Saturday, November 19, 2005

Dead Meat

I just watched a new documentary by Stuart Browning and Blaine Greenberg that exposes the socialist healthcare system of Canada. Interviews with patients who have been left waiting, sometimes for years, to get surgeries or procedures for life threatening illnesses will expose the viewers to the cruelty and unaccountability of a single-payer health care system. Liberals in the US talk a good game of having universal health coverage where everyone benefits--including the poor. The joke is, the single payer system provides poorer care for everyone--including the poor. I also find it ironic that the majority of people who support the Canadian system appear to be well. Try being sick and involved in one of these socialist healthcare systems and I think that view would quickly change. See the trailer for the documentary , Dead Meat, here.

Update: Stuart Browning, from On the Fence Films, addresses our discussion about the politics of the Canadian Health Care System.

Another Update: A news story describing the wait times in Ontario. Thanks to Newsbeat 1.

Update III: Here is more information on wait times at doctorrw.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Does the Absence of Fathers Cause ADHD?

In a controversial new book, Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm, the authors point out a study that showed ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) might be related to a lack of a positive father figure. Rogers Wright and Nicholas Cummings, two liberal psychologists who were prominent leaders within the American Psychological Association, have seen first hand how the organization has omitted important research when it did not fit in with their liberal dogma.

In a study described in the book, kids with ADHD were paired with male therapists due to a noted absence of fathers in this child/adolecent population. The kids were given behavioral treatment with the therapists and special attention was paid to developing a positive attachment to the male figure. At the end of the treatment, only 11% of the boys and 2% of the girls had to remain on medication. The authors of this sudy suggested that social forces may be major contributors to ADHD. Among these social forces are: "the absence of positive father role models; the presence of a revolving door for negative male role models brought into the home; poor parenting; the need for order in the classroom when teachers are severely curtailed in meting out discipline; and a declining appreciation in our culture of what constitutes normal boy behavior." This study was never given much attention by the mental health community as the "solutions" were not politically correct at they emphasized the deficit of a male role model.

I wonder how this lack of positive role models and declining appreciation for normal boy behavior plays out with the shortage of male teachers in the classroom. Could male children be taking Ritalin as a substitute for their absence?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cultural Fascism

Some readers have questioned why I advocate so much for men, call women the same names they call men or just plain seem politically incorrect. I do so more for effect than to be rude, obnoxious or display hostility. I tried the nice way--you know--where you politely disagree with others and try to make a point and I kept waiting for the politically correct crowd to change their ways, but that approach did not work. Why?--because they have intimidated, frightened and just plain punished those who disagree with them--into silence. And we let them. Maybe something more drastic is needed.

I believe there is something sinister in our midst--a kind of cultural fascism (I will be writing more about this in a subsequent book review)--that is prevalent in our society. People's speech is being hijacked by the political correctness police and many are afraid to speak up. We keep our mouths shut so we will not be deemed a racist, sexist or homophobe. In this way, the cultural fascists are winning. But if every person who believed in free speech and differing viewpoints would speak up--there would be more of a discussion--a diaglogue that might result in a more even-handed way in which people of all worldviews are treated.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

If you are in the Knoxville area, you can see me on the 6:00 news on Volunteer TV briefly discussing the juvenile transfer process for kids like Kenneth Bartley who was involved in a school shooting.

Update: Here is the news story and video.

Just Try to Tame Those Brats

Thanks to a reader who told me about this column in the Chicago Tribune. It is unbelievable that our society puts up with any bratty behavior that children want to display--with no consequences. It's no wonder they grow up to be David Ludwig (and perhaps Kara Borden, who may or may not be a vicitm) who cannot hear the word no. The article describes a restaurant owner who put up a sign to ask parents to keep their children under control:

"McCauley, owner of A Taste of Heaven restaurant, was fed up with shrieking, bratty kids climbing on his fixtures or flopping on the floor blocking waitresses carrying pots of hot coffee, while the parents remained relaxed and infuriatingly indifferent."

The moms were outraged about the sign and decided to boycott the restaurant while the dads just kept their mouths shut. Contrast this to what happened when I was a kid. My parents brought their five kids to a place called the "Lazy Susan" which served the food in a buffet style set up. We did not know how to act and were putting our hands in the food, and not staying seated. The management came up to my parents, told them to take their kids out, leave and not come back. We were all embarrassed and never acted that way in public again (we were all under 8 at the time). Actually, my parents hired a babysitter and did not take us out as often.

The mothers boycotting the restaurant gives a clear message to kids that it is ok to act like a brat. Congratulations to these selfish mothers. Dads are afraid to speak up which is a shame--given that as the Nanny State takes over the raising of our kids--parents will have less and less say so in their upbringing.

This story does have a happy ending--the restaurant owner's business has tripled, despite the boycott and he no longer has to endure the endless shreiks of poorly behaved children.

Update: Dadvocate has a typical example of how spoiled children lose out by not being invited to hang out with family members.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mother gets 30 Years for Seducing Boys

Well--if it was a guy--they would call it "molesting" rather than seducing but at least the courts are holding women responsible for their actions. See the story here. But my question is, if she had killed the boys rather than seduce them, would she have gotten less time?

The New Romeo and Juliet

Kara Borden and boyfriend, David Ludwig,were caught yesterday after Ludwig allegedly shot Borden's parents with a single wound to the head. Ludwig is suspected of killing the parents over Kara's curfew. "It's completely insane, completely insane," Lancaster County, Pa., Coroner G. Gary Kirchner said. "This isn't a Romeo-and-Juliet deal. This is far worse than that."

Yes, it is far worse. At least when the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, were barred from seeing each other by their families, they took their own lives. As sad as this may be, they made the decision to kill themselves and did not take others down with them. Now, the former internalizers of aggression are externalizing their anger outwardly. This external use of anger should come as no surprise to the parents of today's teens. American culture worships youth, puts few boundaries on kids (except at school and only as a hypocritical reactive measure) and teaches kids that there are no consequences for their behavior. Even if a parent teaches their kid that no means no--there are peers, television and the wider society that sends the message to kids that they are in charge.

Parents are not allowed to discipline kids for fear that they will land in jail. All kids now know the drill that if they get mad at mom or dad, they can report them to the authorities for child abuse. Even if they never do it, kids realize the threat it holds over their parent's heads. I have talked to many girls in my work as a psychologist who have turned in their father or stepfather for "hitting them" out of anger and revenge. Other parents are also so busy trying to get their kids to like them (God forbid they should be put into the position of being an authority figure--they might end up looking like George Bush or one of those other white men who see the world in moral terms) that they let their kids get away with murder at home and elsewhere. People may think it is cute when a little kids gets his way (I don't, I cringe) but in the end--a teen who will not compromise and insists on getting his or her own way is never an asset and can be a timebomb.

Update: Flavor Country has a good post on the "kidnapping" of Kara Borden. If the tables were turned and we had a fourteen year old boy and eighteen year old girl--would they even have put out an Amber Alert?

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Hypochondriac's Dream

I received this in the mailtoday from Amazon--been meaning to order it for a while but finally got around to it. This device not only measures blood pressure but detects irregular heartbeats which can be a sign of atrial fibrillation which can lead to an increased risk of stroke. I have atrial fib (as well as other heart rhythm problems) and the device certainly picked up my irregular heart beat. It seems like a good gadget for those who need to closely monitor their blood pressure or heart rate.

New Blog

Dr. Wes Fisher is an extraordinary electrophysiologist (a cardiologist who treats heart rhythm problems)--he not only sees patients but he runs the medtees shirts site that sells humorous shirts for people with illnesses. He has just started a new blog--go by and say hi--it is not often that a cardiologist cares so much about the psychological well-being of those who are ill but it goes hand in hand with getting well. The blogosphere will be enriched from his presence.

Two Pennsylvania Teens Found

If you have been following the news this morning, you know that two Pennsylvania teens were being sought after the girl's parents were found murdered. There was an amber alert looking for fourteen-year-old Kara Borden stating that she had been kidnapped by eighteen year old David Ludwig. It seems Kara had gone out with this boy the night before and they were sneaking around behind her parent's back as they did not approve of the relationship, according to a friend. I would not be surprised if it turns out that this is more than a case of a kidnapped girl and her thug boyfriend. The teens were captured early this afternoon.

Update: Both of the teens were found to have blogs--rather normal ones I might add but check them out at Psych Central.

Turning the Tables

Every once in a while, I make a crack about women--I might call a particular woman a jerk or a bully or some other name. I often do it for effect as much as anything else. Why, you may ask, would she say something negative about someone of her own gender?

Because I believe that women can take it. Men, for the longest time, have been the subject of jokes, putdowns and just downright rude expletives, mainly by women, but also by men. This behavior, our society thinks, is somehow acceptable. Men are in power and therefore, the oppressors--of women, minorities or anyone else who dares get in the way of their perceived status. But wait, is this really true, or have the tables turned? There are many areas now where women are in power, yet the male bashing continues. Now, in many circumstances, women are in power, yet they are acting just like the men they complained about.

If you want to see grumbling about men--just head down to an elementary school at the end of a day, like I did once. I went to visit a male teacher and asked a group of female teachers where he was. "He is not here," one of them stated, "he always leaves early." "Yes, just like a man," said another, "always out the door while the rest of us work." This male teacher was in the middle of getting married and lived far away from the school. He was not asked to come back the following year and the male principal as well as the male substitutes left the school also with little explanation. A female principal came in and brought her staff of "good old girls" with her. In this particular elementary school, there is not a single man--they have all been run out.

Men are now the new sex objects. Women feel totally free to comment on men's dress, they straighten ties on men they do not know and touch men in ways that would land a man in diversity training if they did the same to a woman. One man told me recently that a female administrator put her hand inside his shirt, squeezed his pec, and said, "you're looking good, have you been working out?" Try doing that to a woman--put your hand on her boob and say, "hey, these look good, are they real?" Good luck holding on to your job.

Joking about people and making crass comments is seen as the weapon of the minority against the majority. You can do it if you are the right gender or race. The psychological reason that society lets women and certain minorities get away with it is that they are seen as the underdog--they are viewed as weak and not able to tolerate a joke or a negative comment for fear they will crumble. But I think women and minorities are stronger than that. I do not see women as people who are weak--but rather who are strong and autonomous--those types of people do not need the government to intervene on their behalf everytime a negative word is said. In a free society, we should have the right to make offensive remarks and jokes without fear of punishment--even of so-called minorities.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Canival of the Insanities

If you do not read psychiatrist Dr. Sanity's blog--do so. She has some interesting posts up including a link to a test that asks, "What horrible affliction are you?" Just for the record, I am rickets.