Saturday, November 05, 2005

My Lifesavers!

Here is me (middle) with two of the nurses from Baptist Hospital West in Knoxville who run the cardiac rehab. These are the most dedicated nurses I have ever encountered and I owe my recovery to them. Although I hope none of my readers ever need this type of medical help, if you do, I hope you find such wonderful professionals.

Walking the Walk

More pictures

Here is the back of my t-shirt. If you have heart problems, you will know what VF stands for--for those that don't, a defibrillator protects against ventricular fibrillation--a fatal rhythm problem.

Heartwalk 2005

Thanks so much to all my readers (and Instapundit's) for their generous donations to the American Heart Association. The heart walk was this morning and was a lot of fun. This is a great t-shirt I got from Cafe Press to wear--you can order them here if you have a defibrillator or know someone who does. The back of the t-shirt is interesting. I will put it up in another post.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Is the APA Biased?

Some of my readers have emailed or commented to say that the American Psychological Association is not biased and at least studies the issues of men. I checked out Division 51 of the APA (Men's division) and looked at their newsletter. Hint--just because an organization has a division stating they study men does not mean that they understand them. Take a look at an article entitled Explorations in Phenonmenology (you will have to scroll down the page). After reading this article, it was clear that the newspaper editor who wrote it believes men are basking in the privilege of being men, assuming incorrectly that women might charge them with sexual harrassment (oh no, this never happens), are afraid of left wing conspiracies and are homophobes. The interviewer gets downright angry at the last idea. Read it and decide for yourself.

Update: Here is yet another example of the APA prejudicial views towards conservatives in an article entitled: Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition. I have read this article before but thanks to Michelle Malkin in her new book, Unhinged, for pointing out the article again.

Analyzing political conservatism as motivated social cognition integrates theories of personality (authoritarianism, dogmatism–intolerance of ambiguity), epistemic and existential needs (for closure,regulatory focus, terror management), and ideological rationalization (social dominance, system justification). A meta-analysis (88 samples, 12 countries, 22,818 cases) confirms that several psychologicalvariables predict political conservatism: death anxiety (weighted mean r .50); system instability (.47); dogmatism–intolerance of ambiguity (.34); openness to experience (–.32); uncertainty tolerance (–.27); needs for order, structure, and closure (.26); integrative complexity (–.20); fear of threat and loss (.18); and self-esteem (–.09). The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat.

Though the article points out that the authors do not believe conservatives are pathological, what can you say about those you have described as anxious about death, intolerant of ambiguity, intolerant to change and justifying inequality?

Who Stole Psychology?

I read recently that 93% of all psychologists are left leaning; that explains a lot about my profession. I wish that in the 1980's when I started studying psychology that I had been given the list of rules and regulations outlining the political views I was being signed up for, without my consent. But at that time, I wasn't aware of the "rules"--maybe they were different then, or maybe I just didn't get the memo. If I had, I would have just walked away.

Somehow, in my misguided youth, I was under the impression that in the field of psychology I would study the science of the mind and behavior. Instead, I found myself and other students put on trial for the correctness of our personalities and political beliefs. In my first program in New York, I was in a European style program that had students take a series of exams after their Masters and prior to going into the PHD program. I was in an externship with several of the students who were preparing for these doctoral exams and studied their behavior. They often kissed up to the professors early on and acted as if they held their views in high regard. I realized that my anti-authority attitude was going to get me nowhere and decided another program would be better, and it was, but now I had to contend with political beliefs that I neither believed nor wanted to hear about.

Many of my classes centered around women's rights and multiculturalism. I would find myself seething in class over the liberal views but at the same time, I was unable to speak. I did not see women as victims, but as autonomous beings who were responsible for their own behavior. I felt that affirmative action was unfair and that people should be judged on their merits. I sensed that if I spoke up, the career that I had put so many years into could be cut short; and I was right. A male student in the program made a politically incorrect remark; he was gone a week later. I kept my mouth shut for the most part, until it came time for my dissertation. One of my committee members held up my defense with one trivial change after another. One day, she told me that since I was a woman, I would have to do a dissertion that was better than any man's to prove myself. This, she said, was the way the world worked. (Apparently stabbing your own gender in the back was part of the way the world worked in her eyes.) With my most cold and threatening gaze, I told her that I would do the worst dissertation that any student in my program had ever done who received their degree. She never bothered me again.

After I got my PHD, did a postdoctoral internship and got licensed, I thought that life would change. I got into private practice and thought things would get better--and they did--for awhile. I was so happy to be out from under the thumb of the academic world that hate-filled patients with private fantasies to blow up a gas station and take the town down with them looked like a walk in the park. My patients' anger was direct; they did not beat around the bush and I could relate easily to their frustrations. Instead of doing therapy with violence-prone people, I started doing more evaluations. My first love has always been psychological testing and assessment. I worked for courts, attorneys and government agencies. But as time went by, the left-leaning views that I had so despised in the academic world started rearing their ugly heads again in my work world.

To start with, as psychologists, we are required to take Continuing Education each year. We are allowed to choose which programs to attend but you never know the politics until you end up in a city far from home listening to yet another "objective" speaker talk about battered women, abusive men and the ignorance of juries for not finding a three time murderer insane. One speaker, a forensic psychologist, actually had the audacity to berate an audience member when he pointed out that juries are afraid to find a murderer insane at the time of the crime for fear that the defendant would be hospitalized and released after a short time. Our "impartial" speaker became red-faced and bet the audience that these criminals are rarely released back into society -- to which most of us in the audience, all practicing psychologists in the real world, just laughed.

Don't get me wrong--I often learn a great deal from these seminars -- it's just that I did not go for doctrinization into a left leaning mode of thought. I often see these liberal views touted in the books and magazines I receive from my professional association magazine (American Psychological Association) or from other book presses. Here are some gems I received yesterday in the mail -- ads for the following books: Therapeutic Exercises for Victimized & Neglected Girls and Spouse Abuse: Assessing & Treating Battered Women, Batterers, & Their Children. In my APA Monitor magazine I was treated to an article on Enhancing diversity within APA. Yes, this sounds innocent enough but when you read the article, written by an "able-bodied white heterosexual male" (shame on you--how can you admit to that?) who chastises members of the APA for their lack of sensitivity to minorites, it becomes rather laughable--given their politics. When a stauch Republican or Libertarian becomes the president of the organization, maybe I'll listen to their ideas of diversity. Have you noticed that older white guys are always touting diversity while they sit on as president of this or that association? They have already established themselves and have little to lose with this position and they look really righteous.

In closing on this post, I just want to say that not all psychologists are cut from the same cloth. If the APA believes in diversity--then the 7% of us who are not left leaning liberals should be heard also and not assumed to engage in the same group think of most psychologists. There is room, after all, for those of us who believe that women are not victims, that gun control is unacceptable, that people should get by on merit and not on race or gender, and that the war in Iraq was not a mistake. The public believes that psychologists are "bleeding heart liberals" and this is a poor reputation to have. It may be acceptable within the confines of the APA and in the academic world but it carries no favor to our profession to many people in the public.

AN UPDATE: Some Volokh readers responding to my post on "Who Stole Psychology" don't seem to get my point.The wording used in the articles and books in psychology is obviously left-leaning in their tone--that is what I object to, not the fact that there are or aren't battered women, victimized girls etc. Even the APA (American Psychological Association's) president has an article on how to raise a son who doesn't create a sex scandal. Now, if you think that is not prejudiced, just imagine the reaction to an article on "how to raise a black child who isn't a drug addict." Would people defend that?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mommy Knows Worst

I have a book review of James Lileks's new book, Mommy Knows Worst: Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice up at TechCentral Station. Here is a highlight:

Most parents worry about the damage they may be inflicting on their children by following parenting advice touted by parenting guides, mental health professionals, school personnel and even talk show hosts. Even those uncouth parents who try to tune out the current fads of child discipline and advice are swayed by community mores, school rules and the jail time involved if they vary too much from the norm. But many of us wonder how much of this advice is not only unhelpful, but just plain wrong. How can we know what will be the outcome of time outs, drugging kids with Ritalin, withholding discipline or sending kids to Brat Camp? Perhaps in the future, we will be looking back, wondering why we followed the advice given by well-meaning ninnies when in fact, there were other methods that might have worked better. The parents in James Lileks' new book on bad parenting advice probably wondered the same thing...

Read the whole thing.
I really enjoyed watching blogger Michelle Malkin on the O'Reilly factor discussing her book, Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild. She is one of the few guests who has managed to get a word in edgewise on his show. See the video of Michelle here. I have ordered her book and look forward to reading it.

The Truth About Domestic Violence

Here is a good article about the money being showered to domestic violence victims (only women, of course) via DesertLight Journal. Here in Knoxville where I live, there was a grant given for domestic violence to one of the leaders of the community and I saw him speaking about it with a family court judge on tv one day. They kept running stats about how only women were the recipients of domestic violence which I found quite frustrating, having dealt with many abused men in my career and personal life (no, I was not the abuser, these were male friends and acquaintances who had problems with other women). I faxed the tv network information about domestic violence statistics on how many men were abused and/or killed by women but got no response. I guess the million dollar grant they received meant more to them than telling the truth.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

But Kids Never Lie

Here is an example of what can happen when media types like Oprah try to convince everyone that all adults are child molesters.

Please Help Support me for the American Heart Foundation Heart Walk

Ok, one last plea to ask for donations for the heart walk I am going on this Saturday, November 5th. Although I am just going to do (attempt) the one mile walk, the main purpose of the walk, of course, is to raise money for heart research and education. Heart disease is an equal opportunity killer of men and women and as we have seen with breast cancer, funds do seem to equal success in finding treatments. My donation page is here. If you would like to donate even one dollar, click on the paypal button and give that way--I will see that all funds get to the American Heart Association. Thanks to everyone who has given so far!

Google Searches

I've noticed other bloggers have posted some pretty funny search words that people use to find their blog. It is quite interesting to see how people find you; reading through the searches people have done to find my blog has led me to wonder whether these poor souls need a therapist or a clue. So far, the top searches to my site have been:

1) "Men afraid of having kids" --(This sounds like a woman searching to find out why her significant other does not want children--Shouldn't she just ask him?)

2) "What to do if you are ignored?"-- (If you have to consult the internet, your question is already answered).

3) "What does Oprah think about men persuing women" (Who the hell cares?) and finally;

4) "Why do most men don't go to college?" (Apparently this one needs to go ASAP).

If you have any funny searches to your blog--please add a comment!

Monday, October 31, 2005


Cathy Seipp at Cathy's World Blog has a post on lung cancer which asks the same question I do. Why is it that breast cancer and other illnesses get so much more funding than the major diseases that kill both men and women such as lung cancer and heart disease? Some people have said to me that lung cancer or heart disease is avoidable--and therefore, not as deserving as something like breast cancer. Afterall--the former happens to people for "personal decisions" I am told. Bad health decisions account for fewer cases of many diseases than we realize. Rationalizing why someone gets a particular illness may make other people feel good but it is just an illusion--a way of distancing one's self from the person with the disease. Ms. Seipp's description of the typical interaction with a disillusioned soul is accurate:

Cancer does have a couple of upsides. One is that you can put the fear of God into people with hardly any effort at all, and occasionally, I have to admit, I do this when they start waving their illusions around in front of me. “But…but…you never smoked? Not at all? So then…you lived with a smoker, right? You worked in a bar?” Etc. Mostly I just smile and answer the usual series of “no”s. But sometimes I say, “I know you’re looking for a reason why you’ll never get this, even though I did -- sorry, can’t help you.”

People want to believe that our motality is within our own hands--that somehow, if we are virtuous enough, disciplined enough or just plain relaxed enough, nothing bad will happen. But eventually reality wins out and we are left to cope with an illness in the best way we know how. I hope that I learn to cope as well as Ms. Seipp.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Women Can Be Jerks Too

Maureen Dowd's article on the modern dilemmas of women finding a date are laughable. I started to write a post summarizing the error of Ms. Dowd's arguments but found that Roger Simon and his commenters had done it for me. Read it, it's a great post.

Update--Ok, I have to weigh in on this issue on Maureen Dowd and her snarky take on why she can't find a date with a man. Newsflash--anyone writing a book called "Are Men Necessary? shouldn't be asking that question. (The book-cover is cool, though.) I have spent more than my fair share of time around women like Ms. Dowd who think that their lack of male companionship has more to do with their "independence" and brains and less to do with the fact that they are ballbusters. Even everyday women who pride themselves on being feminists fall into this trap when it comes to being dateless.

Case in point: I was at at the manicurist one day who happened to be a Dowd clone except for the low status job. She spent the next hour (it seemed like more) discussing the redneck men in Tennessee who wouldn't go out with a woman like her who had strong opinions, the lack of educated people in Tennessee, Southerners fear of change and the horrible condition of our healthcare (never mind the fact that our Medicaid program, Tenncare, spends more per person than just about any state, but that is a whole other post). By the time I left the salon, I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach with the insults and putdowns. I can only imagine what a man who was involved with this woman would feel like. I was turned off by her and her negative views of men and traditional Southerners and I am neither one.

The truth is, most men like women who like men (except for some psychological cripples). I am opinionated, have a PHD and (hopefully), a decent IQ. I rarely meet a man who minds this. Why? Because I like men, enjoy their company and treat them as fellow human beings. These are the ingredients that many of these "feminist" women are missing in their interactions with men. They believe that because they are women, they can get away with saying anything and others should think they are enlightened, instead of just bullies or jerks. That's what they think men are--and that is why they will remain dateless.