The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Still Crazy, After All These Years

Posted on | December 17, 2012 | 36 Comments

The loony bin, the funny farm, the nuthouse — it is not politically correct to refer to therapeutic institutions in such slang terminology, but this PC attitude of apologetic sensitivity toward the mentally ill doesn’t really help anyone, least of all the kooks themselves. If someone is dealing with clinical depression or paranoid schizophrenia, insensitive slang isn’t their biggest problem. It’s not even in the Top Ten.

Maybe you won’t take my word for it — hey, what do I know about being crazy? — but I’d urge you to heed my friend Lisa Graas:

Msgr. Charles Pope has written a personal story about mental illness that I recommend. He offers that people die from mental illness every day. His sister was among them. I have nearly been counted among them multiple times, having been put behind locked doors for my own safety. Mental illness runs in my family, and so, I am not the only person in my family who has spent time behind those locked doors. As Msgr. Pope points out, not enough people are behind locked doors for their own safety because too many people believe mental hospitals are “inhumane” ways to deal with the mentally ill. In reality, it is inhumane not to confine people who are a danger to themselves or to others.

Read the Monsignor’s story, and when you’re finished with that, go hit Lisa’s tip jar — every time someone hits her tip jar, an angel gets his wings.


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Furnishing Your Tidy Little Mind

Posted on | December 17, 2012 | 33 Comments

Just wrote a long e-mail to a friend who, in reaction to last night’s 3,000-word rant about the nature of mental illness, described some of the emotional issues experienced by relatives of those usually non-emotive people with Asperger’s syndrome.

Depending on the severity of the affliction, what happens in such cases is that people who have to cope daily with the problem end up adjusting their mental categories of “normal” behavior. This is true as much for other disorders as it is for Asperger’s. Friends and relatives of Lindsay Lohan grow accustomed to her patterns of behavior — the relapse, the binge, the crash, the rehab, the court hearing. They’ve coped with it so often it doesn’t really seem extraordinary to them.

I keep recommending Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations as a guide to understanding a lot of what causes these problems. Not every kook or weirdo or celebrity basket case is a narcissist, but whenever you see people who can’t ever seem to take responsibility for their own problems, there’s usually a narcissism issue somewhere in the vicinity.

Everybody’s got problems in life. There are few people so psychologically healthy that they couldn’t occasionally be diagnosed as kooky. My sarcasm is obviously pathological, and co-blogger Smitty has a fondness for obscure puns that clearly puts him in the abnormal range. Unfortunately, the National Institutes for Mental Health turned down my grant application to study the unusual proliferation of weirdos in the blogosphere, so the diagnostic categories remain hopelessly ambiguous.

Nor have I been able to find a publisher for my proposed book, I’m OK, You’re Kind of Weird, But Bill Schmalfeldt Is a Raging Sociopath.

These are just the morning wisecracks, kind of a warm-up exercise to begin another day of relentless sarcasm. TV news today is full of somber seriousness, and it’s driving me nuts:

“Special coverage of Our Nation’s Tragedy will continue, right after these advertisements for laxatives and car insurance.”

Networks pay millions of dollars a year for the services of news anchors who can pretend that what they’re doing is anything other than a carnival sideshow to sell the advertiser’s product. News for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Read — these lucrative televised spectacles inspire less cynical scoffing than they deserve. Nothing like a national tragedy to boost ratings, after all, and you know full well that the correspondent now peering grimly into the camera will be chuckling merrily with his colleagues as soon as the Breaking News Update is over. And why shouldn’t he chuckle? He’s getting paid handsomely to report this tragedy, and charges his travel expenses on the company AmEx card.

People who say they hate “the media” usually mean they hate TV news, a hatred shared by those of us whose medium is the written word. Another book I frequently recommend is Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, quite possibly the most important book you’ve never read.

The author, Neil Postman, was a man of the Left and you’ll find some characteristic liberal jabs in the text, but his larger point transcends partisanship or ideology: TV sucks, it is by its very nature an anti-intellectual enterprise, anathemic to rational discourse.

My problem is that watching this stuff — or at least having the TV in the room tuned to cable news while I’m typing, so that the chatter goes on, even though I seldom actually watch it — is more or less a professional obligation. Every blogger is a media critic of sorts, although in the hyperpartisanship of the Obama Age, liberal bloggers only criticize Fox News, whereas we conservatives are expected to aim at Liberal Bias.

News flash: Fox News sucks, too.

Even without liberal bias, TV news sucks. For a couple hours today, I suffered through Fox News Channel’s lachrymose coverage of Our Nation’s Tragedy, until the goopy emotionalism became too much and I switched the channel over to MSNBC — I Watch, So You Don’t Have To™ — because I’ve met Bill Hemmer, I like Bill Hemmer, and I didn’t enjoy my embarrassment at Bill Hemmer’s participation in this Plastic Grief Festival.

Change the channel and hate those MSNBC guys. It just feels better to hate them than to wriggle with psychic discomfort watching Fox.

TV is very much about emotion, and the show-biz aspect requires that the performers attempt to exemplify the appropriate mood, conveying by their expressions and posture and tone of voice how we’re supposed to feel about what is being reported. When they’re reporting mass murder, the anchors and correspondents and commentators are required to convey compassion as if they’ve got a monopoly on caring.

This display of empathy is annoying to any reasonably intelligent viewer, who understands that he is watching a performance, and that the people putting on this show are doing so because they are paid for it.

Chuck Todd and Chris Jansing don’t care more about shooting victims than you do. They’re just getting paid to act like they care more than you do. This is show business, after all.

You’re not supposed to point this out, and nobody on TV news will ever mention it. And we’ll be back with more cynical sarcasm, after this word from our sponsor, Amazon Associates!



UPDATE: Other than just a way to fill up the blog with content, generate traffic, and try to reap a little revenue, this is a type of media criticism we get too little of, namely the kind that focuses not on what is said or shown, but on the medium through which it is said or shown.

We don’t think about this enough: How is communicating via the written word different than communicating through sound and images?

Neil Postman thought a lot about that, and how the constant presence of TV in our lives has changed the way we think. Postman’s book The Disappearance of Childhood examined especially how television has shaped the lives of children. Considering as I say that Postman was a man of the Left, his insights and opinions on this subject are marvelously agreeable to common-sense conservative ideas about parenting.

Postman wrote these books before the rise of the multichannel cable TV phenomenon, DVDs, video downloads and online gaming, but what he writes about TV as a medium has a general value to understanding these newer developments in media culture.

Even blogging has its own inherent tendencies, so that it’s probably a bit jolting when I end an update by saying, we’ll be back after this word from our sponsor, Amazon Associates!



UPDATE II: John Hoge on the deranged gunman:

There are people who are mad, so completely bonkers, that they truly aren’t responsible for their actions. There are also folks who know right from wrong and who choose evil. Some of these may have a biochemical imbalance in their brain chemistry, but they still know what they are doing and choose not to moderate their behavior.

We’ll be back with further news updates. Meanwhile, MSNBC — which spent the entire year dwelling on (a) the War on Women and (b) the importance of taxing greedy rich Republicans like Mitt Romney — has become all-gun-control, all-the-time. It’s painful to watch.


UPDATE III: Returning to the subject of mental illness, I just got off the phone with Cynthia Yockey, who promises further discussion of (a) eliminating the veal pens known as “gun-free zones,” and (b) how to deal with kooks.

You may disagree with Cynthia, but it’s important to remember she’s what some ignorant bigots call a “lesbian,” afflicted with a condition that tolerant, sensitive and enlightened experts recognize as Penis Aversion Disorder. Don’t hate her. She’s a victim.

Speaking of victimhood, the effort to understand what caused Adam Lanza to commit this awful atrocity in Connecticut can sometimes seem like an effort to portray the killer as a victim in his own right. In truth, the murderous nutjob was always a creepy little weirdo:

At Newtown High School, Adam Lanza often had crises that only his mother could defuse.
“He would have an episode, and she’d have to return or come to the high school and deal with it,” said Richard Novia, the school district’s head of security until 2008.
Adam Lanza would sometimes withdraw, Novia said. “[He] could take flight … and it wasn’t a rebellious or defiant thing. “It was withdrawal.”
When people approached him in the hall, he would press himself against the wall or walk in a different direction, clutching his black briefcase.

We’ll be back with more news, commentary and arguably inappropriate sarcasm, right after this word from our sponsor, Amazon Associates!



UPDATE IV: Instapundit discusses “the instinct toward moral bullying and control coupled with appalling ignorance.” This could describe MSNBC programming today. Or any other day, for that matter.

It’s important to distinguish between (a) sarcasm directed at the media and (b) any disrespect toward the families grieving in Connecticut. For example, if Ezra Klein of the Washington Post says something heinously stupid — and predictably, he did — you can and should mock Klein witih every joke in your arsenal of ridicule. Ezra Klein is no more entitled to respectful discourse than is, for example, Adam Lanza. Klein is paid a six-figure salary by the Washington Post to serve as an in-house Democrat Party propagandist, and deserves all the mockery he gets in return.

Speaking of which, some ignoramus commentator on MSNBC’s Gun-Control Telethon (now in its fourth day) just spoke of the NRA as “the gun manufacturer’s lobby.” Thanks to the commenter who brings up this quote from Hunter S. Thompson’s book, Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80′s:

“The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.”

No one could possibly argue with that. Except an ignoramus on TV.

UPDATE V: Once more, some of the best stuff on the blog is written by our commenters:

I studied at Bradford University, home to the National Museum of Film, Photography and Television, and I got a bloody good insight into the psychology and sociological impact of televisionboth as a technology and a medium. I learned how the combination of high frequency flickering, soundscape and imagery combined to generate a mental state that bypasses all of the conscious and subconscious checks and balances to — in essence — reprogram the Id itself.
TV is dangerous. Really dangerous. Psychologically unbalancing.

The same commenter explains that I’ve incorrectly described the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. So I got it wrong, because I’m not “just a blogger,” but also a professional journalist.

A big part of what I try to do — and what Hunter S. Thompson so brilliantly did — is to demystify journalism, which is too often portrayed as requiring a species of gnostic wisdom to which only the Enlightened Priests of the Esoteric Cult have access. Once you’ve been inside the temple and met the supposed Wise Men, it’s hard to maintain that reverential attitude toward the cult and its putative wisdom.


UPDATE VI: When Neil Postman died in 2003, I was pleasantly surprised to be invited to write this for the British Guardian newspaper:

The influential American media critic Neil Postman would probably have appreciated the irony that his death, from lung cancer at the age of 72, quickly gave rise to tribute pages on the internet – if only because he never used the internet, did not own a computer or even use a typewriter. His 20 books and more than 200 articles were all written in longhand.
Postman was deeply suspicious of the common American belief that technology can solve all mankind’s woes. He was fond of asking about various innovations, “What is the problem to which this is the solution?”
A professor of media ecology at New York University, he was outraged that billions of dollars were spent in the 1990s to connect every American classroom to the internet: “Why? Is there clear evidence that children learn better when they have access to the internet? The answer is no.” . . .

Read the whole thing. The only occasion in my career when I’ve ever cashed a check denominated in pounds.


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LIVE AT FIVE: 12.17.12

Posted on | December 17, 2012 | 2 Comments

– compiled by Wombat-socho

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party Retakes Power With Landslide Victory

Former/future Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) and LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba chalk up another seat won by their party

LDP wins 294 of 480 seats, coalition partner New Komeito 31 for two-thirds majority; Japan Restoration Party takes 54, DPJ 57 (down from 230)

Gujarat’s BJP Boss Narendra Modi Confident Of Hat Trick
Third phase of polling in Indian state already under way

President Rejects Swap Of Higher Millionaire Tax Rates For Entitlement Reform
Fiscal cliff deal looking increasingly remote

Boehner Offers Debt-Ceiling Increase In Fiscal Cliff Deal

President Obama, Speaker Boehner

Speaker offers to push back debt limit fight for a year

Nevada: Odd Mix Of Right-To-Work State With Strong Unions

O: “These Tragedies Must End”

Newtown’s Own Gun-Control Measures  Couldn’t Pass

Bloomberg, McCarthy Beat The Drums For More Gun Control

Congress’ Failure To Patch AMT Could Lead To Delayed Refunds

Crude Prices Up Slightly On Signs Of Demand In US, PRC: NYMEX $86.88, Brent $108.17
Natural Gas Drops For Third Straight Week On Persistent Warm Weather
Japan, PRC Stocks Higher On Stimulus Hopes
Cisco Hires Barclays To Sell Linksys Division
Facebook, Google Release 2012 Trends
Apple Sells Two Mission iPhone 5S In PRC In Three Days
Samsung, Apple Duel In Enterprise Tech
Twitter Offered To Buy Instagram For $525 Million Before Facebook Deal
Apple Cut To Neutral By Citibank
Dell Quits Smartphone Business
Write Your Own FAQ: Valve Unveils “Game Guides” Beta

Tom Brady Almost Pulls It Off

Patriots’ second-half rally falls short as 49ers clinch playoff berth with 41-34 win

Cowboys Top Steelers In OT, 27-24

Dickey Deal Nearly Done

Lakers Finally Win One, Beat Sixers 111-98

Falcons Stomp Giants 34-0

Adrian Peterson, Vikings Run Wild Over Rams, 36-22

Bears’ Skid Hits 6 With Loss To Packers

NHL Files Unfair Labor Charges Against Players’ Union

Nationals/LaRoche Non-Update #3

Dear Charlie: Sorry I Never Said Thanks For The $100K

Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan sends thank-you note and flowers to benefactor Charlie Sheen
Related: “She knows her life is out of control”

Kate Middleton Makes First Official Appearance Since Pregnancy Announcement

Kat Von D And Deadmau5 Engaged

Today Show Offers Pippa Middleton Role As Royalty Correspondent

Matt Damon Opens Up About Ben Affleck Gay Rumors

Frank Ocean: “I Told Y’All My Album Would Be The Best!”

ABC Developing Comedy Based On Justin Bieber’s Life

City Attorney PISSED After Amanda Bynes Skates On Hit & Run Charges

Chavez’ Socialists Take 20 Of 23 Governor Seats
Abe Pledges No Compromise Over Senkaku Islands
Norks Observe First Anniversary Of Dear Leader’s Demise
Car Bomb Explodes Outside American Compound In Kabul
Syrian Rebels Take Loyalist Base At Aleppo
Lady Aristos Want Inheritable Titles After Change To Royal Succession Law
ANC Congress Faces Leadership Challenge Amidst Corruption Allegations, Scandals
Egyptians Appear To Back Charter, But Opposition Alleges Widespread Vote Fraud
Berlusconi Announces Engagement To 27-Year Old TV Presenter

NRO Corner: Lanza’s Weapons
Althouse: Joe Lieberman On Censoring Pop Culture And Reporting “Troublesome” Young Men
Israel Matzav: An American Heroine
Weasel Zippers: Liberals Call For Murder Of NRA President, Members
Lonely Conservative: Boehner Agrees To Lift Debt Limit For A Year
Moe Lane: Buzzfeed Upset That NRA Not Rushing To Get Shooting Details Wrong – Like Buzzfeed
The Camp Of The Saints: Because…RAAAAACISM!
Atlas Shrugs: Pro-Sharia Thugs Attack Opponents Ahead Of Referendum
Legal Insurrection: Injecting Racial Politics Into The Newtown Murders

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Rule Five Sunday: Night Flights

Posted on | December 16, 2012 | 16 Comments

– compiled by Wombat-socho

On time for the first time in almost a month…what next, Smell-O-Vision? (Insert usual disclaimer here)

Laughing Conservative leads off with Vida Guerra, followed by Brian Noggle with the cover girls of Forbes. Animal Magnetism chips in with Rule Five Friday and Saturday Gingermageddon, and First Street Journal continues studying Rule 5 in uniform with Looking Down From Above.

EBL has vintage Hollywood Rule 5 Christmas, Anne Hathaway, and Hot Hobbit Women this week.

El Opinador Compulsivo, evidently affected by the Argentine economic suck, was only able to contribute two links this week, but they’re both quality: Hula-Hooping The Right Way and Before There Was Penny, There Was Bridget.

A View From The Beach submitted links of such a disturbing nature that I almost decided to omit them  – but then I figured, I had to suffer through these, why should y’all catch a break? Without further ado, Fritz discourses on Mila Kunis’ Shark Teeth, Christina Perri’s Christmas Wish, A Chanukah Carol, The Unspeakable Armenian’s Pussy Dies, That’s RAAAAACIST! Serena Williams Pantomime Edition, Curb Your Dog, Go Go Silvio! and Need Gift Ideas, Girls? Not a cave girl in the lot. :(

Soylent Green started the week with a Googler shoutout to Korea, Monday Motivationer Cali, Tuesday Titillation Mindy, Before I Forget, Thanks, What Was It No Tits Snark Day, Humpday Hawt Continues The Theme, Falconsword Fursday Temporarily Runs Out Of Russians, Corsetcare Cantata, ICYMI: Anne Hathaway Goes Commando, Evening Awesome Niki, and Well, She Won’t Drown.

Proof Positive’s Friday Night Babe is Kathryn Morris, his vintage babe is Dodie Stevens, Sex In Advertising features Miranda Kerr, and of course there’s the obligatory 49ers cheerleader. Dustbury serves up a pair of vintage ladies: Yasmine Bleeth and Barbara Kent, while at the Camp of the Saints, it’s Melissa Debling and the contestants for Miss Universe 2012. Not to be outdone, Three Beers Later is all for good solid American values.

The DaleyGator’s DaleyBabes this week included Amanda Roadmen, Nicole Scherzinger, Momo Yurino, Mana Sakura, Sasha Dindaya, and Leah Nguyen; last but not least, Bahara Golestani with a Rule 5 feast!

Thanks to everyone for their linkagery! Deadline to submit links for next week’s Rule 5 Sunday to the Rule 5 Wombat mailbox is Saturday, December 22.

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Criticism From a Friend: Can We Help Victims of Random Sarcasm Syndrome?

Posted on | December 16, 2012 | 32 Comments

“We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood-altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.”
Liza Long, “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mom,” Gawker

My proposal for “The Dangerous Lunatic Incarceration Act of 2013″ gets an unethusiastic reaction from Cynthia Yockey:

Dear Stacy McCain and Ace want to crack down on the mentally ill. I agree that it should be easier to force people who are a danger to themselves or others into care, including psych holds. But their proposals to further humiliate and enrage men whose mental illness and inadequacies may drive them to kill are disastrous. This will only push more men to kill as a means to make the world feel the hurt and impotence that overwhelm them. The carrot makes more sense than the stick: we need to find out if there’s anything we can do to give loners and nutjobs something useful to do even if it winds up being a form of semi-incarceration doing community service.

Permit me to say — and my post last night was intended to convey this point, however obliquely — that I have enormous personal empathy with those who are dealing with psychiatric problems, and I know that Ace does, too. Direct personal experience with the mental health community (to speak as euphemistically as possible) has led me, however, toward conclusions quite at odds with the Conventional Wisdom.

Self-pity is the enemy of agency, and nothing is more important to recovering from mental illness than acquiring a sense of agency.

If you feel helpless to solve your own problems, you will either (a) descend into a bottomless slough of despair, or (b) engage in scapegoating, blaming other people for your problems. It is reaction (b) that turns otherwise harmless kooks into dangerous menaces.

Sympathy toward the mentally ill often leads to an apologetic attitude of indulgence, of tolerating anti-social behavior, and proclaiming that the poor kook just can’t help himself.

Well, guess what, folks? “Crazy” is not synonymous with “stupid,” and kooks are capable of learned responses. Sympathetic attention is a powerful carrot, to use Cynthia’s analogy, and if being a kook gets you sympathetic attention, then kookiness is thereby incentivized.

Look: Somebody has a mental health crisis and what do they get? Doctors and nurses who are paid to take care of them, to listen to them describe their problems, to supply them with medications and therapy and otherwise invest in their well-being.

They are being rewarded for being crazy. Read more

Moe Lane Shocked By Incompetent Budgeting And Lightning Strike, But Mostly Incompetent Budgeting

Posted on | December 16, 2012 | 5 Comments

by Smitty

Moe Lane, quoting IBD:

In the states with federally run exchanges, HHS will be tasked with hiring the people to run the exchanges, ensuring that insurance plans applying to be on the exchange are compliant with ObamaCare regulations, and setting up and running the websites for the exchanges. Congress has not yet appropriated the money to let HHS hire exchange employees.

…And why, exactly, should Congress appropriate more money for that? I’m sure that HHS can cut some discretionary income somewhere in order to handle the situation. Certainly the House of Representatives shouldn’t just give HHS a blank check, or anything so fiscally irresponsible; in fact, future House budget bills should deliberately not incorporate extra projected HHS exchange expenses at all. After all, HHS can take it out of the billion per year that they’ve already reserved out for exchange-based expenditures; the Department may have to tighten its belt a little, but this is the Great Recession, remember? And if the Senate doesn’t like any of this… well. They can put in any additional appropriations into their own budget, pass that and Congress can sort it all out in committee.

So, ObamaCare expected states (some of which are constrained by real-world budgeting) to set up internal bureaucracies, at their own expense. And 26 states are hoisting a middle finger at this top-down approach to generating bureaucracy.

We may need to extend The Federalist #62:

It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

. . .adding something like. . .

And if the law be as the product of several hundred monkeys armed with quills and hookahs, who, having partaken deeply of the finest hashish, think they have produced Shakespeare, while actually having delivered a Barbary Pirate’s nightmare, well, then, the time for tar and feathers may again be at hand.

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Guns Don’t Kill People …

Posted on | December 15, 2012 | 48 Comments

. . . people we don’t like (and who actually have nothing to do with the crime) kill people:

Michael Graham actually did a very sensitive and thoughtful column about the Connecticut shooting, but the idiot liberal troll who hates Graham — a popular Boston talk-radio host — decided to blame him anyway, because that’s how trolls are.

Their hatreds define their existence.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has a story about the shooter’s first victim, his mother. Something that crosses my mind: You start your murder spree by shooting your own mother in the face, and end it by killing yourself — why kill 26 women and children in between?


Adam Lanza wasn’t “autistic” or suffering from an “illness.” He was evil.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse cites research by Clayton Cramer that shows — unexpectedly! — there were fewer crimes committed by crazy people when it was easier to send crazy people to the loony bin.

Seems to me like this is scientific evidence in support of “The Dangerous Lunatic Incarceration Act of 2013.”

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‘He Was a Quiet Ewok, Kept to Himself a Lot. Kind of a Loner, I Guess You’d Say’

Posted on | December 15, 2012 | 49 Comments

“Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were 5 years old. As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised . . . Burn in hell, Adam.”
Tim Dalton, neighbor quoted in the New York Daily News

Let’s face it, if I should die in headline-worthy fashion — losing control at 110 mph while being pursued by state troopers on a two-lane country road with seven cases of illegal fireworks in the back seat of a rented Mustang GT — my friends will say, “Yeah, he was always crazy.”

If I were a software mogul, I’d be “eccentric.” If I were a big-time Hollywood film director, I’d be “controversial.” As it is, I’m just plain crazy and my advocacy of “The Dangerous Lunatic Incarceration Act of 2013” might seem somewhat counter-intuitive. But the fact is, crazy people can only get along safely in a world where there are clear and understandable rules, written and enforced by sane people.

That’s why letting kooks like Maxine Waters and Alan Grayson into Congress is so dangerous. With kooks and dingbats writing the laws, the insanity could escalate beyond anyone’s mad imagination.

A society can tolerate a certain amount of craziness without endangering public safety and jeopardizing the continued existence of society itself. Unfortunately, the police in Livonia, Louisiana, weren’t interested in a philosophical discussion when they clocked me doing 82 in a 45 mph zone that night in March when I was desperately trying to make it to the next day’s Rick Santorum campaign event. So the law was enforced, my rental car was impounded and, all things considered, I was lucky they didn’t arrest me.

The Rule of Law is a magnificent thing, and the discretion left to law enforcement officials — who can exercise their judgment about whether a campaign correspondent’s deadline frenzy justifies extreme speed — has occasionally allowed me to plead my way down to a warning citation. If the cops never really brought the hammer down and fined the hell out of me, however, dangerous vehicular anarchy might ensue.

If everybody drove like me, your morning commute could turn into a cross between a demolition derby, the Talladega 500 and Mad Max.

That’s just one kind of crazy: The daredevil thrill-seeking extrovert, the sanguine id-monster who transgresses boundaries as a kind of sport.

And I’m pretty sure my kind of crazy is ultimately less dangerous than the other end of the extrovert/introvert spectrum: Moody loners, who quietly nurse their resentments and conceal their twisted insanity behind a facade of silence. Ace of Spades on Adam Lanza:

What we have here, it seems, was a Strange Young Man.
What do you do about Strange Young Men? The state can attempt an intervention, but that’s a nice, euphemistic way to say “interfere with their lives for no better reason than the fact that they act oddly.” Most people who act oddly or are socially inept are perfectly nice and law-abiding. (I’m one of them.)
On the other hand, you can strictly observe their freedom to be odd ducks, and suffer the occasional calamity when it turns out that this particular odd duck was the one you should have checked on.

Indeed, and Ace’s self-recognition of his own ”socially inept” qualities is what prevents him from being dangerous, unless you’re a douchebag who should stray within range of his withering sarcasm. (Just ask Jackie Mackie Paisley Passey what that’s like.) Ace knows who he is, and has found ways of coping with it and — here’s the key insight – he doesn’t blame other people for his own unique situation.

Which really isn’t all that unique, after all. We’re all kind of crazy in our own way, and our patterns of craziness are not so distinctly individual that they cannot be categorized and labeled by diagnostic experts. But if you think back on your college days, every psychology major you ever knew was crazy, so why should we trust their expertise?

Sometimes, you just have to trust your own gut hunch about this stuff, and err on the side of caution insofar as your own safety is concerned:

“A deeply disturbed kid . . . He certainly had major issues. He was subject to outbursts . . . one of these real brainiac computer kind of kids . . . Adam had a lot of mental problems . . . a gamer who ‘rarely spoke.’ . . . He was weird . . . He was quiet.”

Doesn’t it seem like a lot of people had gut hunches about Adam Lanza, but for some reason didn’t feel like they could do anything about it? What is it about our culture that inhibits people from exercising common-sense judgment that might prevent a “deeply disturbed kid” from killing 27 people before killing himself?

In a word, liberalism. Read more

Death Porn Media Victim Unexpectedly Negative About The Encounter

Posted on | December 15, 2012 | 26 Comments

by Smitty

Read the whole post from Mama by the Bay. A sample:

But you know what I do remember?
YOU were there. YOU, with your enormous video cameras. YOU, with your microphones poking into the bubble of grief that grew bigger as we waited for our parents to find us. YOU, with your horrible questions about what had happened, had we known Mike, had we seen anything? No parents there yet, just children. No teachers, just children. And you.
Some of us screamed at you to leave us alone. Some of us answered your sick questions, because you were the grown-ups, and we were the kids. I don’t even know how you got there so fast, before our parents, before anyone else could swoop us back inside and ask you to leave. But there you were, with your vans and your lights, asking us how it felt to know that another child had been killed. How it felt to be scared. How it felt to wonder about the names of everyone else, to be desperately hoping for more information, while feeling terrified about what the truth would really be.
I remember you. I remember your names. I remember what channel you were from. I remember that you filled the parking lot at Mike’s funeral. You stood in a line outside of the door, devouring the footage of crying football players running away from the service, like rabid hungry wolves. You replayed the video of Mike being loaded into the ambulance, over and over and over again, even when people wrote to you and asked you to stop.

In defense of the Death Porn Media, if we don’t cram some sand in everyone, the seed pearls of the next atrocity may not be sufficient. Picking up the pieces may be hard, but fomenting the next round is harder still.

The media always gets a pass, unless they form a heavy metal band, which can bring them under attack for inciting violence. Rap music still gets the raaaaacist pass, however.

via Beregond

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!


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FMJRA 2.0: I Can’t Stay Long

Posted on | December 15, 2012 | 7 Comments

– compiled by Wombat-socho

Accuse the Accusers: @scrowder Gets the Left’s ‘Plate Glass Window’ Treatment

BREAKING VIDEO: MI Union Thugs Greet Right-To-Work Law With Thuggery And Cupcakes, But Mostly Thuggery

CONNECTICUT SCHOOL SHOOTING UPDATE: Death Toll 27; Gunman Now Identified as 20-Year-Old Adam Lanza

‘Through a Plate Glass Window’: How Liberal Media De-Legitimize Dissent

Fiscal Clif Bar

‘They Should All Be in Prison’

They’re Still Hating Breitbart

June 3: Bill Schmalfeldt Begins Cyberstalking Aaron Walker

Sen. Rubio Weekly GOP Address

In Case Our Orwellian Reality Had Eluded You

‘At a Time of My Choosing’

FMJRA 2.0: Day Late & A Dollar Short II

LIVE AT FIVE: 12.10.12

Two Weeks Until Christmas and
Three Weeks Until ‘Fiscal Cliff’

Obama Has Consequences

REPORT: @NadiaNaffe’s Lawsuit Against @Patterico Flounders in L.A. Hearing

LIVE AT FIVE: 12.11.12

No, We Can’t.

SHOOTING AT OREGON MALL UPDATE: Eyewitness Tells TV Station Shooter Was Teen in Hockey Mask

Rule 5 Tuesday

LIVE AT FIVE: 12.12.12

#WarOnWomen Democrat Congressman’s Son Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Girlfriend


2022 Election Results

LIVE AT FIVE: 12.13.12

Mad Scientist Calls for ‘Murderous Rampage’ Against Watchdog Group

On Journalism and Walter Duranty

Naked Celebrity News Update (Or, the Parable of the Prodigal Upskirt)

LIVE AT FIVE: 12.14.12

Left’s ‘Tent Truthers’ Claim Union Attack on AFP in Lansing Was an ‘Inside Job’

Top linkers this week:

  1. Rick’s Rants (10, the hard way)
  2. (tied) Lonely Conservative and Daley Gator (7)
  3. Hogewash (6)
  4. Jackie Wellfonder (5)

Thanks to everyone for their linkagery! Deadline to submit links for next Saturday’s FMJRA will be Friday, December 21.


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DeMint Hasn’t Departed Senate Yet, Already Placing Markers

Posted on | December 15, 2012 | 8 Comments

by Smitty

Breitbart talked to Jim DeMint on the cusp of ejecting from the Senate.

The Republican Party used to be very good at targeting voters. We asked the Senator what he thinks happened to the party’s ability to do this well:

Well, I think we tend to put political people into positions where we should have CEOs who know how to run things. When you’re running a big organization its not the time for red meat for the grass roots. Its the time to make good people around you with good data. And, there are some groups out there beginning to do that…the expertise is out there.

In general, and the Sandy Hook reporting fits my amorphous theory: appeals these days are purely emotional, as though our leadership has either

  • lost faith in the ability of the people to reason, or
  • is deliberately undermining the ability of people to reason, as this may make them more docile.

So, what I crave from Mr. DeMint at Heritage is a renewed emphasis on reform. Put the facts out there, make the case for a responsible government, in contrast with the current clown car on parade.

We The People are deeply aware that we have, as a whole, shanked it badly for decades. Let’s have a dispassionate, non-hormonal come-to-Beavis meeting, and set ourselves on a course to fix it, knowing that we’re talking about a decades-long project.

via Jewish Odysseus

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Chris Rock Was Right

Posted on | December 14, 2012 | 68 Comments

“Liberals talk about banning guns as if it’s the same as banning murder and banning evil.”
Ace of Spades

“Gun-free zones are premised on a lie: that murderers will follow rules, and that people like my student are a greater danger to those around them than crazed killers. That’s an insult to honest people. Sometimes, it’s a deadly one.”
Professor Glenn Reynolds

“Who to blame for mass murder? This may sound weird, but my gut hunch is it’s probably the homicidal psychotic’s fault.”
Robert Stacy McCain

When I got up Friday morning, live-blogging a mass murder was not part of my plan for the day. In fact, at the end of a post Friday morning about labor union violence in Michigan, I promised further developments on that story. As I was researching that, however, the TV kept updating with news about a shooting at a school in Connecticut and I figured this might be a story worth mentioning on the blog.

The original 12:15 p.m. ET post relayed reports that “three people have been wounded or injured and one person, the suspected shooter, is dead,” but added the caution that “early reports on events like this can be often be confusing and/or inaccurate.”

To say the very least.

By the time I added the first update, NBC was already reporting 20 dead and next it was 24, then 26, then 27, and all these changing numbers were coming amid a welter of confusing (and, as it turned out, largely wrong) details about the shooter, about the victims, etc. And this kept going for about six hours. Everything is still pretty sketchy, but we now have the bare-bones facts of the story. The Associated Press:

The 20-year-old killer, carrying two handguns, committed suicide at the school, and another person was found dead at a second scene, bringing the toll to 28, authorities said. Police shed no light on the motive for the attack. The gunman was believed to suffer from a personality disorder and lived with his mother in Connecticut . . .
[Police] gave no details on the victim discovered at another scene, except to say that the person was an adult found dead by police while they were investigating the gunman. A law enforcement official identified the gunman as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, the son of a teacher. A second law enforcement official said his mother, Nancy Lanza, was presumed dead. Adam Lanza’s older brother, 24-year-old Ryan, of Hoboken, N.J., was being questioned . . .
Ryan Lanza told law enforcement he had not been in touch with his brother since about 2010. . . .
The gunman drove to the school in his mother’s car, the second official said. Three guns were found — a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols, inside the school, and a .223-caliber rifle in the back of a car. . . .
Adam Lanza and his mother lived in a well-to-do part of Newtown where neighbors are doctors or hold white-collar positions at companies such as General Electric, Pepsi and IBM.

OK, so the Associated Press description of the gunman as having “a personality disorder” matches what ABC News is reporting:

Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut this morning, was “obviously not well,” a relative told ABC News.
Family friends in Newtown also described the young man as troubled and described his mother Nancy as very rigid. “[Adam] was not connected with the other kids,” said one friend.
Late today, police said Nancy Lanza’s body was found in the family home. According to sources, Lanza shot his mother in the face, then left the house armed with at least two semi-automatic handguns and a semi-automatic rifle.

“Obviously not well.” In other words, Adam Lanza was nuts.

Psycho, loony, bonkers, daft, zany, berserk and cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Advocates for the mentally ill discourage such colloquial terms as tending to stigmatize psychiatric patients. But we might ask whether stigma — and the consequent damage to the fragile self-esteem of kooks — is really worse than turning loose a homicidal schizo who kills 27 people.

I saw we might ask that, except that it’s politically incorrect to do so. We have been carefully taught that wackos are victims, and we’re not supposed to talk about the possibility that they might also be dangerous, lest we infringe the “rights” of murderous lunatics.

To quote Dirty Harry, “Well, I’m all broken up over that man’s rights.”

You’ll excuse me if I sound somewhat bitter about it, but this school shooting kind of spoiled my plans for the day. And also, some kids in Newtown, Connecticut, will miss the rest of their lives.

Our culture has lost all sense of perspective, of reasonable balance, so that we are unable to make common-sense judgments about risks. Which is the greater danger: That a schizophrenic might have his feelings hurt, or that a schizophrenic might go off his meds and kill people?

Common sense is quite nearly illegal nowadays and it’s certainly unfashionable in the Obama Age. So the usual liberal dingbats — including the ACLU types who assured us it was “a fearless, independent life style” for a crazy woman to defecate in public on the streets of Manahattan — are telling us we need more gun control.

And I say, no, what we need is more kook control. But no member of Congress in either party would have the guts to introduce “The Dangerous Lunatic Incarceration Act of 2013,” which would put wackjobs like Adam Lanza some place where they couldn’t kill people.

Chris Rock was right: “Whatever happened to ‘crazy’? . . . What? You can’t be crazy no more? Did we eliminate ‘crazy’ from the dictionary?”


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