“A Ramble on Hillary” By Richard Sale

Richardsale
 

(I told Pat that I was writing about Hillary Clinton, and wanted the article to be in two parts. This is the first part.  The second will attempt to describe the email scandal.)

Kissinger once observed that in contemporary America, political power “gravitates towards those who have an obsessive desire to win it by any means, and whoever does not monomaniacaly desire the goal of getting it, whoever afraid of it or disdains it, will fail, however great their qualifications.” To a political leader, voters are the means of attaining their aims. Voters are flattered, cajoled, admired, wooed, pressured and are endlessly courted and pursued.  The great bulk of voters are gullible and ignorant. They don’t reason, they submit; they are incapable of self-doubt. They reason that “if you’re right, you’re right,” and the door to their mind slams shut. In the TV interviews with the supporters of the candidate, they lack the intelligence to explain why they have chosen a candidate that they have.

Politicians are a bit like mosquitoes – they live on others’ blood. All politicians are creatures ruled by self-interest. The French aphorist Bruyere has written this marvelous passage: A politician is “a man who knows the ways of the Court (and) is master of his gestures, his eyes and his face; he is deep, impenetrable; he pretends not to notice injuries done him, he smiles to his enemies, controls his temper, disguises his passions, belies his heart, speaks and acts against his real opinions. All this elaborate procedure is merely a vice which we call deceitfulness, which is sometimes as useless to the courtier for his advancement as frankness, sincerity and virtue would have been.”

That is a perfect description of Hillary.

In very plan of political action, self-interest intervenes, and it distorts and corrupts, and the result is that vast numbers of people in politics who don’t really care for determining or admiring what is true, have a field day in politics. One of the first things to remember is that followers of a political party don’t realize that their membership takes away a portion of their self-ownership. Instead, there is a blind rush to discover and define what makes them think and believe what everybody believes as a party member. Of course, belonging to a party, diminishes your freedom of decision. Conformity reigns in a party, and unanimity acts to put solid ground under the followers’ feet. It escapes them that a unanimous error is all the more calamitous because it is unanimous. It is unfortunate but undeniable that politics encourages credulity, weak mindedness, lack of imagination and intellectual and moral blindness. Politics takes advantage of the reluctance in everyone’s personality to make the additional effort to think a thing through. The blizzard of images used in politics replaces the talent and labor required to reach a sound conclusion. It the art of politics to delivers the deceitful conclusion to the distracted and unaware that hunger for it.

 

The Inadequacies of Self-Will

It is plain to me that Hillary is a very self-willed creature. Self-willed people always think they know what is best, and give little time to doubts about their course of action. They never consult their conscience. Self-willed are people are people of narrow focus. Many of them go through life with a box around their heads. They are not aware of anything that lies beyond their immediate aim. They lack imagination, and they cannot see or imagine or picture the consequences that may occur if they succeed in their aims.  They see that narrow aim and that only. Too often, they are not very bright. I’m not saying that they can’t reason or that their minds can’t be well-stocked. But things on the periphery of their aim are not understood because they are not clearly seen. Only the goal gets the attention. Only the goal attracts the drive and the energy.

Self-willed people are very determined about getting the wrong goals. Once an action doesn’t produce the desired results, a self-willed person does not stop to analyze why the action miscarried. Their first impulse is to repeat the act, repeat it and repeat it, until it finally dawns on them they didn’t’ perform it correctly in the first place. In other words, their will tends to crowd out their judgment.

Politics is an enemy of freedom of thought.  It is unfortunate that politics encourages credulity, weak-mindedness, lack of imagination and intellectual and moral blindness. Politics takes advantage of the reluctance lurking in everyone’s personality that evades making the additional effort to think a thing through. The blizzard of visual images used in politics replaces the talent and labor required to reach a sound conclusions on your own. It the art of politics to deliver the deceitful and self-seeking to the distracted and unaware.

Abuse

From what I have observed, Hillary exhibits trace of child abuse.

Abused children are full of fear. They flinch by habit. The first a thing an abused child does is to learn to conceal its real nature plus the child makes it a habit to cover and alibi the abuser.  An abused child can’t afford to be its authentic self because showing it will bring the wrath of punishment upon them.  The abused child’s major job to placate. Its personal safety is a stake.  The other effect of abuse is to disguise.  The child, having lost its innocence, develops habits of deceit and shiftiness. At all costs, the child must conceal and stifle any urge to criticize the abuser.  Such a child lacks courage.  Courage is the first thing to dissolve in the face of parental abuse. The rule of survival demands that you seem, not be.  What you are, your authentic self, has only earned punishment and contempt. You must appear different than you really are. Most of abused children are skilled dissemblers. They act and portray.

From my own experience, I believe that some inferiority sits at the base of the abuser’s make up. Somehow they realize that they are so incomplete, that they want to rule, to subject, to dominate.   The worst thing about them is that they rob their offspring of joy.

Some people emerge from brutal or authoritian parents like kicked dogs. Their first reaction is to secretly blame themselves: they are faulty children or they wouldn’t have been abused. But it soon becomes clear that the authority over them, that made them obey and submit, is unjust; it is not righteous. Authority is supposed to protect, teach, shelter and develop. Instead, its misuse inflicts humiliation and pain, and the child begins to pose and conceal its real nature in order not to be found out and punished again. By nature, the abused are cowards. They don’t dare to resist. They go along by getting along. They lack integrity.

It takes an abused child a long time to discover its real nature. Some children remain frightened and crushed, and many still have a tormented sense of self-loathing because of the many compromises they had to make in order to survive. Their nerves remain, to some degree, paralyzed. It requires a long time for a child to rebuild its courage. The chronic shyness and flinches still persist, but over time, the child finally finds that, beneath the timidity, their will has a core of iron.

There are different cases. Thanks to their abused childhood, some victims believe that there are some human beings who are marked for subjection. Having been ruled without mercy, the adult-child emerges with the desire to rule others. Being on top of others, above them, means safety. I think Hillary believes that. Since her abuse didn’t destroy her, the people that she rules and abuses and turns into tools of her will be survive. Of course, such a view is very hard-hearted.

By contrast, more highly endowed abused children vow they will never inflicted on others what a parent inflicted on them. They vow not to repeat the injustices that made them suffer so much pain. Gen. Grant suffered so many failures and humiliations that he refused to humiliate his enemies.

But from what I observe, Hillary is a deeply wounded soul. She is terribly vain and touchy, and from what I’ve seen, she takes no pleasure in herself.  She doesn’t relish her life. She completely lacks the wonderful value of liveliness, the depth of joyful response, spontaneity and the capacity for deep feeling. Her personality lacks things, and she knows she lacks them, and the knowledge acts to embitter her. She takes no joy in merely being alive. She is never carefree. Her instinct is to seem rather then be. To her, life is a joyless, bothersome chore. She acts as if she were being pursued by something merciless, and that only by securing some vast public success will her sense of being a victim will finally be banished. Only such a success will restore her pride.

She refuses to be like other people. To be like other people represents a failure to her mind. The result is that Hillary labors away at being what she is not.  There is always a struggle in each of us between the authentic and the fake, the sincere and the mask, the honest versus the false. She finds herself on the wrong side of such conceptions. To me, she is a very insecure perfectionist. She lacks that noble pride that is determined to depend on nothing but itself.  That it why she uses people the way she does. She is afraid that if she doesn’t reach the pinnacle of authority, at whatever cost and by any means, she will be consigned to the abyss. Her conduct exhibits signs of frantic desperation in her desire to win the White House.

She is a meddler, a busy body, always concerned with modifying her own circumstances for her own advantage. She clearly uses the mind she has, but how bright is it? How penetrating is it? Too what degree are her observations deformed by her desire to use them to promote herself?

 I believe that all political ambition is based o some inferiority or mind and character. The inferiority can be disguised in many ways — extreme purpose, efficiency, competence which act to impress the world even while such things don’t impress her. Most inferior natures are enslaved to the desire of making a nice impression. She suffers from that as well. She is not a person of heart.  She is not straightforward. I had a friend in college who was convinced of his superlative ability in every field.  He had what looked to be a strong personality. He was very self- willed with a very bad temper if contradicted. He assumed leadership on every possible topic. He didn’t have much of a memory, but he was always quoting parts of things, never able to light on the key word to explain them. He was one who felt that by holding the right beliefs, you were exempted from thinking about then or defining them. He believed that unanimity of opinion was equivalent to wisdom.

He never admitted he fell short in anything. Nothing penetrated his conceit. Self-assertion would overwhelm any desire to acknowledge a defect in his character. He would often write hot tempered letters on various topics, to the newspapers and would give them to me to admire but almost always, the data of the argument was either missing or mistaken. But if I demurred, he would try to intimidate me asserting his mental excellence. He was a dragon if contradicted and a vindictive monster if criticized.  He didn’t collide with you directly. His was the art of the snub, the punishing silence, the withdrawal of any encouragement, all designed to make his critic recant. He was always the master of little slurs, cheap shots, emotional boycotts, indulging in neglect and, petty retaliations until the critic recants and confesses his sin.

Does any of this sound familiar?

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56 Responses to “A Ramble on Hillary” By Richard Sale

  1. Avatar Jack Nix says:

    As always thank you for your wonderful insights. It is always a pleasure to see one of your essays featured on Col. Lang’s website. I look forward to Part II.
    Jack Nix

  2. Avatar Jack says:

    Richard
    Maybe all voters are irrational. Those who believe they’re very smart and rational decision makers actually maybe as irrational as the others.
    Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman has an interesting thesis.
    “Given an arbitrary world and arbitrary fitness functions, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but that is just tuned to fitness.”
    http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/09/06/492779594/what-if-evolution-bred-reality-out-of-us
    Hat-tip to Scott Adams the Dilbert cartoonist who had this link on his blog.

  3. Avatar Bobo says:

    “Trump’s followers are like people who travel deep into a desert waste in order to bury their IQ’s there”
    The quote above is just to lay my claim prior to my comment. For all her ills Hillary is a better person than the box you just placed around her. Poor Hugh, now 47 years after releasing his parental responsibilities by sending his dove into the world the horse collar of Abuse is tossed around him. Whose father was not authoritarian in post WW2. Are you saying all us baby boomers carry that scourge with us or our parents did not read Dr. Spock enough. Even he grew as our parents did as well. Her reticence is more of the hardening she has learned over the past 30 years in public life a tool she has learned the hard way.
    Deceitfulness is the politicians disease thus she has become adept at that also.
    Self Willed, oh yes, you have her there a person who is very calculating and a “My Way or the Highway” type.
    A person who has spent so much time and effort (along with Obama) supporting the congenital & genetic freaks of life (apologies for my coarseness), pandering to the racial classes, spilling the blood of our youth in God forsaken places, destroying countries for reasons even they do not understand, tossing the other 65% of us to the wolves while they tinker with their economic numbers and now calling us Deplorables or Irredeemables. Well is it no wonder we are now coming back from that desert, with our self worth, to elect Donaldo to clean her clock, to clean out that establishment, to clean up that Borg, to clean our government so it goes back to the day of representing all the people of this country.
    Looking forward to the sequel.

  4. Avatar Degringolade says:

    It started out as a comment here. But grew into a post over at my place.
    http://mightaswellliebackandenjoyit.blogspot.com/2016/09/dagny-clinton.html
    Mr. Sale. Thank you.

  5. Avatar kooshy says:

    Sir, IMO,I think Hillary is more abused by her husband than in her childhood. Her husband dishonored her while she was the first lady and an internationally well known person and supposedly a role model for a nation. IMO she let that go because of her political ambitions.

  6. Avatar ex-PFC Chuck says:

    This could be the smoking gun of Hilary’s email scrubbing hairball. That is if the FBI and DoJ can bestir themselves to pick it up and verify the (figurative) fingerprints.
    http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/22/how-reddit-ruined-the-hillary-clinton-campaign/

  7. Avatar Doug Colwell says:

    Wow Richard. If she had a genuine friend they would take her to a quiet spot and have her read it. But that will never happen.

  8. Avatar Cameron says:

    I’ve been following this blog for a long time without ever commenting. When I first found it, my initial reaction was there were interesting informed opinions with politics that often differed from mine. In this election year, however, it seems to me to have become completely unhinged.
    The above post is a prime example. It is completely devoid of facts. I suppose if someone comes to the article predisposed with a negative viewpoint of the candidate, it must feel like there’s something being conveyed. Some confirmation of hatred. But for those looking at the candidates with some eye toward objective facts, it’s just a rant of deep-seeded loathing. Giving it the title “Ramble” doesn’t absolve it.
    I obviously haven’t given up on the blog. I’m hoping after the election there’s a return to discussing actual events. Actual facts. Actual information. Here’s hoping.

  9. Avatar Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Yes it does sounds familiar including the electorate intelligence asides. The bulk of your first note reads to me as psychoanalyst chic novel speak. Re your ‘take’ Bill and Chelsea + Arkansas are central to Part One. Your pencil call. I’m looking forward to what you are going to squeeze out of the email imbrogolio. Thanks for the read.

  10. Avatar John Minnerath says:

    Excellent article about the complexities that drive politicians, few are virtuous.
    I look forward to more.
    Many years ago I got involved in politics at the county and state level, taking part in and watching on going back room “negotiations”.
    What I saw were normal appearing people turning into nothing less than wild eyed zealots.
    It left me with a very sour taste in my mouth for all politicians that’s never gone away.

  11. Avatar LeaNder says:

    self-interest intervenes
    Imagine Richard, Atlas Shrugged is banned in China:
    ATLAS SHRUGS BANNED IN CHINA
    ByPamela Geller on April 2, 2007
    – See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2007/04/atlas_shrugs_ba.html/#sthash.Rz8RFFeA.dpuf

  12. Avatar Ken Roberts says:

    Thanks. I liked your previous blog post too…
    http://mightaswellliebackandenjoyit.blogspot.ca/2016/09/alternation.html
    Well, I dunno. It’s your guys’ prez choice but doesn’t seem good options exist. The Cdn cons party called me yesterday, trying to stir up attitudinal trouble, but it’s too soon; I told the called how happy I was that Stephen Harper was gone, gone.
    I think it has to be grass roots. Dig out the weeds and help the good little blades grow up. Franklin and the credo of his Junto.

  13. Avatar Will says:

    my take: Hillary is a high functioning autistic person. Very little empathy- a cold fish. But the most damning indictment is that she is an inveterate, incorrigible, unrepentant war monger.
    Every body by now has seen her Julius Caesar vini vidi vici moment- followed by insane laughter.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmIRYvJQeHM

  14. Avatar Robert says:

    Did you actually read the story at all? Nobody banned the Ayn Rand book, they “blocked” a link to Pam Geller’s lame blog atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com on, April 7, 2007- 9 nine years ago. The site appears to be abandoned, BTW. If you are going to comment on this blog, you have a responsibility to not post garbage and waste peoples time.

  15. Avatar steve says:

    Thanks for the link. Valid or not, who knows, but an interesting theory.

  16. Avatar Richard Sale says:

    Excellent.
    Richard

  17. Avatar Richard Sale says:

    that quote about Trump followers was arrogant and unfeeling, and I regret making it. They are simply people hard pressed by life.
    Richard

  18. Fred Fred says:

    Bobo,
    “Whose father was not authoritarian in post WW2.”
    There is a difference between being authoritarian and being abusive.

  19. Avatar Richard Sale says:

    Thank you, and no, it would never happen.
    Richard

  20. Avatar Richard Sale says:

    I am writing an analysis of impressions, impressions gained about Hillary over a long period of time. I have read biographies of her and articles and I watch her.
    I am not an acamdamic and I am not doing a term paper. If you have facts that disprove my impressions, please list them.
    Richard

  21. Avatar Richard Sale says:

    Thank you very much. I appreciate it very much.
    Richard

  22. Avatar Bill Wade says:

    I don’t think Hillary was abused as a child but this is certainly a useful analysis. Bill C certainly abused her, couldn’t keep a secret and that hurts. I believe Trump will be kind to her on Monday evening, it will be interesting. I’m not a Trump supporter myself, just happen to know a few contractors that he screwed over. Funnily, I believe he’s running cause his casinos are empty, wants people to have more money so that he can get his hands on it. I won’t vote for Hillary because I believe she is very seriously ill. The only good I see in a Trump win is for the Border Patrol guys, they deserve it if anyone does.

  23. Avatar LeaNder says:

    Sorry, I surely didn’t research if her books were translated into Chinese. And strictly have no opinion about Rand or her life, maybe some questions about her followers though?
    Is her blog abandoned? Lost trace of the hyena admittedly after a while. But it feels her site is only expiring on 12-Sep-2024 at this point in time acording to cq counter.
    http://pamelageller.com/
    I did read Richard’s contribution, I tried to be “short and sharp”. Beyond being an transparently genetic chatterer. If you read my comment as politically partisan concerning US elections you are misguided. I am not even sure if I have stopped to care.

  24. Avatar LeaNder says:

    Hmm, ok, are you suggesting that maybe even we autists don’t like each other, after all tyler lately outed me as one.

  25. Avatar Martin Oline says:

    Chuck:
    You nailed it on this one, and beat me by 11 hours. Your link points to a great time line of a conspiracy to obstruct congress. I had read the original time line of events but didn’t comprehend the implications of the reddit conversations.

  26. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Richard, at bottom Hillary is a person that has not conquered – or at least come to terms with – her demons. Rather, they drive her; quite furiously. This is not good for her or for us. Worse, her demons are in conflict with each other and the conflict is rising to a crescendo that I predict will be self -destructive. The apparent “health” issues are a symptom.
    I prefer Trump. He is a man that knows himself and is control of himself. That is why he “wins”.

  27. Avatar robt willmann says:

    ex-PFC Chuck,
    The work done by that student discussed in the article you linked to was excellent, and shows more of the obvious: that e-mail evidence was destroyed in the face of requests for it. The Department of Justice and the FBI director made a political decision to not charge Hillary Clinton over e-mail violations, and they are looking worse by the day as more is revealed.
    Now we learn that Hillary helper and attorney Cheryl Mills, and “John Bentel, then-director of the State Department’s Office of Information Resources Management, and Heather Samuelson, a senior adviser to Clinton”, also got immunity agreements–
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/5eb9830643084dfa9fcbedd8b18b08e0/gop-lawmaker-fbi-gave-immunity-clinton-aides-testimony
    They even gave Cheryl Mills’s laptop computer immunity so that nothing on it could be used against her. Any e-mails on that laptop were given immunity!
    It seems almost certain now that all the immunity deals with Pagliano, Combetta, Mills, Bentel, Samuelson, and Mill’s laptop, were “hip pocket” immunity agreements with the Justice Department and were not immunity orders granted by a court.
    It was also reported that Obama used a pseudonym and alias when sending e-mail messages apparently to Hillary–
    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/297570-obama-used-pseudonym-in-emails-with-clinton

  28. Avatar Babak Makkinejad says:

    “dishonor” is too strong a word in this case; if he were Shia Muslim, “yek sigheh mikard” and that would have settled the business.

  29. Avatar Babak Makkinejad says:

    Richard Sale:
    There is another dimension at work here; the role of the United Methodist Church on Democratic Party & HC – see here please:
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-democrats-methodist-moment-1474586097
    “we Methodists know what’s good for you.”

  30. Avatar Sam Peralta says:

    “The Department of Justice and the FBI director made a political decision to not charge Hillary Clinton”
    When Bill had the tarmac chat with Lynch, it should have been clear the deal was done. The rule of law has not applied to the elites for some time!

  31. Avatar Will says:

    it’s a spectrum disorder.

  32. Avatar BabelFish says:

    Richard, thank for you for extending yourself to write this.
    I am not sure about a remote diagnosis. People who have suffered child abuse are by no means monolithic in their adult behaviors. But it was courageous of you to try to portray how such an experience could explain how an adult HRC functions.

  33. Avatar DC says:

    The key question is “when” the political decision was made not to prosecute HRC. Most are thinking it was made sometime after the FBI investigation began, but now I’m wondering if the decision was made sometime prior or at least very early. Of particular relevance, today’s document dump from the FBI shows Obama emailing HRC via Hillary’s private server — using a pseudonym, at that — as early as 2012. So, clearly the Executive Branch was aware, at the very highest level, of Hillary’s negligence. BUT if HRC could be prosecuted for gross negligence under the Espionage Statute, then so could they and any other knowing user. Hence the need to create a much higher burden to prosecute than mere gross negligence, so that everyone is safe. IMO, somehow “criminal intent” as a requirement under the statute (its plain language notwithstanding) must have been communicated to Comey quite early, perhaps even earlier than the investigation itself.

  34. Avatar Robert says:

    LeaNder, all I care about is that in this election year,the internet is overflowing with conjecture, ad hominem attacks, and sane voices drown out in the screaming by the extreme ends of the political spectrum. On Facebook, I ignore it, but this blog is important to me and many others and we have a responsibility to check, verify, and make sure our contributions are constructive.

  35. Avatar Walker says:

    All politicians are creatures ruled by self-interest.
    Politicians are people just like the rest of us. They operate in a system that all of us have created together. No doubt some are ruled by self-interest, and others are motivated by public service, and many have mixed motives.
    A couple of personal anecdotes. In 2000 I was contracting at the Christian Science Publishing Society in Boston. Out of curiosity I attended a lunchtime talk given an out of state Congressman who was a Christian Scientist. I don’t recall much of what he said, but he seemed like a down to earth, sincere guy. Someone asked him why Congressmen were such a sorry bunch, and he said, convincingly to me at least, “I think most of them are trying to do their best”.
    A good friend of mine worked for several years as a legislative aide in the Massachusetts state legislature. Once we were watching some news story on politics and I commented that all Congressmen were liars. My friend looked at me with disgust and said “You don’t understand. They have to lie. If they told the truth they would not get reelected”. The obvious implication is that voters are at fault as well. I think he had a very good point.

  36. Avatar Richard Sale says:

    I agree!
    Richard

  37. Avatar Richard Sale says:

    Thank you.
    Richard

  38. Avatar Walrus says:

    Richard Sales suggestion that Hilary Clinton may be the way she is because of an abusive episode as a child is consistent with my observations of Five narcissists and I am especially drawn to his argument about the defence mechanisms children might adopt to protect their sanity in an abusive situation.
    To take the last first, in Frank Herbert’s Science fiction novel about high pressure submarine warfare; “The Dragon In The Sea”, the leading character, a psychologist investigating the breakdown of crews, poses the rhetorical question in relation to maintaining sanity “What happens when you can’t stay and you can’t leave?”. Our natural instinct when faced by a challenge to our sanity is flight, but children cannot physically flee the abuse, instead, as Richard suggests they adopt coping behaviours, some of which can permanently damage their capacity for love, affection, trust, faith and empathy.
    I know of Five people who have the narcissistic condition to a fault, all of whom admit to traumatic events in childhood. One was a business leader who used to boast to his staff (including me) that he didn’t have shoes until he was in secondary school. His narcissism eventually destroyed a major publicly listed corporation. Another was a short lived Australian Prime Minister who was fired by his own party for his odious behaviour to everyone, colleagues, staff and the public. He boasted about how his family was evicted from their farm when he was Seven years old. Then there is the drug ridden, alcoholic, sexually depraved and dishonest lady I know who casually mentions how she walked in on her mother having sex with her lover when she was Seven. Her mother threw a telephone at her. Then there is an American President who calmly mentions how he was uprooted from an American School and sent to Indonesia as if it had no effect on him.
    Finallly there is the case of Two children aged Six and Eight, whose parents went on a Six month European tour, leaving the children in the care of an English governess who made each day of those Six months into a living hell to the point that they tried to run away and get word to their parents about what was being done to them. It has taken me all of Fifty years to understand what was done to me. I still cannot easily write a personal letter, trust someone, empathise without prompting or have any faith in institutions at all. We couldn’t stay in the hell she created for us and we couldn’t leave, so we warped our minds instead.

  39. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Robert et al
    I maintain this place as more than a news sheet. if I choose to publish editorial essays that are opinion, that is my business. you can decide if you want to go elsewhere but i will not let HC partisans dominate my site as some of you are trying to do. pl

  40. Avatar mike says:

    Babak –
    That is a hit piece on the Methodist Church. I suspect it was encouraged by the Baptists as they have been proselytizing against the Methodists for hundreds of years. Jealousy I suspect, as during the early 19th century the Methodists were building three churches for every one built by the Baptists.
    During the great depression my father as a young orphan was given refuge by a Methodist organization. They gave him three square meals a day, a bed and a roof, education, job training, and helped him find a job. My father was Catholic, yet they did not try to convert or proselytize him. They never tried to cure him of his tobacco and an occasional glass of brew, never preached about his former sins (he had been caught buying food from a local A&P and paying for it with a pewter half dollar). Many of the friends he made there with the other youth became his close lifelong friends who I considered as my uncles. They were all good men: hardworking, honest and good citizens. They all fondly recalled that Methodist Goodwill camp and the people who ran it.
    Your article claims that Methodists are overly righteous and apparently want to make everybody behave as they (the Methodists) think best. Horsepucky! Years ago as a boy (and even today) I used to attend different churches. Back then it was St Catherine’s Catholic Church with my Aunt Margaret, a Congregational Church with my Mother’s relatives, and a local Methodist Church with a young lady I was courting at the time. I encountered no righteousness at all in any of those churches until much later when I attended Baptist services with a different young lady. I still attend Methodist services occasionally. The parishioners are a slice of America, some for Hillary, some for Trump, ans a few still hoping Bernie will step in. Speaking of righteous, Bernie and some of his supporters that I have met and am personally acquainted with have a lock on the Righteousness Market.
    Your article also claims that Methodists were the ones who perpetrated the Volstead Act (prohibition) on America. That does not pass the smell test. Yes, I believe it was a Methodist woman who formed the Women’s Temperance Union and some devout Methodists do not partake of alcohol even to this day. But prohibition was first started by Quakers and they were later joined by a coalition of many different Protestant Churches. Even today in so-called dry counties where there are anti-alcohol ordnances, the Baptists seem to be in control, not Methodists.

  41. Avatar TonyL says:

    Col,
    I think Cameron’s comment above was what you’ve responded to.

  42. Avatar Babak Makkinejad says:

    May God damn her to Hell.

  43. Avatar Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments. Not being raised in US and not being a Christian, I appreciate you sharing your insights. I posted the opinion from WSJ since I found it interesting.
    However, you have not rebutted the claims of that opinion piece on the effect of UMC on US politics; are you saying that the gist of the opinion piece is wrong and the UMC has little or no effect on the political program of the US Democratic Party in recent decades?

  44. Avatar JMH says:

    Sorry, sitting on a sidewalk in Paris on my way to an African capital with beer through nostrils due to Mr. Sale’s reply.

  45. Avatar Robert says:

    Thanks Tony, I work on the computer all day and LeaNders post just hit a nerve. It takes a few seconds to make sure you are posting something legit.
    People now get their news from Facebook, twitter and Instagram, and repeat and repost clickbait crap. Stating an opinion is now by hashtag ie: #dumptrump, #killary, #wakeupamerica, etc.
    *I’m waiting till the debates to make my mind up. I cant stand either of them, but one will emerge from what is going to a #shitshow2016

  46. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Jack, my take on that, I mean the “given an arbitrary world” axiom, is that we do not live in an arbitrary world where our individual existences are explained by mere probability. I assume there is purpose and meaning in each personal existence. As such I disagree with the idea that, say, I’m not you because of mere probability. I say I am me because my reality is not yours by design. The “by design” requires deeper structure than the “arbitrary” requires, and a minimalist approach will not be enough, but I will not digress here. To give you an example, when someone says he is an atheist, it is not sufficient to assume he refuses to share in your personal perceptions, but that his world doesn’t contain, at the present moment, a window to an spiritual meaning. Usually, as I see it, the death of someone dear opens such window (or closes, depending on said purpose and meaning.) So, if your closest friends dies in battle, but you live to old age, this is not mere probability (though it will strike us exactly like that when we are young, or if the spiritual window is closing,) but that the purpose and meaning of their personal existence in this present reality was achieved in full, even though you cannot see that, even though what you see are young lives cut before their time. Probability is a surrogate for something deeper without which we are no more than brownian ants, rational or not.

  47. Avatar wisedupearly says:

    many thanks for the article – roll on part II
    I had thought that HRC’s letter to NASA asking to join the space program was a case of over achieving but now see that it might have been the ultimate plea for escape. “give me some hope of getting out of this”

  48. Avatar wisedupearly says:

    my take is a more mechanistic understanding drawn from the world of optical illusions.
    Literally we do not see the world, we “see” what evolution has determined to be just enough to achieve adequate fitness. Our vision systems throw away 99% of what our eyes capture as it is usually energy consuming, bandwidth depleting, unnecessary and indeed contra-survival.
    Our vision systems flexibly convert the raw image feeds into concepts and our brains then process the concepts.
    Different histories/training will provide quite different views of the world.
    So to return to Hoffham
    “Given an arbitrary world and arbitrary fitness functions, an organism that sees reality as it is will always be less fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees in terms of energy-efficiency.”

  49. Avatar Dubhaltach says:

    Atttempting to fix faulty html in your comment

  50. Avatar mike says:

    Babak –
    IMHO the entire piece was BS. It sounds like the same anti-Catholic disinformation that was prevalent not long ago. Like the Catholics, Methodists do emphasize charity and service to the poor and vulnerable. They do it on their own and not thru government and not with government money. They have established hospitals and several score colleges and universities, set up soup kitchens and built orphanages. If those values mirror the political program of the Democrats, they also mirror the values of millions of Republicans.
    And it seems to me they probably mirror the value of charity in your own religion. How did the Shia convert millions of poor Arabs in southern Iraq and western SA when those countries were under Ottoman rule or even earlier? Certainly not at the point of a sword. I’m not aware of that history but it would make sense to me that they did it thru helping the destitute and underprivileged. Sorry if I am wrong on that.
    Methodists deplore war and urge the peaceful settlement of all disputes among nations. Some were conscientious objectors during WW1 and 2 but served anyway. It is not Methodists pushing for conflict. The Pentecostals and the Fundamentalists are the ones cheering on Israeli settlements in the West Bank and are clamoring for a war against Islam. So if they have influenced the Democratic Party or any political party in that regard it would be a good thing.
    Off topic, but speaking of war I pulled my dusty copy of Xenophon off the shelf. The translator claims the Carduchii had not only rocks and stones but spears and bows. And their bows were better than anything the Greeks had as they easily pierced hoplite armor.

  51. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Richard,
    Wonderful! I am truly looking forward to part 2.
    Best Regards,
    Eric

  52. Avatar wisedupearly says:

    many thanks and sorry for the trouble.

  53. Avatar LeaNder says:

    And I am not sure if the recurrent theme of hobby psychology helps. Speaking as one of the non-important aka deplorables on matters.
    There was one principle in PR I heartily embraced, maybe because I discovered it earlier: PR starts at home.
    In other words I try to be aware of subjects I may repress for one reason or another but I dislike to project.
    I dislike ad hominems but I also dislike futile verbal fights. Back to PR exchanges should always remain some type of communication. It surely sometimes isn’t easy to realize why one blends into the other.

  54. Avatar LeaNder says:

    “unanimous error”
    This made me reflect, Richard. And since I am a drifter I didn’t spent much time to reflect on why this bothered me.
    But then I stumbled across this wonderful old Jewish wisdom: The Paradox of Unanimity
    http://dailynous.com/2016/01/07/the-paradox-of-unanimity/
    Under ancient Jewish law, if a suspect on trial was unanimously found guilty by all judges, then the suspect was acquitted. This reasoning sounds counterintuitive, but the legislators of the time had noticed that unanimous agreement often indicates the presence of systemic error in the judicial process, even if the exact nature of the error is yet to be discovered. They intuitively reasoned that when something seems too good to be true, most likely a mistake was made.

  55. Avatar Stephen Calhoun says:

    Fortunately, Mr. Trump is a family man with no predilection to wander. Imagine, however, if the abuse rendered by Mr. Clinton ever was, also, something familiar to Mr. Trump.
    Hmmph, hard to imagine.

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