Saturday, October 29, 2005

Felony domestic violence in Ohio

I didn't know that domestic violence is often punished more severely than stranger crimes. If a spouse attacks you, then it is a felony, but if a stranger does the exact same thing, it is just a misdemeanor.

These laws vary from state to state. Check out this little controversy in Ohio:
The domestic violence statute covers assaults against "a person living as a spouse," and thus recognizes a relation of unmarried couples which approximates marriage.
There is more discussion here.

So now Ohio same-sex marriage advocates are arguing that since gay couples are not allowed to have relationships that approximate marriage, then they can beat each other up and the penalty will just be a misdemeanor. If only they could marry each other, then they could convict each other of felonies!

This is really wacky. The problem here is not same-sex marriage, but the radical domestic violence lobby that has over-criminalized minor marital spats. The law should protect us from stranger attacks, not from whom we decide to marry.

If women ran the world

There are some funny pictures here.

New cheap immigrants

Joe Guzzardi writes:
Specter, along with Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, devised a plan to sell hundreds of thousands of American professional jobs over the next several years to foreign workers by increasing the numbers of H-1B visas issued and raising the fees charged for them.

The final proposed Specter-Kennedy scheme would recapture unused H-1B visas from previous years and reissue up to 30,000 new visas annually with an added $500 fee tacked on. ...

"Microsoft is once again running the show up there. The whole plan came from a Microsoft lobbyist whose colleagues are overpowering all the House and Senate leaders this week demanding that the tripling (maybe quadrupling) of employment-based green cards and H-1Bs goes through!"

"This is a travesty for American students studying to enter scientific, engineering and high-tech fields, as well as to those Americans who have worked hard to become masters of their craft."
These new H-1B visas will cost a lot of American jobs. The visa fees do not pay for the damage.

Friday, October 28, 2005

More Bad News for Obsessive Parents

An economics blog says:
In the chapter of Freakonomics called ?What Makes a Perfect Parent??, we analyze the data from the U.S. Dept. of Education?s Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, and argue that many things that modern parents do to make their kids ?smarter? (i.e. culture cramming), doesn?t have any effect on early childhood test scores. Apparently we?re not the only ones who think this is so.
He's right. Parents commonly do a lot of things that are not educationally helpful.

Assaults by women

Martin S. Fiebert published this:
This bibliography examines 174 scholarly investigations: 138 empirical studies and 36 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 163,800.
A lot of people just don't believe it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Educated women having problems

Science news:
Women who are educated, married or heavy are more likely to have low sex drives, according to a landmark Canadian study that explored links between sexual problems and social and personal factors.

The research, which is published in the current edition of The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, found that 55 per cent of respondents had one or more of three concerns about sexual function: low desire, pain during sex and infrequent orgasm during intercourse.

Contrary to the researchers' expectations, university-educated women are more apt to have low sex drives -- 48 per cent compared to 31 per cent among high-school graduates. They are also less likely to have orgasms during intercourse.
The study doesn't say anything about cause and effect.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Shooting with a donut

Scott Adams explains:
The problem is that there?s an unwritten rule in newspaper comics that you can?t show a gun being fired.
Both versions of the comic are shown.

French lesbians inundating clinics

Belgian news:
BRUSSELS ? A Brussels fertility clinic claims it is being swamped by demand from French lesbian couples seeking fertility treatment.

"Last year, of the inseminations using a donor's sperm, 72 percent of patients came from France, with a majority of them being homosexual," the Erasmus fertility clinic's head Anne Delbaere told La Libre Belgique.

She said the clinic had never turned down requests for insemination from lesbian couples, or single women, since it opened 15 years ago.

But she said it would have to start limiting consultation appointments to French couples.

"We haven't got enough sperm samples in stock to meet all the demand, ..."
There are children from such operations who complain that they have been cheated out of a father.

Dear Abby, pro-lesbian

I guess Dear Abby is a lesbian Christian-hater. From today's column:
DEAR ABBY: I am a 35-year-old lesbian. I have a wonderful partner and we have an amazing 10-year-old son. My problem is, we seem to offend people when we refer to ourselves as a "family." ... We are a family. Our son calls us both "Mom." ...

DEAR TRYING NOT TO OFFEND: Forgive me if this seems negative, but some people are so rooted in their fundamentalist ideology that they cannot and will not change. ...
It appears that Dear Abby is a bigoted against fundamentalist Christians. There were no fundamentalist Christians or fundamentalist ideologies mentioned in the letter. It was merely a dispute over the definition of the word "family". Apparently some people do not consider a boy with 2 "moms" a family.

Here is a typical definition:
family noun (pl. families) 1 a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit. 2 a group of people related by blood or marriage.
Chances are that the lesbians have taken court action to prevent the boy from seeing his real father.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Undermining marriage

Maggie Gallagher was defending traditional marriage on a blog. I think that she is correct that traditional marriage is deteriorating, and that support for same-sex marriage is a factor, but there are several bigger factors. Here are a few.

Feminism. American women are treated better than any class of people in the history of civilization. Feminists somehow think that women are being mistreated, and they are not happy in a traditional marriage.

Decoupling of marriage from custody and support. Marriage once meant an agreement to jointly share the rights and responsibilities for any children that result. Now family courts usually completely ignore whether there was a marriage or not when they consider child custody and support.

Monetization of fatherhood. Father's rights have been attacked to the point where fathers are valued only for what they pay in child support. Mothers have a big incentive to get a divorce, take the kids, and collect child support.

Undermining parental rights. Various liberal ideas, such as "it takes a village to raise a child" and "the best interest of the child" have been used to undermine parental rights, and give teachers, physicians, judges, and others authority over children. Part of the purpose of marriage is to take responsibility for children, and when some of that responsibility is removed, marriage has less purpose.

No-fault divorce. Anyone can walk now out of any marriage for any reason, and it is usually the women who walk. Divorce court litigation is nastier than ever, for other reasons, but marriage has been effectively redefined to mean that spouses have very few marital obligations to each other.

Domestic violence enforcement. Domestic squabbles can now result in arrest and prosecution, even if no victim wants to press charges. Laws like VAWA work to bust up marriages by promoting discontent. There used to be a marital privilege protecting spouses from testifying against each other, but it is now ignored.

Public approval for adultery and other sexual arrangements.

Same-sex marriage. The homosexual lobby tries to gain social acceptable by redefining marriage. The new definition is a departure from traditional purposes of protecting children.

Sperm donation and other reproductive technologies. It is now legal for a woman to have a child with no legal father.

Abortionists against telling parents

I am still looking for a decent argument against Calif Prop 73, which requires that underage girls seeking an abortion notify a parent or a judge. Scott Herhold writes:
``This measure will endanger doctors like our daughter,'' she said, explaining that a doctor would have to report any abortions to the Department of Health Services. ``I fear all these doctors would have their medical records subpoenaed.'' ...

In case you're still wondering, Proposition 73 is a bad law. It would impose cumbersome reporting requirements on doctors. It sets up a complicated court process for pregnant teens to bypass consent.

Worst of all, it betrays a class bias. It assumes every family can sit down and calmly make a decision about what to do when a teen becomes pregnant.
I guess abortionists are not used to having any accountability for what they do, so that explains why they might be against Prop 73. But what is the "class bias"? Is there one class of girls that needs parental advice, and one that does not? I think that Herhold and the other pro-abortion radicals are the ones with the class bias.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Brazil votes for guns

The Brazilian govt heavily promoted a gun ban, but the voters just rejected it overwhelmingly.

It is funny to see gun-grabbers complain that someone might have translated some NRA propaganda into portuguese. They sound like elitists who think that ordinary Brazilians don't understand the need for self-defense.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Kids on sleeping pills

Sleeping-pill use among kids and teenagers nearly doubled between 2000 and 2004. Fifteen percent of these users are also taking pills for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Theories: 1) Kids need sleeping pills because their ADHD keeps them awake. 2) They need sleeping pills because their ADHD pills keep them awake.
I really doubt that so many kids need to be on pills.

Officials Remove Newborn

Penn. news:
At issue, officials say, is not so much Ms. WolfHawk's fitness as a mother as her choice of mates. The newborn's father, her husband, served a decade in prison as a sex offender in New York 22 years ago, convicted in the rape and sodomy of two teenage girls. The boy is the third child Ms. WolfHawk has lost for just that reason.
There is a lot of hysteria about sex offenders. The man served his time a long time ago. His punishment should be limited by his sentence.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Legislation to double H-1B visas

Draft legislation before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee would allow IT vendors and other companies to nearly double the number of foreign workers they bring to the U.S. by "recapturing" unused worker visas from past years.

The draft legislation would increase the number of skilled foreign workers U.S. companies can bring to the U.S. under the controversial H-1B visa program. By recapturing unused H-1B visas from years going back to the early '90s, U.S. companies could bring in up to 60,000 more foreign workers this fiscal year.
We already have a surplus of IT workers. This will just increase unemployment among Americans.

Dying from too much water

Gina Kolata writes in the NY Times:
Dr. Lewis G. Maharam, the medical director for the New York City Marathon and marathons in San Diego, Phoenix, Nashville and Virginia Beach, said he was taking every opportunity this year to educate runners about the biggest threat to their lives on race day - drinking too much water.

... in their zeal to avoid becoming dehydrated, runners may end up drinking so much that they dilute their blood. Water rushes into cells, including cells of the brain. The swollen brain cells press against the skull, and the result can be fatal. The resulting condition is known as hyponatremia - too much water.

"There are no reported cases of dehydration causing death in the history of world running," Maharam said. "But there are plenty of cases of people dying of hyponatremia."
The article doesn't say, but hyponatremia is really too little salt (sodium) in the blood. So health experts have been giving us two pieces of bad advice: that increased water intake is always good, and that decreasing salt intake is always good. Table salt has no known adverse health effects in people with normal blood pressure.

Breaking the Science

Free Republic trashes a PBS documentary:
The Program's Claims The hour-long program makes some astonishing claims. George Washington University Law Professor Joan Meier says that in "75% of cases in which fathers contest custody, fathers have a history of being batterers". In her worldview, if a father seeks a relationship with his children in family court, that in itself is tantamount to proof that he's a batterer.

This is the end of the creditability of this study., For folks who have been paying attention, this is part of a long-runniung strategy by radical social engineers to "destroy the patriarchy" by weaking the traditional family using actions that disenfranchise men from families, increase divorce, promote gay marriage, etc.
I just watched the show, and was possibly the worst that I have ever seen. Here is more proof of how biased PBS is.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Quiet Revolt Against the Rules on SIDS

Not all parents are accepting the new SIDS guidelines. Putting a baby to sleep on her back might slightly reduce the risk of SIDS, but it increases the risk of poor sleep, misshapen heads, and delayed development.

Technological singularity

From Wikipedia
In future studies, a technological singularity (also referred to as just the Singularity) is a predicted future event when technological progress and societal change accelerate due to the advent of superhuman intelligence, changing our environment beyond the ability of pre-Singularity humans to comprehend or reliably predict. This event is named by analogy with the breakdown of modern physics knowledge near the gravitational singularity of a black hole.
Ray Kurzweil has a new book on this subject, but the ideas go back 50 years.

Dalai Lama censored

NY Times news:
The Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of Tibet who is revered as a spiritual teacher, is at the center of a scientific controversy.

He has been an enthusiastic collaborator in research on whether the intense meditation practiced by Buddhist monks can train the brain to generate compassion and positive thoughts. Next month in Washington, the Dalai Lama is scheduled to speak about the research at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

But 544 brain researchers have signed a petition urging the society to cancel the lecture, because, according to the petition, "it will highlight a subject with largely unsubstantiated claims and compromised scientific rigor and objectivity."
Scientists seem very narrow-minded when they try to stop someone from speaking. Sure, the Dalai Lama is not a scientist, but he is reporting on legitimate research. And this is neuro-science, a field that is overrun with quacks as it is. Here is an article about using brain scand to try to diagnose psychological disorders.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Schools favor girls

David Brooks writes:
This year, 133 women will graduate from college for every 100 men. By decade's end, the Department of Education projects 142 female graduates for every 100 male graduates. Among African-Americans, there are 200 female grads for every 100 male grads. ...

One thing is for sure: In 30 years, the notion that we live in an oppressive patriarchy that discriminates against women will be regarded as a quaint anachronism.

There are debates about why women have thrived and men have faltered. Some say men are imprisoned by their anti-intellectual machismo. Others say the educational system has been overly feminized. Boys are asked to sit quietly for hours at a stretch under conditions where they find it harder to thrive. ...

In other words, if we want to help boys keep up with girls, we have to have an honest discussion about innate differences between the sexes. We have to figure out why poor girls who move to middle-class schools do better, but poor boys who make the same move often do worse. We have to absorb the obvious lesson of every airport bookstore, which is that men and women like to read totally different sorts of books, and see if we can apply this fact when designing curriculums. If boys like to read about war and combat, why can't there be books about combat on the curriculum?

Would elementary school boys do better if they spent more time outside the classroom and less time chained to a desk? Or would they thrive more in a rigorous, competitive environment?

For 30 years, attention has focused on feminine equality. During that time, honest discussion of innate differences has been stifled (ask Larry Summers). It's time to look at the other half.
You can sometimes find these NY Times opinion column here.

The notion that we live in an oppressive patriarchy that discriminates against women is already a quaint anachronism. Nearly all the sex discrimination is in favor of women, and it has been that way for a long time.

Race v sex preference

I found this in a same-sex discussion on a blog:
Okay, no one has stepped up (that i've noticed) to address the whole analogy of the current gay marriage movement to the civil rights movement and the bans on interracial movement.

The analogy doesn't work for one simple reason. Race is purely a social construct. Sexual preference (according to the establishment view) is innate to an individual, and consequently not socially constructed (granted it may be socially influenced, but that is society's imposition of its norms, not the realization of the individual's unimpeded desires). Therefore, the two situations are quite distinct. The laws on interracial marriage sought to establish bans that artificially limited marriage based upon a social construction. Not allowing gay marriage, explicitly or implicitly (depending on the laws), bans certain behaviors based upon a real inherent difference.
This is amazingly stupid. Race is innate, and not a social construct. Sexual preference is probably not innate. There is certainly no genetic or other objective test for identifying sexual preference. Some states once had marriage laws that discriminated based on race, but no state marriage laws discriminate based on sexual preference. (The restriction is that the couple have opposite sexes, but says nothing about their sexual preferences.)

Energy is conserved

A review of Dr. Atomic:
It sounded so good that at first I didn't even mind that the show opened with a colossal mistake. The chorus sings, "Energy can be neither created nor destroyed but only altered in form," the old law of the conservation of energy. Einstein's discovery that this statement is wrong, and that matter and energy can be transformed into each other, is what made the bomb possible.

The composers have said they will fix those lines.
I hope they don't "fix" it. The song is fine. Einstein said that matter is just a form of potential energy, so when energy is transformed into matter, it is just being altered in form, as the song says.

The review goes on:
It is nothing new to compare Oppenheimer to Faust. He was also the Christ figure of American physics, who was betrayed by Teller and lost his security clearance amid accusations of disloyalty.
Huhh? Oppenheimer lost his security clearance because he got lying about his various Communist connections. Teller played a minor role. It was remarkable that a pro-Soviet Communist held a high security clearance for as long as he did.

Expel illegal aliens at the border

AFP news:
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department aims without exception to expel all those who enter the United States illegally.

"Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the 'catch and release' enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions.

"It should be possible to achieve significant and measurable progress to this end in less than a year," Chertoff told a Senate hearing.
This should not be such a radical idea.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Porn filtering

Lauren Weinstein complains about the new .xxx domain. His big fear is that govt agencies will induce a lot of the raunchy porn sites into moving to the .xxx domain, and then users will be able to more easily filter them out. Maybe even some school computers will be configured to block the .xxx sites.

What am I missing? Filtering is essential to use of the internet. I use spam blockers, firewalls, porn filters, and other filters. Most people do. Anything that makes filtering easier is a good thing, not a bad thing, because it gives users finer control over his experiences.

The filtering does affect my blogging a little bit. If I use a lot of vulgar or pornographic language, then the search engines will rate my blog as offensive, and it won't show up on some searches. To some bloggers, this might seem like censorship. But it seems fair to me to let users block sites that they consider offensive. If I want the widest audience for my blog, then I need to skip the offensive language.

Using Caller ID

I agree with this privacy advocate who admits that the campaign against telephone Caller ID was misguided.

My telephone number is listed, and my outgoing calls are unblocked so that they identify me and my phone number. I nearly always want to identify myself when I call someone. If for some reason I want to be anonymous, I can just dial *67 before the number.

I also block all calls from phone that do not provide Caller ID. I just have no reason to be taking anonymous calls. If someone has a blocked phone, then he can just dial *82 before the number to release the Caller ID info.

Another critic says:
I believe that automatic rejection of incoming ID-blocked calls is irresponsible to one's family and self. We can't possibly anticipate when a loved one will be in distress, calling us from a stranger's telephone. Automatic blocking disallows such a call from reaching us.
That is just not true. Use *82. Caller ID has been commonplace for about 15 years now, and there is no mystery to it.

Caller ID and voice mail also make the Call Waiting service worthwhile. I used to think that Call Waiting was very rude because it meant constanting interrupting a conversation for random and unknown callers. But with Caller ID on Call Waiting calls, I only interrupt if the call is important. Otherwise, I let the voice mail take it. That way, no one gets a busy signal, I get all my messages, and the important calls come straight in.

If you want to block Call Waiting for a call, such as for an outgoing fax, then just dial *70 before the number.

I hardly ever get telemarketer calls because the telemarketers don't like to identify themselves. They typically use some very deceptive practices, and they prefer to give their pitch to people without use of Caller ID.

Eliminating telemarketer calls is great, but the biggest advantage to requiring Caller ID is just to positively identify the calls that I want to take. If I get a call from a business, then I want some assurances that it is really is the business that it claims to be. I do sometimes get calls that claim to be from my bank or some other business that might have a legitimate need to talk to me, and the Caller ID does not match. I don't know if the caller is part of a scam or what, but the Caller ID allows me to efficiently terminate the call. Caller ID is also useful when friends call, as I can assess the usefulness of the call. I know people who use answering machines as calling screening devices, but Caller ID is much more polite, efficient, and useful. For me, anyway.

No broad cultural capital or jobs

Florence B. Schklowsky writes in a NY Times letter:
College grads with degrees like one in theoretical mathematics have slim chances to obtain broad cultural capital or jobs.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Sperm donor pays

Court news:
Stockholm - A Swedish man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple must pay child support for the three boys he fathered, the Supreme Court has ruled.
It appears that lesbians get parental rights, but no responsibilities.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Grandparents Given Rights by Ohio Court

Ohio court news:
Ohio's highest court unanimously ruled yesterday that the grandparents of an 8-year-old girl must be allowed to visit her over the objections of her father, upholding the constitutionality of a state law granting nonparents visitation rights to children.

The decision by the Supreme Court of Ohio comes at a time when parents across the nation have been challenging the constitutionality of such laws. While courts in some states, like Florida and Washington, have struck down those laws, courts in others have upheld them.
This is another example of parental rights being undermined.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Blood test for anxiety

This company claims:
A new technique that can accurately diagnose anxiety disorders by performing a simple blood test, was developed at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The researchers hope that the anxiety blood test will soon make its way into hospitals and E.R. rooms and give doctors and psychiatrists a quick and precise tool for examining, and eventually treating, these disorders. The team has recently started work on another common illness ? depression. They hope to find a way to diagnose and finally treat the millions who suffer from this illness as well.
It is probably no worse than using ink blots, as some psychologists still use Rorschach tests.

The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

Economics prof. Carlo M. Cipolla wrote this in 1987:
Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

A stupid person is a person who caused losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be costly mistake.

A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.
The Swedish Economics prize (sometimes called a Nobel prize) just went to a couple of game theorests, and this amusing article seems appropriate.

Water Bridge

See this Water Bridge in Germany. It is not what I expected. (I don't know why the page has ads for Alzheimer's info.)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Lying teachers unions

I am voting for Calif. Prop. 75 because I don't think that govt employees should be forced for to fund partisan political causes. I think that most of what the govt employee unions do is bad.

Here is an example. Phil Yost, a leftist editorial writer, says:
So why are they resorting to a hysterical -- and essentially false -- charge in their TV ads against Proposition 74, the governor's teacher-tenure initiative?

Two anti-74 ads released last week by the California Teachers Association are ``patently and demonstrably false,'' the governor's campaign complains.

There's good reason for the indignation.

Each ad claims that Schwarzenegger has broken his promise to restore full education funding this year. It's a disputable assertion, but a fair one. Then the ads say Proposition 74 ``allows one principal to fire a teacher without giving a reason -- or even a hearing.''

The teachers union offers a tortured defense of that statement, but its obvious intention is to leave the impression that teachers will be fired without recourse.

Not true. ... The teachers union could have made various telling points without stretching the truth.
California teachers should not have to pay for these lies. Vote Yes on Propositions 74 and 75.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Close to Home

I watched the first episode of the new CBS series Close to Home. It was sick. First, a mom and 2 kids are rescued from a burning house, and it appears that the mom was trying to kill herself and the kids. Then a woman DA is chosen to prosecute the mom, so she can explain to the jury that mothers should not kill their kids (and only a woman and mother can do that, I guess). But the DA drops the charges when she discovers that the mom might have been psychologically coerced by her husband (the dad). The DA gets a restraining order against the dad to bust up the family and prevent him from seeing his wife or kids. The mom is allowed to keep custody of their kids, even tho the DA is convinced that the mom tried to murder the kids. The DA sticks with the mom even after she lies under oath at a deposition. When the husband reconciles with the wife, the DA has him arrested, even tho no one complained. In the end, the DA goes to bed gloating about sending the dad to prison for 25 years.

The dad does turn out to be a creep, and the viewer is supposed to think that the DA is a big hero. I think that the message of the show is really insidious. It tries to say that the family next door in the suburbs might really be murderous crazies, and no matter what evil things the wife does, it will all be the husband's fault somehow. Women are too stupid to act in their own interests, and police should go busting up marriages where the wife appears to submit to a husband who is too domineering.

For another account of the episode, see this.

This is the type of thinking that drives VAWA. It just expired, but Congress is expected to renew it.

I have never even heard of people like the characters in the TV show. They seem as if they might be the intended beneficiaries of VAWA, but such people just don't exist.

Update: The US Senate just approved VAWA on a voice vote. The House has already passed, and after conference committee resolves the differences, Bush will sign it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Crime of Unauthorized Reproduction

Indiana news:
Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."

According to a draft of the recommended change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother throu gh assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation, and egg donation, must first file for a "petition for parentage" in their local county probate court.

Only women who are married will be considered for the "gestational certificate" that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the "gestational certificate" will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents.

As it the draft of the new law reads now, an intended parent "who knowingly or willingly participates in an artificial reproduction procedure" without court approval, "commits unauthorized reproduction, a Class B misdemeanor." The criminal charges will be the same for physicians who commit "unauthorized practice of artificial reproduction."
I don't know if this is serious or not, but I do think that it is irresponsible for fertility clinics to create babies without legal paternity. Kids need fathers.

Delaying teacher tenure

I am looking for any reasons why anyone would oppose Calif. Props. 73-77. Prop. 74 delays tenure decisions on new public school teachers. Here is a local teacher complaining:
I love teaching. I gave my stuffed animals homework when I was a kid. But when you are not permanent, you can be let go without being told the reason why or shown any proof that you did anything wrong. It's nerve-racking. The idea of having to wait five years is discouraging. [26-year-old Gwen Jones]
Wow. She thinks that because she gave homework to her stuffed animals, she is entitled to a job for life.

Most workers in the private sector can be fired at any time for any reason (except for a few prohibited reasons like racial discrimination). Most of the people I know have suffered the consequences of massive layoffs at one time or another.

The teachers' union has put ads on TV saying that if Prop. 74 passes, then teachers could be fired over the objections of the parents. This is a sneaky argument. Parents currently have no say about the hiring and firing of teachers, and Prop. 74 does not change that. Maybe we need another ballot proposition to give parents more say about how the schools are run.

Monday, October 03, 2005

James Q. Wilson on marriage

James Q. Wilson writes:
Since the Supreme Court struck down laws against homosexual conduct many people have been preoccupied with either encouraging or resisting homosexual marriage. Whatever your views about homosexual marriage, were it adopted nationally it would affect only about 2 or 3 percent of the population. Cohabitation, divorce, and single-parent families are problems that affect roughly half of the population. Still, we find it more interesting to discuss homosexual marriage than to discuss marriage itself.

But talking about marriage is essential to the future of our society.
There is a movement to destroy marriage as it has been known for centuries. Same-sex marriage is just a small part of it.

Girls rule, boys drool

Cathy Young discusses how schools favor girls, and gives these quotes:
Currently, 135 women receive bachelor's degrees for every 100 men. That gender imbalance will widen in the coming years, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Education.

"If you listen to 10- or 11-year-old boys, you will hear that school is not a very happy place for them. It's a place where they're consistently made to feel stupid, where girls can walk around in T-shirts that say 'Girls rule, boys drool,' but if a boy makes a negative comment about girls he'll have the book thrown at him."
Having 2 girls in school, yes, I think that the schools favor girls.

Forced attitude training

A memo from a UCLA dean:
In September of 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 1825 requiring employers to train anyone with supervisory responsibilities in sexual harrassment prevention. The University's definition of "anyone with supervisory responsibilities" includes chairs, deans, principal investigators, and any faculty who have teaching assistants or research assistants, in addition to staff supervisors and managers. The new law specifically requires 2 hours of training and that the training be repeated every 2 years. It also requires employers to keep records of training attendees. The deadline for initial compliance with the law is January 1, 2006, thus everyone must have completed the training by this date.
It sounds like feminist indoctrination from the thought police.

Faking illness

Here is an odd story in my local paper:
Women, here's something that might leave you feeling a little sick.

Your male colleagues are more than twice as likely as you to fake a case of the sniffles just to get a day off work.

In fact, 29 percent of men surveyed for a new nationwide Harris Interactive poll 'fessed up they had done so within the past year. Only 14 percent of women had.

Which means? Even more men are habitually playing hooky -- some probably just didn't admit it.

``Men are just more aggressive about calling in sick . . . and are less truthful, apparently,'' said Frank Kenna, president of the Marlin Co., which commissioned the survey. ``Being one of them, I hate to say it.''
It seems to me that the poll is saying that the men are more truthful, not less truthful. It is the men who admit what they are doing to the pollsters.

VAWA and male privilege

This Wash. Times column says:
The resulting legislation was the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). While appearing to fight for a noble cause, the law does little to actually remedy domestic violence and does not address several original conference goals: It is not gender-inclusive, allocates funds under a flawed grant system, and ultimately promotes family breakup, not reconciliation. The legislation currently before both chambers of Congress purports to address the gender issue but offers ineffective or counterproductive language.
VAWA funds nonsense like this:
As long as we as a culture accept the principle and privilege of male dominance, men will continue to be abusive. As long as we as a culture accept and tolerate violence against women, men will continue to be abusive.

According to Barbara Hart in Safety for Women: Monitoring Batterers' Programs:
All men benefit from the violence of batterers. There is no man who has not enjoyed the male privilege resulting from male domination reinforced by the use of physical violence . . . All women suffer as a consequence of men's violence. Battering by individual men keeps all women in line. While not every woman has experienced violence, there is no woman in this society who has not feared it, restricting her activities and her freedom to avoid it. Women are always watchful knowing that they may be the arbitrary victims of male violence. Only the elimination of sexism, the end of cultural supports for violence, and the adoption of a system of beliefs and values embracing equality and mutuality in intimate relationships will end men's violence against women.
Domestic violence is about power and control. A feminist analysis of woman battering rejects theories that attribute the causes of violence to family dysfunction, inadequate communications skills, women's provocation, stress, chemical dependency, lack of spiritual relationship to a deity, economic hardship, class practices, racial/ethnic tolerance, or other factors. These issues may be associated with battering of women, but they do not cause it. Removing these factors will not end men's violence against women.
My tax money should not be funding this kooky drivel. It is destructive.

Cathy Young has just written a level-headed history of domestic violence in the USA. (Click on the pdf to get the full story.)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Change traffic lights at will

I stumbled across this:
The device the "mysterious hacker" is using to change all the RED lights to GREEN is a MIRT. It is nothing "secret" or extraordinary. A MIRT is a device that uses Infra Red technology to trigger Pre-Emptive sensor on a traffic light and causes the light to change to green. Yes, this device will give you the ability to ALWAYS HAVE A GREEN LIGHT. The shadowy hacker did at least give one good tid-bit of info, if you want to order one, you will need to do your share of Social Engineering, as they are only sold to "Authorized Users". Oh, and you will need to pony up the $300-$400 to get one.. Well, paying isn't the I-Hacked way, lets build one! Today I am going to show you how to build a DIY Mirt for less than $20.
Apparently all you need is a gadget that transmits infrared light at about 10 cycles per second (and to get legal authorization to zip thru traffic lights). Authorization info is here.

Muslims win toy pigs ban

UK news
NOVELTY pig calendars and toys have been banned from a council office ? in case they offend Muslim staff.

Workers in the benefits department at Dudley Council, West Midlands, were told to remove or cover up all pig-related items, including toys, porcelain figures, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.

Bosses acted after a Muslim complained about pig-shaped stress relievers delivered to the council in the run-up to the Islamic festival of Ramadan.

Muslims are barred from eating pork in the Koran and consider pigs unclean.

Councillor Mahbubur Rahman, a practising Muslim, backed the ban. He said: ?It?s a tolerance of people?s beliefs.?
I didn't think that a Winnie the Pooh tissue box violates any Mohammedan laws.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Yes on Calif. Prop. 73

I just got my California voter info pamphlet, and there are some pretty good initiatives on the ballot.

The first is Prop. 73, which requires parents to be notified when a minor gets an abortion. Under current law, a California parent can not even always get his child's medical records. I will vote for Prop. 73. This is a no-brainer. I cannot see any circumstances when a parent should be denied his child's medical records. None.

The opposition to Prop. 73 comes from pro-abortion radicals who want children to have sexual relations and get abortions with their parents' knowledge.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once advocated lowering the age of consent for girls to 12. Prof. Volokh has posted a theory for how Ginsburg could have pushed something so wacky. Under his theory, Ginsburg intended to lower the age of consent for girls to 12, but only when the girl is having sex with a boy who is age 17 or younger. Because of a possible drafting error, the condition on the boy's age was omitted, and her written recommendation was to lower the age of consent for girls to 12 in all cases.

At any rate, Ginsburg's recommendations were widely circulated and supported among radical feminists, and she has never retracted them or claimed that any mistake was made. There are feminists who believe that 12-year-old girls should have the freedom to have sexual relations, get pregnant, and get an abortion without their parents ever knowing.

Andy writes:
Volkoh is making a fool of himself. It's common knowledge that the ACLU mindset is to dramatically lower the age of consent. There are a variety of reasons for this. Planned Parenthood makes money and political mileage out of pregnant 12 and 13-year-olds. Homosexuals also want lower ages of consent for recruitment and more sex. The porno industry has made megabucks by featuring young teenagers. One of its biggest stars of ten years ago was underage, until prosecutors ruined the operation.

Ginsburg's 12-year-old consent proposal was and is mainstream for the Left. The only surprise is that Volkoh doesn't know this, or won't admit it.

For example, just one search on the internet will turn up many liberals who want dramatically lower age of consent laws. In the very first website I pulled up, it says:
Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline told reporters, ?The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) states specifically in its brief that it is a constitutional right for any child age 13 and older to consent to have sex with anyone.?
Prop. 73 does not require parental approval for the abortion; it only requires that the parents be told. Actually, it doesn't even require that, because the minor child can still avoid it by getting a judge's approval.