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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rioting, by race

While reading about the Baltimore riots, I tried to think of recent cases when white people just spontaneously got out of control.

The closest analogy I could think of was the English soccer hooliganism from 20 years ago. Those guys would get liquored up and cause all sorts of mayhem at whichever soccer matches they chose to attend.

I then Googled "white people rioting," and stumbled across this article, by Becca Stanek, who listed several more recent examples of white mobs committing vandalism. She had this to say (in reference to the Ferguson riots):

Many labeled the protesters savages, animals, hoodlums and thugs…..But the thing is, riots happen all the time, and often over significantly less terrible events — and we talk about them very differently when those involved are white.

She has a point: when white college kids go on a rampage because of the outcome of a sporting event, they are rarely characterized as thugs or savages.

But Stanek also seems to miss a crucial qualitative difference. When the white students at the University of Kentucky, for instance, "rioted" last month after their team lost in the Final Four, the nature of their behavior was completely different. There was no widespread smashing of store windows or looting, no one hurled bricks and rocks at the police, and cars weren't set on fire.

As Lexington police spokesperson Sherelle Roberts said afterward, although 31 were arrested, police were “thankful no one was seriously injured and that there was no major destruction of property.”

Here are some pictures from the Kentucky "riot":

For Stanek to equate Ferguson with a large, unruly crowd of drunken college students is disingenuous at best. 

This isn't to say that whites aren't capable of more destructive behavior: those English soccer hooligans were famous for their boozy brawls. 

But here's the most telling difference between white mobs and black ones: when large groups of whites misbehave, there's almost always liquor involved. Sober white people simply don't riot, at least not these days. (They wage war, but that's another thing entirely.) 

When blacks riot in Ferguson, or Baltimore, or elsewhere, alcohol is generally not a factor. Black rioters don't need Dutch courage.

Whether this is a good or bad thing I'll leave up to you.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's always a little embarrassing when…..

Personally, I used to hate it when I wanted to do a little rioting with my homies and my mom would show up, grab me by the scruff of my neck, start smacking me around, and make me come home.

That video is actually borderline inspirational. The inner city needs more mothers like that.

Jeffrey Dahmer, in character

The NY Post today ran an interview with Christopher Scarver (on right), the man who killed Jeffrey Dahmer:

I remember hearing at the time of Dahmer's death that he had been killed by a black inmate who was seeking revenge for all of the black men that Dahmer had killed.

But Scarver tells the story differently:

Christopher Scarver — who fatally beat the serial killer and another inmate in 1994 — said he grew to despise Dahmer because he would fashion severed limbs out of prison food to taunt the other inmates.

He’d drizzle on packets of ketchup as blood.

It was very unnerving.

“He would put them in places where people would be,” Scarver, 45, recalled in a low, gravelly voice.

“He crossed the line with some people — prisoners, prison staff. Some people who are in prison are repentant — but he was not one of them.”

Scarver, who was already serving a life sentence for murder at the time of the attack, and who also killed another man, Jesse Anderson, at the same time he killed Dahmer, is hardly a credible witness. But I tend to believe his version of events. 

When the news of Jeffrey Dahmer's killing spree first broke, people were both horrified and fascinated by the story of the cannibal. Most of the interviews that later aired -- this one is typical -- showed a bland guy who seemed as mystified by his strange compulsion as we were, and who took full responsibility for his actions.

But, Dahmer couldn't possibly have done what he did without being a sociopath. And the thing about sociopaths is, there's nothing they won't stoop to, and they enjoy hurting others. So Scarver's account rings true. 

The bit about how Dahmer would fashion severed limbs out of his food, put ketchup on them, and leave them where people would find them is a little reminiscent of all those killers who've phoned the parents of the people they've killed in order to torture them further. 

When you're dealing with a sociopath, there's one thing you should never forget: no matter what face he is putting on at the time, a sociopath never stops being a sociopath.

Bumbling American, the id of the realists

For swim fans only

The US masters swimming championships took place this past weekend in San Antonio, Texas. One of the most impressive records set was in the men's age 45-49 200 yard individual medley. Frenchman Nicolas Granger's 1:51.44 cut a whopping five seconds off the previous record by US Olympian Dave Sims.

My first thought was, oh boy, another shameless doped up Euro setting masters records. (The French seem to have more than their share of juicers.) Just to confirm my suspicions, I Google-imaged him, and saw this photo:

Granger doesn't appear to be on steroids, though it's possible he's on human growth hormone. But what really struck me was the freakish length of his arms. From this photo, it looks as though his fingertips would almost reach his knees.

There's no drug which causes that. Being tall is obviously an advantage in swimming, and having long arms is 90% of the advantage of being tall. Whatever Granger's height, his wingspan is that of a much taller man.

Verdict: he might actually be clean.

Monday, April 27, 2015

All the news not fit to print

Yesterday there was major rioting in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, yet the New York Times didn't see fit to report this on their front page. They buried it on page A24, and quoted people sympathetic to the protesters, while downplaying the destruction of property that went on.

The rioters smashed windows, looted stores, overturned cars, and lit fires. Here is a compilation of footage of the riots courtesy of Youtube.

This is not to excuse whatever actions the Baltimore police took with Freddie Gray. The police department there has already admitted it should have sought immediate medical attention for Gray at the scene of his arrest, and has suspended six cops pending an investigation.

However, as per Larry Elder:

In 2012, according to the CDC, 140 blacks were killed by police. That same year 386 whites were killed by police. Over the 13-year period from 1999 to 2011, the CDC reports that 2,151 whites were killed by cops -- and 1,130 blacks were killed by cops.

There seem to be different reactions -- by both the local population and the national media -- to each category of killing.

On their banner the NYT proudly proclaims that they report all the news that's fit to print. They would be a far more interesting newspaper if they would occasionally report on news that they don't consider fit to print.

Without the internet, most of us wouldn't even be aware of much of the news the Times and its ilk don't consider fit to print. I grew up in the pre-internet era, when the only sources of news were "respectable" newspapers like the Times or the Washington Post, or ABC, CBS, and NBC.

And the worst part about growing up back then was that if you noticed patterns, for instance, that black people rioted when one of their own was killed, but white people didn't, you were left with the vague sense that there was something wrong with you. You felt very much alone with your impure, reprehensible thoughts.

Today, like-minded people -- and common sense -- are only a click away.

Trying to obtain statistics about anything politically incorrect in the pre-internet era was a little like trying to learn about sex during the Victorian era. The information was there, but you had to really dig for it.

Young people today don't stay naive as long, nor do they have to feel as intellectually lonely.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

No uplift here

I joined Facebook a few years ago to see what all the fuss was about, but I've never done anything with it. I have something like 30 "friends," the fewest of anyone I know. I check in maybe once every two weeks out of a vague sense of curiosity.

The Newslinq feed in particular (does everyone get that?) is always posting uplifting stories about acts of kindness, or cute videos of pets and babies. The ones which seem blatant attempts to tug at the heartstrings don't seem to have much effect on me.

But yesterday they put up this video, of a series of skillful drawings showing how a young girl might age from her babyhood until she was an old lady. I found it quite moving. (I'm not about to admit that it bought tears to my eyes as I thought of my daughter aging that way.)

In any case, one thing Newslinq makes clear by contrast is how negative this blog is. (I'm not about to change it.) This simply isn't a heartwarming site: it's an angry-at-the-world blog. Personally, I usually find any sort of writing motivated by contempt far more enjoyable than stuff by people who try to stay within the bounds of social acceptability.

It's said that comedians are angry people; I think that's true.

In any case, if you're looking for uplift, don't look here. Go to Facebook. If, however, you want to find that others (in particular, me) are as angry -- or at least as disgusted -- as you are, come on in. You should find the temperature of the water here to your liking.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Why should those NFL players have all the fun?

Brittney Griner, fiancee arrested: "We couldn't get them pulled apart."

Brittney Griner, on left, is 6' 8," 207; Glory Johnson is 6' 3," 170.

Will the WNBA suspend these two the way the NFL suspended players who committed domestic violence?

Let's hope for a narcissist

When you think about it, the Presidency is really beyond the capabilities of any one man. There is simply no one who is a superb military tactician as well as a compassionate humanitarian, an insightful economist as well as a charming, persuasive personality, a widely knowledgeable historian who has his finger on the pulse of contemporary America, and a stirring orator with the calm and considered judgment to make wise decisions. We want our Presidents to be good-looking, have an IQ of 150+, speak well, be accomplished, and yet somehow remain ego-free.

Impossible? Of course. And if for no other reason, because anyone who thinks he's the man for the job is by definition going to have an ego that's out of control.

Really, the most we can reasonably expect is a compelling spokesperson who's intelligent enough to pick good advisors, who has the good judgment to follow their advice when prudent, and who is by and large honest.

Two of the last three Presidents -- Clinton and Obama -- have been out and out sociopaths. This is not coincidence, as a naturally dissembling personality is far more adept at telling the lies he needs to tell to get elected.

It seems the best we can hope for in a President is that he be a garden variety narcissist, and not a full blown sociopath.

In other words, let's just pray that all we get in 2016 is an egomaniac, and not an egomaniac who's a pathological liar to boot.

Hoping for anything more is simply unrealistic.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The "marathoner" didn't even look the part

What struck me most about that picture of marathon impostor Kendall Schler was her expression. The picture was taken right after she had "finished" the race and been awarded her medal. Yet there was no apparent joy there. On the contrary, she appears to have the wary eyes of an abused child.

The other thing that struck me about Schler was how little she looked like a top marathoner. Schler has no discernible muscle tone or definition in her arms, she has breasts, and she is pear-shaped. In the picture below she looks downright dumpy.

Top female marathoners tend to work themselves down to the bone, to the point where they take on a brittle, almost anorexic appearance. They have carved all the fat from their bodies, giving them skinny arms, thin but muscular legs, and flat chests.

These women competing in the 2012 Olympic marathon are fairly typical:

It appears that not only was Schler a shameless hoaxer, she was a dumb one too. For her to try to pass as a marathon victor was about as credible as me claiming that I used to be a heavyweight boxing champion. Extreme sports call for extreme physiques.

Once Schler was disqualified, the winner in the St. Louis Marathon was declared to be Andrea Karl, with a time of 2:54:

It would be interesting to find out what Schler's upbringing was like; to me, this is always the most interesting thing about a sociopath. Given how pathetic her attempted deception, it would also be edifying to find out her IQ.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Marathon winner loses race title because she never ran the race"

A Fox News article yesterday described how Kendall Schler faked winning the St. Louis marathon:

Kendall Schler is believed to have slipped onto the course on Sunday after the last checkpoint in an attempt to trick race officials into believing she ran the whole marathon.

Officials said that Schler failed to register any times on the 26.2 mile route, and that a review of the previous year’s marathon, where Schler registered a third place finish, also did not reveal any image of her on the course.

We've heard this story before, with Rosie Ruiz, who faked winning the Boston Marathon back in 1980. Ruiz was later arrested for embezzlement, and, subsequently, for cocaine dealing. As recently as 2000, she was still claiming to have run the entire Boston Marathon even though the proof against her having done so was overwhelming.

Schler, 26, is probably too young to have known of Ruiz. But they share the same personality disorder.

You really don't have to hear anything more about someone than that she faked winning a marathon to know that she is a sociopath. This one action encompasses so many different sociopathic traits that it is proof in itself.

First of all, it's completely dishonest.

Secondly, both women thought they could fool people when they couldn't -- a distinctly sociopathic belief.

Third, such a "victory" would rob other runners of their rightful glory -- but this wouldn't concern a sociopath in the least.

Fourth, one would have to lack any sense of shame or embarrassment in order to try such a stunt.

And fifth, it shows how sociopaths live in the present and are unconcerned about the future to an extent unimaginable to most. Sociopaths can actually enjoy themselves while dancing on the edge of disaster. (Otherwise, how could all those Ponzi Schemers revel in livin' large before they get arrested?)

Poets and philosophers tell us to seize the day, and not let life's treasures slip away. This is generally good advice. But at a certain level, sociopaths are the ultimate exemplars of that philosophy: they always live in the moment, the future be damned.

So, listen to the philosophers, but just don't carpe diem too much.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sprinter names 2015

The final rankings for the 2015 indoor track season are in. As usual, there are a lot of uniquely creative names among the runners in events ranging up to 400 meters.

A few of my favorites among the men:

Romel Burns. Hard not to think of Nero fiddling.

Trabien Whitehurst. Je suis très bien, merci.

Trey'l Beasley. The path to athletic glory is a long and dusty trail.

Osiris Nicholson. Osiris was the Egyptian god of the afterlife. (Would you name your kid "Hades?")

Juston Christian. He got to the finish line just on time.

Jamique Mitchell. The meek shall inherit the earth.

Arun Rambhadjan. See ya later, I'm going for a run.

Salaam Horne. Isn't that a little like naming your child "Hello"?

Kobe White, Kobe Smith. Mr. Bryant has now been around so long that current high school seniors were named after him.

Kwincy Hall. Ah, his parents were Anglophiles.

Seifuddin Black. Just don't say "fuckin' black."

Addrecus Eddington. An abacus that performs only addition.

Kaulen Jenkins. Callin' all sprinters to the starting line.

Saint Jacob Diodonet. Weren't his parents getting a little ahead of themselves?

Kris Mus. This name was my favorite. I had the feeling that Kris might be white, so I looked him up. Sure enough, here he is (on the left):

Not only does this young man evoke Bing Crosby, he also proves Johnny Cash ("A Boy Named Sue") right. By bestowing upon their son a jokey name, Mr. and Mrs. Mus actually gave him, to quote Cash, gravel in his gut and spit in his eye: Kris grew up to be a bold guy willing to take the brothers on at their own game. Good for him, and good for his parents. And maybe, good for all the other guys named above.

Certainly, none of these nationally ranked sprinters lack for athletic prowess.

A few of my favorite female names:

Sydnei Murphy, Sydnee Minor, Sidne' Williamson, Cydney Christian. Their parents all had an affinity for Australia, but, somehow, didn't quite make it.

Lanae-Tava Thomas. (Do you hear "larvae"?)

Pharist O'Neal. Mirror, mirror, on the wall….

K'Lynn Beal. Well, it's better than K'Lytt.

Xaria Elliott. Exotic? Exactly.

Abra Granger. Maybe her middle name is "Cadabra."

Ke'niya Smith. "If you get fresh, I can knee ya in the balls."

Nichyria Byrd. Is this pronounced like Nigeria?

T'Reyah Johnson. T Rex Johnson's queen.

NeeAsia Watkins. Oh, so that's where she was born.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Took the online Jeopardy test last night. My son will probably take it tonight.

It was actually sort of fun. The questions seemed harder than on the regular show, but I think I got over half of them right. It makes sense that the test would be harder, since they have to make allowance for a certain "freeze factor" in front of the television cameras.

I couldn't afford the luxury of keeping score because they only allow you 15 seconds to answer each question, so my time was best spent thinking about the answer and typing it in.

The last time I'd taken the test, around 20 years ago in the pre-internet era, we'd been told we had to get 33 out of the 50 questions right to pass the test. I counted 31 that I knew I'd answered correctly, but evidently none of my guesses were right.

The biggest mistake I made last night was to forget to note the category for some of the questions. The category itself is an important part of the clue.

But I also got lucky on one of the questions, something about an institution in Copenhagen named after a Nobel Prize-winning scientist. I wasn't sure whether it would be Niels Bohr or Max Planck, but put down Bohr. I checked later and found that Planck was German. (Phew.)

You can take the test yourself this evening (Wednesday the 15th) at 8PM Central time or tomorrow at 8PM Pacific time. It's pretty simple to register, just go to, then make sure you're signed in before the test.

If you do well enough you could earn back some of the money you have to pay the government today.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sociopath alert: Barack Obama

The two surest signs of sociopathy are serial killing, and pathological lying.

Barack Obama obviously has no personal taste for killing. (Yes, over 300 children have been killed in drone attacks he's ordered; but every wartime President has the blood of collateral victims on his hands, and it's not really a reflection of their personalities.)

But Obama does have that other dead giveaway of sociopathy: constant dishonesty.

If you point this out to Democrats, they will almost always respond by saying that Bush lied too. When you ask what Bush lied about, they'll always give the same answer: those weapons of mass destruction.

But that was a mistake, not a lie. The CIA, and every Senator at the time believed that Iraq had obtained enriched yellow cake uranium, and also that it had biological weapons. Those fears, of course, turned out to be unfounded.

But -- and this is the more salient point here -- the fact that Democrats always point to this same "lie" when asked about Bush's dishonesty is actually indication that Bush was, by and large, relatively honest.

When talking about Obama's lies, it's hard to know where to begin. The logical place is probably his first Presidential campaign. Think back to a couple of his more well known claims.

Obama said that his would be the most transparent administration in history. It has of course turned out to be the opposite. The way he got Obamacare passed was through back room machinations, with the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, the buying off of the AMA and AARP and big pharma. It was also an exercise in obfuscation, as Jonathan Gruber has famously pointed out.

And at the same time Obama was promising transparency in his administration, he made sure that none of his own school records would ever be released.

Obama also said during that campaign that there would be no more business as usual -- meaning, no more earmarks -- during his administration. But as soon he got into office he pushed for the stimulus bill, a 787 billion dollar spending package that was basically noting but earmarks desired by Democratic congressmen.

This brings us to another lie of the 2008 campaign. Obama portrayed himself as someone willing to reach across the aisle. But when Republicans were completely excluded from the crafting of the stimulus bill -- which was unheard of for a bill of that size -- they complained to Obama. He dismissed them with the words, "I won."

In 2008, when Obama's connection to Jeremiah Wright first surfaced, and the videos of Wright thundering "Goddamn America" emerged, Obama, who had attended his church for 17 years, and who had been married by Wright, disingenuously said, "This isn't the Jeremiah Wright that I know." But Wright, a black nationalist, had not suddenly changed his stripes.

In 2008, Obama also gave that famous speech about race, where he talked about "the greatness and goodness of our nation," and in which he said that the "Reverend Wright's words were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity." But once in office, Obama -- and his minion Eric Holder -- fanned the flames of all sorts of racial flareups. Obama instinctively sided with Professor Henry Gates against the Cambridge police officer, and with Trayvon Martin against George Zimmerman. (Remember, "If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon?")

Of course, there are many politicians who make campaign promises that they are unable to keep. But usually it's because they can't get their bills passed, or they meet up with other unforeseen circumstances. But in Obama's case, it's a little different: he has run an administration which is the polar opposite of what he promised back in '08.

Even worse, Obama also lies freely about past events, saying things he knows to be false.

Obama claimed that Fast and Furious was a "field-initiated program begun under the previous administration." That was simply not true. It began in the fall of 2009.

Obama's most famous lie is probably, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." Obama knew from the start that his plan would force some to change doctors.

Obama lied, on multiple occasions, about Benghazi.

When Obama was asked about the IRS scandal, before the investigation was even complete, he said that there was "not even a smidgen of corruption" there. It's hard not to hear echoes of OJ Simpson pleading, "Absolutely, 100% not guilty" to his ex-wife's murder. Or of Bill Clinton wagging his finger and angrily declaring, "I did not have sex with that woman!"

It is a uniquely sociopathic trait to be so emphatic when lying.

In 2012, it emerged that an Obama operative offered Jeremiah Wright $150,000 simply to remain silent for the rest of the campaign season. Wright refused. Subsequently, Obama personally showed up to ask Wright to be quiet. Wright refused again, and later told the following revealing anecdote about their meeting:

“Barack said, ‘I’m sorry you don’t see it the way I do. Do you know what your problem is?’ And I said, ‘No, what’s my problem?’ And he said, ‘You have to tell the truth.’ I said, ‘That’s a good problem to have. That’s a good problem for all preachers to have."

It is in keeping with Obama's character that he would see honesty as a "problem."

So far, this post has read like a political screed: all of the lies listed were political in nature, i.e., made for the sake of furthering Obama's political agenda, either directly or indirectly. And all politicians are spin artists, though most are not as blatantly dishonest as Obama. (For a more comprehensive list of Obama's lies, look here or here.)

But Obama is dishonest about other things as well. One of his biggest cons is his marriage. I made the case back in 2012 that he is a homosexual. He got married at age 31, in 1992, because he was ambitious and wanted a beard to make him more palatable to the electorate. This is an on-going charade. (I have nothing against gays; only against con men.)

Even Obama's accent is phony. As I said in 2009:

Listen carefully to Barack Obama, and what you'll hear is a faint southern (whitish) accent, located roughly midway between a northern white (non)accent and a black accent. It's not quite black enough to scare the white electorate, though it does have a tendency to turn several shades darker when he's speaking to an all black audience. But it's not white enough to make him sound like a Tom or an effete Ivy Leaguer, either.

So the question becomes, just where did he acquire this quasi-Southern accent? Did he get it from his Kenyan father, who disappeared from his life when he was two? From his Kansan mother? From his Kansan grandparents, who raised him whenever his mother went gallivanting around the world? From his schoolchums in Indonesia? Or is that the way they speak at Punahou, the exclusive Hawaiian prep school he attended?

One can't help but suspect that his accent, like everything else about him, was carefully constructed for maximal electoral value.

Listen to this compilation of Obama's empty campaign promises on Youtube, you'll see that he has that other identifying characteristic of sociopaths: he lies with full throated assurance. Most liars give themselves away by a certain hesitance, or shame-facedness. Not Obama: he delivers his lies with the bold conviction that only a sociopath can.

Part of every sociopath's makeup is a healthy dose of narcissism. At Harvard Law School, the other students coined a new word, the Obamamometer, to measure how transparently a student had curried favor with a professor. Think about that: in a school where huge egos and outsize ambition are the norm, Obama's were so egregiously so that even the other students were repulsed. 

Obama's self-regard is such that he once told an aide, "I think I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm a better political director than my political director."

Generally, when someone advertises his conscience, it's a fairly sure sign that he doesn't have one. For those of us who aren't sociopaths, we're not really aware of our consciences, certainly not as a separate entity. They're just part of us, built into our wiring, and we're no more conscious of them than we are of the way our nerve endings are connected within our brains.

Sociopaths don't feel shame, and therefore don't have the same kinds of brakes on their personalities that most of us do. As a result, they often feel compelled to advertise their innate "goodness." They've heard of consciences, but don't really have any instinctive feel for how they work, and are thus more likely to refer to them as a distinct part of their personalities.

With that in mind, listen to this quote from Obama's second book, The Audacity of Hope:

"I find comfort in the fact that the longer I’m in politics the less nourishing popularity becomes, that a striving for power and rank and fame seems to betray a poverty of ambition, and that I am answerable mainly to the steady gaze of my own conscience."

Not only does Obama talk about his conscience, he attributes a steady gaze to it.

In 2013, Obama said, “Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. Empathy, the idea that we have a stake in each other’s success, is what gets me up every single day.”

In other words, "I do what I do because I'm a kind and empathetic person."

(The same rule that applies to prison pen pal advertisements applies to politicians: people who actually have those qualities don't feel obliged to advertise them.)

George Will himself said in 2012, "Obama's intellectual sociopathy -- his breezy and somewhat loutish indifference to truth -- should no longer startle."

(Question: how can one be an "intellectual sociopath" without being a sociopath?)

Another sociopathic trait is disregard for rules. There has certainly never been a President who has abused executive orders that Obama has. (It's never before been invoked for such an issue as sweeping as immigration reform.) Obama has also used executive privilege to prevent Congress from forcing Eric Holder to produce documents related to Fast and Furious, a purpose for which that function was not designed.

Yet another sociopathic trait is lack of shame. One would think that Obama would feel at least a little embarrassed about taking as many lavish vacations as he has, and playing golf as often as he has, and throwing as many celebrity-studded parties as he has. But, embarrassment doesn't seem to be part of Obama's emotional repertoire.

The one incident which probably best illustrates Obama's character is one which took place in 2007. Thomas Sowell describes it thusly:

A classic example [of Obama's phoniness] was his speech to a predominantly black audience at Hampton University on June 5, 2007. That date is important, as we shall see.

In his speech -- delivered in a ghetto-style accent that Obama doesn't use anywhere except when he is addressing a black audience -- he charged the federal government with not showing the same concern for the people of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit as they had shown for the people of New York after the 9/11 attacks, or the people of Florida after hurricane Andrew hit.

Departing from his prepared remarks, he mentioned the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster relief to contribute 10 percent as much as the federal government does.

Senator Obama, as he was then, pointed out that this requirement was waived in the case of New York and Florida because the people there were considered to be "part of the American family." But the people in New Orleans -- predominantly black -- "they don't care about as much," according to Barack Obama….

Why is the date of this speech important? Because, less than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the United States Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans, as it had waived that requirement for New York and Florida…

The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007 shows Senator Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 Senators who voted against -- repeat, AGAINST -- the legislation which included the waiver.

For Obama to rile up his black audience that way by telling them that Congress discriminated against them when in fact it didn't -- and he himself was one of the few who actually voted against them -- demonstrates a level of perfidy that only a sociopath could reach. It was dishonest, disloyal, impulsive (in departing from his prepared remarks), contemptuous (of his audiences intelligence), divisive, and utterly shameless. Sociopaths delight in spreading discord, and as Sowell points out, that was a large part of Obama's function as a community organizer. 

The most interesting question about a sociopath is always, how did he get to be that way? The usual explanation for most is that nobody loved them when they were children. Obama never really knew Barack Obama Sr., who married his mother bigamously, telling her that he was divorced when he wasn't. He disappeared from Obama's life when Obama was two. (Obama only saw his father once after that, briefly, at age ten.)

Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, willingly gave him up for extended periods twice before he was sixteen. (He was left in the care of his grandparents.) This would seem to demonstrate a lack of maternal instinct. Obama himself has described her as "difficult," which in this case seems to be code for "overly self-involved and unloving." By his own admission Obama kept contact with her to a minimum from the time he was 20 until he was 30 (she died when he was 32).

A person who grows up never knowing his father, and not loving his mother, tends to end up "loving" himself. But it's a strange, twisted sort of love that makes him feel he's not answerable to other people, and doesn't need to speak to them honestly. It allows him to think he's fooling them even when he's not. And because he senses that he doesn't have the same internal moral compass as others, he'll talk about his "conscience" and his "empathy" in an effort to convince them that he does.

Many of those sociopaths end up in jail. Some end up as CEO's. A few have even ended up in the White House. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

On my hind legs

I competed in a masters swimming meet this morning, and swam a 200 yard butterfly in 2:17.3 seconds. Five years ago, at age 55, I swam the same event in 2:04.9. Granted, I was wearing a tech suit, but even without it, I would have been in the 2:06-high range, which means I'm roughly ten seconds slower now.

It's as if I compressed ten years worth of deterioration into five years.

Nevertheless, everyone congratulated me after my swim, as if I'd done something admirable. But there was a whole different feel to it. Five years ago, I still vaguely resembled a college swimmer -- if you squinted your eyes and didn't look too closely at the time.

Now, at age 60, people are applauding the old guy for simply finishing the race. Much in the same spirit that they would clap for a 4-year-old who can recite the alphabet. Or a dog that can walk on its hind legs.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Brian Williams, Part VI

In early February this blog ran five posts on NBC anchor Brian Williams and his series of fantastical lies. Today, it came out in the NY Post that Williams, in trying to explain his past lies, suggested he might have a possible brain tumor.

This is how sociopaths operate: they try to cover up their lies with yet more lies. They don't dispense with their dishonesty once they're caught. It stays with them for life.

If in fact Williams does have a brain tumor, it would be a type hitherto unknown to medical science. His tumor didn't interfere with his ability to read from a Teleprompter, or play vicious corporate politics, or stay carefully within the bounds of political correctness, or even recount where he was 12 years previous. No, this brain tumor's only effect was to force Williams to embellish his stories to make himself look more heroic than he actually was.

A couple excerpts from the Post article:

In the aftermath of the scandal, people at NBC News have repeatedly cited Williams’ penchant for bureaucratic infighting and his limited interest in “heavy” news, the piece says.

Bureaucratic infighting, of course, is a sociopathic specialty. Nobody has more stomach for ass-kissing, backstabbing, and corporate toadying than a sociopath. It's why you'll find sociopaths at or near the top of so many large corporations.

“He was having a tough enough time coming to grips with the idea that he had gotten it wrong in the first place, slash misrepresented it, slash lied,” an insider said. “He wasn’t anywhere in the ballpark of being helpful about what had happened 12 years ago.”

The thing about Williams, or any other sociopath, is that they'll never be anywhere in the ballpark of being truthful. They play ball by a whole different set of rules -- or lack of rules. And until you're familiar with their style of play, you'll have a hard time recognizing the "brain tumor" known as sociopathy.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Being "opinionated"

Gethin commented recently on the Millionth View post that "most philosophers [like Socrates] would maintain that being opinionated is a good thing."

I replied, "[Opinionated] is one of the most misleading words in circulation. Everybody is opinionated, whether they admit it or not..."

This blog is obviously nothing but opinion, so this is a somewhat defensive post. And I think what some people mean by "opinionated" is, people who feel obliged to aggressively give their opinions on absolutely everything, in every social situation.  But the idea that some people do not have opinions is ludicrous.

People will also sometimes say, "I'm not judgmental." The concept of a person who's completely nonjudgmental is equally silly. Everybody passes judgment on everybody; that's just human nature.

In fact, just by saying you're nonjudgmental -- as if that's a good thing --  you're effectively passing judgment on everybody who is judgmental. And since that's everybody, you're essentially condemning the entire human race.

Which is, when you think about it, the most judgmental statement of all.

Anyway, that's just my opinionated opinion. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Boy Scouts vs. the Catholic church

An AP article yesterday lauded the hiring of a gay Eagle Scout, Pascal Tessier, to serve as a Boy Scout summer camp leader in New York:

The national organization changed its policy in 2013 to allow openly gay youth as scouts, but not adults as leaders, after a bitter debate over its membership policy. The change took effect in January 2014.

It's easy to see how the Boy Scouts of America arrived at this decision. There were over 2000 cases of sexual abuse in the BSA before 1994, and in just one such case, the BSA had to pay out $18.5 million. 

The Left has, of course, hammered the Boy Scouts for not allowing openly gay adults to serve in supervisory positions. From a New York Times article dated June 10, 2014:

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. on Tuesday sharply criticized the Boy Scouts of America's policy that bans gay scout leaders, calling it “a relic of an age of prejudice and insufficient understanding.” In remarks to the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a gay-rights group, Mr. Holder said, “The continuation of a policy that discriminates against gay adult leaders, by an iconic American institution, only preserves and perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes.”

Another New York Times article from June 29, 2014, waxed about how wonderful it was that openly gay Boy Scouts marched in the Gay Pride parade in New York City. The article quoted only people who were opposed to the BSA's policy of excluding openly gay adults in supervisory positions. 

Yet at the same time that the liberal press has excoriated the BSA for not allowing openly gay troop masters, they've also mercilessly attacked the Catholic church for its history of child molestation by priests.

The excoriation of the church has slowed somewhat in the past two years, since the relatively liberal Pope Francis ascended to the papacy. But over the previous ten years, the Times featured numerous front page articles about the scandal. The paper's message is always the same: why did the church not do more to prevent this abuse? 

What exactly would the Times have had the Catholic church do to prevent further abuse? Ban all priests suspected of being homosexuals? 

There's a huge dichotomy -- okay, let's call it what it is, hypocrisy -- between the Times' stance on gay troop leaders and gay Catholic priests. 

More recently there have been a number of breathless headlines about how Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings pilot who just killed 149 people, had suffered from depression, and how the airlines should have known -- or did know -- about his illness ahead of time. The strong implication is that they should have grounded him based on that knowledge.

But wouldn't that constitute discrimination against those who suffer from depression? After all, the vast majority of depressives never kill anyone else.

Depressives as a group tend not to agitate for protection against discrimination. (They're probably too depressed to do so.) But what if airlines and other companies did discriminate against them? Would they be justified in doing so?

At what point do victims' rights override the rights of those claiming discrimination?

Don't expect a consistent answer from the New York Times. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ted Nugent, please be quiet

Ted Nugent was quoted in a Huffington Post article today saying that President Obama is causing the suicides among veterans:

“Here’s your job, Republican Party," Nugent said over the weekend in comments posted online by Right Wing Watch. "Twenty to 25 of those guys kill themselves every day, and they haven’t told you why and they haven’t told anybody else why but they told me why: because the commander-in-chief is the enemy."

This is the kind of ridiculous hyperbole one expects from the Left, not the Right. 

Veterans undoubtedly commit suicide for all sorts of reasons. Some may get depressed because their wives or girlfriends leave them. Some may have substance abuse issues. Some may have felt hopeless because  their employment prospects outside the military seemed dismal. Some may have just suffered from depression as an organic condition.

Undoubtedly some veterans are depressed because of the severe injuries they received in Iraq or Afghanistan. And veterans may also be at higher risk than the civilian population to begin with because they have access to and are familiar with firearms. 

But it's hard to imagine that many of them killed themselves because Obama is President. A large number of them undoubtedly despise Obama; but it's hard to believe that that would have been enough to drive them to suicide. 

And note the way Nugent's statement is constructed: he is saying, literally, that the veterans who killed themselves told him why they were committing suicide. (The quote is accurate, by the way, as you'll see if you watch the video on the link above.) 

This kind of inaccurate statement actually helps Obama, by making his opponents look like rash, intemperate morons. 

Last year Nugent apologized after calling Obama "a subhuman mongrel." (I'm not quite sure how that furthers the cause of conservatism.) 

Nugent is in many ways reminiscent of Alec Baldwin, another outspoken show business figure. (Baldwin once called a NY Post photographer who attempted to take his picture a "coon.")

Back in 2012, Nugent said that he would "either be dead or in jail" if President Obama were reelected. This comment is reminiscent of how Baldwin said in 2004 that if President Bush were reelected, he would leave the country. 

Baldwin never emigrated, and Nugent is still alive and free. But both men have proven time and again that they are, despite their political differences, birds of a feather. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

… it's 1999!

Say what you will about those two fellows who got into the dustup outside the NSA on Monday, they knew how to party.

Kevin Fleming and Ricky Hall turned out to be cross-dressing male prostitutes.

Ricky Hall:

Kevin Fleming:

They had evidently been on a drinking binge at a motel nearby when they decided to steal their john's Ford Escape and take it for a joyride. When the guard at the NSA entrance told them to turn back, they accelerated through the gate, then rammed an NSA police car. A firefight ensued.

Hall was killed and Fleming wounded. A search of the car turned up cocaine as well as a handgun.

Although initial speculation was that the incident might constitute some sort of protest against our government's overly intrusive surveillance policies, there seems to be no indication that either Hall and Fleming had any inkling they were at the headquarters of the NSA.

The next time one of your buddies preens about what a wild and crazy guy he is, compare him to these two. He'll almost certainly come up short.