Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is Breivik a paranoid schizophrenic?

The report below says he is and the diagnosis is understandable in some ways. Paranoid schizophrenics do not normally present as "mad" and many hold down jobs, have families etc. So his calm and methodical behaviour does not contradict such a diagnosis. There is usually only one focus where paranoids go off the rails. But that focus really IS obviously mad: Hearing voices that are not there, for instance. Psychiatrists commonly cite St. Paul's vision on the road to Damascus and his subsequent obsessive behaviour promulgating a very new message to a skeptical Hellenistic world as indicating paranoid schizophrenia.

But Breivk's focus was not nearly as singular as that. It has often been said that his dislike of the Left-sponsored invasion of Norway by Muslim "refugees" is widely-shared in Norway. And many commenters on Scandiavian internet sites applauded his actions immediately afterwards. His actions could simply be seen as self-sacrificing or as a return of the old Viking spirit.

The thing that most strongly supports a diagnosios of paranoid schiz is his insistence that he is a member of an organization of Knights Templar -- an organization that appears not to exist. That does sound like a very typical paranoid delusion. It must be remembered however that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and any members of such an orgainization would be highly motivated to lie low immediately after Breivik's actions.

If I had to make a psychological diagnosis of his behaviour I would see some narcissism there but no more than is to be found in the average artist, for instance. Narcissism can have many outlets, not least in politics

So I am fairly sure that the Left-led authorities in Norway will succeed in declaring Breivik insane not because that is a good diagnosis but because they need to. They desperately need to keep him OUT of jail. He would make many converts there and that could lead to more atrocities. Further, it is comforting to think of him as a lone madman rather than someone who may have a point.

A PSYCHIATRIC report on Anders Behring Breivik found that the confessed gunman is insane, meaning he could avoid prison over July's twin attacks in which he killed 77 people, Norwegian prosecutors said today.

"In such instances that the person suffers from such a serious disorder that it would not be warranted to sentence him to prison ... he can be ordered to stay in mental health care institutions," prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh was quoted as saying by AFP.

The 243-page assessment was made after 13 interviews with Breivik, an interview with his mother and an examination of his medical history. The experts also reviewed police questioning and video from the reconstruction of the shooting rampage on Utoya island, the Dagbladet daily reported.

It found that the 32 year old over time developed "paranoid schizophrenia," according to another prosecutor, Svein Holden.

Holden said the report concluded that Breivik had "grandiose illusions whereby he believes he is to determine who is to live and who is to die." He "committed these executions out of love for his people, as he describes it," Holden said.

The report will be examined by a team of forensic experts to ensure it meets standards, and then a court will rule on whether Breivik can be held responsible, AFP reported.

Breivik, 32, has confessed to carrying out the July 22 twin attacks. First, he detonated a car bomb outside the government buildings in central Oslo that house the offices of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, killing eight people. Then he went on a shooting spree at a youth camp on Utoya island, killing 69 mostly young people.

But he refused to plead guilty, saying that the attacks were "atrocious but necessary" in his campaign against multiculturalism and Muslims in Europe.



Principles over ‘seizing the center'

Thomas Sowell

Candidates who try to be all things to all people are more likely to lose elections.

It used to be common for people to urge us to learn "the lessons of history." But history gets much less attention these days and, if there are any lessons that we are offered, they are more likely to be the lessons from current polls or the lessons of political correctness. Even among those who still invoke the lessons of history, some read those lessons very differently from others.

Talk show host Michael Medved, for example, apparently thinks the Republicans need a centrist presidential candidate in 2012. He said, "Most political battles are won by seizing the center." Moreover, he added: "Anyone who believes otherwise ignores the electoral experience of the last 50 years."

But just when did Ronald Reagan, with his two landslide election victories, "seize the center"? For that matter, when did Franklin D. Roosevelt, with a record four consecutive presidential election victories, "seize the center"?

There have been a long string of Republican presidential candidates who seized the center -- and lost elections. Thomas E. Dewey, for example, seized the center against Harry Truman in 1948. Even though Truman was so unpopular at the outset that the "New Republic" magazine urged him not to run, and polls consistently had Dewey ahead, Truman clearly stood for something -- and for months he battled for what he stood for. That turned out to be enough to beat Dewey, who simply stood in the center.

It is very doubtful that most of the people who voted for Harry Truman agreed with him on all the things he stood for. But they knew he stood for something, and they agreed with enough of it to put him back in the White House.

It is equally doubtful that most of the people who voted for Ronald Reagan in his two landslide victories agreed with all his positions. But they agreed with enough of them to put him in the White House to replace Jimmy Carter, who stood in the center, even if it was only a center of confusion.

President Gerald Ford, after narrowly beating off a rare challenge by Ronald Reagan to a sitting president of his own party, seized the center in the general election -- and lost to an initially almost totally unknown governor from Georgia.

President George H.W. Bush, after initially winning election by coming across as another Ronald Reagan, with his "Read my lips, no new taxes" speech, turned "kinder and gentler" -- to everyone except the taxpayers -- once he was in office. In other ways as well, he seized the center. And lost to another unknown governor.

More recently, we have seen two more Republican candidates who seized the center -- Senators Bob Dole in 1996 and John McCain in 2008 -- go down to defeat, McCain at the hands of a man that most people had never even heard of, just three years earlier.

Michael Medved, however, reads history differently. To him, Barry Goldwater got clobbered in the 1964 elections because of his strong conservatism. But did his opponent, Lyndon Johnson, seize the center? Johnson was at least as far to the left as Goldwater was to the right. And Goldwater scared the daylights out of people with the way he expressed himself, especially on foreign policy, where he came across as reckless.

Senator Goldwater was not crazy enough to start a nuclear war. But the way he talked sometimes made it seem as if he were. Ronald Reagan would later be elected and re-elected taking positions essentially the same as those on which Barry Goldwater lost big time. Reagan was simply a lot better at articulating his beliefs.

Michael Medved uses the 2008 defeat of Tea Party candidates for the Senate, in three states where Democrats were vulnerable, as another argument against those who do not court the center. But these were candidates whose political ineptness was the problem, not conservatism.

Candidates should certainly reach out to a broad electorate. But the question is whether they reach out by promoting their own principles to others or by trying to be all things to all people.



10 Of The Best Economics Quotes From Milton Friedman

John Hawkins

Milton Friedman was an extraordinary Nobel Prize-winning economist whose ideas helped underpin modern conservative economic theory. His contributions to economics and the conservative movement cannot be underestimated. Sadly, Milton Friedman passed away a little more than five years ago at the ripe old age of 94. Although Friedman is no longer with us, his words, his ideas, and his legacy live on. In honor of Friedman, here are some of his best quotations.

10) "If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."

9) "I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible."

8) "The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit."

7) "When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union -- like public housing in the United States -- look decrepit within a year or two of their construction..."

6) "There is all the difference in the world, however, between two kinds of assistance through government that seem superficially similar: first, 90 percent of us agreeing to impose taxes on ourselves in order to help the bottom 10 percent, and second, 80 percent voting to impose taxes on the top 10 percent to help the bottom 10 percent -- William Graham Sumner's famous example of B and C decided what D shall do for A. The first may be wise or unwise, an effective or ineffective way to help the disadvantaged -- but it is consistent with belief in both equality of opportunity and liberty. The second seeks equality of outcome and is entirely antithetical to liberty."

5) "When the United States was formed in 1776, it took 19 people on the farm to produce enough food for 20 people. So most of the people had to spend their time and efforts on growing food. Today, it's down to 1% or 2% to produce that food. Now just consider the vast amount of supposed unemployment that was produced by that. But there wasn't really any unemployment produced. What happened was that people who had formerly been tied up working in agriculture were freed by technological developments and improvements to do something else. That enabled us to have a better standard of living and a more extensive range of products."

4) "Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else's resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property."

3) "Inflation is taxation without legislation."

2) "The great danger to the consumer is the monopoly -- whether private or governmental. His most effective protection is free competition at home and free trade throughout the world. The consumer is protected from being exploited by one seller by the existence of another seller from whom he can buy and who is eager to sell to him. Alternative sources of supply protect the consumer far more effectively than all the Ralph Naders of the world."

1) "(T)he supporters of tariffs treat it as self-evident that the creation of jobs is a desirable end, in and of itself, regardless of what the persons employed do. That is clearly wrong. If all we want are jobs, we can create any number -- for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs -- jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume."




Gingrich: "Newt Gingrich is a bad bet because he will embarrass the Republican Party. He will do so through things he has already said and done and in ways we cannot predict except to be sure -- because character will win out -- that they will happen. No sooner had Republicans, with a huge boost from Gingrich, achieved the long-denied prize of control of the House of Representatives than Gingrich embarrassed the party by signing a $4.5 million book deal. Though an effective, even inspired, backbencher in Congress, Gingrich proved an incompetent and sometimes petulant leader. Gingrich was the only speaker of the House in U.S. history to be removed by his own party. It wasn't a cabal of liberals who forced him out, but Dick Armey, Bill Paxon, Tom DeLay and John Boehner.

The broccoli test: "We should give it to the GOP presidential candidates. Call it the broccoli test. During oral arguments before the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on the constitutionality of Obamacare's health-insurance mandate, the Obama administration's lawyer, Beth Brinkmann, was asked whether a federal law requiring all Americans to eat broccoli would be constitutional. 'It depends,' she replied."

Secret Fed loans gave banks $13 billion undisclosed to Congress: "The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. ... The Fed didn't tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required emergency loans of a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn't mention that they took tens of billions of dollars at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed's below-market interest rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue"

Explosion rocks Iranian city of Isfahan, home to key nuclear facility: "An explosion rocked the western Iranian city of Isfahan on Monday, the semi-official Fars news agency reported, adding that the blast was heard in several parts of the city. According to reports, frightened residents called the fire department after the blast, forcing the city authorities to admit there had been an explosion.Residents reported that their windows shook from the explosion's force.

The government is expropriating wealth at a rapid rate: "This expropriation of private wealth is not accidental. It is the joint product of the Fed’s near-zero interest-rate policies, the Fed’s money supply increases that underlie the current rate of inflation, and the tax rates established by Congress and administered by the IRS, including the taxation of nominal interest earnings even when they amount to real losses of capital, rather than genuine earnings."

Social networking beyond surveillance: "Diaspora* is no Facebook. It’s not even a web site, really. It is a group of software packages. Essentially, Diaspora* turns your computer into your own personal web server. The added data security comes from being able to send data directly from one PC to another without going through a central node. The guys running Diaspora* aren’t 'promising' to keep your data private. They never have it to begin with."

Review: Slackernomics: "Slackernomics is a primer on basic economic theory that, as the title suggests, is written for people who think economics is boring. It’s written in a convivial tone, and the illustrative examples that Dale [Franks] uses reminds one more of Freakonomics than of Adam Smith. Don’t let that fool you, though -- the book is not a 'sideshow' like Freakonomics -- it gets to the heart of the matter."


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


1 comment:

Ben N Indiana said...

Today's bedtime story:

Once upon a time there was a world in which all humans were highly intelligent and race was a social construct. That world was cursed by evil White people. Their greed caused global warming and poverty among intelligent dark people. In time the the evil White people would be displaced by the good dark people and they would live happily ever after.

Leftists actually believe that!