younger children can suffer ocd, imperfect, speaker of the house makes history again

Study finds young children can develop full-blown OCD

PROVIDENCE, RI – A new study by researchers at the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center has found that children as young as four can develop full-blown obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and often exhibit many of the same OCD characteristics typically seen in older kids.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is the recurring feelings of anxiety in which the sufferer has obsessive thoughts they can’t control – the obsession which can also include, but not always, compulsions like frequently washing their hands or checking to see doors are locked. In children it might even be walking in a circle seemingly oblivious to other people. Sometimes the ritualized behavior gives the child some relief. They give it a comic slant in Monk, but Adrian suffers from OCD. Though in some episodes they’ve shown how lonely and alienating it can be. One bright spot, they found in these young children (ages four to eight}, is that unlike older children or adults they usually don’t suffer from depression in addition to their compulsions. It can be treated and the earlier a diagnosis is made and treatment begins the greater the success of therapy.


Everyone is probably suffering outrage fatque over the Wall St bailout or rescue or whatever the politically correct term is this week so this isn’t about the bailout as much about civics and responsibility. The bailout package that failed to pass by the House of Representatives failed because 12 Republicans said that the Speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi said some things that were partisan. It is my understanding of government that no one can make you vote one way or the other, not even members of your own party. Republicans said in effect that Speaker Pelosi’s statement hurt their feelings. What an extraordinary turn of events. Speaker Pelosi can push a few emotional buttons and get the opposition Party to vote contrary to what they wanted to vote for. Nancy Pelosi made history when she became the first female Speaker of the House. Apparently she has made history yet again by making every Republican in the House of Representatives her bitch. Words escape Pelosi’s lips, Republicans not only jump, but ask how high. In future history books we probably won’t see the loaded term bitch used, but that is what happened to the Republican Party on September 29, 2008, they got owned by the first female Speaker of the House and they confessed publically to that fact.


just over the hill, sleazy middle-aged fun, sleazy past middle-aged fun

just over the hill

From I Like to Watch over at Salon,  Boomer bust

Hank (from Showtime’s Californication) grumbles about how hopelessly full of shit everyone around him is, but seems to have little interest in anything beyond alcohol and screwing random women. How you build a narrative around a charmless, irredeemably smug fuck like Hank is anyone’s guess. It certainly didn’t work all that well in the show’s uneven, only occasionally amusing first season.

Heather’s view has some validity in regards to Hank’s attitude. Its an archtypical character that has been around since the days of Jack Kerouac, who i suspect Hank is partly modeled – either Jack, Hunter S. Thompson or Tom Robbins. There is some ultimate truth about our culture and only those with special insights like Jack or Hank are able to cut through all the bs to bring us those truths. Its been said any  writer that thinks their writing is worth paying for is guilty of some arrogance. Like many characters, anti-heroes in that mold, Hank has his saving graces. He admits once in a while that he is a screw-up. He loves his daughter. Hank isn’t judmental himself – if Heather wanted to ala Kim Cattral of Sex in the City, try out a new boyfriend every week, Hank wouldn’t say a thing. He loves his daughter. He love’s hs daughter’s mother. Who is not his wife. An important omission from Heather’s critique. Hank and Karen (Natascha McElhone) lived together for about fifteen years before she decided to see if there weren’t greener pastures to be had.  Hank with remarkable patience and humor hangs around trying to get her back. If while Karen is sleeping with the ultra rich media mogul, Hank wants to sleep around, Heather and everyone else has the right to exercise their finger wagging deeply serious moralizing muscle, but Hank is within his rights. He is not married and his live in girl friend, mother of their daughter is shagging another guy – and she drinks and gets high too. As far as substance abuse, would he be a better person if he did nothing but watch Brady Bunch reruns and eat bran flakes or would he just be boring. Heather, I suspect thinks there is an actual No Exit room where the president of Exxon and Hank discuss who lead a more responsible fulfilling life and the president of Exxon wins. Hank is aggravating, but only because he isn’t living up to a level of talent that many people would envy. The show is something of a lesson in “sleazy middle-aged fun”. The viewer gets to learn a lesson vicariously through Hank. That one should learn to discriminate between having some fun and over indulgent excess. It is probably a mistake to see the show as simply a tale about Hank or any other of the character’s excesses. It could just as easily been about the leader of a multi-million dollar church that wears two thousand dollar suits and a Rolex as a few billion people go without fresh potable water everyday. Or a politician that has a near sociopathic inability to empathize with average working class Americans and exaggerates national security threats as he sends young Hanks off to die. I don’t know that those last two would be as funny, but the premise and dialectic wouldn’t be much different. When it comes time to face the gatekeeper to that great Spaghetti Factory in the sky, the Hanks, as boorish as they are will probably go to the head of the line. The Rolex wearing demigods and corporate presidents with a plantation owner mentality might have some explaining to do.

I do wish the producers happen by Salon and do something about the sub-plots with Charlie (Evan Handler) and Marcy (Pamela Adlon). They’re like lead weights around the show’s neck. They’re not funny or interesting – they’re like watching white bread go stale.

taking flight

John McCain and campaign manager Rick Davis appear to be two peas in a corrupt pod

Reading the NYTimes piece on McCain’s high stakes craps lifestyle raises significant questions. Not just about McCain’s reckless lack of judgment by gambling at a casino that fell under his oversight purview, but also his lax follow-through on Indian Affairs and Commerce for “friends.” Recall McCain didn’t bother to subpoena Ralph Reed in the Abramoff investigation and all those as-yet-unreleased e-mails?

Heather Havrilesky wrote this about Hank, “He lives among sleazy middle-aged miscreants and he can’t stand not to be a part of the sleazy middle-aged fun.”

stem cells and doing the right thing, vacancy, hiding racism in question begging

What to do with leftover embryos in fertility clinics? For some people the answer is clear. Better to destroy them then to expand the fedrally funded research into sell lines not currently approved by the current administration. That attitude is the adult version of hurt feelings followed by taking the ball and gloves and heading home to sulk.

The researchers surveyed 1,350 women who presented for infertility at a large, university hospital-based fertility center in Illinois. The survey included 24 questions on patient demographics, obstetric and infertility history, and opinions about using extra embryos for stem cell research and selling extra embryos to other couples.

Assisted reproductive technology has resulted in the creation and cryopreservation of extra embryos at fertility centers across the country. It was estimated in 2002 that 396,526 embryos were in storage at U.S. fertility clinics, according to previously published research.

These embryos may be used for future pregnancy attempts, donated to other couples or agencies, given to researchers, or discarded.

73 percent of the women surveyed would prefer that the embyros be donated. Something of a surprise is that while a particular segment of Conservatism dominates the public debate and comes down opposed to such donations for the advancement of medical research. In this survey the great divide is ethinic. Hispanics and African Americans are less likely to approve then Caucasians. Though working class, non-college educated whites also ranked high in their disapproval. So education and economics are also factors in how the public sees the use of stem cells from left-over embryos from fertility clinics. Much of these objections could be overcome if some public figures with large soap boxes would disseminate information that was more informed by the medical facts, medical ethics and the wishes of the women whose embryos are being debated.


National Review: Did WaMu fail because it employed minorities?

National Review’s Mark Krikorian notes that (1) Washington Mutual became the largest bank to fail in American history yesterday and (2) its last press release touted the fact that it was named one of America’s most diverse employers, having been “honored specifically for its efforts to recruit Hispanic employees, reach out to Hispanic consumers and support Hispanic communities and organizations”; for being “named [one of] the top 60 companies for Hispanics”; for “attaining equal rights for GLBT employees and consumers”; for having “earned points for competitive diversity policies and programs, including the recently established Latino, African American and GLBT employee network groups”; and for being “named one of 25 Noteworthy Companies by Diversity Inc magazine and one of the Top 50 Corporations for Supplier Diversity by Hispanic Enterprise magazine.”

While juxtaposing these two facts — (1) WaMu has a racially and ethnically diverse workforce and (2) WaMu collapsed yesterday — the National Review writer headlined his post: “Cause and Effect?” He apparently believes that the reason Washington Mutual failed may be because it employed and was too accommodating to large numbers of Hispanics, African-Americans and gays.

I hate to take that big a snip from Salon because they’re so ad revenue dependent, but Glenn gets into his examples and arguments fast and deep. Glenn knows as well as most everyone else that the whole pupose of the question begging “Cause and Effect?” was to plant the idea in people’s minds to associate the bank’s failure with liberal ideology. WaMu’s failure would then have nothing to do with the anything goes, damn those regulations mentality that were the actual cause of the failure. The National Review gets to pretend they were not being rascist homphobes doing some blame shifting faster then a conman on meth, but just engaging in a purely hypothetical intellectual exercise. Under the golden parachute, a place for community reinvestment

As Robert Gordon pointed out in the American Prospect, the CRA has been gutted under the Bush administration, and many of the lenders that dished out bad loans fell outside the regulatory scope of the CRA (which makes a case in favor of regulation, rather than against it).

“CRA didn’t bring about the reckless lending at the heart of the crisis. Just as sub-prime lending was exploding, CRA was losing force and relevance. And the worst offenders, the independent mortgage companies, were never subject to CRA — or any federal regulator. Law didn’t make them lend. The profit motive did.”

Sometimes one gets the impression the Right phones in their opinions from another planet. In purely pratical terms you have to wonder if they’ve ever dealt with a mortgage banker. Its a well known rule that regardless of color or income or shoe size you cannot make a banker make a home loan. They only make loans if they think they can make a profit.

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds. The title of a film directed by Paul Newman who passed away today. I saw it on some late night movie channel when I was in my early teens. Newman was more then a celebrity, he lifted the art of film to a level where it can be more then entertainment – the kind of movies that you put in the time capsule and launch into space – some proof that humanity can live up to its potential. Cool Hand Luke is the rare film that is both a classic and something of a staple of pop culture – the line ” I think what we have here is a failure to communicate” is from the warden in Cool. The Verdict, in which Newman plays Frank Galvin is one of my favorite performances and one of those unique movies that broke out of genre. Since the Catholic Church hierarchy figures so prominently in the plot and the movie is about redemption, it can easily take on a religious meaning. It was really more about personal redemption, a man fighting his way back from the brink. When is the last time you saw a movie about the gut wrteching process of a human being fighting their way back from the moral wasteland that his life had become. Anyway, I’m obviously lousy at obituaries. The one at the link by the NYT is pretty good.

personalities and migration, days gone by, positive thinking and expectations

On the Move: Personality influences migration patterns

The results, reported in the September issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that personality traits determine not only where people relocate to, but also how often they move and how far away they move. The researchers found that people with a very active personality have a tendency to migrate, to both urban and rural locales. People who are very emotional are more likely to move away from home, but do not migrate very far and do not move very often. Emotional people tend to migrate equally to both urban and rural locations. People with very social personalities are more inclined to leave rural settings for urban areas and are more likely to migrate over long distances.

The authors suggest that since urban areas are densely populated, they appeal to people with high sociability traits—urban areas offer plenty of opportunities for social interaction.

Technically speaking in the realm of psychology migrating is the correct term, but to many of us its just moving. If memory serves the average American moves every five years. Cities in America are generally  friendly places. Its curious that they owe some debt to suburban and rural areas that offer up their “very social personalities” for their liveliness. I was born and stayed in one city until the military started moving us about. Turned out to be a turning point for me. Adapting wasn’t as idfficult for me as some people. So much so that it became a little addictive. OK we’ve been here awhile. Done things, made some friends, seen the sites. Time to see what else is out there. Frequent movers tend to develop priorities about stuff. The more you have the more you have to move. Part of my tendency to minimalism is due to frequent moves as much as aesthetics.

days gone by

Not that anyone that reads this blog is dumb of course, but feel that in the middle of a financial meltdown  the media and politicians have been high on hype and short on substance, The Dummy’s Guide to the US Banking Crisis. It is not definitive and there is a slant to it I don’t care for in a few entries, but the time line is worth the read.

I was probably born with a tendency to distrust Pollyannaish talk and insistence by those with any kind of authority to be positive. Life experience has done nothing but reinforce those tendencies. I’m put off by constant cynicism and negativity too, but generally speaking people that have cynical personalities usually aren’t going out of their way to hide reality or to hide something from others. When you express concerns about the behavior or actions of the terminally upbeat, you’re almost always accused of being negative. Not always ( remember Mr Rogers), but this is frequently a signal that you’re dealing with a person or organization that is up to something. Maybe an ethical lapse, maybe criminal behavior or something in the murky middle. To realize this is not to believe that everyone and everything sucks, its just reality. How Positive Thinking Wrecked the Economy

Greed — and its crafty sibling, speculation — are the designated culprits for the ongoing financial crisis, but another, much admired, habit of mind should get its share of the blame: the delusional optimism of mainstream, all-American, positive thinking. As promoted by Oprah, scores of megachurch pastors, and an endless flow of self-help bestsellers, the idea is to firmly belief that you will get what you want, not only because it will make you feel better to do so, but because thinking things, “visualizing” them — ardently and with concentration — actually makes them happen. You will be able to pay that adjustable rate mortgage or, at the other end of the transaction, turn thousands of bad mortgages into giga-profits, the reasoning goes, if only you truly believe that you can.

Positive thinking is endemic to American culture — from weight loss programs to cancer support groups — and in the last two decades it put down deep roots in the corporate world as well. Everyone knows that you won’t get a job paying more than $15 an hour unless you’re a “positive person” — doubt-free, uncritical, and smiling — and no one becomes a CEO by issuing warnings of possible disaster.

One of the neighbors, a fellow WordPresser has a slightly chilling post up called Arachnophobia. I’m a live and let live type when it comes to spiders, but I draw the line at full out house invasions. If spiders learn to pay rent and not bite I might reconsider.

white space, shaky foundations, depression fighting computers

When huge corps like AT&T, Cisco, Viacom, NBC Universal join forces to oppose something its not necessarily a signal that the anti-Christ is coming soon, but its not a bad idea for consumers to pay attention, The Hot Soup Coalition Launches to Spy on You and Take Your Internet

In non-financial crisis news, the long predicted alliance of telecoms and entertainment titans have joined up to fight for infinite copyright, unlimited spying powers on your computer by private companies AND against net neutrality.

[  ]..These issues are connected.  If we free up the public airwaves, it’ll become impossible to snoop on us and restrict our internet use.

Being against net neutrality is bad enough. Bandwidth choking is a really cute way of controlling your surfing habits and because some sites might get choked off to the point that surfers become aggravated, a de facto form of censorship. Add in that the the Hot Soup Coalition is also fighting against Google’s plan to open up white space from the digital TV spectrum. That space would be cheap to free. The white space spectrum would also leave the chokers in the lurch. Making it more difficult to monitor everyone’s surfing, accidentally reading your email (where’s the privacy for Palin crowd) and more difficult to funnel people into surfing sites that have priority – for example let’s say I like to get my news from McClatchey news service, but half the time I can’t get to it, so I end up at some watered down corporate mainstream media site. There have been some glitches with getting the technology working to use the white space spectrum – greatly exaggerated. Then some near urban mythical fears about interfering with medical devices,

Google believes those concerns are groundless, saying that there’s no risk to broadcasters and those who use wireless microphones. “There are many ways to safely and reliably protect DTVs and wireless microphones, not all of which require spectrum sensing,” argues the search giant. White space devices would rely on “all clear” signals from a database of licensed transmitters or a “geo-located device with access to that database.” Devices without database or geo-location access would not transmit at all. The search giant also suggests the use of inexpensive “beacons” by wireless microphones to prevent interference. Channels 36-38 would be completely off-limits to white space broadband to prevent interference with radio astronomy services and medical telemetry devices that use spectrum assigned to channel 37.

shaky foundations

Coming soon: Self-guided, computer-based depression treatment

Scientists with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) are developing an interactive, multi-media program that will assist astronauts in recognizing and effectively managing depression and other psychosocial problems, which can pose a substantial threat to crew safety and mission operations during long-duration spaceflights.

Even though the depression treatment is under development for NASA, project leader Dr. James Cartreine said it could be spun off for use on Earth.

“This project has great potential as a self-guided treatment for many people,” said Cartreine, a member of NSBRI’s Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Factors Team. “Depression is the number one cause of disability days in the United States, but it’s not only about days lost. Depression also results in presenteeism – showing up for work but not really working.”

I’m taking a wait and see attitude. They think about giving the program a voice. Some people, not me, already talk to their computers. It might help in situations where people are isolated to talk to something that is capable of feedback. Talking to pets is known to help with depression and help relieve stress and all you get back is a waging tail. OK that’s not true, pets like dogs and cats give lots of feedback, almost too much sometimes.

bag checker or early anti-depression device.

thinly veiled, beach breeze wallpaper, it turns out that there’s a lot of interlinks

well lighted bridge panorama

Barack Obama, John McCain and the Language of Race

It was not that long ago that black people in the Deep South could be beaten or killed for seeking the right to vote, talking back to the wrong white man or failing to give way on the sidewalk. People of color who violated these and other proscriptions could be designated “uppity niggers” and subjected to acts of violence and intimidation that were meant to dissuade others from following their examples.

The term “uppity” was applied to affluent black people, who sometimes paid a horrific price for owning nicer homes, cars or more successful businesses than whites. Race-based wealth envy was a common trigger for burnings, lynchings and cataclysmic episodes of violence like the Tulsa race riot of 1921, in which a white mob nearly eradicated the prosperous black community of Greenwood.

Accusations of racism are like any other accusation. They can be abused and frequently repeated so often that people suffer a level of outrage fatigue. Some relatively innocent people get caught in the cross fire of accusations and start to tune out what has to them at least, become just so much noise. For reasons that aren’t clear right now the pendulum has swung off in an odd direction in regards to racism. To point out that racism has become worse then the racism.  Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) calls Senator Obama uppity, then swears he didn’t mean it as a racial slur. Out of all the words in Websters Westmoeland could have used to describe his feelings toward another man who is half African and uppity just happened to fit the situation. A surreal coincidence. Geoff Davis (R-Ky) just happened to use the word boy, “That boy’s finger does not need to be on the button,”. I’m from the south and you have to be suffering severe brain damage not to know that boy in that context is racist. As Brent Staples also notes McCain has used the word “disrespectful” to describe Senator Obama’s disagreements with assertions made by Sarah Palin, which have been proven to be lies. There’s some plausible denibility to McCain’s ad, our language, its context and use of tone frequently gives those that use such thinly veiled racism a back door to fumble their way out.

beach breeze wallpaper

News services around the world, as well as some of our esteemed political leaders have been trying to help us understand the current financial crisis. The first one seems to have started on CNN, but it has been repeated  several places: $700 billion dollars is enough to buy every U.S. citizen 2000 McDonald apples pies. That comparison just really brings it home for me. Sports analogies are always good, but then again there’s nothing like the weather,  “Economic uncertainty has moved like a terrible tsunami around the globe”. Poetic license has a way of taking the sting out of losing your home or savings doesn’t it, “The financial crisis looks like fire on a distant shore,” Atsushi Nakajima, chief economist at the research arm of Mizuho Financial Group. To bring the round up of keen observations back home,

And so I decided to act and act boldly. It turns out that there’s a lot of interlinks throughout the financial system.  – George W. Bush, September 21, 2008 (emphasis mine)

egalitarian men earn less, necessary distance, gawker gets hate mail

Sexist Men Earn More Money: Study

The greatest difference was found when comparing salaries of men and women with traditional gender role views in similar jobs: that gap is $14,404 on average.  When men and women with egalitarian views in similar jobs are compared, the average difference is just $1,422.

“Our results clearly show if everyone were egalitarian, the gender wage gap would be a lot smaller than it is,” said Judge.

One of the reasearchers speculated that men with traditional views might be more contentious in their wage negoiations. I’ve got rugrats blooding me dry and you call this a rise – I made that up. i was hesitant to give this study much credence, but UF used a large sample size that included multiple interviews over 25 years. Its strikes me as incredibly curious that men who are sticking up for equal pay for women are literally paying for it. How does the boss or human resources know. Does management keep its ear to the grapevine about who stands up for principle and down sizes their rises accordingly. Is this a conscious phenomenon or unconscious.

necessary distance

Sarah Palin’s Hacked Emails Threaten Free Speech

Under current laws, Gawker and Wikileaks are likely protected from prosecution, but that hasn’t stopped readers from sending various threatening emails.

While I’m not a big fan of Gawker I don’t wish anyone over there any harm and whether one likes what they did or not they did not do anything illegal. The hacking itself is another matter. What is illegal is to threaten to kill someone. I’ve always thought any kind of threats made on the net were a little cowardly and witless. Most people seem to feel that way. That doesn’t stop a few folks from continuing the practice. Some emails sent to Gawker,

In regards to your hacking of the Sarah Palin email account:
1) You will hopefully be prosecuted. This is a federal law violation. A felony I believe. Get Your vasoline, you have a date in federal prison with Bubba and he is HORNY.
2) Better yet, you should be executed. That would be too much fun maybe but i could tough it out. I volunteer to do it for free. Nice and slow. I could make it last days.
[  ]…pss: Bring your own body bags. My bait bucket is too small for more then a couple of you and your dirt bag friends.

Gory blood filled daydreams combined with vasoline references, always a good indicator of a top notch intellect at work. And this,

Keep up the Palin trashing so the NIGGER is GUARANTEED to lose!

Isn’t there a rumor going around about angry liberals. If we’re angry then WTF are these guys.