Thursday, April 11, 2019

A Leftist obsession: Mr Trump is mentally damaged

Even during the primaries there were claims that Mr Trump was in some way mentally defective.  And there has been an absolute drumbeat of such accusations ever since.  The latest, by a John Gartner, is titled

"Trump's cognitive deficits seem worse. We need to know if he has dementia: Psychologist"  It appears in that august publication, "USA Today"

Dr. Gartner is a psychologist and a former assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine but I am a Ph.D. psychologist with a large array of published academic papers on mental health topics so I think I am in a good position to examine  his claims.

Gartner assembles many examples of "defects" in Trump's speech and rightly says that such defects are common in the speech of people with Alzheimer’s disease.  He shows that Trump rambles and mixes up his words.

So has he made his case? No. As Leftists normally do, he has ignored facts that do not suit him.  He has a conclusion he wants to come to and has ignored alternative explanations for the "evidence" he examines.

And the thing he ignores is a really gross omission: Elder speech.  Old people ramble and mix up their words. We all do as we get older.  Let me recycle something I said about that recently:

"Old people tend to forget their words and may use generic substitutes.  For instance, the lady in my life and I are both of Mr Trump's vintage and we  both listen to a lot of early classical music.  But one day she wanted to say something to me about a harpsichord, an instrument very familiar to us both.  But words failed her.  So she referred to it as "that piano thing".  Mr Trump's speech could well lack precision like that. He is 72. He could, for instance say "father" when he meant "grandfather". Mr Trump is squarely in the category of someone from whom elder speech can be expected. 

But being old does not make you mentally defective. Most of the world is ruled by old people. So they would appear in fact to be mostly seen as wise by their electors. 

But other politicians don't speak in the muddled way Trump does, you might say.  And that's true.  Because others almost invariably read pre-written words off a teleprompter, often words of great verbal skill.  It's not even their own words that most politicians are uttering in public speeches.  Mr Obama is a good example of that.  All his speeches were brilliantly polished.  But there were a few occasions when for some reason he was deprived of his teleprompter and on those occasions he made no sense at all. Some examples here and here of muddled Obama speech that Dr Gartner might like to review. And Mr Obama is a lot younger The Donald.

The biggest verbal horror Obama perpetrated to my mind when he referred to an army "corps" and pronounced it as "corpse". Quite gross. And as for grandiose speech, can you beat Obama's claim that his nomination for the Presidency was "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal"? (3 June 2008).  And for confusion, what about, ""We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."  It made sense to Obama's followers but Trump makes sense to his followers too.

Mr Trump is a very forthright politician.  He speaks his mind and he speaks it his way.  He does use a telepromter on some formal occasions but mostly he just lets it rip.  His followers like that.  They know they are hearing the real man, not some artificially contrived media creature who actually believes in nothing.  Mr Trump is no policy wonk but nor are most of his voters.

We had a political leader much like Mr Trump in my home State of Queensland, Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen.  He was a small farmer and spoke like one.  Media figures thought his rambling, disconnected speech made no sense at all.  But it made plenty of sense to his voters.  They kept him in office for nearly 20 years.  So 8 years of Trump would seem eminently feasible.

Even young public speakers make gaffes. Dr. Gartner should make allowances.


Bolsonaro in Israel: 'There Is No Doubt' Nazism Was Left-Wing Movement

After visiting Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum on April 3, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he agreed that Nazism -- the National Socialist German Worker's Party headed by Adolf Hitler -- was a left-wing movement, "there is no doubt."

Brazil's foreign minister, Ernesto Arujo, has often explained this historical fact about the National Socialists of the Third Reich. On Wednesday, as reported by the Daily Mail, reporters asked Bolsonaro if he agreed with his foreign minister and the conservative president said, "There is no doubt, right?"

Bolsonaro arrived in Israel on March 31 for a four-day visit and to help give a boost to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces a tough re-election fight on April 9.

Although Brazil is not yet ready to open an embassy in Jerusalem, Bolsonaro announced that his country would open a trade office there. The United States moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2017-2018.

As not a few historians in recent years have explained, Nazism (National Socialist Germany) and Communism (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) were two sides of the same totalitarianism dedicated to building a utopia based on an atheistic ideology.

In Nazi Germany, the state targeted people based on race -- Jews, gypsies, non-Aryans -- and in the Soviet Union the state targeted people based on class -- bourgeoise, kulaks, monarchists.

Prof. Thomas Sowell, an economist and prolific author and syndicated columnist, states, "Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely — and correctly — regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg's great book Liberal Fascism cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists' consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left's embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.

"Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

"... What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat. The left's vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends."

In his book, Intellectuals and Society: Revised and Expanded Edition, Sowell writes, "In short, the notion that Communists and Fascists were at opposite poles ideologically was not true, even in theory, much less in practice. As for similarities and differences between these two totalitarian movements and liberalism, on the one hand, or conservatism on the other, there was far more similarity between these totalitarians’ agendas and those of the left than with the agendas of most conservatives.

"For example, among the items on the agendas of the Fascists in Italy and/or the Nazis in Germany were (1) government control of wages and hours of work, (2) higher taxes on the wealthy, (3) government-set limits on profits, (4) government care for the elderly, (5) a decreased emphasis on the role of religion and the family in personal or social decisions and (6) government taking on the role of changing the nature of people, usually beginning in early childhood.

"This last and most audacious project has been part of the ideology of the left—both democratic and totalitarian—since at least the eighteenth century, when Condorcet and Godwin advocated it, and it has been advocated by innumerable intellectuals since then, as well as being put into practice in various countries, under names ranging from 're-education' to 'values clarification.'"

For more on the ideological and political similarities between National Socialism and Soviet Communism, see The Soviet Story.



Crazy Indian far-leftist shafts Seattle

Leftist hate directed at big corporations does not go down well, not in NYC and not in Seattle

In the latest drama between and the city of Seattle, Amazon confirmed Wednesday that it will be moving thousands of its employees out of Seattle and across the lake to near by Bellevue, WA. Revealed first by Geekwire and confirmed by Amazon, the company plans to move their worldwide operations team to Bellevue starting this month, and have several thousand moved by 2023.

Amazon has had a contentious relationship with Seattle for some time now. Last year, socialist city councilmember, Kshama Sawant, targeted Amazon with a bill which proposed a $500 per employee “head tax” which large employers in the city would have to pay. The amount was reduced down to $275 per person and ultimately defeated when other councilmembers looked down the road a little to consider the possible economic ramifications of chasing all so much economic activity (and potential taxes) out of Seattle.

It was during this time, while the bill was being debated, that Amazon brought to a halt to further expansion in Seattle. Not to be daunted, Councilmember Sawant angrily called Amazon a “bully” and accused them of holding jobs “hostage.” It was after this confrontation that Amazon, in a similar move to Boeing relocating its headquarters out of the state, announced it was looking elsewhere to build a second headquarters.

In sharp contrast to Seattle city council’s outright hostility to the company, Bellevue city mayor John Chelminiak said, “We’re excited by today’s announcement that Amazon plans to expand its presence in Bellevue.” In a statement, Amazon noted Bellevue’s “business-friendly environment.”

When Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan was asked for her reaction, she attempted to spin the news as well as a politician could when she claimed, “I think that it is a good thing for Seattle, a good thing for Bellevue.” Yes. A city chasing jobs away is always a good thing, right?

At the moment I think everyone’s wondering how long before Amazon moves out of Seattle entirely. It’s good they realize they don’t need to stay in an abusive relationship.



Obama defends assimilation, says immigrants should ‘learn the language’

The American Left has lurched so far Left that Obama is now a moderate

Former President Barack Obama defended the concept of “assimilation” and called for “some levels of adaptation” from incoming immigrants.

During a segment on the topic of immigration at a Saturday town hall event for the Obama Foundation in Berlin, Obama pushed back against the prevailing notion that “assimilation of newcomers to the existing culture is somehow betrayal or a denial of people’s heritage.”

“We are still wired to only be able to process knowing about 150 people in our brains,” Obama said. “So now suddenly we are in cities with strangers we don’t know and we are asked to trust them, and it goes against some of our impulses.”

Calling for a “humane, intelligent, thoughtful, orderly immigration process that is grounded in our better selves,” the former U.S. president emphasized that the job of “reducing fear on the part of people who are already there … requires some levels of adaptation from the people who are coming in.” (RELATED: Tucker Carlson: America’s Elites Want ‘Immigration Without Limit’)

Obama then defended the concept of assimilation, particularly learning the language of one’s host country:

And so some of the assimilation that inevitably takes place is gonna take a little bit longer, but some of those principles still apply, and I worry sometimes as we think about how to deal with the immigration issue we think that any moves towards assimilation of newcomers to the existing culture is somehow betrayal or a denial of people’s heritage or what have you. The truth of the matter is that if you’re going to have a coherent, cohesive society then everybody has to have some agreed upon rules, and there’s gonna have to be some accommodations that everybody makes, and that includes the people who are newcomers.

The question is, are those fair? Should we want to encourage newcomers to learn the language of the country they’re moving to? Of course. Does that mean they can never use their own language. No. Of course it doesn’t mean that, but it’s not racist to say if you’re gonna be here then you should learn the language of the country you just arrived at, because we need to have some sort of common language in which all of us can work and learn and understand each other.

Pushing back at what he called the “clearly racist motives of some” on the issue, the former president also said “we can’t label everybody who is disturbed by immigration as racist,” calling it a “self-defeating tactic.”



Sanders too counts as a moderate these days

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders reiterated his longstanding opposition to open borders saying there is "a lot of poverty" and the U.S. cannot take "people from all over the world."

Sanders, who faced criticism on immigration during his 2016 presidential campaign, made the remarks on Sunday at a town hall in Iowa, according to The Washington Post.

"I'm afraid you may be getting your information wrong," Sanders said in response to a question from the audience as to why he supported open borders. "I think what we need is comprehensive immigration reform."

"Oh my god, there's a lot of poverty in this world, and you're going to have people from all over the world," Sanders continued. "I don't think that's something that we can do at this point. Can't do it."

Although the senator has generally supported a pathway to citizenship to citizenship and the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Sanders has diverged from liberal orthodoxy on the economics of migration.

Sanders elaborated on those views during an interview with Vox shortly after announcing his first presidential run. The septuagenerian senator was asked if he believed global poverty could be eradicated by "sharply raising the level of immigration" to the U.S., perhaps even to the point of "open borders." Sanders castigated the notion as a "right-wing" plot hatched by the Koch brothers.

"It would make everybody in America poorer—you're doing away with the concept of a nation-state, and I don't think there's any country in the world that believes in that," Sanders said. He added that "right-wing people… would love" open borders because it would "bring in all kinds of people" willing to "work for $2 or $3 an hour."

Those comments and Sander's efforts to kill comprehensive immigration reform in 2007 fueled Hillary Clinton's victories in heavily Latino states during the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries.

It is unclear if Sanders's stance on immigration will prove a hindrance again in 2020. Since President Donald Trump took office, Democrats have clamored to create a contrast on immigration and border security. The party's elected officials and activists have endorsed the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, amnesty for more than 11 million illegal aliens, and less stringent border controls. Just last week, former secretary of housing and urban development Julian Castro, one of Sanders's 2020 competitors, unveiled an immigration plan that would remove criminal penalties for individuals that enter the U.S. illegally.

Sanders has yet to release his own immigration proposal.



Mick Jagger Gets Healthcare in US, Not UK

Legendary British rocker and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger’s upcoming hospital discharge after his surgery last week highlights the beauty of free market health care.

One day after Jagger reportedly underwent a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) on Thursday, he was already feeling well enough to comment on social media.

He received what a medical professional called a “miracle procedure” at a New York facility. Although he hasn’t confirmed his reason for treatment in the United States, apparently he “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” from the UK’s single-payer National Health Service (NHS).



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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