Friday, June 05, 2009

Womenomics--the slow slide to socialism

I read a bit of a new book called Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success,started to post on it and realized I couldn't stomach it, and dropped it off at my local bookstore for someone more hardy to digest. There were a number of points I wanted to make about it, mainly that the female authors thought it a good thing for women to cut their workweek and just kick back and live the life they wanted. "If everyone decides to do this, what happens to US productivity," I thought, "and why is it that work is seen as distastefull unless one can set their own hours, have free access to childcare and a loving boss?" It's called a JOB, for goodness sakes. But, in the interest of staying calm, I did not blog about these things but I did see that Vox Day had a good post on the book and I will turn it over to him:

The problem with this book, I suspect, is that the usual female fascism will likely rear its incoherent but lushly-maned head and demand that everyone do less work so as not to make working women look bad by comparison, thereby transforming what could be a reasonable call for workers to examine their individual priorities into yet another justification for government intervention into the workplace.

I fear that Womenomics is just a buzzword for a slow descent into becoming like France, where the unemployment is high and the vacations are generous. Is this really better?

What happened to three hots and a cot?

It turns out that there may only be two hot meals or less food on some days in prison due to cutbacks:

The recession is hitting home for inmates, too: Some cash-strapped states are taking aim at prison menus.

Georgia prisoners already didn't get lunch on the weekends, and the Department of Corrections recently eliminated the midday meal on Fridays, too. Ohio may drop weekend breakfasts and offer brunch instead. Other states are cutting back on milk and fresh fruit.

Officials say prisoners are still getting enough calories, but family members and critics say the changes could make prisoners irritable and food a valuable commodity, increasing the possibility of violence....

Other states have kept three meals but are scaling back menus. Earlier this month, Alabama reduced the milk and fresh fruit it serves to save $700,000. Alabama inmates now receive an apple or an orange once a week, down from twice a week. Milk has been reduced from seven servings per week to three. Tennessee has also cut back on milk portions for men - from two servings a day to one - to save $600,000.

Gordon Crews, a professor at Marshall University in West Virginia, wrote a book looking at correctional violence and said historically there have been links between food and problems behind bars. He pointed to a February riot at the Reeves County Detention Center in Texas caused in part by poor food quality.

"A lot of prisoners will see something like that as some kind of retribution against them or some kind of mistreatment," Crews said. "It'll be something that the correctional staff will pay the price for ... another reason (for inmates) to argue and fight back."

I have seen nursing homes where people started becoming angry and demoralized when the food quality went down, what will it do to prisoners? On the other hand, they are well... prisoners and states are cutting back in many other areas. What do you think? Should states cut back on food for prisoners?
Facing a lay-off? You're not alone. Tony Chen at Hospital Impact Blog has just been laid off from his job as a hospital administrator and has some helpful thoughts.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Low-rise pants: What's the verdict?

Neo-Neocon is sick of low-rise pants. I feel the same. I have a great pair of jeans I bought recently but they are (unfortunately) low-rise which means I have to wear long shirts with them. Do men like this style? I don't hear many say they do--but maybe they're too busy looking to say much. Did you ever think that you would spend this much time looking at strange women's thongs or is this a good thing?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ask Dr. Helen on PJTV: From Patriarch to Patsy

I interview Toby Young, British journalist and author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People on his WSJ article, "From Patriarch to Patsy." He talks about the fear that British men have of fighting back against sexism (he states some lose their careers, can't get work, and face other hardships) and why women think it's okay to treat men like the household help. Many of my readers were incensed by this article and had some pretty strong opinions. So do I. Join us for this very important conversation.

You can watch the show here.

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More Atlas Shrugged

Amity Shlaes: "Rand's Atlas is shrugging with a growing load":

But "Atlas Shrugged" is becoming a political “Harry Potter” because Rand shone a spotlight on a problem that still exists: Not pre-1989 Soviet communism, but 2009-style state capitalism. Rand depicted government and companies colluding in the name of economic rescue at the expense of the entrepreneur. That entrepreneur is like the titan Atlas who carries the rest of the world on his shoulders -- until he doesn’t.

Back Ache

You get the feeling plenty of Atlases are shrugging these days, in part because their tax burden is getting heavier. It’s interesting to compare sales of “Atlas Shrugged,” provided by the Ayn Rand Institute, to Internal Revenue Service distribution tables.

In 1986, a year when “Atlas Shrugged” sold between 60,000 and 80,000 copies, the top 1 percent of earners paid 26 percent of the income tax. By 2000, that 1 percent was paying 37 percent, and “Atlas Shrugged” sales were at 120,000. By 2006, the top 1 percent carried 40 percent of the burden.

Yet President Barack Obama has made it clear he would like to see the rich pay a greater share. Anyone irked at that prospect can find consolation in Rand’s fantasy, in which the most valued professionals evaporate from the work place because of such demands.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Commenting on Instapundit

Ann Althouse is guest blogging at Instapundit and has enabled comments on one post. Many people seemed surprised to be commenting there but what I am most surprised about is that for the first 400 comments, there is no anger, mudslinging or trolling. It is a testament to Glenn's fine readers or maybe the shock just hasn't set in yet.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Two soldiers shot

I just saw this on

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Police in Little Rock, Ark., say a man who likely had "political and religious motives" shot two new Army soldiers, killing one, at a military recruiting center.

Police Chief Stuart Thomas identified the victim who died as 24-year-old William Long of Conway. He and the second soldier, both wearing fatigues, had recently completed basic training and volunteered to help attract others to the military.

The suspect pulled up a black vehicle outside the Army-Navy recruiting office in west Little Rock and fired shots about 10:30 a.m.

There is also a NYT's piece on the story here.

Shroud of Secrecy of the DSM-V

I saw this article linked by Ann Althouse (guestblogging at Instapundit) on the new DSM-V which, apparently has a number of new diagnoses added to it. For those of you not familiar with the DSM, it is the mental health bible used to make diagnoses of mental disorders. The new diagnoses being considered for inclusion in the DSM-V range from sex addiction to internet addiction. There are a number of critics of the way that mental health professionals diagnose these disorders:

Even though the APA asked the psychiatrists working on the manual’s revision to sign a nondisclosure agreement, leaked proposed additions to the new version have already stirred debate. “Psychiatrists manufacture mental diagnoses the way the Vatican manufactures saints,” says Dr. Thomas Szasz, an outspoken critic of modern psychiatry and author of Psychiatry: The Science of Lies. This view may be extreme, but some of the new “mental illnesses” under consideration for the new edition nonetheless sound a little…crazy. Here are eight you may already be suffering from, whether you knew it or not.

While I think that many of the diagnoses in the DSM are useful at helping mental health professionals agree on what a cluster of behavioral symptoms mean and what they should be called, I also agree that much of "normal behavior" is pathologized. But my main concern is the secrecy of the DSM-V--only a group of psychiatrists and one psychologist are allowed to oversee the revision and they have been asked to sign confidentiality agreements. Psychologists are up in arms about being excluded from the process but a more pressing concern is that a small group of psychiatrists is making decisions about what is normal vs. abnormal behavior.

Shouldn't there be more oversight than this? Why the need to be so secret about what is being put in this manual? Why not have a more diverse group of mental health experts and others involved? I remember when we talked with APA past president Nicholas Cummings about how diagnoses were chosen for the DSM--apparently some are just reached by consensus. Huh, no research, just a decision based on a group of potentially PC or biased individuals without the research to back it up? What kind of science is that? I am started to think Szasz has a point.

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