Up until a few years ago, it was even worse in Britain. Under the "Liverpool pathway", seriously ill older people would be completely bombed out with morphine and then deprived of all food and drink. They died of thirst in their sleep. You do have dreams even when kept asleep by morphine. Imagine the nightmares affected people must have had while knocked out.
At least in Canada, people's agreement is sought before euthanasia. In Britain there was no prior consultation with either the person or their family. It was all done on the whim of a government doctor.
It was all so obviously evil that a halt was eventually called to it but versions of it probably still quietly go on. Government medicine is not big on pity or sympathy.
What happens does of course vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Seriously ill older people in Australa are admitted to a palliative care ward in government hospitals where they are given morphine for their pain but not otherwise treated. They continue to talk to their family to the end. Real efforts are made to keep them comfortable and they are in general treated very humanely. It shows what even a government hospital can do
Many leftists tout Canada’s socialized health care system as something America should emulate, claiming government-run health care is more humane. But it seems Canadian officials are more interested in urging doctors to help patients to kill themselves than to treat them.
America’s neighbor to the north has some of the most permissive euthanasia laws in the world. Canada’s medical assistance in dying laws allow almost anyone who can claim some form of hardship or disability to receive physician-assisted suicide, regardless of how minor those disabilities might be.
In a recently reported horror story from The Associated Press, Alan Nichols, 61, was successfully killed after a quick one month waiting period as he was suffering from hearing loss. Nichols was an otherwise decently healthy guy, but his brother claimed he was railroaded into killing himself.
Nichols’ family said that hospital staff helped him request euthanasia and pushed him to do it, a story that has been repeated many times by other disabled or sick Canadians.
Roger Foley, whose story was also reported by The Associated Press, became so unnerved by his hospital’s health care providers discussing euthanasia as an option that he started to record conversations. Foley has a degenerative brain disorder.
During one reported conversation, the hospital’s director of ethics tried to guilt Foley into thinking about the cost of his hospital stay. The director told Foley it would cost “north of $1,500 a day.”
When Foley asked what long-term treatments were, the director responded, “Roger, this is not my show. My piece of this was to talk to you, [to see] if you had an interest in assisted dying.”
Foley says he had never discussed ending his own life prior to the encounter.
The fact that the ethics director mentioned how much it cost is essential to understanding why Canadian officials seem so hellbent on getting people to kill themselves.
There is a flurry of stories of Canadians choosing to die over living through crushing poverty. The Spectator reported on a woman who chose because she “simply cannot afford to keep on living.”
As the Canadian government pays for health care, it is incentivized to cut costs as much as possible. Based on how eager some hospitals seem to push euthanasia, the government seems to have concluded that it’s cheaper to kill people than to cure them.
That’s ditto for the disabled and mentally ill.
Global News Canada reported that a Canadian military veteran, pursuing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury, was told, completely unprovoked, that he could receive medical assistance in dying by a Veterans Affairs Canada agent. (Global News did not name the veteran, or the sources for the conversation.)
The man fights for his country, receives injuries in the line of duty, and is told that he can kill himself for his sacrifice. How humane.
While these stories are all disgusting, they lay out perfectly the biggest danger of importing a government-run health care system to the U.S.
When the government decides who gets medical care and when they get care, it also can decide who doesn’t.
With the relatively substandard care that America’s poor and vulnerable get under Medicaid, for example, why would we want to give more power to government bureaucrats over patients’ health care decisions?
Something not often considered in the debate over government health care plays into the country’s current fascination with obliterating gender and sex differences.
Scores of children are being given hormones and treatments that will permanently warp and scar them. What’s to stop some future government-run health care program from destroying a confused child’s body and then encouraging him to kill himself rather than deal with the consequences?
Canada is already beginning to consider allowing so-called mature minors to off themselves if the government determines them competent enough to make the decision.
Dying with Dignity, a pro-euthanasia group, posted a ghoulish blog post on mature minors and medical assistance in dying that urged the government to extend the option to children “at least 12 years of age and capable of making decisions with respect to their health.”
The left already claims children are mature enough to change their sex, so giving 12-year-olds the ability to legally kill themselves seems like the logical next step.
Worse, this push for suicide seems to be having a tangible impact on the number of people taking their own lives.
Canadian federal data shows that 10,064 people died in 2021 by medically-assisted suicide, a massive 32% jump from the year before.
This culture of government-endorsed death cannot be allowed to come to America.
Our costly health care system is far from perfect, but at least it isn’t wholesale encouraging people to end their own lives.
I have encountered this a few times when dating. I have met what seemed like a compatible lady without any prior discussion of politics. The initial discussions were about cultural and lifestyle matters. When it emerged that I liked Donald Trump, however, the shutters really came down. There was nothing I could say or do to stop the lady from breaking off contact. Their minds just snapped shut.
And that is despite the generalization that the older both men and women get the more conservative they become. As I am in my 70s and mostly meet people of a similar vintage, women I meet should have by now become closer to me politically. And I do find that. But for some Leftist women, Donald Trump is a move too far
by Jeff Jacoby
BACK IN the 1980s, when I was single and looking, I went on a first date with a woman who was in the microbiology graduate program at MIT. I no longer remember how we met or where we went that evening, but even after all these years I vividly remember how the date abruptly crashed.
The conversation had meandered into politics and my companion asked if there was a potential presidential candidate I liked. Indeed there was: I told her I was a fan of Jack Kemp, the former Buffalo Bills quarterback who had become a Republican congressman from New York. Half libertarian, half "bleeding-heart conservative," Kemp was considering a run for the White House, and I hoped he would go for it.
My date was appalled. She wanted nothing to do, she heatedly said, with someone who could support the likes of Kemp. Our first and only date quickly came to an end.
The experience left me baffled, for two reasons. One was that I truly couldn't understand how a political figure like Kemp — a man of integrity, commitment, intellectual curiosity, and optimism — could possibly inspire such animosity. The other was that I had never before gone out with someone for whom a deviation in political outlook outweighed everything we might have in common. I was certainly used to political disagreements with my peers. But to recoil from the prospect of getting to know someone just because they voted differently? That was a first.
Now it's normal.
NBC News reported last week on the findings of a new survey of second-year college students it conducted with Generation Lab, a polling firm that specializes in young people's views and behavior. Of the survey's 21 questions, three focused on the willingness of respondents to make a connection with someone who supported a different presidential candidate than they did in the last election. The results indicate a generation far more likely to see political dissimilarity the way my long-ago date did: as an automatic deal-breaker.
Asked whether they would choose to be roommates with someone who voted differently in 2020, nearly half said they probably or definitely would not. That antipathy was especially intense among Democrats, a combined 62 percent of whom said "probably not" or "definitely not." But even among self-identified Republicans and independents, the refusal to room with someone from the other side of the political aisle was well into double digits.
The results were even more pronounced when respondents were asked if they would go on a date with someone who voted differently the last time around: A combined 53 percent said they would not. As for marriage, nearly two-thirds — 63 percent — said they could not imagine marrying someone whose choice for president diverged from theirs.
Given the state of contemporary America, it is hard to be surprised by these results, which roughly parallel what other surveys have found. Evidence of our political, cultural, and social abyss abounds, especially for those who spend an inordinate amount of time on social media. Still, of all the ways in which college has been transformed over the past generation, this has to be the saddest. Life eventually wraps most of us in a cocoon of familiar faces, ideas, and experiences. But one of the great blessings of college and early adulthood ought to be the chance to be exposed to new faces, ideas, and backgrounds — to encounter people with different upbringings and beliefs, and, just maybe, be enriched by the experience.
When I was in college, I never had roommates whose political views lined up with my own and never thought there was something wrong with that arrangement. I am friendly to this day with the freshman roommate who was (and remains) a passionate liberal, the one who constantly played Tom Paxton protest songs and avidly supported Jerry Brown for president. I concede that I didn't form the same bond with another roommate, the one who kept a copy of Mao Zedong's "little red book" of quotations on his dresser. Still, even he and his outlandish views contributed something meaningful to my experience.
That isn't possible when politics take priority over everything else. As it becomes more and more unthinkable today to share a dorm room, go on a date, or contemplate tying the knot with someone whose politics aren't a close match, Americans will have less and less to say to each other. Division, discord, and distrust are already at crisis levels in this country. I shudder to imagine where we are headed as the current generation of college students comes of age.
I have had a lot of good news lately but "wait, there is more". According to ResearchGate, a publication which tracks such matters, my academic publications are getting a lot of attention from other academics. They say that "Your Research Interest Score is higher than 95% of ResearchGate members". The score is mainly made up of citations.
Why is that surprising? Because I last published something in the academic journals back in the '90s. The general view of academic publications is that if it is more than 10 years old it no longer exists. But the advent of the internet means that someone researching a topic will usually do an internet search at some point and that will turn up something relevant regardless of date. So as long as your writings are online they are readily accessible. Most of my publications were written before the internet existed but I have made sure to put them online retrospectively. ResearchGate has them all. Being really old means that I can look a long way back.
And the fact that I have had so many papers published (250+) of course increases the likelihood that I will hit on something of interest to others.
But I mustn't get a big head about it all. I have kept some track of my citations and they mostly come from places like Pakistan and Poland -- not great sources of cutting edge academic endeavour
Another reason for humility is that my papers that other people cite are rarely the ones which I think are most significant or important. Instead people cite papers that are more technical or utilitarian. Still, it is nice to be still ahead of the pack even after 30 years. I did after all devote 20 years of my life -- from 1970 to 1990 -- to doing all that research and writing.
I have also now spent 20 years blogging -- from 2002 to 2022.
In all my writing I have aimed to say things that are informative or helpful to others and I think I have achieved that to a small degree. I do get "thank you" messages occasionally, which I appreciate.
This article in a Left-leaning newspaper is being deliberately obtuse. Defamation has never anywhere been protected speech. It has always been actionable speech. And this case is no different. Lachlan Murdoch was clearly defamed so is free to sue no matter how strongly he supports common free-speech immunities. He can do so with no inconsistency
This is a story that, in many respects, is of David and Goliath proportions. On one side is Fox News boss Lachlan Murdoch, one of the world’s most powerful media executives, and on the other is Crikey, a small, progressive news website ran by long-time local media proprietor and former editor Eric Beecher.
At issue is an almost throwaway last line in a comment piece published in late June by Crikey on the US congressional hearings investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol in 2021. The opinion article was about Donald Trump’s egregious attempts to subvert the election result and ended thus: “The Murdochs and their slew of poisonous Fox News commentators are the unindicted co-conspirators of this continuing crisis.” According to Lachlan Murdoch’s lawyers, the story implied the media scion “illegally conspired with Donald Trump to incite an armed mob to march on the Capitol”.
Murdoch took umbrage, and threatened to sue Crikey for defamation. The website responded by removing the article but refused to apologise and questioned the validity of the case. In a tit-for-tat exchange of legal letters, the stoush escalated, with both sides unwilling to back down and Crikey goading Murdoch into taking it to court.
The case may well end up before a judge – a juicy case indeed – but there are some broader implications at play. First, Lachlan’s father Rupert – one of the richest and most powerful media moguls in the world – has never sued for defamation. You can criticise the elder Murdoch for much, but at least he appears to understand that with his endless opportunities to have his say, suing for supposed reputational damage is not appropriate.
His son, however, has no such self-awareness but is thin-skinned – the article never even named Lachlan. For any Murdoch, presiding over media organisations which at their worst insult, distort and aggressively attack opponents, to sue a small website for saying bad things about him is astonishing. The Murdoch media champion “free speech” to the point of nausea, but not this time.
I reproduce below an enthusiastic summary of a famous study which reported considerable malleability in children's IQ score. Following that report I will offer some remarks about it.
In 1969, UCLA psychologist Dr. Robert Rosenthal did an IQ experiment.
He met with two grade-school teachers. He gave them a list of names from their new student body (20% of the class). He said that each person on that list had taken a special test and would emerge as highly intelligent within the next 12 months.
In reality, those students were chosen totally at random. As a group, they were of average intelligence.
The incredible finding is that, when they tested those children near the end of the year, each demonstrated significant increases in their IQ scores.
The twin studies always point to a large genetic component in IQ -- as high as 80%. That means that IQ is not very malleable. You are stuck with what you are born with.
This is a highly objectionable conclusion to Leftists in particular, who tend to regard people as a blank slate upon whom can be imposed traits desired in some Leftist idea of a good thing. The "new Soviet man" in early Bolshevik thinking is perhaps the best example of that. So various treatments of children have been proposed with the aim of redirecting their growth.
The most decisive test of our ability to change what children become is undoubtedly the long-running American "Head Start" program. It was designed to take children from disadvantaged backgrounds and enrich their early education in various ways. The experiment did give some early hopes of success but the long term conclusion was that the interventions had no lasting effect. "Enriching" the environment did nothing
But what about that 20% which is NOT genetically given? Could that potential be worked on in some useful way? Did the Head Start experiment simply push on the wrong levers?
All the studies so far have not found much that could profitably be changed. Early nutrition is an obvious candidate for change but even in ideal circumstances only about 5% of the variance could be accounted for that way
An interesting possibilty is that people can be made more intelligent by being treated as more intelligent. That unlikely possibilty is in fact the conclusion of the famous Rosenthal study of experimenter expectations above. There are many problems with the study which I will allude to briefly hereunder but what interested me in the study was how large were the differences found. That is not usually mentioned. They were in fact slight.
The results showed that the favoured students' IQ scores (experimental group) had risen significantly higher than the average students (control group), even though these alleged favoured students were chosen at random. They gained an average of two IQ points in verbal ability, seven points in reasoning and four points in overall IQ.
So the effects observed were slight. The two points in verbal ability were especially notable as the verbal ability score is usually the best predictor in an IQ test. So the Rosenthal treatment showed no substantial success in making IQ more malleable.
Wikipedia gives a useful summary of other problems with the Rosenthal study. I reproduce it below:
"The educational psychologist Robert L. Thorndike described the poor quality of the Pygmalion study. The problem with the study was that the instrument used to assess the children's IQ scores was seriously flawed. The average reasoning IQ score for the children in one regular class was in the mentally disabled range, a highly unlikely outcome in a regular class in a garden variety school. In the end, Thorndike concluded that the Pygmalion findings were worthless. It is more likely that the rise in IQ scores from the mentally disabled range was the result of regression toward the mean, not teacher expectations. Moreover, a meta-analysis conducted by Raudenbush showed that when teachers had gotten to know their students for two weeks, the effect of a prior expectancy induction was reduced to virtually zero".
Shefali O'Hara below makes a good case for the best way through a divorce. She points to the undeirability of involving lawyers in the process. I agree with her. I have had 4 marriages and 4 divorces and none of the divorces involved lawyers.
So what is the secret of that? How can one avoid lawyering up? I think the key is not to be angry. I am almost incapable of anger so I found that easy -- but others may not. In my case I had an understanding of the woman's motivations and did not attack or abuse her over them. And because of that anger absence I was able to have civil discussions with the lady concerned and was ready to be geneous with her. And that was reciprocated. Because I was prepared to be generous and accepting the lady was too. There were no unresolved issues between us.
But being angry would be very destructive to acceptance and generosity. Being able to bypass anger is the key to a good divorce
We can read plenty of stories about messy celebrity divorces, such as that between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. While their divorce was finalized back in 2017, the drama between them still makes headlines.
Celebrity divorces aren't the only ones that can destroy lives.
I have heard some horror stories from friends about divorce. Either their own, or that of one of their children.
An expensive mess of a divorce
One friend of mine told me about her daughter's experience. The daughter's husband repeatedly cheated on her. She tried counseling with him to try to salvage the marriage, but after several years of him continuing to cheat, she finally filed for divorce.
He became vindictive and vengeful.
The couple had two children. Instead of considering what impact the divorce was having on them, he hired an expensive lawyer and quit his job to avoid paying child support. She hired an expensive lawyer to counteract his tactics.
Between the two of them, they spent so much on the divorce that they both walked away deeply in debt. They spent over $60,000 apiece. That ate up all the equity they'd had in their house and then some.
My friend helped her daughter out so at least she is not in debt, but she and her children were left with nothing. The former son-in-law works jobs on the side for cash to avoid paying child support.
Yet divorces don't have to be so messy.
Another friend tried mediation
A friend of mine who was an Air Force pilot is an example.
He and his wife had three children. When the wife filed for divorce, at first he was very angry and was thinking of going down the toxic route. But his mother talked him out of it.
"Think of your children," she said.
The wife had already lawyered up, so he needed to get a lawyer as well, but he asked if they could first try mediation. They ended up using their lawyers to hammer out the final deal, but because most of their issues were resolved during mediation, the total cost of the divorce was only about $10,000.
My friend told me that he'd had to give up on a few things. He felt that overall, the settlement favored his wife, butâ€¦ it also allowed him regular access to his children and ensured a good working relationship with his ex.
"I gave up part of my retirement account, which was fair, since we both agreed she would stay home with the kids. However, she also got to keep the house, which meant she ended up with about 60% of our assets, and she also gets a good amount of child support due to my salary," he groused.
Yet he also admits that she bends over backwards to make sure his children are available to him, and he gets to spend a lot of time with them because of that. She also does not criticize him in front of their children. By showing generosity towards her, he's received it in return.
Of course, this only worked out because she is not a vindictive person. Aside from trying to assure a secure environment for herself and her children, she has tried to make sure he gets what is important to him.
The two don't fight and the children spend time with both parents. My friend has traveled with his children, had them for birthday parties and at least half the holidays and in general has maintained close bonds with his kids.
My own divorce
With my own divorce, we were lucky that neither of us prioritized revenge. We both tried to treat each other fairly.
We ended up not even hiring any lawyers. We wrote up our own divorce decree, had a lawyer friend look it over, and then filed it in court.
Total cost? Less than $200.
My lawyer friend told me that if we'd gone to court, I might have gotten a larger settlement. But the cost of paying a lawyer would have eaten up any money I might have gained and then some.
By negotiating in an amicable fashion, we both came out ahead.
As a statement about societies this is a reasonable argument. The most authoritarian regime of recent times was Communism and it was certainly atheistic. But are individual atheists automatically more supportive of authority? As a libertarian and an atheist I would have to say No.
There is certainly not a 1-to-1 correspondence between atheism and personal authoritarianism but there would appear to be some connection. Leftists are great promoters of government control of most things and Leftists are often atheistic. So faith would appear to be some protection against government authoritarianism
On the other hand, religion can be very authoritarian. Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses (etc.) demand a lot of their followers -- and get obedience to it
Perhaps it all boils down to what authority you respect, as my research into political authoritarianism suggested. Left and Right simply respect different authorities. See here and here
Conservative Christian author and radio host Eric Metaxas has written several best-selling biographies, including one about the German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Metaxas released another book not long ago with the provocative title Is Atheism Dead?. The title was clearly intended as a nod to the 1966 Time Magazine title “Is God Dead?”
Metaxas argues that recent scientific research and historic archeological discoveries have served only to further point to God’s existence and against the atheist claim of there being no compelling evidence for God.
So, while Metaxas makes his impressive case that science is indeed favorable to theism rather than opposed to it, the answer to his question as to whether atheism is dead has long been answered. And that answer is “no.”
In fact, the Bible itself says as much. In the first chapter of the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul points out that the truth of God’s existence and power has been made plain to all humanity in creation (Rom. 1:19-21). However, humans in their state of sinful rebellion actively work to suppress this truth. God, therefore, gives them over to their foolish thinking and as a result they become effectively blind to Him. Practically speaking they become atheists, rejecting any evidence for God that is built into the fabric of creation everywhere as merely a convent coincident but with no greater reality behind it.
There have been times throughout history where atheism has ebbed and flowed. One of those times when it ebbed was during the birth of this nation, as America’s founders, though not all Christians, still recognized the fact that only a God-believing people could be motivated to uphold the virtues necessary for a free society. Logically, less government is needed when everyone is careful to do the right thing by their neighbor. A free people that is law-abiding doesn’t need a big controlling government.
However, as Metaxas observes, “When we become less active in governing ourselves we look to the government for solutions. Government thereby grows and our abilities to govern ourselves quickly atrophy.” When atheism grows, so does authoritarian government. If people don’t recognize that our Creator God is watching their every action and thought, and that He will hold every individual to account for not only their actions, but their very words and thoughts, then immorality and lawlessness grows.
A truly free people are those who are held by a personal virtue that is based upon a knowledge of God. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people,” said John Adams. “It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Phoebe Kirke's analysis of her own feelings below is probably correct. But I also think it illustrates a great divergence between male and female attitudes towards breakups. Like Phoebe, most women see a breakup as a occasion to spend time "working" on themselves, presumably to become more independent of men. Their interest in men during that time is minimal. The period concerned can last for years.
Men, by contrast are much more likely to go by the motto that the best cure for a broken heart is a new love. And they move on to another partner rapidly if they can -- as Phoebe reports.
The surprising thing is that women seem to see their slow recovery from a disappointment as a virtue, not a loss. And the quick recovery by men is seen to indicate a weakness of some kind. Perhaps because I am a male I see it the other way around: I see it as rather sad that women are so emotionally weak as to be unable to move on promptly. They waste valuable years of their life wallowing in negativity, when they could possibly have the joy of a new love
But I am no doubt biased. I have very clearly followed the typical male pattern in my life. When my second marriage ended, for instance, I met my third wife just two weeks later -- leading to a ten-year marriage that produced a child. What is there to criticize in that? I can see nothing but it is probably contemptible to many women
So how can women avoid the pain that they undoubtedly suffer in a breakup? I also suffer emotionally from breakups but I have a way of minimizng that pain. I go to considerable lengths to remain friendly with an "ex", including being very forgiving. Resentment is for fools. Remaining friends is not as good as remaining lovers but it goes half way and helps greatly with adjusting to the new circumstances.
Just to illustrate that: The third wife I mentioned above and I separated a quarter of a century ago but I had a very pleasant dinner with her last night, even though -- true to male form -- I do have another partner
Truly forgiving another person can be difficult but it is a great Christian virtue and well worthwhile in adjusting to breakups
Shortly after I broke it off with my ex, he started a new relationship. I was devastated. Not because I wanted him back, but because I wanted him to hurt just as much as I did. And I wasn’t ready for a new relationship, so why was he? I found that being at peace with the relationship ending doesn’t automatically translate into no longer feeling anything when finding out that our ex has moved on. Why is that?
You’re not in love or loss — it’s a normal reaction.
It’s weird to feel hurt after seeing your ex with someone new, especially if you’ve moved on and are currently dating someone new. However, it’s a normal reaction. And it certainly doesn’t mean that there are still feelings involved or that breaking up was a mistake.
See, after my last breakup, I was devastated. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and how I would continue without him — note, I was the one finally leaving after the relationship had inevitably broken down. Slowly but solemnly, I started to build my life in a new city, job, and apartment.
Yet, despite my efforts and trying to become my true self again, I was hurt to hear he had a new girlfriend only weeks after I left him. They were parading around; he’d take her to mutual friend’s parties while I was left alone in another city, trying to focus on myself. Did I doubt my decision to leave him during that time? No, I didn’t.
However, the thought that I could not be important to him and, therefore, he quickly found someone else was very difficult. I then asked myself how it could be that he just put away our relationship so quickly. Were the wonderful experiences and moments together for nothing? After a while, I understood that it was less about him dating and more about him obviously not mourning that he had lost me.
Seeing your ex move on has more to do with your ego getting bruised than wanting your ex back.
Let’s be honest, ego is a factor in dating and relationships. We can’t get hurt and not take it personally. If we’re in it, we’re in it. And when we lose, we need time to find our way back to ourselves. An exciting journey, I found.
Here’s how long it takes until we don’t care anymore.
In my opinion, being completely over someone is the moment they move on, and it doesn’t provoke any reaction. However, it takes time to get to that place. But how much time must have passed until we’re at a place where we literally couldn’t care less about the ex?
It takes half of the time the relationship lasted.
Why exactly half? We concluded that it’s because, as humans, our memory is very forgiving in many ways. We forget quickly, paint the dark truths a bit brighter, and have a selective recollection of past events. I don’t think we could overcome heartache if it weren’t for these little tricks.
Everybody who has ever suffered from a broken heart knows it will heal. But, obviously, like any other injury, it will leave scars. And yes, mending a broken heart changes us in both positive and negative ways. Sure, we become more careful with our hearts and don’t give them away so easily anymore. But a failed relationship also allows us to find out what we want in life and what we want our next relationship to look like.
If we take our time and admit that it is quite normal not to be completely unaffected by the ex’s actions, then I believe that time will work for us all by itself. With each new day, each new acquaintance, and each great evening with friends, thoughts of my ex visibly disappeared.
And then, exactly halfway through the time our relationship had lasted, it became clear to me: I didn’t care anymore. It was exhilarating.
Teacher training courses have always had easy entry and dumbed down teaching but it is chronic now that the classroom experience has greatly deteriorated. So university education departments have to enrol just about anyone who has a head
The only real solution is to make the teaching experience more attractive -- and that means a revival of discipline. But Leftist dogma forbids that -- so it won't happen in schools that they control.
Smart young people will always opt for a more congenial environment than teaching in chaotic government schools. Private schools are much more orderly so dedicated teachers will always gravitate there.
I have taught in both a high discipline (Catholic) High School and a low-discipline ("progressive") High School and there is no doubt about where the pupils learnt more
I sent my son to a private school, which even featured male mathematics teachers! Partly as a result of that he majored in mathematics at university
Is it any wonder that private schools are so numerous in Australia? About 40% of Australian teenagers go to them
Universities that lower entry standards for teaching degrees to cash in on students doomed to fail will be targeted in a government review of courses with high drop-out rates to make them “fit for purpose”.
Education courses have the highest drop-out rate of any degree except hospitality, an analysis of federal Education Department data reveals.
As schools grapple with a worsening teacher shortage, The Weekend Australian’s analysis shows a clear correlation between low Australian Tertiary Admission Rank scores and high drop-out rates among student teachers.
But universities are refusing to raise the bar for admission to teaching, with the Australian Catholic University declaring that higher standards will only worsen the teacher shortage.
At one university, just 20 per cent of students completed a four-year teaching degree within six years, including those studying full-time or part-time.
Students enrolled in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses are twice as likely as engineering or science students to drop out of their degree.
One in three ITE students who started university in 2015 had dropped out by 2020 – including one in seven who failed to return after the first year of study.
The high drop-out rate results in a waste of taxpayer funding for university degrees, as well as tuition debts for students who still have to repay their loans despite abandoning study.
Federal Education Minister Jason Clare on Friday pledged to review the quality of university teaching degrees to boost the number of graduates. Universities with high drop-out rates or poor course quality risk losing commonwealth cash.
“At the moment, only about 50 per cent of students graduate from a teaching degree,’’ Mr Clare said. “That needs to be higher if we want to tackle the teacher shortage. I will work with universities on this to make sure they are fit-for-purpose and delivering quality education for students.’’
Mr Clare said ITE degrees would be examined in a review by University of Sydney vice-chancellor Mark Scott, who is a former teacher and NSW Education Department secretary.
The Australian Catholic University, one of the biggest providers of teacher training, is resisting calls to raise the bar for ITE students. ACU enrolled students with a raw ATAR of 50 to its teaching degrees last year – school leavers in the bottom 20 per cent of academic results in NSW.
Universities often inflate the raw ATAR scores with bonus points to compensate for illness or social disadvantage.
ACU has told the NSW parliamentary inquiry into teacher shortages that the “blanket imposition of a minimum ATAR for entry into ITE will exacerbate the growing teacher shortage’’.
“(It) does nothing to attract more high-achieving school leavers into teaching, conveys a negative message to all students considering enrolling in ITE (and) disregards the capacity for student growth over the course of university study,’’ ACU states in its submission.
“ITE candidates, irrespective of their background, are alienated by the suggestion that the teaching profession is increasingly populated by unintelligent or underperforming students that necessitates the need for a minimum ATAR.
“Many academics in ITE know from their own experience that numerous students who performed poorly at school end up becoming great teachers.’’
ACU says most ITE students enrol through non-ATAR pathways – such as mature-age entry or on the basis of a diploma – and there was no evidence to support higher ATAR entry barriers.
However, university data provided to the federal Education Department shows that universities that admit students with low ATARs suffer some of the highest drop-out rates.
Across all university ITE degrees, one in three students dropped out of a degree started in 2015, with barely half graduating within six years.
University of Sydney associate professor Rachel Wilson, who analysed the link between ATAR scores and teacher performance in a 2018 report, The Profession at Risk, declared it wrong for universities to be allowed to enrol students unlikely to finish a degree. She said more students were studying ITE online, and were less likely to finish their degree than students attending lectures on campus.
Associate Professor Wilson said Australia had been “complacent and let the system slide’’.
“I think it is unethical for governments not to monitor these things,” she said.
The black writer below has a glancing familiarity with the research on his topic but fails to give sufficient weight to the fact that academic talk about IQ is concerned with AVERAGES
In everyday situations, averages hardly matter. What matters are the individual characteristics of the person we are interacting with. What group they belong to will not usually matter. But there are some situations where averages DO reasonably concern people.
A major example of that is Leftist concern about black educational attainment. For perhaps a couple of decades, Leftist psychologists and educators used all their ingenuity in an effort to overcome the "gap" between black and white educational attainment. And the gap was and is large. About a third of blacks do not even finish High School. They "drop out"
But no matter what the Leftist academics tried, nothing could budge that gap. Black education failure strongly validated what average black IQ tests showed: That most blacks are not very good at intellectual tasks.
And that was a concerning finding. The Leftist academics were understandably concerned. They were well aware of how important education is in our society. Educational failure predicts economic failure and a whole lot of other problems. It was reasonable to be concerned about that. But they found no solution to it. The low level of black educational attainment remained as average black IQ predicted it would be
So the characteristic Leftist dogma that all men are equal was greatly challenged. They were confronted with strong long-term evidence that IQ tests did in fact predict what they purported to predict. The differences were real and had real-life implications. IQ tests were highly valid in a psychomentric sense.
But that COULD not be accepted by Leftists. There HAD to be something other than IQ behind black life failures. And so we got a new dogma: Entrenched but covert white racism was behind black failure -- so called "Critical Race Theory"
But whatever the reason, the concern was with averages. Blacks were on average failures in much of life and that had to be explained. So for some people in some situations, averages do matter. So average IQ can matter too. The author below dismisses the importance of average IQ but the saga of efforts to close the black/white "gap" in education shows that it can indeed matter to some people
It is interesting that the concern about averages is mainly a Leftist concern. Conservatives just accept them without doing much about them. The members of the Ku Klux Klan were after all overwhelmingly members of the Democratic party. They ATTACKED Republicans
In 1971, Michael Cole, and a team of his fellow psychologists, travelled to West Africa to settle a question about race and intelligence.
They gave members of the Kpelle tribe various items (food, tools, cooking utensils, clothing) and asked them to sort them into categories. They then compared the results to a group of American students.
The Kpelle failed miserably.
Or rather, instead of grouping the items by type, as the students had, the Kpelle divided the objects into functional pairs. Here’s how Joseph Glick, one of Cole’s colleagues, described the experiment:
When the subject had finished sorting, what was present were ten categories composed of two items each — related to each other in a functional, not categorical, manner. Thus, a knife might have been placed with an orange, a potato with a hoe, and so on. When asked, the subject would rationalize the choice with such comments as, “The knife goes with the orange because it cuts it.” When questioned further, the subject would often volunteer that a wise man would do things in this way.
When an exasperated experimenter asked finally, “how would a fool do it,” he was given back sorts of the type that were initially expected — four neat piles with foods in one, tools in another, and so on.
As Cole noted in his report, the Kpelle weren’t less intelligent than the students because they thought oranges should be paired with knives instead of potatoes, they’d just grown up in a different environment with a different set of cognitive and cultural biases.
Or, to put it another way, the Kpelle weren’t wrong, but they weren’t white either.
Racial intelligence is one of those topics that’s a trainwreck no matter how you approach it.
Virtue-signalling politicians like Kate Brown lower test standards to “help students of colour,” race essentialists like Nicholas Wade publish pseudoscience about racial disparities, sociopaths like Payton Gendron use memes about IQ to justify racist mass shootings, the topic is so radioactive that most people just avoid it.
So let’s get one source of confusion out of the way from the start:
There are obviously going to be IQ differences if you group people by skin colour.
I say, “obviously,” because there will be differences if you group human beings by literally any measure.
If you group people by hair colour, you’ll discover that one shade is statistically more intelligent than the others. If you group people by height, you’ll find that one height has the highest percentage of mathematical savants. Somewhere, if some maverick ever decides to search for it, is the most eloquent penis size.
But when we try to draw meaningful conclusions with this quirk of statistical analysis, we run into a few problems. The first of which is what a black person even is.
According to a 2015 analysis of genetic data, around one in 10 self-identified African Americans have less than 50% African ancestry. And around one in 50 have less than 2%. We’ve become so comfortable with the idea that people whose skin is a roughly similar colour are the same “race” that we forget that a good suntan can throw the whole thing up in the air.
But okay, let’s get all “one drop rule” about this, and say that a black person is anyone whose skin is “milk chocolate or darker,” and who has some African ancestry in the past few generations. Very scientific.
The next problem is figuring out whether IQ differences are genetic.
For example, in support of the idea that “racial” differences are genetic, it’s often pointed out that Kenyans and Ethiopians dominate long-distance running. And they do. But does this mean “black people” are better distance runners than “white people?”
Well, if we take a closer look at these dominant athletes, we notice that they come, almost exclusively, from just three tribes (specifically the Kalenjin, Nandi and Oromo). All of which benefit from low oxygen/high altitude conditions, in a country that has numerous programs designed to identify and nurture long-distance running talent.
So instead of, “black people are genetically better at long-distance running.” We get, “black people who grew up in certain high-altitude regions of Ethiopia and Kenya, and who were encouraged to nurture their long-distance running talents from an early age, are better than everybody, including other black people, at long-distance running.
I admit this is a bit more of a mouthful.
But none of this addresses the biggest problem with IQ differences; the concept of IQ itself.
I mean, just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that IQ is a perfect predictor of culturally-neutral, genetically-predetermined intelligence. And let’s even assume that people with African ancestry have, on average, lower IQs than anybody else.
What do we do about this?
Should black people be shipped off to separate schools if our average grades are a few points lower? Should we be denied access to opportunities or jobs if a slightly smaller percentage of black people turn out to be geniuses? Is a high IQ more valuable than creativity? Or people skills? Or persistence?
Well, it turns out that Dr Lewis Terman, a psychologist at Stanford University and one of the pioneers of IQ research, had similar questions.
In 1921, in one of the longest-running studies on intelligence ever conducted, Terman began tracking the progress of 1521 children who scored highest on his intelligence test, confident that they would all be “at the top of their fields,” as adults.
But almost none of them were. Instead, “willpower, perseverance and desire to excel,” were far better predictors of success. As Terman concluded, “intellect and achievement are far from perfectly correlated.”
Honestly? I’m surprised his IQ wasn’t high enough to figure that out in advance.
The controversy over racial IQ differences was born out of a desire to justify slavery and colonialism. But it persists because our obsession with this vague, unscientific concept known as “race” persists. It persists because the delusion that our skin holds some identity-defining significance persists. It persists because the belief that we’re divided by these arbitrary differences persists.
But why are we so focused on skin colour and not eye colour or ear shape or hand size? Why do we define ourselves and each other by the actions of people who died centuries ago? Why are we still talking about genetic racial differences when, thanks to the fact that we’ve decoded the entire human genome, we know there’s more variation within the “races” than between them?
Because instead of wasting time ranking ourselves by our skin or our hair or our other…attributes, maybe we should be fixing the impoverished schools that leave young children functionally illiterate. Maybe we should stop teaching kids that rational thinking and hard work is “whiteness.” Or better yet, maybe we should stop teaching kids to think about the colour of their skin at all.
Maybe we should follow the Kpelle’s example and sort ourselves into more meaningful categories.
Canada seems to have caught the Australian disease of regarding "one drop of blood" as sufficient to call a person indigenous. For what it is worth, she looks like a pleasant lady and may well make an impartial judge. One hopes so. The lady is clearly a pink-skinned Caucasian so it actually dishonours native people to call her indigenous. It conveys the message that they cannot succeed as wholly native people.
Does my mention of the one-drop rule ring a bell? The one-drop rule is a legal principle of racial classification that was prominent in the early 20th century United States among Southern racists. It asserted that any person with even one ancestor of black ancestry ("one drop" of "black blood") is considered black. Like it or not, Justin Trudeau is in the same camp as the Ku Klux Klan. Their thinking is the same even though the object is different
Michelle O'Bonsawin is expected to take up her position at Canada's Supreme Court next month
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday nominated Michelle O'Bonsawin as the first Indigenous person to serve on the country's Supreme Court.
Her selection is a historic moment for a country seeking to make amends for abuses against native peoples.
Trudeau said O'Bonsawin was a "widely respected member of Canada’s legal community with a distinguished career."
"Her nomination is the result of an open, nonpartisan selection process. I am confident that Justice O’Bonsawin will bring invaluable knowledge and contributions to our country’s highest court," Trudeau said.
Single women complain about the lack of 'educated' men in the dating world in a VERY controversial discussion about finding love
Hah! My experience is the opposite. I find very few really educated women. I have never once met an available woman with a doctorate, which I have. My present partner has only a bachelor's degree but she is highly cultured so that is pretty good. She talks about Rilke, Goethe, Spinoza, Chekhov etc. I have read those authors but I have never met another lady who has
A group of single women have claimed they struggle to find men who are 'educated enough' on the dating scene.
Australian therapist Eliza Wilson appeared on the Sex Cells podcast with Sydney comedian Neel Kolhatkar and said she asked a group of single friends online if they would date a guy without tertiary education.
'I thought it was interesting because they all said "yeah I would" yet every single one of them dates someone who has an equal or higher education than themselves - and the same goes for income,' she said.
Eliza said the women were mainly referring to dating tradesmen and the 'nightmare' scenarios they claimed to have experienced with men who didn't have 'higher education'.
Yes, but I don't care about their education level
During the podcast Eliza said shockingly that the women, without realising, did not consider tradesmen to be 'educated'.
'When I brought this to their attention, it [started] a conversation about what happened when they've dated someone without a university degree,' she said.
The women who had gone on dates with tradies or those who didn't have a degree said the initial attraction was there but it quickly 'fizzled out'.
'They said: "I couldn't sit and have a meaningful conversation with them, we disagreed on so many political views, [and] they didn't know what feminism or transgender meant",' Eliza recalled some as saying.
Dating experts stress the importance of dating people with similar core views as their own to avoid major clashes; this likely explains the generalisations expressed in the group rather than the man's career choice.
Eliza said she got 'the ick' after a guy she was attracted to revealed he works at Woolworths. 'Why was I so attracted to him up until the point that he said "I work at Woolies"? I felt so judgemental,' she said.
During the conversation, Neel said: 'I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that someone might have a certain career or ambition criteria for a prospective partner.
'It's not just financial success women find attractive, it's also the ability to obtain resources and be productive - which taps into human biology.'
'Generally speaking, [women] are attracted to men who have the capacity to be productive - which doesn't necessarily mean financially productive, because it would probably be a turn-off if a man inherited a lot of wealth but then sat on a couch all day.'
They are talking rubbish. The schism is about much more than sexual deviance. It is about loyalty to the basic first century revelation about Christ and his teachings as recorded in the Bible. You either believe in the Resurrection as recorded in the Bible or you do not. If you reject the Bible teachings on abhorrent sexuality, how can you be sure of the Resurrection?
The Bible is the source of information about the Resurrection. To question its teachings makes you a non-Christian. Sadly, the Anglican church has for long harboured snakes in its bosom -- pretend-Christians who claim to accept Christian revelation but who are in reality skeptical about them.
The Bible as the foundation of the Christian message is the issue behind the schism, not something as incidental as the sex-life of the clergy.
Progressive Anglicans say they are “devastated” by a historic split in their church triggered by intractable divisions over same-sex marriage, and question whether a breakaway group can still consider itself Anglican.
Peter Stuart, the Bishop of Newcastle, apologised to the LGBTQI community. “I am sorry for the pain that you endure too often when Anglicans speak,” he said. North Queensland Bishop Keith Joseph described the split as an “error”.
Clarence Bester, the Bishop of Wangaratta, said it was “a sadness that we discriminate against people and we use scripture as justification”.
The Reverend Elizabeth Smith, a priest in Kalgoorlie, said she was “devastated by the launching of a breakaway new church that calls itself Anglican but is a world away from most Australian Anglicans”, and backed her female bishop, Kay Goldsworthy, who attracted criticism for ordaining a male deacon living in a same-sex marriage.
The Herald and The Age revealed on Wednesday that Anglican conservatives, led by former Sydney archbishop Glenn Davies, had launched a new church, which they described as a “lifeboat” for religiously orthodox people who disagreed with their more liberal bishops.
Conservatives have declared the issue of same-sex marriage a “line in the sand” and are concerned that progressives within the church have put modern social justice considerations above the Bible’s “unchanging truth” that marriage is between a man and a woman.
The issue has torn apart churches around the world. It made headlines in Australia in 2019 when the Victorian diocese of Wangaratta voted to bless same-sex civil unions, beginning with that of retired Wangaratta vicar-general John Davis and his partner of more than 20 years, Rob Whalley, also a former priest.
But the ceremony was delayed when conservatives - especially those in Sydney - vocally objected. The issue went to a church court, which endorsed the original decision. The couple’s ceremony went ahead in November 2020.
“The roof hasn’t fallen in,” Davis told the Herald and The Age. “I think [same-sex love] is a second-order issue that is being made a first-order issue and I think that’s deeply unnecessary. This isn’t really about principles, it’s about power.”
Dorothy Lee, an Anglican theologian and priest, described it as a sad day for the church. “I think [the decision to launch a breakaway movement] is aggressive, and arrogant and absolutist,” she said.
“I think it’s tragic when churches split, and fail to hold together in unity despite the many things they have in common.”
Some also questioned whether the new church, the Diocese of the Southern Cross - which describes itself as a “separate and parallel” Anglican diocese - could legitimately call itself Anglican.
John Davis also wrote a doctoral thesis on the Anglican Church of Australia’s constitution and said every bishop or priest of the Anglican Church of Australia had to swear an oath to comply with the constitution.
“You can’t straddle two different opposing institutions and get away with it,” he said. “You can’t do that and do what this [new church] is doing” In an opinion piece for this masthead, Anglican scholar Matthew Anstey said, “I suspect lawyers will be called upon for advice.”
Joseph said there was no trademark on the word Anglican, but the new group, and its global affiliate GAFCON, went “beyond classical Anglicanism”.
However, Tasmanian Bishop Richard Condie - who supports the new church - said it was simply providing a way for Anglicans whose views contrasted with those of their bishop to find like-minded spiritual leadership.
Similar breakaway movements had happened in North America and New Zealand. “That doesn’t mean that everybody who remains is not a Bible person,” he said. “Even in the most revisionist of diocese in Australia, they love the Bible and they want to live by it.
“But for some, receiving the ministry of [their] bishop is difficult,” Condie said.
“There’s no sense of triumph. There’s a sombre air of sadness about what’s happened.”
Condie said the new church was Anglican because it believed Anglican doctrine. “I don’t think there’s any issue of legality to be considered,” he said. “I think it is more confessional, it’s more about what we believe.”
The bishop of the new church, Glenn Davies, said the Diocese of the Southern Cross had not received, “nor are we likely to receive”, any inquires from Melbourne for affiliation.
There are a lot of such songs and they are very popular. Best known is perhaps Harry Belafonte singing "Jamaica Farewell", or Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli singing "Time To Say Goodbye". And Americans will probably know Glenn Campbell singing "Galveston". They are undoubtedly very good and catchy sentimental songs
Video links for those three songs are:
But I can't see that such songs are romantic. They are more foolish than anything else. Truly romantic behaviour would surely be to make good and certain that the lady does NOT slip from your grip. As someone who has been married four times, I think I can say that I practice what I preach. And I still have in my life a lady who looks good with her clothes off. Her conversation is high-level too. Last night her topics included both Spinoza and Chekhov. I am glad to have "caught" her. Farewells are for losers
The best of the well-known romantic songs to my thinking is "My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose" by Robert Burns. A good version sung by Kenneth McKellar here:
There is a "Farewell" element in it but the point of the song is that the singer is coming back, not abandoning the woman.
My favorite romantic song is, perhaps regrettably, in German: "Als geblüht der Kirschenbaum". There is no good version of it online but there is below a rather overacted verson by a very strangely-dressed lady. Her singing is good, however, and its expression tracks the words
It's undoubtedy one of the great love songs of all time. In the song, the lady says she thought her husband looked beautiful when she first met him and also behaved beautifully on their wedding night.
The point of the song in the operetta it comes from is that she has just been informed of apparent infidelity by her husband. She comments that it could not be so -- because she remembers him in their early life as being beautiful in both looks and behaviour. And her faith is of course eventually justified. Operetta has good endings.
Someone should do a singable translation of it. Here are the words with my rough translation:
Als geblueht der Kirschenbaum,
As the cherry tree was blossoming
Ging ich zum Walde wie im Traum;
I walked to the woods as in a dream
An des Brunnens kuehlen Rand,
At the cool edge of the fountain
Wo hell die weisse Birke stand.
Where brightly the white beech stood
An dem blauen Himmelsbogen
Under the blue bow of the sky
Ging der Mond, die Sterne zogen
The moon came out and the stars shone
Einen Reiter hoert' ich jagen
I heard a horseman hunting
Und mein Herz hub an zu schlagen
And my heart gave a leap
Denn er hielt sein Roesslein an
When he reined in his dear horse
Ach ja, er war ein schoener, ein schoener Mann!
Oh yes. He was a beautiful, beautiful man
Still verklang der Hochzeit Pracht
The wedding bells no longer rang
Und von den Bergen stieg die Nacht
And night was climbing up the mountains
Bang trat ich ins Brautgemach
I anxiously entered the bridal chamber
Und leise, leise schlich er nach!
And softly, softly he followed me
Draussen fielen Bluetenflocken
Outside flower petals fell
Drin der Kranz von meinen Locken
Inside the garland from my hair
Heimlich fluestend half der Freier
Softly whispering my suitor helped me
Mir zu loesen Band und Schleier
To take off my ribbons and veil
Sah dabei mich zaertlich an
Looking at me so tenderly
Ach, er war doch ein schoener, schoener Mann!
Oh! He certainly was a beautiful, beautiful man
BY DR. YUHONG DONG AND BETH GIUFFRE
I am afraid that I am rather amused by the article by or about Dr Dong that I have reproduced in part below. It is a very long and rather repetetitious article so I have reproduced only the beginning of it. But I think the excerpt is sufficient to give a good idea of the whole
Put simply, Dr Dong clearly has only a glancing familiarity with the research literature on his suibject. His mention of the A-B personality concept as a predictor of coronary heart disease is particularly regrettable. Its customary measure was a scale called the JAS, which was really woeful from a psychometric point of view. It was a confused jumble of many ideas and already by the 1980s had been repeatedly shown NOT to predict CHD. Any mention of the claims concerning it at this juncture is quite simply embarrassing from a scholarly viewpoint.
I summarize here some of the research literature pointing to the irrelevance of A-B -- including in passing some of my own research on the subject
How many times have we heard the “smoking, drinking, and being overweight” warning in relation to heart disease? Yet, one of the longest-running studies contradicts this.
A much bigger risk factor is stress—particularly the kind of stress found in a specific personality type that processes anger in a particular way.
The Framingham project is the quintessential epidemiological population study, of more than 14,000 people across three generations. And a key piece of lifestyle advice is hidden in the 1980 analysis of the final cohort.
Do you feel guilty if you use free time to relax? Ask yourself these “Type A” identifier questions, and check whether you also process stress in these same ways—this stress management protocol is a key driver of coronary heart disease.
Physically, anger leads to catecholamine release, which has a host of cardiovascular repercussions. In “fight mode,” the liver synthesizes triglycerides in a boost of energy, which in turn contributes to lipid disorders.
If this is you, there’s still no need to be fatalistic. These are behavior patterns that we can train and change, and changes start small. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. One in five Americans died from heart disease in 2020, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, cardiovascular disease is also the leading cause of death year after year.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing nearly 383,000 Americans in 2020. Scientists and the medical community are investing much time and money into the study of what keeps the heart healthy and what can stop it from beating.
Many risk factors have been suggested for CHD. Among these, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking have been assumed to be leading causes. Doctors wear themselves out by repeating the same warnings that CHD could be much reduced if people would reduce their bad cholesterol levels by eating healthy food and becoming active. People need to quit dangerous habits that further raise blood pressure such as the three best-known ones: smoking, being overweight, and drinking too much alcohol.
Stress on the heart is terribly bad for you, but it rarely makes the headlines. We all know stress remains unhealthy for both our body and mind, but do we listen? More importantly, do we take action to prevent stress from causing disease in our bodies?
Despite decades of studies, we like to point fingers at the usual subjects. Smoking has the worst reputation of all. How many times have you tried to convince a loved one that smoking may take their life one day? They tell you they do it to calm their nerves, right? You beg them to take a walk instead; you suggest exercise classes and fishing at the lake. You may have printed out studies to show them what those commercially-made cigarettes and nightly booze binges will do to them. Maybe you are helping them avoid the dreaded black lungs we’ve seen in health class photos.
Yet, hold on. We’re talking about heart disease here.
Smoking is bad for your health, and often times fatal in terms of lung disease. But one of the longest running studies on heart disease contradicts what we all assumed about smoking and CHD. In the study, smokers developed fewer cases of CHD than non-smokers.
A much bigger risk factor is not smoking, but stress—the kind of stress found in a particular personality type—and when left unchecked, the manifestation of it can be worse on the heart than smoking.
According to Dr. Yuhong Dong, medical doctor and Ph.D. in infectious diseases, there are many biological and energetic mechanisms occurring concurrently in CHD, but the Type A personality’s unhealthy expression of anger is what makes a larger imprint on our hearts and minds.
A Surprising Risk Factor of Coronary Heart Diseases (CHD)
A counterintuitive twist on smoking’s effect on CHD brings to mind the story of Batuli Lamichhane, one of the oldest women in the world, who told news reporters on her 112th birthday that the secret to a long life is smoking, as she had puffed away on 30 cigarettes a day since she was 17 years old. If her story was just an isolated story that would be one thing, but it’s not. There are stories about many of the oldest people in the world who smoke, drink, and eat to their hearts’ content.
The Framingham project, which began in 1948, is the quintessential epidemiological and largest population study of more than 14,000 people across three generations. The project ultimately found evidence that formed the textbook warning we hear at doctor visits: high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol are major risk factors for CHD. However, we have learned something else from the well-known Framingham Heart Study.
The key lifestyle advice is hidden in the 1980s analysis of the final cohort.
When researchers looked at the long-term patterns in the cardiovascular health of more than 5,000 male and female smokers and non-smokers, consisting of 2,282 men and 2,845 women aged 29 through 62 years (and free from CHD at the initial examination), they found little evidence that smoking is a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD).
“In these monumental studies and analysis, smokers and non-smokers showed no differences at all,” said Dr. Dong. “CHD is the product of many risk factors acting synergistically. There is no doubt that smoking is one of many risk factors, but its effects, acting by itself, have been exaggerated.”
Dong said there may be even more to the Framingham Study. Evidence now shows that psychosocial factors, including having a stressed-wired personality, or Type A personality, are more predictive for heart disease than smoking. Even more predictive of CHD is how the Type A personality copes with stress. If Type A’s constantly cope with stress in angry, aggressive, and hostile ways, their odds for getting CHD increase exponentially.
Do You Have Traits of a Type A personality?
Do you feel guilty if you use free time to relax? Do you need to win in order to enjoy games and sports? Do you eat, walk, and move rapidly? Do you try to do more than one thing at a time? Have your loved ones and co-workers told you more than a few times that you need to calm down, mellow out, or take it easy?
You may be a “Type A” personality, or have a Type A behavior pattern (TABP). As much as you get things done and people can count on you to work hard, your health might suffer if you take your high achievement, competitiveness, and impatience too far. Some people can take on multiple projects and carry the weight of the world with grace, but most Type A’s do not.
The story below is one woman's story of how generalized her inability to delay gratification is. I found much the same in my research. I found that there is a consisent tendency to delay or not delay gratification. It is not a wholly consisent tendency. Some alleged indices of delay of gratification do not correlate with others so we have to be careful which index we use if we want to show a consistent tendency. But the consistent tendency does exist.
Parenthetically, I must say I share the lady's difficulties with toast
I was standing in my kitchen impatiently waiting for my toast to pop up. It had been in there for hours, and I was hungry.
“It’s been less than a minute!” my partner said. “Be patient!”
I was not patient. I hovered irritably for another few seconds before pushing the button and retrieving my toast.
“Wow,” my partner said. “You really are a one-marshmallow person.”
“Marshmallow shmarshmallow,” I told him, smothering my warm bread in butter and Vegemite and cramming it into my mouth.
Still, I knew what he meant. In 1972, psychologists at Stanford University gave groups of four-year-olds the choice of eating one marshmallow now, or two marshmallows later, to test their ability to delay gratification. I was not included in the study, but if I had been, I’d definitely have eaten the one marshmallow straight away. I am genetically incapable of waiting for anything. Two marshmallows might be better than one, but waiting for a marshmallow is far worse.
I know that being able to delay gratification is an important life skill, but it is a skill I have never mastered. Whenever I want anything, whether it is a marshmallow or an answer, it feels exceptionally urgent. I’m unsettled and agitated until the marshmallow is in my mouth, or the question answered.
The upside is that I get my needs met pretty quickly. The downside is that I make rushed decisions, and frequently annoy other people.
“Couldn’t this have waited until morning?” Mum will ask tiredly when I call her late at night to ask a pressing question. And yes, I probably could have waited until morning to ask whether my old bedspread is still in storage, or what her plans are for the holidays, but then I would have been thinking about it all night. It is so much easier to just get it done now.
“Why didn’t you wait for your appointment?” my hairdresser will ask, shaking her head as she contemplates my uneven fringe. I wanted to wait, I really did, but my hair was too long, and the scissors were in my bathroom, and a week felt like an eternity.
I am genetically incapable of waiting for anything. Two marshmallows might be better than one, but waiting for a marshmallow is far worse.
I am fascinated and awed by people who calmly wait for marshmallows. My elder daughter, for example, will realise she needs a new pair of shoes, and not buy them for weeks, or even months. She will think, “No biggie, I’ll get them later,” and park the desire in the back of her mind.
This is sensible and mature but it is not how my brain functions. My brain thinks, “I need a new pair of shoes.” Within minutes I am online, browsing through catalogues until I find a pair that will suffice. Often, I realise down the track that I would have found a better pair had I taken my time, but that is the price I must pay to eat my marshmallow now.
I have tried over the years to learn to delay gratification, with very minimal success. I once put a jumper on lay-by, way back in the days when Buy Now Pay Later was several inventions away. I paid a deposit, arranged to pay the jumper off in instalments, and left that beautiful jumper in the store.
It did not go well. I thought about the jumper all the way home, and in bed that night as I tried to sleep. I thought of how soft it was, how it would complement my jeans, how much I longed to wear it. The next day, I returned to the store, paid off the lay-by and never attempted that exercise again.
The Stanford marshmallow study found kids who could delay gratification grew into smarter, more competent adults than those who could not. (I know this because I skipped to the conclusion.)
Follow-up studies have questioned these claims and I’d like to add there are advantages to being a one-marshmallow person, which the Stanford team failed to note. For one thing, I’m extremely punctual. Whether I am meeting a friend for lunch, going to a movie or catching a flight, I will be there on time, if not early. I simply can’t wait a second longer than necessary.
For another, I never agonise over decisions. I like having issues resolved quickly, so if there are several options I’ll just pick one that looks okay and stick with that. I won’t spend hours debating which sofa to buy, or which holiday destination to visit, or which movie to watch. I’d rather have one good-enough option sorted now than a better option further down the track.
“A marshmallow in the hand is worth two in the bush!” I tell my partner.
He shakes his head. “You know that’s not actually true? Two marshmallows in the hand are worth twice as much!”
But I am not listening. I am too busy eating the froth off my cappuccino. It’s my favourite part! I always have it first.
This is really brain-dead stuff. Have we forgotten that global warming is supposed to be global? And how many halves does the globe's atmosphere have? TWO. So if the Northern hemisphere droughts are caused by global warming, there must be similar droughts in the Southern hemisphere too.
Except that there aren't. I live in Australia in the Southern hemisphere. And Australia is being plagued by record and very damaging FLOODS. So globally, the weather is on average normal. Air and ocean currents move weather about so what seems to be happening is that they have moved Northern precipitation Southward, with no overall change involved
Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are enduring severe droughts this summer.
Italy’s worst drought in decades has reduced Lake Garda, the country’s largest, to near its lowest level ever recorded and warming the water to temperatures that approach the average in the Caribbean Sea.
Northern Italy has not seen significant rainfall for months, and snowfall this year was down 70 percent, drying up vital waterways such as the Po River, which flows across Italy’s agricultural and industrial heartland.
Successive heatwaves have also renewed the focus on climate change risks for Europe.
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre warned this week that drought conditions will get worse and potentially affect 47 percent of the continent.
Andrea Toreti, a senior researcher at the European Drought Observatory, said a drought in 2018 was so extreme that there were no similar events in the last 500 years, “but this year, I think, it is really worse”.
For the next three months, “we see still a very high risk of dry conditions over Western and Central Europe, as well as the UK”, Toreti said.
Current conditions result from long periods of dry weather caused by changes in world weather systems, said meteorologist Peter Hoffmann of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research near Berlin.
“It’s just that in summer we feel it the most,” he said. “But actually the drought builds up across the year.”
Climate change has lessened temperature differences between regions, sapping the forces that drive the jet stream, which normally brings wet Atlantic weather to Europe, he said.
A weaker or unstable jet stream can bring unusually hot air to Europe from North Africa, leading to prolonged periods of heat. The reverse is also true when a polar vortex of cold air from the Arctic can cause freezing conditions far south of where it would normally reach.
Hoffmann said observations in recent years have all been at the upper end of what existing climate models predicted.
Frank Furedi below rightly points to the pervasive view among our Leftist elite that conservatives are psychologically defective. Research alleging to prove that has been going on since 1950 and I spent 20 years critiquing it, from 1970 to 1990.
Basically all the research concerned bent over backwards to prove its point and I was routinely able to show the big holes in it. If you know your psychometrics, the faults in such research are often glaring. Let me give an example by making a few comments about the Canadian article Furedi highlights -- called “Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact”,
It purports to tell us about political conservatism. But it doesn't. I quote from the body of the article itself:
"socially conservative ideology was assessed in terms of respect for and submission to authority"
Respect for authority is conservative? The way the Left swallow "expert" pronouncements about global warming, the wonderfulness of homosexuality and the importance of transgenderism, I would have thought that respect for authority is a hallmark of the Left. You either conform to Leftist shibboleths these days or get "cancelled". No deviation from the party line is allowed: A very authoritarian system. And was Communism conservative? It was certainly very authoritarian.
And in any case respect for authority is an overgeneralization. There is basically no such thing. Different people respect different authorities at different times. A prime example is SCOTUS. For many years conservatives condemned it becauseof its rulings on homosexual marriage, abortion etc. Now the worm has turned and it is the Left who are furiously condemning SCOTUS and trying to undermine it. There is no doubt that SCOTUS is a major authority but that has nothing to do with respect for it. Respect for it is entirely due to whether its rulings favour the political Right or the political Left.
And the lack of coherence between attitudes that allegedly express attiutude to authority is borne out in the research in question. We read
"scale reliabilities ranged from .63 to .68".
That means nothing to the layman but to a psychometrician it means that the items in the questionnaire showed little correlation with one-another. It shows, in fact, that the questionaire was not suitable for the use it was applied to. A research instrument is normally held to have a minimal reliability of .75. Reliabilities in the .60 range show the scale to be suitable only as the preliminary form of a research insrument, not to be used until further refined
I knew what I would find before I looked up the article. I immediately went to the details of the measures used and knew that I would find junk. It's a common feature of such articles. So the article proves nothing about conservatives or anybody else. The journal editors were very indulgent to publish it, but no doubt they liked its conclusions
As far as Hollywood, Netflix and the American cultural establishment are concerned there is little point in taking conservatives seriously. They are seen and represented as basically hillbillies and rednecks who feed on a diet of kitsch and trashy reality shows. That is why the don’t know what to make of Yellowstone – one of the most watched cable series in the US.
Even the most bitter critic of conservative values cannot dismiss Yellowstone as trash. TV Guide refers to it as “prestige TV for conservatives” before adding that “prestige TV is for liberals”. TV Guide’s commentator correctly notes that “in the genre of conservative prestige drama, Yellowstone is almost alone”. That’s because Hollywood patronises conservatives to the point it seriously believes that conservatives lack the taste and artistic sensibility to appreciate prestige drama.
In the main, cultural critics have responded to Yellowstone by not responding to it. Since they are not interested in engaging with people who are not like them, they have ignored a program watched by tens of millions. Writing in Vanity Fair, one commentator wrote “Here’s to Yellowstone, the Most-Watched Show Everyone Isn’t Talking About”. The few critics that have bothered to review it can barely hide the contempt for a modern Western that extols traditional virtues and avoids the woke cliches much loved by Hollywood.
Writer Kathryn VanArendonk was seething with anger when she described the show as “a desperate and threatened appeal to American identity and white masculinity”. She acknowledges that she feels anger towards John Dutton, the main character in the show played by Kevin Costner, since he is “so blind to his privilege”.
That Yellowstone has become caught up in America’s culture war was acknowledged by The New York Times this week. One of its commentators, Tressie McMillan Cotton, noted “while liberal audiences mostly ignore it, this soapy conservative prestige television juggernaut is gobbling up audience share”. In an attempt to account for the culturally polarised reception to this show, she drew on academic expertise. As one expects, her expert, Clayton Rawlings, asserted that conservatives are narrow-minded people with limited cultural interests. He added that in contrast to liberals, “conservative audiences do not consider reading, watching or listening around a mark of status or identity”. Evidently prestige television is not for them.
Tragically, McMillan Cotton, like America’s cultural oligarchy, cannot maintain a distinction between art and politics. She treats Yellowstone as if it is a political advert for the Republican Party. She warns that the “show shares a problem with Republican Party electoral politics: Neither offers a compelling vision of the future”. Almost imperceptibly, the fictional characters in a television drama are denounced for their lack of political vision. From her perspective the conservative folk who inhabit Yellowstone are just as bad as the ones that vote Republican. “They buy guns and hoard stolen power” is her concluding remark.
The cultural establishment that dominates the media landscape in the Anglo-American world actually believes conservatives are both aesthetically and morally inferior to people like them. In their fantasy world, the people not like them are in search of simplistic black-and-white answers. In private conversation they refer to people who watch Yellowstone as rednecks, Nascar dads, tabloid readers, who are likely to be crass, materialistic simplistic, sexist, racist and homophobic.
That is why Hollywood, Netflix and the television media tend to portray conservatives as unpleasant and not very nice people. Like Mr Garrison in South Park, they are not only small-minded and racist but are psychologically messed up. In typical conservative fashion, he refuses to acknowledge his emotional and psychological issues. Like many other fictional conservative characters, Mr Garrison is in denial.
Homer Simpson is a blue-collar conservative. Therefore, the producers of The Simpsons felt obliged to portray him as a bumbling and insensitive husband and father, who over the years has turned into a self-aggrandising fool. Fortunately, Homer’s psychological deficits are compensated for by his daughter, Lisa, who because she is very liberal must be portrayed as sensitive and emotionally literate.
The media is particularly unkind to conservative women. The abusive mother Adora Crellin in miniseries Sharp Objects is one of the most repulsive characters you are likely to encounter on your screen. She is cast in the role of a small-town, Southern conservative woman, whose Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome has led her to poison and kill daughter Marian.
But it is Sue Sylvester in Glee who more than anyone else offers an over-the-top caricature of a right-wing conservative woman. Her authoritarian personality coexists with a profound sense of personal insecurity and unrestrained narcissism. She exudes malice. That she calls for the abolition of the National Endowment for the Arts, one of the left’s favourite federal arts agency, signals that her politics are not only wrong but also sick.
As far as media culture is concerned, conservatives possess unattractive psychological characteristics. Typically, conservatives are portrayed as mediocre and undistinguished characters who possess outdated and often, repulsive sentiments. Predictably, woke media culture can draw on academic experts, particularly psychologists, to reinforce its anti-conservative prejudice.
If the numerous research papers recently published in psychology journals are to be believed, conservatives are sexually repressed, lacking in empathy and intensely conformist.
The invention of the unimaginative, humourless and intellectually challenged conservative originates from the 19th century. At the time, JS Mill, the 19th-century liberal philosopher, described the Conservative party as “the stupid party”.
He took great delight when he went a step further and stated that his attribution of intellectual inferiority was not merely directed at the party but also at people who possessed a conservative outlook. When criticised for his remark, Mill replied that “I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative”.
In recent decades, Mill’s verdict about the inferiority of conservatives has been recast in the language of psychology. Numerous so-called studies have published research purporting to prove the intellectual inferiority of conservative people. An example of this form of tendentious research is the study published by two Canadian academics a decade ago. Titled “Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact”, it suggests that stupid simpletons go on to become prejudiced right-wingers.
Some psychologists claim their research shows that socially conservative people feel more insecure than liberal. Others have discovered that liberals are far better at reorganising their thoughts in flexible ways than conservatives. Advocacy research claims to have discovered that “religious conservatives make poorer moral decisions than liberals”.
Some psychological studies have concluded liberals and conservatives differ in cognitive style. As you would expect, liberal cognitive styles are far more attractive than those of their conservative peers. “Liberals are more flexible, and tolerant of complexity and novelty, whereas conservatives are more rigid, are more resistant to change, and prefer clear answers,” argues one paper. Liberals also possess greater “neurocognitive sensitivity” to cues than their far more rigid conservative counterparts.
The representation of conservatives as less intelligent than their left-wing counterparts is frequently communicated by “research” on the so-called conservative syndrome. The flattering hypothesis of this syndrome is that conservatism and low cognitive ability are directly correlated.
A commentator in progressive magazine Mother Jones wrote in 2014, that “10 years ago, it was wildly controversial to talk about psychological differences between liberals and conservatives. Today, it’s becoming hard not to”. As it happens Hollywood has been talking about this for a very long time. Through its alliance with advocacy research, it has succeeded in constructing a stereotype that deprives conservatives of any redeeming features. That is why it has to either ignore or lay into Yellowstone.