Epidemic Of Mildness

SCENE:  Mitch BERG, driving down Larpenteur Avenue, is behind a Subaru.  The Subaru, coated in liberal campaign stickers dating back to when the car was new (Wellstone’s first re-election campaign), suddenly blows a tire.  It tries to drive for a block or two on the flapping flat until it pulls over

BERG pulls over behind it and gets out to offer help…

…and is visibly dismayed to see Cat SCAT, designated “fact checker” at progressive blog “”MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“, and office manager at a small phrenology practice, clamber out of the malfunctioning door.

SCAT:  Merg!  There is going to be an epidemic of white right-wing male violence!

BERG: Yeah, Big Left has been warning us about that for a long, long time.  In the meantime, while we wait, and wait, and wait for that to happen, all the actual violence is coming from the left. James Hodgkinson, the murder of Brooks Jennings, Floyd Corkins and his attack on the Family Research Council, the various “Anti”-Fa thugs and their attacks, the assaults on Sarah Anderson and Shane Mekeland, and a long, long list of other attacks.

SCAT: Yeah, but you’ve got people on the right calling for violenbce!

BERG: Such as?

SCAT:  Ted Nugent!

BERG:  A man whose commercial peak was 40 years ago, whose peak infliuence as a pundit was 25 years ago, and who was cashiered from the leadership of the NRA for being a loose cannon.

SCAT:   You conveniently omit Lester Crrunkins!

BERG:   Who in the flaming hootie-hoo is Lester Crunkins?

SCAT:  He’s a prominent Republican Party official who called for the violent establishmebt of a white homeland!

BERG: And where’s he from?

SCAT:  Prominent!

BERG:   Where?

SCAT:   Er…

BERG:   He’s from a town in western Oklahoma, he was the only person who showed up at the convention so he elected himself chair, and he’s been castigated by his county and state parties.   And that’s only after they found out who he was in the first place, since the only reason anyone knows who he was was the media flocking to report on a “prominent” Republican calling for violence.

Which is intended to draw attention away from the likes of Maxine Waters and the other Democrats calling for violence – which is what I call “Berg’s Seventh Law”, by the way.

SCAT:  (Winds up to try to punch BERG.  Swings.  BERG dodges the punch easily and steps back).  :

SCAT:  (Winded) .   That was self-defense!

BERG:  Of course it was…

(And SCENE)

Fight The Power

Senator Warren just held a press conference saying that genetics tests prove that she is of between 1/64 and 1/512 Native American ancestry – and therefore “Native American”

Those same tests say that I – one of the most northern European people I know, and proud of it – am between 1/64 and 1/256 African-American.

If I were to use my “African-American heritage” to get preferential treatment, including prestigious academic appointments, based on a genetic sample like that, not only would people mock and taunt me, I would mock and taunt myself. And I would deserve it.

Please, my Democrat friends – nominate this woman for president in 2020.

Stuck On Stupid

A Rhode Island state “gun violence task force”has released its recommendations for what to “do” about “gun violence“:

Sounds familiar?

They include: a ban on ammunition feeding devices — known as magazines — with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, prohibiting the concealed carry of firearms on school grounds and within 1,000 feet of elementary or secondary schools and in government buildings, and raising the age to buy a “long gun” from 18 to 21, where it already stands for handguns.

The group stopped short, however, of backing a ban on military-style assault weapons

, opting to call instead for a new requirement that they be registered with a state or local law enforcement agency.

Isn’t it strange? No matter how many “panels of experts” the ass, the recommendations always come back around to “squat on the law abiding citizen, and do nothing that would ever address violent crime?”

Old World Craftsmanship

Volunteer for the Melissa Hartman campaign shows us the care and precision that the DFL wants to bring to the healthcare industry:

I suspect the volunteer is also a project manager on the MNLARS system…

I Was Sitting In The NARN Hawaiian Hotel…

Join me from 1-3PM today on the NARN!

Today on the show:

  • Jim Hagedorn and, maybe with a little luck, Rep. Jason Lewis, will join us to talk about their races, the impact of the Trump visit ,and the events of this past few weeks.
  • Eternal Cultural Warfare

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson is  on “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

Michael Bloomberg’s Open Racism

A friend of the blog writes:

Bloomberg makes it clear:
“guns need to be kept out of the hands of minorities in order to keep them alive.” -M. Bloomberg

Since 1968 the left has pushed gun control measures for the primary purpose of disarming minorities. Til now they have always couched their arguments in broad neutral terms so it wouldn’t be obvious to the low-information citizens that their target is and always was to make sure minorities, especially blacks, would not have access to firearms for self defense.
Now Bloomberg is making it clear who he is intending to deprive of their civil rights:
Michael Bloomberg suggests disarming minorities to ‘keep them alive’: report

Michael Bloomberg suggests disarming minorities to ‘keep them alive’: re...o go ahead vote for gun-control politicians, its only blacks who will be affected.
They don’t even bother to hide their racism anymore!

“Hiding” has never been the word for it; gun control has always been about disarming black people (before they added working class whites to the target list).

#MeThree

SCENE:   Mitch BERG is shopping for a suit.  As he pokes through a rack of jackets, Avery LIBRELLE wanders around the corner, distacted, nearly bumping into him. 

LIBRELLE:  Merg!

BERG:  Oh, sh…shuper amazing to see you, Avery.

LIBRELLE:  Don’t give me the happy talk.  What about the charges against you?

BERG:  Charges?   Oh, do tell.

LIBRELLE:  Miss Lyudmila Korolevska says you tried to kiss her against her will, and told her an unwelcome dirty joke at a party.

BERG: Huh.  Never met anyone named Lyud…er, Korolevska.

LIBRELLE:   It was at a party in either Yalta, Kilpyavr or Novisibirsk in 1983.

BERG: Huh.  I was in college in rural North Dakota in 1983.   Nowhere near Russia.

LIBRELLE:   Don’t evade the question!

BERG: What question?

LIBRELLE:  Why did you sexually assault Miss Shtolipinska?

BERG: Wasn’t her name just Korolevska

LIBRELLE:  She goes back and forth on that.

BERG:  Huh.  So you don’t know her name, it took place in one of three places…

LIBRELLE:  Or maybe Smolensk.

BERG: …four places that I have never been, at times when I couldn’t have been there, doing things I just don’t do.

LIBRELLE:  I believe accusers!

BERG:  Of course you do.  Accusers like Karen Monahan?

LIBRELLE:  SLUT!  WHORE!  CAPITALIST TOOL!

BERG:  Of course she is.

STORE STAFFER:  Er, Ma’am…(Confused)…sir…um [Looks at BERG, perplexed.  BERG shrugs], er, loud person?

LIBRELLE:  [Exasperated, to both]  Oh, you people and your privilege!

And SCENE

If Guns Are Banned, Only Occupiers Will Have Guns

Gun control prevents tyranny – and, if heaven forfend, someone tries to tyrannize anyway, it makes it a lot less secure a business.

Conversely?  Gun control not only makes tyranny easier to impose, but easier to sustain.

Robert Verbruggen at National Review on the effects that France’s gun control movement had on making life easier for the Nazis.

The French started out so well:

The French came closer to having a Second Amendment than one might imagine. Indeed, they could have had one more clearly written than ours: Just a month after the storming of the Bastille in 1789, a draft of the Declaration of Rights stated that “every citizen has the right to keep arms at home and to use them, either for the common defense or for his own defense, against any unlawful attack which may endanger the life, limb, or freedom of one or more citizens.”

Alas, it was not to be. That provision did not make it into the final document, though a vague right to “resistance of oppression” did.

Vague, interpretable rights really aren’t rights at all.

As the French found out; political violence in the thirties led to gun control laws.“resistance of oppression” did.

An 1834 law had banned “war” weapons, essentially restricting civilians to shotguns, hunting-caliber rifles, and some handguns. In 1935, amid violent political upheaval, the government required the registration of non-hunting guns. Meanwhile, a French hunting organization estimated that there were about 3 million hunting guns in the country in 1939, when its population was something like 40 million.

Germany occupied the northern half and Atlantic coast of France in 1940, making short work of the French armed forces and taking 2 million soldiers prisoner in the resulting armistice. In France as elsewhere, the Nazis made it a priority to disarm the population when they arrived, hanging signs threatening harsh punishment — up to and including the death penalty — for those who refused to turn in their guns.

So the French resistance started out the war hobbled badly by the lack of meaningful means of fighting the Boche.

One of the movement’s biggest complaints was that the Allies were failing to supply them enough. And even so, one of [author Steven] Halbrook’s interviewees estimated that 85 percent o f the group’s guns came from airdrops, with jut 15 percent being guns that civilians brought themselves, often without ammunition.

The whole thing is worth a read.

And a trip to Fleet Far, if you know what I mean.

Tongue Tied

I knew something was wrong before I heard any actual words about the subject.

It had already been a rough morning. My kids had missed their bus, so I had to drive them to school.

Then, I’d had to slog my way through traffic on I 94 to try to get from the north end of StPaul out to my job, near Ridgedale. But things were finally picking up; I was listening to PJ O’Rourke doing a book interview on the KQRS morning show. They got to a commercial break, and I flipped over to “Morning Edition”.

And I knew something had to be terribly, terribly wrong even before I heard a coherent sentence.

The NPR hosts were trying to ad lib.

Maybe you never think about this – the way people sound on the radio is pretty easy to take for granted. But even though in 2001 I hadn’t set foot in a radio station in nine years, that sound – NPR hosts trying to ad lib – grabbed me like a hand reaching for my throat out of the dashboard.

Remember in “Hunt for Red October“, when Fred Thompson says Russians “don’t take a dump without a plan?“ Public radio air staff don’t put a bagel in the toaster without a script. Everything you hear on the air on public radio is written out, and doesn’t get anywhere near a microphone until a chain of editors has picked it over. Those “spontaneous “ questions that the newscasters ask of the reporters when they’re talking about news stories? Scripted. Even the rare, occasional program that is made up of unscripted material – think “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me“ and Teri Gross and the like – is edited to a fine sheen before it gets anywhere near broadcast.

NPR people never ad lib – and when they have to, they are pretty much always terrible at it.

And so when events move too fast for the editorial process to keep up, and they have to ad lib, it stands out like Ozzy Osbourne at a Rotary meeting.

So when I flipped over to Morning Edition, and heard nothing but stammering and people trying to express the unthinkable in real time, I knew something had to be terribly wrong even before I actually heard anything.

And so while the news got worse and worse all day, I don’t know that anything really triggered my sense of alarm more than the gaping, stammering, confused not-quite-silence on NPR that morning. And of all the things that happened that day, that feeling – driving down 394, thinking “this has got to be real, real bad“ without knowing anything concrete about it at all – is still the memory that sticks with me when people asked “where were you that morning?“

Remember when your grandmother said “nothing good happens at 2 AM“? Nothing good happens when public radio people go off script.

Like The Obama Economy, Only Much, Much Better

I caught this yesterday via Gary Gross at LFR -Kevin Hassett, chair of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, addressing every liberal’s favorite canard, the notion that Trump inherited a booming economy.

You can watch the whole 45 minute thing…:

…or you can check out the actual charts Hasset references

And they make some good reading.    If perception is reality, then the perception of the economy in reality took a bit of a jump around the time you-know-who got elected:

 

State Of Things

A longtime friend of the blog writes :

First off, if Minneapolis were really serious about saving gas mileage, they’d make the streets drivable by stopping so many bike lanes that have forced cars onto more and more dismal main arteries that are clogged with traffic while the bike lanes are empty (especially from November through March.  This is something that the city council could actually have an effect on fuel mileage.  Quit whining about things out of their jurisdiction.  Could you imagine the fuel savings if we could actually get from point a to point b without total traffic congestion in my fair city?

Second let me paraphrase the section on Ellison with italics indicating what I changed.

Could also be said by Dave Orrick in the PiPress, “Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump. It’s all about Donald Trump, at least according a Democratic narrative as part of the every wave of what promises to be a tide of political attack ads coming to Minnesota’s 2018 election season. Even in races where Trump isn’t running, from the U.S. Senate high on the ballot down to state House races, he’s under attack. … The ads and social media messages basically say this: Republican candidate (insert name) has refused to condemn Donald Trump for (insert issue here). He/she should be ashamed.”

Sheesh Mitch.  Such a world we live in.

Trump is something the Left can deflect to – or so it thinks – forever.

Care Required

I’m not sure how old the adage is – but liberals should take keen advice from the phrase “only give your side the power you’re not afraid of your enemy having”.

For example, many on the left express worry about the Trump administration stance – hostility – towards the media.

They do this, apparently, forgetting that Trump isn’t doing anything that Obama did and pave the way to:

Criticism of Mr. Obama’s stance on press freedom, government transparency and secrecy is hotly disputed by the White House, but many journalism groups say the record is clear. Over the past eight years, the administration has prosecuted nine cases involving whistle-blowers and leakers, compared with only three by all previous administrations combined. It has repeatedly used the Espionage Act, a relic of World War I-era red-baiting, not to prosecute spies but to go after government officials who talked to journalists.

Under Mr. Obama, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. have spied on reporters by monitoring their phone records, labeled one journalist an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case for simply doing reporting and issued subpoenas to other reporters to try to force them to reveal their sources and testify in criminal cases.

If the left didn’t have double-standards…

…well, you know where this goes, right?

For Love Or Money

America’s left has jabbered on for decades about one form of “class warfare” (by many names, but the same idea) or another.    And on the issue of gun control, they have one – but they are the patricians, trying to keep the plucky plebeians down.

The passion gap is immense.  The intensity with with Real Americans defend their Second Amendment rights is something Big Left, in its’ infinitely dubious wisdom, mocks and taunts but can’t seem to beat for love, or…

…well, they’re certainly pouring money into it.

Remember all those “spontaneous student activists” that spontaneously popped up moments  spontaneous after the Parkland shooting spontaneous?

They apparently need more spontaneous activists fast, in time for the elections:

My guess – the first round of activists got new video games.

A Bit Of A Quandary

I am a firm, firm believer in letting the free market arbitrate political disputes as much as possible.

But sometimes, the free market beats me to it.

Not always: years ago, when liberal social justice and then ease lined up against Chick-fil-A, I was already to go out and grab a bag full. But there were no Chick-fil-As in the Twin Cities at the time. Likewise, last week when a California politician criticized In and Out Burger for donating to Republicans,… Well, not only are there no such restaurants anywhere in Minnesota, but I don’t eat hamburgers anymore.

More to the point, though? Nike has fraudulently cast Colin Kaepernick is a civil rights legend. He’s not, of course – he was riding the bench before he started riding his knee, and he barely had a career to “sacrifice” with his antics.

But I haven’t bought a Nike product of any kind in probably 30 years, because the price for the quality is just too high.

Likewise, earlier this week when Levi Strauss company announced they were forming a gun control group among big businesses, I ordinarily have made a mental note to stop buying their products (as I did with Pepsi, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell back in the 1990s).

But I haven’t put on a pair of Levi’s in close to 20 years – because when I did buy them, the quality was so shoddy I had to check to see if they have been made in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin wall. That being a time of my life where I had to stretch a block, having pants wear – I kid you not – the crotch ripped out after two months was a big influence on my personal free market, if you catch my drift.

Living With An Abusive Half Of The Electorate, Part IV – Gibberish Studies

Up next in our examination of th

3. Nonsensical conversations from hell.
If you think you’re going to have a thoughtful discussion with someone who is toxic, be prepared for epic mindfuckery rather than conversational mindfulness.

Malignant narcissists and sociopaths use word salad, circular conversations, ad hominem arguments, projection and gaslighting to disorient you and get you off track should you ever disagree with them or challenge them in any way. They do this in order to discredit, confuse and frustrate you, distract you from the main problem and make you feel guilty for being a human being with actual thoughts and feelings that might differ from their own. In their eyes, you are the problem if you happen to exist.

Spend even ten minutes arguing with a toxic narcissist and you’ll find yourself wondering how the argument even began at all. You simply disagreed with them about their absurd claim that the sky is red and now your entire childhood, family, friends, career and lifestyle choices have come under attack. That is because your disagreement picked at their false belief that they are omnipotent and omniscient, resulting in a narcissistic injury.

Remember: toxic people don’t argue with you, they essentially argue with themselves and you become privy to their long, draining monologues. They thrive off the drama and they live for it. Each and every time you attempt to provide a point that counters their ridiculous assertions, you feed them supply. Don’t feed the narcissists supply – rather, supply yourself with the confirmation that their abusive behavior is the problem, not you. Cut the interaction short as soon as you anticipate it escalating and use your energy on some decadent self-care instead.

4. Blanket statements and generalizations.
Malignant narcissists aren’t always intellectual masterminds – many of them are intellectually lazy. Rather than taking the time to carefully consider a different perspective, they generalize anything and everything you say, making blanket statements that don’t acknowledge the nuances in your argument or take into account the multiple perspectives you’ve paid homage to. Better yet, why not put a label on you that dismisses your perspective altogether?

On a larger scale, generalizations and blanket statements invalidate experiences that don’t fit in the unsupported assumptions, schemas and stereotypes of society; they are also used to maintain the status quo. This form of digression exaggerates one perspective to the point where a social justice issue can become completely obscured. For example, rape accusations against well-liked figures are often met with the reminder that there are false reports of rape that occur. While those do occur, they are rare, and in this case, the actions of one become labeled the behavior of the majority while the specific report itself remains unaddressed.

These everyday microaggressions also happen in toxic relationships. If you bring up to a narcissistic abuser that their behavior is unacceptable for example, they will often make blanket generalizations about your hypersensitivity or make a generalization such as, “You are never satisfied,” or “You’re always too sensitive” rather than addressing the real issues at hand. It’s possible that you are oversensitive at times, but it is also possible that the abuser is also insensitive and cruel the majority of the time.

Hold onto your truth and resist generalizing statements by realizing that they are in fact forms of black and white illogical thinking. Toxic people wielding blanket statements do not represent the full richness of experience – they represent the limited one of their singular experience and overinflated sense of self.

5. Deliberately misrepresenting your thoughts and feelings to the point of absurdity.
In the hands of a malignant narcissist or sociopath, your differing opinions, legitimate emotions and lived experiences get translated into character flaws and evidence of your irrationality.

Narcissists weave tall tales to reframe what you’re actually saying as a way to make your opinions look absurd or heinous. Let’s say you bring up the fact that you’re unhappy with the way a toxic friend is speaking to you. In response, he or she may put words in your mouth, saying, “Oh, so now you’re perfect?” or “So I am a bad person, huh?” when you’ve done nothing but express your feelings. This enables them to invalidate your right to have thoughts and emotions about their inappropriate behavior and instills in you a sense of guilt when you attempt to establish boundaries.

This is also a popular form of diversion and cognitive distortion that is known as “mind reading.” Toxic people often presume they know what you’re thinking and feeling. They chronically jump to conclusions based on their own triggers rather than stepping back to evaluate the situation mindfully. They act accordingly based on their own delusions and fallacies and make no apologies for the harm they cause as a result. Notorious for putting words in your mouth, they depict you as having an intention or outlandish viewpoint you didn’t possess. They accuse you of thinking of them as toxic – even before you’ve gotten the chance to call them out on their behavior – and this also serves as a form of preemptive defense.

Simply stating, “I never said that,” and walking away should the person continue to accuse you of doing or saying something you didn’t can help to set a firm boundary in this type of interaction. So long as the toxic person can blameshift and digress from their own behavior, they have succeeded in convincing you that you should be “shamed” for giving them any sort of realistic feedback.

6. Nitpicking and moving the goal posts.
The difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism is the presence of a personal attack and impossible standards. These so-called “critics” often don’t want to help you improve, they just want to nitpick, pull you down and scapegoat you in any way they can. Abusive narcissists and sociopaths employ a logical fallacy known as “moving the goalposts” in order to ensure that they have every reason to be perpetually dissatisfied with you. This is when, even after you’ve provided all the evidence in the world to validate your argument or taken an action to meet their request, they set up another expectation of you or demand more proof.

Do you have a successful career? The narcissist will then start to pick on why you aren’t a multi-millionaire yet. Did you already fulfill their need to be excessively catered to? Now it’s time to prove that you can also remain “independent.” The goal posts will perpetually change and may not even be related to each other; they don’t have any other point besides making you vie for the narcissist’s approval and validation.

By raising the expectations higher and higher each time or switching them completely, highly manipulative and toxic people are able to instill in you a pervasive sense of unworthiness and of never feeling quite “enough.” By pointing out one irrelevant fact or one thing you did wrong and developing a hyperfocus on it, narcissists get to divert from your strengths and pull you into obsessing over any flaws or weaknesses instead. They get you thinking about the next expectation of theirs you’re going to have to meet – until eventually you’ve bent over backwards trying to fulfill their every need – only to realize it didn’t change the horrific way they treated you.

Don’t get sucked into nitpicking and changing goal posts – if someone chooses to rehash an irrelevant point over and over again to the point where they aren’t acknowledging the work you’ve done to validate your point or satisfy them, their motive isn’t to better understand. It’s to further provoke you into feeling as if you have to constantly prove yourself. Validate and approve of yourself. Know that you are enough and you don’t have to be made to feel constantly deficient or unworthy in some way.

7. Changing the subject to evade accountability.
This type of tactic is what I like to call the “What about me?” syndrome. It is a literal digression from the actual topic that works to redirect attention to a different issue altogether. Narcissists don’t want you to be on the topic of holding them accountable for anything, so they will reroute discussions to benefit them. Complaining about their neglectful parenting? They’ll point out a mistake you committed seven years ago. This type of diversion has no limits in terms of time or subject content, and often begins with a sentence like “What about the time when…”

On a macrolevel, these diversions work to derail discussions that challenge the status quo. A discussion about gay rights, for example, may be derailed quickly by someone who brings in another social justice issue just to distract people from the main argument.

As Tara Moss, author of Speaking Out: A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls, notes, specificity is needed in order to resolve and address issues appropriately – that doesn’t mean that the issues that are being brought up don’t matter, it just means that the specific time and place may not be the best context to discuss them.

Don’t be derailed – if someone pulls a switcheroo on you, you can exercise what I call the “broken record” method and continue stating the facts without giving in to their distractions. Redirect their redirection by saying, “That’s not what I am talking about. Let’s stay focused on the real issue.” If they’re not interested, disengage and spend your energy on something more constructive – like not having a debate with someone who has the mental age of a toddler.

8. Covert and overt threats.
Narcissistic abusers and otherwise toxic people feel very threatened when their excessive sense of entitlement, false sense of superiority and grandiose sense of self are challenged in any way. They are prone to making unreasonable demands on others – while punishing you for not living up to their impossible to reach expectations.

Rather than tackle disagreements or compromises maturely, they set out to divert you from your right to have your own identity and perspective by attempting to instill fear in you about the consequences of disagreeing or complying with their demands. To them, any challenge results in an ultimatum and “do this or I’ll do that” becomes their daily mantra.

If someone’s reaction to you setting boundaries or having a differing opinion from your own is to threaten you into submission, whether it’s a thinly veiled threat or an overt admission of what they plan to do, this is a red flag of someone who has a high degree of entitlement and has no plans of compromising. Take threats seriously and show the narcissist you mean business; document threats and report them whenever possible and legally feasible.

9. Name-calling.
Narcissists preemptively blow anything they perceive as a threat to their superiority out of proportion. In their world, only they can ever be right and anyone who dares to say otherwise creates a narcissistic injury that results in narcissistic rage. As Mark Goulston, M.D. asserts, narcissistic rage does not result from low self-esteem but rather a high sense of entitlement and false sense of superiority.

The lowest of the low resort to narcissistic rage in the form of name-calling when they can’t think of a better way to manipulate your opinion or micromanage your emotions. Name-calling is a quick and easy way to put you down, degrade you and insult your intelligence, appearance or behavior while invalidating your right to be a separate person with a right to his or her perspective.

Name-calling can also be used to criticize your beliefs, opinions and insights. A well-researched perspective or informed opinion suddenly becomes “silly” or “idiotic” in the hands of a malignant narcissist or sociopath who feels threatened by it and cannot make a respectful, convincing rebuttal. Rather than target your argument, they target you as a person and seek to undermine your credibility and intelligence in any way they possibly can. It’s important to end any interaction that consists of name-calling and communicate that you won’t tolerate it. Don’t internalize it: realize that they are resorting to name-calling because they are deficient in higher level methods.

Want more writing about the narcissistic sociopath? Read the book POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arabi.
power-book
10. Destructive conditioning.
Toxic people condition you to associate your strengths, talents, and happy memories with abuse, frustration and disrespect. They do this by sneaking in covert and overt put-downs about the qualities and traits they once idealized as well as sabotaging your goals, ruining celebrations, vacations and holidays. They may even isolate you from your friends and family and make you financially dependent upon them. Like Pavlov’s dogs, you’re essentially “trained” over time to become afraid of doing the very things that once made your life fulfilling.

Narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths and otherwise toxic people do this because they wish to divert attention back to themselves and how you’re going to please them. If there is anything outside of them that may threaten their control over your life, they seek to destroy it. They need to be the center of attention at all times. In the idealization phase, you were once the center of a narcissist’s world – now the narcissist becomes the center of yours.

Narcissists are also naturally pathologically envious and don’t want anything to come in between them and their influence over you. Your happiness represents everything they feel they cannot have in their emotionally shallow lives. After all, if you learn that you can get validation, respect and love from other sources besides the toxic person, what’s to keep you from leaving them? To toxic people, a little conditioning can go a long way to keep you walking on eggshells and falling just short of your big dreams.

11. Smear campaigns and stalking.
When toxic types can’t control the way you see yourself, they start to control how others see you; they play the martyr while you’re labeled the toxic one. A smear campaign is a preemptive strike to sabotage your reputation and slander your name so that you won’t have a support network to fall back on lest you decide to detach and cut ties with this toxic person. They may even stalk and harass you or the people you know as a way to supposedly “expose” the truth about you; this exposure acts as a way to hide their own abusive behavior while projecting it onto you.

Some smear campaigns can even work to pit two people or two groups against each other. A victim in an abusive relationship with a narcissist often doesn’t know what’s being said about them during the relationship, but they eventually find out the falsehoods shortly after they’ve been discarded.

Toxic people will gossip behind your back (and in front of your face), slander you to your loved ones or their loved ones, create stories that depict you as the aggressor while they play the victim, and claim that you engaged in the same behaviors that they are afraid you will accuse them of engaging in. They will also methodically, covertly and deliberately abuse you so they can use your reactions as a way to prove that they are the so-called “victims” of your abuse.

The best way to handle a smear campaign is to stay mindful of your reactions and stick to the facts. This is especially pertinent for high-conflict divorces with narcissists who may use your reactions to their provocations against you. Document any form of harassment, cyberbullying or stalking incidents and always speak to your narcissist through a lawyer whenever possible. You may wish to take legal action if you feel the stalking and harassment is getting out of control; finding a lawyer who is well-versed in Narcissistic Personality Disorder is crucial if that’s the case. Your character and integrity will speak for itself when the narcissist’s false mask begins to slip.

12. Love-bombing and devaluation.
Toxic people put you through an idealization phase until you’re sufficiently hooked and invested in beginning a friendship or relationship with you. Then, they begin to devalue you while insulting the very things they admired in the first place. Another variation of this is when a toxic individual puts you on a pedestal while aggressively devaluing and attacking someone else who threatens their sense of superiority.

Narcissistic abusers do this all the time – they devalue their exes to their new partners, and eventually the new partner starts to receive the same sort of mistreatment as the narcissist’s ex-partner. Ultimately what will happen is that you will also be on the receiving end of the same abuse. You will one day be the ex-partner they degrade to their new source of supply. You just don’t know it yet. That’s why it’s important to stay mindful of the love-bombing technique whenever you witness behavior that doesn’t align with the saccharine sweetness a narcissist subjects you to.

As life coach Wendy Powell suggests, slowing things down with people you suspect may be toxic is an important way of combating the love-bombing technique. Be wary of the fact that how a person treats or speaks about someone else could potentially translate into the way they will treat you in the future.

13. Preemptive defense.
When someone stresses the fact that they are a “nice guy” or girl, that you should “trust them” right away or emphasizes their credibility without any provocation from you whatsoever, be wary.

Toxic and abusive people overstate their ability to be kind and compassionate. They often tell you that you should “trust” them without first building a solid foundation of trust. They may “perform” a high level of sympathy and empathy at the beginning of your relationship to dupe you, only to unveil their false mask later on. When you see their false mask begins to slip periodically during the devaluation phase of the abuse cycle, the true self is revealed to be terrifyingly cold, callous and contemptuous.

Genuinely nice people rarely have to persistently show off their positive qualities – they exude their warmth more than they talk about it and they know that actions speak volumes more than mere words. They know that trust and respect is a two-way street that requires reciprocity, not repetition.

To counter a preemptive defense, reevaluate why a person may be emphasizing their good qualities. Is it because they think you don’t trust them, or because they know you shouldn’t? Trust actions more than empty words and see how someone’s actions communicate who they are, not who they say they are.

14. Triangulation.
Bringing in the opinion, perspective or suggested threat of another person into the dynamic of an interaction is known as “triangulation.” Often used to validate the toxic person’s abuse while invalidating the victim’s reactions to abuse, triangulation can also work to manufacture love triangles that leave you feeling unhinged and insecure.

Malignant narcissists love to triangulate their significant other with strangers, co-workers, ex-partners, friends and even family members in order to evoke jealousy and uncertainty in you. They also use the opinions of others to validate their point of view.

This is a diversionary tactic meant to pull your attention away from their abusive behavior and into a false image of them as a desirable, sought after person. It also leaves you questioning yourself – if Mary did agree with Tom, doesn’t that mean that you must be wrong? The truth is, narcissists love to “report back” falsehoods about others say about you, when in fact, they are the ones smearing you.

To resist triangulation tactics, realize that whoever the narcissist is triangulating with is also being triangulated by your relationship with the narcissist as well. Everyone is essentially being played by this one person. Reverse “triangulate” the narcissist by gaining support from a third party that is not under the narcissist’s influence – and also by seeking your own validation.

15. Bait and feign innocence.
Toxic individuals lure you into a false sense of security simply to have a platform to showcase their cruelty. Baiting you into a mindless, chaotic argument can escalate into a showdown rather quickly with someone who doesn’t know the meaning of respect. A simple disagreement may bait you into responding politely initially, until it becomes clear that the person has a malicious motive of tearing you down.

By “baiting” you with a seemingly innocuous comment disguised as a rational one, they can then begin to play with you. Remember: narcissistic abusers have learned about your insecurities, the unsettling catchphrases that interrupt your confidence, and the disturbing topics that reenact your wounds – and they use this knowledge maliciously to provoke you. After you’ve fallen for it, hook line and sinker, they’ll stand back and innocently ask whether you’re “okay” and talk about how they didn’t “mean” to agitate you. This faux innocence works to catch you off guard and make you believe that they truly didn’t intend to hurt you, until it happens so often you can’t deny the reality of their malice any longer.

It helps to realize when you’re being baited so you can avoid engaging altogether. Provocative statements, name-calling, hurtful accusations or unsupported generalizations, for example, are common baiting tactics. Your gut instinct can also tell you when you’re being baited – if you feel “off” about a certain comment and continue to feel this way even after it has been expanded on, that’s a sign you may need to take some space to reevaluate the situation before choosing to respond.

16. Boundary testing and hoovering.
Narcissists, sociopaths and otherwise toxic people continually try and test your boundaries to see which ones they can trespass. The more violations they’re able to commit without consequences, the more they’ll push the envelope.
That’s why survivors of emotional as well as physical abuse often experience even more severe incidents of abuse each and every time they go back to their abusers.

Abusers tend to “hoover” their victims back in with sweet promises, fake remorse and empty words of how they are going to change, only to abuse their victims even more horrifically. In the abuser’s sick mind, this boundary testing serves as a punishment for standing up to the abuse and also for being going back to it. When narcissists try to press the emotional reset button, reinforce your boundaries even more strongly rather than backtracking on them.

Remember – highly manipulative people don’t respond to empathy or compassion. They respond to consequences.

17. Aggressive jabs disguised as jokes.
Covert narcissists enjoy making malicious remarks at your expense. These are usually dressed up as “just jokes” so that they can get away with saying appalling things while still maintaining an innocent, cool demeanor. Yet any time you are outraged at an insensitive, harsh remark, you are accused of having no sense of humor. This is a tactic frequently used in verbal abuse.

The contemptuous smirk and sadistic gleam in their eyes gives it away, however – like a predator that plays with its food, a toxic person gains pleasure from hurting you and being able to get away with it. After all, it’s just a joke, right? Wrong. It’s a way to gaslight you into thinking their abuse is a joke – a way to divert from their cruelty and onto your perceived sensitivity. It is important that when this happens, you stand up for yourself and make it clear that you won’t tolerate this type of behavior.

Calling out manipulative people on their covert put-downs may result in further gaslighting from the abuser but maintain your stance that their behavior is not okay and end the interaction immediately if you have to.

18. Condescending sarcasm and patronizing tone.
Belittling and degrading a person is a toxic person’s forte and their tone of voice is only one tool in their toolbox. Sarcasm can be a fun mode of communication when both parties are engaged, but narcissists use it chronically as a way to manipulate you and degrade you. If you in any way react to it, you must be “too sensitive.”

Forget that the toxic person constantly has temper tantrums every time their big bad ego is faced with realistic feedback – the victim is the hypersensitive one, apparently. So long as you’re treated like a child and constantly challenged for expressing yourself, you’ll start to develop a sense of hypervigilance about voicing your thoughts and opinions without reprimand. This self-censorship enables the abuser to put in less work in silencing you, because you begin to silence yourself.

Whenever you are met with a condescending demeanor or tone, call it out firmly and assertively. You don’t deserve to be spoken down to like a child – nor should you ever silence yourself to meet the expectation of someone else’s superiority complex.

19. Shaming.
“You should be ashamed of yourself” is a favorite saying of toxic people. Though it can be used by someone who is non-toxic, in the realm of the narcissist or sociopath, shaming is an effective method that targets any behavior or belief that might challenge a toxic person’s power. It can also be used to destroy and whittle away at a victim’s self-esteem: if a victim dares to be proud of something, shaming the victim for that specific trait, quality or accomplishment can serve to diminish their sense of self and stifle any pride they may have.

Malignant narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths enjoy using your own wounds against you – so they will even shame you about any abuse or injustice you’ve suffered in your lifetime as a way to retraumatize you. Were you a childhood abuse survivor? A malignant narcissist or sociopath will claim that you must’ve done something to deserve it, or brag about their own happy childhood as a way to make you feel deficient and unworthy. What better way to injure you, after all, than to pick at the original wound? As surgeons of madness, they seek to exacerbate wounds, not help heal them.

If you suspect you’re dealing with a toxic person, avoid revealing any of your vulnerabilities or past traumas. Until they’ve proven their character to you, there is no point disclosing information that could be potentially used against you.

20. Control.
Most importantly, toxic abusers love to maintain control in whatever way they can. They isolate you, maintain control over your finances and social networks, and micromanage every facet of your life. Yet the most powerful mechanism they have for control is toying with your emotions.

That’s why abusive narcissists and sociopaths manufacture situations of conflict out of thin air to keep you feeling off center and off balanced. That’s why they chronically engage in disagreements about irrelevant things and rage over perceived slights. That’s why they emotionally withdraw, only to re-idealize you once they start to lose control. That’s why they vacillate between their false self and their true self, so you never get a sense of psychological safety or certainty about who your partner truly is.

The more power they have over your emotions, the less likely you’ll trust your own reality and the truth about the abuse you’re enduring. Knowing the manipulative tactics and how they work to erode your sense of self can arm you with the knowledge of what you’re facing and at the very least, develop a plan to regain control over your own life and away from toxic people. TC mark

#Resistance

74 years ago last month, a few tens of thousands of Poles, who’d survived under Nazi occupation for nearly five years, rose up against their occupiers. Armed with weapons they’d cached in 1939, or stolen, smuggled or, in many cases, made in “underground” shops (because the Nazis gave Poland “common sense gun laws!) and not much more outside pure guts, they launched the “Warsaw Uprising”, seizing much of Warsaw from the Nazis. By the way, we’re talking “Nazis” in the “tanks and flamethrowers and machine guns” sense of the term, not the “tiki torch-carrying cartoon” or “every Republican, according to some “progressives”” senses some are so fond of.

Had they not been betrayed by Stalin, it would have worked.

They were a #Resistance.

If you’re someone who’s angry about the last election and tweets / Facebooks about it on the way from pilates to Whole Foods – you’re a lot of things (practitioner of your First Amendment rights, sore loser, someone who may or may not really understand how federalsm and representative government works)…

…but you’re not “the resistance”. Better people than you or I earned that title the hard way – risking, and more often than not losing, their lives and those of their families to boot.

Oh, I know.  It’s a free country.  You can say anything you want about yourself.

Just don’t expect me not to mock and taunt you for it.

I’m only human.

A Good Knight With A Shining Gun

Armed citizen rescues a couple and a child from a would-be carjacker:

LITTLEFIELD, Texas – Littlefield Police said a man with a gun and a concealed carry permit was able to stop a violent carjacking Thursday afternoon.

Police arrested Ruben Garcia Lopez, 25, for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, assault, terroristic threat and resisting arrest.

Littlefield Police were called to the 900 block of West 4th Street Thursday afternoon.

A police statement said, “A male subject was armed with a knife [and] was assaulting a female and trying to take her car.” Police said Lopez also assaulted the woman’s boyfriend. Her kids were in the car.

Police quoted Lopez as saying, “This was his (expletive) car”.

“Even though she was being assaulted; the woman was trying to get her kids out of the car,” police said.

“A neighbor arrived at his home, saw the attack in progress, and armed himself with his handgun. He has a concealed handgun permit,” police said. “He came to the aid of the victims and pointed his weapon at the attacker.”

Lopez then moved away from the car and went across the street.

When police arrived, “… the attacker dropped the knife and attacked the officer.”

More, faster.

The Grasshopper And The Hula Dancer

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Another natural disaster, another lesson in why politicians shouldn’t attempt to meddle in economics. Some hypothetical examples to consider:
A hurricane is coming. You have failed to stock up. The store has bottled water. You want bottled water. How much should you pay for it?

Suppose the store says, “Sorry, that water is not for sale at any price, we’re saving it for after the hurricane because we know resupply will be impossible. We won’t sell to hoarders.” Should the store be allowed to refuse to sell to you?

Suppose you say to the store clerk, “I know it’s not for sale, but I’ll give you $100 per bottle for it.” Is it still price gouging if the store isn’t charging a higher price but instead is accepting bribes on the side?

Suppose the store says, “We just sold our entire inventory at the usual price, that guy over there bought it all. Talk to him about buying some of his private supply.” How much should a private citizen be allowed to charge for the supplies he thoughtfully laid in before the disaster came?

Suppose nobody is willing to sell you water for the .99 per bottle you formerly paid for it. Does that justify you taking their bottles, by force?

The entire basis for the science of economics is the study of scarcity and the best way for society to respond to it. Okay, politicians, here you go: scarcity is coming. How should we respond? What have 5,000 years of human history taught us?
Apparently, in Hawaii, the answer is: “absolutely nothing.”

Joe Doakes

If “progs” understood economics, they wouldn’t be progressives.

Life With An Abusive Half Of The Electorate – Part I

Psychology and psychiatry are, as they say, evolving; the innards of the human mind are less penetrable, so far, than the far side of the moon or the deepest parts of the ocean.

One of the nonspecific, vexing maladies that’s been identified – or “identified”, at any rate – lately are the various “personality disorder” mental illnesses.  Starting about a decade or so ago, the industry started recognizing the existance of these conditions:  Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), as well as Histrionic, Antisocial, Paranoid, Avoidant, Dependent and other flavors of Personality Disorders.

Like much of what’s on the borders of the field, it’s all very ill-defined – and even less “treatable” in any miraculous sense.

But it’s helped a lot of people put a tag – sometimes rightly, sometimes as a stretch, like most amateur and, for the matter, professional mental health diagnostic art – on a lot of behavior that has made a lot of peoples’ lives very, very difficult.  Including, truth be told (and then moved on from) in my own life.

And when you start reading more about this chain of disorders, things get depressing really fast.  There’s no treatment – because getting the “patient” to recognize they have a problem is nearly impossible; a sociopath or narcissist will elude any culpability for his or her actions like Jackie Chan slipping a sloppy kick.

The only thing that remains is to try to learn to deal with the person with the disorder – or to accept the imperative of living without them.

It’s brutally difficult for everyone involved – and not a little bit heartbreaking.

One of the better pieces I’ve read about dealing with these various conditions is a piece, “20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You” by Shahida Arabi.    In the world of internet popular psychology, it’s as good a summary of symptoms and coping tactics as I’ve ever seen.   It’s been a lot of help to a lot of people close to me over the past year or so.

But this article – series of articles, really – aren’t about coping with  abuse from mentally-ill people.

It’s about coping with abuse from half the population.

The Mind Politic And Its Illness:  I read Arabi’s piece several times by way of helping a few people who are close to me, before it occurred to me:  “This applies just as much to the way our dominant political and media culture treats the Great American Middle as it does to people with personality disorders”.

Starting tomorrow, I”ll be going through the entire article.

Things I Largely Don’t Care For, But Am Chagrinned To Find I Don’t Madly Dislike

I never cared much for late’80s-early ’90s Hair Metal.

If I were a rock historian, I’d say Hair Metal was a snapshot of a particular era – the cha-cha days of the late Reagan / George HW Bush years – and a particular place, a very prosperous and dissolute Los Angeles.   You’ll note that was a time of my life I was neither especially cha-cha nor prosperous, nor, I hasten to add, a the angry teenager I’d been 5-7 years earlier who’d marinated his brain in the Clash, the Kinks, the Who and the like.

So the whole genre sort of left me cold.

Poison?   A lite-metal boy band.

Motley Crue?  A bunch of yobs trying and failing to ape Alice Cooper. And that’s if you leave out Vince Neil’s role in the death of “Razzle” (more below).

Cinderella?  Please.  Waterboard me.

But as with all episodes of this “Love and Hate” series (click the tag below for some history), I’m writing this not to bury hair metal, but to praise it.

Well, some of it.

And I know what you’re gonna say.  “Everyone likes Guns ‘n Roses.  That’s a gimme”.

And indeed you’re right:

Beyond that, though?

When I was at KDWB in ’90-92, listening to the night shift, it occurred to me “Slaughter doesn’t totally suck”:

I mean, if you’re in the mood for some Robert Plant lite. And I was.

Skid Row? Not sure why I didn’t hate them; more relatable to me? Less contrived? More interesting? I have no idea anymore.

But hate them, I did not:

And why not Hanoi Rocks – Finland’s greatest band, and the band that is to hair metal what Creedence Clearwater was to the sixties; a solid rock and roll band with a way with a hook and a single:

Of course, the band took a solid shot in the, well, hairdo when drummer “Razzle” was killed in a car crash with Motley Crue’s Vince Neil; Crue went on, while Hanoi Rocks slowly fizzled, in one of rock history’s greatest injustices.

So yeah – can’t stand LA Hair metal.  Except when I can.

This Is Minnesota’s Gun Control Movement In Action

Gun control groups don’t care about saving lives.

It’s true in big ways – you will never see a gun control group, or at least not one of the main line, lily white ones like Everytown Julie one of their protest in any American inner city, which is where the vast majority of the “gun violence” actually happens. In fact, you could hear some of their partisans even trying to change the subject back when the topic strange away from school shootings.

So there’s that.

But just to further illustrate the movements depravity – and I use that term with full knowledge of what it actually means – look at this little bit of social media effluvia from “Protect” Minnesota from the other one

I’m not sure if I have ever seen and less responsible posting – even for a bunch of teenagers.

But this should clarify things; the “Gone Safety” movement hasn’t the foggiest thing to do with saving lives. It’s about controlling society.

And it seems I owe Heather Martens an apology. For years I said, not joking in the most remote way, that she had never, not once, made a single original, true, substantial statement about guns, gun owners, gun control, gun history or anything to do with the subject. And that was absolutely true.

But the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence – who replaced Heather as director of “Protect” Minnesota – Adds a little extra twist to the formula; she seems to generally despise human beings. Which seems an odd trade in a Lutheran minister.