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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

Chris of Rights and Charles Martin <-- Lists of debunked Sarah Palin rumors

"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mikey and Chuckie

Hopefully Jack Bauer will protect me.

Michael Medved recently had Chuck Norris, aka Mike Huckabee supporter, on his radio show for an interview. I was struck by how Norris explained his attraction to Mike Huckabee as a candidate when mentioning the governors support for mandated arts courses in the schools. He mentioned the left/right brain dichotomy as justification for Huckabee's position. Huckabee's website also mentions this.

It is crucial that children flex both the left and right sides of the brain. We all know the cliché of thinking outside the box: I want our children to be so creative that they think outside the cardboard factory. (source)

Erm, sorry to break the news fellas, but that right/left brain segregation of logic/creativity is somewhat of a fallacy, often misused and misunderstood.

Hines (1987) states that the research on brain lateralization is valid as a research program, though commercial promoters have applied it to promote subjects and products far out of the implications of the research. For example, the implications of the research have no bearing on psychological interventions such as EMDR, brain training equipment, or management training. One explanation for being so prone to exaggeration and false application is that the left-right brain dichotomy is an easy-to-understand notion, yet is often grossly oversimplified and misused for promotion in the guise of science.[9] The research on lateralization of brain functioning is ongoing, and its implications are always tightly delineated, whereas the pseudoscientific applications are exaggerated, and applied to an extremely wide range of situations. (sources)


Such brain-aching complexities mean that this new line in hemispheric research is still in its early days. But at least there seems no prospect of a return to the old left-right caricatures that inspired so many self-help books exhorting people to liberate their right brains and avoid too much sterile left-brain thinking. As Fink says, whatever the story about lateralisation, simple dichotomies are out. It is how the two sides of the brain complement and combine that counts. (source)

Now I'm all for such courses, however, local control of schools is better than federal and more accountable as well, let alone the lack of constitutional granting of such powers to the feds in the first place. Besides, do we really want a President who mandates government programs and increases federal government influence on local matters, based on such a misunderstood notion?

This isn't the only dubious item of government intervention Mike Huckabee pushed on Arkansas. He also mandated that Arkansas school children be tested and placed on the BMI scale and have the results sent to their parents. Just a few problems with that. The BMI is not very reliable, especially for those who are very fit or lean. Also, women with better than average hip to waist ratio can fall outside the healthy range of the BMI scale. The following sums up the potential problems quite well.

But using BMI alone doesn't give a full picture of a person's health and fitness level, said Larry Collins, a physician assistant at the University of South Florida department of orthopedics and sports medicine. "Just to use BMI ... is probably a little too simplistic," Collins said. BMI doesn’t take into account whether a person's weight comes from muscle or fat. At 6-3 and 220 pounds, Chris Brown — the NFL’s leading rusher in Week 1 of the 2007 season — has a BMI of 27.5; we wouldn't want to be the ones to tell Brown he’s technically overweight and heading toward obese. Indeed, the NFL disputed a 2005 study that found nearly all of its players were overweight and more than half obese according to BMI. (When the Associated Press found that nearly half of NBA players were overweight, the 7-1, 325-pound Shaquille O’Neal said: "I’ve read that same formula, but as an athlete, I’m classified as phenomenal," noting that he had 13 percent body fat. "You can look it up.") Collins said that for "somebody who has a high BMI but is relatively fit ... we don't know what the consequences of that are over the long term."

Other factors like a person's body fat, aerobic fitness and strength levels are better indicators of overall health and whether he or she is overweight, he said. (source)

Now, imagine a child being notified that they're overweight and that notification having the official seal of government behind it, even though it's based on something far too simplistic. Is Huckabee feeling good about making others follow his personal life example worth the obvious potential for kids being emotionally devastated because of a flawed methodology defining them?

It's bad enough that Mike Huckabee has intrusive, big government, nanny state tendencies, but on top of that, he has simplistic justifications or uses far too simple methodologies in these government intrusions into our lives. Is it any wonder that Mike Huckabee is not seen as conservative?

If you don't hear from me again, that just means Chuck Norris exacted his revenge in service to his simplistic, pseudo conservative mentor.

Previous posts:

Who knows Christianity best?
Mike Huckabee - sincerity extraordinaire
Mike Huckabee, the results of service
A fool and his liar are soon parted?
Mike Huckabee - NH Fox News debate
Mike Huckabee - you have a shifty mentality
Mike Huckabee and foreign policy
Mike Huckabee thinks you're stupid
Mike Huckabee - illegal immigration flip flopper?
Huckabee - what kind of preacher is this?
Mike Huckabee - a twofer
Huckabee - Christian leader?
The taming of a shrewd
Evangelicals - short term thinkers?
It's a good thing I'm registered as an independent
Why I don't heart Huckabee


Filed under: Politics

Trackposted to: Outside the Beltway, Blog @, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary's Thoughts, Right Truth, Shadowscope, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, Big Dog's Weblog, Conservative Cat, Adeline and Hazel, Allie is Wired, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Celebrity Smack, Dumb Ox Daily News, CORSARI D'ITALIA, Right Voices, The Yankee Sailor, and, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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