September 18, 2007

Brief Politico-Therapies: A Tour of the Psych Bloggers

It is time to once again take a tour of the Psych bloggers, those intrepid bunch of mental health professionals. As we take a look at their take on politics, the human condition and anything else that catches my eye. Our usual bunch of suspects include: Dr. Helen, Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, neo-neocon, Assistant Village Idiot, One Cosmos (Gagdad Bob), Sigmund, Carl and Alfred, Its About Them, and Dr. John Jay Ray.

Tonight's foray begins with an older post of Dr. John Jay Ray's but one in which the term Liberalism is sliced, diced and par-boiled. The Psychology Underlying "Liberalism" This is a long post, but worth every minute of reading it. Here is a sample regarding "moral equivalence"

The Leftist's ceaseless agitation for equality often makes him/her into a modern day Procrustes. In Ancient Greek mythology, Procrustes was an innkeeper who had beds of only one length so if a wayfarer came in who had legs longer than any of Procrustes' beds, Procrustes would cut off the legs of the wayfarer until they fitted his beds. Similarly today, if anybody is clearly not equal the Leftist is determined to force him to be equal or at least is determined to deny his inequality. Stalin, of course, made Procrustes look like a wimp. Anybody in Russia who looked unequal -- such as the kulaks ("rich" peasants) -- Stalin simply had executed.
Be sure and read it all.

Now, let's head over to Dr. Helen's place. Dr. Helen is a forensic psychologist and the better half of Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit. Today's selection takes a look at Mens Health and the heart, an interesting post for someone who has had a Heart Attack herself and I can see why she posted about it Be sure and read all of the links too.

Are you a susceptible person? I was, although my heart condition was a bit different. The only way to find out if you are at risk is to ask your doctor if you need tests such as an ECG or EKG and if abnormalities are found, to follow up with an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart) or whatever tests the doc recommends.

If you have gotten this far in the post, don't get paranoid but do take care of your heart health; it's important.

Dr. Helen is one of the best reads on the net, if you don't have her as a favorite, you are missing something for sure.

Next up is my favorite tripartite therapist Sigmund Carl and Alfred. His blog squib is "We talked to your mother, we know everything." Last week I had the pleasure of being on a podcast with Fausta and SC&A and boy, is he smart! Hope I get invited back because I really had a great time (and you can listen to the podcast here) (Heh, how do you like the way I snuck that plug in?) But, I digress, SC&A have a terrific post up on Legacies: Theirs and Ours and the opening paragraphs are ... well, you just have to read the whole thing, but here are the opening two paragraphs:

No matter how current events play themselves out, in the Middle East and elsewhere, only America will stand with her head unbowed. Those nations and individuals who fiercely oppose the efforts to bring freedom to others will eventually hang their heads in shame. Every effort and national policy that impedes the American efforts in liberating a nation and people from tyranny result in unnecessary loss of life, hope and dignity.

Do those nations and individuals that have benefited from the blessings of a free society, take their own freedom for granted so much, that to delay freedom for others means nothing to them? Does the Would those nations, if oppressed, appreciate a delay in our efforts to liberate them? Would they appreciate our decision to refuse to become involved?

SC&A have written a MUST READ post. God Bless 'Em!

Turning the corner, we come across neo-neocon's blog and "Dissing the generals and fighting the previous war: the historical underpinnings of MoveOn’s moves (Part II)" (part 1 is linked to also). Neo-neocon takes a hard look at the reception of General Petraeus and to the reactions to the military during the Vietnam war. This is a must read and here is a tidbit:

[...]In many cases, those in charge were considered not just incompetent and/or confused, but purposeful liars, deceivers, and betrayers of the fighting forces under them whose lives were being wasted in a cause already known to be lost.

This press agenda took its full form not in the early days of the war, but after the PR debacle of the Tet offensive and the real debacle of My Lai and the initial investigatory coverup of that terrible event. Tet caused the trusted and avuncular Walter Cronkite to leap over the heretofore rigid boundary between reporting the news into opinion journalism. In Cronkite’s opinion, Vietnam had become a lost cause.

Read both parts for the full impact.

Up in the road ahead, we come to a new favorites, Dr. James Sutton blogging at It's About Them (who by the way makes terrific hand crafted wooden pens, they are available at The Texas Penwright - I own two of them and they are beautiful). In today's choice, Dr. Sutton writes about "Doubt:"

Doubts don’t diminish our humanity; they make it honest. Doubt is a human condition, so what’s wrong with being human?

Abraham Lincoln suffered angst and doubt most every day he was president. Yet he is regarded as one of our greatest leaders and humanitarians of all time. His doubts caused him private pain … not public failure.

Dr. Sutton is another that you should have on your favorites list and if your organization needs an excellent speaker, I've heard him and I highly recommend Dr. Sutton.

Up next? Why, tis none other than our own Dr. Sanity. Doc Sanity posts on the left and their dogmatic insistance that everyone think like them - no diversity of thought for them. THE IMPOSITION OF LEFTIST SHARIA, a little taste:

Definition: Leftist Sharia - the dynamic body of leftist quasi-religious dogma that dictates suitable behavior for everyone...or else.
Read, and follow all of the links. Doc Sanity proves her point!

Gagdad Bob, that oh-so-effervescent punster often gets serious; real serious!. This is one of those times as he takes down the myth of who beat the Depression in "The Redefinition of Liberal Act of 1932:"

We're still discussing the outstanding new book on the Great Depression, The Forgotten Man.

Instead of dealing in reality, the left habitually deals in myth and image, and there is no bigger myth than the idea that FDR rescued the economy from the Great Depression. To the contrary, it is now well understood by mainstream economists that his economic acumen was essentially nil, and that he aggravated the Depression at every turn, causing it to last many years longer than it otherwise would have."

The left won't like this one from Dr. Bob - how dare he pound one of their shibboleths into the ground?

Shrinkwrapped, a regular on the Sanity Squad delves into rites of passage in "Of Boys and Men."

we have managed our way to become more civilized, the murderous nature of male Rites has been tempered, so that often such Rites are only distant derivatives of such primitive aggression. Rites of Passage also become the basis for the culture's evocation of heroism. For example, a society that honors the warrior as the greatest ideal to which a boy can aspire can be sure to contain Rites of Passage that glorify aggression.

This creates a problem for pacifist societies. Since the role of the Rite is to enable the boy to channel his aggression in socially acceptable ways, societies that eschew aggression in all spheres will often find themselves celebrating feminized men who lack the abiltity to express what in more simple times have been known as masculine traits."

Shrinkwrapped once again hits the nail on the head, and we as a society, need to figure out which way our rites of passage should go and how will that direction preserve our freedoms.

And last, but never-ever-under-any-circumstances least comes the Assistant Village Idiot. This post takes a look at "Little Boxes" the anti-suburb song of the early 60s and the "Little Folkies." The post is an excellent example of the reflective ability of this terrific blogger. A sample:

Tom Lehrer called "Little Boxes" the most sanctimonious song ever written. I hadn't stated it so bluntly, but the sentiment has been in my mind for some time. The lyrics deplore the sameness of 1962 suburbanites and their houses, which "are all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same."
Be sure and read it all, including the comments especially the one from Dr. Mercury in all his sanctimonius bellyaching, and of course, a number of commenters take "doc" to task for his comment. Superior post, well worth the read!

Posted by GM Roper at 11:44 AM | Comments (2)

September 02, 2007

Brief Politico Therapies: A Tour of the Psych-Bloggers

It has been a while since I last toured the Psych bloggers, those intrepid bunch of mental health professionals as we take a look at their take on politics, the human condition and anything else that catches my eye. Our usual bunch of suspects include: Dr. Helen, Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, neo-neocon, Assistant Village Idiot, One Cosmos (Gagdad Bob), Sigmund, Carl and Alfred, Its About Them, and Dr. John Jay Ray (from his PC Watch blog).

This week, we begin with Dr. Sanity who provides us with Stuffing Vietnam Down The Throats of the Left:

Personally I rather liked that Bush used their own rhetoric against them the other day, and challenged their unwillingness to admit what the consequences of pulling out of Vietnam really were for this country....They didn't like it, did they? As far as I'm concerned, that means he hit a bullseye.

Sigmund Carl and Alfred, my favorite three-in-one blogger gives us "Mother Teresa's Blessing of Struggle:"

Firstly, to be human, by definition, is to be something other than God. That means that we cannot be expected to always understand God or His intent. By design, God may exclude or preclude us from ever ‘getting it.’ That includes Mother Teresa.When we accept our ‘humaness,’ we are accepting our imperfections. As humans, we are not blessed with perfection. We are blessed with something far greater- free will. And, we are blessed with doubt.

Doubt is indeed a blessing, perhaps the greatest of God’s gifts to His Creation, because every time we overcome that doubt and behave in a way that honors God, we have chosen to honor both Him and us. Only those that have experienced darkness can experience and appreciate light and the ability to see both the beauty and the dangers of our surroundings. In fact, if we do not acknowledge that darkness even exists, we can never see and appreciate the light.

Dr. James Sutton, one of my favorite new friends, reminds us that blaming the thermometer for the weather is a no-no:
Blaming a child for the problems of a poorly functioning family or classroom is like blaming a thermometer for the weather.
Neo-neocon hides her face behind a green apple, but she is always forth-coming with wisdom. Deciding to move, gives us two very moving posts. Letting go and moving on is not always easy:
But for now, it’s time to say goodbye. Not to friends here; I assume we’ll see each other again, although not as often as before. At least for a while, till I make a bigger move.

But to the garden. Actually, I started saying goodbye as soon as I knew the house had sold.

In the end, everything becomes garbage. The odd objects I hadn’t been quite sure about, the Christmas cactus and the slightly underachieving toaster oven and the plastic baskets for laundry—out, out, I say! Garbage all.
Dr. Helen takes a look at Domestic Violence and notes that it isn't always the woman getting beat up.
By focusing only on men, women never get the help they need to reduce violence. The false notion that men perpetrate the majority of domestic violence and women are on the receiving end just doesn't seem to be holding up in study after study.
Psych-blogger the Assistant Village Idiot is a clinical social worker in the New England region (New Hampshire if you must know) and has a bredth of interests that span, well, span the orgins of words, to whether or not the works of J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis were similar or dissimilar in "What Tolkein Disliked About Narnia:"
JRR Tolkien believed that myth and symbolism kept much of meaning provided by the reader, while allegory was a demand by the author to read symbols in a particular way. For this reason he "cordially dislike[d] allegory in all its forms," and thought Lewis had strayed well into allegory in the Chronicles of Narnia. Tolkien also disliked any mixing of mythologies, believing that a work should retain a consistent background flavor. Thus, Lewis's dryads, centaurs, and Silenus struck him as at odds with the more Northern flavor provided by the dwarves and ettins.
Shrinkwrapped has two exceptional posts up, both of which are connected so I'll exerpt both (and don't even think of reading one with out reading the second - its that important. The first, "A Recurrent Theme: On Moderate Muslims:"
Even if there is no such thing as Moderate Islam it is in our best interests (and the Muslim World's best interests) to act as if the distinction is valid."
followed by "On Moderate Muslims, Continued:"
Over the last few days, in response to my post A Recurrent Theme: On Moderate Muslims there has been another in a series of fairly intense and well thought out discussions concerning the existence or non-existence of Moderate Muslims. The tone has been civil throughout though those who suggest that Islam is irredeemably violent and immoderate sometimes come close to a nihilistic position."
Yesterday, Gagdad Bob writing in One Cosmos posted "Let's Play Who's The Victim?!" which I think is an extraordinarily brilliant post because it expresses whole heartedly what I have been thinking since the Senator Craig fiasco came about.
One of the appeals of leftism is that you can never be called a hypocrite. That is, if you have no standards, then there is no standard by which to judge you.

Why then are leftists so incredibly, gleefully judgmental? Because, as Polanyi pointed out, one of the defining characteristics of leftism is the subversion of traditional morality. But since you cannot eliminate the moral impulse, it ends up becoming unhinged, that is, uncontained by any transcendent moral boundaries. Therefore, the moral impulse "fuses," as it were, with what is below instead of what is above, and becomes a dangerous vehicle of the most base passions. This is why leftism is associated with the greatest mass murderers of all time -- Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, et al.

In a lengthy essay entitled Hitler Was a Socialist, John J. Ray makes reference to the notoriously "slippery standards" of the left, writing that they "have no fixed principles. If a principle suits their rhetorical needs of today they will proclaim their loyalty to it -- and then cheerfully adopt the opposite principle tomorrow if that happens to suit the rhetorical needs of that day."

Posted by GM Roper at 06:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 18, 2007

Brief Politico-Therapy: A Tour of the Psych Bloggers

It has been a while since I last toured the Psych bloggers, those intrepid bunch of mental health professionals as we take a look at their take on politics, the human condition and anything else that catches my eye. Our usual bunch of suspects include: Dr. Helen, Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, neo-neocon, Assistant Village Idiot, One Cosmos (Gagdad Bob), Sigmund, Carl and Alfred, Its About Them, and this issue adds Dr. John Jay Ray, who will be familiar to many of you, Dr. Ray is a retired psychologist from down under.

So, let's begin with James Sutton. Dr. Sutton has a mid July post up that made me think about adversity and, well, A Foot On The Dinner Table. His post is short, and sweet, and worth a full read before you do anything else.

I mentioned that I was adding John Ray to the mix. I've known Dr. Ray (via the miracle of the internet, not in person - yet!) for at least two years. John has visited my blog and left comments, and I have reciprocated. He covers a variety of topics as exemplified in this lengthy post.

Dr. Sanity is one of my favorite people in the whole wide blogosphere. We have been friends for a while and she was the first to include me in the Psych Blogging category (Thanks Doc). Today's entry is in regards to "Westophobia" surely an aptly named mental disorder given C.A.I.R.'s penchant for calling the disgust of islamofascists "Islamophobia." Why do I suspect that C.A.I.R. will disagree?

Dr. Helen is another favorite, in a post she poses a basic philosophical question: "Should we resist when confronted with crime." Those are not her words but mine, her words are much more suscinct:

That's what we're always being told, isn't it? Comply with a thug's wishes and you won't get hurt."
And the video she posts is really quite delicious.

Now we turn to that Three-In-One Therapist, Sigmund, Carl and Alfred. SC&A offers up a "repost" (as if that is a lazy thing to do - I would postulate that any repost of SC&A is worth more than 100 fresh posts from the likes of Kos, Puffington Host, MyDD or any similar dreck). This one chosen by SC&A as a tidbit while SC&A communes with his (their?) boat, the sea and Samuel Adams is a mind bender and well worth reading and then worth reading again.

The Arabs are engaged in a schizophrenic battle of monumental proportions. Moderates recognize that the western ‘temptations’ can offer redemption and success on their own terms (by achieving and not imitating) . Fundamentalists are determined to destroy the ‘temptor,’ Satan, embodied by America, Israel, Jews and Christians.

The tempted cannot simply resist the temptations- they must destroy the temptor so that they might not succumb. [T]hey do not see that resisting temptation is [more] powerful than destroying that temptation. The justification of destroying temptation, as opposed to simply resisting comes from the elevation of the temptor. Christians are the agents of Satan, Jews are pigs, non Muslim women are ‘uncovered meat’ and whores that defile family and community. All non Muslims are fair game, as are all Muslims who are ‘not on the program.’

Enjoy, I did for sure!

Regular commenter on GM's Corner and Social Worker Par Excellance The Assistant Village Idiot. AVI defends, in this post, his home state of New Hampshire (and Iowa too) against the depridations of Professor Bainbridge. And does a fine job as well.

Seeing that NH consistently has among the best SAT’s and lowest dropout rates in the country (and last I checked, Iowans do pretty well there also), we’re guessing that as you can’t figure out two small states that sit still and can be looked up in the encyclopedia and everything, you shouldn’t be given any more power in elections. Iowa and New Hampshire have a pretty good idea about California and New York. You haven’t got a clue about us. [to this I'll add "Go AVI!!!"]
Our next batter is ShrinkWrapped. I love the title of this blog, back in the days of CB radio (remember them folks?) a good friend of mine used the "handle" Head-Shrinker, he too was "in the business." But I digress, ShrinkWrapped has an excellent post up about the MSM's change of mind(?) regarding the "Surge" and the implications of that. As can be expected, ShrinkWrapped's take is not to be missed.
If it wasn't so important, it would be a fascinating study to follow the state of MSM coverage and reporting on the war as our progress on the ground becomes more and more unavoidable. Will the Times, and their allies in the Democratic party, try to overwhelm any good news with coverage of the suicide bombings and deaths in Iraq? In this they will be more than ably assisted by al Qaeda, whose only hope of success lies in convincing American politicians that the war is hopeless and too costly."

Gagdad Bob writes the excellent One Cosmos blog and has a very thoughtful post on "Signposts on the Road to Nihilism". A tidbit to whet your appetite and a warning, if this doesn't make you think, nothing will:

But the more you develop spiritually, the more you will recognize a gulf between yourself and this kind of person. Incidentally, it doesn't matter whether this person is outwardly “religious,” because there are plenty of vital types who get involved in religion -- and not just exoteric religion. Even creepier are the vital beings who get involved in esoteric religion, for then you start to touch on the demonic.

If, like me, you are intuitively repelled by Bills Clinton or Maher, this is probably why. Now, I am the first to admit that there was a time that I was not repelled by Clinton. The repellence has only come with spiritual development. And it has nothing to do with ideology per se. After all, he largely governed as a rudderless, poll-driven moderate, and he seems to have no ideological core that isn’t negotiable anyway. I was certainly never a Clinton hater, nor am I now. Rather, he radiates a very specific essence that bears on what we are discussing today. For Clinton is a purely vital man in all he thinks and does.

Clinton is obviously not an unintelligent man, but that doesn’t matter either. For as Sri Aurobindo noted, there is a realm of the psyche called the “vital mind,”

neo-neocon has a thought provoking post regarding the war in Iraq in: "The Democratic candidates and the pullout: will they find themselves in the Nixon position?"

It’s a good sign that the Democratic candidates are beginning to take tentative steps towards the reality of Iraq and what a precipitous withdrawal would probably mean. But nothing indicates they know how to go about preventing one, or protecting the troops and the Iraqi people from the consequences of such a pullout."

And there you have it, another Tour under the belt. I'll have to work on getting them up more often, afterall, its free and it makes you think.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 03, 2007

Brief Politico-Therapies: A Tour Of The Psych-Bloggers

Once again gentle readers, it is time for a tour of the Psych-bloggers, that intrepid bunch of mental health professionals as we take a look at their take on politics, the human condition and anything else that catches my eye. Our usual bunch of suspects include: Dr. Helen, Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, neo-neocon, Assistant Village Idiot, One Cosmos (Gagdad Bob), Sigmund, Carl and Alfred, Iron Shrink. and last, an old friend re-connected with Dr. James Sutton who blogs at Its About Them. Dr. Sutton and I met at a workshop several years ago and have recently re-connected. He is a child psychologist writing about "them" our kids and our future.

So, without further ado, lets begin with Dr. Sutton. He's posted a moving post on the shootings at Virginia Tech:

The April 16th, 2007, event that is being called “The Massacre at Virginia Tech” exposed one more time the degree of devastation one person can create if they are willing to surrender their own life. Words fall pitifully short of explaining it to ourselves, let alone to our children.

“How do we protect our children from the ugly side of human behavior,” someone said to me in recent email. I wish I had an easy answer. I don’t."

Dr. Sutton's writings are moving and on target, I suggest you add him to your favorites or sidebar blog rolls if you are a blogger.

Next up is my friend, my early in blogging mentor and an all around good person Dr. Sanity. Doc comes up with a look at Hugo Chavez' recent moves against freedom of speech and the almost total lack of anything more than perfunctory (and mild) condemnation from the left:

I wonder if they will open their eyes when Chavez starts killing his own people like Saddam and all the other thugs in history have done.... Or, when he moves to take over other radio and TV stations that don't toe the socialist line."
Continuing on the tour, we now come to another of my favorite people, Gagdad Bob writing in One Cosmos On Sacrifice, Transcendence and Vertical Recollection:
We remember our heroes because they illuminate the eternal realm of the heroic, a realm that we must treasure and venerate if we are to survive as a culture. Not only is the hero a transcendent archetype, but he is only heroic because he has sacrificed something in defense of another archetype -- truth, liberty, beauty, the good, etc. In the absence of this true formulation, neither the heroic nor his sacrifice make any sense at all."
Now we turn to Dr. Helen who looks at the connection between stress and a heart condition. All you type A personalities ought to read this:
Now, as a psychologist, you would think that I would know that there is some link between stress and heart problems and I do intellectually, but emotionally, it finally sank in that perhaps my job and the subsequent stress of dealing over a number of years with patients with severe mental illness and anger issues might have contributed to my heart attack..."
Sigmund Carl and Alfred weigh in with The SC&A Friday One Thousand Words Project. I won't excerpt it, you just have to see it; and of course, seeing is believing.

The Assistant Village idiot has written TWO posts that I think are worthy (I've never highlighted two before - AVI, you are a FIRST). The first of the two is Robert Fulghum is Dangerous:

Robert Fulghum, the All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten author, persists in that paternalistic tone of his years later. He uses that cute “we,” when he means “you,” just like I did with the boys when they were little. “We should pick up our toys.”
A delightfulread. Also chosen is AVI's well written thoughts on the departure from the political scene of Cindy Sheehan:
I never thought the common explanations for her behavior, pro and con, adequately explained her motivations. We like things to be simple in our public figures, enacting the myth that we have assigned to them so we can put them in a box. It’s intellectually and emotionally tidy that way.

It has been an interesting exercise for me to look at the explanatory power of the various simplifications of Cindy Sheehan and where they fall short, in order to find a combination which covers the waterfront."

We now turn to neo-neocon and her take on the parole of Jack Kevorkian - Dr. Death:
Kevorkian earned the nickname “Dr. Death” back in the 1950s, well before he became known for his willingness to help non-terminally ill but suffering patients end their lives. It comes as no real surprise that his medical specialty was pathology, and indications are that he evinced a deep and unusual a fascination with death even for pathologists. His interest in prison predates his own sojourn there, as well; he was asked to leave his medical residency at the University of Michigan back in 1958 for wanting to experiment (consensually) on convicts as they were being executed."
Shrinkwrapped takes a look at Over Valued Selves and Overvalued Ideas:
We live in a very dangerous world, a world in which empowered individuals and small groups can cause great damage. In such a world, attention to one's environment, which can at times border on paranoia, can be seen as a trait enhancing survival. In such a world, those who overvalue their own self and their own ideas place themselves and others at risk.

When I describe an idea as overvalued, I mean that an idea has acquired significant affective importance and meaning for a person. The person loses the ability to adequately "reality test" the idea and the idea escapes the usual moment to moment comparison with the state of reality that allows us to discard ideas when they fail the test."

And, last, but never least, we turn to Ironshrink who takes a look at how much of our brain power do we really use?

The idea that we only use 10% of our brains is alluring. Why, just imagine what we could do if we somehow switched on the other 90%. Telekinesis! Mind reading! Time travel! Forging an army of zombie slaves! Who wouldn’t trade their crystal balls for powers like those?"

And there you have it boys and girls, another tour through the amazing Psych-Bloggers. Until next time then...

Posted by GM Roper at 03:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 14, 2007

Brief Politico-Therapies: A Tour Of The Psychblogs

Once again gentle readers, it is time for a tour of the Psych-bloggers, that intrepid bunch of mental health professionals as we take a look at their take on politics, the human condition and anything else that catches my eye. Our usual bunch of suspects include: Dr. Helen, Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, neo-neocon, Assistant Village Idiot, One Cosmos (Gagdad Bob), Sigmund, Carl and Alfred and last, but never leastIron Shrink.

First up is the intrepid triparte blogger Sigmund, Carl and Alfred, who posted "Of Mountains And Miracles," a treatise on the power of prayer learned from his beloved grandfather:

He wanted to talk about miracles.

The miracles he had seen in his life, he said, had robbed people of the ability to pray. He went on to say that he feared that the miracles I will see in my life will rob me of the need to pray.

“I will lift mine eyes up to the hills; from whence shall come my help?”

“Why,” my grandfather asked, “did the Psalmist refer to our eyes and not out hearts, as we reached out to God? Surely God wants us to see with our hearts!”

If that doesn't touch you where you live, nothing will.

Assistant Village Idiot hasn't been idle either. This post "Beginning Slowly On The Emerging Church" is typical of AVI's writing, thoughtful, candid and well crafted:

The Emerging Church likes to have narratives instead of dogmas, so I will start with some stories.

There is an apocryphal story of a woman who had seven demons who came to Jesus. "Daughter," he said, "what would you have me do?" "Cast out six." she replied. "Or maybe five..."

I'm thinking on this one two days after I read it. Thanks AVI!

Dr. Helen takes on her profession in "Toxic Pschology" with an all too brief post:

psychologists who profess to be knowledgeable about telling others how to change their cognitive distortions have yet to change their own. They continue to believe they are omnipotent, capable of interfering in political issues that have nothing to do with psychology or stress political correctness and a creeping socialism ahead of an actual knowledge base.

Wow Dr. Helen, I wish you were the entire board of the APA!

Researching through IornShrink's older posts, I came across this "Am I Destined to be Attracted to my Daughter? (from 2005). Now, ordinarily this recurring post is about current writings, but IronShrink has some really interesting stuff and nothing new in the past month. So, may be pre-programmed not to be attracted to your daughter, in the icky way, if biology has anything to say about the matter. Here’s why:

Evolution doesn’t like incest because it tends to advance dangerous genes. Let’s say, for example, that you carry a recessive gene for hemophilia, a life-threatening disorder that slows the clotting of blood. Since it is recessive, you can carry the gene without the unpleasant effects. You can even pass the gene to your offspring and it will remain recessive as long as the other parent doesn’t also pass it on.

However, if both parents carry the recessive gene, chances are greatly increased that the offspring will develop hemophilia, become European royalty, and die before he or she can reproduce.

Evolutionary psychologists believe when that particular offspring dies, along with others like him, so does the tendency toward the behavior of incest. What we are ultimately left with, many generations down the road, is a widespread genetic aversion to mating with relatives."

It is a very thought provoking read, on a very difficult subject, but one well worth reading and thinking about.

ShrinkWrapped has, as usual posted a really excellent post on the War in Iraq, it's aftermath if the Democrats get their way and the real meaning of what happens if we withdraw. This "The Accelerating Clash,"post is part III, Part I and Part II are here and here (respectively) taking on the Iraq war and those who would withdraw. As I've said before, ShrinkWrapped is one of the most thoughtful of all the Psych-Bloggers and always worth visiting regularly. A tidbit from Part III:

The Democratic opposition has taken an approach best described as neo-isolationist appeasement. Buoyed by the support of a growing number of Americans who want nothing more than for Iraq to just "go away", they are attempting both to appease, by "talking" to Bashar Assad and proposing to talk to Ahmadinejad, and committed to neo-isolationism in their efforts to bring about the abandonment of the fight in Iraq.

In part this is based on the well worn meme that it is our behavior that is accelerating the clash and only by correcting our misbehavior can we defuse the conflict.

Worth a read, and for sure worth putting on your favorites/bookmarks, or, just go to my Highly Recommended Reading blogroll and click on ShrinkWrapped.

Come now over to the ultimate political-therapy clinic, Dr. Sanity's place. This bit of therapy is entitled "SELFLESS" NARCISSISM, THE POLITICAL LEFT, AND THE BETRAYAL OF THE GOOD" and wow, what a posting it is. Doc Sanity uses the theme of The Bridge on The River Kwai as an example of "... narcissism of the extreme 'selfless' variety". Attend oh dear readers:

He was so caught up in maintaining his own and the other prisoners' self esteem, he became willing to sell out his country.

It is even more interesting to note that the "selfish" and cynical Commander Shears (portrayed by William Holden) who repeatedly states that he's in it for himself, ends up exemplifying the very values that Nicholson has betrayed.

This story may remind you of the pathetic behavioral display of the recent British hostages in Iran; but actually, they were simply frightened and poorly trained soldiers. Nicholoson's "selfless narcissism" is far more relevant to the behavior of certain high-ranking American politicians.

The Democrats and their glorious leaders, who have become so narcissistically invested in this country's defeat as a political strategy to accumulate power and "restore American honor", that they have--wittingly or unwittingly--decided to sell their countrymen out to the very enemy they are currently fighting. They mean well, of course. They do it for those wonderful 'selfless' reasons--like "peace" and "social justice" and all. They really support the troops .

Let's just ignore the fact that they bear considerable responsibility for the ongoing violence and death of our troops as they enable and encourage the priorities of the enemy. Why should the terrorists alter their homicidal behavior? It is working! People like Nancy Pelosi are living proof of the effectiveness of their strategy."

Doc Sanity has a way about her that love her or hate her, she can't help but make you think.

Now we turn to one of my favorites, Our Lady of the Green Apple: neo-neocon. In the selected post, "Pelosi, Santos: love that “dialogue” with Iran!" neo-neocon takes a hard look at the drive of Pelosi and Lantos to talk to the rogue state that is Iran:

But even therapists must acknowledge that there are times when talking does no good, when therapy is inappropriate, and when the tools of the trade (”the talking cure”) not only don’t work but can be harmful. But Pelosi and Lantos and so many others seem to think of dialogue as something magical and universally appropriate:

…however objectionable, unfair, and inaccurate many of [Ahmadinejad’s] statements are, it is important that we have a dialogue with him.

Why? Why is it important? In order to feel that we are peaceful and good people? In order to empower him to think that we are fools? In order to allow him to buy time while he develops his nuclear weaponry? In order to give him greater prestige in the eyes of the world? In order to afford him propaganda opportunities and photo ops?

Good call neo-neocon!

And I've saved Gagdad Bob for last. Bob Godwin, a clinical psychologist and a worthy blogger of the philosopher tribe. I've never read one of his posts without haveing to go back and read it again, not only to cement the ideas he presents in my mind, but for the shear joy of reading his wordsmithing, for he is truly a master wordsmith. In this entry, Gagdab Bob uses words to explain that "What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate" and as usual, it has left me speechless (but tis a good thing I can still type).

Put another way, if one truly understands and appreciates the capability of language to store and convey immaterial spiritual qualities, this poses an insurmountable obstacle to atheism, if only because there is no materialistic/Darwinian theory that will ever account for this mysterious property of language. The moment a Darwinian struggles to express his ideas in an elegant and aesthetically satisfying way, he is no longer a Darwinian. To the extent that he believes that truth is what one is ethically bound to believe -- just as good is what one is obligated to do -- he is no atheist.

Let us stipulate what is not a tautology -- that Truth is truth, and that it is mankind's unending task to make the one conform to the other. Whenever anyone -- even an atheist -- says anything, he is presupposing a universe in which a thing called "truth" may be encoded and passed from mind to mind through a medium called language. These are huge presuppositions, and only serve to re-emphasize the crudity of the atheist mind. Unless an atheist is an abject nihilist, then he doesn't have the courage of his absence of convictions.

Gagdad Bob cannot help but make a thinking person think, so, if after reading him you aren't impressed and don't think about what you read, you really aren't a thinking person afterall.

And so once again we say fare-thee-well, intrepid Psych-Bloggers, keep fighting the good fight for the power of the mind. Auf Wiedersehen!

Posted by GM Roper at 09:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 06, 2007

Brief Politico-Therapies: A Tour Of The Psych-Bloggers

Once again gentle readers, it is time for a tour of the Psych-bloggers, that intrepid bunch of mental health professionals as we take a look at their take on politics, the human condition and anything else that catches my eye. Our usual bunch of suspects include: Dr. Helen, Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, neo-neocon, Assistant Village Idiot, One Cosmos (Gagdad Bob), Sigmund, Carl and Alfred and last, but never leastIron Shrink.

Our first stop on our tour is Gagdad Bob at One Cosmos who takes on the task of writing about evil in "Living in the Shadow of the Worst Possible Thing" writing:

I remember when I made the "mistake" of listening the audio of the Muslim savages cutting off Nick Berg's head. I say "mistake," but this is actually something that Americans should have been required to watch, hear, and bear within their psyches. But as far as the Orwellian MSMistry of Truth is concerned, it did not happen. But imagine if the reverse had occurred -- imagine if we had actually tortured someone at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib. They would have never stopped showing it. This is why we can say without flinching that the liberal MSM serves evil and is an enemy of America. Please bear in mind that I am not saying that this or that individual is evil. Rather, I am simply talking about the reality of the institution. It serves evil ends. We'll have to get into their motivations in a later post.

This is a must read. Our second stop along the psych-trail is Dr. Helen. Helen Smith is a Psychologist specializing in forensic psychology. Her documentary "Six" is, or should be, required watching. This selected post is on "Women, Anger and the Web" and discusses a surprising bit of research:

With all of the anonymous insults being thrown around on the internet these days, do you ever wonder about the sex of the poster? Do you think it's mainly men who are the supposed angrier sex so the insults must be coming from them? Think again.

Turning the bend in the trail we bump into ShrinkWrapped. ShrinkWrapped's take on "Lessons From History and Neuroscience." is a thought provoking look at how we change our minds, if and perhaps when we can:

Recent research developments in neuroscience and cognition suggest there are definitive anatomical and neurophysiological substrates to the difficulty we have in changing our minds.
As I have pointed out, this tendency to filter new data to make it fit pre-existing frameworks is ubiquitous and impacts everything from individual psychology to learning to politics.

If you have difficulty incorporating new ideas, this too is a must read. Learn from ShrinkWrapped, it's the right thing to do.

And now dearly beloved readers, we turn to the Diva of Psych-bloggers, my friend, my heroine and one terrific lady, Dr. Sanity. Dr. Sanity tackles the oh so dreaded left in "Here We Go Again: Displacement2" opening with:

Here we are in the middle of a war with Islamic fundamentalism on multiple fronts; and on the home front, the political left and their shills in our children's educational system seem to think that the U.S. is at risk for a Christian theocracy! They are even having school drills to prepare for that fateful day."
Heavens-to-Betsy, is nothing safe? I think I'll nominate Dr. Sanity for President.

Leaving that neck of the woods and going down the trail a mite further, we find Neo-neocon who takes a look at the thinking of the left and right regarding the recent Iranian penchant for kidnapping in "Negotiations and That Big Stick" stating:

Much of the anger on the right wasn’t just about the negotiations, but rather the fact that the sailors were left unprotected and vulnerable to this sort of abduction in the first place. After all, it’s not as though the possibility hadn’t been rehearsed through a similar (although somewhat less serious) incident in 2004. It’s not as though there weren’t recent warnings that more of the same might be forthcoming. The “impotence” and “weakness” refers at least in part to the fact that these sailors were left defenseless, showing a lack of preparedness on the part of the British government and the Navy."

Up next is my very good friend Assistant Village Idiot who is anything but. AVI takes a look at an imaginative (though troubling) piece regarding if Al Gore had won the presidency.

The thought has crossed my mind that there is a fair bit of unrealistic, comic-book thinking on the left, but I put it aside as unfairly critical on my part."

Let us turn now to the writings of the tripartite Sigmund, Carl and Alfred. Oh that worthy can write. In a new post (and regular entry) his Wednesday Weekly Whacky Award post, he takes on a variety of idjits and you absolutely must read his takes both for his insights and humor. No tidbits as the WWWA's cover so much varried ground. Please, add this to your regular Wednesday reading. I have and I'm sooooo glad.

IronShrink hasn't posted any thing new, but go there anyway and see his archives. You won't be disappointed and of that, I'm positive. (P.S., come on Iron ole buddy, you are holding up the works.)

Posted by GM Roper at 09:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 23, 2007

Brief Politico-Therapies: A Tour Of The Psych-Bloggers

I've been struggling with work related issues these last couple of weeks, and that means that blogging has been light and the Brief Politico-Therapy series has been on hold. But, here we are once again with a little time in the early AM (How early? Well, let's just say that the time stamp on the post is accurate) For those of you who are new to this "project" the Brief Politico-Therapy series is a spin-off of Dr. Sanity's "Touch and Goes," I asked her for permission to continue the series and she most graciously allowed me to do so. So, without further ado, let us look in on: Dr. Helen, Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, neo-neocon, Assistant Village Idiot, One Cosmos (Gagdad Bob), Sigmund, Carl and Alfred and last, but never leastIron Shrink.

First up is, of course, Dr. Sanity. Pat Santy, M.D. was one of my very first friends made when I started blogging and she has been one of my very favorites as well. She does not suffer fools lightly and this would seem to include an awful lot of folk on the left. This weeks selection (and a must read) from Dr. Sanity is "A Critique of Pure Bullshit." Dr. Sanity at her best:

From all perspectives, postmodernism is pure bullshit."
And that brings us to our next Psych-Blogger, neo-neocon! Neo takes a trip down memory lane and posts an outstanding piece entitled: Those were the days, my friend: Vietnam and Iraq Protests, Protesters, and Nostalgia" in which she states
“Anti-war protesters echo Vietnam.” The accent is on the word “echo”—as in “a distant, fainter, repetition.”

The anti-Iraq War demonstrations in DC over this weekend were self-consciously and purposefully designed to mimic the protests of yesteryear. But like all retro fashions, they didn’t quite resemble the originals.

The Assistant Village Idiot has two connected posts on deconstruction that are certainly worth reading, in fact, certainly worth reading twice. Some important stuff here and here:

To note that Plato, Shakespeare, Aquinas all had views conditioned by their surrounding cultures – yes, yes of course. But so too do you, my postmodernist, or marxist feminist friend. You also are conditioned by your culture. Not the Western popular culture which you so easily despise, but your culture, the ideas hidden underneath the words of your postmodernist and marxist feminist associates. You are not a prisoner of your father’s values, but of your friends’ values.
In fact, while getting this up, I did go back and read them again and then once more for the gold there-in.

Now we turn to Dr. Helen, who, in her own inimitable style writes "Don't Talk About It, Be About It." a delightful essay about getting off of your keister and doing something, without the need to attend a seminar on how to do it. Oh, you gotta read this one:

Why waste valuable time at a seminar getting your courage up when for free, you can go to the local library, get a book on how to write a persuasive argument and read it in your spare time--all in the same amount of time it would take you to get to a seminar that may cost a bundle?"

And now, we come to ShrinkWrapped, that delightful paragon of mental-healthiness on "Be[ing] Careful of What You Wish For!" noting that the Democrats of this decade are making the same mistakes the Republicans did in the last decade:

The Republicans, with the unwitting complicity of the Clintons, in their tone deaf exercise of their powers, began the series of investigations which, following the Republican sweep to victory in the House in 1994, became a flood and culminated in Clinton's Impeachment.
As I have pointed out many times, Narcissists (and who doubts that the average Senator and House Chairman has a surfeit of Narcissism) have a great deal of trouble learning; the Democrats have not learned form their colleagues and are likely to over-reach in much the same way the Republicans did with Bill Clinton. The result is most likely to be disastrous for the Democrats, who will come off looking strident, petty, and nasty and evoke the question, "Don't these people know there's a War going on?"

Following ShrinkWrapped, we come to Gagdad Bob writing in One Cosmos and taking on "Bloggin' on the Backroads by the Rivers of My Memory." I had to read this twice to glean all the gold from the pun, and boy, was it worth it:

There is an inevitable reason why conservatives and religious people are so much happier than leftists and irreligious people. They also live considerably longer, probably as a result of the deadly stress hormones produced by trying to live in a manner that is unnatural to -- and unworthy of -- human beings.

Iron Shrink takes on the task of answering if it is possible to increase your IQ with his entry "Is it Possible to Raise My IQ?

Barring misfortune, we can keep our brains operating at peak efficiency by challenging them throughout our lives. I wouldn’t waste time on gimmicky exercises. Instead, use your brain the way it was meant to be used: learn a language, join a sports league, get that degree in quantum physics that you’ve always wanted. In short, engage in the world around you, be curious, and have fun. It’s no more complicated than that."

And last, but never least, that triune psychotherapist Sigmund, Carl and Alfred take on the left and their identification with anti-Americanism with his entry "Starbuck’s Marxists, American Hitlers, Jerusalem And Babylon."

For a leftist, there can be no Hitler other than an American Hitler. There can be no real Nazis other than Jews. No matter the excesses or evil that is in full view everyday, they must be denied so as to make America, American policy, Israel and Jews the real problem."

"A million dead in Rwanda? Who cares. A two plus decades long slaughter in Sudan that has left over 2 million dead- never mind. George Bush is Hitler, profiling at airports is fascist. The ever escalating dysfunction of the Arab world? So what- it isn’t as if leftists cared about Arabs and the oppression they suffer. As long as the Arab world hates America and hates Jews, well, that’s good enough for the leftists. After all, when was the last time you heard of leftists packing their bags and going into the Arab world to teach democracy, farming or sanitation protocols in Yemen?"

"In the mindset of a leftist, the Jerusalem of reality is a backwater when compared to the excitement of Babylon. The justice of Jerusalem requires work, effort and an honest assessment of what needs to be done so that justice might be achieved. The distractions of Babylon are deliberately crafted and presented so as to take the focus off justice and off an honest look at reality."

And there you are my friends, another tour of the Psych-bloggers. I hope you read every word of every link, I do and I learn so much from these wise folk. Oh, and by the way, I was reminded that I don't link to any of my own psych-blogging, so here goes. I posted my take on "Consequences, Very Real Consequences" with the theme of rewarding the behaviors you want to see increased including, of course, what may very well happen if we listen to the Democrats and really do pull out of Iraq.

So, once again, thanks and take care of yourselves, because for sure the Nanny-State won't do it.

Posted by GM Roper at 03:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 03, 2007

Brief Politico-Therapy: A Tour Around The Psych Bloggers

Guten morgen Damen und Herren! OK, so much for our German lesson for today, lets take a tour of the Psych-Bloggers. You know who I'm talking about, those intrepid bloggers with a yen for the thinking behind the politics, folks trained in severe emotional problems and thus well qualified to diagnose the left. This weeks usual suspects include: Dr. Helen, Dr. Sanity, Shrinkwrapped, neo-neocon, Assistant Village Idiot, One Cosmos (Gagdad Bob), Sigmund, Carl and Alfred and our newest member, Iron Shrink.

Lets start out with Iron Shrink. As a newbe, he's been last on the list, so we're giving him a promotion to the head of the class. In a thought provoking treatise, Iron Shrink has thoughts about "Curing Conservatism: Psychology's Passive Endorsement Of Abuse:

In 1994, The Bell Curve examined intelligence in American society and asserted that whites outperform other races on IQ tests. The American Psychological Association was quick to respond, launching a task force to meticulously scrutinize the methodology behind the book. Throughout dozens of publications, a veritable contest took place: who could most eloquently and irrevocably discredit The Bell Curve? The book was called polarizing, biased, and specious.

Why such a passionate response? Because my colleagues won’t tolerate the use of corrupt science against a group of unsuspecting targets.

Damn straight, they won’t! …Unless…

Unless those targets happen to be conservative.

Up next is our very own Dr. Sanity. This week's pick is "The Dictatorship of the Do-Gooders and Soul Murder." Folks this is a terrific read, one of her best as she takes on those who denegrate the free market:

The moral case for capitalism is not taught in our schools, nor is it argued much in our culture. In fact it has been more or less universally accepted by the intellectual elites that systems such as communism and socialism are "morally superior" to capitalism (hence more "socially just")--even though in practice such systems have led to the death and enslavement of millions, and to those unlucky enough not to die from them, they have led to the most horrible shrinking and wasting of the human soul.

The truth is that neither socialism nor communism nor any kind of religious fundamentalism is compatible with morality at all."

This weeks choice from neo-neocon is also equally choice, in fact, it can be termed required reading. This is a two parter on children. Part I is here and Part II is here. If you don't read both you are not any where as bright as you think you are.

Children are the future of any society. This makes them a double-edged sword: since most cultures are devoted to the protection and nurturance of their own children, most societies are uniquely vulnerable when those children are threatened; and therefore children can become effective weapons, tools, and hostages."

Meanwhile, out in the "cloud-hidden Bobservatory, just beyond the interior horizon" location of Gagdad Bob, we find a treat for all of our inner children "The Invisible Church of the Perpetual Raccoon" wherein Bob takes a take on the collective consciousness:

It was certainly a not-okay day for me. For whatever reason, I woke up with low blood sugar and had some difficulty getting it up into the normal range all day -- as if there were some kind of "metabolic fire" burning in me. I've certainly felt the fire in recent weeks, but this was too much. I was uncharacteristically under -- or was I in? -- the weather all day. Weird.

But this mutual perception of a "weird day" does bring up the issue of our "collectivity" and just where it resides, for although "interconnectedness" surely exists as a consequence of the principle of Wholeness that flows through every artery of the cosmos, there is no particular "place" where it can be located. You can't point at wholeness from the outside, only experience it from the inside (which is the secret of consciousness, which is a reflection of the Creator's unifying interior wholeness-amdist-diversity).

Dr. Helen has a brief, but oh-so-heavy-duty take on therapsists expanding the nanny state. You won't believe this one:

If you have ever questioned the need to continue breast feeding a child to three or four years of age or older, then you will be "thrilled" to know that one primary school in the UK has decided that behaviorally challenged kids now need to be bottle fed up to the age of 11 (Hat Tip: Mecurior):

Meanwhile, back on the ranch Couch Sigmund, Carl and Alfred Note OTHER Flip-Flops:

So you think Mitt Romney flip flops?

Well there are flip flops and then there are flip flops. Try these on for size.

In 1971, Senator Edward Kennedy wrote the following to a constituent:

Ah, ah, ah... got to read the whole thing over at SC&A's blog. But you won't regret the trip.

Shrinkwrapped has a thoughtful piece on the dangers of using psychiatry to diagnose one's political opposites; Diagnosing President Bush

A charitable approach to Minot’s article would suggest that he seems to confuse the concept of Psychic determinism with Psychiatric reductionism; as a result he never addresses any reality-based possibilities. Perhaps Bush is so concerned about the potential effects of failing in Iraq that he is willing to go the extra mile, trying to forestall a future disaster even at the risk of his current standing and legacy.
This is a must read folks, MUST READ.

Assistant Village Idiot (he's not, I assure you) has an interesting post up on the Ancient Hymnody. If you have ever wondered if the old church songs were catchy, here's your chance to find out. The early church did not make the sharp division between songs, prayers, and readings that we, especially in the Protestant churches, do today. Those used to a liturgical service know the distinction.

And there you have it... another tour of the Psych-bloggers... tune in next Saturday for another round. Or, go there yourselves... it's a fascinating romp through the psych-bloggers.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

February 24, 2007

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

It is hard to believe that another week has passed boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, libs and neocons but it has. I've spent most of the week setting up my new office for my private practice, and letting referral sources know I'm back. And no, I wasn't thrown out of any of their offices (insert grin here). But I digress, another week has passed and it's time to take a brief tour of the Psych-Bloggers. Those intrepid practitioners of mental health, those wise sages of the workings of the mind, and those folk who wonder why the libs just don't get it.

As in weeks past, our visits will be to our usuall suspects 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 our newest member, Iron Shrink. You may have noted that we have all (well, except for me) chosen rather odd names for our blog. Ok, Ok, my blog name is odd too and appropo of absolutely nothing else, let us begin the tour. First off is the illustrious Dr. Sanity, a practicing psychiatrist, former shrink for NASA (and boy, could they use here now) and my mentor in doing this weekly post. Dr. Sanity posts on "The Consequences Of Denial"

In the longer-term, denial requires a continued compromises with reality to maintain the pretense that "Everything is fine!" or "If only X would happen, everything would be fine!" Eventually, delusional thinking, along with paranoia and its inevitable conspiracy theories begin to take the place of rational thought in those who deny reality for long periods of time. (see all the 9/11 conspiracy theorists for examples in our own country; or the more recent comments of former President Clinton--once considered a "moderate" democrat, who now fully adheres to the model that the Republicans have manufactured a culture of fear in order to fool the American public into thinking we are at war..."
As is typical of Dr. Sanity, she nails the left with a taste of reality and be sure and read the whole post to see how the "reality based community" is, uhhh, well, n-o-t!

We turn now to tales of yester-year: A firey horse, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver... Whoops, wrong post... now, where was I? Oh, yes... now we turn to our newest member Iron Shrink with a slightly older post on "A Methodology Critique in Defense of Those Wascally Wepublicans" and what a delightful post it is:

Since his graduate school days, John T. Jost, who currently holds position as an Associate Professor of Psychology at New York University, has been studying the reasons for which people adopt conservative political ideology. His most publicized achievement is a 2003 article titled Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition (from here on out, I’ll refer to it as “the study.”) It was touted in the February issue of Psychology Today (Dixit, 2007) as, “the most comprehensive review of personality and political orientation to date.”

Don’t confuse comprehensiveness with integrity. The study maligns half of the U.S. population and much of the population of the world. Research resulting in mass vilification always causes the Iron Shrink to raise an eyebrow, so I examined the methodology that the authors used to arrive at their conclusion. Regular readers will know that I have little tolerance for intellectual sloppiness.

Dr. Helen is up next and boy is she on the money this week with a timely post on being a "club sandwich." What's that you say? Well, you'll just have to read (and click on the links too), but here is a tidbit for you:
Are you in your thirties or forties and desperate? I am--and no, it's not what you think, get your head out of the gutter. I have found myself lately part of the Sandwich Generation, more specifically, a Club Sandwich, defined as "those in their 30s and 40s, with young children, aging parents and grandparents" (thanks to several readers who emailed me to ask me to post on this topic).
Hmm, in my case I guess I'm the (gasp) aging parent... Gee, thanks Dr. Helen!

And that of course (although, again, for no discernable reason) brings us to Gagdad Bob who has written another stem-winder on "On Creating a Cultural Womb for the Seed of Eternity (updated with your worst nightmare)" in which he tackles religion, marriage, and child rearing practices... a really different, but oh-so-enlightening read:

An efficacious ritual does the same thing, focusing God's grace, as it were, onto a single point in the now. The purpose of the sabbath, for example, is to unveil and open wide the "hole" in creation through which the divine energies flow. A special day is set aside for this specific purpose, even though the energies are always flowing. But again, in the absence of a divinely authorized human container, the grace will tend to fall like rain on a rocky landscape, with nothing there to "receive" it.
Don't miss this one folks, it is that good. Of course, all our Psych-Bloggers are good too, including, me (he said demurely - insert another grin here). Assistant Village Idiot has an excellent post (though way too brief, I'd like to see an expansion of the post) on the tax system & The Meaning of Words
I am back on the edges of this tax-protestor thing again – from a different direction and partly my own fault. Ah well.
Sigmund, Carl and Alfred has (have?) an excellent post: Religion, Denial, Leaders And Followers that takes a look at perverting religion to political agendas and uses John Paul II's faith as a starting point. This is a must read folks:
The real inquisitors of today are those who preach and seek to ‘finish the job’ and either seek new holocausts, with new victims or ignore today’s holocausts because they interfere with their political agendas. The the foot soldiers of the real inquisitors of today are those that would withhold freedom from those less fortunate, and leave them to be devoured by the beasts of tyranny.

Those with the most blood on their hands are those who support the call for more death and destruction or an advancement of a scenario that would do just that- and do so with a religious zeal, pretending all the while to do so in the name of ‘peace’ or ‘love.’

The real inquisitors are those who who support an agenda of hate as opposed to John Paul II’s agenda of faith. The real Inquisitors are those who deliberately mischaraterize faith and those who choose faith as a way of life. That deliberate mischaracterization is a deliberate result of denial- an attempt to negate even the possibility that people with religious beliefs and values are moral equivalents to those who are non believers.

lets sashay over to neo-neocon's blog and see what this lady has to talk about this week. Why, she holds forth on election fraud in Venezuela and notes that few are surprised except perhaps Jimmy Carter. A tidbit for you:
An isolated study or two wouldn't mean much. But there's a lot more evidence that this particular election was rigged.

And is there anyone who doubts Chavez capable of such a thing? In fact, is there anyone who thinks he would think twice about doing such a thing?

Shrinkwrapped has a lengthy four-parter on Abortion on Demand: Reverberations and Vicissitudes and talks about a young woman, Susan, who had an abortion. What ever your particular stance on the issue, this one deserves your full attention. Be sure and read all four parts, it is that good:
When conflictual material is suppressed or repressed, it does not disappear, harmlessly out of sight. It has effects that reverberate throughout a person’ life and character. Susan felt that she was a bad person, not worth loving. While there were multiple antecedents for her feelings, her abortion formed the nidus around which many of these concerns coalesced. I suspect, though I cannot prove, that had she never had the abortion, the feelings would have been less intense and had less of a hold on her psyche. I suspect carrying the child to term and giving it up for adoption would have been extremely difficult but ultimately a healthier resolution for Susan.
OK, So I'm Not Really A Cowboy is on hiatus for the nonce and we are hoping he will be back. So, until our next sojourn amongst the wild and crazy folk of that part of the blogosphere called the Psych-Bloggers, take care, and take two asprin, and call me in the morning.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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.

Continue reading "Brief Politico-Therapy: A Tour of The Psych-Bloggers"
Posted by GM Roper at 10:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

February 09, 2007

Brief Politico-Therapies: A Quick Tour Of The Psych-Bloggers

Well, it seems as though a week couldn't possibly have passed, and yet it did. "News From Around The Weird" this week would include GM (Moi, Myself, Yo) who has quit his j.o.b. and is headed back to full time private practice... oh the thrill, oh the excitement... oh the absolute stark raving terror!!! Be that as it may, it's time for another tour around the Psych-Bloggers. You know, the professional psychotherapists who have for some reason fixated on politics. As if our patients didn't cause problems what with insurance billing, missed appointments, sullen complaints about not being given priority on appointments, we have to tackle politics and people and motivation and all sorts of stuff too.

Our usual list of suspects presented this week include 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, as usuall, they have a heck of a lot to say, and they say it so very well.

First up this week is, of course, Dr. Sanity who graciously passed the baton of blogging on the psych-bloggers to me. She posts on Utopian Dreams and Nightmares. This is a must read for all the radical leftists out there who just can't see the forest for all the trees:

You can then count on the true leftist believer to close his eyes not only to his own internal reality, but also to the external reality that proves the uselessness of his beliefs in the real world. Few on the left have ever acknowledged the nightmare of the Soviet gulag; or Lenin's purges; or China's crackdowns. Few have ever even accepted the incredible human cost their ideologies have taken on humanity; the death the suffering and misery. Even today, they actively support all the future Stalin's (like the thug Chavez) in their grabs for unparalleled power. Chavez, of course, follows the pure utopian aspirations of the typical leftist and is only allowing himself to become "dictator for life" because he wants to help his people. [See here about the rise of neo-fascism in Latin America and here about the neo-marxist fascists of the left]

In a similar light but with a really funny intro to a long, and oh-so-very interesting post, Gagdad Bob weighs in with L. Bob Gagdad and The Cult Of Merry Raccoons taking a well deserved poke at the left:

When you talk about the differences between me and a typical leftist, you might as well be talking about different species. The left, of course, is obsessed with trivial racial differences, but the difference between me and a leftist is infinitely greater than any differences based on race, class or gender. I am a member of the same race as anyone who shares my values. Therefore, Tom Sowell and I are members of the same race, just as Margaret Thatcher and I are members of the same gender. On the other hand, the girlish John Edwards and I are the opposite sex, and Al Sharpton is from another planet altogether. "Race" hardly defines our differences in any meaningful manner, and yet, the racist left believes that it is All Important.

There is a reason why leftism is an ideology that appeals to losers, misfits, the envious, the unhappy, and the addle-brained young. It is not that leftism creates the demand. Rather, these people demand an ideology to cater to their various pathologies and deficits. In other words, it is a demand-side politics that arises from certain unfortunate but ubiquitous trends in human nature. However, once the ideology is created, then its central task will be the creation of more lost souls who demand the ideology of leftism. Here again, this is one of the keys to understanding most any leftist policy, which fosters dependency, envy, narcissistic entitlement, and victimization.

Wow, whatta post Bob!

And now, boys and girls, ladies and germs (with apologies to the shade of Uncle Miltie) we turn to that famous psychiatrist with a predilection for Saran Wrap, ShrinkWrapped. Our intrepid psychiatrist begins with:

Lynch mobs do not behave in ways which reward rational responses. When hundreds of angry, fearful people are swept up in the irrational tide of hatred that leads to lynchings, there is no way to reason with them. They "know" that the perpetrators of great crimes are guilty. They don't need any facts and no amount of argumentation will convince them otherwise. In fact, those who have the temerity to oppose the lynch mob are likely to become identified with the victim of the mob and end up injured or murdered in the mob's quest for "justice." The best way to stop the progress of a lynch mob is to specifically single out a leader, point a gun at him, and let him know in no uncertain terms, that if he does not call off the lynching, he will be the first victim of the mob. Of course, any lawman who does such a thing recognizes that he is putting his own life on the line and the outcome is always uncertain; since the mob is caught up in a rage and has left their rationality far behind, the threat can just as easily increase their rage as shock them into rationality again.

Go read the rest of ShrinkWrapped's post Israel and The Lynch Mob, you won't be sorry at all.

The Assistant Village Idiot writes a letter to his 80 year old Uncle and discusses the Arts and Humanities Tribe with his post The Long Post You May Want To Skim - Or Miss. I strongly recommend you read every word. A.V.I. has a unique way of looking at political/social "tribes" that is breathtaking:

We’re not in danger of kids learning too much hagiography about dead white males and founding fathers anymore. My Romanian sons were taught who Harriet Tubman and Chief Seattle were (and that one frosts me, because the speech is an urban legend written in the 70’s. My irritation at the nasty irony of children being born under Ceaucescu being taught fabricated but politically correct history was completely opaque to their teacher. “But it’s important for them to learn about culture from another point of view!” True. How about from one that actually happened, instead?), but Lincoln got missed. So did Franklin.
Like I said, read every word.

Dearly Beloved, let us now turn to she who intently looks at a Granny Smith Apple (when you click on the link, you'll see what I mean) none other than neo-neocon. Neo, as we Psych-Bloggers call her, has written possibly the best article on defining neocons I've read in some time. Hating those dreadful neocons (Part I): cavils about cabals. In this, she notes an almost (nah, fully) anti-semitic belief about neocons:

But the use of the word "cabal" alone does not an anti-Semite make. One of the many hallmarks of anti-Semitism, however (almost a fingerprint), is a situation in which Jews are not allowed the same sort of leeway others are; when they are held to higher or different standards than the rest. So neocons are not allowed to simply be a group of people who share a particular approach to foreign policy--for example, much as the realpolitikers are--and with whom many happen to disagree. An approach which, like all approaches, is flawed, and leads sometimes to difficulties. An approach advocated by people who are sincere and well-meaning, but perhaps misguided, according to detractors.

No, they are evil plotters, bent on controlling the world for their own nefarious purposes, much like those Elders of Zion we've heard so much about.

neo-neocon nails it neatly.

Dr. Helen has an all too brief post on Youth Suicides Up:

The rate of youth suicides is up and it is possible that the reduction of antidepressant drugs is to blame:
New government figures show a surprising increase in youth suicides after a decade of decline, and some mental health experts think a drop in use of antidepressant drugs may be to blame.

Dr. Helen may be on to something. Aggressive treatment of depression seems to decrease rates of suicide as I noted in a post from almost two years ago:

Suicide is far too often not a well thought out action, but an action of desperation, of despondency, of a belief that nothing will again be better.

On a different note, we turn to OK, So I'm Not Really A Cowboy who has written a well crafted elegy for his friend Eric Shockley:

Eric was larger than life. And he was taken long before his time. But I take solace in the fact that everything I do, he does. That whatever I manage to do with my life is in no small part his doing. That if I can push people the way he pushed me, to find themselves and in so doing find each other, that if I accomplish nothing else, it’ll still be a life well spent.

Folks, this one should be suggested reading for anyone who has lost a friend or loved one.

Sigmund, Carl & Alfred, always bright and engaging have outdone "themselves" (SGA, Three Shrinks In One™) with Progressives, Wheels and Darwin. In this post, SGA takes a look at what progressives have really engendered, despite what they think they are doing:

Why isn't there a single example of a successful 'People's Paradise'? How is it that the best of intentioned revolutionaries was never able to produce a functional society? Why is it that societies that espouse economic equality and predicated on well meaning ideals, either secular or religious, have proved to be abject failures?

Socialists mistakenly believe that a collective 'unity' of beliefs, thoughts and ideologies empower a society. Their strength, they believe, are in the numbers of those who share their ideologies. Socialists believe that they have every right to design a society based on what they believe is in the best interest of that society. They also believe that an unwillingness to conform to their ideals, poses a threat, and quite possibly, a danger.

And, rounding up our little tour of the Psych Bloggers, we come at last (but never least) to me, and since I've already given you an older sample of my psych blogging, I'll not make your forehead wrinkle in puzzlement over my terse and often incomprehensible prose. Thanks for the many encouragements to me for taking on the task of giving a weekly roundup from some of the finest thinkers in the blogosphere; those who share not only my profession, but also my politics and my passion for politics. C U next week (Well, if you are a regular reader I'll see you a bit more often than that I hope. Oh, and by the way, if you wish me luck in opening up my private practice again I'll not be upset.

Posted by GM Roper at 02:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 01, 2007

Brief Politico-Therapies: A Quick Tour of the Psych-Bloggers

This will be a new feature for GM's Corner, and full credit and praise goes to my very good friend Dr. Sanity. I've known Pat Santy, M.D., since I started blogging. She has given me lots of support, friendship and kindnesses un-looked for so very many times. I recently emailed her asking her permission to do this kind of post and she not only graciously agreed, but also said she'd link it. How much more gracious can you get than that?

This series will be short descriptions and quotes chosen by me of the Psychbloggers, an exclusive bunch of psychotherapists of various kinds, all interested in as much as the pathology of politics as we are in helping others. The list of psychbloggers includes well, me of course, but I'm probably fairly low on the totem pole of this august group of folk but the true heavy-weights are, in no particular order: Dr. Helen, Dr. Sanity of course, Shrinkwrapped, neo-neocon, Assistant Village Idiot (a regular commenter on this blog and one heck of a nice guy), One Cosmos (Gagdad Bob) titular head of the PUNdocracy, Sigmund, Carl and Alfred three shrinks in one, Psych Pundit, and bringing up the tail gunner position the inimitable Not Really A Cowboy

Each week, at around this time, or perhaps on the weekend (which ever is easier for me of course) I'll be sending you bits and pieces of some of the best of the psychbloggers. Love them or hate them, agree with them or not, you will always find them thought provoking and their positions different from other pundits; left or right!

So, our first stop absolutely must be from my heroine Dr. Sanity. Today I've picked "THE MYTHS THAT FUEL THE LEFT'S DENIAL" a wowser of a post that has many on the left frothing at the mouth. Read all of it, but here is a tidbit:

Psychological denial and the avoidance of an unpleasant reality are certainly not confined to one side of the political spectrum or the other. But what I find endlessly fascinating is how the political left has created and fully integrated specific ideological tools that facilitate ongoing psychological denial.

It reminds me of all the paranoid patients I have observed over the years, who effortlessly are able to dismiss or explain away those facts that don't fit in with their carefully constructed conspiracy theories. If you get too assertive in pointing out those uncomfortable facts, you find yourself in no time fully integrated into the theory. For the paranoid, the case is closed and the argument is finished.

Doc Sanity has almost two hundred comments on this one and all of them are well worth the time to read them.

Shrinkwrapped, another of my favorites, has an excellent post on Delegitimizing America:

In a war, there is no such thing as a disproportionate response. The efforts, not coordinated but certainly in parallel, to depict Islamic fascism as a nuisance rather than an existential threat to our way of life, in effect, are attempts to make America's aggressive response to the attacks of 9/11 into an illegitimate response. Only a suicidal person can stand to ignore a murderously hateful enemy simply because the hater doesn't yet have a gun. Only a suicidal nation could stand to ignore a murderously hateful enemy simply because they do not yet have a bomb.

Winging our way over (See Dr. Sanity, I tossed in some aeronautical stuff for you) to One Cosmos wherein Gagdad Bob waxes loquacious about creation in A Cosmos Beyond Our Wildest Dreams and Wackiest Puns:

Frankly, if I could have been less unigmatic I would have been, but the book would have unsold even more copies and shot up the worstseller list with a fatal bullet to the head. As it stands, many people will no doubt pluck it from the shelf, flip through the first few pages, return it next to Shakti Gawain, and back away slowly. But this burdensome overchore to my unsour cosmic suite attempts to undo the whole bitter pointlessness of what fallows, theologically speaking.

Yesterday, a toothless and slack-jawed monocosmatic yokel dropped a steaming prairie pie of a comment to the effect that he didn't appreciate all of Dear Leader's "made up words," apparently bland to the fact that all words are made-up. This mulch is oblivious. One might just as well say, "Duh, I like Thelonious Monk, but what's with all the made-up notes?"

If you like puns, you will LOVE Gagdad Bob. Even if you don't, he'll make you think.

Dr. Helen (Glenn Reynolds much kinder, lovlier and sweeter let alone better half) posts on why Men (and Women) Don't Want Sex

"Never forget: the single most revolting image, the nightmare that haunts women, is that of the happy, grinning, sexually satisfied male. They really hate that and the sooner we adjust our social expectation to that fact, the better." Truer words were never spoken--I think that some women really do feel this way.
I knew that would get your attention, go read it all!

My good and delightful friend AVI at Assistant Village Idiot has a Running Commentary up with lots of interesting links.

Some folks have recently gotten a lot of mileage over complaining that their patriotism is being challenged for dissenting from the president’s views. It is not mere dissent that is unpatriotic – neither dissent nor agreement is patriotic in itself – it is specific dissents that can be termed unpatriotic. Like this one. Don Surber summarizes the Arkin-Washington Post brouhaha. Arkin is unpatriotic. Has been for years.

Neo-neocon taks a swing at Outdated Political Definitions:

I think conservatives tend towards the following: especially interested in individual rights, identity, and especially responsibility over group rights, identity, and responsibility; and in general favoring smaller government over big, including a more laissez faire approach to capitalism (which they also favor over other economic systems). Liberals tend in the opposite direction, and Leftists even more so in the opposite direction--including a liking for socialism, and an increased dislike for the US and the West in general.

That's it, at least for now.

Oh yes--and bigotry, narrowmindedness, rigidity, self-interest, political wrangling, hypocrisy, lies, and inconsistency know no sides--they are equal opportunity characteristics.

Boy, that lady can write. Read it all and ponder where you fit in.

Sigmund Carl and Alfred (the three in one mental fixer upper) posts on Politics, Religion and Dominoes looking at the genesis of freedom and rights and the functioning of communities:

What causes societies and communities to be be founded and succeed, is the abiding focus on the welfare of that society and community, as a whole. It is true that great emphasis in free societies is placed on the individual, but in the end, that focus is really about the place the individual has within society. Every individual is accorded certain rights and privileges and in exchange, certain contributions and obligations are expected. Drivers must be licensed and insurance must be had, for example. Those contributions and obligations to society as whole take precedence, as they must, if functioning societies are to succeed. A free society places those demands on it’s members. Those who do not wish to comply, are free to live in their cherished freedom- in isolation and as hermits.
This is a must read.

Not Really A Cowboy wonders "What If I were Like them:"

I’ve been arguing with anti-gunnies for a few years now. And the one thing that strikes me about these people is they have no fear of being violently attacked. Whether or not this fear is rational is beside the point. The thing is that they are unable to understand why others don’t feel that way. But more importantly they see no need for others to have a means of self defense.
Folks, this is one guy who will definately make you think and/or set you on your ear.

Last, but absolutely far from least Psych Pundit wonders about Social Isolation: A Modern Plague:

Remarkably, 25% of all Americans are now completely alone - without a single person they can confide in. And over half of all Americans report having no close confidants or friends outside their immediate family. The situation today is much worse today than it was when similar data were gathered in 1985 (when, for example, only 10% of Americans were completely alone).

Well, that's my first effort folks, hope you will read all of the above links. Whether you are left or right of center, you will find some amazing writing and thought provoking ideas. Leave a comment on the authors blog if you will, and leave one here and tell me if you liked my effort and want this feature to continue. And if you are wondering about the title of this series, it's a take off on one of the relatively newer approaches in psycho-therapy called Brief Psycho-Therapy.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:40 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

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