Monday, August 30, 2010


This is what freedom and the US Constitution is all about [via Commentary]:

The Constitution is a marvelous document, and a reasonable interpretation of it means as well that no American can be forced to pour concrete. No American can be forced to deliver materials. No American can be forced to bid on a contract, to run conduit, dig a foundation, or join steel.

And a reasonable interpretation of the Constitution means that the firemen’s, police, and restaurant workers’ unions, among others, and the families of the September 11th dead, and anyone who would protect, sympathize with and honor them, are free to assemble, protest and picket at the site of the mosque that under the Constitution is free to be built.

A reasonable interpretation of the Constitution means that no American can be forced to cross a picket line in violation of conscience or even of mere preference. Who, in all decency, would cross a picket line manned by those whose kin were slaughtered—by the thousands—so terribly nearby? And who in all decency would cross such a line manned by the firemen, police and other emergency personnel who know every day that they may be called upon to give their lives in a second act?

Wretchard once wrote that, it isn't "... the universal chorus of harmony" that the multiculturalists have propagandized, "but religious conflict at its most primitive level." He was speaking at the time about the the hysteria surrounding the Mohammed cartoons, but the same thought is easily applicable to all aspects of the political left's politically correct, multicultural dogma, which is designed to make bigots out of anyone who disagrees with them.

The reality is that multiculturalism as a doctrine brings out the basist, most uncivilized and least admirable aspects of human nature.

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

Think about what the PC and multicultural gurus preach in their high-minded, superior rhetoric that inevitably brands anyone who dares to disagree with a racist label. Then WATCH WHAT THEIR RHETORIC ACTUALLY BRINGS ABOUT in real life. It is in the tribal and entitlement behavior that you begin to see the toxicity of this dogma; as well as the essential oppressive nature of the politically correct behavior that adherence to the religion of multiculturalism demands of us.

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

Why would universal brotherhood--or even peaceful coexistence for that matter--result from a dogma that is antithetical to the concept of the universalism of human experience that is the bedrock of civilization; and instead glorifies cultural and tribal differences, no matter how insane or irrational; or how violent or destructive are the cultural practices or beliefs that bring about those differences? Why would "tolerance" and "understanding" ever be the result of one perspective being forced down the throats of everyone else?

If it an American value to build a mosque wherever you want; it is equally an American value to be opposed to building it--particularly if the location is considered by many to be insensitive and inappropriate. I can't remember who mentioned this the other day, but what would people have thought if the Japanese had wanted to build a temple to "peace and brotherhood" next to the site of the USS Arizona sinking a few years after they had bombed Pearl Harbor? Opposing such a proposal then or now would not mean that the opponent is automatically anti-Japanese or racist. But, then it is interesting, isn't it, that no such proposal ever came out of Japan post-WWII, let alone during WWII? It is also interesting that the mosque proposal comes about, while we are still at war with the Islamic fundamentalists who unleashed the death and destruction that have killed and continues to kill so many Americans and people worldwide.

Insensitivity, does not begin to even describe the audacity and inappropriateness of the proposed GZM. It is almost as if the followers of Islam--be they radical or moderate--wish to assert their religion's superiority and dominance; and they are willng to use the tools of a free society to do so even as they undermine a free society. In this context, it is important to remember that Islam and it's politics, including sharia, are not fundamentally compatible with a free society since they do not recognize individual rights. This does not mean that those who wish to practice this medieval religion should be forbidden to do so in a free society (just like any other cultish or oppressive religion--if people choose to live that way they should be free to do so); but it means that such religions or cults are NOT free to impose their beliefs on any individual; and that any individual may leave their religion at any time. Try doing that in Muslim countries.

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

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

We already see the same dysfunctional dynamics playing out on the world stage.

When it comes to dealing with tyrants and despots; terrorists and their irrationally violent religious beliefs, it is necessary to be extremely judgmental; and to always and everywhere denounce them in the strongest terms possible, while assiduously working on every front to support and defend individual freedom for all people.

Samuel Adams wrote:
The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.
Today the world is being run by many "false and designing men" (and, there are a fair share of false and designing women--e.g., Nancy Pelosi comes immediately to mind) who are working hard to cheat Americans out of their heritage and to squander their inheritance. These same false and designing men and women could care less about the freedom of speech and religion that are denied to millions in regimes like Iran or Saudi Arabia; they seem only capable of giving lip service to our Constitution and are noticeably reluctant to defend it against attacks.

In a world dominated by the dogmas of PC and Multiculturalism, there is little difference between liberty and tyranny; or between good and evil for that matter.

So let us be American ,and true to the values elucidated in our Constitution; and defend to the death the right to build a mosque in an inappropriate and insensitive location that sends a message of triumph to the ruthless enemies with whom we remain engaged in a brutal war; AND likewise let us be true to the value of freedom of speech and which make many opposed to building such a symbol of victory for the enemy we fight.

The Constitution protects the civil rights of both perspectives. It does not--and should not-- judge which perspective is right or which is wrong while both are legal. But, then recognize that only one side in this argument possesses moral clarity and common human decency

And it is not the politically correct, multicultural, feel-good-about-themselves, self-righteous, self-destructive side.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Wretchard quotes Clive Crook on the "Restore Honor" Rally in D.C.:

As I say, I find Beck a tragi-comic figure. And as an atheist (I didn’t deny being godless) I do not thrill when a speaker says, “America today begins to turn back to God” … Beck … praised King effusively as an American hero and sounded as though he meant it. Perhaps he was insincere; even so, an odd thing to say if you are addressing a quarter of a million bigots.
So, let me see if I have this correct:

If I oppose any policy of Barack Obama's and the Democrats, then I am a the worst kind of bigot.

If I am worried about the direction that Obama and the Democrats are taking the country, then I am a bigot and a racist.

If I oppose the building of a mosque at Ground Zero, but still think there are decent Muslims in the U.S., then I am a bigot and Islamophobic.

If I understand that not all Muslims are terrorists, but that terrorism appears to thrive on the teachings of Islam and Mohammed, then I am a bigot and Islamophobic.

If I happen to like Sarah Palin, then I am a bigot and a sexist.

If I think that abortion is a terrible idea and that it should never have been forced down people's throats by the Federal government, then I am a bigot and a sexist.

If I think that Gay Marriage (not civil unions) might have some unintended consequences on the entire concept of marriage, then I am a bigot and homophobic.

If I think the tea party is a genuine grassroots movement of people who are proud of "clinging to their guns and religion," then I am a bigot, racist, sexist, homophobic islamophobe.

And I haven't even included the slurs directed against people like me for opposing open borders and trying to have limits on illegal immigration....

Obviously, according to the political left, the Democrats and this Administration, Americans are all bigots (except, of course, for them**). However, there's a simpler explanation, I think:

[Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez ]

[**See the previous two posts for a detailed explanation of this attitude]

Now,this article is a real hoot. Michael Tomasky wonders why Obama and his supersmart, crack team at the WH are doing such a rotten job:
Here's one of the big questions, really, one to chew on over the weekend, one that's asked a lot around this town. How could a bunch of people who ran such a brilliant campaign be doing such a lousy job at the politics of governing?

If you want a good laugh, check out most of the reasons Tomasky proposes for this terrible leftist dilemma; none of which even come close to what some of us understood even during the Presidential campaign: Barack Obama was NEVER qualified to be POTUS; and for all the talk about Palin's lack of qualifications to be VP, Obama's lack of real-world experience, lack of common sense (he stayed happily in a church run by a verifiable bigot for decades); and elitist demagoguery combined with a progressive utopianism, was far more troubling.

Here is what I wrote shortly after Obama ascended into Progressive heaven:

From a recent op-ed from David Warren, "Too Clever By Half", we get this rather succinct analysis of Barack Obama's performance for the first several months.
On one issue after another, from bail-outs to the environment, Medicare, life issues, foreign policy, the polls now tend to confirm what this pundit and a few other incorrigible reactionaries knew from the outset: that a plurality of American voters had embraced Mr. Obama not because of, but despite the policies he was signalling. They most certainly liked the man and his "temperament," and they most certainly wanted the Republicans out. But it did not follow that they wanted their government to lurch to the left.

To my analytical mind, such as it is, they wanted Obama the man, but not Obama the agenda, except for the uplifting rhetorical bits about "hope," "change," and so forth. The idea that the man could not be separated from the agenda never fully fixed; John McCain and company actually avoided riding home on this point, once the media made clear it would be reported as "scare tactics."

Again, to my mind -- and it is the only one I have with which to write this column -- we would be wrong to think of Mr. Obama as an ideologue. I think he was perfectly sincere in denying that he was anything of the sort, and in claiming that he would be looking for bipartisan consensus. I also think he is sincere in proceeding with an agenda -- on bail-outs, the environment, Medicare, life issues, foreign policy, etc. -- that leaves most Republicans, and quite a few of the more conservative Democrats, utterly aghast.

How to explain this apparent contradiction? I'm afraid it is easy. As I mentioned during the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama was seriously unqualified for the job of president. He had no practical experience in running anything, except political campaigns; but worse, his background was one-dimensional.

I think it is not only Republicans and conservative Democrats who are utterly aghast, but a large majority of the population. They were voting for the First Black American to be President, happily secure in their hopey changey world that they would be free at last, thank God; free at last of that over-used "racist" label that Barack and Co. (i.e., the Jeremiah Wrights and many others) had been throwing around for a few decades. They saw a hope that in Barack Obama there was finally a chance at redemption from America's past with all the bitterness of the Civil War and the whole slavery issue. And, I think, rather innocently were led to believe that issues of race could finally be put behind them. What a laugh that turned out to be--especially since now every criticism of the "post-racial" candidate produces even more accusations of racism.

I think also, that the hopeful American public did not sufficiently consider the ramifications of actually having a person of minimal experience in the White House because they were blinded by the shining white light of his media-enhanced supernatural personality. It might not have mattered if someone of dubius qualification had been elected in a less volatile epoch of history; but not having even the smallest of proven capabilities during this critical historical time is going to really hurt this country as we are starting to find out.

Not only is Barack Obama seriously unqualified (as I and many others warned), but what little there was documented of his various activities over the years was quite damning as far as the content of his character and the ideological bent of his mind. When it was pointed out repeatedly (but not in the MSM, unfortunately) that he had the most leftist voting record in Congress (when he actually didn't vote "present"), that information was shrugged off. When it was pointed out repeatedly (but not in the MSM, unfortunately) that he had absolutely NO record of EVER having "reached across the aisle" in any sort of bipartisan manner, that information was shrugged off.

People made fun of Sarah Palin, a sitting governor of a large state and someone with a modicum of executive experience; but making fun of Barack "community organizer" Obama was considered the height of disgusting and racist utterings.

Nevertheless, Sarah Palin was and is the equivalent of a seasoned fighter pilot and Obama is only someone who's carefully studied about how jets fly, but hasn't quite got around to flying one yet.

His lack of experience was so obvious, but so downplayed, because everyone was so infatuated on such short acquaintance was with the charismatic Obama that, to quote Marianne the "sensibility" half of Sense and Sensibililty (the movie), "What care I for colds when there is such a man?"

Indeed. What did the American public care about the pressing issues of the day when there was "such a man" as Barack, who in all his glory had exploded on the American stage only a few short years earlier? They were weary of the Iraq war, having suffered the slings and arrows of all those imaginary sacrifices trumpeted by the left; and even more weary of all the arguing about it.

Who could have predicted from those seemingly heroic-sounding, carefree days of the campaign, that, much like Marianne, we are coming to appreciate that Obama's character, as it turns out, is not much different from Willoughby: empty of integrity and honor; as well as weak and shallow. Those who innocently voted for him are beginning to sicken on the bitterness of their regret and betrayal.

Obama's character was always evident for any who cared to look at the evidence. It is still obvious, for those who will bother to look and listen to the empty words coming from the man today . Or, better still, just carefully examine the policies he and his cronies are foisting upon this country. The last thing he wants is for anyone to actually read through those policies--that's why we're in such a heedless rush to pass them through Congress.

His agenda looks much better if no one peers at it too closely or critically.

If you thought Bush was "shredding the Constitution" and paving a path toward fascism, how can it possibly escape your notice that the Obamacons are goosestepping their way into every household in America? If you haven't noticed yet, then you will very shortly.

Meanwhile, Michael Wolff can't help noticing that Obama is a terrible bore...but it's actually worse than Wolff thinks. He writes:

What happens when you move into the White House?

Well, shit, of course. The true secret of the power of language is in quickness. Barack Obama can’t keep up. He evidently needs too much preparation.

It's not just in language that he can't keep up. How could this supposed political superstar; this Savior who was going to roll back the tides and heal the planet, not have been able to predict Iran's utterly predictable response to his sincere, videotaped message of weakeness? Obama might just as well have put up a YouTube video telling the Mullahs to go right ahead with their nuclear ambitions and whatever the hell they intend to do in the region because the US isn't going to do a damn thing about it.

John Boyd is a well-known military strategist whose concept of the OODA loop has gained prominence in both combat and business operations:

According to Boyd, decision-making occurs in a recurring cycle of observe-orient-decide-act. An entity (whether an individual or an organization) that can process this cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby "get inside" the opponent's decision cycle and gain the advantage.

OODA stands for OBSERVE---> ORIENT---> DECIDE ---> ACT; and the loop is a ongoing cycle that continuously updates in real time. Of course, for a pilot in combat it is much more complex and intricate than this simple diagram can indicate; but essentially, in order to survive and defeat an enemy, one has to be quicker in following the sequence and be able to stay one step ahead.

Obama has already shown he is not able to do this, either to deal with the financial crisis or to deal with external threats like Iran. In fact, he is continuously one step behind events and therefore at the mercy of them. That is why he always seems to be responding defensively.

Is it any wonder that he has regressed back to campaign mode when he appeared to all intents and purposes to be on top of his game? Appearing on late night TV and playing the Hollywood star again. One only wonders when (not if ) he'll make an appearance on American Idol so he can upstage the talent there.

Sadly, the game is no longer a "survivor" reality TV show about an endless Presidential Election process; it is survival in the real world now; a place where one's enemies are not filled with mindless adoration and and uncritical praise and where being "voted" off the island or not making it to the next round has far more consequences for both yourself and the country who is depending on your leadership.

Obama may have been a quick study in the academic setting, but if there's one thing academic and elites aren't very good at, it's functioning outside their protective ivory tower. For them, the real world is often a confusing and disorienting place.

As one of Boyd's colleagues put it, in discussing the essence of the Loop,

The key is to obscure your intentions and make them unpredictable to your opponent while you simultaneously clarify his intentions. That is, operate at a faster tempo to generate rapidly changing conditions that inhibit your opponent from adapting or reacting to those changes and that suppress or destroy his awareness. Thus, a hodgepodge of confusion and disorder occur to cause him to over- or under-react to conditions or activities that appear to be uncertain, ambiguous, or incomprehensible.
Since Inauguration Day, Obama's intentions have been completely predictable and transparent to our enemies; he has wasted no time or thought in implementing his ideological fantasies; yet, at the same time, he is operating at a tempo that is easy to keep one step ahead of (primarily because everything he is doing has already been tried before in the last half century and is hardly new or original). Finally, the man is so wrapped up in himself and his own words and agenda, that he is not in the least bit interested in "clarifying the intentions" of anyone else.

Like the Minor League star who suddenly finds himself in the Show, he has no idea how to cope or why his batting average has dropped so precipitously.

Thus, it is Obama who is continuously underreacting and behaving in an uncertain and ambiguous manner. Staying one step ahead of him is rather easy; and boxng him will be a piece of cake for the Mullahs.

As for the economy, he hasn't even the smallest clue, and observing and orienting to the facts is of little interest when one is intent on ushering in a progressive utopia.

So for all those like Tomasky who are desperately are trying to figure out why the godlike Obama is flailing in the real world-- taking the economy down the toilet; while making the world safe for tyrants and tyranny; and out of necessity turning Americans into 'bigoted, racist, sexist, islamophobic homophobes';-- take note of what Charles Krauthammer said the other day (and I quote him again because it explains why we have all become bigots and why psychological projection is such a handy, dandy all-purpose defense against reality)
Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities -- often lopsided majorities -- oppose President Obama's social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, Obamacare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a mosque near Ground Zero.

What's a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument.

Needless to say, I'm rather proud to be called a 'bigot' by that useless, incompetent group of idiots.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Now here is an amazing statistic that should help everyone keep things in perspective:
In Iraq, a country with about the same population as Venezuela, there were 4,644 civilian deaths from violence in 2009, according to Iraq Body Count; in Venezuela that year, the number of murders climbed above 16,000.

Even Mexico’s infamous drug war has claimed fewer lives.

Think about this for a moment.

Venezuela...Another one of those brillian Communist "Paradises". But, have no fear! The great, compassionate leader Hugo Chavez, adoringly touted by all those forward-thinking progressives and the left's deep-thinking celebrity entourage, has the perfect solution: the government has ordered the newspapers not to report any more killings!

Yes. That. Should. Do. The. Trick. (And it is nothing but a trick)

The intellectual, philosophical and moral pygmys giants of that side of the political spectrum are all in agreement--from Venezuela to Cuba to North Korea to the US-- that the most important thing to do when you haven't a clue what to do, is simply to control reality by controlling the narrative! In fact, for them the reality IS the narrative and nothing more.

It's just too too bad that all those people have to continue to be murdered. But in the great scheme of things, the only thing that's real to the left is holding onto their own power and their illusions of superiority. Thus, when confronted with a problem in the real world they can't even begin to deal with; or, which threatens their own perception of themselves or their policies, they have to focus on altering and distorting the perception of reality!

See the previous post for further psychological details and elaboration.

Or check out here or here to appreciate how pervasively this clever little leftist psychological maneuver is used right here in the U.S.A.


From Instapundit:

DON SURBER: Lefty beats up cabbie; left blames the right. Yeah, for all the talk about the threat of Tea Party violence, the actual violence seems to come from the usual suspects on the left. It’s been that way for a while.

The self-righteous members of the political left often pretend their behavior is motivated from" love" or "peace" or even "patriotism"; but these are only words they use in order to rationalize their less than lovely --and remarkably unpeaceful (i.e. outrageously violent)--actions to themselves.

Isn't it interesting that their words and their actions are so frequently the opposite of each other?

This sort of self-deception, which is a combination of psychological projection and outright psychological denial is simply stunning in its sweeping grandiosity. And, the goal of such grandiosity is to distort or obscure reality itself.

But, reality and truth always matter; and they always will win out over self-delusion in the end.

Many paths can be taken to reach self-delusion. Each individual who embraces psychological denial--whether through projection, paranoia, displacement or any one of a number of varying strategies-- does so in order to avoid some unpleasant truth about themselves; or to preserve a world view in the face of an uncompromising and unforgiving reality.

That these motivations are extremely powerful can be seen, particularly when the delusion or distortion of reality creates a life-threatening situation for the individual. But the desire to see themselves or their ideas as so special; or so superior is so strong, even in life-threatening situations, the denier will cling to his denial like a man clings to a piece of driftwood to keep from drowning in the storm.

There is only one path that leads to insight and self-awareness and it travels directly through the comforting distortions and lies; straight to the heart of the individual's most cherished beliefs about himself and the world. If a person can look at those beliefs and face those motivations squarely and honestly; and then reconcile them to the painful reality and truth observed in the outside world; then the path will lead to personal growth and self-discovery.

But today's "reality-based" progressive left are exceedingly unwilling to look in the mirror or question their cherished beliefs. It just feels tooooo good and sooooo right that they should be considered intellectually and morally superior to the unwashed masses. In the face of such obvious superiority, why would it ever be necessary to question their own motivations or memes, or policies or behaviors?

It goes without saying that psychological denial is a universal phenomenon that knows no politics. We are all capable of denying and distorting reality when faced with unpleasant truths that confront us.

Some of us will grow and learn from the experience of having reality smack us around a bit. And some will pick themselves up, battered and bruised from the experience and go right back to denying the truth and promoting the same failed ideas and policies over and over again--each time a little bit more hysterically and pugnaciously; willing to use force if necessary to make others accept their delusions.

The [psycho]path of denial is a well-trodden and surprisingly comfortable road to walk--at least until it takes you over the cliff and into the abyss.

“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary.” 1984 (The definition of " Doublethink")

UPDATE: The last refuge of a liberal:
Now we know why the country has become "ungovernable," last year's excuse for the Democrats' failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities -- often lopsided majorities -- oppose President Obama's social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, Obamacare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a mosque near Ground Zero.

What's a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Last year I wrote a piece for this blog that expressed my feelings about the Democrat's unsubtle plan to nationalize health care ("This Time I Don't Care Anymore, Let the Zombies Take Over Medicine"). Well, I have a confession to make.

I care. I care a lot.

You see, I have personal knowledge as a physician of how awful government medicine is; all the restrictions on physicians' clinical judgments; all the decisions made for supposedly "scientific" reasons, which are really made because of cost and cost alone. If you want to know how things will work out under Obama's health care debacle, you need look no further than the VA Health Care System, which I judge to be many years behind the standard of care demanded in private settings; and even more backwards than most County and State Health Programs.

They mean well, of course. Reality-deprived morons do-gooders like Obama, Pelosi, and most of the Democratic party (and not a few Republicans) always do. As Thomas Sowell notes in a recent column:
There is so much political spin, and so many numbers games being played, when it comes to medical care, that we have to go back to square one and the simplest common sense, in order to get some rational idea of what government-run medical care means. In particular, we need to examine the claim that the government can "bring down the cost of medical care."

The most basic fact is that it is cheaper to remain sick than to get medical treatment. What is cheapest of all is to die instead of getting life-saving medications and treatment, which can be very expensive.

Despite these facts, most of us tend to take a somewhat more parochial view of the situation when it is we ourselves who are sick or who face a potentially fatal illness. But what if that decision is taken out of your hands under ObamaCare and is being made for you by a bureaucrat in Washington?

We won't know what that leads to until the time comes. As Nancy Pelosi said, we will find out what is in the bill after it has passed. But even now, after ObamaCare has been passed, not many people want to read its 2,400 pages. Even if you did, you would still not know what it would be like in practice, after more than 150 boards and commissions issue their specific regulations.

Our veterans already know what it would be like in practice. It doesn't matter how caring or how professional the doctors, nurses and staff are when the system in which they have to operate is basically micromanaged by professional bureaucrats, unimaginably insane and often completely disconnected from reality.

But the American media don't tell you about such things when they are gushing over the wonders of "universal health care" that will "bring down the cost of medical care."

Listen, the truth is that if you want excellent health care, you have to pay for it. The difference between a 5-star restaurant and McDonald's isn't just the price; the difference is the quality. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I actually like going to McDonald's. But it is when I choose to go. What if it was the only choice? And, do you imagine that Obamacare is more equivalent to the 5-star place? Chances are, it will not even have the quality-control practiced by a McDonald's; who, after all, are in a very competitive market and understands that they have to have a good product to attract customers (or, at least a better product than their competitors).

Americans get the latest pharmaceutical drugs, sometimes years before those drugs are available to people in Britain or in other countries where the government runs the medical system. Why? Because the latest drugs cost more and it is cheaper to let people die.

The "latest drugs" at the VA have generally been on the market for years before they get on the government formulary (especially in psychiatry, which I know best).

As I wrote in "An Illness of the Soul: Cuba Health Comes to America"
It will take Obamacare a little time to equal the degrading and horrific conditions that characterize health care in countries like Communist Cuba. But I suppose that is the goal. A few years ago I wrote about the Cuban health care system. I reprint that piece below. Not much has changed in the intervening years, I fear. There is still an illness of the soul; a progressively fatal disease that destroys the spirit and scars the body and soul; and this is the disease that the pimps of Obamacare have now loosed on this country.

I suppose we can look forward to more of Moore's spin as our healthcare system goes down the toilet....

And, how pathetic is it that Cuba's zombi-in-chief, the not-quite-dead-yet Fidel, feels gratified that America has finally measured up to his standards?

[ Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden ]

To repeat myself, I CARE.** So let's do everything in our power to repeal this obamination that only looks worse the closer it gets to implementation.

But, if you want spin instead of the best possible medical care, then John Stossel has some good news for this sad and clueless administration:
Good News: Obamacare to Create 16,500 New Jobs!

The bad news?
(A) new analysis by Republican staffers on the Joint Economic and the House Ways & Means Committees estimates the IRS will have to hire an additional 16,500 workers to "collect, examine and audit new tax information mandated on families and small businesses in the (health care) 'reconciliation' bill."

Mark Steyn writes:

This will be the biggest expansion of the IRS since World War II - and that's change you can believe in. This is what "health" "care" "reform" boils down to: Fewer doctors, longer wait times but more bureaucrats.

So, medical spin? Or, medical care? Really, it's your choice.

**NOTE: just because I care passionately about this issue doesn't mean I will stick around to see it destroy my profession. I'm at the VA now because I support the mission of providing medical care to our veterans; and I will do this for only as long as I am able to deal with the systemic insanity.

Monday, August 23, 2010


In case you missed it the other day, Rep. Eric Cantor (R., Va.), the House GOP whip, has released a 13-minute video/mini-documentary about President Obama and the national debt which I think is pretty good. If you haven't already seen it, take a look:

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Don't ever let a liberal lefty progressive get away with explaining to you how much more kind and compassionate their world view is....

Or, how "reality-based" their continuous appeasement and betrayal of fundamental values is--from Andy McCarthy at The Corner who ironically notes:

I’ve been asking why the State Department has not designated the Taliban as a terrorist organization, and why Congress’s authorization for the use of military force supporting the war has not been updated to include the Taliban as part of the enemy, given that defeating the Taliban — a terrorist organization – is the stated rationale for our continuing combat operations in Afghanistan.

The obvious, if cynical, explanation seemed to be that we were planning to negotiate with the Taliban (or, at least, encourage Karzai’s negotiating with the Taliban). It is supposed to be U.S. policy — or, at least, it used to be — that we don’t negotiate with terrorists for to do so would reward and thus encourage their barbaric methods. Formally branding the terrorists as terrorists would thus complicate negotiations with them.

And, perhaps most importantly, don't ever allow yourself to believe that there is any real logic or consistency to their so-called "principled" stances:

[from cartoonist Steve Kelley]

Today's progressive left is all about emotional immaturity and casual cruelty; the celebration of appearance over substance; feeling good about themselves as a necessary and sufficient condition for all political policies. Indeed, the unbelievable cognitive dissonance and assbackwards style of at looking at events in the real world is only a clumsy mask (which when it slips, shows them in all their naked, unadorned glory) that hides their profound psychological denial and projection.

In a post called The Denialists, I wrote:

Many people have "creatively adapted"--in some cases, extremely creatively-- to the realities of a post-9/11 world. Denial of reality has become so much a part of their day to day life, that it seems simply amazing to an observer like myself that such individuals, groups, and even nations continue to be unaware of what is actually happening in the world today.

Unfortunately, their unwillingness to face the reality of the rise of Islamofascism and the barbarism it has unleashed around the world has had the consequence of facilitating that barbarism and even encouraging it.

I think of such people as beyond mere psychological denial...they are denialists, those who proudly and defiantly wear the multicultural and PC blinders of the psychologically obtuse. Usually they refer to themselves as "progresssive" and "reality-based"; which just goes to show how creative and imaginitive they actually are.

And, of course, even the most insightful and self-aware among us (which I most certainly do not claim for myself) are vulnerable to lapsing into a state of denial when we are too stressed; or simply when we are too lazy and don't want to examine our own motivations and inner conflicts too clearly.

Those individuals, groups, or nations who live in the world of deep denial are practically untouchable by reality or rational argument. They go through their daily lives secure in the knowledge that their self-image is protected against any information, feelings, or awareness that might make them have to change their view of the world. Nothing--not facts, not observable behavior; not the use of reason, logic, or the evidence of their own senses will make them reevaluate that world view.

All events will simply be reinterpreted to fit into the belief system of that world--no matter how ridiculous, how distorted, hysterical or how psychotic that reinterpretation appears to others. Consistency, common sense, reality, and objective truth are unimportant and are easily discarded--as long as the world view remains intact.

Since we are talking about ideological psychopathology; here is a rather fascinating discussion by James Fallon, who explains some of the key ingredients of psychopathology.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


You probably didn't realize it, but you have been working for the US Government from January 1, 2010 thru August 19, 2010, which was the "cost of government day" for this year. Grover Norquist writes:
Every year, Americans for Tax Reform calculates Cost of Government Day — exactly how many days of the year Americans work to pay the total cost of government. This includes all government spending by federal, state, and local government. It also includes the costs forced into every product and service we buy in the private sector by state and federal regulations. Some regulations are silly and destructive. Others are important and useful. But none are free.

In 2008, Americans worked 197 days, until July 16 — in other words, more than half the year — to pay for the total cost of government. As a result of the bailouts, stimulus, and increased discretionary spending in the federal budget and new taxes for health care, Americans this year have worked until August 19, fully 231 days.

In two years, the American people have lost over a month of wages to the higher cost of government. Of the total, approximately 104 days are for federal spending, 52 days for state and local spending, 48 days for federal regulations, and 26 days for state and local regulations.

We know the problem. How do we do a U-turn on the road to serfdom?

Eleven score and four years ago, our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Today we live in an Animal Farm world where our elites in Congress consider themselves more equal than you or I; and the wealth created by the productive people in our society is regularly redistributed to those who produce nothing; or, it is wasted on the pet projects of those preening elites who are certain that they know what is best for for everyone. In short, we (and our children and their children) are slowly but inexorably being transformed into slaves of the State.

But, consider this: if, in two years an additional 34 days has accrued (from July 16 to August 19) on the total number of days that each of us has to work to pay for the cost of our bloated government; then it will only be < 4 years before we are all working the ENTIRE YEAR feeding this monster.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Gagdad Bob has written an excellent review of Matt Ridley's book, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. In the review Bob states that Ridley:

...posits a theory for why things are always getting so much better. While the arrow of progress goes up and down over the short term, if you take a longer view -- decades instead of years, centuries instead of decades -- the differences are dramatic; they are not just linear, but exponential.

At least if you begin with the proper boundary conditions. It took mankind thousands of years to discover these boundary conditions, which is why it took until three hundred years ago for things to really take off. World GDP per capita was essentially stagnant for 1700 years before there was a sudden breakthrough several hundred years ago.

But all along, there have been forces opposed to the very conditions that make progress possible....
Human progress, Ridley notes (and Bob expands), "...cannot simply have been because human beings have a bigger brain than most other animals, for no matter how large the brain, it will come up against an evolutionary wall if it isn't an open system that exchanges information and emotion with others.

Nor can it have been a result of language, which was surely a necessary but not sufficient condition for our post-biological evolution (i.e., even Islamists and trolls have language).

As Ridley writes, "It was not something that that happened within a brain. It was something that happened between brains"

I suggest you read the entire post. It got me to thinking about the concept of "between brains" and what that might mean, and that got me thinking about ethics.

Ethics is the branch of philosophy that is concerned with how humans determine a course of action. One aspect of ethics is politics, which is more specifically concerned with proper way that humans interact with each other--or, ethics applied to a group of people. Without ethics, humans would not be able to pursue goals with any degree of success; or to rationally organize goals so that they reflect our most important values. Without a moral politics, i.e., one that bans coercion, individuals could not interact in productive ways within a society.

I mention ethics and politics as a prelude to discussing what it was in human history that led to an exponential growth of human progress over the last 300 + years. Bob goes on to note:
[Ridley's]premise and... conclusion are quite simple: that progress is a function of exchange, not just physical trade and barter, but the exchange and "mating" of ideas. This is what lifts man above biology in a way that no other animal has achieved. Biology has transcended itself in man, but only through very specific conditions.[emphasis mine]

Those specific conditions are societies that facilitate the non-coercive interaction of individuals so that they are able to exchange ideas, goods, services to mutual benefit.

From a paper delivered by Ayn Rand in 1961 at a symposium titled "Ethics in our Time" at the University of Wisconsin, there is a relevant passage on this idea:
The Objectivist ethics holds that human good does not require human sacrifices and cannot be achieved by the sacrifice of anyone to anyone. It holds that the rational interests of men do not clash—that there is no conflict of interests among men who do not desire the unearned, who do not make sacrifices nor accept them, who deal with one another as traders, giving value for value.

The principle of trade is the only rational ethical principle for all human relationships, personal and social, private and public, spiritual and material. It is the principle of justice.

A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. He does not treat men as masters or slaves, but as independent equals. He deals with men by means of a free, voluntary, unforced, uncoerced exchange—an exchange which benefits both parties by their own independent judgment
. A trader does not expect to be paid for his defaults, only for his achievements. He does not switch to others the burden of his failures, and he does not mortgage his life into bondage to the failures of others.[emphasis mine]

Rand advocates a rational ethics, and it is this ethical stance which I believe is the cornerstone of human progress. When humans became traders; when the free and uncoerced exchange of goods and ideas began to be practiced, it unleashed an avalance of human progress. This ethical stance happens to be the cornerstone of an economic system we now refer to as capitalism. It is the ethical stance that the founding Fathers, who deliberately encoded "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" into our national reality.

To the extent that the trader mentality existed in various geographical pockets around the world prior to the founding of America, human progress was enabled and flourished. With the founding of America, it was given another tremendous boost. In fact, as I have written many times before on this blog, capitalism is both the cure for poverty and for human misery; because it codifies how humans should interact with each other; i.e., in a rational, mutually beneficial exchange of goods, ideas, and services.

This ethical stance--as exemplified in the capitalist economic system--has been under intense assault in the last year by Democrats and their left wing base. They would like you to believe that it is capitalism which caused the economic meltdown that we have been witnessing over the last few years and which does not seem to be going away despite the trillion of $$ debt incurred by Congress in a histrionic attempt to abolish cause and effect and ignore the reality of their own culpability.

This economic meltdown is indisputably a man-caused disaster and it continues to take place right before our eyes. And, by now it should be apparent to most about who and what is to blame.

If you go back to the Meltdown's beginnings at the end of the last century as Classical Values did a while back, you can only come to one conclusion: that the whole financial mess proves capitalism doesn't work....when it is controlled by government. Another name for this is "crony capitalism", but I prefer to call it by its alternate name: Facism

[From Mirriam-Webster, Fascism is a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.]

The left would definitely like to blame this global economic meltdown on capitalism, because they desire to gain full control over the means of production in the mistaken (and evil) belief that what is in their brain is best for everyone else. But, what caused the economic meltdown was the collusion of Congressional and Indusry leaders possessing a deeply unethical, irrational, and essentially looter mentality.

This Congressional-Industrial Complex where the know-it-all, do-gooder elitist leaders in Congress (a toxic mixture of "selfless" and "selfish" narcissists) conspired and colluded with the money-grubbing elitist leaders (selfish narcissists) in the business world to deviate from and otherwise ignore the fundamental laws of supply and demand, in order to enrich themselves while sanctimoniously insisting it was for the benefit of the disadvantaged and the country; and to pretend that they could manipulate the market indefinitely without any adverse consequences.

But one cannot ignore reality for very long without having to deal with the consequences. Unfortunately, we are all of us dealing with (and going to be dealing with for some time) the consequences of their behavior. Because, when the exchange of ideas or information or goods or services is hijacked by brains whose only goal is to loot those who are productive in order to give to those who are not (and let there be no doubt--THIS IS COERCION); then progress inevitably comes to a screeching, grinding halt. In some cases, it even reverses itself. You might even say that the current administration is building a bridge to the 20th (or perhaps even the 19th) century. Much the same way that the Islamists wish to build a bridge to the Middle Ages. Both are marching backwards and are anti-human; anti-human progress.

Right now in the news we have excellent examples of what I mean by "sociopathic selflessness" (Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, and many others) and "sociopathic selfishness" (the Bernie Madoff-type CEO's and governing boards of looted companies that should be allowed to fail and their executives prosecuted). Often, malignant narcissists combine the qualities of both types, vascillating between the grandiosity characteristic of the malignantly selfish and the compassionate do-gooder of the malignantly selfless.

In "The Narcissistic Synthesis", I proposed that the optimal synthesis of the two opposing ethical imperatives of the developing self--the Grandiose Self (GS) and the Idealized Object (IO) -- was Individualism, or as it is sometimes called, "Enlightened Self-Interest". The two ethical imperatives that derive from the GS and IO, and which form the dialectic are in the table below in red and blue:

Now, getting back to the discussion of ethics and politics (human interaction "between brains" so to speak) and the question of what constitutes ethical (good) human behavior; as well as unethical (bad) human behavior.

Through ethics, we are able to develop our values and take action in the real world to pursue those values. The study of ethics answers such questions as: "Should I only pursue my own happiness?" or "Should I sacrifice myself for the greater good of others?"

These two questions are at the heart of the narcissistic dialectic in the area of ethics, and they appear to be completely the opposite of each other. But somehow, a healthy individual must find a way to creatively synthesize an effective and life-affirming value system from both sides of that ethical dialectic.

It is not an exaggeration to say that most of human history has been a battle between forces which advocate one or the other of these two absolute ethical imperatives. The self-GS says unequivocally that I should always pursue my own happiness, regardless of its impact on others; while the self-IO demands that I always sacrifice myself for others and/or the "greater good"; or, that an individual's happiness is nothing compared to the happiness of others.

Individuals, as they go through life, often run head-on into this seeming dilemma; and if they do not find a way to resolve it within their psychological self they will forever bounce back and forth between what I have termed "sociopathic selfishness" and "sociopathic selflessness".

It is my contention that the adoption of either of the extreme ethical systems derived from the developing self will inevitably leads to disastrous consequences for both for the individual and for society, and is the cause of most human suffering. Both extremes represent a form of malignant narcissism with which our world is plagued.

The unopposed Grandiose Self gives rise to tyrants big and small; to megalomaniacal dictators and dictator wannabees; to unbelievable corporate greed and plundering; and to the typical criminal sociopath in all his/her glory. The damage that such individuals do in individual relationships, in business, in politics and in all spheres of human behavior, is well documented and appreciated in the world. Most children are abjured repeatedly never, never to be "selfish". To always consider others. Laws are set up to protect people from victimization at the hands of these unrestrained grandiose monsters, unable to see other people as distinct individuals separate from their own self. These "others" exist only as the means to achieving their own desires.

But far more menacing to humanity is the unrestrained IO, which has unlimited potential to cause human misery and death; and whose destructiveness we have seen dominate the 20th century. The countless dead bodies that are the direct result of this form of malignant narcissism are quickly forgotten because they died as some nations, religions, ideologies attempted to implement their IDEAL in the real world.

This second type of evil is more subtle, and it derives from the ethics of the IO side of the self. The IO also does not see other people as distinct individuals with needs and desires of their own, but only as fodder for the expression of an IDEAL; or as pawns for the wishes of a deified GS. People with this narcissistic defect completely reject the needs of the individual and enslave him or her to the service of their IDEAL. Eventually, the enslavement--whether religious or secular--snuffs out human ambition, confidence, energy, self-esteem, and life. These mindlessly malignant "do-gooders" -- like our Nobel Laureate mentioned at the start of this article-- do far more harm than good and their ideologies can lead to genocidal practices and unbelievable atrocities on a grand scale, all in the name of an IDEAL or GOD.

The malignant and sociopathic potential of both the GS and IO are inherent in the human species. They are flip sides of the same human coin, you see. One side cannot exist without the other. Either a way is found to synthesize the two, or an individual will forever flip-flop between them--coldly and viciously tyrannical toward all humans in pursuit of his own desires on the one hand; and on the other, coldly and viciously determined no matter what the cost in human lives and suffereing to implement his IDEAL in all human society.

We are always warned about the individual narcissitic sociopaths; but most people don't appreciate the sociopathic qualities of groups, religions, nations, and ideologies that demand all individuals sacrifice themselves for the good of the latest utopian ideal or some blood-thirsty god.

In our modern world, the Islamic Jihadists have perfected this ethical demand; and the suicide-bomber is the ultimate expression of their ethics. (see the post "Union With An Evil God" and "Narcissistic Rage and Awe" for more on this).

But they are not alone in their disregard and contempt for the individual, who they see as only existing to serve the IDEAL, or to bring about the utopia/paradise/caliphate/[insert fantasy delusion here].

Extremes of both the political left and the political right are also dominated by the malignant narcissism of the GS and the IO.

If we go back to our understanding of healthy narcissistic development, we appreciate that the GS and the IO in adults is a result of the failure of narcissistic synthesis. The developmental process that should lead to a healthy self is broken; or fractured; or poisoned....

So, how does the self, torn between these two potentially malignant outcomes resolve the conflicting ethical imperatives and come out whole and fully integrated?

The solution lies not in a compromise between the two extremes, but in a synthesis that creates a new and wholly unexpected perspective for the self. It is a synthesis that rejects the pathology of either extreme and recognizes that the individual self has worth; that the needs and desires of the Individual self are worth pursuing for their own sake; and that because of the affiliative nature of human beings that an individual can value another individual or individuals enough to sacrifice himself for that other person or persons when it is rational and necessary to do so.

One might say that true "selflessness" actually requires a healthy and whole self; and that contrary to common wisdom, when a psychologically mature individual chooses to sacrifice himself for someone or something, it simultaneously reflects a situation of true "selfishness" as well.

Further reading on this can be found in the following posts, if you're interested:

Narcissism & Society Parts I-III
The Narcissistic Dialectic
The Narcissistic Synthesis

Of course, malignant narcissists of both stripes will always exist in any society whether it is a democratic capitalist society or a collectivist centralized economy.

To the degree that the "selfless" do-gooder type has significant to unlimited political power to manipulate the market or economy for their "compassionate" and glorious utopian fantasies (and along the way, of course, to personally enrich themselves) then they become a real danger to the entire society. This type of malignant narcissist is the hallmark of the socialist/communist/collectivist society, and theoretically has less room to indulge their grandiose selves in a democracy. But not always, as the citizens of the U.S. have come to appreciate.

As for the money-grubbing CEO's who want a piece of the government (i.e., YOUR) money without having to bother to produce anything--laws always exist in free societies to prosecute them for the kind of fraud they perpetrate. Generally, those CEO's whose bad management and collusion with the above political narcissists are not rewarded with bailouts in free and rationally ethical societies. No person or company is "too big" to fail. The ripple effects of the failure may be severe, but by allowing them to suffer the consequences of their idiocy, a free society will be taking out insurance against the bad behavior that led to it (i.e., they will encourage its extinction). "Madoffs" are not only found in capitalistic societies; they are part and parcel of the collectivist ones, too. But in the collectivist societies, they can make their best killings since they have the protection and encouragement of the political powers-that-be (who often are handsomely rewarded for that protection etc.). In the capitalistic societies, with a rule of law, the Madoffs eventually are exposed and go to jail.

The free market is simply not capable of screwing up the entire economy without the devoted and unethical assistance from unrestrained and malignant politicians colluding with unethical and malignant businessmen, both of whom are insulated (for a while, at least) from the rule of law and from reality.

And, as Thomas Sowell explains, America is in decline because we've abandoned our fundamental values....

There is no doubt in my mind that the key "boundary conditions" that have enabled the incredible advances in human progress around the world which have decreased both human misery and poverty everywhere is due to the adherence to a rational ethical system that allowed individuals to interact in a socially productive and mutually beneficial manner--"between brains" so to speak; without the use of brute force and government coercion.

Those boundary conditions are being systematically and deliberately dismantled and replaced by a medieval, irrational and unethical system, that depends primarily on force, involuntary servitude, and the submission of the individual to the will of the State.