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.