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  • retrieverheart 4:19 PM on 05/06/2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Ten Pet Peeves About “Green” Commandments 

    Came home from work to see a new electric lawn mower. Not thrilled to see it as the cords get cut and they lack power and never seem to do a good job. My spouse tells me this one has more power than the rechargeables and got through the tall grass when he used it. I am sure one of us will slice through the cord, tho. But I know why my spouse got it. He had just got a new lawn mower last year. Gas powered. It was dead by this spring. Ethanol did it in. Which got me thinking about some of the things green jerks have forced on us that do a bad job, cost us more and make life more difficult (and don’t really do that much for the environment anyway). So here’s my current list:

    1) Gas with ethanol (destroys small engines, reduces miles per gallon, reduces power of engines, actually is worse for environment than regular gas, results in higher food costs because corn is being used for fuel, promotes misery in Third World and promotes revolution and terrorism.

    Read the rest over at my place http://artemisretriever.blogspot.com/2011/05/ten-greenie-pet-peeves.html

     
    • zillaoftheresistance 2:57 PM on 05/11/2011 Permalink | Reply

      Here in NY (not sue about other states) the eco-geniuses added a chemical called MBTE to the gasoline to make it burn cleaner. We’re all on well water in my part of the state, and our well (and many others) ended up with tainted water from MBTE. I live in a Superfund area already due to some irresponsible idjits across the street, but our well had been one of the few unpoisoned until the MBTE got added to gasoline. Now they banned it as an additive, but it took a few years before our water tested “clean” again. Nobody seems to know what the exposure will do to us, but we’ve had neighbors die of cancer recently and my cat has tumors all over her.

  • retrieverheart 7:44 PM on 10/05/2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Presidency, right stuff   

    Who’s In Charge? 

    Remember in middle school when the teacher would be called out of the room for a minute. The time would stretch out and kids would stretch, delighted at the break from being called upon, having to answer tough questions or actually think. And then things started to get out of hand. Somebody decided to stand up and imitate the teacher. This did not suit you. You knew that exam was coming up, and you wanted to do well on it. At least cram a little until the teacher got back…

    This picture of our Fearless Reader made me think of a classroom without anyone in charge. You can tell a lot about a person by how they lead, or fail to. And by your own response to them.

    And tho I am not myself the world’s best dog trainer, I would NEVER allow a dog of mine to drag me all over the place like this. It’s not good for the person or the dog. What is he thinking?? And what does the dog sense? Dogs are wiser in many ways than some humans…

    And if you want them to love you and follow your lead you can’t wow them with word clouds, you have to be consistent, and reliable, and earn their trust. They are good judges of character not rhetoric.

    (via Julie Mason at the Washington Examiner http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Dog-Whisperer-to-WH-Ur-doing-it-wrong-104379594.html)

     
    • Vegas Art Guy 9:58 PM on 10/05/2010 Permalink | Reply

      It sure as heck isn’t the American people. And that photo would make sense if it were my 73 lb Rottweiler who just figured out it was time for a car ride! I go 250lbs plus and she still keeps that leash so tight you could play music on it…

    • backyardconservative 10:24 AM on 10/06/2010 Permalink | Reply

      And he doesn’t even know how this looks to most people.

    • Obi's Sister 8:23 PM on 10/07/2010 Permalink | Reply

      Anyone with a dog knows that they can sense a person’s character before the human even opens their mouth. What I wouldn’t give to be able to talk to BO! Just think of the insights he’d give us on his human.

  • retrieverheart 5:17 PM on 08/27/2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gardening, pest control, , reclamation projects, weeding   

    Get Ready For Fall Clean Up

    It’s never too early. We are still on vacation, just back from a few days driving to Montreal and a great visit there. The next three days will be chores and errands in the mornings and fun outings in the afternoons before school and work start up again.

    Today we could avoid the garden no longer. Choked with noxious weeds. Shaggy. A mess. Poison ivy. Wild roses pricking the unwary. Thistles ditto. Bamboo sending in invading roots from the neighbor’s yard–runners up to thirty feet under my lawn from the fence. And, yes, I use those teachable moments to make heavy-handed political metaphors for the benefit of my groaning offspring…

    So, after some heavy duty maternal preaching, seasoned with appeals to family spirit, guilt, veiled threats, and sweetened with the promise of filthy lucre if enough work was accomplished (it’s the American way) the kids and I proceeded outside. Crews of Mexicans at work on our neighbors’ microscopic and manicured yards. This had the effect of arousing a certain competitive spirit in my teen boy.

    In an hour we had filled up the back of the Explorer with four huge barrels squished full of wild roses, vines, a dead yew bush, and weeds clipped and uprooted. Mulch had been spread. The front yard looked a lot better. You could see that there was a blueberry bush and blackberry canes in the side yard again (as opposed to eight foot high monsters of vines earlier.

    I heard a yelp from my son on the side. He had pulled vigorously at some tall weeds and disturbed a ground nest of yellow jackets. He was too fast for them. I said gently:

    “You know, honey bunny, (he is 17 but tolerates such maternal foolishness if NOBODY is around to hear it) it’s like politics. Nasty critters get settled in and don’t like it when you disturb them. They’ll sting you no matter what. You can’t reason with them. So just go do something else, and I’ll deal with them. ”

    We finished up fetching and carrying the piles of weeds from the rest of the project, amazed at how the weeds had just sprung up and choked the flowers and vegetables. A little neglect on our part, and things we had planted with high hopes were either dead or stunted.

    Again, I nudged him: “This happens in politics and the economy, too…We were sloppy this summer because it was hot, and we were busy with other things, so we didn’t take care of the garden. Well, people are often the same way about their political liberties and keeping track of what those scummy politicians want to do with our money. You can’t be. If we had weeded the garden every time we walked thru it (the way we do most years) it would be fine now. The same with politics. The worst thing in the world for corrupt and authoritarian political leaders is a citizenry that is alert and intelligent and keeping an eye on them.”

    “Sheesh, Mom…”

    Oh well, subtlety never was my strong point….heheh But I hope all of you are ready to do a LOT of weeding in late fall. Be ruthless! We have a beautiful garden and a lot of pests to root out of it.

     
  • retrieverheart 7:54 AM on 06/25/2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Evil Can Be Painless 

    A study from Britain asserting that fetuses cannot feel pain before 24 weeks, and that abortion before that time should continue to be allowed.

    This is specious, IMHO.  Whether or not the poor baby feels pain isn’t what determines the morality of murdering them when they are defenceless.

    Equally horrifying, this section from the BBC summary:

    It also tried to define what mental and physical abnormalities could result in a “serious handicap”.
    Around 1% of abortions are carried out on these grounds. Such terminations can take place after 24 weeks.
    In the past, campaigners concerned about the abortion law have argued that this has been interpreted too widely to include relatively minor disabilities.
    But the Royal College said in its second report that it would not be practical to try to produce a list of conditions that would constitute serious handicap because it was too difficult to predict the long-term impact of an abnormality on a child or on their family.

    http://www.old-picture.com/indians/pictures/Achomawi-Indian-Mother-and-Child.jpg
    Achomawi Indian and child, by Edward Curtis 1923

    Again, I am staggered by the banality of evil, and the missing the point.  The assumption in such reports as that one from Britain is that OF COURSE, if a disability is discovered, the parents would choose to abort, and be justified in doing so even later than 24 weeks.

    Also, if only 1% of abortions are because of disabilities, what about the other 99 %?   Gender of the child?  Finances?  Convenience?  Marital problems?

    I get emotional about this.  My own “accidental” third pregnancy ended in the baby dying in mid pregnancy.  To my husband’s and my great grief (I fell into a terrible depression afterwards).  We were shown the ultrasound of a perfectly formed baby that was deathly still in utero, a few weeks after we had declined prenatal testing because amnio increased the risk of miscarriage and we would not have aborted any child, even if there had been any terrible disability discovered.  When the baby died a few weeks later and we mourned so terribly, I became even more vehemently anti-abortion than before.  The idea that anyone would kill a baby!

    Three months later, we were pregnant with our fourth child.  It was a difficult pregnancy, with complications and many extra ultrasounds to be sure that he was alright anyway.  He was eventually born, huge and weighing 8 pounds 10 oz, and healthy and we rejoiced.

    We did not discover that he was autistic until he was seven.  It has been difficult raising a disabled child.  But we love him, and can’t imagine life without him.  Especially having lost the baby before him, we would not even have considered having amnio or of aborting him had some other “non invasive” test revealed him to have a disability.  Life is precious, not perfect.

    Cross-posted at Retriever.

     
    • iainswife 5:24 PM on 06/25/2010 Permalink | Reply

      While both my pregnancies were fraught with medical issues, because of my age (37) we had the amnio done. While waiting for the test results, my husband and I held each other and cried over what we would do if our child was autistic. Despite my parents saying just abort it if its autistic, we decided we would keep our baby no matter what. That was not when I became pro-life, just when I realized how strongly I felt. Luckily, George does have ADHD and SID but not severely and medication/therapy helps. He is brilliant, funny difficult and like his sister, our joy.

      • sherry 5:40 PM on 06/25/2010 Permalink | Reply

        This is the issue that sticks above all others. I’ll put up with a lot of waste and stupidity but this is why I vote as I vote. And now I find, my votes the past 9 years have been a sham, as billions have gone to Planned Parenthood. It’s enough to make one want to declare one’s self an alien of the country, if we’re not going to be respresented, if we’re not going to be respected, if we’re going to be mocked and ignored and overridden with every tucked in earmark of every stupid unread bill, why should we continue this contract? Why should we not declare ourselves not to be citizens of this country? It shakes me to even feel this way, but I’m getting very tired of being told to pay up, shut up and disreguard the fact that legislators are disreguarding everything I value for their own benefit. (sorry to derail for a momentary rant).

        A marker in the genes is being considered as a possible indicator of Autism. You can bet that the same pressure brought to bear on mothers carrying children with Down Syndrome which can be diagnosed in utero, will be shown to women facing a child with Autism. 90% of all Down Syndrome Children in the US are aborted; so where there are 5000 reported born each year, there should be 50,000. Someone versed in this capacity, should track the births in the coming years if this marker becomes an accepted prenatal test.

  • retrieverheart 6:56 PM on 06/10/2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Going to the Dog 

    Maggies’ Farm was just a tad unkind about this picture of our Fearless Reader’s management of the Secret Service’s….er….his family’s dog.

    Bird Dog snorted:

    President Kick Ass cannot even handle a pet dog. Pathetic. Even when my kids were little, they would not put up with that from our dogs. That is now a worthless dog, and it is the owners’ fault. How your dog behaves is a reflection of you and your training – or lack thereof, so analyze this:

    Now, I grant you, it seems pretty clear who is the alpha and who is the beta in the above picture.  (More …)

     
  • retrieverheart 10:27 PM on 06/04/2010 Permalink | Reply  

    The Spill: Science and Slitherin 

    Lately, I’ve been  transfixed by those pictures of oiled birds and worrying about the effects on the fish and wildlife and wetlands of the spill, and the livelihood of so many people as the oil spill poisons the Gulf.  Every day I tramp around a beach far to the north, that is washed by what I used to think of as a disgustingly polluted body of water, yet photographing astonishingly healthy and vigorous birds.  It’s positively pristine by comparison with the Gulf today.    The science behind the leak has been the last thing on my mind.  It shouldn’t be.

    Elisheva Levin at Ragamuffin Studies has a great post up on the science and the slitherin slime politicking around the spill. She reminds us of the perils of glib “environmentalist” policies, enacted by the ignorant.  I remember  something my first science teacher intoned regularly “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” (More …)

     
    • Quite Rightly 11:27 PM on 06/04/2010 Permalink | Reply

      You bet. This kind of thing makes me crazy every day of my life. And the sloppiness does not exist only in the humanities. If only! Academia has given “climate scientists,” i.e., magical thinking politico-environmentalists, a “free pass” from learning the laws of physics, just like they give to language majors and lawyers Congress Critters. Even “top” climate scientists–never mind lowly Ph.D. candidates–are not required to follow research practices that are standard in all the hard sciences and practical engineering, where research and computation errors can easily cost lives (the Gulf disaster, for example). That’s why environmentalists can swallow whole such outrageous tales as the Himalayan glaciers will melt in 20 years when you and I are lucky if our driveways are clear of ice by May. Not long ago a famous climate scientist published a letter in which she identified Albert Einstein as having earned his living as a watchmaker (I cringe even to write it), thus revealing her pitiful lack of knowledge–not to mention understanding–of even the basics of physics history and her willingness to accept and repeat any freshman (okay, fifth-grade) rumor that comes down the pike without any investigation whatever. Climate scientists haven’t yet permitted themselves to bump up against the idea that physics might be an interesting discipline to venture into, considering that it concerns, among other physical phenomena, heat, light, and other radiation, which might (just maybe) have something to do with global warming or cooling. But that would require facing a few well established, provable facts that might “inconveniently” clash with their pseudo-religion that grants all believers instant status as worthy citizens and “good guys.”

  • retrieverheart 12:52 PM on 05/12/2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , suffering fools   

    Green Religion 

    There are few people as religiously zealous and puritanical as a leftist environmentalist. Going to school with them, influenced far more than I realized at the time, I still have a sense of sin with each deviation from the green “rules” I absorbed while I was in college and grad school ostensibly getting an education.

    From the petty infractions—my preferring Dunkin Donuts’ durable and insulating styrofoam coffee cups that don’t leak or spill or chill to Starbucks’ feeble tho eco chic paper ones—to the larger like enjoying driving a large gas guzzling SUV. Or throwing away containers that I used to re-use repeatedly (tho vaguely disheartened by their cruddiness), or cleaning house now by throwing things away willy nilly instead of spending hours separating trash, taking this to the thrift store…the point is, I wince and find it hard to do such things without feeling guilty. Because they feel sinful..

    As a Christian, I am naturally sympathetic to many so called “green” bits of advice. Was raised that God means us to be good stewards. Despite my natural extravagance on hobbies, my family tries to be frugal, and as traditional New Englanders we tend to automatically do all those things coopted by the greenies: use up, make do or do without, most of the time. Not to save Gaia, but to save money for our children’s education or family’s medical care and/or be able to give it away to church and those in need. I grow my own vegetables organically, yadda, yadda, yadda, but these things are means not an end. Tools.

    A good piece in City Journal by Benjamin Plotinsky on messianism in totalitarianism and in the election of our current leader, and on how” the left’s radical zealotry increasingly resembles religious experience”

    Including this on environmentalism gone wild (h/t Gerard):

    Environmentalism does indeed tell its adherents “what to eat” (pesticide-free organic food, preferably grown nearby to cut down on trucking) and “how to travel” (by public transportation or, better yet, bicycle). But it also lays down rules on nearly every aspect of life in a consumer economy: how to wash your clothes (seldom); how to wash yourself (take a shower, not a bath, and use a low-flow showerhead); how to light your house (with fluorescent bulbs); how to choose your TV (look for the Energy Star logo!); how to go to the bathroom (with high-efficiency toilets and recycled paper); how to invest, clean, sleep, and dress (in environmentally friendly companies, with nontoxic chemicals, on sheets made of “sustainable fibers,” and in clothes made of the same); and even how to procreate (Greenpeace has issued a guide to “environmentally friendly sex”).

    Just to be a little less cranky and second hand, here are some of the “green” rules I now disobey and why (I did, however, breastfeed all of my kids 24/7 for years, and washed cloth diapers at home and line dried them…so I have been known to be green)::

    1) Setting my water thermostat lower. Stopped because the clothes don’t get clean in the wash, the dishes aren’t sterilized properly in the dishwasher.
    2) Never spraying anything toxic in the garden: I draw the line at poison ivy and yellow jacket nests near human high-traffic areas. I have also seen a row of hemlock trees die, six rose bushes, numerous rhodendrons, plum, apricot, nectarine and cherry trees get sicker and sicker without sprays. My squash gets destroyed by borers. If I had to support myself and feed myself from my yard, I would starve as pests and diseases are real and destructive. I avoid chemicals to the extent possible, but will now practice IPM.
    3) Using low energy lightbulbs: they make people look greenish and ruin indoor nighttime photos
    4) Commuting to work by bike. I used to do this when I was young and single and didn’t have children to support and educate. These days my life is more valuable to others. ALso, it is completely unsafe bicycling around here.
    5) Saving everything to reuse sometime (one only has so much space, and clutter is a fire hazard).
    6) Buying large containers of things to reduce packaging. Packaging helps in portion control and preventing breakage and spoilage.
    7) Composting all yard waste: weeds and their seeds and tubers, etc. cannot all be destroyed in a compost pile
    8) Low flow toilets: do not flush properly.
    9) Eating less animal protein and more complex carbs: animal protein improves mood and brain functioning, and you get less fat on it than on a starchy diet.
    11) Feeding a large dog when there are starving kids in the world. The dog is my security system, therapist, pest repellent and best friend all in one. If I am happier because my dog loves me, I will spend less money on useless toys for myself.

    That’s enough for now. How about you…

    Now I’m going to go have a long, hot shower, with all the lights blazing in the house, and the heat on because it is 35 degrees out, and do anything else I can think of to thumb my nose at those who would tell me what to do and how to do it. Because I worship no one, and follow no rule of life except those laid down by a man whose initials are J.C.

     
    • Jill 2:20 PM on 05/12/2010 Permalink | Reply

      I read an article a year or two ago (can’t seem to find it again) in which a columnist tried to greenify her family’s life. After a great deal of expense and analysis, she found that many of her energy-saving efforts saved very little energy but cost her family large bucks. The biggest “waste” of energy, she found, wasn’t the clothes dryer or the electric lights. It was a hot bath. But who can calculate the therapeutic effects of a long hot soak?

    • fuzislippers 2:21 PM on 05/12/2010 Permalink | Reply

      When Al Gore moves into a pup tent and rubs sticks together (is that allowed?) to light fires for heat and fuel, I might start taking this stuff a bit more seriously. Until then, naw, not so much. My take on it is that Gore knows what we know . . . and what the ecofreaks don’t: it’s not man-made, and whatever impact we do have is minimal and naturally neutralized by a planet that’s been heating and cooling all by itself for millions of years before man started burning coal and driving cars.

      That said, I do think that we should be responsible and not careless in terms of littering the planet (my heart used to break when I’d see dolphins with their noses stuck in those old plastic six-pack holders, and for a long while I always cut them up before tossing them–now i just put them in the recycle bin and trust that they are recycled and don’t end up in the ocean), but that’s about as far as I’m willing to go. So my list is short: I don’t litter. Yay me!

    • Teresa 2:57 PM on 05/12/2010 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with Fuzzy. When Al Gore the environmental whore stops being a total hypocrite and follows his own advice, then I might actually start listening.

      I don’t litter and I break apart those plastic six-pack holders so animals don’t get stuck in them and die. I believe in taking care of things and in us being stewards of Creation but the “greenie” movement is going way overboard. The “green” movement and Cap & Trade will hurt us with new taxes and new regulations. That is yet another way for the government to control our lives. And, that has just gotta stop.

    • Quite Rightly 4:12 PM on 05/12/2010 Permalink | Reply

      I too come from a family that was “green” long before green became PC. I was raised to respect life as sacred, whatever form it takes, and to treat Earth and all of her inhabitants with respect. We always reused, recycled, or regifted everything possible as a matter of course. If I throw something out, it really deserves to be relocated to a landfill.

      But I draw the line at being required by some PC fashionista to throw basic logic to the winds to collect that PC halo we’re all supposed to be wearing. My current gripe is going into an eatery and finding that the owners have posted signs requiring their customers to bus their own dishes and waste food into 5 or 6 different grungy waste receptacles, separated according to the category of the waste. Just what I feel like doing after a meal–handling the sticky lids of 5 or 6 different trash cans containing bacteria from the mouths of every person who has eaten in that location for the last who knows how long–and looking at everyone’s garbage. It doesn’t seem to bother the fashionistas, but it sure bothers me.

      • backyardconservative 5:40 PM on 05/12/2010 Permalink | Reply

        Yuck.

        I agree with everyone. Except I think that Al Gore is kind of nuts. And as he never finished divinity school (or law school), he prefers to worship Gaia–as long as it enhances his lifestyle, all his green tax scam companies–and as long as he can lord it over us as the prime preacher.

    • retrieverheart 6:04 PM on 05/12/2010 Permalink | Reply

      Although I believe it originated with Marx, it’s a useful question when pondering a “green” purchase to ask “Who benefits?” Usually the green product is overpriced, or unneccessary or just enriches some hypocritical fat cat like AG. Most people love shopping, so a new excuse to shop is to buy “better” stuff.

      Given a choice between the green choice and the conventional one, I will pick green if it works as well (NOT true of detergent or cleansers) and costs the same as the conventional. If one shops at farmer’s markets, cutting out the middle man, one can get better veggies etc. in summer for the same price (usually) as supermarket junk trucked 3000 miles in. Growing one’s own is even better, but is a bit of a gamble. Very occasionally, I will buy a “green” product that helps me be a little more self-sufficient or to manage off the grid. For example, a small solar cell as an emergency charger for a phone when hiking, or perhaps a small windmill up at our place up north to run the freezer, water pump and maybe charge a lamp and radio in the (frequent) event of power cuts.

      We are probably all more green than distaste for self-righteous extremists might make us think. I realized this when I used to have to prevent my late father in law from pouring away remains of lead paint onto ground next to a stream or sanding lead paint or using ferocious chemicals haphazardly. I juggle constantly my wimpy fear of bugs against my not wanting to poison our surroundings. When I see egrets in the pond at the end of my garden, I can be more philosophical about dandelions and plantain infesting my lawn…

      And , yes, that business of bussing tables when going out drives me wild! I so seldom go out at all, that when I do the last thing I want is to be clearing up!

  • retrieverheart 12:18 PM on 04/28/2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: politicians, psychoanalyzing public figures, shrinks   

    Shrinking Politicians 

    Pun intended. We are ruled by mediocrities who think they are Great Men. Sweaters that have been thru the wash. But also, the temptation to psychoanalyze politicians from a distance, by experts as well as by self-styled experts on people…

    To begin: We are ruled by moral Lilliputians these days. People who think that reading it makes it so. Beyond Louis XIV’s 
“l’Etat c’est moi!” to the notion that the ruler not only IS the state but also can predict the future of the state, and make magic with the state, and defy the fiscal gravity of the state. So, we can pass health care a week after concealing our own government’s reports that it would cost more. And continue to say how wonderful.

    As I watched our President crowing over his health care squeak to a majority, I found myself eerily reminded of Baron Harkonnen in the sci fi movie “Dune” after he has survived a recent assassination attempt. The huge villain is supported by anti gravity rockets that suspend him in air and he zips around the top of the room “I’m alive!” maniacally cackling. Maybe I watch too much sci fi. Maybe I should get out more?

    I know, I know. It is unfair to blame that man and other politicians for all the moral ills afflicting our country now. Small people. Perhaps we have got the leaders we deserve, perhaps we didn’t work hard enough to fight the rascals and persuade good people to serve or should have served ourself. It’s the small size of the conscience of our current leaders that bothers me more than their party affiliation. The head of the RNC, for example, is doing more to help liberals right now than anybody…he should step down for the good of the conservative cause.

    In other spheres (tho they give so much to political campaigns that it isn’t really separate), in a NYT story about pumping out the Goldman mess in the hearings http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/business/28goldman.html?hp :

    “A Republican member, Senator Susan M. Collins of Maine, turned from one witness to the next as she asked repeatedly whether they felt a duty to act in the best interest of their clients. Only one of the four witnesses she questioned seemed to affirm such a duty outright. “

    Kind of echoes a President who pushes agendas that the majority of his population do not support. And no shame about it…Summing up how it is modelled from the White House, Dewey from Detroit has a nice post up about “The Arrogant, Dismissive, even Derisive – President Obama”. http://www.deweyfromdetroit.com/2010/04/arrogant-dismissive-even-derisive.html At least we can vote his followers out in November, and get rid of him the next Presidential election.

    But it is not just we are hectored, jeered at, mugged, manipulated and our life’s savings fleeced by moral pygmies these days. It’s worse.

    Most of us find ourselves sometimes wondering uneasily about the mental balance, the personalities and character of our leaders. They don’t just have gall, some of them seem to have a basic disconnect from reality or any sense of social or other consequences. As the leader of the free world waffles unable to string coherent sentences together, one wonders what some of them are on. In practice, we all do it. I have to constantly fight the temptation to apply what I have learned from books and life about psychology to the rascals claiming to represent us. They are such flagrant cases.

    The study that started this whole exercise in analyzing from a distance was this:

    Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study

    Neuroskeptic had a good discussion of the loose tossing around of psychiatric labels as terms of abuse. http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com/2010/04/im-bipolar-youre-schizophrenic.html I didn’t agree with his conclusion that it is pc to object to such use of the terms. When people toss around racist epithets, they get in serious trouble, so why is mental disorder less deserving of polite treatment than race? But the point is that our culture has incorporated so much watered down psych jargon that it affects our view of everything, including our moral and political assessments.

    We start doing this labelling and dismissing young. Either dishing it out, or miserably bracing against it. The taunts on the school bus “Loser…psycho…that’s so gay…weirdo…you have issues…” turn into “well, he’s different…” once they are in middle school and high school and have been forced to attend workshops on diversity, anti-harassment, how words hurt, etc. But the dis is the same. Grownups will call someone a wack job, lunatic, psycho, retarded, moron, or whisper to a confidante that someone else is. Trying to stop it is like trying to stop certain males from accessing porn.

    Whatever your politics, Doctor X is a blogging psychologist who is remarkably restrained about this rush to diagnosis of public figures. He has a good post up discussing the latest criticism of Charles Krauthammer (psychiatrist and political commentator) for his off the cuff dismissals of assorted leftists and certain elected fat cats as needing meds. http://drx.typepad.com/psychotherapyblog/2010/04/diagnosing-public-figures.html He cites a liberal blog post on the subject, but the points are valid regardless of one’s political allegiance. Pathologizing the psychology (and values) of conservatives is just as prevalent these days as that of leftists.

    But my own favorite political commentator put it even more pithily

    “ And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Luke 6:41.

    Cross-posted today over at my site, Retriever: http://artemisretriever.blogspot.com/

     
    • Sherry 1:32 PM on 04/28/2010 Permalink | Reply

      Well, it’s only because we haven’t had universal healthcare that we haven’t removed that beam….but don’t worry, we’ll get you some rose colored glasses and koolade and you will understand and love it as much as we want you to!

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