Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chicken Soup comments on Izzy Kalman's defense of the First Amendment...

As readers may already be aware, Chicken Soup has been prevented from leaving comments on Izzy Kalman's Psychology Today website. When I attempt to leave a comment, I'm rewarded with a blank white screen. After a few attempts, I did what Kalman probably hoped I'd do. I simply stopped trying.

Then I read his latest article.

Izzy Kalman criticizes any effort to restrict what students can say while preventing me from posting comments, not just on his articles, but on every article by every author on the Psychology Today website.

I then found that I could leave comments under the name and e-mail address I'd been using all along as long as I didn't do it from home. Here's what I wrote.

"If you are a public school student and you are physically strong, unusually aggressive, or skilled in the fighting other words...if other students have good reason to fear you, then you enjoy the right to say anything you want about anyone.

If you are physically weak, unaggressive, and unskilled in the fighting arts, you are free to keep your mouth shut or someone will shut it for you.

By the way...why am I not allowed to post here from my i.p. address? Is my freedom of speech unusually disturbing to you?

My comment was titled, "Some are more equal than others" and though I didn't include this description in my comment, I like to think of Kalman's interpretation of our Constitutional Rights as the First Amendment, Columbine Style.

Feel free to let him and his readers know what you think.


  1. Oh boy, another article by Izzy.

    I'll drink a little tonight and then maybe, maybe I can read through it....

  2. Izzy- "Would you like to live in a society in which the government can do anything it wishes and reporters are only permitted to report what the government wants us to know?"

    Aha! The slippery slope! If we try to stop bullying in schools then tomorrow we'll be living in 1984!

    Izzy- "Would you like to live in a society that indoctrinates you from early childhood in an official set of beliefs and punishes you for challenging them?"

    Uh.... no but here's the thing- we already do! That's what the mass-education, government-approved, herd-teaching format of the school system does to children. It trains them to be blindly obedient to authority and be terrified to question government officials and authority figures.

    Anyway, afterward Izzy wraps himself in the American flag, hoists up the Constitution and declares himself to the fulfillment of the wishes of the Founding Fathers.

    "Moreover, freedom of speech is the solution to most bullying, because most acts of bullying are verbal, and most physical attacks begin with words. When we try to stop people from insulting us, they do it even more. When we allow them to insult us, they quickly stop."

    Riiiight. Just act like a throw rug and that'll fix everything.

    "Unfortunately, anti-bullying laws are completely eradicating freedom of speech and turning our country into the type of repressive society from which our Founding Fathers wanted to save us"

    YES! If little crotchfruits can't bully someone mercillessly by calling him a faggot and retard for years on end until he develops PTSD and blows out his brain, then we won't have freedom anymore!

    "If we truly wish to reduce bullying, create a more harmonious school environment, while raising children who are emotionally resilient, we need to intensify our teaching of the meaning and practice of freedom of speech. We need to teach that others have the Constitutional right to say what they want and there is no need for us to get upset by it."

    "You're a retard, a fucking faggot, a loser, a queer, an idiot, a moron and you should go kill yourself and nobody likes you and ever will."

    Hundreds to teens die by bullycide every year, and this pretentious MFer goes on and on....

    God, reading this made me want to just slap this guy for being so stupid.

    Why not encourage children to become physically strong, to train themselves so that others can't physically intimidate them? Why not train them on how to effectively respond to insults besides just acting like a jolly "house negro" who loves being insulted and cracks jokes about it whenever he gets made fun of?

    Okay, I'm starting to really hate Izzy. He has some good ideas, but his overall philosophy is deranged. This guy should just give Rocky Hoffschneider a BJ and get it over with already.

    And who is he to be offended by your blog? According to him he should just smile, chuckle, come here and crack jokes about how right we all are, then we'll see what a great guy he is and stop bullying him...

    Or at least he would, if he didn't realize that his methods are NOT fool-proof 100% of the time in all social situations.

    1. Er, Izzy says that if his solution works, then the bully won't be bullying you anymore. He's not saying to just take the bully's abuse forever. I doubt that his method will work most of the time, but I think you're misinterpreting what he's saying.

    2. Kalman's methods work just fine if the bully is a harmless, socially inept pest shooting off his mouth or looking for attention. That's not bullying. Real bullies are sociopaths who want to be feared and are abusing their victims in order to feel powerful or to use as an example of what can happen when someone refuses to do what they say.

    3. I read his book Jesse.

      He says to view every bully as a "potential friend" you should try to win over who's just testing you.

      Say they insult your race- you just smile, laugh about it, crack jokes about it until he decides "you're not so bad for a Jew." (note- he uses a fictional green people name that share all the stereotypes of Jews as an example. I forget which made-up word he invented, but it was clearly a fill-in for Jew.)

      In his view, that is the ONLY reasonable response one should have when being insulted 100% of the time. Any victim who feels offended, hurt or annoyed, no matter how nasty the insult, is in the wrong and is justifying the behavior of the bullies.

      So long as bullies don't physically attack the victims, they're idealized as wondrous saints by Izzy.

    4. I didn't say that I'm convinced that Izzy's method will actually work. I think that bullies will continue to pick on victims even if the victim doesn't respond to insults.

    5. Does Izzy practice what he preaches? I doubt it. Otherwise, he would not have banned Chicken Soup from Psychology Today. In other words, he's clearly a hypocrite.

  3. Btw, I just read the comments section...

    "Some are more equal than others.
    Submitted by Kim L. Short on January 30, 2014 - 5:51am.

    If you are a public school student and you are physically strong, unusually aggressive, or skilled in the fighting other words...if other students have good reason to fear you, then you enjoy the right to say anything you want about anyone.

    If you are physically weak, unaggressive, and unskilled in the fighting arts, you are free to keep your mouth shut or someone will shut it for you.

    By the way...why am I not allowed to post here from my i.p. address? Is my freedom of speech unusually disturbing to you?"

    It seems like your post is still there or it came back.

    1. I was able to comment in the Psychology Today website because I did so from another i.p. address. Kalman didn't just block me from leaving comments on his articles. He blocked me from the entire site.

      I'm wondering how the administration of a public library would react if Kalman blocked their i.p. address as well.

  4. Apparently, our dear colleague Dr. Kalman has failed to comprehend the other side of free speech: You can say whatever you feel like, but sometimes consequences happen. The bullies he enables can say whatever they want, but one day someone will get bored being a victim and delivery consequences, and they'll be completely shocked because they didn't expect it to happen. He can spew his message to anyone who will listen, but those who don't agree have the same right to tell him he's wrong, and why. I write a blog where people don't always agree with my message. Of course, it makes me a lot happier to get favorable comments, but I still get a few disses here and there -- it's reality. So long as people can make cogent arguments, and do it WITH RESPECT, I have no problem letting them comment. Just shutting someone down on the whole site is too extreme, and hypocritical.

    1. Actually, he's not Dr. Kalman. He has neither a Ph.D. nor an M.D. but only a Masters Degree in Psychology.

      People who are articulate and make logical arguments are far more dangerous to characters like Izzy Kalman than those who simply swoop in and toss out a few insults.

  5. Kalman's worst or most dangerous hypocrisy has nothing to do with banning me from leaving comments.

    He repeatedly expresses the opinion in his writing that those who stage massacres feel like victims who need to take revenge upon a cruel, uncaring world. Then in his professional life he attempts to maximize the number of people who will enter early adulthood feeling like they've been victimized.

    Let's follow a possible chain of events:

    Izzy Kalman conducts one of his seminars.

    A school district pays a fee and sends one of their employees to this seminar.

    The employee applies what he's learned from Kalman and counsels bullying victims to make the bully their friend.

    To no one's surprise the bullying gets worse.

    The victim stages a massacre.

    Here's your homework question for today...

    How would Kalman rationalize the failure of his Bullies2Buddies techniques?

    1. Cant be failed can only be failed, one would guess.

      I’m curious if a guy like that could ever be persuaded that his techniques could work with most everybody except for 1-3% of the general population – up to the incorrigible psychopath. In those cases, he’d have us kids turn to Chapter - Bullies2Bodies. Or something.

      He’s what I call wrapped around the axle. Seems his income and rep are so invested in this thing he’s using defense mechanisms to deny some fairly obvious truths. But if he could be brought to accept a ‘score’ of 97-99% (still an A), instead of seeing his life’s work as a complete failure... be better than nothing.

    2. Kalman does not appear to know the difference between a bully and a socially challenged pest.

  6. Btw, question-

    You've recommended some great books in the past!

    Do you know of one which explains the psychological setup of how prison guards/teachers respond to students?

    I know the setup is very similar in a lot of ways, and often causes the ones in control to view their wards with disgust, contempt and a complete lack of care leading to horrendous environments for both.

    1. I don't know of any books written specifically about the teacher/student relationship but "The 48 Laws of Power" by Robert Greene and "Why We Buy" by Paco Underhill are both wonderful books about human behavior.

      Admittedly there are some very bad teachers and school administrators but I wouldn't be too hard on them as a group. I know several personally and they are the first to admit privately that bad parents are a serious problem. They are also painfully aware that blaming bad parents publicly is equivalent to an Old Testament stoning offense.