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Member since: Sat Jun 23, 2012, 06:03 PM
Number of posts: 3,183

Journal Archives

A Psychologist's Open Letter to U.S. Voters

Dear Fellow Voters:

I've been watching all the presidential candidates with great interest—and deep concern. Concern for us. Concern for the fate of our country. Concern for our world.

As an expert on narcissism, I'm not especially worried that narcissists might make it to the White House. According to research , they've always been there. And that shouldn't scare us anyway, because just to be clear: being a narcissist is not a diagnosis . It never has been. Narcissists are people higher in narcissistic traits than the average person, and while they may or may not be disordered, they all share one thing in common: They feel special . Some feel special enough to lead a nation, in fact.

So what we should be far more concerned about is not whether or not politicians are narcissists—most are —but how healthy they are. And that's where you come in. You have the power to shape the future of this country.

Politicians are groomed by us—by our applause, by our polls, by our votes. Whatever you seem to love or hate, they'll embrace or reject. So be careful what you applaud or attack. It matters what they—and all the little future leaders watching them—think you want in a leader.

That's why this isn't another rant about Donald Trump being a narcissist because:

a) Did you really need an expert to tell you that?

and b) We don't need another article or book about obvious narcissists, because apparently we're pretty good at recognizing (link is external) them already."

More: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/romance-redux/201509/psychologists-open-letter-us-voters

Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Sep 25, 2015, 09:03 PM (2 replies)

Honolulu paid $167,500 to two hikers who said they were brutalized by officers

Johnny Helm says he suffered broken bones in his face after he and a friend were mistaken for burglary suspects by Honolulu police officers while hiking on the Koolau mountains in 2012.

The two men said two of the cops slammed them face-first into the ground while arresting them for a crime they didn’t commit. They filed complaints with the Honolulu Police Commission over excessive use of force.

The commission agreed that the police overreacted, but court records in a lawsuit filed by Helm and his friend, Jonah Wellins, indicate that neither officer was punished by the department. Other officers who were found to have acted unprofessionally during the arrest also avoided punishment.

In fact, court documents show that top Honolulu Police Department officials, including Chief Louis Kealoha, found that the officers were well within their realm of authority when violently detaining Helm and Wellins.

We sued to punish the police and hopefully get HPD to clean up its act,” Breiner said. “But the position that HPD has taken is essentially that they bought their way out of the case without taking any responsibility.”

An attorney says a metal rod needed to be inserted through Johnny Helm’s eyelid to repair broken bones in his face."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Sep 25, 2015, 12:48 PM (7 replies)

Why Being a Poor Kid in America Is Particularly Awful

One measure of how much governments prioritize children and families is how much they spend on things like child allowances, daycare, and child-tax credits. Inside a longer report on global child well-being, out this week from the nonprofit Child Trends, lies this surprising tidbit: The U.S. has a higher proportion of children living in poverty than most other high-income countries, and it spends just 0.7 percent of its GDP on benefits for families—a fraction of what other middle- and high-income countries spend.

“Among 21 countries in the study,” the organization writes in an accompanying statement, “the U.S. ranks second-to-last in the percentage of its GDP spent on benefits for families, despite one of the highest relative child poverty rates of the comparable high-income countries.” (Turkey technically ranks last, but only because its data is missing.)

The U.S. comes in near the bottom, devoting less than one percent of its national income to perks for kids and parents. (Child Trends used data from the OECD and other sources.)

At the same time, the report suggests that American children are in dire need of this funding. A higher proportion of them live in poverty than do kids in most other industrialized nations."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Sep 24, 2015, 08:54 PM (7 replies)

Expert on Lying Gets Two Years for It

OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) - A former Oklahoma City cop was sentenced to two years in federal prison for training his clients how to lie and hide crimes on polygraph exams.
Douglas Williams, 69, of Norman, faced up to 100 years in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in May to two counts of mail fraud and three counts of obstruction of justice.
Williams owns Polygraph.com, which trains people appearing for polygraph exams before law enforcement agencies and under terms of their parole or probation.
He was in charge of the polygraph section of the Oklahoma City Police Department Internal Affairs unit and has "administered thousands of tests," according to his website.
Prosecutors said Williams helped clients lie on federal employment suitability assessments, background investigations and internal agency investigations, among other things.

* He charged at least $1,000 for training in his Norman offices and at least $5,000 plus expenses for off-site training.
Williams admitted he trained an undercover federal agent to lie and hide involvement in criminal activity from an internal agency investigation.

* "Williams told Undercover A, 'I haven't lived this long and fucked the government this long, and done such a controversial thing that I do for this long, and got away with it without any trouble whatsoever, by being a dumbass,'" the indictment stated."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Wed Sep 23, 2015, 04:55 PM (0 replies)

Transgender woman live-tweets her expulsion from Orlando airport

Shadi Petosky, a transgender woman, was detained unexpectedly at the Orlando airport on Monday after the TSA allegedly decided that her genitalia didn't match up to their (mis)perceptions about gender. The TSA had yet to release a statement by the time that comedian Tig Notaro tweeted to her 39,000 followers to watch Petosky's tweets.

Below is Petosky's personal account of what happened, organized from her first tweet to most recent as of publishing. She expresses frustration, confusion, and outright indignation about the treatment she received by the TSA and police officers, who asked her at one point what her sex was.

I am being held by the TSA in Orlando because of an "anomaly" (my penis)
— Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky) September 21, 2015

I would like any help I can get at the Orlando airport.
— Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky) September 21, 2015

The TSA at the Orlando Airport told me I couldn't take photos but this is denigrating. I have missed my flight pic.twitter.com/PHwBLiJ0cB
— Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky) September 21, 2015

The TSA has left me in a room alone. There is an officer holding the door. pic.twitter.com/aFA0cQxAGx
— Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky) September 21, 2015

TSA agent Bramlet told me to get back in the machine as a man or it was going to be a problem.

More: http://www.vox.com/2015/9/21/9367327/transgender-shadi-petosky-twitter-orlando-airport

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Sep 21, 2015, 08:15 PM (49 replies)

When Schooling Meets Policing

The events have grabbed headlines and public attention, sparking what are now all too familiar debates in the United States about police overreach. In Raleigh, North Carolina, a water-balloon fight at Enloe High School, initiated as a senior-day prank, ended with eight teens arrested and two dozen police officers dispatched to the campus “to restore order.” When a Virginia 4-year-old with ADHD threw a temper tantrum in his prekindergarten classroom late last year—allegedly throwing blocks and hitting and kicking his educators—the school’s principal, according to reports, summoned a deputy assigned to the school, who then handcuffed the child and transported in a squad car to the sheriff’s office.

The details of each of these and other cases vary, but the results have largely been the same. In settings where schooling and policing intersect, the disciplining of students—often for behavior as innocuous as school-age pranks or as commonplace as temper tantrums, and in some cases including children who are so young they still have all their baby teeth—can extend beyond the purview of principals and school staff to law-enforcement who have little to do with education. Data suggests that this is a growing and, for some, disconcerting trend.

*While law enforcement’s presence at schools is hardly a new phenomenon, its value and purpose has lately grown especially contentious. As police officers, those engaged in school-based law-enforcement are, in a way, “beat cops” who are often called on to serve as school disciplinarian. And some experts and juvenile-justice advocates cite systemic educational risks when police patrol school hallways. A report published by the Justice Policy Institute in 2011, “Education Under Arrest: The Case Against Police in Schools,” concludes that placing SROs and other police in educational institutions exaggerates how school misbehavior, much of it involving minor infractions, is interpreted—to the extent that such activities can be treated as criminal offenses. "

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Sep 21, 2015, 05:38 PM (2 replies)

How most states allow discrimination against LGBTQ people

Most states don't ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, housing, or public accommodations (hotels, restaurants, and other places that serve the general public).

As a result, more than half of LGBTQ Americans, according to the LGBTQ advocacy group Movement Advancement Project, live in a state where, under state law, an employer can legally fire someone because he's gay, a landlord can legally evict someone because she's lesbian, and a hotel manager can legally deny service to someone who's transgender — for no reason other than the person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Currently, 19 states ban at least some forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, while three additional states ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Some other states protect public but not private employees from discrimination. Many municipalities have nondiscrimination laws that only apply within their local borders, even in states that don't have such laws. And some companies prohibit discrimination in their own policies.

*Surveys show that most Americans widely support nondiscrimination protections, but a major hurdle to getting the laws passed may be that Americans already think they're in place."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Sep 21, 2015, 12:42 PM (9 replies)

Conservative Brain Has Not Evolved Beyond Self Destruction.

I use the word stupid much too much. But what other word can one use to describe the people in a democracy who vote for, watch, and abet the destruction of democracy, their families, their family's health and economic stability, and a long list of dumb conservative ideas borne of right wing Republican politics? They vote for conservative politicians whose rhetoric and policies do nothing for 99% of Americans, white, black, brown, yellow, red, and all colors in between.

*A major problem with the conservative electorate is that the conservative brain has not evolved fast enough to overcome human stupidity. A comic who plays to an audience that proudly answer to the labels redneck, Republican, Southern, and conservative, famously said: "You can't fix stupid". The statement always got ringing laughter and applause from his conservative redneck audience. Likely,however, everyone who applauded those words were convinced that he was referring to a lot of people that did not include themselves.

*There is a legitimate insane madness in this kind of behavior. It is the behavior of a critical part of the human species bent on self destruction and bent on anarchy that leads to human extinction. This kind of behavior is not surprising when it comes from a peoples raised on hypocritical religion, racism, a lack of education, and a lack of genuine self esteem.

True patriotic Americans can only hope that, as some reports suggest that the climate change deniers conservative base who listen to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, et al and vote for their oppressors is a dying breed.

But if their numbers are increasing and you really can't fix stupid, can extinction far behind?


I personally think of conservatives as a cross between Barney Fife and a chimp.

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Sep 21, 2015, 09:47 AM (5 replies)

Report: Police Beat the Hell Out of Private Prison Inmates After Riot

Over the 4th of July weekend, riots broke out at a private state prison near Kingman, Arizona. Special forces were called in to restore order. Now, a new report says that the government’s response may have been worse than the riots themselves.

The new report from the American Friends Service Committee on the Kingman riot, the law enforcement response, and the aftermath, raises doubts about Arizona’s private prison operators’ ability to run facilities that are “safe, cost effective, humanely run, and accountable to the public.

By most accounts, it is clear that the riots were motivated by prisoner frustration with MTC’s management and the actions of its guards. This frustration was directed at the physical facilities themselves. There were no altercations among prisoners.”

In fact, the report says that the riot was not only spurred by inmate anger at the brutality of guards (such as routine and unnecessary overuse of pepper spray), but that the law enforcement reaction to the riot was itself brutal, “to the point where prisoners who were completely incapacitated were still being beaten, tazed, and shot with rubber bullets.” Here is a portion of one prisoner’s account of what happened:

Posted by damnedifIknow | Sun Sep 20, 2015, 12:48 AM (1 replies)

Transgender? A Doctor Won’t See You Now

Trans patients face do-or-die situations when trying to find transition care. But the medical community is not ready for them.

In August 2014, Kailey Truscott went to her primary-care doctor with a letter and a mission. The letter, from a therapist, confirmed what she’d known since she was 7—she was a woman. The doctor’s appointment was to begin medical treatment so her body would reflect that fact.

But the path to transition wasn’t so simple. Her doctor didn’t balk, but she didn’t write a prescription for estrogen, either. She’d never provided hormone therapy to a transgender person before, she told Truscott. She didn’t feel comfortable starting now.

But she didn’t leave Truscott in the lurch. Instead, about a week later, she called Truscott with mixed news. She’d found a clinic that could do transition care. But it was more than two hours away from the small western Maryland town where Truscott lives.

“It’s the only place around here that I could find,” Truscott, 31, remembered her doctor saying.

Now, when she needs transition-related care, Truscott drives an hour to a Metro station, takes a train for another hour, and then walks for 15 minutes to Whitman-Walker Health, an LGBT clinic in Washington, D.C. “Imagine when my appointment is at 8 a.m.,” she joked.

Even in areas where transgender patients flock to get care, providers can be hard to find, said Barbara Lewis, a Whitman-Walker physician’s assistant who has been providing care to transgender patients for decades."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Sat Sep 19, 2015, 01:25 PM (3 replies)
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