Sunday, November 28, 2010

BLOG EASING AND QUANTITATIVE EASING EXPLAINED !

I need to ease up on the blogging in order to concentrate on several projects at home and work which need to be completed before the end of the year. This means that blogging at Dr. Sanity will be very light to non-existent until January, 2011. Have a wonderful Holiday!

I will leave you with a video that explains quantitative easing, sent to me by a reader (O Bloody Hell), which is amazingly informative...feel free to discuss!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING !

Remember the "Axis of Evil"? Well, even with Saddam out of the picture, there are still two members who are up to no good, and there is obviously a career opening in the Axis that could be filled by any number of thugs currently operating on the world stage (I vote for that scary clown Hugo Chavez).

The good news is that one of the career psychopaths of the Axis is holding onto power by a thread, and that he may actually be on his way out...but the bad news is that he'll likely be replaced by someone even more malignant and nutty if the Mullahs have anything to say about it (and they do).

And, when it comes to the other remaining member of this exclusive club, Kim Jong Il and North Korea, well recent events suggest that we should never turn our eyes away from the fruitcake who operates on the Asian side of the Axis.

So, this Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate to re-post the recipe for "AXIS OF EVIL FRUITCAKE" in "honor" of those who always seem to be plotting world domination...

Handled properly, of course, a variety of candied fruits and nuts can made into a very delicious (and relatively benign) holiday treat; but you have to forcefully stir the batter and cook it it is fully baked (as opposed to half-baked).

"AXIS OF EVIL FRUITCAKE"

1 C sugar
1/2 C butter, melted
1 egg
pinch of salt
1 1/2 C applesauce
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
2 t baking soda
2 C flour
1 1/2 C golden raisins
1 C currants
1 C candied fruit mix for fruitcake
1 C pecans
1 C red candied cherries for fruitcake (one small container)
1 C candied pineapple chunks for fruitcake (1 small container)

Blend ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into 2 or 3 loaf pans (depending on the size of the pan) lined with wax paper. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour, or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool completely. Refrigerate for a day or two before serving. Can be frozen, too. Wrap well in foil and ziploc bags and store in the refrigerator or freezer. You can spike it with brandy, but the applesauce base keeps it moist.

Enjoy, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING !

BLOWING BUBBLES



[Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez]

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

THE NATURE OF THE BEAST

In 2007 I wrote:
Kim Jong Il is unlikely to live up to any diplomatic agreement. Eventually, he will bring things to the brink, where he (and most narcissists and psychopaths) like to operate. And, he will be counting on the West and in particular, the U.S. to take the step back and give in when he does. He has every historical reason to be encouraged that this will happen. Jimmy Carter did it; Madeleine Albright did it; Bill Clinton did it. The Democratic leadership currently in Congress is dying to do it.

The conservatives like John Bolton who are criticizing the agreement are doing so precisely because they recognize the essential nature of North Korea's lying, deceitful leader.

If you make agreements with such leaders, there are several key psychological points to keep in mind when dealing with both the narcissistic grandiosity of the dictator/tyrant and the shame-avoidant culture that nourishes him.

First, with regard to the narcissistic grandiosity it must be remembered that what you are confronting is basically a bully (a bully with nuclear weapons for sure, but still a bully). And a bully will only stop bullying when it is absolutely clear to him that he cannot win. In other words, a show of overwhelming force that is direct, clear and unambiguous is what is needed. In the context of an agreement, you must make any rewards directly attached to the behavior you expect; and if the behavior does not meet your criteria, then there must not be any reward. In fact, there should be specific negative consequences clearly delineated for that eventuality.

The bully must understand that he will not get away with his bullying; that it will not be tolerated-- or there will be catastrophic consequences for him personally.

Bullies like Kim Jong Il will watch carefully to see if the West really means what it says in this area, and if he senses any ambiguity or lack of resolve on the part of the international community or within the US, he will snicker at his cleverness and exploit our indecision to the fullest possible extent.

That is what Saddam believed would happen in Iraq. That is what Ahmadinejad and the malignant mullahs believe will happen in their own confrontation with the West. They have seen the indecision and the lack of will and are certain they will prevail against such weakness.

So it is incredibly important that militarily the US or the international community step up to the plate.


The malignant narcissist who is dictator of North Korea, with the help (encouragement?) of his heir apparent, have not only gone ahead with their plans for nuclear weapons--despite agreements, accords, promises and whatever; but now have committed an act of war against South Korea in a deliberate and calculated attack.

We should not be surprised or shocked. We should have always expected this because it is what happens when a madman rules, especially when he knows he can pretty much get away with anything and the U.S. is unlikely to do much to stop him. We knew he was a madman, and yet we tried to reason with him and pretend he would keep his word.

And right on cue, the U.S. condemns the action and "shows restraint."

Yes, that should work splendidly.

Obama et al need to realize that Iran will be watching this situation very very closely to see what we do. If we permit the North Korean regime to militarily bully and kill its neighbors in Asia, how soon do you think it will take Iran and the Mullahs to flex their muscle in the Middle East?

The U.S. (and the world) has already shown considerable restraint for the shenanigans and bizarre international behavior of Kim Jong Il. We need more than "outrage" from Obama, we require some real leadership.

Of course, now I'm expecting some sort of "leadership" from the narcissist who leads the U.S. and I'm making the same mistake U.S. diplomats have made in expecting the narcissist who leads North Korea to hold to his agreements.

It simply ain't in the nature of the beast.

UPDATE: A final nail in the coffin of the "Obama Doctrine"? Let's hope so.

Monday, November 22, 2010

CHUTZPAH

Chutzpah (pronounced /ˈhʊtspə/) is the quality of audacity, for good or for bad. The word derives from the Hebrew word ḥuṣpâ (חֻצְפָּה), meaning "insolence", "audacity", and "impertinence."

And this is a perfect example, Islamic variety:
Developers of the controversial Park51 Islamic community center and mosque located two blocks from Ground Zero earlier this month applied for roughly $5 million in federal grant money set aside for the redevelopment of lower Manhattan after the attacks of September 11th, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

[. . .]

The application was submitted under a “community and cultural enhancement” grant program administered by the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation (LMDC), which oversaw the $20 billion in federal aid allocated in the wake of 9/11 and is currently doling out millions in remaining taxpayer funds for community development. The redevelopment board declined to comment on the application (as did officials from Park51), citing the still ongoing and confidential process of determining the grant winners.

While news of the application has not previously been made public, developer Sharif El-Gamal outlined it in closed-door meetings, according to two individuals he spoke with directly. The thirtysomething, Brooklyn-born El-Gamal is motivated more by real estate ambition—one of these sources describes him as aspiring to be the next Donald Trump—than Islamic theology or ideology.


And, if by any chance, the proposal happens to get funded, then it will be a perfect example of islam; or rather, submission....

THEY MEAN WELL

Isn't it amazing how every time attempts are made to control human nature, human nature cleverly finds a way to express itself despite everything?

Soon, it may be easier for Bay State residents to score pot than to obtain the fruity, canned malt beverage called Four Loko.

An expected move by Bay State liquor regulators to restrict sales of the highly concentrated alcohol and caffeine drink next Monday had consumers raiding liquor stores for the last remaining rations of Four Loko.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” said Jerry Geagan of Hurley’s Liquors in Brighton.

In fact, Four Loko may well become a new black market, with the drink’s maker agreeing to remove caffeine from the beverage.

As I have written before, when it comes to understanding human nature, progressives and leftist nannys of all stripes get failing Marx.

You can count on the fact that the policies of the progressive left will always end up enabling and exposing the worse aspects of human nature. These of course, are the same people who always come up with these utopian schemes that promise a veritable paradise of human love, compassion, kindness and brotherhood; and then deliver a toxic brew of hate, envy, and discord, greed and envy. You have to wonder how the "reality-based" community can 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. Hence, they fail to understand the more primitive sides of their own human nature--and in doing so, end up unconsciously allowing that primitive side (the one that seeks power over others, for example) to control their motivations and actions.

In the 1920's reventing humans from accessing "demon rum" or alcohol in any form led to the Prohibition Era:
Prohibition in the United States, also known as The Noble Experiment, was the period from 1920 to 1933, during which the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol were banned nationally[1] as mandated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Under substantial pressure from the temperance movement, the United States Senate proposed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 18, 1917. Having been approved by 36 states, the 18th Amendment was ratified on January 16, 1919 and effected on January 16, 1920. Some state legislatures had already enacted statewide prohibition prior to the ratification of the 18th Amendment.

The "Volstead Act", the popular name for the National Prohibition Act, passed through Congress over President Woodrow Wilson's veto on October 28, 1919, and established the legal definition of intoxicating liquor, as well as penalties for producing it.[2] Though the Volstead Act prohibited the sale of alcohol, the federal government did little to enforce it. By 1925, in New York City alone, there were anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasy clubs.

While Prohibition was successful in reducing the amount of liquor consumed, it tended to undermine society by other means, as it stimulated the proliferation of rampant underground, organized and widespread criminal activity. [emphasis mine]


It never occurred to those promoting this "Noble Experiment" that by trying to control human nature, they would do more harm than good, though. And this blindness to the idea the human nature will out, has almost always led to more unintended and negative consequences than the original problem the do-gooders were trying to solve.

But, you know, they meant well...and for clueless do-gooders, that's all that really matters.

Friday, November 19, 2010

DECISION POINTS vs INDECISION POINTS

This weekend I am planning to read GWB's new book, Decision Points. I've been watching the former President being interviewed about the book and I am really impressed with his graciousness toward his detractors and his openness and honesty. This is a man at ease with himself who will be happy to let history judge his actions in office.

Bush was definitely not a perfect POTUS, but he is so much the opposite of the man we are stuck with currently, that it is painful. I think he will be more and more appreciated as time goes by....

After I've read the book, I'll post my thoughts.


[cartoon by Michael Ramirez]

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A COLLECTIVE POLITICAL PSYCHOSIS

How far will the politically correct, progressive leftists running the country go in order to continue to deny the Islamic threat to this country? Apparently they are willing to reach deep down into your crotch, just so that they can maintain their deep denial:
The Transportation Security Administration's demeaning new "enhanced pat-down" procedures are a direct result of the Obama administration's willful blindness to the threat from Islamic radicals. While better tools are available to keep air travelers safe, they would involve recognizing the threat for what it is, which is something the White House will never do.

El Al, Israel's national airline, employs a smarter approach. Any airline representing the state of Israel is a natural - some might say preeminent - target for terrorist attacks. Yet El Al has one of the best security records in the world and doesn't resort to wide-scale use of methods that would under other circumstances constitute sexual assault. The Israelis have achieved this track record of safety by employing sophisticated intelligence analysis which allows them to predict which travelers constitute a possible threat and which do not. Resources are then focused on the more probable threats with minimal intrusion on those who are likely not to be terrorists.

Here in the United States, these sophisticated techniques have roundly been denounced as discriminatory "profiling." Allegedly postracial America has been unable to come to grips with the difference between immoral and illegal racial discrimination and the prudent use of the types of techniques that police on the beat use every day, which is similar to practices the customs service applies to assessing which packages being sent into the country are licit and which were sent by smugglers. TSA believes an 80-year-old grandmother deserves the same level of scrutiny at an airport terminal checkpoint as a 19-year-old male exchange student from Yemen.

Let's revisit a column by Victor Davis Hanson from 2009, where he wrote about the unbelievable confusion exhibited by the Obama Administration on the Global War on Terror overseas... contingency operations... inconvenient reality:



But more than one-third of all terrorist plots since 9/11 transpired in 2009 — despite loud chest-thumping about rejecting the idea of a war on terror, reaching out to the Muslim world, and apologizing for purported American sins. A non-impoverished Major Hasan or Mr. Mutallab (or Mr. Atta or KSM) does not fit with the notion that our enemies act out of poverty or oppression or want.

In fact, what we are witnessing is a strange mishmash. On the one hand, after repeatedly trashing the Bush protocols in 2007–08, Obama has quietly adopted most of them — keeping the Patriot Act, intercepts, wiretaps, renditions, the concept of tribunals, Predator attacks, forward offensive strategies in Afghanistan, and the Bush-Petraeus timetable in Iraq.

But on the other hand, the Obama administration has embraced largely empty symbolism — promising to "close Guantanamo within a year," mouthing euphemisms such as "overseas-contingency operations" ("this administration prefers to avoid using the term 'Long War' or 'Global War on Terror' [GWOT.] Please use 'Overseas Contingency Operation.'"), and "man-made disasters," while announcing showy new politically-correct moves (such as a public trial for KSM) and subjecting CIA operatives to legal hazard.
[...]
Apparently, the Obama administration came into office in January 2009 thinking that the notion of a "war on terror" was archaic and largely had been an excuse for the Bush-Cheney nexus to scare the nation for partisan political purposes. Given the long period of calm after 9/11, the somnolent "good" war in Afghanistan, and the sudden quiet in the "bad" Iraq theater, Obama preferred to focus on Bush's constitution-shredding rather than on national security. What vestigial danger remained could be changed by the charisma of Barack Obama, the obvious appeal of his ancestry to the Muslim world, and the ritual demonization of George Bush.

But Obama has discovered that there really are radical Islamic threats; that Bush's record of seven years of security was no accident; and that the "good" war is heating up. Obama has been forced by events to quietly find ways of emulating Bush's successful anti-terrorism formula, while making loud but empty declarations to mollify his liberal base (which so far seems pacified that Guantanamo is "virtually" closed, and that KSM is "virtually" facing an ACLU dream trial).

We continue to witness a strange mishmash of conflicting memes and confusing behaviors--not on the part of the terrorists, but on the part of Obama and friends. The terrorists are remarkably consistent and rather persistant in their desire to kill us.

The Democratics have adopted the Alfred E. Neuman "What, Me Worry?" approach to national security; and their denial about the threat of Islamic terrorism continues to evolve into complex rationalizations and nuanced idiocies that refuse to confront the true nature of the threat. In fact, their response is, by now, reflexive ("Don't jump to conclusions..."; ). Terrorism is just a four-letter word--BUSH! And it is merging ever closer with the post-colonial, postmodern feminist nonsense I wrote about earlier this week; i.e., a belief that it is America (or Israel) who are the root cause of the problems in the Middle East, and responsible for causing the poor helpless and oppressed radicals of Islam to want to kill people in the west. Just be nicer to them--reach out a hand of friendship and they will see it is only the EVIL REPUBLICANS AND/OR CAPITALISTS who are to blame!

If, they don't cut it off first.

On an instinctive and fundamental level, Obama and the minions of the progressive left understand that to confront the Islamic nature of the terror threat would cause an entire house of PC cards to come crashing down. And the last thing they want to do is to go there, because "going there" would force them to acknowledge some painful realities that they are not capable of dealing with.

I often wonder these days if there is ANY reality this Administration and its leftist base ARE capable of dealing with, since they all appear to happily reside in some sort of anti-reality happy bubble.

You could interpret all their behavior as symptomatic of a combined hysterical blindness, deafness and dumbness--but it is far too perverse and immutably out of touch with reality for it to be a simple neurosis. What we are witnessing is a collective political psychosis.

Monday, November 15, 2010

POST-COLONIAL, POSTMODERN CULTURAL RELATIVISTS AND THE ANTI-FEMINIST, ANTI-FREEDOM AGENDA THEY PROMOTE

In "The Feminist Politics of Islamic Misogyny", Phyllis Chesler offers a cogent explanation of why today's leftist feminists turn a blind eye toward the treatment of women under Islam:

Studying honor killings is not the same as sensationalizing them -- but Columbia University professor Lila Abu-Lughod disagrees. Moreover, she believes that indigenous Arab and Muslim behavior, including honor-related violence, is best understood as a consequence of Western colonialism -- perhaps even of "Islamophobia."

....Abu-Lughod opposed the "concept of clear-cut divisions between cultures, which she viewed as a form of imprisoning rural and immigrant communities," and suggested that focusing on "honor crimes" allowed "scholars and activists to ignore important contexts for violence against women: social tensions; political conflicts; forms of racial, class, and ethnic discrimination; religious movements; government policing and surveillance; and military intervention."

....What kind of feminism does Abu-Lughod represent? She is a post-colonial, postmodern, cultural relativist, a professor of anthropology and women's and gender studies who does not believe in universal standards of human rights. However, her allegedly feminist work primarily serves the cause of one nationalism only -- Palestinian -- and of one tradition only -- Islam/Islamism....

The politicization of the feminist academic world, especially in terms of its "Palestinianization" and its anti-Americanism -- has become the universal point of view for feminist academics. Abu-Lughod, Leila Ahmed, Suha Sabbagh, and Gayatri Spivak all share a profoundly negative view of the West and its values. This is their real passion. They may study women for complex reasons, but they use their work to condemn the West again and again. Sadly, they are all speaking the same politically correct "feminist" language from which a universal concept of human rights for women has been utterly banished.

As they say, read the whole thing. Chesler, an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at CUNY says, "I am among a handful of both Muslim and non-Muslim feminists who humbly but adamantly question this approach."

I admire Chesler for her intellectual integrity, I am not involved in "Women's Studies", but I have been an academic all of my professional life. I have seen professors like Abu-Lughod--women all--who say the same kinds of things she does. Every time I come in contact with such a person, I am amazed at their ideological blindness and their hatred of America and the west.

I realized a long time ago that the purpose of these useful idiots/apologists/anti-feminists (and make no mistake, they could care less about the empowerment and betterment of women) is to use the Marxist dialectic and identify western civilization/America/capitalism/males as the "oppressors" of women so as to advance their underlying leftist ideology. For them, every evil that women are subjected to around the world is caused by one of the above scapegoats; and, of course, the only solution is to adopt socialism/communism/ Marxism. They actually believe that these totalitarian ideologies improve the lot of women, despite the evidence of the last 100 + years to the contrary. Their latest mantra is that poor, victimized Islam is not responsible for the evil they do to women and that muslims are being persecuted for their culture which is almost certainly superior to anything the west has to offer. Which is why they can make ridiculous statements like this in the 'progressive' academic world: "...focusing on "honor crimes" allowed "scholars and activists to ignore important contexts for violence against women: social tensions; political conflicts; forms of racial, class, and ethnic discrimination; religious movements; government policing and surveillance; and military intervention."

According to the left's multicultural dogma, all cultures are good--except for western culture, which is uniquely bad. Islam is a priori, good, simply because it is not western and therefore any and all rationalizations for its behavior are acceptable, particularly those explanations which can further the Marxist/progressive/leftist cause. We see their modus operandi in practice constantly with almost all the histrionic accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia etc. etc. These terms have become essentially meaningless due to their incorporation into the postmodern, Marxist lexicon. In the world view of the postmodern progressive left, everyone is either an "oppressor" or is being "oppressed." It suits their purposes exactly to categorize everyone this way because they can optimize the various victimhood groups which can be counted on to support their policies.

Let's face the truth here. "Feminists" like Abu-Lughod couldn't care less about women. What they care about is enslaving everyone--men and women alike--to their underlying Marxist worldview where everyone is a "victim" of the oppressive values of western civilization.

The many academic female apologists for Islamic culture forget one simple fact when they champion the oppression of women under Islam: there is an important difference between a woman who is free to CHOOSE to wear a burqa or veil, and a woman who is FORCED to wear one. Without understanding that freedom is the only thing that will empower women--whether they are Muslim or Christian or Jew or Hindu or whatever--then you are simply deluding yourself that you in any way represent real feminism. Women like Abu-Lughod are similar psychologically to the German Jews who, hiding their Jewish identity or ties, supported the Third Reich--its called "identification with the aggressor"). Hiding her identity as a "free woman", our sister supports the most viciously misogynistic culture on the planet. On a humorous note, Chesler mentions that Abu-Lughod herself doesn't wear Islamic dress--she was of course free to choose it if she so desired, since she grew up in the "oppressive" western culture she despises....

I have frequently thought that the one good point about Islamic societies is that they are the perfect example of why the concept of "multiculturalism"(every culture is as good as every other culture) is completely ridiculous and philosophically absurd. Islamic culture is mired in medieval times and promotes medieval thinking: it is not only primitive, it is often barbaric. And nowhere is that more obvious than the manner in which women are treated.

Those who apologize for this culture and rationalize its misogyny; or seek to place blame for the atrocities it commits onto other cultures are truly delusional and their thinking muddled by the anti-feminist, anti-freedom ideology they are determined to advance.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

TO INFINITE NARCISSISM AND BEYOND !

In the article, "American Narcissus:The Vanity of Barack Obama", Jonathan V. Last details the 'gob-smacking' vanity of our current President and compares him to another, much earlier leader of this country:

But Obama’s faith in his abilities extends beyond mere vote-getting. Buried in a 2008 New Yorker piece by Ryan Lizza about the Obama campaign was this gob-smacking passage:
Obama said that he liked being surrounded by people who expressed strong opinions, but he also said, “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” After Obama’s first debate with McCain, on September 26th, [campaign political director Patrick] Gaspard sent him an e-mail. “You are more clutch than Michael Jordan,” he wrote. Obama replied, “Just give me the ball.”

....Looking at this American Narcissus, it’s easy to be hammered into a stupor by the accumulated acts of vanity. Oh look, we think to ourselves, there’s our new president accepting his Nobel Peace Prize. There’s the president likening his election to the West’s victory in the Cold War. There’s the commander in chief bragging about his March Madness picks.

Yet it’s important to remember that our presidents aren’t always this way. When he accepted command of the Revolutionary forces, George Washington said,
I feel great distress, from a consciousness that my abilities and military experience may not be equal to the extensive and important Trust. .  .  . I beg it may be remembered, by every Gentleman in the room, that I, this day, declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the Command I am honored with.

Accepting the presidency, Washington was even more reticent. Being chosen to be president, he said, “could not but overwhelm with despondence one who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpracticed in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies.”

Barack Obama, OTOH, is completely UNconscious of his own deficiencies; and at the same time is totally over-invested in, and even awed by, his own wonderfulness. It's creepy and completely psychologically unhealthy.

In 2009, at the time Obama ascended into heaven moved into the White House, I wrote:

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

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

Well, we have found out big time, haven't we? Be sure to read all of Last's article which documents in detail the overweening narcissism of our Commander in Chief.

After November 2nd, it seems that a growing number of Americans are fairly clear that we elected a medocre and preening President; a President whose narcissism knows no bounds; and whose ego had been fed constantly by the mindless and adoring left in whose eyes he is and was a major celebrity, i.e., a god (same thing these days).

Obama's base, the mindless political left, has become increasingly annoyed with their god--even impatient and disappointed; but truth be told, they still adore him and know he will be merciful and forgive them for their disbelief--as long as he keeps throwing them fresh meat to feed their anger and resentment.

This should be easy now that Republicans control the House. There will be no shortage of people to blame for Obama's failures.

Obama knows and understands his followers very well. While acknowledging that he is far superior to them, he appreciates that they are very similar to him in their deepest motivations--i.e., they are a bunch of grandiose and narcissistically entitled children whose major goal in life is feeling good about themselves. And, like the narcissists they are, without constant stroking, the brittleness of their faux self-esteem is obvious. They can never quite be sure in their deepmost selves that they--or their ideology--are good enough to prevail. So they are scared. REALLY scared.

After Obama's victory in 2008, Byron York attempted to understand this curious phenomenon:"In Time of Victory, Why is the Left So Angry?" :

I asked William Anderson, a friend who is a political conservative, a medical doctor, and a lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard. "They are angry, but I think they are also scared, and I think it's because they have a sense that their triumph is a precarious one," Anderson told me. Democrats won in 2008 in some part because of the cycles of American politics; Republicans were exhausted and it was the other party's turn. Now, having won, they are unsure of how long victory will last.

"They see that they have a very small window of opportunity to do all the things they want," Anderson continued. "They see the window of opportunity as small because they know in their deepest hearts that the vast majority of the American people wouldn't go for all of the things they want to do." So they are frantic to do as much as possible before the opposition coalesces. And the tea parties might be the beginning of that coalescence.

Then there is the question of self-image. Watching Garofalo and Olbermann discuss the tea parties, it was impossible to avoid the sense that they saw themselves as two good people talking about many bad people. "One of the things about narcissism is that it looks like people who are just proud of themselves and smug, but in fact narcissism is a very brittle and unstable state," Anderson told me. "People who are deeply invested in narcissism spend an awful lot of energy trying to maintain the illusion they have of themselves as being powerful and good, and they are exquisitely sensitive to anything that might prick that balloon."[emphasis mine]

These are two sides of of this political narcissism that defines Obama and his leftist base. The grandiosity and smugness on the one hand; and, on the other, the brittleness and anxiety that comes with maintaining a false self-image. Just imagine what we are in for not that they have received a resounding rebuke from the American people.

One simple psychological maneuver that Obama and the progressive left can continue to deflect that anxiety and keep their fear at bay; AND at the same time pump up their already over-inflated egos and self-righteousness is to escalate their attacks on the Republicans in congress (especially their leadership) and to continue to bash former President Bush. The left externalized blame for their own inadequacies before Obama was elected; as well as in the first two devastating years he has been in power; so it is hardly likely that they'll stop now as they begin to see their power and control being wrenched from them.

We can count on the fact that they will remain completely inadequate and fall quite short of even the simple tasks of leadership. You will see that Obama and his minions will now blame Republicans for their own inadequacies on the homefront. And, when it comes to their failures in foreign policy, they will still have Israel as a scapegoat that can be flogged when the occasion demands it.

The anger and rage (that are so much a part of malignant narcissism) that the political left has nurtured and cultivated over the years will not go away. They need it desperately to keep their fragile, rotting narcissistic and grandiose self image--even if they have to destroy this country to do so.

Watch for it...narcissism without bounds; to infinity and beyond.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

IMAGINE !

(I don't imagine John Lennon would like this much, but what the hey; I'm still feeling pretty good about November 2...and it's not too early to start thinking about 2012!)

Imagine no Progressives
It's easy if you try
No victimhood or nannies
No truth you can deny
Imagine people taking
Re-spon-si-bil-ity

Imagine no Obama
It isn't hard to do
No Harry or Pelosi
Just people with a clue
Imagine life without them
To tell us what to do

You may say that I'm a "racist"
'Cause I disagree with you;
But there's this thing they call projection
And it sticks to you like glue

Imagine that your paycheck
Is really yours alone...
No need to tax your income
And everything you own
Imagine all the people
Paying their own way

You may say that I'm a "sexist"
"Islamophobic" or a shrew
But if you understood projection
You'd see it's all about you

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

FECKLESS BUFFOONERY AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DENIAL

Two recent articles at American Thinker highlight a profound psychological paralysis that grips western civilization. The first examines a week in the life of Islamic terrorism:
Last Monday kicked off with a terror scare across all of Europe -- a super-duper mega-scare that we've already utterly forgotten. Once upon a time, a headline like, "Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace among terror targets" might have managed to make an impression that lasted longer than three days; now, we shrug and philosophically move on to exploding planes from Yemen.

As the week progressed (hmm..."progressed" doesn't seem quite the right word), Geert Wilders went on trial in Amsterdam for hate speech against Muslims, the Times Square bomber ranted jihadi threats in New York as he was sentenced to life, a British hostage was killed in Afghanistan during a NATO rescue attempt, and a Seattle cartoonist scurried underground in fear of her life. And the week was just getting warmed up.

Reading the headlines as a sort of surreal poem, I'm staggered by the global reach of Islamic aggression. All of Europe trembles in its grip; across America, Atlanta bus stations and Amtrak train lines shiver with vulnerability; in Africa, murdered Christians fall in bloody heaps to the ground; in Canada, Russia, Indonesia, and the Maldives, turmoil and trouble abound; and the entire Middle East reeks of carnage.

The Islamists' movement is tiny, almost undetectable -- a house in Iceland is purchased for a mosque -- and also unimaginably epic -- Iran readies its nuclear bomb.

Striking, too, is the feckless buffoonery of the Western response. Look at these headlines and savor the marvelous displays of cowardice, confusion, and outright collaboration which is mostly what we've managed to summon up so far.


The second article by Janet Levy is even more alarming and discusses the de facto sharia law in the U.S.:
Is the United States today a de facto shariah state? A close look at recent events points to some alarming conclusions about the tenets of shariah law taking hold in our once-proud constitutional republic and the unwitting, unequal application of existing U.S. laws. The result is that when it comes to religious expression, Muslims now enjoy more freedom of religion and speech under our Bill of Rights than non-Muslims. Equal protection under the laws of our country holds for Muslims far better than for non-Muslims. Several recent examples illustrate this point.


You will have to read the entire article to see all the examples of the unequal--and preferential-- treatment of Islam over other religions occurring regularly in this country, and I hope you will. What it all amounts to is a sort of "affirmative action" for Muslims; and a special acceptance of a religion whose fanatical adherents fully intend to destroy western civilization; even as the more moderate members (if there truly are any who dare to speak up against the radical strain that seems to dominate in ever mosque or school) remain silent--or even worse, sympathize with and secretly cheer on the fanatics.

From the schoolchildren in Massachusetts who,
...visited a local radical mosque and participated in a prayer session. Parents, who gave signed permission for students to visit the mosque, were not informed in advance that students would also be bowing to Allah and listening to lectures on Islam. Surprisingly, teachers did nothing to intervene as students participated and a mosque spokesperson denigrated Western civilization while glorifying and misrepresenting Islam, even falsely referring to the greater rights of women under Islam. Astonishingly, this occurred in a state that has prohibited the sale of Christmas items, including red and green tissue paper, at a school store and forced firefighters to remove a "Merry Christmas" sign from their station.


...to a POTUS who bowed to a Saudi potentate and who regularly praises the religion of his youth; we are witness to an astonishing swath of our society exhibiting a profound hysterical blindness about the hilariously-termed "religion of peace" and its intentions toward our way of life, even as it uses freedom and democracy to dismantle countries who are committed to free institutions and individual freedom.

Wretchard wrote an essay in 2009 about the deep denial that appears to exist on this topic, which I will quote in some detail:
Judith Klinghoffer noted the ironical similarity between the bombings in Pakistan to the attack of the Hebrew University by Hamas in Jerusalem in 2002. The attacks were accompanied, as these these are, by the usual statements of denial. Officials quickly claimed that the “attackers were not followers of Islam”. How could they be? and Klinghoffer reminded her readers not to forget that “Iranians claim that we should not worry about their nuclear development as Islam forbids the use of nuclear weapons.”

But assuming it were possible, why would Muslims be bombing Muslims? Because they are involved in a global struggle for power among themselves and in relation to the world. World Islam is trying to define itself in a vast civil war. Perhaps it is far more important for radical Islamists to bomb Muslims attending university than it has ever been for them to kill Jews. Killing Jews is a symbolic act. Killing other Muslims is the practical side of the war. Reuel Marc Gerecht argues in the Christian Science Monitor that the War on Terror is nearly synonymous and to a large extent, coextensive, with the civil war raging in the Islamic world. He describes the battle lines as internally being between Sunni and Shia radicals and their more secular bretheren, and across confessions between Sunni and Shia communities. Sunni Jihadism has been trying to take leadership its side, he says, but has lost the battle in the Arab world. It was defeated in Iraq, an event whose historic consequences have been unappreciated by all except al-Qaeda itself. Now their last hope is in South Asia, which may be lost in a fit of absentmindeness by Washington, which sees it as a distraction from the the pursuit of a domestic welfare agenda. But the real story of Afghanistan according to Gerecht is that it represents not only a chance for Sunni radicalism to recover, but a changing of the guard from Arabs to South Asian jihadi leaders.
Unless Al Qaeda is able to reignite Sunni-Shiite strife in Iraq – and the odds of this happening seem pretty small – Sunni jihadism has lost the Iraq war, and with it, cross your fingers, the Arabs.

Mesopotamia really was the central front in the war on terror because it was the only military theater Al Qaeda and its allies had in the Arab world. Drive out the Americans, unleash a Sunni-Shiite bloodbath that just might bring Sunni Arab states and Iran into a bloody cold – ideally hot – war, and Sunni Islamic militancy might just shake the region.

Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, both decent strategists, knew what they were saying when they described Iraq as the decisive battleground. Victory there would have given their cause real possibilities in the Muslim heartlands.

When al-Qaeda lost in Iraq their sole change of redemption was to win a rematch in Afghanistan/Pakistan. Yet even if they were to succeed, one thing has changed for the foreseeable future. The defeat in Iraq has momentarily eclipsed the dominance of Arabs in the leadership of the Sunni Jihad in favor of the better educated and more formidable South Asians. More to the point, it has moved the fulcrum of the Muslim civil war eastwards. While the Middle East remains important, it is no longer central after Iraq.


This important post ends with the following, which brings me back to my point today:
Maybe someday it will be different, Bronner says, but not right now. That doesn’t keep people from trying to use John Lennon’s Imagine as the manual for international “peace”. There are some who even now believe it is better to paint Israel into a corner by making concessions to the ayatollahs, the better to force the Jewish state to take out Iranian nuclear capability. Let them take the rap. And as to ruffling Ahmedinajad’s feathers, that is altogether too troublesome and unpleasant to those for who everything has always been a choice. Denial runs deep. It’s the logic of the man who enjoys his steak and playing on his ivory chess-set without wanting to worry about where it came from. [emphasis mine]

If Gerecht is right, then a battle for the soul of Islam is raging in South Asia. And the President may have elected to watch it from the sidelines, figuring the fires won’t jump. And if Krauthammer is right, then the West is facing a series of challenges which cannot be ignored. But maybe Obama is calculating he can ignore them; that it is better to keep talking than trying to act; because things just might take care of themselves. The world is about to find out who’s right. It should be an interesting next six months.


Denial always runs deep when ideology is more important than reality. In that situation, denial is so opaque, that to let in even the slightest sliver of the light of reality would be overwhelmingly traumatic for the denialist, and would turn their basic assumptions about the world and about themselves topsy-turvy.

The consequences of this sort of deep psychological denial can be seen every day in today's world. But like all defense mechanisms, it serves a very important purpose for the users. I have discussed this before, but it is always worth going over again; and, that is what a good therapist does in therapy--in fact, sometimes you have to point out the same thing over and over again before the patient has an "Aha!" moment....

This is true because even a primitive defense mechanism like denial can have some positive results for the individuals and groups who engage in it. Obviously any psychological defense mechanism that results in the immediate death or injury of the person using it would probably not endure as a viable psychological strategy in the real world; nor would it be particularly helpful for the species as a whole.

The truth is that denial does work--at least for a while--and that is why it is so often resorted to in extremus.

Some of the positive consequences of psychological denial include:

• In the short-term, psychological denial can help a person maintain their sanity--which would be threatened by awareness of a painful truth or reality
• In the short-term, denial can help a person function day to day
• In the short-term, denial can prevent a person from having to acknowledge painful thoughts, feelings or behavior and help them protect both their selfhood and worldview from unacceptable reality that is threatening to either or both

The operative word in all of the above is "in the short-term." In the short-term, even the unhealthiest of defenses--such as denial, projection, paranoia-- may be creative, healthy, comforting, and coping. And, while the behavior of those in denial may strike observers as downright peculiar at times, in the short-term, they may be transiently adaptative.

In fact, psychological denial is a way to integrate one's experience by providing a variety of filters for pain and mechanisms for self-deception. It creatively rearranges the sources of conflict the individual faces so that the conflict becomes manageable (hence the 'inversion of reality' mentioned above serves to: (1) protect themselves physically from the threat of violence and (2) protect their world view from the acceptance of facts or truth which effectively negate its premises and hence threatem them emotionally . All they have to do is to creatively rearrange the sources of conflic, and shazam! Both physical and emotional danger are neatly avoided!

But let us now consider some of the negative consequences of psychological denial:

• In the longer-term, denial requires continued compromises with reality to maintain the pretense that "everything is fine!" or "If only X would happen, everything would be fine!" (or, in the case above, "If only I reach out my hand then you will unclench your fist, and everything will be all right with the world and we will have universal brotherhood and peace."

Eventually, however, denial has to escalate. It breeds delusional thinking, along with paranoia and then the inevitable conspiracy theories begin to take the place of rational thought in those who deny reality for long periods of time. (See all the 9/11 conspiracy theorists for examples in our own country; or the increasingly shrill accusations that anyone who alludes to the threat of Islamic terrorism is a fearmonger and promoting a 'culture of fear' in order to fool the American public into thinking we are at war.

• The denier must then place the blame for the unacceptable reality on someone else ("I inherited all these problems from Bush and the mess--including all the things that are worsening under my watch, are all his fault!") and that leads to increased conflict between deniers and non-deniers. Efforts to maintain their denial consumes them and will lead them to escalate their anger and rage as their denial becomes untenable and ever more obvious. You've got to wonder if all the desperate attempts to control the media and demonize Fox News (the only outlet that routinely uncovers evidence that "the mess" in question has increasingly more to do with Obama and his associates.

• The denier will begin distort language and logic to rationalize and justify their behavior(examples of this are too numerous to mention-- but just listen to the Obamites when they come on and continually change the rationale behind their lack of decisionmaking on Afghanistan, for example). Eventually, cognitive strategies and rational argument will be abandoned altogether by the denier, because those strategies are not sustainable and are unable to convince others; at which point the person in denial will simply refer to his feelings or emotions as the sole justification and increasingly demonize those who oppose him or her.

• The denier will feel justified in acting out against those who threaten the peacefulness of their fantasy; they will use psychological displacement to attack those relatively less dangerous (i.e., the cartoonists and comedians are now "fact-checked"; ad hominem attacks against people like Rush Limbaugh and even less well-known opponents, etc.). The only kind of 'power' those in denial can ever 'speak truth to' are generally the kind that won't hurt them; they are scared shitless of anyone who might actually harm them in any way. These brave, brave Sir Robins bravely run away when there is a real bully or threat that needs to be faced down. Funny how that works.

• Problem solving and decision making will deteriorate as the entire focus of energy becomes the maintenance of the denial. In place of rational alternatives, excessive emotionality in general; and specifically anger and rage escalate toward those who are "blamed" for the reality that does not conform to the denier's world view.

• In the end, interactions with those in denial are characterized by the denier's frequent smugness; sense of superiority; arrogance; belittlement of alternative views; and undiluted hatred toward anyone or any idea that questions their world view or underlying ideology.

The current Administrations frivolous and idiotic views on terrorism in general; on Iraq; and most particularly on the war in Afghanistan (which they seem to be intent on losing at all costs); the emphasis on political correctness and multiculturalism--all this is primarily based on a web of deep denial.

Those in deep denial pretend their actions are motivated from'hope' and 'change' and 'love' and 'peace' and some sort of higher form of patriotism (which involves dissing your country so it will be better liked by lesser nations); but this is only how they rationalize it to themselves. Their self-deception is simply stunning in its sweeping grandiosity and self-righteousness betrayal of the good, as they cede, one by one, every important value of western civilization in general, and American values in particular to the enemy.

They then pat themselves on the back for their compassionate sensitivity and saintly antiwarpeaceandbrotherhood stance. And, if things go wrong--badly wrong--well, it was all Bush's fault anyway, and they were just "trying to mop up the mess."

Denial is the refuge of the terrified and frightened. The perversion of reality that deep denial leads to if not recognized and corrected is often becomes far more dangerous to the individual--and the society--than the reality that is being avoided.

In the end, denial unacknowledged only facilitates and enables the real threat to life and psychological health and the "feckless bufoonery" of the denialist becomes less and less funny, and more and more alarming.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

CALIFORNIA DREAMING....



[Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez]

So, what has to happen to make this insane state stumble back into reality? Antipsychotics in the water, perhaps? Happy meals for everyone??

UPDATE: From Betsy:
Alyssia Finley of the WSJ has a great column on how the rest of the country feels about California. She coins the term, the "Lindsay Lohan of states."
Listen up, California. The other 48 states—your cousin New York excluded—are sick of your bratty arrogance. You're the Lindsay Lohan of states: a prima donna who once showed some talent but is now too wasted to do anything with it.

After enjoying ephemeral highs and spending binges, you suffer crashes that culminate in brief, unsuccessful stints in rehab. This cycle repeats itself every five to 10 years, as the rest of the country looks on with a mixture of horror and amusement. We'd feel sorry for you if you didn't constantly flip us the bird.

Instead, we're making bets on how long it will be before your next meltdown. Oh, wait—you're already melting down


And, here's the kind of vapid nincompoop that Californian's seem to regularly elect:
She has a great quote from Gavin Newsom on his victory as Lieutenant Governor. It is vapid and meaningless, even by California standards.
"We're nothing but a mirror of our consistent thoughts. You tend to manifest what you focus on. If you look around for what's wrong, you'll find it. But as all we know up here in San Francisco, when you focus on what's right, you see it all around you. . . . There is absolutely nothing wrong with California that can't be fixed by what's right with California. . . . If you're from another state, you'd love to have the problems of California."


When you elect someone like that to public office, you deserve what you get. And remember, the country just gave the House of Representatives to the GOP who will be quite unlikely to bail you out with federal dollars. You've made your own mess and just reelected as governor the guy who gave public-sector employees collective bargaining rights thus setting you on the path you've trod to insolvency today. Your main benefit to the rest of the country today is as a salutary example to the other states who don't want to party along with the Lindsay Lohan of states.

Friday, November 05, 2010

AN EXAMPLE OF 'HEALTHY' VS 'UNHEALTHY' NARCISSISM

In comparing the differences in political styles that drive Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, Wretchard demonstrates beautifully the difference between healthy and unhealthy narcissism. Here is a taste, but read it all:
Sarah Palin may actually lack what it takes to be a successful president of the United States. She may not have what it takes to be a queen. But she has in abundance what Barack Obama, who styles himself a “community organizer,” notably lacks. Palin has the ability to generate leaders other than herself. That quality was in evidence in the recent campaign when she successfully encouraged others, some of whom had never been in public life before, to throw their hats in the ring and run for office. And many of them won. Writing in the National Review, Palin found satisfaction in the achievements of others. That is the key attribute of a real “community organizer,” while the supposed Alinskyite, who is actually nothing like a classic organizer, was struggling with little apparent success to get beyond his “gift”; to get beyond himself. Palin wrote:
In the coming weeks there will also be a debate about the viability of particular candidates. Anyone with the courage to throw his or her hat in the ring and stand up and be counted always has my respect. Some of them were stronger candidates than others, but they all had the courage to be “in the arena.” The second lesson of this election is one a number of the candidates had to learn to their cost: Fight back the lies immediately and consistently. Some candidates assumed that, once they received their party’s nomination, the conservative message would automatically carry the day. Unfortunately, political contests aren’t always about truth and justice. Powerful vested interests will combine to keep bad candidates in place and good candidates out of office. Once they let themselves be defined as “unfit” (decorated war hero Joe Miller) or “heartless” (pro-life, international women’s rights champion Carly Fiorina), good candidates often find it virtually impossible to get their message across. The moral of their stories: You must be prepared to fight for your right to be heard.

“Anyone with the courage to throw his or her hat in the ring and stand up and be counted always has my respect.” But that would mean rivals. It would mean peers. It might even mean, God forbid, that someone else might be greater than yourself. So you will never hear Barack Obama say anything like this, at least not in earnest. On the contrary, he demonstrated, in the last campaign, a serene willingness to sacrifice every other leader on the altar of the vision — not the modest ambitions, the secret dreams of the common herd, but the unutterable vision vouchsafed to him “through the red soil of Africa.” Sarah Palin may never be president; nor fit to be. But that is irrelevant. The real difference between the two competing visions is what question they answer to. For most Democrats the 2012 elections will be about re-electing Barack Obama. For most members of the Tea Party it will be about taking back America.


What we call narcissism is a normal part of every human being. Without narcissism, we are unable to feel good about either ourselves or other people. In the healthy adult, the excessively grandiose side of the self is tamed and harnessed to an appropriate set of ideals and values and is capable of perceiving others as separate sources of action, thought, and feeling.

A healthy self with appropriate levels of narcissism--or self love--has two fundamental and equally important parts:

(1) SELF-ESTEEM – or a sense that one has a right to life and success; ambition; a healthy exhibitionism and comfort with one’s body. This part of the self supplies the instinctual fuel for ambition and purpose; and for enjoyment of life’s activities.

Most people confuse "self-esteem" with what I have refered to as a "sense of self". It is the latter--not the former, that is so often screwed up in the angry, violent, grandiose, and generally narcissistic people in the world. If you have a healthy self", you are likely to have a healthy self-esteem--which is not the same at all as a high self-esteem.

The psychological defect that leads to so many problems is a defective or distorted sense of one's SELF. The excessive self-regard you see in a typical bully comes from a distortion of reality that person has with regard to their self. It was once widely believed that low self-esteem was a cause of violence--and you see that idea reflected today in the platitudes and rationalizations of terrorism-- but in reality, violent individuals, groups and nations think very well of themselves.

Do you really suppose that people like Ahmadinejad, Bin Laden or Kim Jong Il suffer from poor self-esteem? On the contrary. Exaggerated self-esteem is one of the hallmarks of a pathological narcissist or psychopath.

The pop-psychology that promulgates the widespread belief that it is mandatory that you always nurture a kid's self-esteem, neglects to mention that if the sense of self is already damaged, all you manage to do is to create a narcissist. Hence, we have today an entire self-estem industry that appears to be intent on creating as many narcissistic monsters as possibly by artificially inflating a child's self-worth without expecting them to actually achieve or do anything.

Of course children should be loved and cherished, but even they are smart enough to understand that when they are given an "award" for doing nothing; or when they play a team sport where everyone is proclaimed a "winner" no matter what the outcome, that something is very wrong. Rewarding them for a job well-done or being honest with them when it is not is essential feedback that helps them understand both their own capabilities and reality. Learning how to deal with failure is critical for gaining mastery over one's self and the outside world. Presenting someone a Nobel Prizes for never having done anything in the real world is somewhat delusional and likely to exaggerate their grandiosity rather than give them appropriate real world feedback. cannot, no matter how well-intentioned, make them appreciate who they really are.

We see people whose excessive self-admiration and sense of entitlement at all levels of society. It is particularly noticeable in the elites of Washington, Hollywood and Academia; many of whom alternate between acting out their narcissistically empowered superiority -- demanding to be noticed, admired and loved (by you); and playing the narcissistically empowered victim -- demanding their inalienable rights and priveleges (at your expense).

But the real victims of all the self-esteem hype are our children, because these foolish notions, without a scintilla of scientific evidence and only becaue it makes some people feel good about themselves, have become the pop psychology dogma of public policy in education.

A second important aspect of a healthy narcissism is the acquisition of:

(2) IDEALS– or, a belief in something outside the “self” that guides and gives meaning to one’s life. Having ideals make developing one’s goals in life possible. It is this part of the self that also makes healthy interpersonal relationships possible.

Excessive grandiosity is one reaction to the gross imperfection of one's parents or the key adults in one's life. A second, and equally important reaction to the imperfection of the parents are the phenomena of narcissistic awe and narcissistic idealism

Excessive narcissistic idealism--like excessive grandiosity-- is a compensatory mechanism that develops when an idealized person (such as a Parent) fails to live up to expectations (which inevitably occurs). Not able to adequately deal with this truth, the self immediately transfers its idealization to a new object of adoration. Rage at the imperfections of the idealized person is kept at bay by focusing on the new person who now receives the excessive awe or admiration withdrawn from the previous object. A healthy narcissism can only be developed if the child is able to appreciate that people do not have to be perfect, but can be "good enough" and are worthy of love despite imperfection (just as they, themselves are worthy of love despite their own imperfections).

Every therapist has had the "pleasure" of being the recipient of both Narcissistic Rage and Narcissistic Awe and this situation is referred to as “splitting”. The patient either sees you as All Good or All Bad, but never as simply a good-enough person who makes mistakes. Indeed, every parent experiences this with the adolescent child who usually come to the realization that their parents are not perfect (surprise!). The adolescent then searches to find someone who can fill that empty need. These days, their idealization (idolization) falls onto icons of the popular culture--music or sports stars. Eventually they get over these kinds of infatuations as they further mature and are able to tolerate the imperfections within themselves and others.

Narcissistic "awe" or idealsm in its extreme form can be expressed as bizarre mystical feelings; hyper-religious awe or hyper-religiosity in general; as obsessive love; as total immersion in a cult or belief system—all of these behaviors can compensate for the fear that one is forever separated from that “perfect” Other.

Remember, we are not talking about appropriate admiration for someone, but an over-idealization that essentially treats the person as a “god” rather than a typical human being with imperfections and flaws.

Unhealthy narcissists in the grip of either narcissistic rage or awe are unable to accept the reality that people can have both good and bad qualities co-existing inside them. Neither do they see other people as acting separately from their own wishes, feelings or desires.

Much of the evil that humans do to each other comes as a result of narcissistic rage and/or narcissistic idealism (and they are found often oscillating back and forth in the unhealthy narcissist). In the former case, we hear about or know individuals who manipulate, control, subjugate, hurt or kill others and they are able to do this because they do not consider other people as human or separate from their own self; or because they are so enraged and grandiose they are not capable of empathy.

We see stories of this happening all the time on the news, frequently exclaiming, "How could someone do that?" The ex-boyfriend who cannot accept that the woman has dared to withdraw her love and so must kill her (and often himself); the serial killer who does not experience others as really human. The pedophile who abuses then murders his child victim. Every petty criminal who believes implicitly that his feelings and desires are paramount and justify his behavior.

A second type of evil is more subtle, and it comes from the unhealthy idealistic narcissist. This narcissist also does not see other people as individuals; and instead sees them only as fodder for the expression of an IDEAL or as pawns for an Omnipotent Object (e.g., a dictator). People with idealizing narcissism completely reject the needs of the individual and enslave him or her to their IDEAL. Eventually, the enslavement--whether religious or secular--snuffs out human ambition, confidence, energy and self-esteem. These "do-gooders" cause considerable human misery and their ideologies can lead to genocidal practices and unbelievable atrocities on a grand scale, all in the name of the IDEAL or GOD.

Needless to say, both the development of normal self-esteem as well as the ability to have appropriate ideals and admiration for others are essential to psychological health. When one aspect develops at the expense of the other it has grave consequences--both for the individual and society.

One could say that the entire psychological process of maturation is one in which the child is able to form a cohesive sense of himself AND at the same time appreciate the separateness of Mother and Father --and by extension, all other people. When this process is achieved, true empathy and benevolence toward others is possible, as is a healthy and realistic appreciation for one's own worth and capabiities.

In Wretchard's comparison of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin we see the essentials of how all this plays out in different political personalities. As I noted earlier, there are certain professions that require a lot of narcissism to be successful--and politics is foremost among them.

So, how do you tell the difference between your ordinary run-of-th-mill politician and one whose self-aggrandizement and obliviousness to others brands him or her as a malignant, or unhealthy narcissist? Here's a clue:
"I think that, over the course of two years we were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that, we stopped paying attention to the fact that leadership isn’t just legislation. That it’s a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone,” Mr. Obama told 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft in an exclusive interview set to air Sunday.
“Making an argument that people can understand,” Mr. Obama continued, “I think that we haven’t always been successful at that. And I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I’ve got to examine carefully … as I go forward.”


Or, as Ace aptly translates:
Poor Obama, so much greatness wasted on a country whose people are too stupid to understand the arguments he's been making. Sure you showed some promise by electing him in the first place but since then, you've really let him down.

Fortunately for you, Obama's awesomeness will now enable him to spend more time explaining why he's right and you're wrong. He's a giver, even to those not worthy of his gifts.

Apparently he was so busy legislating over the last two years he only had time to appear on about 75% of TV and radio show on the schedule over the last two years. He even popped up on broadcasts like the Super Bowl. But now he's not going to be so much of a communications slacker, he's really going to get out there and make sure you understand how wrong you were to reject his huge and ineffective spending programs. Those 54 speeches he gave on health care? Not nearly enough for you rubes to understand, so get ready for more!

You think America voted for policy changes on Tuesday? You poor deluded fool. Don't worry, Obama is going to spend the next two years making sure you understand why that's wrong. He'll lift you out of the mud of ignorance you are wallowing in....after all, that's what God-Kings do.


You see, God-Kings generally don't do very well where there is freedom and democracy; and when they reach power under such circumstances, their agenda is always--always-- directed at decreasing both.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

WHAT 'PROGRESSIVES' STAND FOR

Let's get down to the nitty gritty of what "progressivism" is all about, shall we? And, it's all about controlling other people's lives, down to determining the food you and your kids will be able to eat ( because, you know, you are far too stupid to decide that yourself).

For all their happy talk and utopian fantasies, that is the essence of progressivism. Oh, they say it is for your own good...they insist that they are protecting you from the "greed" of those evil capitalists who desire not only your money, but your death--but make no mistake, what they really want is to control your life.

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

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

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

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


Milton Friedman addressed this issue once on the Phil Donahue Show when he talked about Capitalism and Greed:


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

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

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


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

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

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

The Marxist/progressive intellectuals' big mistake is in not recognizing the difference between repression and suppression. And in not understanding the way psychological defense mechanisms work (particularly the healthy or 'mature' defense mechanisms such as sublimation, anticipation, humor, altruism and supression) .

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

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

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

Progressives like to pretend that they can make people better...and they are willing to intrude into all aspects of your life in order to do it. It makes them feel so superior to the unwashed masses who are stupid enough to want to buy a Happy Meal for their kids.

UPDATE: Andrew Stuttaford posts what one of the SF Supervisors said about the Happy Meal vote- and it is absolutely perfect:
“We’re part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice,” said Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the measure.


An agenda of food justice??? This is what defenders of individual liberty are up against when dealing with the regressive left.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

CLUELESS

I sat in a hospital waiting room (my sister-in-law is very ill) watching Obama's speech today rationalizing the historic rebuke of his policies by the American public. Maybe because of the setting I was in, I thought the President was somewhat depressed but still managed to show the complete cluelessness and haughty indifference to reality that is a hallmark of the ideological fanatic. Here is Victor Davis Hanson's take:
President Obama came close, but he still just cannot admit that his radical policies and their effects on the economy are the cause of his devastating political rebuke. For most of his press conference, an oddly depressed Obama voted present, as he all but said that the problems are mostly ours, not his — or at least not his agenda but perhaps an occasional inadequate communication.

In clingers fashion, he once more is talking down to us, explaining that we confused his necessary solutions with a bogeyman increase in big government, and so typically, in fright and ignorance, lashed out at his party. He is claiming the outrage grew from the same frustration that elected him, rather than arising precisely because of him and his agenda. In short, we are angry because his EU-socialist agenda is progressing too slowly and hasn’t delivered as promised — as it will in time. Perhaps then we will thank him for his proper big-government, big-spending solution.

He seems bewildered (for the first time?) that his popularity as a campaign rhetorician did not last when he became responsible for actual governance.


Read it all. Of course, why shouldn't Obama be bewildered? The world and the press have been showering him with undeserved honors since his magical appearance on the world scene a scant few years ago. He never did anything to deserve their accolades and so is stunned at the enormity of the rebuke. So he shifts and slides and oils his way into all the usual rationalizations for what happened. But all he wants is what's due to him. S

So, he wants to work together for the sake of the American people, does he? A little late, Barry, don't you think, when you've already labeled those who oppose you the "enemy"? When you've already demonized the next Speaker of the House?

But Obama is a little like Eliza's father in My Fair Lady; one of the "undeserving poor"; or, in Obama's case, one of the undeserving elites...with a gift of rhetoric and a self-serving disposition that sees nothing wrong with his behavior or values (or, rather, the lack of them); a victim of others and open to an "arrangement" if he can figure out how to profit from it.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

HOW'S THAT WORKING OUT FOR YOU, AMERICA ?

An appropriate video for Election Day 2010 (h/t National Review):




As tonight's election results pour in, I repeat: How's that working out for you, America??

Monday, November 01, 2010

TOAST

The verdict is in and my old blogging computer is "toast". Just purchased a new one and should be back blogging fairly regularly shortly.

And speaking of "toast", the verdict is almost in on this election...Here's hoping that the Democrats get really burned and that tomorrow will be the start of something good for this country.

Don't get cocky! VOTE!

And, finally, if you didn't watch the World Series last night, you missed this perfect strike: