February 17, 2007

Brief Politico-Therapy: A Tour of The Psych-Bloggers

Welcome Gentle Reader to another week of therapy: Brief Politico-Therapy that is. This is the place where those of us in the mental health field get to discuss politics from a mental health point of view, to give you, our beloved readers a look at politics filtered through the tenets of ... oh, say Freud, or perhaps Jung or maybe Erikson or Rogers. Our Psych-bloggers are from a wide variety of professions including psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, psycho-therapists and other sundry mental health providers. So, sit back, read my introductions and click on the links I provide to some fantastic reading. This week, we are joined by all the usual suspects, the great, the wise, and the oh-so-on target Psych-Bloggers. Presenting their take on politics and other topics wide and sundry are: Dr. Helen, Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, neo-neocon, Assistant Village Idiot, One Cosmos (Gagdad Bob), Sigmund, Carl and Alfred as well as OK, So I'm Not Really A Cowboy and this week we have a new member of the band, Iron Shrink. Now, I'd like to claim that I have poured over the internet for hours and hours to bring you new and entertaining voices, but the truth is that Shrinkwrapped, a terrific fellow and a grand member of the Sanity Squad pointed the way to this new [to us] blogger. So, grab a cup/glass of your favorite beverage and be very welcome as we take the tour.

First up this week will be our newest member, the freshest face in our gaggle of greats Iron Shrink who deconstructs that faux-study called “Nursery School Personality and Political Orientation Two Decades Later” as presented by Block and Block in Psychology Today. Now, I don't know about you, but I quit reading PT 30+ years ago because the tendency was to fill the magazine with psychobable and trendy bs; but, I digress, Iron Shrink deconstructs this study with a deft and skilled hand:

I’m not the first to question the methodology of this study. Others have noted the possibility of rater bias – specifically, the possibility that the preschool teachers who administered the first personality assessments might have unknowingly tainted the end results. And, as the authors acknowledge, the initial assessments took place in the leftist community of Berkeley, California and that may have colored the data.

But having reviewed this study extensively, it seems to me that speculating about rater bias is like complaining about squeaky propellers on the Hindenberg. There is a much bigger problem with this study, so let us not waste time on trivialities.

Next up is our own personal heroine, that shrink with the mostest, one of the nicest folk you will ever meet, Dr. Sanity herself.

Today, we take a peek at how Dr. Sanity sees the very real threat of Iran and how the left deals with it in VERY VERY HIGH ANXIETY! This is priceless and insightful:

Anxiety is normal emotional and physiological response to feeling threatened. But when it is combined with displacement, it is exceedingly risky.

Imagine that you are standing in the middle of a road with your spouse and a powerful truck is bearing down on the two of you. You are naturally frightened and the biological hardware that automatically protects you in such dangerous situations kicks in. However, instead of jumping out of the way, you turn toward your spouse and start screaming with anger and rage about how it is all his fault that the truck is speeding toward you.

The consequences of your decision to focus your ire on your spouse at that particular time are, unfortunately, quite obvious.

Dr. Sanity hits the nail on the head once again.

I cannot imagine a whole week without Dr. Helen, but sad to say I've not been to her site for the week, woe is me! But, to make up to the dear Dr. I'll promise not to be so slothful in the future. Today, I present Dr. Helen's take on the Amanda Marcotte imbroglio and sexism in the blogosphere "Is The Blogosphere Sexist?" (which I have blogged on here and here and, as it were, the second post uses a phrase made bloggy-famous by Dr. Helen's Hubby, Glenn Reynolds) But, again I digress, Dr. Helen notes:

To tell you the truth, I don't read many of the "feminist" blogs: they seem immature and tend to blame men in vile terms for every aspect of their miserable lives--while at the same time, slamming any man who makes the slightest criticism of women. Yep, the blogosphere is sexist all right but it may just be that the women give as good or better than they get. So I really can't feel too sorry for them."

And this of course, though not for any rational reason, brings us to one of my favorite Psych-bloggers (not that I'm not very fond of all of them) Shrinkwrapped. Shrinky (Wrappy?) takes a hard look at the UNICEF's study on the "welfare of kids" in both the UK and US reporting that our waif's are in dire straits... of course Shrinkwrapped rips that argument to shreds.

Unfortunately, I only got to the first section on Material Well-Being before I realized the data might have some problems. After some discussion of the risks imposed on a child by falling under the poverty line, the report describes how it determined the child's material well-being [...] I am afraid I stopped reading at this point. The authors essentially admit that their measure of material well-being has almost nothing to do with actual deprivation but is almost directly related to their imagined sense of a child's envy of those who have more than he or she does. If I live in a wealthy area but my children have to drive a Honda while their friends are driving BMWs, presumably my children are suffering. (Well, actually, on occasion they have made the claim that they are deprived, but they have received little sympathy from Mrs. SW or me; luckily they haven't thought to call Child Welfare or the UN bureaucrats.)
Shrinkwrapped does his usual blockbuster report on how the MSM and UN and others of that ilk (Psychology Today anyone?) do their very best to denegrate the US in general or Conservatives in particular. Be sure and read every word.

Over at the Assistant Villiage Idiot's Blog we have a look at the Democrat Strategy Implications. This is a short, but really great read. Those of us on the right warned the electorate that this would happen if the Dems were put in power. Damn, I hate being right on this. Go read AVI's post, he says it best:

I understand that in politics, if factions cannot get what they want by direct means, they elect to try indirect and partial means to accomplish their goals. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this, but indirect approaches are certainly more likely to be deceptive.

Next up is Our Lady Of The Green Apple neo-neocon who takes a look at "Democracy, its spread and The Neocons." Neo-neocon tackles a tough nut: The cause for going to war, it's meaning and how the left interprets the meaning:

So, was it BDS--anything the nefarious Bush does is automatically wrong? Alliance with internationalism and "old Europe," which had its own reasons for opposing the war (hint: they were not humanitarian)? Or was it the fact that Iraq has strategic importance to the US (unlike, for example, Haiti), and that deposing Saddam could benefit us, making the prospect of doing so a self-interested one as well as a humanitarian one and therefore automatically suspect (only when a war is for purely humanitarian reasons, it seems, does it pass the Left's muster)?

Or is it the fact that the Left likes to make a big to-do about its humanitarian goals, and yet almost always opposes the possible ways to free a people from an oppressive regime, such as military intervention or other means of forced change, such as assassination? (See this, for example.)

As we have all come to expect, neo-neocon nails it with an aplomb that you would only expect from a lifeling thoughtful conservative, not one relatively new and "mugged by reality on 9/11" Be sure and read neo-neocon regularly.

Sigmund Carl and Alfred, that intrepid psychotherapist does his usual excellent work with "History, Stones And The Palestinians Orwellian Dance" in which he notes in a link rich and must read post:

Are both Judaism and Christianity lies, simply because there are those in the Palestinian and Arab communities need to dismiss those faiths to bolster a concocted, Dali-esque, dream world self image that serves no other purpose than to camouflage a history of failure, disgrace and political dysfunction? Are there that many in the Arab world that are willing to be a party to the deceit that serves no other purpose than to perpetuate the failed ideologies and regimes that have destroyed the once proud ummah?

And now beloved readers, let us consider another of my favorites (because I consider the pun to be the ultimate in humor requiring as it does the ability to think on several different levels in order to understand the pun) the inimitable One Cosmos authored by none other than Gagdad Bob. In this week's selection, Gagdad Bob takes on the left (small L) in "Acting Out the Fantasies of the Left and Overturning the Order of the Cosmos":

Leftism is intrinsically anti-intellectual, in that it must abolish that part of man which is capable of seeing the error of leftism in a direct and unmediated way. In fact, a major part of the leftist agenda involves displacing the higher mind with the lower, that is, "small r" reason in its mechanical sense. Worse than the ideological takeover of academia has been the simultaneous eclipse of the higher mind, thus reducing man to a cultured beast.

The leftist program follows the split in the western world which occurred with the Enlightenment, which had its radical version in France and its skeptical version in England and Scotland. America has been by far the most successful nation in history because it was a product of the skeptical Enlightenment (i.e., classical liberals such as Adam Smith) and because our founders -- since they were so securely anchored in Judeo-Christian metaphysics and therefore "innoculated" against leftism -- categorically rejected the savagely utopian schemes of the romantic radicals.

Read also some of the comments.

OK, So I'm Not Really A Cowboy hasn't posted this week so on that note, I'll say fare-thee-well for the nonce. For you righties, take the left with two asprin and call your therapist in the morning. You lefties, well, I'm not sure any amount of therapy will help you! ;-)

Posted by GM Roper at February 17, 2007 10:46 AM | TrackBack

I'll second that Iron Shrink recommendation. I enjoyed my visit there.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at February 17, 2007 07:10 PM

Thanks for the posting and the props, guys.

Posted by Iron Shrink at February 18, 2007 11:59 PM

Wow GM another great round up!! You rock, to take the time to do this...awesome stuff here.

Posted by Raven at February 19, 2007 03:14 PM

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