Prescription For Overreach

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Activist medical doctors want to make public policy as if it were infectious disease policy.  They advocate limits on sale of firearms.  The National Rifle Association advised them to ‘stay in their lane’ and the doctors are indignant that their opinions are not being sufficiently venerated.  The NRA was right.  There’s a reason the Founders didn’t delegate drafting the Constitution to blood-letters and leeches.

Being awarded a medical degree give no special insight into the effect of solar radiation on atmospheric conditions; we need not listen to doctors about laws relating to climate change.  Practicing trauma medicine gives no special insight into whether the Book of Ruth was inspired by the Holy Spirit; we need not listen to doctors about matters of religious doctrine.  Being shot gives no special insight into the historical underpinnings of the rights of Englishmen to keep and bear arms, or the intent of the Founding Fathers in writing the Constitution; we need not listen to doctors about gun control legislation.

Even if medical doctors had special insight, they’re not applying it to this debate.  The public health model of infectious disease control requires doctors to identify the cause of the disease (bacteria or virus), quarantine the carriers to minimize outbreak, and devise behaviors to avoid spreading it (sanitary sewer, wash hands, wear a mask, get a vaccine).

Being shot is not a “disease.”  There’s no virus causing it.  There’s no vaccine to prevent it.  It’s strictly a behavioral problem but doctors are not advocating quarantine of the people mostly responsible for spreading it (longer prison terms) or ‘vaccinating’ people likely to spread it (change the culture of underclass youth).  Instead, they want everyone to give up cupcakes because the obese ate too many of them.

They see coattails to latch onto.

Insufficient Ardour

Stephen Colbert – as much a symptom of everything annoying about America’s culture of Urban Progressive Privilege as he is a celebrity in his own right – made a semi-rare sensible post on his Facebook page.

There were consequences:

Is anybody else getting flashbacks to the Citizens Committees of the French revolution?

Buyer’s Remorse

Rachel Packer at Marie Claire tells us that Trump makes her regret adopting her Chinese daughters:

But now I worry that we made a tragic mistake.

I pulled those two beautiful babies away from a rising power and into a damaged democracy. I brought two girls of color into a society where it’s clear that their word and their bodies are worth less than a man’s—and where open, overt racism has become even more likely now than it was a decade ago. And unfortunately, my worries aren’t exactly tinfoil-hat-wearing paranoia.

After which she carries on with a couple column-feet of tinfoil-hat-wearing paranoia and unhinged virtue-signaling.

I bring this up not so much to castigate Ms. Packer’s dubious grasp of reality, but to illustrate what seems to matter to liberals; freedom from want, from cognitive dissonance, from opposition, rather than, well, freedom.

Lord, I hope those girls grow up to be conservatives.

Life In A One-Party Town

In the past few months, I’ve been treated to the sight of Saint Paulites – almost all of them people who’d never dream of voting for anything but a DFLer – reacting with Major-Renault-like shock, shock, that…

  • Saint Paul’s Mafia-style trash-collection system costs more, offers fewer options and miserable customer service, all delivered with the sort of arrogance we’ve come to expect from Saint Paul’s government (Motto: “Government is the things we do together, arrogantly and imcompetently”).
  • Mayor Carter’s shunting of budget from police and fire to “Sustainability” (e.g. institutional virtue-signaling) would pave the way for more crime
  • The Soccer stadium, ballyhooed as the core of an urban renaissance with green space,  shops with walkable access and the rest of the urban planning buzzwords – is going to wind up being precisely the plutocrat plaything in the middle of a sea of asphalt that all of us skeptics predicted.

And, now, Saint Paul’s school-building spree turns out to make the Pentagon look like a Bemidji Norwegian Lutheran church’s decoration committee.

St. Paul Public Schools vastly underestimated the cost of an ambitious 2016 plan to improve the look and function of every building it owns.

Eight major school projects that got underway last year will cost the district a total of $214 million, according to the latest figures from the school district.

That’s $63 million more than the district estimated in 2016, a Pioneer Press analysis has found, a difference of 42 percent.

New estimates for the next eight large projects, all scheduled to break ground in the coming five years, total $220 million. That’s $91 million, or 70 percent, higher than the 2016 estimate.

There will be shock.

And then a majority of them will vote for an even further-left Democrat next election.  ∂

Miscarriage Of Justice – Part II

Yesterday, I started telling the story of Dr. Massoud Amin – a man who came to the US as a teenager with his parents after the Iranian Revolution, became a citizen, and rose to the highest levels not only of academia, but of national security, as one of the nation’s foremost experts in cybersecurity.

And then, in the middle of a rancorous divorce with more than a whiff of academic backstabbing mixed in, an overzealous prosecutor turned a paperwork discrepancy in a civil divorce filing into, literally, a criminal case.

Pursuant to that case, the prosecutor and the police searched Dr. Amin’s house, and confiscated Dr. Amin’s firearm collection,  planting the story of “The Iranian professor who collected a bunch of guns and swindled his soon-to-be-ex” – simultaneously defaming him to the left (“Serves the gun nut right!”) and the less-bright parts of the right (“Probably a terrorist!”).

The trial?  It was a comedy of errors – but not remotely funny.   All exculpatory evidence was suppressed, and that was just the beginning.   The ending?   A conviction – aided  by bizarre courtroom antics and some sketchy lawyering on both sides.

The prosecution is asking for a ten year prison sentence for a conviction that normally carries a years’ suspended sentence and probation for a first-time offender – which Dr. Amin, who held a top-secret security clearance until the conviction, most assuredly was.

Why so much irregularity in what started as a typical ugly American divorce?

We’ll be talking with Dr. Massoud about that this Saturday on my show.   Tune in, and call in if you havre questions.

Darn All That Republican Rhetoric

I’ve become convinced that the greatest ever in rotation of Berg’s 7th law has been this past two decades’ drum beat of promises that there is “an avalanche of right wing terrorism” just around the corner.

Any day now.

Honest.

Actor James Cromwell predicts – I would say it’s more like “calls for” – “revolution” if the Republicans win the midterms:

Speaking to Variety at the event, he warned of the turn that he sees America taking and cautioned there will be “blood in the streets” if Republicans remain in control.

“This is nascent fascism. We always had a turnkey, totalitarian state — all we needed was an excuse, and all the institutions were in place to turn this into pure fascism,” Cromwell said. “If we don’t stop [President Trump] now, then we will have a revolution for real. Then there will be blood in the streets.”

The star, who previously played George H.W. Bush in Oliver Stone’s “W,” echoed these sentiments during his acceptance speech, where he warned that he believes the country is headed toward the possibility of a violent revolution.

“We’re living in very curious times, and something is coming up which is desperately important to this country and to this planet, and that is an election, in which hopefully in some measure we are going to take back our democracy,” he said. “We will have a government that represents us and not the donor class. We will cut through the corruption, [and] we won’t have to do what comes next, which is either a non-violent revolution or a violent one, because this has got to end.”

I don’t think members of the “elite” Realize how many Americans are ready to take him up on that. I don’t think it’s going to go nearly as well as they – Cromwell – think it will.

Miscarriage Of Justice – Part I

Last year, a story broke that had a little something for everyone – where by “everyone” you’re referring to “incurious, uncritical consumers of shabby information”.

It involved a professor from the University of MInnesota, Dr. Massoud Amin.   Amin was convicted of “Theft by Swindle” for, it was alleged, concealing funds from his soon-to-be ex wife during a nasty divorce.

We’ll come back to that.

The story got liberals exercised because Amin was a gun collector (with, dare I say, a penchant for finding bargains).   That is a classic dog whistle for the left.

And for the, shall we say, less bright on the right?   A middle-eastern sounding name like Amin’s is enough to get the “WATCH FOR TEH SHARIA” crowd into a froth.

And the media coverage of his divorce proceedings – including the swindle allegations – were decidedly unsympathetic.

Sentencing in his trial is scheduled for November 9.

The client is obviously guilty – right?

Not so fast.  And according to sources with close knowledge of the case, the charges and conviction are well beyond a miscarriage of justice; they were the tip of an iceberg of shenanigans – borne of malice up against incompetence at best, cynical ambition at worst, all  slathered with a layer of legalism.

And when you peel back the onion, you still have something for everyone – among critical thinkers, this time:

  • A divorce from hell
  • City bureaucrats hamfistedly persecuting a law-abiding gun owner
  • A legal process that reads like something between Michael Crichton and Franz Kafka, tainted by racism and amoral careerism
  • And, at the end of the day, an American who has done decades of groundbreaking work defending this country from cyberterrorism, facing ten years in prison for something that, even if it were a legitimate conviction.
  • Which, given the evidence I’ve encountered, it was not.

More tomorrow.

An Inconvenient Truth

The welfare state – in the US, the state that was put in place by Lyndon B Johnson’s “Great Society” – isn’t so much about “solving poverty” as it is about “making poverty a permanently sustainable state that can be exploited for political gain”.

We can argue the specifics, and maybe even the conclusion.

But let’s say that was not the case; if the Democrats weren’t trying to build a permanent underclass beholden to them with the welfare state, how would you better design such a thing as one would with the Great Society?

Because that’s how it worked.   Poverty in the US was in free fall until the nation “declared war” on it.:

 

Why We Need Money In Politics

If you can’t get the media to do anything but paint Democrats’ toenails on the air,  you have to get your own media to do it for you.

Of course, the conservative media that does exist – talk radio – largely reaches an echo chamber.  A smart, superlative echo chamber, but the proverbial choir nonetheless.

Doug Wardlow did something I’ve been dying for a Republican to do for years; put out an ad that tells the actual truth about Keith Ellison…

…that the likes of Esme Murphy or John Cronin will never, ever allow to cross their lips.

And it took money  – filthy lucre! – to get it on the air, to do the job the Twin Cities media will not.

And that’s why Democrats want campaign finance “reform”.

Heads, You’re Guilty; Tails, You’re Not Innocent

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mitch wrote on Shot In The Dark about Rhode Island’s gun control recommendations.

The caption under the photo in the linked article Mitch linked to, shows the governor addressing a crowd just before signing legislation making it easier for police to remove guns from “violence prone individuals.”  This looks like an area ripe for abuse.

Historically, a person convicted of a felony-level act of violence loses the right to a gun.  But this law must go further, else there’s no need for a new law.  Are we extending the sanction to conviction for a misdemeanor-level act of violence?  Pushing?  Shoving?  Disturbing the Peace?

Do we even need a conviction?  How about suspicion of having committed an act of violence?  A dozen Democrats claim Justice Kavanaugh has been “credibly accused” of having committing an act of violence against Dr. Ford decades ago.  Is that enough to deprive him of his guns?

Do we need a suspicion that a person has actually committed an act of violence?  What if he’s only threatened an act of violence (“One of these days, Alice, bang, zoom, straight to the moon!”).  What if he hasn’t threatened it, but has considered it (“Somebody ought to belt you in the mouth, but I won’t”)?

What if there’s no evidence that he’s never said or done anything to suggest he might become violent, but a woman in tears says she’s afraid he might become violent and hurt her children.  That’s a common claim in custody battles.  Once the court has made a finding the man is potentially dangerous, there’s no way he’s ever going to get custody of his kids.  Is one party’s self-serving claim enough to deprive a man of his kids AND his guns?

What if someone finds out I’ve snorted derisively at the suggestion cross-dressers should be allowed to use the women’s bathroom – is that “violence” against the trans-gendered?  Are my guns at risk?

Well, no, not right away.  Not in this version of the statute.  It’s like the seat-belt law – in the initial version, there’s no fine.  Until next session, when it’s amended as part of the school funding bill so nobody can vote against it without being accused of hating children.  Until the prosecutor decides to demand your guns for a parking ticket, the judge appointed by the liberal Democrat governor goes along with it, and the judges on the court of appeals appointed by the liberal Democrat governor declare it was a harmless error which should not be overturned.  Next stop, Supreme Court, but how much lawyering can you afford?

Test cases are for other people.

And so will due process be, if the left has its way.

Long Term Plans

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why the vicious fight over the Kavanaugh nomination? Because there’s so much at stake.

When the Constitution was written, the Supreme Court did not have the power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional. The Court grabbed that power in Marbury v. Madison, 1803.

For the first hundred years, everyone assumed the Supreme Court would interpret the Constitution according to the original intent of the people who wrote it. If the public didn’t like what the original Constitution said, they could amend the Constitution as they did after the Civil War. The Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment extended the constitutional limitations on federal government action to state governments.

Starting in 1912, Woodrow Wilson promoted the idea that government must grow and develop, must evolve with the times but without Constitutional limitations and without going through the cumbersome formal Constitutional amendment process. The idea caught on with judges who liked the thought of being the ultimate guardians of good sense and civic virtue, a check on excesses of state legislatures, philosopher-kings. That’s how we got abortion-on-demand and gay marriage: Supreme Court justices decided the time was ripe for those new ‘rights’ to be discovered and imposed nation-wide. The four Liberal justices on the court are committed to this method of Constitutional interpretation. Whatever is popular today, is the law.

Kavanaugh follows the Original Intent method which, indeed, is the standard applied to every document in every lawsuit by every court except the Liberal justices. If your mortgage company wants to double your interest rate, the case will turn on what was intended in the original documents – fixed rate or adjustable rate – regardless of the economic conditions at the time of the lawsuit.

Applying Original Intent to the Constitution, ask yourself this: what do you think the Founding Fathers would have thought of homosexual marriage? Of women wanting to abort their unborn children? Would the Founders have considered these as fundamental rights like the right to choose your own religion, the right to speak up about politics, the right to a trial by jury? I don’t think so.

And what would the Founders have thought about the right of ordinary citizens to carry firearms to protect themselves at home, on the roads, and against a tyrannical government? Remember, the Founders weren’t always the graceful statutes and paintings you see in museums, they were the people who planned and carried out a revolution to overthrow their own government. I suspect they thought the people’s right to own military-grade weapons was essential to protecting the rest of the people’s rights from encroachment by the government.

That’s what’s at stake in this confirmation. Kavanaugh will be the fifth Original Intent seat on the Court. He’ll give the traditional, conservative method a majority. Roe v. Wade is at risk of being overturned, as it should be, being entirely made up law with no historical support at all. And Obergefell v. Hodges is such a perversion that Justice Kennedy should hide his head in a bag.

That’s why Democrats are being savage. They see their path to subverting the nation blocked. They can’t win at the polls if they declare their goals honestly, they can’t win in the courts with Kavanaugh on the bench, the next step in fomenting revolution is violence. Assassination is not out of the question. Whoever provides security for Republicans in Washington should double their details.

That last bit seems like it’s more and more likely ever week.

Unexpected

Hard to believe our intellectual brahmins would not only fail to practice what they preach, but completely refudiate it.

Michael Moore is the worst boss ever, according to that noted BreitbartFoxNewsNeoCon tool…

Leonard Maltin?

First, Maltin says Moore stiffed workers who helped his Michigan-based film festival.

Secondly, Maltin says the far-left filmmaker, who he “respects and admires,” slandered his “dear friends” Deborah and Chapin Culter from Boston Light & Sound from the stage at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Weird.

 

The Trainee Is Obviously Guilty

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Got this email from HR today:

“We are happy to announce that Ellie Krug will be coming to provide a professional development opportunity on “Gray Area Thinking”. Ellie will share her personal story as we learn about human inclusivity. This will be first of a series of professional development opportunities available throughout the year. We value employee development and will make sure opportunities are available for all employees. This is mandatory and all employees are expected to attend one of the sessions.”

Somehow, I missed the mandatory half-day training on how horrible Minnesota white people are, what with having white privilege from slavery and all. I sure hope I can make it to this mandatory two-hour training session so I can learn how horrible straight people are.

It would be a shame if government employees accurately processed paperwork in a timely fashion, without being sufficiently sensitive to the plight of the mentally ill. Wouldn’t it?

Joe Doakes

In a system built on rent-seeking, consultants are going to seek rent.

Evergreen

Has there ever been a more perfect Social Justice Warrior headline than this?

I’m not aware that “Climate Progress” is a parody site, long the lines of The Onion or Babylon Bee, although it’d explain a lot.  Either way.

Unpacking Peggy McIntosh

About a year and a half ago, I wrote one of my favorite pieces in the history of this blog – Unpacking the Invisible NPR Tote Bag, which spelled out the ideal of “Urban Progressive Privilege.

I described the phenomenon if “Urban Progressive Privilege” by tracing a line from the document from which the term “White Privilege” sprang – Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by one Peggy McIntosh:

Urban Progressive Privilege is like an invisible weightless NPR tote bag of special permissions, immunities, secret handshakes, Whole Foods gift cards, a virtual echo chamber accompanying everyone who has that privilege, filtering out almost all cognitive dissonance about political, social or moral questions, and a virtual “cone of silence” immunizing them from liability for anything they say or do that contradicts the group’s stated principles.  As we in Human studies work to reveal Urban Progressive Privilege and ask urban progressives to become aware of their power, so one who writes about havingUrban Progressive Privilege must ask, “having described it, what will I do to lessen or end it?”

It was, to a degree, satire – and, like a lot of satire, it was simultaneously journalism.    Privilege does exist in our society – but social, economic, educational and geographic class at the end of the day count for (I’ll be charitable) every bit as much as race.   Can anyone say that Clarence Thomas is held in lower regard (by people other than Ryan Winkler, anyway) than John Roberts?

I wrote the piece originally because the ideal that “whiteness” – whatever that means, as if a “race” that simultaneously includes Norwegians and Armenians, Slavs and Spaniards, has any actual ethnic meaning – conveys so much privilege by itself that a white house painter in Spooner Wisconsin has social, cultural, financial and legal advantage over Oprah Winfrey or Sarah Jeong is so comically absurd.

So absurd, I thought, that it had to have been written by someone who was so detached by class privilege that they hadn’t the foggiest idea what life was like outside of their class bubble.

Lo and behold, I was right.

William Ray digs into Peggy McIntosh’s knapsack in this brightly illuminating piece in Quillette.

When I say “I was right” – well, I was being modest:

Peggy McIntosh was born Elisabeth Vance Means in 1934. She grew up in Summit, New Jersey where the median income is quadruple the American national average—that is to say that half the incomes there are more than four times the national average, some of them substantially so. McIntosh’s father was Winthrop J. Means, the head of Bell Laboratories electronic switching department during the late 1950s. At that time, Bell Labs were the world leaders in the nascent digital computing revolution. Means personally held—and sold patents on—many very lucrative technologies, including early magnetic Gyro-compass equipment (U.S. Patent #US2615961A) which now helps to guide nuclear missiles and commercial jets, and which keeps satellites in place so you can navigate with your phone and communicate with your Uber driver. Means is also recorded as the inventor of a patent held by Nokia Bell in 1959 known as the Information Storage Arrangement. This device is the direct progenitor of ROM computer memory, and is cited in the latter’s patent filed in 1965 for IBM. So, long before Peggy McIntosh wrote her paper, her family was already having an outsized effect on Western culture.

Elizabeth Vance Means then attended Radcliffe, a renowned finishing school for the daughters of America’s patrician elites, and continued her private education at the University of London (ranked in the top 50 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings), before completing her English Doctorate at Harvard. Her engagement to Dr. Kenneth McIntosh was announced in the New York Times‘s social register on the same page as the wedding of Chicago’s Mayor Daley. McIntosh’s father, Dr. Rustin McIntosh, was Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Columbia University. His mother was President Emeritus of Barnard College, an institution in the opulent Morningside Heights district of Manhattan, famous since 1889 for providing the daughters of the wealthiest Americans with liberal arts degrees…[husband] Kenneth McIntosh was himself a graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy, which boasted alumni including Daniel Webster, the sons of Presidents Lincoln and Grant, and a number of Rockefeller scions. He later completed his elite education at Harvard College and the Harvard Medical School. By the time of his marriage to Elizabeth, Kenneth McIntosh was a senior resident at the prestigious Brigham Hospital in Boston, founded by millionaire Peter Bent.

In other words, Peggy McIntosh was born into the very cream of America’s aristocratic elite, and has remained ensconced there ever since.

So Peggy McIntosh is the scion – scienne?  Scionette? – of a family that is in the top fraction of the top 1% of people in this country in terms of social, educational (or at least “Educational Affiliation”), financial and cultural stature.

And this leads up to a summation that could soon become a Berg’s 7th Law corollary:

Her ‘experiential’ list enumerating the ways in which she benefits from being born with white skin simply confuses racial privilege with the financial advantages she has always been fortunate enough to enjoy.

And – I’d add, from my position as an observer – it provided cover for the vastly more toxic “Urban Progressive Privilege”.   Ray says nearly as much:

All of which means that pretty much anything you read about ‘white privilege’ is traceable to an ‘experiential’ essay written by a woman who benefitted from massive wealth, a panoply of aristocratic connections, and absolutely no self-awareness whatsoever. This alone calls into question the seriousness and scholarly validity of the derivative works, since they are all the fruit of a poisonous tree. But McIntosh’s hypothesis was eagerly embraced nonetheless, because it served a particular purpose—it helped to mainstream a bitter zero-sum politics of guilt and identity. This dark epistemology has quietly percolated through the universities and the wider culture for two decades now. It has had the effect of draining attention from a massive and growing wealth gap and it has pitted the poor against one another in public spectacles of acrimony and even violence.

“Progressivism” has ended up on the “wrong” side of the class war it has always espoused: they are the patricians, and have been for over a century now.

Idenitymongering – and the firehose of “privilege” allegations that are one of its weapons – is one way of dividing the unruly plebes against each other, as Ray points out:

A school board in British Columbia even thought it would be a good idea to greet its poor and working class white middle school students with this poster reminding them of the guilty burden they bear on account of their skin:

No, it’s not a flyer for a community theater production of “1984”. Yet.

I grew up a very poor white kid. By which I mean, single-mother-on-welfare-in-Alberta poor. As a child, I remember feeling utterly hopeless about ever making any sort of life for myself. If I were at school in British Columbia today, I would now have to deal with seeing this admonition every morning as well. One wonders why Teresa Downs doesn’t simply step down from her $200,000 a year job and pass it to a person of colour since she acquired it unfairly. Is her public declaration of culpability supposed to be compensation enough? Presumably, like Peggy McIntosh, she has convinced herself that human well-being will be better served by shaming the children of people whose average annual income is around $23,000.

I suggest you read the whole thing; as much as I pullquoted, there is so much more.

The Big Question

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Visa and Mastercard won’t service conservative businesses.  They are intentionally discriminating on the basis of political viewpoint.

It’s completely legal, of course, under freedom of association.  It’s the same reason I don’t shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods, the America-hating social justice suck-ups who won’t sell Black Rifles, and the reason I won’t spend money in any store that bans guns on the premises to provide a sanctuary for criminals.  I disagree with their political viewpoint so I won’t support it.

Customers have a right to discriminate against merchants based on their political viewpoint.  Should merchants have a right to discriminate against customers based on their political viewpoint?  Tough question.

I’m on the side of the wedding cake decorator who doesn’t want do gay cakes.  I’m against Visa who doesn’t want to facilitate gun sales.  I could use some help from SITD readers.  How do we balance the rights?

Joe Doakes

I’ll throw this out to my audience, who are inevitably much smarter than I am.

My two cents:  it takes two to balance.  The other side wants nothing to do with “balance”.    I think we are inevitably sliding into two different economies (at best) or complete dissolution as a nation ,one way or the other.

Thoughts?

Life With An Abusive Half Of The Electorate – Part III

This week, I started going over the political and social aspects of various personality disorders, viewed through the lense of Shahida Arabi’s excellent piece,  “20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You”.

Yesterday it was “Gaslighting” – the narcissistic abuser’s way of trying to convince you not to trust your own lying perceptions, mind and memories.

Today, it’s the trait that helped put this blog on the map: Projection:

Berg’s Seventh Law Is In DSM-V.  Sort Of:   Arabi’s second point is “Projection”; she describes it:

One sure sign of toxicity is when a person is chronically unwilling to see his or her own shortcomings and uses everything in their power to avoid being held accountable for them. This is known as projection. Projection is a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility of one’s negative behavior and traits by attributing them to someone else. It ultimately acts as a digression that avoids ownership and accountability.

Sound familiar?

It’s another term for Berg’s Seventh Law;  “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”.

While we all engage in projection to some extent, according to Narcissistic Personality clinical expert Dr. Martinez-Lewi, the projections of a narcissist are often psychologically abusive.

Like, for example, fretting about an “oncoming wave of right-wing violence” (perhaps by tiki-torch-carrying cartoon figures) while ignoring or cheering on gas-mask-clad “Anti”-fa thugs destroying property and beating up peaceful event-goers.

So yeah – of course it sounds familiar:

Rather than acknowledge their own flaws, imperfections and wrongdoings, malignant narcissists and sociopaths opt to dump their own traits on their unsuspecting suspects in a way that is painful and excessively cruel. Instead of admitting that self-improvement may be in order, they would prefer that their victims take responsibility for their behavior and feel ashamed of themselves. This is a way for a narcissist to project any toxic shame they have about themselves onto another.

And yes, it has resonance in the world of Trump (or Bush, or Reagan) Derangement syndrome:

Narcissistic abusers love to play the “blameshifting game.” Objectives of the game: they win, you lose, and you or the world at large is blamed for everything that’s wrong with them. This way, you get to babysit their fragile ego while you’re thrust into a sea of self-doubt. Fun, right?

Fun – and the status quo in our society.  Especially here in MInnesota.

Solution? Don’t “project” your own sense of compassion or empathy onto a toxic person and don’t own any of the toxic person’s projections either. As manipulation expert and author Dr. George Simon (2010) notes in his book In Sheep’s Clothing, projecting our own conscience and value system onto others has the potential consequence of being met with further exploitation.

TL:dr version: don’t take their crap.

Tomorrow – “Word Sadal”

 

Life With An Abusive Half Of The Electorate – Part II: Social Gaslighting

Yesterday, I introduced you to an article.  “20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You” by Shahida Arabi.

It’s a fairly brilliant piece on coping with people with the variety of personality disorders that are slowly being recognized – sociopathy, narcissism (the two favorite pop-culture “diagnoses” of Donald Trump, among the Trump deranged – which is one reason I’m almost reticent about writing this piece; it’s become “hip” to call people you disagree with sociopaths and narcissists, lately).

But the more I read it – and the more I see the way our nation’s political conversation is going – the more I think it’s a coping mechanism for … well, the rest of us, in dealing with our nation’s socio-political and media ruling classes.

Because my case is this:  The behavior isn’t all that different.

Gaslighting:   Arabi describes “Gaslighting” as follows:

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that can be described in different variations of three words: “That didn’t happen,” “You imagined it,” and “Are you crazy?” Gaslighting is perhaps one of the most insidious manipulative tactics out there because it works to distort and erode your sense of reality; it eats away at your ability to trust yourself and inevitably disables you from feeling justified in calling out abuse and mistreatment.

Is a comprehensive rewrite of history – “our entire history is racist”, “Reagan didn’t really have anything to do with bringing down the USSR” – gaslighting?

Does systematically impugning the motives and morality of those who differ from the narrative – “The NRA is a terrorist organisation”, “‘Whitenesss’ is an existential problem” – qualify?

Absolutely:

When a narcissist, sociopath or psychopath gaslights you, you may be prone to gaslighting yourself as a way to reconcile the cognitive dissonance that might arise. Two conflicting beliefs battle it out: is this person right or can I trust what I experienced? A manipulative person will convince you that the former is an inevitable truth while the latter is a sign of dysfunction on your end.

“All of society’s problems trace back to systematic racism/white supremacy/male privilege” – no matter what the actual parties’ actual beliefs, stories, background and motiovations?  That certainly qualifies.

How does one resist?

In order to resist gaslighting, it’s important to ground yourself in your own reality – sometimes writing things down as they happened, telling a friend or reiterating your experience to a support network can help to counteract the gaslighting effect. The power of having a validating community is that it can redirect you from the distorted reality of a malignant person and back to your own inner guidance.

This is true.  And it’s something the gaslighters know, too – because they do their darnedest to shut down that “validating community”; it’s why Big Left is doing its best to remove conservative news and opinion from social media, to push the return of regulations like “The Fairness Doctrine”, to jam down “Net Neutrality” and the like; because like any abusive partner, they know that that support network stands between them and complete brainwashing.

Next installment:  Projection.

This Is Your Minnesota Tax Dollar In Action

The “Legacy fund” transfers a whole bunch Minnesota taxpayer dollars to wildlife conservation – arguably accetable, maybe – and “the arts”.

And when I say “the arts”, I don’t mean art.  I mean the kind of s**t that Minnesota’s arts bureaucrats find acceptable.

Like this “Protect” Minnesota production. 

Yes, you should treat it as a theft.

Lies, Damned Lies, And More Damned Lies

Statistics can be just as misleading as any other variety of rhetoric;   

One of my “favorite’ examples, lately, is the purported incidence of sexual assault among young women in college.

Looking into the “stats” provided, one reaches a few logical roadblocks:

The Japanese brutal occupation of Nanjing, China is commonly known as the “Rape of Nanjing.” It is called this in part because so many local women were raped. The numbers are fought over by historians, but the best estimate is that 20,000 of the approximately 100,000 women who were in Nanjing at the time were raped by Japanese soldiers, or about one in five. This means that if the one in four number is correct, then colleges are more dangerous for women than being in Nanjing during the Japanese occupation. Now, I would venture to guess that if I tried to stuff you daughter into a time machine and send her back to Nanjing on December 13, 1937 you would probably fight me to the death to prevent it. But parents don’t act anything like this vis a vis going to college, ergo no one believes this figure. So why does everyone keep using it like it is accurate?

Because like most such inflamed rhetoric, especially (but not exclusively) from the left, it’s not about informing. It’s about bludgeoning, bum-rushing and bullying the gullible into giving them what they want.

Shining The “Mammuthus Primigenius” Light On The Cloud

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Astonishingly, Hawaii does not have enough hurricane shelters for all its inhabitants. Reminds me of New Orleans. And Puerto Rico. And pretty much every other burg run by Democrats who have plenty of money for illegal immigrants, street mimes, diversity coordinators and homeless bums but not enough money to patch the streets or shelter citizens from disaster. I wonder if their Resilience Officer spent all his time organizing garbage collection, as St. Paul’s has? I’m sure that will be a big help when a tornado rips through the heart of town, or a blizzard knocks down the power lines.

Joe Doakes

Given our last brush with “Protect” Minnesota, it seems they consider genuine resilience to be a bug, not a feature.

Our Own Lying Tastebuds

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The reason that cases like this infuriate people is we know what’s going on behind the curtain.

The public wants to be protected from impure food.  The customers in the lobby can’t see what’s going on in the kitchen.  Commercial food preparation is hidden from view, it’s not transparent, we can’t evaluate how much risk we’re taking.  So we empower the government to inspect food preparers, to make sure they are sanitary.  Safe food preparers get a permit to sell to the public.  The $30 fee is supposed to cover the cost of inspections.

A kid selling bottled water from his porch is different because his food preparation is transparent.  We can see the seal on the lid.  We know the risk we’re taking.  And even if it’s a kid selling Dixie Cups of Country Time lemonade poured from a pitcher, we can see the kid and judge the likelihood he’s infected our drink with salmonella or E. Coli.  We can decide whether to take our chances.  In that case, we don’t need the government to inspect the kid’s kitchen and the kid shouldn’t need a permit to sell to the public.

If the public can make that distinction, instinctively and automatically, why can’t the bureaucrat?  Because the food preparers who had to pay for the permit will complain that letting the kid sell without a permit is not fair, the kid is cutting into their business, the bureaucrat should level the playing field.  That’s not a public health issue, that’s rent-seeking and it pisses people off.

People learn.

Bureaucrats and bureaucracies, it seems, never do.

As The Civil Cold War Heats Up

New York Governor Cuomo is popping off shots at the Bill of Rights no less than Gen. Beauregard at Fort Sumter:

The NRA accuses Cuomo of running a campaign of “selective prosecution, backroom exhortations and public threats.” It claims the government seeks to halt its defense of the Second Amendment.

“Simply put,” the NRA alleges, Cuomo and New York regulators “made it clear to banks and insurers that it is bad business in New York to do business with the NRA.

The Government of the state of New York; like the Medellin Cartel, only in cheaper suits.

Predictive Law

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s well documented that early gun control laws were enacted expressly to keep guns out of the hands of Negros, who were thought to lack either the ability or the willingness to conform their behavior to the dictates of civilized society.

Nowadays, Americans are much more enlightened.  We are told Blacks are not merely equal to Whites, they are morally superior.  But then how to account for this weekend’s spasm of gun violence in Chicago, which seems to have involved mostly Black youth?

Current empirical evidence appears to support the historical justification for racial restrictions on firearms ownership – Blacks are unwilling or unable to behave.  Liberals take it a step farther, saying the nation’s history of slavery means Blacks should not be obligated to behave, they should get a pass for breaking the law: not arrested, not imprisoned, certainly not shot, no matter how egregious the bad behavior.

Former President George Bush labeled that attitude “the soft bigotry of low expectations” because modern Liberals and old-time Klansmen held the same view of Black behavior, differing only in whether it is justified.

And obviously, not all Blacks act badly but the numbers show they’re likely to, out of all proportion to their representation in population.  That’s not proof every Black person should be denied firearms.  Race isn’t conclusive.  We can’t act on likelihood.

Similarly, young men aged 15-29 are most likely to develop mental illness, fail to take their meds, and listen to the voices telling them to kill.  Not all young men, but disproportionately so.  That’s not proof they should be denied firearms.  We can’t act on likelihood.

What if we could?

Imagine a scientist could devise a fool-proof and absolutely reliable test to predict which people have a propensity toward violence.  Might society desire a law to ban those people from owning weapons, similar to the way felons are barred from owning weapons?   And if two identifiable groups happened to dominate the pool – say, for example Scots and Blacks – would the ban pass muster under the theory that the Constitution is not a suicide pact?  Or would society lack the courage to admit the obvious – that some people are simply not capable of conforming their behavior to the dictates of civilized society and therefore for its own protection, civilized society must exclude those people from certain fundamental freedoms enjoyed by the rest?

Still don’t like it?

Now let’s talk about the Jake Laird Act.  Congress is asked to give grants to reward local law enforcement who can seize personal firearms on “probable cause” which the owner can only get back after six months have passed, and after the owner proves to the court that the owner is not dangerous.  It’s based on individuals, not groups, but it lets gun-hating-cops seize innocent citizens’ guns based on the slimmest rumor, gossip, undisclosed informants, and speculation, same as any search warrant application.  We don’t have to imagine the government could disarm the citizenry.  We’re already there.

Joe Doakes

They’re pretty sneaky.