Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two years, and then romance is dead

UK newspaper reports on this research:
The honeymoon period is officially over two years, six months and 25 days into wedlock, according to new research.

This is the point in the average marriage where both partners take each other, and their relationship, completely for granted.

After the second wedding anniversary couples are far more likely to scatter socks and pants around the house, leave the toilet seat up, hog the remote control and go without make-up.

And by the third wedding anniversary 83 per cent say they couldn't be bothered to continue celebrating the day they got together.

The poll of 5,000 married couples, conducted by global research company, revealed that more than half feel undervalued in their relationship.

Seven in 10 men admit they are so comfortable with their spouse they frequently leave socks, pants and other dirty washing lying around the house.

And 79 per cent think nothing of leaving the toilet seat up after using the bathroom.

Two-thirds of women polled say they never make the effort to dress up and look nice for their partner, and 54 per cent no longer bother plastering on the make-up.

In fact, a slovenly 61 per cent of women readily admit the first thing they do when they get home from work is remove all smart clothes and make-up for comfy pyjamas or tracksuit bottoms.

And 75 per cent of couples wouldn't relinquish control of the TV remote, even if their partner asked nicely.
You have been warned.

The intolerant gays in California

Who is more tolerant? Those who favor same-sex marriage, or those who are opposed?

Here in California, it is the opponents who stealing and vandalizing yard signs. They are even actively singling out other groups and harassing them:
One Web site run by a Prop. 8 opponent,, identifies the name and hometown of every Mormon donor. On the Daily Kos, the nation's most popular liberal blog, there is a campaign to use that information to look into the lives of Mormons who financially support Prop. 8.
The TV ads against Prop. 8 (which affirms opposite-sex marriage) are a little strange. They do not mention gays or lesbians because the pro-gay ads have failed with focus groups. Instead they have bland statements about discrimination and they deny that all the public schools will necessarily teach same-sex marriages. They just leave me wondering -- if the same-sex marriage promoters are not trying to force homosexuality to be taught in the public schools, then what are they trying to do?

The debate in California is not over any rights or responsibilities that gays and lesbians might have. It is only over whether gays and lesbians can use the schools and other public institutions to force others to accept their lifestyle as being just like married couples. So I think that the issue of what gets taught in the schools is a completely legitimate issue.

A current "No on 8" TV ad shows Sen. Diane Feinstein saying, "it's about discrimination, and we must always say no to that." It seems obvious to me that she and the anti-8 forces want same-sex marriage to be taught in the schools. It already is taught, in my school district.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Overly sensitive fat guy

From Wednesday's paper:
DEAR ABBY: Yesterday I ordered a taco salad and an iced tea at a popular fast food restaurant. I sat down and proceeded to eat when I noticed a couple sitting on one side of a table. Neither of them was skinny. Another couple joined them, and the women began staring at me.

I am 55 years old and 250 pounds. They were over 35 and plus-sized themselves. They may have been thinking my meal was inappropriate because of my size, but they were no different from me. I packed up my food and ate in my car. Was there a better solution? -- SALAD LOVER IN OHIO
A better solution? To what? What is the problem?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Number of Male Teachers Shrinking Fast

ABC News reports:
The number of male teachers in the United States is at a 40-year low. Out of the 3 million teachers in the United States, only one-quarter are men, according the National Education Association.

"Right now, we know that there's about 4 to 5 percent men in early education, about 9 percent in elementary education. And in high schools, we have about 14 percent," said Bryan Nelson, the founder of, a nonprofit organization working to increase number of men working in schools.

Nelson cites three main reasons for the absence of male teachers.

"The first reason is stereotypes. People believe men aren't nurturing. The second reason is fear of accusations of abuse. People are afraid men are going to harm children. And the third reason is low status, low pay," he said. ...

According to research, the presence of a male teacher in the classroom has an impact not only on boys' self-esteem but also on their academic performance. One recent British study from the Training and Development Agency for Schools found that the presence of a male teacher in the classroom for a year closed the achievement gap significantly between boys and girls, especially in English and social studies, subjects that girls tend to do better in than boys.
Here in California, public school teachers are very well paid, but the career is more attractive to women for various reasons.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It is a mistake to humanize dogs

The Seattle WA Times reports:
BOISE, Idaho — "Oh, isn't he cute? My little smootchie-wootchy!" Some women talk baby-talk to their boyfriend or husband.

Some folks talk baby-talk to, well, babies.

And some of us talk baby-talk — to our animals. ...

So, what's wrong with this picture? Some experts say that humanizing your pet — anthropomorphism — is just not the right relationship.

"People humanize dogs and don't understand their psychology as pack animals," Cesar Millan, also known as the Dog Whisperer, said on his Web site. Millan has made a business — and a small fortune — by helping people live happily with problem dogs. He's been known to turn a nonstop barker/biter into a pussycat in a matter of 30 minutes.

"I begin by showing the dog that I am the pack leader," Millan said. "I fulfill the dog's need through exercise, which is walking the dog in the correct way. I give the dog rules, boundaries, and limitations ... and then affection." Millan said that especially in America, dog owners tend to overdo it on doggy love. They "give affection, affection, and more affection, when what the dog really needs is exercise, discipline — and then affection." ...

Dogs are animals, Millan said, and they respond to calm-assertive leadership — "not emotional arguments or negotiations."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dr. Phil sued for defamation

The Denver Colorado Post reports:
LOS ANGELES—The memorabilia dealer who led O.J. Simpson to a hotel room where an infamous robbery occurred filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the "Dr. Phil" show claiming his remarks in an interview were spliced to change their meaning.

Thomas Riccio, who testified at Simpson's recent kidnapping-robbery trial, sued Philip McGraw—known on the show as Dr. Phil—and Stage 29 Media for unspecified damages. The lawsuit claims defamation, fraud, emotional distress and being portrayed in a false light. ...

Riccio said his denial of those statements and his claim that he is anti-gun were edited out and replaced with a shot of him nodding his head as if in agreement with the host.

"Had plaintiff been aware of defendants' intent and their intended actions, he would not have agreed to do the interview," the lawsuit stated.
I would also have emotional distress if a TV show falsely portrayed me as nodding my head in agreement with Dr. Phil.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Switzerland protects the dignity of vegetation

Swiss news:
A law protecting the dignity of plants? Laugh if you will. I’m down on my knees in respect and awe. At last the Western World is realizing the dire importance of taking other species into account.

Recently, the Swiss Parliament asked a panel of philosophers, lawyers, geneticists and theologians to determine the meaning of dignity when it pertains to plants.

Lo and Behold, the team published a treatise on “the moral consideration of plants for their own sake.” The treatise established that vegetation has innate value and that it is morally wrong to partake in activities such as the “decapitation of wildflowers at the roadside without rational reason.”
I don't think that this article is a joke.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Man punished for killing mouse

New Zealand news:
An Auckland man has been sentenced to community work after pleading guilty to animal cruelty charges.

Lindsay Rowles pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges and offensive behaviour after he grabbed a mouse from a woman's cleavage, pretended to eat it, and killed it in the process, Newstalkzb reported today.

An indecent assault charge was withdrawn.

Rowles was sentenced to 180 hours community service and one year's supervision with drug and alcohol counselling.
Wow. Next time I see a mouse in a woman's cleavage, I am just going to leave it there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rights, yes, but marriage, no

J.A. Shatkin writes this letter to the editor:
Our gay and lesbian friends and relatives have been done a disservice by the activists and in-your-face types who would cram gay marriage down the throats of a majority which has already defeated it once before.

The much more obvious solution would be to concentrate our efforts on enlarging the gay partnership laws to include all the rights and responsibilities now given by marriage. If such a proposition were put before the voters, I've no doubt it would pass in a heartbeat. Just don't call it "marriage."
California law has already done that enlargement. The legislature has already passed that law, and gay couples already have those rights under state law. Prop. 8 only affects whether it can be called marriage.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tallest skyscraper

The two Dubai skyscrapers on the left are still under construction. Meanwhile, the Chicago Sears Tower is still the tallest, if you don't count the silly spires on top. From Gizmodo.

Mental health parity now federal law

Here is another part of the banking bailout:
After more than 10 years in the making, the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act is now the law of the land. This landmark legislation requires health insurance plans that offer mental health coverage to provide the same financial and treatment coverage offered for other physical illnesses.
Here is a typical argument for the law:
The October 5th New York Times quotes Dr. Steven E. Hyman, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as saying that “it was impossible to justify insurance discrimination when an overwhelming body of scientific evidence showed that ‘mental illnesses represent real diseases of the brain.’” More specifically:

“Genetic mutations and unlucky combinations of normal genes contribute to the risk of autism and schizophrenia…..There is also strong evidence that people with schizophrenia have thinning of the gray matter in parts of the brain that permit us to control our thoughts and behavior.”

The trouble with this argument is that there is no medical treatment for that thinning gray matter. Insurance works best when there are well-established ways of diagnosing and treating an illness.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Supermodel confuses humans and animals

CNSNews reports:
Supermodel and Singer Mayra Verónica told during an interview at the United Service Organizations (USO) Gala Wednesday that there is a contradiction between Sen. John McCain’s and Gov. Sarah Palin’s pro-life and pro-hunting views. ...

“You know, the one thing that really gets to me, which I don’t think many people are discussing, but to me sounds like a little bit of a contradiction is being pro-life yet being pro-hunting -- unless you are assuming that animals are not alive. That’s such a huge contradiction to me on the McCain-Palin thing. It just doesn’t fit in my book,” she said.
Somebody should tell her that all of her food comes from plants and animals that were alive.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Banning same-sex marriage

I just got my voter pamphlet, and the explanation of California Proposition 8 seems inadequate. The pamphlet says:
Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.
Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:
Over the next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly from sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments.
In the long run, likely little fiscal impact on state and local governments.
What is doesn't explain is that same-sex couples do not truly have to right to marry in California, because no such marriage is recognized under federal law under the Defense of Marriage Act. Even if Prop. 8 passes, same sex couples will still be able to form domestic partnerships and gain whatever benefits are normally available under state marriage law.

So Prop. 8 is not going to affect anyone's taxes, hospital visitation rights, Social Security benefits, or anything like that. Same-sex couples can file joint state income tax returns but not joint federal tax returns, and Prop. 8 will have no effect on that.

Prop. 8 is all about symbols and image, not substantive rights. The gay lobby wants to force the public to accept same-sex marriage as being just like regular marriage. They want the public schools to teach same-sex marriage. Killing Prop. 8 is just a step in that direction.

Barack Obama says that he is against same-sex marriage. Ditto with Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Joe Biden, and a lot of others. People are entitled to such opinions. We should not have the California courts forcing us to accept another view.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Firefighters ordered to ride in gay pride parade

The LA Times reports:
SAN DIEGO -- A six-man, six-woman jury is set to begin deliberations Wednesday in a lawsuit brought by four San Diego firefighters who allege they were subjected to sexual harassment when they were ordered to participate in the 2007 gay pride parade.

In closing arguments Tuesday, the firefighters' attorney asked the jury to order the city to pay each firefighter $500,000 to $1 million for the damage they suffered from being taunted by spectators.
This is where we are headed in California -- people being forced to support homosexual causes. This story is reason enough to vote against same-sex marriage.

Update: The trial ended in a hung jury. Another trial is scheduled for January.