Thursday, April 13, 2017


A New Definition of Insanity

Although Albert Einstein was genius class, particularly about physics, he was no genius in psychiatry. He wasn't even Freud in that field.

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is not a good definition of insanity. There are billions of examples of repeated behavior where it was not insane to keep trying the same thing and expect a different result. Here is a simple one: Asking a woman to have sex with you. A thousand nos and one yes and you get to have sex. Not insane at all to keep asking.

You can come up with an example too, probably many more.

I'm not offering a new definition of insanity; the legal one is perfectly adequate and DSM 5 has some good medical definitions too.

But I want to point out what I now believe is a serious mental problem with many of the Democrats. Now, it's common for us humans to be mistaken. We get false reports or incomplete reports or real reports which we don't analyze properly, and because of those we're wrong about the subject of the reports. Same thing for actual observation. Making a mistake is not a symptom of insanity, it is a symptom of normality. It's the failure to be able to recognize a mistake and change one's mind on something about which one was formerly mistaken, that is a possible symptom of insanity, or at least a mental disorder.

The Democrats have suffered a humiliating series of defeats in elections starting in 2010 and most recently in losing (so unexpectedly) to Donald Trump. Their super terrific candidate lost to Donald Trump! What could be more humiliating? So it is pretty normal not to want to think that this rejection by voters is because the Democrats are doing something wrong or are not popular. Everyone wants to believe he or she is popular. But to create irrational excuses, that ain't so good. That's a personality disorder. (301.89) And clinging to irrational excuses when the evidence becomes overwhelming that the excuse is crap is a sign of something more serious. (297.1)

It's like they need Cher in Moonstruck.

I won't identify what deranged thought the Democrats seem to be clinging to, because it's not necessary for those on the right who already recognize it, and it won't make any difference to the few lefties who read this.


Anti-Conventional Sayings

The ever-shrinking-in-my-view Colin Powell made famous his version of the warning statement from Pottery Barn, "You break it, you bought it" transferring its meaning to military incursions into foreign countries. I've always thought he was wrong on that.

I just want to set the record straight. I was in Pottery Barn just last week and someone bumped into a tray of champagne flutes and the whole lot crashed to the floor and most of the flutes broke. The manager rushed over and immediately informed the guy who knocked them over that it was all OK and he shouldn't worry about it. He walked out a few minutes later and never had to pay a thing.

The Japanese made the mistake of starting a war to get oil (Dutch East Indies) etc. by sneak attacking our base at Pearl Harbor. Hardly anything short of that would have gotten us into the by then long-ongoing world war. And it made us pretty mad, so mad that we firebombed all the Japanese cities and even nuked two of them. Japan was a pretty countryside with ash fields for cities in August 1945. I don't think we paid any reparations or anything.

Neither in war, nor in the store, do you own what you break.


Saturday, April 08, 2017


Oxymoron of the Day

I don't believe the Russians had any effect on our voting for President 5 months ago and I don't believe that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in any way regarding the election. But I'm willing to change my mind and I follow from time to time lefty leaning writers who insist that both things actually happened.

Like today here, titled: Of Course there's Evidence Trump Colluded with Russian Intelligence.

There are three authors of the article but the only one with a bio near the article is Jordan Brunner, a summa cum grad of ASU now a second year law student there (and that's a problem. Second years at most have about 40% of a complete legal education but they generally think they know everything at least based on my personal history). Anyway he promises evidence of collusion and I dived in.

But then I hit this partial sentence:

There is, in fact, copious evidence of at least tacit collaboration between the Russians and the Trump campaign....

Tacit collaboration? Wouldn't that be collaboration with only one side doing anything? That is not collaboration at all as that word is used by rational people?

And the evidence of this "tacit collaboration"?

It included open encouragement of the Russians to hack Democratic targets; denial that they had done so; encouragement of Wikileaks, which was publicly known to be effectively a publishing arm of the Russian operation, in publishing the fruits of the hacks; and publicly trumpeting the contents of stolen emails.

Not collaboration. If talking about and repeating the leaked e-mails etc. is collaboration then all the news networks collaborated with the Russians; all the ordinary people who talked about or repeated the leaked e-mails, etc. collaborated with the Russians. Indeed, Mr. Brunner collaborated with the Russians here. Of course, merely repeating leaked material is not collaboration as that word is used by rational people. But according to Mr. Brunner, a large portion of the American people collaborated with the Russians. Tacitly. What a maroon!

Let me use a simple example from outside the political sphere. I don't collaborate with Pink Floyd every time I play a cut from Dark Side of the Moon. I'm merely a consumer of Pink Floyd's artistic output. They don't know me from Adam.

Most notoriously, on July 27, Trump stated during a news conference: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
I know most lefties are completely humorless, but even some of them are savvy enough to know that this was humor from the President. He was making a joke at Hillary Clinton's expense not actually encouraging the Russians to hack accounts or reveal past collections of hacked accounts. Not the best evidence of "tacit collaboration" whatever that term actually means.

And the rest of the supporting "evidence" is Trump talking about the Wikileaks document dumps. That's it.

There is no such thing as tacit collaboration. Indeed, since mutual active (read verbal) commitment is the sine qua non for collaboration, that term is an oxymoron, emphasis here on the moron.


Thursday, April 06, 2017


Blind Hog/Acorn Day

Although he's almost always wrong about politics, hell, he's almost always wrong about linguistics, his field of expertise, Noam Chomsky said an absolutely true thing recently.

Money quote:

So, you know, yeah, maybe the Russians tried to interfere in the election. That’s not a major issue. Maybe the people in the Trump campaign were talking to the Russians. Well, OK, not a major point, certainly less than is being done constantly. And it is a kind of a paradox, I think, that the one issue that seems to inflame the Democratic opposition is the one thing that has some justification and reasonable aspects to it.
So there's that.



Vox Clamantis in Deserto

My second least favorite NYT regular columnist actually says something today that could be helpful to the Democrats at this low point in their party's existence. They'll ignore Nick Kristof, as they usually do.

The short version is: If we want to get more Democrats elected, we can't constantly insult those who aren't voting for us

Of course, Kristof backhand compliments us deplorable bigots left and right through the piece. When your Weltanshauung is that the people who don't vote for Democrats are indeed deplorable, evil, stupid, bigots, sometimes that underlying judgment leaks out. Like here.

Sure, there were racists and misogynists in their ranks, but that doesn't mean that every Trump voter was a white supremacist.
Wow, what a generous admission, and so not condescending at all! Of course the black people who voted for trump aren't white supremacists, and probably not the Hispanics, but everyone else, well...

To win over Trump voters isn't normalizing extremism but a strategy to counter it.

So Kristof does believe that everyone who voted for Trump is an extremist and that the left must use everything in their power (short of name-calling, of course) to reverse the recent voter trends.

[Trump] at least faked empathy for struggling workers.

And the imbeciles who voted for him were duped by his fake empathy, which deceit the wonderful, smart, good, Democrats could easily detect

So by all means stand up to Trump, point out that he's a charlatan...
Because of course Trump is just that and how he took in so many voters is a plain mystery to the elite, other than thinking the Trump voters were easily taken in, of course.

...and resist his initiatives. But remember that social progress means winning over voters in flyover country, and that it's difficult to recruit voters whom you simultaneously castigate as despicable, bigoted imbeciles.

Even though they clearly are just that.

Is there any concept out there that adding the word 'social' before it doesn't reduce to incoherence?

UPDATE: Steven Hayward at Powerline writes about the same opinion piece. He's enjoying the Democrats' plight way too much.

He quotes this 3 paragraph gem of a rebuttal from a Texas commenter on Kristof's piece:

A lot of people who voted for Trump didn’t like him. I am one of them. We considered the alternative, the Clintons, and disliked them more.
But it is now clear who the bigots are in this country. When you start referring to yourselves as “The Resistance,” the implication is clear. You view the other side as Nazis. It’s the same with calling those who reject the faith-based belief in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming “deniers.”
Democrats are verging on psychosis because they have been roundly rejected across the nation to an unprecedented degree. They need to get over themselves and start acting like loyal citizens again and respect the process. Power is not an entitlement. You have to earn it.

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