USA Today


When I’m not on the internet, I generally catch the latest news on the car radio, like lots of other folks tied up in California freeway traffic.  Yesterday the question had been raised whether Foster Farms chicken was in some way associated with a salmonella outbreak. The company suggested that improper preparation of the raw chicken was responsible.

Not so.  Now the news reported by USA Today, whom I applaud for picking up this story, says that Foster Farms was also the origin of a salmonella outbreak in 2012 in Oregon and Washington that sickened 134 people in 13 states.

It is reasonable to ask, “What the hell is going on?” Read more on Playing Chicken With The Gvt. Shutdown…

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The USA Today has highlighted a new study that says newlyweds who have “cold feet” going into marriage are more likely to divorce.  I say make sure those feet are warm because divorce can be hell and children can be enveloped in that hell if you wait long enough.
I found the abstract of this study, but the dry academic summary tells me very little about the actual study.  I can view a copy of the study if I pay for it, but I regard this as a low down dirty trick perpetuated by academics who want us to think their research is always worth something — which it’s not, necessarily.  Notably, I am unable to access any juicy gossip points that may actually tell me something useful, such as who paid for the study. 
This always seems to have something to do with results and can sometimes infer whose tenure was dependent on this thing getting published. I will also refrain from commenting on publishing papers by psychologists, other than to say that they can get away with publishing an awful lot of “questionnaire” based and “pencil and paper” studies.  Medical doctor psychiatrists always seem to have to sample at least one bodily fluid to get something published.

The author of the study — Justin Lavner of UCLA — basically says that people who have “cold feet” or “jitters” at the time of the wedding are more likely to divorce later. 
The study followed 464 newlyweds.  He says nobody can say for sure whether folks had doubts about their partner or about the institution of marriage in general.  This tells me the study could have been designed to answer this question in more detail.  But as it is, we do know that 47% of husbands and 38% of wives had doubts. 
After four years, 19% of women who had doubts were divorced, as opposed to 8% who did not.  For men, 14% who had doubts were divorced four years later, versus 9% of those who did not.  Of the 36% of those couples of which neither partner had doubts, 6% still got divorced. I basically like psychologists.  Like most psychiatrists, I have learned to live in a symbiosis with them, where they do the psychotherapy and the psychiatrists do the pill-pushing.  Notice, I am talking mostly about PhD psychologists and clinicians. 
I’ve worked with patients who have been seen by professionals with lesser degrees.  A few actually get well.  At any level, most are subject to professionals who try to provide the minimal necessary to charge some sort of insurance.  They are the devotees of the ‘easy hour,” people who do things like light candles and tell patients to spend an hour “relaxing” from their stress.
Read more on Cold Feet Might Mean No-Go for the Future of Marriage…

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I often observe — mostly with wonder and astonishment — that the US must be the most religious country in the world.  Religion is not as strictly enforced as in, say, the Islamic countries.  But it has permeated so many facets of our life, and so many people (according to actual polls)  believe in God or a deity, the afterlife or heaven, punishment or hell and such parallel beliefs as angels among us, that we are constantly bombarded by religion or a reaction against religion as we go about our daily business. Speaking of which — while travelling recently, I read the USA Today which I found either at the hotel front desk or on some communal table in front of the breakfast bar.

That is where I found an editorial about religion, purporting to explain why religion was necessary. I mean, the author — Oliver Thomas — thinks religion is as essential to life as oxygen and water. I was raised in the Jewish religion and spent a lot of time in temple, as my father was organist and choir director all of his adult life.  The only socializing my family did was at the temple, with breakfasts and holy day observances and things like that. I have always believed in a deity myself, not specifically in the way that the organized religions present it (as if to three-year-olds) and still have my own private rituals of prayer and meditation. That being said, this editorial disturbed me. Instead of ripping up the paper or making any attempt to answer it, I put it somewhere on the floor of the car hoping it would go away, but knowing that I would eventually have to deal with it in some manner. A lot of people seem to think that everything is in the world to support what they already believe.  Thomas, the author, is way far out — past the people who, for example, read Ford advertisements after they buy a Ford to prove to themselves that they have made the right decision. Thomas, a member of the USA Today board of contributors (I guess you have to be able to write enough to fill their quota of space) and author of a book titled “10 Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can’t Because He Needs the Job)” writes an editorial that asks an intriguing question, but does not answer that question or prove what he contends. Read more on America: The Most Religious Country In The World…

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