Thursday, December 31, 2009


I am in the process of getting settled in California, but everything is still rather chaotic (I don't have internet service yet at home and most things are still in boxes!). I start my new job on Monday and am just trying to get somewhat organized before then.

I hope to be back to blogging in a week or two...


Oh, and don't party too much tonight, or you'll end up like my friend:

Monday, December 28, 2009


And, Victor Davis Hanson provides a little for all those "progressive" folk who prefer to remain in denial:
Coming on the heels of the killing spree by Maj. Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood, the latest terrorist "incident," involving Abdul Mutallab on Northwest Flight 253, is yet another isolated but tell-tale sign that we must learn from:

1) If solidly middle-class Westernized Muslims mouth the al-Qaeda line of radical Islamic, anti-American boilerplate, please take them seriously — i.e., worry less about their feelings and more about the lives of innocents they may in the future seek to annihilate. The more upscale and the more the Western exposure, the more there is to worry about.

2) For the last eight years, many have patiently tried to suggest that the answer to "Why do they hate us?" does not entail poverty, Western imperialism or colonialism, support for Israel, past provocations, etc. Rather, radical Islam encourages in an Hasan or Mutallab age-old passions like pride, envy, and a sense of inferiority — all accelerated by instantaneous communications and abetted by continual Western apologetics that on a global level blame Westerners for self-induced misery in many Islamic countries. "They did it" is far easier than looking inward to address tribalism, gender apartheid, statism, autocracy, religious intolerance, and fundamentalism, which in perfect-storm fashion ensure an impoverished — and resentful and angry — radical Islamic community while the rest of the world moves merrily on.

In other words:

**By the way, I won't be allowing comments on my posts until I have the time to monitor them. There are far too many psychopaths out there who have been using my absence as an opportunity to drop their feces all over my blog. Feel free to email with any suggestions on comment software, as I am done with haloscan.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Free Clipart

Have a joyous and safe holiday, filled with magic and wonder!

See you all in the New Year....

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Wretchard has a really excellent post on the AGW issue that discusses in some depth confirmation and bureaucratic bias. What particularly interested me was his and the Atlantic's Megan McArdle's 's use of the Challenger disaster to explain how such bias works.
Confirmation bias “is a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.” A similar, but subtly different kind of problem affected the Space Shuttle program. Let’s call it ‘incentive bias’. NASA grossly underestimated the probability of a launch failure and set it at 1:100,000 because that’s what it was bureaucratically believed to be. What it bureaucratically had to be. Richard Feynman, who was asked to look into the causes of the disaster knew this number could not possibly be right. But he also knew how powerful an influence a bureaucratic bias could be. There was a consensus on how safe the vehicle was on launch among rocket scientists. But there was only one problem: it had to be wrong.
The first thing Feynman found while talking to people at NASA, was a startling disconnect between engineers and management. Management claimed the probability of a launch failure was 1 in 100,000, but he knew this couldn’t be. He was, after all a mathematical genius. Feynman estimated the probability of failure to be more like 1 in 100, and to test his theory, he asked a bunch of NASA engineers to write down on a piece of paper what they thought it was. The result: Most engineers estimated the probability of failure to be very close to his original estimate.

He was not only disturbed by management’s illusion of safety, but by how they used these unrealistic estimates to convince a member of the public, teacher Christa McAuliffe, to join the crew, only to be killed along with the six others.

Feynman dug deeper, where he discovered a history of corner-cutting and bad science on the part of management. Management not only misunderstood the science, but he was tipped off by engineers at Morton Thiokol that they ignored it, most importantly when warned about a possible problem with an o-ring.

Feynman discovered that on the space shuttle’s solid fuel rocked boosters, an o-ring is used to prevent hot gas from escaping and damaging other parts. Concerns were raised by engineers that the o-ring may not properly expand with the rest of the hot booster parts, keeping its seal, when outside temperatures fall between 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Because temperatures had never been that low, and there had never been a launch failure, management ignored the engineers. The temperature on launch day was below 32 degrees.

Feynman had his answer, he just had to prove it.

The perfect opportunity arrived when he was requested to testify before Congress on his findings. With television cameras rolling, Feynman innocently questioned a NASA manager about the o-ring temperature issue. As the manager insisted that the o-rings would function properly even in extreme cold, Feynman took an o-ring sample he had obtained out of a cup of ice water in front of him. He then took the clamp off the o-ring which was being used to squish it flat. The o-ring remained flat, proving that in fact, resilliancy was lost with a temperature drop.

In his own report Feynman described the terrible and corrupting influence of incentives and expectation upon science and engineering. Even literal rocket science was not exempt from human pressure. Feynman ended his discussionof the Challenger disaster with an observation that eerily speaks to the subject of “consensus” in scientific matters. Consensus doesn’t matter. Only science and engineering does. “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”

I was there, right in the middle of all the events of Challenger. As a lowly flight surgeon (who also had a biomedical engineering degree) I watched and listened to the debate in launch control over the effects of the weather. Like many others in that room I was a bit skeptical about the decision to launch, especially since we could see icicles on the SRB and we had all driven to the Cape that early morning in temperatures below 20 degrees. Most of us knew that the o-rings had not been tested at temperatures below freezing (as confirmation of this, hours after the explosion of the orbiter, there were many discussions about the o-rings and the temperature issue as being the most likely cause; so I know it was a subject on many people's minds. Most of us had heard about the Morton Thiokol engineers' reluctance to ok a "go" for launch; though unless you were in upper management, you were not aware of the details of this.)

What I remember most of all was my own sense of trust: trust that the mission managers knew what they were doing; and a calm acceptance of their decision to launch. My own thoughts at the time are still very clear to me: this was NASA , after all. The people here were the "best and brightest" (of course I included myself in this) and our scientific credentials would insure that we would never ignore objective reality. Though I was young and foolish, I clearly understood that wishing and wanting something to be true did not make it so. I had faith that the system was relatively immune to psychosis (i.e., being out of touch with reality).

Needless to say, it was an extremely painful lesson that nature taught us that day, and I have never forgotten it. Of course, I internalized that lesson in a way that is not always consistent with being a psychiatrist, in that I learned you cannot take the "human" out of "human nature"; and that wishes and hopes are all very nice and all, but that reality is not in the least interested in your wishes and hopes--or any of your feelings for that matter.

Nature cannot be fooled; but human nature is predisposed to foolishness--and therefore likely to accept and tolerate all sorts of errors and fantasies for a variety of very human reasons--no matter what the tragic consequences might turn out to be.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


The insanity continues...particularly in the cuckoo's nest we call Congress.

[Cartoons by Glenn Foden ]

Monday, December 07, 2009


...Not that it wasn't eroding already under the auspices of socialist idiot Morales, but here's the latest consequence of Morales' deal with the imperialistic thugs of Islam:
On Wednesday, November 24, Iranian demands that female nurses don the hijab in response to Iran’s providing $1.2 million for funding of the new El Alto city hospital in Bolivia sparked a national outcry among women’s rights advocates within Bolivia. In an international teleconference in La Paz held between Bolivian President, Evo Morales, and Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to celebrate the hospital’s opening, nurses were shown wearing hijabs as part of their new uniform regulations.

This imposition of political Islamic pseudo-religious attire from another country is causing a rift within Bolivian political ranks. Even though the Morales administration is the profoundly socialist MAS party, the Iranian demand is still seen as an affront on Bolivian cultural integrity especially in a country with a Roman Catholic majority.

They can protest all they want, but, as I once explained in detail, in the socialist food chain, the rights of women are pretty low in the heirarchy:
From the perspective of the socialist utopian, what matters more than Women's rights or Gay Righs are the rights of a designated culture. The dogma of multiculturalism trumps the dogma of women's superiority. This is probably because for the socialist utopian, might makes right and the needs of the many always outweigh the needs of the few--and the few better remember that fact, or else. In the socialist utopia, there is no room for individuality or personal preference; or tolerance for differences. You always must subsume yourself to the collective; and the bigger the collective, the more power victimization can be exploited.

...we know from experience that blacks, women and gays lose their cherished victim status if they dare to become Republicans; and, to a lesser extent, if they choose to be Christian (except for most Episcopalians, who have seen the secular light).

Being black trumps being a woman or gay (i.e., there is more "social justice" mileage to be squeezed out of the oppression of blacks, i.e., racism, than there is from the oppression of women (sexism) or even gays (homophobia). Just ask Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.

The oppression of Jews is completely ignored because of the animus the "enlightened" have toward Israel; and anti-semitism, which in past times would have had a ranking up close to the level of dark-skinned people (probably because those who founded the Jewish state were dedicated socialists--unfortunately, they soon realized that in real life, their ideology didn't work too well); but anti-semitism no longer is a compelling issue for the socialists. In fact, they are among its worse practitioners as socialism has spread throughout the Middle East.

So far, we have established that the culture (except for Western culture, which is uniquely evil and oppressive) is very high up on the food chain, and can eat and kill with impunity. Is there any group that trumps the culture?

Again, there are hints of how socialist logic deals with this. The needs of the nation will trump a protected/victim culture for the same reason that being an independent woman, black or gay person loses their victim status: they act independently of the socialist gestalt (i.e., they refuse to stay in their pre-determined place in the food chain and dare to be different).

Just let them get any sort of a foothold--financial or otherwise, and the imperialistic thugs of Islam will be taking over...oh, wait!

Friday, December 04, 2009


Rex Murphy from CBC on Climategate: "Climate science has been shown to be, in part, a sub-branch of climate politics..."

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


I've been out of the country for the last five days and came back just in time to listen to Obama's incredibly boring and lecturing speech on his seemingly reluctant decision to do the right thing in Afghanistan--but only until he needs to start working on his re-election campaign. And, to make the unconvincing droning even more annoying, he pretty much took up the first few minutes just to blame the previous Commander in Chief for all our current troubles there.

Is it just me who is constantly amazed that this guy is considered a marvelous and inspiring orator? He sounds more like some college lecturer forced to speak on a distasteful topic of little or no personal interest simply because it is part of the course outline. Whatever happened to projecting a little "hope" --not to mention inspiring the troops and the rest of us about our mission? I give it a D- effort at best; and he didn't fail completely only because he at least got the fundamental idea right, though not much else with his multiple contradictions and unemotional and flat delivery.

Oh, and what was with the constant slapping the podium with every verbal point? In the deafening silence being made by the audience, each time he did it, it only emphasized the silence and was very distracting.

On the whole, I agree with Victor Davis Hanson:
That was such a strange speech. Deploring partisanship while serially trashing Bush at each new talking point. Sending more troops, but talking more about when they will come home rather than what they will do to the enemy. There was nothing much new in the speech, yet apparently it took the president months to decide whether even to give it.

Ostensibly the talk was to be on Afghanistan; instead, the second half mostly consisted of the usual hope-and-change platitudes.

Still, the president, to his credit, is trying to give the best picture of the Afghanistan war. Obama started well in his review of why George Bush removed the Taliban. But that disinterested narrative lasted about two minutes. Then came the typical Obama talking points that characterize his reset-button foreign policy and don't offer a high degree of confidence that our commander in chief wants to defeat the enemy or believes that he can win the war....

Personally, I don't believe he cares much either way about Afghanistan until he can determine how much it will help or hurt him to either lose or win there. When you understand that it's all about Obama all the time, then the strangeness becomes more understandable: he's got to be able to say everything that everybody wants to hear, no matter how contradictory it may sound.


On another note, from now till January sometime, blogging will be very intermittant to non-existent. The movers come in 2 weeks and I'll be making the trek from Ann Arbor to Fresno before Christmas.


Friday, November 27, 2009


“Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.” - Joseph Stalin

If you thought I was joking or too extreme in my discussions of the ongoing corruption of k-12 education; and how all the leftist "educational experts" like Bill Ayers intend to destroy the minds of your children in the era of hopenchange, then you need to read this. All of it.

What is happening in Minnesota is the evolution of education into leftist political indoctrination.

The health of our educational system--from K-12 through college-- is absolutely essential to the long-term welfare and competitiveness of the United States. American education used to be the strongest on the globe, and to the extent that remains true, it is because the hard sciences in this country (e.g., math, engineering, computers etc.) have been largely resistant to the political taint that runs rampant in the humanities. The latter subject areas, which include literature, philosophy, and history, have become unabashedly ideological over the last two decades; and the "social justice" advocates of today's collectivists have taken over our K-12 education system and are determinedly undermining American values with their politically correct, multicultural and anti-capitalist curriculum.

Make no mistake about it, what many teachers today are doing is indoctrinating their students minds into an unquestioning obedience to the collective. This they cannot do unless they also can manage to corrupt even the hard sciences with their dogma.

There can be no area where a child is allowed to think freely and without the proper political perspective. That is far too dangerous for the underly ideology they are promulgating.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Be sure to eat something yummy!

Here are some my favorite holiday dessert recipes. Consider them food for thought, as well as sustenance for the soul and body!

(Surprise! A real WMD )

It's very simple to make and my family really likes it. I've been making it for several years now and probably originally got the recipe from some magazine, which one I've long forgotten (otherwise, I'd mention it). I prefer to eat it either unadorned, or with a high quality vanilla ice cream, but if you are a purist, you are free to use chocolate ice cream instead.

1/4 c. oil
2 eggs
1 1/3 c. water
1 chocolate cake mix (get your favorite--I like devil's food chocolate cake)

Mix the above ingredients by hand (do not use electric mixer). Pour into greased 9x11 inch pan. Sprinkle 12 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips on top (I like Hershey's). Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Cool about 5 minutes. Poke holes in cake (it should still be warm) and spread with 1 large jar of Smuckers Hot Fudge Topping. ENJOY

(In honor of all the ding-dongs and nutjobs out there)

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.

Moral: Handled properly, a variety of candied fruits and nuts can be extremely delicious after they are all democratically mixed together and baked in an oven possessing a steady temperature.

(For all the Angels out there!)

5-6 C day old Challah bread cubes
4 C scalded milk
1/2 C butter, melted and cooled
1 C sugar
1/2 t salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 C raisins

1/2 C white sugar
1/2 T cornstarch
1 C hot water
3 T lemon juice
1 T lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x11 inch casserole with nonstick spray. In a large bowl combine bread cubes, 1 C sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in raisins. In another bowl, blend milk, melted butter, and eggs. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix together without turning bread mixture into mush. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Place casserole dish into a larger baking pan. Pour hot water into baking pan about 1/2 up the side of the casserole dish, creating a water bath. Bake for 45- 50 minutes. Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 C sugar, cornstarch, hot water, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook on medium heat until bubbling and thickened. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. Serve with bread pudding.

Ricotta Cheese Pie

use 9 in. round layer cake pan. Sift together in a bowl:
2 C flour
1/2 t salt
1 C shortening (cut in with pastry blender until pieces are size of small peas. Sprinkle gradually over mixture, 1 t at a time
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1-2 Tbs cold water

Mix lightly with fork after each addition. Add only enough water to hold dough together. Mix until egg is thoroughly combined and blended.

3 C ( 1 1/2 lbs) Ricotta cheese
1/4 C flour
2 T grated orange peel
2 T grated lemon peel
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t salt

Beat until foamy 4 eggs; add gradually 1 C sugar. Stir beaten eggs into Ricotta mix until blended and smooth. May add: 1 t cinnamon; 1/2 t cloves; 1/4 t nutmeg; or chopped walnuts. Pour into pastry. Bake at 350 degrees about 50-60 minutes (until pastry is golden brown). Cool on rack.

Pat's Apple Crunch Pie

Crumb Topping:
½ C plus 2 T flour
½ C packed light brown sugar
1/3 C granulated sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 C) cold butter, cut in small pieces

7 medium to large tart apples (about 3 ¼ lb., such as Granny Smith, Pippins or Greenings)
1 T lemon juice
½ C granulated sugar
3 T flour
½ t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground nutmeg

Have ready a 9 inch pie plate and a cookie sheet. Place oven rack in lowest position in oven. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line pie plate with pie crust. Flute or crimp edge. Crumb topping: Mix flour, sugars and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture forms moist coarse crumbs that clump together easily. Filling: Peel, half and core apples. Cut in 1/8 inch thick slices by hand. Put into a large bowl. Toss with lemon juice to coat. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over apple slices; toss to coat. Layer apple slices in pie shell, mounding them higher in the center. Pat topping evenly over apples to form a top crust. Place pie on cookie sheet to catch drips. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 45 minutes longer or until a skewer meets some resistance when center of pie is pierced (apples will continue to cook after pie is removed from oven) and topping is golden brown. If topping is browning too quickly, drape a piece of foil over pie. Cool pie completely on wire rack before serving.

Have A Wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Via Hot Air, I saw the report that Barbie has had a new makeover to make her even more mindless and sexualized! Burqa Barbie has the distinction of being the absolute ultimate sex toy, in that it's very existence completely degrades womanhood in a way even Bimbo Barbie never could.

Welcome, Barbie, to the wonderful world of Sharia!

Remember this news article about a young girl in Iran who was accused of "crimes against chastity" and executed? This is one of the many career options in store for the Burqa Barbies under the vicious misogyny of Islam. Just imagine how many girls we don't read about or hear about, who suffer the same fate as that 16 year old in Iran?

Back in 1997, a group called Aqua came out with a catchy little tune that I found amusing. The song was called "Barbie Girl" and it lampooned the mindless Barbie bimbos who seem to have no real existence or sense of self without a male in their life. Of course, if the Barbie doll lives in a free society, she can choose to function on the bimbo level; or she can choose to break free of the Barbie stereotype (like Elle Woods in the movie Legally Blonde).

Well, now we can imagine Burqa Barbie Girl in an Islam World, where the only way to "break free" is through death.

[- Hi Barbie!
- Hi Khalid!
- You shouldn't be talking to me, you know?
- I know, Khalid!
- Now you will have to die because you have deliberately aroused me and shamed your family.
- Ha ha ha ha! ]

I'm a Muslim girl in an Islam world
Life in hijab, simply so fab!
You can't see my hair, you don't even know I'm there
Try to escape, and I'd be raped

Just a glimpse of skin, drives our men to sin
They're afraid, you see, of my sexuality

I'm a Muslim girl in an Islam world
Life in hijab, simply so fab!
You can't see my hair, you don't even know I'm there
Try to escape, and I'd be raped

I'm a veiled ghostly girl in a fantasy world
Made by men who are frightened by my sex.
I'm a drudge, with no grudge, cause my feelings don't count
I can't work, I can't drive, I can't even go out.

You can hide me away
Cause it makes you feel so manly
You can beat me at night
So your honor works out just right

I'm a Muslim girl in an Islam world
Life in hijab, simply so fab!
You can't see my hair, you don't even know I'm there
Try to escape, and I'd be raped

Let's be honest, why be modest? ha ha ha, yeah
If I get hit, I provoked it-- oooh, oooh, ooh
Let's be honest, why be modest? ha ha ha, yeah
If you feel shame, I am to blame-- oooh, oooh, oooh

Make me hide, make me pray, do whatever you please
I am worth half a man, that's what Allah decrees
All I do is bring shame; I am always to blame
If a man goes insane with desire

You can hide me away
Cause it makes you feel so manly
You can beat me at night
So your honor works out just right

I'm a Muslim girl in an Islam world
Life in hijab, simply so fab!
You can't see my hair, you don't even know I'm there
Try to escape, and I'd be raped

Let's be honest, why be modest? ha ha ha, yeah
Men are leaders, girls are breeders-- oooh, oooh, ooh
Let's be honest, why be modest? ha ha ha, yeah
If you feel shame, I am to blame-- oooh, oooh, oooh

[- Oh, Khalid, I'm having so much fun!
- Well, Barbie, you're alone with me and that makes you an evil temptress.
- Oh, please, can I be a suicide bomber?]

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I don't think so.
"The astonishing disregard with which Mr Obama treats Britain has been made clear by his deliberations over the Afghan issue. As he decides how many more troops to send to Afghanistan — a decision which will fundamentally affect the scope of the mission — Britain is reduced to guesswork. The White House does not even pretend to portray this as a joint decision. It is a diplomatic cold-shouldering that stands in contrast not just to the Blair–Bush era, but to the togetherness of the soldiers on the ground... There will, though, inevitably come a time when Obama discovers who America’s true friends really are. Sooner or later he will have to deal with the considerably more taxing issues of Islamist militancy, rogue nuclear states and other tangible threats to the West’s security. At that point, Obama will discover a simple but essential truth. The world divides between those who support American values of freedom and democracy, and those who seek to destroy them. Few nations have been more committed to supporting those values with both blood and treasure than Britain. This country, and especially those British troops fighting alongside their American counterparts, deserve far better than this president’s disregard."

All Obama has done is ingratiate himself and us to tyrants and offend important allies. This goes by the name of "smart" diplomacy. Must be some new meaning of the word "smart" that I've never heard of....

(h/t The Corner)

UPDATE: Oh, BTW, here's the delusional President who baldly states, "We've restored America's standing in the world."

Could somebody please give this guy a clue?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I just happened to notice this today from Andy McCarthy at The Corner:

A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld the convictions of my old adversary, Lynne Stewart, for providing material support to terrorism — i.e., helping the Blind Sheikh run his Egyptian terrorist organization from U.S. prison, where he is serving a life-sentence. The convictions and sentences of the other two defendants were also affirmed. Lynne, who has been out on bail since being convicted eons ago, has been ordered to surrender to begin serving her sentence.

This is simply unbelievable! All this time I thought this leftist terrorist-sympathizer was in jail, and instead, she's been galavanting around free to continue to create mischief and proudly proclaim her treason.

Way back in 2005 I wrote a post that asked, "How do you solve a problem like Lynne Stewart" and basically said the following:

Lynne Stewart reminds me of a song from The Sound of Music-"How do you solve a problem like Maria? A fliberty gibbet a will-o-the wisp...." Andrew McCarthy asks himself this question, too and he grapples with Lynne Stewart, the PERSON, versus Lynne Stewart, the Lefty Kook, recently convicted of aiding and abetting terrorism. He knew her, worked with her and had a very real sense of her decency. Yet, he was able to say:
There is something wrong with Lynne's brain. Obviously, she loves being a darling of the loony Left — a Left so loony it now makes common cause with theocratic, homo-phobic, misogynistic psycho-killers, since, after all, they too hate America. Nestled among this element, her humanity synapse disengages, such that she can spout about faraway terrorist kidnapping victims and other unknown civilians as legitimate targets with all the contemplative depth of a dinner companion asking you to pass the salt.

But she is not without humanity. What has happened to her here is very far from a tragedy — a tragedy is when someone unwittingly crosses the path of Abdel Rahman's ilk and is ruthlessly murdered for the great offense of being an American, or a Jew, or a Christian, or anything other than an Islamic militant. This is what Lynne Stewart promoted, and for that she must pay dearly.

So, what is it that is "wrong with Lynne's brain"? If we could figure it out, perhaps we could understand all those others on the Left who "make common cause with theocratic, homo-phobic, misogynistic psycho-killers". Is it just because they are anti-American, anti-Capitalists? Or is being anti-American, anti-Captitalists another symptom of the brain disorder?

I think it is the latter. Let me explain. In a previous post, I discussed how one goes about enabling terror. Now I propose to explain why someone would do that, and why. Some of this I touched on when I described a classic case of hysteria .

As in a case of hysteria, or a conversion disorder--where the symptoms are not intentionally produced, but are the result of unintentional--or unconscious-- motives, the Lynne Stewarts of the Left are not deliberately being obtuse. They aren't even deliberately evil. They truly don't see anything wrong with being a nice person and kindly grandmother, and simultaneously thinking that a terrorist attack in Indonesia where children might be killed is a wonderful thing. This kind of cognitive dissonance is the result of a psychological defense mechanism called "repression". Repression is necessary in the expression of a conversion disorder where some physical symptom (blindness, paralysis, pain) becomes the focal point; so that the individual is able to avoid the unacceptable thought or feeling. For that to occur, the unacceptable thought or feeling must be ruthlessly stashed away from awareness, or repressed.

But symbolic physical symptoms like blindness are not the only way that repression can be manifested. Another, and much more frequent psychological strategy to rid one's self of the unacceptable thought or feeling is to display a contradictory and often unbelievable (to an outside observer, anyway) dissassociation, or disconnect, between a person's thoughts and feelings on the one hand; and behavior on another.

This is why so often the Lynne Stewarts present an unsolvable puzzle to an outside observer. How can they argue for Peace and behave violently or even encourage/enable violent behavior ? How can they demand Free Speech but simultaneously suppress it in others? How can they be for "diversity" and squelch any dissenting opinions? How can they claim to be for freedom and democracy, and make common cause with those who would destroy it? The catalog of paradoxes goes on and on.

The key is to focus on what the Lynne Stewarts DO, not on what they SAY. On BEHAVIOR, rather than SPEECH. They can yell slogans of LOVE, PEACE, and FREEDOM; but if their actions are HATE-FILLED, VIOLENT, and support OPPRESIVE REGIMES, they are using repression to hide the true feelings that underly their actual behavior.

Often, repression requires stronger and stronger psychological defenses be erected as time goes by and reality keeps up its steady knocking on their door. So, repression often leads to projection and denial. (see here for a discussion of all the psychological defense mechanisms).

When confronted with irrefutable proof of their own actions and consequences, such people must eventually resort to a complete denial of reality. Or, alternatively, they will project the blame for their behavior onto another person or group ("It is the fault of the Israelis" or the "Jews", or the "Blacks"--and more recently, of "Bush", "Cheney" and so on ad nauseum) . Or, they may utilize both mechanisms.

The level of self-awareness or insight into themselves is abysmally low. All available psychological defenses are rallied to prevent the acceptance of the fact that they did something bad or wrong. It MUST be (in Lynne Stewart's case, for example) the government, the U.S., Capitalism or President Bush, that is to blame!

How do you solve a problem like Lynne Stewart? Therapy won't help. She is too far gone to spend any time accepting that her own behavior has led to her current situation. Her self-identity is not likely to be shaken by events in the real world. Those events can and will be twisted so that it only confirms her world view. Her sense of herself must be preserved at all costs. Even if it means the death of thousands.

Just send her to jail where she can't do any more harm. And stop feeling sorry for her. She's made her choice.

So, let's move on to other lefty kooks and terrorist enablers who are now running our country at the highest levels. McCarthy makes the connection and goes on to say in his post about Stewart:
By the way, since my topic in today's column is Attorney General Holder's sudden concern over delays in the military commission system, it's worth pointing out that, for conduct that started around 1999, Stewart was indicted in 2002; her trial did not begin until mid-2004 and took about eight months; after that, they dawdled for over a year before finally imposing sentence in October 2006; now, a decade after the conduct, seven years after arrest, four years after trial, and three years after sentence — and mind you, she's been free on bail since 2002 — the appeal has at long last been decided, and it has resulted in . . . a remand for further sentencing proceedings. And, after they someday occur, there will surely be another trip to the Second Circuit, and then an appeal to the Supreme Court. After that, the habeas corpus petitions start . . .

From the very first day of the Obama Administration (was it only 300 days ago?? It seems like forever), we have seen a concerted push for complete and total denial about Islamic fanaticism behind 9/11; behind the likes of Major Hassan; and the danger that Islam extremism poses to the free world. This denial has taken the form of policy after policy that ""make(s) common cause with theocratic, homo-phobic, misogynistic psycho-killers" and elevates them morally, intellectually, and legally so that they can be cheerfully given all the rights, perogatives and privileges of American citizens. These lefty kooks claim that this is to preserve "the rule of law", but then in the same breath insist that there is absolutely, positively no possibility in hell that KSM and others could ever in a million years possibly be acquitted.

What a bizarre perspective that displays about the rule of law. I always thought that the rule of law meant that a person was innocent until proven guilty. Lefty kooks appear to believe that the person is guilty and can't possibly be proven innocent no matter what.

Now, I happen to agree that KSM is guilty and that there is little question about his involvement in the 9/11 attacks on this country. I also happen to think that war criminals like him should have every iota of information squeezed out of him that might save lives; and that there is every moral, intellectual and historical argument that he then should be taken by the military and summarily executed.

As for Lynne Stewart, her real crime has always been treason. Her behavior has been and remains inexcusable. And all the authorities have done is to dither about her actions for years.

When are we going to stop giving these theocratic, homophobic, misogynistic psychokillers--and their kooky leftist enablers--ready-made national platforms on which they are free to spew their sick and hate-filled messages?

When are we going to break free of the national psychological denial and repression that keeps us from decisively dealing with reality?

Saturday, November 14, 2009


[Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson]


(sung to the tune of the "Marine Corps Hymn")

From the Halls of Academia
To the Shores of Hope and Change;
We wont't fight our country's battles
Cause war is so deranged;
But we'll fight for social justice
And to spread the wealth around;
We are proud to claim the title of
An Obama PC Clown.

Our progressive cause is all the rage
From dawn to setting sun;
And the dilly-dally dithering
Hides the barrel of our gun;
In the snow of far-off northern states
And in sunny southern towns;
You will find us always on the job--
Obama's PC Clowns.

Here's a toast to our great CIC
Who we are proud to serve!
And we'd stand up for our way of life
If we only had the nerve;
If Pelosi and the Democrats
Ever doffed their little crowns;
They would find their back are covered by
Obama's PC Clowns.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I have always thought that when you don't have a clue about what you are doing, the best way to disguise this is to call a meeting. Make sure you name it something big, important, and fancy--like a "December Jobs Summit" or something. It will delay the widespread appreciation of your ignorance.

December might well be a jobs trough, as opposed to a summit; but since the real reason for calling a meeting on the issue to disguise the fact that "the President hasn't got a clue how to grow the economy," it doesn't really matter.

Consider the following quotes:

"If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings." ~Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"

or, better yet, from one of my favorite thinkers:

People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. ~Thomas Sowell

Or, the ultimate description, from Carl Jung:

A collection of a hundred Great brains makes one big fathead.

How true.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This article by John Podhoretz has it exactly correct: (hat tip: Kent S):
Can it really be that anybody seriously believed a career Army psychiatrist would deal with the “stress” of his own deployment to a war he opposes by opening fire and shooting 43 people? Evidently, the answer is yes, as Noah Pollak and others have noted. This is a particular American madness, as far as I can tell, the invocation of ludicrous pop psychology to explain acts that can only properly be described as evil.

This is more of the therapeutic psychobabble that I have written about before, and to put it bluntly, such nonsense is destroying psychiatry's credibility as a discipline. I wrote then:
"The therapeutic sensibility", or what I call "therapeutic psychobabble", is not actually therapeutic (i.e., it does not lead to healing) in the least.

In fact, this sensibility often becomes the major impediment that prevents patients with serious emotional problems from taking control over their lives. And, for individuals who aren't patients (but soon will be, most likely) it reflects a passive world view, where a person is the helpless victim of forces outside their control.

The key aspects of this psychobabble include an overemphasis on "self-esteem" at the expense of self-control and personal responsibility; an attitude that practically worships "feelings" at the expense of reason and truth; a fundamental misunderstanding about stress and the role of stress in life (i.e., that "all stress is bad", for example; and failing to appreciate that stress, when it is acknowledged and dealt with in healthy ways can enhance maturity and psychological health); and finally the glorification of victimhood and the celebration of unhealthy narcissism and the narcissists who exhibit it.

Case in point. Podhoretz also grasps the reason why this particular idiocy is being put forward with such enthusiasm now:
The “stress did it” claim has nothing to do with Hasan anyway; it’s a cover for implicit attacks on the McChrystal strategy for deploying significant additional troops to Afghanistan. That’s the true purpose of the pop-psych analysis anyway; it’s a way of removing the singular meaning from an event and converting into something more all-purpose.

Something much more "all-purpose"--like narcissitically turning the conversation to a topic that will help Dear Leader rationalize his supposedly in-depth,careful, already determined, future decision about the war in Afghanistan; which, when it finally becomes public will not quite be at all that it seems.

Monday, November 09, 2009


As the world--including the US--begins to flirt with this toxic ideology yet again, it's more important than ever to remember the millions of victims who suffered in these Marxist "utopias." Somehow, the memory of communism's virulence seems to be fading in the new, improved postmodern political world.

From Reason TV:

and, as a companion to the above, here is Reagan's Berlin speech:

I truly wish we Americans had even one-tenth of the vision, moral clarity, and courage of President Reagan in our current leaders....

UPDATE: Reading Wretchard today, I found this relevant quote from Joe Loudon:
Now we have a new face of America. We elected Barak Obama, and he does not feel that moral duty to you as Reagan did, at least not enough to stand up to the shrill American voices that hate the American military. So he will not be there on November 9th to Celebrate the Fall of the Berlin Wall. I do not think he sees it the way you do. He will also not participate in the festivities on the campus of my College. Westminster College, in my State of Missouri, is where the great Allied leader Winston Churchill gave the Iron Curtain Speech. He told the World how millions of our fellow human beings were being stuffed into the cage, the very cage I was privileged to help dismantle. He had a way with words. On the campus of another American College he gave his shortest speech “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give in.” But I digress.

Our new President believes that you are on your own. As the KGB agent-turned-billionaire, puppet master of the Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin conducts war games of an assault on Poland, Obama has decided to tear down the American missiles from Poland. We knew that he cared less as he promised to remove our protection from the Iraqi people. 150 of them were slaughtered just this week. He really wants to find a way out of Afghanistan and pull our soldiers out just as you are pulling your U.N. workers out right now.

So my new President will not be there with you, like John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were there for you. He has other priorities. I really wish I could be there to celebrate with you. Unfortunately, with the passing of time, I have five children, our economy is bad, and I too, have other priorities. So I am sorry that my President, the American face to the World will not be there for you. I feel just a little better knowing that you asked America to give him to you. I hope you like him.

Friday, November 06, 2009

HYPOTHETICAL ATROCITIES AND HYPOTHETICAL VICTIMS: Psychological Displacement and the Fierce Urge to Be Politically Correct.

I must agree with Mark Steyn on this insanity:
The Headline of the Day, from the BBC:

Shooting Raises Fears For Muslims In US Army

Really? Right now the body count stands at:
Non-Muslims 13
Muslims 0
I was reading from some of this kind of coverage on the Rush Limbaugh show today. Even if you take the view that it would be grossly unfair if all Muslims were to be tarred by Major Hasan's brush, it is, to put it at its mildest, the grossest bad taste to default every single time within minutes to the position that what's of most interest about an actual actrocity with real victims is that it may provoke an entirely hypothetical atrocity with entirely hypothetical victims. I refer you yet again to this note-perfect parody:

British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow's Train Bombing

This kind of media coverage is really a form of mental illness far more advanced than whatever Major Hasan's lawyers eventually enter in mitigation, and apparently pandemic, at least among the western media.

On a related note, from David Horowitz: "Is everybody out of their mind?"
Bonus: "We're the ones who love death - our own."

However, I would disagree in that this is not formal mental illness; though it is insanity. It is more precisely called an severe neurosis, a term that has gone out of favor in contemporary psychiatry, but which very adequately describes the kind of thinking that runs rampant in these days of political correctness--a form of deranged thinking designed to protect the individual from the awareness of imminent danger (think of the paralysis of deer in headlights). Specifically, it is a type of neurotic defense mechanism that serves to deny reality; and I have talked about it many times on this blog.

It is called psychological displacement, and it is an attempt to avoid an unpleasant and frightening truth by substituting something (or someone) that is less threatening. Bush Derangement Syndrome a form of psychological displacement; the kind of thinking that maintains that Christianity and Judaism are just as violent as Islam is a form of displacement; the irrational fear that Christians intend to foist a theocracy on the U.S. is also a form of psychological displacement.

Displacement: The separation of emotion from its real object and redirection of the intense emotion toward someone or something that is less offensive or threatening in order to avoid dealing directly with what is frightening or threatening

Here's are two cartoons that describe the pathology exactly:

[other cartoons by Paul Nowak here)

(BTW, though I am really busy getting ready for the move and doing extra work before I leave Ann Arbor, I will, from time to time, put up a post when I can't stand to be silent about events. My sincere condolences to the Ft. Hood victims and their immediate and extended families.)

Monday, November 02, 2009


I can't resist posting a picture of the last three roses I picked today from my rose garden. We are expecting nighttime temps below freezing for the next week, so I don't expect to see any more blooms this season. The rose garden I plant when I get to California will be able to bloom all year long....can't wait!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


From now till the end of the year is really crunch time for me, in that I have to get everything ready here on this end for my move to California. My house has not sold yet and this is scary, but I'm not going to completely panic until the end of November....I may have to do a short sale or something. Also, I have several deadlines to finish at work and for the book.

In December, I will be driving with my daughter and my cat to California, because--whether the house sells or not, I start work in CA on January 4th. That gives me a few weeks to unpack and get settled.

Sooooooooo, the long and short of it is that I am going to have a two-month hiatus in my blogging, and be back in early January; set and ready to shine that psychological spotlight on the latest Obama Administration insanity.

I assume the world will still be around then; though possibly changed somewhat. My apologies to all my loyal readers, but (as Arnold once said) I'LL BE BACK!

Meanwhile, here is one of the (few) aspects of Ann Arbor I will dearly miss: Autumn and the lovely colors of Michigan this time of year.

The view looking out from my house:

Anyone need a house in Ann Arbor? It's right across the street from a park on one side and an elementary school on the other. Perfect location and a lovely home :-)

Have a safe Holiday Season and I'll be back up in January.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Be vewy vewy quiet...Obama is hunting wascally wiseguys at Fox...and, it is turning out pretty much like all the previous encounters between Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny.

[Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy]


Here is the link to that interview on Uncommon Knowledge, with Victor Davis Hanson and Richard Baer I mentioned a few posts back, where they discuss the motivations and goals of the regime in Tehran.

It's excellent. Go watch!


Obama's war on Fox has had a positive effect on the station's ratings:
It’s a nine-percent bump in the two weeks since Anita Dunn’s whine heard ’round the world — in terms of overall audience. Among the coveted 25-54 demographic? A 14-percent bump. Good work, Barry.

Under the circumstances, I can't help thinking of Princess Leia's defiant words in Star Wars (to paraphrase): The more you tighten your grip, Obama, the more newstations will slip through your fingers...

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Mark Steyn reminds us once again what the real agenda of the radical environmentalists happens to be:
The anti-western anti-human totalitarianism of the environmental movement grows ever more explicit. I'm very sad to see my old friend Alex Renton reduced to peddling this sort of self-loathing claptrap:
The worst thing that you or I can do for the planet is to have children. If they behave as the average person in the rich world does now, they will emit some 11 tonnes of CO² every year of their lives. In their turn, they are likely to have more carbon-emitting children who will make an even bigger mess...

In 2050, 95% of the extra population will be poor and the poorer you are, the less carbon you emit. By today's standards, a cull of Australians or Americans would be at least 60 times as productive as one of Bangladeshis... As Rachel Baird, who works on climate change for Christian Aid, says: "Often in the countries where the birth rate is highest, emissions are so low that they are not even measurable. Look at Burkina Faso." So why ask them to pay in unborn children for our profligacy..?

But how do you reduce population in countries where women's rights are already achieved and birth-control methods are freely available? Could children perhaps become part of an adult's personal carbon allowance? Could you offer rewards: have one child only and you may fly to Florida once a year?
Steyn goes on to note:
Even if you overlook the control-freak totalitarianism, the argument is drivel. Much of "the rich world", including three-fourths of the G7 (Germany, Italy, Japan), is already in net population decline. And in those parts that aren't, such as the United Kingdom, population growth is driven almost entirely by mass immigration: Those Bangladeshis with their admirably low emissions move to Yorkshire and before you know it develop a carbon footprint as big as your guilt-ridden liberal environmentalist's.
And he adds this:
Alex finds time to praise the results of China's population control. Boy, there's an environmental paradise.
Sometime ago I posted about the real agenda of the environmentalists (via Jonah Goldberg):

Liberal democracy is sweet and addictive and indeed in the most extreme case, the USA, unbridled individual liberty overwhelms many of the collective needs of the citizens. The subject is almost sacrosanct and those who indulge in criticism are labeled as Marxists, socialists, fundamentalists and worse. These labels are used because alternatives to democracy cannot be perceived! Support for Western democracy is messianic as proselytised by a President leading a flawed democracy

There must be open minds to look critically at liberal democracy. Reform must involve the adoption of structures to act quickly regardless of some perceived liberties....

We are going to have to look how authoritarian decisions based on consensus science can be implemented to contain greenhouse emissions [emphasis mine].
Note that if you disagree with the environmental agenda of the authors, then you are smearing them with the label of "Marxists, socialists, fundamentalists and worse" ! How awful. And just plain mean.

Not to mention, accurate.

If you wade through the artlicle you will see the high praise--even awe--given to the Chinese (the world's worst polluters) because of their inherent ability to 'order' and control their population and force them to behave properly:

Let us return to the plastic bags. The ban in China will save importation and use of five million tons of oil used in plastic bag manufacture, only a drop in the ocean of the world oil well. But the importance in the decision lies in the fact that China can do it by edict and close the factories. They don’t have to worry about loss of political donations or temporarily unemployed workers. They have made a judgment that their action favours the needs of Chinese society as a whole.

China has become, or is just about to become, the world’s greatest emitter of greenhouse emissions. Its economic growth suggests that it may soon emit as much as the rest of the world put together. Its environment is in a deplorable state, with heavily polluted rivers and drinking water, serious air pollution, both of which have a heavy burden of illness. Pollution and climate change are reducing productive land in the face of an increasing population which is compelled to import some of its foodstuffs. Its population centres will be candidates for early inundation by sea level rise and the melting of Himalayan glaciers will reduce its water supply.

All this suggests that the savvy Chinese rulers may be first out of the blocks to assuage greenhouse emissions and they will succeed by delivering orders. They will recognise that the alternative is famine and social disorder
My goodness, how 'savvy' of them! After causing half the problem, they just happen to have the authoritarian bona fides to deal with the mess they created--unlike those whimpy democracies which use (ughhh) voluntary cooperation.

Does anyone else find this perspective rather disgusting? Not to mention a bit disingenuous?

In "The Four Pillars of the Socialist Revival", I wrote:

Multiculturalism and political correctness are two of the fundamental pseudo-intellectual, quasi-religious tenets-- along with a third: radical environmentalism--that have been widely disseminated by intellectuals unable to abandon socialism even after its crushing failures in the 20th century. These tenets have been slowly, but relentlessly absorbed at all levels of Western culture in the last decade or so--but primarily since the end of the Cold War.

All three have been incorporated into most K-12 curricula and all other learning environments. They have been at the forefront of attempts by leading academics and academic institutions to rewrite most of history and undo thousands of years of Western cultural advancement. And further, as the culture has been completely saturated with this toxic brew, any attempt to question the tenets' validity or to contest their value is met with hysterical accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, imperialism, bigotry, or--worse of all --intolerance or insensitivity.

It just so happens, that these tenets represent three of the four pillars that are the foundation of an evolving epistemological, ethical and political strategy that the socialist remnants in the world have developed and are using to prevent their ideology from entering the dustbin of history.

This leftist/radical environmentalism is nothing more than one of the rhetorical strategies that are being used to undermine democracy and capitalism and promote socialism/communism and fascism. Rarely do you see the agenda so openly discussed as it is in the articles quoted above. Instead of creating the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' the neo-marxists among us have settled on the 'dictatorship of the scientific elite'.

In reality, they always intended for a few intellectual 'elites'(they mean themselves, actually) to have the power to run things. but at least they hid that agenda behind the 'power to the people' bullshit rhetoric.

Now, they don't even bother to disguise their agenda. Or, even bother to deny that it was the same kind of marxist/socialist/communist--i.e., LEFTIST, policies that have most polluted the environment and destroyed the planet.

The devastation they have wrought to both the human population and the precious planet are only unintended consequences of their scientifically 'proven' methods. These utopian (and I count the radical environmentalist among the worst of the lot) always know what's best for us hapless humans because they are so much smarter and wiser than we are. They mean well, after all. It isn't their fault that a little thing like reality gets in the way of their implementation of utopian policies!

It isn't their fault that the environment is a complex system! They only mean the best for us.

For most of the 20th century these fascists have sought to escape responsibility for the condequences of their utopian fantasies. The world is littered with the corpses and awash in the tears of the people who they have "helped". Fantasy environmentalism is only the most recent strategies they have adopted as they attempt reassert their socialist ideology under the guise of "saving the planet", while they chain all of humanity. Ask yourself how it has come to be that Al Gore's environmental obsession has become required classroom reading. And how our children are being indoctrinated right this moment in the K-12 classrooms into the holy rituals of the environmental histrionics.

Consider for a moment the call to imprison those who ignore climate 'science'. The very essence of free scientific inquiry is open discussion and high levels of skepticism; but the fascist 'elites' must carefully contain any speech or any attitude that questions their own interpretation of environmental science.

Clearly, this is not scientific inquiry, it is an inquisition. It is not science, it is religious dogma. And if you do not believe, you are in danger of committing the horrific sin of apostasy.

You begin to see how much in common these neo-marxist, fascist 'elites' have with the imams of radical Islam. Both suffer from an unquenchable desire for power over others. Either submit to their authority, or else....

If you have time, check out this and this --they may shake you out of the programmed rigidity and mindless conformity to this agenda. I also highly recommend the earlier link to Michael Crighton's talk on complexity.

The truth is that most of the drivel that issues from the radical environmentalists' mouths these days is pure, unadulterated neo-Marxist fascism, disguised as compassionate concern for the planet; and steeped in a deep hatred of humanity.

Friday, October 23, 2009


..and I'm not talking about the kid in costume either!

[More Political Cartoons by Dana Summers]

Meanwhile, if you want to be really scared, check out this interview with Victor Davis Hanson, a military historian; and Robert Baer, a former CIA field officer, "Armageddon Time":
"The Iranians are very good at procuring banned materials very easily," said Baer. "They are very close [to having what they need to produce weapons]. They could move very quickly."

How quickly?

"Six months, a year."

The second observation: The Iranians have no interest in running a bluff. Once able to produce nuclear weapons, they will almost certainly do so....

The third observation: As the Iranians scramble to produce nuclear weapons, the Obama administration appears too feckless, inexperienced or deluded to stop them.

The actual video interview will be aired at NRO on Monday.

Have a great weekend! I'm out in California getting ready for the move from this end. Back to blogging on Monday sometime.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


It is simply unbelievable--and rather frightening-- that this sort of thing could be happening in America. I wonder if the people of this country are beginning to understand the repulsive totalitarian character of the person they have elected President?

The following is from a previous post on "Obamaworld Apostasy and Malignant Narcissism" :
This is the way things are done in Obamaworld. It has always been thus, and Obama's short and unremarkable political career even prior to his amazing presidential run was characterized by the same sort of hostility and focused attention from the media toward the Magical One's opponents. Hope and Change the Chicago Way!

The lesson was clear long before Obama had the enormous power of the Executive Branch to do his dirty work. Like Islam's Mohammed, no criticism of the Democrat's messiah is permitted. To criticize the One is political apostasy and punishable by political and personal destruction.

Writing in the American Spectator in February about Obama's 'enemies list', Mark Hyman noted:
The heavy-handed actions against Obama critics and opponents that occurred before he had government institutions firmly under his control should have had public interest watchdog groups up in arms. Because so many of such groups are ideologically aligned with Obama may explain why there was not even a peep. Conservative and balanced news outlets have the disturbing habit of holding accountable liberal public interest organizations that engage in dishonest or deceptive practices that the major news organizations just so happen to overlook.

How soon and how far the Obama Administration will extend its attacks against its critics and the political opposition may become evident in the days ahead. Spared any serious scrutiny by most news outlets during his very brief career in public office, Barack Obama has displayed an exceptionally thin skin when he has come under a microscope or when he has suffered political and public relations setbacks. (read it all)

Back in October of 2008, Andy McCarthy sounded the alarm on candidate Obama's assault on the First Amendment:
I’ll be blunt: Sen. Obama and his supporters despise free expression, the bedrock of American self-determinism and hence American democracy. What’s more, like garden-variety despots, they see law not as a means of ensuring liberty but as a tool to intimidate and quell dissent.....

To the extent that a person's behavior is mostly motivated by perceived insults to their self--i.e., their narcissistic core; then the "insult" will usually prompt a typical display of narcissistic rage directed toward the unfortunate individual who threatens them.

Such rage responses are invariably destructive, mean, and petty. Additionally, these rages are generally not beneficial to society-at-large (in fact, such actions often have strong sociopathic or antisocial elements to them) , although the person in the throes of narcissistic rage will often convince themselves that they are behaving perfectly appropriately and even for "the good" of others. They "stand above the fray", making it clear to all that their behavior is because they are superior beings. Typically, they get their goons to do the dirty work of silencing their critics.

This fantasy of sublime superiority is the origin of "sociopathic selfishness and "sociopathic selflessness" I have discussed elsewhere; and it is the pathology of all tyrants and dictators.

Far too often, narcissistically flawed individuals are hopelessly attracted by the grandiose opportunities of the political arena (as well as the Hollywood arena) like moths to a flame. Their sense of self is starkly invested in the desire for power over others (always, of course, "for their own good") , constant admiration and adulation and grandiose ambitions. This makes them remarkably adept at the politics of personal destruction--particularly when you are a devoted fan of the teachings of a radical organizer whose philosophy demanded that you: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

For the narcissist it is always a zero-sum game he or she plays with other individuals. From the perspective of the narcissist, if someone else "wins", the narcissist "loses". It cannot be otherwise, since on some level they know that their own talent and skills are way overblown. Hence, they cannot hope to "win" based on those talents alone. Thus, the behavior of the classic narcissist is mostly directed toward making others lose so they can win by default. To that end, there is no behavior or tactic that is considered out -of-bounds or over-the-top.

The state of political discourse in this country was bad enough, with the ubiquitous personal attacks that have become the trademark of all political campaigns; but Barack Obama has taken this to a higher plane of being-- and destroying.

Politics still occasionally brings out those who have strong personal integrity and values; but it is the people of no integrity and no values who are obsessively attracted to the field and are triumphant--and that is true on both sides of the political spectrum.

By that, I mean that those who would actually make the best leaders generally opt out of the process, because they tend to be too healthy to generate the continual rage necessary to destroy all opponents; or they lack the required-- and mostly distorted --sense of personal "perfection" and grandiosity that drives the power-hungry.

I am frequently reminded that it is hopelessly naive these days to expect the electorate to vote for a person based on what that person actually stands for; or even based on the character (we don't need no stinkin' character in our politicians); instead, these days most people respond to the negative campaign ads that slice and dice the other guy; and are mainly influenced by botoxed faces and Hollywood-packaged good-looks rather than the content of any candidate's character. The less they know of that character, the better!

And, despite all efforts to hide the truth about Obama's weak and unprincipled character, there was still plenty of information available to be able to see that the emperor messiah had no clothes.

Real personal integrity and character comes from having a consistent set of values and exhibiting behavior driven by those values. Today's classic narcissistically-driven politicians like both Hillary and Bill can only flutter in the political winds, and zelig-like easily take on whatever characteristics their public care to project onto them.

This is not the kind of person who can face real threats in the real world very effectively because this is not the kind of person who can effectively deal with threats they do not perceive as personal--why should they care much about any other kind, unless the polls indicate they should?.

Kudos to the other networks who united with Fox on this issue and caused the Administration to back down (this time, at least); and who perhaps are starting to realize the real nature of the idol they have been worshiping. They are partly responsible for creating and loosing this monster on a mostly unsuspecting and rhetorically awed population; and perhaps they have an inkling that if can happen to Fox, then it can happen to any one of them at Obama's whim....

No matter how you look at the situation, though, we are all of us waking up to the reality that we have been conned by a master and seduced by smiling face and pretty words.


When it was politically correct to do so, Democrats and the left would insist that President Bush had "taken his eyes off the ball" by fighting the war formerly known as the "War on Terror" in Iraq. It should be obvious, they insisted that the real war, the essential war, was the one in Afghanistan.

Well, talk about taking your eyes off the ball! The Obama Administration has basically closed its eyes and has no idea where the ball actually is at this point in time:

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.

Read it all, because it is an excellent analysis of the situation in the world today with regard to the War on Terror--or "overseas contingency operations" and as we can see with the dithering in regard to Afghanistan, such operations are not likely to happen at all under the Obama Administration.

Wretchard ends with this:

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.

As a psychiatrist, I would be the last person to maintain that even a primitive defense mechanism like denial doesnt have some positive results for the individuals and groups who use it. Obviously any defense mechanism that results in immediate death or injury of the person using it would probably not last long as a viable strategy in the real world; nor would it be particularly helpful for the species as a whole.

In fact, 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.