Friday, September 30, 2005

Bogus domestic violence

Here is a good new article on false domestic violence allegations.

Black abortions

There is a lot of buzz about Bill Bennett's comments about black abortions, but those on both sides don't seem to address the real issue. Bennett's defenders argue that he was quoted out of context, but that's not it. Listen to the whole context, and it sounds like he is saying:
I am anti-abortion. The pro-abortion arguments do not persuade me. For example, even if abortion could be used to exterminate the entire black race and thereby slash the crime rate, I'd still be against it.
Bennett is not saying that black babies should be aborted, but he is suggesting that:
The crime rate is much higher among black Americans. The problem is genetic, and the obvious solution is to kill them before birth.
Many black people refuse to believe that the crime rate is any higher for blacks, and they are very offended by any suggestion that it is an inborn problem. Furthermore, they are suspicious that right-wingers are racists who want to get rid of them. They think that Bennett wants to get rid of the black race, but does not advocate it because he believes that the end does not justify the means.

On the other hand, I can see why Bennett thought that the subject was fair game for public comment. A popular book, Freakonomics, has promoted the idea that American abortions have drastically cut. The book does a careful dance around the racial implications (as explained here), and has been widely praised. The thesis has also been attacked as being wrong. I haven't been able to figure out who is correct.

Bill Bennett's brother Bob is in the news also. He is the lawyer representing NY Times reporter Judith Miller. Miller's main claim to fame is that she was the one who convinced the public that Iraq had WMD. Now this NY Times story says that she spent 3 months in jail because Bennett didn't explain to her that her source had waived confidentiality. So either Bob Bennett has messed up another case, or Miller just went to jail as a publicity stunt, or there is more going on than what we have been told.

Here is Bill Bennett's statement on the matter. I think that his defense of himself has just made the matter worse. The more he says, the worse it sounds.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sen. Feinstein wants a man

Sen. Diane Feinstein questioned John Roberts like this:
FEINSTEIN: Let me ask you this question this way: If you were in that situation with someone you deeply love and ...

FEINSTEIN: I'm trying to see your feelings as a man.

FEINSTEIN: How would you feel if you were in that position?

I do expect to know a little bit more about how you feel and how you think as a man, ...
I thought that she was trying to get into his pants. Today, she voted against him.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Career women abandon sex

UK news:
Busy career women are abandoning sex and seeking inappropriate IVF treatment to have instant babies, doctors have claimed.

It is estimated that one in seven UK couples have difficulty conceiving. However, many women take up IVF treatment, before they discover this because they are simply too busy or tired to have sex.

Emma Cannon runs the fertility programme at Westover House clinic in London, which has seen a 20 per cent increase in the number of women seeking 'inappropriate' IVF.

She said: "People want everything now. If they can't have a baby now, they want IVF. They think it's no different from putting your name down for a handbag."
IVF is the test-tube baby procedure.

Arnold is consistent

The Bush-haters just love to argue that right-wingers are inconsistent somehow. They act like hypocrisy is the worst of all sins. Here is a typical opinion, from the San Jose paper:
Schwarzenegger and gay marriage

So Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Page 5B, Sept. 25) says he has ``never really felt that strong one way or another'' about gay marriage. But he is supposedly vetoing the bill legalizing such marriages because of a 2000 vote on a California ballot initiative.

In that same election, however, the people of California clearly also indicated that their ``will'' was not to have George W. Bush in the White House. So then what was the governor's rationale for campaigning for him in 2004 in Ohio?

Janice Hough
Palo Alto
This letter is foolish for several reasons. First, the governor is obligated to veto an unconstitutional law. The constitution says that only a referendum can repeal another referendum. Second, Schwarzenegger has bet his career that the popular vote of Californians can do better than the legislature, so he must support popular referenda of the past. Third, Schwarzenegger is a Republican, and so he is going to support other Republicans. Fourth, Bush's first term expired, and he could very well be the best candidate on the ballot in 2004 even if he was not the best in 2000. Fifth, Bush won Ohio, so Schwarnegger was supporting the will of the people there.

Same-sex marriage is likely to be on the ballot again in California next year. If Janice Hough and the other leftist Bush-hater really believed these silly consistency arguments, then they would vote against same-sex marriage so that opposite-sex marriage will be affirmed again.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Gay penguins not so gay

People often argue that homosexuality is natural because it occurs in the animal world. An example is the book Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, which even goes so far as to deny Darwinian evolution in order to promote animal homosexuality.

One trouble with this argument is that animal analogies don't always deliver the politically correct message. This news story says:
Gay penguin goes straight

THE animal kingdom's most famous gay couple has split up. Silo and Roy, the cohabiting penguins of Central Park Zoo, are no longer an item. The pair rose to prominence six years ago when they came out with their same-sex relationship.

Since then, they have successfully hatched and raised an adoptive chick (after an uncertain start that involved trying to incubate a rock). ... But the affair ended when Scrappy, a new female penguin, moved into the neighbourhood and caught Silo's eye. ... Silo promptly moved in with Scrappy, building a new nest with her.

Zookeepers are at a loss to explain Silo's sudden conversion.
Yeah, the liberals and homosexuals making animal analogies will also be at a loss to explain it also. The alleged homosexuality in animals really doesn't resemble homosexual behavior in humans at all.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

No free speech in Australia

This blog claims that there are Australian academic journals that refuse to publish papers discussing racial policies, because are worried about prosecution under an anti-discrimination law.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Silly sex prosecutions

News of the weird:
"Sex Offenders": Charbel Hamaty, of Lebanese descent, spent six months in jail in Raleigh, N.C., after being arrested last year for "molesting" his infant son, with the evidence consisting of family snapshots of Hamaty playfully kissing the nude tot's belly button. Only after a protest campaign did a judge finally dismiss the charge, according to a July report by WRAL-TV. Not so lucky was Fitzroy Barnaby of Evanston, Ill., who angrily grabbed the arm of a 14-year-old girl whom he almost ran into as she was playing dangerously in traffic. He was convicted under the state's "restraining a minor" statute, which requires that its violators be listed as sex offenders (even though the trial judge and, in June, the state Appellate Court, both discounted any sexual motive). [WRAL-TV (Raleigh, N.C.), 7-26-05] [Chicago Sun-Times, 7-1-05]
Not all accused sex offenders are guilty.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Correlating mortality

Here is a story about some silly research:
THURSDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In a somewhat unexpected finding, societal male dominance over women -- patriarchy -- may help explain why men have a lower life expectancy than women worldwide.

British researchers analyzed rates of female murders and male death rates from all causes in 51 countries in Europe, Asia, Australasia, and North and South America. The prevalence of violence against women was used to indicate the extent of patriarchal control in each of the countries. Socioeconomic factors were also taken into consideration.

The study found that women lived longer than men in all 51 countries.
Here is the abstract and the full pdf. All it is really saying is that certain male death rates are correlated with female death rates. Nothing surprising there. The strange part is that it measures patriarchy by looking at female homicides. That is not what the term means at all and female homicide is an absurd measure.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sri Lankan girls

Sept 17, Colombo: The Sri Lankan Cabinet has decided to reduce the age of consent for sexual encounters from 16 to 13 years.

Cabinet spokesperson Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the action has been taken due to rising numbers of men arrested for sexual relations with girls below the age of 16.
I guess that is one way to solve the problem.

Missing child found

John sends this story:
Alfonso McGee, a 2-year-old who was the subject of a missing-child alert issued Friday afternoon, was safely handed over to Alton police Friday evening, the police reported.

The alerts had said the boy was last seen with his mother, Latasha Ewing, who does not have custody of the child. The alert was issued when Ewing did not return the boy after a scheduled visit, police said.
and writes:
Friday afternoon KMOX broadcast an all points bulletin for this missing child, last seen with his own mother - and giving a description of her car! Isn't that ridiculous?
Yes it is. The public should not be bothered with a petty custody dispute. Many (if not most) of the missing kids on milk cartons are in the loving care of a parent. Maybe the parent is in violation of a court order, but it is very unlikely that the court had a fair hearing in the first, and impossible to know whether the child is in good hands or not.

The public should only be alerted in the case of a stranger kidnapping.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Healthy, wholesome, and sound

A fashion firm says:
We are very anti-drugs and insist all our models are healthy, wholesome and sound.
And they don't want the tabloids showing photos of Kate Moss snorting cocaine.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Racist T-shirt

News from a Florida school:
The undershirt the white student wore had a confederate flag on the front with the words "Keep it flying." On the back, a cartoon depicted a group of hooded Klansmen standing outside a church, waving to two others who had just pulled away in a car reading "Just married."

Two black men in nooses were being dragged behind.

Upset by the shirt, a 17-year-old black student hit the white student in the head. A crowd of about 100 students gathered to watch the Aug. 29 fight before authorities intervened.

The white student said he left the school following a three-day suspension. He said he was supposed to go back on a Friday but school officials called and asked his family to keep him home until the following week because "the school's in an uproar." ...

"I'm not racist or anything," he said. "It's just, some people I hate, some people I don't get along with. And black people just happen to be the ones because they think they're better than everyone else."

The student said his parents were shocked at his decision, Mom dismayed and Dad disappointed.

"I just can't believe you'd wear a shirt like that to school," he said was their reaction. "My mom was kind of upset about it. My dad was like, whatever, it's your life." ...

"I'm a redneck," he said. "But no, I'm not racist."
Subtle distinction.

Falsely accusing boyfriend of rape

Boston AP story:
BOSTON --A woman who falsely accused her boyfriend of rape was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday for committing perjury.

Rebecca Harland, 33, was convicted on four counts of perjury for lying to a grand jury when she identified Scott Smith as the man who raped her in 1999.

Prosecutors said Harland identified Smith as her attacker to get back at him because he had left her for another woman.

Smith, 42, a limousine driver from Melrose, spent eight months in jail awaiting trial until prosecutors concluded that Harland was actually raped by an unidentified drug dealer, not Smith.

During Harland's trial, a longtime friend of hers testified that four days after the rape, Harland told her that her attacker was a drug dealer but that she had blamed Smith because he had broken off their relationship to be with another woman. Harland's friend did not tell authorities about the conversation until months later when she learned Smith had been jailed.

Prosecution witnesses testified that when authorities first questioned Harland about the rape, she said her attacker was a black man wearing a white T-shirt and jeans. She repeated that account later, but then changed her story and said Smith, who is white, was the rapist.
They should not have even needed the testimony of the woman's friend. If the victim changes her story because she was confused about whether the rapist was a black drug dealer or a white ex-boyfriend, then she is unreliable, at best. The ex-boyfriend should not have spent 8 months in jail.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Party aims to ban marriage

Euro feminist news:
A new political party in Sweden says it will abolish marriage if it gets into power.

The Feminist Initiative, which expects more than 20% of the vote in next year's election, claims marriage "is not about love, but about ownership".

FI founder Tiina Rosenberg, said: "Instead of marriage we want to promote a co-habitation law that ignores gender and allows more than two people in a partnership."

But she said in allowing relationships to involve more than two people, the FI did not want Sweden to fall back into a "patriarchal structure" with one man having a harem of women.

"A man who lives with eight women in a patriarchal structure, where the man decides and the women obey is not what we are aiming for," said Rosenberg.

And in order to encourage men to vote for them as well, the party's all-female board is also calling for the introduction of a six-hour working day.
This is so goofy that it sounds like a parody.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

More damage caused by Freud

This legal article says:
The tender years doctrine (intended to apply to children under age 6) was originally invoked to determine temporary custody arrangements in English law, giving mothers custody of infants only until they were ready to be returned to the father. But by the 1920's, the maternal preference for custody in English and American law, regardless of the child's age, became as firmly fixed as the earlier paternal preference, and was encoded in statute in all 48 states. The assumption that mothers were better suited to nurture and raise children received an intellectual underpinning in the 1930's from Freudian psychoanalytic theory, which focused exclusively on the mother-child relationship, and ignored the role of the father in the child's development.
The experiment is over. The maternal preference for custody has proved to be a big mistake. Freudian psychoanalytic theory has also proved to be a big mistake.

UK child support

John sends this UK story, which says that mothers receive less than half of what fathers pay in "child support", when it is collected by the Child Support Agency. The rest is pocketed by govt bureaucrats. (None of it goes to the children.) This is why govt bureaucrats are usually in favor of keeping the payments high.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Playing mind games on a date

Online dating news:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Manhattan fertility specialist has been sued by two women who say he broke their hearts after meeting them through an online dating site on which he pretended to be single.

In their lawsuits the two women, Tiffany Wang and Jing Huang, accused Dr. Khaled Zeitoun, 46, of pretending to be single and using mind games to entice them into sexual relationships with tales of past lives.

According to court papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court and made public this week, Zeitoun is married with three children. Wang said she met him in March 2001 through a Web site on which he said he was single and had never married.

"Zeitoun claimed he and Wang had been married to each other in previous lives," Wang's lawsuit said, adding that the doctor told her he had mistreated her in that life and "searched for her in this lifetime to correct his past mistakes."

Wang says that in May 2002, he asked her to marry him but only proposed "to see the look of joy on her face."

In a separate suit filed earlier this year, Huang said she met the reproductive endocrinologist in October 2003 through an online dating service. He fed her a similar line about being single and having been married to her in a previous life.
I am all in favor of people telling the truth, but if New York passes a law against telling silly romantic lies or playing mind games on a date, then a lot of people could end up in court. I have never heard of a couple that did not play mind games.

Louisiana: wet and wild

The Louisiana Sierra Club starts its web page with this:
The Delta Chapter is the Sierra Club in the State of Louisiana. We advance the cause of protecting Louisiana's environment in a variety of ways, including lobbying the state legislature in Baton Rouge, sponsoring a Mercury Public Education Campaign, raising public awareness about climate change, and working to keep the Atchafalaya Basin, America's greatest river swamp, wet and wild.
A friend of mine went to Mardi Gras, and he came back grinning about how "wet and wild" it was. I got the link from this NRO column.

Katrina graphics

The NY Times has excellent Katrina graphics.

Egg Donor Has Parental Rights

John sends this Ohio story:
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A woman who sold her eggs has parental rights to the resulting triplets, an Ohio appeals court said in the latest twist to a three-state custody battle.

The court ordered a new custody hearing in Ohio for the now-22-month-old boys, overturning a Summit County judge's decision against parental rights for Jennifer Michelle Rice of Arlington, Texas.

It also contradicted a Pennsylvania court, which in January awarded primary custody to the surrogate mother, a rarity in such cases, and weekend visitation to the father.
As John points out, 2 women got parental rights while the father just got weekend visitation!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Mothers responsible for child maltreatment

Here is a govt report on child maltreatment in 2001. The biggest problem, with 47% of households, is where there is a mother and no father.

Why we shouldn't aid Katrina's victims too much

A Slate column by economist Steven E. Landsburg:
First came the hurricane, then came the torrent. We're awash in accusations that the government has done too little to help Katrina's victims. Is it impertinent to ask how much would be enough? What's the right amount of federal assistance for disaster victims? ...

Let me offer myself as a case in point. I travel to San Francisco once or twice a year, and every single time I visit, I resolve someday to move there. I think my resolve has been substantially weakened in the past several days. Having seen how ineffective disaster relief can be, I am suddenly disinclined to live someplace where I might need to rely on it. And that's a good thing.

So those are two reasons we might want to rethink the policy of giving federal assistance to disaster victims. It encourages people to live in dangerous places, and it denies people the opportunity to accept higher risks in exchange for lower housing costs.
He's right, as usual. I lived near the epicenter of the 1989 7.1 earthquake in Santa Cruz. We had a disaster, but more disaster relief would not have been beneficial.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Arnold to veto same-sex marriage

The San Diego paper says:
SACRAMENTO ? Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Wednesday he will veto a bill that would have made California the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage through legislative action. ...

"Clearly he's pandering to an extreme right wing, which was not how he got elected," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, one of the bill's sponsors. "He got elected with record numbers of lesbian and gay voters who had not previously voted for a Republican, and he sold us out."
No, he is not pandering. Signing the bill would have been political suicide. He has bet his political career on taking some issues directly to people, because the California legislative process is broken. The California voters just passed an initiative against same-sex marriage initiative just 5 years ago, and the current bill is unconstitutionally in conflict with it. If the governor were to so blatantly thwart the will of the people and the California constitution now, then he'd look pretty silly trying to sell his initiatives in November.

Broken courts

A Phyllis Schlafly column says:
Gallant Americans are risking life and limb in Iraq to defend Home and Country. But they never dreamed they might lose their children, too.

When Army National Guard Spc. Joe McNeilly of Grand Ledge, Michigan came home after 15 months in Iraq, he found that a family court "referee" had taken away his joint custody of his 10-year-old son and given full custody and control to the boy's mother.

For five years, McNeilly had had a 50-50 no-problem custody arrangement with his ex-girlfriend Holly Erb. When called up to go to Iraq, he gave her temporary full custody while he was overseas.

While he was gone, Erb persuaded a family court to make her full custody permanent. When McNeilly protested, he was told that his year-long absence constituted abandonment and produced custody "points" against him.
Another column honors William Rehnquist. He was too much of a judicial supremacist for my tastes, but now is not the time to complain about it.

Monday, September 05, 2005

California ballot propositions

The news media is constantly attacking the upcoming California ballot propositions, but the first 5 or 6 look pretty good to me.

Prop. 73 requires parental notification for a minor's abortion. Prop. 74 says teachers have to work more than 2 years to get tenure. Prop. 75 says govt employee unions need consent for political action. Prop. 76 limits govt spending.

John Russell has just filed for a Shared Parenting Ballot Initiative. It looks good to me, as all the studies show that shared parenting is best for the kids and the parents.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Equal pay for equal work

A Warren Farrell column says:
Nothing disturbs working women more than the statistics often mentioned on Labor Day showing that they are paid only 76 cents to men's dollar for the same work. If that were the whole story, it should disturb all of us; like many men, I have two daughters and a wife in the work force. ...

After years of research, I discovered 25 differences in the work-life choices of men and women. All 25 lead to men earning more money, but to women having better lives. ...

I want my daughters to know that people who work 44 hours a week make, on average, more than twice the pay of someone working 34 hours a week. And that pharmacists now earn almost as much as doctors. But only by abandoning our focus on discrimination against women can we discover these opportunities for women.
You can get info about his new excellent book on his web site.

I recently talked to a couple who were firmly convinced that men get favored treatment in the workplace. The man is a computer programmer and his wife is a nurse. Neither of them had ever observed a woman getting less pay or some other unfavorable treatment on the job just because she was a woman. And yet they still somehow thought that men have some big advantage.

I've never seen any job discrimination against women either. I've seen women who were hired or promoted above their level of competence, but none who suffered some unfair sex discrimination.

Intolerant Santa Cruz

Laughing Bobby writes:
I just came across your blog while surfing, and thought I'd drop you a quick line to let you know that I was not only grateful to find some reasonable reading amidst the crazed Internet seas, but that I must also commend you for your courage in upholding your decidely conservative values, seeing as you are from Santa Cruz. I have recently moved to the area from the East coast, and have never encountered such a bizarre community of radical left-wing know-it-alls.

It is generally not worth it in Santa Cruz to speak your mind if you are not toe-stepping to the liberal agenda. A Bush-Cheney sticker on your car will get it smashed, slashed, or keyed.

It is arguably, rather ironically, the singularly most intolerant place in the country. They preach values that are seriously inconsistent with their behavior. Nonetheless, keep up the good work!
Thanks. I agree that Santa Cruz is a singularly intolerant place. You are an outcast if you are not a dope-smoking vegan Bush-hater.

Emergency price-gouging

People complain about price-gouging in an emergency situation, and many states have laws against it, but such gouging does often serves a useful purpose.

Suppose that a gas station in Lousiana has a few thousand gallons of gasoline, and no hope of re-supply anytime soon. The owner has already paid for that gasoline, and some would argue that he should only sell it at the price he paid plus a standard markup.

If he sells the gasoline cheaply, then it will probably be bought by hoarders, and then police and emergency vehicles may not be able to get gasoline at all. If he charges a market rate, then he will ensure that the gasoline will be available to those who really need it.

This is the usual argument that price controls cause shortages. People accept the argument because they don't like shortages. The odd thing is that they are willing to have price-control induced shortages during emergencies. It seems to me that it is during emergencies that shortages are the most troublesome.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Duped dad's right to sue is upheld

New Jersey news:
A man who found out 30 years after his youngest child's birth that he was not the father had the right to sue the biological father for nearly $110,000, the cost of raising the child, an appeals court ruled yesterday. ...

In 1996, just before the son was to be wed, his mother, identified in the decision as B.E.C, told him who his real father was because she wanted him to know his biological father had two children with muscular dystrophy.

Three years later, she told her ex-husband, who has said he was dumfounded and shocked.
I think that paternity fraud should be a criminal offense. It is bad enough that the wife commits adultery, gets pregnant with another man's child, and deceives the husband and the child, but this woman went to court to force the man to pay child support for a child that was not his. No woman could do that by accident or with any positive motive. She should be in jail.

TeenScreen - The Law Suits Begin

Evelyn Pringle writes:
The scheme concocted by the pharmaceutical industry and pushed forward by the Bush administration to screen the entire nation's public school population for mental illness and treat them with controversial drugs was already setting off alarms among parents all across the country. But in the state of Indiana, the alarm just got louder.

Tax payers had better get out their check books because school taxes are about to go up as the law suits against school boards start mounting over the TeenScreen depression survey being administered to children in the school.

The first notice of intent to sue was filed this month in Indiana by Michael and Teresa Rhoades who were outraged when they learned their daughter had been given a psychological test at school without their consent.

In December 2004, their daughter came home from school and said she had been diagnosed with an obsessive compulsive and social anxiety disorder after taking the TeenScreen survey.

Teresa Rhoades always viewed her daughter as a happy normal teenager. ?I was absolutely outraged that my daughter was told she had these two conditions based off a computer test,? said Rhoades.
More evidence that the schools have too much money. They should not be doing stuff like this.