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Raining science on a popular delusional meme

That’s what Paul McHugh, the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School does with the notion of “transgenderism”.  McHugh has spent 40 years, 26 as Psychiatrist in Chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital, “studying people who claim to be transgender. ”

The larger issue is the meme itself. The idea that one’s sex is fluid and a matter open to choice runs unquestioned through our culture and is reflected everywhere in the media, the theater, the classroom, and in many medical clinics. It has taken on cult-like features: its own special lingo, internet chat rooms providing slick answers to new recruits, and clubs for easy access to dresses and styles supporting the sex change. It is doing much damage to families, adolescents, and children and should be confronted as an opinion without biological foundation wherever it emerges.

Or said another way, he doesn’t buy the present day “meme” at all.  He finds it destructive.  And the meme is all based in “feelings” rather than science:

The champions of this meme, encouraged by their alliance with the broader LGBT movement, claim that whether you are a man or a woman, a boy or a girl, is more of a disposition or feeling about yourself than a fact of nature. And, much like any other feeling, it can change at any time, and for all sorts of reasons. Therefore, no one could predict who would swap this fact of their makeup, nor could one justifiably criticize such a decision.

At Johns Hopkins, after pioneering sex-change surgery, we demonstrated that the practice brought no important benefits. As a result, we stopped offering that form of treatment in the 1970s. Our efforts, though, had little influence on the emergence of this new idea about sex, or upon the expansion of the number of “transgendered” among young and old.

A little, “been there, done that, it doesn’t hold up”.  That will royally piss off the SJWs who’ve this infantile belief that if you “feel” something, it must be true.  But as we’ve seen and discussed, that meme has taken hold, regardless of its lack of scientific foundation or, frankly, reality:

But the meme—that your sex is a feeling, not a biological fact, and can change at any time—marches on through our society. In a way, it’s reminiscent of the Hans Christian Andersen tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. In that tale, the Emperor, believing that he wore an outfit of special beauty imperceptible to the rude or uncultured, paraded naked through his town to the huzzahs of courtiers and citizens anxious about their reputations. Many onlookers to the contemporary transgender parade, knowing that a disfavored opinion is worse than bad taste today, similarly fear to identify it as a misapprehension.

I am ever trying to be the boy among the bystanders who points to what’s real. I do so not only because truth matters, but also because overlooked amid the hoopla—enhanced now by Bruce Jenner’s celebrity and Annie Leibovitz’s photography—stand many victims. Think, for example, of the parents whom no one—not doctors, schools, nor even churches—will help to rescue their children from these strange notions of being transgendered and the problematic lives these notions herald. These youngsters now far outnumber the Bruce Jenner type of transgender. Although they may be encouraged by his public reception, these children generally come to their ideas about their sex not through erotic interests but through a variety of youthful psychosocial conflicts and concerns.

Yes, he said it … many go along out of “fear” of having a “disfavored opinion”.  Luckily, I’m not one of those – nor, apparently is Dr. McHugh.  And to those of us without such fear, this emperor has had no clothes for quite some time.  Where does all of this delusional empathy produce?

First, though, let us address the basic assumption of the contemporary parade: the idea that exchange of one’s sex is possible. It, like the storied Emperor, is starkly, nakedly false. Transgendered men do not become women, nor do transgendered women become men. All (including Bruce Jenner) become feminized men or masculinized women, counterfeits or impersonators of the sex with which they “identify.” In that lies their problematic future.

When “the tumult and shouting dies,” it proves not easy nor wise to live in a counterfeit sexual garb. The most thorough follow-up of sex-reassigned people—extending over thirty years and conducted in Sweden, where the culture is strongly supportive of the transgendered—documents their lifelong mental unrest. Ten to fifteen years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery rose to twenty times that of comparable peers.

There is nothing “scientific” about the assumptions of the meme, in fact, they’re blatantly anti-science.  And indulging them can lead to catastrophic results, such as the suicide rates suffered by those who undergo such sex-reassignment surgery.

Most young boys and girls who come seeking sex-reassignment are utterly different from Jenner. They have no erotic interest driving their quest. Rather, they come with psychosocial issues—conflicts over the prospects, expectations, and roles that they sense are attached to their given sex—and presume that sex-reassignment will ease or resolve them.

The grim fact is that most of these youngsters do not find therapists willing to assess and guide them in ways that permit them to work out their conflicts and correct their assumptions. Rather, they and their families find only “gender counselors” who encourage them in their sexual misassumptions.

Treatment.  Psychiatric treatment and counseling.  Or to say the words that a certain community and its activists will loathe – it’s not a choice, it’s a disorder.

Bottom line:

What is needed now is public clamor for coherent science—biological and therapeutic science—examining the real effects of these efforts to “support” transgendering. Although much is made of a rare “intersex” individual, no evidence supports the claim that people such as Bruce Jenner have a biological source for their transgender assumptions. Plenty of evidence demonstrates that with him and most others, transgendering is a psychological rather than a biological matter.

In fact, gender dysphoria—the official psychiatric term for feeling oneself to be of the opposite sex—belongs in the family of similarly disordered assumptions about the body, such as anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder. Its treatment should not be directed at the body as with surgery and hormones any more than one treats obesity-fearing anorexic patients with liposuction. The treatment should strive to correct the false, problematic nature of the assumption and to resolve the psychosocial conflicts provoking it. With youngsters, this is best done in family therapy.

Interesting.  Sure to make waves … or it should.

Most likely, it will be dismissed as some sort of “right wing” conspiracy to deny choice.  Oh, and McHugh is also likely to attacked … for speaking out about something he’s spent a lifetime studying.

But such is the fate of those who fight the ‘meme’.  Good thing he didn’t tell a bad joke about women or have a recent photo in a “sexist” shirt floating around the internet – he’d have the fems on him too.

Make sure you read the whole article.  Especially the part about what is or isn’t allowed as treatment for this delusion.

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 18 Jun 15

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% in May, while the CPI less food & energy rose 0.1%. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is unchanged at the headline level, while the core CPI is up 1.7%.

The nation’s current account deficit for the 1st Quarter came in at the low end of expectations, at $-113.3 billion.

The Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey jumped above expectations, rising 7.5 points to 15.2 in May.

The Conference Board reports that the index of leading economic indicators rose 0.7% in May.

Initial weekly jobless claims fell 12,000 to 267,000. The 4-week average fell 2,000 to 276,750. Continuing claims fell 50,000 to 2.222 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.8 points to 40.9 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $19.8 billion last week, with total assets of $4.487 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $23.1 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $9.3 billion in the latest week.


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And here we go …

After a senseless tragedy that anyone can see was racially motivated and has pretty much received universal condemnation for both the crime and the motivation, you merely have to wait a mere matter of hours before the first of the exploiters attempts to politicize it.

And, of course, there are a plethora of them, I just happened to pick some creature named Chauncey Devega writing in, unsurprisingly, “Salon.”  It is entitled “Charleston church massacre: The violence white America must answer for”, because this tragedy is something for which all us white devils must answer. In fact, Chauncey has a list of questions to answer:

They include:

1. What is radicalizing white men to commit such acts of domestic terrorism and mass shootings? Are Fox News and the right-wing media encouraging violence?

2. Is something wrong with the white family? Why are their sons and men so violent?

3. What should law enforcement and white politicians do about white crime?

4. Is the Charleston mass shooting just one more sign that America needs sensible and reasonable gun control policies?

5. Where are the white fathers in the white home?

6. When will white leadership step up and stop white right-wing domestic terrorism?

7. Is White American culture pathological? Why is White America so violent?

8. Are there appropriate role models for white men and boys? Could better role models and mentoring help to prevent white men and boys from committing mass shootings and being seduced by right-wing domestic terrorism?

Now if you’ve ever wondered what “tarring with a broad brush” means, here it is. It couldn’t possibly be because the POS that did this shooting is an outlier. No, of course not – its about all those white devils out there all wanting to kill black folks.  Don’t you know, there’s “something wrong with the white family”. It’s because their “sons and men are so violent”.

No mention, of course, of the biggest blight on the black community in terms of murder – black on black crime. I’m sure in some way, Chauncey blames that on whitey too.

You have to really chuckle at the “where are white fathers in the white home”.  The question of fathers is continually brought up and dismissed when talking about black on black crime.

And, along with the TNR piece yesterday, Chauncey wants to blame “white American culture” for all ills and broad-brush it as “so violent”.

An amazingly silly list designed to inflame and blame with this following:

Once and again, white privilege is the power to be the ultimate individual where one’s actions and behavior rarely if ever reflects on the collective character of white people en masse. By comparison, Black and brown Americans, Muslims, Arabs and the Other more generally are routinely subjected to group punishment and demonization.

I can say for one that this disgusting excuse for a human being that killed those innocent victims in the Charleston church does not at all reflect on my character nor the character of most whites I know.  But then, neither does Chauncey Devega represent most blacks I know either.  They, like me, want to stop violence like this from happening to anyone for any reason.  They know hate lives in some – on both sides of the color line.  But they’re also bright enough to know that condemning whole races for the acts of an aberrant few is both futile and inflammatory.  And “inflammatory” is not a way to begin any discussion or actions aimed at solutions.

But hey, when demonizing and politicizing, broad statements of collective guilt are to be expected from those more interested in condemnation and blame than solutions.

Chauncey just provides the grist to prove the point.  Of course Chauncey wasn’t the first to politicize it though:

In a press briefing early Thursday afternoon, Obama said the massacre should spark national introspection about the availability of guns. That it took place in a black church also “raises questions about a dark part of history, he said.

“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times,” Obama said. “Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. Once again, innocent people were killed because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.

Way to be a leader sir, and pull the people of the nation together in the wake of this tragic event.

2016 can’t get here soon enough.

~McQ

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I get so freaking tired of this sort of nonsense

And, of course, this bit of pop-psychology comes from none other than The New Republic:

Ultimately, Rachel Dolezal’s story seems like a story about fear. It expresses the fear all white Americans have, or should have: fear of acknowledging our own cultural history as creators of trauma and inflictors of abuse; fear of acknowledging the guilt inherent in this narrative, and, even more staggeringly, taking on the task of alchemizing guilt into something useful. Dolezal’s story also expresses, in its most redemptive moments, the love and respect she truly seemed to have for African-American culture—and the weakness that allowed her to see it not as a culture she wanted to use her white privilege to advocate for, but as a shelter in which she could hide from herself.

This is gob-smackingly stupid and wrong-headed.  My cultural history has nothing in it that has me cast as a creator or inflictor of trauma and abuse. So I don’t fear anything of the sort.  And I certainly don’t accept anyone trying to invent a history that does. However, the history of my larger culture is fraught with it … but here’s a newsflash, so is the history of every other “culture” – many more than mine!  I had nothing to do with that.  The culture in which I abide today is one which, for the most part, cherishes truth and shuns a fraud, seeks peace and harmony and asks to be left alone to live their lives without government interference or the interference of SJWs.  I am and always have been for equal opportunity for everyone.  I treat all people as equals to me. So don’t try to heap on my head the abuses of the past.  It is the practice of con-artists, like Al Sharpton – lay the old guilt trip which, once established, allows the con to leverage advantages for themselves. We’re smarter than that – no sale!

As for Dolezal, in simple words, she is a consummate fraud.  A con.  My culture doesn’t celebrate frauds or cons.  It shuns and shames them.  It also doesn’t try to explain away their criminality or immorality by trying to place the blame on others.  It points at and criticizes the perpetrators of fraud!

And this:

Who are we allowed to become? Children growing up today are likely to believe they can be anyone they want to be, and parents and teachers have grown fond of the phrase “Whatever you are, be a good one.” The emerging narratives of transgender children dovetail perfectly with this philosophy, children whose parents do not force them into a lockstep performance of the gender they were assigned at birth have become visible members of society. Yet the increased presence of transgender issues in our national conversation has prompted some to wonder—with or without their tongue in cheek, or in check—whether this is merely a sign of the times, a side effect of the chaos of modern life. If you can be born male and “become” female, some argue, then can’t you become anything else you want? And if you can be transgender, then can’t the label “transracial” apply, just as legitimately, to someone like Rachel Dolezal?

Who are we allowed to “become”?!  We can “become” anyone we want within reason when it comes to making something of ourselves.

That some have decided to “become” something other than they are in terms of gender or race may impress the fools and other wannabes in our society, but it doesn’t at all impress anyone who can reason and understands how reality works.  You can “claim” to be a walrus, I imagine you can even “become” one with enough makeup, big tusks and a body suit.

But here’s a news flash – you’re not a freaking walrus.  You are still a wannabe.  The only difference between you and Dolezal is the level of fraud she perpetrated on others.  She was malicious in her fraud, a walrus wannabe would just be a bit sad.

For the wannabe walrus, I’m sorry, I don’t “accept” your claim.  Why?  Science.

Same with Dolezal.  While it isn’t at the level of Dolezel’s fraud, it is a fraudulent claim.

Call me intolerant if you wish … I really don’t care.  In fact I embrace the term given the level of asininity it takes to “accept” this nonsense.

You are what you freaking are.  Whether or not you’re mentally defective or unstable is an unknown.  But that doesn’t change what you are – genetically, racially, sexually or physically.

If you have a problem with that, you need to get over it and quit trying to normalize your delusions.

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 16 Jun 15

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales were still soft, rising to 1.2% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 1.1%.

Housing starts fell -11.1% in May, from April’s record high pace, to a still-strong 1.036 million annual rate. Building permits—an indicator of future construction activity—rose 11.8%, as well, to a 1.275 million annual rate. April’s initial result was revised even higher, up 22.1% from march to a 1.165 million rate.


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The emptiness of post-modernism

“Nihilism denies that there are any objective grounds for truth, especially regarding morality.” – Tom Lindsey

And Nihilism’s child is post-modernism.

Lindsey is talking about the recent outcry among liberal professors concerning the stifling of speech on campus due to … feelings.  Lindsey continues:

True enough. But I wonder whether Schlosser or Kipnis, or most of academe, understand fully the depths of the Academy’s complicity in the atrocities they cite. Take for example, my own field, political science, which, like all the modern social sciences, is grounded in a radical distinction between “facts” and “values, “ according to which, facts alone are knowable, because “empirically verifiable” (provable using only the five senses).  Values, in this account, are subjective preferences regarding facts.  Hence, for social science, the terms “right,” “wrong,” “just, and “unjust” are unknowable by reason or science.

And there’s the rub: Neither the academic freedom for which Schlosser and Kipnis rightly plea nor political freedom can be defended authoritatively on the basis of the moral-cultural relativism (often termed, “postmodernism”) taught today in the social sciences and the humanities. Why?

If all “values” (moral principles) are equal due to being equally unprovable through reason, then the embrace in the West of values such as political liberty, tolerance, equality, and the rule of law are demoted to mere “subjective preferences,” which are no better or worse than their opposites—slavery, intolerance, inequality, and tyranny. But while the postmodern Academy asserts reason’s impotence at answering life’s deepest questions, it simultaneously denies that we are capable of the “moral neutrality” that seems to follow from relativism. Simply put, they teach that we have no rational basis to make “value judgements,” but neither can we avoid making them.

And that’s what we face today.  As “Schlosser” said, “a simplistic, unworkable, and ultimately stifling conception of social justice” has produced “higher ed’s current climate of fear,” enforced through a “heavily policed discourse of semantic sensitivity.”

We’ve heard about the application in academia and how, now, some liberal professors are pushing back.  But it isn’t just academia which is infected with this nonsense.  Society at large is also becoming more and more infected with it – likely the product of the left’s constant pursuit of Nihilism since the ’60s at least.  How many times have you been told that we are not “fit to judge” another’s culture or choices?  How dare we assert “right” and “wrong”.  It’s all relative.  And thus everything is acceptable.

Except when it isn’t.

Take the case of Rachel Dolezel.  The most significant “judgement” I’ve seen of her deceitful life is to be found in, of all publications, in Salon.

So this isn’t about being an ally, or making the family of your choosing, or even how one feels on the inside. It’s about, apparently, flat out deception. It’s about how one person chose to obtain a college education and jobs and credibility in her community. It about allegedly pretending to speak from a racial experience you simply don’t have. You want to live your truth, that’s not how you go about it. And it’s an insult to anyone honestly trying to do just that to suggest anything otherwise, for even a moment.

Even this denouncement is careful though.  Note the qualifier – “You want to live your truth, that’s not how you go about it.”

Anyone know what that’s about?  That’s about carving out an exception to the basic rule of the left that you can indeed make up your own “truth” if you go about it an acceptable way.  I’m not sure who gets to judge what is “acceptable” in the world of non-judgement, but there you go.

Rachel Dolezal is a fraud and a fake.  It really doesn’t make any difference what her intent was given she has lied and defrauded her way to her present position … or former position given she resigned from the NAACP.  She is what she is – white bread as white bread can be.  Even her art is a fraud.

So how did someone so fraudulent rise to the level she did?

Well, it’s the wages of being “non-judgemental”.  Naively accepting.  In this world, you just accept on its face the claims of someone like Dolezal.  You let them invent their “victimhood” and revel in it.  “Authenticity” is more important than the truth even if the authenticity is counterfeit.  A good and useful story is much more important than facts.

It’s about “need” – on both sides.  The “need” of Rachel Dolezal to be someone other than she is.  And the “need” of those who are “authentically” black to have a “victim” to point too and say, “See! Racism”.  She claims to have been the victim of “8 documented hate crimes”.  How perfectly lovely.  The fact that they pretty much all were found to be baseless isn’t important.

Why was she allowed to go on without questioning?  Because she was politically useful.  Because she represented a narrative that many want to perpetuate.

And, as with most liars who have told the story so often they begin to believe it, she’s now rationalizing her actions and denying a problem.  Her rationalization “I’ve always identified as black” somehow justifies her deceit and she believes her declaration is all that is necessary to provide “truth” to the matter.   To her it justifies all her actions, her lies and  her misrepresentations.  What’s awful and hilarious at the same time is she has allies in this endeavor.

The “deny reality” brigade have so programmed some that they believe that whatever you “believe” to be true is true, even if the reality that everyone else deals in daily says you’re full of beans.

And thus we’re at the point, now being discovered in academia by the left, where “feelings” rule over “reality”.

Lindsey provides us with a quote in closing (remember that he’s talking academia primarily);

 “I sit with Shakespeare, and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm and arm with Balzac and Dumas. . . . I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension. So, wed with Truth, I dwell above the veil. Is this the life you grudge us, O knightly America?”

Who is he quoting?  Well someone Dolezal claimed we who wouldn’t “understand” about race should read – W.E.B. Dubose.

I wonder what he’d think of her sham life or the moral relativity she and others champion.

The quote says, at least to me, that he wouldn’t be too friendly to the idea.

~McQ

 

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Economic Statistics for 15 Jun 15

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey turned slightly less negative in June, rising from -3.09 to -1.98.

The Fed reports industrial production fell -0.2% in May, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories fell -0.1% to 78.1%.

The Housing Market Index rose from 54 to 59 in June.

Foreign Demand for Long-Term U.S. Securities jumped to $53.9 billion in April on heavy buying of government agency bonds.


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Obama? He’s just too smart for us on the right!

Or at least that’s the thesis of one Allen Clifton.

Which brings me to President Obama. While I’m not calling him a genius, I do think he’s extremely intelligent. I also believe that his tendency to use “big picture” thinking while drafting policy is something most Republican voters simply can’t understand.

Now understand it this comes from orthodoxy central, aka a site called “Forward Progressives”.  And this is apparently considered “forward thinking”.  We just are too stupid to get it.

He uses Obamacare as an example of us not getting it:

While many Republicans want to look at the “now” aspect of the Affordable Care Act, they seem unable to grasp the reality that as more Americans get health insurance, giving them access to preventable care, this lowers expenses down the road for everyone. If people can prevent very costly heart attacks, strokes or other debilitating health issues now, that’s an overall savings for practically everyone from consumers to health insurers to doctors who now have more patients. Quite literally, improving the overall health of Americans will improve the health of this country. It even makes sense for our economy. If workers are healthier, because they have access to quality health care, that means there will be fewer people calling in sick to work, showing up sick to work (putting other employees at risk) or relying on government programs because their health conditions (that were preventable) render them unable to work at all.

But to see all of that requires “big picture” thinking and Republicans seem unable to understand anything beyond the spoon-fed bumper sticker talking points they’re given by the GOP and the conservative media.

We could spend 5,000 words and countless hours expounding on how clueless this is.  Health care doesn’t get less expensive if you “subsidize” it by penalizing those who work and earn by making them pay for those who don’t.  Period.  Wealth is something earned by individuals, not governments.  When government’s take other’s wealth to pay for government priorities, it leaves less for the individual who earned it to spend on their priorities.  This isn’t a hard concept to grasp, but seems beyond Mr. Clifton and our brilliant president.  While all the pie in the sky BS about a healthier American work force sounds wonderful, for the most part it isn’t the workforce that’s benefiting from this subsidy.  So while you may want to see this as a “far reaching” plus, it isn’t.  There are certainly ways to approach the lack of insurance, but this isn’t one of them.

Mr. Clifton then doubles down on his ignorance of economies with this “Underpants Gnomes” paragraph:

Minimum wage is another issue you see this with. Republicans constantly paint it as a “job killer” (it’s not) while also rallying against the millions of people who are on government assistance. Funny thing though, a good portion of the Americans who are on government assistance have jobs. If we made sure that no American working full-time had to rely on government programs just to survive, instantly we would save our country hundreds of billions of dollars over the years. Not only that, but when Americans have more money, they have more to spend. And what’s the biggest driver of economic growth? Consumer spending. More consumer spending means higher profits and higher demand, which means – more jobs.

But once again, when it comes to Republicans and explaining job creation, anything outside of “tax cuts create jobs” is often too complex for many of them to understand.

So, where again does the money come from to pay that $15 minimum wage?  The earnings of the business.  And what will a business have to do if it has to pay that wage?  Well it has some choices – raise prices, lay off workers, go out of business, etc.

Would someone have more money to spend?  Yes, if they weren’t laid off or their business didn’t close their doors.

And how big of a jump in spending money would they have?  Well initially a bit.  But then prices would adjust, because, you see, as the price of labor goes up, so do the prices of commodities and goods.  In other words, if they still have a job and they’re earning $15 an hour, fairly quickly prices will catch up with their gain and their purchasing power will be about the same as they previously enjoyed.  Meanwhile, businesses who can keep the doors open are raising prices and laying off workers, or considering automation as a replacement for workers.

Apparently this too is beyond the grasp of Mr. Clinton and the brilliant president.  Half the story, in both cases, is where Clifton stops.  And this is considered just freaking brilliant by the boob.

And you wonder why the left lives in a fantasy world?  This isn’t rocket science nor is there a dearth of examples proving these points.  They are everywhere, throughout history.  Look them up?  Oh, hell no … let’s continue to live in our fantasy orthodoxy and call everyone else stupid.

See climate change for further proof of this nonsense.

~McQ

 

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