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Hey Mom, Can You Do the Wash?

Friday, March 31st, 2006

So a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/30/AR2006033001341.html” now a third of all men 22-34 /a are living at home with little motivation to do much of anything (thanks to the reader who emailed me this story).br /br /blockquoteThis phenomenon cuts across all demographics. You’ll find it in families both rich and poor; black, white, Asian and Hispanic; urban, suburban and rural. According to the Census Bureau, fully one-third of young men ages 22 to 34 are still living at home with their parents — a roughly 100 percent increase in the past 20 years. No such change has occurred with regard to young women. Why?/blockquotebr /br /Maybe this is what happens when you motivate boys and men by telling them that they are the cause of the world’s problems.br /br /Update: The a href=”http://www.boysproject.net/issues.html”Boys Project /athat is mentioned in the emWashington Post /emarticle actually looks like it addresses some salient issues for boys such as suicide and the negative messages boys hear about their sex.

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Thursday, March 30th, 2006

Aussie Dave at a href=”http://www.israellycool.com/blog”Israelly Cool /a has a podcast with Glenn and me talking about blogging, podcasting and ourselves. Aussie Dave also discusses the Israeli elections. a href=”http://www.israellycool.com/blog/_archives/2006/3/31/1851443.html”You can listen to it here./a

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Heading Towards Geekdom

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

Okay, so I took this quiz in emNewsweek/em a href=”http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11977271/site/newsweek/”asking How Geeky Are You?/a My results showed I was headed towards Geekdom. In celebration of my new found status, I went out and bought an a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2path=ASIN/B0007Y798Utag=wwwviolentkicomcamp=1789creative=9325″iPod Nano from Apple /aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=B0007Y798U” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;”/yesterday. Since Glenn a href=”http://instapundit.com/archives/029417.php”posted on his site /athat I had cracked and bought this little device, some readers have emailed to ask me what I like about this little bitty iPod. The answer is: a lot.br /br /First of all, it’s really little. I love that. I am the kind of person who hates lugging stuff around. If I go on a trip, I will arrive with one bag, regardless of if I have a two week stay somewhere, just because I dislike keeping track of things (yes, I usually end up bumming off others or buying items I left at home, but at least I did not have to lug a heavy bag with me.) The Nano iPod is very tiny and light and fits in the palm of your hand. It would easily fit on an armband to wear to the gym but my favorite place to use it so far has been in the car–which I will discuss in a minute.br /br /Once I got the iPod home, I went to iTunes to register and downloaded songs and podcasts, of course, which was fairly painless–even for the technically challenged such as myself. I won’t tell you what songs I downloaded–after hearing the jeers from commenters about reading emPeople Magazine /emand the emStar/em, it is best you not know. I downloaded my own podcasts, of course, as I have never really listened to them (do you ever really want to hear the sound of your own voice on anything?) But I figured I could check the audio quality for those listeners who use their iPod in their car. I also downloaded Ricky Gervais’s podcasts (the free ones, not my cup of tea, really), and James Lilek’s “a href=”http://web.mac.com/lileks/iWeb/Lileks.com%20Podcasts/Podcast/Podcast.html”The Diner” Podcasts /aand a href=”http://www.powerlineblog.com/podcasts.php”Powerline’s podcasts/a.br /br /On the way to work today, I plugged the iPod into the cigarrette lighter of my car without assistance (yes, again, I can be that technologically illiterate) and it was easy. The second thing I really love about this particular iPod is the excellent screen display. Despite the tiny iPod, the screen is very easy to read and is user friendly. The playlists are easy to use and organize all of your favorite music, podcasts etc. If you love listening to all of your favorite songs and original material from podcasts, the iPod is mandatory. br /br /Finally, I found the sound quality of the iPod to be very good—I was especially surprised how crisp and clear it sounded coming through the FM radio in the car (after plugging it in–you just tune it to the station that lights up). However, there did seem to be some interference at times that left me trying to adjust while driving. However, it was easily corrected. I also had a bit of trouble getting the iPod to start playing but it seemed to just take a moment and then it would play. If you have not tried listening to podcasts in the car, do so, it makes for a fun commute to work.br /br /Overall, I found the Apple iPod Nano easy to use and a good purchase, especially for those of us who feel technically challenged. But then again, I am heading towards Geekdom and fairly soon will be an old pro.

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"Safe" Schools for Libertarians and Conservatives?

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

David Bernstein at the Volokh Conspiracy has an a href=”http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2006_03_26-2006_04_01.shtml#1143655697″interesting college thread /aon “safe” schools for libertarians and conservatives:br /br /blockquoteI get occasional emails and personal inquiries regarding which, if any, elite colleges are “safe” for politically active and or outspoken conservatives and libertarian students in the sense that students and faculty will generally treat them respectfully, even if they are a small minority, and that they won’t need to worry about being hauled before disciplinary committees because they said something politically incorrect that allegedly offended someone. Unfortunately, my knowledge of college life is almost twenty years out of date, but I’m sure VC readers have some ideas. Please comment below, and in the future I’ll refer my inquiries to these comments./blockquotebr /br /a href=”http://volokh.com/posts/1143655697.shtml”Read the comments./a (I find many of Volokh’s commenters obnoxious and annoying, but some actually have a lot to say).

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Does Rioting Create Jobs?

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

In a recent a href=”http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2006/02/menace-in-europe-podcast.html”podcast with Claire Berlinski/a, I recall her saying that the French like to riot–a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12045529/”apparently they do:/abr /br /”At least 1 million people marched in French cities and unions staged a one-day national strike on Tuesday, urging the government to scrap a youth jobs law in one of France’s biggest protests in decades.” br /br /The French may think that rioting is the answer to getting what they want (which should be more jobs) but unfortunately, if their protests work, the result could be fewer jobs, not more, for youth–particularly for the poor immigrant youths who are currently unemployed.br /br /a href=”http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/mar2006/pi20060329_964752.htm”Buisiness Week Online /a takes a look at the problem:br /blockquotebr /The Mar. 28 general strike in France over a controversial new labor law has once again focused attention on the nation’s rigid employment laws and their effect on the French economy. The new law, known as the First Job Contract (the Contrat Premiere Embauche, or CPE), is much loathed by the many students and labor unions that have noisily demonstrated against it. br /br /The CPE would essentially give employers powers currently unheard of in France — the ability to fire, at will and with no financial consideration, new hires under the age of 26 during their first two years on the job. br /br /”This contract could have a role in making it easier to adjust the labor force as needed,” says Standard Poor’s economist Jean-Michel Six. “It might especially prove helpful for small and midsize businesses, where many owners are extremely reluctant to hire new workers.” ….br /br /Yet French Prime Minister Dominique De Villepin, who circumvented traditional political processes to bring the law into effect, maintains that it will induce small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) to take a chance on hiring more young people — especially from among the thousands of alienated young immigrants and first-generation French who rioted for weeks last fall in the suburbs of Paris and elsewhere. /blockquotebr /br /It seems to me that giving employers more incentives to hire young people, not fewer, would be a start in helping the French economy. And certainly rioting for cradle to grave job security is not the answer to the job crisis in France.

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Tax Hell

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

I have been in the middle of tax hell, you know, where you are collecting receipts, trying to find out the cost basis of stocks, and cursing yourself for not being even more organized. In the middle of all of this, I get a notice from the IRS about problems with my 2004 taxes–luckily I got that resolved. However, between that notice, 2005 taxes being due in a little over two weeks, and estimated payments for being self-employed due–it’s rather stressful. Don’t you just love tax season? Does anyone out there have any tips on how to stay sane while preparing your taxes? I would especially love to hear from others who are self-employed (with all of the estimated payments, extra social security etc. that we enjoy).

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Carnival of Homeschooling

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

The 13th week of the Carnival of Homeschooling is up at the a href=”http://whyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2006/03/carnival-of-homeschooling-lucky-week.html”Why Homeschool blog./a I found a href=”http://melissawiley.typepad.com/bonnyglen/2006/03/home_education_.html”this post /aon debunking homeschooling fallacies interesting just because I often hear the argument that kids should attend public schools to learn to deal with unpleasant and painful experiences and homeschooling may not give them this “opportunity.” One would think this would be a positive reason for homeschooling, not a negative one.

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Menace in Europe

Monday, March 27th, 2006

Right Wing News has an interview with author, Claire Berlinski, on her book, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2path=ASIN/1400097681tag=wwwviolentkicomcamp=1789creative=9325″emMenace in Europe : Why the Continent’s Crisis Is America’s, Too/em./aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=1400097681″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / It is a href=”http://www.rightwingnews.com/interviews/berlinski.php”an interesting interview/a. If you want to hear more from Claire, check out our podcast with her a href=”http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2006/02/menace-in-europe-podcast.html”here./a

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Amber Alert

Friday, March 24th, 2006

Yesterday, while driving on the interstate, Glenn and I saw an Amber Alert for a missing Tennessee family. They were found last night minus one member. Here a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11992497/”is what might have happened/a. I wonder what was going on with this family?br /br /Update: The wife in this saga a href=”http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-032406minister_lat,0,109567.story?coll=la-home-headlines”has confessed/a. Little surprise that this is what a church member said about her: br /br /blockquote”They were the perfect family,” said Pam Killingsworth, a member of the church and an assistant principal at the elementary school attended by two of the children.br /br /She was “the perfect mother, the perfect wife. She brought her children to school every day. She volunteered at the school,” Killingsworth said on CNN.br /br /”It is just not real. In my heart, I can’t believe this is happening,” she said. “She was not this kind of person.”/blockquotebr /I would have been shocked if a neighbor had said anything different.

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What Goes Around, Comes Around

Friday, March 24th, 2006

One of my commenters pointed out this op-ed piece in the NYT (thanks) entitled, a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/23/opinion/23britz.html?ex=1143781200en=93dac5ba192a7f44ei=5070emc=eta1″”To All of the Girls I’ve Rejected.”/a The emTimes/em piece is an apology to all of the girls who are being turned away from their pick of colleges due to “demographic realities.” br /br /The author discusses the “tragedy” of her own daughter who received only four acceptance letters but (gasp!) was waitlisted at a fifth school. The author is the Dean of admissions and financial aid at Kenyon College, where they are having to turn away (or at least debate whether to accept) accomplished young women.br /br /blockquoteHad she been a male applicant, there would have been little, if any, hesitation to admit. The reality is that because young men are rarer, they’re more valued applicants. Today, two-thirds of colleges and universities report that they get more female than male applicants, and more than 56 percent of undergraduates nationwide are women. Demographers predict that by 2009, only 42 percent of all baccalaureate degrees awarded in the United States will be given to men. br /br /We have told today’s young women that the world is their oyster; the problem is, so many of them believed us that the standards for admission to today’s most selective colleges are stiffer for women than men. How’s that for an unintended consequence of the women’s liberation movement?/blockquotebr /br /Okay, so the “you go girl!” program is now backfiring–instead of Prince Charming coming to rescue their little Princesses, some mothers such as the author, have just rewritten the script. It now goes like this: “if you are a girl, the world owes you, nothing can stop you and you will be given everything you want–while pushing all others (e.g. boys) out of the way.” All colleges become Daddy, who is to hand over the fat envelopes of admissions, just because you happen to be “an accomplished young woman.” Perhaps these same mothers would have been better off teaching their daughters something different about the world–like how to deal with adversity and how to tolerate being rejected. It is something boys learned a long time ago. If shit happens, you suck it up like a guy and do not complain. (Look how feminists tend to dismiss male complaints as unmanly “whining.”) If you fall down, you get back up. The world does not owe you and life isn’t always fair, especially if feminists are in power. br /br /But now the tides are turning and the very affirmative action rules and regulations that were to be used to promote their little girls (as well as other select groups) are backfiring. Maybe if we selected students based on their actual qualifications, rather than gender or skin color, their daughters would be back in the running. But if you are going to play the affirmative action card, you have to live with the results and play by the rules, and that may mean the very “minority” you are trying to promote may become the very ones who lose out. Watch out what you wish for, it may come back to bite you in the ass.

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Podcast on Israel, Blog Carnivals

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

a href=”http://www.israelemb.org/”img src=”http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/B51755FD-C119-4BEA-A782-7ACC40CF9195/0/MFAJ0b100.jpg” align=right border=0/aToday we have the pleasure of speaking with a href=”http://www.israelemb.org/about_us.html”Daniel Ayalon/a, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Ayalon currently resides in Washington, D.C. He discusses Palestinian politics, Iranian nukes, American perceptions of Israel and Sharon Stone’s recent visit. Ms. Stone’s new Middle East a href=”http://www.canada.com/topics/entertainment/story.html?id=75be4db5-a806-4c9d-ba89-d1fa467885dfk=84772″peace plan/a? “I will kiss just about anybody for peace in the Middle East”. Yeah, Sharon, that will work. You can hear more about Ms. Stone’s visit to Israel at a href=”http://www.israellycoolpodcast.com/index.php?post_id=67632comments=on”www.Israellycool/a.br /img alt=”BradGatlinburgHappy.jpg” src=”http://instapundit.com/archives/images/BradGatlinburgHappy.jpg” width=”225″ height=”300″ align=right /br /We also are talking to Brad Rubenstein, one of the founders of a href=”http://blogcarnival.com/bc/”Blog Carnival /a(and my cousin)–a site that puts together a virtual cornucopia of blog carnivals. Want to know more about homeschooling, knitting, or cats? Blog Carnival will direct you to bloggers who are posting on the subject. If you are the host or organizer of a Carnival, a reader of Carnivals or just interested in Carnivals, listen to this important information.br /br /You can listen to our podcast a href=”http://podcasts.instapundit.com/IsraelandCarnivals.mp3″by clicking here/a or subscribe to iTunes a href=”http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=116559643s=143441″here./a And if you’d like a dialup version, it’s a href=”http://www.instapundit.com/extra_archives/2006_02.php#028499″here./a (An archive of all our previous podcasts is a href=”http://instapundit.com/archives/cat_podcasts.php”here/a.)br /br /Please leave comments and suggestions below. Thanks!

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Carnival of Homeschooling is Up

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

The 12th week of a href=”http://phatmommy.com/2006/03/21/the-12th-carnival-of-homeschooling/”the Carnival of Homeschooling /a is up–but don’t tell the homeschool haters over at Atrios who apparentlya href=”http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004815.htm” think homeschooling is evil/a. I guess the idea that some kids might get away from being indoctrinated by the state is more than they can bear.

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The Politicization of Psychology Continues

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

a href=”http://shrinkwrapped.blogs.com/blog/2006/03/social_science_.html”Shrinkwrapped discusses yet another study /a casting a negative light on (shockingly) Conservatives. The emToronto Star/em “a href=”http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1call_pageid=971358637177c=Articlecid=1142722231554″interprets the study for us/a:”br /br /blockquoteRemember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.br /br /At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals.br /br /The study from the Journal of Research Into Personality isn’t going to make the UC Berkeley professor who published it any friends on the right. Similar conclusions a few years ago from another academic saw him excoriated on right-wing blogs, and even led to a Congressional investigation into his research funding./blockquotebr /br /By the end of the emToronto Star /emarticle, the author summarizes the study to conclude the following:br /br /blockquoteIt could be that whom we vote for has less to do with our judgments about tax policy or free trade or health care, and more with the personalities we’ve been stuck with since we were kids./blockquotebr /br /What about people who change their political orientation over time–were they really just whiny kids or self-reliant ones originally who fooled themselves?br /br /Update: a href=”http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004823.htm”Michelle Malkin /ahas a copy of the entire study if you would like to read more.

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Reviewing Trash So You Don’t Have to

Monday, March 20th, 2006

I am asking my readers not to get angry, but I picked up this week’s emStar/em magazine to read about the “Baby Battle’s” of the celebrities. I know that I should not be reading this trash but I am only doing so to keep the thinkers of the internet (my readers) up to date on current events in the world of trashy tabloids. Why is this important from a psychological standpoint? Because it shows us how celebrites manipulate the MSM (and vice versa) by using victimhood to get more publicity for their wilting careers–and we fall for it.br /br /Case in point. I discussed Terri Hatcher revealing to the media that she had been sexually abused as a child in a post entitled, “a href=”http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2006/03/is-this-really-breaking-news.html”Is this Really Breaking News/a?” This week’s emStar/em has a section called “In Out” that mentions that the new “In” is Terri Hatcher as the cover girl of emVanity Fair’s /emApril issue. The “Out” is Sheryl Crow, Lance Armstrong and Natalie Portman as emVF/em covers–Teri replaced them after revealing she had been sexually molested as a child. In the ema href=”http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/pressroom/”Vanity Fair /emarticle/a, Ms. Hatcher brings up her sexual abuse:br /br /blockquote”I didn’t intend to talk about this with you,” she tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Leslie Bennetts, “but it is something that’s been surfacing with me for the past three years. This is something I’ve tried to hide my whole life.” br /br /Hatcher tells Bennetts that, in 2002, when she learned that her uncle was arrested, she hesitated going public with her story of sex abuse, fearing that cynics might accuse her of using it to get attention and resuscitate an expiring career. But Hatcher found herself tormented by the thought of Sarah Van Cleemput, the young girl who had shot herself, and she was wracked with anxiety over whether Stone would be convicted. “I kept thinking, If she’d known me, especially me being famous, if I could have said to her, ‘Look, it happened to me!,’ if I could just have said to her, ‘You’re going to be O.K.’—I kept thinking, What do I do with this information I have that no one else has?”/blockquotebr /br /Well, if you really cared about being the altruistic helper you portray yourself as, you could have waited until Natalie Portman had her chance at the cover of emVanity Fair/em before you pushed her aside with your tale of woe. When we allow celebrities to use their status as a victim to sell books (a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/074321689X/104-5197000-3067125?v=glancen=283155″Ann Heche/a), make the cover of magazines or gather other goodies, we cheapen the experience of other victims of abuse and reinforce the idea that victimhood pays–big time.

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Mountain Blogging

Sunday, March 19th, 2006

My cousin, Brad, came down from New York to visit for the weekend and we took him to the Smokies and to see Gatlinburg, a small town in the middle of the mountains. No, we did not make it to a href=”http://www.dollywood.com/”Dollywood/a (although we did show him Pigeon Forge)–it is closed until the end of the month. If you have never been to Gatlinburg, it is quite an experience–the town is not for those watching their weight–there are non-stop fudge shops, taffy stores and funnelcake stands. My cousin was baffled as to what a funnel cake was–but if you have spent time in the South, you will know. The town was full of tourists and children hyped up on sugur wandering aimlessly from shop to shop. If you are looking for some tacky t-shirts with interesting sayings–Gatlinburg will not disappoint you. My favorites–”There is thin woman in every fat woman trying to get out–but I usually shut the bitch up with chocolates” and several men I saw displayed the chick magnet t-shirt–”No Fat Chicks.” Well, you get the idea. Anyway, here are some pictures from Cades Cove in the Smokies:br /br /Here is a picture of Glenn and me.br /br /a href=”http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/750/48/1600/helenglennsm.0.jpg”img style=”display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;” src=”http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/750/48/320/helenglennsm.0.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”" //abr /br /Here is a picture of Brad and me.br /br /a href=”http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/750/48/1600/helenbradsm.jpg”img style=”display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;” src=”http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/750/48/320/helenbradsm.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”" //abr /br /Anyone else have an interesting weekend?

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Mental Health Blogging

Friday, March 17th, 2006

Dr. Sanity has a round-up of the psychosphere up–a href=”http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2006/03/touch-and-go_16.html”go take a look/a.

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Is Forgiveness always the Answer?

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

I made the mistake of catching the last few minutes of the ema href=”http://www.drphil.com/”Dr. Phil/a/em Show today. Normally, I would have turned the channel, but Dr. Phil was in a prison talking with a girl, Brandi, about why she ran down and killed her boyfriend. The psychologist (and voyeur) in me stayed glued to the set to see what this killer had to say. The a href=”http://www.drphil.com/shows/show/594/”synopis of the show/a was as follows: br /br /blockquoteBrandi was just 17 years old when she hit and killed her estranged high school boyfriend Daniel. She did it with her parents’ car that she snuck out earlier that night. She says it was an accident, but Daniel’s family disagrees. They say she purposely ran their son down in a fit of rage./blockquote br /br /The victim’s mother a href=”http://www.drphil.com/shows/show/594″says the following:/a br /br /blockquote”Let me tell you some things that she said to us,” says Dr. Phil. “She said, ‘There is no way Brandi could not have known that she hit him. She said that he jumped in front of the car, but Daniel would have known better than that. There is no doubt in my mind that this was intentional. There is nothing you could ever say to bring my son back. You don’t realize the pain that you have caused our family. And I could never ever forgive her. She got a break in court, a slap on the wrist.’br /br /”‘We were told that it was going to be first degree murder with no chance of parole. And then she only got 12 years. Every time we entered the courtroom, we were ridiculed. Brandi said, “He got what he deserved.” I will never have any grandchildren from Daniel. I will never see my son graduate from high school. I will never see him get married. I think her mother is a piss-poor mother. I don’t care how much I love my child, I would never lie for him. She has ruined our lives.’ What do you say to that?” /blockquotebr / br /Well, Dr. Phil says the family of the victim should forgive the killer–and her family. This is the only way they will make peace with themselves. The victim’s sister gives Dr. Phil a look of disgust and says, “We will never forgive Brandi.” Dr.Phil insists that forgiveness is the only solution that will make the pain go away. It’s no wonder that people think psychologists are a bunch of self-righteous ninnies who are one brick short of a load when it comes to common sense. It seems to me forgiveness in this case is just another name for a “get this girl out of jail free card.” Especially since the conversation from the killer’s parents then turned to “how would Brandi serving all this time really help the situation, after all, the victim is already dead.” I have heard this over and over from attorneys, social workers and family members in the course of when I am doing an evaluation with a defendant who has been charged with murder. Forget about the victim–he/she is long gone and there is no reason the perpetrator should have to be put out too much by spending all that nasty time in prison.br /br /Perhaps Dr. Phil should take some advice from a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Safer#Forgiving_and_not_Forgiving”Jeane Safer, PhD/a, who is the author of a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2path=ASIN/0380794713tag=wwwviolentkicomcamp=1789creative=9325″emForgiving and Not Forgiving: : Why Sometimes It’s Better Not to Forgive./em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0380794713″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Safer#Forgiving_and_not_Forgiving”Safer argues/a in this book that genuine forgiveness is neither easy nor is it always necessary. Carefully choosing not to forgive can also be therapeutic. When this grieving family told Dr. Phil that they chose not to forgive the killer of their son, perhaps he should have kept the therapeutic hype to a minimum–one size does not fit all–and maybe respected their choice, which they’ve had a lot more time to think about than he has. You would think with all the expertise Dr. Phil purports to have, he would know that.

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Podcast on the APA, Destructive Trends in Mental Health and Politics

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

a href=”http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/750/48/1600/destructivetrendscov.jpg”img style=”float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;” src=”http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/750/48/320/destructivetrendscov.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”" //abr /We talk today to Dr. Nicholas Cummings, former president of the American Psychological Association (APA) and author, along with Rogers Wright, of a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2path=ASIN/0415950864tag=wwwviolentkicomcamp=1789creative=9325″Destructive Trends in Mental Health./aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0415950864″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / Dr. Cummings spearheaded the successful effort to get the APA to stop regarding homosexuality as a mental disease–and now he is treated as an anathema by the same organization he headed–find out why. He discusses the ultra liberal agenda that has captured psychology, psychiatry and social work, why men have fled these fields and the politics of mental health that affect all of us or our loved ones. br /br /You can listen to the podcast directly (you don’t need an iPod!) by a href=”http://podcasts.instapundit.com/PsychologyandPolitics031606.mp3″clicking right here,/a or you can get it via iTunes a href=”http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=116559643s=143441″right here./abr /br /There’s an archive of previous episodes a href=”http://instapundit.com/archives/cat_podcasts.php”here./a There’s also a collection of low-bandwidth versions for dialup users, etc., available a href=”http://www.instapundit.com/extra_archives/2006_02.php#028499″here./abr /br /Please leave any comments or suggestions below.

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Carnival of Homeschooling

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

The 11th Carnival of Homeschooling is up and being hosted at a href=”http://heartkeepercommonroom.blogspot.com/2006/03/homeschooling-carnival.html”The Common Room. /a

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Monday, March 13th, 2006

Shrinkwrapped has thoughts on why those of us in the mental health field are supposed to call our patients “clients” instead of “patients.” a href=”http://shrinkwrapped.blogs.com/blog/2006/03/on_clients_pati.html”Go take a look./abr /br /Update: So from the comments thus far, we have differing opinions as to whether readers wish to be called clients or patients–personally, I don’t give a damn so long as my doctor treats me with respect and is competent. That is what I do for my patients–uh…clients, or whatever. What do you think?br /br /Update II: a href=”http://mygorramden.typepad.com/my_gorram_den/2006/03/collectivism_in.html”Ice Scribe /ahas some more thoughts on doctors being called “providers.”

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If You’re Gay–You Better Stay that Way

Sunday, March 12th, 2006

Well, the APA (American Psychological Association) is at it again playing the activist role rather than the social science one when it comes to homosexuality (Hat Tip a href=”http://nationalpsychologist.com/”The National Psychologist/a). The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality a href=”http://www.narth.com/index.html”(NARTH)/a is a national association of mental health professionals serving men and women who are dissatisfied with their homosexual attractions. br /br /Personally, I’m skeptical about turning gay people straight. But shouldn’t the client be the one to choose, not the APA? The APA has decided that the answer is no.br /br /Not only did the APA deny CE (Continuing Education) credit to professionals attending the annual NARTH conference in November, stating that “The program content is not consistent with APA policy” but the APA is attempting to declare therapy to modify sexual orientation unethical (National Psychologist, March,April 2006). Nicholas Cummings and Rogers Wright, authors of a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2path=ASIN/0415950864tag=wwwviolentkicomcamp=1789creative=9325″Destructive Trends in Mental Health,/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0415950864″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;”/talk about the APA’s attempt to a href=”http://www.narth.com/docs/insiders.html”silence those who disagree /awith their positions:br /br /blockquoteWhen writing their newly released book a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2path=ASIN/0415950864tag=wwwviolentkicomcamp=1789creative=9325″Destructive Trends in Mental Health,/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0415950864″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / Wright and Cummings invited the participation of a number of fellow psychologists who flatly turned them down–fearing loss of tenure, loss of promotion, and other forms of professional retaliation. “We were bombarded by horror stories,” Dr. Cummings said. “Their greatest fear was of the gay lobby, which is very strong in the APA.” br /br /’Homophobia as intimidation’ is one of the most pervasive techniques used to silence anyone who would disagree with the gay activist agenda,” said Cummings. “Sadly, I have seen militant gay men and lesbians– who I am certain do not represent all homosexuals, and who themselves have been the object of derision and oppression– once gaining freedom and power, then becoming oppressors themselves./blockquotebr /Perhaps the APA should turn the mirror on itself when it comes to being intolerant and closed-minded. APA articles a href=”http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/07/22_politics.shtml”such as this one /a claim that Conservatives have an intolerance for ambiguity — but isn’t intolerance of ambiguity just what the APA is engaging in on the issue of homosexuality? Isn’t it extreme to go from diagnosing homosexuality as a mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagnostic_and_Statistical_Manual_of_Mental_Disorders”prior to 1973/a to claiming that NARTH has no right to help those who emwant/em to change their sexual orientation to do so? Should we really trust an institution that swings to such extremes when it comes to psychological issues, and yet insists that it is right in whatever position it takes?br /br /If clients want to change their sexual orientation, shouldn’t they be able to make that choice just like the clients who embrace being gay or heterosexual? (How would the APA act if someone else were trying to shut down therapists who assisted formerly “straight” clients with getting in touch with their “gay” feelings?) Is the appearance of political correctness so entrenched in the APA that they would violate their own ethical code of client autonomy, self-determination or diversity? br /br /I guess the answer to the last question is “Yes.”br /br /Update: Please help me in my support of the book, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2path=ASIN/0415950864tag=wwwviolentkicomcamp=1789creative=9325″Destructive Trends in Mental Health./aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0415950864″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / I have purchased several copies and hope that others will too–give them to your favorite therapist or mental health professional or read them yourself. The book is chock full of great information on political correctness with chapters ranging from “The Psychology of Victimhood” to “The Dumbing Down of Psychology.” br /br /a href=”http://www.narth.com/docs/insiders.html”"Wright described /athe difficulties he has encountered with the American Psychological Association since the Association instituted a “strategic decision not to respond” to their book in an effort to avoid attracting attention to it. Initially, the APA prohibited its member-publications from reviewing Destructive Trends. “So much for diversity and open-mindedness,” Wright added wryly.”br /br /Update: a href=”http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2006/03/podcast-on-apa-destructive-trends-in.html”Listen to our podcast /a on this issue as well as psychology and politics with Dr. Nicholas Cummings here.

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Deja Vu

Friday, March 10th, 2006

Blogger Jeff Jarvis at Buzz Machine wrote a post about his heart rhythm problems, entitled a href=”http://www.buzzmachine.com/index.php/2006/03/10/my-disabled-month/”My Disabled Month,/a that I can really relate to:br /br /blockquoteBecause of my heart’s fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat) and tachycardia (a rapid heartbeat), I spent the last month disabled: That is, in an instant, I became unable to do some things that were normal for me the day before. And then, in another instant, with a shock of electricity on Monday afternoon, I was able to do them again. But now I do those things with a slightly different perspective. I learned something in my disabled month.br /br /I do most everything fast. I walk as fast as I talk as fast as I eat as fast as I type. But now I slowed down because if I overdid things by just a hair, the heart rate would go wacky. Walking up a slight hill on a Manhattan street — even walking against the wind — suddenly felt like a force field fighting me. /blockquotebr /br /I have dealt with the heart problems for six-and-a-half years now and can relate to what Mr. Jarvis says. Except in my instance, there is no shock of electricity that will allow me to go back in rhythm-the problems I have will stay with me for life and I can only learn to adapt to them on a daily basis without thinking that I will go back to the way I was. I was always a fast talker, walker, and eater. I loved being a Type A person who was on the go and could work all day, lift weights and run for miles. And now I can’t–it has changed who I am as a person and not necessarily for the better like everyone tells you. I can no longer do many of the things that I love. But I have learned how to cope–and I often use my heart trouble to provide comic relief. Maybe I can provide Mr. Jarvis with some tips. br /br /For example, Mr. Jarvis describes his feelings of embarrassment at not being able to climb stairs:br /br /blockquoteIn the PATH station in New York, I stood there with old people, sick people, and mothers with baby carriages, waiting for a lift. I was embarrassed. I wondered whether they looked at me thinking, ‘What a lazy SOB: he looks fit and healthy and the excercise of a few stairs would be good for him: Get moving and don’t take up space on our elevator.’ Of course, it’s New York: Nobody really pays that much attention to anyone else. But I heard that echo in my head./blockquote br /br /Several months after my heart attack, I went to my gym to walk around the track. Everytime I would go, a fit young guy would run by effortlessly and tell me to get moving. I tried to ignore him and flatter myself that he was just being nice. But the tenth time he told me I was not helping myself by crawling the track at a snail’s pace was the breaking point. I looked at him and said, “I just had a heart attack and got out of the hospital, this snail’s pace that you are laughing at is the best that I can do.” A look of horror and embarrassment clouded his face and he slunk away. So, Mr. Jarvis, my first tip is, let others be embarrassed about their reaction to your condition–do not feel embarrassed yourself for having human frailties. br /br /Mr. Jarvis notes that he cannot always perform tasks that a normal person can perform:br /br /blockquoteWhen I got on the plane coming home, they put me in an exit row and asked me the standard question: Are you able, etc.? I had to say, no, I’d rather not sit there just right now. I didn’t say I wasn’t able, though I wasn’t. I sensed another odd look: ‘What, you won’t rescue your fellow passengers, you selfish, first-class oaf?’ As we used to say in California, I was projecting. But that thought did flash through my head as I thought for a second about sitting there to avoid the embarrassment, though I realized that would have been irresponsible./blockquotebr /br /Rather than see yourself as selfish for having medical problems, my second tip is to use them to your advantage to get back at those you dislike. Case in point. A secretary at my daughter’s school had been impolite to me on the phone the week before. I went to pick up my daughter from school one day and this obnoxious secretary told me that my daughter was at the playground half a mile or so outside and I would have to go fetch her. I looked at her and smiled kindly, “I’m sorry, I am disabled after recent heart surgery and not able to walk that far.” She looked troubled at the word disabled (you know, all those ADA rules etc. have school personnel skiddish) and scurried down to the playground while I plopped myself in a chair and read a magazine in the air conditioned office until she came back with my child, apologizing for taking so long. You see, medical problems are not all bad. br /br /And finally, why let feeling strange while on television or when speaking stop you from a peak performance: br /br /blockquoteBut I didn’t tell everyone I felt strange. I did talks and panel discussions and was fine. But as I blogged, when I did an appearance on Donny Deutsch’s show and got pissed at a professional prude and enemy of the First Amendment, my heart really went wacky fast and I thought for a second I might pass out on TV. Now that would have been embarrassing. Luckily, few would have seen it./blockquotebr /br /Instead, use it to enhance your performance like I did the time I was doped up on beta blockers. I was working as an expert on a crime show and felt so sluggish, I thought I would fall asleep while being interviewed. When I later saw the show, my sleepiness came through as a kind of coy, sly detective type look which I thought really enhanced my performance on the show. Okay, I went home, fell on my face and slept for several hours, but I got through it and sometimes, that is the best one can hope for when dealing with medical problems. Or maybe the lesson, if there is one, is to have enormous patience for our fellow human beings who “look normal” but may be suffering the same way we are or worse. Oh, and continue being a snarky blogger–we can never have enough of those!br /br /Udate: a href=”http://www.gmroper.com/archives/2006/03/conquering_fear.htm#comments”GM Roper /ahas more thoughts on how to cope with a serious illness.

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The Race Card

Friday, March 10th, 2006

Do you ever get tired of the onslaught of “enlightened” television and movies that tell us what a bunch of bigots and homophobes we are? I do. I was sitting at work yesterday waiting on my next client when I happened to catch an article in emPeople Magazine/em about the new reality series emBlack. White/em. which is similar to emWife Swap/em except that the families swap races rather than wives. br /br /Apparently, two families each with a teenaged kid, one black, one white are made up to look like the opposite race and the cameras follow the families in different settings as they experience being a different race. The a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11394595/”show is described as being about exposing /athe subtleties of racism:br /br /blockquoteCutler, whose documentary films and TV series include the acclaimed “The War Room” and “American High,” was joined by Ice Cube, the rapper, actor and producer, on the project proposed by FX Networks President John Landgraf.br /br /His hope for the project was to “expose the subtleties of racism, the layers of racism,” the musician told The Associated Press. “Everybody thinks of a Klan man standing with a shotgun, yelling, ‘Keep it white.’br /br /“Everybody is worried about the guy with the black power, leather jacket on, Afro … worried about those kind of people and not really knowing that racism is not just the obvious,” Cube said.br /br /The series’ timing is notable, with race brought into renewed focus by Katrina and the disproportionate suffering it caused for blacks in New Orleans. But “Black.White.” was conceived before the hurricane, Landgraf said./blockquotebr /br /It is disappointing to me that the show seems to take the predictable road of how bigoted whites are:br /br /blockquoteIn black makeup, Rose gets the brushoff when she applies for work at stores in a white area. One shopkeeper glances in a drawer and unconvincingly announces she’s out of job applications.br /br /Sitting in as a white woman on a focus group discussion on race, Renee Sparks is shocked to hear a young college student relate how he was cautioned to wash off the handshake of a black person.br /br /“I thought, here it is, 2005, and people are still teaching their kids this,” Sparks said in a recent interview with reporters./blockquotebr /br /In the emPeople Magazine /emI read at work, the article on the show mentioned that the black father was angry with his son who did not realize how prejudiced the world was. The son commented that he did not see prejudice against him in his world with the father insisting that he did. Is this helpful? In what way? To prepare his son for all of the horrible things that are to come as a result of being black? I think the way that Condi Rice’s parents prepared her for the world is a much better psychological tactic to take. In Dick Morris’s book, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2path=ASIN/0060839139tag=wwwviolentkicomcamp=1789creative=9325″Condi vs. Hillary : The Next Great Presidential Race,/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0060839139″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;”/Rice told emEbony/em magazine, “Our parents really did have us convinced that even if I couldn’t have a hamburger at Woolworths, I could be President of the United States.” She was taught to “blast through the barriers.” She adds: “What’s the alternative? Decrying the barriers? I tend to think that societies move largely through the force of individuals breaking barriers.”br /br /Well, I don’t see shows like emBlack. White/em. breaking barriers as much as decrying them. This does little to further race relations and emphasizes victimhood, rather than self-sufficiency. But if this emphasis makes producers and rappers feel better about themselves, then obviously, it is worth it.

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Is This Really Breaking News?

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

I’m sorry, but is a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11717426/”Terri Hatcher being sexually abused/a as a child really “breaking news?” As a psychologist, I deal with people who have been sexually abused. Is it hard on them, difficult to deal with, devastating at times? Yes, it can be (a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rind_et_al._(1998)”or not/a), but is publicizing all of the victimhood really a good way to help those who have been sexually abused? And frankly, from Oprah to Ms. Hatcher to a href=”http://searchingforangelashelton.com/synopsis.html”Angela Shelton/a, it seems like everyone owns up to some abuse at some point. I can’t help but feel this play for victimhood is not a good way to promote healing for the sexually abused.br /br /I remember once sitting in on a group session at a sex abuse clinic for women years ago. I observed the group leader getting the women to open up about their abuse, but frankly, no solutions were put forth. The women cried, moaned and described their abuse in excruciating detail, more info than I ever wanted. One woman could no longer talk and was mute (although doctors told her there was nothing physically wrong with her) because of the severity of her abuse. I observed a number of sessions but noted that no one ever seemed to be getting better–in fact, some seemed to be getting worse–and I decided then and there that the way sex abuse victims were handled and the emphasis on victimhood was not the answer. I later talked to patients who had gone to similar group therapies or been told by mental health professionals or others about how devastating their abuse must have been. Rarely did this seem to help. br /br /I am not downplaying the emotional upheaval that can be caused by sexual abuse, but I disagree with the methods that our society uses to deal with sexual abuse. A person who has been abused often gets the message, if not directly, then indirectly, that they are “damaged goods” or that this one event in their life defines them in some way. Or that if they do not feel pain, vulnerability and damage from the experience, then they must be repressing something. My concern is how to help people overcome sexual abuse experiences and get better, not how to help them wallow in victimhood. If the mute patient in the group therapy session I described above is any example of how one should deal with sexual abuse, by offering victimhood as a lifestyle, then count me out. I would rather see people heal and move on.

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Mental Health Blogging

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

Dr. Sanity’s round-up of the a href=”http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2006/03/touch-and-go.html”psychosphere is up/a. a href=”http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2006/03/when-christian-and-nutritional-myths.html”Assistant Village Idiot /ahas a post on when Christian and nutritional myths collide that I found quite interesting:br /br /blockquoteThings like this just make me crazy. A quote from The Maker’s Diet, by Jordan S. Rubin.br /br /”History reveals that the healthiest people in the world were generally the most primitive people as well! Our ancestors rarely died from the diet-and lifestyle-related illnesses that kill most modern people before their time, mainly because they ate more healthfully and had more active lifestyles. (p. 32)”br /br /I don’t know anything about the value of Rubin’s subsequent advise on diet. And I’m not going to find out either, because this is so amazingly stupid that I won’t trust a single thing I read from this point forward.br /br /They died young. Their “lifestyle” consisted of brutal labor and frequent malnutrition. Before 1700, life expectancies were in the 30′s worldwide. As recently as 1900, the life expectancy in America was 46 — and that was the highest in the world. Certainly the many deaths in childhood, and the many deaths in childbirth cut down the average, but do the math. A life expectancy of 35 means way less than half are living to age 70. /blockquotebr /br /Yes, it must be nice to rewrite history in a way that makes the primitive lifestyle seem full of life and health. Sorry, but I would rather be alive today eating a Big Mac and frequenting a cardiac surgeon than to have been subjected to the brutal labor and spartan diet plan of my ancestors.

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