Quote of the day—Alan Korwin

FBI background check registrations are insufficient to these people. They begged and pleaded and campaigned for background checks, and now want more, but they’re obviously not enough. The smelter is the real issue.

This is the topic Tucson raises — violation of law by elected officials in pursuit of the same irrational perverse goal their fellow leftists pursue at everyone’s dangerous expense. It is an impossible attempt to quench their paranoid fears by suppressing the rights of innocent people everywhere. The notion of guns in the public’s hands is simply unacceptable to them. It’s not political, it’s medical, they’re hoplophobic, and a dire threat to freedom. Their unbalanced actions qualify them for removal from setting public policy and destroying valuable public property in the process, in violation of law.

Alan Korwin
December 18, 2016
Tucson Melting Guns. Again
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Thomas Sowell

Undaunted by history, the same kind of thinking that had cheered international disarmament treaties in the 1920s and 1930s once again cheered Soviet-American disarmament agreements during the Cold War.

Conversely, there was hysteria when President Ronald Reagan began building up American military forces in the 1980s. Cries were heard that he was leading us toward nuclear war. In reality, he led us toward an end of the Cold War, without a shot being fired at the Soviet Union.

But who reads history these days, or checks facts before leading the charge to keep law-abiding people disarmed?

Thomas Sowell
Senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
December 23, 2016
Sowell: Gun-control laws do not make us safer
[To answer the question about facts, there is a good chance that it is like the one admitted Marxist I was having a discussion with about gun control in Chicago (where he lives).

This Marxist told me there were some very dangerous places in Chicago and “you just don’t go there because you will get shot”. I told him that it that couldn’t be possible because guns were banned there (this was before the Heller and McDonald rulings). He told me they got their guns from the surrounding areas where guns were not banned. “Oh! You must be really at high risk of getting shot in those areas then.”, I told him. “No, actually, those areas are pretty safe.”, he replied. I then told him, “Gun control doesn’t make people safer.” He told me, and I’m not making this up, “I disagree with your facts.”

It’s called reality. These people should check it out sometime.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ulysses S. Grant

All the States east of the Mississippi River up to the state of Georgia, had felt the hardships of the war. Georgia, and South Carolina, and almost of North Carolina, up to this time, had been exempt from invasion of the Northern armies except upon their immediate sea coasts. Their newspapers had given such an account of Confederate success that the people who remained at home had been convinced that the Yankees had been whipped from first to last, and driven from pillar to post, and that now they could hardly be holding out for any other purpose than to find a way out of the war with honor to themselves.

Even during this march by Sherman’s the newspapers in his front were proclaiming daily that his army was nothing better than a mob of men who were frightened out of their wits and were hastening, panic-stricken, trying to get under the cover of our navy for protection against the Southern people.

Ulysses S. Grant
1894
Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant Page 652
[I just finished this book, except for the appendix.

I found it striking that the Democrats of the 1860s were as out of touch with reality as the Democrats of 2016.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Angelo M. Codevilla

The notion of political correctness came into use among Communists in the 1930s as a semi-humorous reminder that the Party’s interest is to be treated as a reality that ranks above reality itself. Because all progressives, Communists included, claim to be about creating new human realities, they are perpetually at war against nature’s laws and limits. But since reality does not yield, progressives end up pretending that they themselves embody those new realities. Hence, any progressive movement’s nominal goal eventually ends up being subordinated to the urgent, all-important question of the movement’s own power. Because that power is insecure as long as others are able to question the truth of what the progressives say about themselves and the world, progressive movements end up struggling not so much to create the promised new realities as to force people to speak and act as if these were real: as if what is correct politically—i.e., what thoughts serve the party’s interest—were correct factually.

the point of P.C. is not and has never been merely about any of the items that it imposes, but about the imposition itself. Much less is it about creating a definable common culture or achieving some definable good. On the retail level, it is about the American’s ruling class’s felt need to squeeze the last drops of voter participation out of the Democratic Party’s habitual constituencies. On the wholesale level, it is a war on civilization waged to indulge identity politics.

The imposition of P.C. has no logical end because feeling better about one’s self by confessing other people’s sins, humiliating and hurting them, is an addictive pleasure the appetite for which grows with each satisfaction. The more fault I find in thee, the holier (or, at least, the trendier) I am than thou. The worse you are, the better I am and the more power I should have over you.

America’s progressive rulers, like France’s, act less as politicians gathering support than as conquerors who enjoy punishing captives without worry that the tables may turn.

Angelo M. Codevilla
November 8, 2016
The Rise of Political Correctness
[Also, as an example:

Comrade, your statement is factually incorrect.”
“Yes, it is. But it is politically correct.”

Fascinating and very enlightening.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Scott Adams

For now the citizens of the United States live in two separate realities. As a hypnotist, I doubt any of us can see reality for what it is. My worldview is that we were in one kind of illusion before and some of us moved to another. When it comes to understanding reality, the best we can do is pick a version that does a good job predicting.

My view of reality predicts that the Hitler illusion will wear off in time because Trump keeps refusing to do Hitler-like things. Check my prediction at the end of Trump’s term. I think you’ll see his popularity continue to improve from here.

Scott Adams
December 10, 2016
The Time That Reality Forked Right in Front of You
[Interesting observation.—Joe]

Obstacles to sex research

Via Justin J Lehmiller:

I have done research on human subjects and had to get the research approved by distrustful committees so I have a glimmer of understanding of what she was up against and more than a little sympathy for her.

Almost as a side note I thought one of the points she made was very good. And that is that nearly everyone has used sex, either solo or with a partner to help them get to sleep at night. But sleep therapists, not a single one as far as she could determine, even mentioned this as a potential aid in overcoming sleep difficulties. Could this cut down on the use of pharmaceuticals? It would seem likely and probably have fewer undesirable side effects.

Similar benefits might exist for other issues as well. Orgasms affect mood and brain chemistry. Knowing more about this would seem likely to lead to better, or at least alternate, treatments for things like depression, right?

She not going so far as to endorse Dr. Joe’s Cure For Everything, but she is on the right track.

Don’t get on the crazy train

Tamara says:

here’s a puzzler:

It’s a cardinal sin in the progressive weltanschauung to deny someone the validity of their own narrative.

Unless their narrative is “I’m doing this for Islam and the caliph!”

It’s not really a puzzler. Let me explain in a roundabout way.

I received an email a few weeks ago which said in part:

Standard progressive technique against non-progressives is the “basket of deplorables” attack: accuse them of *-ism and watch them wilt as they do a mad scramble trying to show they are actually good people.  What the victims of those attacks don’t realize is that the attack has no connection to fact, and denials aren’t helpful because it isn’t about evidence or truth.  Harry Reid knew this well and used it against Romney, as did many others.

My reply, in part, was:

The psychology of the progressives is that of a personality disorder. If you were to read the book Stop Walking on Eggshells I would bet you would see, as I do, amazing parallels between Borderline Personality Disorder and the political left in this country. I don’t have the book in front of me right now but here are some things that I remember:

  • It is always your fault when something goes wrong.
  • They create or maneuver things such that you are put in “can’t win” situations.
  • They are at high risk of hurting themselves (riots damaging their own neighborhoods is my analog of this) if they get mad at you.
  • They constantly start fights over nothing.
  • The attempted use of facts will result in accusations of “You always have to get your way”, “You need to compromise.”, or increase the verbal and/or physical abuse.
  • There is no successful treatment.
  • The best you can hope for is to expend less energy/time dealing with them without compiling with their crazy demands (or as Barb says, “Getting on their crazy train.”)

The basics of how you deal with them, as individuals, is to tell them you aren’t going to tolerate their misbehavior. They will go ballistic at this, after all, it is all your fault, not theirs. They have done nothing wrong. Then ignore, them, walk away, or otherwise disengage and do your own thing when they inevitably misbehave. You must not give in to their misbehavior. They will only encourage them to misbehave more.

I just wish there was a way to divorce ourselves from the political left. I’m tired of the constant abuse and crazy talk.

Back to Tamara’s puzzlement.

These people are nuts. Barb and I have both had decades of experience attempting to deal with people like this and spent time talking to counselors getting help dealing with personality disordered people. Several times a week during the first year or so we were together one of us would tell a story and ask, “Why did they do this?” It took a while but it finally reached the point where the other person would say, “Don’t try to make sense of it. You will go crazy if you try.” That shortened to, “You are trying to get on crazy train with them.”

We mostly have the stories out of our system and it is now rare for one of us to tell one. And if one does come out the response is just, “Don’t get on the crazy train.”

And that is what our response to these sort of puzzlements should be. Give them “that look” and tell the sane people attempting to appease or understand the progressives, “Don’t get on the crazy train.”

Sign up for the New York Bubble

Saturday Night Live did a surprisingly insightful ad for “The Bubble”

That’s right out of the “right wing” talk show sarcasm circuit. If Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh got together, they’d have come up with the same ad. Who thought of that? How did it get past the network editors?

Quote of the day—Scott Adams

In nearly every scenario you can imagine, the person experiencing an unlikely addition to their reality is the one hallucinating. If all observers see the same addition to their reality, it might be real. But if even one participant can’t see the phenomenon – no matter how many can – it is almost certainly not real.

Scott Adams
October 19, 2016
I Wake You Up for the Presidential Debate
[His ultimate point is:

If you see something unlikely – such as a new Hitler rising in the midst of America – and I see nothing remotely like that – I’m almost certainly right and you’re almost certainly having the illusion. I say that because the person who sees the unlikely addition to reality is the one experiencing the illusion nearly every time. Trump as Hitler-in-America is an addition to reality that only some can see. It is a pink elephant. It is a classic hallucination.

I’m not trying to say I’m smarter than anyone else. I just don’t see the pink elephant. Nor do perhaps 40% of the country who prefer Trump as president. And when that many people don’t see a pink elephant in a room, you can be sure it isn’t there, no matter how many do see it.

Another symptom of hallucinations is that when confronted by a doubter the believers have a strong emotional reaction and offer little or no evidence to support their claims.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Aaron Ben-Zeév

Women who sell their sexuality for money are regarded as whores, while women who give their sexuality for free are sluts.

In order to be considered a “nice girl,” women are more likely to understate the number of people they have slept with, whereas men typically boast and exaggerate their sexual history. Indeed, embedded in our culture and language are opposing attitudes to women and men who have had sexual relationships with many people. Thus, while the term “slut” is defined as “an insulting word for a woman whose sexual behavior is considered immoral,” the corresponding male term “stud” is defined as “a man who is admired for being sexually attractive and good at sex”

..

The difference may well be due to the man having to risk rejection by females, thus his ‘success’ is valued by other females as social proof of his value as a sex partner. In contrast, the vast majority of females risk very little when propositioning a man, yet even so that same vast majority of females actively disguise their intentions so as to maintain plausible deniability of their interest in a man, thus risking less than nothing. Thus there’s nothing to value (and much to disvalue) in such female behavior and the connotations of the word ‘slut’ reflect that.

Aaron Ben-Zeév
Ph.D.
September 21, 2016
Women’s Right to Say YES to Sexuality: Respecting and enhancing female sexual performance
[I found the article fascinating.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Scott Adams

You are wasting your time if you try to make someone see reason when reason is not influencing the decision. If you’ve ever had a frustrating political debate with your friend who refuses to see the logic in your argument you know what I mean. But keep in mind that the friend sees you exactly the same way.

When politicians tell lies they know the press will call them out. They also know it doesn’t matter. Politicians understand that reason will never have much of a role in voting decisions. A lie that makes a voter feel good is more effective than a hundred rational arguments. That’s even true when the voter knows the lie is a lie.

If you’re perplexed at how society can tolerate politicians who lie so blatantly you are thinking of people as rational beings. That world view is frustrating and limiting. People who study hypnosis start to view humans as moist machines that are simply responding to inputs with programed outputs. No reasoning is involved beyond eliminating the most absurd options. Your reasoning can prevent you from voting for a total imbecile but it won’t stop you from supporting a half-wit with a great haircut. If your view of the world is that people use reason for their important decisions you are setting yourself up for a life of frustration and confusing. You will find yourself continually debating people and never wining except in your own mind.

Few things are as destructive and limiting as a world view that assumes people are mostly rational.

Scott Adams
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
2013
[Adams articulates this better than I have been able to.

I keep wanting to believe, and to a great extent behaving as if, people are rational. This is despite my frequent claim that it is irrational to expect people to be rational. I know it’s not true, I get frustrated that it is not true, and I sometimes just want to retreat from contact with the general population.

I’m extremely lucky that Barb and I share nearly identical irrational views of reality and rationality.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Charles Mackay

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

Charles Mackay
1841
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds
[I look around me and, if I look closely enough, I see this nearly everywhere.

We have such a tenuous grasp on reality it is scary.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Bennie G. Thompson

Taking action to prevent terrorists from having access to assault weapons would be a good start.  However, it seems that in the waning days of this Congress, there is more appetite for advancing un-American and counter-productive proposals such as closing the borders to Muslims or ethnically profiling whole communities.

To reiterate what Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has testified to Congress, that with the current threat picture, homeland security cannot be achieved without sensible gun control laws.

Bennie G. Thompson
House Homeland Security Committee ranking member (D-Miss)
September 21, 2016
Homeland security means keeping assault weapons off our streets
[Sometimes I’m just amazed that people can say and believe the things they do. Immigration from other countries is not a constitutionally protected right. There isn’t anything more American than our country’s founding document. The right to keep and bear arms is a specific enumerated right protected by that document. Is this guy’s mind that well partitioned that he can’t connected what he wrote in consecutive sentences?

The only way this makes sense to me is that people say things with the knowledge, at some level, people will hear what they want to hear. The anti-gun politician will say they “respect the Second Amendment and they don’t want to ban guns”. The next sentence will be that they “support the banning of assault weapons”. It could be that those sort of contradictory messages work on both the receiver and the sender. They say and hear what they want depending upon individual biases of the person at that particular moment. And those biases change from second to second. For example, one second they are of the opinion that the Bill of Rights is important and should be respected. The next second they believe nothing should stand in the way of preventing terrorists from murdering innocent people. They somehow cannot make the connection that these two beliefs are incompatible.

It could be this a built-in psychological mechanism common to almost all people.

I view it as some sort of mental illness.—Joe]


Those who need to know already know what the following means. If it’s not crystal clear to you then don’t worry about it. It’s not for you. It’s more fun and games for the NSA:
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Quote of the day—Jennifer Palmieri

Any candidate who tells this many lies clearly can’t win the debate on the merits.

Jennifer Palmieri
Communications Director for Hillary Clinton
September 24, 2016
THE PRESSURE’S ON HILLARY CLINTON AT FIRST DEBATE, FAIR OR NOT
[Pamien, in this mind blowing display of projection, is referring to Donald Trump.

Rule Number 3. Social Justice Warriors always project.—Joe]


Those who need to know already know what the following means. If it’s not crystal clear to you then don’t worry about it. It’s not for you.
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Quote of the day—Pew Research Center

A majority of the public (58%) says that gun ownership in this country does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime, compared with 37% who believe it does more to put people’s safety at risk.

Pew Research Center
August 26, 2016
Opinions on Gun Policy and the 2016 Campaign
[That’s the good news.

The bad news is there doesn’t seem to be any anti-gun laws being proposed in any of the major legislative bodies that the majority of people are opposed to. I don’t have an explanation for this dichotomy other than what I have said many times before:

It’s irrational to expect people to be rational.

I guess it just means we have more work to do in changing the culture.—Joe]

Metadata is harmless…

… or so the government sometimes says.

OTOH, when you have Big Data, with enough MetaData, it turns into Creepy Data.

No, a shrink having her patients friending each other *based on FaceBlock’s reccomendation* isn’t creepy at all. It’s all totally harmless, and could never be misused, right? (and people wonder why I don’t do Book of Faces)

I wonder if they could sue FB for violating HIPAA?

Why people become terrorists

Via Bruce Schneier:

young people adrift in a globalized world find their own way to ISIS, looking to don a social identity that gives their lives significance. Groups of dissatisfied young adult friends around the world ­ often with little knowledge of Islam but yearning for lives of profound meaning and glory ­ typically choose to become volunteers in the Islamic State army in Syria and Iraq, Atran contends. Many of these individuals connect via the internet and social media to form a global community of alienated youth seeking heroic sacrifice, he proposes.

Preliminary experimental evidence suggests that not only global terrorism, but also festering state and ethnic conflicts, revolutions and even human rights movements — think of the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1960s — depend on what Atran refers to as devoted actors. These individuals, he argues, will sacrifice themselves, their families and anyone or anything else when a volatile mix of conditions are in play. First, devoted actors adopt values they regard as sacred and nonnegotiable, to be defended at all costs. Then, when they join a like-minded group of nonkin that feels like a family ­ a band of brothers ­ a collective sense of invincibility and special destiny overwhelms feelings of individuality. As members of a tightly bound group that perceives its sacred values under attack, devoted actors will kill and die for each other.

He says it applies to the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1960s. Why shouldn’t it also be applicable to present day politics in the U.S.? Perhaps the Black Lives Matter movement and the police shootings?

Interesting. Very, very, interesting.