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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Tears and laughter

Back in January, I wrote about Obama's tears at a press conference, which were supposedly shed over the plight of all the people killed by gun violence. I explained in that post that since Obama had never shed tears over the various mass killings before, it was probably more than coincidental that his tears happened to come on the day after the Senate had passed a bill repealing Obamacare (which Obama vetoed).

Yesterday, Obama spoke of the Munich shootings. After making the requisite boilerplate comment, "our hearts go out to those who may have been injured," within thirty seconds he was grinning and joking about how his older daughter Malia was graduating high school and leaving home.

I certainly don't blame Obama for not shedding tears over the plight of the nine Germans who were killed yesterday. No one is so empathetic that they weep over every tragedy that takes place in the world; that would be impossible. (I certainly don't.)

But I also didn't give him credit for being warmhearted for having cried six months ago.

I do hope that all those media types who gave him credit for a big heart after he shed tears at that January news conference take note of his joking performance yesterday, and try to figure out what it says about him.

(Not that I'd expect them to.)

"We're imagining a world without police"

Two days ago the Chicago Tribune ran article, Protesters chain themselves together in front of Chicago police station:

The text:

Dozens of activists and protesters took to the streets of North Lawndale on Wednesday night to demand city tax money be invested in alternatives to traditional policing.

An hour into the evening protest, about 10 demonstrators were arrested and charged with obstructing a roadway after they chained their bodies together and blocked the entrance to the Chicago Police Department's Homan Square facility.

"We're imagining a world without police," said Camesha Jones, 24, of Bronzeville. "The city of Chicago has spent (millions) of dollars because of police misconduct settlements. I'm here to imagine a world where that money would be spent on education, mental health, to open school, clinics, create jobs."

The demonstration coincided with similar protests Wednesday in New York and Washington, D.C.

Well.....there's actually a very easy solution to this. If certain communities do not want police there, they should be granted that wish. 

Then they can live together in peace and harmony and love, without being preyed upon by those horrible racist police. 

It would be an interesting experiment. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The viewpoint of a Muslim terrorist in Europe

Reading about the Muslim who knifed a number of people on a German train recently made me wonder what goes through the mind of a young Muslim man living in Europe.

Let's ignore the religious, jihadist aspect of it for a moment. (I'm not suggesting denying it, as Obama does, but merely setting it aside for a moment). There has to be a large component of social alienation and personal bitterness involved in these attacks.

Imagine you're a young Arab man in France. You're surrounded by lighter-complected people who all seem to be more successful than you. They don't pay any attention to you, and more or less treat you as if you're not there. You sense that they don't really want you there, and are suspicious of you. And you have the vague sense that they resent having to pay taxes to support your welfare.

Though you long to have sex with those beautiful light-skinned French women, they seem to have zero interest in you. And the indecent way they dress seems geared toward tempting you, which makes their denial of your advances even more frustrating. Every time you see a French man and a French woman enjoying each other's company, it fills you with jealousy.

And every time you see them drive by in their fancy cars, and see the elegant apartment buildings they live in, it fills you with bile. Why should they have all that, and not you?

Although you don't see the world through the prism of IQ, and the language barrier sort of mutes everything, you have the vague sense that the light-skinned people look down on you for not understanding everything they do.

This goes on and on, and your feelings of bitterness and frustration gradually harden. And it's almost inevitable that you would end up feeling this way.

You feel rootless, alien in the country you live in, and long for a group of winners to identify with. Then along comes ISIS, a seemingly worldwide movement of people who are Muslim, just like you, and are completely uninhibited about striking out at the West you resent so much.

You know you're not supposed to just go on a killing spree just for the hell of it, but when ISIS tells you that you can do it for a noble cause and that it would make you a warrior jihadist, the temptation is too much to resist.

You know you pretty much have nothing to live for, so why not kill yourself and take as many of those hated Westerners as you can with you while you're at it?

In a way, these suicidal killers have something in common with Seung-hui Cho and Adam Lanza and Elliot Rodgers. They all see themselves as having nothing to live for, and want nothing more than to lash out at the people who reject them and make them feel like losers.

Which is something that should be taken into account when debating whether to import more of them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Comment from a neurologist on Aspies

A commenter with a background in neurology recently said something interesting on the Do Aspies span the full range of morality post. Here it is, with a few edits:

As a Neurology student with extensive background of general biology I might have some answers. It's very difficult to understand the cause and mechanism of Aspergers Syndrome because it has strong genetic influences and is quite paradoxical. However, I meticulously searched out advanced sources on the internet, and between that and observing the behaviors of Aspies I know personally, I think I can paint a broader picture of Aspergers, particularly in regard to mass shooters.

It's foolish to think that Aspies don't have the capability and/or intent/will to commit harm. I am going to argue, based on from what I know, that people with Aspergers actually have very low cognitive and emotional empathy. It's got less to do with morality and more to do with ability. Aspies have above average connectivity (synapses between neurons) which overwhelms the neurons with constant signals, that's why they have extreme sensitivity and because of that they usually seem to be disassociative and avoidant to cruelty and malice, not because they are truly good compassionate people but because they simply get overwhelmed. On the surface they seem to have virtuous or just philosophies, but that's because with their already hypertensive state of mind they can't afford to invest in other people's endeavors. 

The strange thing is unlike neurotypicals and sociopaths they use their frontal lobes rather than the limbic system to intellectually deduce what the other person feels, rather than just doing it instinctively and quickly like we do. In that regards they seem colder than sociopaths but their neurological methods of socializing are inferior and inefficient. They behave superficially politely or compassionately, since it's better for them to avoid confrontation. The thing is, the hyperconnectivity can go both ways: they can experience above average intense stimulations that explains their obsessive narrow behaviors and because they are so hypertensive they can even experience pleasure more intensely (in certain activities) and theres no reason to think that these activities can't involve downright cruel aggression and sadism. Contrary to popular belief, Aspies have the potential to be even more cruel than sociopaths; Lanza and Elliot Rodgers certainly experienced great pleasure in killing those people.

You have ubiquitous comments from Cassandras who date Aspie men saying things like "But he's so nice and gentle, the other day he walked an old grandma across the street," and "he treats animals nicely," however this is actually misleading.

Aspies, as I mentioned, don't use the necessary parts of the lymbic system in the midbrain region like we do for social communication; instead they use the frontal lobes, where logical thinking and concrete reasoning works, therefore they have a very technical, pedantic, robotic awareness of social norms. Aspies usually try hard to please people and try to follow every moral, social and ethical convention. They also lie less because they want to avoid conflict and confrontation because to them it's the path of least resistance. However, neurologically speaking, this is actually just selfishness: they don't do these good deeds to help people, but rather to make themselves socially presentable.

Like schizoids, they are scared to be judged, confronted, and criticized.

I don't necessarily agree with everything this commenter said. For instance, I'm still not convinced that Adam Lanza and Elliot Rodgers took the same kind of pleasure in their killings that, say, a Ted Bundy did. But the description of the over-connectivity in an Aspie brain was new to me and made perfect sense: much of their behavior is a defense against overstimulation. I've witnessed that myself, and have heard Aspies cry out, "Too much chaos!" if two people are doing different things in a room at the same time. And they are bothered by, for instance, television commercials, in a way that NT's never are. And if anybody even jokingly pretends to be cruel, Aspies will lecture them about their "morality."

And his description of their "technical, pedantic, robotic awareness of social norms" was right on target as well. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Motives shrouded in mystery

After Gavin Long shot the three police officers in Baton Rouge to death, President Obama condemned the killings, then said, "As of right now we don't know the motive of the killer." (Obama has yet to personally clarify that statement.)

Long had praised Micah Johnson, the Dallas shooter who shot the five white cops the week before, and he had previously followed the New Black Panthers and the BLM movement. He had traveled to Baton Rouge from Missouri specifically to avenge Alton Sterling, one of the two black men who had been killed by policemen the week before.

But, to Obama, it was all a big mystery.

When Micah Johnson shot 11 police officers in Dallas (killing 5 of them), Obama, speaking from Warsaw, Poland, said, "I think it’s very hard to untangle the motives of this shooter. By definition, if you shoot people who pose no threat to you, you have a troubled mind." Obama later said, "I think the danger is that we somehow suggest that the act of a troubled individual speaks to some larger political statement across the country. It doesn't."

Johnson had been extremely clear about his intent. He told the police during his final standoff that he wanted to kill white people, white police in particular. He deliberately didn't aim at black police during his shooting spree.

But, to Obama, it was all a big mystery.

Yet when Dylan Roof shot and killed nine black churchgoers, Obama had no doubts at all about his motive. He said, "The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history. This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked, and we know the hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals."

Later, at the funeral of those churchgoers, Obama said, "We all have to acknowledge that the [Confederate] flag has always represented more than ancestral pride. By taking down that flag, we express God’s grace. But I don’t think God wants us to stop there. [Dylan Roof] drew on the long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches — not random, but as a means to control. A way to terrorize and oppress.”

No mystery there.

When Obama, while campaigning back in 2008, promised us the most transparent administration in history, he must have meant that his hypocrisy would be transparent to anyone who noticed it.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Genius and masculinity

Commenter "Beppo" brought up an interesting point after the 7/14 post about why Asians didn't come up with any of the seminal scientific breakthroughs: Surely this must lead into a discussion of the differences in inventive ability between the sexes, even when confined to the European race (for a start).

It goes without saying that all of the great scientists and inventors in history were men; in fact it's so obvious that most consider it hardly worth mentioning.

But why?

IQ doesn't entirely explain it. I've heard that men average 5 points higher than women in IQ tests, though I'm not sure whether that's true. (If true, it's not exactly a well publicized fact.) Over the past few decades boys have on average scored slightly higher on the math portion of the SAT's, but girls have scored higher on the verbal.

It's not as if there aren't plenty of very smart women around. I've personally known several, and have had the pleasure of "meeting" (in cyberspace) a couple more through this blog. These women who have common sense as well as insight, write well, and have a sense of humor to boot.

Some of the smart women I've known had personal issues which could sometimes skew their thinking, but that didn't detract from their intelligence. (And I've known intelligent men with issues as well.)

So why is it only men who were the great geniuses? It's not as if women weren't given the opportunity to lead. There were female monarchs, like Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. There were even female military leaders, like Boudicca and Joan of Arc.

So why no great female creative geniuses?

There's obviously only one possible answer: the way that male hormones shape the brain. They provide that special magic -- yes, that word again -- that provides the creative spark somehow.

But here's the more interesting question: if it's testosterone that gives the brain the juice it needs to come a creative genius, why is it that many of the greatest geniuses tended to be not particularly masculine men?

If you look at pictures of great military and political leaders, you'll see a fair number of guys who were obviously just bursting with male hormones. Think of Charlemagne, a rugged 6' 5" in an era when most men were 5'7". (There's some dispute about this height, but he was definitely over six feet.) Henry VIII was also over six feet and sturdily-built; when young -- before he got fat -- he could leap onto a horse while in full armor. Genghis Khan was reportedly bursting with muscle. Think of George Washington, 6' 2" and strongly built.

If you want to be a leader of men, it doesn't hurt to look like a champion wrestler. People are naturally inclined to kowtow to a man who looks fearsome.

Now look at pictures of the great geniuses. I've included scientists and mathematicians, but stayed away from writers and composers, since their output must be judged more subjectively. And, admittedly, we must view the figures above who predated photography through the eyes their portraitists.

But even so, it's clear that most didn't represent an extreme of masculinity. They had enough testosterone so that their brains became male. Most seem to be ectomorphs; there are surprisingly few mesomorphs or endomorphs among their number. Anyway, here they are, in no particular order:

Albert Einstein:


Nikola Tesla:


Isaac Newton:


Michelangelo:


Leonardo da Vinci:


Charles Darwin:


Johannes Kepler:


Goethe:


Copernicus:


Blaise Pascal:


Max Planck:


J. Robert Oppenheimer:


Neils Bohr:


Guglielmo Marconi:


Thomas Edison:


James Watson:


Francis Crick:


I admit, this list was ever so slightly cherry-picked: I omitted Descartes and Galileo simply because they looked too androgenized; but, those were the only two on my original list whom I left out.

In case you're curious, here's Galileo, as renowned for his intellectual courage as his intellect:


And Rene Descartes, who was a great mathematician as well as philosopher, and who looked as if he could have been Sean Connery's ugly brother:


But for the most part, these guys are of average masculinity. None are quite effeminate; but none look as if they might have been cast in The Expendables 2. Several of them also seem to have a strikingly serene look.

Anyway, the point is, the elixir for true genius require testosterone -- but too much of it may ruin the formula.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Brock Lesnar, Neanderthal

I had likened the professional wrestler Triple H --


-- to a Neanderthal in this post from last August because he resembled an artist's recreation of one:


(Neanderthals were known to have prominent brow ridges as well as powerful builds.

MMA champ Brock Lesnar was in the news yesterday for having failed a drug test, and I happened to stumble across this picture of him with Triple H:


I was struck by how much more protuberant Lesnar's brow ridges are. And not only does his forehead recede, the back of his head recedes in the other direction, giving him a weirdly prehistoric look. Lesnar's receding forehead is even more apparent in this picture:


His pose, with the wide open mouth, reminded me of a gorilla, and when I Google-imaged "screaming gorilla," I came across this picture:


They appear to have equally back-sloping foreheads (and a similar hairstyle to boot).

For some reason I've always found it fascinating when humans seem to revert to a more primitive type.

Anyway, it's okay, you can now breathe a big sigh of relief that this was not another "racist" post.

You see, comparing whites to gorillas is perfectly acceptable.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Why didn't Asians come up with any major scientific breakthroughs?

East Asians -- Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans -- have an average IQ roughly seven or eight points higher than the average for whites. Yet they never had a Newton, a Galileo, a Darwin, a Planck, a Tesla, or an Edison.

I've always heard that the reason for that is that they have a higher, narrower IQ bell curve, i.e, with shorter tails, meaning fewer idiots and fewer geniuses. I haven't seen statistics on this, but I have heard the theory mentioned several times. This seems intuitively true, as they show less genetic variety in appearance as well: nose shape, hair color, eye color, skin color vary little. If there's less variation outside the skull, one would expect less inside as well.

I've never really bought the theory that the Confucian ethic alone kept all of the budding Asian Galileos and Darwins from speaking their minds. (Shyness and a reluctance to upset the social apple cart didn't seem to prevent Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, and numerous others from realizing their ambitions.)

Anyway, I've always sort of vaguely accepted the bell curve theory, without having given it too much thought.

Genius certainly does require a high IQ -- you have to be able to analyze things, and see how they work in the first place, in order to come up with a better idea. But real genius can't really measured by just IQ.

There's also a certain creative spark that one person with an IQ of 150 can have, and another with the same score can entirely lack. And it's that spark, wherever it resides in the brain, that sets the genius apart. Some say it's correlated with being right-brained (and left-handed); I don't know about that.

You have to have both a healthy skepticism about the established way of looking at things, and an abiding self-confidence in your own thinking. It helps to not identify closely with the reigning ethic (which saves one from succumbing to groupthink).

A certain monomania, or obsessive quality, is all important. If you think about one thing all the time, you'll see things others don't. That can't be captured in an IQ test. I've heard that both Newton and Einstein probably had Aspergers, along with its resulting tunnel vision. At a certain level, this would make sense. Both men were capable of incredible focus.

Look at those lists of famous people's IQ's compiled by "experts." This one, Top 12 People with Highest IQ in the World, is typically silly: they rank actress Sharon Stone 12th with a (supposed) IQ of 154. The put Stephen Hawking at #10 with 160, and rank Einstein at #9 with a range of 160 to 190 (at least this shows an appealing uncertainty).

Then look at three of their top four. At #4, Kim Ung-Yong, at 210; he is now a professor at Chungbuk National University in Korea. At #3, Christopher Hirata, with an IQ of 225 (he was a child prodigy). At #2, Terence Tao, at 225-230; Tao was another child prodigy who is now a professor of mathematics at UCLA.

So, among the top four, they list an ethnic Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. This would seem to give the lie to the bell curve theory. (Keep in mind, though, that all three of them seem to have been child prodigies, and it's far easier to obtain a stratospheric score as a youngster, because of the age adjustment.) Will these three go down in history the way Einstein and Tesla and Galileo did? Will they ever invent anything significant? It seems highly doubtful.

IQ alone could never capture what sets apart an Einstein, or a Shakespeare, or a Galileo. (And, when you think about it, even just thinking one can judge the IQs of these various towering historical figures shows a mind-boggling effrontery in the first place.)

So why exactly is it that Asians didn't come up with the industrial or technical revolutions? It's not that they lack focus. Quite the opposite, they can be fanatical about all sorts of things. Just look at Hiroo Onoda and all those other Japanese soldiers who kept fighting WWII in the jungles of the Philippines for decades after the war was over.

And it's not that they're not smart enough to understand how thing work. Their strength -- and reputation -- for decades has been to be able to take Western inventions and improve upon them. They didn't invent the car, but they now make better cars, on average, than the West. They didn't invent the television, but now make excellent TV's. And so on.

But they never really invented anything significant, and if the scientific and industrial and technology revolutions hadn't happened in the West, Asians would still be dressing in kimonos and fighting with samurai swords. Sony and Hitachi and Hyundai simply wouldn't exist.

The huge, seminal breakthroughs seem to have been a function of some special magic that exists only in the minds of a few whites.

So, yes, after all that analysis, that's my final answer: magic.

Call it sorcery, witchcraft, voodoo, or whatever you want. But that special brew of high IQ, monomania, intellectual self-confidence, creativity, and a willingness to take risks seems to ferment into wizardry only in the brains of a few special whites.

Even though the average white is less intelligent than the average East Asian.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The media wants a race war

Here's a quick test: name one of the two black men who were killed by cops in Minnesota and Louisiana.

Now, name one of the cops who were killed in Dallas.

Chances are, you could name one of the first two, but the five cops have remained relatively faceless.

The media makes a very deliberate decision to humanize certain people who've been killed, while allowing others to languish in anonymity.

We've heard from Philando Castile's girlfriend, and seen videos of the aftermath of his shooting. And we've seen videos of the shooting of Alton Sterling and seen his smiling picture many times.

Will we see pictures of the cops' funerals? Will we hear from their grieving relatives?

Why not? Why do we never become acquainted with the names of whites who are shot and killed by the police, in some cases black police? (There are roughly twice as many whites as blacks killed by police.) Why do we never become acquainted with the names of blacks who are shot by blacks? And why do we never become acquainted with the names of whites shot by blacks?

Why did the media want to make Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner into household names, while not giving so many others a fraction of their airtime?

As a result of this lopsided publicity, the public at large, particularly the innumerate masses, get all riled up thinking that the police are hunting down young black men.

As I said in the previous post, Micah Johnson was probably just an unbalanced, hotheaded simpleton. He may not even have been a sociopath. As the Dallas police chief mentioned a couple of times, Johnson felt that he was being "righteous."

Johnson's mentality was probably not much different than that of a suicide bomber whose head is filled with poisonous propaganda by the local imam. Except that in Johnson's case, that role was filled by the Obama administration, the media, and the various radical black groups he followed.

All of whom subtly encouraged, while not quite condoning, his actions.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Trump's spontaneous acts of generosity

A friend just forwarded an article, Trump Does the Unthinkable, about Donald Trump's various acts of impulsive kindness over the years.

The friend said, "It's hard to imagine Hillary doing these things."

(True enough: Hillary once famously used her husband's donation of his used underwear as a tax write-off.)

You can say that it's easier to be generous when you're rich, and that's certainly true. But these acts are also interesting as a window into what stirs Donald Trump, especially since they all seem to have been done on the spur of the moment, and most occurred long before his political career started.

The relevant excerpts from the article:

In 1986, Trump prevented the foreclosure of Annabell Hill’s family farm after her husband committed suicide. Trump personally phoned down to the auction to stop the sale of her home and offered the widow money. Trump decided to take action after he saw Hill’s pleas for help in news reports.

In 1988, a commercial airline refused to fly Andrew Ten, a sick Orthodox Jewish child with a rare illness, across the country to get medical care because he had to travel with an elaborate life-support system. His grief stricken parents contacted Trump for help and he didn’t hesitate to send his own plane to take the child from Los Angeles to New York so he could get his treatment.


In 1991, 200 Marines who served in Operation Desert Storm spent time at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina before they were scheduled to return home to their families. However, the Marines were told that a mistake had been made and an aircraft would not be able to take them home on their scheduled departure date. When Trump got wind of this, he sent his plane to make two trips from North Carolina to Miami to safely return the Gulf War Marines to their loved ones.

In 1995, a motorist stopped to help Trump after the limo he was traveling in got a flat tire. Trump asked the Good Samaritan how he could repay him for his help. All the man asked for was a bouquet of flowers for his wife. A few weeks later Trump sent the flowers with a note that read: “We’ve paid off your mortgage."

In 1996, Trump filed a lawsuit against the city of Palm Beach, Florida accusing the town of discriminating against his Mar-a-Lago resort club because it allowed Jews and blacks. Abraham Foxman, who was the Anti-Defamation League Director at the time, said Trump “put the light on Palm Beach – not on the beauty and the glitter, but on its seamier side of discrimination.” Foxman also noted that Trump’s charge had a trickle-down effect because other clubs followed his lead and began admitting Jews and blacks.

In 2000, Maury Povich featured a little girl named Megan who struggled with Brittle Bone Disease on his show and Trump happened to be watching. Trump said the little girl’s story and positive attitude touched his heart. So he contacted Maury and gifted the little girl and her family with a very generous check.

In 2008, after Jennifer Hudson’s family members were tragically murdered in Chicago, Trump put the Oscar-winning actress and her family up at his Windy City hotel for free. In addition to that, Trump’s security took extra measures to ensure Hudson and her family members were safe during such a difficult time.

In 2013, New York bus driver Darnell Barton spotted a woman close to the edge of a bridge staring at traffic below as he drove by. He stopped the bus, got out and put his arm around the woman and saved her life by convincing her to not jump. When Trump heard about this story, he sent the hero bus driver a check simply because he believed his good deed deserved to be rewarded.

In 2014, Trump gave $25,000 to Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi after he spent seven months in a Mexican jail for accidentally crossing the US-Mexico border. President Barack Obama couldn’t even be bothered to make one phone call to assist with the United States Marine’s release; however, Trump opened his pocketbook to help this serviceman get back on his feet.

In 2016, Melissa Consin Young attended a Trump rally and tearfully thanked Trump for changing her life. She said she proudly stood on stage with Trump as Miss Wisconsin USA in 2005. However, years later she found herself struggling with an incurable illness and during her darkest days she explained that she received a handwritten letter from Trump telling her she’s the “bravest woman, I know.” She said the opportunities that she got from Trump and his organizations ultimately provided her Mexican-American son with a full-ride to college.

Lynne Patton, a black female executive for the Trump Organization, released a statement in 2016 defending her boss against accusations that he’s a racist and a bigot. She tearfully revealed how she’s struggled with substance abuse and addiction for years. Instead of kicking her to the curb, she said the Trump Organization and his entire family loyally stood by her through “immensely difficult times.”

I've said several times that despite supporting him politically, I find Trump personally unlikable. His garish tastes are off-putting, he responds to political attacks with gratuitous personal insults, and he boasts far too much. 

But, he hasn't boasted about any of the above at all. And as closely as I follow the news, I haven't read about any of these incidents. (Someone once told me that story about paying off the Good Samaritan's mortgage, but I wasn't sure whether to believe it.) 

What these incidents show is that Trump has a strong sense of justice -- that virtue deserves more than itself as a reward -- and also has a soft spot for the middle class. This sets him apart from most politicians on both the Left and Right, most of whom just pay lip service to the middle class. 

And if Trump is stirred by the same things that stir most of us, how bad can he be? Certainly not as bad as the media are trying to make him out.

In fact, these incidents put him in quite a favorable light. They deserve to get far more publicity than they've gotten so far. 

The Dallas shootings

Everybody's taking about Thursday night's shootings in Dallas, and given the other shootings which took place at about the same time in Missouri and elsewhere, it does feel a little as if race war has broken out.

Micah Johnson, the Dallas shooter, stated explicitly that he wanted to kill white people, especially white  police. Yet absolutely no one in the mainstream media has used the word "racist" to describe him. The term "racism" still only applies in only one direction.

The NY Times headline Saturday morning was, "Five Officers Killed as Payback, Chief Says."

This seems to be the Times' version of, "But they started it!" They added the "Chief Says" bit to give themselves cover. You know, the way they normally present the police viewpoint in their headlines.

The subheading said, "Dallas Sniper Said to be Driven by Police Shootings of Blacks."

Evidently we're supposed to react to that by thinking, ah, well, in that case it's understandable.

If a white had shot eleven blacks, killing five of them, as revenge for, say, a couple of black-on-white killings, the media would be screaming the R word from the rooftops. And they would never, ever present it as a tit for tat situation.

But this wasn't Dylan Roof shooting a bunch of blacks, it was the opposite: a black-on-white racial killing. So while the media solemnly talk about the tragic nature of the event, they've generally refrained from editorializing, since this doesn't fit the liberal narrative.

A few have mentioned the "horrible epidemic of gun violence" in passing, but the elephant in the room is simply ignored.

Obama called the shootings "a vicious, calculated, and despicable attack on law enforcement." Which makes it sound as if he's harshly condemning the murders.

But, Obama did not mention the racial nature of the killings, just as he refused to mention the radical Islamist nature of the killings in Orlando. As always with Obama, what he doesn't say speaks much louder than what he does say. Had the Dallas shootings been white-on-black, of course, he would have been all over the racial angle, as he was when Dylan Roof shot those black churchgoers in Charleston.

While Obama may have said the Dallas shootings were despicable, he's actually been subtly inciting this violence all along.

No, he hasn't told anyone to go out and shoot police officers. But he's been doing his best to stoke animosity and make the black community feel aggrieved.

(Here's a great summation of how Obama's words are both misleading and provocative.)

Whenever there are such incidents, Obama, without knowing all the facts, immediately, instinctively sides with blacks. He did it after Harvard professor Henry Gates was arrested, after the Trayvon Martin kiling, and after the Michael Brown shooting. Hours before the Dallas shootings, Obama said, of the recent killings of blacks by police in Minnesota and Louisiana:

"Right now, the data shows that black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents. There is a particular burden that is being placed on a group of our fellow citizens…When incidents like this occur, there is a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin they are not being treated the same….Regardless of the outcome of such investigations, what's clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year….As a nation, we can and must do better to institute the best practices that reduce the appearance or reality of racial bias in law enforcement."

If you listen to Obama, you'd be left with the impression that the only reason blacks are arrested and convicted at higher rates than whites is because law enforcement is racist. But again, what he doesn't say speaks much louder: blacks and whites simply don't commit violent crimes at the same rate.

In fact, it's not even close: blacks commit all four of the four major categories of violent crime (aggravated assault, rape, armed robbery, and murder) at a rate six to eight times higher than whites.

As for interracial violence in general, the statistics are similarly lopsided. Black-on-white crime is far more common than white-on-black. Yet to hear the media tell it, you'd think it was the opposite.

As far as police shootings of blacks, in fact the police kill roughly twice as many whites, and studies have shown that police in general are more reluctant to shoot a black suspect than a white one. (Is anyone referring to this difference as "racism"?)

Micah Johnson was an Army reservist, and the Army tries not to accept recruits with IQ's below 92, and an IQ at that minimal level for acceptance would put Johnson 7 points above the black average. So he couldn't have been that dumb. But Johnson couldn't have been that smart, either, or he would have delved into the statistics and seen for himself exactly what they showed.

Johnson was, in a sense, a Manchurian candidate, brainwashed by the constant media drumbeat and the lies of the BLM crowd into thinking that the cops really do go around hunting down young black men for sport. A few hours after the President himself basically said that the cops were racist, Johnson decided to indulge his rage.

One crucial distinction here is between dishonesty and stupidity. It's hard to believe that Obama and Loretta Lynch and Valerie Jarrett and George Soros, as well as the people who originally started the BLM movement, are so dumb that they don't realize that the way they present the police killings are misleading at best.

Which makes them dishonest. (That's the only other choice here.)

It is easy to believe, on the other hand, that the majority of the BLM followers, the Micah Johnson's of the world, after having been told over and over again how the police are trying to hunt them down, actually believe it.

Of course, once the Micah Johnson's and other simpletons explode, the Obama's do their best to distance themselves from those explosions.

But who's the truly bad party in this scenario?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Adventures in Cancerland

I mentioned in January that I had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. (There's nothing more boring than listening to someone talk about his physical ailments, so you might want to stop reading here.)

After the initial shock of my diagnosis, I read a lot about prostate cancer, and quickly calmed down. (Samuel Nock, who comments on this blog occasionally, was quite helpful in that regard, sending me all sorts of reassuring information about the disease.) Prostate cancer is the slowest-growing, most easily treatable form of cancer. In fact, many believe that the disease is over treated, and many doctors who get it don't even follow their own advice and get treatment, opting for "watchful waiting" instead.

I ended up speaking to two more doctors. The first, at Sloan Kettering, recommended a prostatectomy. But the side effects from that operation (a higher chance of incontinence and impotence) seemed pretty grim. Plus, I didn't like the doctor. I got the strong sense that he was showing off the entire time for the young female Spanish doctor who was accompanying him on his rounds.

The second doctor worked at Procure, which specializes in proton therapy, a type of radiation which has fewer side effects. Protons, as opposed to the photons which are used in traditional radiation, just dissipate after they hit the target, and don't pass through the rest of the body before exiting.

By that point I had pretty much made up my mind to go with proton therapy anyway, and the doctor I met there, Henry Tsai, helped confirm that decision. He was both extremely knowledgeable and down to earth, the combination you want in a physician. And he didn't oversell the treatment. He also didn't give the impression that he was rushing me into anything, even telling me that I could wait a year, two years, even three years before treatment and probably not have to pay a price, though he didn't recommend that.

I didn't want that uncertainty hanging over my head, so I moved the process forward.

The only unpleasant part of the entire treatment was having the markers installed in my prostate. As I drove to the doctor's office that day, I thought mostly about the upcoming humiliation: you lie down on what is basically a gynecological table, your legs in stirrups, and he injects them through your perineum while you have an ultrasound up your rear end. But once the five needles started going in (dunno about you, but that's always been a pretty sensitive area for me), I forgot all about the humiliation.

The nurse offered to hold my hand. I felt a little foolish doing so at age 61, but ended up squeezing her hand so hard I thought I might have hurt her. It actually did seem to help. (Pain trumps embarrassment.)

The next step was the CT scan. By this point, I was pretty much resigned to the lack of dignity, and to the idea that I was nothing more than a blob of protoplasm to be poked and prodded, and wasn't even that embarrassed.

Next was an MRI, which is basically twenty minutes in a coffin, a little foretaste of eternity.

And then, nine weeks of daily radiation sessions. My son suggested I ask for the kind of radiation that gives you superpowers, like Spiderman got. But evidently that wasn't available.

You never feel the radiation. (It's like going to the dentist to get an x-ray.) You lie down on a table (you have to remain still), and a few minutes later the technicians come into the room to tell you it's over. (You only get about 45 seconds of actual radiation in each session.)

People would always ask how my treatment went that day, as if it might be some sort of ordeal. My reply was always the same, that it was uneventful.

I almost felt guilty about the amount of sympathy I was getting from people I knew. I never once felt pain, other than the original biopsy, which as mild, and the implantation of the markers, which was pretty intense. As far as the cancer itself, I never felt a thing; it was just a poisonous little seed that had started to grow in my prostate and that I had to take care of; I've had colds that were more painful.

I opted not to under go chemotherapy, which for prostate cancer consists of taking drugs which lower your androgen levels. (No thanks.)

I had originally said in that post in January that I'd be blogging less, thinking that either the cancer or the treatment might be debilitating. But neither ever were. In fact, after five weeks of radiation, on Memorial Day, I ran 200 meters in 27.2, my best since 2007.

This, of course, didn't stop me from playing the cancer card. ("I'm dying of cancer and you want me to take out the garbage?!!")

There were patients at Procure who had more serious forms of cancer. I saw two without noses. And there were little kids with cancer, a stark reminder of how unfair life is.

The staff was friendly and cheerful. It's a tough thing to put a smiley face on a cancer ward. But the nurses and radiation therapists must be told it's part of their job to act like happy hostesses, and they did a good job.

I won't know if I'm cancer-free for another year or so, depending on whether my PSA level goes down. I expect it to; if it doesn't, I'm sorta screwed.

And the radiation itself can cause cancer down the road (I had 47 x-rays to go along with my 44 proton therapy sessions), so the future seems less certain. I no longer see my life stretching out another 40 years until I'm 100.

In the meantime, I guess I'm supposed to have absorbed some lessons about how precious and fleeting life is, and how I'm supposed to savor every moment of every day. Have I? Nah, not really.

I'm still the same obnoxious guy, as I plan to demonstrate on this blog.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The second wave of sociopathic damage

I occasionally run across people who seem overly suspicious, and too willing to see me as some sort of con man, right from the moment they meet me. Whenever I meet someone like this, I think, aha, they've had some experience with a sociopath.

People who've been burned are smart to keep their guard up, but it's possible to keep your guard too high, and screen out a lot of non-sociopaths as well. And if you're on the receiving end of their (in your case unjustified) suspicion, it's hard not to be resentful about essentially being accused of being a sociopath yourself.

I exchanged emails recently with someone who had been burned (badly) by a sociopath. She didn't accuse me of being one, but she did wonder aloud what she was doing, after her earlier experience, telling her story to a complete stranger (me).

I responded, "I suppose an incredibly clever sociopath could conceivably write a blog which talked about how to see through sociopaths, just in order to lure in victims. But the odds of that would be awfully slim. And sociopaths generally don't satisfy themselves with quiet pursuits like writing, they want to be out and about actively screwing others over."

"Remember, I could be paranoid about you as well: how do I know you're not a clever sociopath who pretends to have been a victim of a sociopath in order to pull a fast one over on a guy who thinks he knows all about them? Anyway, my guard is up, but it's not that high."

I suggest others do the same: screen out the sociopaths, but don't make your sieve so fine that you weed out a lot of non-sociopaths as well.

One of the tragedies of getting involved with a sociopath is that you have to lose your innocence, and you're never quite as trusting again.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Women athletes

I'm one of those pathetic old guys who never outgrew his sport, so I've been absorbed by the Olympic Trials for swimming this week. (I even watched some of the heats.)

I've corresponded with a few fellow swim fans, and noted that a couple of them are simply less interested in the women's events. I can understand why they'd feel this way: women, are after all, inferior athletes. Why bother to watch someone swim a 100 meter butterfly in 56 seconds when you can watch someone do it in 50 seconds?

My swimming friends aren't the only ones who feel this way. There's a reason the WNBA has never gained the traction the NBA has.

There are certain sports where the women do attract as much attention as men, and make roughly as much money. Tennis comes to mind. Of course, much of the big money in tennis is made from endorsements, and those are as dependent on the looks of the female player as on her playing ability. This, of course, drives the feminists crazy.

But that gets to the heart of why male sports stars tend to have more commercial potential: male athletes, for the most part, represent the male ideal. The ideal swimming build, for instance, is tall, wide-shouldered and muscular. But while that may be the male ideal, it's not necessarily the female one. And high testosterone body types tends to dominate in most sports.

So while women may swoon over male athletes, men tend not to get as excited about female ones.

That said, you don't have to be attracted to the participants in order to appreciate their achievements. And, as far as those achievements go, it's just a matter of using a different yardstick. And if you're using that different set of standards, it's just as exciting when Katie Ledecky breaks a world record as when Michael Phelps does.

If you're a diehard fan of a sport, following the women as well as the men gives you twice as much to follow. Which is why I was surprised when those friends mentioned that they were less interested in the women's events.

Blacks less poisonous

It  seems to me that in my lifetime I've met plenty of whites who are brimming over with hostility and resentment, and full of schadenfreude, while at the same time making an effort to appear the opposite. They actively root for -- and sometimes facilitate -- others' downfalls, while simultaneously wanting a reputation for being good people.

You've undoubtedly met people like this, the type who seem to always be able to find a reason to hate somebody. They'll even hate people they barely know, simply because they're jealous of them for some reason.

One racial difference I've noticed is that you simply don't meet black people like this. I'm not saying black sociopaths don't exist. There are black serial killers, and people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in public life. But I honestly can't think of a single black I've ever known personally who was just constantly filled with poison.

For whatever reason, far fewer of them are just constantly full of malice. I knew one, in high school, who lied to her friend about me and told her I had said bad thing about her when I hadn't. But even that girl never struck me as all that evil. And I've never met a black who was into humiliating others the same way certain whites do. Which is probably I've never personally known one I'd like to see dead -- something I can't say about whites.

Obviously, blacks commit more violent crime. But it seems to be more a matter of low impulse control. And while racial politics, best exemplified by the BLM movement, may be poisonous, the vast majority of blacks I've had personal contact with have been more congenial, and lighthearted. They simply seem to be friendlier and more easy-going by nature.

Blacks are responsible for the majority of shooting deaths in this country; but you never seem to hear of one who slowly poisons her husbands to death. Or of long term Hatfield-McCoy style vendettas. Black murders tend to be more spur of the moment affairs.

Anyway, I'm the first to point out racial differences in IQ, I ought to also point out that blacks generally aren't the type to bitterly nurse a grudge forever and ever.

Update, 7/8/16: not a very timely post, I guess. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Queer

I went for a swim the other day with my daughter at a nearby Y. while coming out of the shower in the men's locker room afterward, a naked man was coming out of the steam room opposite. when he saw me he came to an abrupt halt and his face lit up. His twitchy body language said, "Well hello there!"

I looked away and walked over to my locker. I got my gym bag out and started to get into my clothes, then sat on the bench to put on my socks and shoes when I noticed that he was just standing there, directly behind me, still naked.

I though he might be waiting to get to his locker, so asked, warily, "Do you want part of this bench?"

He replied airily, "Oh, I'm in no hurry. I have plenty of time. I don't have to catch a train anymore, or commute. Maybe some day you can be like me." He sounded awfully self-satisfied.

I thought, you're the last thing I would want to be like. But I wanted to keep the conversation to  a minimum, so said nothing.

A few moments later I squeezed some skin cream out of a small vial, and a small globule went on my bag.

"Oh, some got on your bag," the man exclaimed and reached forward as if to wipe it off.

I quickly held up a hand and gruffly said, "That's okay -- I got it," and wiped it off myself. (I didn't want him touching my gym bag.)

He was obviously getting a charge out of prancing around naked; he seemed to think he was in a gay bathhouse.

A normal, well-adjusted person wouldn't continue to push after someone acted standoffish. And to suggest to a complete stranger that the stranger could aspire to be like him demonstrated an extraordinarily clueless vanity.

I couldn't help but get the impression that his weirdness was inextricably tied to his sexuality. All I could think as I was exiting the locker room was, that's the kind of guy who inspired the use of the word "queer" to describe homosexuals, because there was just something really queer about him, in every sense of the term.

Some people will read this and accuse me of homophobia. But isn't it sexual harassment if he stands around completely naked, trying to continue a one-sided conversation?

If a woman feel repulsed by a pushy guy, the guy is assumed to have been harassing her. If a guy feel repulsed by another guy, he must be guilty of homophobia.

I support gay marriage. If I meet a nice, helpful gay guy, I'll appreciate his character.  If I meet a witty gay guy, I enjoy his sense of humor. But this guy inspired nothing but disgust.

The point being, gays have reclaimed the word "queer," in an aggressive/defensive sort of way. Maybe they ought to reconsider, just keep it at LGBT and drop the Q.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

If the West were a person…..

….how would it be analyzed? What is its syndrome? What would be the diagnosis?

To listen to the Left, you'd think the West was still just one big rampaging sociopath, the way it was up to the 19th century, going around conquering, killing, raping, and stealing from darker skinned peoples, while constantly scheming for world domination.

(Of course, other ethnic groups wanted to do those same things, they simply weren't as successful at accomplishing them as the West.)

But the West is no longer that way; it has become much weaker and much more guilt-ridden. A few hundred years later, and the West is the opposite. Not only does it no longer conquer, it actively seeks its own destruction. In fact, white people go around castigating themselves for being white and trying to out virtue-signal each other by talking about white privilege and desperately trying to show how anti-racist they are. They even encourage people bent on the West's destruction to immigrate to the West.

Now, just for a moment, suppose that this were just a single person exhibiting these qualities, and not an entire civilization. And let's assume, for argument's sake, that everyone else was sane (i.e., had a healthy ego and no overwhelming need for self-abasement and self-destruction).

How would this one sick individual be diagnosed?

It would be pretty obvious that he was suffering from some sort of neurosis. But which one? Learned helplessness? Was this person brought up by parents who insisted he never fend for himself, and thereby effectively turned him into a perpetual infant?

Is it depression? Why else would it be so suicidal?

Could it be that modern technology and media have given the west a case of ADD? How can anyone focus their mind on a threat when there are so many easily available distractions?

You could say the West has PTSD, from the all the recent wars it's fought, most of which -- ever since Viet Nam, at least -- have eventually had bad outcomes.

Is the West psychotic? You'd have to be delusional to think that importing people who hate us is a good idea.

Or maybe the West has Aspergers. Our inability to see that others hate us seems downright autistic at times.

If the West were looked at in sexual terms, it would definitely be a masochist. ("Whip me! Make me suffer! I'm no good!")

The best analogy I can come up with is Stockholm Syndrome.

Wikipedia describes it as:

a psychological phenomenon described in 1973 in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors.

Is that not a perfect description of the West as it now is?

For the past fifty or so years, we have been held captive by a hostile media, which enforces a politically correct mindset of various Leftist doctrines which have turned the West into a helpless giant. 

The pathetic thing is, this transformation was wrought without a single shot being fired, or any actual hostage-taking haven taken place. And much of the population has succumbed to this constant barrage of brainwashing.

Is the population of the West really that weak-minded and susceptible?

If so, maybe they deserve their fate. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A latter day Blanche Dubois

I was driving down the left hand lane of a highway this past Monday when I saw that the cars in front of me had come to a sudden halt, so I jammed on my brakes.

I then saw that the car at the front of the line had come to a dead halt. I was wondering what was going on when it slowly moved into the middle lane, it's right turn signal flashing. The cars in the middle lane then had to come to a similar screeching halt.

The car then moved slowly into the right lane, and then to the off ramp which was a few yards ahead. I was seething, and if my thoughts had been public, well, I could have been convicted in the court of sexism.

As the cars on the highway slowly started up again I looked to my right to see if my suspicions would be confirmed, and, sure enough, they were. And not only that, but the driver was holding her phone up to her ear.

She had evidently been chatting the entire time.

I'd never seen anyone just come to a dead stop on a highway like that before.

Anyway, the spirit of Blanche lives on.

What is James Bond's IQ?

The other day I was talking to a young man whose IQ has been tested at 140.

He said, "You know, James Bond's IQ must have been around 140. That's just about right. Anything more and it would backfire -- he'd have ended up questioning himself all the time."

I replied, "Yeah, but Bond was awfully clever."

He shrugged, "I'm clever. Really, guys with IQ's of 155 just aren't that cool, they're sorta like helpless quivering masses of neuroses. Even at 140, I may be too high. I'll sometimes wonder if I did something right, rather than just looking forward and thinking about what's next."

I thought about that, but could think of no response.

The young man added, "Yeah, if you want to be a man of action, you can't become paralyzed with self-doubt, all those extra synapses firing off."

I had to agree. "That's actually why blacks are generally cooler than whites -- don't have all those extra synapses firing off all the time, making them nervous and neurotic like whites."

The young man continued, "Now Q, he may have been a 155. At least, the older version played by Desmond Llewelyn, not that new young twerp. But would you want to be Q?"

He concluded, "Guys with 155's just aren't that cool. At 140, I'm just way cooler. And even 140 may be too much for me."

It was an interesting take, and he's probably right.

And yes, I know, James Bond's IQ, silliest discussion ever.