Sunday, October 31, 2004

No right of self-defense in Britain

John sends this Joyce Lee Malcolm column
In recent years governments have even felt it necessary to prevent the public from defending themselves with imitation weapons. In 1994 an English home-owner, armed with a toy gun, managed to detain two burglars who had broken into his house while he called the police. When the officers arrived, they arrested the home-owner for using an imitation gun to threaten or intimidate. In a similar incident the following year, when an elderly woman fired a toy cap pistol to drive off a group of youths who were threatening her, she was arrested for putting someone in fear. Now the police are pressing Parliament to make imitation guns illegal.
Crime has gone up, and Britons live in fear.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

New bacterial meningitis vaccine

It looks like we are getting another vaccine
that fails a cost-benefit analysis. The NY Times says:
The price of the new vaccine will most likely be $80 a dose. Vaccinating all 40 million people from age 11 to 20, as some experts have suggested, would cost the government $3.5 billion next year. That is more than $1 million a life spared, far more than health officials are normally willing to spend.
This NY Times article explains that vaccines are really a growth business, in spite of all the bad press about the flu vaccine.

The defender of the American male

I recommend Glenn Sacks, a radio host and columnist. He documents many anti-male aspects of our society.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Recombinant hepatitis B vaccine and the risk of multiple sclerosis

Andy sends this study in the journal Neurology, that indicates that the HBV vaccine is associated with a tripling of the risk for multiple sclerosis.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

The Crusade Against Evolution

John sends this Wired Mag story:
On a spring day two years ago, in a downtown Columbus auditorium, the Ohio State Board of Education took up the question of how to teach the theory of evolution in public schools. A panel of four experts - two who believe in evolution, two who question it - debated whether an antievolution theory known as intelligent design should be allowed into the classroom.

This is an issue, of course, that was supposed to have been settled long ago. But 140 years after Darwin published On the Origin of Species, 75 years after John Scopes taught natural selection to a biology class in Tennessee, and 15 years after the US Supreme Court ruled against a Louisiana law mandating equal time for creationism, the question of how to teach the theory of evolution was being reopened here in Ohio.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Court file says candidate threatened wife

A NY family court accidentally released some dirt on a political candidate, according to this AP story:
BATH, N.Y. - Sealed divorce records alleging a Republican candidate for Congress once threatened his wife at gunpoint were obtained by his Democratic opponent's campaign manager, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Halloween offensive to real witches

This story says:
The superintendent has cancelled all Halloween activities.

A letter sent home to parents Wednesday states there will be no observance of Halloween in the entire school district. ...

Hansen says the superintendent made the decision for three primary reasons. First, Halloween parties and parades waste valuable classroom time. In addition some families can't afford costumes.

It's the third reason some Puyallup parents are struggling with.

The district says Halloween celebrations and children dressed in Halloween costumes might be offensive to real witches.

"Witches with pointy noses and things like that are not respective symbols of the Wiccan religion and so we want to be respectful of that," said Hansen.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Academics deny sex differences

A new book by a couple of academic feminists, Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs attempts to deny the obvious. It says:
Same Difference takes on the myths of "Mars and Venus":
Myth...Men are genetically driven to seek out beautiful women. This may have been true in the stone age, but times change. Now, a significant number of men report that an attractive portfolio is even more alluring than a pretty face.
Myth...Women want to marry wealthy men who can protect them and their children. In fact, a surprising majority of today's women put a higher price tag on empathy and nurturance. ...
Myth...Men and women speak "different languages"-they "Just Don't Understand" each other. Wrong. Women talk "male" in the boardroom, and men easily master "motherese."
We need another planet to describe where these academics are from.

Bill O'Reilly was set up

I am beginning to think that Bill O'Reilly (of Fox News) was set up. I wonder if Andrea Mackris got paid off after she got her CNN boss fired for sexual harassment. If so, her lawyer probably told her that they could get a bigger jackpot by going back to work at FoxNews.

My hunch is that she already had a contingency agreement with her lawyer before she went back to work for Bill O'Reilly this past summer. Both Mackris and her lawyer sound like they were out to get O'Reilly. It is very strange the way they carefully documented the alleged transgressions, and yet she never complained about them.

It is also strange that she quotes O'Reilly's parts of the phone conversation, but not her parts. It seems likely that she was encouraging him, not saying "Goodbye".

Mackris had worked with O'Reilly for 3 or 4 years, and knew him well enough. I think that she asked him for phone sex, and then taped him. Her claim of damages is not even remotely plausible.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Charlie sends this:
Say goodbye to the American software programmer. Once the symbols of hope as the nation shifted from manufacturing to service jobs, programmers today are an endangered species. They face a challenge similar to that which shrank the ranks of steelworkers and autoworkers a quarter century ago: competition from foreigners.

Some experts think they'll become extinct within the next few years, forced into unemployment or new careers by a combination of offshoring of their work to India and other low-wage countries and the arrival of skilled immigrants taking their jobs. ...

Since the dotcom bust in 2000-2001, nearly a quarter of California technology workers have taken nontech jobs, according to a study of 1 million workers released last week by Sphere Institute, a San Francisco Bay Area public policy group. The jobs they took often paid less. Software workers were hit especially hard. Another 28 percent have dropped off California's job rolls altogether. They fled the state, became unemployed, or decided on self-employment.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Accusing Bill O'Reilly

The Bill O'Reilly lawsuit is wild. The allegations consist mainly of O'Reilly flirting and bragging in after-hours meetings with an employee Andrea Mackris. He also gave her some unsolicited advice. Most of this seems plausible as it is consistent with his on-air personality. Mackris left O'Reilly and FoxNews to get more money at CNN, got her boss there fired for sexual harassment, and then went begging back to O'Reilly for her old job back. So it is hard to see how she could have been too offended by O'Reilly's antics.

Mackris's most lurid charges have to do with phone sex. The Smoking Gun says:
Based on the extensive quotations cited in the complaint, it appears a safe bet that Mackris, 33, recorded some of O'Reilly's more steamy soliloquies.
Mackris is demanding $60M. O'Reilly is fighting back. I hope he teaches her a lesson. She is just an extortionist.

Update: I just heard O'Reilly gave his spin on his legal troubles on his radio
show, and aired a mattress ad:
Even if you suffer from back pain, you can sleep as well as Bill O'Reilly does.
Funny. I don't think that O'Reilly has been sleeping too well lately.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Another goofball Nobel Prize winner

It sounds like the Nobel Peace Prize winner is as wacky as the Literature Prize winner. This ABC News story says:
Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, today reiterated her claim that the AIDS virus was a deliberately created biological agent.

"Some say that AIDS came from the monkeys, and I doubt that because we have been living with monkeys (since) time immemorial, others say it was a curse from God, but I say it cannot be that.

"Us black people are dying more than any other people in this planet," Ms Maathai told a press conference in Nairobi a day after winning the prize for her work in human rights and reversing deforestation across Africa.
There is a theory that AIDS was an accidental byproduct of a 1950s Congo polio vaccine program, but we still don't have the technology to create a biological agent to kill black people.

Some scientists are only admitting now that there is such a thing as race. Just 4 years ago, this was the politically correct view:
"The concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis," said J. Craig Venter in June 2000, standing beside President Bill Clinton to announce the completion of the first draft of the human genome sequence.
But this NY Times article goes on to explain that there is indeed such a genetic and scientific basis, and that basis is essential for some new medical treatments.

Something that has no coherent basis is the French philosophy of deconstruction. See this obituary of Jacques Derrida to get an idea of what nonsense it is.

Update: A bunch of Derrida fans complain here, comparing him to Einstein. Einstein communicated clearly, dealt with reality, and had his theories experimentally tested. Derrida was a nut-case, so are most of his fans.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Swedish MPs want men taxed

Here is more anti-men news from Sweden:
Swedish MPs want men taxed

Mon Oct 4,12:59 PM ET

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A group of Swedish parliamentarians has proposed levying a "man tax" to cover the social cost of violence against women.

"It must be obvious to all of us that society has a huge problem with male violence against women and that has a cost," Left Party deputy Gudrun Schyman told Swedish radio on Monday.

"We must have a discussion where men understand they as a group have a responsibility," said Schyman, one of the party members to sign the motion for debate on the new tax.

Sweden already has the highest taxes in the European Union as a percentage of gross domestic product to pay for its famous but hard-pushed cradle-to-grave welfare program.

It is also one of the world's most advanced nations in terms of gender equality, but Schyman said in a headline-hitting 2002 speech that discrimination in Sweden followed "the same pattern" as in Afghanistan under the Taliban.
I don't know about Sweden, but in the USA, women already have most of the money but men pay most of the taxes.

Friday, October 08, 2004

A pitch for alumni donations

I just got a call from a girl at Princeton Annual Giving. Princeton U. has more money than it knows what to do with, and only charges high tuition because it can get away with it.

She said that a high alumni giving rate can boost the US News college rankings!

She also said that the fundraising program provides good part-time jobs for students. In other words, she wanted me to give money in order to fund her in making more harassing phone calls!

She also explain how Annual Giving allows the college to enforce differential pricing, where the college forces some students to pay much higher fees than other students. Okay, that wasn't exactly the way she described it. But still, I see nothing good about it. I think that Princeton U. would be a better place if alumni would quit giving it so much money.

Feminist objects to cute girls

I just heard a young feminist plugging a book. One of her complaints was that, in 2004 today, it is still advantageous for a college girl to be cute!
She thought that college girls should be judged purely on their brains.

Another wacky Nobel prize

The Nobel literature prize just went to a psychotic Austrian feminist commie. The playwright Elfriede Jelinek writes depressing nonsense:
In her fiction, Jelinek, 57, has explored pornography, sadomasochism, persecution and what she regards as the degradation of women at the hands of men. Her work is peopled by characters who are fractured, self-lacerating and pathologic.
But the Swedes praised "her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's cliches and their subjugating power."

Even the official Nobel Prize site explains that she is getting the prize for the political content of her writings, and has her official biography saying:
Jelinek lets her social analysis swell to fundamental criticism of civilisation by describing sexual violence against women as the actual template for our culture.
No, I won't be reading anything she wrote.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Pedophile Protection Act

California has passed a bill to reduce the reporting requirements for child abuse. I am not sure who is behind this, but it appears to be part of an effort by Planned Parenthood to protect child molesters.

According to this lawyer site, some states require everyone to report suspected child abuse or neglect, with the only exception being lawyers who are trying to protect child abusers! It is hard to see why physicians should have a greater reporting responsibility than lawyers.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

On intelligence

Bob recommends the new book On Intelligence. It is a book with theories about the brain, by one of the Palm PDA inventors.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Pit bull lawyers

John sends this story:
Some attorneys and at least one state legislator have pointed to the 1-800-PITBULL number as a prime example of how attorneys' advertisements contribute to a negative view of the profession.
The law firm, specializing in motorcycle crash litigation, has spent the last three years defending its use of 1-800-PITBULL ...

"I don't think 1-800-PITBULL exemplifies the level of professionalism I hope we would see among our lawyers, which most lawyers do have," said Florida Bar president Kelly Overstreet Johnson ...
There are a lot of people who prefer pit bulls to lawyers.