BREAKING: Rational animal strikes again!


The things you read in the Times:
In hard copy, this morning's New York Times op-ed page features a column, live and direct from London, written by Michael Goldfarb, a 67-year-old NPR alumnus.

There's no distinction so basic and obvious that New York Times editors are able to recognize it. Here's how Goldfarb starts:
GOLDFARB (1/19/18): Well, it’s official. He isn’t crazy. “I’ve found no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought processes,” Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, the rear admiral who conducted President Trump’s physical, said this week.

That comes as no surprise to me. Because if you observe him through the filter of class, rather than the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders frame, you can reach some very different—and I think more apposite—conclusions.
Truly, that's amazing. The tests undergone by Donald J. Trump had nothing to do with the question of whether he's "crazy." Less colorfully, they had nothing to do with the types of diagnoses found in the DSM.

Does Goldfarb really not understand that? How about the editor who decided to publish this tripe?

Goldfarb goes on to spout and fume, in baldly unintelligent ways, about his own diagnosis of Trump. He diagnoses Trump as simply "a man of his class—the nouveau-riche, country-club class." Nailing down his diagnosis, Goldfarb offers two anecdotes about people he's met at country clubs. One anecdote comes from 1979, one from recent years.

This column is spectacularly stupid. Amazingly, it should come as no surprise that the New York Times didn't notice.

Is Donald J. Trump "a man of his class?" Yes, he almost certainly is, and that may explain some of his attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.

That said, it's possible for two different things to be true at one time. Trump could be "a man of his class," and he could have some sort of "mental illness" or psychiatric disorder.

Goldfarb seems too dumb to understand this. The New York Times didn't notice.

As Goldfarb ends this pitiful column, he makes an amazingly common plea. He begs us to please avoid discussing Trump's possible disorders. This is the way he ends:
GOLDFARB: As Year 2 of the Trump regime begins, it would probably be a good idea for everyone to stop looking for grand psychiatric theories about what makes Mr. Trump tick—it is insulting to people who suffer from real mental illness.

Those who want to resist Mr. Trump should accept that America is being governed by a country-club bore, backed up by other members of the club—a class that doesn’t worry that it will suffer if he makes a mistake.
Please stop discussing this possibility, Goldfarb dumbly says. He tells us that Trump doesn't "suffer from real mental illness," without attempting to tell us how he can possibly know that.

Is Donald J. Trump "a country-club bore?" In part, we'd say he surely is.

Then again, it takes one to know one, several young analysts said. If we lived in a rational world, it would be stunning to think that the New York Times would publish such drivel as this.

We live in a deeply un-rational world. Our floundering species is deeply not sharp. As our culture continues to crash and burns, we strongly advise you to view the world through this award-winning lens.


  1. The DSM is a manual written by crazy people for crazy people. There is as much credible science in it as there is in a Jenny McCarthy Facebook post.

  2. "If we lived in a rational world, it would be stunning to think that the New York Times would publish such drivel as this."

    No it wouldn't. Establishment media spewing establishment propaganda, film at 11.

    Now, your obsession with the silly "Trump is crazy" notion certainly is indicative of a serious case of TDS. Go get your head examined, Bob.

    1. Mr Trump's policy on North Korea is perfectly sane. Right, Mao?

    2. Exactly the same as your deity Barry's - sanctions. Approved by the UNSC.

      Not more or less crazy than usual madness.

    3. So, Somerby is a lib-zombie?

    4. Mr Trump has disappointed Russia. Hillary might have been less bad.

  3. What? No defense of Woody Allen?

    1. Right, because his name is neither "Roy" nor "Moore."

  4. Albert Einstein is usually credited with authorship of the maxim, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

    At least Trump's approach to NK is different from the failed approach used by Obama, Bush, and Clinton.

    1. d in C, you're being idiotic. No real difference, no different result, unless calling names like "rocket boy" is counted. I suppose if a war got started that would be different.

    2. AC/MA the differences I see are

      1. Trump talking crazily enough to make NK fear an attack from the US.

      2. Sanctions against China to encourage them to support Korean denuclearization.

      I am not optimistic that NK will give up their nukes, but I am glad to see a somewhat different approach.

    3. Well, Trump's "crazy talk" only has a short shelf life, until Kim realizes Trump is bluffing. Then what? Or is Trump bluffing?

    4. [QUOTE] Misattributed [to Albert Einstein]

      The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

      Variously attributed also to Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain. The earliest known occurrence, and probable origin, is from a 1981 text from Narcotics Anonymous: "Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results." [END QUOTE] LINK

      Narcotics Anonymous text, World Service Conference Literature Subcommittee © 1981, page 11:

      [QUOTE] We have a disease: progressive, incurable and fatal. One way or another we went out and bought our destruction on the time plan! All of us, from the junkie snatching purses to the sweet little old ladies hitting two or three doctors for legal prescriptions, have one thing in common: we seek our destruction a bag at a time, or a bottle at a time until we die. This is at least part of the insanity of addiction. The price may seem higher for the addict who prostitutes for a fix than it is for the addict who merely lies to a doctor, but ultimately both pay with their lives. Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.

      Many of us realize when we get to this Program that we have gone back time and time again to using, even though we know that we are destroying our lives by doing so. Insanity is using day after day knowing that only physical and mental destruction comes when we do. The most obvious insanity of the disease of addiction is the obsession to use drugs.

      Ask yourself this question: Do I believe it would be insane to walk up to someone and say, "May I please have a heart attack or a fatal accident?" If you can agree that this would be an insane thing, you should have no problem with the Second Step.

      The first thing we do in this Program is stop using. At this point we begin to feel the pain of living without drugs or anything to replace them. This pain forces us to seek a Power greater than ourselves that can relieve our obsession to use. [END QUOTE] [LINK to 68 page pdf]

  5. TDH keeps pushing this idea that Trump might be mentally ill or have a "'mental illness'" or "psychiatric disorder." I'm not a shrink, but I would think that neurosis is a psychiatric disorder, so to that extent almost everybody has a psychiatric disorder. With Trump, as an amateur, maybe he is narcissistic in the psychological sense, but that's not being mentally ill, and covers a lot of people. I suggest more focus on the pros and cons of his policies. Whatever, he's been able to function pretty well in the real world, even getting elected POTUS. Some might conclude he is an a-hole, or that his policies are bad, but that's different than mental illness.

    1. And Somerby castigates the press ( or anybody else, probably) for calling Trump a liar, which leaves Trump's clearly fallacious statements a complete mystery.

    2. The fields of psychiatry (in medicine) and abnormal psychology deal with the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. They have jointly created the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual to aid in describing mental illness for insurance, record-keeping and research purposes. They have developed techniques and practices for helping people with mental illness.

      From these professions, we know that it is not true that everybody has a psychiatric disorder. Neurosis is an outdated term left over from Freud and psychoanalysis and it is not a classification in the DSM, not a disorder or a mental illness. There is a disorder called "Narcissistic Personality Disorder" in the DSM. That isn't the same as being narcissistic, as the term is applied in everyday language. If someone is diagnosed with a personality disorder, they are not "mentally ill" but they are mentally abnormal and they have a clinical disorder causing themselves and/or others significant difficulties and distress. It means they are not able to function pretty well in the real world. Getting elected says nothing whatsoever about whether someone is or is not mentally ill or psychologically abnormal. Someone's policies can certainly indicate whether they are mentally ill or not. They are samples of behavior that can contribute to a clinical diagnosis, along with other forms of assessment a professional might use.

      TDH doesn't know much about mental illness but he is right that Goldfarb's comment about the DSM is incorrect. I am disappointed that Trump's medical exam didn't include psychiatric evaluation. I think that should be routine for all presidents, but right now there isn't even a requirement for a medical exam each year.

    3. Add clinical psychology above too.

    4. Leftists always devolve into woo like astrology, fortune telling, and "social science" to identify those who think the wrong thoughts or think the wrong way, if their thought product opposes a leftist agenda.

    5. Ronald Reagan believed in astrology.

    6. impCeasarAvg,
      But he wasn't a big fan of the gays and minorities, so Reagan gets a pass on his belief in astrology.


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