Archive for the ‘psychology’ Category

World Net Daily has been an ardent supporter of George Zimmerman, the man who was acquitted of murdering (though he did kill) Trayvon Martin in 2012. WND’s defense of Zimmerman has been absolute, even to the extent of calling him a civil rights hero, that the case was a conspiracy, that it involved race-bating, that the Zimmermans (husband and now estranged wife) thought that “Obama [was] tapping their phones,” etc. The latest WND article is by Scott Greer, and I have mixed feelings about it: “Zimmerman ‘Has PTSD, Millions in Debt.’

Just from the headline, the irrational, emotional part of me screams “Good!” The objective facts are he did kill a young man. The less objective facts – and what the jury did not agree with – are whether it was self-defense or not. The more objective part of me, however, is more the “live and let live” type. After all, his life has pretty much been ruined by what happened. He will forever be tied to this case and racial violence (deserved or not). His prospects of employment, of not receiving hate mail/calls, etc. are severely diminished for many years if not the rest of his life. And, a jury of his peers found him not guilty. Should he also be subjected to $2.5M of debt? Is it “good” that he now may have post-traumatic stress disorder as his penance? I see an objective argument for “no,” I see an emotional argument for “yes” as well as “no.”

He is definitely having mental health issues. He has gained 120 lbs. The author, Jack Cashill, of the book that this particular WND article is an ad for (“If I had a Son: Race, Guns, and the Railroading of George Zimmerman”) says that he “exhibited the thousand-yard stare, the limp, unfocused glaze of a battle-weary soldier that is often a symptom of PTSD.” There was an earlier domestic issue with his now estranged wife, who claims (as broadcast in another WND story) that he “has unraveled” and “he does seem like a ticking time-bomb.” The cause celeb this week was that he was arrested for trying to strangle his now girlfriend (then girlfriend?) and released on a large $9,000 bond and required to not have access to guns as a condition of his release (I seem to also remember mention of a restraining order, but I can’t find that so maybe I just made it up).

I want to say that he’s suffered enough — or, that he’s going to continue to suffer just from what’s happened so far and that I kinda wish the media would leave him alone. With that in mind, I think that Cashill’s attempt to make him into a folk legend is fairly silly:

“If I Had A Son” tells how for the first time in the history of American jurisprudence, a state government, the U.S. Department of Justice, the White House, the major media, the entertainment industry and the vestiges of the civil rights movement conspired to put an innocent man in prison for the rest of his life.

All that stood between Zimmerman and lifetime internment were two folksy local lawyers, their aides and some very dedicated citizen journalists, most notably an unpaid handful of truth seekers at the blogging collective known as the Conservative Treehouse. “If I Had a Son” takes an inside look at this unprecedented battle formation.

It also tells the story of the six stalwart female jurors who ignored the enormous pressure mounting around them and preserved America’s belief in its judicial system.

The WND “article” (really, an ad) has 10 ratings with 2.90/5 average. It has garnered a large number of comments – 84 – relative to the number of ratings. The comments are fully in defense of Zimmerman and against the government, so I see no point in quoting them. There was one comment that was removed, and that was in response to “John”‘s (2 up, 1 down vote) “Trayvon is right where he belongs.”

I went to a fairly good university for my undergraduate degree. A general education requirement involved several humanities courses, and I took psychology for a few of those credits. My class was not one of them, but many others who took introductory psychology had an assignment that for a day or a week or something like that, they had to handicap themselves in some way, and then they had to write about that experience for a homework assignment.

Some students put earplugs in. Made it a bit difficult to do homework together. Others put rocks in their shoes. The daring wore blindfolds. I had one friend who put tape around all the fingers of one hand, effectively making it so she could only use one hand.

The assignment is a classic, and it opens a lot of eyes to how persons with disabilities have to cope to function in modern society.

A version of that assignment that I did not have and that I don’t think any of my friends had was to, instead of creating a handicap, make yourself a minority. Obviously it might be hard to do that and not be offensive. [start being obviously offensive]You could go out in black face and an afro wig. Or tape your eyes up and drive a car poorly. Or talk with a hick accent.[/end being obviously offensive]

It’s the same basic idea, but with a twist. That twist was apparently done by Dr. Linda Brunton at Columbia State Community College. She had her students wear gay pride ribbons.

That’s the subject of the link to the Columbia Daily Herald that WND has entitled, “Teacher Cleared in Gay-Rights Inquiry.” With that background, and that title, I think you get the idea of what the article is about. It was also extra credit, by the way. But of course, the particular article that WND links to doesn’t mention that, and those commenters who do, are down-voted.

And, predictably, World Net Daily commenters are, well, let’s just say “unpleased.”

From “bluevanda,” we have this: “Yes, the public university systems have become cesspools of stupidity right along with the K-12 government school system.”

Many of the comments emphasize the huge and obvious War on Christians in our country (uh huh). Take, for example, “Reason2012″‘s post: “There’s a much better test of prejudice: have students hand out tracts about Jesus and then report back on the hatred and prejudice they received, especially from professing homosexuals, now that we know such things will “not infringe on students’ First Ammendment rights”.”

Finally (for this blog, anyway), we have the very enlightened post by the appropriately hillbilly name “Jimbob” who writes: “Take the ribbon, throw it on the floor and stomp on it.” Something tells me that might have been the Professor’s entire point – how would he feel if his identity, something he was born with and can’t change, were stomped on by some bigoted, ignorant hick? Might open some eyes.

This being my fourth post, it’s the first one about a full article written by someone at WND or for WND specifically. We have: “‘Gay’ Laws Set Stage for Pedophilia ‘Rights’” by Jack Minor.

I could really just rant about the headline itself. It’s something the ultra-conservatives have been saying for years, if not decades (sorry, I haven’t been around that long). Because two consenting adults who can sign a legal document is the same as one consenting adult and one non-consenting minor who can’t sign a legal document. Sure …

But it gets better. The first paragraph says that it’s “family advocates” that warn of this. The next paragraph has this family advocate as Linda Harvey of Mission America. Linda Harvey has equated acceptance of homosexuality to believing the Sun revolves around Earth. Linda Harvey has said that gays are like bullies and terrorists, and they deserve to be fired because they insist on displaying their lifestyles to everyone (I certainly don’t, I still get people being surprised when they find out). So, this is the woman who is a family advocate that WND is using as their source.

The rest of the article is about a few very fringe groups in the psychology world who claim that pedophilia is just another sexuality. I didn’t know about this claim until an episode of Law and Order SVU from a few years back when we learned that their psychiatrist, George Wong, was gay. I really didn’t bother to read the rest of the article. I skimmed the end that seemed to be a(n un)fair bit of quote mining.

The comments are typical WND, and there are 14 as I write this. Two say that this is Sodom and Gomorrah all over again. Several are equating homosexuality with pedophilia.

Some juicy tidbits:

  • we have allowed our Souls to be taken over by Satan
  • There is not hope for many, in our nation, like President Obama, he lost all his Morals long ago and will never be able to be saved, but let him burn in Hell, no loss
  • Okaying of the “morning after pill” for minors of any age without parental consent is the beginning of the legalization of adult/child sex in the future
  • Don’t we see that if we continue on this downward spiral of morals we will be judged and condemned? Just like Sodom and Gomorrah was. Except it will be worse. God will use our nation as an example for the rest of the world.
  • Of course, they (the left) will not stop until no two bricks stand together. They still will not be happy because part of their pathos is perpetual unhappiness.
  • The liberal elements perished. Unable to survive after the society they destroyed collapses, only the remnant of strong, morally conservative people remain to start over again. And that is what will happen with America. Only the morally conservative will survive the chaos of the loss of our nation when it collapses.

Finally, Mikeyh0 says:

“A young boy is told in school that homosexuality is okay. In California they even celebrate homosexuality with a Harvey Milk Day. So when an older boy or man approaches this youngster and maybe talks him into a sex act, to whom could the child complain? Or better yet why would he think anything was wrong in the first place? They are CELEBRATING homosexuality!! [Hey kids, you like parades? We got ’em!] California law also states that therapists are not allowed to denigrate homosexuality to any child – even the victim of rape. And the idea that watching child pornography will ease the pedophiles desires to have sex with a minor is ludicrous. Where do they think the pornography comes from? It’s a child having sex, you dimwits. How is THAT better? Or even different? I know maybe it’s just photos of naked children. That’s a lot better. Not.”


Edited to Add (July 27, 2013): Looks like WND got some e-mail with regards to this article and published it in full:

It is always interesting to study the pages of WND.

Linking pedophilia to being gay has always been a favorite canard of bigots. I find it amusing that you have some articles about “ex-gays” and how easily sexual orientation can be changed, as a choice. You also have articles about pedophiles that say it cannot possibly be changed, even though it is a sexual orientation.

Be a little consistent. I know it is tough for you people to think things through.

Ron Johns