Wednesday, February 29, 2012


At Zero Hedge, there is a guest post by Charles Hughes Smith on Crony Capitalism. Smith's point is straightforward:
In the U.S. we now have the perfection of cloaked crony capitalism: corporate cartels use their vast concentrations of capital and revenue to buy the political leverage needed to write regulations specifically designed to eliminate competition.

Recall that the most profitable business model is a monopoly or cartel protected from competition by the coercive Central State. Imposing complex regulations on small business competitors effectively cripples an entire class competitors, but does so in "stealth mode"--after all, more regulations are a "good thing" (especially to credulous Liberals) which "protect the public" (and every politico loves claiming his/her new raft of regulations will "protect the public.")

This masks the key dynamic of crony capitalism: gaming the government is the most profitable business model. Where else can you "invest" a few hundred thousand dollars (to buy political "access" and lobbying) and "earn" a return in the millions of dollars, and eliminate potential competitors, too? No other "investment" even comes close.

From Investopedia:
A description of capitalist society as being based on the close relationships between businessmen and the state. Instead of success being determined by a free market and the rule of law, the success of a business is dependent on the favoritism that is shown to it by the ruling government in the form of tax breaks, government grants and other incentives.
Both socialists and capitalists have been at odds with each other over assigning blame to the opposite group for the rise of crony capitalism. Socialists believe that crony capitalism is the inevitable result of pure capitalism. This belief is supported by their claims that people in power, whether business or government, look to stay in power and the only way to do this is to create networks between government and business that support each other.

On the other hand, capitalists believe that crony capitalism arises from the need of socialist governments to control the state. This requires businesses to operate closely with the government to acheive the greatest success.
[Emphasis mine]

Let's think about that last emphasized bit above.

First off, the "cronies" come from both sides of the political aisle, it is true; but we have seen an unprecedented expansion of this sort of behavior in the 3 short years of Obamanomics. Even the media is noticing this reality with some alarm:
During the 2008 campaign, Mr. Obama promised to “end the abuse of no-bid contracts once and for all.” Don’t tell that to his friends. In May 2011, the pharmaceutical firm Siga Technologies, headed by Obama intimate Ronald Perelman, received a $443 million sole-source, no-bid, no-questions-asked government contract for an unnecessary anti-smallpox pill. Siga previously had been awarded a $3 billion contract after placing former Service Employees International Union boss and frequent White House visitor Andy Stern on its board.

Never in modern history has the U.S. government been used so extensively as a vehicle for benefiting political cronies at the expense of the rest of us. In his speech, Mr. Obama said America shouldn’t “settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by.” Given this administration’s rampant favoritism, special treatment and backroom deals, restoring fairness is a major argument against Mr. Obama’s re-election.

Next,when you consider Solyndra, LightSquared and the other cronies who are capitalizing on Obama's ecofanatacism (algae companies are next!); when you consider Government Motors and the large-scale political paybacks to unions; indeed, when you consider how Obama deliberately manipulates business (denouncing it on the one hand, while the other is pocketing the campaign contributions from them) and issues commandments from Mt. Olympus (e.g., Insurance companies will eat the cost of birth control; etc.) then it is very easy to understand why business is "gaming the system" and why developing a cozy relationship with Obama and his band of merry regulators and redistributors is a key aspect of the new, improved business model.

This is not to say that there aren't and haven't been businesses and "capitalists" who eagerly suck up to power in order to destroy their competitors throughout history. But that is not a function of capitalism any more than it is a function of socialism or any utopian system.

It is a function of the darker side of human nature.

And, let's remember that human nature is the same whether it is operating under a socialist system or whether a capitalist system. However there are some crucial difference between those systems that hinge on their differing attitudes toward human nature.

I have said it before and I will say it again: Among all known social, political and economic systems, democratic capitalism is the one that is most consistent with human nature.

-Far from encouraging the "survival of the fittest" or even a "dog-eat-dog" animal mentality, capitalism simultaneously encourages cooperation for mutually beneficial trade and for competition.

-Far from encouraging war and dominance; capitalism encourages trust and human cooperation; as well as alliances to maximize productivity and wealth creation.

-In a capitalist system, you must persuade others that your products and services are better or cheaper than others--otherwise they will not buy it. In a socialist system, you have to always resort to force to get people to buy or use the state-approved product or service.

-Far from concentrating all wealth in the hands of a few, capitalism makes it possible for anyone to accumulate wealth (contrast for example the number of people who earn over $100,000 a year in the U.S., with those do in Cuba. The only really wealthy person there is Fidel Castro and his cronies. Likewise, in any collectivist system you will find that the only wealthy people are the thugs in control and their cronies. It is certainly true that "the rich get richer" under capitalism--but so do the poor; and, that happens because the creation of wealth is not a zero-sum game.

Envy is a real human emotion that is often destructive socially and personally, but only in a capitalist system can one transform one's psychological envy or greed into socially acceptable and personally positive actions that improve one's own lot without stealing or looting from others, or attacking and destroying them.

The problem with the underlying ideology of socialism/communism/Marxism and the "crony socialism" that we enjoy here in the U.S., is that they all inevitably breed and encourages envy, greed, and a lust for power and wealth--emotions that tend to drive ALL economic and political systems. But these emotions are unrestrained in the utopian wonderlands mentioned above; and they exist in a pure, unadulterated, undiluted, and particularly vicious form.

Yes, to be sure, capitalism also thrives on envy--and even greed, power, and wealth. Those emotions are part and parcel of human nature, after all. But, (and this is important) capitalism does not condemn human nature or expect a "new man" to emerge in order for it to be successful for individuals or society as a whole. And, capitalism is not blind to them, like collectivist systems are.

Instead, unlike those other systems that seek to perfect human beings, capitalism offers a healthy channel for the redirection of negative emotions like envy and greed into something positive for both the individual and the larger society. There is no healthy channel in crony socialism. To survive, you have to do what the State and its Masters say as they pocket your bribe money and pretend that their motives are "for the good of all."

Capitalism does not pretend that those messy negative human emotions can be "stamped out" merely by the Will of the State. It does not pretend these emotions don't exist; nor does it hide them under the mask of "We're doing it for YOUR OWN GOOD".

Instead, it human nature as a given and simply provides a system through which humans are able to sublimate and redirect those negative emotions to better both themselves and incidentally the larger society.

As economic systems go, this is a miraculous psychological breakthrough; and it is why capitalism dovetails so nicely with political systems that promote individual freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. Taken all together, democratic capitalism is about as close to "perfection" as humans are likely to get.

Human nature is what it is. This is not tragic, it is simple truth. History is littered with the corpses of the people whose nature the left has tried to "perfect" in some way; and all those utopian fantasies about changing human nature always end in misery, suffering and death for large numbers of imperfect homo sapiens wherever it is implemented.

In short, when you have perfected crony capitalism to the point that the Obama Administration has, you have really instituted perfect crony socialism and are well on your way to national socialism or some other redistributive utopian fantasy.

UPDATE: See what I mean here about how these virtuous, anti-capitalist utopians (i.e., the entire "Occupy" movement and their enablers) are perfectly OK with the dark side of human nature? Or, how about the environmental activist who hired a hit man to kill a random person wearing fur? She was very kind and sensitive about it, though.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Why is this not so shocking?
In 2008 prices at the gas pump surged under President Bush and there was a lot of media attention to that fact, even though it was significantly less than the current rise in prices at the pump. Recently, the Business and Media Institute decided to study how the media covered the situation back then as compared to now.

Per Bernard Goldberg on Fox News, the Business and Media Institute found several important differences between then and now:
Well, they found out two things, basically. One, they analyzed stories from four years ago when President Bush was president and from this month when President Obama is president regarding higher gas prices.

And they found that the three networks, the broadcast networks ran four times as many stories about gas prices rising when President Bush was president than now when President Obama was president. I'm shocked by that, by the way.

The second thing they found out is that the tone was different. Today, the stories are mostly unemotional. They're about how the gas prices affect the economy. But four years ago they were very personal about how people were having to make decisions between buying food and buying gasoline.

Of course, the biggest difference is that Bush was a Republican President; and Obama is a Democrat.

I believe, though, that there is a more of a ideological vulnerability for amnesia in Democrats--so IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT!! THEY JUST NEED TREATMENT FOR THEIR TERRIBLY DISABLING CONDITION!
Suggestion: For Democrats, who have little insight into the disorder, voting them out of office so as not to stress the rigid minds of the poor dears further would be very therapeutic; not only for them, but also for the American public. OTOH for the Media: their condition appears to be terminal and lead to permanent dementia.


[Cartoons by Gary Varvel]

Friday, February 24, 2012


Obama's new 5-Year PlanEnergy Plan appears to not only depnd on solar power but also on using algae as a new form of energy.

I was pleased to hear Charles Krauthammer mock this idea yesterday on Special Report:
… I was impressed by the president’s analysis of this situation where we have no control over the global price of oil. We’re depending on oil from unfriendlies. And he says… drilling for oil to relieve our dependency is not a solution or a plan. He said we have to go to clean energy. He talked about something really revolutionary today: algae. A $14 million grant for the development of algae [was announced].

So it’s not oil. His solution is algae. And because we know the secretary of energy is a physicist who won the Nobel Prize, the president, knowing all this stuff, said one reason we should do this is because “we can grow algae here in the United States.”

It happens that algae will grow anywhere on earth!

Hey, it's even good to eat, being called "Nature's Perfect Food"!

This reminded me of Kim Jong Il's "Pine Needle Tea":
In the spring of 1845, Karl Marx wrote, ". . . the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of social relations." Marx's idea was that a change in the "ensemble of social relations" can change "the human essence."

In June 2004 the communist North Korean government issued a statement to its starving citizens recommending the consumption of pine needles. Pyongyang maintained that pine needle tea could effectively prevent and treat cancer, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, cerebral hemorrhage, and even turn grey hair to black.

Tragically, human nature isn't at all as advertised, and neither is pine needle tea. According to the U.S. State Department, at least one million North Koreans have died of famine since 1995.

Well, we may not starve here in the good old US of A (unless algae becomes the US Government policy position on food), but I bet that we will have a new kind of energy famine if we pin all our hopes on algae or on other blue-green energy sources.

Perhaps LET THEM EAT ALGAE! will become the new campaign slogan for President Marie Obamanette


Andrew McCarthy writes:
A state judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed an assault and harrassment case against a Muslim defendant who admitted attacking the victim. Magistrate Judge Mark Martin, a veteran of the war in Iraq and a convert to Islam, ruled that Talag Elbayomi’s sharia defense – what he claimed was his obligation to strike out against any insult against the prophet Mohammed – trumped the First Amendment free speech rights of the victim.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Here is a video of the "outrage" that led the tender sensibilities of the Muslim to attack:

It mocks pretty much every religion; yet only in the "religion of peace" are there riots and murderous violence. Is it insensitive? So what? I'm Catholic born and raised and don't feel any need to go and defend Catholicism's honor--or my own-- and attack the zombie-Pope. Perhaps I don't like it much, but in a civilized world, there are appropriate ways of expressing one's dislikes that don't involve violence. Violence, as Isaac Asimove has notably pointed out, is the last refuge of the incompetent. I would add, that it is the first refuge of thug, bullies, and oppressors everywhere.

McCarthy notes: "In 27 years of trying and analyzing legal cases, this performance is as shocking and disgraceful as anything I’ve ever seen from an American trial judge."

Meanwhile our courageous President apologizes for the military burning some Korans in Afghanistan (Korans which inamates were using to send messages to one another); even as violent Muslim mobs kill two U.S. soldiers over the "outrage".

So, now we have two of our three branches of government, the Executive and the Judicial submitting to Sharia and the usual "death to all" Muslim outrage.

That leaves one branch of government left, and if we depend on those idiots to stand up for Western values like freedom of speech, we are truly doomed.

I sent a snarky Valentine blog post to the "peaceful" religion of Islam, and one of my commenters was offended at my rather harsh views toward this malignant religion:
My husband is Muslim. Often, I hear or see people vilifying his faith; it bothers me more than him. No one could find a sweeter or stronger man than my husband, and his faith is the source of that sweetness and strength.

I realize nothing I say would convince you to re-evaluate your "position". But I felt the need to make sure a different voice was heard. There are extremists of every faith. And it's easy to find examples of awful or crazy things someone has said and done and attribute it to the entire group. But do you have any friends or family members who are Muslim? It's a lot harder to hate a group if you love an individual in that group.

I love my husband, and look forward to receiving my Valentine.

In this recent post, the woman I quoted also apparently loved her Muslim husband who was dedicated to the annihilation of Israel.

Look, I will grant that there are decent people who are Muslim. But these horrific things are being done in their name, too. I blame the millions and millions of Muslim fanatics for the fact that Islam has become even more fanatical and violent than it was at its origins. Unfortunately, Muslim "fanatacism" is not just a few people here and there.

It is entire nations.

I will ask several simple questions: Is there one place in the world where Islam is practiced today that people are not oppressed; where freedom is permitted; where those who disagree with any ridiculous aspect of Islam are not persecuted and viciously murdered; where REASON, TRUTH and REALITY prevail over delusional thinking? Is there one place where Islam is practiced that is tolerant?

If that commenter has a brain, then I suggest to her that she begin to use it and she and her loving husband (who hopefully gave her a Valentine) need to either:
1. check their premises about their so called "peaceful" religion: and, if they decide to remain Muslims,
2. do something to alter their religion's cancerous metastasis in the free world.

But like all so-called "moderates" in that religion; they probably either don't disagree with what their fellow Muslims perpetrate in the world; or they are too afraid of their fellow Muslims to speak up and denounce them.

As far as I am concerned, anything less than that makes them enemies of humanity and dedicated to its enslavement.

Am I being harsh? With twenty dead over the latest Koran incident, including 2 American soldiers; and with our own freedoms in this country at stake, I fear I am not being harsh enough.

We need to stop apologizing and stop being afraid of the religion of thugs.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


In a post titled, "Isn't that nice?", Daniel Foster documents a wife's touching remembrance of her husband, an Iranian nuclear scientist who was recently assassinated:
“Mostafa’s ultimate goal was the annihilation of Israel,” Fatemeh Bolouri Kashani told FNA on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, along the same lines as, "Isn't that nice?" guess who gets to decide what our FBI agents will learn about Islam and who gets to censor anything considered offensive to Islam in the material?
...the FBI — following the administration’s lead — is purging its training materials of publications that are deemed offensive to Muslims (you know, crazy stuff like claims that passages in the Koran and Hadith promote violent jihad, Islamic supremacism, killing of apostates, oppression of women, etc.). So what are the criteria the Bureau uses to figure out what materials are offensive? And who decides?

You’ll never guess. Steve, who has been talking to some mighty outraged law-enforcement officials, writes:
It was just revealed two days ago that FBI Director Mueller secretly met on February 8 at FBI headquarters with a coalition of groups including various Islamist and militant Arabic groups who in the past have defended Hamas and Hizballah and have also issued blatantly anti-Semitic statements. At this meeting, the FBI revealed that it had removed more than 1000 presentations and curricula on Islam from FBI offices around the country that was deemed “offensive.” The FBI did not reveal what criteria was used to determine why material was considered “offensive” but knowledgeable law enforcement sources have told the IPT that it was these radical groups who made that determination. Moreover, numerous FBI agents have confirmed that from now on, FBI headquarters has banned all FBI offices from inviting any counter-terrorist specialists who are considered “anti-Islam” by Muslim Brotherhood front groups.

Holy Sharia, Batman! Even our FBI is infected with this PC idiocy.

What the hell is wrong with our government? Are they determined to lead us all like little lambs to the altar of Sharia?

But even worse is the Obama Administrations psychotic belief in the rationality (!!) of the Iranian regime. And the dearest wish of the heart of Iranian nuclear scientists is clearly to bring the peaceful power of the atom to help teddy bears and unicorns.

Unfortunately for the United States, the Obama Administration is NOT a rational actor.

Isn't that nice?


Suzanne Venker has an interesting article on National Review titled, "Why Men Are Slackers and Women are Single" which proposes that all the recent brouhaha in the media celebrating the single life has one primary goal: to give the impression that there is something fundamentally wrong with marriage:
Then there are articles that aren’t so well-known — such as last month’s cover story in Boston magazine, entitled “Single by Choice.” The smaller caption reads, “This is Terri. She’s successful, happy, and at 38, just fine with never getting married. Ever.” It’s enough to make the average person think there’s something fundamentally wrong with the married state.

Which, of course, is the point.

Unlike women such as Condoleezza Rice, who quietly lead unconventional lives without a trace of resentment toward their fellow men, feminists are inherently insecure women who demand validation for their unusual choices. They do this by implying the so-called rise of women is a great thing — and proof that marriage is an outdated, patriarchal institution. At an event in Washington D.C., Bolick and Rosin appear together to do just that. Rosin, in her trademark elitist and condescending fashion, had this to say: ”Having reported a lot on Christian conservatives, I can tell you they get married, like, as soon as they fall in love and, you know, it’s probably because they can’t have sex unless they’re married — which is not the case for most of us.” (Envision lots of insulting facial gestures, as well as laughter coming from the audience.) Just imagine if I were to say in a similar forum, “Yeah, you know how those Jews are.”

High-profile feminists such as Bolick, Rosin, and Coontz celebrate the ascension of women as though it were a win-win. But the fact that today more women than men get college degrees and have good jobs is nothing to smile about. ”The good news about women is accompanied by bad news about men, which also turns out to be bad news for women,” writes Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto.

The “bad news” about men is always couched in the context that men aren’t “manning up,” or doing what’s necessary to be responsible adults. Perhaps they aren’t — they’re certainly retreating from marriage, that’s for sure. The question is, why? And the answer is simple. With premarital sex a foregone conclusion and cohabitation on the rise, men live the good life with no responsibilities. Moreover, women have made it clear they don’t need a man to support them, to be happy, or even to become a mother. The result is that men become slackers.

If we also consider the fact that the percentage of population that is married has declined from 72% in 1970; to 62% in 1990 and to 59% a few years ago. According to this site, the most impacted segment of the population are young people:
(September 2010) Marriage rates have dropped precipitously among young adults ages 25 to 34 during the past decade and the decline has accelerated since the onset of the recession, according to PRB's analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) and 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS). The data suggest that more young couples are delaying marriage or foregoing matrimony altogether, likely as an adaptive response to the economic downturn and decline in the housing market.

Between 2000 and 2009, the share of young adults ages 25 to 34 who are married dropped 10 percentage points, from 55 percent to 45 percent, according to ACS data.1 During the same period, the percentage who have never been married increased sharply, from 34 percent to 46 percent. In a dramatic reversal, the proportion of young adults in the United States who have never been married now exceeds those who are married.

The New York Times even trumpets that it is now the "new normal" for children in the US is to be born out of wedlock, though they have the grace to add:
What’s most troubling about these figures is that marriage is good for children.
“Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems,” write Mr. DeParle and Ms. Tavernise. Most births outside of a marriage are to couples who are living together, but marriages last longer than alternative arrangements. Tax-saving economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers may be the exception, but statistically, co-habitation arrangements in the United States are more than twice as likely to dissolve than marriages.

So, one wonders WHY there appears to be a concerted push, spearheaded by women, to celebrate this alarming unraveling in the fabric of the family? Why do they appear to be almost desperate to promote the idea that wanting to get married is very uncool?

And why is it that the only situation where marriage seems to be celebrated and encouraged--even culturally and politically demanded-- is in the area of Gay Marriage?

If the institution of marriage is in decline and the statistics, if they continue to proceed at the current rate of decline of 10-15% every 20 years or so; it would suggest that marriage among heterosexuals will all but disappear in the next 60 years or so, and along with it, any semblance of normal family life.

Yet, people and groups who express dismay at this decay of family life and the many social and economic consequences which directly result from it are vilified and regarded as extreme.

But, much as the political left refuses to acknowledge the destructiveness of their policies on marriage and family (policies which date back to the 60's and 70's sexual revolution), the rest of America is beginning to wake up to the fact that there are consequences of those policies that are destructive to individuals and which promote poverty and societal decline.

James Taranto thinks that America is becoming more socially conservative as a result of all this, not less. In a piece subtitled, "Why the Left Can't Handle the Truth About Social Conservatism", Taranto hits the nail on the head:
Social liberals have two basic approaches to social conservatism: mystification and triumphalism. Both reflect a failure of understanding--but more than that, an incapacity to understand, a will to ignorance that is best understood as a psychological defense.
In other words, less affluent Americans are socially conservative because they bear the brunt of the social policies and cultural attitudes that prevail among affluent liberal elites. You can see why it would be difficult for Krugman and Alter, who doubtless pride themselves on their compassion and moral rectitude, to acknowledge or even consider this explanation. They need to be obtuse as a psychological defense.

Their age may have something to do with it, too. Krugman and Alter were both born in the 1950s, which is to say that they are both baby boomers. Both were too young to be protesting on campus in 1968, but both are old enough that the triumph of contemporary feminism and the sexual revolution coincided with their formative years. That is to say, both presumably cast their lot with the cultural left in its moment of triumph and in the belief that by doing so, they were putting themselves on the side of progress.

One thing that unites the social liberals is their belief that social conservatives are "fools" and "religious nuts."

To paraphrase Obama Himself: "'s not surprising then that the left get bitter, they cling to their birth control and their leftist theology or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-religious sentiment or anti-conservative sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

And they are very frustrated, even if sexually free, morality-free, and conscience-free. They must wonder anxiously, Why can't everyone just agree with us and appreciate the impending utopia we are ushering in with our beautiful liberal policies?

The problem is that their policies are ushering in a nightmare instead: destroying the importance of committment, marriage and family; all of which have been critical to the rise of civilization against the tide of barbarism. They accuse conservatives of being "anti-woman, but their policies are both anti-man AND anti-woman.

Yesterday, Glenn Reynolds reminded us of an appropriate Heinlein quote:
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

When marriage as an institution is dead; when most children are born into poverty because they have biological fathers who won't commit to raising or supporting them; when most women find that men no longer see any benefit of the married state, then I'm sure that the right-thinking progressives will attribute it all to "bad luck" and encourage even more government and state interference into people's lives to counteract it.

The nicest thing I can say is that the left is very, very heavily invested in their psychological denial.

As long as they portray those of us who are shouting "STOP" to their agenda as "religious nuts looking to snatch your prophylactics," they can contiue to be oblivious to the damage they are doing to society, and to individual freedom AND individual responsibility.

Amazingly, you can be opposed to their policies AND still believe that people have the right to make their own choices in life (even bad ones)--as long as they understand that, along with those rights they have to be sufficiently grown-up enough to accept the consequences of their choices.

No wonder they are in such profound denial--if they could handle the truth (or reality) the demise of social liberalism--or, freedom without an iota of responsibility-- would be a done deal.

Monday, February 20, 2012


GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum is being angrily criticized by the various crooks and liars of the left for criticizing Obama's religious bona fides:
A day after telling an Ohio audience that Obama's agenda is based on "some phony theology, not a theology based on the Bible," Santorum said he wasn't criticizing the president's Christianity.

"I've repeatedly said I don't question the president's faith. I've repeatedly said that I believe the president's Christian," Santorum told CBS' "Face the Nation."

"I am talking about his world view, and the way he approaches problems in this country. I think they're different than how most people do in America," he said in the broadcast interview.

Apparently, Santorum's social conservatism just gets under the thin skin of Progressives. Which is why I could get to like Mr. Santorum more and more.

However much I may disagree with Santorum's personal postions on a number of social issues, I do believe he is entitled to them. And on the idea of Obama having a "phony theology", he happens to be right on.

Remember, this is the Obama who sat in Jeremiah Wright's church for several decades--a church as phony, hate-filled and un-Christian as you can possibly get. This is the Obama who thinks God should be replaced by the State. This is the Obama who styled himself a modern Messiah in his election campaign, who fancies himself as some sort of god, standing before the Greek Temples and promising to halt the rise of oceans and bring peace to the world.

We can all see how that's working out for him.

But, as usual, the crooks and liars and looters miss the point. The ideology of the postmodern political left IS the new theology of many. It is a fervent belief system, with the requisite priests and imams preaching to the faithful; and based on the worn-out and useless ideology of Marx (Karl, not Groucho). The 21st century minions of Marx are just as worshipful of his discredited ideas in this century as they were in the last.

And, even more than his own phony Christianity, Obama fervently believes in all the same claptrap BS the political left has been spouting since the 1960's.

Obama has pushed the "reset" button on a number of fronts, but surprise! We are still hated, only now we are also routinely mocked because Obama is perceived as weak and uninvolved. Over the past two years we have routinely thrown our friends under the Obama bus; while appeasing and bowing to our enemies. We have routinely focused on the less important (to our national interest anyway) issues like Libya and Quadaffi; rather than take a strong stance on Iran, a major and imminent threat, not only to the region, but to our national interests in the region. Time and again, Obama has resorted to his supposedly "magical" rhetoric, as if words without the necessary backbone to stand behind them. When he actually does something like give the order to go in and take down Bin Laden (and, I still believe that all the psychological evidence suggests that Obama had to be dragged kicking and screaming into that action, but when it turned out ok was perfectly willing to take all the credit) many on the left had a hissy fit and rushed to condemn it as somehow being "inconsistent with our values."

It's hard to be consistent with one's values when those "values" change on a daily basis depending on which way the wind blows. Remember, the goal is not reason or truth or consistency to values, but promoting a particular ideology. That is why there the left demonstrates "subjectivism and relativism in one breath, dogmatic absolutism in the next."

For them, their magical thinking is absolute...magic. And a belief in some form of "magic" is the basis of all primitive religions.

Such beliefs make all those unpleasant realities simply go away when they do not fit into their philosophy.

Meanwhile, on the economic front it is undoubtedly clear that there is a considerable amount of magical thinking going on on both sides of the political spectrum when it comes to the economy, but in the last year there have been at least some attempts to start a rational conversation that could address the serious problem with debt and spending this country is faced with.

Paul Ryan, who came up with an Economic Plan a few months ago which called for both tax cuts AND decreased spending started the conversation. Yet, far from using his plan as a starting point to discuss reality, it was instead used for the purpose of villifying any Republican for wanting to deal with entitlements--they are now accused of vile "sins" against the dogma of the left. Ryan was caricatured as wanting to push granny off a cliff).

Meanwhile, in keeping with the magical thinking of the new-left's theology, believers hold onto the idea that doing nothing but listening to Obama's regular chants and incantations on the debt crisis, is a safe strategy (and it might well be from a political perspective in an election year); but reality probably isn't going to agree with the true believers for very long.

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you--if you're Democrat.

But they are simply following in the phony theology of their President, who believes as fervently as any religious fanatic that his wishes and feelings are more powerful than reality.

[Cartoons by Jerry Holbert]

Friday, February 17, 2012


From The Belmont Club post, "Pretend it's Working":
The Washington Post reports that North Korea’s new strategy for advancing socialism is to secretly let domestic capitalism support it. In that way socialism can pretend to succeed while capitalism can pretend to fail. “Recent defectors and economists who study North Korea describe an emergent underground capitalism in which ordinary people bring dollars, euros and Chinese yuan into the country and stockpile the currency or spend it at black markets.”
The money comes from cross-border trade with China or via remittances, payments from defectors sent back home using middlemen. Some security officials don’t crack down because they, too, need the money; some receive payoffs from traders that outweigh their own salaries, defectors say.

That would make North Korea’s dependence on capitalism complete. South Korea and the United States have long been its sources of food aid. Socialism has literally been fed by capitalism. Now even its security officials are being paid from the polluted source of profit.

Nothing is new. The definition of an revolutionary socialist has always been someone whose food, shelter and clothing is paid for by the taxes levied on those who practice capitalism. But there is nothing hypocritical in that. The great thing about socialism that nothing has to resemble reality.

Meanwhile, Al Gore, the environmental huckster extraordinaire, is reportedly taking aim at "unsustainable" capitalism:
"While we believe that capitalism is fundamentally superior to any other system for organising economic activity, it is also clear that some of the ways in which it is now practised do not incorporate sufficient regard for its impact on people, society and the planet," Gore said.

At a briefing ahead of Thursday's launch, David Blood said capitalism has been blighted with short-termism and an obsession with instant investment results, which had ramped up market volatility, widened the gap between rich and poor and deflected attention from the deepening climate crisis.

You've got to admit that it's awfully nice and sporting of Gore to accept that "capitalism is fundamentally superior to any other system for organising economic activity".

I assume that the problem as he sees it is that HE would be even more superior than capitalism insofar as organizing economic activity and managing the lives of others; and so HE should be driving the engine of production instead of the neutral marketplace.

When you think about it, Al Gore's position is not very much different from the North Korean one of pretending that what they are doing is working and is far superior to capitalism. Indeed, Al Gore and others like him who know so much better than the market, might just as well be another Kim Jong.

People like him ALWAYS believe they "know" better than reality. Oh, they are willing to let a little reality in so that their little pretense is bolstered (as well as their ego); and the benefit of doing so is that they can then blame capitalism for any problems that might come up, rather than themselves--or their ideas or their interference in the market.

The goal of these despots is not to augment reality, but to try and circumvent it so as to optimize their own little egos; thus, any resemblance of what they do to reality is purely coincidental.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


In a post titled "Does the Left Understand Religious Liberty?", David French reflects on the kind of religious liberty the Left always respects:
...the freedom to advocate for liberal social-welfare policies and liberal visions of “social justice.” Debate the issue for long, and you’ll get some version of the following (typically delivered with maximum snark): Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Bible much more concerned about the poor than about [fill in the issue -- from abortion to contraception to proselytizing to worship]? “Concern for the poor” is redefined as support for this or that government program, while “religious liberty” is redefined as hatred for women or gays or perhaps even just simple intolerance.
Of course, the same standards aren’t applied to, say, Muslims, but that’s a post for another time.{emphasis mine]

This is so true, and it brings me to a point that I've been thinking about forquite a while.

What I emphasized in the above quote is something that we see over and over again on many issues. The political left always redefines the issue:

--A principled stand on reducing the deficit and reforming entitlements is redefined as "pushing Granny over a cliff."
A concern about the implications for the institution of marriage is redefined as homophobic;
--The idea of preventing voter fraud by requiring voters to show an ID, something that is required for almost everything else in life these days; is redefined as "disenfranchising poor or black Americans";
--If you support a woman's right to choose her own destiny (i.e., contraception, abortion etc.) but suggest that it isn't the government's place to pay for it with YOUR money--or the money of people who might oppose abortion or certain types of contraception; they you are redefined as "anti-woman";

--If you want to keep our borders safe and prevent illegal immigration; you are redefined as "anti-Hispanic" and "racist";
--If you oppose socialized medicine then you are redefined as "anti-poor, anti-black, anti-woman, and probably racist and just plain mean.

Notice how every "redefinition" of a principled opposition to a leftist policy has been transformed into an ad hominem , or personal attack?


It so happens that I do not object to women using birth control. But that DOES NOT MEAN that I support the government forcing someone who is opposed to PAYING for her birth control to pay for it.

That does not make me anti-woman, it makes me PRO-LIBERTY.

I am basically opposed to government intervention in almost every area of our lives except for the purpose of protecting our rights and liberties; but anyone who takes a stance to limit government power and intrusion into the lives of others has become a target of the vicious and name-calling postmodern left who, since they are unable to counter the ideas or principles which underlie those who oppose their policies, instead focus on trying to destroy them on a personal level.

The postmodern left is under the delusion that they are better people; more pure and virtuous; more compassionate and loving; more fair-minded and tolerant than those who oppose them.

However, I am reasonably sure that they are human; and therefore just as prone to the same defects of personality and behaviors as any other human being. I am absolutely sure that their ideas and their policies are far, far, inferior and ultimately lead to totalitarianism, opression, and economic misery.

And, that is the crux of the problem.

The reason that they attack on the personal level anyone who disagrees with them is due to the fact that they cannot support their ideas or their policies in any rational or logical manner. Which means they have to resort to emotion, name-calling, and logical fallacies in order to maintain their psychological denial.

They are in denial because, instead of being champions of the oppressed, they are the root cause of oppression.

They are in denial because, instead of empowering women, blacks, gays and the poor; they are making them more and more dependent on government and infantalizing them.

Instead of doing "good" and promoting "justice"; instead of working toward peace and harmony among people; they are promoting hate, class warfare, envy, and the worst aspects of human nature.

The use of ad hominem attacks has become one of the preferred methods to deal with Republicans and conservatives who are trying to make the argument (ineptly, I grant you) that FREEDOM is preferable to GOVERNMENT CONTROL. Routinely, such people are portrayed as racist, sexist, homophobic monsters (or, as Maxine Waters might say, "DEMONS!!").

It makes them feel better about themselves.

At the center of all psychological denial is a hidden agenda.

That agenda is usually not completely conscious--meaning that the denier has not thought through the issues surrounding his denial; and may not even be aware of what his motivation is in asserting something is true when it isn't; or false when it isn't.

Denial need not be absolute and completely cut off from reality. Even among alcoholics and drug users there is a varying level of awareness of their problem. Some accept that they are in jail or sick because of their substance use, but yet are still not willing to do anything about it. Some may recognize some facts about their drinking (like that they get put in jail), but completely deny the impact of those facts on themselves or their families; or the future implications of continued drinking or drug use (e.g., that they are killing themselves and will die).

The hidden agenda or underlying motivation behind the denial is very frequently related to the potential adverse consequences that could ensue if the denial were eliminated and reality acknowledged. That is where the unnacceptable feelings, needs, and thoughts come in. The denier (or part of him) has made an unconscious decision that awareness of certain feelings, needs, or thoughts is more threatening to his sense of self than the act of denial.

As an example, consider a person who develops a chronic cough. He might rationalize to themselves that his cough is because of a lack of humidity in the air; or because he has a slight infection; and most certainly is not a result of his smoking habits. He could go see a doctor, but doesn't, telling himself he is fine.

As the cough gets worse, he become even more creative in his thinking about it (or not thinking about it) and is "too busy" to see a doctor; or tend to minimize the symptom even as it worsens. This strategy of ignoring the problem goes on for some time--maybe months. The person may next fail to notice that he is losing weight and looking a bit drawn-out. The rationalizations now even include benign explanations for the specks of blood that can be seen in the cough.

Finally, after much resistance, a loved one firmly intervenes--or the person faces the truth, confronts the issue-- and schedules an appointment. After a few tests, lung cancer is diagnosed. The prognosis is very poor because the cancer has already progessed to advanced stages during the months of denial.

Why would such a person deny the symptom to begin with? Because by denying the symptom, the person can pretend that everything is normal. Early on, when the symptom is new or minor, this possiblity may even be true. But as the evidence accumulates that something is very wrong; the person has now entered a phase of magical thinking and/or fantasy where he effortlessly pretends to himself that everything is as he wishes it to be.

Eventually, the individual may become totally psychologically invested in believing that nothing is wrong ("lalalalala I can't heaaaar you"), and reacts (or overreacts) with anger and rage toward anyone who questions his view of things. The entire act of denial was initiated to begin with by the psyche for a good psychological reason-- to temporarilly supress awareness that something was wrong--while the person struggled with the effort to face that possibility. That awareness was so frightening, that a temporary psychological bargain evolved into a binding contract that allows the person to suspend cognition and reason so that he is able to ignore any knowledge or evidence that alters his fantasy reality.

Unfortunately, if the person really does have a cancerous process going on within them, it is completely unaffected by the psychological bargain made by the psyche. There are certain rules that govern the progression of cancers and they will be in force, whether or not the person is aware of them or not. Hence, the denier has made a short-term pact to feel better at the expense of his long-term health.

In the case of this type of cancer, he has chosen to enjoy a period of relative complacency and blissful ignorance at the cost of catching the cancer earlier when it might be more treatable. In the long-run his unconscious choice is a very bad one. But the reality is that some people in denial prefer the lethal consequences of their denial as long as they don't have to question their own motivations, beliefs, and ideologies.

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.

There are many tried and true techniques that those in denial use in order to maintain and facilitate their denial and to prevent any confrontation about it or their own motivations.

For example, there are a number of logical fallacies and rhetorical ploys (like calling someone who disagrees with you a "racist" or insisting that they are using "code words" that MEAN you are really a racist) that frequently pop up when dealing with those in psychological denial.

People in denial may believe they are engaging in substantive arguments and presenting their case, but when examined, the grounds they present are actually examples of pseudo-reasoning.

Although not precisely a fallacy or rhetorical ploy, physical coercion is another important technique that is used to defuse and/or disrupt rational argument or discussion. For the denier, coercion has the advantage of eliminating any possibiity they might have to confront their denial and what is driving it.

Understanding all of these techniques is essential for being able to deal with individuals in denial.

There is frequently a connection between the pseudo-reasoning technique employed to perpetuate denial, and the style of denial being used (as described in Part I). The list that follows is not exhaustive, and only includes some of what I consider the more important techniques being used. The table is only intended to be a preliminary guide. A brief discussion of each of the fallacies or rhetorical ploys referred to follows after table.


From: Critical Thinking A Concise Guide (Bowell and Kemp):
Rhetoric is any verbal or written attempt to persuade someone to beieve, desire or do something that does not attempt to give good reasons for the belief, desire or action, but attempts ot motivate that belief, desire or action solely through the power of the words used.

The difference between fallacies and rhetorical ploys is understood most eaily as a difference in the function of the language being employed....politicians, advertisers and newspaper columnists tend to be experts when it come to using rhetorical ploys. Rhetorical ploys typically make a more or less direct appeal to feeling and emotion rather than to reason, which is the domin of argument. Fallacies, on the other hand, are simply defective attempts at arguments....They may fool us into thinking they are not defective, but they are still presented as attempts at argument. Of course, manny writers and speakers will use a mixture of rhetorical ploys, fallacies, and genuine arguments when attempting to persuade us of the truth of their claim.

Let us first consider some of the most common rhetorical ploys in use:

-Appeals to FEELINGS : this type of ploy is very common and the user tries to appeal to specific feelings or desires. For example, you may be enticed to believe what is said because of the passion with which it is said (rather than analyzing the content); or because it stimulates compassion, pity, guilt, fear or any number of other feelings.

Eliciting fear is also known as using "scare tactics", and should be distinguished from genuine warnings for which there is a good reason to act and/or experience the emotion.

Additionally, when one appeals to feelings; emphasis may be placed on the novelty of the idea; or popularity ("everyone thinks this!") or the sexiness or cuteness etc.; all of which can easily distract from a rational analysis of the idea or product.

-Direct attack is simply the unapologetic assertion that something is true or not true without any evidence presented.

-Buzzwords are the use of emotion-laden terms that subtly influence the listener but which offer no information about the truth of what is being said.

-Scare quotes are used to mock the opposition (I use them myself at times!) by calling into question a particular concept (e.g., terrorism vs "terrorism").

-Smokescreen is diverting attention from the topic of discussion by introducing a new topic.

-Equivocation is deliberately making ambiguous statements in order to mislead.


-Formal fallacies can be found in almost any text on logic and include affirming the consequent (i.e., if P then Q; Q; therefore P) or denying the antecedent (i.e., if P then Q; not-P; therefore not-Q). As a group they are invalid arguments because of formal mistakes in reasoning.

-Substantive fallacies are fallacies that rely on an implied but not expressed general premise, but which are false when scrutinized. They include:
Majority belief - concluding that because a majority believe something it must be true. This category includes the excessive reliance on polls to be the arbiter of what is true or false and how one should behave.
Common practice - concluding that because everyone does a certain thing, you should do it too.
Ad hominem is responding to an argument by attacking your opponent rather than addressing the argument itself.
Appeal to an alleged authority - is problematic when the authority appealed to has no expertise in a particular field; or even if he does, there is no automatic guarantee that he is correct.
Perfectionist fallacy - where an idea or proposal is rejected because it cannot completely solve a particular problem.
Weak analogy -use of an unjustied or unsustainable analogy;
Causal fallacies are also very common and involve making assumptions that (1)because things are temporally related that there is a cause and effect (temporal fallacy); or (2) that because two things are correlated there is a causal relationship between them; (3) going from knowing a certain thing is true to believing that something else also must be true when there is no evidence to support the belief is called the Epistemic fallacy.


The following techniques don't fit into the previous categories; or are a combination of one or more already mentioned. They include:

-Red Herrings are premises or ideas that are irrelevant to a particular conclusion but which are offered as evidence of the conclusion;

-Straw man is deliberately setting up a false target that is easier to defeat in argument;

-Begging the question is the situation where the truth of a conclusion is assumed by its premises;

-Selective use of evidence: in any analysis there is usually a large amount of evidence to consider; particularly when there is sufficient complexity involved, it is sometimes easy to pay attention only to evidence that supports the desired conclusions and not to evidence which contradicts it;

-Moving the goalposts is a common practice in denial and occurs when someone always demands more evidence than can currently be provided. If that evidence becomes available at a later date, the demand is then made for even more evidence ad infinitum;

-Argument by definition is changing the meaning of words or concepts so that they support your argument (e.g., "it depends on what the meaning of 'is' is."; and other distortions of language like using the opposite meaning of a word as in Orwell's Newspeak)

-Liar paradox is one of my personal favorites to argue against, and is the use of paradoxical statements (e.g., "This statement is false" or "There is no objective truth") that are linguistically correct but internally inconsistent and cannot be demonstrated to be either true or false.


The most obvious technique in this category is the physical analog of the ad hominem attack. This clearly requires no thinking or logic manipulations at all. We see this in the physical attacks that are made by the left on whoever incurs their ire; or dares to spread ideas that deviate from their own script.

Isaac Asimov famously said that "violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." From a psychiatric perspective, I would amend the saying to: physical coercion is the last refuge of a person in denial.

Coercion is the historically tried and true method by which most totalitarian regimes perpetuate themselves. They must control the flow of information; ruthlessly suppress any ideas that delegitimize their ideology; eliminate any persons threatening to expose their weaknesses; and even physically prevent their own people from being able to freely leave the country where they might pick up alien ideas. All of these measures ensure that psychological denial and the underlying motives of those in control are never questioned or challenged. A tyrant is, from this perspective, the ultimate person in denial.

Further, there are numerous physical attempts to shut people up that also use the rhetorical ploy of appeal to feelings--in particular, an appeal to cuteness--when protesters throw pies in the faces of speakers they don't agree with; or the latest rave of "glitter bombing" those who disagree with you. Never forget the tried and true method of the mindless contingent of the left: those who chant cute slogans to drown out speakers with whom they disagree, hoping to silence them.

Not only do these individuals and groups not bother to argue their side of an issue, but they can't even bear to listen to someone who might stimulate them to consider alternative ideas or confront their own denial.

Other ways that today's political left have developed to control the flow of information include manipulating websites such as Amazon, where you can track swarms of those on the left panning new conservative books they've obviously never bothered to read.

The mere existence of ideas that threaten their image of themselves or challenges their dysfunctional worldview is a threat that must be extinguished before people can be allowed to make up their own minds.

The last thing a person in denial wants is the free flow of information about a topic that threatens the perfection and contentment of his denial. Thus you have Obama starting up

Wikipedia is another forum where people deep in denial have painstakingly tried to rewrite history so that it conforms with their ideology.

How many times have you heard those from the left side of the political spectrum state that the FCC should shut down FOX for its "lies". At college campuses all over the country, every time a campus newspaper runs an editorial that goes against the ideology, all the papers are stolen by the ideological minions of the left. Military recruiters are run off campus by the threat of violence (either to them or any who would like to listen to them).

I won't even go into the entire issue of leftist mainstream media bias, which has been taken up in many other venues many times.

The pattern remains the same. To physically prevent people access to alternate
worldviews or information instead of persuasing them by rational argument of the truth of your own position.

None of these techniques (rhetorical ploys, logical fallacies, or physical control) are unique to one side of the political spectrum or the other certainly; but in today's political climate, most of the denial manifested is coming from the left with few exceptions.

So, does the left understand psychological denial? Probably about as much as they understand religious liberty; i.e., not at all.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I just received an email from a upset prospective commentor who writes:
I spent another wasted 20 minutes trying to comment on your page. I tried before logging in, after logging in, pasting in the text, typing in the text, etc, etc, etc. It's just not worth my time. I assumed you wanted comments since there was a field, but the evidence says otherwise. There are usually only 3 or 4 comments--I have to wonder how many simply gave up. I can find no way to put text in the comment field that actually is accepted by the webpage.

Are others having problems?

If so, write me at If you have any idea what the technical problem is preventing this individual from commenting, please let me know in the comments!

Thanks to all my readers.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Even if you put aside the ubiquitous denigration of women; the persecution of gays; the violent jihad against both Jews and Christians, Islam would still is a despicable religion despite its claims to be the "religion of peace."

The only way to deal with it is to mock it, but even those brave enough to risk the fatwas of the fatuous clerics and leaders, would be hard-pressed to outdo them in their ability to be sink into the ridiculous and absurd.

Here's the Islamic verdict on Valentine's day:
The next time you hear the familiar co-existence, religion-of-peace blather from some Saudi-purchased, Brotherhood canoodling hack (e.g., Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, under the direction of the Left’s favorite Islam expert, John Esposito), keep this one in the back of your mind. It’s not from al-Qaeda; it’s from Malaysia’s widely proclaimed moderate Islamic government — the same one that, with Interpol’s help, has reportedly extradited a journalist to Saudi Arabia to face trial for insulting Mohammed, a death-penalty offense:
An invitation “to be my Valentine” on February 14 is against Islamic beliefs and would incur the wrath of Allah, Muslims were told today in the official Friday sermon prepared by the federal government.

The sermon warned Muslims against celebrating Valentine’s Day, which the federal Islamic authorities claimed was in breach of the tenets of their religion.

In the text of a sermon provided by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) titled “Awas jerat Valentine” (Beware Valentine’s trap), Muslims were told that asking someone to be his or her “Valentine” could lead to idolatry.

Yeah yeah. It's always "Death to everyone!" For pretty much everything.

How can you begin to mock such idiocy?

I wrote a post a while back about the lack of any sort of a sense of humor in the Muslim world. Most other cultures have the ability to make fun of even the most sacred of beliefs. Of course, this is not to everyone's liking, but it is the hallmark of a guilt culture, as opposed to a shame culture--the latter being the kind of culture in which Islam takes hold.

The hearts and flowers of Valentine's Day are a benign form of pleasure for most people. Valentine was, to be sure, a Christian saint, but the modern celebration of the day is completely secular and a chance to show love and affection.


You might think that perhaps I'm being a tad insensitive to Islam's deeply held beliefs? Well, you might be right; but you know what? I don't much care.

So, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to every Muslim on the planet --especially all you fanatical, humorousless ones (you know who you are). May your hearts be filled with love and joy and even peace... instead of being preoccupied with hate and death and jihad all the time.


Wednesday, February 08, 2012


I didn't even know there was such a thing as a "Dependency Index", but it basically supports what I said in this post about how our "progressive" liberals foster dependence.

According to the IBD article:
The American public's dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the Heritage Foundation.

The conservative think tank's annual Index of Dependence on Government tracks money spent on housing, health, welfare, education subsidies and other federal programs that were "traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families."

The increase under Obama is the biggest two-year jump since Jimmy Carter was president, the data show....

The report also found that spending on "dependence programs" accounts for more than 70% of the federal budget. That, too, is up dramatically. In 1990, for example, the figure stood at 48.5%, and in 1962 just over a quarter of federal spending went to dependence programs.

(There's a nice graph to go along with the article at the link)

Finally! An America Michelle Obama can be proud of!

Sunday, February 05, 2012


Are these people insane?
First they come for the alcohol, then for the tobacco, then for your sugar.

When the day arrives when you have to undergo a background check and endure a three-day waiting period to enter a Dunkin’ Donuts, you can trace the loss of your unrestricted access to a Boston Kreme or French Cruller to this moment. Namely the publication in the journal Nature of an article calling for regulating sugar as a health hazard, although stopping “far short of all-out prohibition” (that would be too extreme).

Apparently nothing is too extreme for these busybodies.

Lowry goes on to note:
Under this regime, we’ll go from gun-free school zones to Snickers-free school zones. Lustig and Co. want to double the price of a soda by taxation. They seriously propose starting to card young people who try to buy a Dr. Pepper, with an age cutoff of 17. This will make 17 a fraught age: Old enough (with parental consent) to join the military and old enough to buy chocolate milk....

The mindset of the Robert Lustigs of the world is that we can’t trust parents or individuals to make sound choices. ....

If this all seems good for yuks, just wait ten years.

Let me just state that if Barack and Michelle occupy the White House for another term, then we can anticipate an even shorter wait time for our sugar-free utopia.

The entire Democratic Party (along with significant numbers in the Republican Party, unfortunately) have morphed into annoyingly intrusive, know-it-all nannies, whose goal is not to persuade you that their ideas are correct or even better than yours; but to force you to accept their ideas by making them laws.

We used to contemptuously call such people busybodies (which was not a compliment), and, by and large, were mostly able to ignore their nitpicking power plays to control or change our lives.

Sadly, we can't do that anymore.

When they start controlling everything from mandating health care coverage to the type of light bulb you use in your lamps' to the amount of sugar and other items you consume, a free society just becomes another oppressive postmodern deceit.

But we the people have let all these postmodern busybodies of all political persuasions think they can get away with running out lives, especially when they precede their power grab with the sickeningly sweet bromides like, "BUT, IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN!!"

Here is Mathhew Yglesias, who thinks that the "trouble" with America is that we don't give our children good enough school lunches. We give them Pizza—the horror of it all!:
I was being a bit contrarian about an aspect of this on Twitter the other day, but obviously it’s insane to declare that your average slice of public school pizza meets healthy eating standards for high nutrition. Everyone understands that. Sometimes public policy goes awry because of good faith disagreement about the issues, but there’s no serious disagreement about whether “feed kids more pizza” is a valid way to improve the nutritional content of school lunch. Read Michele Simon on the gory details of the ferocious lobbying that led to this outcome. Compare that to the story of Finland’s 1999 school lunch reform, which basically took the form of well-qualified people giving parliament a few options reasonable options and then parliament picking one whose budgetary costs they were comfortable with.
This contrast tells us a lot about America. It has a lot of lessons to teach. Most notably, it reminds us that provision of public services in this country tends not to work very well and also that low-quality provision is not inevitable. But all too often in the United States we have programs that are too dominated by the interests of the service providers. And all too often in the United States we have partisans responding to these controversies thanks to arbitrary facts about the organizational structure of the service providers. So we’ll argue about “unions” or “agribusiness” or “for-profit colleges” without seeing the underlying common structure of the problem.

A government that works well is a really valuable thing to have. It can give you reasonable nourished, healthy kids who learn a lot in school. It can give you safe streets and reasonable commuting times. It can prevent banking panics. There’s more to life than that stuff, but it’s not nothing. But you have to fight to make it work

Got that? The trouble with America is that the government can give us "reasonable noursished healthy kids who learn a lot in school" but the evil private sector is only interested in profits.

Yglesias is a true believer in the soft, compassionate tyranny of the mommy state. His touching confidence that the government will keep us all healthy and safe from the evils of the world (or, at least the evil of pizza for lunch) is amusing, albeit misplaced.

This kind of busybody dogoodism is even less amusing when it emanates from the sugar daddies who are currently running our government.

Most congresspersons, be they Democrat or Republican, have never met a government program they didn't like, as long as it helps them get elected or re-elected. “Promise the Suckers Anything!” (Suckers=Us). And, of course, human nature being what it is, most people are enthusiastically willing to take something when it is promised to us for nothing.

But, their ready and contradictory promises aren’t without consequences. And, they cost somewhat more than nothing.

There are two problems here. The first is how we the people casually shrug off any personal responsibility and abdicate our self-reliance and freedoms. If we do it often enough; eventually we will develop an enlarged sense of entitlement to other people's money and effort.

Next, we will be caught up in aggrieved victimhood, when the gravy train stops. If you doubt this, then take note of the riots in Greece and Italy and Portugal over the fact that even though their countries are completely broke and bankruptcy is upon them; they refuse to acknowledge reality, demanding like children that everything go on as usual and that they continue to receive what was "promised" to them by their own self-absorbed and anti-reality politicians.

Pretending that the real world doesn't exist is something to be expected from infants and children; in adults it is malignantly narcissistic.

The list of what these sugar daddies and mommy statists are willing to control in YOUR life to increase THEIR power, goes to infinity and beyond. Believe me, there is no end to what these Postmodern busybodies will try to control about your life and your choices in order to make themselves feel good.

Ironically, these are the same people who are presumably "pro-choice" and champion "abortion rights" and a Woman's right to choose, arguing that, since it is her body, she gets to kill the fetus if she doesn't want it. But never mind all that choice business when it comes to putting demon sugar in that body.

These crusaders for peace and social justice and bans on everything are everywhere, but they are scariest when we ourselves give them the power to make us into children and act out their malignant parental fantasies.

Take Nancy Pelosi, the poster child for the mommy state; who loudly proclaims her every action to be "for the children!" Her most recent gambit is to “do for childcare what we did for healthcare.”

No child care provider left behind.

In a rational and yes, a "just" society, these busybodies would be laughed at. In a society that valued self reliance and personal responsibility, they would rightly be considered complete and total idiots.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


Mark Steyn writes that the state of our Union is broke:
Had I been asked to deliver the State of the Union address, it would not have delayed your dinner plans:

“The State of our Union is broke, heading for bankrupt, and total collapse shortly thereafter. Thank you and goodnight! You’ve been a terrific crowd!”

I gather that Americans prefer something a little more upbeat, so one would not begrudge a speechwriter fluffing it up by holding out at least the possibility of some change of fortune, however remote. Instead, President Obama assured us at great length that nothing is going to change, not now, not never. Indeed the Union’s state — its unprecedented world-record brokeness — was not even mentioned.

In his usual dry, humorous manner, Steyn goes on:
...[A]ny historians stumbling upon a surviving DVD while sifting through the ruins of our civilization will marvel at how his accumulation of delusional trivialities was apparently taken seriously by the assembled political class.

An honest leader would feel he owed it to the citizenry to impress upon them one central truth — that we can’t have any new programs because we’ve spent all the money. It’s gone. The cupboard is bare. What’s Obama’s plan to restock it? “Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary,” the president told us. “Asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”

But why stop there? Americans need affordable health care and affordable master’s degrees in Climate Change and Social Justice Studies, so why not take everything that Warren Buffett’s got? After all, if you confiscated the total wealth of the Forbes 400 richest Americans it would come to $1.5 trillion.

Which is just a wee bit less than the federal shortfall in just one year of Obama-sized budgets. 2011 deficit: $1.56 trillion.

One of the things I spend a lot of time doing in my work as a psychiatrist is encouraging patients that I see--patients whose lives are characterized by repeatedly making bad choices; by projection (blaming everybody else for the plight they find themselves in); and by delusional thinking (not necessicaril to the point of frank psychosis, but delusional nonetheless when it comes to their situation)--to slowly learn to appreciate the distinction between the internal world and the external world.

This is called "reality testing".

The ability to appreciate that external reality is NOT the same thing as what might be going on inide your head is a critical task of development. This task is made much harder these days because the dominant philosophical model, Postmodernism, basically asserts the opposite--i.e. that there is no distinction, and that what you are thinking or feeling IS the same as, and even superior to, external reality.

This philosophy is dominant in educational circles; and itunderlies most K-12 and college curricula.

This is why so many supposedly intelligent people develop such misbegotten notions about the world. This is why so many of them end up coming to see people like me when their fantasies and delusions pop like bubbles when they eventually run into the brick wall of reality. And they always do run into that wall, sooner or later.

The accumulation of "delusional trivialities" in one person's life can and will eventually lead to significantly negative consequences for that individual at some point. When the delusions are shared by the leaders of a nation, all of its citizens will eventually suffer the consequences.

In the case of our own country, our leaders appear to be only minimally interested in the reality of our debt situation; and their trivial "fixes" are like putting a bandaid on a wound where one's lifeblood is being pumped out. Instead of stopping the bleeding, they seek new and better ways to transfuse the patient to stay ahead of imminent collapse and death.

Where are we going? We are being led down the psychopath to economic destruction by the empty-headed promises of hope and change, made by people so blinded by the enchanting delusions clanking around inside their heads, that they have been able to ignore reality for a very long time.

Reality, however, will not be ignoring them for much longer.