Friday, August 05, 2016

There's a Simple Solution to Every Complex Problem. Which is the Problem.

Obama and Clinton prove the old adage that lying is the essential quality -- for if you're good at lying, then brother, you're good at everything. Thus, Obama's presidency has been a stunning success, and Clinton is the most qualified candidate for president ever.

Churchill once remarked that it is sometimes necessary for truth to be protected by a bodyguard of lies. In the case of the left it's the other way around: their lies are protected and propagated by a bodyguard of self-styled "truth tellers," AKA the media.

Think about that: our culture has developed a systematic and pervasive megaphone for the propagation of liberal lies, under the guise of being the necessary institution for an informed citizenry. It pretends to be our cognitive immune system on a seek-and-destroy mission against falsehood, when it is really an autoimmune disorder that attacks truth.

There's another old adage about how every movement begins with an ideal but ends up a racket. But the media is not a racket, in the sense that its members are not generally motivated by venality -- at least consciously -- but by idealism. What happens when lies are animated by idealism? Pretty much every manmade catastrophe in history. Islamists are idealists, as were communists, national socialists, and the French revolutionaries.

Ideals don't exist in the world but in the head. The world can never match the ideal, but that doesn't stop idealists from trying to force the issue, with violence if necessary. Yesterday I heard Clinton say she was going to "rewrite the rules for the middle class." Can you imagine the presumption? She must believe the middle class only developed because of some set of government rules, instead of spontaneously emerging from the free activities of millions of independent actors. No one planned it, because such things are far too complex to ever be planned.

The left labors under an epistemology that is not only outmoded but delusional. I've only just started this refresher on Complexity, but that's my takeaway already. If you deny complexity and live in the old-fashioned, linear cosmos of the progressive, then lies become plausible and the impossible becomes possible. You can tweak some rule at the top and pretend to solve a complex societal problem. Magic is real!

Levin mentions the same thing in The Fractured Republic, and it is such an important point that I will proceed to belabor it.

There was a time when Americans actually had confidence in their government, but this was because virtually everyone was laboring under the pre-postmodern idea that there are linear solutions to complex societal problems. The whole war on poverty was based on this faulty premise, with catastrophic results. For it turns out that an input at one end doesn't result in a linear, predictable output at the other. Rather, in a complex system there is no way to predict -- not even in principle -- what will result from the new input.

Everyone who isn't a liberal understands that this is how the economy works. It is an infinitely complex information-processing system that no human being could ever comprehend. As with global warming, liberals superimpose some simplistic model over the irreducibly complex system and pretend they can get the output they want by tweaking this or that factor -- like the Community Reinvestment Act that nearly brought down the global economy in 2007-2008. The input -- forcing banks to give loans to unqualified borrowers -- was with the Best of Intentions. But look at the output: it didn't generate order, but complete chaos. And not the good kind.

"Indeed, this outdated model for solving problems is what now stands out most about the social-democratic vision that implicitly guides the American left: although it offers itself up as a vision of the future, it is an anachronism. It is how the past used to think about the future" (Levin).


Nevertheless, this sidesteps perhaps the most important aspect of politics, which is to say, its implicit promise that there are linear solutions to complex problems. Someone said that politics is the "organization of hatreds," which is surely true. However, hatred -- even if warranted -- isn't rational, but emotional. More generally, I find that politics is much more rooted in emotion, in atavistic tribalism, in magical wish fulfillment, in anxiety containment, than in anything rational.

Therefore, not only must we understand reality itself as a complex system, but the system we apply to the complex system -- politics -- is itself a complex system. That may not be entirely clear. Hopefully it will become more so as we proceed.

I suppose it goes to a comment I made yesterday, that "no plan survives contact with reality, and the future cannot be extrapolated from current trends." We bifurcate our politics into a simplistic left and right, but in reality, we have no idea what will result from conservative inputs or liberal ones. From our side, even if our policies are successful, you can be sure the media will make it appear they aren't, which will in turn generate unpredictable outcomes.

Yesterday I also mentioned Eliot's gag that there are no lost causes because there are no gained ones. Thus, even if we gain the White House, that will only be prelude to countless losses. As if the left will just roll over. Evil doesn't sleep. It doesn't even rest.

If Trump thinks he's being attacked now, just wait until next November 9th. Everything for which Obama and Clinton are responsible will be immediately blamed on him. 95 million out of the workforce! 20 trillion in debt! Wars all over the middle east! Racial division! Crime increasing! Unsustainable entitlement programs! Blacks regressing by every conceivable measure! Why haven't you solved these staggering problems!

Levin cites several reasons why the vision of the left is so fucking retarded. First, it -- ironically, given the fact that it is responsible for, and even proud of, our deep divisions -- "takes a degree of social cohesion for granted that is no longer realistic." Yes, you would never game the system to get free stuff from the government. Hell, you just want the government to leave you alone.

But that is not true of people with quite different cultural conditioning. The left loves immigrants, so long as they are immigrants who love the left, i.e., big government. Democrats were thrilled when Mr. Khan whipped out that constitution, because it is the very same constitution they so reverently ignore.

In the old days -- i.e., prior to the 1960s -- we could assume a level of cultural order, stability, and cohesion that no longer exists. And guess why it no longer exist? Many reasons, one of which is past efforts on the part of the left to pretend there are simple, top-down solutions to complex problems. "This means they [their policies] don't work to to create order, and in fact that they frequently undermine it -- especially by creating incentives against family formation and work" (ibid.).

It reminds me of how conservatives favor economic policies that generate wealth, whereas the left just assumes the wealth and goes about dividing it up between favored constituents. The end result is Venezuela, i.e., failure to generate wealth at all. But at least everyone is equal. Or rather, income equality reaches infinity, in that people in the bottom 90% have nothing.

Levin is of course correct that "we need alternatives that actively encourage the integration of needy and vulnerable Americans into the mediating institutions of family, community, and work." Well, yes. There is a little catch, however. People tend to marry people of a similar IQ. They then produce children with similar IQs to the parents. You know the rest. As I said, I'm all for marriage. But marriage itself, without a host of other values and virtues -- for example, absence of class envy -- won't suffice. I mean, Obama and Clinton are married. QED.

Levin again highlights the left's "fundamentally anachronistic epistemology, or theory of knowledge." In this quaint worldview, "the most effective way to regulate and manage a complex modern society was for the legitimately elected government to empower social scientists to employ their centralized expert knowledge." This has been the reigning paradigm ever since FDR (and really, Hoover before him), such that it seems impossible to dislodge it.

For the most part, Republicans simply promise to do a better job while using the same faulty paradigm. Very few are true conservatives, like Reagan, who knew that when it comes to complex systems such as the economy, less is more. That is, less regulation, taxation, and bureaucratic meddling results in much upside surprise.

In political and economic Realville, "the top-down theory has given way to a kind of bottom-up theory of distributed knowledge suggesting that the expertise needed to make complex decisions is not concentrated in the hands of a small band of experts, but dispersed among all, and best aggregated through the medium of individual choice in a diverse society" (ibid.).

The implications are almost staggering. For example, it could mean that you understand more about your healthcare needs than the most thoroughly indoctrinated leftist expert sitting behind a desk in DC.

Nah, can't be. How could we ever negotiate through life without our liberal masters?

Modern man comforts himself by thinking that everything has a solution. As if there were no sinister solutions!


None of the high points of history has been planned. --Don Colacho


Anonymous maineman said...

This is actually a holdover from the last thread, but since you brought up Eliot again, I'll start things off here. Something that we need to keep in mind as we watch the wheels finally, really coming off the train of modernity and also a reminder of just how brilliant a man he was. This little gem is from his Response to Lambeth (the conference at which the Anglican church capitulated to evil and became the first denomination to approve artificial birth control) essay from the 1930's:

"The World is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that The Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and save The World from suicide."

8/05/2016 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's like a recession, only on the psycho-spiritual plane. An economic recession clears a lot of underbrush and dead wood. Also, when the tide recedes, it reveals the people with no bathing suit.

8/05/2016 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Maineman, that's beautifully put. Even in the dark pages of Jeremiah, there is always put forth the simple hope that people, even if only a remnant, would turn back to God - and in doing so, discover that He had been patiently waiting for them all along.

Thus, even if we gain the White House, that will only be prelude to countless losses. As if the left will just roll over. Evil doesn't sleep. It doesn't even rest. If Trump thinks he's being attacked now, just wait until next November 9th. Everything for which Obama and Clinton are responsible will be immediately blamed on him. 95 million out of the workforce! 20 trillion in debt! Wars all over the middle east! Racial division! Crime increasing! Unsustainable entitlement programs! Why haven't you solved these staggering problems!

I keep seeing people claim that a benefit of having Trump - or any Republican - in the White House is that At Least The Media Will Hold Him Accountable. Yes, but how much of what they place on him will be true? Also, I would not be at all surprised if the papier mache puppet makers are already busy and preparing their protest routes and slogans for the next few years. There will be no peace in America; they can't allow that, it might make the right look reasonable.

8/05/2016 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

But that is not true of people with quite different cultural conditioning. The left loves immigrants, so long as they are immigrants who love the left, i.e., big government.

A couple months ago, I was getting my hair done by a woman from Montreal who had married a man from Florida. Talking about cultural differences here, she tiptoed along the edge of mokita: "it seems like a lot of people have a kind of... entitlement mentality here. I really don't know why that might be." When I suggested that the large number of immigrants from very different cultures may have something to do with it, the subject was immediately changed to the weather.

8/05/2016 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Maineman quoted " that The Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us..."

It must have been nice to think about the 'dark ages' as a scary possibility of one possible future, rather than as a mundane fact, easily gathered in abundance from all around us.

8/05/2016 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The left either breeds or imports the people it needs to keep the left in business. No one has less of an interest in helping blacks than Black Leaders, because it would put them out of business.

8/05/2016 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In short, no one ever considers the implicit moral hazard of leftism, in that leftists -- both its leaders and peons -- are rewarded for failure.

8/05/2016 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

For Obama, it's a huge success to have more people on food stamps than ever before. It means government is working!

8/05/2016 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

This post made me think of this quote I just came across by Peter Boettke:

"Good economics concentrates costs on decision makers in the short run and disperses benefits to the society as a whole in the long run, whereas good politics concentrates benefits on well-organized and well-informed interest groups in the short run, while dispersing costs on the ill-organized and ill-informed mass of voters (both rationally ignorant and rational abstainers) in the long run. Since the beginning of the discipline, economists have recognized the conflict between good economics and good politics."

8/05/2016 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

The trouble with a Trump loss will be what is now being encountered by those who failed in Turkey: the purge. We'll all be Little Sisters of the Poor then.

Time to pull out Nock's great little article about Isaiah's Job, incidentally.

8/05/2016 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The end result is Venezuela, i.e., failure to generate wealth at all.

Remember when Chavez was an enlightened socialist genius buying heating oil for the poor of NYC?

Now Venezuelans are eating cats and dogs. Or, as the media would say, they're practicing late-term spay and neuter.

8/05/2016 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Not to mention starting up the labor camps. And oh, by the way, if your business fails, you and your employees obviously won't be working, soo... jail time and forced labor, indefinitely, for you.

8/05/2016 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Now, regarding the possibility of divine intervention, it bears mention that Mexico under the Aztecs (Our Lady of Guadalupe, conversion of all Mexico in the blink of an eye) and early 20th century Portugal (Fatima) were not exactly pinnacles of holiness. Stanley Jaki has called the Fatima Apparitions the most important event of the 20th century. Lisbon was apparently the most left leaning city in Europe up until then, and a different Portugal would have meant a different outcome to the Spanish Civil War. Quite the butterfly effect.

Take it from a Red Sox fan, it's not over until it's over. (I still regard the Roberts steal as the single greatest sports event in history, incidentally, unless maybe if you classify the first marathon as sports event.)

By the way, something very interesting happened up this way yesterday. Trump was in Portland and, as I was leaving work, I could not get out of town. The highway and everything else was jammed to the gills, bumper to bumper for miles. My initial assumption was that the crazies had come to town to protest, but the only amateur video I could come across later showed me that the liberal "rallies" were paltry. I could not find anything to show me the crowds, of course, but I know what happens when the Civic Center, where he was speaking, lets out after a big sporting event and it's nothing like that.

Maybe something is happening and we don't really know what it is yet.

8/05/2016 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I am counting on divine intervention. It has happened before.

The thing that troubles me is that we do not deserve to be saved. But that's grace. I didn't deserve the salvation I have received, and I certainly didn't earn it. Abraham pled for Sodom, and, if ten righteous souls could have been found, despite all its horrendous wickedness, it would have been spared.

There is a part of me that gets tired of the pressure, that wants the SMOD, that wants to let it burn, but I think of my grandkids, of Bob's son, Julie's kids, and the rest. It's my job to have hope for their sakes. I hope someday they know the America that I knew.

8/05/2016 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Maineman, that is interesting. I was talking to a couple of dear old ladies at my church today; they are solidly Trump. Not because they think he's a hero or even particularly good, but mostly because they see Hillary for what she is. I was surprised, because I've had the impression that a lot of the dear old ladies at my church have been happy to speak out about being against Trump. Now I wonder if it's just one or two who feel that way, and have no qualms loudly saying so, while the rest are quietly praying the opposite.

I do suspect far more people support him than are willing to say so.

8/05/2016 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Julie, I think you can see it when the liberals mention The Donald and give you a knowing look, like, "Everyone knows that everyone knows he's an idiot." An indication of groupthink and a giveaway that speaking out is often done as a credentialing move.

As for stupid v. evil, Bob, put me down as one who thinks Trump is far from stupid. He may be naive in the sense of not knowing the evil that he's up against, but he must be figuring that out big-time by now. On the other hand, he just completed one of the most astounding political achievements in history, mostly by himself up until now, and he's done it by avoiding dialectic approaches and going with unvarnished rhetoric, like the left is wont to do. Sometimes that gets him in political hot water, like his perfectly reasonable assertion about the pro-immigrant Mexican judge, but most of the time it seems to be resonating.

8/05/2016 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Also, if I'm not mistaken, it helps in understanding Trump to know that Norman Vincent Peale was his pastor, friend, and mentor during his formative years.

8/05/2016 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Politics is an art. A dark art, to be sure, and all the more difficult when practiced in the teeth of a monolithically hostile media. But at the moment Trump is absolutely playing into their hands. We'll see how he adapts. He'll have plenty of opportunities in the next three months to demonstrate his intelligence, especially in the debates. I'd love to be wrong, but I'm not optimistic. Our best hope is more surprises from wikileaks.

8/05/2016 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Uh, oh. Now you have me worried that I'm biased by wishful thinking.

I don't know how I'd do with a tar baby waiting for me around every corner. Actually, I do, and it wouldn't be pretty. Newt handles it deftly, but he's had decades of practice. I think the thing for Trump to do is not be combative in the debates, if he can manage that. He'll have to model himself after Reagan.

Actually, I think what he needs to do is find two dead soldiers, prop them up against a gravestone and let both Soros and Isis know where they are and think they've got killer beans to spill . . . .

I second the recommendation for Fr. Rose's treatise on nihilism, incidentally. He also did a very nice piece - I think there are several versions of it - on Signs of the End Times. Back in the 1980's. A little harsh with the Catholics, but he was Orthodox. Not comforting given what's gone down since then.

8/05/2016 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I did a series of posts about Nihilism a number of years ago. Quite prescient.

Fr. Rose is Heavy Metal Orthodox. For him, Catholics are the Protestants.

8/05/2016 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the thing for Trump to do is not be combative in the debates, if he can manage that. He'll have to model himself after Reagan.

Oh yeah that is definitely going to happen.

8/05/2016 07:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for stupid v. evil, Bob, put me down as one who thinks Trump is far from stupid. He may be naive in the sense of not knowing the evil that he's up against,

This image of Trump as some kind of crusader for the good...I'm starting to think you haven't actually seen the man in action (hard to believe). He's obviously not right in the head, and if not mentally ill, then he at least exemplifies classic sins to an extent rarely seen in public (pride, dishonesty, vanity, greed, lust, anger, just off the top of my head). Really it has nothing to do with politics, the man doesn't have any authentic political views or alliances. He's just manifestly a terrible person.

Yet he's your champion against evil. OK. Good luck with that.

8/05/2016 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If only it were the other way around, and Trump could run against someone who is greedy, dishonest, and inauthentic...

8/05/2016 07:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FWIW, here's a letter from the Harvard Republican Club. I know, Harvard, so somehow it doesn't count:

Dear Members and Alumni,

In every presidential election since 1888, the members and Executive Board of the Harvard Republican Club have gathered to discuss, debate, and eventually endorse the standard-bearer of our party. But for the first time in 128 years, we, the oldest College Republicans chapter in the nation, will not be endorsing the Republican nominee.

Donald Trump holds views that are antithetical to our values not only as Republicans, but as Americans. The rhetoric he espouses –from racist slander to misogynistic taunts– is not consistent with our conservative principles, and his repeated mocking of the disabled and belittling of the sacrifices made by prisoners of war, Gold Star families, and Purple Heart recipients is not only bad politics, but absurdly cruel.

If enacted, Donald Trump’s platform would endanger our security both at home and abroad. Domestically, his protectionist trade policies and draconian immigration restrictions would enlarge our federal deficit, raise prices for consumers, and throw our economy back into recession. Trump’s global outlook, steeped in isolationism, is considerably out-of-step with the traditional Republican stance as well. The flippancy with which he is willing to abdicate the United States’ responsibility to lead is alarming. Calling for the US’ withdrawal from NATO and actively endorsing nuclear proliferation, Donald Trump’s foreign policy would wreak havoc on the established world order which has held aggressive foreign powers in check since World War II.

Perhaps most importantly, however, Donald Trump simply does not possess the temperament and character necessary to lead the United States through an increasingly perilous world. The last week should have made obvious to all what has been obvious to most for more than a year. In response to any slight –perceived or real– Donald Trump lashes out viciously and irresponsibly. In Trump’s eyes, disagreement with his actions or his policies warrants incessant name calling and derision: stupid, lying, fat, ugly, weak, failing, idiot –and that’s just his “fellow” Republicans.

He isn’t eschewing political correctness. He is eschewing basic human decency.

continued here:

8/05/2016 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

When you've lost Harvard, San Francisco and Cuba can't be far behind.

8/05/2016 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Lol - a guy i know once said that everyone he's ever met from Harvard was a complete idiot. He knew they were from Harvard, because they made sure to tell everyone within five minutes of meeting. Yale, on the other hand, he doesn't have an opinion. If he's ever met a Yalie, he doesn't know because they don't say.

8/05/2016 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Give those Harvard kids credit -- at least they listen to their professors.

8/05/2016 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

I haven't been around much in recent years, Bob, but I see that you haven't lost your knack for attracting trolls that are doing their internships.

Or is this the same Darwinist who is still ABD?

8/05/2016 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

We haven't really had many trolls in awhile, but he sounds like past hall-of-famers William Catsnuggler and MTRaven. Same appeals to authority, same cliched talking points, same cut & paste style, same absence of wit, same inability to recognize when they've been pwned, etc. I can never make them realize that there's is nothing they can say that is so stupid that I didn't once believe it myself.

8/05/2016 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Funny that he pipes up now. There's also the possibility that he's a paid troll - apparently, that's a thing now.

8/05/2016 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I am not worthy of a professional troll!

8/05/2016 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I can't take anyone seriously who complains about Trump's temperament and character without mentioning Clinton's in the same breath. Otherwise it just comes across as pure projection, i.e., projecting Clinton's faults onto Trump.

8/05/2016 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Saying you're a Harvard Republican is like saying you're the tallest building in Kansas.

8/06/2016 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

This image of Hillary as some kind of crusader for the good...I'm starting to think you haven't actually seen the creature in action (hard to believe). She's obviously not right in the head, and if not mentally ill, then she at least exemplifies classic sins to an extent rarely seen in public (pride, dishonesty, vanity, greed, lust, anger, just off the top of my head). Really it has nothing to do with politics, the Gollum doesn't have any authentic political views or alliances. She's just manifestly a terrible creature.

Such standards our troll has!
Troll! Well done! I'm voting for Hillary!!!

(obviously he'll believe anything)

Well done, Comrade!

8/06/2016 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Sincerity is the key thing. If you can fake sincerity, you've got it made.

8/06/2016 07:12:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

This may be the funniest place on the web. I particularly liked Ted's analogy.

But our troll seems very serious minded. In fairness to him, her, it, hasn't figured it out yet, there seem to be a lot of people out there who don't get the incongruity between being insane and being one of the most successful businessmen in history.

I think Obama has kind of upped the ante when it comes to publically displayed deviance, formerly understood as mental illness. When you congratulate yourself while you lie through your teeth, relish the con like Gollum with his precious, give shout-outs to your comrades while talking about the slaughter of innocents, light up the White House in celebration of sodomy, talk about the creation of new life as a punishment, and do something like that almost every time you are in public, you're pretty clearly in Rasputin territory.

And the thing that points to the demonic is the way it normalizes lawlessness and psychopathy and is profoundly disorienting for anyone without enough grounding in reality to want to throw up when they see or hear it.

8/06/2016 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Not to mention all the racial healing. Every time he lectures whitey because some black thug got hurt or was mistreated, he pours more venom into the wounds between the races. Ironically, if he had any decency at all he really could have brought about an era of racial healing. He made himself out to be a "father figure" to all the Trayvons in the country; a true father would have told them that being a Trayvon or a Michael Brown is no way to live.

8/06/2016 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Obama and Clinton have brought political psychopathy to levels never before seen in America. That's what I mean about projection. Projection is always preceded by denial, and the comments by Rick, Maineman, and Julie specify exactly what it is that is being denied and then projected. You can tell it's projection because, for example, no one has ever heard Trump utter a racist comment -- Islam and illegal immigrants not being races -- meanwhile Obama never stops with the racial taunting. And since when are liberals opposed to lust, of all things? Beside, if Trump is lustful, I blame his wife.

8/06/2016 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Just two days ago, Obama said with all earnestness that the former #1 opponent of the Iran nuke deal had now come around and recognized his brilliance. Next day Israel says, er, no: we compare Obama to Chamberlain at Munich.

Was Obama just lying? Or delusional?

8/06/2016 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And why doesn't the press call him on it, or on his anti-Semitism more generally?

It's a group trance, that's why. They call it being faithful to the "narrative," but that doesn't do the phenomenon justice.

8/06/2016 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. Mrs. Trump, they are trying so hard to manufacture outrage amongst conservatives. This came out a year ago, but they just have to bring it back.

If she were doing those kind of photoshoots today, of course that would be a problem - as much in what it says about a man if his wife does that kind of thing after they're married as anything. But sixteen years ago, and we're supposed to be outraged? Meh. People are capable of change. I'd still rather have her as 1st lady than Bill. At least she didn't rape anyone.

8/06/2016 08:46:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Well, I haven't seen it much, but I was taught long ago that narcissism can sometimes spawn psychosis. I think the fact that we can never quite tell whether he's lying or out-to-lunch grandiose says that he probably is so ensconced in his own narrative that it qualifies as a Delusional Disorder. I mean, if a confused, transgendered teen is properly seen as suffering from DD (all that's left since they took away Gender Identity Disorder), why can't he be?

Incidentally, my Fistful of Dollars reference was only half in jest. The thing to do - and I hope you're listening, Lord - is to find a way to get the liberals and Islamists to go after each other like the Baxters and the Rojos, before they come at the Christians rather than after.

8/06/2016 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Liberal: "But Melania can't just do whatever she wants with her body!"

8/06/2016 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...


Incidentally, that's a tactic the left loves to trot out: calling out someone for doing things they think conservatives will get upset about, but which they themselves would celebrate in anyone on their side. When Lena Dunham or Amy Whassername does it, she's so brave. Melania? What a whore! In a bad way! We know a slut when we see one!! Slut shaming is totally appropriate when we do it!!!

8/06/2016 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Saying you're a Harvard Republican is like saying you're the tallest building in Kansas.

I'm totally tweeting that!

8/06/2016 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A Narcissistic Personality Disorder can morph into a Delusional Disorder, but it's comparatively rare. I've seen a fair number of Delusional Disorder cases, but the delusions are not normally pleasant, rather, paranoid and persecutory. Also, there is a brittleness about these people. They don't hold themselves together well, as does Obama.

Then again, Obama's pathology is so perfectly mirrored by the media and entertainment industries, that it is as if there is a seamless unity between the self-image and its reflection in the world. This would explain how and why he is always so mocking and contemptuous of those who disagree with him, i.e., who fail to mirror him. (In this context, contempt is a defense mechanism, simply the other side of the (self) idealization.)

The specific condition is called Delusional Disorder of the Grandiose subtype, which involves "delusions of inflated worth, power, knowledge, identity, or special relationship to a deity or famous person." Interesting how he is going to have so many famous low-life celebrities and rappers at his birthday party. Must make him feel special.

I would love to conduct a thorough evaluation of him. Otherwise it's difficult to nail down the diagnosis.

8/06/2016 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Then again, he'd just lie during the evaluation, so it would be hard to elicit reliable data.

8/06/2016 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Imagine someone who bows before Al Sharpton calling someone else a racist. The mind boggles.

8/06/2016 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

It's only racist when a white guy does it.

Unless he's a Democrat.

8/06/2016 09:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah his wife is to blame for his grabbing his daughter's ass on national television.

Speaking of sex, does it bother you that the center of the wingnut alternative universe that you folks live in (Fox News) was run by a creepy sexual predator? I'm guessing not.

8/06/2016 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Actually, the center of our wingnut universe is God.

8/06/2016 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Oppression of women long preceded Roger Ailes. Blame the alphabet.

8/06/2016 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Guilty. I've grabbed my son's ass before. Just last night, in fact, when I was bench pressing his entire body. There was nothing else to hold onto on that side.

8/06/2016 09:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does it bother you people that the center of the Raccoon universe you guys inhabit grabs his son's ass for exercise!!!

8/06/2016 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...


I grab both my kids asses all the time. When you carry them, you have to hold on somewhere.

8/06/2016 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Where's a fainting couch when you need one. Get me some pearls to clutch!

8/06/2016 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

It bothers me, for your sake, that you fill some filler for your empty soul in poking at raccoons with a blunt keyboard.

8/06/2016 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

How weird do you have to be to see in the innocent exchange between Trump and his daughter some deviant sexual message?

8/06/2016 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same daughter he thought out loud he might want to date...yes, completely innocent. I hope my daughter goes to work for Trump or Ailes, they seem like nice men, lots of innocent fun and not creepy at all.

8/06/2016 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

According to Toots' Thereom , if you're inside the joke, you can't know that it's funny. So yeah, I guess I do feel sorry for our troll...

I often tell my son how handsome he is. I guess that makes me gay.

8/06/2016 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

8/06/2016 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...


My dad often used to say out loud that he thought I was pretty. Dads are supposed to say things like that about their daughters. Sometimes they do it inartfully; doesn't mean it's creepy, just that it's awkward territory.

Now, Hillary calling Trump her husband...

8/06/2016 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Fun thread! (as I am in open despair these past few days..ha)

8/06/2016 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

We drove across the country this summer. Passing through Louisiana, before all the BLM insanity really ramped up, we saw an American flag at half mast beside the road; underneath it was a sign saying "America, RIP." Couldn't help agreeing, but even so there is hope. Not in America, nor in elections, but always in God. Nothing that He loves is ever truly lost, and so long as we abide in him, no matter where we are we are home.

8/06/2016 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There are always hidden pockets of sanity.

8/06/2016 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In fact, there are only pockets of sanity, surrounded by insanity. It has always been thus.

8/06/2016 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And there is always war at the boundaries between. The pockets of sanity are under ceaseless attack by the left.

8/06/2016 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

One of the best things about the drive was seeing again how beautiful this country is, from coast to coast. Especially outside the cities. Thankfully, we saw very little insanity along the way, though of course the signs are there.

8/06/2016 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The country is essentially a sea of liberty-loving blue surrounded by the state-loving red parentheses at the coasts. That's where the cancer is mostly located.

8/06/2016 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I always get the colors wrong being that the left should obviously be red....

8/06/2016 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - one point of amazement, after being in Florida for so many years, was seeing how beautifully people in Louisiana, Alabama and Texas handled merging and driving in construction zones. Everyone was polite, and while traffic slowed it never jammed to a crawl like it would here under the same circumstances. Partly just because there's less traffic, but mostly because nobody was trying to jump the line or do anything stupid. They actually - shock! - followed the rules, and even more shockingly the rules worked.

8/06/2016 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Notably, the worst drivers I've ever seen in this country are in Miami-Dade county. I suspect because they mostly still abide by South American rules.

8/06/2016 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Driving etiquette has deteriorated markedly around here since I got my license in the 1970s. I never considered the third world influence, but it is interesting that the area where I lived in the San Fernando Valley to age 9 now resembles Tijuana.

I don't get it. California doesn't have enough water and roads for the existing population, and liberals want millions more. I guess demographically swamping the country with Democrat voters takes precedence over everything else -- including, of course, "global warming," since they use much more energy here than where they came from.

8/06/2016 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Except during the High Middle Ages. That was one huge pocket that exploded and rained sanity down all over the earth. By the way, I heartily recommend Warren Carroll's astounding little book on the conquest of Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness. The best kind of horror story, and when you're done you can ruin many a dinner party by talking about what a great man Cortes was and what a horror show pre-colonial Mexico was.

Not only is the country beautiful, Julie, but most of the people continue to be so nice! Especially in the South and middle. It's really kind of astounding.

Now, it seems to me that our troll is helping us get closer to a proper diagnosis. I like the hypothesis that the MSM is like the mirror in Snow White, and that the transference is so powerful that Ubu's fragility has not yet come to light. I will say, though, that I have seen a couple of rock hard Delusional Disorders in some very pleasant and otherwise pretty normal people.

But I think The Gagdad Manifesto touches on the tendency for social and conceptual systems to get more rigid and exclusionary as they come increasingly under assault by reality. What I think we have here, in real time, is evidence of a folie a deux, where Obama is the whacky, controlling paranoid and the liberal true believers function as the passive-dependent partner in the delusional system. There is an abusive component, too, for those who can't get out of the relationship.

8/06/2016 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, "sanity" is the first thing that comes to mind when looking at Donald Trump. What a well-balanced, grounded individual.

8/06/2016 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Again: no one here believes Trump is some sort of ideal candidate, only that the alternative is infinitely worse. Yes, there is risk involved with Trump. Conversely, there is no risk with Clinton, rather, certainty that she will be a disaster, especially vis-a-vis the Supreme Court. I don't know about the rest, but that is my gravest concern, as it will fundamentally reshape the nation for decades.

8/06/2016 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Here is an evenhanded conversation between Hugh Hewitt and a recalcitrant never-Trump Republican, regarding what is at stake with SCOTUS. I think the never-Trumper is completely unreasonable, blind even. But Hewitt let's him air his point of view.

8/06/2016 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yup. There is plenty to dislike about Trump, and who knows how much we can trust him? But Hillary is quite trustworthy: we can trust that she will lie, cheat, sell us out to our enemies, backstab, weaken our position in the world, and make all but her closest "friends" miserable for the foreseeable future. America and the world will be far more dangerous than they are even now, and our children's futures will be bleak indeed.

8/06/2016 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's a gamble, no doubt. But there are so many institutional constraints -- for a white man, that is -- that he can only do so much damage. The whole "access to the nuclear codes" meme, for example, is ridiculous.

8/06/2016 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight: you think Trump is safe to elect to the most powerful office in the world because of "institutional constraints" that mean he can't do real damage. On the other hand Obama has managed to singlehandedly plunge the nation into darkness -- because the restrictions on presidential power only apply to white men.

This seems nuts to me, but that is because I'm from the outer darkness of liberalism and so can't appreciate the depth of thought here in this island of sanity.

It does, I admit, appear that at least one of us is not mentally well. Doesn't seem to me like it's me, but then, if I was crazy that is just what I would think.

8/06/2016 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Safe? Now that's just silly. There is no such thing as a "safe" candidate. They are all by definition crazy, since no sane person would want the job.

8/06/2016 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

It's completely ludicrous to question Trump's sanity, the kind of thing that's done by people who actually believe that Laura Ingraham gave the Nazi salute at the convention.

It's not ludicrous to question how good a president he might be, although he's really made mostly common sense statements, some of the ill-advised nonetheless, and proposals, many of which would definitely help reverse the damage of the past 8 years, internally and globally, assuming there is any way to get anything done after he gets elected, which looks like a long shot because liberals would do everything they could to interfere. Whether he can keep from stepping in it enough to get elected is still a big question, but people need to keep in mind that his problem is that he can't seem to hold things back, like an ADHD kid. But that's actually a version of honesty, something that's in increasingly short supply these days.

Really, though, the big thing that puts a lot of people off, including me to an extent, is his style. They don't like the locker room, blue collar aspect. But that's a big part of Americana, the part that's parodied in the opening scene of Blazing Saddles, with all the men sitting around the campfire farting. I don't like the over the top buildings, and I think his impulsiveness gets in his way a lot, but I don't have a problem with the burping brawler piece.

The thing you find out by watching the Apprentice or learning about his relationships is that he's really very generous and quite likable. A tower of morality and decorum? No. But the Dr. Strangelove crazy clown image is manufactured.

I happen to think he'd make a fabulous president.

8/06/2016 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anonymous: Concur. One of us is not well, but it in my opinion it goes beyond what psychology can account for, into the spiritual.

I can only say that I used to be a committed liberal, and that I now regard my former self as completely out of touch with reality. I don't think I was crazy per se, only that my assumptions were without foundation and that I was fed an unending diet of lies and distortions. I was trapped in the great liberal echo chamber.

But let's just agree that one of us is loony, and leave it at that. Due to my training, I know better than to try to reason with a lunatic. Perhaps you don't. But you won't get anywhere.

8/06/2016 01:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's completely ludicrous to question Trump's sanity

Why? Plenty of experts have (which is not an "argument from authority", but evidence that it isn't ludicrous to consider the idea).

This remark is especially rich from someone who said on this very page:

I think Obama has kind of upped the ante when it comes to publically displayed deviance, formerly understood as mental illness.

8/06/2016 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Regarding Trump's style, I make a sharp distinction between off-the-cuff, impulsive utterances and considered opinions. Precisely because he is not a politician, he is unaccustomed to living in such an artificial manner, in which you can never say anything without being as calculated as a Clinton. Those two are obviously at the other extreme of the spectrum, such that you can literally never know what they actually believe, at least based upon what they say in public. That's why people can't wait for the 30,000 emails to be released. Then we'll get a glimpse behind the mask and see the real Hillary.

8/06/2016 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm an expert, and I can say that there is absolutely no question that Trump meets the standards for sanity.

Leftists toss around "insane" like they do "fascist," which is to say, they simply refer to things liberals don't like.

8/06/2016 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, let's not conflate mental illness and insanity.

8/06/2016 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I mean, I believe Obama is morally insane, but not clinically. Unless he really believes his lies, in which case I would have to reconsider. Like, is his belief that Israel is all for the Iran deal the result of a voice in the head, or what?

8/06/2016 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...


8/06/2016 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

True, he has reached Interstellar Grandmaster troll level.

8/06/2016 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Truly, he is a TOTUS like we've never had before. I'm pretty sure the trolling will continue as long as he is alive.

8/06/2016 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

One other thing about Trump, taking the idea of "by their fruits you shall know them," his kids seem to have turned out alright. I don't know much about any of them, but I'm sure if there were a train wreck in the family we'd be hearing about it constantly.

8/06/2016 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Of course, even great parents will have not-so-great kids, and vice versa, but still.

8/06/2016 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

One of the things that gives us a clue that Trump is not all that far off the human reservation is that the liberal press is having to dig pretty deep to find stuff that came up pretty readily even with the quite wholesome Sarah Palin. Going back to when Melania was in her 20's, bringing up his bankruptcies or bragging about past affairs, pretending he's sexually attracted to his daughter, that kind of bullshit tells me they're have trouble.

And, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, you have 50 plus years of professional psychodiagnostic experience before you. That happens to be my profession as well as Bob's, so when I look at a decade of data on Obama and almost as much on Trump and come to that conclusion, and it's more or less matched by Gagdad's, that should give a reasonable person some pause.

Of course, I didn't go to Harvard.

8/06/2016 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good point. If this is the best they can come up with, they're grasping at straws.

Meanwhile, they ignore stuff about Obama and Clinton that is right before our eyes.

8/06/2016 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From The American Thinker is onboard with this theory.

8/06/2016 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From an article: Indeed, though narcissistic personality disorder was removed from the most recent issue of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, for somewhat arcane reasons, the traits that have defined the disorder in the past—grandiosity; an expectation that others will recognize one’s superiority; a lack of empathy—are writ large in Mr. Trump’s behavior.

“He’s very easy to diagnose,” said psychotherapist Charlotte Prozan. “In the first debate, he talked over people and was domineering. He’ll do anything to demean others, like tell Carly Fiorina he doesn’t like her looks. ‘You’re fired!’ would certainly come under lack of empathy. And he wants to deport immigrants, but [two of] his wives have been immigrants.” ...

Mr. Trump’s bullying nature—taunting Senator John McCain for being captured in Vietnam, or saying Jeb Bush has “low energy”—is in keeping with the narcissistic profile. “In the field we use clusters of personality disorders,” Michaelis said. “Narcissism is in cluster B, which means it has similarities with histrionic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. There are similarities between them. Regardless of how you feel about John McCain, the man served—and suffered. Narcissism is an extreme defense against one’s own feelings of worthlessness. To degrade people is really part of a cluster-B personality disorder: it’s antisocial and shows a lack of remorse for other people. The way to make it O.K. to attack someone verbally, psychologically, or physically is to lower them. That’s what he’s doing.”

Oh but that is the mainstream coastal media, they even cite somebody from Harvard, which makes anything they say automatically invalid.

But even The American Thinker is onboard with this theory.

8/06/2016 02:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you mean pretending he's sexually attracted to his daughter? He's said as much explicitly.

8/06/2016 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

The AT article is rubbish. And it reads as if it's not an interview at all, but that the writer playing both parts. He also merely attached the traits to Trump with no substance, no examples. Also, read the first comment to it.

Btw, since when is narcissist the one thing we simply can't have now that we have one? This is the best you can do?

8/06/2016 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, a psychologist can diagnose anyone with anything. Only another psychologist knows how truly inane most psychologists are. So that particular appeal to authority is especially ineffective in these parts.

And Trump laughingly mentions on a dopey chat show that if his daughter weren't his daughter, he might date her. The perversity is in the eye of the beholder. If I were a girl, I'm sure I'd like to date my son when he gets older. He'd be quite a catch.

8/06/2016 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Seriously. Speaking from the female perspective, if my dad said that about me, it would barely elicit a shrug. Maybe an "oh, Dad." Some people just aren't ashamed to say they think their kids turned out beautifully.

8/06/2016 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And I had no idea Narcissistic Personality Disorder had been removed from the latest DSM! Now, that is madness. The APA responds to various victim groups to remove certain diagnoses from the manual, but the condition exists nonetheless.

By the way, I could diagnose Winston Churchill with NPD with my eyes closed and hands tied behind my back. And yet, he was one of the greatest men in history. Not only that, but that type of diagnosis allows the inferior man to pretend to be superior to to the superior man. It's like how people can call whites racist, as if this negates the fact that whites have invented pretty much everything.

8/06/2016 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

I don't like Trump and I despise Hillary. I was actually considering voting for Thomas Sowell, even though he is not running, before this particular troll showed up and sparked this discussion.

Now I will vote for Trump.
It wasn't the troll's strawman arguments that swayed me, it was the reasoning everyone else used.

We know for certain what Hilllary will do, which is anti-liberty and anti-God to the core.
I have problems with Trump as well irt our liberties but at least he wouldn't seek to destroy them all like Hillary and Obama have tried to do.

So thanks Anon for indirectly helping me make the right choice.
More importantly thanks Raccoons for convincing me with reason and truth.

8/06/2016 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Moral maturity involves the recognition that we must sometimes choose the lesser of two evils. Doing so is good, even though it doesn't change the evil into a good.

The classic case is WW2, when we allied with one of the most vicious monsters in history in order to defeat the other monster.

8/06/2016 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't like Trump either, but I sure as hell despise the left, and right now he is what stands between us and the left's destruction of the country (again, our constitutional republic, not the geographical space).

8/06/2016 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

BTW, American Thinker has more than one writer and they all have different opinions. Appealing to that particular blog writer as some kind of authority on conservatism is ludicrous.
Sure there are some decent offerings there from time to time but that one anon cited is rubbish.

8/06/2016 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

I cooncur Bob, irt moral maturity. And excellent examples!

8/06/2016 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't even read American Thinker any more, because it has gone pretty much full fever swamp, plus the writing is atrocious. I didn't know they had any dissenters there.

Ha! The doctor over at American Thinker claims that "I was the first to introduce pathological narcissism into the terms of the political debate with my July 2008 essay where I suggested that Obama may be a narcissist." He's obviously unfamiliar with Dr. Robert Godwin, who was doing the same thing with political opponents in the early 90s, before he developed dementia and became a conservative.

8/06/2016 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And that first psychologist is wrong, because Dr. Vaknin says NPD has only been revamped, not removed, from the DSM. In any event, that he can characterize Obama as "intelligent and prosocial" forces me to conclude that he is a poor judge of character. Fucking retarded, to be precise.

8/06/2016 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Heh. The comments are pretty funny. The first one:

"A brief online perusal of Shmuel Ben David “Sam” Vaknin shows that he is neither a career neuroscientist or a practicing psychiatrist. Rather, the bulk of his career has been spent in various media and business fields. In Israel in 1995, Vaknin was found guilty of three counts of stock fraud. His punishment included 18 months in prison, plus payment of a $15,000 fine. As a condition of his parole in 1996, he underwent a mental health assessment which disclosed that he suffered from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) as well as borderline schizophrenia.

Vaknin's biographical sketch goes on to note that his theories regarding NPD are not accepted within the mainstream of psychiatry, i.e., such as his contention that NPD is akin to a form of artificial intelligence.

The author, Arlen Williams, has - in this hit piece - engaged in one of the oldest rhetorical fallacies around - the "appeal to authority." That's bad-enough, but the "authority" to whom he is appealing - is arguably not even genuine!"

8/06/2016 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

What the troll doesn't know is that we know the troll does not find Trump's traits objectionable. He just thinks we should find them objectionable. But he is hiding something else. What the troll and his comrades simply can't have, is a successful businessman running things as he would a business. Which is to say, knowing a bad idea when he hears it; understanding what it takes to build a skyscraper, to keep a business running and thriving, knowing you have to provide something people want so they will come and spend their money voluntarily, and to keep them coming back, that government is not your friend, that your competition is always there and trying to do what you do better than you. Maybe they resent Trump's abilities the positive abilities that they don't have. People give money to him voluntarily and they get something they value in return. Leftists and socialists, etc can only use force, and take what others have made. They don't create anything because they can't.

8/06/2016 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This is what I mean about our troll being pwned and not knowing it. He will be back as if nothing happened. Sometimes I wish I were so impervious to reality, instead of so darn sensitive to it.

8/06/2016 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

Wow! To say he is fucking retarded is too kind!

8/06/2016 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick -- true about the left. Takers always envy makers.

8/06/2016 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It was very narcissistic of Dr. Vaknin to deny my contributions to the science of using psychology to smear opponents.

8/06/2016 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't do it anymore (except in passing), not because it's totally invalid, rather, because it's too easy.

8/06/2016 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

Wayyy OT, but are oyster crackers that have a 'best if used by 9/2015' daye safe to eat?
I'm asking for a friend.

8/06/2016 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I worked in a supermarket for 12 years, and can assure you that you can eat like a king from out of code stuff tossed in the dumpster. I worked in Malibu, and the bums there were quite happy between the fine weather and our excellent food supply. It is not as if the cracker suddenly goes stale that day. Sometimes the date is almost arbitrary, just so you can rotate it on the shelf.

8/06/2016 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

"Vaknin's biographical sketch goes on to note that his theories regarding NPD are not accepted within the mainstream of psychiatry, i.e., such as his contention that NPD is akin to a form of artificial intelligence."

Which brings to mind the artificial sweetness of lefty politicians when they are really Empty Kaliries.

8/06/2016 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

Ok thanks Bob. Incidently, my 'friend' did not get this from a dumpster.

8/06/2016 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Once when I was 17 my parents went on vacation and left me alone. They gave me some food money, but I spent it all on beer. I ate all the food in the pantry, until I was down to an out of code can of Campbell's cream of asparagus soup. I was starved, so I manned up and consumed the soup, and I'm still standing. It didn't taste very good, but I think that was in the nature of the soup as opposed to its vintage.

8/06/2016 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

With something like crackers, I'd think the issues would be staleness, mold or weevils. Absent those, they should be just fine.

8/06/2016 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

On that same vacation, a drunken friend was showing me how you can hold an egg in the palm of your hand and not be able to break it with your fingers. The thing exploded, leaving specks of yolk on the walls that are still there to this day.

8/06/2016 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There is a professional baseball player who lived in his van and ate out of dumpsters. An American Ninja Warrior too, if I'm nor mistaken. In many if not most parts of the world they would call it "fine dining."

8/06/2016 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

Thanks Julie. I take it weevils are not good to eat then? :)

8/06/2016 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Added protein, if you need a little boost...

8/06/2016 04:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a very weird form of conservatism that is willing to elect an obvious sociopath and con man to the most powerful office in the world, with not the slightest expectation that he might perform the role well, but only because of an entirely imaginary fear that the other candidate will "seek to destroy all our liberties".

Assume Clinton would be roughly similar to Bill Clinton or Obama. Maybe she'd pass something like further Obamacare, which you might view as a gross intrusion of government where it didn't belong. OK. I can see why someone might object. And christian bakers may have to make cakes for gay people, and god knows what other offenses to human dignity.

Meanwhile Trump (whose actual governance style is unknown, of course) has suggested:

- creating a federal "deportation force" capable of deporting 11 million illegal immigrants
- profiling people on the basis of religion in violation of the 1st amendment
- called for increases in government surveillance of citizens
- advocated shutting down parts of the internet that he doesn't approve of
- called for violence against political protestors
- praised the WWII internment of Japanese Americans and advocated the same for Muslims
- excluded from his press conferences representatives of newspapers who criticized him
- showered praise on a variety of authoritarian leaders (from Putin to Saddam Hussein)

That's just off the top of my head. So, all you freedom lovers -- do you really think the powers of government should be deployed like this? I know he only plans to use it against people you don't like, but presumable conservatives like yourselves should know that power tends to be abused and the whole point of our system is to limit it.

Point is: Clinton is the conservative choice for lovers of liberty, precisely because she is a known quantity. Trump is an insanely radical risk.

8/06/2016 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

After seeing many third world hellholes I agree that American dumptsters would be considered fine dining indeed!

8/06/2016 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

When I was in college, there was a store that stocked expired items from other stores, as well as cans that had the labels ripped off, that sort of thing. You were definitely taking your chances, though. For a camping trip, somebody bought a bag of rice there, and when we went to cook it a lot of the grains were wiggling.

8/06/2016 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I told you he'd be back.

There's no fun in trouncing someone in argument who doesn't realize he's been trounced.

He's an undead zombie troll!

8/06/2016 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

Ha ha ha! Thanks for the laughs Anon. That is some funny shit!

8/06/2016 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

He has finally sunk beneath the level of being worthy of ridicule.

8/06/2016 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

I miss when zombies simply said "braaaiiinsss."

8/06/2016 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

He's gone full ludicrous.

8/06/2016 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Gotta love "profiling people on the basis of religion in violation of the 1st amendment." The first amendment has nothing whatsoever to do with immigration. In reality we can profile immigrants on the basis of anything we want to.

Meanwhile, the left promises to profile Christian Americans if they don't want to make cakes for "homosexual marriages," or don't want to provide abortion services to their employees.

8/06/2016 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm getting the feeling it's just too risky to trust this troll on constitutional matters. Can we revoke his right to vote?

8/06/2016 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Trump is an insanely radical risk.

This cheers me up. How scared this troll is. I'm more confident than ever I'm making the right choice.
Thank you, Troll.

8/06/2016 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I'm kinda glad Trump's got his problems and rough edges. Keeps us grounded and not turning him into some mythical winged creature..

8/06/2016 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Usually liberals are only afraid of imaginary things like global warming, white privilege, and the oppression of women. Then again, their caricature of Trump is so distorted as to be laughable. It's the same thing every four years: every Republican candidate is Hitler. And they're surprised that we ridicule their hysteria.

8/06/2016 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Seriously, who are these people who are still pretending something else will happen that they can get behind; and endorse or thing... other than the cards we've been dealt? None of them can answer me. It's spite. The GOP can't have their way and they are FULL UP with spite. Never underestimate that quality of evil that is the reserve of the 1% elite. Spite is costly, but it will never cost them more than the satisfaction they get from it. Until heads begin to roll...

8/06/2016 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Putting Trump vs. Hillary in risky grocery terms, Trump is like a can with the wrapper torn off, but otherwise intact, within its expiration date, and shaped like something potentially edible. Could be dog food, could be chili, but probably won't hurt you either way.

Hillary is like an expired can with a couple of big dents and bulging at both ends. The label says caviar, or maybe just some half decent soup.

I know which one I'd rather eat.

8/06/2016 05:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree. said...

I don't know. I think of Hillary as a fresh and accurately labeled shit sandwich.

8/06/2016 05:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Trump is like an old box of oyster crackers. Not your first choice, but it won't kill you.

8/06/2016 05:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Back in the supermarket, quite often we'd open a box of dog food, and one of the cans would be exploded with maggots. That's Hillary. Rather, the Clintons are the dog food, and their cronies and "contributors" are the maggots.

8/06/2016 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

I don't know why lefties prefer robotulism to chili or dog food. It definitely will not feel better when they are hugging their loflow toolets.

8/06/2016 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...


8/06/2016 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's because the Democrats have become the party of the super wealthy and the low IQ hordes. The former don't have to eat what the left serves, while the latter are promised better government food in the future.

8/06/2016 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I like these endless threads, with so much whack-a-troll jollity. Feels like Ace of Spades or something.

8/06/2016 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

It's the same thing every four years: every Republican candidate is Hitler.

While Trump may not be Hitler, he certainly makes a Romney or McCain look more like Gandhi for the left.

8/06/2016 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

They are pretty punny. :)

8/06/2016 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ted: Not necessarily so. At the time, both were attacked on similar grounds as Trump. Can't find the link at the moment, but the left always rehabilitates the previous Hitler by way of unflattering comparisons with the new Hitler. They've been doing this since 1964.

8/06/2016 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

Plus, when I read here I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. I can't resist cosmic cracks.

8/06/2016 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Yes, that's what I was attempting to infer. I realize back then they were all demonized, but in comparison today the narrative gets reframed.

8/06/2016 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Every four years the left grows nostalgic for the previous Hitler.

8/06/2016 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

I will say Trump does break away from one trend from the past: Republicans have always been prone to line up behind the potential nominees are who are anointed to next serve their place in higher office. For all intent and purpose, Jeb was expected to fill that role this year. Romney, McCain, past Bush's, Dole, Reagan, etc. all did in the past. Trump is truly an outsider, and hence has shaken the pot enough to cause dissidence all around. What this means going forward remains to be seen, but this has a different flavor I would say.

8/06/2016 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't expect anyone hear to care what the left thinks, but how about an ex-CIA director who served under Bush?

8/06/2016 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Nope, sorry - can't take seriously anyone who honestly believes Hillary would be better for foreign relations than our current president. How is that even possible when she was the Secretary of State? Her whole job was to be the face of American foreign policy, and look what we have to show for it. Will she pass around a few more "reset" buttons to start things off?

8/06/2016 06:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Rick, who said:

What the troll and his comrades simply can't have, is a successful businessman running things as he would a business

Here's how Trump runs his businesses:
- multiple bankruptcies
- stiffing subcontractors, putting many small firms out of business
- has numerous close ties to organized crime
- despite all that, managed to lose money running a casino
- ran a transparently fraudulent fake university

So maybe it would be a good idea to have a businessman running the country (I don't think so, but it least its not a completely ridiculous idea). Is this the kind of businessman we want? Would you want to work for this man?

Maybe you do. The only reason con men exist and prosper is because some people just seem to yearn to be played for suckers.

8/06/2016 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

We can only hope that he'll similarly stiff useless government employees and overpaid contractors:

"Trump told USA Today in an interview that he only stiffs or shorts bills if the work is unsatisfactory.

"Let's say that they do a job that's not good, or a job that they didn't finish, or a job that was way late. I'll deduct from their contract, absolutely," Trump said. "That's what the country should be doing."

8/06/2016 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Interesting Bob, just came across this blog post that affirms your remark about past "Hitlers."

8/06/2016 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

Ties to organized crime? So now Trump is Don Don?

8/06/2016 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

They say that you're never further than 15 feet from a rat. If you work in construction in New York, you're never further than 15 feet from a mobster. I wonder which party mob-controlled unions support?

8/06/2016 07:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really can't imagine the mindset of someone who would reflexively take the side of the rich asshole who stiffs the people who do actual work for him and get put out of business as a result. I can sort of imagine the rich asshole, that's easy enough. But why would anyone find people like that admirable? How is someone like that constituted?

Guess I give up. There's simply no common ground between us. That's why we have politics and elections, to decide between otherwise incommensurable worldviews. Fortunately yours is a small minority with very little appeal to normal people.

8/06/2016 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Anon, he may be a rat with mob ties who stiffed decent workers on their money. But unless you can show me a trail of bodies that even begins to touch on Hillary's death toll, I could care less. Even if all you say is true, all it means is there is no good guy here. Just one that is less evil than the other.

Fwiw, I really don't think he's as much of a monster as he's being made out to be. I don't like Trump - but will gladly vote for him if it keeps Hillary out of the office. And if he makes good on even a tenth of what he has promised, so much the better.

8/06/2016 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Allena said...

Funny, since no one here said they found Trump to be admirable.
But you imagine we said this, ergo it must be true.

8/06/2016 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Troll, you blew it on the AT article.
Not interested.

8/06/2016 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Going back to driving, when I was in college one of our professors was from Uruguay. One night, a friend was driving this professor into town, about nine miles away down a mountain road. No street lights, pitch black, lots of hills and curves. The professor says, in all seriousness, "You pay taxes on the whole road, don't you? You should drive down the middle!"

8/06/2016 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Reading this thread LMAO (and grabbing ass too). Poor aninymouse. "...It's a very weird form of conservatism that is willing to elect an obvious sociopath..." Exactly so. However it is pretty much the profile of the pro-regressive leftist leader (you know, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Chavez, Obama...), so we understand your need to try and distance yourself from it. And we deeply appreciate your discomfort... with the most well intentioned mirth.

8/06/2016 10:39:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Wow, a lot can happen while you're off drinking homemade grappa and watching spaghetti westerns.

8/07/2016 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Among other things, the format of the blog decided to change on its own.

8/07/2016 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

That's weird. Did Google do a helpful site upgrade without telling anyone? And what happened to all the Amazon widgets?

8/07/2016 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

I feel a little torn inside.

I had to shoot a raccoon that was in my backyard. The critter was stalking our ducks and wouldn't run away when the dog barked at it. It may have been rabid.

8/07/2016 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8/07/2016 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That sucks. Sadly, raccoons can be real troublemakers, no matter how cute they are. I hope your dog & ducks are okay.

8/07/2016 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

Yep, they're all accounted for.
We lost 28 chickens and ducks to a mink last spring.

8/07/2016 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Woo hoo! Fixed the template.

8/07/2016 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

This may be comedy thread of the year. I just read Julie's caviar can and Dupree's follow-up to a friend, and we are in tears. Anon couldn't be unintentionally funnier if he were Ted Cruz or George Will.

8/07/2016 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...


On driving, apparently the insurance companies agree with me about Florida.

8/08/2016 06:40:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

On Hillary, I like this quote from Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. It's Julia talking about Rex Mottrum, if I recall, but it applies nicely to our potential Commanderella in Chief:

"He wasn't a complete human being at all. He was a tiny bit of one, unnaturally developed; something in a bottle, an organ kept alive in a laboratory. . . . he was something absolutely modern and up-to-date that only this ghastly age could produce. A tiny bit of a man pretending to be whole."

8/08/2016 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'd vote for Sheriff David Clarke for any office any time:

"Hillary Clinton a ‘Morally Bankrupt,’ ‘Pathological Liar’ — ‘Her Ethical Elevator Has No Bottom Floor’"

8/08/2016 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Last night I saw 13 Hours, about the Benghazi fiasco. Makes you despise her even more.

8/08/2016 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8/08/2016 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Preferred candidate of the dead and illegal -- and not just biologically dead.

8/08/2016 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

"They've gone to plaid!" ha

8/08/2016 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...


8/08/2016 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Wow! 185 tasty comments.

I concluded a few months ago that Donald Trump is very much like the main character in “King Rat”, a novel by James Clavell (he of Shogun & Noble House). The book, based on Clavell’s own experience as a POW, was made into a film starring George Segal as King Rat.

Corporal King wasn’t a very likable person; not the standard Hollywood hero; however recall: EVERYONE around Corporal King survived their time in Japanese POW camp!! Why? Because Cpl. King could make ‘the deal’. He mostly made deals for food which was above and beyond the maggots the Japanese served.

The film would be nearly perfect except for the omission of one important point from the book, that being, in case the war turned bad for the Japanese, and they started taking revenge on the prisoners, King had planned an escape route - not just for himself, but for everyone else.

The film closes with this powerful inSight:

Peter Marlowe: [speaking about King] “It wouldn't have occurred to you would it, Grey, that you're only alive because of what he gave you?”

Lt. Robin Grey: [the Rule Enforcer (GOPe & Leftists)] “What are you talking about? I never took anything from him. He never gave me anything.”

Peter Marlowe: “Only hate, Grey. Only hate.”

8/09/2016 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A reminder that God often uses flawed vehicles to achieve his ends. This biography of Churchill I'm reading reminds us that he could "if necessary be just as cruel, just as cunning, just as ruthless as Hitler but who could pull off victories without enslaving populations," and without "destroying, or even warping, the libertarian institutions he had sworn to preserve. Such a man, if he existed, would be England's last chance."

Today they would no doubt call him a war criminal. There is simply no way we could have won WW2 with today's sensibilities.

8/09/2016 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Mizz E said "...
Corporal King wasn’t a very likable person; not the standard Hollywood hero; however recall: EVERYONE around Corporal King survived their time in Japanese POW camp!!..."

My great Aunt & Uncle were prisoners at Santa Tomas in the Philippines during the duration, and they had that very experience. Turned out the fellow they all despised for his scamming deals, was the one getting messages out to the Allies. Their last day, the Japanese were going to shoot them all, and because of that guy, they were rescued in time.

Such a deal.

8/09/2016 09:18:00 AM  
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