Category Archives: BAB’s A List

UPDATE III: Is Justin Trudeau a Trauma Victim? (Left-Liberal Discourse)

Addiction, BAB's A List, Canada, Drug War, Education, Etiquette, Left-Liberalism, Pop-Psychology, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry

Justin Trudeau is no genius, but he seems to limp along despite what some would consider a traumatic childhood. This Barely a Blog exclusive features Stanton Peele, America’s leading, liberal addiction counterculturist, and fellow crusader against the Drug War.

Is Justin Trudeau a Trauma Victim?
By Stanton Peele

Justin Trudeau seems to be a highly successful survivor of what might be considered a traumatic childhood.

I am often cited for my opposition to famed Vancouver addiction doctor Gabor Maté’s trauma theory of addiction—that all addiction can be traced back to childhood trauma, and vice versa. Maté believes such trauma causes permanent brain damage. I find Gabor’s theory reductive, pessimistic, and fatalistic. Most people, after all, outgrow their childhood traumas, as they do their addictions. (I have argued with Gabor about all of this.)

This debate was brought to mind for me by Justin Trudeau’s election as Canada’s prime minister. Mr. Trudeau, after all, didn’t have a happy childhood. We know this because his mother has written about their fractured family life. Margaret Trudeau, herself the daughter of a Vancouver MP, was depicted as a flower-child. She met Pierre Trudeau when she was 18 and he was the Minister of Defense. She married the much older Mr. Trudeau when she was 22 after Pierre became PM.

Her married experience was deeply unhappy. Despite remaining married for 13 years and having three children together, the couple were habitually at odds; they separated after a half-dozen years of marriage and Margret pursued for a time a jet-set lifestyle. Margaret was often at loose ends both during the marriage and afterwards, as she has described in several memoirs, and was hospitalized for “mental illness.”

There are perhaps three theories for Margaret’s psychological problems: that mental disorders have nothing to do with people’s life experience or personality but are simply inbred, that she was always flighty and unstable. Or, finally, that being in a high-profile marriage with a stern, controlling man thirty years her senior was the worst possible situation for someone with Margaret’s disposition. Or maybe it was all three.

“From the day I became Mrs. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a glass panel was gently lowered into place around me, like a patient in a mental hospital who is no longer considered able to make decisions and who cannot be exposed to a harsh light.”

Not very good to hear, or to experience, coming from your mother.

But Justin seems to have weathered this all rather well. In fact, he seems to be the beneficiary of both his parents’ distinctive assets. In the first place, you need to be intelligent and ambitious to become prime minister of a major nation. [Presumably, Stanton, what you say would apply, by logical extension, to George Bush and other dynastic rulers? Justin Trudeau is a rich boy like Jeb Bush, born to privilege, including easy access to the office of PM—ILANA.]

Yet Justin wears these traits well. He doesn’t seem to think of himself as above everyone else (an attitude his father often conveyed). He, as observers have noted, meets and mingles with everybody and considers every citizen and resident of Canada a person on par with himself. This openness and absence of inflated self-importance would seem to come from his mother.

Margaret Trudeau has weathered her own storms, as she wrote in her most recent memoir, published in 2015, The Time of My Life: Choosing a Vibrant, Joyful Future. I know everyone, Canadian or otherwise, has good feelings about this resolution for Mrs. Trudeau. It seems that people are often able to find their own successful level given the opportunity and support to do so.

Meanwhile, Justin’s becoming PM must be quite a source of pride and achievement for her. The two remain extremely close: a picture of an adoring mother and her newly elected son gazing lovingly at one another affirm this impression. (Pierre died ten years ago.)

For his part, Justin does not present himself as an injured victim, the unhappy product of an unhappy marriage. He seems to have born these stresses, thrust on him as a child through absolutely no desire or effort of his own, without resentment. True, he didn’t immediately rise to the top of society, first working as a bouncer, a boxer, a Santa-shopper, and a snowboard instructor before entering politics. [So would you and yours bounce around the world in a zen-like state if you had the family fortune to fall back on—ILANA.]

On the other hand, becoming Canada’s Prime Minister at age 43 (his father was elected at age 48) doesn’t exactly put him in the slow lane, either. Justin has never given the impression that he feels like an abandoned child, or the son of broken marriage or a traumatic childhood. He seems to recognize and appreciate, rather, that he had a privileged upbringing involving parents with disparate, but distinctive, gifts.

It’s all a matter of outlook, isn’t it?

In particular, Justin didn’t become a drug addict. Rather, unlike the scion of another famous political family who opposes pot legalization due to his own drug problems, Patrick Kennedy, Justin favors marijuana legalization. This attitude too seems to have come from his mother. Margaret was once charged with possession of marijuana for having a package of weed delivered to her home. “I took to marijuana like a duck took to water,” she said.

I don’t think she smokes now.

***
Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D., is the author (with Ilse Thompson) of Recover! Stop Thinking Like an Addict. His Life Process Program is available online. His book Addiction-Proof Your Child is a model for the emerging area of harm reduction in addiction prevention. Stanton has been innovating in the addiction field since writing Love and Addiction with Archie Brodsky, He has been a pioneer in noting addiction across substances and activities, in creating harm reduction therapy, and in the nondisease understanding of addiction, as well as in formulating practical, life-management approaches to treatment and self-help. He has published 12 books, and has won career awards from the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies and Drug Policy Alliance. His website is www.peele.net

UPDATE I: Response to Facebook comments:

We libertarians apply the same set of principles without bias to the political class. Justin Trudeau is manifestly moronic, as is “W” (Jeb is not nearly as dumb as “W” and Justin). All are entitled brats. So what if Justin’s mom and dad fought. Let them all decamp to Africa to experience real suffering. Stanton Peele is, however, hardcore in Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince Us We Are Out of Control. A very rigorous book.

UPDATE II: Unable, or unprepared, to courteously address my readers, as to the uneven standards implied in a column submitted by himself to Barely a Blog, Stanton Peele writes:

Liana – Can you remove the piece from your website? It was a bad match, I fear.

The snootiness.

My reply:

The name is ILANA.

And no—not after the time spent inputting, adding links (as you, Stanton, did not provide HTML code) and editing text.

One would think you’d be more appreciative of the feature and the generous mention and promotion of your seminal book, Diseasing.

Unseemly behavior.

ILANA Mercer
Author, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa
Columnist, WND’s longest-standing, paleolibertarian weekly column,
Contributor, The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine & UK’s Libertarian Alliance,
Fellow, Jerusalem Institute for market Studies (JIMS)
www.ilanamercer.com

UPDATE III (11/1): Jack Kerwick uses precision-guided words and phrases—a “scandalous degree of unprofessionalism and hyper-emotionality,” “academic conformity,” “abuse of power”—to describe the anti-intellectual atmosphere during his Ph.D “sentence” at Temple University, dominated by left-liberals who won’t brook dissent (like the encounter above).

The Myth of Munich

BAB's A List, Britain, History, Neoconservatism, War

This is as good a time as any for a history lesson from Barely A Blog’s resident all-rounder.

The Myth of Munich
By Myron Pauli

To some, “Munich” is identified with Oktoberfest; however, to many it refers to what I call the Myth of Munich’—that Neville Chamberlain could have merely snapped his fingers and singlehandedly destroyed the Nazis, but, rather, chose to “appease” them and thus is responsible for the 55 million dead of World War Two. That myth has been invoked to oppose the Nuclear Test Ban and all arms control treaties; rapprochement with China, Cuba and Iran; as well as to start and continue wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, etc.

Britain was exhausted by an idiotic murderous war over an obscure dead Austrian archduke; a war that netted her 1 million casualties and insurmountable debt. One so-called “principle” from World War One was that of “ethnic self-determination,” but Britain and France chose to break up the new Republic of German-Austria by giving the Sudeten Austrians to a new mélange of Austrians, Czechs, Slovaks and a few Poles and Hungarians called Czechoslovakia.

To its credit, Czechoslovakia was a democracy and its largest political party, in the 1935 elections, was the Sudetendeutsche Partei, representing 3 million pro-Nazis who clamored to join Hitler’s new hell. Having swallowed up Austria, Hitler was now demanding to “liberate” Sudetenland. The British and French agreed to a plebiscite in principle but Hitler wanted to just grab it – hence they had a meeting at Munich and a pinky “promise” by Hitler not to ask for any more territory.

Not only was British public opinion overwhelmingly against going to war to prevent Sudeten Nazis from unifying with German Nazis but the British military was skeptical. The pessimistic view was that Germany would crush Czechoslovakia overnight. The “optimistic” view was that perhaps the Czechoslovaks could hold out a few months and then the French Army would attack the Germans from the Maginot Line!

General Hastings Ismay, in charge of British Homeland Defense (London was bombed from the air during World War One), wrote that he thought war was inevitable but it should be postponed until air defenses (recently invented radar and new fighter airplanes) were in place to protect Britain. However, contemporary warmongers expect Neville Chamberlain to have rejected public opinion and that of his own military because Hitler’s “promise” to stop with Sudetenland was nonsense.

Six months later, Hitler broke his “promise” and used Poles, Hungarians and Slovaks to carve up Czechoslovakia. British public opinion moved overnight from pacifism to militarism, and issued a guarantee to Poland. Hitler responded with an agreement with Stalin. Thus, 11 months after Munich, Poland was invaded and Britain was at War with Germany. Neville never got a Nobel Peace Prize like his older brother, Austen.

The “inevitable” war did not commence well – Poland was crushed from two sides, France collapsed quickly, the puny British Army barely escaped from Dunkirk, and Chamberlain fell – but he recommended Churchill over the accommodationist Halifax as his replacement. Those silly radars and fighter airplanes that Chamberlain funded won the Battle of Britain. Britain did not fold in the year she stood alone. Having “given peace a chance” at Munich, the British kept a stiff upper lip during the bombings.

One might speculate that had Britain gone to war with shoddy air defense over the principle of keeping Sudeten Nazis apart from German Nazis, and that earlier war had its own Dunkirk (so much for the British Army!)—there might have been the equivalent of a Vichy Britain. However, for warmongers, peace (even with rearmament) is never worth a gamble and war (regardless of realistic limitations) should always be option number one.

Thus, “The Myth of Munich” lives on with Khe Sanh, Phnom Penh, Fallujah, Kandahar and Benghazi. Anything short of war, even sanctions, is “appeasement” and every two-bit thug is the “next Hitler.” America has seen the massive regional chaos and the elevation of Shiite power engendered because “The Myth of Munich” was evoked against Saddam “Hitler” Hussein. The McCains and Grahams will continue to evoke “The Myth of Munich” against anything resembling action short of war – and the warmongering media will pick it up without question. Bad wars, like bad history, leave a terrible aftertaste.

******
Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.

Why So Many Cop Killings?

BAB's A List, Criminal Injustice, Fascism, GUNS, Justice, Law

BY WILLIAM B. SCOTT

In the wake of grand jury decisions to not indict two police officers, who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner, persistent protests erupted across the United States. These led to senseless attacks against police officers, including two New York City cops, killed as they sat in their patrol car. Unfortunately, such reprehensible, inexcusable shootings were predictable—and will continue, unless timely, pragmatic action is taken.

Activists, media analysts and politicians have focused on myriad “causes” for the unrest—race-based unfairness, a perceived pro-police bias within the judiciary, mendacious cops, legal system deficiencies, and other issues—to explain the recent backlash against an epidemic of citizen fatalities at the hands of police officers.

Overshadowed by rightful outrage and angst that followed the insane execution of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in New York is an equally alarming fact: In 2014, police officers killed 1,100 people, an average of three every day of the year. (KilledByPolice.net) That figure contrasts with 126 law enforcement officers killed in 2014, according to an annual report released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Fifty officers were killed with guns, and 15 of those were via “ambush assaults,” matching a 2012 total. Attacks on cops have been increasing over the past few years, although police work is much safer today than it was in the 1970s.

These statistics should be a loud-and-clear wakeup call for every American. Unless leaders at the federal, state and local levels openly acknowledge that there’s a dark, disturbing correlation between the deaths of 1,100 citizens and a rash of intentional, random attacks on police officers, this nation will be condemned to thousands more heartbreaking funerals in 2015.

Indignant police union leaders’ demands that Congress label attacks on uniformed officers as “hate crimes” have yielded chilly, skeptical receptions. Equally irate American citizens are demanding practical, substantive changes in police policies, practices and training—realistic solutions that hold quick-to-shoot cops accountable, yet protect good, honorable officers, who daily live their oaths to protect and serve.

Worried public officials from the White House to local mayors’ offices and city councils are scrambling to appease angry, fed up, disaffected citizens and embattled police officers, before outright armed rebellion explodes into nationwide chaos. Most public officials fully understand that citizens are fed up with post-shooting patronization: “We’re conducting a thorough investigation to determine exactly what occurred.” “We’ll change policies, procedures and practices to make sure this never happens again.” And the tired granddaddy of all, “We’ll improve officer training.”

On the other side, upstanding, professional police officers are frustrated by protests and repercussions attributed to the misdeeds, questionable shootings, chokings and general abuse committed by their uniformed compatriots. Consequently, the chasm between disheartened cops and exasperated, infuriated citizens continues to widen.

Police officers and taxpayers of all races and creeds, from Los Angeles to New York, must face several inescapable truths: Unless drastic improvements are made, the only elements guaranteed to change will be cops’ annual body count and the number of attacks on police officers. And race isn’t the primary factor driving either police brutality or ambushes on cops. Despite what we’re told by the media, high-profile activists and police unions, many of today’s sworn officers are equal-opportunity abusers and killers. They shoot to kill, without regard for ethnicity or creed.

Something must be done to drastically curb police brutality and killing, as well as egregious attacks on police officers, then rebuild trust between citizens and the U.S. law enforcement community, before outrage ignites a shooting war.

*******
William B. Scott is a former bureau chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, a Flight Test Engineer graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and author of The Permit, a thriller based on his eldest son’s death.

Best Commentary So Far About Charlie Hebdo Headache

BAB's A List, Britain, Europe, Free Speech, IMMIGRATION, Left-Liberalism, Multiculturalism, Paleolibertarianism, Terrorism

Penned by friend and fellow paleolibertarian Sean Gabb of the British Libertarian Alliance, the following piece is simply the best commentary so far on the Charlie Hebdo headache.

Hot Air and the Paris Atrocities
By Sean Gabb

For the avoidance of doubt, I will begin by saying that the murders this week at Charlie Hebdo were a barbarous crime, and deserve the strongest punishment allowed by law. This being said, the smug chanting of the politicians and media people is getting on my nerves. Here, without further introduction, are the more objectionable mantras:

Je suis Charlie

I will repeat that this was a barbarous crime. But there seem to be barbarous crimes and barbarous crimes. Suppose the attack had not been on a cultural leftist magazine, but on the headquarters of the Front National, and the victims had been Francine le Pen and the party leadership. Would all those city squares have filled with people reciting Je suis le Front National? I hardly think so. Nor would the media have given blanket and uncritical coverage.

Indeed, we had our answer before the gunmen had opened fire. When Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh and Lee Rigby were murdered no less barbarously, we were all urged to moderate our response. In the first two cases, we were told, with more than the occasional nod and wink, that the victims had brought things on themselves. As for the third, the protest demonstrations were broken up by the police.

Cultural leftists have the same right not to be murdered as the rest of us. So far as the present lamentations indicate, they are seen by the directors of public opinion as having a greater right.

We will Never Give up Our Right to Freedom of Speech

The continuing hymn of praise to freedom of speech would sound better if it were seriously meant. I believe that the writers and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo had the moral right to say whatever they pleased about Islam, or anything else. But I also believe that Luke O’Farrell and Garron Helm should not have been sent to prison for being rude to or about Jews. Nick Griffin should not have been prosecuted for saying less against Islam than was published in Charlie Hebdo. The Reverend Alan Clifford should not have been threatened with prosecution in 2013, when he handed out leaflets at a gay pride march in Norwich. Almost every day, in England alone, someone gets into trouble for opening his mouth. Where for them are the defenders of freedom of speech, now more fashionably than bravely holding up pencils or waving candles?

I and my colleagues at the Libertarian Alliance can praise freedom of speech, because we are there for the people mentioned above. Just about everyone else I have seen on the television is a hypocrite. In general, we are free to say only what the authorities want to hear. Even when the law does not cover dissent, there are administrative or economic punishments. See, for example, the UKIP members who were denied the right to foster children, or the difficulty that dissident writers have to find paid work.

These were Cowardly Crimes

The men who shot up the Charlie Hebdo offices are not cowards. They took a considerable risk, and it is generally believed that they will not let themselves be taken alive. This is part of what makes them and their like so dangerous. The Sinn Fein/IRA terrorists were cowards. Their speciality was to plant time bombs in shop toilets, and then run away before they went off. These killers seem to regard themselves as already half way to the company of the seventy two virgins they were promised. There is nowhere they will not go, and nothing they will not do – they and those like them. To call them cowards is a comforting falsehood.

These were Senseless Crimes

The only senseless crime is one that has no evident purpose, or is unlikely to achieve it. The purpose of the Charlie Hebdo killings was to punish outrages against Moslem sensibilities, and to deter their repetition. Can anyone say they failed, or will fail? Some outlets of the mainstream media have republished some of the less offensive cartoons. But it was difficult not to, and there is safety in numbers. From now on, Moslems abroad and in Europe can expect a still more delicate handing of their sensibilities than is already the case. No one wants to be murdered, and one of the surest ways to avoid being murdered will be not to say anything untoward about Mohammed or his alleged teachings.

I now feel obliged to comment on mass-immigration from the Third World. Anyone who said this would be other than a disaster must have been a fool or a villain. It has forced down working class incomes. It has raised housing costs for everyone. It has increased crime and welfare dependency. It has Balkanised politics and administration and law. It has been the excuse for a police state. I am not a violent or an uncharitable man. I am committed to an abstract and universalist ideology. I do not object to a certain porosity of borders. But, like most Jews in Israel, or most Chinese in China – or like most people in all times and places – I regard every square inch of my country as the birthright of my people, and do not look favourably on levels of immigration that seem likely, within the next few generations, to dispossess us of that birthright. Yet this is where we now are, in England, in France, and in many other European and European-settled countries. I have no convincing answers to the problem we face. All I can do is predict one of two outcomes:

First, present trends will continue, and growing weight of numbers, and a greater willingness to resort to violence, will bring about the transformation of our societies in the image of the newcomers.

Second, there will be a nativist reaction, attended by expulsion and the removal of citizenship rights for those allowed to stay, and an authoritarian political settlement.

I do not look forward to either outcome. But, thanks to the conscious or negligent treason of our rulers, it seems likely to be one or the other of these. Anyone who can suggest a less unpleasant outcome that is other than wishful thinking will have at least my gratitude.

The question now outstanding is whether these killings will only contribute to the breakdown of the multicultural illusion, or whether they will be seen, by future historians, as one of its key events. Are they in the same dividing category as the defenstrations in Prague or the Oath in the Tennis Court? Or will the continued chanting of the mantras discussed above keep everything under control? Does the continuing uproar in France mean that something has begun there of wider significance than the murder of a dozen cultural leftists?