm, but let's not be under any illusions about what that means. In the Democrat leadership, we are not dealing with conventional politicians for whom the goal of being reelected is paramount and will rein in their radicalism. They want socialized medicine and all it entails about government control even more than they want to win elections. After all, if the party of government transforms the relationship between the citizen and the state, its power over our lives will be vast even in those cycles when it is not in the majority. This is about power, and there is more to power than winning elections, especially if you've calculated that your opposition does not have the gumption to dismantle your ballooning welfare state.

Consequently, the next six weeks, like the next ten months, are going to be worse than we think.


It has been desperation time for the political left ever since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 90's. In their hearts, they know that the tide of history for them has ebbed and that soon, if they do not ram their ideology down our throats and assume total control, they will finally expose their deep, dark secret.

Have you ever wondered why it is that the political left, whose policies always--ALWAYS--end up enabling and exposing the worse aspects of human nature, are the same people who are always coming up with these fantastic utopian schemes that promise a veritable paradise of human love, compassion, kindness and brotherhood, "hope and change"; and instead deliver a toxic brew of hate, envy, and discord?

How can they be so completely clueless about something as obvious as the reality of human nature?

Perhaps, the best answer to that question is that, when it comes to themselves, the left is constitutionally unable to understand or accept the dark side of their own natures with any degree of clarity, let alone honesty.

The squalid utopian fantasies of socialism, communism--or any variant of Marxism for that matter--appeals primarily to people who refuse to acknowledge their own human imperfections, and hence their own capacity for evil. They don't want to admit it, but those who are drawn to the leftist view of the world, tend to see themselves as superior; above all the other boring, ordinary human beings around them; more virtuous, more compassionate, smarter; and of course, much better qualified to decide what's best for lesser beings like you and me.

It is extremely ironic, considering the left's rhetoric to the contrary, to realize that it is conservatism and its underlying priniciples that fundamentally embrace the awful truth about human nature; and understand that it is closer to your average selfish, lazy, superstitious, and money-grubbing con artist than to the utopian "ideal man"--so prominently promoted in the rantings of communists, socialist, or any collectivist or totalitarian. And, as a consequence of understanding that reality, conservatism and its economic policies (i.e., capitalism) are able to harness even the most negative aspects of human nature to bring positive good both to the individual and to the larger society as well.

Conservatism and capitalism are both ideas that have worked amazingly well for one reason: they do not pretend that human nature is something it is not. Leftism of any stripe fails miserably and catastrophically because they routinely pretend that human nature can be changed and perfected.

God help us from their ministrations, as the moldering bodies of the millions upon millions they have destroyed with their perfectionistic techniques.

In essence, the left's denial and its psychological attraction to all these dysfunctional utopian systems inevitably leads to envy and a host of other negative and sadistic human traits; and, along the way, it promotes a cult of victimhood and identity politics with all the associated social and political conflicts those emotions generate. Envy, in particular, is the lovely human emotion that drives all these leftist systems; and it exists in pure, unadulterated and vicious form in those systems. Just listen for a while to the speeches of President Perfect and you will appreciate how subtly he stokes this envy for political gain, and how he is always identifying the "greedy" corporations and those who work for them.

And, as I noted in the post linked earlier,
...in answer to the unspoken question, yes; capitalism also thrives on envy--and even greed.

But, capitalism within a democratic and politically free system of government offers a healthy channel for the redirection of negative emotions like envy and greed into something positive for both the individual and the larger society.

Something, I might add, that Marxism, socialism and all its malignant variants completely fail to do. You cannot escape the reality of this dark side of human nature. You can either channel that dark side and use it constructively to benefit the individual and incidentally the society he lives in; or you can encourage and facilitate it in all its destructive power, and by doing so create the hell on earth we've come to associate with communist and Marxist societies.


After the leftist disasters of the 20th century; after the devastating consequences of forcing people to live in a variety of these "utopian paradises", it is simply amazing that today's left continues to deny the reality of human nature. Yet they do, and that is why they keep coming back to the same old tired ideas and policies and formulas that have repeatedly failed in the real world and which have always--ALWAYS--ended up unleashing all the evil of which human nature is capable.

Ahhh. The power of the unconscious!

On the other hand, the values that have brought enduring light and progress to humanity--Life, Liberty, and the freedom to pursue one's own individual happiness--are not utopian in nature. Far from it. These values, enshrined in the American singularity represent the values that are able to transform flawed, ordinary human beings into luminous souls; because by pursuing their own happiness in a free society under the rule of law, individuals are able to achieve incredible heights.

Leftists in their psychological delusion, always base their policies on ridiculous fantasies about their own nature, i.e., they imagine they are "better" people than the rest of us. In other words, they allow their unconscious self--in which the dark side of human nature is at home--to take control of their actions. Rarely do they ever examine their own motives or the dramatic inconsistencies between what they say and what they do. In essence, they demonstrate repeatedly how truly despicable human nature can be when the dark side of one's self is denied and hidden behind a veil of arrogant, narcissistic superiority.

These do-gooders always end up doing bad, but console themselves by saying, "We meant well." All their so-called "progressive" policies have the same superficial quality: it first and foremost makes the leftist feel good about himself and reinforces their psychological denial about human nature (specifically, their own).

Conservatives, with the tacit acceptance of human foibles and human evil manage, with their better ideas, allow human nature--with all its attendant good and bad qualities--to reach for the stars. Sometimes we fail (we are human, after all), but when we succeed, the whole of humanity moves forward.

Which is why conservatives are the true--and only-- progressives.

Friday, February 26, 2010

WHERE ARE WE GOING ON HEALTH CARE ?

Jay Nordlinger:
This health-care summit was a bad idea for the Democrats for this reason: They have long benefited from a perception — a perception greatly abetted by the media: The Republicans don’t care about health care, they don’t know about health care, they are the Party of No. All the ideas and caring are on the Democratic side.

It is not so, and it has never been so. And now everybody knows it.


Additionally, after the inept performace by Pelosi, Reid and Gang; and after the bloviating and condescending performance by The One, people may now begin to have an inkling of where the Democrats intend to take health care in this country.


[Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

STRAWBERRY FIELDS

Victor Davis Hanson wonders bemusedly what planet we are on when:
Hillary Clinton, of "suspension of disbelief" fame, now is complaining about the deleterious effect of domestic partisan discord on the conduct of foreign policy? Barack Obama, the once eloquent defender of the filibuster and the need to have constitutional protections against the tyranny of mere majority votes in the Senate, is now whipping his partisan horses onward to pass Obamacare with the barest of majorities? Joe Biden, the erstwhile Senate megaphone who used to preach against the arrogance that sought to steamroll his minority opposition, promising that someday when the tables turned Democrats would not show such hubris, now is eager to ram through health care by hook or by crook?


What planet are we living on? As I have said before, for President Postmodern and his zombie hordes in Congress (i.e., Democrats + the occasional Republican) objective reality doesn't matter much because what is inside their heads at any given moment is all that is important to them.. Their wishes or whims are all the reality they think they need. Thus, they can say one thing one day and with a straight face say the exact opposite the next. On their planet, contradictions and nonsense are on an equal footing with truth.

So it is not at all surprising when, John Derbyshire reports that "All is Illusion":
This is a gem. A chap named Jonathan Springston, senior staff writer at Atlanta Progressive News was let go. Why? He believed in reality. In APN's own words:
At a very fundamental, core level, Springston did not share our vision for a news publication with a progressive perspective. He held on to the notion that there was an objective reality that could be reported objectively, despite the fact that that was not our editorial policy at Atlanta Progressive News. It just wasn’t the right fit.


All together now, you know the tune:
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about . . .


But, objective reality--you know, that thing that exists outside our heads and which it behooves us to attempt to understand to the best of our ability in order to survive--is not subject to wishes, whims, prayers, or miracles. On the contrary, our consciousness is entirely dependent on reality and not vice versa. If you want to change the world, you must act according to reality.

I see many patients every day who have this completely backwards because they believe that their wishes and whims are primary, and reality must conform to them. The consequences of this fundamental metaphysical error is that their lives are a living hell.

What planet are we living on? We are living on a postmodern planet, where, "Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out..."

Except that I think I disagree, because its all wrong and it doesn't. Work out, I mean. Ever.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

LIFE AMONG THE RUINS --LET THEM ALL EAT CAKE

Aw gee. The welfare state in ruins? Who could have predicted that?
It would be possible in other circumstances to disregard the ongoing story of Greece and its debts as a tedious tale of financial markets. But there's much more to it than that. What's happening in Greece speaks to two larger issues affecting hundreds of millions of people everywhere: the future of the welfare state and the fate of Europe's single currency -- the euro. The meaning of Greece transcends high finance.
[...]
Almost every advanced country -- the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Belgium and others -- faces some combination of huge budget deficits, high debts, aging populations and political paralysis. It's an unstable mix. Present deficits may aid economic recovery, but the persistence of those deficits threatens long-term prosperity. The same unpleasant choices confronting Greece await most wealthy nations, even if they pretend otherwise.


Ayn Rand wrote in Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal, p. 211:
It is true that the welfare-statists are not socialists, that they never advocated or intended the socialization of private property, that they want to “preserve” private property—with government control of its use and disposal. But that is the fundamental characteristic of fascism.[emphasis mine]

Rand was prescient. She identified the new, improved fascism of the political left. These fascists use postmodern rhetoric to make their agenda palatable, but in reality, they are only the socialist and communist dead-enders of the last century, who know that this is their last ticket to getting that power over the masses they so desperately desire.

Their latest motto is: No to capitalism! No to the human mind! Happiness, they claim, can be found only in a lack of affluence--i.e., in poverty. This attitude is extremely convenient for them ideologically, particularly since that is precisely what the new fascists will create: poverty for all.

One truth that the left must deny with rabid ferocity is the fact that the greatest human advances--social, cultural, political and economic-- have all come about as the result of the human mind set free to explore every possibility and every potential.

Happiness , contrary to any and all propaganda, is hidden within the free and joyful exploration of your own potential. Look at any growing child learning about his or her world if you want confirmation of this.

Any psychologist worth his or her salt could tell you that happiness is not tied either to wealth or poverty per se; but is only an emotional by-product that comes about when individuals take responsibility for their own lives; and when they are able to pursue thoses lives, relationships and goals freely, without undue interference from the state or collective.

In other words, in a politically and economically free environment, an individual retains responsibility for his or her own happiness. When the state and those who rule the state say they will take responsibility--then beware.

Happiness (or health) is not a gift that any economic or political system can bestow on you or guaranntee. The best any state or society can do with regard to happiness, is to strike down as many barriers that prevent a person from pursuing it in their own unique, individual way. The state can no more dictate what will make you happy, than it can dictate what would please your palate.

Nevertheless, as the Clare Boothe Luce once wisely quipped, "Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable."

At least under capitalism you can be comfortably unhappy. Under the benevolent fascism of the neo-marxists, you will be given endless opportunities to be miserably unhappy.

The neo-marxist fascists--the people who claim to know what is best for you and how to make you happy--will tell you that it is capitalism, materialism, wealth, money, affluence that is the root of all evil; but affluence is only a product of the human mind. But, their utopia cannot be achieved without the imposition of tyranny. When you try to control affluence--no matter how "good" your intentions might be--you must first enslave the human mind.

And that is the road to economic ruin.

Today's neo-Marxist fascists, those who have promoted the welfare state--a socialism "lite" if you will--are facing the brick wall of reality, which uncomfortably is reminding them that you cannot have your cake, and eat it too. They have been so busy eating the cake; dividing it up among all their special identity victim groups; promising ever more "victims" that they, too, will have a slice of that cake, and that it is theirs by right; that they have failed to notice the declining number of people who make cake in the first place.

Capitalism is far from perfect, but, it is consistent with human nature and, at least it rewards those who produce . And those who produce, slowly but surely, improve not only their own lot, but the lot of everyone else. The neo-Marxist fascists of the left would have you believe that there is only one cake; and that if one person gets a slice there is less to go around, i.e. it is a zero-sum cake....but in a free society; a society that allows rewards for making cakes, there will always be cake-makers and a wide variety of cakes to go around.

As we watch the welfare state methods of our supreme leader, as he and the non-producers attempts to punish the producers and suspend the laws of reality, we better all get used to life among the ruins, as we scramble for cake crumbs.

UPDATE: Speaking of cake....try some Moonbat Mocha Mousse Mirage Cake !

Sunday, February 21, 2010

THE WEST AT TWILIGHT

Mark Steyn offers a "perfect snapshot" of the perverted priorties of the West as it accelerates its own decline with self-righteous bravado:
On the one hand, governments of developed nations micro-regulate every aspect of your life in the interests of “keeping you safe.” If you’re minded to flip a pancake at speeds of more than four miles per hour, the state will step in and act decisively: It’s for your own good. If you’re a tourist from Moose Jaw, Washington will take preemptive action to shield you from the potential dangers of your patio in Arizona.

On the other hand, when it comes to “keeping you safe” from real threats, such as a millenarian theocracy that claims universal jurisdiction, America and its allies do nothing.


Read the hilarious highlights.

It makes perfect sense to the do-gooder mentality to keep you safe from the pitfalls of running in a race; or from the untold horrors of the hot tub; but any potential nuclear threats from the homicidal mullahs of Iran are blithely dismissed with, "We do not believe they have the capability to enrich to the degree to which they now say they are enriching."

Which is to say, stop bothering us with all those doom and gloom warmongering fears about Iran when we have more important things to do to keep you safe from your own foolishness and healthy against your wishes.

What we have here is classic denial of reality via the tried and true method of psychological displacement. Once again we find ourselves dealing with the essentially narcississtic and grandiose motivations of the leftist do-gooders. It is all about THEM. Their need to feel good about themselves; about their "superiority" in knowing what is best for the poor saps who lack their nuanced intelligence.

ShrinkWrapped once wrote about the "dirty little secret" that defines the inner workings of a typical do-gooder leftist zealot:
Defensive rationalizations and intellectualizations are used to keep us from knowing uncomfortable things about ourselves. In the 1960s, in order to avoid any feelings of fear and attendant anxiety over masculinity, the war effort needed to be demonized. The original idea of "speaking truth to power" required minimal bravery. The level of danger the anti-war protesters faced was a tiny fraction of the real danger truly brave people living under brutal governments faced in Eastern Europe, or that our military men faced in Southeast Asia. Yet in order to avoid feeling scared, the war protesters needed to see themselves as bravely facing a quasi-fascist regime (LBJ and then Nixon); our protests were heroic efforts to establish and support peace and justice. In reality , the protests were nothing of the sort and millions of Vietnamese and Cambodians paid the price of our rationalizations. By demonizing the war as based on lies, immoral, imperialistic, etc (which all had a grain of truth but were clearly exaggerations and hardly the exclusive reasons for our involvement in Vietnam) the logic of our defensive edifice required the eventual cut-off of funds to the South Vietnamese, who until the military aid cut-off were more than holding their own.


We see the same kind of rationalization today in the emphasis of the Obama Administration on "fixing" the not-so-broken health care system, while ignoring the very real threat that exists in Iranian pursuit of a nuclear weapon. In this way, Obama and his leftist base can continue to assert their morality and bravery, and fight the "good war" against evil Capitalism, Republicans and white male oppressors. The need to demonize companies like Anthem for daring to raise rates (when they are only already responding to the worthless interventions in the marketplace by these brave, do-gooders is a case in point. Obama has endless patience with the Mullahs, repeatedly offering them incentives and soft-spoken invitations to the negotiating table; yet, he can fiercely stand up to and even threaten any American company that dares to act in its own economic self-interest.

In order to avoid a painful reality out there (or, rather in there), Obama and the left must maintain consistency in their rationalizations about themselves and the world, and are willing to abandon dealing with what really might keep America "safe". In this way, the intrusive, meddling do-gooders of the left can feel morally superior and "continue to support the edifice of rationalizations that have sustained their image of themselves as brave rebels since the glory days of the 1960s."

But their courage actually only extends far enough to allow them to criticize Republicans, conservatives, and capitalists; blaming them for an unsafe world. It would be far too dangerous for them to confront the real threat: those who are determined--no matter what it takes--to obtain the power to destroy our country, its allies and our way of life.

No wonder it is twilight in the West; as the setting sun glints off the metallic shell of Iranian missiles.

This psychological defense mechanism is referred to as "displacement", and it is the psycholgical basis of Bush Derangement Syndrome, as well as the tendency of many to conveniently blame America (and Britain) and Israel for every problem in the world.

One way you can usually tell that psychological displacement is being used is that the emotion being displaced (e.g., anger or fear) is all out of proportion to the reality of the situation. The purpose of displacement is to avoid having to cope with the actual reality. Instead, by using displacement, an individual is able to still experience his or her anger, but it is directed at less threatening targets than the real cause. In this way, the individual does not have to be responsible for the consequences of his/her anger and feels more safe--even thought that is not the case.

Psychological displacement explains the remarkable and sometimes lunatic appeasement of Islamic fundamentalism that we have seen--unfortunately not only in America; and not only by the Obama Administation. It explains all the fiddling around and useless diplomacy that must make the Mullahs roar with laughter at the naivete of the West. It explains why there is more emphasis on protecting the "rights" of terrorists, Mirandizing them, rather than holding them militarily accountable for their actions and extracting information from them that will save lives.

But, American lives are in danger because of a health care system that is imperfectand within which, people die of diseases that cannot be cured and health care that they choose not to seek; not because the Iranians are steadfastly and determinedly pusuing their dreams of Islamic world domination.

Don't you feel safer? Aren't you pleased as punch that people who have pancake races are being prevented from the risk of slipping in the rain? Aren't you happy that Harry Reid is going to force health care reform down the throats of those evil Republicans in the Senate if he can; for your own good and the future of our country? Isn't it wonderful that Obama believes he can suspend the laws of supply and demand and eliminate that nasty profit motive from health care delivery? Don't you just feel soooo relieved that Robert "Baghdad Bob" Gibbs has assured us that the Iranians are not anywhere near being able to nuke Israel, Europe, or anybody they want?

I know I am!

And, isn't "twilight" just some romantic movie about "good" vampire predators protecting foolish and unsuspecting humans from the "bad" variety?

What's to worry?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

HUBRIS

The definition of hubris, is an arrogan overestimation of one's capabilities or competence that blinds one to reality. Typically, hubris results in tragedy.

Victor Davis Hanson discusses the concept of hubris as it relates to our national security policy:
Vice President Joe Biden recently opined that he did not think the terrorists were able to pull off another attack of the 9/11 magnitude: "They are, in fact, not able to do anything remotely like they were able to do in the past." Robert Gibbs last week assured us that Iranian rhetoric about nuclear enrichment was not matched by reality — e.g., "The Iranian nuclear program has undergone a series of problems throughout the year; we do not believe they have the capability to enrich to the degree to which they now say they are enriching" — although the UN just announced that the theocracy is focused rather seriously on a warhead.


Hanson then goes on to point out how this attitude underestimates our adversaries and their desire to inflict maximal damage on us; as well as this Administration's consistently poor record of prognostication in the areas of unemployment, the deficit, and the ability of Obama's magical force of personality to cure all societal ills.

Hanson's post is right on the money when it comes to Obama's hubris on national security; and it leads me to a discussion of hubris and its relationship to narcissism--particularly the malignant political and societal narcissism that appears to be operating on a grand scale in the current Administration. Prideful overestimation of one's abilities is frequently encouraged by the faux self-esteem movement; and willful blindness and denying or ignoring reality altogether has become an integral aspect of the political left's narcissistic pursuit of power. Particularly among the intellectual elites and leaders of the left, there is a consistent and deliberate overestimation of their own capability to manage and control the lives of others.

Unfortunately, for those of us who are the objects of their compassion and 'social justice', tragedy is almost always the predictable outcome.

The "but I meant well" attitude is the increasingly familiar fallback of the classically clueless leftist 'do-gooder', who makes it his or her business to force the 'little people'--clearly unfit to manage their own lives--to do what they know in their heart is 'best' for us. They go about their daily lives trying to control every little aspect of everyone else's life for their own good and supposedly that of society. They rail against the 'oppression' of the free market and capitalism and speak of 'empowerment' and 'power to the people' and other catch phrases of the warmed-over Marxism they perpetually spout.

The do-gooder leftist in all the various ideological incarnations--the antiwar crowd, the environmental crowd, the communists, socialists, and assorted collectivists--offers the rationale that he does what he does for the "common good" and for "social justice", "peace" and "brotherhood". His high-minded, self-righteous rhetoric justifies (to him anyway) imposing his will and beliefs on others for their own good; and he will not hesitate to use whatever coercive capablity he has at hand to get others to do what he wants and what he says.

We see all these elements in the national security policy that has been implemented in the Obama administration; combined with a willful blindness to reality and an almost magical belief in Obama's competence in areas in which he has no experience. One assumes that prior to his ascension to godhead, Obama must have spent a lot of time in a Holiday Inn Express.

And, that apparently is all the self-esteem you need for "smart" diplomacy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ENVIRONMENTAL FANTASIES

Environmentalism is an ethical system that places the welfare of the planet, or "nature", above that of the human beings who live on it. In fact, human life is actually quite low on the totem pole of environmentalist priorities; and the existence of human beings is often thought of by those in the environmental movement as some sort of "infection" on the "pure essense" of nature; an infection that must be eradicated and/or kept under close control. For a dedicated environmentalist, the value of human life is somewhere below that of plants, animals and possibly even dirt.

If you doubt this assertion, then read about the "worst killer in the history of war and extermination":
Who is the worst killer in the long, ugly history of war and extermination? Hitler? Stalin? Pol Pot? Not even close. A single book called Silent Spring killed far more people than all those fiends put together.

Published in 1962, Silent Spring used manipulated data and wildly exaggerated claims (sound familiar?) to push for a worldwide ban on the pesticide known as DDT – which is, to this day, the most effective weapon against malarial mosquitoes. The Environmental Protection Agency held extensive hearings after the uproar produced by this book… and these hearings concluded that DDT should not be banned. A few months after the hearings ended, EPA administrator William Ruckleshaus over-ruled his own agency and banned DDT anyway, in what he later admitted was a “political” decision. Threats to withhold American foreign aid swiftly spread the ban across the world.

The resulting explosion of mosquito-borne malaria in Africa has claimed over sixty million lives.

This was not a gradual process – a surge of infection and death happened almost immediately. The use of DDT reduces the spread of mosquito-borne malaria by fifty to eighty percent, so its discontinuation quickly produced an explosion of crippling and fatal illness. The same environmental movement which has been falsifying data, suppressing dissent, and reading tea leaves to support the global-warming fraud has studiously ignored this blood-drenched “hockey stick” for decades.

The motivation behind Silent Spring, the suppression of nuclear power, the global-warming scam, and other outbreaks of environmentalist lunacy is the worship of centralized power and authority. The author, Rachel Carson, didn’t set out to kill sixty million people – she was a fanatical believer in the newly formed religion of radical environmentalism, whose body count comes from callousness, rather than blood thirst. The core belief of the environmental religion is the fundamental uncleanliness of human beings. All forms of human activity are bad for the environment… most especially including the activity of large private corporations. Deaths in faraway Africa barely registered on the radar screen of the growing Green movement, especially when measured against the exhilarating triumph of getting a sinful pesticide banned, at substantial cost to an evil corporation.[emphasis mine]


Please read it all.

The unintended consequences ushered in by the do-gooders--who always know what's best for us hapless humans--are almost always devastating and destructive when policy is dictated by hysteria and a reliance on fear (or other feelings), rather than on reality. They mean well, after all. It isn't their fault that reality gets in the way of their implementation of utopian policies! They firmly believe that their beliefs are those of the enlightened 'elite' of the world.

It isn't their fault that the environment is a complex system! They only mean the best for us. It isn't their fault that complex systems are too 'nuanced' for their brains to comprehend.

For decades these pathetic do-gooders have sought to escape responsibility for the condequences of their fantasies. The world is littered with the corpses and awash in the tears of the people who they have "helped". Fantasy environmentalism is only one of a series of strategies they have fallen back on as they reassert their worship of centralized power (i.e., socialist/communist/Marxist ideology) and attempt to chain all of humanity to its domination.

Ask yourself how Al Gore's obsession has become required classroom reading. And how our children are being indoctrinated right this moment in the K-12 classrooms into the holy rituals of the environmental histrionics.

In this post , which I have cause to revisit time and again, I argued that multiculturalism, postmodern politically correct thought, and radical environmentalism are three of the four major strategies used by Marxist dead-enders to keep their failed 20th century ideology alive.

And, in case you doubt the anti-human, anti-capitalist agenda of todays radical left environmentalists, here's a cartoon that sums it up for you:



As you can see, the gist of the cartoon is that global warming is being deliberately caused by all about those money-grubbing capitalists. A few short years ago (1979), the cartoon would have shown the earth suspended above ice cubes placed by the mad businesses of the world intent on causing global cooling. In light of the recent revelations about environmental science and its attempt to control policy with or without any scientific data to back it up, is there any reason to believe that those at the forefront of the movement are actually striving for anything except domination over others?

Yes, they firmly believe that by controlling other human beings, they are "doing good." They are delusional.

We can all thank Rachel Carson for starting the trend, or "How a courageous woman took on the chemical industry and raised important questions about humankind's impact on nature. " None of her followers today will courageously look at--let alone raise--the important questions about the human results of their political impact, will they?

Those who promulgate these environmental fantasies conveniently forget the environmental disasters that socialist and communist paradises in the world have presided over in the last 50 years or so. They ignore real data about the fact that the rise in CO2 emissions is almost exclusively the result of the backward and primitive cultures they idealize in their nature worship; and instead prefer to blame America and capitalism.

The fundamental goal of these radical environmentalists is not to end global warming or global cooling--they cannot do that since even the most aggressive actions make little impact; instead, their goal is to discredit capitalism and to use global warming and other environmental concerns as a justification to impose their ideological, political, and ethical agenda. They haven't a clue how to really counter the natural cooling and warming trends of the planet--but if they blame it on human beings, then the solution is to control people.

Global warming is a scientific issue. I can be convinced that the earth is getting warmer, but it will take more than slogans and hysteria to convince me that the warming is something other than a natural cycle in our planet's history that may have some repercussions on human life. The solution lies in technical advances to help humans adapt to climate change. Not to kill off the humans in order to save the planet.

If the radical environmentalists really wanted to "do something" about global warming, then they would be calling for funding projects that explore countermeasures and methods to adapt to it. What we see instead is the same kind of religious fanaticism and holy fervor that the left so despises in the fundamental right. What they really want is power over people.

Theirs is basically a totalitarian agenda in which they, the "elites", will dictate how people should live on this earth.

For some time there has been a struggle between the totalitarians of the right and the totalitarians of the left to dominate. All the major conflicts of the last century occurred when one or the other tried to take control over the world.

The Marxist left always based its claim for socialist leadership on "scientific principles" --including technology--which they assert "proves" that socialism works; except of course, that it didn't. Which is why the left has adopted the "new and improved" doctrine of radical environmentalism (which asserts that technology is evil and destructive),insisting that human society and progress are "destroying" the earth. Of course, they cleverly invoke "science" as a justification for their beliefs--a strategy that is identical to that adopted by the creationists in their "Intelligent Design" arguments (which, of course, the left has complete contempt for).

Neither represents real science.

The "elites" have never abandoned their dreams of imposing a socialist paradise, and one of their basic strategies is to undermine capitalism by using the talking points of their "environmental religion".

I suspect that they truly believe that if humans would abandon capitalism and technology; go back to the cave and live the "simple life", then their ideology would finally work in the real world and their dreams of a religious caliphate international socialist paradise would finally be realized.

Watch for new, improved environmental fantasies to be foisted on the public, evan as the old one's are exposed as distortions and delusions. This is easy to do, since the real goal of these fantasies are not really about helping humans--or the planet; they are rationalizations to exert control and dominance.

Monday, February 15, 2010

FREE MARKET REMEDY

Here's the precise problem with any "bipartisan" compromise on Health Care: it means fostering more and more government dependency no matter what. It's like being a little bit pregnant....



This is why the Republicans must stand on principle and refuse the bait to compromise so that they can appear to be working with the leftist in chief.

I am currently battling a really bad cold, so I am opting for the free market remedy: I'm going to take a few days off from blogging and take care of myself.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

SPACE, THE CLOSED FRONTIER

In my darker moods, I have been known to speculate that, these days, NASA has become one of the biggest impediments to space exploration; that it has morphed into the post office running what's supposed to be a cutting-edge, scientific and engineering enterprise. Along the way it has become risk-averse; timid and mundane in its goals. Though it has been some time since NASA was actually "cutting edge"; and a decade or two since it dreamed big, it surely doesn't deserve the mediocre fate that Obama has decreed for it. Instead, it should have always been a fierce facilitator of space exploration in the private sector; and it should have paved the way for the U.S. to have a strong military advantage by controlling the patch of space around our planet and its nearest neighbors.

Charles Krauthammer sums up the closing of the space frontier in a recent editorial:
Our absence from low-Earth orbit was meant to last a few years, the interval between the retirement of the fatally fragile space shuttle and its replacement with the Constellation program (Ares booster, Orion capsule, Altair lunar lander) to take astronauts more cheaply and safely back to space.

But the Obama 2011 budget kills Constellation. Instead, we shall have nothing. For the first time since John Glenn flew in 1962, the United States will have no access of its own for humans into space -- and no prospect of getting there in the foreseeable future.

Of course, the administration presents the abdication as a great leap forward: Launching humans will be turned over to the private sector, while NASA's efforts will be directed toward landing on Mars....

Of course, the whole Mars project as substitute for the moon is simply a ruse. It's like the classic bait-and-switch for high-tech military spending: Kill the doable in the name of some distant sophisticated alternative, which either never gets developed or is simply killed later in the name of yet another, even more sophisticated alternative of the further future. A classic example is the B-1 bomber, which was canceled in the 1970s in favor of the over-the-horizon B-2 stealth bomber, which was then killed in the 1990s after a production run of only 21 (instead of 132) in the name of post-Cold War obsolescence.

Moreover, there is the question of seriousness. When John F. Kennedy pledged to go to the moon, he meant it. He had an intense personal commitment to the enterprise. He delivered speeches remembered to this day. He dedicated astronomical sums to make it happen.

At the peak of the Apollo program, NASA was consuming almost 4 percent of the federal budget, which in terms of the 2011 budget is about $150 billion. Today the manned space program will die for want of $3 billion a year -- 1/300th of last year's stimulus package with its endless make-work projects that will leave not a trace on the national consciousness.

As for President Obama's commitment to beyond-lunar space: Has he given a single speech, devoted an iota of political capital to it?

Obama's NASA budget perfectly captures the difference in spirit between Kennedy's liberalism and Obama's. Kennedy's was an expansive, bold, outward-looking summons. Obama's is a constricted, inward-looking call to retreat.

Fifty years ago, Kennedy opened the New Frontier. Obama has just shut it.


Read it all.

Mediocrity and incompetence has so far been the hallmark of the messiah of 'hope and change'. He has distorted the past and refused to learn from it; in the present, he has squandered the goodwill of the American people who elected him hoping he represented something new and better than 'politics as usual'. But he has foisted an extreme leftwing agenda on the US; and has mortgaged the future of our children--both in financial terms and in aspirational ones. By shutting the New Frontier, Obama has insured that our children never go boldly where no one has gone before.

Under his 'leadership,' America is now boldly going nowhere--and at warp speed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

OBAMA CONTINUES TO FLINCH, AND THE ANSWER IS 'NO'

In light of Iran's announcement todayabout it's entry into the Nuclear Club, I think it is time to revisit this old post from 2006, "Inching Toward NO".

The discussion is even more relevant now than it was four years ago...
--------------------------
In a previous post where I explored the musings of Chester regarding the strategic issue of our time--Is Islam compatible with a free society--I wrote:
President Bush has been acting on the basis of a YES answer to the question and our entire strategy in the Middle East is based on it. What is astonishing about this essay is that the author unflichingly looks at the logical consequences that are inherent in answering NO to the question-- and finds them pretty frightening for any civilized person or nation.

This is why Bush has insisted on formulating our strategy based on YES. This is why he has been very circumspect in what he says about Islam and how he characterizes the war. This is why he is so adamantly supportive of the Dubai ports deal -- because the opposition to it does reflect a "tipping point" in which people no longer believe that a moderate, reasonable Islam is possible.

I think the insane reaction of the Muslim world to a bunch of inoffensive Danish cartoons has crossed a threshold; and the free, mostly-tolerant people of the world are finally digging a line in the sand, jutting out their chins, and more or less defiantly daring Muslims to cross it. This explains the inexplicably moderate response of the White House to the cartoons. They must negotiate a path that will still answer YES to the strategic question.

I don't think Muslims will like what they discover about the West if they decide to cross that threshold. They will not be safe behind the PC rhetoric and blustery resort to cries of "victimization" that have protected the extremists thus far in acting out their fantasies of worldwide domination.

Today I read David Warren's column at Real Clear Politics:
In this view -- which I hold to be Mr Bush’s -- we are dealing with what amounts to a planetary civil war, between those who accept the state-system descended from the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), and an emergent Islamist ideology that certainly does not. To Mr Bush’s mind, only legitimately-elected governments, presiding over properly-administered secular bureaucracies, can be trusted to deal locally with the kind of mischief an Osama bin Laden can perform, with his hands on contemporary weapons of mass destruction.

But Mr Bush was staking his bet on the assumption that the Islamists were not speaking for Islam; that the world’s Muslims long for modernity; that they are themselves repelled by the violence of the terrorists; that, most significantly, Islam is in its nature a religion that can be “internalized”, like the world’s other great religions, and that the traditional Islamic aspiration to conjoin worldly political with otherworldly spiritual authority had somehow gone away.
[...]
The question, “But what if they are not?” was never seriously raised, because it could not be raised behind the mud curtain of political correctness that has descended over the Western academy and intelligentsia. The idea that others see the world in a way that is not only incompatible with, but utterly opposed to, the way we see it, is the thorn ever-present in the rose bushes of multiculturalism.

And via Atlas Shrugs, this recent MEMRI Report threatening massive destruction and death in the US and other western countries is relevant:
"Despite the fact that the New York, Washington, Madrid, and London expeditions have been carried out a few years back. The search for clues on how they were conducted in such a successful manner is still going on and reports upon reports are still being written about them. However, the next expedition might not find someone who can provide analysis for. The top intellects, strategists, and analysts, will be totally clueless as to how to explain what occurred. Let me also inform you that we are talking about two operations, not one. The scale of one of them is larger than the other but both are large and significant. However, we will start with the smaller, and temporarily put the larger on hold to see how serious the Americans are about their lives. Should you value your own life and security, accept Muslims’ demands, but if you shall prefer death (over giving in to Muslims’ demands). Then, we, by the grace of Allah, are the best in bringing it (death) to your door steps.

You must read the entire MEMRI transcript. Despite it being the braggadocio of some depraved adolescent bully trying to pump up his pathetic ego; one cannot help but reflect that this is a bully who really really desperately wants to kill you and your loved ones. He has something to prove about his manhood, and by Allah, he intends to prove it though it be the last thing he ever does. Thus, it is wise to take him and his fellow punks seriously.

In contemplating these pieces of a larger puzzle, it strikes me that more and more people (from the conservatives who now question the Iraq war; to the ordinary citizens adamant that it is not safe to have any muslim country--ally or no-- manage out ports; to independents like myself who have resolutely supported President Bush) are beginning to inch slowly toward a negative answer to the strategic question. While some muslims are decent, tolerant and yearn to be free; Islam itself does not appear to be compatible with a free society.

This ultimate conclusion is breathtaking--and heartbreaking-- in its implications. And if you doubt the seriousness in which I say this, revisit this post.

If you have not read this post from September, 2003 from The Belmont Club, you should do so. In it, Wretchard lays out three conjectures:

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 is no longer in doubt. The British now say that Iran is only months away from nuclear capability; and even if that is overly-optimistic; we know that the 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 have nuclear weapons 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 growingly form most muslims. 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 attempts to destroy their long-range capability.

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 three 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. Events are moving too slowly in Iraq (though I grant that they are proceeding far more rapidly than anyone thought possible a few short years ago).

The problem is that for the kind of change envisioned by Bush, decades is not too long a time to hope for some of the seeds to grow; and for rigid Middle Eastern minds to evolve and flourish within a democratic medium.

But time is not on our side as Al Qaeda and their allies rush toward their apocolypse; and as our own internal appeasers are more intent on bringing down Republicans 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.


President Bush has bet 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-- a decade or two earlier, well who knows how much the situation might have changed by now? But it only began after a devastating attack within our borders finally spurred us to mobilize our resources and fight back both militarily and strategically.

And, as I said in an earlier piece, 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.

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

Because, if they succeed in their determination to undermine American policy as it is now formulated; or if the 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 three 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 the YES Strategy.

The Golden Hour is down to only a few minutes at most. 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; there will be no deus ex machina --and no pointless protest march 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. Others will recognize the truth-- that 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.
-----------------------------------------------

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.- Sir Winston Churchill

The Islamic Republic of Iran and its nutjob leaders have gleefully announced to all the world that they are now a 'nuclear state'; A vast number of Muslims (particularly the religion's leaders) continue to be intent on destroying themselves--as long as they can destroy us in the process; the "Golden Hour" has passed and the War on Terror has devolved into "overseas contingency operations."

The answer to 'the strategic question of our times' would seem to be an emphatic "NO!" And so, the world is poised on a precipice and the future of the free world hangs by a thread....Meanwhile, the Obama administration has made flinching the proud foundation of its foreign policy.

BLAME BUSH FOR THIS ONE

This is truly astonishing. Joe Biden has the absolute gall to say the following on Larry King:
I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.


What absolute losers Biden and Obama are. They completely blame the Bush Administration for the state of the economy that they "inherited", when it is their own incompetence and ideological blindness that are to blame for the last devastating year; and then they take credit for what is arguably Bush's most significant achievement--sticking with Iraq despite the choruses of hopelessness and doom purveyed by (then)Senators Biden and Obama before their ascension to godhood.

I'm with Kathryn Lopez on this, who says:
Wow....Things are pretty bad off for the current administration when it has to steal from the previous one to find an accomplishment.


Yes, I think I'll have to blame Bush for success in Iraq.

Monday, February 08, 2010

I'll DO IT YOUR WAY

I found this article in the Sunday paper extremely interesting and somewhat bizarre:
Sinatra song has fueled karaoke killings in Philippines

GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – After a day of barbering, Rodolfo Gregorio went to his neighborhood karaoke bar still smelling of talcum powder. Putting aside his glass of Red Horse Extra Strong beer, he grasped a microphone with a habituĂ©'s self-assuredness and briefly stilled the room with the Platters' "My Prayer."

Next, he belted out crowd-pleasers by Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. But Gregorio, 63, a witness to countless fistfights and occasional stabbings from disputes over karaoke singing, did not dare choose one beloved classic: Frank Sinatra's version of "My Way."

"I used to like 'My Way,' but after all the trouble, I stopped singing it," he said. "You can get killed."

The authorities do not know exactly how many people have been killed warbling "My Way" in karaoke bars over the years in the Philippines, or how many fatal fights it has fueled. But the news media have recorded at least half a dozen victims in the past decade and include them in a subcategory of crime dubbed the "My Way Killings."

The murders have spawned urban legends about the song and have left Filipinos groping for answers. Are the killings the byproduct of a culture of violence, drinking and machismo? Or is there something inherently sinister in the song?

Whatever the reason, many karaoke bars have removed the song from their playbooks. And the country's many Sinatra lovers practice self-censorship.


The article goes on to further to suggest another potential motive for the killings: that the victims sang the song out of tune.

That makes three wildly different motives: (1) the Philippino "culture of violence"; (2)something inherently "sinister" in the song; or (3) the singer sang out of tune and angered the crowd.

(1) and (3) I could go for, since human nature is what it is. But the second motive mentioned in the article got me thinking about why I have loved this song since the first time I heard it sung by Sinatra when I was just a tyke; and why I still belt it out loudly (and off-key) in the shower at times when I'm feeling particularly good about life. Sinatra himself gives a clue. In this recording of the song, he jokes to the crowd that he's singing "...The National Anthem...but you needn't rise."



I rather like his explanation that this is the "National Anthem"; though, of course, I don't know whether Sinatra used the term because the song became more popular than he ever imagined; or because he sensed that the song somehow distilled into its lyrics the essence of the American character and spirit.

I would like to think he said it primarily because of the latter reason, since I believe that if the American spirt had an "anthem," this song would do very well.

Some of the reasons why this is so are explained in a post where I discussed the political and societal implications of narcissism.

Contrary to popular belief, every healthy individual needs to have some degree of narcissism . The word has received such a bad rap, you might believe that any degree of narcissism is a bad thing; but without a healthy dollop of it in our characters, we humans would be extremely low on ambition and purpose; and wholly unable to enjoy the pleasures of life. Believe it or not, that self-centered grandiosity that is so charming in children, is absolutely essential for normal adult self-esteem (and I don't mean the kind of faux self-esteem that is foisted on our children today). And, further, narcissism is also an essential aspect of the ideals we pursue as adults. Healthy narcissism fosters a belief in something outside of one's own self that guides and gives meaning to one’s life. This side of narcissism makes healthy interpersonal relationships possible.

But either aspect of narcissism may be defective and lead to serious problems--both for the individual and for the society.

In some ways, the rise of human civilization from the cave to the present day has resulted because of attempts through the Rule of Law and social controls to set limits on the unrestrained grandiose side of narcissism. This is primarily due to the destructiveness of the malignant narcissistic rage which is generally associated with defects in that aspect of narcissism.

Because of this, the grandiose aspects of narcissism (and those who possess them) have generally received a bad reputation philosophically, morally, and politically. The natural development of Governments and Religions (which ultimately are an expression of the the other aspect of narcissism--"idealized" narcissism--have all too often attempted to ruthlessly suppress the grandiose self--much to the detriment of the individual AND the success of the particular society or religion.

In fact, despite the obvious truth that governments, nations, and religions are in a much better position to wreak far more systemized misery and death on human populations, it is almost always the grandiose narcissism that gets the blame. But a quick glance at the last several hundred years will demonstrate that all those idealistic "people's revolutions" supported by the political Left (grand champions of idealized narcissism) and purportedly for the purpose of "freeing" large populations of people have somehow mysteriously resulted instead in enslaving those populations and increasing authoritarian rule.

Without a political or economic framework that is able to incorporate what we refer to as "human nature" into its calculations, all so-called "perfect" societies and ideologies will at best simply fail in the real world; and at worse cause untold human suffering. With the best of intentions (this is perhaps debatable), the social engineers of philosophy, political science, and economics have caused so much more slavery, misery and death on a grand scale--that the grandiose CEO's of the largest corporations can be considered mere pikers by comparison.

When we talk about the individual versus society; or the individual versus the state; or indeed any discussion of individual rights versus the rights of a group, we are also referring to the psychological tension between the two poles of the Self. Any political or economic system that expects to succeed in the real world will have to accommodate that tension, and find a way to optimally negotiate the needs of BOTH sides of the Self--that is, they will have to take into account human nature.

A perusal of any list of economic systems will demonstrate that ALMOST ALL OF THEM are relatively extreme expressions of idealized narcissism. Almost all emphasize the group, the community, the collective, the nation, the state, or god at the expense of the individual. Examples are numerous. Socialism and Communism; fascism and religious fundamentalism.

The major exception is capitalism, where the individual and the individual's needs are emphasized over the the group.

What is essential for healthy individuals, as well as for healthy societies is that there be a balance of these two aspects of narcissism--the grandiose and the idealized. Because an over emphasis on one results in a culture or society promoting sociopathy; and an overemphais on the other results in submission and slavery to the collective.

So the sentiments in "My Way" are nothing more than a healthy expression of the grandiose self; which is why America stands as a shining beacon if freedom and libery in a world where the norm is to oppress such expressions of individuality and promote submission to the group. "I'll Do It Your Way" would be the appropriate anthem for those societies.

For what is a man? What has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels,
And not the words of one who kneels...
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way
!

UPDATE: After writing this morning, I went over to Belmont Club where I discovered that Wretchard had penned a few words on the subject of the "My Way" killings....

Sunday, February 07, 2010

PUMPKIN KITTY, 1994-2010

This was a very difficult weekend because my beloved companion and lap-warmer, Pumpkin, passed away after a brief battle with cancer. My daughter, when she was two years old, picked Pumpkin from a litter of manx kittens at our Vet's office. Pumpkin was the only tortoise-shell among a group of gray and orange kittens and she joined our family on Halloween--hence the name. Fifteen years and some months later, she was still a joy and very playful, vocal, and loving (in her own unique cat way) till the very end.

We will miss her very much.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

THE 21st CENTURY PC ENTITLEMENT PHILOSOPHY

Oh my. This is narcissism gone exponentially amok (from Mark Steyn)
Since most of The Corner's metropolitan pantywaists seem to be cowering in terror from the light flurry devastating Washington this morning, let me offer this headline from the sports pages of The Seattle Weekly:

Gay, Mentally Challenged Biracial Male Cheerleader Claims Discrimination
He was allowed to join the high-school cheerleading team but was not given a set of pom-poms and was prevented from wiggling his hips. So naturally he wants Washington to take political action. This sounds like a job for Harry Reid and Rahm Emmanuel, with their well documented interest in biracial males and the mentally challenged.


In psychiatry we use the term "sense of entitlement" to describe the outrageous attitude of some of our more narcissistic clients who believe that the world "owes" them and they want to collect NOW. Patients with this type of attitude always want more. Whatever you do is never good enough for them, and they also generally show no gratitude or express any thanks--even when someone goes out of their way for them. Like the most spoiled of royalty, they merely expect that they should be the center of your world at all times.

This attitude is normally seen in toddlers, who want what they want and they want it now. Every parent has had to deal with this kind of whining. When you see this attitude repeatedly in an adult, then you know you are dealing with psychopathology. Many adults whimper at the slightest inconvenience, delay, or restriction. Why? Because, like toddlers, they are convinced they deserve what they want when they want it. They are "entitled" to it.

This sense of entitlement has seeped into the culture; and, the psychopathy it engenders is not a pretty sight. There's a lot of blame to go around, starting with parents unwilling to set limits; as well as the entire worthless "self-esteem" movement that hypes self-esteem at the expense of self-responsibility and accountability.

All these factors have led to a culture of entitlement which encourages dysfunctional and highly antisocial behavior where the only concern is for one's own needs of the moment and their gratification. Many other factors in our culture reinforce this sort of behavior and even reward and enable it.

The influence of the cult of victimhood grows ever wider as the celebration of victimhood and the sense of entitlement promoted by a quasi-religious leftist/Marxist dogma has become a way of life.

As I have noted many times before, this sad situation has come about in part, because so many of the clueless individuals on the political left have an intense narcissistic need to see themselves as "champions of the oppressed"; hence the constant need to find and maintain an oppressed class of people to champion. Is it any wonder that our "gay, mentally challenged, biracial male cheerleader looks to government to solve all his problems and reimburse him for all his "suffering"?

This attitude also dovetails nicely into the Marxist dialectic (which is the foundation of the entitlement culture) and its greedy, grasping promotion of envy and egalitarianism. The world is divided up into two groups, you see: the oppressors (i.e., white, male,heterosexual, Republican, Americans, Israelis; etc. etc) and the oppressed (everyone else).

The political left (and now the US Government) proudly stands in solidarity with the oppressed victims of the world; and it is worth noting that their stance is particularly ego-gratifying if those they champion are undeserving victims (i.e., similar to Alfred P. Doolittle's "undeserving poor"-- who have needs as great as the most deserving of victims; in fact, their needs are even greater).

We are seeing more and more ridiculous stories like the one to which Steyn links. And, just when you think it can't get any more ridiculous....

Thursday, February 04, 2010

THE POLITICAL LEFT'S DEDICATION TO FREE SPEECH ?

It has become increasingly apparent over the years that the political left's dedication to free speech is limited to the speech that comes out of their own mouths and the mouths of anyone who happens to agree with them. Dare to disagree, and you must be silenced, forcefully if necessary.

Yet they often virtuously proclaim that they are the sole defenders of free speech, standing fearlessly against the evil oppressors of the right. Indeed, they are so much for freedom of speech, that they will proudly--and violently-- try to prevent people they don't like from being able to speak about ideas they don't like. Examples of this are too numerous to detail, but here is just one small example. And, ask Mark Steyn to tell you all about freedom of speech in our politically correct neighbor to the north.

That's why the recent Supreme Court ruling has unleashed such rage and venom; even in the State of the Union Speech by the left's erstwhile messiah and our current President, who claimed that the decision, "will "open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections." The President continued, that with this decision it is possible for American elections to be "bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."

Of course, it is irrelevant to the postmodern hysteria-mongers of the left who, as expected, are virtuously claiming that they are the one and only guardians of free speech, that the SCOTUS decision will do no such thing.

Special interests like all those groups funded by the likes of George Soros are good for free speech, you understand. Labor Unions, by leftist definition, are entitled to free speech (they are "good")...but corporations (who are automatically "bad")must be kept out of the political arena.

From American Thinker:
The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United stands with Brown v. Board of Education as a landmark refutation of discriminatory treatment. It is ironic that the President accused the members of the Supreme Court, who have upheld freedom of speech for corporations and unions, as being politically motivated [i]. In fact, it was the dissenters who embraced political preferential treatment of select corporations and preferred access of a few to the airwaves during political campaigns, which is a separate and unequal protection of speech.


People on the left and their organizations believe passionately in "equality"--its just that they consider themselves more equal than others. In their Animal Farm utopia, only the political elite are meant to decide what is "free" and what is "oppressive";and what the proper speech should be for the unwashed masses.

While they are hyperventilating, here are 3 reasons not to sweat the "Citizens United" SCOTUS ruling:

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

WHAT A JOKE

To the modernist, the "mask" metaphor is a recognition of the fact that words are not always to be taken literally or as directly stating a fact--that people largely use language elliptically, metaphorically, or to state falsehoods, that language can be textured with layers of meaning, and that it can be used to cover hypocrisies or to rationalize. Accordingly, unmasking means interpreting or investigating to a literal meaning or fact of the matter. The process of unmasking is cognitive, guided by objective standards, with the purpose of coming to an awareness of reality.

For the postmodernist, by contrast, interpretation and investigation never terminate with reality. Language connects only with more language, never with a non-linguistic reality....


For the postmodernist, language cannot be cognitive because it does not connect to reality, whether to an external nature or an underlying self. Language is not about being aware of the world, or about distinguishing the true from the false, or even about argument in the traditional sense of validity, soundness, and probability. Accordingly, postmodernism recasts the nature of rehtoric. Rhetoric is persasion in the absence of cognition.... - Stephen Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism (Pgs 175-177)




[Cartoons by Eric Allie here]

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

THE CHRONIC DENIALISTS: GETTING TERRORISM WRONG

Former Former Director of the CIA Michael Hayden thinks that the Obama Administration has taken multiple wrong paths in its approach to terrorism:

When questioning its detainees, the CIA routinely turns the information provided over to its experts for verification and recommendations for follow-up. The responses of these experts -- "Press him more on this, he knows the details" or "First time we've heard that" -- helps set up more detailed questioning.

None of that happened in Detroit. In fact, we ensured that it wouldn't. After the first session, the FBI Mirandized Abdulmutallab and -- to preserve a potential prosecution -- sent in a "clean team" of agents who could have no knowledge of what Abdulmutallab had provided before he was given his constitutional warnings. As has been widely reported, Abdulmutallab then exercised his right to remain silent.

In retrospect, the inadvisability of this approach seems self-evident. Perhaps it didn't appear that way on Dec. 25 because we have, over the past year, become acclimated to certain patterns of thought.


Yes, these "patterns of thought" exercised by the Obama Administration with regard to terrorism are almost always in the direction of maintaining and nurturing the political left's psychological denial--about the very nature of terrorism; the "rights" of terrorists; and the ultimate goals of organizations like Al Qaeda and their Muslim members. In order to achieve the level of denial necessary to make the whole business go away, for example, Obama and his followers have gone to great lengths to use rhetorical manipulations (e.g, changing the name of the war on terror to the ridiculous "overseas contingency operations"); to console themselves with the idea that Obama's rhetorical skills alone are enought to make the problem go away. Then there is always the persecution and demonization of those who actually take the threat seriously and are using their various talents to develop effective strategies or to fight the terrorists directly. Hence the ongoing persecution of people like John Yoo for daring to give legal opinions that Obama and the left didn't like; or the interrogations of CIA personnel, even as they prevent the interrogations of terrorists like Abdumutallab; and so on and on as we have seen over the last year.

Has this approach made us safer? Richard Cohen doesn't think so--in fact, he argues that Obama et al are "tone deaf" with regard to terrorism:
There is almost nothing the Obama administration does regarding terrorism that makes me feel safer. Whether it is guaranteeing captured terrorists that they will not be waterboarded, reciting terrorists their rights, or the legally meandering and confusing rule that some terrorists will be tried in military tribunals and some in civilian courts, what is missing is a firm recognition that what comes first is not the message sent to America's critics but the message sent to Americans themselves. When, oh when, will this administration wake up?

Bit by bit, circumstances are forcing President Obama and his aides to come to grips with reality.


The problem is that the only reality that seems to matter to President Obama and his aides is a rather sordid political one--Obama's decline in the polls and the reality that frightened Democrats are deserting a sinking ship. Now, I am not minimizing the possibility that this might--MIGHT--force them to reconsider their overall approach to the problem and open their eyes to the reality of the enemy we face.

But then Obama would also have to break through the thick postmodern fog that has been his sustenance and shield from reality for decades. He would have to come to grips with many unpleasant truths about the ideology and goals he has embraced and which he intends to force down America's throat now that he is President.

Personally, I don't think Obama has shown much evidence that he is capable of having this particular epiphany about reality.

I believe that what we will see instead is an escalated pattern of using his rhetorical skills to pretend that he is changing and to obfuscate what he is really doing; i.e., like a magician, Obama will use a sleight of hand to accomplish his agenda and maintain his denial about terrorism and terrorists; while he keeps you distracted with his (supposedly) brilliant speeches.

Psychological denial may be a very human trait that we humans are all capable of resorting to in extremis; but for the political left and its annointed ones, it is the very essence of their being. It has to be for them to be able to (dys)function at all.

Stephen Hicks in his book quotes Frank Lentricchia, a noted Duke University literary critic. Postmodernism, says Lentricchia, "seeks not to find the foundation or conditions of truth but to exercise power for the purpose of social change."

Postmodern rhetoric explicitly rejects truth, and because of this it is indifferent to consistency and dismissive of reason. In fact, Postmodernism is a perfect intellectual vehicle for the chronic denialist.

And make no mistake, Obama and the left are into chronic denial, particularly when it comes to terrorism. They are not only tone deaf, but are completely blind and intellectually impaired. For the last year they have been in charge, and almost every action shows that they are getting terrorism wrong, and placing America at higher and higher risk.