Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Left -- Celebrating One Hundred and Fifty Years of Adolescence

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  (1st Corinthians, 13:11)

One has to envy the people of the left.  They have managed to cling tenaciously to adolescence for at least a century and a half.   To remain on the Left is to lock one’s self into a permanent state of arrested development.  The upset election of Donald Trump has brought leftist adolescence into the streets, demonstrating how an ideology turns adults, young and old into emotional children.

One of the most distinctive marks of adolescence is a relentless self-centered view of one’s place in the world.  Work, with its often tedious, routine and time-demanding nature, is not readily embraced by highly self-centered creatures like adolescents.  Full time work is something that Leftists devoutly believe other people should do since they have higher callings like dismantling the corrupt old order and installing a regime of virtue in its place – grandiosity being another stage of late childhood.  Karl Marx spent his adult life dodging gainful full time employment.  His wife, Jenny, and the Marx children languished in squalor while Karl scribbled away and sponged off his pal, Engels.  Stalin as a young, ambitious Bolshevik robbed banks.  Mao wrote poetry.  Sartre lounged about in Paris cafes affecting a distinctively French anti-bourgeois style while producing reams of unreadable bilge that that aspiring sophisticates in college dorms and faculty lounges could flaunt as deep Existentialist thought.  Bill Ayers tried to blow up the Pentagon before he settled into his sinecure as an “education” professor and aging celebrity-radical. 

The “Occupy Wall Street” youngsters  a few years back, with the encouragement of their Hope and Change President, squated in public places and railed and fumed at “rich, greedy bankers” ignoring a couple of seemingly obvious questions: why would anyone want to be a banker if he couldn’t be rich? Presumably, they don't object to poor bankers, but why would any sane person trust their savings to one?  “Greedy,” by the way, is “adolescent-speak” to describe “someone who makes more money or has more than you think he should.”  I believe that it is safe to conjecture that in the history of the world it would be exceedingly difficult to discover many examples of individuals confessing, themselves, to being greedy.  No one on the Left would ever make such a confession.  Greed is the cardinal sin for the Leftist, and its application is most flexible.  George Clooney,  Michael Moore and Hillary Clinton have more money than most of us could dream of. Yet, I have never heard of anyone calling them greedy.

As well, adolescents also tend to be know-it-alls.  They gaze around at the world observing and deeply resenting all of its injustices and pettiness.  They know exactly what is wrong and how to fix it -- If only they were allowed to.  Most pass through what their elders patronizingly and euphemistically call the “idealistic” stage, come to terms with the imperfections, live out their imperfect lives, in this most imperfect world.  
However, we have the amply sad history of permanent adolescent know-it-alls, professional Leftists, in charge of fixing things.   One word is sufficient to summarize the state of the paradise that two of the more ambitious adolescents promised would unfold if they were put in charge – “starvation.”  The world’s two most populous countries, Russia and China were run for decades by a couple of men widely proclaimed to be “geniuses” and paragons of virtue.  No field of study or body of wisdom was beyond their mastery.  No aspect of the character or personality of either leader was sullied by self-interest.  Both Stalin and Mao went on to engineer famines that killed tens of millions of their own countrymen. Mao, whose real forte was poetry, untrained and wholly ignorant of agronomy and basic science, nevertheless overturned traditional Chinese agricultural practice, and inserted his whims and fantasies as law.  The Great Leap Forward is the ultimate demographer’s challenge to this day as researchers try to determine how many millions of Chinese people perished as the result of Mao’s policies.    

In addition to starving a sizable portion of Ukrainian farmers in the 1930s Stalin put the ignorant know-it-all, Trofim Lysenko, in charge of Soviet agronomy who managed to damage it even more than Lenin and Stalin.  One single statistic that forcefully expresses the staggering ignorance and incompetence of the adolescent know-it-alls that governed the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1991 is the following:  “In 1917 Russia had been the world’s largest exporter of grain; by 1989 it was the world’s largest importer.” [Quoted from John Mosier, Hitler vs. Stalin: the Eastern Front, 1941-1945, New York, Simon & Schuster, 2010, 11.]     
When adolescents do not get their way those who disappoint them are made to feel the extreme effects of their resentment.  At the hard rock bottom of all Leftist ideology is the premise that social conflict and struggle both underlies and explains all human interaction.  Leftists are perennial grievance-mongers.  The social world is always and inevitably about one group exploiting and dominating another.   All that is wrong with the world becomes the doing of the unfairly advantaged Exploiter-Dominators (ED's) who pummel the lowly Exploited-Victims (EV's).   Being an EV means that there is always an ED to resent and to blame.  An EV in good standing must have a grievance to polish and villains to excoriate.   EV's are heroes (Marx, Che, Joe Hill). ED's are villains (Capitalists, Bankers -- the latest, Donald Trump).  EV's are virtuous – compassionate, selfless and wise.  ED's are greedy, selfish and mean-spirited.     
This stark, Manichean, hero-villain picture of the world is perfect for the adolescent theorist-moralist. With it he can feel down-trodden, virtuous and special, all at the same time.  The source of his discomfort always redounds to those self-centered adults (projection) who lack the insight and knowledge he does (more projection).  From this picture flows what Bertrand Russell called, “The Doctrine of the Superior Virtue of the Oppressed,” which means that whatever the EV's do to the ED's is morally justified.   Lies, character assassination, bombing the Pentagon – all can be justified because the ED's are all the moral equivalent of Adolf Hitler, even though they pretend not to be. When everyone who opposes you is some variety of Nazi, Fascist or Klansman your toolbox of weapons is quite expansive.
In 2018 we will celebrate the 200th Birthday of the original adolescent- philosopher. Happy Birthday in advance, Karl.   You would be pleased to see that so many of your “children” rule.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Nicholas Kristof, the Walter Duranty of the 21st Century

The 2016 election is over and, against all odds and expectations, the candidate all time most loathed by the New York Times columnists won. Worth a parting comment on the corruption of the NYT hacks who slobber about the endless virtue of their favorite Democrats is a pre-election column, with its typical smarmy condescension, from the ever self-promoting columnist, Nicholas Kristof.  I'm with her: the Strengths of Hillary Clinton.”  So in this last column before the election I want to pitch you the reasons to vote for Clinton and not just against Donald Trump. I’ve known Clinton a bit for many years, and I have to say: The public perception of her seems to me a gross and inaccurate caricature. I don’t understand the venom, the “lock her up” chants, the assumption that she is a Lady Macbeth; it’s an echo of the animus a lifetime ago some felt for Eleanor Roosevelt.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/06/opinion/sunday/im-with-her-the-strengths-of-hillary-clinton.html?_r=0 l

Ok, reader, all of this Hillary negativity nonsense over the years you’ve been exposed to is not real. Right at the start Kristof wants you to be aware of and bow to his privileged, insider-club status – unlike you, he knows her (a bit”), just a bit of understatement for fake modesty purposes.
He wants to make sure you understand how connected he is, and for many years, no less. If I may, this is epistemological superiority by physical proximity – ‘What I know from socializing with her, trumps (no pun intended) what you know from observing her for 25 years from afar.’ The nonstop grifting, the scandals, the self-enrichment from influence peddling, as Kristof sees it, are overblown. We are talking venal, not mortal sins here. 

The invocation of Eleanor Roosevelt is quite the slick maneuver – poof goes Hillary’s many documented iniquities – beatitude by association.  Long bequeathed with liberal sainthood, that “animus a lifetime ago that some felt” for Mrs. Roosevelt way back when has just somehow annoyingly echoed its way up to 2016.  Stuff like this normally happens. Not every one out there is as enlightened as they should be.  Kristof doesn’t even have to spell out who that “some” is that felt this animus -- in Lady Roosevelt’s time it was the reactionaries who opposed the New Deal and objected to Eleanor’s favorite philo-communist, Henry Wallace; today, it is that “vast right wing conspiracy” and Obama’s “bitter clingers” who never tire of defaming this woman who, as he says, “is a morally serious person whose passion for four decades has been to use politics to create a more just society.”  She is also an avariciously serious person who along with her husband has accumulated a vast fortune selling government influence to high rollers, many of them from foreign countries.  She is also a seriously hypocritical person who slanders and bullies female victims of her husband while championing herself as an advocate for women. See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-question-hillary-cannot-answer.html
It is also worth noting here that Kristof has a certain blindness for fakers.  In 2014, Newsweek revealed that Somaly Mam—the Cambodian anti-trafficking crusader endorsed by Nicholas Kristof, Sheryl Sandberg, and Susan Sarandon—lied about being sold into sexual slavery as a child, the story that underpins her wrenching memoir, The Road to Lost Innocence.” https://medium.com/galleys/greg-mortenson-disgraced-author-of-three-cups-of-tea-believes-he-will-have-the-last-laugh-760949b1f964#.c7gyfoakv  Kristof also continued to defend Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea after he was exposed as a fraud.  “‘One of the people I’ve enormously admired in recent years is Greg Mortenson,’Kristof wrote in his April 20, 2011 column. While conceding that the accusations against Mortenson ‘raised serious questions,’ Kristof countered that ‘it’s indisputable that Greg has educated many thousands of children, and he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.’”https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/the-con-man-and-his-pet-columnist/  Being a fraud and a liar, for Kristof it seems, doesn’t seem count  too much against you.  In light of this, how seriously should we take his endorsement of Hillary Clinton, widely distrusted by the American people as a liar and a fraud?

Since Kristof likes to find “echos” of long ago, raise your ears and catch this echo:  Nicholas Kristof as the Walter Duranty of the 21st century. Walter Duranty, a British born journalist served as the Moscow bureau chief for the New York Times from 1922 through 1936.  Like Kristof, he was a Pulitzer Prize winner. Duranty’s was bestowed for 13 articles written in 1931 and published in the New York Times analyzing the Soviet Union under Stalin’s leadership.  Unfortunately, these articles were devoted to the crafting of a false image of Joseph Stalin as someone whose obvious crudeness and brutality could be excused as the darker side of of a great and determined man whose better instincts were focused on the advancing the well being of toiling working class whose interests he claimed to represent. 

Duranty, like Kristof, was an insider with the power people.  He knew Stalin "a bit" for many years.  He witnessed Stalin’s show trials up close in the mid-1930s in Moscow and confidently declared to The New Republic after observing the 1937 trial that he found the confessions of the defendants to be credible.  [S.J. Taylor, Stalin’s Apologist: Walter Duranty, the New York Times’s Man in Moscow, Oxford, 1990, 267]

Like Kristof, Duranty was an apologist for a dishonest, ruthless politician and served him (in Kristof's case, her) well.  He was rewarded for his loyalty with what he craved the most, proximity to a powerful man, the prestige and attention that this proximity brings.  His gratitude was displayed by his eagerness to promulgate to the outside world a softened and idealized image of Stalin. Duranty helped Stalin conceal from the outside world a famine of his creation in Ukraine that plunged three to seven million people into starvation, depending on varying accounts. “There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition, especially in the Ukraine, North Caucasus and Lower Volga” Duranty had written in 1933 at the time when people were starving by the millions. [Taylor, Stalin’s Apologist, 207]  The late Robert Conquest has written Harvest of Sorrow,  the definitive account of Holomodor, Stalin’s Ukrainian holocaust.
https://www.amazon.com/Harvest-Sorrow-Soviet-Collectivization-Terror-Famine/dp/0195051807  And by the way, in the New York Times executive offices hallway where over 80 portraits of Pulitzer Prize winners hang, Duranty’s still resides with the inscription that the award recognized “a profound and intimate comprehension of conditions in Russia [consistent with] the best type of foreign correspondence.”  [Douglas McCollam, CJR, November/December, 2003, 43]

Back, however, to Duranty’s power-sucking echo in Kristof: here, the court weasel does a bit of his own sycophantic softening: Clinton has made thousands of compromises and innumerable mistakes, her pursuit of wealth has been unseemly and politically foolish, and it’s fair to question her judgment on everything from emails to Iraq. But understand this, too: At the core she is not a calculating crook but a smart, hard-working woman who  is profoundly concerned with getting things done for those left behind.  Again, a very skillful touch. Hillary is not perfect (he has to make some nod to the empirical world), and here comes the imperative: “But understand this” – Kristof now is pulling rank on us.  He has the deep insight into her “core”, an interesting choice of words given that she is widely perceived to lack one. Perhaps the proximity she has afforded him over the years has enabled him to peek into her soul – the cocktail parties, the interviews, the hobnobbing. But, understand this: if Kristof was not an effusive bum-kisser, how close would he have ever been able to get to this seriously moral" woman and observe her core?

Kristof’s airbrushing of Hillary (who just like Stalin is all about bettering the toiling masses, the left behind) would be incomplete without an obligatory final thrashing for The Donald. “[Trump] simply falls outside the norms: A fraudster who seems a racist, who has cheated people not only at Trump University but regularly through his career, who boasts of sexual assaults and whom 17 women have publicly accused of improper behavior, who has flip-flopped 138 times by one count, who lies every five minutes by another, and who has less public service experience than any incoming president in history.”  This could be a cut-and-paste from any of the hundreds of NYT and Washington Post editorial pieces over the last months.  Every Republican candidate since Richard Nixon has been routinely labeled by the Democrats and their shills who mascaraed as independent journalists with the "old reliables" -- Nazi, KKK-er, Fascist, ad infinitum.   

Kristof recently wrote a NYT column, “Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/opinion/nicholas-kristof-is-everyone-a-little-bit-racist.html?_r=0
What is to made of this? So, Kristof himself must be a little bit racist? How then do Republicans and Trump differ from Democrats? What happens to the handy-dandy, old-reliable racist smears of NYT scribblers? 

Don't waste your time trying to decipher Kristof's silly meanderings. His columns are a just reflection and verification of his status as a court lackey who recycles the prescribed PC bilge, a stooge who loves to hang out with important people and then brag about it to his credulous readers.

Kristof’s “racism” charge has become a word largely empty of specific meaning, used to condemn a critic as, well … a very bad person.  “Racism” is a broad brush assault, perhaps unique in its smearing capacity in that, unlike with other kinds of allegations of moral or legal culpability, once charged, there is no way to demonstrate that you are not a racist. It is possible to prove that you are not a liar, a fool, a rapist, a robber, and a plagiarist; you can never effectively dispute the claim that you are a racist.  No protest or evidence counts. Name one person who has ever been successful in doing it?  Being a racist now is sort of like it was to have “cooties” back when you were in fifth grade.  There was no remedy for the mysterious virus of cooties and you were deemed infected because someone decided that they didn’t like you.  

Kristof is the complete NYT columnist package – self-promoting, condescending and a tool for the rich and powerful.  No thoughtful person should take him seriously.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Is Hillary Clinton a Sociopath?

“In The Mask of Sanity, published in 1941, Hervey Cleckley distilled what he believed to be the 16 key behavioral characteristics that defined psychopathy. Most of these factors are still used today to diagnose sociopaths/psychopaths and others with antisocial disorders. (Psychopathy and sociopathy are terms with an intertwined clinical history, and they are now largely used interchangeably)”  

Is Hillary Clinton a sociopath?   A review of the 16 key behavioral characteristics listed below suggests that there is abundant and overwhelming evidence that Hillary Clinton is a clinically confirmed sociopath.

1.        Superficial charm and good intelligence
Yes, her entire personality is superficial – nothing there but avarice and ambition – the charm is forced, purely a means to her ends.  She possesses the sort of intelligence you see in an aseptic, anal retentive, personality – compulsive, good at memorizing, test-taking but not creative, original or insightful.
2.        Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking
Yes. No delusions about her goal (power) and is “rational” in its
 pursuit, rational in the sense of doing whatever it takes to get it.        
3.        Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations
Yes.  Scripted, programmed, robotic, she never appears nervous because she is probably without nerves.
4.        Unreliability
Yes!  Benghazi, anyone?  But what difference does it make now?
5.        Untruthfulness and insincerity
Yes, thirty years and counting.  See: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/19/hillary-clintons-long-list-of-lies/
6.        Lack of remorse and shame
Yes, no one yet has detected any.  Someone else is always to blame, utterly shameless. On the losing end of biggest election upset in American history, the defeat, she whines, is the fault of the Russians and James Comey.  The women her husband assaults she calls “sluts” and narcissistic loony tunes.” “’I am not gonna comment on what I did or did not say back in the late 90s,’ Clinton told ABC’s Diane Sawyer when asked if she uttered the quip.” (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/208757-clinton-doesnt-deny-narcissistic-looney-tune-comments) 
7.        Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior
Yes, a “rageaholic,” abusive to underlings, aides and husband.
8.        Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience
Yes, thirty years in what she calls “public service” no accomplishments yet to show for it.  See her response to Tom Friedman’s question about accomplishments.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMWZeLqwllY
9.        Pathologic egocentricity and incapacity for love
Yes, Bill will confirm.
10. General poverty in major affective reactions
Yes, her Secret Service details will confirm.
“Good morning, ma’am,” a member of the uniformed Secret Service once greeted Hillary Clinton. “F— off,” she replied. That exchange is one among many that active and retired Secret Service agents shared with Ronald Kessler, author of “First Family Detail,” a compelling look at the intrepid personnel who shield America’s presidents and their families — and those whom they guard."  http://nypost.com/2015/10/02/secret-service-agents-hillary-is-a-nightmare-to-work-with/
11. Specific loss of insight
Yes, has never displayed significant insight --of late even less able to offer any original thinking or deep analytic powers.
12. Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations
No, but with qualifications.  She is a chameleon and all interpersonal action amounts to manipulation; unable to take responsibility for her actions.
13. Fantastic and uninviting behavior with alcohol and sometimes without
Uncertain, there are many rumors to the affirmative. 
I think you should call her and sober her up some,” read the WikiLeaks email, sent by campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri to Podesta on Aug. 8 of last year.  http://conservativetribune.com/is-hillary-a-closet-drunk/
14. Suicide threats rarely carried out
No, not that we know.
15. Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated
Uncertain, but very likely yes.  Appears to be largely asexual.
16. Failure to follow any life plan
No, she is a megalomaniac. From day one she has wanted run everyone's life and used who she could to do it.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Robin Lakoff, the Idiot Professor

I am mad. I am mad because I am scared. And if you are a woman, you should be, too. Emailgate is a bitch hunt, but the target is not Hillary Clinton. It’s us. The only reason the whole email flap has legs is because the candidate is female.  

Robin Lakoff, Hillary Clinton’s Emailgate Is an Attack on Women http://time.com/4551711/hillary-clinton-emailgate/?xid=time_socialflow_twitter



Robin Lakoff’s opinion piece in Time (excerpted above) is arguably the stupidest thing yet written about the 2016 election, and an ocean of stupidity has been flowing for months. Her piece is the mother of all non sequiturs.  

Lakoff, a professor of linguistics, of all things, leans into this screed with her raw emotion, how she is feeling. And guess what? She is not happy. “I am mad”.  Who cares? Join the crowd.  I am mad.  All of my friends are mad.  Everybody is mad these days, and for good reason. 

But wait! She is scared too, which is the reason, she says, she is mad, a curious causality. Can someone be scared and mad at the same time? Why would an arch feminist, supposedly a sophisticated thinker, jump into the fray all lathered up with the favorite unhappy stereotype of the emotional, hysterical woman?  

So far, though, we only have a very mad and very scared woman, but here is where the non sequiturs begin, a leap from a personal whiny sounding “how I feel” (fine, again, who cares) to the mailed fist feminist ukase, “if you are a woman you should be too.” We have moved now to the grand pronouncement ex cathedra. So, the deplorable status of women isn’t bad enough, they (all of womanhood) should like Lakoff be quivering with rage and fear, furiously jabbing pins into their Donald Trump voodoo dolls. Because? And off we go, a dumpster-dive into an alternative universe where facts, logic and empirical reality have no bearing on our understanding of current events.

Emailgate is a bitch hunt, but the target is not Hillary Clinton.  It’s us.” A “bitch hunt?” No, let’s try for a simpler time and channel Sargent Joe Friday – “just the facts, Mam.” The target is Hillary Clinton.  She set up the private email server, exempting herself from the law and the rules, plus lying about it. The FBI director said she was “extremely careless.” If she would have done what she was supposed to do there would be no Emailgate, no one complaining about Hillary and her emails, no FBI investigation, no pronouncements of her carelessness. You don’t have to be Noam Chomsky or Hannah Arendt to comprehend such a simple cause-effect relationship. What you do have to be to ignore it is a tenured grievance specialist, intoxicated by your own moral goodness, dedicated to interpreting your place in the world as an eternal victim, invincibly oblivious to world as it really is.

However, let us continue this journey in the land of feminist paranoid imagination.  “The only reason the whole email flap has legs is because the candidate is female.” Really? Take a peek at “Ten times people were punished for far less than what Hillary Clinton did”. These ten people listed, including Bill Clinton’s former National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger “were actually punished for similar or lesser offenses than what Mrs. Clinton got away with.” Seven of them were men. http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/hillary-clinton-email-10-punished-less/#ixzz4P3JYmLQA How does this square with “it’s only because she is a female” thesis?  You don’t let empirical reality intrude.

But being in a fantasy world, let us go on and pretend that in some years past Hillary had “transgendered” herself into Heinrich Rodham Clinton. Now as a man (gender is whatever you want it to be, so if you say you’re a man, you’re a man) running the Department of State now he sets up his private email system and sends out classified documents over the unsecured server. Would the FBI not pursue an investigation of Heinrich Rodham Clinton?

But enough of Lakoff's world. Being in it just briefly is too disorienting. Let’s go back and try to understand why this Berkeley professor is so scared. Mad, I understand.  Radical feminists are always mad and always will be. If and when Hillary becomes President they will be mad because of the sexist opposition. 

But what is she scared of?  She is tenured, presumably, so she has life time job security and no penalty for saying and writing whatever pops into her head, no matter how ludicrous, fatuous or absurd.  She is at Berkeley, for God sake, long a haven for the oppressed, protected by the diversity inquisitors, full of “safe spaces”, guarded by “trigger warnings”, a place where even “micro-aggressors” are ruthlessly tracked down, pilloried and ceremoniously ejected. If Professor Lakoff is scared at Berkeley, we have to be deeply, deeply sorry for her. Medication recommended.

But, as she says, “if you are a woman, you should be, too”… that is, mad and scared.  Well, Professor, good luck with that. Keep trying. There is an abundance of things for women today to be mad and scared about, but the vast majority of them do not hang out at Berkeley and they probably see things a bit differently. 

Shame on you, Time. Have you no standards?