August 9, 2006
Here is another reason to feel insignificant and inadequate.
Some people really have talent. Be sure to see all the pages…
August 9, 2006
Dr Sanity explains Capitalism, why the Left is broken and can’t ever be fixed.Feel free to take umbrage and disagree, of course. Just don’t be surprised if her words float inside your head like that catchy tune you just can’t stop humming.
Now, to fully understand the import of Dr Sanity’s post, a quick refresher course might be in order: See this and recall that Capitalism is, as Ayn Rand wrote,
The moral justification for Capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature that it protects man’s survival qua man and that it’s ruling principal is :Justice.
Dr Sanity’s words are quite focused and clear. In When Karl Met Sigmund, she states:
Simply put, totalitarian systems–whether from the left or the right (and that includes Marxism in any of its incarnations, whether religious or secular)– actively promote the most negative, primitive, and immature aspects of human nature. In fact, they give a societal/institutional blessing to such behavior; and thrive on the resulting projection, paranoia, distortion, and denial of reality.
So the relationship between Marx and Freud has not really accomplished what the left’s intellectuals wanted. Instead of diagnosing the pathology of capitalism, real understanding of Freud’s psychological theories actually exposes the inadequacies and fatal flaws of Marxist theory.
Because nowhere is there more violence, naked aggression, envy, greed, oppression, racism, injustice, slavery, poverty, and misery than in the shining examples of socialism and communism in today’s world.
We would only add what we have repeated many times before,
When nations that are that are led by or are under the influence of tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify those actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the tyranny.
Anyone that comes to the defense of tyrannical regimes and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral.
As a rule, moral behavior by government can only be found in Capitalist societies. Of course, there may be lapses in good governance, but that said, it is only Capitalist societies that self correct.
See Dr Sanity’s The Brilliance Of The New Barbarians. In that post, she makes note of the lengths totalitarian regimes will go, in their fight to usurp free societies.
With Hezbollah’s use of human shields; with their hiding in the midst of populated areas;with their sophisticated use of propaganda (“children are DYING!”); and with their reportedly preventing any civilians–including children– from escaping areas where they are likely to be hurt; we see the beginning of a new conundrum that the forces of civilization must resolve as they fight the onslaught of these barbarians, whose nihilism and fanaticism knows no bounds.
Of course, we can now add the calculated deceit of the media manipulators and their enablers, a clearly biased media.
Dr Sanity goes on to note that capitulation to the forces that challenge us, either en masse or little by little, is not an option. When we defend Capitalism, we are not defending the money markets. We are defending the right to make choices for ourselves and the right to think for ourselves. That is not an exaggeration. For example, Palestinians ‘collaberators’ are summarily executed by various factions, without the benefit of trial or due process- why? Because they were informed on, often by family and friends.
‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Totalitarian regimes all over the world and throughout history have relied on informers. Those regimes needed those informers- even children informing on their parents- to prevent the expression of ideas they deemed unacceptable. Palestinians who believe that terror is evil and that peace with Israel is incompatible with terror, are summarily executed. That is a value of the tyranny that the Palestinians voted for, in free elections.
Facing down- and defeating- totalitarian regimes is not an exercise of intellectual gymnastics or competing ideologies. We are not engaging in a political ‘experimenty.’ The cost of the war cannot be measured by bombs or budgets. Even when we win, we lose.
More somber thoughts on the very real cost and consequences we face.
The cost of this war will be more than all the lives lost; it will also be for the humanity and civilization we must temporarily abandon to win. I love to read fantasies as much as anyone, but in the real world, the good and virtuous whose cause is just do not always win.
When we are finally cornered and must allow our own barbarism to surface to combat theirs head to head, then we must be prepared to live with the consequences, including the agonizing guilt that will ensue–or everything we hold dear, everything we aspire to become, will forever perish from this earth.
Our destiny is in play, even as we speak. Our adversaries already know the value of freedom. That is why they fear it so much.
Now, we need to prove to ourselves that we understand that freedom is worth fighting for- and that is the tune that needs to be playing in our heads.
Wake Up And Smell The Coffee: Proportionality Revisited, France And The New Tale Of David And Goliath
August 9, 2006
Hizbollah are ‘winning,’ we are told.
“All Hizbollah has to do is still be standing at the end and they can claim a win,” say others.
What absolutely stupid and mindless drivel.
If the Israelis wanted to eliminate Hizbollah, they only need to look to the French: When they bombed Serbia, over 10,000 civilians in Belgrade were killed- and that was in Belgrade only. It is estimated that ‘enlightened’ French military tactics resulted in the deaths of up to 30,000 civilians.
To equal that ‘enlightened’ French expression of military might, Israel need not concern itself until there are an additional 29,000 plus civilian deaths in Lebanon.
Here is some more reality. In discussing proportionality, consider this: The total Jewish population of Israel is about 5.5 million, out of total of 6.5 million. The total number of Jews in the world outside of Israel is about 8.5 million at most. Worldwide, the total Jewish population is no more than 14 million.
The population of the Arab world is approximately 323 million people, the vast majority of which believe their highest calling is to kill Jews. This is taught in schools, reinforced in the media and preached incessantly, from the pulpit, by religious ‘leaders.’
If the entire Islamic world is factored into the equation, the population that revels in the thought of the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews, swells. Total Muslim population estimates range from 700 million to 1.8 billion.
How’s that for ‘proportionality’?
There are up to 1.8 billion people that who believe killing Jews is a ticket into Paradise. OK, let’s halve that number. Not all Muslims buy into the racist, bigoted and hate filled ideologies. That leaves only 900 million people that want to slaughter Jews. Ok, let’s be serious- say only a third of them are really committed to killing Jews.
That leaves 300 million Muslims ready to respond to the call of ITBACH AL YAHUD!- SLAUGHTER THE JEWS!
Absurd? Maybe. Tell you what- how about we only factor in the Arab population?
Let’s say only 25% of the Arab population are serious. Notwithstanding the Arab League and CNN telling us the Arab world is united in their hatred of Israel, let’s say that only 25% of Arabs want to kill Jews. That leaves over 80 million Arabs that would kill a Jew at the drop of a hat so that they might get into Paradise.
That means less than 1 in 16 Arabs will have their dreams fulfilled. (Of course, if you factor in the Iranians, and the other billion Muslims, there are even fewer Jews to go around. One has to wonder if Muslim brother will fight Muslim brother for the privilege of killing Jews and thus assuring their place in Paradise).
Where were the ‘proportionality’ concerns prior to the current crisis? Why are tens, if not hundred of millions of people who would be delighted to ‘finish what Hitler started,’ not a concern?
There is a real David and Goliath story going on here. Only an evil bastard would deliberately misrepresent who is who.
Only an idiot cannot tell them apart.
August 9, 2006
Look carefully at this photo.
Which Democrat do you think best represents the interests of the people of Conneticut- Joe Lieberman or Ned Lamont?
August 9, 2006
I don’t know that I feel like blogging anything today. I’m still stinging from yesterday’s unfair wound to my vanity by the supposedly Vanity Fair Guy. I guess I’ll just wrap up the interview with Sigmund, Carl and Alfred. They have a few more questions.
First up, “Are there patients that haunt you? Have any influenced you?”
A: First of all, I resent the question. That’s no mere “patient” haunting me, that’s my mother. And yes, as a matter of fact, mother was a big influence on me. Like me, she was a dated but full-bodied crackpot with a rustic, tendentious nose and a jejune, slightly fruity finish. She would go well with a soft, friendly muenster–not as soft as the Vanity Fair Guy’s abs, mind you, nor perhaps as pungent on an August day in Manhattan.
Patients that haunt me…. No, not really. Maybe that one who never paid his bill…. Although I can say this: in order to really treat a patient on a deep level, you must allow yourself to be temporarily “haunted” by them–I hate to say “literally,” but I do mean literally.
You see, when someone comes in for treatment, they are obviously in pain. But they are unable to bear all of their pain. Rather, they have various defense mechanisms in place that shield them from it. However, the defense mechanisms are not entirely effective. The pain “leaks out” and can be picked up by those around them. As a psychologist, you are trained to pick up on the pain which the patient is unable to bear. Oddly enough, you will often be aware of the pain before the patient is. This is known as “counter-transference.” Through it, you are able to give words to otherwise unglishable feelings that are beyond the patient’s horizon of articulation.
I do not wish to engage in mystagogy–at least not at the moment. Perhaps tomorrow. But this capacity for detecting pain in another is not something one learns in graduate school. Rather, it is something possessed by most humans in varying degrees. For example, one of the things that makes a severely autistic person autistic is a compromised ability to “read” other minds.
This is actually referred to in the literature as our “mind reading” module, although it is not the sort of mind reading one sees on the Larry King show. Then again, who knows? I have no philosophical objection to the idea that consciousness is a field into which we tap. For example, imagine a lampshade with hundreds of pinprick holes. From the outside it will look as if there are many individual sources of light, when in reality, there is only the one bulb–the one source of light.
Come to think of it, I don’t think there’s any question that our minds are connected in ways that we do not understand. This is the whole basis of synchronicity, which allegedly reveals the nonlocal interconnectedness of the cosmos through meaningful coincidence.
Here again, I have no philosophical bobjection to this concept. For example, whatever else the cosmos is, it is ultimately One. Therefore, even though it appears from our vantage point that the cosmos has an “exterior” (matter) and “interior” (subjectivity), somehow these categories must resolve into a higher unity. I have always imagined it as a klein bottle (well, not always–starting in 1973, when I tried one of those herbal jazz cigarettes), which is a geometrical object that has only one surface, but still has an inside and an outside.
I have experienced many strange synchronicities in my life, but one of the weirdest occurred when I was sitting up in bed, thinking about this and that, while my wife was falling asleep. My mind was dwelling on nothing in particular, and I was thinking to myself about how a certain acquaintance sometimes called me “Bob,” other times “Robert.” Mrs. G.–who was sound asleep–then says, “Do you mind if I call you Bob?” Wo! (Feel free to share your synchronicity stories in this thread.)
I’m sure you married folks are aware of the nonlocal connectedness of you and your spouse. I can always tell if Mrs. G. is in a… is in… is in anything less than her typically cheerful and sunny mood even before she is. In other words, I can sense a disturbance in the force even before anybody is talking about some conversation with the flying plates.
So yes, in order to really get to know someone, we must allow ourselves to become haunted by them. Not only that, but in life in general we must decide what we are going to allow to haunt us. For I can assure you, a person is partly defined by what haunts them. Kos, Cindy Sheehan, and the Vanity Fair Comic Book Guy are haunted by some things, while you and I and other normal people are haunted by other things entirely. You, I assume, are not haunted by the prospect of a fascist-Christian theocracy in the United States. But in order to understand such a person, you must dwell in their emotional pain–which is real, if misconscrewed–and trace it back to its actual source. It is a transformation of some other pain that is haunting their house and making them belief the unbelievable–even fervently so.
But the fervor is a measure of the desperation, and ultimately ineffectiveness, of the defense mechanism. When dealing with emotions, there is both form and substance, and the outward form is often a second-hand smokescreen that conceals the actual source of the pain.
Let’s take The Comic Book Guy, for example. I haven’t read much by him, but it is as if everything he writes is in the same musical key–even the same note played over and over. What is this note? Contempt, pomposity, superiority, devaluation, envy. It would be a mistake to analyze his writing for its content—of which there is little–instead of the much more vivid unconscious message that always comes through. Through my studies with Milt Jung, the great chiropractor and second cousin of Melanie Klein, I learned that contempt–especially if it is dominant in the personality–is always a defense mechanism. It is always in the service of primordial envy, a topic I have discussed in the past. If someone is particularly insecure, they can unconsciously manage this insecurity, ward off depression, and elevate themselves through the constant operation of contempt. It is not voluntary, but compulsive.
There is certainly a place for righteous indignation and contempt–for example, toward an Arafat, toward Nasrallah, toward CAIR or the New York Times editorial board… no, wait, the Times is beneath contempt. But the habitually contemptuous person is almost always contemptible–in his own unconscious assessment. The object for whom he expresses contempt is simply a sacrificial victim that allows him to live another day under very difficult circumstances. You wouldn’t want to be that person, their petty little daily contemptuous triumphs notwithstanding. It can’t be easy living in that body.