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Monday, May 25, 2020

Joe ain't keepin' it real

As you've undoubtedly heard by now, this past Friday Joe Biden said to radio host Charlamagne tha God, "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black."

Charlamagne tha God responded, "It don't have nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with the fact I want something for my community. I would love to see --"

At this point Biden interrupted him to say, "Take a look at my record, man!'

Most of the blowback from this exchange centered on Biden's presumption that he should get to define who's black and who's not, and the idea that black people should have to vote a certain way because of their race.

All that is true enough. Even the mainstream media seemed to agree with that take, though the volume of their disapproval was maybe a tenth what it would have been had Trump said the same thing.

What nobody seems to have focused on is Biden's use of the word "ain't," which is, in its own way, even more insulting. It's as if he feels the that in order to relate to black people, he must use improper English. His punctuation of his next sentence with the word "man" furthers the impression that this was an embarrassing attempt at Ebonics.

It's as cringe-inducing as that time Hillary went into a black church and tried to speak with a black accent.

It's not hard to see what Biden's thought process was. Biden had undoubtedly heard one black person say to another, "you ain't black" in some other context, and figured that by using the phrase himself, it would show a familiarity and comfort with black culture that would ingratiate him. And, it was a weak attempt to outflank Charlamagne tha God on the left.

It's all typical of the way a certain strain of white liberal tries to establish a bond with blacks, managing to combine awkwardness, condescension, and phoniness all at once.

A pretty straightforward measure of how comfortable you are with someone is, the extent to which you can act like yourself and be honest around him. Biden demonstrated his discomfort with Charlamagne tha God by trying to act like someone he's not.

The essence of racism is to treat people differently based on their race. In recent decades, of course, that definition has been turned on its head. Now "racism" consists of noticing differences in crime rates, SAT scores, etc. So liberals fall all over themselves pretending they don't notice these things.

But imagine, for a moment, what Biden might have said had his host been white. He likely would have been far more straightforward. He might have even said, with outright rather than concealed contempt, "You're not Charlemagne, and you're not a god. So why do you call yourself that?"

The Cluster B personalities

These personalities are defined by Wikipedia as:

[C]haracterized by dramatic, overly emotional, or unpredictable thinking or behavior or interaction with others. They include antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personalty disorder and antisocial personality disorder. 

"Antisocial personality disorder" is another way of referring to sociopathy.

These disorders are grouped together for good reason, as they are indicative of character flaws, as opposed to either neuroses or psychoses.

If you're trying to figure out who's who in your personal life, it's helpful to think of narcissistic personalities as walking, talking egos (Donald Trump is the most prominent current example).

Think of histrionic personalities as walking, talking needs for attention (think Jim Carrey or Miley Cyrus or any number of Instagram personalities).

And think of borderline personalities as seething, volcanic bundles of rage (think Rosie O'Donnell or Rose McGowan).

A sociopath is in fact all these things; he is simply better at hiding them. He is as egotistical as any narcissist, though he likely affects a veneer of modesty.

He hates not being the center of attention in any group. If someone else is, he'll usually find a way to undermine him. But, he can bide his time about working his way back into the limelight.

And he may not appear to be a bundle of rage, but there is no one more full of schadenfreude. He is in fact constantly overflowing with animosity and a desire to see you fail -- even as he pretends to be your friend.

I've known narcissistic personalities who weren't full of rage (unless someone insulted them).

I've known histrionic personalities who didn't consistently overrate themselves.

Neither of the borderline personalities I've known personally (or have been aware of, at least) floated around on a cloud of egotism, or even needed to be the center of attention.

But I've never known a sociopath who didn't manage to incorporate all of these traits.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

In defense of Greta Thunberg

In the past few months there's been a fair amount fo contempt directed at Greta Thunberg. I understand the sentiment: why should have to listen to a 16-year-old (she turned 17 on January 3rd) lecture us about the environment? What does she know of the world?

There were a few recent gleeful articles about how she traveled in a first class compartment while on a train in Europe. In fact, any time she does anything which pollutes, it's pointed out, as if this proves her hypocrisy. 

My reaction to this is, well, at least Thunberg's making an effort. She's evidently given up air travel, and is also a vegetarian. And it's basically impossible to completely avoid polluting in the modern world.

The ones who really deserve our contempt are the Al Gores and Leo DiCaprios and Barbra Streisands and John Travoltas of the world, who wax self-righteous about the sacrifices the rest of us must make while themselves traveling by private plane and living in huge mansions. 

Plus, all the antipathy aimed at a 16-year-old seems a little misdirected. Yes, she's a little self-righteous; but I wouldn't want to be held responsible for some of the things I said at 22, let alone 16.

Whenever someone grows up in the public eye, it's inevitably a little embarrassing. Especially when they're being used by others to promote a certain point of view.

To me, the most interesting thing about Thunberg is the intersection between her psychology and her politics. As a child, she was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and selective mutism. She had evidently been depressed for years before she discovered leftist politics, and, according to her father, her activism has essentially made her a happy person. 

This protesting-as-therapy phenomenon is probably far more widespread than commonly realized. Find a cause, feel good about yourself. 

It's generally a good thing when people do things to improve their self-image, or lift themselves out of depression. But should national policy be dictated by such considerations?

One would think that such would be determined by a clear-eyed, rational, coldly realistic appraisal of the available options. 

In the meantime, a young girl who's driven by her heart rather than her head does not deserve our contempt. Our sympathy, maybe, but not our contempt. 

Accidents happen

The NY Post just ran this article about Reeaz Khan:

The relevant excerpt:

The man accused of sexually assaulting and killing a 92-year-old woman in Queens claimed to cops that he's been trying to help the old woman -- but then he lost his balance, his belt broke, his pants fell down and his genitals accidentally came in contact with hers, it was revealed in court Friday. 

The suspect, 21-year-old Reeaz Khan, told detectives that he found the woman, Maria Fuentes, on the ground near Liberty Avenue and 127th Street in Richmond Hill at about midnight on Monday and tried to help her, a prosecutor said at his arraignment on Friday. 

Khan told detectives, "He fell down, his belt broke, his pants fell down and his penis fell near her vagina," the prosecutor, Joseph Grasso, said in court.

At that point, something came over him, Khan claimed. 

"Defendant then stated that he did lift up her skirt and he tried to put his penis inside of her," the prosecutor added. 

Sources previously said that Khan admitted to suffering "uncontrollable urges," and said that this was the first time he acted on them.

Khan is good-looking, though he's more pretty than he is handsome. Once he's in prison, some bigger, burlier inmate will undoubtedly notice this. Maybe, just maybe, while trying to help Khan, such an inmate will lose his balance, his belt will break, his pants fall down, and his genitals will accidentally come into contact with Khan's anus.

And then, who knows what kind of uncontrollable urges the inmate might feel?

Obviously, any sympathy for Khan at this point is misplaced. But I can't help feel a little sorry for him, given the bleak future he faces.

His best strategy at this point would probably be a not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity plea. That wouldn't be entirely unjustified: you'd have to be crazy to think anyone would believe that explanation.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Burning the flag

Adolfo Martinez was recently sentenced to 16 years for burning an LGBTQ flag he stole from a church in Iowa.  The sentence broke down as follows: fifteen years for arson as a hate crime, one year for reckless use of fire, and thirty days for harassment.

As a reaction to the burning of American flags during the Viet Nam War, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act in 1968, which outlawed such behavior and made it punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year.

In 1990, the Supreme Court overturned the law on the grounds that it conflicted with the First Amendment right to free speech.

Burning the American flag is a staple at Leftist protests these days. To my knowledge, no one is trying to resurrect the Flag Protection Act.

The bulk of Adolfo Martinez's sentence is for the "hate" implied by his crime. (As a habitual offender, his sentence was harsher than it would have been otherwise.)

But if burning an LGBTQ flag is characterized as a hate crime, why is burning an American flag not? Certainly the emotions involved in each are similar. Each action would likely involve a similar amount of rancor, or hostility, or animosity, or, if you prefer, hate.

All of which demonstrates, yet again, that it's not the prevailing emotions which defines a "hate crime" so much as the direction they flow.

It's a little like saying, when gusts of air blow south or east we'll call it "wind," but when they blow north or west we won't refer to them that way. (This makes as much sense.)

I have no doubt that Adolfo (who gives their child that name these days?) is an obnoxious idiot. Any 30-year-old who thinks stealing something from a church and publicly burning it is a good idea is undoubtedly going to be an all around pain.

I also wouldn't doubt that Adolfo is trying to work out some personal "issues" here.

He even has that vestigial sagittal crest I keep seeing with violent criminals (though he hurt no one while burning that flag).

But 16 years in prison for burning one flag, while burning another flag is considered protected free speech?

The good news is, no one in the mainstream media seems bothered by this double standard.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Donald Trump's syndrome

Two days ago an anonymous commenter accused me of biasing my opinion of Donald Trump for political reasons. He said: 

Trump is a sociopath. No disguise can hides pathology. The fact that you do not recognize Trump as a sociopath illustrates your own political bias. Trump is also dumb. 

I replied: 

I'm going to write a post about this at some point. I agree that Trump isn't all that smart. But if he were a sociopath, he'd be better at hiding his narcissism, and his ugly side. And he'd lie about who he is, which he really doesn't. His attitude is more like, here I am, warts and all, and if you don't like it, fuck you. That's not how most sociopaths come across. Most of them, especially the ones in politics, pretend to be caring, and giving, and noble, and dignified. Trump doesn't bother with any of those things. He's an extreme narcissist. But that's not the same thing as being a sociopath. 

BTW. I'm not averse to pointing out Republicans as sociopaths when I see them. I've written about Newt Gingrich, Joe Arpaio, and Carly Fiorina in that regard. 

The two sociopath alerts about Gingrich are here and here. Nor is there any denying the sociopathy of either Arpaio and Fiorina. And here's a sociopath alert about Christine O'Donnell, the Republican candidate for US Senator from Delaware in 2010. 

I haven't been averse to criticizing Trump. I put him in a machismo contest with el Chapo and also compared him to Goldfinger. I suggested he try a little self-deprecating humor (and suggested he might choke to death on such). I wrote here about how being a billionaire has made Trump think he's better-looking, funnier, and smarter than he actually is. 

But the essence of sociopathy is to lie about who you are, do a lot of moral posturing, and in general put on a big act, and Trump simply doesn't do those things. 

One of the clearest examples of how virtue signaling works outside politics is in prison pen pal ads. Look at enough of these things, as I have, and you'll see a very clear correlation: the worse the criminal, the more they wax on about what kindhearted people they are.

Most of the inmates who are convicted of things like DUI or possession will advertise their sexiness, or talk about how they like long walks on the beach, or some such tripe. But they generally don't claim moral superiority.

The ads from Death Row inmates tend to have a completely different tone. If you take them at their word, there has never been group of more decent, humane, caring, loving people.

Spencer Brasure died last week of natural causes. Here's an excerpt from his ad, in which he describes himself as a "God-loving father of one" trying to organize "global opposition to capital punishment." (Brasure burned his victim's face with a torch, stapled wood to his head, broke glass in his mouth, and then doused him with gasoline and burned him to death.)

Or listen to David Berkowitz (the "Son of Sam") talk about what a wonderful, altruistic man he has become.

Here's an excerpt from Franklin Lynch's pen pal ad, emphasizing his sincerity and spritiuality. (He was known as the "Day Stalker," known for beating old ladies to death.)

The lesson to be learned is that the less virtue someone has, the more they feel obliged to signal such. The same rules of human nature which apply to inmates apply equally well to Hollywood stars. (It always seems to be the most egregious environmental sinners who lecture us most self-righteously about climate change.) And these rules apply to politicians as well.

Think of Bill Clinton, whom even Democrats don't bother to defend any more, telling us how he feels our pain. Think of him laughing and joking at Ron Brown's funeral, but then, once he sees a camera on him, pretending to wipe away a tear.  Everything with Clinton was a pose, as the photographs here and here illustrate.

Think of Wendy Davis saying, "I love this state," or pretending to love animals.

Think of Barack Obama saying that he's answerable only to "the steady gaze of my own conscience." Or claiming that he "chose" heterosexuality over homosexuality because "a same sex relationship would be less challenging and demanding than developing one with the opposite sex."

Think of Newt Gingrich explaining his extramarital affair by saying, "There's no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate."

Or Christine O'Donnell advocating against masturbation. (How pure she must be to abjure even that!)

These are the types of poses sociopaths strike. They want to be seen as saints, even though (or perhaps because) they are the opposite.

Trump doesn't bother with any of that. He doesn't pretend to be anything other than what he is: a vulgar, crass, insensitive, boastful, spiteful businessman.

That's narcissism, not sociopathy.

I've known both narcissistic personalities and sociopaths personally. I've ended up disliking some of the narcissists even more than I did some of the sociopaths.

Narcissists think the world of themselves, and disparage anyone who doesn't agree with their inflated self-opinion. Narcissists tend to be upfront about their egotism, and often seem to have absolutely no filter -- like Trump.

The sociopaths I've known have been far more conniving. They sometimes bragged, but more often would put on a pretense of modesty and self-effacement. Many of the sociopaths also had a great deal of personal charm, at least at first; the narcissists generally had none. Look up the definition of "sociopath" in any psychology textbook, and you'll see "personal charm" listed among their traits.

Do you find Trump charming?

I don't know anyone who does, even among his supporters. (Some people find him funny, but no one is really charmed by him.) As I've said many times on this blog, if I knew him personally I'm sure I would end up despising him. He's a walking, talking, billowing cloud of bombast and unabashed egotism.

But the one thing he doesn't do is pretend to be nicer than he is. He doesn't blather on about his conscience, or how he cares about others, or his niceness, or his love of animals.

So I don't think Trump is a sociopath, as personally off-putting as he is. I could be wrong. And yes, I do support him politically. But I think I'm open-minded enough to see it if he were one.

When Trump insulted Carly Fiorina's looks, most people probably thought, what kind of comment is that for a presidential contender to be making? Others thought, that soft-looking fatso ought not to be criticizing anyone's looks. (I thought both things.)

When Trump said General Mattis wasn't "tough enough" to be Secretary of Defense, most probably reacted by thinking, General Mattis has seen combat, while Trump got a draft deferment by claiming bone spurs. What a hypocrite Trump is! (That's how I reacted.)

When Trump gets into spats with various reporters or show business types, most people react by thinking, why can't he just ignore them? (That's how I react.)

When Trump said he was a "stable genius," most people thought, what an egotistical buffoon! He's constantly flying off the handle, and he's hardly a genius! (I honestly didn't react that way. I just thought, well, he is stable in the sense that his personality never changes -- you can always count on him to lash back when someone criticizes him. And while he probably doesn't have a high IQ by any standardized measure, he's been extremely successful, so who cares if I had higher GMATs or can fill out a Sunday Times crossword better? I'm a nobody, and he's a billionaire who's a historical figure.)

And when Trump says all these things, a lot of people also react by thinking, how can he be so stupid as to not realize he'll just alienate people by saying that? (Which is how I react.)

In any case, there are a long list of hypocritical, self-serving things he's said which have turned people off, and understandably so.

If you've ever known a narcissist personally, you've undoubtedly found him infuriating. He will consistently overrate himself, in every possible way. He even seems to think himself better than you at things where you're objectively, measurably better. In the long run, it's impossible not to end up despising someone like this.

It's often hard to see the dividing line between sociopaths and narcissists, especially since all sociopaths are by definition narcissists as well. (Sociopaths are a relatively small subset of narcissists.) The crucial difference seems to be that sociopaths will do absolutely anything to achieve their ends, whereas narcissists will draw the line somewhere.

What makes that difference even more difficult to see is that sociopaths are far more likely to purposely lie about their character, whereas the merely narcissistic don't. So if you're inclined to take people at their word, the sociopaths may actually seem nicer, at least at first.

With Trump, it's even harder to see, since he's such an extreme narcissist.

The criticism I got from the commenter quoted at the beginning of this post reminded me of a similar criticism I got after my post about how steroids shape the body. In the course of the article, I mentioned two British swimmers and a Brazilian swimmer I suspect of juicing, and also said that I thought the vast majority of recent champions -- Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Sarah Sjostrom, and Katie Ledecky -- were clean. I was then accused of having a pro-American bias (even though Sjostrom is Swedish). In response, I pointed out that I'd written previously about Dara Torres, Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones, and Michael Johnson, and had said about all of them that I'd thought they were juicers. 

Whenever I'm accused of bias, it occurs to me that my accuser is probably guilty of a similar bias going in the other direction. It's a fairly safe assumption that the commenter who accused me of having a pro-American bias (and who used the screen name "Slaying dumb Americans like Trump") himself has an anti-American bias. 

I'm also guessing that the commenter after the previous post about Elizabeth Warren has a pro-Democrat, anti-Republican bias.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Sociopath alert: Elizabeth Warren

When Elizabeth Warren's claims of Indian ancestry first became public in 2012, I found her subterfuge funny -- if mildly despicable -- and even wrote two posts to that effect, here and here. At the time, I figured it was it was just a one off, a single fib that she had felt obliged to defend, and which then took on an embarrassing life of its own. 

At the time it didn't occur to me that Warren might be a sociopath because she seems such an unlikely one: her cherubic cheeks, tremulous voice, and slight build are the opposite of threatening. But I shouldn't have been swayed by such superficialities. 

Sociopaths come in all sorts of guises, even genteel lady academic.

Since 2012, Warren's behavior and character have become more public. A closer look at her overall slipperiness shows that her most famous lie wasn't an anomaly, but part of a pattern.

Most people, when caught in a lie, are, at the very least, a little embarrassed. Not Warren. Rather than admit to her most famous lie, just kept brazenly going with it. She commissioned a DNA test (not from an established DNA service but from a friendly colleague). When it revealed that she was somewhere between 1/256th and 1/1024th Native American, she insisted this proved her right. 

Those tiny fractions might make an interesting tidbit for a cocktail party conversation; they certainly don't justify categorizing oneself as Native American. But Warren had actually listed herself that way during her stints at both Penn and Harvard law schools. (Harvard Law School actually advertised her as their first tenured "woman of color" on their faculty during the 1990's, an era in which the school was under pressure for not having a more diverse faculty.)

Warren claimed that her academic career had never benefitted at all from her having claimed minority status. (But why else would she have done it?) 

She got a number of people from Harvard and Penn to back up her claim that she hadn't been an affirmative action hire. But what academic in his right mind would ever publicly admit that a certain professor wouldn't have been hired if he hadn't been a minority? Any university spokesman knows such honesty would result in instant termination. (Warren obviously counted on this.)

It also turned out that Warren had contributed two recipes to a "Pow Wow Chow" Indian cookbook. She claimed that these recipes, one of which included crab with tomato mayonnaise dressing, had been in her family for generations. But then it was discovered that she had stolen these recipes from French chef Pierre Franey.

When Trump mocked Warren's dishonesty by referring to her as Pocohontas, she responded by saying that Trump was using a racial slur and insulting all Native Americans. But this was obviously not the case: he was merely mocking her for claiming to be something she is not. Twisting the truth this way is a sociopathic specialty.

Warren also said that Trump "likes to call my mother a liar." But Trump has never referred to Warren's mother: he simply calls Warren a liar. (Warren's mother never gained professional advantage by claiming to be Native American.) But Warren knows that she will come across as if she is nobly defending her family (and motherhood) by phrasing it that way. Again, twisting the truth.

Warren's "apology" for her big lie was a masterpiece of obfuscation"I'm not a tribal citizen. My apology is an apology for not having been more sensitive about tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty. I really want to underline the point, tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship." 

In other words, by claiming to be Native American, she didn't actually lie -- you see, it was just a little matter of misinterpretation, of emphasis, of sensitivity, of semantics. That's all.

This is the kind of word-parsing that's reminiscent of Bill Clinton's lawyerly evasions about what the meaning of "is" is. Or of Wendy Davis saying "My language should be tighter. I'm learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail."

Sociopaths almost never admit to dishonesty; they just try to wriggle out on technicalities.

More recently it emerged that Warren's claims of having been fired from her first teaching job because she was pregnant were untrue. 

Warren has campaigned against school vouchers and against charter schools. Three weeks ago in Atlanta a woman said to Warren that she wanted her children to have the option of where to go to schools, just as Warren's had. Warren replied, "My children went to public schools." 

Technically, that's true: her daughter attended public schools, and her son attended public school through junior high. But after that, he was sent to a private school which cost $17,000 a year. So Warren's reply was disingenuous, at best. 

When Warren announced her candidacy from her kitchen, she said, "I'm gonna get me a beer" and then drank it from the bottle to show she's just a regular down home gal. But she's about as much of a regular gal as she is an Indian. 

You can say that a certain amount of posturing is unavoidable with a political candidacy. After all, kissing babies and trying different cuisines has long been a staple of campaigns. And getting elected usually requires pandering to different constituencies. But pretending to be something you're not is the essence of sociopathy.

And that seems to be second nature with Warren.

Warren was a Republican until she was 47. There's nothing wrong with that; people are allowed to change their minds. But her justifications for her switch simply don't ring true. She says now that she used to be a Republican because they seemed to be the party which supported the markets, but that she no longer thinks so. But Republicans are still more supportive of markets; in fact, they are still frequently criticized for being supportive of the financial asset-owning classes at the expense of the poor. Warren's reason for switching parties is simply not credible. 

Look at this picture of Warren closely. What you see is not an expression of sympathy, but rather an attempt to mimic one. 

The only genuine emotion showing on Warren's face is the pride she feels for looking so "sympathetic." One of the hallmarks of sociopathy is a fake emotionality.

I find it impossible to imagine Warren feeling embarrassed, or ashamed, or guilty because of her lies. If she were capable of those emotions, she wouldn't continue to lie the way she does. And that is the essence of sociopathy. 

Verdict: a well-disguised sociopath.

Monday, December 2, 2019

"Not a bad spy novel, but a national nightmare"

A friend sent this book review of Andrew McCarthy's Ball of Collusion, about how the whole Russian collusion hoax got started.

Haven't read the book, but the review itself is fantastic, and explains a lot about how the Washington establishment operates.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The statesman

Joe Biden has gotten some bad publicity the past couple days for his peculiarly Bidenesque response to the question of how he would handle the problem of violence against women.

From the NY Post:

"No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger, other than self-defense and that rarely ever occurs," he said. So we have to just change the culture. Period."

Then he maybe took it too far, adding, "And keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it," making matching punching motions with his fist. 

This got me to thinking, how would I handle that problem?

After some extensive soul searching, I finally hit upon the perfect solution. I would change the culture by slapping it around a little, then ripping off its clothes and raping it.

(Honestly, there's something almost endearing about Biden's awkwardness.)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The people who hate Trump the most

One strong correlation that's become increasingly apparent over the past few years is that the most rabid Trump-haters tend to be those who are in fact most like him, character-wise: narcissistic personalities.

I'm not talking about those who simply dislike Trump. A lot of people, even his political supporters, fall into that category.

I'm talking about the people who cannot talk about him without almost frothing at the mouth.

Psychologists always say that what people hate most is what they dislike about themselves. It's why stupid people always castigate others for being dumb, why habitual liars always suspect others of dishonesty, and why those who lecture others about global warming are usually the biggest environmental sinners themselves.

In that sense, Trump is a Rorschach test.

Eric Schneiderman used to be one of the most prominent Trump haters. As New York State Attorney General, instead of ferreting out corruption in Albany, he focused his energy on attacking Trump. He brought suit against Trump University, sued to force the release of Trump's tax returns, and, along with several other attorneys general, sued to prevent Trump's Muslim immigration ban.

When the initial allegations against Harvey Weinstein first broke, Schneiderman, a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement, said, “We have never seen anything as despicable as what we’ve seen right here.”

Schneiderman, of course, was forced to resign after it emerged that he had physically abused at least four former girlfriends, slapping several of them hard across the face, and calling one of them his "little brown slave." 

The interesting question is, how self-righteous Schneiderman felt about his virulent hatred of Trump (and Weinstein). Did he see himself as a knight in shining armor fighting the good fight against the twin scourges of racism and sexism? Did he see himself as one of the good people, trying to fend off the evil that Trump represented?

Narcissistic personalities are capable of that kind of hypocrisy.

When Harvey Weinstein initially defended himself by saying he was "just an old dinosaur" who had come of age during the "free love era," he also suggested that his critics focus on fighting "the real enemy, Donald Trump." 

Did he see himself, perhaps, as Brad Pitt fighting the Nazis in Inglourious Basterds? As Frodo trying to save the world from the evil Sauron? As Nelson Mandela fighting for justice and equality in Long Walk to Freedom?

Weinstein, as I explained here, is a sociopath. And all sociopaths are, by definition, also narcissistic personalties.

Think of some of the politicians who are the most virulently anti-Trump: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and Jerrold Nadler. 

Think of some of the biggest Trump-haters in the media and in show business: Michael Moore, Jim Carrey, Madonna, Lena Dunham, Joy Behar, Alyssa Milano, George Clooney, Chelsea Handler, Miley Cyrus, Debra Messing, and Alec Baldwin.

Judge for yourself whether each of these people are narcissistic personalities.

Think of the most rabid Trump-haters you know. Are they not narcissistic personalities themselves?

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Modern day Leftist "morals" can be summarized as:

"Down with racism! We hate whites!!"

"Down with sexism! We hate men!!"

"Down with homophobia! We hate cisgendered white males!"

The fact that Leftists don't see the inherent hypocrisy of their positions, as obvious as they are, is all you need to know about them.

If you believe that certain principles apply only to some groups but not others, by definition, you're unprincipled.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Male hormones and political outlook, Part IV

I've written before about the influence of male hormones on political outlook, here and here and here. Testosterone shapes us in many ways; it helps determine our combativeness, our willingness to think for ourselves and take unpopular position, and our forthrightness.

At least among white males, low male hormones seem to be highly correlated with liberal politics. Watching the impeachment hearings has made that correlation clearer than ever.

The "whistleblower," Eric Ciaramella, is a long time Democratic operative who was evidently involved all sorts of Democratic skullduggery before the current impeachment hearings. He's been called Pajama Boy II:

One of the dead giveaways to low male hormones is a thin neck.

The ringmaster of the proceedings is Adam Schiff, another pencil neck:

Schiff's soft, feminine cheeks are another indication of low male hormones.

Schiff reminds me, physically, of two people. The first is James Comey, Obama's pick for FBI Director:

Comey was a career lawyer, not an FBI man. He was a political pick, and acted like one during his tenure.

The second is actor Roy Brocksmith:

In the words of Wikipedia, "Brocksmith's nerdy, pudgy appearance, and effeminate mannerisms made him perfect for comic roles, particularly in the late '80s and 1990s. Among his more prominent roles are the duplicitous Dr. Edgemar in Total Recall..."  

Hollywood casting directors pick certain types to play treacherous villains for a reason.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Not recognizing people of other races

I recently had an argument with a former classmate about people who have a hard time telling members of other races apart. (Specifically, the subject was whites who don't recognize Asians.) This woman is white but grew up in Japan, and was offended that whites might not recognize individual Japanese.

She seemed to feel that those who had a hard time telling members of other races apart were somehow morally wanting.

Speaking as a half-Asian, I understand why some whites, especially those who've had limited contact with Asians, can't tell them apart. Whites come in a wider variety of obvious physical differences, like hair color, facial shape, nose structure, height, build, etc. Asians exhibit less variety in all those traits, so if you're not used to them, it would only be natural to have difficulty telling them apart. 

My mother found it extremely annoying when a local white woman once mistook her for the woman at the dry cleaning shop (decades ago). I certainly understand why my mother was insulted, but I don't really blame the white woman. 

A young black woman once told me she had a hard time telling the old white guys at her law firm apart, since they all dressed similarly and sort of looked the same, with their white hair and wrinkles. I can't blame her for that either. 

Nor do I blame whites for mistaking one black for another. I've seen this happen on a number of occasions, and it's always embarrassing, especially given the current social climate. But again, it's understandable. 

Blaming people for this is basically the same as blaming people for being dumb. 

And as the LGBTQ crowd always reminds us, it's unfair to blame people for something they can't help. 

Lesley Sharp, Joan Hickson

Scott & Bailey is a British police drama available on Amazon Prime. I told a friend the show was originated by a woman, written by two women, and produced by a woman. It stars two women as detectives, and their boss, the head detective, is also a woman.

He replied, ugh, it sounds terrible.

It's actually quite good; I watched several seasons. But that's not the point of this post. The point is, if you're going to have a lady detective, it's more important to have her look intelligent than to look pretty. This may not be true from a marketing standpoint, but it is from a realism standpoint.

Lesley Sharp, who plays the titular Detective Constable Janet Scott of the series, looks smart:

For all I know, Sharp is a moron. But her face reflects appraisal, skepticism, and maybe a little disappointment. (Precisely the qualities -- and emotions -- that one would hope for in a detective.)

She looks a little like a younger version of Joan Hickson, who played Miss Marple:

Joan Hickson usually wore a similar expression, and had the same intelligence in her eyes. (The correlation between skepticism and IQ has to be pretty high.) And both women act with the same calm demeanor that one associates with intelligence.

Both women have the same large-eyed, owlish gaze.

That got me to thinking, why are owls associated with intelligence? Are they that smart? But when I looked it up, it turns out that the reason is basically because Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, was usually depicted with an owl nearby, and that association has stuck.

Owls, unlike crows and parrots and pigeons, cannot be trained to do anything. (Keas, various species of parrots, and crows are generally considered the most intelligent birds.) But owls have large, observant eyes and intent expressions, so it's easy to see why the assumption is made:

This isn't to say they're not awesome birds of prey, particularly the great horned owl (pictured above).

But whether or not they are, owls look smart -- like Lesley Sharp and Joan Hickson.

I've no idea whether or not Sharp and Hickson actually are/were smart. But I find them far more palatable in their roles as lady sleuths than I would have some sexy babe.

Saying the wrong thing: a brief autobiography

The difference between the higher- and lower-IQed is that the higher are generally capable of seeing patterns more clearly, and grasping more complicated concepts.

It's not that they don't do as many stupid things.

I'm a case in point. I was told when young that I had a high IQ, but over the course of my lifetime, that doesn't seem to have cut down the number of dumb things I've said in the least. (In all honesty, it may have increased the number.)

I probably say more awkward and social inappropriate things than an 85 IQer. (This is not false modesty.) These faux pas fall into three major categories.

The first stems from a lifelong desire not to be boring. (I can't bear the company of the boring, and am well aware that others can find me so.)  But if I try too hard to be amusing, or say the unexpected,  I often lose sight of social propriety. (Which, frankly, I've probably done with this blog.)

The second category has to do with wanting to prove my masculinity, or my nerve. Even worse, in order to keep up that somewhat hollow macho front, I'll sometimes feel compelled to do something foolish. I don't even need someone else to manipulate me by challenging my masculinity, I do it to myself.

The final reason is just my blunt nature. I wouldn't ask someone if a certain pair of pants made me look fat unless I wanted an honest answer -- so I assume others do, too. Most people, of course, know better.

Little white lies: at 65, I'm still gettin' the hang of 'em.

Those three reasons probably account for maybe 75% of all the dumb things I say. The other roughly 25% are simply mistakes, usually just sloppy errors.

I usually know I've said something stupid the moment it's out of my mouth. Still, that's a second or two too late.

You'd think I'd learn from my errors. But somehow, I don't. (And how dumb is that?)

I suppose the biggest conclusion to be drawn here is that you should never, ever say anything in an effort to prove you're not boring, or are macho. And, tact is always a plus.

I don't think I'm alone. I've seen many smart people make unforced errors, if not quite as frequently as me. (I hope for their sake that they don't spend their lives the way I do, reliving their worst moments.)

There's not a day I don't do that. And that may may be the stupidest thing of all.

Looking at this post the next day, I see it's worse than introspective: it's navel gazing about my navel gazing.

Primitive Hairlines, Part VI

Phoenix resident Nicholas Elliott gunned down another 26-year-old, Alex Mixon, for looking at him at a stoplight.

Here's Elliott:

Check out that hairline. For all I know, it's just a spurious correlation. But I keep seeing it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


The extent to which Trump views himself as the CEO of America became even clearer recently, when he offered to buy Greenland from the Danes.

That's what CEOs do, make acquisitions.

They negotiate, as Trump is doing with the Chinese.

And they try to get their partners in joint ventures to pay a larger share of the expenses, as Trump is doing with the other members of NATO. (CEOs hate being taken advantage of.)

So far, at least, Trump has avoided the needless expense of another war.

CEOs have a tendency to frequently look at how their stock is doing, since this is usually a fair barometer of their own performance. In Trump's case, his "stocks" are the Dow, the NASDAQ, and the S&P 500.

And CEOs hire and fire people at will. (Trump doesn't seem to be one of those CEOs who feel obliged to give their departing minions flattering letters of recommendation.)

When you think about it, all of this is only natural. Trump has spent his life as a CEO, so sees our country as America, Inc.

Obama, whose previous experience involved doling out money from the Annenberg Foundation, saw our country as a big foundation, with largesse to be distributed among his favored groups. He had also worked as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, and at times, seemed to regard his Presidency as one big "teachable moment."

If we had elected, say, Bill Belichick as President, he'd have seen the country as a larger version of the New England Patriots. He'd have assembled his ideal team for the Cabinet and tried to come up with winning plays. America might have had to suffer through a Deflategate or two, but sometimes that's the price you pay to get a winning coach.

If we had elected Steven Spielberg, he'd have been a bit of a micro-manager, wanting to direct every last detail. Whether you'd have liked the resulting production would probably depend on whether you approve of the sometimes not-so-subtle messages in his actual movies. (Alternatively, we could have elected Clint Eastwood.)

Maybe we should have people from different professions rotating through the White House. Not only would it be more entertaining, but the diversity of viewpoints (real diversity) would be refreshing.

In the meantime, it's refreshing to have a guy who's negotiating on our behalf. Trump's arrogant CEO-like personality doesn't sit right even with a lot of his supporters, but at least he's on America's side. (Name another country whose prospective leaders campaign by promising to do the best they can for foreigners rather than the nation's citizens.)

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Hillary's feelings about Elizabeth Warren

Musing about Rachel Dolezal's thoughts regarding Warren recently reminded me of the one person whose thoughts must be even more poisonous.

A little peek into Hillary's brain:

"It was bad enough when Obama beat me in '08 by parlaying his racial background into the Presidency. But Elizabeth Warren? That would be too much to take."

"I was supposed to be the first woman President! Much as I despise Trump, it'd be even worse if that bitch gets to sit in the Oval Office. If I have to abide this phony dime store Indian taking my place I'll fucking explode."

"How can I undermine her? I think I'll mention the Indian thing every chance I get, you know, just obliquely. Maybe I'll say something like, she'll be great for the downtrodden, for blacks and Native Americans. You know, just sort of inject a subtle reminder. Or I could say, well, at least she didn't benefit from white privilege the way most of the other candidates did. Maybe I'll drop the fact that she was a Republican until she was 47."

"Her husband's a complete nobody. Has anybody ever heard of Bruce Mann? I had to put up with Bill, and let me tell you, most women wouldn't be able to deal with that crap."

"Listen to her talk about her family recipe for Pow Wow Chow, like she's some little housewife who enjoys nothing more than staying at home to bake cookies. What a complete fraud! I made it clear right from the start I was a new kind of woman, not some little Loretta Lynn stand-by-your man type."

"I had to dodge sniper fire in Bosnia; when did she ever do anything like that? I turned a thousand dollars into a hundred thousand in the cattle futures trading market. When has she ever done anything like that?"

"Can you believe the way she drank that beer from the bottle in her kitchen when she announced she was running, like she's just some regular gal? What a complete charlatan! I could drink that prissy little prig under the table any day."

The worst part will be if she's elected, when I have to pretend to be thrilled about it. As if I'm happy to finally see a woman as President even if it's not me. I don't think I'll be able to swallow my bile. It's going to take all my will power not to just shoot her. It should have been me!!"

Friday, August 16, 2019

Fredo's tantrum

This post is a couple days late, especially since most people who follow current events are totally consumed with the Epstein situation. But if you can remember back a couple days....

You undoubtedly heard about Chris Cuomo's reaction to having been called Fredo. It sounded like 'roid rage; turns out, it looks like 'roid rage as well:

The above picture is from Reddit, and was posted by someone who had similar suspicions about him juicing five months ago.

During his outburst, Cuomo claimed that "Fredo" was an insult against all Italian-Americans, and likened it to the n-word. That's ridiculous: anyone who's ever seen The Godfather knows it's merely a reference to a weak, dumb brother.

Chris may be neither as smart nor as sly as his Machiavellian brother, Governor Andrew, which is why being called Fredo struck such a nerve. But with those store-bought muscles, at least he's stronger.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Rachel Dolezal's thoughts

It's early in the game, but it looks increasingly as if Joe Biden is going to gaffe himself into irrelevancy. And no one seems to be excited about him to begin with anyway. Which means the candidate currently running second in the polls, Elizabeth Warren, may actually get the nomination.

You have to wonder what Rachel Dolezal thinks about this. She must be shaking her head, wondering where she went wrong.

A few guesses as to Dolezal's thoughts:

"What kind of double standard is this? I practically got crucified and they may actually nominate that lame ass bitch for President!"

"She didn't even have to go through the kind of childhood I did after my parents adopted those four black children. It wasn't easy having to compete for my parents' love!"

"And I don't think there was even any love there to begin with! After all, they're the assholes who turned me in! That self-righteous little prig Elizabeth Warren didn't have any of her relatives rat her out!"

"That bogus Pow Wow Chow recipe, which that phony said had been handed down through the generations in her family, turned out to be completely plagiarized! That sure casts doubt on that bullshit about that great-great-grandsquaw of hers! I know I can make okra and cornbread and collard greens way better than that bitch could ever make Pow Wow Chow!"

"And then she has the nerve to talk about where her high cheekbones came from! That shrew doesn't even have high cheekbones, she has fat cheeks like a goddamn squirrel!"

"I tried so much harder: I dyed and curled my hair, darkened my skin, and was always careful to apply the lipstick generously. I even married a brother to keep it real! That goodie two shoes didn't do shit, she even went the other way, from brunette to blonde, and still expected people to believe her lily white ass. Why did I have to go to all that effort for nothing? It's not fair!!"

"Why aren't I running for President? Someone please let the Democratic Party know I'm available. I'm tired of working as a hairdresser!"

"Hmm.....Maybe she'll pick me as her Vice Presidential candidate. We'd certainly make a good pair!"