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Dr. Helen

Do You Know the News?

February 28th, 2015 - 12:53 pm

I recently took a quiz at the Pew Research Center to see how my “News IQ” compared to others of my age and sex.
It was interesting that fewer women seemed to know the answers to the military or geography questions.
You can see how you do here.

The Evils of the (Straight) Male Gaze

February 26th, 2015 - 12:36 pm

Christina Hoff Sommers: What gender scholars get wrong about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue:

I Thought the Economy was Improved?

February 25th, 2015 - 1:39 pm

CNBC has an article about the increase in depression between 2005-2010:

The economic costs from the psychological affliction of depression have gotten significantly larger in recent years—and people suffering from that condition were hit particularly hard by the 2008 financial crisis, a new study has found.

Annual costs related to major depressive disorder rose to $210.5 billion in 2010, according to the study published Wednesday in the Journal of Clinical Psychology. That represents a 21 percent increase over the $173.3 billion in overall annual economic fallout linked to sufferers of the disorder as of 2005, the report noted….

During that five-year time span, the number of people suffering from depression grew from 13.8 million to 15.4 million, with the fastest rate of increase seen among people older than the age 50.

“Worsening economic conditions after the 2008 downturn took a particularly heavy toll” on those people, noted the report, whose lead author, Paul Greenberg, is a managing principal at the Boston-based economic consulting firm Analysis Group.

Since the economy is now so “improved” due to the amazing job of the current administration, shouldn’t the rate of depression be dropping soon? It will be interesting to see the rate for 2011-2015.

Why Home Ownership Sucks

February 24th, 2015 - 5:42 am

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With all the negative news on TV, the internet and everywhere else concerning the weather, the economy, ISIS, etc., I decided it was time to read something funny and picked up Dave Barry’s new book Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry. Well, parts of it were very funny, but of course I was drawn to the negative chapter on home ownership titled “Everything I Know about Home Ownership I Learned from Johnny Carson.”

Now that our house is ten years old, I can relate to all the problems that Barry discusses in this chapter. He says there are basically two kinds of houses: “New Houses, which are crap, because they don’t build them the way they used to anymore” and “Old Houses, which used to be good, because they were built back when they built them the way they used to, but which today, as a result of being old, are crap.”

So this means that either way, one has to deal with broken things and this is the theme of his chapter on housing. One of the things no one talks about much when pushing home ownership is how much time and money goes into fixing these broken things just to keep your house functional. I am starting to really understand why older people just let their houses go; it’s a full-time job making sure your house doesn’t fall in around you with the broken pipes, busted lights, and appliances that need to be maintained.

This leaves homeowners like Barry dealing with “Truck Guys” who think he is a pervert wasting his time looking at the internet all day when he is actually an English major making a living as a professional writer. And Barry really believes that Home Depot commercials should be required just like drug commercials to have a disclaimer: “At the end, when they’re showing the happy couple in their new do-it-yourself kitchen, an announcer would say: ‘These people are actors. They are not capable of operating an espresso machine, let alone building this kitchen. This was done by contractors with trucks.’”

I am glad to know this, as I spend a lot of time feeling inadequate that I can’t fix much of what is wrong with our house and am constantly asking a man with a truck to explain stuff to me. It doesn’t seem to make it any easier though to do it myself. I am still glowing about putting in light bulbs in high-ceiling fixtures with this bulb-changing kit we got from Amazon and anything beyond that is tough.

Given all the headaches with homeownership, I wonder why any of us own homes at all. If you do your own handiwork, please give me a few tips. I could use some.

Protesting Due Process

February 21st, 2015 - 11:39 am

Ashe Schow at the Washington Examiner:

When author and history professor K.C. Johnson went to Ohio University to discuss due process rights for students accused of campus sexual assault, he knew what he was getting into.

Although due process is a central tenet of the American justice system, it has been attacked in recent years as an impediment to justice by those claiming to be the victims of sexual assault.

Johnson, who co-wrote the book about the false rape allegation against the Duke lacrosse team, has been trying to bring sanity back to the debate over how college campuses handle sexual assault accusations by explaining repeatedly that accused students should not be convicted based on an allegation, without the ability to defend themselves.

And that’s where the activists disagree.

Maybe Greg Lukianoff can use this example (among many, many others) to answer his question: “Do You Think “Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity on Campus?”

Yes, Next Question

February 20th, 2015 - 1:24 pm

Greg Lukianoff : “Do You Think “Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity on Campus?”

A reader sends me a troubling story about a Detroit man threatened with jail time for not paying child support for a child that is not his:

DETROIT (WXYZ) – The state told a Detroit man: Pay child support for a kid that is not yours or go to jail! On Friday, 7 Action News went with him as he turned himself in at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.

“I stayed up all night. Couldn’t sleep thinking about it,” said Carnell Alexander.

Carnell says no matter what the state orders, he won’t pay child support for a child he doesn’t know and that DNA tests prove isn’t his.

“I haven’t even had a chance to speak to him except for one time when we took a DNA test,” said Carnell….

Carnell says he is not only worried about how this impacts him. He says something needs to be changed so that men who are wrongfully named fathers are protected.

“We can be defaulted into being a father of a child that is not ours. I don’t understand the law, but we do have that law in place,“ said Carnell.​

That law should be changed, no man should be jailed for not paying child support and much less, not paying child support for a child that is not even his.

Do Video Games Cause School Shootings?

February 16th, 2015 - 4:44 am

I join Bill Whittle and a couple of gamers to discuss this question at PJTV. Currently, the video seems to be for members only but you can try scrolling down and clicking on the video here.

Interesting Data on Male Suicide

February 12th, 2015 - 10:51 am

I am on an email list and received a link to an article in Newsweek called “The Trouble with Men: Why Men Kill Themselves.” Naturally the title has to have a troubling or negative title, it’s about men. The article is about the high suicide rate in the UK and states: “Suicides of men aged 45-59 have risen by 40% in a decade, and account for a quarter of all suicides in the UK.” There is a graph pointing out that a majority of men (and a number of women) in the UK die by suffocation or hanging: 58% of male suicides and 36% of female suicides use this method. We always hear that it is the proliferation of guns that causes much of the male suicide in the US but if the guns are the problem, why is there also a high incidence of male suicide in the UK but the method is just different?

Is Dating a ‘Pain in the Ass’?

February 10th, 2015 - 4:37 am

I was in L.A. last month and stopped by the PJTV studios to do a roundtable discussion on millennial men and marriage:

Dr. Helen Smith, author of Men on Strike discusses the state of the young American male with PJTV’s Andrew Klavan, Bill Whittle and Matt Orr. Are men shunning marriage because of the economy, or do they have alternatives to marriage, like porn and easy sex? Could it be that women simply giving-up on the hopes of having a relationship with the current pool of men in America? Hear the answers.

Or maybe American men have given up hope on the current pool of women in America: as one of the panelists notes, “Dating is a pain in the ass.” Here is our discussion: