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SHRINKS AND DRUGS ARE WHAT CONGRESS HAS PRESCRIBED FOR THE U.S. MILITARY
From Volume VIII, Number 9
This one is a real no-brainer. And whoever is responsible for it ought to have his (or her) head examined --- but not by a shrink!
The Federal Military Health Service System (MHSS) provides, supposedly, for the so-called "mental health care needs" of the 1.7 million active duty members of our Armed Services. To this end, the MHSS employed 478 psychiatrists and 395 clinical psychologists in Fiscal Year 1996.
In 1991, the MHSS instituted something called the Psychopharmacology Demonstration Project (PDP) which, for the first time, trained and allowed clinical psychologists in our military to prescribe "psychotropic medication" for "mental conditions" such as "depressive and adjustment disorders." Before the PDP, MHSS psychologists were not allowed to prescribe medication because, incredibly, "no medical training is required to practice clinical psychology."
Since the PDP began in 1991, this project has spent $6.1 million worth of your hard-earned tax dollars and mine, or about $610,000 per prescribing psychologist.
But, there's a problem here, according to a General Accounting Office report (GAO/HEHS-97-83) titled: "Defense Health Care: Need For More Prescribing Psychologists Is Not Adequately Justified." The GAO says that since the MHSS already has "more psychiatrists than it needs to meet its current and upcoming readiness requirements" --- psychiatrists who can and are trained to dispense medication --- there is no need for psychologists to do this.
In addition, the attempt to train these unneeded psychologists has been a mess. The GAO says the MHSS "never had a clear vision of the prescribing psychologist's role, did not meet recruitment goals, and repeatedly changed the curriculum." Thus, there is "no demonstrated need for them, the cost is substantial, and the benefits are uncertain."
And the PDP faced several "implementation problems":
- "The lack of a clearly defined purpose for prescribing psychologists in the MHSS."
- "Difficulty recruiting the desired number of participants per class."
- "Unspecified participant selection criteria."
- "Repeated changes in classroom curriculum."
- "Delays in grant prescribing privileges."
- "Unresolved issues involving supervision."
This GAO report says, and this is rather frightening: "The most frequently noted limitation to allowing psychologists to prescribe medication was their perceived lack of knowledge about medicine(!), physiology, and adverse drug interactions and effects --- The cost-effectiveness of having MHSS psychologists prescribe medication is unclear at this time."
Wonderful, no? This project costs the American taxpayers more than $6.1 million bucks, well over half-a-million bucks per-prescribing psychologist, and the value of all this is --- "unclear"! Now, do you understand why people scoff when they are told: "We're from the Government and we're here to help you"?
The GAO concludes, flatly: "None of the services needs additional mental health providers capable of prescribing medication to meet either current or upcoming medical readiness requirements. Each service has more than enough psychiatrists, as well as clinical psychologists, to care for its anticipated wartime psychiatric caseload."
IS PSYCHIATRY "RELIGIOUS" OR "SCIENTIFIC"?
But, of course, this GAO report fails to come to grips with the real problems here. The real problems here are psychiatry and psychology. It is --- to put it charitably --- highly questionable that practitioners of either of these pseudo-sciences --- these falso religions --- do anybody any good whether they are in the military or civilians.
According to Martin and Deidre Bobgan, two expert-scholars who have written many books on psychology, it is a myth that people experiencing mental-emotional-behavioral problems are "mentally ill". And it is a myth that psycho-therapy has a high record of success, that "professional psychological counseling" produces greater results than other forms of help such as that provided by family, friends, or pastors.
In fact, in an attempt to evaluate the status of psychology, the American Psychological Association itself once published a seven volume study involving 80 eminent scholars to assess the facts, theories and methods of psychology, a study titled "Psychology: A Study Of Science." And the Director of this study, Sigmund Koch, noted that psychology is, basically, a fraud. He said:
"The hope of a psychological science became indistinguishable from the fact of psychological science. The entire subsequent history of psychology can be seen as a ritualistic endeavor to emulate the forms of science in order to sustain the delusion that it already is a science --- Throughout psychology's history as science, the hard knowledge it has deposited has been uniformly negative."
In other words --- in this case the words of a psychologist himself --- psychology is a fake, a false, "pseudo-science" which the dictionary defines as "a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific."
PSYCHO-THERAPISTS COME IN DIVERSE DENOMINATIONS
As the Bobgans note: "With over 250 separate systems of psycho-therapy, each claiming superiority over the rest, it is hard to view such diverse opinions as scientific or even factual. The actual foundations of psycho-therapy are not science, but rather various philosophical world views, especially those of determinism, secular humanism, existentialism, and even evolutionism."
WITCH IS WHICH?
And in his excellent book "The Mind Game" (Emerson Hall Pub., 1972), E. Fuller Torrey, himself a research psychiatrist, goes so far as to say: "The techniques used by Western psychiatrists are, with few exceptions, on exactly the same scientific plane as the techniques used by witch doctors."
In his book "The Myth Of Psychotherapy" (Doubleday, 1978), the libertarian, Dr. Thomas Szasz, says of psychotherapy: "It is not merely a religion that pretends to be a science, it is actually a fake religion that seeks to destroy true religion." And even though he claims to be an atheist, he notes, correctly, that "psychotherapy is a modern, scientific-sounding name for what used to be called the cure of souls."
PSYCHOLOGY ASSUMES "SICK MINDS", NOT "SINFUL SOULS"
Dr. Szasz says he wrote his book debunking psychotherapy "to show how, with the decline of religion and the growth of science in the eighteenth century, the cure of (sinful) souls, which had been an integral part of the Christian religion, was recast as the cure of (sick) minds, and became an integral part of medicine."
One of the better known early research studies on the success and failure rates of psychotherapy was done in 1952 by Hans J. Eysenck, a prominent English scholar. In this study --- titled "Psychotherapy, Behavior Therapy, And The Outcome Problem" --- he compared groups of patients "treated" by psychotherapy with persons given little or no treatment at all. After examining over 8,000 cases, Eysenck concluded: "Roughly two-thirds of a group of neurotic patients will recover or improve to a marked extent within two years of the onset of their illness, whether they are treated by means of psychotherapy or not" (emphasis mine).
And the American Psychiatric Association itself has indicated that a definite answer to the question, "Is psychotherapy effective?," may be unattainable. In their 1982 research book, "Psychotherapy Research: Methodological And Efficacy Issues," it is admitted: "Unequivocal conclusions about casual connections between treatment and outcome may never be possible in psycho-therapy research."
A GOOD PLACE TO SHRINK FEDERAL SPENDING
But, still, the shrinks march on, invading every area of our life, including, in this case, our pocket books, costing us millions of our hard-earned tax dollars in just our military alone. Like I say, whoever is responsible for this boondoggle ought to have his (or her) head examined --- but not by a shrink. If, however, they choose a shrink, they should pay for this with their own money, not ours.
From Volume VII, Number 9
THE LAUGH AND THE JOKE IS ON YOU
This is about laughter. But it's not funny, because our hard-earned tax dollars paid the bill that made this dubious project possible. I'll begin by telling you more about laughter than you ever wanted to know.
In a New York Times story (2/27/96), headlined "Laughs: Rhythmic Bursts Of Social Glue," we learned all about the project of Dr. Robert R. Provine, a professor of neurobiology and psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. And when I say we learned all about this project. I mean all about it.
Calling Dr. Provine "a professional laugh-tracker, an anthropologist of our amusement," we are told that he has been asking "the deliciously obvious questions that science has not deigned to consider before." Like what? Well, like what, physically, a laugh is, what its vocal signature looks like and, of course, how a laugh differs from the auditory shape of a spoken word or a cry or any other human utterance.
Don't care, you say. Oh, but you must, friend. Because your tax dollars made this project possible.
Now, credit must be given where it is due. Dr. Provine has worked very hard. No doubt about it. The Times tells us he has "eavesdropped on 1,200 bouts of laughter among people in malls and other public places," noting a variety of data. And in so doing he has made a "discovery," we are told, that is "at once startling and perfectly sensible." It is this: "Most of what we laugh at in life is not particularly funny or clever but merely the stuff of social banter, the glue that binds a group together."
And Dr. Provine has not leaped to this conclusion. No way. He has reached it after: Asking when people laugh and why; whether women laugh more than men; whether a person laughs more while speaking or listening; studying the "rules of laughter;" asking when in a conversation a laugh occurs; and asking when, for one reason or another, the brain decides a laugh is taboo.
And, showing that he is not biased in favor of humans, Dr. Provine has "compared human laughter to the breathy, panting vocalizations that chimpanzees make while they are being chased or tickled, and that any primatologist will firmly describe as chimpanzee laughter."
The Times quotes Dr. Provine as saying that those who are good at laughing on cue often have stage experience.
What good is all this research? Well, Dr. Provine explains: "[Laughter] is species-typical, everybody does it, and it is simple in structure, which gives you powerful leverage on the neurology behind it. Looking at a common human behavior that is socially interesting gives us the opportunity to go back and forth between the neural circuitry and a higher social act."
I know. I've read it several times and don't understand this either. But, hey!, I just report on what we're paying for. I don't explain it.
Dr. Provine --- who the Times tells us came to the laughter project after studying yawning --- reveals to us that laughter, among other things, is contagious; we hear laughter, we tend to start laughing ourselves.
How did Dr. Provine get started on this laughter thing? I thought you'd never ask. He started, first, with the basics, what a laugh looks like. He brought recorded samples of human laughter to the sound analysis laboratory at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. He and his colleagues generated "laugh waveforms and laugh frequency spectrums." They found out that the average laugh consisted of "short bursts of vowel-based notes --- haha or hehe --- each note lasting about 75 milliseconds and separated by rests of 210 milliseconds" (are you taking notes?).
And, lest you be confused, the answer is "yes," regardless of whether a person laughs with a shy giggle, a joyous musical peal, or a braying hee-haw, "the key is the burst of vowel-like sounds produced in a regular rhythmic pattern," says Dr. P. And, he adds: "Laughter has more in common with animal calls than with what we think of as modern speech."
I'm not going to bore you with the details of male-female laughter. But, you should know that "the biggest discrepancy of all is found when a woman speaks to a man, in which case she laughs 127 percent more than her male associate..." Sounds like discrimination to me. Where's the Civil Rights Commission when we men really need them?!
And, tell the truth!, did you know this? Listeners as well as talkers do not "laugh in the middle of a speaker's phrase." In fact, " to do so may be evidence of psychological abnormality; a crazy person may not wait for you to finish speaking before interrupting with a booming HA!"
Yikes! A "crazy" person?! Can you really use the word "crazy" anymore? Isn't this now a "hate crime"? --- and committed in The New York Times, no less. Amazing.
Hang on. There's a little more.
Dr. Provine says: "It seems speech is dominant over laughter, because laughter does not intrude on speech." Well, yes, this would seem to follow. If speech does dominate over laughter, then it would appear that speech would then be dominant over laughter.
And, the Times tells us, Dr. P. "sees laughter as a within-group modulator, something designed to influence the tenor of an assemblage, to synchronize mood and possibly subsequent actions. He compares laughter to the barking of dogs (!), which coordinates disparate elements into a more or less like-minded team."
Finally, Dr. Provine says, incredulously: "Fashions on laughter change, but one thing that stays the same is, you can't laugh at people in power." Huh? You can't laugh at people in power?!
Now this is funny!
Dr. P., obviously, does not watch late-night TV. David Letterman and Jay Leno, among others, make their living laughing at people in power!!
Now, before I get to the part where I interview Dr. Provine and demand that he justify his use (in this case, indirect use) of our hard-earned tax dollars, I want to say this. During our entire interview, he was a gentleman. He was patient, courteous and tried his best to answer every question I asked.
Okay. Now, the interview. Dr. Provine tells me that his project would have been "impossible" had he and his associates not been able to use University computers for "hundreds of hours" to "analyze laugh sounds." These computers, he says, were funded two years ago by a $10,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Me: "And what would you say to a furious taxpayer who would say this is no laughing matter but, in fact, a ludicrous and lunatic use of his hard-earned tax dollars?"
A: "It's a very important question to ask. I've dealt with this question on some radio talk shows. I'd say this subject is a topic that has public support and interest, a rather high degree of that."
Me: "Really? Then, perhaps, you should go to this public and voluntarily solicit funds for your project. But, how about replying to the charge that this is a ridiculous use of tax dollars?"
A: "My response would be that it is important to understand human nature, what motivates, what controls the behavior of individuals, what we do every day."
Me: "Indeed. But, I'm interested here in how you spend my tax dollars. Why should the Federal government be involved, in any way, with a project like yours? Why not raise your funds, privately and voluntarily, if so many folks are, as you say, interested in your work?"
A: "Well, I'd say that is a particular perspective...Actually, this is a technical issue having to do with the economic part of this project..."
Me: "A technical issue?! Without those Federally-funded computers, you say your project would have been impossible!"
In conclusion, Dr. Provine says he'd like to make this statement: "One of the best ways to choose a problem is to talk with people and ask what is important to them, what's interesting to them. This is, basically, where I always start...And I've never heard anyone say laughing is not interesting to them and is not worth pursuing."
Well, I'll say it now. I am not interested in laughter, at least not to the extent Dr. Provine is. Not at all. But, this is not the issue here. The only issue here is whether our hard-earned tax dollars should be spent on a project such as the "analysis of laugh tracks". And the answer is a resounding, categorical: No!
From Volume VII, Number 5
GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT: FEDERALLY-FINANCED RESEARCH SPENDS YOUR TAX DOLLARS SO THAT "SCIENTIFIC" CONCLUSIONS REINFORCE PRE-EXISTING ANTI-PATRIARCHAL PREJUDICES
Do you believe it makes any difference if children are raised by their parents or by strangers in day care centers? Do you believe that two parents, a Mom and a Dad, a woman and a man, are, generally speaking, the best people to raise their own children? Of course you believe this. You believe this because, first, God says this is true. Most studies say this is true. And common sense tells us this is true.
But, alas, both Godliness and common sense are in short supply when it comes to the way our Federal government bureaucracy does business. So, in a series of studies by the National Institute Of Child Health And Development (NICHD), the Feds have spent --- from Fiscal Year 1989 to FY 1995 --- $36,656,534 worth of your hard-earned tax dollars and mine to tell us that 15-month-old children put into day care centers still maintain, supposedly, their secure bonds to their mothers.
This study examined more than 1,300 families and their children since 1991. The children were enrolled in this study when they were one month old or younger (!). Then, at 15 months old, the infants were tested for their attachments to their Moms. The results, we are told, show this, as reported in The Washington Post (4/21/96): "Placing children in the care of someone other than their mothers does not, by itself, damage the emotional attachment between mother and child...there is no effect on maternal attachment associated with day care, regardless of the quality of day care (!)..."
In The New York Times (4/21/96), Dr. Deborah Lowe Vandell, one of the 25 researchers on this project, says: "One message from the study is that if the quality of interaction with the mother is sensitive, then the child is likely to develop a secure relationship with her." The Times tells us that a mother's "sensitivity" was measured by scientists who measured attachment "by watching children's reactions when their mothers returned after brief separations. Children who sought comfort from their mothers were judged to be secure."
Well, now, I certainly do not want to appear "insensitive," but how "sensitive" is it in the first place, for parents to leave their little babies and small children in day care centers, to be raised by strangers?! I'm serious. How "sensitive" is this? Not very "sensitive," I'd say. When I put this question to Dr. Sarah Friedman, who headed this multi-million dollar NICHD day care study boondoggle, and told her what I think, she replies: "Well, it's, you're expressing your opinion."
Me: "But, what do you think? Are you denying that the best arrangement is for parents to raise their own children?"
Friedman: "It depends on what the circumstances are. Maybe, in order to make a living, to have both parents work, then it's not even a question of choice. And then the next question is: How do you optimize the condition under which the child will grow up? We are dealing with historical changes ---"
Me: "You're telling me. Our country is falling apart."
Friedman: "Changes that are here to stay."
Me: "And you think it's a good thing for parents, generally speaking, to both work and let other people raise their kids?!"
Friedman: "Well, I don't think that it's a bad one."
Me: "But aren't parents, generally speaking, the best people to raise their own children?!"
Friedman: "But, in the history of mankind, this has not been the case."
Me: "But, in America, for most of our history, this has been the case."
Friedman: "Not even in America, all the time."
Me: "I didn't say all the time. Isn't it the best idea, most of the time, to have parents raising their own kids? Do you really disagree with this?!"
Friedman: "Did you call me to challenge me? Listen, I am a developmental psychologist and researcher trained to conduct scientific studies, and I have the tools of how to evaluate the consequences of certain conditions. And this is what we are doing in this study."
Me: "Do you see any connection between the fact that we have so many immoral, criminal and illiterate young people, and the fact that so many of them were raised by strangers, in day care centers and/or in broken families?"
Friedman: "I don't have the data. But there is this myth that this is the reason."
But, this is not a "myth." This is a fact.
Me: "What would you say to an angry taxpayer who would say something like this: 'I deeply resent millions of dollars worth of our hard-earned tax dollars being spent on a study like yours, the effect of which is to undermine the traditional American family and give aid-and-comfort to those who want to abdicate their parental responsibility by having other people raise their children.'?"
Friedman: "I would say that there is a democratic system in this country. And if you are dissatisfied with the way the government spends your money, you need to vote and let your Congressperson know in a way that suits you. That's all I can say."
Well, now. This is, actually, a very good thing to say. Amen! Those taxpayers outraged because they are forced to have their tax dollars spent on such a ludicrous, destructive Federal study as this one, most certainly should vote on the basis of issues exactly like this one. And they should vote out of office --- regardless of party --- any Congresspersons who support such unconstitutional expenditures of our tax dollars!
And more of this kind of anti-family garbage is coming down the pike. When I began my interview of Dr. Sarah Friedman by asking her how much her study cost, she had no idea. Indeed, she said that it was not possible to say because this first study is "just one piece of a puzzle" they are working on.
Me: "But, how much did this one study cost?"
Friedman: "It's impossible to evaluate the pieces of a puzzle. I mean, you go and buy a puzzle and ---"
Me: "But, when I go to a store and buy a puzzle, I know exactly what it costs because I pay a specific price for it."
Dr. Friedman ignores this comment. She says nothing.
Me: "Are there other pieces of this puzzle to come?"
Friedman: "Oh, yes. We will be looking at different aspects of the social-emotional development of children, of their cognitive development, language development, health. All that will be coming. And, over time, we will be reporting on the mother-child attachment at 15 months of age and other aspects of social adjustment like peer relationships, compliance, and how child care influences material sensitivity. So, we're working on different papers."
Me: "How many more studies will there be?"
Friedman: "Oh, there will be many, many because we're following up with children through the end of the first grade. There will be more than 20 papers coming."
Many, many more papers?! Twenty more papers?! And this will be only through the first grade?! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!
And guess who will pay for all of this nonsense? We will. The American taxpayer will. But, why? Where is this kind of thing in our Constitution? By what authority are we taxed to pay for studies like this? Answer: There is no such Constitutional authority for this. This is blatantly unconstitutional, and it must be stopped, now.
What this NICHD study is about was revealed on a show discussing it on the Cable News Network program "CNN & Company" on April 23, 1996. In her opening remarks, the host, Mary Tillotson, said this: "Easing the guilt over day care. Will a new Federal report let working mothers head off to the office with a little less heartbreak?"
Get it? What this Federally-funded study proves, supposedly, is that it's okay to abandon your kids to other people to raise them. So, don't feel guilty. Be happy; don't worry. Federal studies, however, won't stop such guilt because such guilt is from God. God gives us the blessing of children, He tells us to raise them and He commands us to raise them the way He says to raise them!
But, some of the guests on this CNN program don't get it.
Deborah Norville, hostess of one of those tabloid TV shows called "Inside Edition," says that when she first read about this NICHD study she "felt better" because she leaves her children with a nanny in her home, having gone through three such nannys in the life of her 16-month-old child. She says the NICHD study is "a good antidote" to the guilt she felt because she does this. She says: "If you've done your due diligence, if you've found the best day care you can find for your child, you should feel a little less --- you shouldn't beat up on yourself as much..."
Although she says that what "I really want to do is mother my children," Norville, obviously, does not want to do this. Obviously, since she does it, working outside her home is more important than staying home to mother her children.
Then, incredibly, at the end of this program, Norville says this: "You know, it's funny. We all just got through doing our tax returns. And, remember at the top of the 1040 there is that box that you can check off $3 if you want it to go to the Presidential campaign. I sure would feel a lot better if they had a box that said let's send $3 to a national (!) day care fund. And get some affordable day care out there. I would check it off three, four, five times."
But, you know, this is not funny. Not at all. In fact, this is insanity. But, while not funny, this is phony. What other word would you use to describe a woman like Norville who says she really wants to "mother" her children. But, in the same breath, she laments the lack of --- of all things --- a national day care program where she can park her kids all day while she works! What a fraud! And she wants to do all of this using our hard-earned tax dollars. For shame. No wonder our country is in the trouble it is in.
From Volume VI, Number 12
YOUR CASH FILLS THEIR PAUSES
This one you will not believe. But, hey!, I don't make these things up. I just tell it like it is here, like I find it and like how you and I, alas, are forced to pay for this kind of idiocy with our hard-earned tax dollars.
Question: Have you ever wondered how many times some college professors say "uh" and "er" and "um" and "ah" when they lecture in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, math, psychology), the social sciences (economics, political science, sociology) and in the humanities (art history, English literature, philosophy)? Well, neither have I --- because I'm not nuts. But, Psychology Professor Stanley Schachter and three of his Columbia University colleagues wondered about this. And they wrote about it in two articles: one titled "Speech Disfluency And The Structure Of Knowledge" in the Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology (1991, Vol. 60, No. 3, pages 362-367); and the other titled "The Vocabularies Of Academia" in Psychological Science magazine (Vol. 5, No. 1, January 1994).
DO NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AND NATIONAL INSTITUTES ON AGING HAVE MORE OF YOUR $$ THAN THEY NEED?
And, of course, these professors researched their findings, indirectly, on a Federal grant. As Prof. Schachter explained it to me, reluctantly, his project took about seven months (using some of his students whom he paid), and cost about $10-15,000, "a lot of money I had left over" from a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation, a Foundation which the past five years has itself received about $125,000 in Federal tax dollars from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes On Aging. Thus, indirectly, you and I paid for this --- to put it charitably --- dubious project.
Okay, so what did we get for our money? Well, we learn, among other things, according to an abstract of article number two, that: "It has been demonstrated that humanists are far more likely to use filled pauses ('uh,' 'ah,' or 'um') during their lectures than are social or natural scientists. This finding has been interpreted in terms of the hypothesis that filled pauses indicate time out while the speaker searches for the next word or phrase."
THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES
Wow! Amazing, no?! I mean, if this study had never been done, who would have ever guessed that humanists --- or anybody, for that matter --- use "uh" or "ah" or "um" because they are simply stalling for time while they try to think of what to say next?! C'mon, be honest! Admit it! In the absence of this astonishing linguistic breakthrough, you wouldn't have had a clue regarding this subject!
And --- don't laugh! --- these guys (actually, those who worked for these guys) worked very hard to get this crucial data about "disfluency." All told, 47 undergraduate lecturers were observed in 10 departments. Boring, you say? Certainly you jest. Here's some of what we're told:
In biology, lecturers said "uh" on an average of 1.13 times-per-minute. And in the other subjects here's the average times-per-minute "uh" was said (are you taking notes?): chemistry (1.62); math (1.29); psychology (1.50); economics (2.17); political science (5.61, no surprise here, huh?); sociology (3.73); art history (6.06); English lit (6.54); and philosophy (1.65).
Aha!, you say, but how do the "uhs" said in these lectures compare and contrast, as they say, with the number of times "uh" was said in interviews with these lecturers in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities? Good question. See the chart on this very subject. Fascinating, no?
But, there's much more. Regarding the lecturers' tendencies to use "uhs" and "ahs," we're told there is a difference. For example, it is said they do differ. And then we see, following the words "they do" (differ, that is), this equation: "F(9,35) = 2.87,p<.01." And after the word "humanities," we see: "4.85, F(2,42) = 6.46,p<.01." Which means, exactly --- what? Beats me.
Any way, you --- um, er, ah, uh --- get the drift. Or, you --- er, ah, um, uh --- don't. In any event, you --- er, um, ah, uh --- helped pay for this invaluable (or is it worthless?) data.
MONEY TO BURN
But, but, considering the possibility that I, having never, thank God!, gone to college, may have missed something here, I called Prof. Schachter and asked him the obvious question: What would you say to a philistine such as myself who would say that what your articles demonstrate is that you guys need to get a life, get a real job, and stop working on such stupid projects which waste the taxpayers' money?! Prof. Schachter says he would tell such a person that he is full of --- well, a word I can't repeat here. But, it wasn't nice. And he wonders if any of what I read in his articles was really obvious to me before?
Me: "No, but who cares?! Your data is meaningless, useless knowledge!"
Schachter: "But, you discover a brand new fact that's amusing and interesting and that alone makes this worthwhile."
Me: "No, it doesn't! And I'm not amused by your waste of my tax dollars! Your information is useless! Of what utility are your brand new facts?!"
Schachter: "Utility? In universities one doesn't tend to think that way."
Me: "That's right! Which is why so much of what you do is useless! Perfect! Exactly!"
Schachter: "We may be useless but without us you'd have no television" (?). I have no idea what this means.
Me: "But without guys like you wasting my tax dollars I'd be a lot richer! And as for TV, it also is, for the most part, useless! Do you watch it? Probably not."
Schachter: "Well, it would keep your goyim amused." Goyim is a derogatory, insulting word --- a form of the word "goy" --- used by some Jews to refer to non-Jews.
Me: "Ah, a little Christian-bashing, eh?" Or, perhaps, I should have said "er" or "um" or "uh." At least I did say "ah."
Schachter: "Yes, if you don't understand basic research, you're a goy...." Goyim? Goy? Have I been the victim of a verbal "hate crime" here?
When I persist, asking, again, what purpose his research, and the modern university, serve today, Schachter admits, honestly, that he's "never had to defend the university before." He wonders (remember, he teaches psychology) what kind of "bug" I have on this topic?
Me: "Well, one thing that bugs me is to see my hard-earned tax dollars thrown down a rat hole of useless research like yours!"
Finally thinking of something he may have done worthwhile, Schachter says that in his 30 years at Columbia he's "turned out 30 very bright kids who've become professors at other universities, each of whom will turn out another 30 bright students who will become professors at other universities." He adds: "Your kind of problems are not mine. You've got to ask very specific small questions" --- which I have but which he has begged, not answered.
Schachter says, regarding his so-called "basic research," that: "There's always a major payoff when you let a guy's mind run free, that he may discover something that will be of immense use."
Me: "Free?! But, your mind wasn't running free! I was forced to help pay for your ridiculous project with my hard-earned tax dollars!"
Schachter: "Still, I think this Federally-funded research pays off for society."
There's a "societal payoff" for counting how many times university lecturers say "uh" and "um" and "er" and "ah"? No way! A few graduate students may have raked in some bucks. But, for the average American taxpayer, there is no payoff for this moronic study. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
ROBBING THE TILL IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE
An interesting footnote. At the bottom of column number one in Prof. Schachter's article number one, there is the statement that his research "was supported by a grant, made for other purposes, from the Russell Sage Foundation" (emphasis mine). When I read this to Nancy Casey, Program Director for the Sage Foundation, and ask her what this means, she says, laughing nervously: "Well, I wouldn't write that if I were you. Pretend you didn't tell me that." Why? Well, "because money not expended for a specific grant should be returned to us." Oh. So, in other words, Prof. Schachter has spent money he should have returned. When I call Schachter back and ask if he did this --- spent money he should have returned --- he admits, sheepishly, that well, yes, he did, that his original grant was for something having to do with "economic determinants" and how they cause what people do. He says, with a laugh, concerning my talk with Miss Casey: "Well, you really did me a favor, didn't you? So, that's the way you get revenge?" Ha-ha. I guess so. But then what else would you expect from a "goyim" --- particularly a goyim whose tax dollars you've squandered?
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