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Farmers' Almanac Predicts Cold Winter
RUSH: The Farmers' Almanac has predicted a much colder winter than normal, and they've even gotten specific and predicted a major storm for the Super Bowl, which will be in New Jersey in February. 

Christie Preps for Snowy Super Bowl
RUSH: Governor Christie was on sports talk radio this morning, and he actually said that he hopes for a blizzard on Super Bowl Sunday.  Football is meant to be played outside, on grass, in the elements. (interruption) Well, there's no grass there, but it will be played in the elements.  He's asking for blizzard. 

We Have 4.1 Million Federal Employees, More Than the Populations of 24 States
RUSH: Matt Welch at Reason.com is citing some numbers here from Sunday's Washington Post.  Here it is, in a nutshell.  The federal government today "has about 4.1 million employees today," military and civilian. and as an aside, the vast majority of them are union. Those 4.1 million employees are "more than the populations of 24 states." "Back in 2010, it had 4.3 million employees. More than the populations of 24 states."  Shocking, isn't it?  You could say, "Well, in that sense alone, we're outnumbered, because how do you think the vast majority of those people -- federal employees, mostly union --vote?"

Study: Modern Parenting May Hinder Brain Development
RUSH: I have a post here from the University of Notre Dame, and my guess is that a number of you are gonna find this fascinating.  It's about parenting.  "Modern Parenting May Hinder Brain Development, According to Research."  Let me explain.  It says here,  "Social practices and cultural beliefs of modern life are preventing healthy brain and emotional development in children, according to an interdisciplinary body of research presented recently at a symposium at the University of Notre Dame.

"'Life outcomes for American youth are worsening, especially in comparison to 50 years ago,' says Darcia Narvaez, Notre Dame professor of psychology who specializes in moral development in children and how early life experiences can influence brain development."  Now, I love the lingo that psychiatrists use: "Life outcomes for American youth are worsening..." What she means is that life for kids today, the kids are not amounting to much -- and she professes to have reasons here. 

Here they are. She says, "Ill-advised practices and beliefs have become commonplace in our culture," and what are some of these "ill-advised practices"? Well, they include "'the use of infant formula, the isolation of infants in their own rooms or the belief that responding too quickly to a fussing baby will "spoil" it,' Narvaez says."  Those things are all having negative impacts on our children. 

"This new research links certain early, nurturing parenting practices -- the kind common in foraging hunter-gatherer societies -- to specific, healthy emotional outcomes in adulthood, and has many experts rethinking some of our modern, cultural child-rearing 'norms.'" For example, "'Breast-feeding infants, responsiveness to crying, almost constant touch and having multiple adult caregivers are some of the nurturing ancestral parenting practices that are shown to positively impact the developing brain, which not only shapes personality, but also helps physical health and moral development,' says Narvaez." 

She's got a number here: Only 12% of mothers breast-feed.  I think I read that here somewhere.  Anyway, a lack of breast-feeding and the fact that there's not much touch -- babies are in strollers rather being carried; they're in car seats rather than being held; they're in playpens -- there's less and less human contact, human touch that is part of child rearing today.  Now, some of that, I would posit to you, is the result of feminism and the idea that husbands are predators.

Men are predators and brutes, and you really can't trust them with your little kids. You never know what might happen.  So they're in strollers. They're in car seats. They're in playpens.  There are not "multiple caregivers" actually touching, holding, caring for babies.  There's not nearly enough breast-feeding -- again, no contact -- and there are not enough multiple caregivers.  "Studies show that responding to a baby's needs (not letting a baby 'cry it out')..."

Apparently there's a movement out there that when a baby starts crying, let it go. Just let the baby cry it out, get used to it, get over it on its own. Don't pick it up, don't nurture it because that is said to be spoiling.  This psychiatrist says, "No! Do not let a baby cry it out.  Pick the kid up.  Transfer concern. Try to comfort the baby.  She says, that's not happening nearly enough anymore.  She says doing that "has been shown to influence the development of conscience," and not doing it leads to no conscience.

"[P]ositive touch affects stress reactivity, impulse control and empathy; free play in nature influences social capacities and aggression; and a set of supportive caregivers (beyond the mother alone) predicts IQ and ego resilience as well as empathy," meaning that a child who is comforted and touched and held and has multiple human contact is gonna have a higher IQ and much better resilience to attacks on their self-esteem, rather than kids just left alone, not touched, always in the stroller, always in the playpen, always in some kind of carrier rather than being actually carried. 

She says, "The United States has been on a downward trajectory on all of these care characteristics, according to Narvaez. Instead of being held, infants spend much more time in carriers, car seats and strollers than they did in the past. Only about 15% of mothers are breast-feeding at all by 12 months, extended families are broken up and free play allowed by parents has decreased dramatically since 1970," and that's probably true. 

People are so afraid of what the kid's gonna encounter in free play. "Play dates" have replaced free play, for example. That's true.  I never heard of a "play date" until I got to New York.  A woman I knew arranged a play date with Lesley Stahl's kid somewhere in Central Park. I said, "What the hell is a play date?"  "Well, you call 'em up and you arrange a period of time for your kids to get together and play."  "Oh."  I'd never heard of that.  We just went out of the house and played. 

I just thought it was modern play evolution.  Now, this is a female psychiatrist at the University of Notre Dame who is making this case.  I'm unaware of all this.  I'm not around infants and people who raise them.  Is there a movement now to let babies just cry it out before you offer condolence or assistance or comfort? (interruption) Okay.  Yeah.  Nobody in here wants to profess to know any of this stuff, and I clearly don't. 

But nevertheless, I found this fascinating because the whole thing here is about how brain development is hindered.  Remember, too, folks, one of the relative aspects of this is that conservatism -- whether this is good or bad -- is something that requires a little thinking to get.  Liberalism is easy. Liberalism is one of the most gutless choices you can make because you don't have to do anything about anything.  You just have to feel bad about things, and you are qualified. 

You are an accredited liberal if you can make everybody think you really feel bad about bad things.  You don't have to fix 'em, and you don't have to do anything.  All you have to do is demand that somebody else fix it or act like it needs to be fixed or act like you're greatly pained by it, and you're a great liberal. But you don't have to do diddly-squat.  But, on the other hand, conservatism proposes real solutions that require being thought about. 

The sad reality is that most... I had a friend point this out to me. Let me put it this way.  A friend pointed out to me that if people in sales responded to intellectual appeals instead of emotional, do you think they'd sell the same amount of stuff?  No way, is the simple answer -- and conservatism is an intellectual approach. So this study is done under the... Well, I'm attaching here the guise that if we don't raise babies who are able to think, we don't have a chance. That's the bottom line.


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