Monday, December 31, 2007

Snap Out of It

A prominent blogger who shall go unnamed, urged me to snap out of it and get back to blogging. During my very brief hiatus, I have considered refocusing my blog since the political race is giving me hives. In short, I don't like any candidate much and the one I like the most has nearly zippo chance of receiving the nomination. Said prominent blogger retorted "that's politics and you'll learn to love him". I said that I know that that's politics and that no, I will not learn to love a crappy nominee.

Politics is only one unmentionable topic I blog about--sex and religion get their due, too, and I've neglected all the multiple ways to offend people. Perhaps I should focus on sex and religion more. The prominent blogger says I should post a sexy picture and give advice like I do with my business clients and patients. Wouldn't a sexy picture (if such a thing were even possible at my advanced age and state of wrinkle) undermine my lofty messages? Men don't need sexy pictures, although Jeff is kinda hot. Not that he really exists anymore, talk about a hiatus.

So, for the next couple days, I'll continue my hiatus, sleep-deprived though its been, and consider all the ways to entertain and enlighten. I'm putting this to a vote. You're likely to be disenfranchised, I must warn you. I'm prone to ignore results that irk me ala Vlad Putin. This blog, is, after all, dictatorship, a benign one I like to think, but a dictatorship nonetheless. Since I do all the work around here, it seems only right.

Oh, and sex isn't a choice on the poll because all you wise asses would pick sex and then no helpful information would be gleaned.

Melissa main blog topic should be:
Self Improvement
All of the above free polls

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Why Do We Care?

Why do we care about the Middle East? When people ask me that question, it still shocks me. Do they really not get it? Maybe with the murder of Benazar Bhutto of Pakistan, we need a reminder why it is in America's, in the world's best interest, to care about this sandy, forsaken landscape half-way around the world.

It has been my belief since the beginning that George W. Bush entered Iraq secondarily because of Saddam Hussein's WMD flirtations. Yes everyone, including the lily livered Democrats and squishy Republicans, believed Saddam was a bad guy desiring to do bad things with bad substances. He had done bad things. It wasn't a stretch that he'd do more bad things. But that didn't seem to me to be the most compelling reason for Iraq. To me, and I feel that George Bush must have seen this too, Iraq is first and foremost a strategic launching pad. For all Saddam's bluster, he was weak. No one could imagine how weak until the Yanks marched through Iraq. It happened so quickly, everyone was stunned. But the fall and subsequent search for scant WMDs mattered less than being planted as a bulwark against crazy in the Middle East.

Iraq borders Iran, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, a couple Stans and a lovely thing called the Persian Gulf. Trouble brews in every place on the list. And trouble there means trouble everywhere. Russia trembles with hypermasculine impotence. Any way to cause trouble to the alpha males of the world will be and are being embraced. Putin squeezes Europe already. Georgia sits like a plum in a vice. Iran would happily be the conduit for Putin's displeasure. More on all this here.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan and Pakistan boil with extremism. Here's what's happening now:

"We've really got a new situation here in western Pakistan," said Army Col.
Thomas Lynch III, who has served in Afghanistan and with Central Command, the
U.S. military headquarters for Pakistan and the Middle East. He said the
assassination marks a "critical new phase" in jihadist operations in Pakistan
and predicted the coming months would bring concentrated attacks on other
prominent Pakistanis.

"The Taliban ... are indeed a growing element of the
domestic political stew" in Pakistan, said John Blackton, who served as a U.S.
official in Afghanistan in the 1970s and again 20 years later. He noted that
Pakistani military intelligence created the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan must take drastic action against the Taliban in its midst or we will face the
prospect of a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of al-Qaida — a threat far
more dangerous and real than Hussein's arsenal ever was," he said, referring to
the deposed Saddam Hussein.

Nuclear warheads in the hands of Jihadists in a country where 40% approve of Osama. America may not be able to do anything from Afghanistan to stop willful annihilation, but I hazard to say it could do less without a mid-east presence.

And Pakistan is a crazy little country compared to China with her supersized ambitions. Imagine the panic should China not get the fuel needed to keep its economic engine humming. Forget for a moment American's cries of despair at being deprived of cheap consumer products, the bigger problem would be an unstable country armed to the teeth.

Don't forget Israel, either. Like Tawain, Israel is a freedom-loving democracy, and America is about democracy building, remember? As shaky as that idea may be as a long-term solution to extremist middle east regime problems, there is one democracy that thrives over there. Should that country be abandoned?

Oh yeah, there's this other little thing called oil. I never have understood what's so upsetting about trading a little blood for a lot of oil. If China, Japan, Europe and America come to a screeching halt economically, the next step would be, inevitably, war. And there would be a whole lot more blood spilled. The whole world is entertwined in ways that could have never been imagined during the World War II era. The internet reflects a world interconnected.

Our fate rests in the Middle East as much as any other country's. The Jihadists hate freedom. They hate life. They believe they have a holy mission. If Pakistan crumbles, if Iran arms, if Afghanistan turns back to the Taliban, if China becomes aggressive, if Russia presses, if, if, if, the free people of the world have big problems.

America is in the Middle East because, well, isn't it obvious?

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hiatus II

Some have asked if I'll ever come back. Well, wouldn't you know that all sorts of interesting things happened as soon as I took a break? Still, I won't be posting regularly for a while--other things to do.
I have a few commitments to keep. My dear friend John Hawkins (who interviewed Jeri Thompson, go read it) asked me to guest blog for him on Sundays. I will keep that commitment and cross-post it here. So there will be that weekly installment.

Another commitment: author Vikki Johnson has asked me to review her book Addicted to Counterfeit Love. I have never met her, nor read any of her works, but self-help books interest me. I've read a few. And she asked me to blog about it when I've read and reviewed it. So, I'll do that, too.

Here's the book. Read it for yourself and let me know what you think.

Monday, December 17, 2007


I'm burnt on blogging. Even as we get close to the primaries, I'm not feeling it with the election stuff. I need a break to read, learn something new, clear my head so I have something valuable to say.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season and the most blessed and happy 2008.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

To Be or Not To Huckabee

say "Not" to Huckabee, but my opinion seems to be out of fashion with a chunk of Christian conservatives. A few days ago, I said that Huckabee reminds me of Jimmy Carter:

Jimmy Carter wore his folksy, unforgiving morality on his sleeve disguised as Christianity when it was just a method to intimidate people of lesser moral stature (anyone who disagreed with him). Like Carter, Huckabee loves government solutions. The government can make everything better, he believes. That stands in stark contrast to the considerable evidence to the contrary.
I consider myself Christian, conservative with a long libertarian streak. The religious talk tires me. It's not that it doesn't matter, but I don't give a baboons butt that Huckabee may or may not have a theology degree. It doesn't sway me at all. In fact, it makes me more suspicious of him, if anything.

So, in the last week or so, other Conservatives (and even some Moderates) have expressed anti-Huckabee opinions. But will the primary voters care?

And a commenter replied:
I'm all for a humble president. I don't know much about Huckabee, but humility and folksiness reminds me of Abraham Lincoln. But maybe the era of that kind of president is long past. Who really cares about the 'regular' (small) people anymore?
I'm a little worried that more than a few conservatives are worrying about "the little guy". Where did this come from? It seems manifestly liberal to expect the government to solve our problems. It's one thing that bothered me about George W. Bush's "compassionate conservative" as if it's a new thing that conservatives have compassion. Compassion comes from believing that people are capable of making their own best decisions. The government has never struck me as very compassionate--try to get your drivers license or Medicaid bill taken care of.

I'm hoping that Huckabee is this election's Howard Dean, but I'm afraid he might be the new Jimmy Carter. If you'll recall, Jimmy Carter won the presidency and managed to a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Please, please, let it NOT be Huckabee.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News. Come and visit, or better yet, link.

Shopping Bags

Are all the rage. Who needs a gym bag when you can advertise for Lord and Taylor?

Remember when it was gauche to advertise the brand?


Here's the latest ad for Rudy. Whaddya think?

Friday, December 14, 2007

'Roid Rage

So do you care that a number of baseball stars are using steroids? Perhaps your beloved Roger Clemens, the old geezer has to be doing something, right?

Well, I'm not going to taint the poll by giving my opinion. I'll talk about it tomorrow after you vote.

Baseball stars on steroids is:
No big deal, everyone does it
A pox on MLB
All records should be asterisked post-Roids
1 and 2
1 and 3
2 and 3 free polls

Giving Away Britain

Gordon Brown just did it. The whole disturbing article here. Here's a taste:

Just as in the 13th century, so in the 21st. Magna Carta has to be defended. Brown and company are destroying Magna Carta. They are continuing in the idiotic and treasonous steps of their political forbears who have made one treaty after another with European leaders and have illegally given away British rights and liberties.

For a mess of pottage they have sold the British birthright.

Why? Why would Brown do it?

One reason is that he is a Socialist and Socialism is a global religion. It hates nation states. It wants one allegiance to one global state in which national politicians such as Master Blair can play lofty roles. Socialism is an ignorant religion that ignores the scientific facts of freedom, the essential connection between a people being free and being prosperous, the indisputable link between a people’s safety and education and happiness and their ability to make local decisions about their police and their schools and their livelihoods.

But there is another reason for Brown and Miliband and Blair and Heath and Clarke and Major and Heseltine and all the rest of them to support the creation of the EU and the destruction of Britain, aside from the obvious reason that they do not like Britain much, do not understand or love her history, do not forgive her imperfections and seek to support her real goodness, and do not understand political or economic science, and that reason is this –

They want to be part of the inner circle. They want to be in the circle for exactly the same reason that there are circles of girls and boys in schools and circles of men and women in clubs and at work . They want to feel that they are in a special circle and you and most other people are outside it. They think that they are something because they are in the circle. They think the circle is superb.
Let's hope we don't elect a President who wants to be part of the world clique. Just imagine Al Gore running things. See how much fun he has being the doyenne of world high society? It's a little creepy and a lot of bad news for anyone who loves freedom.

H/T Instapundit

USA Today Editorial: Be Helpless

You know why I like Blogs more than Newspapers? Because everyone signs their name. A person has to own their opinion stupid or not. That point was driven home again today when the Editorial board of the USA Today wrote this:

Gun control laws have had a limited impact, and the pet proposal of the gun lobby — letting people carry concealed weapons — is a nonsensical answer. Even with more people packing heat, the likelihood of such a person being at the scene of a spree shooting is exceedingly low. (The woman who ended the incident at the Colorado Springs church was a congregant and former cop who volunteered as part of the church's security program.)

With more and more people carrying weapons in public, no matter how well-intentioned, the risk of accidental shootings and additional violence rises. Security on campuses, shopping malls, airports, churches and other public places is best left to professionals.

The best way forward is to keep at the imperfect but important fixes that can eventually make these shootings less murderous and more rare: Ensuring that people with a history of mental illness aren't able to buy guns; taking disturbed young people seriously and getting them counseling; and reinstating the lapsed ban on assault weapons, despite the opposition of the gun lobby.

A few thoughts:
  1. No data to support any opinion
  2. No name to attach the stupid opinion
So, counseling and assault weapons ban will stop these attacks. Really? And people carrying concealed hand guns won't be able to be there at the crime. Really?

Support your opinion Editorial Board. It's call facts. If you can find data to support your stupid opinion, maybe readers can take the opinion seriously.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Standards in Journalism

Oh wait! There are none.

Mike Huckabee = Jimmy Carter--UPDATED

Remember last week when I said that I don't like Mike Huckabee because he reminds me of Jimmy Carter? Well, evidently I'm not the only one whose made the connection. This is what I said:

I don't like Mike Huckabee and it's not because I have antipathy for politicians from the great state of Arkansas, although I can't quite shake that either. No, I don't like him because he reminds me of another politician who I really, really don't like: Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter wore his folksy, unforgiving morality on his sleeve disguised as Christianity when it was just a method to intimidate people of lesser moral stature (anyone who disagreed with him). Like Carter, Huckabee loves government solutions. The government can make everything better, he believes. That stands in stark contrast to the considerable evidence to the contrary.
Ann Althouse voted for Ford instead of Carter because of Carter's "smallness", "I'd decided he was a small man. He didn't fit the Presidency." And then she references Huckabee. While Carter would go back to his peanut farm, this is what Huckabee said:
Today, I read an email from my son John with the following quote and the question: "Remind you of anyone?"

‘‘If you aren’t for some reason elected president, what cabinet position would you be suited for?’’ I asked. Huckabee paused, considering. ‘‘Secretary of health and human services would be one,’’ he said. ‘‘Secretary of transportation, or the interior.’’ Perhaps aware that this wasn’t a Mount Rushmore self-evaluation, he quickly added that he doesn’t really want a cabinet position or any other government job. ‘‘I’d be just as happy to go back to Arkansas and open a bait shop on a lake,’’ he said.
That's exactly my feeling, too. Huckabee's a small man. He isn't big enough for the presidency.

He can keep his folksy wisdom and banal platitudes. I just don't want to hear it. Too many important world events face the new American president. We don't need a guy playing his harmonica on the front porch of the White House. We need a leader.

Update: Rich Lowry has more thoughts on Huckabee. Ones you'll recognize here:
After many false prophecies, Dean circa 2008 has finally arrived. He is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Not because he will inevitably blow himself up in Iowa. But because, like Dean, his nomination would represent an act of suicide by his party.

Like Dean, Huckabee is an under-vetted former governor who is manifestly unprepared to be president of the United States. Like Dean, he is rising toward the top of polls in a crowded field based on his appeal to a particular niche of his party. As with Dean, his vulnerabilities in a general election are so screamingly obvious that it's hard to believe that primary voters, once they focus seriously on their choice, will nominate him.
You can like him, but he won't ever get elected in America. You might as well vote Hillary and get it over with.

Meanwhile, In Afghanistan

We're kicking Taliban ass. Oh wait, you missed that on the news tonight? Yeah, well that happens. A lot.

It's Not A Hate Crime..... --Updated

......if you're white. If you're white, it's "simple assault".

Update: Here's the assaulted white guys. And here's the city's response via Gateway Pundit:

The City of Baltimore is denying that this was a racist attack.

The victim of the first bus attack, Sarah Kreager, has been placed in a witness protection program, after a cousin of one of the accused sent her a threatening message at the homeless shelter where Kreager stays, according to a law enforcement source.
Can you imagine if these people were black? Where's Al Sharpton? Where's Jesse Jackson? Their silence equates racism.

Cholesterol Levels

So, American's cholesterol levels finally fit the neat little government parameters. Americans now have normal cholesterol compared with 1950 when the average 222. Cholesterol is down, but other health problems are up. I'll get to that in a minute.

First, there is no causation associated with cholesterol levels and any disease. None. I know, this is shocking with the obsession-compulsion you hear from doctors, the media and now prominent bloggers. But there's no scientific evidence that high cholesterol is bad.

Second, your body makes the biggest proportion of cholesterol. Diet provides a small percent of the body's need. In fact, when we don't injest enough cholesterol, our body bumps up production. Why? Because cholesterol is very important. Brain function, hormone production and a myriad of physiological processes rely on cholesterol. (A good article here.)

What about statins and cholesterol lowering drugs? Don't they cut heart disease? Um, no. They might help if you don't have heart disease, but if you do, they do nothing. So what's the point of taking them? Most people put on statins take them because they're diagnosed with heart disease.

And then, there are the side effects. Statins and cholesterol lowering medications are not the benign medical marvel they're made out to be. Certainly they work, but if you avoid one potential problem only to face another life-threatening or life-altering one, they might not seem so miraculous. So here's a few things that statins can do:

It is actually this last symptom that people find the most egregious. Without cholesterol to make hormones, a person's sex drive plummets. This is no small thing. Quality of life is nearly as important as quantity of life. A guy who has high cholesterol and trades his sex drive for the right numbers might actually prefer to have a heart attack. The statins aren't the only thing that changes a person's libido. Combined with blood pressure medication (which it often is), the medication taker can feel depressed, anxious and lose vitality.

The solution, of course, is more medication and surgery. Anti-depressants, drugs for erectile dysfunction, and hysterectomies for the female problems sure to surface. It is my belief that statins will be the next big medical hoax following HRT and arthritis drugs.

Be wary of magic pills. Good health comes from good diet, exercise, and happiness. Oh, and good genes don't hurt, either.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Murder In The Least--Update

Has the rash of random violence overwhelmed a rational person's ability to integrate the evil? Aaron Hanscom writes an excellent commentary detailing examples of young people refusing to use condemning language for everything from Nazism to the Virginia Tech murderer (his name shall not be written) who killed 32 people in one day. Glenn Reynold's asks, "Is murder a victimless crime?" Even young people who should clearly know better get it wrong:

One wonders if Gutmann would have also found the humor in the Nazi costume Prince Harry wore to a party in 2005. Harry would have fit in perfectly in the class of one Harvard University professor, who has described his shock upon learning that the majority of his students didn’t believe anybody was to blame for the Holocaust. He referred to his students’ attitude about the past as “no-fault history.”
There are whose answer to the world's evil is to simply pretend it doesn't involve them. It is a supremely selfish perspective and an unthinking one. Some other acquaintances cannot or will not concede that evil exists.

How convenient! If evil doesn't exist, then there is no reason to fight injustice or wrong. It's really a perfect world view. It requires nothing of the believer and offers absolution for cowardice.

Changing the terms, defining down makes a society where no heinous action is condemned and may even be extolled:
Apparently murder isn’t even enough to retire the usage of the diminutive form of the murderer’s name. In fact, the reporter also referred to Hawkins as “Robby” when asking the friend questions like “What are you thinking about now that you know that Robby was involved in this shooting?” (The word “commit” can’t be used by the nonjudgmental.) It’s hard to disagree with talk show host Dennis Prager when he makes the case that such rhetoric is symbolic of society’s inability to make moral condemnations. But aren’t some crimes so horrific that everyone should abhor them?
The answer to the last question is "no". To abhor would be to judge and that would be wrong. The murderer simply acted the way he did because it made sense to him at the time. Our job is to understand his motivation so we can help little future murderers choose more helpful behavior.

Just when I think America is more cohesive than the media would have us believe, an article like this comes out. The divide in America may indeed be moral. Will every one of these relativistic people have to have a friend or family member raped, killed or dismembered to know evil exists? Or will they stay in the soft comfort of amorality even then?

Update: It occurs to me that the reason people deny evil exists is based in narcissism. These people don't want anyone telling them that what they're doing is morally repugnant or wrong, so they refuse to condemn any behavior no matter how heinous. The guiltless murder is all about them. This short-circuits empathy. It short-circuits the impulse for justice.

This doesn't bode well for the future. Wars started to end justice or for self-preservation will be forgone in favor of comfort food, entertainment and whatever self-centered pursuit is trendy.

The future won't be good men doing nothing. The future will be filled with amoral men doing nothing. There will just be a sliding scale of bad.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." [Edmund Burke]
We need a more than a few good men.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Generational Generalizations

Is the Greatest Generation, so-called, that great? Are the Baby Boomers vapid jingoists intent on self-actualization through plastic surgery? Are the Xers the forgotten generation, smashed between the Gen Y and Boomer vice?

Well, I know quite a few of the Greatest Generation who ain't so great. And I know some spectacular Gen Y-ers. We should use caution when generalizing too much, I think.

Gun-Free Liability Act

Remember the other day when I said, "Sue them!" so enraged was I that the people in the Mall in Omaha were sitting ducks for an armed psychopath? I said, there oughta be a law. Well here's one.

This is very important legislation. I hope it passes. Any place that says it's a gun-free zone better provide excellent security or be liable for the damages.

H/T Instapundit

Chinese Cyber Attack?

I'm concerned about stories like these. It's going to happen more and more. The thing is, people don't have to be in the United States to threaten or harm us. And more than that, with the right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it) kind of threat, the terrorist or foreign government wouldn't want to be here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Guns Save Lives--UPDATE

An undercover female guard took the sociopath down with her gun in the Colorado shootings. He still managed to kill two people in the church, but it would have been more, no doubt, had he not been stopped.

UPDATE: Well, my impression was that the "undercover" woman was actually a plain-clothes security guard. Turns out that she was just an attending church member with a CCW permit.


Directly from the head pastor at New Life Church, the “security guard” who stopped the shooting was an unpaid volunteer, not a police officer, and “used a personal weapon.” The CNN link confirms the information I just received in an email from a source at New Life Church.

So the facts are now that a concerned, armed citizen, acted to in defense of the lives of others and risked her own life by moving rapidly to the shots and engaging the gunman. This woman is truly a hero, and deserves the highest congratulations we can offer.
The killer "hated Christians".

The press needs to get this shooting right, for once. There are benefits to carrying a concealed gun, legally. The bad guys always conceal theirs.

H/T Glenn Reynolds

The Big O's

Go read Ann Althouse's interpretation of Oprah and Barack's side show, for that is what I believe it is. It is pure political theater. Oprah is preaching to the choir as it were. Black leaders have chosen sides already.

I still believe the Anchoress is right: Hillary will get it. Barack Obama will make a fine Vice President.

Gift Buying

I'm currently typing on one of these and it is NICE. I highly recommend this keyboard. The old keyboard's clunkiness was one of the few complaints I had about the old keyboard. This new one is amazing.

I had told everyone I'd link to my favorite things. Well, you can still get your stuff by Christmas if you order now. Here's some other things I love.

For my iPhone, I wanted something wireless for the car. A recent birthday gift was the Jawbone and it's fantastic. For me, the ear pieces are important. I have little ears and many ear buds just fall out which is so annoying. The Jawbone has an ergonomic bud that I really like and it stays on the ear. They have different colors, but this is the classic black.

Again, in the tech department (where I like to stay), this is a nice gift for the one you love. Heck, if you're feeling generous, buy me one.

Any of James Lilek's books are good conversation starters that are both funny and socially acceptable (as opposed to the Post Secret books which are downers and riské). His latest one covers disgusting cuisine. Buy it for mom!
And buy Post Secret for the gay cousin who thinks he's still in the closet and that no one knows. Newsflash, bub, they know.

Words to the wise: Don't buy undergarments, nighties, or any other articles of clothing that someone might deem too personal. Clothing is, in fact, personal. And unless it's your girlfriend, stay away from lingerie and perfume.

Ann Althouse made the comment one time that presents say a lot about what the person giving them thinks about you. And it is fascinating to analyze the message the gift-giver is sending to the giftee. Keep in mind, that when you send a gift, you're sending a message. Be self-aware enough to know that.

Stationary is good, unless it seems you're trying to bully someone into writing. A well-chosen book is always a winner. Tickets to a sporting even or some other life experience can be great.

And don't be afraid of gift-cards. Really. A well-chosen gift card can mean a lot to someone. (Thanks, sis, for the iTunes gift card.)

For new parents, I'll share my favorites, too. This is the stroller every parent should have: it's light, it reclines so the baby can nap, the handles are high enough, it's sturdy, did I mention that it's light? It can take a beating, too. Ours has been everywhere from Disney to New York and looks brand new. The wheel mechanism is fantastic. The stroller feels stable for the baby.

Get this accessory, too, as there aren't cup holders.

When the baby is born, buy this. The Butt Paste is the absolute best for protecting baby's behind. The stuff lasts and it smells great (watch out, though, the kid might try to eat it.)

I reviewed this before, but I still love it! Love it more, actually, the more I use it. These whisper-quiet clean machines are amazing. Buy one!

My sister has one of these and swears by it. If anyone is feeling generous..... I'd actually like one. They look great.

OK, this is getting longish. Just some ideas. I find picking out gifts to be so much fun. It's a delight to make the perfect match.


You know, it's difficult to comprehend psychopaths. They are wired so completely counter to normal, socialized people that the normal people rationalize and minimize for their own psychological comfort.

Over at Shrinkwrapped, the good doctor discusses sociopathology in regards to Islam. I personally feel that there are some characteristics inherent in Islam that make psychopathology more likely. Shrink touches on this:

Psychopaths are not, in fact, particularly good liars; they spin tales and get away with it because their listeners fail to confront them on the inconsistencies. So, why bring Psychopaths into the mix when discussing the danger from radical Islam? Unfortunately, those who follow the dictates of their Koran (whether it is simply one of many interpretations or the only interpretation, as insisted upon by the Islamists, is immaterial) are explicitly permitted to lie, threaten, cheat, do whatever it takes to dominate the infidel. Whether or not the typical Muslim is a psychopath is not the issue; the issue is that Islam, as practiced in the public sphere, behaves like a Psychopath. Note that it is often the apostate Muslim, most at risk from the reactions of their former co-religionists, who most acutely points out the failures (and questions the existence) of Moderate Islam and Moderate Muslims.
In every era, there people have denied the evidence in front of them, whether it was Stalin or Hitler or Pol Pot or whomever. No one wants to acknowledge such evil because it demands action or reveals the co-dependent person to be weak and stupid.

A large segment of our population simply denies evil exists despite all the evidence to the contrary. It's easier. Shrink talks about this phenomenon and it's a worthwhile read.

He links to a website dedicated, of all things, to sociopaths, or rather the people harmed by them. The tales are disturbing and instructive. One thing that is very evident: psychopaths create havoc, confusion, doubt and chaos wherever they go. Energetically, they disturb the force, to invoke Star Wars speak. Nothing is ever settled. Nothing feels solid.

As our recent church and mall killers reinforce once again, there is no innocent to a psychopath. People exist to meet their needs and a psychopath has no problem using them for their own ends. They are liars from the beginning--first to themselves, second to anyone else who might interfere with their aims.

We must avoid denial and face the fact that these people exist. They are able to do great harmed mostly when they steamroll unchecked. Direct confrontation is the only option, as reasoning does not work with these most unreasonable of people. We need to keep that in mind when a lying, pathological regime like Iran claims to have quit pursuing nuclear material. It is ridiculous on it's face.

Psychopaths don't go away before their desires are fulfilled. We need to remember that.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

More on Race-Baiting

Gateway Pundit has more on the Jena Six and the notion that America is an unfair place for black people. Do Americans of any color really know lack? They may know lack, but do they know lack of opportunity?

No American knows that lack.

Don't Save America From The Housing Mess

Mark Steyn reinforces my opinion. I always like it when people smarter than me agree with me.

Hillary Clinton's Black Husband

Can identity politics get any more ridiculous? In trying to establish cred with minorities, civil rights leader Andrew Young says what could be nominated for the most ridiculous quote this electoral season:

In a media interview posted online, Young also quipped that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has her husband behind her, and that "Bill is every bit as black as Barack."

"He's probably gone with more black women than Barack," Young said of former President Clinton, drawing laughter from a live television audience. Young, 75, was quick to follow his comment on Bill Clinton with the disclaimer, "I'm clowning."
Are you kidding me?

Imagine if you will, a live televised talk extolling Rudy Giuliani's prowess with Latino women. Imagine the hew and cry on the Right, never mind the Left. It would be perceived as racist, because, well, it's racist.

Has the Left completely gone mad? In the search for a colorblind society the standard to measure a leader's worth is how many black women a man has bedded. This is such a disturbing message on so many levels.

First, it glorifies promiscuity in a community that suffers disproportionately from STDs, HIV, single motherhood, addiction and gang violence. The measure of a black man (or white man who's more black than a black man) is his education, his work ethic, his dedication to family and friends.

Second, it is patently racist and sexist to define a man's worth by notches in his belt. Why would this statement elicit giggles from the audience there?

Third, what the hell does this have to do with Hillary? We should vote for her because her husband was/is a slut or more specifically, a bigger slut than Barack Obama was when he was a younger man goes Young's reasoning.

And the more offensive comments come later:
Young went on to say that Obama needs a protective network that he currently lacks - a quality that could hurt him if he were to be elected. He said Hillary Clinton already has that kind of network, including her husband to back her up.

"There are more black people that Bill and Hillary lean on," Young said. "You cannot be president alone. ... To put a brother in there by himself is to set him up for crucifixion. His time will come and the world will be ready for a visionary leadership."
Do we consider Rudy or Fred or Mike's spouses as a "wife to back him up"? No, we don't. And Hillary doesn't need this kind of help. Young illuminates the obvious. There are many, many people who are voting for Hillary hoping Bill will take the reins. And it's true, Bill sucks the oxygen out of any room he's in.

So Hillary is portrayed by her own supporter as someone we should vote for because she has a husband who is a sexual powerhouse and more black than Obama. It makes her look weak both morally (what woman puts up with a slutty husband) and leadership-wise.

Hillary wouldn't be here for Bill. Oh, and Bill Clinton can't keep it in his pants. Thanks, Andrew Young for the reminder.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Dyslexia: Deficits Form Foundation For Success

A new study shows that 39% of American entrepeneurs suffered with dyslexia. It's an amazing number really, when contrasted with the 1% of people in the business world with the disability. Why would people with this problem turn into successful business people?

One reason that dyslexics are drawn to entrepreneurship, Professor Logan said, is that strategies they have used since childhood to offset their weaknesses in written communication and organizational ability — identifying trustworthy people and handing over major responsibilities to them — can be applied to businesses.

“The willingness to delegate authority gives them a significant advantage over nondyslexic entrepreneurs, who tend to view their business as their baby and like to be in total control,” she said.

I've mentioned Temple Grandin before, the autistic woman who has revolutionized American slaughter houses. It seems that these deficits can be channeled and should be. Every autistic person I've ever met sees the world in some unique way and has something to give that is special. There needs to be as much focus on using those special traits as finding a cure.

People shouldn't languish away from the world, when they have something the world needs. In the case of autism though, the world has to go to the autistic person, and that's the challenge.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Push Presents

Does a woman deserve a present for giving birth? There was a time when child-birth was viewed as a rite of passage, much as the first hunt was for a man. A woman was lavished with gifts of different sorts. And, women were supported by other women.

Society has changed. And then again, it hasn't. What was old is new again. Women are getting "push presents"--presents for pushing out a baby. Since most women don't push and barely feel the kid coming at all since they're drugged up, I find this a funny description, but whatever. In this narcissistic age, women gain weight, lose control of bodily functions and I guess that merits a gift, right?

In a more innocent age, new mothers generally considered their babies to be the greatest gift imaginable. Today, they are likely to want some sort of tangible bonus as well.

This bonus goes by various names. Some call it the “baby mama gift.” Others refer to it as the “baby bauble.” But it’s most popularly known as the “push present.”

That’s “push” as in, “I the mother, having been through the wringer and pushed out this blessed event, hereby claim my reward.” Or “push” as in, “I’ve delivered something special and now I’m pushing you, my husband/boyfriend, to follow suit.”

These gifts might just have to do with society now. Women are used to be rewarded for their work--they have careers, get paid, etc. They figure that giving birth shouldn't be thankless either.

Well, newsflash ladies, motherhood doesn't pay well. I guess that would be an argument for angling for the biggest gift the hubby will cough up.

Disassociation and Higher Performance

An interesting link between the ability to disassociate oneself from the pain of exercise:

The first thing to know, said Dr. Benjamin Levine, an exercise researcher and a cardiology professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is that no one really knows what limits human performance. There’s the ability of the heart to pump blood to the muscles, there’s the ability of the muscles to contract and respond, there’s the question of muscle fuel, and then, of course, there is the mind.

“How does the brain interact with the skeletal muscles and the circulation?” Dr. Levine said. “How much of this is voluntary and how much is involuntary? We just don’t know.”

But since most people can do better, no matter how good their performance, the challenge is to find a safe way to push a little harder. Many ordinary athletes, as well as elites, use a technique known as dissociation.

Disassociation works.

Climate Sinners

More religious talk from the Global Warming types. Now, the United States, along with Saudia Arabia are the chief sinners.

The only conclusion I can come to is that mankind needs some sort of religion. And since going to church is passé and reading the Bible marginally literally categorizes one as a medieval ignoramus, the only choice is to make up rules, laws, and damnation on the fly.

Enter environmentalism.

You can't even talk to these people anymore. It's not enough to renew, recycle and reuse. Oh no! Now we must reduce the number of children, if have any at all. We must reduce our refuse--go on a third-world diet to produce third world amounts of poop. We must downsize everything from our houses to our trucks. We must not light a candle. The list is getting so long and Pharisaical, who needs church? The nightly news is a sermon.

Like all cults, the Environmentalist religion has a shred of truth. It's a good thing to live modestly and within our means. It's a good thing to not trash the environment--to dress and keep what we're given. It's a good thing to respect all living things, including plants. It's a good thing to treat animals humanely. These are all good things.

But this condemning language and apocalyptic fervor is going to drive people away from saving the planet. It's just too....weirdly religious. If environmentalists want to save the environment they could start by saving their message. Make it factual and doable. People will try. Find a way to work with human nature. People will buy it because they want to.

The church lady rarely ever gets listened to.


Been to Tar-jay lately? Yes, well, you must fight the marauding hoards and as Rachel Lucas notes, it's no fun. (Warning: language. But it's funny.)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ace: The Fog of Foer

Iowahawk parody on the New Republic mess.

H/T Ace

Romney's Mormonism

Does it bother you?

Housing Rescue Plan

Color me a free market zealot, but I don't want a Housing Rescue Plan. Some malicious lenders made bad loans and there are consequences. While I feel badly for the people involved and think that the whole process is excruciating and requires a PhD in law and real estate to understand, I think the best bet for the future is to make the laws better for future home buyers.

Like the IRS, it should be simpler and more straight-forward to get a home loan. But when there's money involved, straight forward seems to go out the window.

P.S. Isn't Congress supposed to come up with laws? Where are the Democrat's big ideas?

Sometimes Life Isn't Fair

Sometimes it is.

Tree Hugging

This link goes out to my tree-hugging friend. You know who you are!

P.S. My socialist San Francisco buddy probably is sorry he missed this.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Six Minutes: Omaha, Too Late Again--UPDATE

The main thing that struck me, going through the reports about this 18 year old kid who sniper-style murdered at least nine people in an Omaha mall today was this: it took police six whole, long minutes to get to the mall.

It was six minutes too late.

Just like Virginia Tech. Just like Columbine. Just like every single other act of random violence, there is no chance in hell to stop the mayhem with a policeman in a car six minutes down the road. The people in the colleges, schools, malls, hospitals, churches, everywhere are sitting ducks. And it is ridiculous.

The police have procedures so they don't walk into death traps. Every time I see a picture of a cop ducking behind a car in the parking lot when the violence is happening inside an enclosed structure, I want to scream.

It's not the cops fault. They come when they're called. They follow the rules. And the rules are there for a reason. But rules and procedures don't save people from a marauding psychopath intent on killing everyone. Only someone armed themselves can stop this kind of thing.

People need to be empowered. The criminals already are empowered and have the benefit of planning and offense. The defenders should at least be able to defend themselves.

We can talk prevention. It's another sad-looking kid with a troubled past. Aren't they all? And yet, the vast majority of troubled kids don't end up mowing down everyone in some warped sense of self-justified vengeance. They suck it up and grow into dysfunctional adults like everyone else.

So, prevention and bullying and psychotropic drugs and the psychology of sociopaths and the moral decay and everything else will be trotted out.....again. And the answers will be the same: there are always crazies. In every era of the world, from Cain and Abel on there have been angry, murderous crazies. We can pretend to live in a la-la world where "society could do more", whatever the hell that means, or we can make some serious reforms so that a guy like that gets off one shot, maybe two. And then someone else takes care of the problem, for the sake of innocent lives.

Six minutes is too long to make a difference. The damage was done. The rampage over. And once again, people, Christmas shoppers, the innocent are dead. Robert Hawkins may not have been able to be prevented, but he most definitely could have been stopped.


Glenn Reynolds has a good idea: sue the places that disarm the innocent and yet won't provide protection. Sue the colleges, malls, sue everyone! Sue the government that makes such regulations that violate a person's civil rights--the most basic, to live. Glenn says:

But it's worth noting -- since apparently most of the media reports haven't -- that this was another mass shooting in a "gun-free" zone. It seems to me that we've reached the point at which a facility that bans firearms, making its patrons unable to defend themselves, should be subject to lawsuit for its failure to protect them. The pattern of mass shootings in "gun free" zones is well-established at this point, and I don't see why places that take the affirmative step of forcing their law-abiding patrons to go unarmed should get off scot-free. There's even an academic literature on mass shootings and concealed-gun carriage.

Perhaps we need legislation. If it saves just one life, it's worth it.
Amen, brother Glenn.


Perfectionism is a harsh task-master. I know this because I've submitted to the self-imposed lash many a time. Is it useful? Sometimes, in it's extreme though, it interferes with production. And that's why it's good to get reasonable. A situation doesn't always merit perfection and the bar can be set so high that the outcome is nothing. New research takes a look at perfectionism:

The more strongly participants in the study thought in this either-or fashion, the more likely they were to display the kind of extreme perfectionism that can lead to mental health problems.

In short, these are people who not only swallow many of the maxims for success but take them as absolutes. At some level they know that it’s possible to succeed after falling short (build on your mistakes: another boilerplate rule). The trouble is that falling short still reeks of mediocrity; for them, to say otherwise is to spin the result.

Perfectionism is fine as long as it doesn't interfere with living. It can steal the joy from just about anything. Go read the whole article. It's interesting.

Finding God Through The Big Screen

The new televangelism isn't sending money to Joel Osteen, it's sending it to the makers of the technology that brings us Joel Osteen. Instead of worshiping the image or the worshiping the image's message, worship the thing. Attribute spiritual meaning to material things. It's safer. There is no harm done. So says Blunt Instrument writer John Birmingham:

The two incidents were unrelated, and yet simple timing and a thematic unity balanced them perfectly against each other. In Khartoum you've got the machinery of a state, powered by Sharia Law, initially threatening to lash a woman for, let's face it, utter fracking nonsense. Now released, after enormous pressure from the West, including Muslim politicians from the UK, she was very much a victim of stupid, unthinking, religious bigotry, which brings us to...

...Sydney, where I'm going to take a punt and guess that you've got a couple of morons, inspired by the increasing bitterness of a campaign against the building of an Islamic school at Camden, who've done three minutes of wiki-research on Islamic religious practice before heading off to the butcher to craft their elegant statement on faith and civil society. Either that or a couple of liberal party campaign workers were just getting in a bit of practice.

Well, a pox on all their houses, I say. Soulless, postmodern materialism might be all soulless and po-mo and materialistic. Not to mention really, really expensive. But I don't think anybody's going to strap on a bomb belt, or climb into their white hooded sheet for a little lynch-o-rama cross-burning action, just because somebody else insulted their Bravia, or defamed the prophet Jimmy Choo, or failed to show the requisite level of appreciation for the awesome righteousness of a shiny new Lexus LF-A.
And I don't see the materialistic people jumping to defend anyone or anything. They are so numbed that they don't have the energy to even defend their stuff.

It's fuzzy thinking like this that makes me more than a little nervous for Western civilization. A person has to believe that something is worth defending. A flat-screen TV might not be enough motivation. Then again, for some, it might be.

Secular societies filled with narcissistic recliner dwelling potatoes might not blow anyone else up, but I fear they won't have the energy to defend themselves or their freedom to sit like a lump, either. Like marijuana (which I think should be legalized, by the way), the religion of the Big TV is passive. It won't hurt anyone (although that's debatable, too), but it won't help anyone, either.

Yes, the religious nuts are exasperating, but the materialistic consumer devoid of any belief or mission, seems awfully ripe for exploitation.

Asperger's in Life

Interesting article about Asperger's today in the New York Times. I had no idea that one of the girls on America's Top Model has the condition and that the ramifications are being played out before a national audience. Here's a tidbit:

A gifted art student from Valparaiso, Ind., she has a lean and angular look well suited to the fashion industry. But her beauty doesn’t mask the challenges of Asperger’s. The show requires her to live in a house with 12 other would-be models, and cattiness and backbiting ensue. Early in the show, she appears socially isolated, the girls whisper about her within earshot, and viewers see her crying on the phone to her mother.

One girl is frustrated when Heather, concentrating on packing a bag, doesn’t hear a request to move out of the way. At one point, the others laugh when they stake out their beds and Heather has no place to sleep.

“I wish I could get the joke,” Heather laments.

More programs like this are inevitable with 1 out of 150 people suffering somewhere along the Autsim spectrum. And it's not just those with the Autsim. Often they miss what they're missing, but their family sees it. The emotional and financial toll Autism takes on a family is monumental.

Maybe, some day, there will be a pill this girl could take, so she wouldn't just be a contender, but a winner. But then I wonder, take the Asperger's away, do you take the haunted look that makes her so compelling visually, too?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Revenge of the Nerds

At the Apple store, Target, even Sears in the treadmill and weight bench department, a nerd greeted and helped me do something new or learn something different. These were kids with holes in their ears, black, dyed hair, eyes sparkly with curiosity and they brimmed with earnest intelligence.

They weren't the jocks or the in-crowd, but they were certainly the popular ones. They have information that everyone needs.

One thing I like about this new technological era is that the generations are brought together in a way. The elderly and Boomers as well as X'ers like me deferred to our young betters. They felt helpful and they were.

I love how technology doesn't discriminate. Old, young, fit, flabby, plain or fabulous, you can be a part of this world.

This Stanford study would seem to disagree with me in some ways. For example, the more people use the internet:
... the more they lose contact with their social environment.
This effect is noticeable even with just 2-5 Internet hours/week, and it rises substantially for those spending more that 10 hours/week, of whom up to 15 percent report a decrease in social activities. Even more striking is the fact that Internet users spend much less time of talking on the phone to friends and family: the percentage reporting a decrease exceeds 25 percent - although it is unclear to what extent this represents a shift to e-mail even in communicating with friends and family, or a technical bottleneck due to a single phone line being preempted by Internet use.
But I don't know if this is true. When my friends and family are online, we talk back and forth via chatting. The information might not rise to the level of a phone call. In fact, I don't really like talking on the phone anyway. In some ways, the internet has connected people.

What do you think?
Technology, especially the internet has made me
Less connected with family
More connected with family
No change free polls

Monday, December 03, 2007

Cyber Bullies

The latest way for kids and adults to pick on others falls in the traditional category: gutless. In times past, a bully, backed by his or her stooges would terrorize some hapless individual. Now, the bully doesn't need a posse to provide interference. He or she can use the internet.

It's a growing problem:

Studies conducted by the cyber-stalking advocacy group Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA), show that 31 percent of reported cases of Internet harassment began through e-mail, and 17 percent through instant messaging (IM) in 2006, the most recent year for which statistics are available.

Other research has yielded similar findings. Dr. Christine Suniti Bhat, a professor in the department of counseling and higher education at Ohio University, found IM to be the most common way kids harassed each other over the Internet.

Parents must monitor their child's social group both at school and on-line. The intimidation can be brutal.

Anyone can eventually be a target of stalking. It's easy and convenient for the person with lots of time on his hands to harass others on-line. The laws need to catch up to the times.

Oh No! It's Huckabee!

I don't like Mike Huckabee and it's not because I have antipathy for politicians from the great state of Arkansas, although I can't quite shake that either. No, I don't like him because he reminds me of another politician who I really, really don't like: Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter wore his folksy, unforgiving morality on his sleeve disguised as Christianity when it was just a method to intimidate people of lesser moral stature (anyone who disagreed with him). Like Carter, Huckabee loves government solutions. The government can make everything better, he believes. That stands in stark contrast to the considerable evidence to the contrary.

Huckabee can't win against Hillary. I haven't read polls to that affect, but I feel it in my bones. He won't play on the Left and Right coast. He'll bother women. Men won't find him manly enough. He's the one Republican that makes Hillary look even more butch.

My brother said, "Iowans are idiots." Maybe. But maybe, the other Republican candidates are to blame. Huckabee is affable and unapologetically socially conservative. The other leaders would do well to take note.

Maybe Giuliani and Thompson's marriages matter more than I believe. Maybe Giuliani's waffling on gun rights and abortion will eliminate him by the Republicans. Maybe Americans are more suspicious of Romney's Mormonism than I believe.

If all this leaves Huckabee the Republican candidate, then I think we'll have Hillary Clinton for president.

Steyn Mourns Howard's End

And so do I. Steyn says it best:

In more genteel mode, he put it like this: "Multilateralism is a synonym for an ineffective and unfocused policy involving internationalism of the lowest common denominator." See Darfur, the Iranian nukes, the UN's flop response to the tsunami. If it's right to intervene in the Sudan, it's not wrong because the Russian guy declines to stick his hand up at the relevant meeting. The Howard years saw the emergence of a regional power that, from East Timor to Solomon Islands, understood its responsibilities at a time when the Euro-Canadian poseurs shrunk from theirs.

As a distant observer of Australian affairs, I had some small personal contact with Howard and co. over the years. Merry, feisty, blunt and fair, they were exactly what we need at this moment: happy warriors. I'm saddened Australians feel differently. But if it's too late to get the US constitution amended in time for them to run for president next November, the savvier candidates ought to snap 'em up as speech writers.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Does America Have A Problem?

If the Mall today, and the Apple store specifically, was any indication, the economy is going to boom at the end of 2007. Consumers are in a spending mood. I'm no economist and this is anecdotal, of course.

I'm just wondering if everyone from economists to political analysts to well, Americans in general, haven't had it so good for so long, that what is really wrong in America is a bad attitude.

Are we really that far divided politically in America or is it a construct of the media?

Are we on the verge of stock market destruction?

Are we that far off track?

I'm asking, because the evidence I see is of people working hard, going about their business, going to church and work, traveling to see family. And shopping! Doing a lot of shopping. Essentially, the same thing they've always done.

It makes me wonder if America's problem is that we have few problems and have the luxury to obsess.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Is This Just America Now?

I don't hate Hillary. I really, really don't. I don't like her, either. She's not qualified, has a mendacious streak a mile long and is as changing as the wind. But more than this, the Anchoress sums up nicely:

My Li’l Bro’s reaction makes me wonder: having lived through 8 years of BDS, do we really want to elect this woman and live through 8 years of HDS and continuous, unabated polarization or balkanization? I suggest we do not. Can the country stand it?
Can the country deal with this? It was such a relief to have Bill gone. For many in this country it will be a relief to have Bush gone.

I'm sick to death of the loathing all the way around. Would a Barack Obama or John Edwards or Mitt Romney inspire less loathing? I'm not so sure. The press will love anyone on the Left. They will demonize anyone and any idea from the right. That won't change.

The people who support both sides will continue to feel persecuted--the Left because they're perpetually narcissistic and suspicious. The Right will feel persecuted because, well, the press hates their ideas.

Average people get further disgruntled with our government. So there will be these polls saying that everyone is miserable, but life will be pretty good.

Is this just America now?