Thursday, December 30, 2004

Married men are fat and healthy

This Wash Times story says:
Married adults are more likely to be healthier — physically and mentally — than divorced, widowed, cohabiting or never-married adults, a new federal report says.

Regardless of age, sex, race, education, income or nationality, married adults were least likely to be in poor health, suffer serious psychological distress and smoke or drink heavily, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) says in its new report, which reviews health data gathered from more than 127,000 adults from 1999 to 2002.

The only category in which married adults fared poorly was weight — and this was primarily because married men were more likely to be heavier than other men, the study says. ...

"Wives are especially good at what social scientists call 'social support' and ordinary people call 'nagging,' " said columnist Maggie Gallagher, who heads the District-based Institute for Marriage and Public Policy.

"And it turns out the nagging works: People who are reminded to do healthy things like wear your seat belts, eat vegetables, exercise or go to the doctor, actually do them more often than people who aren't reminded," said Mrs. Gallagher ...

If Gallagher's theory were correct, then why can't wives nag their fat husbands into losing weight? Here is an alternate theory:
Do you know why single men are skinny and married men are heavy?

The single man goes to the fridge, doesn't see anything good, so he goes to bed.
The married man goes to bed, doesn't see anything good, so he goes to the fridge.
There are other theories for the health difference also. Maybe most women will only marry a healthy man, and divorce him if his health goes bad.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

No more school milk cartons

This AP story says that the school milk carton is being abolished:
Encouraged by a milk industry study that shows children drink more dairy when it comes in round plastic bottles, a growing number of schools are ditching those clumsy paper half-pint cartons many of us grew up with.

"Those ... square containers are awfully hard for kids," says New Hampshire Agriculture Commissioner Steve Taylor, who has watched the trend spread to some 320 schools in New England. "Teachers say you can spend the whole lunch period just walking around and opening those containers."
My local Si Valley paper has this story along with a story about more and more teenage girls are getting breast implants. No, there is no connection.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The supposedly-gay penguins

People keep citing gay penguins in zoos as justification for human homosexuality. Here is another story.

I guess that it is possible that animal studies might illuminate human behavior. It would be interesting if animals with a homosexual orientation could be found. Most penguins mate for life. Apparently zoo penguins will choose a mate of the same sex if none of the opposite sex are available. If the gay penguins really had a homosexual orientation, then they'd prefer a mate of the same sex even when there are plenty of the opposite sex available. No one has observed that.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth

Scientific American says:
Boosting people's sense of self-worth has become a national preoccupation. Yet surprisingly, research shows that such efforts are of little value in fostering academic progress or preventing undesirable behavior.

Some findings even suggest that artificially boosting self-esteem may lower subsequent academic performance.
I expect that the worthless practices to continue.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Realizing rape, 13 years later

32-year-old singer Jill Scott remembers how she was 19 years old when her boyfriend of 4 years made love to her. She also remembers smiling all the way home.

Now this USA Today story says:
Scott says that she didn't realize what had occurred until she was recently writing in her journal.
Now Scott has come to the sudden realization that it was rape. The woman is crazy, and so is anyone else who takes her seriously.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Provocative women get noticed

This CNN story says that a couple of casino security men got fired for ogling women with low-cut blouses from hidden surveillance cameras. I thought that women who wear revealing clothes like to be noticed.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Child support guidelines are too high

The Glenn Sacks show has an economist who says:
Child support guidelines currently in use by the U.S. states typically generate awards that are three to four times what they should be if based on economically sound cost tables and on a true equal duty of support standard for both parents.
A lot of people think that child support has to be spent supporting children. It is mostly just a tax on fathers to support mothers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

96% of women are liars

This Scotland paper says:
NINETEEN out of 20 women admit lying to their partners or husbands, a survey on attitudes to truth and relationships has found.

Eighty-three per cent owned up to telling "big, life-changing lies", with 13 per cent saying they did so frequently.

Half said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby’s real father.

Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner.

And an alarming 31 per cent said they would not tell a future partner if they had a sexual disease: this rises to 65 per cent among single women.
It is my experience that men are much more truthful to women than women are to men.

Friday, December 10, 2004

UK men are helpless victims

A UK forensic psychologist says that a British subject must never defend himself when a criminal invades his home:
From a police perspective, the advice to potential victims of burglaries is unequivocal and clear-cut and you should never "have a go", so to speak, but for the victims of crime this is a very difficult thing to put into practice, especially when your natural instincts are to defend yourself, your family and your own property - the very pillars of your life that are being violated and potentially destroyed by criminals.
He suggests active passivity (trying to avoid the attacker), total passivity (offering complete cooperation with the attacker), and afterwards seeking professional "counselling to develop effective coping strategies".

No, he does not mean buying a gun or learning martial arts. He means that men must learn to accept the fact that they are helpless victims who can do nothing to defend their families.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Boys are dropping out

Andy writes:
Meanwhile, I see that there is another argument to use against Title IX quotas. Boys are dropping out of school like flies. Newspapers don't report on this, but the situation has reached crisis level. In 2003, 712,000 women earned bachelor's degrees while only 531,000 men did. In 2001, 18.9 percent of boys dropped out of high school while only 14 percent of girls did, according to Postsecondary Education Opportunity.

What's this have to do with Title IX? Boys programs need to be improved, not girls'. The big football college Penn State does attract and retain boys, unlike other schools lacking strong mens' sports program. Colleges in places like Maine and South Carolina, which have weak mens sports programs, have only 40% male enrollment. But Penn State, in contrast, is 55% men.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Men coach college girls

Girl's ice hockey is growing in American colleges, and increasingly they are coached by men. The girls should be happy -- there are far more good male coaches available than female coaches.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Andy writes:
Charges of shaken baby syndrome (SBS) are the latest rage among prosecutors. Newspapers are reporting charges or convictions at a rate of two per day nationwide. Unless a juror lost an infant due to natural causes, which prosecutors can screen for, convictions are essentially guaranteed. That's pretty rough considering that there is no real evidence that SBS (without impact) is even possible, and that analysis of the physics suggests it is impossible. One medical skeptic puts it this way: shake an egg as hard as you can and you still will not ever break the yoke.

Here are five examples of SBS prosecutions from just the past ten days:

1. Boyfriend faces 25-years to life for SBS of a girl who had fallen to a pavement days earlier.
2. Father faces 1st degree murder for SBS; denied child abuse but admitted "bouncing" baby.
3. Boyfriend charged with SBS despite lack of any external injuries.
4. Pregnant babysitter charged with SBS: "no evidence that anyone [else] caused the ... death."
5. Father sentenced to nine years for SBS that he adamantly denies.

These common themes underlie the prosecutions:

1. Mothers are very rarely tried for SBS, but fathers, boyfriends and babysitters frequently are. Prosecutors are clearly exploiting juries' prejudices.
2. Possible natural causes of death by infants are ignored. As in the fourth story below, prosecutors take the view that defendant must be guilty because no one could have done it.
3. The "confessions" to shaking are usually descriptions of an attempt to revive the infant, or merely routine jostling ("bouncing") of a baby. Sometimes the confessors speak poor English.
4. Childrens' hospitals, which rely on child abuse funding, seem more likely to allege SBS than other hospitals.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Letting daughter attend drunken frat party

A letter to Dear Abby says:
My 16-year-old daughter went to a party at a frat house where she was given a great deal to drink. Feeling "woozy," she went outside. One of the "boys" suggested she go back to his room to lie down. She had known this fellow before that night and trusted him. ...
You can guess the rest of the story. The odd thing here is that Dear Abby fails to notice anything wrong with the parents for letting their 16-year-old daughter get drunk at a college frat party.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Aliens getting American jobs

John sends this Las Vegas Sun article about how a new increase in the H-1B quota is going to cost Americans their jobs.
Some high-tech groups claim H-1B visas unfair

A push by some federal lawmakers to extend a yearly cap on temporary visas for highly skilled foreign workers is necessary to make sure American businesses can attract the talent they need to compete, company executives and immigration lawyers say.

But one local out of work computer programmer says allowing more foreign skilled workers is unfair to people like him, adding to the supply of workers chasing scarce jobs.

Jordan Stevens, a computer programmer who hasn't worked full-time in his field in three years, sees the proposed extension as a way for companies to improve their bargaining position with prospective employees, an unnecessary federal move that would hurt American workers.

NBA bad boys

I think that a lot of people are overreacting the recent scuffle at a Detroit basketball game. I've seen several TV clips, and I don't see where anyone got hurt. There was some bad behavior, but I don't think that anyone attempted to injure anyone else. I didn't see anything criminal. A one-game suspension for players should suffice.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The NY Times is covering the invention of digital music:
Music Industry Is Trying Out New Releases as Digital Only

... But for the companies, shifting to a digital world means treading on unstable financial ground. Instead of plunking down $16 for an album, fans can now visit free file-sharing networks to grab songs.
Somebody should tell them that music CDs have been all-digital for over 20 years.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Andy writes:
A few times a year liberal publications will promote a "new missing link." You can count on the NY Times running this type of story in its bogus "Science" section several times a year. Roger just circulated such a story from the Murky News (San Jose Mercury News).

Each of these stories has the following characteristics:

1. It gives the impression that the artifact is "human" when it really isn't. (Liberals have redefined "human").

2. It quotes "scientists" who likely supported Kerry and would believe in evolution regardless of the evidence, creating enormous bias.

3. It claims to have old dates for the artifacts but never tells you what was actually dated (usually the dating is NOT based on the artifacts themselves).

4. Usually the artifact is a collection of separate pieces put together by evolution promoters, but the article will not convey that impression.

5. There is a lucrative market for these alleged artifacts, giving greater incentive to fake them, that is never disclosed in the articles.

6. Independent scrutiny of the artifacts by skeptics is usually not allowed. Access to the Piltdown Man was limited for years, for example.

These pseudoscientific articles are supermarket tabloid stuff. They give science a bad name.
The article said:
Scientists have discovered the remains of a tree-climbing creature that lived 13 million years ago in what is now northeastern Spain and may be the last common ancestor of modern-day great apes and humans, according to a report published today.

Scholars greeted the discovery as a spectacular find, bringing together 83 skull fragments, vertebrae, wrist bones, ribs and other bones from the same animal, a rarity in a field that often bases its analyses on a few skull fragments and teeth.

The fossil also is the oldest of a primate displaying traits shared by modern great apes, but not by monkeys: a broad, flat chest; shoulder blades fixed to the back rather than the sides; a spinal column suited to vertical climbing; a relatively flat face; and wrists that make it easy to grab and hold branches and tree trunks.

In all, the remains represent a landmark addition to a fossil record that seeks to trace primate evolution from a 55 million-year-old lemur-like creature to the monkeys and great apes -- chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and human ancestors -- and finally to the appearance of modern humans only 100,000 years ago.
Andy is misusing the term "artifact" -- all artifacts are made by humans.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Parents get prosecuted for minor mistakes

15-year-old Christopher Osbourne got mugged, and his parents got arrested for failing to notice that his head was bleeding. His lawyers say:
The story of the interrogation and arrest of Carlene Francis and Neville Henry is far from unique; this is a case that we as lawyers at the Bronx Defenders' Family Defense Project see every day in the criminal justice system and in family court.

In poor communities of color, like the South Bronx, the criminal justice system is routinely used by the police and prosecutors to call into question reasonable and necessary parental decisions that should never be criminalized.

As the lawyers for Ms. Francis, we saw the rush to judgment by the police and prosecutors and the subsequent trauma and separation this family endured. There should never have been an arrest or a child protective investigation of this family.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

You may need permission to fast-forward

John writes:
Here's another reason to fight Arlen Specter!
Congress is considering a new copyright law:
The proposal started with the Hollywood lobby trying to prevent DVD makers from including technology that would allow people to skip through the promotional material that comes with movies at the beginning and end of DVD films.

But now lawmakers are realizing that the bill is written so loosely that it could make criminals out of viewers sitting at home who use a remote control to fast-forward past commercials. (The bill specifically allows people to fast-forward through parts of a movie if it is too gory or sexually explicit — a right people already have, of course.)
This is crazy. How would anyone decide what is legal to skip, and what is not? If, say, I have a pathological fear of spiders, could I get govt permission to skip movie scenes with spiders?

Monday, November 15, 2004

Bogus sexual harassment lawsuit

A former writer's assistant for a TV sitcom, Amaani Lyle, has sued for sexual harassment, because they used some sexually explicit language while brainstorming new scripts!

She doesn't even claim that any of the comments were directed at her, but only that she was offended that the writers talk about sex so much.

The whole point of a TV show like Friends is to be soft-core porn for women. It uses a lot of sexually titillating jokes that women like. It seems obvious that the writers would use much more vulgar language, and then clean it up for TV.

The complainer had previously sued for sexual harassment in a previous job. There should be some national registry of women who file such lawsuits.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

School has zero tolerance for cartwheels

A schoolgirl was suspended for doing cartwheels:
Deirdre Faegre, a sixth-grader at San Jose-Edison Academy in West Covina -- a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade charter school with 1,150 students --was suspended Tuesday when school authorities warned her for the last time to stop doing gymnastic stunts during lunchtime.

"They told me I can't do it anymore because I can hurt other people or myself," the 90-pound Deirdre said. "There's other kids that do ... but it's obviously only been told to me and I don't know why." ...

"Our first concern is the safety of all of our children," Patton said. The gymnastics have "created an unsafe situation for herself and others." ...

There would be chaos if all students decided to do gymnastic stunts at school, he said.

Also, Patton added, most children are not as skilled as Deirdre, who has been practicing with the Charter Oak Gymnastics team since she was 6. They may try to copy her and get hurt.

"She may be skilled in being able to do these stunts, but I have had children who have tried to mimic what these skilled children do and end up hurt."
Maybe the problem is stupid school administrators trying to mimic the skilled ones.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Arafat dead

It is funny how no one wants to say that Yasser Arafat died of AIDS.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Wisc. evolution

Andy writes:
Roger circulated an AP story saying this: "Members of Grantsburg's school board believed that a state law governing the teaching of evolution was too restrictive. The science curriculum 'should not be totally inclusive of just one scientific theory,' said Joni Burgin, superintendent of the district of 1,000 students in northwest Wisconsin. Last month, when the board examined its science curriculum, language was added calling for 'various models/theories' of origin to be incorporated."

OK, so far so good. Only the most hardened censor would object to that.

But that's what liberals are, as 300 educators complain about allowing any criticism or alternatives to evolution indoctrination. CNN's headline screams, "Wisconsin district to teach more than evolution," and AP complains with the lead sentence that "School officials have revised the science curriculum to allow the teaching of creationism, prompting an outcry from more than 300 educators who urged that the decision be reversed."
Phyllis writes:
Another item of intolerance: The ACLU is suing the Cobb County School District (Atlanta) for a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state because the school has put stickers in biology textbooks saying that evolution is "a theory, not a fact" and should be "approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered." NYT, 11-8-04

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Fatherhood wins in Mass. election

Fathers rights groups advocate a presumption of joint child custody, instead of just giving custody to the mother. A nonbinding ballot initiative in Mass. just passed with about 80% of the vote:
The referendum asked whether voters want their state representative "to vote for legislation to create a strong presumption in child custody cases in favor of joint physical and legal custody, so that the court will order that children have equal access to both parents as much as possible, except where there is clear and convincing evidence that one parent is unfit, or that joint custody is not possible due to the fault of one of the parents."

Supporters of a "yes" vote have argued that some judges in divorce and child custody cases are inclined to favor the mother when deciding which parent should have legal and physical custody. They contend that state law should guide judicial action more firmly in the direction of joint legal and physical custody and of assuring children's "equal access to both parents as much as possible."

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Is it a gay gene or a God gene

Dr. Dean Hamer, a molecular geneticist, once claimed that he discovered a gay gene. Further research by others shot down that theory. Now he claims that he has found a God gene.
Still, he writes, the fact that spirituality has a genetic component implies that it has evolved for a purpose. "There is now reasonable evidence that spirituality is in fact beneficial to our physical as well as mental health. Faith may not only make people feel better, it may actually make them better people."
This sort of goofy genetic determinism used to be very politically incorrect.

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.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Islam compared

Bob writes:
The comparison between Islam and the Soviet Union is a hit and a miss. Islam is no more unified than the components of the former Soviet Union. However, Islam has been around for over 1300 years and shows no sign of dying out. Communism will be an historical footnote in 50 years.

If we compare the contributions of cultures of the big 2 religions, Christianity has both modern science and modern democracy to its credit. Islam preserved Greek knowledge and according to the history I was taught, the renaissance was kicked off by the knowledge from Islamic culture coming to Europe and finishing off the dark age culture which was focused on the after life. I would like to find a good source which explains the differences between 11th century Islam which was active and competent at science and current Islam, which is not. Unless Islam regains its ability to support science it will never be culturally, economically, or militarily competitive.

If we look at mathematics, science, the arts, and hot sex, the Greeks were superior to Christian and Moslem cultures in per capita output.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

JAMA admits sex differences

The prestigious medical journal JAMA hired a feminist editor 5 years ago. She now wants articles that distinguish men from women! This AP story says:
These discoveries are part of a quiet but revolutionary change infiltrating U.S. medicine as a growing number of scientists realize there's more to women's health than just the anatomy that makes them female, and that the same diseases often affect men and women in different ways.

"Women are different than men, not only psychologically (but) physiologically, and I think we need to understand those differences," says Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

DeAngelis, who became the journal's first female editor in 1999, says she has made it a mission to publish only research in which data are broken down by sex unless it involves a disease that affects just men or women.
It is amazing how educated feminists have difficulty with the obvious.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Low Moslem suicide rate

Andy writes:
After I observed that Moslems have by far the lowest rate of suicide, John replied:
Where do you come up with this nonsense? We have seen thousands of suicide attacks by Muslim fanatics, who do not act alone but are aided, abetted, financed, celebrated and eulogized by their Muslim leaders. No other religion is remotely comparable to this.

In light of this appalling record, to say that "Islam bans vices" is just preposterous.
From this:
The best single socio-economic predictor appears to be religious affiliation. Suicide is infrequent in Moslem populations, typically reported as less than 1 per 100,000 per year. It also is uncommon in many Catholic countries, with rates of 2 to 8 per 100,000 per year.On the other hand, Catholic Austria and Hungary have rates of 23 and 39 per 100,000 per year, respectively. Protestant, Hindu, and Buddhist regions have, with a few exceptions, higher reported suicide rates than Moslem or Catholic ones.

John's and Joe's comments suggest they doubt this approach entirely. Yet the data are objective and certainly worth reviewing and discussing.

Note that for decades thousands of conservatives objectively evaluated the strength of the Soviet Union so that we could determine if and how to address it. In that case, one could point to a region on the globe and speak in terms of the familiar nation-state.

Where is the same analysis and debate about Islam? Does its lack of affiliation with a powerful nation-state cause everyone to drop their guard?

People can and should engage in an objective comparison in potential of Islam with that of modern Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, and atheism. Aside from which you may personally prefer, which is becoming the most powerful? Right or wrong, I would say Islam has advantages in all-important areas of personal discipline and gender relations.
Liza writes, "Please don't make me vomit."

Andy responds:
That reminds me of Yogi Berra's famous quip: "Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore. It's too crowded!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Adultery still legal in Turkey

Turkey dropped its plans to reinstate its adultery law:
Adultery was illegal in Turkey until 1996, when the Constitutional Court overturned the law, saying it was unequally applied. Under the earlier laws, men were deemed adulterers if they were proven to have been involved in a prolonged affair, while women could be charged if they were unfaithful once.
Objections came from women's rights advocates, who say that women's have a right to use their bodies to commit adultery. But the clincher came from EU officials who said that Turkey might not be let into the EU unless adultery were legal there!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

School-based mental health screening

Eagle Forum is concerned about universal mental health screening in our public schools.

Title IX FAQ

Andy sends this:
Q. Hasn't Title IX greatly increased participation by women in sports?

A. No. The Title IX quotas were imposed by President Carter in 1979. Most of the increased participation by girls and women in sports occurred in the 1970s before the quotas were imposed.

Q. What do you mean by "quotas"?

A. The requirement that schools reduce the ratio of males to females on their sports teams to the same ratio in enrollment. If the school is 50/50 in enrollment, then its Title IX quotas push the sports teams to the same gender ratio.

Q. What's wrong with that?

A. Boys are at least twice as interested in sports than girls. And just as the victories go to the best team on the sports field, the funding should go to the most motivated athletes, regardless of gender.

Q. Didn't Title IX help us win the most medals in Athens at the Olympics?

A. Our percentage share of medals in Athens was our second lowest ever at Olympics in which we participated. (Our lowest was at the last Olympics in 2000.) Since Title IX quotas were imposed, our medal share has fallen far below pre-Title IX levels.

Q. Are you against Title IX?

A. No, I'm against the Title IX quotas.

Q. Isn't our women's soccer team doing better because of Title IX?

A. Our women's soccer team did better in the 1990s than it has in this decade. Germany defeated us in the last World Cup.

Q. What about our great women's softball team?

A. Softball is a uniquely American sport. There is even talk about discontinuing it as an Olympic sport.

Q. But didn't women break records at the Olympics in Athens?

A. No. Only six American women were able to win individual gold medals in Athens. And all of them were private club-based athletes. Title IX cannot take credit for any of these medals.

Q. But what's the harm in Title IX?

A. Title IX quotas hurt our competitiveness, and cut off opportunity for developing future athletes. Most of our Olympic athletes now have to go to private clubs to develop their skills. Most people cannot afford that approach, and are not exposed to these private clubs as youngsters.

Q. But you must agree that Title IX helps women athletes, even if the men are hurt.

A. The quotas hurt women too. Women's gymnastics teams have been drastically reduced due to the quotas, and replaced by easy-to-learn sports like rowing and horseback riding. That way schools can boost their numbers of women athletes and meet their quotas. As a result only one of our women Olympic gymnasts ever competed on a college team!

Q. What's your solution?

A. End Jimmy Carter's Title IX quotas as soon as possible. Our competitiveness would improve as a result. Funding would then go to the most motivated athletes, regardless of gender.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Human Brain More Complex Than Chimps

Evolutionists are always emphasizing that we have the same genes as chimps, so they may be surprised at new research showing: Human Brain More Complex Than Chimps.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Title IX bad for Olympic athletes

Andy writes this letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Your Aug. 29 editorial on U.S. women at the Olympics, "A summer of memories and medals," and a follow-up letter to the editor dated Sept. 4, pretend that Title IX has enhanced our competitiveness.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Title IX regulations impose quotas on schools, requiring them to eliminate men's teams until the ratio of men to women athletes is comparable to their overall enrollment. Our most competitive athletes have been replaced by less interested ones. Scores of men's track, swimming, diving, wrestling and other teams have been eliminated in favor of easy-to-learn sports like women's rowing, water polo and horseback riding.

The results are predictable. No men's team (other than rowing and relays) won a gold medal in Athens. We failed to win a single diving medal for the first time ever. Our overall medal share was the second-lowest at any Olympics we have ever participated in. Since the Title IX quotas were imposed in 1979, our medal share has fallen far below our historic levels.

Women athletes have been hurt too. Only six women could win individual golds, and all were the product of private clubs. The impoverished athlete has almost no chance to win an individual gold medal anymore. Mark Spitz's and Greg Louganis' original college teams have been eliminated. Title IX quotas ensure that our declining medal share goes mostly to club athletes who have the money and support to train outside of school facilities. Even women gymnastic teams have been replaced at schools by women's crew, simply because the latter is easier to attract neophytes to.

The Olympic spirit is to give the gold medal to the best competitor. Our Title IX funding should be distributed the same way to restore our historic competitiveness and opportunity.
Title IX wouldn't be so bad if it were implemented as Congress intended. It is not clear that Congress wanted it applied to athletic programs, and it certainly didn't want quotas.

Lonnie responds:
As a high school principal for six years, I was responsbile for upholding the law, including the vaunted Title IX. I never eliminated one male athletic program during that time, nor did any of my fellow principals, nor have they since those years. There was never a quota, just the ridiculous argument that women would not rally to the newly formed women's programs because there was no evidence that they were interested in them.

What we discovered, of course, was that women soon flocked to the athletic programs in which they could now participate. As any fair-minded educator would tell you, the main force suctioning off resources from men's athletic programs was and is football and (to a lesser extent) mens' basketball, which indeed made it difficult for other sports to flourish, including women's.

All my (3) daughters participated in high school varsity athletics, as did my son. Title IX afforded them opportunities unavailable to previous generations. Those opposed to Title IX when it was enacted often felt genuinely aggrieved that women might try out for men's sports and create mixed gender teams they found appalling (never happened!) Or they honestly didn't see the clamor among girls for athletic opportunity (history has proved them wrong wrong wrong).

Those opposed to Title IX today are just gender bigots. Period.

Thanks for your thoughtful if misguided response, Mr Schlafly. I read the article of your namesake, Phyllis, also of Eagle Forum, making the same absurd claim that Title IX caused our NBA stocked Olympic basketball team to lose the gold medal, as well as other men's teams. Men's athletic programs nationwide, as you must know, have increased lo these past 30 years.

Oh, hell, I doubt you've read this far, since your goal is merely to put your propoganda into the Inquirer so it can counter the truth of my letter, so this little citizen and dad will stop.
Andy responds:
I read your response carefully. "Gender bigots"???? Don't make me laugh. There is nothing "bigoted" about objecting to the Title IX quotas that have been imposed on colleges, and are now beginning to be used against high schools. Men at Howard University lost their baseball team because of it, while women can obtain full college scholarships in sports in which they have no experience (e.g., rowing). Once people wake up to what is going on, they recognize the absurdity of it.

You omit when you were high school principal, and your other observations are outdated. Not only have numerous men's track, swimming, diving, wrestling and other sports been eliminated to meet senseless Title IX quotas, but women's teams like gymnastics have been eliminated also in favor easy-to-learn sports like rowing and water polo. The Title IX quota police are only recently taking their agenda to high schools. One high school case is before the US Supreme Court right now.

Nearly all the individual Olympic winners developed their skills in clubs, not in public schools. That's great for those who can afford the clubs. Title IX quotas are an abysmal failure at producing excellence, though it is unlikely its supporters care.

If you support allocating sports funding based on excellence and motivation, then you'll oppose the Title IX quotas.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Adult memories can be manipulated

Here is a story about a couple of scientific studies that show how unreliable childhood memories can be, and how easily those memories can be manipulated. Adults were tricked into thinking that they once got sick eating pickles or hard-boiled eggs in childhood.

One of the researchers, Elizabeth Loftus, had previously written a book on The Myth of Repressed Memory. She has made a lot of enemies.

USA Today ignores male athletes

I didn't know that the USA Today sports coverage has been taken over by feminists:
On the front page, USA Today featured a story on "U.S. gymnasts look bound for glory." Despite its title, the article turned out to be only about female gymnasts. No mention of the men.

In the Sports section, the first page was graced by photos of swimmer Katie Hoff and volleyball players Kerri Walsh and Misty May. Again, the male athletes were nowhere to be seen.

Swimmer Michael Phelps, seeking to eclipse Mark Spitz’ record of seven gold medals, is arguably the most talented American athlete competing in this summer’s Olympics. But at USA Today, gender counted for more than talent, so his story was buried on page 4F.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Viagra Falls

A side effect of Viagra's popularity is an increase in sexually transmitted diseases:
A San Francisco public health official has petitioned FDA to make Pfizer's anti-impotence drug Viagra a controlled substance because of studies showing an association between use of the medication and higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, director of STD prevention and control for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, has requested that Viagra and similar drugs be listed as Schedule III controlled substances -- a category of legal drugs that are often used for non-prescription uses, such as steroids.
Another side effect is that many people now misspell Niagara Falls. The Si Valley paper just had this headline:
Niagra Falls Plunge Survivor Returns

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Alan Yurko free

Another man serving a long child abuse sentence was freed:
ORLANDO, Fla. - A judge ordered a new trial Friday for a father convicted five years ago of shaking his 10-week-old son to death, citing problems with the autopsy.

Minutes after the judge ordered the new trial, Alan Yurko pleaded no contest to manslaughter. Circuit Judge Alan Lawson sentenced him to time served, allowing Yurko to be released from prison where he had been serving a life sentence in the death of his son, Alan Ream-Yurko.

During a weeklong hearing, Yurko's defense team argued that Alan Ream-Yurko might have died in 1997 as a result of poor health, adverse reactions to vaccines and medical-treatment mistakes.
I am not convinced that vaccines caused the kid's death, but Yurko's conviction does appear to be based on junk science. I think that it is peculiar that judges, cops, prosecutors, and others were so eager to believe that a father would shake a baby to death.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Phony child abuse cases

The CBS 48 Hours TV show today told about people sent to prison for child abuse based on bogus evidence. Apparently all the experts in the 1980s believed that allegations from children were always true, even if the interrogators used manipulative tactics and there were gross inconsistencies in the testimony. Gerald Amirault was finally paroled after 18 years in prison. He was almost certainly innocent, and he certainly did not get a fair trial.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Lesbian rape is good rape, say feminists

I missed this story, about 6 months ago:
The Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee banned "West Side Story" because its members said it stereotyped Puerto Ricans. They banned "Peter Pan" because it stereotyped Native Americans. Yet they want the play the "Vagina Monologues" performed even though it stereotypes males and Christians -- not to mention the fact that it's crude and arguably pro-pedophilia.

Most disturbing about the play is the fact that it features the seduction of a female minor by an adult woman, legitimizing predatory sexual behavior before an audience of minors.
Apparently the lesbian drugging and rape of a 13-year-old is a good rape, because the girl learns that she will "never need to rely on a man".

Another rape extortionist

William Kennedy Smith is mainly famous for being acquitted in a 1991 televised rape trial. The case did indicate that he and his uncle Sen. Ted Kennedy like to party. Now he is faced with another rape shakedown. Five years ago, Audra Soulias dated him for several months, and she is suing him for $3M because she says that the affair started with a sexual assault!

This stinks. We need a shorter statute of limitations, a legal distinction between criminal rape and boorish behavior, and some penalty for extortionist lawsuits. I would think that the real rape victims would offended that these allegations are taken seriously.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Calif uses experts to throw men in jail

Ever wonder how a man can get thrown in prison, even though all the witnesses testify at trial that he is innocent? Here is a judgment upholding a 10-year sentence against a man for a domestic violence charge. The alleged victim testified that the man never even threatened her, but the prosecutor relied on a supposed expert named Darr:
Darr testified: Domestic violence victims, after describing the violence to the police, often later repudiate their description. There is typically “anywhere between 24 and 48 hours where victims will be truthful about what occurred because they’re still angry, they’re still scared.” But “after they have had time to think about it . . . it is not uncommon for them to change their mind.” About 80 to 85 percent of victims “actually recant at some point in the process.” Some victims will say they lied to the police; almost all will attempt to minimize their experience.
The only dissenter on the California supreme court was Janice Rogers Brown, whose appointment to the federal court has been held up by Democrats. I guess that I should be glad that she hasn't been confirmed; we need her too badly in California.

Apparently there are legal precedents that say that Battered Women's Syndrome (BWS) is sufficiently out of the ordinary experiences of jurors that they need expert testimony to explain the behavior of a woman with BWS. An expert in another case described BWS as:
a pattern of learned helplessness and dependency, originating in childhood, which, without intervention, is perpetuated throughout the victim’s life that psychologically causes her to return again and again to relationships in which she is battered and abused.
Not only is this nonsense, it doesn't apply to the case at hand because there was no evidence that the alleged victim (and witness) had BWS. There was just a single incident that was rooted in a routine landlord dispute.

I predict that criminal defense lawyers will soon wise up to this scam. Scott Peterson's lawyer (Mark Geragos) could present an expert witness to testify that Amber Frey is lying because she might have BWS.

George writes:
What's wrong with allowing experts? Do you think that all jurors have personal experience with battered women?
No, but jurors don't have personal experiences with bank robbery either.

Having expert testimony on the credibility of other witnesses is just manipulating the jury on whom to believe. It is up to the jury to decide for themselves whom to believe. When Amber Frey or Kate Faber testify, they don't bring in experts to tell the jury when sluts lie. There is no science for reliably determining liars in court. If there were, then maybe we would have to rethink our whole criminal justice system. But there isn't.

It is axiomatic that if the alleged victim testifies that no crime occurred, and there is no other witness or physical evidence, then the defendant should go free. But this poor man will spend ten years in jail for one little harmless heated argument.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Title IX regulations hurt Olympic athletes

People watch the Olympics, and a lot of outstanding female athletes, and assume that Title IX helped them. But this column says that the USA is getting fewer medal because of Title IX, and wrestling great Dan Gable details
what a disaster Title IX has been:
A recent presidential commission heard testimony detailing the damage that the current Title IX regulations have strewn on America's college campuses. UCLA's swimming team, with scores of Olympic medals, gone. The University of Miami diving program, which produced Greg Louganis, axed. Kent State Hockey, no more. U. Mass gymnastics, hang 'em up. Consider what happened to Kevin Bracken, member of the 2000 Olympic team. His senior year Illinois State University, rather than add a women's program, dropped its wrestling team.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Taking Sex Differences Seriously

Taking Sex Differences Seriously by Steven E. Rhoads seems to be politically incorrect. You can listen to an interview here, or read a review.

Olympic medal share

Andy points out that the USA share of Olympic medals has dropped to 10%, and all-time low. He attributes the drop to Title IX, which crippled many college athletic programs like wrestling. It supposedly helped girls' athletics, but most of the female medalists got no Title IX benefit. Eg, at most one out of the 10-girl USA gymnastics team got any benefit.

Movie fiction becomes courtroom reality

US courts are known for junk science, and lawyers sometimes learn their science from the movies. John sends this SF story:
(08-22) 07:52 PDT LOS ANGELES (AP) --
Lawyers for a graduate student indicted in a series of firebombings and vandalizing of sport utility vehicles hope to use his mental state as a defense during trial.
William Jensen Cottrell, 24, a physics student at the California Institute of Technology, was indicted in March in connection with damage and destruction of about 125 vehicles at car dealerships and homes in August 2003 in the San Gabriel Valley. Authorities said the attacks caused $2.3 million damage.
Cottrell's lawyers said last week that a defense expert has diagnosed him with Asperger's syndrome, which also is known as "high-functioning autism."
They filed court notices indicating their intent to raise the issue during trial, and hope to argue that the condition made him incapable of arson conspiracy.
Mayock's co-counsel, Marvin Rudnick, alluded to such a defense in March when he mentioned Cottrell in reference to the 2001 film "A Beautiful Mind," which focuses on a schizophrenic math genius.
Those who have Asperger's syndrome tend to take matters too literally and are prone to bouts of confusion, the lawyers said.
They also argue Cottrell could have been duped into participating in the andalism spree.
"If 'Rain Man' was adopted by Jesse James, would 'Rain Man' be a criminal?" Rudnick told the Pasadena Star-News.
Bad as the courts are, I doubt that anyone is going to believe that a CalTech Physics grad student is mentally retarded.

There should be no problem finding an expert who will testify that Cottrell has Aspergers syndrome. You can find the official test here, and I wouldn't be surprised if most of the CalTech Physics Dept. tested positive. The syndrome is quite different from what you'd expect from the movies.

George writes:
Are you saying that autism is a phony disease? Or adults with autism cannot be geniuses?
There are no autistic people like the character in Rain Man.

There are lots of adults who would test positive for high-functioning autism. The symptoms are:
  • low social and communication skills -- as evidenced by a preference for solitary activities
  • focused -- they have an attention to detail, and dislike attention switching
  • lack of imagination --
    they are well-grounded in reality, and don't like children's fantasy games.

Normal people (who are not autistic) frequently claim that they can just look at someone, or listen to a couple of sentences, and completely size up his thoughts, feelings, and intentions. Not claiming to have such abilities is considered to be a symptom of autism.

You can read the research paper here.

George writes:
You make it sound like there is something wrong with people who are not autistic?
The people who geniunely suffer from autistim are mentally retarded, and are not geniuses or idiot savants.

Most mental disorders are defined in terms of some inability to function properly in society. See this free summary of the DSM-IV criteria. But shrinks diagnose high-functioning autism based on various personality quirks, and those people could be quite successful in our society.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

No-fault divorce

John writes that NY state still doesn't have no-fault divorce, even the NY Bar Assn advocates it. Here is a recent case:
Judge denies divorce: Adultery not enough

Says husband’s admission of affair is not sufficient to end 17-year marriage because wife resumed sexual relationship with him
John also says that this editorial is a textbook illustration of how people cling to their preconceived "logical" theories for decades after they have been totally disproved by the empirical data, i.e., reality. It describes what everyone predicted as the concept of no-fault divorce swept the nation in the 1970s.

John Kerry's Monstrous Record on Civil Liberties

Reason explains why John Kerry is bad on civil liberties issues. In the great crypto politics debate of the 1990s, John Ashcroft favored a law recognizing our right to use encryption for personal privacy, and John Kerry favored laws to restrict encryption, and let the govt spy on citizens. Ashcroft is better on other constitutional issues also, such as our 2A right to keep and bear arms.

Roswell lives

All the wacky conspiracy theories seem to come from Democrats these days. John says that Roswell lives!
Ten years after the U.S. Air Force closed its books on the claim that a UFO crashed in Roswell, N.M., in 1947, a top Democratic Party figure wants to reopen the investigation into the cosmic legend.
Despite denials by federal officials, many UFO buffs cherish the notion that in early summer of 1947, a flying saucer crashed in rural Roswell, scattering alien bodies and saucer debris across the terrain.
Now Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who chaired the recent Democratic convention in Boston, says in his foreword to a new book that "the mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained -- not by independent investigators, and not by the U.S. government. ... There are as many theories as there are official explanations.
"Clearly, it would help everyone if the U.S. government disclosed everything it knows," says Richardson, who served as Energy secretary under President Bill Clinton. "The American people can handle the truth -- no matter how bizarre or mundane. ... With full disclosure and our best scientific investigation, we should be able to find out what happened on that fateful day in July 1947."

Friday, August 13, 2004

Woman prefers dogs over a husband

Ever hear unmarried women in the thirties complain that no suitable men are available for marriage? Here is a 33-year-old women who cannot decide between a husband or having a couple of indoor dogs. Dear Abby says to stick to the dogs, and cancel the wedding.

Update: I got some feedback on this one. The animal lovers say that the fiance is obviously a jerk, and the marriage would be doomed. Those without pets say that the woman is being unreasonable. I say that in 7 years the dogs will be dead and the woman will be a lonely and bitter old maid. She can tell people that she never got married because her husband-to-be didn't want to live with a couple of dirty and smelly animals, and she chose her dogs over a husband.

New Jersey gov. is out

People are praising New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey for giving a courageous and honest speech. Popular blogger Wonkette said that it was the best political speech of the year. But it was not.

McGreevey blamed his troubles on being born gay. He is not gay, he is bisexual, and he wasn't born that way. His political troubles stem from the fact that he promoted his adulterous lover to being homeland security chief of New Jersey, which endangered everyone because he was unqualified for the job. McGreevey apparently used his governor's office to pay blackmail. None of this was explained in his speech.

McGreevey hasn't resigned, either. He only announced that he will leave office on Nov. 15, after the elections, thereby robbing New Jersey citizens of a chance to determine their own governor. His speech was one of the most dishonest and irresponsible speeches I've heard in a long time.

Apparently McGreevey's Democratic allies knew about his homosexual affair and his official corruption, and covered up for him.

Update: As of Aug. 24, McGreevey still hasn't submitted a resignation letter. Maybe it was all a big publicity stunt.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Britain allows limited human cloning

I expect the left-wing San Jose Mercury News to jump on stem cell research as an excuse to justify their Bush-hating rants, so I wasn't surprised to see a page 3 story with the sub-headline (in the print edition) "Britain allows use for stem-cell research while U.S. remains without coherent policy".

But it turns out that the article is complaining that Bush does not have enough restrictions on stem-cell research! It says:
The United States remains without a coherent policy on cloning. ... no federal legislation has been passed that would restrict or ban the technology. So U.S. companies remain free to experiment with cloning without the need of a license, ...

``We're in the worst possible situation,'' said Arthur Caplan, an ethicist at the University of Pennsylvania. Privately funded entities can do as they want, he said. ``The public sector is unable to regulate or control anything.''

``Those of us who are serious about medical applications would welcome the control'' ...
Pres. Bush does indeed have a coherent and reasonable policy, and it is more liberal than that of many other countries.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Faber's friend tells all

Why the Kobe Bryant trial delay? CBS News says:
In a thorough review of court documents, CBS News pieced together the likely basis of the defense case. In October, under aggressive questioning by attorney Pamela Mackey, lead detective Doug Winters admitted that:
  • another man's semen was found on swabs taken from the woman's body.
  • pubic combings uncovered another man's body hair.
  • And that the young woman arrived at her rape exam wearing underwear containing semen that was not Bryant's.
In a later defense filing, Bryant attorney Hal Haddon argued that the soiled underwear "compellingly suggests" another sexual encounter after Bryant and before the rape exam 18 hours later.
The new allegations come from Kate Faber's college friend Laie Weatherwax. She says that Faber has had sex with dozens of men, including several within days. She also says Faber likes it doggie style, and sometimes bleeds if the man is extra large. More of Weathermax's story can be found on

The prosecution's case depends on keeping all of this info from the jury.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Testing psychotherapies

This NY Times article says that the hottest controversy in psychotherapy is that some people want to test the relative effectiveness of various methods!

Biased newspaper

I didn't read my local San Jose Mercury News for a week, and now I wonder why I even subcribe. On the editorial page today, it has two op-ed articles under the heading "Ferociously divided nation". I naively expect one pro-Republican article, and one pro-Democrat. Instead, both were pro-Democrat polemics complaining about John Kerry is being attacked by his enemies!

The newspapers, TV, bookstores, and even movie theaters are filled with slanderous Bush-hating diatribes. By contrast, attacks on Kerry have been muted, and limited to political issues that Kerry himself has raised.

Nobody talks about Kerry's bitter first wife, or anything like that. Kerry cites his Vietnam record as his main qualification for office, so it only seems fair for people to point out lies in his record.

George writes:
The second article was a Democrat smear piece, but the first article
was even-handed. It said:
At this level of anxiety, democracy itself is difficult. From the right, there's a tendency to equate dissent with disloyalty. From the left, there's an instinct to see Bush's decisions as goose steps in a march toward authoritarianism.
No, that is not even-handed. Right-wingers welcome dissent. Eg, many right-wingers opposed the Iraq War. The main point of the article is to say that political ads should not attack Kerry's war record.

I disagree. Kerry's war record shows what a phony he is. Eg, for years he has been telling people about how Nixon secretly ordered him into Cambodia at Christmas 1968. But Kerry was never in Cambodia, and Nixon was not even president then, as this article explains.

The new unreleased expose of Kerry's Vietnam record is now ranked first on the Amazon top seller list.

Katelyn Faber sues Kobe Bryant

Katelyn Faber has now sued Kobe Bryant in federal court, to collect monetary damages for her alleged rape. Her name has been (supposedly accidentally) released in court documents, and at various sites like this one.

This case shows the inequity of the rape shield laws, and the failure to make reasonable distinctions between different types of rape.

If Faber really had sex with another man a couple of hours after seducing Kobe Bryant in his hotel room, and the sperm stains imply, then it impossible that she was forcibly raped. She is threatening to send Bryant to prison for life and to enrich herself in the process, and I think that the jury and the public should know exactly what she is doing.

Kerry tries to be decisive

This Boston Globe story says that John Kerry tried to appear decisive by announcing that
Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whispered into my ear, 'America was under attack,' I would have told those kids very politely and nicely that, the president of the United States had something he needed to attend to
But when asked whether he would have gone to war against Iraq, he said, "You bet we might have".

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Chicken pox vaccine not very effective

Andy sends this Reuters story:
During an outbreak of chickenpox in Minnesota in the fall of 2002, more than half the children who became infected had been immunized with the varicella vaccine, according to a new report.

Evidently, booster shots may be required to provide stronger protection against chickenpox. ...

The primary case in the outbreak was a vaccinated 6-year-old boy. ...

Lee's group estimates that the effectiveness of the vaccine in warding off infection was 56 percent.
The chicken pox vaccine was sold to the public as a vaccine that would not need a booster, and most states have made it mandatory for the schools.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Pope denounces feminism

An AP story says:
The Vatican on Saturday denounced feminism for trying to blur differences between men and women and threatening the institution of families based on a mother and a father.
Seems obvious? No, some feminists are all upset:
The feminist author Natasha Walter questioned whether there were essential differences between men and women at all. "We have centuries and centuries of acculturation towards a 'vocation' of maternity, and men have only had a couple of generations of acculturation towards active paternity. Until we encourage men [to do more] it's too early to call on whether there are innate differences. The weight of tradition is so strong that it precludes the freedom to choose."

I guess she thinks that feminists should spend the next 500 years training men to be more like women.

Here is the Vatican letter.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Zoo monkey evolved

This AP story says that a zoo monkey evolved:
JERUSALEM (AP) - A young monkey at an Israeli zoo has started walking on her hind legs only -- aping humans -- after a near-death experience, the zoo's veterinarian said Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Bad feminist research leads to bad law

The California case Marriage of Burgess (1996) was the precedent that made it very easy for divorced mothers to move away and terminate father's rights, while still collecting child support. I just learned that the decision was based on bad research by a forensic psychiatrist who claimed that children were usually better off with the father out of the picture.

Supposedly the decision was codified into law, but a recent California decision has thrown the issue back into turmoil.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Girlie men

Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants us to vote out the "girlie men". I'll do my part. They are 3 weeks late passing a budget, and they haven't the guts to make the necessary cuts. No, Arnie is not apologizing.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Drug companies recommend drugs

All of the major news media carried the story that the medical experts were now recommending lowering LDL cholesterol to 70, using drugs if necessary. But this AP story says:
The new guidelines, issued Monday by the American Heart Association and the federal government, were aimed at preventing heart attacks.

They were written by nine of the country's top cholesterol experts. At least six have received consulting or speaking fees, research money or other support from makers of the most widely used anti-cholesterol drugs.

The new guidelines would add about 7 million more Americans to the 36 million already encouraged to take the pills to lower their cholesterol, ...
The authors did not disclose their biases. These drugs cost up to $100 per month, so this paper could generate billions of dollars of drug revenue.

A NJ paper says:
One panel member, NIH scientist Bryan Brewer, was chastised last week by Public Citizen, a watchdog group, for writing a favorable journal article about AstraZeneca's Crestor without disclosing that he received grants from the company. AstraZeneca has declined to discuss the nature of the grants or how much Brewer received. Brewer has declined to comment.
After the criticism, the authors finally disclosed a summary of their financial biases. 8 out of the 9 were paid off by cholesterol drug companies.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Democrats want kids on Prozac and Ritalin

Here in Silicon Valley, there is heavy demand for child shrinks.
The paper reports
"Everyone knows there's a nursing shortage. Everyone knows there's a teacher housing shortage. People aren't aware in the same way that there's an extremely long waiting list for kids who have dire needs" for psychiatric help, said Michael Zamore, an adviser to Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-Rhode Island, who co-sponsored a bill last year to create scholarships and loan forgiveness programs for people pursuing mental health services for youth. "Everyone knows there's a nursing shortage. Everyone knows there's a teacher housing shortage. People aren't aware in the same way that there's an extremely long waiting list for kids who have dire needs" for psychiatric help, said Michael Zamore, an adviser to Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-Rhode Island, who co-sponsored a bill last year to create scholarships and loan forgiveness programs for people pursuing mental health services for youth.
It is funny how everyone can know things that are false. There is no nursing shortage, no teacher shortage, and no pediatric psychiatrist shortage. They are the same politicians who brought hundreds of thousands of immigrants into Silicon Valley based on a theory that we had a computer programmer shortage, even tho we already had thousands of unemployed programmers.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Bad advice from Dear Abby

I am beginning to think that Dear Abby gives deliberately bad advice. Every time I look, the advice is incredibly wacky.

Today a parent wrote that his 16-year-old daughter was temporarily upset, and when he quizzed her about it, she said that she was gay. Dear Abby advises him that he needs to accept her orientation as an established fact, and that he should join a pro-lesbian lobbying organization that promotes the myth that a homosexual orientation can never be changed.

This is wacky. A girl does not get temporarily upset about being gay. Adolescent girls do often get confused and upset about a lot of different things, and some of those could cause them to be a little mixed up about their sexuality. This parent needs to get to the root of the problem. It is much more likely that she had a bad date, or suffered rejection, or is just going thru an odd phase, or something else. It is impossible for her to know that she is a lesbian if she has never even had a sexual experience.

Another letter writer complains that her retired mother spend a lot of time on the internet, and sends her 5 emails a day with jokes and other entertaining finds. She thinks that this is burdensome, and wants to politely tell her mother not to send her email. Dear Abby says that her mother must be told not to send so much email!

Other people have mothers who call on the telephone at all hours of the day and night, who visit unannounced, who stay for weeks at a time, who intrude on their social lives, who manipulate their spouses, who spoil their children, etc. This mother just sends 5 emails a day! Only the most miserable and ungrateful person could possibly object to 5 emails a day from her mother.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Armchair economics

The economic analyses of Steven E. Landsburg are always entertaining. In a couple of columns, he cites strong evidence that daughters cause more divorce than sons, and suggests that parents are happier with boys.

More recently, he suggests that the economic argument for executing computer worm writers is even more compelling than the argument for executing murderers. Economists estimate that each execution deters about 8 murders, on average.)

Friday, July 09, 2004

Stupid quote of the day

A race-baiting politician made a fool out of himself. CNN reports:
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- State Education Secretary Richard Riordan jokingly told a child her name, Isis, meant "stupid dirty girl," prompting the head of the California NAACP on Thursday to call for his resignation. ...

Democratic state Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally ... had scheduled a protest by civil rights organizations, ...

Dymally was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News Thursday saying the child was "a little African-American girl. Would he (Riordan) have done that to a white girl?"

The girl is white, with blonde hair.
Her picture is on the page. She looks very white to me.

Riordan is 74 years old, and not as sharp as he used to be. He grew up in an era when a man could tease a girl and get away with it.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Court Upholds Wife's Right to Complain

This AP story says:
A woman has the right to complain about her ex-husband - even if he finds it annoying, the [Washington] state Supreme Court ruled.

The high court on Thursday overturned a judge's order that barred a woman from complaining about her ex-husband to police and other agencies.
Some women would have nothing else to talk about!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Rape victims don't get pregnant

In order to get confirmed to be a federal judge, Leon Holmes had to apologize for saying that rape victims rarely get pregnant. But it is true that victims who report a rape do not get pregnant. They are given the equivalent of a morning-after pill. It is much more common for a woman to claim as an excuse for a pregnancy, but to never make a police complaint.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

No Hitler, but bitches are everywhere

Bob sends this quote from Julie Delpy, a French movie actress"
I know a lot of women who use men, but the world is not perfect. Fifty years ago there was Hitler; now there are bitches everywhere.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Sen. Ted Kennedy wants to drug your kids

The Boston Globe says:
WASHINGTON -- A bill banning schools from coercing parents into putting their children on psychotropic drugs, passed with near-universal support in the House, is being tied up in a Senate committee by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who contends it requires more study.

Supporters of the bill, which sailed through the House 425 to 1, said it will help prevent an epidemic of children on drugs like Ritalin and Prozac, and that Kennedy is being influenced by his longstanding ties to health and pharmaceutical associations, which contend the bill will discourage the diagnosis of mental illnesses that could be easily treated.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Stalker to become child psychologist

Ever wonder what sort of people become child psychologists? From today's news:
An alleged stalker who sent threatening letters to Catherine Zeta-Jones wrote to her again to say: "I'm sorry", it was revealed yesterday.

In a note to the 34-year-old actress and her dad-in-law, Kirk Douglas, Dawnette Knight said: "I want to apologise for any distress I have caused you and your families." ...

Knight asked to be forgiven so she could carry on with her studies in child psychology. She was remanded in custody.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Jack Ryan v. 7 of 9

The usual Democratic shills are complaining about a Republican sex scandal, and comparing it to Bill Clinton. Eg, William Saletan of Slate
charges hypocrisy:
Six years ago, Republicans demanded that Bill Clinton be investigated and impeached for having sex with an intern and covering it up. Now their nominee for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, Jack Ryan, is brushing off his then-wife's allegations that he repeatedly pressured her, despite her protestations, to have sex with him in front of other people. Instead of denouncing Ryan, many Republicans are defending him.

But his facts are wrong. Clinton was not impeached for having sex with an intern. He was impeached for lying about it under oath. He first denied it under oath in order to cheat Paula Jones in a civil lawsuit, and then he denied to the grand jury that the affair started while she was still an intern. (His autobiography now concedes that it started while she was an intern.)

You read the released 1999 Ryan divorce papers here, or an AP summary here. (Also here.)

The Chicago Tribune filed the lawsuit to get the papers released,
and it published a history of USA political sex scandals, including this:
Thomas Jefferson: The president carried on a 38-year affair with Sally Hemings, a slave. The relationship resulted in at least one -- and up to six -- illegitimate children.
In fact, there is considerable doubt about the Hemings story. This is some DNA evidence that a male relative of T. Jefferson fathered a child with Hemings, but there are historians with very good arguments that T.J. himself was not the father.

It is not clear why Jack Ryan's papers should be considered scandalous. They tell a personal story that doesn't belong in the newspaper. Much of it is still blacked out. From what I can gather, Jack and Jeri Ryan were married about 8 years and had 1 son. Towards the end of their marriage, her acting carreer took off as she got the TV role as Seven Of Nine in Star Trek Voyager. She then had an affair with another man, and secretly plotted to bail out of the marriage. She was the one that filed for divorce.

In order to make Jack look bad in a custody dispute, Jeri tells a story about how he had a fantasy about having sex with her at a kinky sex club. She refused. This occurred during a period in which Jeri had decided that the marriage was over, but Jack was trying to save the marriage.

What is sad here is that we have laws, courts, and lawyers who give incentives to wives to tells these stories, and judges and newspapers who try to manipulate an election by publicizing a 5-year-old sordid divorce dispute?

A spooky aspect to this story is the TV character Jeri played. 7of9 was absorbed into the Borg Collective, and is still part robot with unknown allegiances towards and evil robotic empire. Jack must have felt like his wife really was being absorbed into the Borg!

Update: Jack Ryan is now out. This is another example of the fact that divorce is usually caused by the wife, but the husband ends up getting blamed anyway.

Update: This story explains the unfairness of the Jack Ryan case. John Kerry also has a bitter ex-wife and some sealed divorce records. It will be interesting to see who thinks that the public has a right to see those records.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Court lets cops hassle couples

The Supreme Court in Hiibel v. Nevada just ruled 5-4 that a suspect has to identify himself to a Nevada police officer investigating a crime, even if he is not under arrest. (Actually, if he is under arrest, he can remain silent under the Miranda rules.)

This might be reasonable if the cops were fighting real crimes. But the whole premise of the case was that the police need to monitor and log minor domestic disputes where no one makes a complaint. Some busybody had claimed that Hiibel had some sort of fight with his wife or girlfriend, and the police insisted on intervening even tho all appeared well when they arrived on the scene.

Conventional wisdom says police need to intervene into domestic disputes, even if the wife is not complaining. People point out how the cops didn't do much when Nicole Simpson called 911, and a couple of years later O.J. stabbed her to death.

I don't buy it. If no one complains, then the cops should butt out. We already have no-fault divorce, in which any wife can walk out of any marriage at any time and for any reason. We have restraining orders, in which bitter ex-wives and ex-girlfriends can make sure that they won't be bothered. We don't need cops going around busting up ongoing marriages.

Clinton's stain

For an amusing Google searrch, check out Clinton stain. Half the hits refer to a stain on Monica's dress, and the other half quote Bill Clinton as saying, "I don't see it as a stain". Funny choice of words.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Low-flying turkey buzzard

John writes that Helmet can't protect you from a low-flying turkey buzzard.
HOLLAND [New Jersey] TWP. -- A motorcyclist was killed in a head-on collision Friday after tangling with a low-flying turkey buzzard, township police said. ...

Witnesses told police the buzzard slammed into Maglori's helmet and the motorcyclist then tried to fight off the 10- to 15-pound bird.

The motorcycle veered into the northbound lane and collided head-on with a stopped vehicle just north of Phillips Road, police said.
After a nasty lawsuit, I am expecting the helmet makers to have to put suitable disclaimers on motorcycle helmets!

The lies of Michael Moore

Even the left-wing ideologue Christopher Hitchens cannot stomach the lies of Michael Moore. See his scathing review of Fairenheit 9/11. In particular, much of the movie complains the Bush administration (actually it was the Bush-hater Richard Clarke) let bin Laden relatives leave the country a couple of days after 9-11-2001. Of course, those relatives are mortal enemies of Osama bin Laden, and were free to travel anyway. But where Moore is particular dishonest is that Moore opposed the invasion of Afghanistan because he claimed that Osama bin Laden is innocent!

Webster writes:
I'll admit that Moore's movie has a liberal bias, but Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity (who present themselves as legitimate journalists) have just as heavy a bias. You can find false statements and heavy spin from either one of these people, but I don't here half the country calling them liars. I'm not an ideology, and happen to like Bill O'Reily, and I agree with you on the point that it was O.K. for the Saudis to leave after 9/11. However, saying that the movie is completely full of lies is extreme. Moore takes a stab at "why" Bush does what he does. The "truth" is that no one will ever know why Bush does what he does.

You said in your article that Moore claimed Bin Laden's innocence. That is false, but I'm not calling you a liar. Moore said that Bush didn't put enough effort into going after Bin Laden in Afghanistan. His point was that he didn't put as much effort into Afghanistan because his real target was Iraq (and also because of the pipeline which I don't agree with him on). He does not claim that Bin Laden is innocent. Aside from the liberal spin in this movie there are some good points and I don't think people should be so threatened by it. Just remember it is biased.
My statement about Moore and bin Laden was based on Hitchens saying this:
In late 2002, almost a year after the al-Qaida assault on American society, I had an onstage debate with Michael Moore at the Telluride Film Festival. In the course of this exchange, he stated his view that Osama Bin Laden should be considered innocent until proven guilty. This was, he said, the American way. The intervention in Afghanistan, he maintained, had been at least to that extent unjustified.
Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are right-wing commentators, and their opinions are certainly biased towards the right. But I have never heard either of them present deliberate lies the way Michael Moore does.

For more info on Michael Moore, see Jeff Jarvis,, and I actually haven't seen his new movie, but I watch Bowling for Columbine, and it was filled with misrepresentations and cheap shots from beginning to end.

Update: See also Fifty-six Deceits in Fahrenheit 911, More Distortions From Michael Moore (Newsweek), The New Republic, Spinsanity,
and a lot of others who point out lies in Moore's movies. Eg, Newsweek says:
we stand by our account that Unger's claims about the Saudi flights, as portrayed in "Fahrenheit 9/11," are contradicted by the findings of the 9-11 Commission.