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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wimps with guns, Part II

In June 2015 I posted about how so many of the recent mass shooters -- Dylan Roof, James Holmes, Elliot Rodgers, and Adam Lanza -- were all wimpy physical specimens.

The latest in this ignominious line appears to fit that description as well. As the Reuters reported this morning:

A French-Canadian university student was the sole suspect in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque and was charged with the premeditated murder of six people, Canadian authorities said on Monday....Court documents identified the gunman in the attack on Sunday evening prayers as Alexandre Bissonnette, 27....The slightly-built Bissonnette made a brief appearance in court....

Here's Bissonnette:

Another pencil neck geek.

What I said in 2015 about all these killers:

What do they all have in common? They're small, even frail, and appear to have low testosterone levels. It's pretty obvious that before they took a bunch of lives, nobody took much notice of them except perhaps to note what losers they were. None were athletic, and most were probably virgins. They were all disappointments to their parents, and unpopular with their peers.

And, wimps that they were, they all needed guns as equalizers.

You hear from time to time about 'roid rage, and how steroid users can't control their tempers. And feminists love to talk about "testosterone poisoning," how men are unhinged by hormone-induced aggressiveness. 

That doesn't seem to have been the case with Bissonnette, any more than with the other recent shooters. Maybe they should have gone on steroids. 

Another common thread among these killers is that a number of them had Aspergers. I'm not saying Bissonnette did, but it wouldn't be surprising to hear that was the case.  

How would we screen out these budding Aspie killers? We do know that if we try, the Aspergers advocates will start screaming about how the vast majority of Aspies are law-abiding and peaceful. And, of course, they'd be right. But once you subscribe to the "vast majority" logic, no screening of any sort is permissible. 

Ironically, for all the anti-bullying talk, it's rarely the schoolyard bullies who end up committing these mass shootings. Far more often it's their victims. 

It would be great if the media treated this killing responsibly, and took pains to point out what a loser Bissonnette was, in order to discourage copycat killings

That seems doubtful though, especially in this case, where they'll have the opportunity to crow about Islamophobia and racism and how we need to be more welcoming to immigrants. The MSM never lets a crisis go to waste. The New York Times will probably even tie the killing to Donald Trump. 

But we should see these killings for what they often really are: the revenge of the nerds. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

How long will the honeymoon last?

It's been said in the past that all Presidents enjoy a honeymoon period with the press upon first assuming office. It may last a month, or it may last longer.

As gratifying as it's been to see the press treat Trump with respect and fairness, I'm worried that sooner or later he's going to do something which will turn them against him.

And then, I'm afraid, the honeymoon will be over.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Is Trump a sociopath?

In July of 2015 I said that Donald Trump was not a sociopath because he was so artless with his lies. (Smart sociopaths tend to make good liars, not lousy ones.) Two days ago I used pretty much the same logic to say the same thing again.

In response, commenter Alter Ego replied: 

"Even when it was apparent that his inaugural crowd wasn't larger than Obama's, Trump had to insist that it was. . . . And in a roundabout way, it shows he's not a sociopath."

So Trump tells an easily refutable lie about the size of his inauguration crowd (not to mention the bit about 3M people voting illegally) and that's proof that he's NOT a sociopath?? You lost me there, John.

I replied: 

Good question. What I'm referring to is the STYLE of his lies; they're more childlike, more pathetic in a way. It's almost as if he's an Aspie. I've known people with Aspergers who will lie in the most transparent way, insisting on something being true (or untrue) when it's not, and the feeling you get from them is that they think if they say it, it will be so. I've known two different Aspies who would say something, and then a minute later deny having said it. It's pathetic, and they're fooling no one, but they do it anyway. That seems to be Trump's style of lying. He's INCAPABLE of admitting that he's not the best at something, just the way he's INCAPABLE of not responding when someone insults him, no matter how much it makes him look as if he's punching down (against a Kizr Khan, or an Alicia Machado, or an Alec Baldwin, for example). A sociopath would be much more slyly manipulative, much more aware of how to polish his public image, much better at appearing "noble" and "gracious" while sticking the knife in.

The Aspies I know who've lied like that are definitely not sociopaths; for the most part, they're straightforward and honest. And when they lie, they're more pathetic than scary. Trump's lies are more the former; it comes across more as if he thinks that if he says it, it's true.

Having said this, I don't think Trump is an Aspie, either. And I have to admit, I've said in the past that the second surest sign of sociopathy is pathological lying (the first is serial killing). 

And Trump does seem to stretch the truth on a regular basis; this article provides one good example.

So, I have to ask myself, am I giving Trump the benefit of the doubt just because I agree with his platform? Was I so overjoyed to see him defeat Hillary that I refuse to see the bad in him?

I don't think I am. I certainly haven't been averse to making fun of him. I compared him to Goldfinger here, put him in a competition with el Chapo here, have pointed out that he has ADHD, and in yesterday's post I basically called him a fatso. 

But if I were to claim to be without bias, that would just prove what a fool I am, as we all have biases. And to not strongly consider the possibility that a billionaire who becomes President might not be a sociopath would be the height of naivete. 

But let's take a closer look. Last month I posted a fairly extensive list of the flags which tend to indicate sociopathy. Look through them again, I see a few traits which Trump can be said to have:

He doesn't get nervous or flustered, as shown by his performance in the various debates last year. 

His lying could be a sign, as mentioned above.

Another red flag I listed was that they "often think they are fooling people when they are not. If someone tells you an obvious lie, and acts as if he expects you to believe him, beware." Trump does act as if he expects people to believe him when he lies. 

And there's another red flag which Trump may or may not wave: to respond with "uninhibited viciousness when it comes to those who anger them." It's true that Trump never lets an insult go unavenged (with a return insult); but, he generally leaves it at that. (Sociopaths usually escalate.)

There are also many signs that Trump is not a sociopath. He speaks well of his parents. He has good relationships with his kids, all of whom seem to have turned out well, not a drug addict in the bunch. More impressive, he even has good relationships with his ex-wives, both of whom endorsed him for President. (Very, very few sociopaths have good relationships with their exes.)

And while the NY Times turned up a few people from The Apprentice who said that Trump had commented on various women's sexual appeal, the vast majority of his former employees seem to like him. (And if commenting on a woman's appearance is a sign of sociopathy, then the incidence of sociopathy is far, far higher than 3% of the population.)

Trump is given to spontaneous acts of generosity, as documented here. More tellingly, he didn't seem to do them for the positive publicity they might have generated. (Contrast this to the typical rich sociopath whose every gift is well advertised.) And while he stretches the truth about things like the height of his apartment buildings or the number of people who attended his inauguration, he doesn't seem to make up lies out of whole cloth.

And, he never exhibits the emotional falsity that characterizes so many sociopaths. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that just because the media accuses him of lying, that doesn't mean that he's actually lying. Often the MSM simply wants to cover up the truth. When Trump said that Mexico is not sending us their best, it may not have been diplomatic, but it's true. And when he said that Europe is a "mess" because of all the unwanted immigrants, again, it may not be a pretty sentiment, but it's true. When he said that there was probably a lot of voter fraud in this past election, the MSM immediately responded by saying that those suspicions had been "debunked." But how could they possibly have been debunked without a full investigation?

So, in fact, Trump lies far less often than you'd think from just reading the New York Times and its ilk. And bear in mind, being blunt is in fact the opposite of being dishonest.

A lot of people -- even a few who are regular commenters on this blog -- seem to be getting the impression that Trump is a sociopath from the MSM, which on a daily basis does its utmost to paint a picture of him as Adolf, Jr. And even when you realize how slanted the MSM is, sometimes it's hard not to be influenced by their constant onslaught.

Okay, so where does the lying come from? I don't think Trump's an Aspie, and I don't think he's a sociopath. The best explanation I can come up with is that it's an outgrowth of his narcissism, possibly spurred on by a strong sense of insecurity. In the same way that most narcissists can't own up to a mistake, Trump can't admit that he's not the best at everything, which, in his mind, would be admitting that he's wrong.

Look at old clips of him talking about his various real estate projects. Everything is "the best," "world class," "first rate," and so on. To him, anything less would be shameful, and that's something he has a hard time dealing with. He's also obsessed with winning, and to admit a loss would also be tantamount to admitting that he's wrong, as well.

So, we're left with half-truths and exaggerations.

Remember, Trump doesn't engage in sport lying (lying for the pleasure of fooling people). And when he tars his opponents, he sticks to the truth, even if that's somewhat subjective, and even if he does hit below the belt at times. It's only when people question him: the height of his buildings, or the number of people who showed up for his inauguration, that he is prone to exaggeration.

A sociopath never goes out of character. He may pretend to be something he's not, but the pretense never lasts long, and in any case doesn't stands up to close examination. If Trump is a sociopath, he's spending most of his time out of character. And that just doesn't square with sociopathy.

Anyway, for now, I'm going to say Trump is a very narcissistic personality, but not a sociopath. It's possible I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm right. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A fat Peter Greene

Every time I see a picture of Donald Trump, the thought goes through my head, that guy really needs to lose some weight. There's a faintly piggish aspect to his face, and, given how the media has in the recent past focused on his piggish attitude toward women, it would behoove him to lose 30 pounds:

Granted, Trump could cure cancer, harness the power of the oceans for unlimited free energy, and bring world peace, all in one day, and the media would barely mention it. They'd prefer to focus on something insensitive he said instead.

But, he should still lose weight. I've heard it said that when he was young he was good-looking. I don't quite see it:

His bone structure is perfectly fine, and there are no real flaws to his face. But even then, he had a soft, self-satisfied look that rendered him unappealing.

It occurred to me recently that if the young Trump had lost a lot of weight, he'd have looked somewhat like actor Peter Greene. You probably don't know Greene by name, but you'd recognize him from two of his more famous roles, in The Usual Suspects --

-- and Pulp Fiction:

Greene is skinny, with a feral, haunted, contemptuous expression. He exudes coldness and ill will, and he's unmistakably Anglo, both of which combine to give him a look Hollywood loves to cast in villainous roles.

And he's what Trump would, or would have, looked like had he ever gotten down to 160 pounds.

Viewed the other way, Trump is what Peter Greene would look like if he were force fed until he gained 80 pounds, and were hypnotized into believing that he was the absolute best at everything he'd ever done.

Frankly, we don't want another skinny, wimpy President. We want a guy who'll throw his weight around, both with Congress and with business leaders who are considering moving operations abroad.

Just, maybe, 20 or 30 pounds less weight.

I know, I should be concerned with more substantive issues, like how Trump's phone call with Putin went, or how the country is now progressing on the jobs front.

But, somehow, this is more fun.

Friday, January 27, 2017

He actually meant what he said

Trump certainly hit the ground running in his first week, setting much of his platform in motion. I've never seen a President do so much in his first few days.

The only reason to doubt Trump was that most politicians say one thing on the campaign trail and do another once in office. Obama, for instance, sold himself in '08 as a guy who would "reach across the aisle" (he spent his eight years demonizing Republicans), who was biracial (and presumably not just loyal to just one side or the other), and who would have the "most transparent administration in history" (not even close).

In many ways, Obama was the opposite of what he claimed to be. (Thank you Saul Alinsky.)

But, Trump is not a career politician, so his campaign promises seem to be worth something.

At the same time, Trump's ego is such that he is incapable of admitting that he or his aren't the best at anything. Even when it was apparent that his inaugural crowd wasn't larger than Obama's, Trump had to insist that it was.

This is not atypical for Trump. It's almost cute, like something you'd expect from a little kid. And in a roundabout way, it shows he's not a sociopath. He just says what he thinks, without much of a filter -- and without subterfuge.

If Trump were a sociopath, as a couple of commenters on this blog have suggested he might be, he'd be a lot slicker about hiding that massive ego. But he's not even slick enough to be in control of his ego; it's in control of him.

But, we finally have a President who is going to pursue common sense policies that benefit Americans, and who eschews political correctness.

The outsize ego seems a small price to pay.

As long as he's publicizing crimes......

Trump announced yesterday that he plans to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal immigrants in "sanctuary cities" which refuse to cooperate with the federal government.

As long as Trump is doing that, I hope he also publicizes all the crimes committed by the 1,927 criminals to whom Obama granted clemency. That's more than the previous thirteen Presidents combined.

As the White House website said on December 20, 2016, Obama's many clemencies "exemplify his belief that America is a nation of second chances."

Many of us believe in second chances, but the American public has a right to know how many of those occasioned by Obama will be used as a second chance to commit more crime.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How people perceive me

I drove across the country and back recently (left on December 28th, returned on January 16th), so got to see myself through the eyes of a lot of strangers.

I don't dress particularly well most of the time (baggy pants and a sweatshirt), and from a distance, I look sort of like a Mexican day laborer. (See picture at right.) Up close, I look (increasingly) like an older laborer.

Because I'm lean, and appear serious, I also look sort of tough. (That, I promise, is nothing but protective camouflage. The only possible way I'm tough is by over sheltered, upper middle class standards -- which is to say, I'm not tough.) Anyway, people tend to react to me leerily when they see me.

But when I open my mouth I sound, if not cultured, at least educated, so people let down their guard a bit once they hear me. I tend to get chatty with strangers, as a way to let them know I'm not a threat.

One group which always seems to react to me (and everyone else) as a threat are the Indian proprietors at practically every motel I stayed at. I tend to favor Days Inns, which are cheap but acceptable (by my low standards). Most cost $59 a night, and were clean enough, and had wifi, which is all I ask.

But those Indian owners don't seem to have gotten the hang of hospitality. They all regarded me suspiciously, and between the lot of them didn't crack a smile or utter one pleasantry. I stayed at a Western Inn in Tucson one night, which also had an Indian proprietor, whom I had to speak to behind a thick plate glass window, the kind they have in liquor stores in certain communities. (Their rate was $33.95 for the night.)

In the cold light of the next morning, it was apparent it was that type of community. As I was about to get into my car, a scruffy young black guy about my size approached me and asked, "Got a cigarette?" I shook my head no, and he said, "Oh, don't smoke..." and veered off.

While he had been walking up to me, I, of course, had been thinking of exactly what I would do if he tried to mug me. He didn't have a particularly aggressive cast to his features, and was likely harmless. Probably, all he wanted was a cigarette. But if he had sized me up, I'm guessing that he would have thought me both tougher but also less athletic than I am.

There was no one else around at the time, and I'm guessing that at 6:45 in the morning, he was more likely late to bed than early to rise. I'd like to think that he was in fact out to mug me, but was scared off by my appearance. I'll never know, of course, but if that was the case, it wouldn't the first time my protective camouflage has helped me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Left, viewed through the prism of the DSM

After a lifetime of watching both Left and Right, it's hard not to conclude that the far Left is home to a lot of personality syndromes listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

There are certainly plenty of Democrats who are relatively normal. The ones I know tend to be not all that political, but they read the newspapers and watch TV, and by and large believe what the media tells them. After all, they're hearing it from a major network, or from a Pulitzer-winning newspaper. Most of them have the vague sense that the media lean left, but aren't fully aware of how quite how one-sided the news they get is.

These people have been brought up -- as we all have -- to believe that it's wrong to discriminate against people based on the color of their skin, or their religion, or national origin. Good people simply don't do these things. They're vaguely aware that the definition of "racism" has now been extended to merely making factual statements about racial differences; they may even realize that "reverse racism" is now considered admirable. But they also know that entire subject is a minefield, and they don't want to get into trouble. Some of them secretly wonder if their "impure" thoughts don't mean that they themselves are somehow bad. So they keep those thoughts to themselves.

The voters I've just described are referred to in certain circles as the "nice white lady" contingent: they don't want to offend anyone, and so take the path of least resistance, both socially and intellectually. They're certainly not bad people, but they don't really think for themselves, and it's just not their nature to be cynical about what they hear from the media.

So, they end up voting Democrat, especially since they keep hearing that the Democrats stand for good values. You know, like fairness, inclusion, and compassion.

And, they keep hearing that the Republican Party promotes hatred, and racism, and sexism. Who would want to vote for a party like that?

These Democrats aren't even necessarily as dumb as I'm making them sound. They're just a little naive when it comes to politics, and whose interests they're really serving, and how these "good values" have been completely turned on their heads.

And, why should people think about politics that much when there's so much else to be entertained by? There are an infinite number of books, TV shows, movies, websites, video games, sports, and so on to be distracted by. 

Other Democrats belong to, say, a teachers' union, and know that the Democrats favor unions, and are against school vouchers, and so simply vote Democrat as a matter of self-interest. And there are lots of people who work for government, at either the municipal, state, or federal level. They, too, will of course favor the party of large government, as a simple matter of self interest. And of course anyone who benefits from welfare is going to vote Democratic as well.

These are all perfectly logical ways to vote.

However, the Social Justice Warriors who are strongly attracted to the modern Left, characterized by various identity movements, political correctness, hysteria, and moral bullying, are a different matter.

In a previous post commenter Gethin pointed out how radical feminism both attracts those with Aspergers Syndrome and is itself an expression of Aspergerian thinking.

Similarly, SJWs often not only embody identifiable syndromes, but their causes and ideology reflect those syndromes as well.

For instance, narcissism. From Wikipedia:

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others' feelings.

The type of Leftist protesters who were in evidence on the day of the Inauguration, running amok in DC smashing windows, setting a limo on fire, and heaving bricks at policemen, are a good illustration of this disorder. In fact, anytime Leftist protesters disrupt traffic, vandalize, deface property, and cause mayhem shows an exaggerated sense of self-importance -- as if they think they're actually important people accomplishing something important. And they demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of others' feelings, since they're merely alienating onlookers from their cause.

There's also a certain narcissism inherent in the way liberals will often explain their political philosophy. You'll often hear them say things like, "I'm a good person, that's why I want to help poor people. I'm compassionate. That's why I'm a liberal." They usually don't spell it out quite that fully, but that's the basic thought process. They're liberals not because liberalism works better for a society, but as an expression of their own self-regard.

Projection isn't a syndrome, but it is a common psychological phenomenon. From Wikipedia:

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting. According to some research, the projection of one's unconscious qualities onto others is a common process in everyday life.

One of the constant themes you hear from the Left is that the Right is composed of "haters." But contrast, say, a Tea Party rally to the (much more frequent) types of rallies organized by the Left. The Tea Party tended to have orderly, almost sedate marches. Those organized by the Left tend to consist of large numbers of people who often seem to be in a state of near hysteria. These chanting, jeering, bellowing, window-smashing, fire-lighting, brick-throwing protesters often come across consumed with hatred. Yet they accuse the Right of being "haters," simply because they have the nerve to be realistic about human differences. 

So, they chant "Love trumps hate!" and feel that they're on the side of goodness and light and that their opponents are filled with ill will. Classic projection.

Munchausen's Syndrome often expresses itself on the Left these days. From Wikipedia:

Munchausen syndrome is a psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention, sympathy, or reassurance to themselves.

Virtually every recent hate hoax -- and there have been plenty -- falls squarely into the realm of Baron Munchausen. Not coincidentally, virtually all of these hoaxes seem to emanate from the Left.

Much of the BLM movement is predicated on the assumption that blacks are targeted unfairly by the police, but a hard look at the statistics -- which show that roughly twice as many whites as blacks are killed by the police each year, despite the fact that blacks commit over 50% of the murders in this country -- the factitiousness of their claims becomes evident.

Long after it was proven conclusively that Michael Brown did not put his hands up in Ferguson that fateful day, BLMers would howl at the police, "Hands up, don't shoot!"

Sociopathy also seems more prevalent on the Left. Sociopaths will often display a false emotionality, laying claim to nonexistent feelings in an effort to appear noble. If you want to pose as a caring human being, the easiest way is to recite leftist dogma about how your heart aches for the poor.

A classic illustration is Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" posturing. Normal people wouldn't bother to say something like that, since it's just assumed there's some empathy there. But sociopaths feel obliged to advertise what's not there, as part of their con artistry. And the easiest way to do that is to drape yourself in the mantle of the great humanitarian, claiming that you care about the downtrodden.

The modern term for such moral posing is "virtue signaling." 

Borderline personality disorder also seems to be a part of many a SJW's makeup. Wikipedia lists the following symptoms:

Markedly disturbed sense of identity
Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment and extreme reactions to such
Splitting ("black-and-white" thinking)
Severe impulsivity
Intense or uncontrollable emotional reactions that often seem disproportionate to the event or situation
Unstable and chaotic interpersonal relationships
Self-damaging behavior
Distorted self-image
Frequently accompanied by depression, anxiety, anger, substance abuse, or rage

When you read between the lines here, the word "hysteria" seems omnipresent, and, according to Wiki, three times as many women as men are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Think of the stereotypical SJW reactions to anything a conservative says: "OMG! Wow, just wow!" The undertone of hysteria is there.

The black-and-white thinking seems to be reflected in many SJW's attitude: they are good and their opponents are evil.

The impulsivity is certainly seen in the chaos and law-breaking that often occurs at SJW rallies. The uncontrollable emotional reactions, like anger and rage, are in evidence at those rallies as well.

The unstable and chaotic interpersonal relationships probably contribute toward the statistic that single women vote Democratic, married women Republican (the oft-referred to "marriage gap" among voters).

Think of the recent trend of Clinton supporters unfriending others on Facebook because they supported Trump. (You never hear of the opposite.) I've heard young people say that it's "social suicide" to admit that you support Trump in certain circles. Why would this be? It's not social suicide to admit you support Hillary, even among Trump supporters.

Or think of the way SJW's will berate complete strangers because they've voted for Trump.

Sexual abnormalities such as homosexuality were long considered forms of mental illness, though the DSM stopped listing them as such a few years ago. (Gender dysphoria is still listed.) Both seem to have found a welcoming home on the Left.

If you're a female with a binge-eating disorder which has rendered you obese, you're more likely to subscribe to feminist attitudes about patriarchal standards of beauty and fat shaming. (One look at a typical rally reveals the apparent prevalence of binge eaters.)

Cognitive dissonance itself is not a syndrome listed by the DSM; it's merely a description of how people deal with conflicting sets of beliefs or facts. As per Wiki:

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time; performs an action that is contradictory to their beliefs, ideas, or values; or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas or values.

Leftists seem less troubled by contradictory facts. They protest racism, but have a strong anti-white animus. They protest sexism, but reflexively side with women against men. They hold up Hillary Clinton as a shining example of feminism, even though she rode to fame on her husband's coattails. They saw Hillary as a supporter of human rights even though she accepted money from some of the most repressive nations on earth. 

The list is way too long to get into here, and I'm certainly not saying the Republicans are immune from cognitive dissonance either. (Until Trump, prominent Republicans felt obliged to pretend that the Iraq War was a worthwhile endeavor. Many said that Mexican-Americans were "natural Republicans." And Reaganites held that "trickle down" economics was the best way to help the middle class.) But, there's a difference in degree: practically every position of the far Left incorporates some dissonance.

As I said above, supporting Democrats because they will increase your welfare is perfectly logical; but there are innumerable mental disorders which can lead one to the dole. Agoraphobia, avoidant disorder, kleptomania, pyromania, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder are all more likely to render you unemployable and on welfare. A certain lowbrow style of sociopathy which leads in violence can do the same. And substance abuse (take your choice about whether to consider this an "illness") can also be a path to joblessness.

Finally, people who are aware that they suffer from any of the above-mentioned disorders, or who are aware that they fall on the lefthand side of the IQ bell curve, are more likely to subscribe to the leftist ethos that no human being is better than any other -- in any way.

When you take a close look at these various syndromes, and think of how they express themselves into political arena, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that without all the people who suffer from them -- let's be honest, the crazies -- the Democrats would be a far less viable force. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Women's March on Washington

An article in this morning's NY Post described today's scheduled Women's March on Washington:

Organizers of Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington expect more than 200,000 people to attend their gathering, a number that could rival Trump’s swearing-in ceremony. Attendees are “hurting and scared” as the new president takes office and want a greater voice for women in political life, according to the organizers’ mission statement.

“In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore,” the statement says.

Isn't that, technically, plagiarism? The first two lines of Helen Reddy's famous song I Am Woman are, "I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore." Well, perhaps the mission statement was a "tribute" to Reddy.

The vagueness of the mission statement makes it hard to argue with. "In the spirit of democracy?" Who can find fault with that? The United States was founded as a democracy. As a matter of fact, that's how Donald Trump was elected -- by a democratic vote.

If you want to make yourself immune to criticism, it always helps to make your statements not only high-flown, but also vague.

Who wouldn't want to honor "the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice?" Of course, the definitions for such vary between people. Hillary Clinton, whom most of the female marchers presumably voted for, accepted donations from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and other anti-LGBT countries which aren't exactly champions of human rights. Hillary hardly afforded the Arkansas State troopers, Secret Service men, and State Department Security details much dignity. (Which is why they all ended up hating her.) And was it justice that her husband escaped punishment for his rapes, while Hillary defended him?

Well, those must not be the types of human rights, dignity, and justice the march organizers were referring to.

The mission statement does raise one question, however: how can you "join in diversity" in a march whose very title excludes half the human race?

In any case, once you get past all those qualifying adjectives and adverbs and noble ideals, you get to the real purpose of the march: "to show our presence."

That seems to be the essence of the march: for women to affirm themselves.

There are other ways to affirm yourself. You can participate in a road race. Throw a party. See friends. Travel. Or express your political opinions.

Come to think of it, this march combined all of those. 

These women seem to feel that they will convince people by their numbers that they are right. Their feeling seems to be, the more of us show up, the righter we must be.

Sorry, but the election already took place.

The ironic thing is that Trump, far more than most Republicans, has embraced women's rights. He has come out in favor of government-mandated maternity leave and child tax deductions -- neither of which are mainstream Republican positions.

Given Trump's positions, it would make more sense for Muslims, or advocates for illegal immigrants, or those against law and order, to march. But no, today women wanted the spotlight on them.

Anyway, a lot of women have marched today in a spirit of democracy, and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice, to join in diversity and show their presence.

Undoubtedly they have succeeded in showing their presence.

Whether or not they changed any onlookers' minds is questionable.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Caitlyn, may I have this dance?

An article in the NY Post this morning reported that Trump's advisers are suggesting he dance with long time Republican Caitlyn Jenner at the Inaugural Ball. They're saying it would assuage the LGBTQ community and allay their fears.

Most readers of this blog will probably recoil at this suggestion, and Trump himself probably would as well, but it's not a bad idea.

Trump spent most of the campaign being attacked for being too enthusiastically heterosexual, so it's not as if anyone will suspect he's switched teams.

It's also not as if Trump is some back country rube who despises all gays. He's a big city billionaire who has brushed shoulders with all types. Dollars to dimes his Trump Tower apartment -- done up in Louis XIV -- bears the touch of a gay man:

(Any man who can bear to live in an apartment like this ought to be able to grit his teeth through one dance with another man. No one's asking him to kiss Jenner.)

Trump, unlike both Hillary and Obama, was never publicly against gay marriage.

It would allow Trump to appear magnanimous, the kind of guy who can rise above himself. And if there's ever been one person who needed to rise above the fray, it's that compulsive Tweeter Trump, who thus far has found no target too small to savage.

It would be interesting to see how the MSM reacts. They, of course, see only the bad and never any good in Trump, but what could they say about this? They might even have to swallow their bile, because putting the dance in a negative light would make them appear "unenlightened," something they couldn't stand.

Of course, there's never any underestimating the hypocrisy of the Left. They took great delight in referring to the Tea Party as "tea baggers," idiom for the gay practice of placing one's scrotum in the mouth of a sexual partner. Had the roles been reversed, the Left would have screamed homophobia.

Keep in mind, Bruce/Caitlyn himself might be somewhat revolted by this. My information may be old, but as of about a year ago, Bruce/Caitlyn had not had the operation, meaning he's still physically male, and from what I understand, he was still dating women even after he came out.

A dance with Jenner would also provide a contrast to Obama, who never publicly dared do anything like this, because in his case it would have made people wonder.

In any case, I hope Trump does heed his adviser's counsel, and if he does, manages to do so with an air of forbearance and even a grin, rather than a grimace.

Update, a few hours later: my son tells me I'm absolutely crazy to recommend this. I'm starting to wonder if maybe he's not right.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Back to Blood

I had occasion to listen to a few audio books recently, so finally got around to Tom Wolfe's Back to Blood, which I've been meaning to read ever since it came out in 2012. It got mediocre reviews at the time. But the cultural establishment -- the MSM -- hates Tom Wolfe for his apostasy: he describes different ethnic groups accurately, an unforgivable sin.

But to ward off the worst of these accusations, Wolfe was careful to include a sympathetic character of every major ethnicity.

The hero is Cuban cop. But virtually all of the other Cubans, for whom ethnic solidarity is everything, are portrayed as having a petit bourgeois mentality, and sound dumb in a peculiarly Hispanic way. Except for the conniving Cuban Mayor of Miami.

The villain of the piece -- but also the coolest character -- is a Russian oligarch. (It's always obvious whom a writer really favors because he gives that character best, most incisive lines.) Another Russian, a forger, is given the task of expressing Wolfe's disdain for modern art, around which the plot revolves.

All of the Russians, sympathetic or not, are completely free of the modern American penchant for euphemism. That insinuating Russian accent is great for....insinuation.

The old Jewish ladies in a retirement home (for "active adults") sound just like old Jewish ladies. They, too, are vehicles through which Wolfe expresses his disgust for the modern art scene. There is a Jewish billionaire porn addict as well. There weren't any particularly sympathetic Jewish characters; perhaps Wolfe felt that his Jewish wife would insulate him from criticism on that score.

There is a dumb brute of a black crack dealer, who is offset by a likable black chief of police who is loyal to the rank and file despite the possible harm to his career. This chief is well aware that he is a token, and also well aware of all the political pressures impinging on everyone else.

A pretentious light-skinned Haitian professor is offset by his daughter, who's genuinely angelic.

It's easy to assume that Wolfe, a WASP himself, likes WASPs, or at least sympathizes with them. But Wolfe reserves his greatest venom in the book for the Anglos. Edward Topping V is a weak but pretentious Yalie who is the editor of the Miami Herald. A social-climbing psychiatrist who treats porn addicts, is loathsome, though he's almost a WASP by default, as his loathsomeness isn't really an outgrowth of his ethnicity.

Wolfe has a great ear for ethnic lingo. (Though he has his characters parsing their own and other's words to an extent real people never do.)

What Wolfe has in common with Elmore Leonard, who's also been called America's greatest novelist, is an ability to describe the kind of confrontation that occurs between two men who won't back down. Leonard specialized in low rent criminals, while Wolfe's specialty is pretentious strivers. But ego knows no class boundaries.

Wolfe also doesn't ignore the importance of physical appearance in the social pecking order.

The biggest problem with with Wolfe, though, is that the only way people differ is in rank and status. There are no gradations in character: everybody has the same (high) level of narcissism and pretension. And there seem to be no sociopaths.

The book goes a little heavy on the sound effects, which get tiresome. And the ending of this book was too abrupt. (I wanted more closure.) But it's still worth reading. No other book illustrates quite so well how little of a melting pot we are, and no one skewers pretension like Wolfe.

I'm usually annoyed when audio books seem to give the reader of the book almost as much "jacket" space (on the back of the CD box) as the author. Reading a book is not the equivalent of writing one. But Lou Diamond Phillips deserves credit. He had the Russian, Cuban, Haitian (French), Jewish, and even WASP accents down perfectly. And he would soften his voice for the female dialogue. (I also find it annoying that so many male actors, in a misguided effort to preserve their sense of manliness, refuse to change their pitch for the female parts.) Thanks to Phillips, the book may be even better listened to than read.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A few more Aspergers traits

I was speaking with two people who have family members with Aspergers Syndrome recently, and was struck by something both said: one of the annoying things about both was that neither would ever turn off lights or close doors or carefully screw tops back onto jars.

I don't know why that would be, but it seemed more than coincidence.

A couple of other things I've noted:

If they don't get the answer they want, they just keep on asking you, as if you're going to change your mind the next time they ask.

It recently struck me that one really telling thing is that Aspies simply never, ever rave about other people. You'll never hear an Aspie say, "That guy is sooo cool!"

Or, "Man, is he ever tough!"

Or, "That guy is an absolute riot! He had me in stitches!"

Neurotypicals -- how people without Aspergers are referred to in Aspie-land -- may be wrong when they rave. They may be naive, or misguided, or even completely out to lunch. But they do rave, at least on occasion. Aspies simply never do.

There seems to be a weird sense of jealousy at work there: the Aspies seem to feel that if they rave about someone else's ability, it's as if they're confirming that they don't have those same abilities. And since they have a hard time ever admitting anything is wrong with them, they don't want to give others credit.

It may also be partly because others are a mystery to them. Imagine you've suddenly been placed into a colony of space aliens: would you be inclined to rave about how one of them is just so incredibly intelligent, or funny, or tough?

No, the thought would never occur to you. Just as it doesn't to Aspies who've been situated among the neurotypicals.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Judging women on their looks

One of the complaints you hear most frequently from feminists is that women are judged by their looks. The implication is that men are not judged by their looks, and this is unfair.

I'm a fairly typical guy. I judge a woman's intelligence based on her IQ, her sense of humor based on the quality of her jokes, and her character by where she stands on the narcissism scale. All of which are the exact same way I'd judge a guy.

Of course, whether or not I'd want to have sex with her is almost entirely a matter of how she looks. A beautiful girl would have to either be a sociopath or certifiable or extremely noxious for me not to be attracted. (And those personal traits are often not evident at first.) Meanwhile, a corpulent female with an IQ of 150 will simply not attract me -- even as I might admire her intelligence.

Look at how gay men "judge" other men: visually. It's not sexism at work here, it's sex.

Men's sexuality is visually driven, women's by a man's status. (Though you never hear men weepily complain, "Women only judge me on how good a provider I'd be.")

The point being, men don't judge a woman's personality by her looks, nor do they judge her looks by her personality -- much as feminists try to conflate the two with their vague complaint.

Psychologists say that people -- not just men -- decide whether or not they'd want to have sex with another person within half a second of seeing them for the first time. Men make a similar snap judgment about other men: is this guy a threat to me? It's an automatic reaction that usually doesn't even rise to the level of a conscious thought. But it's always lurking: could this guy take me in a fight? And if you observe male group behavior, you'll see that how much respect they give each other, even in settings where a fight will obviously not happen, is largely driven by this consideration.

Yet you never hear men complain about how other men don't regard them as threatening. Or about how gay guys only "judge" them on their looks.

Of course, there seems to be no group more bent on proving women unequal than feminists.

I realize I'm pointing out the obvious here. But every time I hear a feminist complain about how women are judged on their looks, I feel the obvious has to be pointed out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Angela Jonsson

Yesterday I happened to stumble onto a picture of Angela Jonsson, whom I'd never heard of before. She's a 26-year-old model from India, born of an Icelandic father and an Indian mother:

I see pictures of models in advertisements all the time, but for some reason Jonsson really struck me. She has a perfect face...

Perfect breasts.....

And a perfect pair of....

....shoulder blades.

Like all real beauties, she looks just as good with minimal makeup (maybe even better):

At 5'8" and 108 pounds, Jonsson also illustrates the rule that good looks and leanness are highly correlated. And like all real beauties, her face provides the illusion of wisdom and serenity.

Her upturned upper lip expresses unlimited sensuality....

....and her sparkling eyes hint at a playful sense of humor:

I have no idea what she's actually like. For all I know, she's a complete princess --

-- a temperamental twit with an IQ of 80 who's spoiled beyond redemption.

But in the meantime, that perfect face provides the illusion of goodness, and that's all we can really ask of a beauty.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Group crimes

You've undoubtedly heard of the recent torture of the schizophrenic white kid in Chicago by four blacks.

It's a refreshing change to see a black-on-white crime actually get some airtime. Usually, the MSM buries these crimes. But this incident got such a head of steam going thanks to that Facebook video that even the normally blinkered NY Times couldn't entirely ignore it.

Still, what no one seems to be mentioning is how the incident is so revealing of black attitudes. Brittany Covington laughingly streamed the abuse on Facebook, where she evidently figured that only her friends would see it. And she assumed that her friends, probably all of whom are black, would not object to her behavior. Or, if they did, would at least not turn her in for it. (After all, snitches get stitches.)

This may have been partly due to stupidity on her part, but it was also partly engendered by her knowledge of her friends' attitudes toward whites. (Which most whites tend to be quite naive about.)

The other, larger takeaway is there were four people involved in this abuse. This is a pattern I've noticed time and again. Usually, when a white commits some horrific crime, it's the work of some lone, sick, twisted individual who was abused as a young child. (Think serial killers.)

But when blacks commit a horrific crime, it's often a group of them, just guys who happen to be in the vicinity and see an opportunity. The spirit of the crime is more like, hey, we got one here, let's not let this dude go. And so, like lions spotting a wounded water buffalo, they close in.

Look at the recent beating of that white man in Chicago, ostensibly for having voted for Trump. This wasn't the work of one criminal. It was committed by a group of local blacks, who just happened to be at that intersection, with a girl egging them on.

Think about the knockout game, or, as it is also called, polar bear hunting -- because of the color of the "bear" those feral youths are hunting. Usually it's a young black male showing off to his buddies. In several of the videos I've seen, they all cackle with laughter when the white falls to the ground.

Think of the beating of truck driver Reginald Denny, who just happened to be caught in the middle of the riots in Los Angeles in 1992 and was nearly beaten to death by the black mob. (His skull was fractured in 91 places.)

Brittanee Drexel had been missing for seven years, since 2009; her case was finally solved this past summer. She had been kidnapped from Myrtle Beach, SC, during spring break. Then, according to FBI agent Gerrick Munoz:

Da'Shaun Taylor “showed her off, introduced her to some other friends that were there … they ended up tricking her out with some of their friends, offering her to them and getting a human trafficking situation.” As the media spotlight grew ever brighter on the desperate efforts to find Drexel, the girl was “murdered and disposed of.”

Her body was reportedly dumped in a local pond teeming with alligators.

Drexel's was a particularly gruesome case, and what was striking about it was the fact that so many local men participated.

Or think of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, who were carjacked, raped (yes, Newsom too), tortured, and murdered by five blacks. Christian had bleach poured down her throat while she was still alive, then was wrapped in bags and left to suffocate.

There are far too many such crimes to catalogue here. But the group nature of black crime vs. the solitary nature of white crime is a consistent pattern. This isn't to say, of course, that all blacks turn into violent criminals the moment opportunity presents itself; most blacks are law-abiding. (Think of the blacks who eventually came to Reginald Denny's aid.) But the mere fact that it happens at all, with bystanders frequently willing to join in the festivities, is striking.

The only whites I can think of who have committed a group crime in the past 35 years are the Chicago Rippers, four Satanists who committed 18 murders in the early 80's. (There are undoubtedly other recent examples, but they are rare.) And there have been a few white serial killers who've operated in pairs. But the most reprehensible crimes that whites commit tend to be done by lone sociopaths.

The nature of black group crimes, on the other hand, seems to be more opportunistic: whoever happens to be around, participates.

If you keep an eye on these things, you'll notice the pattern. 

Imagine a world...... which humans hadn't evolved quite as they have, but that instead evolution stopped 70,000 years ago, and that the two extant strains of bipedal primate were Neanderthals and Homo Erectus.

Here are a few forensic artists' reconstructions of Neanderthals:

And here are a few forensic artists' reconstructions of Homo erectus:

Now imagine that these Neanderthals and Homo erectus had evolved different brain sizes, with correspondingly differing levels of intelligence and inhibition.

Now imagine that one group had created technology, and a written language, while the more primitive group remained in the Stone Age.

Then imagine that some of the Stone Agers tried to live in the society created by the group which had created technology. But since the Stone Agers hadn't evolved the same way, they generally didn't function as well in that technical/industrial society.

Then imagine that the Stone Agers performed relatively poorly on virtually every test of cognition ever developed, and that they had a higher propensity to commit violent crime.

Then, if you can, suspend your disbelief for a moment and try to imagine something really absurd: that anybody who noticed any differences between the two groups was considered a horrible person for having noticed! So, just about everybody had to carry on pretending that there were no differences.

Can you imagine what a horrible mess that world would be?

All I can say is, thank goodness that in our world -- the real world -- all groups evolved the exact same level of cognitive skills!

(Note that I did not say which group was which -- that's your own racist conclusion.)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Reality distortion fields, the Stockholm Syndrome, and sociopathy

It was often said of the sociopath Steve Jobs that there was a "reality distortion field" around him, and that people would just accept his twisted version of events as fact.

People often feel obliged to accept a sociopath's version of events because they know, or at least instinctively sense, that if they don't agree with it, they'll suffer the sociopath's wrath. So they end up taking, or at least paying lip service to, the sociopath's side in an argument, mostly out of fear.

Jobs imposed his own narcissistic reality on all those around him through his ferocious temper, and his power to fire anybody who displeased him. So people tiptoed around him and found themselves acquiescing to his distorted version of the world, which happened to revolve around him. If you didn't go along with his program, the price you paid was to be the recipient of his uninhibited viciousness.

And so, eventually, some Apple employees undoubtedly ended up agreeing, at least partially, with Jobs' views on things, a thought process engendered somewhat by fear. They essentially bought into that viewpoint out of a sense of self-preservation.

"Reality distortion fields" can be better understood when viewed through the prism of Stockholm syndrome. From Wikipedia:

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological condition that causes hostages to develop sympathetic sentiments towards their captors, often sharing their opinions and acquiring romantic feelings for them as a survival strategy during captivity. These feelings, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims.

The syndrome was first named in 1973 after four hostages who had been taken hostage in a bank robbery in Sweden later refused to testify against their captors.

The fact that such kidnappers are likely sociopaths just means they're all the more manipulative.

What the Apple employees who dealt with Jobs had was a modified version of Stockholm Syndrome. Their lives may not have been at stake, but their professional lives were. And you can't underestimate the importance -- financially, socially, even maritally -- of hanging on to one's job.

Anyway, a "reality distortion field" is just another name for Stockholm syndrome. If you hear of either phenomenon, there's likely to be a sociopath lurking.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Free tampons

A friend, Ed, just sent this article along:

College students are demanding free tampons on campus

Some excerpts, with my comments not in italics:

Julie Chen, a sophomore at Emory College, wanted to help students get access to free tampons on campus, but she didn’t know how. So she started a petition last January to see how many people would use the supplies....The petition received so many responses that Emory launched a pilot program during the fall 2016 semester to provide free tampons....

“Everyone was really excited about it, and we’ve definitely heard positive responses,” Chen said. “One girl left a comment that said, ‘If men had a need for tampons, they’d be falling out of the sky...’”

Men need electric shavers, or at least, razors, more than women do. To date, none of those have been reported to have fallen out of the sky. Of course, "falling out of the sky" gives a sense of where the Left thinks manufactured products originate. One might call this the cargo cult school of economics.

You get the sense that the women who make these demands have no sense of the expenses incurred in manufacturing products. They only deal with the universities, where all laws of supply and demand, and any other sort of mundane reality, have been suspended.

“Every female has a period in some form, and these supplies aren’t luxury items and should not be treated as luxury items,” said Erin Deal, the infrastructure committee director at the University of Minnesota Student Association. “They’re a necessity. They’re a sanitation item...."

Food is not a luxury item, either: people need it to survive -- more so than tampons. Perhaps these feminists should march into a restaurant and demand free food, since, after all, it's a necessity.

And how about clothing, and shelter, and medicine?

“Talking to other people, it’s taught me that it’s important for equality purposes,” Chen said. “It’s a good step in the right direction of equality and prioritizing women’s health."

Doesn't "prioritize" imply an ordering, which would simply mean sexism from the opposite direction?

You don't hear men protesting that treatment for prostate cancer should be made free, since women don't suffer from it, and that we should "prioritize" men's health, in the interests of "equality."

What this movement for free tampons seems to boil down to is that women resent having to pay for something that men don't need, therefore the university should provide it for free, otherwise the sin of sexism is being committed, somehow, by someone.

But who is actually committing that sin? Mother Nature.

Millions of years of mammalian evolution has resulted modern day humans, in all our wondrous diversity. And some of that diversity is caused by testosterone and estrogen molding brains and bodies differently, for better or worse.

This is simply the latest example of the Left wanting the laws of biology repealed. After all, it's not "fair" that we're all different in various ways. Some people bleed once a month; others don't. Some people have larger brains, others smaller. 

Unfortunately, the laws of biology cannot be repealed so easily. They can only be denied, which is, ultimately, what the Left is all about.

The twats on the Left want to take all those irksome laws of biology and shove them up our collective, well, you know. For free.

Unfortunately for them, those laws can't remain hidden forever.