Brainy Quote of the Day

Friday, November 30, 2018

On Teargas and Positive Thinking...

Reuters (via HuffPost): A Honduran toddler in diapers who came to the border on the migrant caravan sobs after she and her mother fled tear gas fired by American officers at the Mexican border Sunday.

Topics: Biology, Ethics, Existentialism, Politics

Note: Studying for and taking finals next week. Will be on hiatus until 10 December.

I've decided not only will there not be a "presidential pivot," but that there is no "low." When we think he's reached it, he'll just tunnel further to the center of Hades. Apparently, deviant meditations can be generated with the combination of an aggressive laxative encouraging septuagenarian elimination and early morning tweeting, a perversion of the old maxim "walking and chewing gum." The presence of his spot-on clone of Joseph Goebbels (himself a descendant of Holocaust survivors), only eggs on the most depraved behavior from our government and mimicked by a cult following of nihilists. It emboldens fascists globally: domestic terrorists here in the US, and authoritarians worldwide. What's happening at the border can't be done alone: there had to be a group of fellow citizens working in government for YEARS waiting for this moment and its orange, tweeting avatar. We have gone in two years from the world's best example (and that is arguable on many levels, I admit), to its decidedly worst.


Tear "gas" consists of either aerosolized solid compounds or evaporated liquid compounds (bromoacetone or xylyl bromide), not gas. Tear gas works by irritating mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs, and causes crying, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, pain in the eyes, and temporary blindness. With CS gas, symptoms of irritation typically appear after 20–60 seconds of exposure and commonly resolve within 30 minutes of leaving (or being removed from) the area. With pepper spray (also called "oleoresin capsicum", capsaicinoid or OC gas), the onset of symptoms, including loss of motor control, is almost immediate. There can be considerable variation in tolerance and response, according to the National Research Council (US) Committee on Toxicology.

Use of tear gas in warfare (as with all other chemical weapons,) is prohibited by various international treaties that most states have signed. Police and private self-defense use is not banned in the same manner. Armed forces can legally use tear gas for drills (practicing with gas masks) and for riot control. First used in 1914, xylyl bromide was a popular tearing agent since it was easily prepared. Source: Wikipedia


"The use of tear gas on children -- including infants and toddlers in diapers -- goes against evidence-based recommendations, and threatens their short and long-term health," the statement, written by AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) President Colleen A. Kraft, reads.

"Children are uniquely vulnerable to physiological effects of chemical agents. A child's smaller size, more frequent number of breaths per minute and limited cardiovascular stress response compared to adults magnifies the harm of agents such as tear gas."

The AAP also alludes to possible psychological trauma, since children who have arrived at the border "have taken harrowing journeys."

"We must make every effort not to retraumatize them," Kraft writes. [1]


Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump on Monday denied that federal agents along the US-Mexico border used tear gas on child migrants, but photos and videos show women and children migrants were among those caught up in an incident between border agents and a migrant group that rushed a border crossing Sunday.

At the White House, Trump said that border agents involved in the incident "had to use (force) because they were being rushed by some very tough people and they used tear gas."

"Here's the bottom line, nobody's coming into our country unless they're coming legally," he added. Trump also said the Mexican government "wants to see if they can straighten it out." [2]

The Trump family infrequently attended Marble Collegiate Church, on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It was chaired famously by Reverend Norman Vincent Peale, author of the "Power of Positive Thinking" and other books published along the lines of the "new thought" philosophy that would become famous in motivational books, speaking circles as well as prosperity gospel ministries, and the new age movement. Dr. Peale performed his first wedding to Ivana; his successor would perform his second to Marla Maples in the same facility. Peale would famously be derided by the psychological community as a fraud. Maybe evidenced by his choices of consigliere that was an appealing trait.

One major criticism of The Power of Positive Thinking is that the book is full of anecdotes that are hard to substantiate. Almost all of the experts and many of the testimonials that Peale quotes as supporting his philosophy are unnamed, unknown and unsourced. Examples include a "famous psychologist", a two-page letter from a "practicing physician", another "famous psychologist", a "prominent citizen of New York City", and dozens, if not hundreds, more unverifiable quotations. Similar scientific studies of questionable validity are also cited. As psychiatrist R. C. Murphy exclaimed, "All this advertising is vindicated as it were, by a strict cleaving to the side of part truth," and referred to the work and the quoted material as "implausible and woodenly pious".

A second major accusation of Peale is that he attempted to conceal that his techniques for giving the reader absolute self-confidence and deliverance from suffering are a well known form of hypnosis, and that he attempts to persuade his readers to follow his beliefs through a combination of false evidence and self-hypnosis (autosuggestion), disguised by the use of terms which may sound more benign from the reader's point of view ("techniques", "formulas", "methods", "prayers", and "prescriptions"). One author called Peale's book "The Bible of American autohypnotism". Source: Wikipedia

This is why my theory is, I don't think he "thinks" he's lying: he's - in the parlance of "faith confessions" - speaking the outcome he wants to see, a warped understanding, or an intellectual laziness not to even BOTHER to understand.

Because he said President Obama was born in Kenya, he HAD to be born in Kenya. Because he "says" the Mueller probe is a witch hunt, it HAS to be a witch hunt (that has bagged a substantial amount of Warlocks). Because he "says" there was "no collusion," their CAN'T have been any collusion. Because he "says" the children aren't harmed, they can't be harmed by teargas. Because he "says" global warming is a hoax by the Chinese, it HAS to be a hoax by the Chinese. Because he SAID their were "fine people on both sides" in Charlottesville, they have to have BEEN fine people on both sides in Charlottesville, Virginia (to remind: one side - antifascists; the other side - Nazis).

I could go on for 6,420 false claims in 649 days (9.89/day). Every prevarication uttered like a steady flow of diarrhea from an erupting sewer are all individual, cherished "golden nuggets" of truth for us mere mortals that don't understand his vibe...

Most of the saner rest of us just calls it lying.

1. This is how tear gas affects children, AJ Willingham, CNN
2. Trump denies tear gas was used on child migrants despite pictures, video, Maegan Vazquez and Geneva Sands, CNN

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