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.