Archive for November, 2009

National Debt Weigh-In

November 30, 2009

Political Cartoon by Gary Varvel

The scale will read 14 trillion by the year 2010, by one estimate.

Please see the following for National Budget Debt and National Debt information:

http://www.federalbudget.com/

So what do you think about this kind of behavior from our Federal Government. How long do you think we can sustain this sort of spending? What do you think the long-term consequences of this spending pattern would be for your family, a corporation, or a nation?

VTM, 11/30/09

Advertisements

A German’s View of Nazis, and By Implication, also Of Islam

November 28, 2009

A German’s View of Nazis, and By Implication, Also Of Islam
My dear friend Vic Palenski forwarded this letter to me by Email.

I have no doubt that it is one of those circulating Emails that is worthy of your time and consideration.

On this matter, we all need to be aware—-and we all need to beware.

Note:  A colleague and friend, Dr. Frank Fujita, has noted that the title of this post is misleading. I have therefore changed the title to clarify matters. He also provided the URL to the original article which appeared in an Israeli  publication. The published article provides the name of the author and the publication venue, but otherwise differs  insignificantly from the Emailed version. 

In my view,  the powerful truth of both of these messages remain undiminished.  VTM , 11/29/09

Please see the original article at the following URL.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/6996

The Circulated Email version follows in its entirety:

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates.

When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories..’

We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace.

Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely
irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across lobe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.
 

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts–the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

I invite you to copy and send this letter on to your friends and loved ones.

V. Thomas Mawhinney,  Ph.D.   11/28/09

Thanks Vic!

Hated to Do It On Thanksgiving

November 27, 2009

Hated to Do It On Thanksgiving

Ok, I was going to put these cartoons up on Thanksgiving, but then I thought better of it. Thanksgiving, in my view,  should be a day for reverence and thoughtfulness about the best of this great nation, our family and friends and those who serve us all.

So, on this day after Thanksgiving, I will post the cartoons that speak to my concerns.

From the Patriot post,  by Gary Varvel

 

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

 From the Patriot Post,  by Michael Ramirez

V. Thomas Mawhinney   11/27/09

Happy Thanksgiving From George Washington

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving From George Washington

George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

From Founder’s Quote  Daily

VTM, 11/26/09

Happy Thanksgiving To You!

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving To You!

I hope that you will take this day to count your many blessings and be with, or think of , your friends and loved ones.

Thanksgiving should also remind us of the great gift we have in America and the sacrifices of all who keep it, and all of us, safe.

It is also good to ask, how can we continue to do our part in this great effort?

God’s Blessings to you and your loved ones.

Tom

11/26/09

Mood Disorders: The Equal Opportunity Destroyer

November 25, 2009

Mood Disorders: The Equal Opportunity Destroyers

Mood disorders involve abnormally high (energetic, happy or euphoric) or low (low energy, sad and hopeless) feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. Part of the definition of  a mood disorder has to do with how high or low a person’s mood goes and how long it remains in the abnormal extremes. Also, one class of mood disorder is defined by moderate or extreme vacillations between these poles. This vacillating mood disorder is call Bi-Polar Disorder and its extremes are identified as Mania (high) or Depression (low).

Modernity has many advantages, but there are disadvantages too. Alarmingly, mood disorders, particularly depression, appear to be increasing in rates of occurrence in modernizing countries around the world. Why do you think this is might be the case?

You might suspect that many things could contribute to such a trend. Higher rates of sociocultural change can be stressful and alienating. New technological developments were supposed to provide more free time, but they often raise expectations for “multi-tasking” and greater productivity.

Increased mobility erodes social support networks and separates extended and nuclear families from one another. New opportunities for wealth and material possessions also motivates increased work and reduces the time that family members and friends spend together as well as participation in traditional spiritual activities and rituals. Rapid business evolutions and economic changes can uproot families and remove them from highly supportive and rewarding social environments. The advance of science and technology seems to diminish the attractiveness of religious involvement and this source of community and spiritual support.

The increase in working mothers has led to the increase in use of Day Care, or other paid “baby sitters” , for infants and young children.  This, in turn, can lead to a decrease in family based child rearing practices resulting in  the loss of traditional acculturating influences that produced historically familiar manners, mores, and folkways that supported group cohesion and a sense of belonging.

 High rates of immigration (legal and illegal) of populations from dramatically different cultures and dramatically different religious influences can bring a sense of isolation and alienation to both immigrants and indigenous populations.

A pervasive entertainment media which showcases historically deviant life-styles (beliefs, values, and behaviors) can accelerate the process of traumatically isolating and alienating change within cultures. This process is already far advanced in America.

All of these things, and more, can be implicated in the increase of  psychological disorders in modernizing sociocultures such as America.

There is strong empirical and theoretical support for many of these ideas, but the debate about why virtually all developing societies show increased mental heath problems will go on for a long time.

I will increasingly focus upon numerous psychological disorders that are increasingly prevalent in America. These psychological disorders  are not only harmful to the persons that suffer from them, they are damaging to others who live with (or are in contact with) the afflicted individual. This is because the effects of these psychological disorders can spread from one individual to others via scientifically validated mechanisms.

The term I use for this problem of spreading psychopathology within a population is Behavioral Contagion.  This natural phenomenon is seldom discussed or recognized as a major mechanism in a sociocultures decline. But, in my opinion, understanding, predicting, and controlling this ruinous force is essential for America’s avoiding a long, painful, and disastrous decline.

As I continue to focus on various psychological disorders in the weeks to come, I do so because they are in large part preventable. American medicine has learned to prevent many of the causes of massive human suffering and loss within its population, and elsewhere. It is time that America do the same with the causes of massive human suffering and loss caused by many of our psychological disorders.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.    11/25/09

Making Problems Worse

November 23, 2009

Making Problems Worse

Fixing what ails this nation is not always a matter of correcting the problems that exist. It also entails not making these problems worse through the imposition of harmful new cultural redesigns.

The following article by Star Parker is an example of exactly the kind of progressive politically based cultural redesign that will be another nail in America’s coffin.

The following is Star Williams’ article in it entirety:

Sodom In The Nation’s Capital

At a time when our country is sick, it shouldn’t surprise that one our sickest places is our nation’s capital.

The poverty rate of Washington, DC, almost 20 percent, is one of the highest in the nation. Its child poverty rate is the nation’s highest..

 DC’s public school system, with a graduation rate of less than 50 percent, is one of the worst in the country.

According to DC’s HIV/AIDS office, three percent of the local population has HIV or AIDS. The Administrator of this office notes that this HIV/AIDS incidence is “…higher than West Africa…on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya.” And the principal way that HIV is transmitted continues to be through male homosexual activity.

 Amidst this dismal picture, the DC City Council, perhaps on the theory that serving up another glass of wine is the way to help a drunk, is scheduled to vote on December 1 to legalize same sex marriage in America’s capital city.

 Looking at realities in Washington, DC should make clear why George Washington said “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

 But the America that our first president had in mind was very different from the vision of our DC government officials.

George Washington’s America was one in which the point of freedom is to allow Man to rise to what he can become. To do this, the greatest challenge he faces is conquering himself. To rise above his baser instincts, to rise above the many temptations that lead him astray. And to achieve this end, as Washington said, “religion and morality are indispensible supports.”

In left wing America, of which the DC government is a poster child, freedom means to indulge every instinct that the tradition and religion of George Washington would have us overcome.

Where does it lead? Well, look at DC.

It is tempting to look at DC’s realities and just call this a black thing. And by and large it is. 

DC is largely black — almost 60 percent. Its poverty is black poverty. Its public school system serves mostly black children. And its AIDS crisis is mostly among blacks.

But the pathologies that strike the weakest parts of our population most brutally are nonetheless pathologies of the nation.

 The Brookings Institution is one of our oldest policy institutes and certainly no bastion of conservatism. But in a recently published volume, Brookings scholars Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill point out the centrality of the traditional family to the American dream of opportunity and the centrality of family breakdown to poverty.

Reporting data showing the general breakdown of the traditional American family, they say, “Some claim that anyone who is concerned about these trends is simply out of touch with modern culture; we respond that, if that be the case, then, “modern culture is out of touch with the needs of children.”

 The Catholic Archdiocese of DC announced that legalization of same sex marriage would make it impossible to continue its relationship with the DC government and require termination of the social services it provides to some 68,000 of the city’s poor — including about one third of its homeless. The reaction of DC council member David Catania was essentially “so what.” According to him, “their services are not indispensable.”

 Is Catania out of touch with the needs of DC’s poor?

 No. He just has different priorities. More important to him, and more important to DC’s left wing city council, is advancing moral relativism and the indulgences it feeds.

 This is more important to them than feeding the poor or recognizing the values that would get them out of poverty.

 It should concern every American as we watch our nation’s capital city transform officially into Sodom.

From Townhall.com by Star Parker

A socioculture that sacrifices its children’s welfare to the trendy gratifications of its adults constructs a path to its own decline.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.   11/23/09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How We Create Psychological Disorders In Our Adults

November 22, 2009

How We Create Psychological Disorders In Our Adults

So, how do we create psychological disorders in our adults? After reading how we can create the conditions that increase rates of psychological disorders in children, you probably already know at least part of the answer.  We create psychological disorders in adults by creating them in children. We look the other way as children are first damaged and then  children grow to adults , many taking their unnecessary and ill-gotten problems with them. 

Charlie Manson once warned that “these children who come at you with knives are your children”! Yes, the truth can come from strange places.

The facts are that we allow hundreds of thousands of parents, and whoever else ends up caring for America’s children, to create the damaging conditions (or fail to rectify them) in which infants, children, and adolescents must live and suffer.

We also allow parents, care-takers, and others to continue to do damaging and ruinness things to these dear and helpless young future adults long after we identify what they are doing. They are allowed to continue to do things to these children that will psychologically harm them for life, or even maim or kill them.

In the midst of all of the ongoing and massively publicized abuse, neglect, rape, and murder of our children, we do not powerfully and effectively intervene to save them.

Some might assert that we are intervening and doing all that we reasonably can. But that is simply not true. I know because, as a practicing psychologist I am a sad part of the system that is failing miserably. Watching these systemic failures is the most difficult part of my job.

Some would accuse me of idly “admiring” and complaining about the problem while offering no solutions. I would counter that I am certainly not “admiring” the problem. Rather, I am doing my best to define this problem’s massive form and to illustrate and explain its causes so finally, our society will develop the courage necessary to intervene early and forcefully to protect our precious children.

There is much more to come.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.   11/22/09

Divorce, or Break-Up, When There Are Children?

November 21, 2009

Divorce , or Break-Up, When There Are Children ?

As a therapist, I find counseling with couples without children who contemplate divorce to be mildly stressful. I always want to help people to solve the problems that they are coping with.

But, with married couples without children who fail to remain together, the pain and stress to them and their families normally does not damage any children and I take solace in that. If one or both are determined to divorce, I shrug my shoulders with resignation and sadly say, O.K., go ahead.

When I am working with a married or formerly commited couple with children who fail to remain together, it is a gut-wrenching experience for me. I am pretty good at letting go of the therapeutic process when there is nothing left that I can do. But, I do everything in my power to persuade married or committed couples to consider the effects of their divorce upon their children.

Please allow me a brief fantasy.

If I were king, I would decree that no couple with children could separate before their children had graduated from high school. After all, the children did not ask to be brought into this world only to be separated from those who they have grown to love and depend upon for life, security. and normal growth and development.

In my fantasy, in this day and age of easy contraception, I would lecture to my kingdom:
 

“You brought that infant into the world and now it is your obligation to raise that child to the best of your ability. Your personal hopes and desires are secondary in importance to the needs of your child…and your child needs you to stay together to help him or her grow to the age of independence.

Sorry, that’s just the way it is. Besides, when you were married you took an oath before God to remain married, ‘Till Death Do Us Part’.

Why don’t you now just commit to, ‘Till Our Children Depart’, and worry about the rest later.
 
Now, let’s get to work to do the best job that you can possibly do raising your children and also find as much happiness during this process as is possible”.
 
O.K., the fantasy is over. Don’t get mad…it was only a fantasy!
The hard reality is that there are several good reasons to get a divorce, in spite of the hazards to the children involved. I am convinced by 30 + years of practice, that when children are involved, the marriage deal-breakers should only be 1. Physical or Sexual Abuse; 2. Chronic Untreatable Emotional Abuse; 3. Chronic Untreatable Infidelity; and 4. Chronic Untreatable Alcohol or Drug Addiction or Abuse.
I believe these family problems normally put children at greater risk for harm than a divorce.
But for all other cases that include children, there is a moral responsibility to the children involved and to society to enter marriage/couples counseling and to try as hard as possible to improve the existing problems. Reasonable estimates of improved relations in couple’s relationships are between 60% and 70%.

If you are considering a divorce or terminating your relationship with your partner, and you have children, stop and think about what will happen to them. I ask that you please have the courage to study the following links and then protect your children with all of your might.

This first link describes the harms that are likely to occur to your children.

http://www.divorcereform.org/psy.html

This second link describes the harms that accrue to society when marriages or couples with children break-up.

http://www.heritage.org/research/family/bg1373.cfm

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.   11/21/09

State Sponsored Terrorism

November 21, 2009

Boom!

Political Cartoon by Nate Beeler

From Townhall.com, by Nate Beeler


%d bloggers like this: