FIRST TIME I’M REALLY PROUD OF MY COUNTRY

dumb-possible-1st-lady.jpg

Click Pic for Full Image ______________________________________________________________

lemniscate.gifMichael Ramirez – www.ibdeditorials.com

_______________________________________________________________

CANDIDATE CHOICES

running1.jpg

______________________________________________________________

lemniscate.gif Mike Lester/Rome News Tribune http://www.caglecartoons.com

________________________________________________________________

KNOW THYSELF-RACE & GENDER IN POLITICS

My favorite blogger is a female psychiatrist who writes under the name Dr. Sanity.
One of her usual topics is the insanity of the left. Here is a sample. If you find it interesting, her URL is http://drsanity.blogspot.com/

This sample is longer than her usual writings but I recommend you read it.

—————

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

BEYOND PARODY
Victor Davis Hanson comments on the ‘Orwellian Democratic message to the white male’:

If you’re African-American, then it’s OK that you express racial solidarity and vote for Sen. Obama by margins approaching 90 percent ­ while at the same time white males must prove that they are not racialists by having the courage to ‘do the right thing’ by likewise voting for an African-American. That apparently would make Michelle Obama proud of her country for the first time in her life.

If you vote for Hillary, likewise you transcend your gender and do the right thing ­ and so join the legion of feminists for whom her shared womanhood was their signature issue.

But if you were to vote for John McCain? You would, of course, reveal a tribal mentality by forgoing principle and obviously allying yourself along comfortable racial and gender lines.

Meanwhile, for the first time in her entire adult life, Michelle Obama–educated at a high-class Ivy league school and then Harvard for law school–finally has found something to be proud of in America.

The Democrats show to the world the blatant racism, sexism and underlies their multiculti ideology of victimhood; they hold up their perverted obsession with both race and sex as some sort of dystopian ideal– and Michelle Obama is proud?

This is the kind of America that Obama can be proud of? This is the sort of America that we should hope for? The kind where everything is determined by identity politics and the only thing that really matters is race and gender? The kind where the content of one’s character is always trumped by the color of one’s skin or the absence of a “Y” chromosome?

Excuse me while I vomit.

I have always been fascinated by what motivates people to behave in vile and despicable ways. It is part of the reason I became a psychiatrist–to try and understand that dark side of human nature (ok…also to try and understand my own dark side, if I’m completely honest).

The evil within men’s souls (and women’s, of course) hides behind many different masks. We all want to see ourselves as exemplifying the things we consider good; and, of course, we want others to see us that way, too. But the uncomfortable reality is that our darker self is always right there lurking beside our idealized image of ourselves.

How you deal with that dark side and its manifestations in the real world is a task far more important and than all the good intentions in the universe. I suspect this is why the Greek philosopher and sage Thales first admonished his fellow humans to, “Know thyself”; and the call was picked up independently in both the East and West by such luminaries Lao Tzu, Socrates, Alexander Pope, and Sigmund Freud.

It is not an easy business to know yourself. In fact, it is often quite disconcerting and sometimes very painful to look in the mirror of insight; and to acknowledge the dark side that can casually slip in to contaminate–and ultimately sabotage– all the excellent intentions of the good side.

Insight is a wonderful thing. The power or act of seeing into a situation and apprehending the inner nature or motivation of one’s self–especially the why–can be extremely liberating, as it was for Susan. Only by being aware of these kind of hidden truths and inner motivations can a person gain control over them and correct the behavior that they generate.But insight can also sometimes be devastating

In fact, the real problem of not knowing one’s self, and trying to avoid devastating self-awareness, is that the dark side is perfectly content to let the light side believe that goodness and light are running the show. The dark side is actually an expert at finding creative and disguised ways to express its destructiveness.

I am, of course, speaking about the unconscious mind, where the darkness can almost always be found in each of us. The last thing that our dark selves wants is for its unconscious processes to be made conscious through the development of insight and self-awareness; precisely because that is the only way to alter the self-destructive path that an individual or a group may sometimes be on.

Sometimes they can even convince themselves that because their behavior has some good intention or idealized fantasy behind it–that it represents ‘hope’ or ‘change’ or ‘progress’ or ‘social justice’–it doesn’t matter that, in the real world, its consequences are exactly the opposite of the expressed ideal.

That is how that dark side works–behind the mirror; hidden behind the lovely mask of goodness and love and compassion.

The political left has turned this psychological mechanism into a true art form. How else does any reasonable person explain fighting racisim by emphasizing race and making choices based on it. Eliminating gender bias, by being biased about gender. Tolerance expressed by self-righteous intolerance… and so on, ad infinitum.

Betsy once wrote about a perfect example (via Thomas Sowell) of how, in the name of ‘racial equality’, some people feel justified in engaging in the most perverse racism:

The very people who claim to live for the day when no one will pay attention to race are themselves constantly paying attention to race and making sure that no one can forget it. They’d prefer that black authors lose customers because people wouldn’t think to look in the African American section for a child development book than that they turn a blind eye to what might be in the best commercial interests of the author.

This is how intentions have become more important than outcome; and how–as long as you claim good intentions–you can pretty much get away with anything.

Another way of putting it is that it exemplifies how emotions and the need to feel good about one’s self are more important to some people than reality.

This is the same psychological maneuver that allows people to claim they are champions of free speech, as they diligently work to silence anyone with views that differ from their own.

It permits some male religious fanatics to believe that by subjuging women and making them invisible, they are virtuously protecting society from the evils of women’s sexuality; when what the society really suffers from is the evils of their own perverted sexuality. They delude themselves–and sometimes the women–into believing such nonsense so that they can maintain the illusion of being honorable men.

Sorry, guys. Know thyself. Your behavior only demonstrates for any outside observer that you are frightened little boys; sexually inadequate and completely unable to control your own sexual impulses, and needing to blame your own animal behavior on the opposite sex. In other words, dears, you are nothing but savages who are unable to live in a civilized world.

Savages protect their fragile self by subjugating those who are perceived as weaker. They then rationalize that they are superior to those so subjugated. In fact, this is the only way he can maximize his “honor”–the name of the particular mask this type of savage hides behind.

In Arab/Islamic culture (and other shame cultures), women are one of the primary instruments of achieving “honor”. Hence the bizarre and distorted attitude that the culture has toward women and the exaggerated means by which “honor” must be maintained. So strong is the cultural pressure, even women buy into the delusion.

In a culture where avoidance of shame is a primary function, it is much harder to know thyself. Everyone else’s success can only excacerbate one’s own failures and humiliations. In other types of cultures (e.g., a guilt culture),when one feels shame, huge efforts are made to correct and improve behavior. But in the Arab world, pride can be regained not by excelling or achieving;or by making amends; but only by destroying that which is more successful. Only then will the humiliation no longer exist.

No matter the cost to the society, culture, individual or community, destruction is preferable to achievement; and being perceived as honorable and virtuous is far more important than actually being honorable and virtuous.

Likewise, in today’s leftist culture, being perceived as “good” is much more important than actually doing good; hence the emphasis on show and the endless rhetoric about hope and change. The endless marches and protests and such. Participating in these useless activities has little to do with bringing peace, brotherhood or social justice into the world. But, as I have noted before, it serves the primary purpose of making participants feel good and virtuous about themselves. And that is the only thing that matters to these uninsightful, pathetic do-gooders. The kind who are unable to find anything good to say about a country that gave them unlimited opportunity, the freedom to pursue their dreams, and

They are almost always completely unable to see how their behavior facilitates and encourages exactly the opposite of their stated intentions:

instead of achieving peace; they make it possible for the destoyers and murderers of the world ot operate freely and with complete impunity; permitting them to get away even with genocide without having to suffer any consequences; as they appease and rationalize murderous behavior.
instead of achieving brotherhood; they have gone over the top to emphasize the differences between people; and pit group against group with identity politics and multicultural dogma;

instead of generating tolerance and love, they facilitate a perverse intolerance and hatred; spewing it forth with unbelievable venom toward those who don’t happen to agree with them;

instead of bringing about social justice; they end up actively supporting, justifying and protecting the most despicaable dictators and thugs the world has ever known.

instead of truly championing the oppressed–the poor, the discriminated against, the victimized– they have become invested in making them their “pet victims “and nourishing and promoting their victimhood for all eternity. They don’t care about developing or supporting programs that empower their pets, they are only concerned feeling good about themselves and promoting their agenda. Note how any who escape from their victimhood scam and actually begin to think for themselves are branded “traitors” to their eternally oppressed race or gender or whatever.
and, last but certainly not least:

Instead of creating an environment where ‘hope’ can thrive; or where ‘diversity’ really means celebrating differences, they will end up creating a dead-end world where opportunity and freedom slowly wither away and die as people are encouraged to be perpetual victims and express their eternal outrage that one group may ending up achieving more than another.

Know thyself. They are completely unable to appreciate how much evil their behavior rationalizes and encourages; nor do they have the slightest interest in how the consequences of their behavior are exactly the opposite of the very principles they claim to believe.

“But, we meant well!” is the operating slogan of pretty much all these hapless do-gooders and utopian reformers as they hack out a path in the world that is littered with the miserable lives and bodies of those who are unfortunate enough to have them as champions.

Just ask Hugo Chavez’ people in a year or two when Venezuela’s standard of living declines even further and their freedoms shrink beyond imagining. The only way a Chavez, or a Castro, or a Ahmadinejad; or groups like Hamas and Al Qaeda can maintain their control over others is if they succeed in externalizing the blame for all their own pathology; and then indoctrinating the next generation into the same psychological blindness and hate. that brought them to their present dyfunctional state.

Utopian dreams always morph with very little effort into totalitarian dreams. Without the courage to look in the mirror of insight, the idiots will always return :

Throughout the 20th century, Latin America’s populist leaders waved Marxist banners, railed against foreign imperialists, and promised to deliver their people from poverty. One after another, their ideologically driven policies proved to be sluggish and shortsighted. Their failures led to a temporary retreat of the strongman. But now, a new generation of self-styled revolutionaries is trying to revive the misguided methods of their predecessors.

Ten years ago, Colombian writer Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, Cuban writer Carlos Alberto Montaner, and I wrote Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot, a book criticizing opinion and political leaders who clung to ill-conceived political myths despite evidence to the contrary. The “Idiot” species, we suggested, bore responsibility for Latin America’s underdevelopment. Its beliefs­revolution, economic nationalism, hatred of the United States, faith in the government as an agent of social justice, a passion for strongman rule over the rule of law­derived, in our opinion, from an inferiority complex….

The Idiot’s worldview, in turn, finds an echo among distinguished intellectuals in Europe and the United States. These pontificators assuage their troubled consciences by espousing exotic causes in developing nations. Their opinions attract fans among First-World youngsters for whom globalization phobia provides the perfect opportunity to find spiritual satisfaction in the populist jeremiad of the Latin American Idiot against the wicked West.

There’s nothing original about First-World intellectuals’ projecting their utopias onto Latin America. Christopher Columbus stumbled on the shores of the Americas at a time when Renaissance utopian ideas were in vogue; from the very beginning, conquistadors described the lands as nothing short of paradisiacal. The myth of the Good Savage­the idea that the natives of the New World embodied a pristine goodness untarnished by the evils of civilization­impregnated the European mind.

Vargas Llosa refers to what brings out the “idiot” as an inferiority complex. But more than that, it is an inferiority complex that hides behind a mask of superiority and moral righteousness.

Know thyself.

When you think about it, the psyches of those who live in such cognitive dissonance have developed a most clever way to disguise the fundamental sense of inferiority; and to hide from the reality of their own racism or sexism. The mask hides all those inadequacies and keeps them from discovering–let alone learning how to control–their own dark side. This is the pathoogy that allows them to unconcernedly act out their darkest and most contemptible wishes and drives in reality, while patting themselves on the back for being so virtuous and good. Brilliant!

That’s how you can transform a perfidious concept like “affirmative action” (meant to “level the playing field”, but in reality has only facilitated and encouraged racial stereotyping and promoted all-around mediocrity) which glorifies and transforms racial quotas into a “positive” consequence of leftist dogma! That is how discriminating on the basis of race –the definition of racism–became one of the mantras of all the mindless leftist droids.

So what does it mean to a psychiatrist when a person (or group) say they stand for one thing, but their individual and collective behavior demonstrate exactly the opposite?

In psychoanalytic theory, a reaction formation is a neurotic psychological defense mechanism in which anxiety-producing or unacceptable emotions are replaced by their direct opposites. A projection is the much more primitive precursor of this type of defense (discussed here , here and here. Both defenses are deployed when the dark side of the self is kept out of consciousness; and they work behind the scenes to obliterate and obscure an awareness of one’s real motivations and feelings. Under the mask provided by these defenses, the consequences of one’s emotions or behavior are able to be ignored or dismissed, and the individual or group is able to convince themselves that the darkness within is actually external.

I notice in this Wikipedia article about reaction formation, the author very kindly produced three examples of individuals or types that engage in the neurotic behavior of reaction formation. All three examples are typical of the heart and soul of modern leftist thought and contemporary Democratic policies: the homophobic behavior of rednecks; the hypocritical behavior of Republicans( Mark Foley is mentioned) and those on the religious right who secretly are into pornography while publically expressing anti-porn views. Indeed, all three individual examples are good ones of the pathology in question.

What makes me laugh is how this Wikipedia exposition is itself a perfect example of a reaction formation (at best) or a projection (at worse). I suspect (but obviously don’t know for sure) that the author is of the leftist political persuasion; because it is clearly desperately important for him or her to demonstrate how the members of the political right engage in this kind of pathological behavior. The hypocrites who are so religious, yet engage in secret pornographic entertainment; the homophobic rednecks who fear their own homosexual thoughts and lash out at gays–these are his/her examples.

But let me explain the difference between those individual examples and what I am talking about. Reaction formation is a well-used and rather ubiquitous human psychological defense mechanism. It represents a strategy employed by dysfunctional individuals of both the left and right political persuasion–anyone who will not willingly look in the mirror of insight. The human condition has plenty of these neurotically impaired people. The damage that such individuals do to their own lives and to the lives of their loved ones is often very great.

However, consider for a moment the consequences of this defense mechanism when an entire group, culture or religion uses it regularly–and even manages to institutionalize it as a group imperative. The ripple effects are not localized to the immediate vicinity of their loved ones or co-workers. Its impact is wide-spread; and when amplified by the MSM, mass hysteria is generated and the large-scale emotional dysregulation goes well beyond damaging a few people; to negatively impacting large groups or nations of people.

Just like paranoia and projection (which are more psychotic than neurotic defenses) large groups can take up the banner of psychological dysfunction and actively encourage members to act mentally unbalanced for the sake of the group.

This kind of group or cultural dysfunction has somewhat more severe repercussions, as you might imagine, because group psychopathology can lead to misery on a large-scale and unbelievable atrocities that are sanctioned by the group.

There is no dysfunction like group dysfunction, I always say, to really screw up the entire world; and at this moment in time, the Democratic party, a card-carrying member of the political left and its its allies here and abroad, wins the Worldwide Group Psychopathology Award hands down.

Siggy notes:

In reality, the ‘progressives’ are actually regressive. It is because of the single minded, lockstep thinking that we find ourselves in the messes we are in. They believe in the ‘My way or the highway’ kind of thinking. Disagree with them and the world is coming to an end. The vitriol and visceral hatred of the current administration is a good example. No difference of opinion will be tolerated. Disagree and the well oiled machine of personal destruction comes out.

As their failures become more pronounced, the levels of anxiety and hysteria rise: the conspiracy theories escalate; and the reaction formation is ratcheted up even further. They will never willingly look in the mirror or explore their own inner darkness to try and understand how they have become the very evil they denounce.

That is the only way they will ever get beyond race and gender…and beyond the laughable parody of ‘hope and change’ they have become.

_____________________________________________

lemniscate.gifR.McClure/J.Chastain

_____________________________________________

NATION OF SHEEP-RULED BY WOLVES?

NATION OF SHEEP – RULED BY WOLVES?

The Saudis play a two faced game, wanting their cake and eat it too.
1.Desire for U.S. technology, consumer goods and assured hegemony in their region
2.Walking a fine line to save face in the OPEC community and with their Islamic brethren.

Since the Saudi Cash Laundering deal clinched a continuous supply of oil for the U.S. (no more shortages as in the ’70’s) and was extraordinarily lucrative for the powers that be and Halliburton et al, wouldn’t these powers that be go to any length to placate and mollify the Saudis and cater to any whim or caprice to keep the deal in place?

A SCENARIO:

THE SAUDIS SAY:
As you well know, we must fund and support fundamental Jihadists to maintain status in the Moslem World. However, in today’s political climate and with the common perception that we are in bed with the Capitalist Satan, lip service to conservative religious values is not enough.
We need you to SANCTION an event we would enact on U.S. SOVEREIGN SOIL that would result in MINIMAL COLLATERAL DAMAGE to you, but would MAXIMIZE PR VALUES FOR US. This is a small favor to ask an esteemed business partner in order to insure our mutual favorable future relations.
The event would categorically state that the Saudis are NOT WIMPING OUT.
We would be able to reply to our critics and react in the same manner as Papa Bush’s creative implementation of the MONROE DOCTRINE in the public flogging of Norieaga and the invasion of Panama or the chastisement of Saddam in the Gulf War. He truly sent a message to the world.

THE REPLY:
We will do our utmost to accommodate you in this matter.
We have a couple of obsolete office buildings in Manhattan that will fit the bill perfectly for a son et lumiere show. We can insure these buildings to the hilt in order to hedge our losses and may be able to put a spin on the spectacle that will also work to our advantage. To assure success and augment the total impact, we could possibly stage an ancillary concurrent side show at the Capitol . If there is any negative fallout we can tighten the screws and contain it. As the old saying goes,

“A nation of sheep, ruled by wolves can’t talk Baaaak.”

To avoid any unfortunate consequences from a possible backlash, we strongly advise flying the Bin Laden family out of the country on our nickel, prior to the event. As we helped our colleague in arms, Osama, in the Chechen conflict, we always take care of family first. What are friends for? Always great doing business with you.

______________________________________________________________

lemniscate.gif

______________________________________________________________

A NEW DIRECTION?

403863164_35bcd93002_o.jpg

____________________________________________________________

lemniscate.gifMr. Fish

______________________________________________________________

BUSH’S FAVORITE PAINTING

A painting fit for a president

This is George Bush’s favourite work of art. He says it’s heroic and inspirational. But what does it say about him? Jonathan Jones considers its artistic merits, while four other experts give their view

Friday February 1, 2008
The Guardian

Cowboy scene by WHD Koerner, 1916
WHD Koerner’s 1916 cowboy scene

Everyone has a picture on the wall with some personal meaning. When the art lover in question is George Bush, however, and he can’t stop telling us all his eccentric views about it, our interest is naturally piqued.Bush, it seems, has a great passion for a 1916 cowboy scene by WHD Koerner that hangs in his office. He loves telling people about its significance to him. According to The Bush Tragedy by Jacob Weisberg, published next month, when governor of Texas, Bush told staff the painting was called A Charge To Keep, a quote from his favourite Methodist hymn by Charles Wesley. He urged them to absorb the moral lesson of this “beautiful painting of a horseman determinedly charging up what appears to be a steep and rough trail. This is us,” he said.

Yet a little digging by Weisberg has revealed that the picture in question originally portrayed a bad man, not a good man. It was first used in the Saturday Evening Post in 1916 to illustrate a story about a horse thief, and captioned as a picture of his flight from the law. Only later did it illustrate a story about Methodism.There are a lot of funny things about this story: the art itself isn’t one of them. Bush’s favourite painting comes from a tradition of 19th- and early-20th-century art that inspired the later film westerns of John Ford. Koerner’s painting is a minor but decent example of the genre.

If you think it’s kitsch, look again at those sensitively suggested smoky mountains, that powerful observation of a horse’s motion. It is not in itself a shameful thing to love.

Bush’s fantastical interpretation of it is another matter. Of course, it’s unfair to laugh at someone for doing what everyone does when we look at art – seeing it his way. You bring the art history books, I’ll fetch the rope.

Lynne Segal, professor of gender studies
This is such an exhausted cliche of masculinity: the loner on his horse, the heroic, old-fashioned western archetype. It is symptomatic of the fact that Bush lives in a fantasy world, as many American men do, where you can invent a story and place yourself at the centre. You are a hero, not just of your own life, but leading others, too.

Yet this solipsistic vision seems so at odds with the knowledge – a knowledge that you would expect most of us to have today – that others create and shape our world. Instead, this kind of American masculine imagery suggests that you have to be not just the first among equals but heading the pack, leading the way forward.

Darian Leader, psychoanalyst
The painting itself is fairly dull. What is interesting is that Bush has invested a great deal in it, and seems to use it as a symbol of what he sees as his own mission. He interprets it as the story of missionaries spreading the word of truth and freedom, an impulse that informed the invasion of Iraq, when in fact it is a depiction of thieves on the run from the law. It’s a good example of repression: when we want to avoid an unpleasant truth, it has a habit of returning. There is a wonderful complement to this in a speech Tony Blair gave to troops in Iraq, during which he referred to “weapons of mass distraction”. This painting is Bush’s Freudian slip.

It also seems to illustrate a legacy being passed from father to son. It is almost impossible to understand Bush’s aspirations without thinking of what he saw as the unfinished business of his father. This painting suggests that if you want to understand Bush, you need to understand his father, and that’s a psychological truth that has an impact on world politics.

Joanna Bourke, military historian
There is a military feel to this painting. The men are armed and obviously fleeing, but the enemy is invisible, hidden in a huge expanse of rough, tough landscape. Bush clearly identifies with the main character in the painting: he is the leader of men, tough and masculine, travelling light with a magnificent animal between his thighs.

The war depicted here is partly against nature. It represents the taming of the great frontier. But there’s also a clear link to the American civil war, and to the battle against the wild Indians: the traditional American goodies and baddies. For Bush, the foreign baddies are terrorists, both abroad and within. Of course, the irony is that, in the painting, the men on horseback are the bandits. Bush is interpreting this as a utopian scene, as bandits often do, when in fact what is depicted is simple masculine criminality.

Derek Draper, psychotherapist and ex-Labour spin doctor
Bush’s mistaken enthusiasm suggests several psychological interpretations. The first will most readily appeal to committed Bush-haters: it is evidence of his tendency to misread situations and confuse right with wrong. A more subtle insight might involve imagining Bush’s inner world: for so long inhabited by the demons of drink, drugs and failure. His mind might resist a too-close-to-home image of a troubled man fleeing for his life and have to see instead the strong, heroic adventurer he has convinced himself he has become.

Most revealing, though, is the simple fact that a healthy mind would look at this image and not be certain what it depicted. Bush, though, as he once told Senator Joe Biden, doesn’t “do nuance”. Instead he invariably replaces “not-knowing” with prejudiced certainty. A foolish psychological mindset when it comes to art or life; a catastrophic one in politics.

_________________________________________________________

3jpeg-1.gif Reprinted from The Guardian

_________________________________________________________


SORRY STATE OF THE UNION

sorry_state_of_the_u5.jpg

Click for larger image

___________________________________________________________3jpeg-1.gifReprinted from the Calgary Sun/Truthdig

___________________________________________________________