Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Loose definitions of Mental Illness serve to decrease personal responsibility and justify expanded government ..."

Shrinkwrapped on the 1/5 statistic: "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics":
Why don't we reserve the concept of Mental Illness for those who suffer from a serious definable Mental Disturbance that brings the person far out of the (wide) limits of normal human variability? I know this would decrease the income of some Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, and various Counselors, but to be human is to function less than optimally much of the time, worse during periods of high stress. Pathologizing human variability and behavior is a sign of, dare I say, Mental Illness.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Teen mom charged with domestic violence

Reader Cham and other readers have pointed out this tidbit on Teen Mom Amber Portwood:

Anna Chan writes:Police in Anderson, Ind., have officially charged "Teen Mom" star Amber Portwood with two felonies and one misdemeanor for domestic battery.

During a September episode of season two of the MTV hit show, Portwood was seen repeatedly slapping, punching and kicking her then-fiance, Gary Shirley. Police said that Portwood is facing felony charges because Portwood and Shirley's young daughter, Leah, was present when the alleged violence occurred.

Portwood faces fines of up to $10,000 and three years in jail if she's convicted.

I wrote about this case in a previous post and how shocked I was that MTV aired the episode showing female on male violence. It looks like at last there might be some consequences for a woman who beats up a man, mostly, it seems because their 1-year-old child was present, but it's a good start. It does seem that a man needs physical evidence to get charges brought against a woman for domestic violence. A woman just needs her word against his.

I wonder if security cameras like this one might be a good purchase for men who are being abused by their spouses or girlfriends? Would the physical evidence be admissible in court? Does anyone out there know specific state laws that would allow or not allow this?

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"The survey also found that 23.8 percent of women had some form of mental illness, compared with 15.6 percent of men."

I just saw the Drudge Report link to this article stating that nearly 1 out of 5 Americans had mental illness in 2009. The article indicates that unemployment might be causing an increase in mental illness:

The 2009 mental health survey hints at the impact of record unemployment rates, which last year hit a 25-year high as struggling employers slashed jobs to cope with a weak economy.

For many, lost employment meant loss of health insurance, leaving many of the nation's mentally ill unable to get treatment.

Since we are in a "Mancession" where more men are losing jobs than women, it's interesting that fewer men were found to be mentally ill, given that they are the majority losing jobs. However, it could be that men do not report their symptoms as much as women do, or it could be biological--that women are more susceptible to depression or mental illness under stress. What's your take?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”

Carpe Diem blog: "Single, Childless Women Now Earn MORE Than Men: Do We Really Need MORE Federal Legislation?" (via News Alert):

In 2009, the Consad Research Corporation conducted a comprehensive study on the gender wage gap for the Department of Labor, and produced a 95-page report titled “An Analysis of the Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women” ....

The study concludes that “the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”


Book on Concealed Carry

If you are looking for a great gift for the gun enthusiast on your list, try Massad Ayoob's book The Gun Digest Book Of Concealed Carry. The book came in the mail recently and I have been thumbing through it. The book gives you all the information you need if you want to carry in your state, including the proper weapon and accessories needed, state-by-state laws & regulations and safe carry techniques.

There is even a chapter devoted entirely to pocket carry that discusses what kind of pockets you need for various gun types, how to use pocket holsters, how to draw from the pocket and even, how to fire through the pocket. It looks like a good read for those interested in learning the specifics of concealed carry.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Blame Game: positive, negative or somewhere in-between

I received a book recently entitled The Blame Game: The Complete Guide to Blaming: How to Play and How to Quit. It is written by physician and researcher Dr. Neil Farber who is described on the back cover as "an international expert on blaming." I would think that would be a very narrow specialty but anyway, after skimming through the book, I found myself both agreeing and disagreeing with the author.

The books discusses all of the ways in which we blame others such as group blaming where we blame men, women, Christians, Jews etc. and then there is blaming our parents, siblings, bosses etc. In a chapter on how to stop playing the blame game, the author suggests one "take responsibility" and "judge others favorably" and "make excuses for others." In a section called "Empathize--externalize for others," he states: "When someone does something that you don't like or something you feel negatively affects your life, externalize their behavior--come up with reasons, besides negative personality traits, why they would have acted in that way." Huh?

While I can respect the author's point, that blaming others can lead to a lack of personal responsibility, I think that not blaming others at all can also lead to the same outcome. Why? Because not judging and assuming others have good intentions or motives can be naive and lead to a society where no one thinks they are at fault. Yes, going too far and externalizing all blame has its problems but assigning no blame teaches a society that there is no right and wrong in the world and that moral relativism rules the day. In my opinion, being adept at knowing what and who is to blame has its place, as does knowing when blaming is not a solution.