Complete flail as a blogger

Okay, I admit it.  I was a completely failure as a blogger today.  On the other hand, my hair looks great, my mom is happy, my sister has worked her way through her latest (real) crisis, and I’m going out with my husband tonight — so, at a personal level, it’s been a pretty decent day all around.

I’m still grappling with that big idea.  I’m seeing a lot of threads lately, and I think they weave into a whole cloth.  The bits and pieces revolve around the fact that we’ve finally reached the logical conclusion of the “If it feels good, do it” movement of the 1960s.  I was on the young side, then, but I still remember that.  Nothing was good, nothing was bad; it was just our feelings that should decide things.  Oh, sure, there were some things we shouldn’t feel, like the lust to murder or rape, but otherwise, hey, anything goes.  That was the start, but it was a start that was still hemmed in by people who had been raised by a traditional morality, even if they were consciously abandoning parts of it.  But now?  Here are the pieces that I know are related, but I can’t quite stitch into a coherent whole:

1.  Liberals freely acknowledging that Obama was unqualified, but voting for him because it felt right to vote for a black man.

2.  Roman Polanski saying he really couldn’t see that he did anything wrong when he drugged and raped a 13 year old child, because it really felt like the right thing to do.

3.  An enormous number of Hollywood famous folk defending Polanski, the child rapist, because they feel good about him as a person.

4.  The Challenge Day at my daughter’s school, which is a giant be-in (yes, kids learn to “Live their lives in service by Being the Change”), one that seems to believe that bullying can be stopped by making everyone feel, at least temporarily, like a victim.

5.  Oprah.  So much that is wrong with our modern society is all about Oprah.  Back in the 1980s, I attended a Peter, Paul and Mary concert, during which Noel “Paul” Stookey told a little joke that has stuck with me for more than 20 years.  He was commenting on the magazine publishing business.  “First,” he said, “there was People.  People.  That’s a big concept.  It’s about everyone.  Next came Us.  Still big, but the focus is shrinking.  The next magazine on the market was Self, which has pretty much gotten rid of everyone else.  I know that one day, I’m going to go to the market, and there’ll be a magazine called Me, and when I open it, there’ll be nothing in it but a big, shiny mirror.”  Oprah, of course, presides over her own magazine, one in which women can read about (a) Oprah and (b) themselves, and how wonderful they are, even though they are victims.

6.  “We are the change we’ve been waiting for.”  What the heck does that mean beyond the fact that we’ve become our own moral compass?

7.  A movie from the year 2000 called The Contender, which is one of the worst political movies ever made, and that’s entirely separate from its astonishing partisanship.  The plot is simple.  A women is being considered for the Democratic Vice Presidency apparently shows up in pictures of an orgy, and an evil Republican Congressman tries to destroy her.  She refuses to defend herself, because she’s bigger than all that (even though she knows the pictures are false).  The scene that sticks with me (and, mind you, I hadn’t even abandoned my liberal identity then) was the one in which the woman has an impassioned monologue in which she defends her own navel as the wellspring of all morality.  Okay, she doesn’t use exactly those words, but that’s the point of the monologue:  “I know what’s moral because I know it’s moral.”  Something curdled in me when I watched that movie.

8.  Obama’s speech to the UN, in which he said, essentially, America was foul before I become president, but it’s now wonderful.

9.  Michelle Obama’s multiple statements to the effect that, until she and Obama came along to sacrifice themselves for America (by becoming the most powerful, feted people in the world), America was rotten.

All these threads.  I know there’s a tapestry here, a single idea that ties them all together into a unified whole, but I can’t quite grasp it — and it’s completely blocking all my other writing.  It gets in the way of everything I’m trying to think about.

Help?  Please?

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  • SGT Dave

    There is a tapestry; yet your eyes do not wish to behold it. It is hard to look at the design when there is so little about it that one wishes to redeem. We, it seems, must find a way to teach our children something that the “world” will not. We must show them that what they see cannot be trusted; that there is faith to be found in the words of our ancestors. All that is seen is fleeting; all that is real endures. Honor, duty, love, integrity; these are the bricks from which we build our school for our children. We, not some “great leader” or “the state” will teach them, show them, and love them, creating the next generation that will shoulder many of the same burdens, striving to become better. The “greatest generation” and the “generation of love” failed; they failed each other and they failed to remember. They sought to be “better” without realizing that the sea should lift all the boats – but no one may command the tide. The sea lifts our boats, and the tide is turning. Slowly, so slowly, many are finding that the truth is not what is being said, but what is being understood. Lies eventually burn the liars and their endeavors. They cannot understand, they will not learn, and they shall not triumph.
    Have faith, my friend whom I have never seen. We shall endure even this. This we will defend; that is the promise of my trade. I shall defend; my brothers will stand steady and the time of troubles shall pass – not without pain or even blood – but it shall pass.
    And when it is over, our children will teach theirs about the lies of politicians and the hubris of the powerful and popular. And they will learn what we teach.
    I hope your words return – I look forward to each phrase as it comes.
    Be well, my friend, and be happy for your children, your sister, your loving (though sometimes daft) husband and your mother – and even your hair. You have earned your respite – and I shall stand guard.

    “Sic Semper Tyranus”
    SSG Dave


    SGT Dave you expressed it so eloquently, what can I add.

    The best and the worst *rise and fall – It’s the *motion that makes us feel seasick.

  • highlander

    I agree, BW, there must be a pony in there somewhere, but I am as baffled as you trying to find it.

    I can, however, add to your list.

    How about university speech codes which ban offensive speech and gestures, defining “offensive” as any statement or gesture which another person feels offended by?

  • highlander

    Well said, Sgt Dave — I second Sadie. You remind me that Scripture says “… and it came to pass.” It does not say “… and it came to stay.”

  • Mike Devx

    Sgt Dave’s response is a good reminder that no matter how dark it seems right now, there is light, eventually. Be of good cheer.

    Now for the bad news: This is not as bad as it can get. We are not necessarily near the bottom yet. There is plenty worse that can come.

    This is a perfect time to post something I found while visiting Instapundit. The cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, who drew Mohammed with the Bomb Turban went to Yale to speak. Here is an account of his visit, which I’m going to paste almost-full because the entire thing is worth reading, especially the rabbi’s comments about the intellectual atmosphere at Yale.


    Link for reference:

    Mr. Westergaard, now 74, is a gentle, soft-spoken fellow with a wry sense of humor. I liked his definition of a cartoon as “an idea with a line around it.” He was on his way the next day to Branford College at Yale, where he spoke before some 65 Yale students and faculty. You won’t be surprised to hear that Mr. Westergaard deplored Yale’s decision to censor Jytte Klausen’s book “The Cartoons that Shook the World” by forbidding at the last moment publication of the cartoons and other artistic representations of Mohammed.

    Rabbi Jon Hausman was at the event and, guess what, the “Yale community” was the opposite of welcoming.

    “The crowd was hostile”, Rabbi Hausman reported in an interview.

    “There were a number of self-described Muslims. Those who did ask questions expressed displeasure with Westergaard’s work. The questions from these people were repetitive. One person described himself as a mildly Evangelical Christian who lived for a number of years in a Muslim country working. Yet, he took what I call a dhimmi view in his question — how far can Westergaard go in his work before endangering Christians who live in Muslim countries? I found this to be the most disturbing question and attitude of all.”

    Asked for his overall impression of Yale, Rabbi Hausman was blunt:

    “Honestly, I would not send my child to any school where there is such uniformity and conformity of thought and attitude. I was disappointed at the inability of those in attendance amongst the Yale community to place responsibility for the violence that has transpired on those who manifest such responsibility. Westergaard drew, but it was the Imams from Denmark who took those cartoons one year after publication and whipped up violent frenzies, destruction of Danish Embassies in the Muslim world, threats to the physical safety of Danish personnel, violence against indigenous Christian populations. Every questioner seemed to want to misplace blame.

    Further, it is clear that the university suffers from the malaise of relativist truth and the multicultural ethic. There are no universal truths any longer. When I was in college, it seemed that the point of education at the university level was to use the subject matter under study to encourage independent, critical thinking. Today, all truths are equal. I abjure this notion.

    In the final analysis, I believe that the university is lost.”

  • Ymarsakar

    Neo likes to call it the new template vs the old template. The old template was about, yes morality, but also about expectations of power sharing in America, where, even if corrupt, you still tried to play the system by gaming the system. You weren’t out to change the system so much as you were out to make the system work for you.

    Well, Obama is out to change the system. Corruption, regular corruption, isn’t enough for him. He wants permanent corruption, permanent power through Transformation of basic American foundations and principles. The things the US Constitution was built to protect utilizing a balance of power.

    Most people looked at Obama and were thinking in the old template of politics, good or bad, as usual, and they were thinking about change or bettering life. But the new template isn’t about any of that. The new template is about seizing the methods of production. It’s about creating the dictatorship of the proletariat, with the requisite elite class of minders, secret police apparatchiks, internal spy institutions, and bought and paid for household troops and enforcers.

    The Chicago style racketeering and extortions may be the means to the end, but the end itself may have nothing to do with simple greed.

    One aspect of this is the generation struggle. There were always questions about how the children of the Greatest Generation came out like this. Maybe they were too sheltered. Maybe in suffering the horrors of WWII, parents incorrectly tried to shield their children from reality, thus inviting in temptation and other foreign influences on children who had no experience in the real world, real threats, or real character building stresses.

    Now, however, the spoiled children and weaklings are in power, and they are attempting to use force and intimidation to indoctrinate another generation. But their generation wasn’t constructed that way. Therein lies a small difference.

  • Don Quixote

    Let me add 2 and suggest a common thread.

    The idea that flowers have power.

    John Lennon — Imagine.

    The thread is the idea that if we all wish hard enough we can make it so. It is, in a sense, the idea behind communism. All things — reality, human nature, the laws of economics & even physics — give way before the power of the mind. All we have to do is “hope” for “change” and all will be well.

    While I’m at it, let me mention a comment that Bill Maher made on Leno’s show the other night. Maher said something to the effect that the United States is the only country in the world that seeks to profit from people’s illness. He viewed that as a profound statement of how awful we are and how much we need single payer health care. Of course, he doesn’t mention and, quite likely doesn’t understand, that the truth is that we seek to profit from making people well. And profit is a most powerful motivator, as a result of which we have created more ways to make people well than all of the rest of the world combined. How long do you think that will continue when we kill the golden eggs that motivated the goose?

    That profit motivates people has been proven in millions of ways throughout history. But, gee, if we all just wish hard enough, people will continue to work just as hard, and discover just as many new ways to make people well, even if we take the profit motive away. Just “imagine.” Just “hope” hard enough and it will be so. The scary thing is that the Maher’s of the world truly believe this.

    P.S. Awesome post, Sgt. Dave. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • Mike Devx

    Ymar began in #6:
    Neo likes to call it the new template vs the old template. The old template was about, yes morality, but also about expectations of power sharing in America, where, even if corrupt, you still tried to play the system by gaming the system. You weren’t out to change the system so much as you were out to make the system work for you.

    Well, Obama is out to change the system. Corruption, regular corruption, isn’t enough for him. He wants permanent corruption, permanent power through Transformation of basic American foundations and principles. The things the US Constitution was built to protect utilizing a balance of power.

    Ymar, you (and Neo) have put your finger on the explanation that I have been trying to come up with for months. An explanation for the question: What has changed since the 60’s? Why have the liberal Presidents and Congressmen, ever since then, seemed to act and speak in ways that actively harm our country, when prior to the 60’s they never would even have entertained the *thought* of that, let alone actually doing it?

    Why is it that conservatives are patriotic, but liberals are not? (In general). Liberals will say of course they are patriotic and of course they love this country! But the truth is, what they really mean is they love the idea of this country, and the ideals of this country, but that we have betrayed our ideals, and we are a stinking, corrupt garbage pit of a country that NEEDS the transformation they want to bring about. They love the country only in the abstract, if they love it at all. They love America only for what it could BE, not for what it is nor for what it has been.

    But you can love *any* country for what it could be. And trust me, when you get into a discussion with most liberals about whether America is a great country, they will in fact start bringing up other countries, name by name by name, that they believe is a better country than ours. So, no… they are not patriots, and they do not love this country.

    Michelle Obama: “For the first time… in my adult life… I am proud of this country.” Why? Because the people of the country, 53%-47%, elected her husband. How personal… and how focused on the transformation of America, not at all on what America is or has been.

    Obama, in every single international address that he makes when outside the borders of our country, apologizes for our country and apologizes for our past. Never, not once, does he praise our actions and praise the great things we have done as a nation. And trust me, those great things outweigh the wrongs. But he can’t see it and he won’t say it. He sees this great nation as fundamentally flawed or worse; he may even see America as an evil nation. He treats every avowed enemy of our country with respect, and every friend as a near-pariah. He has offended Israel, Great Britain and Germany. He has not once offended Chavez, Putin, Kim Jong-Il, Zelaya, the leadership of Hamas and Fatah, Syria’s Assad, China – well, if he has offended them with, say, the “Reset Button”, it’s been only by accident.

    (And isn’t the idea of the “Reset Button” actually very telling? You might claim that they are just wanting to undo all the actions of the terrible and monstrous George W. Bush… but Michelle’s “adult life” surely must extend beyond more than just the last eight years, mustn’t it? This is a New America, a Better America… a Transformed America. Finally, for the first time in all of our history, we are becoming a nation that is worthy of pride. It will be worthy of pride only once the Transformation is Complete.)

    You might say Obama is merely treating America’s international enemies with great respect in an attempt to influence them to be kinder, gentler world players. But Obama treats his domestic political opponents with a harshness that is the polar opposite of that, and such inconsistency indicates that, no, that is not his game. Nor does it explain his insulting and cavalier treatment of our long-time allies. No, instead it is clear that his sympathies lie elsewhere than with America as She is and her allies. The same is true of most liberals.

  • Danny Lemieux

    And, DQ, Bill Maher is one who has never ever been incentivized by profit….of course!

  • BobK

    Great comments, all!

    I’ll take a stab at defining the tapestry: relativism. There is no absolute, no independent standard, no TRUTH by which I can measure and be measured.

    In the ’60s, the formula may have been “If it feels good, do it”; now that has devolved into something far more insidious: “If it feels good, it is RIGHT”. It is narcissism projected and made universal.

    Two threads to add in support of this: my wife and I saw a touring production of ‘Wicked’ a couple of weeks ago. Good performance, great costumes and lighting, horrible message: it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s your intent that defines the morality of an action (and you are the arbiter of the purity of your intent).

    Second, several years ago I read an interview with Gene Robinson, the first open, practicing, partnered gay man raised to the position of Bishop in the Episcopal Church, USA. When asked about the moral nature of his relationship he replied (not a direct quote, I tried to find a link to the interview and couldn’t): “I’ve found such joy in my (homosexual) relationship, it must be holy”.

    HE finds joy, so it must be holy and pure.

    The rise of relativism is the common factor.

  • suek

    >>The rise of relativism is the common factor.>>

    Yes. And in order to have that rise of relativism, you have to have a corresponding absence of an absolute standard. The reason for _not_ having an absolute standard is that you – individually – might not measure up. You might fail when measured by that absolute standard. The “if it feels good, do it” mentality needs to eliminate standards. No measure, no failure – this is what schools have been teaching children for decades now. Children that try reeely hard should get passing to good grades even if they fail the scholastic standard because they’re reeeely trying. So, of course, children being human, don’t work all that hard – why should they? If they put on a good show and shed some tears, someone will feel sorry for them and they’ll pass. Maybe even with good grades. Why should they expect anything any different out of life? They lack the concept of sin…the idea that there is a standard, they might violate that standard – on purpose – and have done _wrong_. Because they want never to be _wrong_. Whatever they do, they can justify it – they had good motives. I understand children doing that…it takes a mature adult to say “I did wrong” and take their lumps. The hippies don’t have the strength to do that. They’re _never_ wrong.

    This is sort of on the same lines. Maybe not exactly, but even if not, it’s worth a read. But then…he usually is!

  • Ymarsakar

    The thing about destroying an objective reality is that you are left with an inability to resolve common differences. How is one person going to agree to a resolution of a problem with another person, if both people can’t even agree on the same facts, let alone the meat and guts of how to make cooperative co-existence workable? When two factions are fighting it out, they often need a mediator or neutral third party in order to conduct negotiations. They will NOT conduct negotiations on each other’s property.

    Why is that, you might ask yourself? Because they know that they need a common ground, first and foremost, before they can start talking about who did what to whom. If the talks were held on one of the faction’s territory, people would become rightfully suspicious that the intent of the talks isn’t to satisfy both faction’s interests but to load up the decks and exterminate the weaker faction.

    Because that’s what happens when you can’t find a common ground. You use violence to make the ground level, by plowing over the bodies of the enemy.

    I remind people of how the American media elites reacted to Islamic death threats. Both sides communicated something and both sides agreed on some basic things. The media agreed to not say things about Islam, and the Islamic assassins agreed not to kill them if they stuck to their agreement.

    THAT IS AN OBJECTIVE REALITY, as recognized by both parties. One party has the power and will use the power to end the life of the other party, and then both parties can agree: this guy is dead, permanently.

    But, let’s look at the Republican vs Democrat agreements. What do we agree on? Do we agree that rape-rape is rape-rape? What about Duke lacrosse rape, is that rape-rape or just Duke rape? What about Gates, is that ‘acting stupidly’ or is that racism, or is it the right course of action?

    We have no agreement, because we are not allowed the tools to make our reality real to the other side. But the Democrats found a way to cheat in this Constitutional Republican system of ours, which preserves people’s rights and prevents people from dominating others. The Democrats found a way to become the government, and then use flimsy justifications to grow the power of government until government could dominate any single individual or group of individuals in America, without trial, appeal, or open evidence.

    At least when it comes to gang war factions fighting, they each have an equal opportunity to attempt to impose their local reality on the viewpoints of others. But what is our equal opportunity? To abide by the US Constitution means that debate and argument are our only legal and legitimate means to resolve issues. We are not allowed to dominate and kill and torture others into our viewpoint, but the Left and their Islamic allies are allowed such things.

    That is not an equal playing field. And they know it. But the question is, do Republicans know it? And if they do, what the hell are they going to do about it.

  • Ymarsakar

    Liberals will say of course they are patriotic and of course they love this country! But the truth is, what they really mean is they love the idea of this country, and the ideals of this country, but that we have betrayed our ideals

    I see it slightly differently. I relate it more to the kind of love and making of love that Polansky might say he felt towards the 13 year old girl. It’s a good thing, they say. It felt right, they say. Nobody was hurt, they say.

    But, that’s not the objective reality. They don’t love the nation. They simply lust after it. They don’t appreciate the character of the nature. All they care about is what pleasure they can derive from inside the nation.

  • Ymarsakar


    This is the secret to the power of propaganda. The ability, not to change reality, but to change people’s perception of reality.

  • rockdalian

    From a newly launched blog, Of Thee I Sing 1776, comes this post, entitled

    The New Ruling Class

    ,written by Hal Gershowitz and Stephen Porter.

    In the following paragraph the authors cite Dr. Victor Davis Hanson.

    This generation’s well educated elite are even less well prepared to lead than their predecessors in Galbraith’s day. Today they graduate with what Emeritus Professor Victor Davis Hanson of California State University calls a “Studies” curriculum.“ Fill in the blanks, Women’s Studies, Gay Studies, Environmental Studies, Peace Studies, Chicano Studies, Film Studies, and so on. These courses aim to indoctrinate students about perceived pathologies in contemporary American culture–specifically, race, class, gender, and environmental oppression.” As he puts it, this therapeutic curriculum holds “no eternal truths, but only passing assertions that gain credence through power and authority.”

    The phrase

    “no eternal truths”

    describes the assault on our culture.
    Without the foundation of history, or religion, upon which to build, ego reigns supreme.

    Socialism has not worked because

    the right people

    have never run the apparatus of power.
    Pedophilia has no moral impetus because we are not to judge our



    With no foundation anything is fair. Only words matter, not actions.

  • Jose

    BW’s examples show people who are sheltered and spoiled and believe they can ALWAYS have life on their own terms. They cannot accept that an individual is sometimes at the mercy of God, nature, or someone who is bigger and meaner than oneself. They believe they live in safety with the bears, and dialogue with extremists.

    They think there is always a safety net, and (their idea of) justice will always prevail. Our culture has sheltered us for so long that they no longer understand people need to be accountable, that bad things can/will happen, and will have to actually be endured.

  • David Foster

    Haven’t read this book yet, but sounds like it might be relevant to your meditations on the evil tapestry.

    Also see my extensive collection of posts on the excesses of the “self-esteem” movement: superheated ‘steem.

  • Mike Devx

    Hey, y’all, it really *is* worthwhile to check out the link to the book that David Foster gave us in #17. (“The Narcissism Epidemic”). Check out the editorials and then the comments. Here’s the link again:

    As I read, I couldn’t help but think of Obama. Of course.

    “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Only in a narcissism epidemic could a man running for President Of The United States say such a ridiculous, mealy-mouthed pile of gush, and not get laughed out of the race. Instead, his audience swoons with understanding: “We ARE the ones we’ve been waiting for! Yay, US!”

    The fits of near-orgasmic delight they felt as they cheered themselves… my God, my God.

  • Mike Devx

    Ymar #14,

    The excerpt from 1984 is chilling. I’d forgotten it. In that case, the use of pain and comfort in repeated cycles destroys the ability to hang onto reality.

    As to the rest of it, I’m struck by the praise for Whittaker Chambers’ book, “Witness” by Neo and all of his commenters. Do you (or anyone else) know if it genuinely is worth the read? Meaning, worth the purchase?

  • BravoRomeoDelta

    I see the threads you’re tugging at and have a similar difficulty in weaving them together. It seems that there is a kind of moral narcissism or solipsism that goes along with wealth and a kind of “selfishness” or pragmatism that goes with with duress, poverty, fear and the like. These don’t correspond, exactly, to left or right politically, because these are habits of thought not a conscious framework, but inform why it is that some people adopt the political outlooks they do have.

    The west has grown sufficiently prosperous that the seductive lie of moral narcissism becomes possible to indulge in. They don’t like to feel bad about themselves. If someone is poor, or downtrodden, they don’t like to feel that they enjoy prosperity while the other doesn’t, and that they really could have honestly given more of their time or money to help and they didn’t do it. They like to shift responsibility to another when something that involves feeling bad is involved. It’s not they didn’t do enough to help the poor, it’s that the government didn’t do enough, or that Republicans are at fault.

    The second component, is that they are empathetic, and feel that other people are, deep down, the same kind of reasonable, conscientious people that the thinker is. The thinker knows they don’t want to be hurt, and therefore, they wouldn’t hurt someone else. Since they wouldn’t want to hurt someone else, they feel that if folks like soldiers shouldn’t have to hurt people. Therefore military action is wrong. But also, since everyone is nice just like they are, then other people wouldn’t do something to hurt others unless there is something really bad that compels them to do something the thinker cannot imagine doing unless subjected to great pressure.

    It goes on and on, but essentially it’s a twin combination of not wanting to feel bad and feeling that everyone is at their core, just like them.

    The second is the pragmatic or quasi-selfish worldview. The recognition that recognizes the that many things, money, attention span, sympathy and so on are finite and limited, and there’s a permanent scarcity of these things in the world. That the only way to get yours it go out and grab it. And if some fool wants to hand it to you, snatch it from their hands before they change their mind. This is a worldview that is easy to cultivate in conditions threaten your needs at a most fundamental level – be it poverty, wartime, and so on. These folks feel that there’s not enough of whatever it is, and they don’t have as big a slice of the pie as they need or deserve.

    Pure moral narcissism doesn’t often survive well in adverse conditions because there are enough harsh realities that force the thinker to recognize that sometimes the nearly Christlike application of the golden rule means that you can starve if you don’t grab your loaf of bread early enough. Sometimes you have to do bad or unpleasant things for reasons that are so external to your control, that you are compelled to recognize the impact of unchangeable things. That weather, physics, basic accounting and so on are not amenable to social justice. In fact, most things in the world at large are beyond the control of mortal man, and no amount of care, attention, and sympathy can change that. And frankly our hypothetical speaker dosen’t like to think about that, because it makes them feel powerless, and that makes them feel bad. However, the consistent existence of the Other does give them a person to blame, which then gives them power over their feeling of helplessness. It allows them to do something, and in so doing allows them to feel like they’ve done as much as they can do and that makes them feel good again.

  • BravoRomeoDelta

    Oh, and also this:


  • BrianE

    I’ll take a whack at this.
    I see a couple of related dynamics at work in your choice of subjects in this post.
    The first is the classic unwillingness to pass a moral judgment on Polanski. The liberal doesn’t want to make a moral judgment on Polanski’s crime, since they wish to be free to indulge in their own pet moral failings.
    They’re only slightly put off by the nature of Polanski’s crime, and find convenient cover in the lapse of time between the crime and the punishment.
    The second is a slightly different dynamic, though along the same vein. It’s the sense that not only are we unwilling to pass judgment, we’re unwilling to point out failure. It’s the dynamic that leads people to quit keeping score at sporting matches, lest poor Johnnie be traumatized and stigmatized. It’s the dynamic that leads trophies to being presented to everyone with a cute little ribbon for participation thrown in.
    It’s that dynamic at work in Barack Obama. Let’s face it. Obama is a product of a dysfunctional and broken home. A mother that constantly fulfilled her own agenda, one that only tangentially included children, a father that projected disdain on his child, and grandparents grounded in idealogue that saw in Barack the perfect opportunity to create their image of the “New Man”.
    Barack, who I suspect is normally bright, is fawned over by grandparents, teachers and others to counteract the reality of his parent’s rejection, a thinly disgused pity.
    Add a little con man to the mix, and it didn’t take Barack long to realize how he could leverage this fawning into a success that didn’t include the difficult and tempering lessons of failure. Like all good con men, he uses his mark and moves on. This may be the first time in his life that Barack can’t just move on. He’s stuck, and the failures will continue until he recognizes the limits of his own intellect. He may or may not ever realize them.
    Someone posed this question somewhere- at what point in evolution was the concept of evil imprinted on the collective consciousness. This “New Man” struggles with the notion of evil, especially evil as a objective force.
    This “New Man” may project disgust with a Polanski and his abuse of power, but at their heart of hearts, they find his failure wrapped in the failures of society and the horrible circumstances of his maturation. Barack openly displays this tendency to project all the horribleness of man to a simple lack of proper dialogue, that man can be persuaded from evil with enough rationalization.
    Conservatives call it naiveté, but it is much more deep rooted and systemic in the nature of a type of person who is consistently unable to distinguish the difference between the ideal and the real. I was reminded of the reality of this while visiting a weblog deeply dedicated to the tenets of Socialism. What we might consider as socialism, they consider State Capitalism—this movement toward statism. For the true believer, as long as money exists as an intermediary in the exchange of goods, their equal intrinsic value may be distorted or manipulated for profit. Only when currency falls away, and man is free to meet the needs of others in a free exchange will the perfect society be built.
    Those grounded in reality may shake their heads in amusement, but the adherents are serious, are dedicated and are driven by passion to drive a silver stake through the heart of capitalism.
    I am reminded that “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder”.
    We have replaced the two great commandments that directed western ideals for two millennia—Love your Neighbor as yourself, and Love the Lord your God with all your heart, for indeed as Paul succinctly states it:
    “For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting–and any other commandment–are all summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.””- Romans 13:9.
    Feeling oppressed by such an idea, modern society has replaced this commandment with one of their own—“If it feels good, do it (provided it doesn’t hurt anyone other than yourself)”.
    But no matter how much modern man struggles against it, this old reality—a reality that is rejected and therefore unappreciated— that God’s law is written into the genetic code of the human heart remains. We may shout until we can’t hear it, violate it until it no longer rings a warning bell in our subconscious, dilute it, abuse it, or ignore it but we can’t dispose of it.
    “For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts.”- Romans 1:19
    As we move man to the center of our universe (though not the animists in the “environmental movement”), is it surprising the rather clever devolvement of magazine titles from “People” to “Me” actually sounds plausible?
    As to The Contender, that contrived soap opera of a film fits in here somewhere, but its plot was so manipulative, I am at a loss to recognize how.

  • Ymarsakar

    Meaning, worth the purchase?

    I don’t have first hand knowledge of it. But I would say that if you wish to make judgments concerning political power mongering of the Communist brand, you need to acquire inside sources and the most reliable are the defectors from the Soviets.

    If you don’t seek to acquire such resources, and yet still pronounce judgment on the people or processes involved in Revolutionary Politics, then you are apt to fall into the pit that all who supported and still support the slaughter of the Vietnamese by the North Vietnamese Communists and the slaughter of civilians in Cambodia, have already fallen into.

    I can’t and won’t say whether the particular material would be worth your money, but I would say that if you wish for genuine first hand perspectives on the evils of political movements, those are the people you need to listen to.

    If the fake liberals had listened to more real people and less fake propaganda apparatchiks from Leftist America or Soviet KGB agents, they wouldn’t have partied until morning over the Fall of Saigon.

  • Ymarsakar

    I’d forgotten it. In that case, the use of pain and comfort in repeated cycles destroys the ability to hang onto reality.

    That’s not the default aspect. Pain is simply a stimuli, which creates a great motivation on the part of the recipient to get rid of it. Evolutionary wise, this meant we developed smarter brains to avoid dangerous situations, and to create reason to solve problems to resolve them after they happen. Thus not only do we react to get away from painful burns, but we also think ahead and prevent uncontrolled fires in the first place.

    The use of pain and comfort in repeated cycles does whatever the torturer wants it to do. There’s some variation on this, like the skill of the torturer, but the cycle itself is pretty much solid in terms of affecting human behavioral habits.

    You’ve heard the common counter-proposal to torture that torture just gets people to make stuff up to make the pain stop because that’s what they think the torturer wants to hear. But I don’t want to hear made up stuff. I want the truth. And if a subject thinks they can confuse or mislead me on this score, there are plenty of ‘adjustments’ that can be made to the subject to convince them otherwise.

    What extreme pain does is shut off or deaden parts of the human brain that requires high levels of concentration. A person cannot think up a complex string of random numbers if you are cutting off their finger tips and inserting molden rods of iron into em. This means that you get basically nothing from the subject in such times, in terms of real information. The real information you get is after he recovers and starts thinking about the consequences of his choices. But, at the same time, a person can’t come up with any lies, either, in such a situation. And if a person tries to lie, afterwards, their ability to keep things consistent is hopelesslly compromised.

    It’s why the police separates subjects into separate rooms and then repeatedly asks them the same questions over and over again. They’re looking for inconsistency. They don’t have to know what is or is not true. All they need to know is that inconsistency means somebody is lying.

  • Ymarsakar

    Btw, Stockholm Syndrome is the end result of a subject finding comfort in their torturer. It’s very effective in gaining the allegiance, not simply the truth, from a subject.

  • suek

    Talk about not being able to put one’s finger on the connecting thread! Here’s an article I ran across today, and it seems very connected. I’m not exactly sure how…I think it has to do with my belief that the means to an orderly society requires _some_ kind of discipline. It may be internal or external – meaning all persons within the society can exercise discipline to a generally agreed upon standard upon themselves, or you can have laws determining the standard and police to enforce it on each and every person. Religion is generally the source of the first, Statism the result of the second.

    The “feel good” society results in the second because it rejects the first. The sixties were the result of a rejection of religion and its prohibitions. The chaos in society today is the result of that rejection. The second link is something of a demonstration of that.