September 3, 2009

The New, Life-Sized Obama

Your Lying Eyes asks:
What happened to Obama's awesome charisma?

Maybe he never really had any. Maybe his legions of disciples were simply awed that a black man could be so ... well, like them, that it was their own reflections -- reflections of their own awesomeness, their self-righteous, universalistic, 21st-centuriness -- that mesmerized them. That and some well crafted speeches and an appealing delivery before a teleprompter. But the man himself is a zero when it comes to personality, and his limited level of achievement in his pre-Axelrod life should have been a signal that maybe he's not all that.

At any rate, he was supposed to hit the hustings and take the Health Care cause directly to the American people and bypass all that news reporting slanted against him and rouse the troops. Yawn. Seems like a ragtag collection of malcontents with trucker hats make more compelling viewing than Barry's lame pontificating.

Then there's this video:
White House Reveals Obama Is Bipolar, Has Entered Depressive Phase

Seriously, I suspect Obama is rather like George W. Bush: a psychologically fragile personality who needs a lot of downtime. Bush managed to baby himself through eight years without publicly falling off the wagon, and Obama seems to be trying to pace himself as well. Both put plenty of time into working out, with Obama seemingly even more devoted to golf, a very time-consuming game.

Obama understands himself reasonably well, so he has rules -- e.g., no drama queens among his staffers -- to avoid using up too much of his energy and upsetting his emotional balance. So, expect Obama to up his game somewhat after Labor Day.

Still, Democrats need to worry that Obama could go into a down cycle like the year-long one he apparently suffered after his rejection by black voters as not black enough in a 2000 primary.

Even if he avoids that, Obama is not a gonzo hypomanic like Bill Clinton, who was just on the go all the time. He's sensitive and self-absorbed. Plus, unlike Bush, he's a night person, who is at his sharpest late in the evening. Clinton was a night person, but he didn't need much sleep.

When you are President, you can make your staff follow your schedule (until you burn them out), but you can't do public events in the wee hours of the morning. If you are going to give a big speech at the National Convention of Whatevers, they'll want you to give it some time between 9am and 9pm.

Another problem with being a night person is insomnia (which is common among people who get more energetic as the day goes on), which doesn't fit well with living a Big Life with a Big Schedule. That's basically what killed Michael Jackson: insomnia combined with a demanding schedule of large-scale rehearsals (plus having your own private Dr. Feelgood to shoot you up with an ever-escalating series of sleeping drugs).

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

79 comments:

Shawn said...

It seems to me that politically, Bill Clinton was a political athlete of the highest rank--maybe 0.001% in terms of raw, genetic political skills.

I personally suspect that his bypass surgery caused him some brain damage, however. He just does not seem to be the same.

Anonymous said...

That's basically what killed Michael Jackson: insomnia combined with a demanding schedule of large-scale rehearsals (plus having your own private Dr. Feelgood to shoot you up with an ever-escalating series of sleeping drugs).

A lot of people believe that JFK was heading towards that same fate if Lee Harvey Oswald hadn't intervened.

And Clinton damn near died of a massive heart attack a few years after he left office.

WASP-Harvard-Mafia said...

... Obama understands himself reasonably well, so he has rules -- e.g., no drama queens among his staffers -- to avoid using up too much of his energy and upsetting his emotional balance. ...

Interesting theory, but how does this explain that raging egomanic 'Rahmbo' as being his chief-of-staff.

Oh, silly me, that's right... Emanuel is actually the president.

Oops, my bad.;)

Anonymous said...

That's basically what killed Michael Jackson: insomnia combined with a demanding schedule of large-scale rehearsals (plus having your own private Dr. Feelgood to shoot you up with an ever-escalating series of sleeping drugs).

Same deal killed Heath Ledger as well.

Eric said...

I personally suspect that his bypass surgery caused him some brain damage, however. He just does not seem to be the same.

There's probably something to that. In any event he was elected to the presidency seventeen years ago. You'd expect his mental and physical faculties to deteriorate a bit over that kind of time period. More than a little bit, actually.

Anthony said...

Re: the video, what if Biden *were* to become POTUS? I'm less comfortable with that than Palin.

dr kill said...

For the first time in his blessed- gold plated life the buck really does stop with him.

And he rightfully is unprepared for it.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

I think you are over-analyzing Obama, Steve.

The most obvious explanation is that Obama is nothing more than an empty suit who got in way over his head because of his celebrity status. There's no "there" there.

The best I can say about him is that he hasn't done anything a liberal white president such as Hillary Clinton or John Kerry would not do.

testing99 said...

No Drama Queens? Please, Axelrod, Emmanuel, etc. are the definition of Drama Queens. Heck Panetta had a screaming shouting match with Emmanuel and Holder and Obama over the CIA prosecutions. He's widely expected to resign.

Obama's problem is that he can Alinsky-like destroy a McCain, but he cannot destroy a mass group of ordinary folks. Who are not "yokels in Trucker hats" but ordinary people who face a death sentence under ObamaCare rationing (Seniors and near-Seniors) or those happy with health care that don't want the Post Office (Obama's words) running Health Care.

DUH he faces mass pushback by ordinary people -- who are hopping mad that Obama wants to take from middle class White people who paid into the system all their lives to give to Blacks and Hispanics (mostly illegal aliens).

Obama is one giant mass casualty attack from being impeached. Ironically he and Holder and Emmanuel WANT a mass attack, so Alinsky like they can use it for ruling by decree -- but he's no longer trusted and more than likely faces a mass uprising to impeach him and convict him.

Don't forget, for all his vaunted political acumen, Clinton became only the second President to be impeached. Obama's problem is not a down phase in manic-depression, but an inability to understand and offer patronage to ordinary Middle Class White Americans -- indeed his innate hatred of them prevents any understanding, the best he can do is get close to privileged WASP Radicals like Ayers and Dohrn.

Just to name one example, why the hell did he outsource ObamaCare to Reid and Pelosi, instead of a focus group, polled and tested "small ball" to build patronage? Duh -- he knows ONE THING -- create and milk a crisis.

Unfortunately for Obama, eventually people get tired of created crisis and toss out the creators, often with punishment.

[Look at Van Jones, the Green Jobs Czar. He's an avowed Communist and 9/11 Truther -- that's Obama's true Kitchen Cabinet. Loonies who literally cannot understand Joe Average White Guy.]

Richard said...

Regarding the 2nd link in the article, isn't The Onion a satirical site?

Melykin said...

Obama under-estimated the power and ruthlessness of the health insurance companies. He under-estimated their ability to frighten the population by spreading lies.

We in the rest of the developed world (who already have universal health care) are awed by the stupidity and/or meanness of the hysterical people at the town hall meetings. We are also pissed that reputations of our perfectly serviceable health care systems are being dragged through the mud by evil, lying American insurance company scum who only care about their companies profit and don't give a damn about anyone's health.

You may not agree with this, but this is the view of the vast majority of the people in Canada and probably in Europe, Australia and New Zealand too.

By the way, we DO NOT euthanize old people, or people of any age. It is truly amazing that people believe these sorts of lies. They are just being used as tools for the insurance companies, who have conned them with shameful lies.

Anonymous said...

Right-wing plant at pro-reform rally bites off finger of right-wing plant at anti-reform rally

Anonymous said...

"Both put plenty of time into working out, with Obama seemingly even more devoted to golf, a very time-consuming game."

It's simply amazing how little time modern politicians spend on governing. If it's not vacations, it's mindless PR crap - reading to children at preschools, giving out awards and making toasts at endless ceremonies, reading ghostwritten speeches at trade conventions, congratulating the runner-ups of the ping pong world cup, giving in-depth interviews to Family Circle magazine, OK, I'll stop there.

These people are figureheads. Napoleon, Metternich, Charlemagne, Ramses III didn't do any of that - they had countries to run. I'm sure that the people who hold real power in our society - media moguls, bank CEOs, etc. - don't waste much of their time on empty ceremony either.

albertosaurus said...

Reality is simply catching up with Obama. He has never seemed real bright to me - reasonably bright, yes, but not special. He was taking easy courses at Occidental College and getting mediocre grades when he was plucked up into Afirmative Action nirvana. He was given all sorts of advantages and he came to view himself as deserving of success. He became very self confident - even arrogant.

As is well known blacks have favorable self images not always supported by their own performance. Obama often says kinda stupid things when he is not reading from the teleprompter. He has rather primitive ideas about history and economics. He is not a sophisticated or subtle thinker.

None of this would matter except for the expectations that have been raised. He is too exposed now to long maintain the illusion of being an intellectual. I imagine that this is disheartening for those who actually believed that he was brilliant.

On the whole he seems to be less eloquent and less bright than say Geraldo Rivera - not that I would want him President either.

During the campaign it became clear that this guy with the Muslim name, the Muslim parents, the Muslim brothers, the Muslim sisters, the Muslim uncles, the Muslim aunts, and the Muslim early education had some Muslim connections. The campaign assured everyone that Obama was a Christian and to think otherwise would be a mental hate crime. Now after a few months we see that he bows to Saudi rulers, he praises Ramadan and he criticizes Israel. If he continues to tilt toward Mecca it will be ever harder to ignore his Muslim tendencies.

During the campaign it became clear that he has been surrounded for most of his adult life by people who hate America and/or white people. Again we were told that not only was this not true but that it was wicked to think so. Now we have witnessed him apologizing for America and criticizing his own country. When an ambiguous race incident arose he reflexively defended the black guy and attacked the white guy. That incident seems to have given us a peek into his soul - he hates whitey.

In the campaign he was upfront about his desire to create "economic justice" by which he meant redistribution. The problem he has with the health bill is that by cutting benefits for those on Medicare and opening up medical benefits to illegal aliens he is proposing to redistribute life and health from white people to people of color. Older white people grow suspicious of Obama because they suspect that deep down he doesn't very much like older white people. They don't want to face a "death panel" constituted by Obama partisans.

It gets worse for Obama. His radical race based agenda is being revealed. The people who should have known better are beginning to see him for what he is - a person who does not have the country's best interests at heart.

Sid said...

The only question I have is what happened to Bush's drive and initiative. Whatever else can be said about him, he was an obstinate, energetic fellow who accomplished much in his first term, though little of it was good. But after he he was re-elected, it all vanished. Social Security? Meh. Iraq? Huh. Katrina? Oh well.

My guess is that his whole raison d'etre was to surpass his father in someway, which he did once he was re-elected. Mission Accomplished, and may the rest take care of itself.

Anonymous said...

"It seems to me that politically, Bill Clinton was a political athlete of the highest rank--maybe 0.001% in terms of raw, genetic political skills."

I agree. Clinton is an extraordinary individual. Most people with that kind of brainpower are nerdy introverts. The other very smart post-war president (Nixon) was a classic nerd. Remember that quote of his to the effect that the presidency would have been a swell job if not for all the people involved?

And most guys who are as extroverted as Clinton are complete morons. And if only it was just that weird combination of smarts and charisma, but there's actually more. As Steve mentioned in his post, Clinton was also supernaturally energetic. And he wasn't bad-looking either.

Such enormous natural gifts went to waste on such crappy politics here. I'm sure that both the country and the world at large would have been a little better off if he lost to Bush Sr. in 1992. For example, both Ginsburg and Breyer were Clinton's appointees.

John Anello said...

While we are on the topic of our President I thought it would be worth mentioning that he has appeared in a commercial with comedian George Lopez endorsing the latter’s new late night show on TBS.

Here is the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIpXHWIdnds

Given the current state of our economy and the grave problems President Obama is constantly talking about to justify his socialist agenda I think that endorsing a talentless comedian’s late night bore fest is appalling. But with this administration I find myself redefining appalling on an hourly basis. He might as well do a Hanes commercial opposite Michael Jordan.

There was once a time in America when presidents, regardless of their party, did not endorse television shows or hit the late night circuit and try to one up vapid comedians by insulting the handicapped. Presidents had respect for the office they held and did not use to feed their massive but fragile egos.

The first Roman emperors use to hold the gladiator games only once a year. As the Roman people grew more licentious and slothful and the emperors lusted for more power they began to hold games much more frequently. Emperor Commodus, in an act of tremendous disrespect for his title, would climb into the gladiator pit and battle the slave-gladiators. Rome was on a steady decline after Commodus.

As our president ignores the sagacity of his predecessors and continuously chooses to climb into the comedy pit I find myself wondering if we are destined to repeat the tragedy of Rome.

Reactionary said...

I think he has two basic problems. The first is he's just not very bright. He seems below that IQ sweet spot for executives (not so smart they're dysfunctional, and not so dumb their advisors can intimidate them). The second is, and I found this surprising, he's not at all urbane. That's the fruit of his spending all his life in a SWPL bubble: he lacks the self-assurance and common touch that comes from years of interaction with and having to gain the respect of men from all walks of life.

Dubya had the same two problems.

anony-mouse said...

Tsk, tsk, tsk, Steve. Obama will go the distance.

Obama is an East African (marathoner) not a West African (sprinter) like most African- Americans (eg MJ).

Haven't you heard of HBD?

rob said...

more devoted to golf, a very time-consuming game.

That's why people play golf! It can be time consumming because it's so physically mild. It's the most interesting extremely low exertion activity around. Middle age men can't run hours a day. Any actual sport couldn't not be time-consuming because they take energy.

Anonymous said...

I think there is something to this insomnia thing. Adam Corrolla and Craig Shoemaker were talking about the stand up comedian Richard Jeni and they were saying how brutal the weird hours are. Not just late, but late and traveling and lack of sleep. It will mess you up.

Anonymous said...

Ziel is a jewel isn't he? Always interesting thoughts over at "Your Lying Eyes".

Thats the great thing about blogs, one gets to read the thoughts of hyper-intelligent people (like Steve Sailer) at their leisure, and improve their own understanding of the world.



I actually have to empathize with Borat Obama if he is an insomniac. Ive had that for years, and am up right now because of it. I still hope Obama is a one-term president though.


Parting shot: I hope Bill Clinton fades completely from public life while chasing women or whatever. I saw enough of that guy for two lifetimes. He's not really all that great a liar, he just has no conscience to bother him like the rest of us, and the media never held him to a fair standard. Republicans could never get away with some of the stuff he pulled.

Truth said...

Why is it that there's almost a universal agreement that Bill Clinton was a once-in-a-generation genius? I thought he was a smart guy, but he just never struck me as a Tesla.

Pat said...

I'd still rather have Obama over Juan McCain.

If McCain were president, we would probably be at war with Iran right now. And those 10-20 million illegal aliens would be amnestied.

Tom Regan said...

Re: Melikyn
"We in the rest of the developed world (who already have universal health care) are awed by the stupidity and/or meanness of the hysterical people at the town hall meetings. We are also pissed that reputations of our perfectly serviceable health care systems are being dragged through the mud..."

No we're not. I find it admirable that they shake off the apathy to stand up for what they believe in.

"You may not agree with this, but this is the view of the vast majority of the people in Canada and probably in Europe, Australia and New Zealand too."

No its not. I've lived and/or visited all these countries, and their healthcare systems are drowning in red tape and egregious shortages and delays.

On the subject of Obama, I actually feel some odd sympathy for him. He'd spent his whole political life moving up the ladder with his dream of imposing his Alinskyite, socialist, racially driven agenda. Then he finally gets the presidency, inherets a collapsing economy, is coming to realize the Keynesian garbage is not working, and has the choice between pragmatically abandoning his social ideals to right the ship, or pursue his goals regardless and become an utterly reviled figure in history. Not a nice choice.

Anonymous said...

Clinton was a night person, but he didn't need much sleep.



He could'nt get much sleep cuz he was too busy in the oral office.

nostril said...

Obama is one giant mass casualty attack from being impeached.
Phew, I'm glad testy called the nexus between Health Care and babez-with-nukes.

Anonymous said...

privileged WASP Radicals like Ayers and Dohrn.


deliberate obfuscation. we all know that Ayers and Dohrn are def. not WASP, although the observation that they belong to the same ethnic group holds.

Svigor said...

What happened to Obama's awesome charisma?

Maybe he never really had any. Maybe his legions of disciples were simply awed that a black man could be so ... well, like them, that it was their own reflections -- reflections of their own awesomeness, their self-righteous, universalistic, 21st-centuriness -- that mesmerized them. That and some well crafted speeches and an appealing delivery before a teleprompter. But the man himself is a zero when it comes to personality, and his limited level of achievement in his pre-Axelrod life should have been a signal that maybe he's not all that.


Yes, sort of. Obama is "black" and, as a beneficiary of the numinous negro effect, is immune to SWPL tragically hip irony and nihilism; SWPLs can be innocent cheerleaders again. That's pretty much his appeal; the media gives him a pass on being fully human, like they do all blacks, and give SWPLs a pass on worshiping him Nuremberg Rally style. And the SWPLs absolutely worshiped this alignment of the stars. And yes, Obama is incidental to all of this, because it's all about the SWPLs, leftist onanism, and pretending they're socio-politically born again.

Svigor said...

We in the rest of the developed world

Thanks for finally explaining yourself (sorry if you made this clear before and I missed it.

Svigor said...

That incident seems to have given us a peek into his soul - he hates whitey.

Not quite fair. How does one distinguish between "hates whitey" and "good leftist"? Let's be real here, they're the same thing. The leftist narrative of history is "hate whitey."

Anonymous said...

From OneSTDV website:

We elected a President who wrote (?) a 400 page diatribe against America and whites. His history is replete with redistribution and race racketeering schemes. All of these programs intended to undermine the white middle class foundation of society for the sole benefit of underclass blacks. His wife harbors an even stronger visceral hatred towards whites and this country. His associations, such as Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, Rashid Kalidi, Michael Pfleger, Frank Davis, Bernadine Dohrn, and ACORN, all share the same anti-American and anti-white sentiment that has occasionally slipped past Obama's race-uniter visage.

Yet another example of the type of people currently running this country comes in the form of Obama's "green jobs" czar, Van Jones. Add Jones to the socialist "Global Warming" czar Carol Browner and "Mr. Global government" science czar John Holdren.

....

Obama ran a smart political campaign, with a lot of help from the syncophantic MSM and the self-destructive tendencies of the Bush II GOP. Fortunately for us, Obama does not appear very effective - he's all style and no substance, or as the Undiscovered Jew said, there's no "there" there.

This should not be too surprising, given Obama's track record prior to entering the White House. he voted "Present" 129 times as a member of the Illinois Senate but sponsored no major legislation. In his four years in the US Senate, he was very liberal but sponsored no major legislation. He appears to be an "empty suit" left-wing ideologue with little idea of how to get things done.

Fred said...

Melykin,

The ~55% of our health care system that's privately funded subsidizes most of the new health care innovations in the world -- new drugs, equipment, techniques. One reason your country spends less on health care per capita is that it free rides off of our innovation. Who are you going to free ride off of if we go to a nationalized system too?

And by the way: don't blame the health insurance companies for the popular revolt against Obama's health insurance proposals. Health insurers have been working with the Obama administration, negotiating on the assumption that he would get some sort of deal. They haven't done anything to inspire the popular opposition to the plan, which is from the grass roots. The people know the president is lying to them when he claims that there will be no downsides to his proposal and no losers.

Marc B said...

"You may not agree with this, but this is the view of the vast majority of the people in Canada and probably in Europe, Australia and New Zealand too."


You're correct, we don't. The anger over this is not just about health care, but also an unconstitutional power grab being used for a near complete restructuring the US and a centralization of power away from local rule and to the Federal government and executive branch. Obama is setting the stage for an imperial presidency. Americans historically get violently angry sort of at that sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, we DO NOT euthanize old people, or people of any age. It is truly amazing that people believe these sorts of lies."

Yeah, only right-wing nut-jobs would believe such obvious lies. I mean, no one from, say, the "London Daily Telegraph" would ever believe such nonsense:

Sentenced to death on the NHS

Patients with terminal illnesses are being made to die prematurely under an NHS scheme to help end their lives, leading doctors warn today.
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.
Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away. But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.

....

And, of course, the sophisticated BBC would never fall for such blatant lies:

A BBC report has revealed that physicians in the UK are increasingly seeing and using "continuous deep sedation" as a form of "slow" euthanasia. Adam Brimelow, BBC News health correspondent, writes that the use of continuous deep sedation, also known as "terminal sedation" is becoming more common in the UK and may be the way physicians are skirting the law prohibiting direct euthanasia.

Research has shown that 16.5 percent of all deaths in the UK are associated with continuous deep sedation until death, a number twice that of Belgium and the Netherlands, both countries that already have legalised direct euthanasia.

....

Yup, yup, just lies from the greedy insurance companies.

Anonymous said...

testy writes: "the best he can do is get close to privileged WASP Radicals like Ayers and Dohrn."

Oops: Bernardine Dohrn was born Bernadine Ohrnstein in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1942 and grew up in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, an upper-middle-class suburb of Milwaukee.[1] Her father, Bernard, changed the family surname to Dohrn when Bernardine was in high school.[2]. Her father was Jewish

David said...

>He might as well do a Hanes commercial opposite Michael Jordan. <

You owe me a new monitor.

BigWaveDave said...

"When an ambiguous race incident arose he reflexively defended the black guy and attacked the white guy. That incident seems to have given us a peek into his soul - he hates whitey."

Obama's reflexive defense of the black guy, as Albertosaurus accurately described it, may have revealed a hatred for whitey -- something hardly surprising given his autobiography, but more importantly it showed Obama, post-Harvard law, processing a law-related issue as if he'd skipped some classes. Making a rash judgment, one devoid of evidence or consideration for one's position or the judicial process, and then uttering it where it could do the most damage, in public, suggests that Obama skipped a lot of classes.

Imagine if, instead of Harvard's law school, Obama had graduated from its medical school and, when questioned during a press conference about a friend's death from cancer, the president responded, "Obviously his doctors erred... by failing to ceremoniously sacrifice a chicken on his behalf they turned their backs on an ancient and proven method, one well-known to millions around the world."

Pardon the exaggeration, but I offer the absurd contrast because, in the case of Obama's telling reaction to the Gates incident, the contrast was not so obvious but every bit as remarkable. Truly capable people do not emerge from Harvard law or medical school with their lowbrow reasoning circuits intact. Trained lawyers think like lawyers, talk like lawyers, and dance around issues like lawyers. Obama's reaction was remarkable. It was telling. He might be Harvard savvy, but he is not Harvard smart. In today's America, smooth, cunning guys like Obama can rise to the top, provided the top is in politics, government service, or any of the other fields where, unlike piloting airplanes and disarming bombs, unwelcome consequences can be muted and accountability denied.

Anonymous said...

You may not agree with this, but this is the view of the vast majority of the people in Canada and probably in Europe, Australia and New Zealand too.

How many blacks and hispanics live in those places?

Anonymous said...

Shawn, you're absolutely correct. I am diametrically opposed to most of what Clinton stood for, but he's got "it"--charisma, whatever--that is compelling.

I lived in Arkansas when he was first elected governor. It's a small state, and you'd see him around from time to time. You could hardly take your eyes off of him.

I also agree that his surgery caused brain damage.

rob said...

Obama is a black man with white sensibilities. In another time, he would have been stuck among fellow blacks. An alien among people he resembled

The tragic mullato was a creature of another time. Today's zeitgeist requires a new concept: the joyous mullato. It is essentially Steve's New Mulatto elite, but has a better ring.

By having a more caucasian temperment, the joyous mullato is more capable than the average black person of meeting the basic standards of society: as a child he can sit still at school more readily than raw blacks. As a young man he does not have the indolence and aggression that gets so many blacks sent to prison. Unlike the underclass blacks, joyous mullatos have the basic traits to benefit from affirmative action. A bit of hybrid vigor, coupled with regressing to a mean IQ of roughly 90 from admixture, the joyous mullato is smarter than the children of the black middle class.

The joyous mullato also possesses some black traits like higher self-esteem, extraversion and verbal fluidity that often make them seem even brighter. They fit the newest racial slur: articulate.

Liberals see a black reflection of themselves. Egotism then drives them to remember and promote (brilliant, and black!) a man like Mr. Obama. Unfortunately for Obama, he has enough self-awareness to know he is not a messiah, not smarter than his advisors, etc. The disconnect leads to Mr. Obama's detached leadership style and his mood swings.

albertosaurus said...

Emperor Commodus, in an act of tremendous disrespect for his title, would climb into the gladiator pit and battle the slave-gladiators. Rome was on a steady decline after Commodus.

Rome was in decline after Commodus because that was Gibbon's concept. Others like Grant have argued for other turning points.

An earlier emperor, Nero hated the games. This is ironic since the Flavian Amphitheater came to be known as the Coliseum for his colossal statue which had stood nearby. Nero preferred the theater and the Olympic Greek style games. He acted on the stage at a time when actors and actresses were considered little more than prostitutes.

Nero's penchants bothered the Roman people far more than those of Commodus.

Commodus was very popular at the beginning of his rule because he was what we would call today a "peace candidate". His father and co-emperor Aurelius fought the Marcomanic incursions. Upon Marcus's death Commodus pulled back the legions. If he was a turning point it was this disregard for the defense of the empire that was significant not his taste for performing in the arena.

Commodus was also probably popular because he wasn't as tedious and boring as his father Marcus Aurelius. Aurelius' Meditations is just self absorbed dreck. In the recent Ridley Scott movie Aurelius is shown to have been murdered by Commodus so as to snatch away the crown which had been denied to him by his wise father who recognized his unsuitability.

This movie history is exactly the opposite of what happened and obscures the point Gibbon tried to make. Aurelius had made Commodus joint emperor two years before his death. Gibbon considered the long successful rule of the second century Antonine emperors to be a product of their practice of choosing their successors from among non-relatives. In Gibbon's view Aurelius ended this golden age when he appointed his son as his successor. That was the reason that the rule of Commodus is often seen as a turning point - it broke with tradition of rational succession.

Furthermore Commodus was not interested so much in being a gladiator as he was in being a beastiarii - a man who kills animals. The second century Roman games lasted all day. Actual gladiatorial combats were relatively few. They were sort of "prime time" events. In the mornings they would amuse the public by executing criminals. A little later in the day they would kill animals. These were not combats like Spanish bull fighting matches where there is at least some elements of a contest. These were just slaughter spectacles.

Commodus enjoyed shooting ostriches. He killed more than one hundred in one day alone. This was rather expensive but even so cheaper than true gladitorial matches. Today we think of the coliseum as a place where gladiators fought and Christians were fed to the lions. Both of these mental associations are true but we don't think so much about what else happened to those lions. They were slaughtered for the delectation of the noon time crowds. Criminals (e.g. Christians) were slaughtered for the morning crowd.

Ridley Scott avoided depicting animal slaughter in the coliseum probably so as not to offend the sensibilities of the modern audience. Movie goers enjoy watching men die but would be horrified to learn that the Mauritanian elephant was slaughtered to extinction in the coliseum and similar Roman arenas.

Anonymous said...

to melykin...

I've lived in Australia since 2000... you're telling me people liekthe healthcare system here? Really? Is that why Rudd has almost been pushed into taking over the hospitals in NSW? Thanks for "representing" us rest-of-the-developed-world types...but no thanks.

Reactionary-- you're spot on. Obama has never really had to deal with "real" people and thus has no real world perspective. he let the mask slip bigtime when he referred to his good friend "skip gates"... it demonstrated the kind of insidery high school clique mentality 99% of us instinctively despise

Eric said...

Middle age men can't run hours a day.

Bush used to do just that until his knees gave out and he switched to mountain biking.

Anonymous said...

Albertosaurus is right.

On his own, BO would have achieved very little of note. Perhaps held down a job, been an affable colleague, played golf, kept his darkest thoughts and hopes to himself. As is his right.

It is all marketing, smoke and mirrors; he is not at all interested in traditional American values except to trash them as soon as possible. And he is the tool of some really unpleasant people, who are not even bothering to lie low.

The real responsibility lies with the whites who voted for him, thinking they were voting for a 'bridge-builder' and 'healer'. They are the epitome of the useful idiot. We will end up with what will prove to be the most divisive presidency in the history of the USA.

The worst is yet to come, and it may come in a totally surprising way as the frustration in the White House mounts. Beware the manufactured crisis, and do not underestimate them.

Anon.

John Seiler said...

The real question for Obama is, after he gets wiped out in the 2010 congressional election, as did Clinton in 1994, if like Clinton he "triangulates" - to use the phrase of then-Clinton Svengali Dick Morris; that is, if he moderates his polices to get re-elected. Clinton pulled the plug on Hillarycare and ended up backing welfare reform and even a decent capital gains tax cut. I doubt if Obama is that agile. For one thing, to stop the hemorrhaging of the budget he's going to have to de-escalate the AfPak war pretty fast. Instead, he's escalating.

Reg C├Žsar said...

Obama does not appear very effective - he's all style and no substance, or as the Undiscovered Jew said, there's no "there" there.

This should not be too surprising, given Obama's track record prior to entering the White House.
--anonymous

Why is everybody discounting Obama's importance before 2008? Didn't he win that DoJ lawsuit against Citibank-- the one that's deliberately left out of his CV?

He may be more responsible for today's collapsed economy than Clinton and both Bushes combined!

Also, everyone's half-right about Dohrn and Ayers. She's of Jewish stock, but he is apparently "high WASP".

Anonymous said...

"By the way, we DO NOT euthanize old people, or people of any age. It is truly amazing that people believe these sorts of lies."

You're a filthy liar.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/may/06050202.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/leslie-burke-is-terminally-ill-today-he-will-ask-a-court-for-the-right-to-live-571326.html

http://www.lifenews.com/bio359.html

I can keep piling it on but maybe you're not a filthy liar, maybe you're just delusional and no amount of truth will get through your thick head.

Anonymous said...

Oh but I think I do need to add this one:

The Groniger Protocol.

Go ahead and argue that it's ok to kill little babies if they're too sick and expensive but don't pretend it's not going on, you sick fuck.

Svigor said...

He acted on the stage at a time when actors and actresses were considered little more than prostitutes.

Maybe the turning point on that opinion was the turning point of Roman civilization?

Just wondering. That's almost exactly how I regard actors and actresses.

Anonymous said...

Melykin,
I don't have much opinion on it, tending to not want gov't run health care; we left the military over that issue.

Anyways, I do have insight via my mom on Canadian doctors and nurses. My mom ran the nursing department of an upscale nursing home (D.O.N.) in Sarasota, Florida, which is quite a wealthy small city. They had so many Canadians who had fled Canada and came down here for better pay (doctors and nurses); she noticed the same thing at Sarasota's hospitals with whom she had many dealings.

This was surely a good thing for the patients as my mother said they really were good; it was a touch less pleasant for the other healthcare workers, socially. The Canadians mostly filled up the positions of the elite with my mom being the exception. As such, they were over-represented in them and looked down upon the "Americans". The snobbery perplexed my mom... but they were good! I suggested to her that the person who leaves Canada for America is a very different, a more elite and intelligent worker, than the ones he left. In other words, she was seeing only the cream of the crop and the Canadians themselves had forgotten this.

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian I can't help but be struck by how much the whole "Obama-mania" thing reminds me of Trudeau in 1968. Both men had media-created hype and images that were not comparable to reality. By 1972 Anglo-Canadians had woken up to the fact they had been had and massively rejected P.E.T. Only his tribal vote in Quebec allowed him to (barely) cling to power. I think Obama will be a one-termer. The novelty of being black(ish) can only last so long.

sabril said...

" The leftist narrative of history is 'hate whitey.'"

Very succinctly put. Or as Meir Kahane used to say, "everyone hates Joseph."

Melykin said...

To those of you who continue to vilify Canada's health care system as an evil communist plot, how do you explain the fact that our very conservative, fundamentalist Christian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not trying to dismantle the system and switch us to an American type system?

I'll tell you why he is not doing this, because there would be riots in the streets if he tried anything like that. Canadians bitch about everything including health care, but would be HORRIFIED at the suggestion that we switch to an American type system.

Sorry, maybe I shouldn't have spoken about any other countries. But as a Canadian, I KNOW this is true of Canada. And I KNOW we don't euthanize old people in Canada!!

Anonymous said...

Not yet you don't, but how are you going to hold out?

http://www.religioustolerance.org/euthcan.htm

You didn't exactly riot in the streets over Robert Latimer getting a slap on his wrist for murdering his poor defenseless little girl.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Latimer

Anonymous said...

what the hell is wrong with euthanasia? If an elderly person hasn't saved the resources to fund their health care, why should the taxpayer fund it for them? We spend the buld of hour healthcare dollars on the elderly and most of that spending is completely useless anyway, marginally prolonging life at best and typically diminishing its length and quality. If there is one good thing about nationalized healthcare, it would be the implementation of "death panels."

Melykin said...

"You didn't exactly riot in the streets over Robert Latimer getting a slap on his wrist for murdering his poor defenseless little girl."
----------------------

Latimer got life in prison. Admittedly "life" in Canada means you can be paroled after 10 years. There is only one sentence longer than this in Canada, and that is another version of "life" in which you are eligible for parole after 25 years. Only brutal serial killers like Paul Bernardo, Robert Pickton, and Clifford Olsen get this. Mind you, Bernardo, Pickton and Olsen will NEVER get out on parole (they damn well better not!) Just being eligible for parole doesn't mean they will necessarily get parole. But practically everyone (except the likes of Bernardo, Pickton and Olsen) gets parole eventually.

Our criminal justice system is really screwed up. Now we have organized criminals from other parts of the world flocking here because they know we are so lenient. Something has got to change.

Melykin said...

Fred wrote:
"The ~55% of our health care system that's privately funded subsidizes most of the new health care innovations in the world -- new drugs, equipment, techniques. One reason your country spends less on health care per capita is that it free rides off of our innovation. Who are you going to free ride off of if we go to a nationalized system too? "
--------------------------
There may be some truth in this. However, having a nationalized system doesn't mean that drug companies will be put out of business and stop doing research. It is the insurance companies that will lose business, and they don't do research.

Indeed, nationalized health care will open up new markets for the drug companies. And Canada PAYS for drugs, thus supporting the research. Just because individual Canadians get free health care doesn't mean it is not being paid for. We have higher taxes and pay for it that way.
------------------------------
------------------------------

Fred wrote:
"And by the way: don't blame the health insurance companies for the popular revolt against Obama's health insurance proposals...."
-----------------
Then who is paying for all those scare ads on T.V.?

Svigor said...

I think Obama will be a one-termer

If he zigs (sticks to his guns) instead of zags (pulls a Clinton), I think he will be, too.

He didn't win by a landslide. He can't afford to lose all the votes he's already lost.

Anonymous said...

tsk tsk, anony-mouse stumping for Obama again. how boring.

Anonymous said...

Well, with no desire to degrade Obama or his racial kin, coming from Africa I was surprised that anybody actually thought of Obama as a western style intellectual. Africa has 800million people, yet if you cut through the PC bull and rate people objectively, you will not find 1 intellectual in the classical European/US style or even compared to those who used to work in the old South Africa. Certainly not one who developed any original thought. You may find some token black scientists but usually it’s about the social standing of their jobs and not about being there as a classical scientists searching for the truth or pining to develop the next generation turbine or finding a cure for cancer. The modus operandi in Africa is so different from the West. Let's say for arguments sake the IQ's were the same: even then you would not find classical rigorous intellectuals and specialists. You would also not find specialist artisans as you do in say Germany or Switzerland. Or specialist military forces as you do in the US, Israel. Specialization and skill mean nothing on a continent were its about being the mega playa, social standing, being the big man on the block, raw people power, raw sex appeal, having large herds, being the big chief and ancestral worship. This is the cultural and spiritual background of Obama. It's so easy to see and I cannot fathom why only Steve caught onto it. Europeans are even blinder though they used to have this knowledge during the colonial days. I guess it comes from replacing classical anthropology with sociology and psychology.

Anonymous said...

The real responsibility lies with the whites who voted for him, thinking they were voting for a 'bridge-builder' and 'healer'.

u nailed it there. i am still waiting for these poltical sluts to confess to us.

Harry Baldwin said...

I keep hearing what a brilliant guy Bill Clinton is, and granted he got a Rhodes Scholarship, which is more than I've ever done. But if he's so brilliant, why is he a complete bore? Why does he never come out with a fresh insight or a lucid analysis of a problem? He does nothing but babble liberal boilerplate. Maybe he keeps all his real thoughts for private conversation, and in public just mouths the party line.

BTW, I don't mean to say that Clinton never said anything memorable. Who can forget: "I never had sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," or "That depends upon what the meaning of 'is' is."

On another topic, I do not support the Obama health care plan but I also don't quite understand the hysteria over "death panels." My father, a retired physician, is 94 and in an independent living facility. He is mentally alert but has had several stays in the hospital and has chronic pain. Though he remains active and involved in life, he says he is ready for death and only dreads the process of dying, especially if he is rendered vegetative by a stroke. A few years ago he had a bleeding ulcer and had to have surgery. He told me later he regrets having gotten the treatment as it would have been a good way to go--just slowly weaken until you die.

My mother is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's and I would rate her quality of life at this point at around zero. A few years ago, after I had asked her if there was anything I could get for her, she answered, in an unusual moment of clarity, "The best thing you could get for me is a pill that would make me go to sleep and never wake up."

Somehow I don't feel he same way as others do about prolonging this last chapter of life, in which a person surrenders every vestige of dignity and control over their destiny.

Anonymous said...

By 1972 Anglo-Canadians had woken up to the fact they had been had and massively rejected P.E.T. Only his tribal vote in Quebec allowed him to (barely) cling to power. I think Obama will be a one-termer. The novelty of being black(ish) can only last so long.


Of U.S. Children Under 5, Nearly Half Are Minorities
By D'Vera Cohn and Tara Bahrampour
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
washingtonpost.com

Whites will be minority group by 2042, Census predicts
Kat Glass
Thursday, August 14, 2008
mcclatchydc.com

...Non-Hispanic whites will drop below 50 percent of the population as early as 2042, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections to be released Thursday. That's about 10 years earlier than demographers previously had predicted, said Grayson Vincent, a demographer for the Census Bureau...


It might still be [narrowly] possible for e.g. a Sarah Palin to win the presidential election of 2012, but within the next decade or so, it will become mathematically impossible for a classical Republican [limited government, rule of law (& equal protection thereof)] candidate to win a national election in the USA [or, at that point, the urban remnants of what had been the USA].

Point being that Obama [& Sotomayor]'s "tribe" is on the rise, and it's only a matter of time before they [and their puppeteers] are electorally invincible.

BTW, this is true in Canada, as well:


Explosive, super-secret Toronto demography report
Thursday, June 19, 2008
spengler.atimes.net


In USA politics, the rise of Castro-ite/Mugabe-esque figures like Obama was inevitable, it's just that the CRA/Liar Loan/CDS financial sector debacle sped up the clock by about a decade or so.

Although, even there, the collapse in real estate prices was itself a necessary consequence of the fact that Caucasians (and Asians) quit making babies about 35 or 40 years ago, after Griswold & Roe & the triumph of nihilism in elite society.

Which is to say: we were eventually going to get something akin to a CRA/Liar Loan/CDS fiasco at some point, as aging Caucasian nihilists attempted to prop up their real estate wealth artificially in the face of an accelerating decline in demand for their real estate holdings - the only question was "When?" - and the answer turned out to be "September 2008".

And even if that particular date was manipulated by the puppeteers so as to maximize the benefit accrued from having it occur just prior to the election, rather than afterwards, the day of reckoning was nevertheless destined to arrive sooner or later.

PS: The situation in the state of California has long since been completely hopeless:


Students by Ethnicity, State of California, 2007-08
ed-data.k12.ca.us

Hispanic: 48.7%
White: 28.5%
Asian: 8.2%
Black: 7.4%
Multiracial: 3%
Filipino: 2.7%
American Indian: 0.8%
Pacific Islander: 0.6%



Even in theory, the GOP can only possibly muster about [28.5 + 8.2 + 2.7]% = 39.4% of those demographics, and, what with the predominance of nihilism in the Asian community [and in elitist Caucasian society as well], the true long-term numbers are probably more like 30%.

Which, in the game of Demos-kratia, will buy you maybe a cup of coffee and a ham sandwich.

[Or, as we like to say, out here in flyover country: "A soda and a MoonPie".]

Truth said...

"You didn't exactly riot in the streets over Robert Latimer getting a slap on his wrist for murdering his poor defenseless little girl."

Hey, that's a white guy, you can't post that garbage here!

Anonymous said...

what the hell is wrong with euthanasia?

That wasn't the question. The assertion was that it doesn't happen, which is false.

sabril said...

"I'll tell you why he is not doing this, because there would be riots in the streets if he tried anything like that"

Sure, which is yet another reason to oppose national health care in the US. Once it's in place, there will be a constituency of "winners" under the system.


No matter how bad things turn out, those "winners" will riot in the streets if there is any attempt to go back to the way things were previously.

In other words, once national health care is in place, it will be almost impossible to get rid of.

Indeed, it seems to me that in a democracy, socialism has a kind of wratcheting effect.

Truth said...

"On his own, BO would have achieved very little of note...


On his own, no one would have achieved much of note. As J. Paul Getty once said:

-Whenever I meat a man who claims to have made it totally on his own, I ask him how old he was when he started changing his own diaper."

Anonymous said...

Hey, that's a white guy, you can't post that garbage here!

You are pathetic.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the more wackadoo threads.

Latimer puts his suffering child out of her misery and gets life in prison. Hard case, I don't know what I would have done, though I don't know if this sort of thing can be condoned either.

But this has exactly what to do with health care reform? He wasn't on the government payroll at the time, ya know. As far as I know here medical needs were being met by the Canadian health care system. Latimer's actions were in his view compassionate, born out of love for his daughter. The medical system had jack squat to do with it.

Truth said...

"You are pathetic."

I know that sport, but does that mean the other posters here aren't?

Melykin said...

sabril said:
"Sure, which is yet another reason to oppose national health care in the US. Once it's in place, there will be a constituency of "winners" under the system...."
-----------------------------

But EVERYONE is a winner! It is just like having public roads, fire stations, and schools. It is like having old-age pensions, and unemployment insurance. You would never want to get rid of it once you find out how good it is.

Melykin said...

Anonymous wrote:
"Latimer puts his suffering child out of her misery and gets life in prison. Hard case, I don't know what I would have done, though I don't know if this sort of thing can be condoned either..".
--------------------
Well he is already out on day parole. It certainly is a complex case. It created a huge controversy.


--------------------------------
--------------------------------
"But this has exactly what to do with health care reform? He wasn't on the government payroll at the time, ya know. As far as I know here medical needs were being met by the Canadian health care system. Latimer's actions were in his view compassionate, born out of love for his daughter. The medical system had jack squat to do with it"
----------------------
You're right. But the other anonymous was clutching at straws trying to find evidence of euthanasia death squads in Canada and I guess this was all he could find.

Reactionary said...

But EVERYONE is a winner! It is just like having public roads, fire stations, and schools. It is like having old-age pensions, and unemployment insurance. You would never want to get rid of it once you find out how good it is.

"Everyone" is not a winner; "everyone" is just trying to live at "everyone" else's expense. This is not a sustainable process. And you apparently haven't ever thought about the social cost of such government externalities.

Nurturing the young and caring for the old used to be the responsibility of families, and fostered strong inter-generational and consanguineous ties. Government education and elder care are basically subsidies for the rootless, atomized "nuclear family." Of course, that's your best case. Ladle these goodies out to most of the population, and you get "chav" culture and urban black matriarchy.

Anonymous said...

You're right. But the other anonymous was clutching at straws trying to find evidence of euthanasia death squads in Canada and I guess this was all he could find.

You're completely uninformed about the status of support for euthanasia in your own country, and totally ignorant about the reality of euthanasia in other countries with socialized medicine. You came here blithely proclaiming something that is 100% false and now *you* are the clutching at the straw of whether or not a murderer got a slap on the wrist. I don't have to find "evidence of Canadian death squads." I provided you with evidence of euthanasia in other countries and support for euthanasia in Canada.

Now I am sure you'll change tactics and argue that killing the old and the unfit is plenty awesome and not a problem.

You don't even have the sense to research a claim before you make it - some guy on TV has told you that euthanasia doesn't exist, it's something silly that the Americans made up, AND YOU BELIEVE IT AND REPEAT IT. Five minutes on Google could have shown you the truth.

And by the way, I am a woman, and for the benefit of t99, THIS is beta behavior.

Anonymous said...

...some guy on TV has told you that euthanasia doesn't exist, it's something silly that the Americans made up, AND YOU BELIEVE IT AND REPEAT IT... And by the way, I am a woman, and for the benefit of t99, THIS is beta behavior.

So if betas merely re-distribute the disinformation, then who are the alphas with whom the disinformation originates?

Or does it originate with the omegas?

Anonymous said...

So if betas merely re-distribute the disinformation, then who are the alphas with whom the disinformation originates?

Or does it originate with the omegas?


Maybe it originates with Suzanne.

Anonymous said...

Melykin: But EVERYONE is a winner! It is just like having public roads, fire stations, and schools. It is like having old-age pensions, and unemployment insurance. You would never want to get rid of it once you find out how good it is.

Yeah, everyone - including even the little children who will never even be born, and who will never grow up to have been burdened with paying the taxes which would have provided for those old-age pensions [which, in turn, are now a pipedream]:


Report on the Demographic Situation in Canada
128 PAGE PDF FILE: 91-209-XIE2003000.pdf

2000-2001 TFR, Aboriginal-Canadian: 2.60
2000-2001 TFR, Arab "Canadian": 2.60
2000-2001 TFR, West Asian "Canadian": 1.99
2000-2001 TFR, Korean-Canadian: 1.30
2000-2001 TFR, Chinese-Canadian: 1.23
2000-2001 TFR, Japanese-Canadian: 1.18

List of countries and territories by fertility rate
en.wikipedia.org

2000-2005 Canadian TFR, UN: 1.52
2005-2010 Canadian TFR, UN: 1.53
2000 Canadian TFR, CIA: 1.51
2008 Canadian TFR, CIA: 1.57

Explosive, super-secret Toronto demography report
spengler.atimes.net

...it's possible that Toronto is nearing the point at which it is effectively MUSLIM!!!

Anonymous said...

"You're completely uninformed about the status of support for euthanasia in your own country, and totally ignorant about the reality of euthanasia in other countries with socialized medicine. You came here blithely proclaiming something that is 100% false and now *you* are the clutching at the straw of whether or not a murderer got a slap on the wrist. I don't have to find "evidence of Canadian death squads." I provided you with evidence of euthanasia in other countries and support for euthanasia in Canada."

Oy vey. Can you find any evidence of support for INSTITUTIONALIZED euthanasia? No, you cannot, which is why you are harping on the Latimer case, which has nothing to do with the actions of the state. Look up the Sue Rodriguez case instead. Canadian courts would not grant her the right to end her own life on her own terms, even though she was suffering painfully from a disease that would kill her slowly. It is simply not legal and not officially condoned or supported in any way.

And Latimer got life for murder, not a slap on the wrist. Hardly "support" for euthanasia.