Monday, January 31, 2005


Teachers who hate kids is the only reasonable explanation for it

A Haverford High School honor roll student, known to all as a conscientious, high achiever, was suspended from school last week for taking what might be considered the equivalent of an aspirin. The suspension was based on a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy, which expressly forbids any form of self-medicating -- including use of over-the-counter products -- without proper authorization. The incident sparked an outraged response from parents, and raised questions about school policy.

It began innocently enough when a senior female student experiencing menstrual cramps asked a friend for a Tylenol or Advil. The classmate had none, but in an effort to be helpful, asked a third student, who supplied a generic form of Aleve. Aleve is a non-prescription strength form of Anaprox, sold over the counter as a fever reducer, and for temporary relief of minor aches and pains.

The young woman took the Aleve, but continued experiencing discomfort and went to the nurse. When questioned, the student told the truth and admitted obtaining Aleve from another student. An assistant principal was summoned to the scene.....

The Aleve affair was deemed a level 5 violation, subject to a maximum three-day suspension prior to a hearing with the principal. Both girls were sent home. Based on findings, initial suspensions may be extended, with possible referral to an assessment team, or the police when appropriate. Disciplinary actions are recorded on school records.....

More here


Police sit on their hands until complaints are made about them

Outraged pro-life advocate Mary Higdon sat on the Parade Ground on Monday afternoon to guard the now-defaced tribute to aborted babies. Police recommended she get some kind of security to prevent further vandalism of her exhibit - she said she was all the security she could afford. Vandals allegedly stole and damaged 3,000 of the 4,000 crosses set up on the Parade Ground this past weekend to protest the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the court case that legalized abortion 32 years ago. Although police say the investigation is still on-going, cross owners are saying police are not taking the vandalism seriously enough. Higdon said there are probably about 1,000 crosses left on the grounds.

Shortly after 12 a.m. Monday, an LSUPD officer saw five individuals removing crosses from the Parade Ground. LSUPD Maj. Ricky Adams said the officer identified them and ordered them to leave. He said the officer did not arrest the individuals, but the investigation is still on-going. Adams said he anticipates the police department will issue charges of criminal mischief or damaged property later this week.

But Higdon, a psychology senior and president of Students for Life - an anti-abortion campus organization - said Monday was not the first instance of vandalism since the group set up the 4,000 crosses Saturday morning. Higdon said over the weekend, people stole and burned clusters of crosses, spelled out "pro-choice" in broken crosses, spray painted part of the exhibit and placed hangers - an old symbol of illegal abortion - on the grass. "This is not a game," Higdon said, "this is private property."

The crosses, which were on loan from St. Mary and St. Joseph Family Memorial Foundation, cost $3 a piece to make, Higdon said. Richard Mahoney, president of the foundation, said they have been lending crosses to Students for Life for 10 years and that vandalism has occurred before, but never like this. Mahoney is furious, and said that if LSUPD does not handle the situation justly, he has lawyers prepared to file suit. "Defacing a religious symbol is a hate crime," Mahoney said. Mahoney said the vandals damaged more than $9,000 worth of private property, which should be prosecuted as a felony.

But Adams said there is no way of knowing who took what, so the identified individuals probably will be charged with misdemeanor charges.

Mahoney said that if a Jewish or other religious minority group set up an exhibit that vandals defaced, such as the Star of David, the act would not be tolerated. He said a Christian organization should not have to tolerate it either. "This is not just a couple of broken crosses," he said. "This is a symbol of our faith. They spit on Christ, his church and his people."

More here

Sunday, January 30, 2005


The woman is always right -- so right as to prejudice justice. Encouraging people to make accusations was scandalous for a start and should have caused any resultant case to be thown out of court. The guy was probably lucky no publicity-seeking woman came forward

A San Marino High School girls' basketball coach publicly identified as a sexual molestation suspect but never charged was awarded a total of nearly $4.5 million Thursday in compensatory damages. A second phase of the trial to determine if punitive damages will be awarded to Patrick Gillan on top of that gets under way Thursday afternoon.

Gillan sued San Marino, its police department and several officers, who held a news conference to identify him -- and ask any other supposed victims to come forward -- after he was taken into custody in December 2001. His mug shot displayed that day was shown on TV and printed in several newspapers. No charges were ever filed against the coach, who was put on paid suspension during the investigation and reclaimed his job two months later.

In his lawsuit, filed in May 2002, Gillan alleged defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress arising from false arrest. In the initial verdict phase, a Los Angeles jury awarded Gillan $1,937,000 for past damages, and $2,516,000 for future loss of earnings -- which totals $4,453,000. Gillan had asked for $1.2 million to $3.8 million for past damages, and $900,000 to $3.6 million for future damages. The jury will now decide if Gillan is due punitive damages from the officers involved in calling the news conference.

The officers contend they were just doing their job by investigating a legitimate claim -- made by Taylor Bouchard, who by then was in college. Bouchard, who graduated from San Marino High in June 2001 and is now 21, testified in the civil trial and still contends she was sexually molested when she was 17. According to court papers, Gillan was released immediately after being booked by San Marino police, and the paperwork stated only that he had been "detained." Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O'Brien, who presided over the trial, ruled Thursday that there was no probable cause for the arrest. The department continued to investigate Bouchard's claims, and in February 2002 the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office decided not to prosecute Gillan. Bouchard and her mother were named in the Gillan lawsuit, but as part of a settlement deal eventually were dropped as defendants.



A Brentwood school principal's decision to expand a student recognition program has drawn the ire of some parents who say the changes will reward academic mediocrity. Like many Brentwood schools, Ron Nunn Elementary has traditionally celebrated fourth- and fifth-graders' academic accomplishments through the Golden Circle program, which recognizes students for earning A's and B's.

The new Eagle Society program will continue to recognize top students, but also honor the personal and nonacademic accomplishments of all students, kindergarten through fifth grade, principal Jim Musante said. It would be possible for students who earned less than A's and B's to earn recognition, but special award certificates would be reserved for A and B students, Musante said. Last year, about one-third of 240 students earned Golden Circle recognition, Musante said. The new program will "broaden tremendously" the number of students being recognized, he said. "The students have to demonstrate the qualities we're looking for. (We're giving awards) for real and meaningful reasons, and not just give them out willy-nilly."

The Eagle Society has already angered some parents who say it sends a message to students that average is acceptable. The flap has prompted the school, which has 700 students, to postpone Friday's kickoff recognition assembly to Dec. 3. "Why strive for A's when C's are OK at Ron Nunn?" parent Erica Ginter said. "It's taking political correctness over the edge. You try so hard not to hurt anyone's feelings, and you do a disservice to everyone." Kathy Morford's daughter was in tears when she received her report card Nov. 10. "My daughter who got straight A's was slapped in the face" by changing the program without notifying students and parents, Morford said.

The school must recognize the accomplishments of all students -- not only those with top grades, Musante said. Eagle Society is part of the school's effort to promote student respect and responsibility through a Peacemakers program, and encourage broader peer understanding by grouping classrooms into six "families" -- a cluster representing all grade levels. "We're trying to broaden (the awards). It was much more narrow in the past, but is now more inclusive. It will not in any way take away from academic excellence (recognition),"Musante said.

The principal noted he could not bear to see the disappointment of students who did not win awards. "There were some kids who looked at you ... and those faces. It became a has or has-not situation. We want all of our kids to be honored," Musante said.

Parent Lori Dunton likes the idea of broader recognition, but she worried that school officials are not pushing students to do their best. "You work hard to get bonuses or promotions in the real world," Dunton. "We're setting our kids up to be failures. ... You build self-esteem through hard work, and helping students to the best they can be."

More here

Saturday, January 29, 2005


Unless you are opposing abortion, of course

It sometimes pays incredibly well to be a protester in the city, as seven complainants discovered this week after the D.C. government agreed to ease their long-term distress with $425,000. The settlement goes back to demonstrations waged against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on Sept. 27, 2002, when D.C. police made mass arrests at Pershing Park, east of the White House. The settlement also calls for police Chief Charles H. Ramsey to write letters of apology to each of the seven. The pact, fortunately, stops short of requiring Mayor Anthony A. Williams to hold a ticker-tape parade in their honor.

It is, of course, almost an American pathology to be heard in a public forum, no matter the obscurity of the cause or absence of logic. Many of the protesters who descend on the nation's capital like the plague are a motley crew of anarchists, conspiracy theorists, peace activists, socialists, left-wing extremists, environmentalists and garden-variety loonies with nothing better to do than shout and be noticed. They take up good taxpayer money and the precious time of overworked law-enforcement agencies in order to get the word out about their life-changing political views.

They do so without regard to cost and a city's quality of life. They do so without consideration for the law-enforcement agencies, whose overtime duty has skyrocketed since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Their need to be heard is all-powerful, their level of self-absorption matched only by their egos. These demonstrations sometimes turn nasty and destructive, as those emboldened by the protective cover of a crowd are apt to exceed the peaceful intentions of others.

The police, there to protect life, liberty and property, mostly have a thankless mission. The line between the First Amendment rights of the protesters and the property and safety rights of the innocent can be awfully gray. In this instance, police crossed the line, and the aggrieved seven, among the masses arrested and detained that day, have the healing power of $425,000, courtesy of the legal work of the American Civil Liberties Union. The real loser in this settlement is not the D.C. government. It is the average resident who lives in this increasingly cordoned-off city, who is inconvenienced by these events and then handed the bill. The bill is liable to grow, with three other ACLU lawsuits still pending

More here

Fast food obesity lawsuit threatens consumers, rule of law: "Yesterday's reinstatement of the obesity liability lawsuit against McDonald's resurrects another trial lawyer campaign that undermines personal responsibility and jeopardizes consumer choice, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute. 'If obesity lawsuits succeed, they will turn all Americans into 'victims,' incapable of bearing responsibility for personal choices,' said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. 'Such lawsuits may benefit trial lawyers, but they'll hurt consumers on limited budgets who will be forced to pay higher food prices,' said Kazman."

Dat grand ole double standard again: "Earlier this month, Harvard University president Lawrence Summers suggested that male-female differences in math and science achievement might have biological causes. Angry professors in his audience walked out, alumni threatened to withhold donations, and Summers was forced to issue several solemn apologies. So let's suppose that he had proposed a biological basis for sexual orientation, not for math and science ability. Would anyone have objected? Of course not. ... Most professors -- myself included -- are zealous proponents of equal rights for homosexuals. Some Christian conservatives claim that gays can be converted into straights through a combination of religion and therapy. So good-hearted academics often embrace the possibility of a so-called gay gene, if only to rebut this right-wing attack. When it comes to gender, however, biological explanations are taboo among my academic colleagues."

Friday, January 28, 2005


An email from an Anesthesiologist in the "Deep Redneck South"

As the father of a Sociology professor (age 33), I have a great interest in Harvard President Larry Summer's recent comments about "inherent differences" between men and women. Prof Nancy Hopkins from the Biology Department at MIT was so "nauseated" by Summers's comments that she stormed out of the room and called the Boston Globe -- which then took the ball and ran with it.

This was part of a discussion concerning the larger numbers of men in the "hard sciences". My sociologist daughter believes there is "sexist bias" at work. She was terribly upset when I sent her a column from the Wall Street Journal questioning the "wisdom" that "sexist bias" was responsible for the differences discussed by Dr. Summers. My other daughter, aged 25, has a great job as a computer programmer; the only thing she complains about is working too hard, and that the "evil corporations" are making too much money. These two just don't have a clue - after all the effort I and their mother have put into their education, we would be the last people to want them to be treated as second class citizens at work.

Judith Kleinfeld, from University of Alaska Fairbanks has followed Prof Hopkins's on-going career of complaining about "gender bias" that led to an investigation of "gender bias" at MIT - and found NOTHING. But Prof Hopkins continues to complain that "it's out there" even if there is NO EVIDENCE. Perhaps she believes in ghosts and flying saucers as well.

Here in the "Deep Redneck South" - people are pretty conservative - even those who vote Democratic. In our institution (a hospital), we treat women as equals - often better. We help women take time off to take their children to dance recitals etc. Doctors and nurses are mothers too - it's just the right thing to do. Of course, some take advantage of it.

So here in the "Deep Conservative Redneck South", we have achieved "gender equity". In contrast, in the liberal world of Sociology (last count - between 10:1 and 30:1 liberal, according to David Horowitz), there is "gender bias". GASP! Could it possibly be true? Conservatives are more "sensitive" to women than liberals?


Illinois churches are protesting a new state law that bars them from "discriminating" against homosexuals, contending it robs Christians of their First Amendment freedoms. Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the bill into law yesterday amid a demonstration led by the Illinois Family Institute, or IFI, a non-profit group affiliated with Focus on the Family, Family Research Council and Alliance Defense Fund. The measure adds "sexual orientation" to the state law that bars discrimination based on race, religion and similar traits in areas such as jobs and housing.

The bill was signed to loud cheers and a standing ovation from about 150 homosexual-rights supporters who see it as a human-rights issue. "This legislation sends a clear message that we will not allow our citizens to be discriminated against," Blagojevich said in a statement. "What we're doing today is older than scripture: Love thy neighbor," the governor told the audience yesterday, according to the Associated Press. "It's what Jesus said when he gave his Sermon on the Mount: 'Do unto others what you would have others do unto you."' Illinois is the 15th state to prohibit discrimination based on "sexual orientation."

But IFI Executive Director Peter LaBarbera notes the bill's sponsor, state Sen. Carol Ronen, D-Chicago, is on record stating it should be applied to churches, meaning they would not be allowed, for example, to reject a job applicant who practices homosexual behavior. Ronen said: "If that is their goal, to discriminate against gay people, this law wouldn't allow them to do that. But I don't believe that's what the Catholic Church wants or stands for." LaBarbera argues politicians who don't view homosexuality as a sin have no right to take away the freedom of churches and people of faith to disagree. "Since when do politicians get to interpret sacred religious teachings for the rest of us?" he said.

The law applies to organizations or businesses with more than 15 employees. LaBarbera points out the Illinois law firm Ungaretti & Harris, which specializes in labor and employment issues, published an analysis of the measure, which says, "While many such municipal prohibitions on sexual orientation discrimination expressly exempt religious organizations from their coverage, the new amendment to Illinois' Human Rights Act does not." ...

Commented LaBarbera: "There is no societal consensus for homosexuality, bisexuality or transsexuality as the basis for civil rights -- and certainly none for the idea that the 'rights' of homosexual should trump those of churches and people of faith to live our their rational belief that homosexuality is unnatural, wrong and harmful to those who practice it."

More here


Topless women on the beach in Australia are ho-hum these days but the grounds being used to argue for the same permission in Calfifornia deserve a second look:

"A Ventura California female lawyer is attempting to make the case that the state is discriminating against women. How so? Because topless sunbathing by women is a criminal misdemeanor - for men it is not......

The Governor of California - Arnold Schwarzenegger took the all-too-courageous position of declining any comment on the possibility of a state wide legal standard being changed. State law enforcement officials confirmed that there is already a series of beaches where some topless bathing is already "allowed" even though laws forbid it.....

Johnsson is making a dreadful mistake - especially to her own cause. It is painfully obvious to me that Ms. Johnsson has fully accepted and in fact become the advocate of the fullest feminist expression. Men and Women are not equal - they are the same. Feminists don't desire to be treated equally, they wish to be completely interchangable. For women like Ms. Johnsson her greatest wish is not so much to be celebrated as a woman - so much as it is the allowance of all who she comes into contact with to be allowed to leer at her as though she is a sexual object.

And here you find feminism's great the name of being the same as man - allow women to be reduced to an object of sexual curiousity.

More here

Thursday, January 27, 2005


On the road with Mr. Maloney across the country, the viewer watches an economics professor from Mr. Maloney's alma mater, Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, explain to the filmmaker that most white students at the school are "unconsciously racist" and that much of the "cutting-edge" work in his field is "being done in feminist economics."

Mr. Maloney then turns his camera to the case of Steve Hinkle. A student at California Polytechnic State University, he was disciplined by school officials after posting a flyer promoting an upcoming speech by a black conservative who equated welfare and slavery. The school dropped charges against Mr. Hinkle only after a civil-liberties organization sued, saying the university was violating freedom of speech.

To top it off, Mr. Maloney interviews Sukhmani Singh Khalsa of the University of Tennessee, a Sikh convert who received a death threat by e-mail from another student angry over his conservative opinion pieces in the student newspaper. The university refused to punish the author of the e-mail, who called Mr. Khalsa a "towel head" and reportedly urged students to shoot the student in the "face."

"The problem on campus becomes who defines harassment," Mr. Maloney said in a recent interview with The New York Sun. "Who on campus is going to stand up to a multicultural office or a diversity office?"

One of the more amusing scenes in the film comes when Mr. Maloney stops by the office of Cal Poly's president, Warren Baker - in a "Roger and Me" moment - for an impromptu interview, only to be herded away by a grouchy assistant. Not a single university administrator has agreed to appear in the New Yorker's film....

At the time, Mr. Maloney had already gained some notice from the press with his 6- or 7-minute documentary shorts on left-wing protesters. He videotaped antiwar demonstrators in New York in 2003 providing silly answers to questions about how America ought to deal with Iraq. He recorded a rowdy pro-Palestinian protest at Rutgers University, where one speaker screamed, "Long live the intifada," and another protester whispered to Mr. Maloney on camera: "Are you nervous?"....

When he's interviewing on campuses, he wears a black T-shirt, loose-fitting Gap jeans, Rockport shoes, and, sometimes, a Yankees baseball cap that makes him look like an Irish version of the pitcher Mike Mussina. When he interviews would-be hostile subjects, Mr. Maloney puts on a blank face and speaks with a deadpan, dry delivery. "The most effective way is to ask very simple, basic questions, so they don't think I dislike them," he said, "because I don't dislike them as people. I may not agree with their viewpoints."

It's an interview tactic he used effectively on a Bucknell professor, Geoffrey Schneider, the faculty member who spoke about his students' unconscious racism. In an interview with the Sun, Mr. Schneider said he was "basically manipulated into appearing" in Mr. Maloney's film. "I was told originally I was going to be interviewed for a film about professors' academic freedom and attempts to censor professors," he said.... "It's silly to say our curriculum is politically correct and biased in favor of liberal ideas, and then to use as an example what is taught in one day, in one course," Mr. Schneider said.

He stands by his comments on student racism: "Everybody comes from a specific background, and Bucknell students tend to be white upper-income. If they are white upper-income, they come with certain baggage" - such as negative stereotypes about black Americans. "One of the things we try to do, which so angers conservative students, is to unpack these biases that we all have, to try to analyze them for what they are," he told the Sun.

For Mr. Maloney, the professor's comments are the type of thinking that provoked him into making the film in the first place. "He doesn't see political correctness as a problem," Mr. Maloney said.

More here


Ridiculing the Japanese is OK

I only recently noticed the campaign charging racism in Lost in Translation, the 2003 film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. The allegations were a complete surprise to me because I rather enjoyed this movie about a story of two Americans lost in Tokyo - without even suspecting such vocal objections could be raised.....

Obsessively criticizing Bill Murray's passing comment about the Japanese mixing up L's and R's is absurd. The scene lasted a few seconds in the film. I did notice some stereotypical scenes in the beginning, like the tall Murray surrounded by drab-looking Japanese businessmen in the elevator. But overall, the film was almost devoid of the cliches I've grown sick of, such as the obligatory crowded-train scene and "Japanophile" proverbs. In particular, the film depicted Tokyo as a vast, superclean, high-tech metropolis. The Tokyo I know is uglier and more cluttered than that. And its portrayal of fun-loving youth singing and drinking was refreshing.

Some newspaper and web reviews criticize Lost in Translation as if it were a new monument in anti-Japanese stereotyping. When the film Rising Sun opened in 1993, it was immediately seen, correctly, as a propagandistic portrayal selling the derogation of the Japanese as entertainment, and it drew protestors. The film stands, as did Breakfast at Tiffany's of the 1960s, as a touchstone of cinematic stereotyping.

To overly focus on Coppola's film is unwise because it tends to divert attention from films that require it, like Steven Spielberg's new Memoirs of a Geisha. It is based on the bestselling 1997 novel in which every plot component was designed to demonize the Japanese. Professor Anne Allison of Duke University wrote that the book "inspired [readers] to see Japanese men as sexual perverts."

Cross burnings and racially motivated hate crimes are easy to recognize, but a form of prejudice that is becoming increasingly prevalent is "politically correct racism" - a more sophisticated version that disguises itself as "concern for human rights," "equality for women," "historical justice," etc. The New York Times has refined the technique of turning Japan-bashing into often-entertaining articles, until it finally elicited a book-length rebuttal from American and Japanese scholars and journalists, entitled Japan Made in the U.S.A.



During oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals this morning, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund asked the justices to declare the University of Arkansas' restrictions on outside speakers unconstitutional. "We believe that where a person is lawfully upon public property, that person has a legal right to speak," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Nathan Kellum. "We are optimistic that the judges understood our issues, and we look forward to their ruling on this important free speech case."

The case, Gary Bowman v. Dr. John A. White, et al., originally filed October 1, 2003, involves a Christian man, Gary Bowman, who has shared his faith with passersby on public grounds at the university since 1998. Though the university has always required permits for his speech, school officials implemented a stricter policy in August 2001. "The university apparently implemented its more restrictive policy specifically to curb the frequency of Bowman's speech on the campus of the U of A," Kellum explained. "Under these regulations, Mr. Bowman may exercise his First Amendment rights just 15 days a year, and then only if the university says he may."

The school's policy imposes a cap of five visits per semester without student sponsorship and requires advance notice of three days. In addition, the university may cancel or modify any reservation and completely bans non-university speech during designated "dead days" of the university's choosing.

Kellum explained that, under the Constitution, Bowman should be allowed to hand out literature and hold a sign on public plazas, malls, and sidewalks, including the three areas the university has designated as "speech areas." ... "For fear of arrest, Mr. Bowman has been forced to stop speaking at the U of A. That's not the sort of thing that should happen on a public university campus in America," Kellum said. "ADF is fighting to ensure that Bowman and all people of faith in this country are able to exercise their right to free speech and religious expression without excessive government interference," Kellum added. "Americans should not be forced to relinquish their first liberty."


Wednesday, January 26, 2005


On Jan. 14, Lawrence H. Summers, who is (at least for now) the president of Harvard University... attempted to explain why there are so very few women holding senior academic positions in math, physics, engineering and technology. He began by observing that women with children may be less willing to put in the long hours required to achieve top positions in those fields. But he went on to question whether, perhaps, women just aren't cut out for the hardest of hard sciences, that maybe there are "innate differences" between male and female brains that render most women incapable of doing really tough math.

"Intellectual tsunami" is one description for what's happened in the days since Summers' remarks became public. The left protested vociferously. The right defended him, citing tidbits of research. Thus conservative columnist Linda Chavez placed great weight on a Johns Hopkins study that showed that among gifted pre-adolescent children, boys outperformed girls in math 13 to 1. In an effort to stem the waves of anger, Summers apologized in person to a group of women professors Thursday.

In fact, the evidence does not support the idea that innate differences are at fault.... The most important breakthrough has been the discovery that the various regions of the brain develop in a different sequence in girls. Researchers at Virginia Tech used sophisticated electrophysiologic imaging to examine brain development in 508 normal children — 224 girls and 284 boys — ranging from 2 months to 16 years. These researchers found that while the areas of the brain involved in language and fine motor skills (such as handwriting) mature about six years earlier in girls, the areas involved in math and geometry mature about four years earlier in boys.

The real problem is not with the different mental capacities of boys and girls but with the way they are taught. Most girls attend coed schools in which girls and boys study the same subjects in the same sequence. Too often, the result of that kind of gender-blind education is that by age 12 the girls think they're no good at math and never will be. The irony is that many of those girls might be math prodigies, if only they were taught in schools whose curriculum was tailored to the individual.

All-girls schools hold great promise for eliminating the gender imbalance in math and science. A study of graduates of girls' high schools in the United States found that 13% went on to major in hard sciences and math, compared with only 2% of girls who attended coed schools. In other words, girls who attend all-girls schools are more than six times as likely to earn degrees in the very subjects about which Summers professes concern.

This guy has certainly got part of the story -- a part that will NOT suit feminists who claim that men and women are born the same -- but he omits to mention that the same male/female differences in ability have long been known in adults too. In fact, slower maturation of an ability is a good sign of lesser final potential in that area. Intelligence was in fact originally measured in terms of "mental age" -- indicating that abilities progressed in a similar way with everyone but that some people progressed much more slowly or quickly than others. The slower progressing ones of course always ended up with lower scores as adults

More here


"Men frequently despair at women's map-reading skills - or rather their lack of them. Now scientists believe they have pinpointed the reason for this conflict between the sexes.Researchers say it is all down to differences in the reliance of the sexes on either grey matter or white matter in their brains to solve problems.

They found that in intelligence tests men use 6.5 times as much grey matter as women, but women use nine times as much white matter. Grey matter is brain tissue crucial to processing information and plays a vital role in aiding skills such as mathematics, map-reading and intellectual thought. White matter connects the brain's processing centres and is central to emotional thinking, use of language and the ability to do more than one thing at once.

Professor Rex Jung, a co-author of the study at the University of New Mexico, said: "This may help explain why men tend to excel in tasks requiring more local processing, like mathematics and map-reading, while women tend to excel at integrating information from various brain regions, such as is required for language skills. "These two very different pathways and activity centres, however, result in equivalent overall performance on broad measures of cognitive ability, such as those found on intelligence tests."

Previous studies have shown that women have weaker spatial awareness than men, making it harder for them to read maps. Research has also found that in childhood, girls' vocabulary develops more quickly and that in later life women can speak 20,000 to 25,000 words a day compared to a man's 7000 to 10,000.

For the study, published in the online edition of the journal NeuroImage, researchers performed a series of brain scans on 26 female and 22 male volunteers using magnetic resonance imaging equipment. All the volunteers were in good health, had no history of brain injury and the average IQ scores of the two sexes were similar. Their brains were scanned while they carried out tests designed to assess their general intelligence. Researchers then created a map of a brain showing the varying levels of activity in the brains of men and women. About 40 per cent of the human brain is grey matter and 60 per cent white matter."


Feminist fog: "Common sense, in its admittedly rough and ready form, has always revealed that men and women are different in certain crucial enough respects. The question is, 'In just what respects and why so?' It is no good saying, 'Society made them different,' because then that needs to be explained. And answering that 'Men have managed to conspire to keep women different -- say, in steering them away from the sciences, politics, business and so forth' -- doesn't work either because that, too, begs the question: 'How did men manage such a feat unless there is something inherently different between the sexes, even if that is that men are meaner, women are kinder?'"

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Church-going Americans have grown increasingly intolerant in the past four years of politicians making compromises on such hot issues as abortion and gay rights, according to a survey released on Saturday. At the same time, those polled said they were growing bolder about pushing their beliefs on others -- even at the risk of offending someone.

The trends could indicate that religion has become "more prominent in American discourse ... more salient," according to Ruth Wooden, president of Public Agenda, a nonpartisan research organization which released the survey. It could also indicate "more polarized political thinking. There do not seem to be very many voices arguing for compromise today," she said in an interview. "It could be that more religious voices feel under siege, pinned against the wall by cultural developments. They may feel more emboldened as a result."

The November U.S. election saw voters in a number of states back gay marriage bans, and President Bush won re-election with heavy support from fellow religious conservatives.

The findings came from a telephone survey of 1,507 adults made in 2000 and a second similar survey of 1,004 adults done during the summer of 2004 that tracked the same issues. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Those surveyed were nearly all Christians, not by design but because the sample reflected the makeup of the population, the group said. A 2002 Pew Research Council survey found that 82 percent of the U.S. populace considered itself to be Christian, while 10 percent identified with no religious group. On the question of whether elected officials should set their convictions aside to get results in government, 84 percent agreed in 2000. However, four years later that had dropped to 74 percent. There was a sharper decline on the same question among weekly church-goers from 82 percent in the first survey to 63 percent in the second. About 40 percent of Americans claim to be weekly church-goers, according to Corwin Smidt, director of the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College in Michigan. Some surveys have placed the figure at 25 percent.

In the survey, 32 percent of those who attended church once a week said they were willing to compromise on abortion issues -- a 19-point drop in four years. Among the same group the question of compromising beliefs on gay rights was acceptable to only 39 percent, down 18 points from 2000. The poll also found that 37 percent overall felt that deeply religious people should be careful not to offend anyone when they "spread the word of God," a decline from 46 percent four years earlier. The number of those who felt that committed faithful should spread the word "whenever they can" rose to 41 percent, up 6 points.

On another issue, the survey found little change in opinion on whether the U.S. political system can handle greater interaction between religion and politics. Asked if there was a threat if religious leaders and groups got a lot more involved in politics, 63 percent in 2000 and 61 percent in 2004 said the system could "easily handle" it. But the remainder continue to believe the system would be threatened.



The government has announced that it may introduce citizenship ceremonies for all 18-year-olds, in which they would take an oath of allegiance to the Queen, listen to speeches and receive certificates to mark their coming-of-age as British citizens. This is part of an official drive to improve 'community cohesion' - which, decoded, means that ministers are frightened rigid by growing tensions between Britain's different ethnic groups and the prospect of national unity breaking down. As ever, though, they have taken a serious problem, failed to address it properly then attempted to cover up this failure by a prime example of gesture politics.

Its concerns about 'community cohesion' were ignited by the race riots in northern towns such as Bradford and Oldham in 2001, when Muslims, Hindus and whites fought each other on the streets. A subsequent consensus held that the problem was caused by a serious lack of integration by the Muslim community, which was in turn used by neo-Nazi groups to whip up racial hatred. This lack of integration was highlighted this week when David Bell, Chief Inspector of Schools, expressed concern that many Muslim schools were not teaching their children how to live in a liberal, pluralist society. But instead of tackling this difficult problem upfront, the Government is pretending it doesn't exist by producing a cosmetic citizenship ceremony which all 18-year-olds will be expected to undergo.

Although this initiative has been devised specifically to deal with the problem of certain minorities, ministers are too frightened to say so. As a result, the rest of the population are to be employed as ethnic camouflage. But in doing so, the Government is in effect calling into question the patriotism and sense of national allegiance of people for whom loyalty to this nation is axiomatic.

The ceremony is being dressed up as a rite of passage into adulthood, marking the young person's right to vote and achievement of greater social and economic independence. This is both patronising and intrusive. And what would happen if the young person did not attend such a ceremony? Would he or she be any less of a British citizen as a result?

The Home Office is thinking of making the ceremony compulsory. Is there not something deeply offensive - even sinister - about forcing everyone to take such a loyalty oath? In any event, national loyalty cannot be manufactured by a ceremony. Before a country can expect newcomers to subscribe to its values, it must believe in them itself. Citizenship cannot exist without a firm and positive sense of national identity, common values and purpose. As it so often does, the Government has confused form with substance. It has looked at America, where people swear allegiance to the flag, and at Australia, which has introduced 'affirmation ceremonies' for all citizens, and concluded that public protestations of national loyalty create national unity. What it has failed to acknowledge is that America is a nation that manifestly believes in itself, enthusiastically promulgates its own values and believes they are superior to those in the rest of the world. It successfully integrated high numbers of immigrants because it created institutions and policies to promote a very clear concept of American identity.

There was a time when Britain similarly possessed national pride. Unlike America, its sense of itself was formed by the fact that it was an ancient nation with a rich and distinct history. Its people did not have to swear loyalty to the flag, because the country had a strong identity for which Britons had fought and died throughout the centuries. As a result, immigrants wanted to assume the characteristics of Britishness. It wasn't just that they admired its values such as fair play, tolerance or leadership. There was also the excitement of becoming part of a country that thought itself a great nation and took pride in what it made and achieved. And so they eagerly assimilated Britishness from an education system which understood that its mission was to transmit British culture.

Not any more. For decades now, our governing and intellectual classes have been consumed by a sense of shame about this country. With the loss of Empire came not only a collapse of national role but also an exaggerated guilt about Britain's record of colonialism. With large scale immigration, that guilt developed into a full-blown attack on the nation itself. National identity was said to be an artificial construct. The cultural values of the majority were deemed racist and exclusive. Multiculturalism became the order of the day. So schools stopped teaching children British political history, and taught about slavery instead. They stopped teaching the classic texts of English literature and looked for 'relevant' minority texts. They stopped passing on the values of Christianity and taught instead a mish-mash of garbled inanities. British values were denigrated. Leadership was authoritarian. Stoicism was unfeeling. And patriotism was just one step away from fascism. Instead of transmitting a unifying culture, education turned into an auction of competing interests, babbling meaninglessly in citizenship classes about multiculturalism, 'globalisation' and 'a shrinking planet' and encouraging pupils to develop 'their own ground rules'.

Citizenship fundamentally rests upon an acceptance of the obligations to one's country. But in the current climate, in which duty has been junked in favour of rights and entitlements, it has effectively been redefined into claimantship. Thus the citizenship test for all new immigrants to be introduced next year will ask them not about the institutions of the country but what they know about legal aid, employment law, maternity rights, the changing role of women, consumer protection and Britain's relations with Brussels.

In the light of all this, the proposed 'coming-of-age' ceremony is no more than empty tokenism. It will do nothing to integrate those who believe their faith tells them to despise and even fight this country's values, and who may tell themselves accordingly that any citizenship declaration required of them is of little consequence. And it will do nothing to provide a sense of national identification, pride and attachment to young, white, disadvantaged people whose resulting alienation drives them into the arms of neo-Nazi thugs posing as political parties.

More here


Campaigners are calling for a change in the law after the decomposed bodies of an elderly couple were discovered in their home - weeks after the gas supply had been cut off. George Bates, 89, died from hypothermia and his wife Gertrude, 86, suffered a heart attack. Their bodies were found in October in a house they had shared for 63 years. Two months earlier their gas had been disconnected due to non-payment of a o140 bill.

Yesterday Westminster coroner Paul Knapman said British Gas had followed the proper procedure in the run-up to the disconnection, contacting the couple 11 times in 143 days, including two visits to the house in Tooting, south London. But after the gas was cut off the couple's details were not passed to social services - even though they were described as vulnerable in court - because of restrictions imposed by the Data Protection Act. British Gas general manager for collections, Harry Metcalfe, told the inquest: "In the past we could notify social services when we had disconnected the supply but since the Data Protection Act that has changed. We would not now notify them of a disconnection without the customer's consent."

A spokeswoman for Help the Aged said yesterday: "If the Data Protection Act is stopping vital information being passed on it needs to be reviewed - why were an obviously vulnerable, elderly couple left to fend for themselves without heating or hot water without the help of social services or other agencies?" Dr Knapman said he planned to write to the information commissioner, Richard Thomas, who is responsible for the implementation of the Data Protection Act.

Mr Thomas said it was "generally true" that the Data Protection Act would prevent the routine notification of disconnection to social services without the customer's consent. "However, in any cir cumstances, for example age or infirmity, where there are grounds for believing that cutting a particular household off would pose significant risk then the Data Protection Act would not prevent an energy supplier from notifying the relevant body," he said.

A British Gas spokesman said the couple had not been on its voluntary Priority Service Register which gave extra assistance to elderly or disabled customers. "It is tragic that no one including the caring services recognised how vulnerable the Bateses were before it was too late," he said.


Monday, January 24, 2005


And they don't hide the fact that they are biased against religion in general

"The PBS station in Albuquerque, N.M., has canceled a scheduled showing of a documentary on the theory of intelligent design, eliciting charges of "politically correct censorship." New Mexico teacher Phil Robinson says he worked with staff at KNME-TV to arrange for the documentary, "Unlocking the Mystery of Life," to air on Friday night. Robinson discovered Monday that the show had been pulled and newspaper advertising for it had been canceled. The station says the scheduling of the program was a mistake caused by a miscommunication related to the transition to a new program manager and that there was concern about the fact that those who funded the film have religious ties.

Seattle-based Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture hammered KNME for the cancellation. "It is simply astounding that a public television station would engage in this sort of politically correct censorship," said Rob Crowther, director of communications for the organization, in a statement. "Public television usually prides itself in exploring new ideas, not suppressing them. Doesn't anyone at KNME believe in free speech?"

Joan Rebecchi is the marketing manager for KNME. "It wasn't supposed to be scheduled in the first place," she told WND. "It was a scheduling mistake. "We're in transition between two program managers, and they were repeating 'NOVA' in that timeslot. . There was confusion over the show title, and so that show was scheduled in [NOVA's] place. It was figured out last weekend that we had that scheduled and we weren't supposed to schedule it." Rebecchi said Robinson contacted her about advertising for the show and that she helped him write a good ad for it, not realizing at the time the show was not supposed to have been scheduled. "When I found out the show in fact wasn't going to air, I pulled the ads from the Albuquerque Journal because I didn't want him to lose any money," Rebecchi said. "We were able to pull them before he lost any money."

Rebecchi confirmed that a lot of Albuquerque residents are "very, very upset" that the station is not running it. She said station personnel had concerns about the fact that those who funded the program "had some connection to a religious point of view." Continued Rebecchi: "Our underwriting guidelines don't allow us to air programs that have a specific religious point of view," adding that PBS has to be "kind of biased" against programming with any religious connections. "That's the reason they didn't want to schedule it in the first place," she told WND.

Crowther points out, however, that the film in question is currently for sale on PBS' national website and has aired in almost every top-20 media market in the country, including PBS stations in California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington state and Washington, D.C. "The real losers here are New Mexico viewers who will be denied the chance to see a fascinating documentary that public television viewers in other states have already had the opportunity to see," Crowther added. "I guess if New Mexico viewers want to learn more about intelligent design, they will have to go the national PBS website."

"Unlocking the Mystery of Life" is a 58-minute program exploring what DNA reveals about the origin of life and documents how some scientists are skeptical about naturalistic explanations for the origin of genetic information and are looking to theories of design instead. According to the Discovery Institute, the documentary follows the development of intelligent design theory through interviews with key design scientists."



Four members of a conservative Christian group may resume picketing gay-themed events in Philadelphia after a judge lifted a restriction that kept them away. Common Pleas Court Judge Pamela Dembe called the restriction an unreasonable restraint on free speech. "We cannot restrict people's right to speak or to be near those who might not wish to hear them into the future," Dembe said Friday. Dembe overturned a ruling by Municipal Court Judge William A. Meehan against the demonstrators, who are affiliated with a local group called Repent America and who say their opposition to homosexuality is based on the Bible. Meehan had ordered the group to stay at least 100 feet away from any "homosexual event."

The defendants' attorney, C. Scott Shields, told Dembe that Meehan's order had effectively "muzzled" the his clients, "and that's unconstitutional as a prior restraint." The activists still face a variety of charges, including felonies, in connection with their protest last fall at Outfest, a street festival for gays and lesbians in downtown Philadelphia. However, after viewing a 22-minute videotape of the events leading to the defendants' arrest, Dembe indicated she might dismiss the entire case. "It all amounted to annoyance on both sides, but it did not amount to criminal behavior that I can see," Dembe said.

Cathie Abookire, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, said the prosecution would proceed with the case. A pretrial hearing is scheduled next month, at which Dembe is to hear arguments on dismissing the charges. The activists, led by Repent America founder Michael Marcavage of Lansdowne, say they are being prosecuted for voicing their religious belief that homosexuality is a sin.

Assistant District Attorney Charles Ehrlich said the criminal charges were based on the defendants' conduct, not what they said. "Mr. Marcavage's conduct is to try to incite a crowd to cause a public disturbance ... whether it's from the Bible or somewhere else," Ehrlich said.



If you are thinking of a change of career in 2005, you might consider this, advertised in various newspapers last year by Glasgow city council's social work department. "Supported Accommodation Service for individuals who are likely to continue drinking. This Service [their capital letter] will be unregistered and will provide a high standard of accommodation for service users with varying complexities of need, including individuals who have expressed a view to continue drinking. Providers must demonstrate the ability to develop services that meet this range of needs, and will be required to have a clear policy on working with people who demonstrate challenging behaviour and non-engagement with services. A needs-led, person-centred approach coupled with a commitment to the values of inclusion are intrinsic to the delivery of the service."

There was a time when this kind of job specification appeared only in satirical magazines, which when read by Scots would have generated howls of laughter and be passed round to their friends as a splendid illustration of bonkers Islington Guardian-reader mentality, the kind of drippy, dippy do-goodish verbiage that would never be tolerated up here. Cut through the politically correct hedging and you find that what the council really wants is an unregistered dosshouse for habitual and unrepentant drunks and dropouts who are likely to be violent and don't want to be helped. An advertisement of 15 words would have sufficed. At nine lines, political correctness is very expensive.

But, more than that, it strikes an odd note. Nobody with any sense of decency would suggest that the drunks and dropouts should not receive food and shelter, even if they do exhibit "challenging behaviour" and are extremely uncooperative. But is this all they should be given? An unremarked-upon effect of the almost hysterically non-judgmental approach that all councils adopt nowadays is that they find themselves preaching a pernicious kind of passive acceptance towards selected categories of people. For example, while smoking, smacking, hunting and the middle classes are excoriated, the "values of inclusion" specifically exclude any idea that the homeless, and particularly the drunken homeless, might be encouraged to re-engage with society.

If any idea of benevolent rescue crept into a tender for the supported accommodation contract, the wannabe service providers would soon find themselves back on the pavement with a stiff lecture on the new creed of municipal non-judgmentalism ringing in their ears. In the current lexicon of council-speak, the words "benevolent rescue" are outlawed since they suggest an imposition of values, which the authorities, with a scrupulousness never exhibited in relation to anything else, abhor.

Yet, when confronted with people who have just about fallen over the edge, a civilised society surely does not just dole out soup, point to a bed and tiptoe away, piously washing its hands. It has to be rather more responsible than that. Homelessness, drunkenness and general desperation are not incurable diseases that we just smile and accept. They arise through a mixture of character and circumstance, both of which can, up to a point, be changed. Being non-judgmental, in the case of the homeless and destitute, floats dangerously close to social irresponsibility, something that, up until now, would have been as alien to Scots as Morris dancing.

Perhaps it would not matter if being pathologically non-judgmental was successful, but it is not. One of the most effective providers of help to the homeless in the UK and elsewhere is the Emmaus movement. Its motto, "Giving people a bed and a reason to get out of it", could not be less like the council advertisement. The movement was founded in France in 1949 by a Catholic priest known as Abb, Pierre. Georges, the first Emmaus Companion, summed up the real problems of the homeless destitute with accuracy born of long experience. "Whatever else he [the Abb,] might have given me - money, a home, somewhere to work," he said, "I'd have still tried to kill myself again. What I was missing, and what he offered, was something to live for."

The "something" to which Georges referred was the code of values on which all Emmaus communities are based: sharing, working for others in greater need and self-respect. Emmaus communities are not very interested in jargon. Nor are the homeless helped in a values-free zone. Rather the opposite. The companions find succour and solace precisely because it is assumed that, as human beings, while their own values may have gone a little askew, they are still capable of recognising how important values - real values and not just the mantra of "inclusion" - are.

Reading the testimony of companions, some of whom hit more than rock bottom with self-abuse from drink and drugs, it is perfectly clear that they need those around them to articulate and affirm values just as much as they need medical or psychiatric attention. Offering help that is free of values is like offering a bloody mary without the vodka: the essential ingredient is missing.

It is paradoxical that the advertisement with which I began was printed at about the time when Emmaus, after a long search for a suitable site, began to build a home for a community in Ellesmere Street, Glasgow. When it is finished this autumn, the homeless people who gravitate towards it will begin the Emmaus work of refurbishing donated furniture and household goods. More importantly, by subscribing to the same set of values, some will also achieve the stability and sense of belonging that will allow them to begin living again, while those who "express a view to continue drinking" will be gently encouraged to change.

To the strange creatures who concoct council advertisements, this may seem bizarre. To the rest of us, it should be a cause to rejoice. In a world gone mad, some pockets of sanity remain and one of them is in Scotland


Sunday, January 23, 2005


This must be the one of the most troubling stories I have seen for a long time. A woman makes a false accusation of rape that could have landed the accused in jail for 40 years. And the penalty for the false accusation? The court rejected a recommendation for a five DAY sentence and got really tough -- giving a 30 day sentence.

So what's the lesson? If a girl's got a grudge, cry rape! The penalty for being disbelieved is nothing compared to the ruin you can bring on some guy's life.

It seems obvious to me that proven false accusations should get the same sentence as that to which they exposed the guy. But America's law is now so feminist that there is now no justice for men at all in male/female disputes.


This comes to mind because it is strongly reminiscent of a fad quite common these days among Jewish assimilated liberals and leftists in the United States. These people constitute the School of Jewish Politically-Correct Bible Thumpers. They advocate the PC fads and programs of the American Left, while coating them with a thin veneer of supposedly Biblical ethics.

Like the missionaries of my youth, they learn a dozen or so select Biblical phrases, taken out of context, and argue that the Bible and traditional Judaism unambiguously require that one accept and support a left-wing political agenda. I assume that most readers are familiar with these folks.

Examples of Jewish politically-correct Bible thumping abound. The most outrageous, of course, are the Cheech-and-Chong ethics and the political platform of the editors of Tikkun magazine, featuring the Politics of Meaning psychobabble promoted by "Rabbi" Michael Lerner.

But many mainstream liberal leaders of the Jewish community also engage in Biblical posturing in order to conscript scripture for support of liberal fads. Generally, such Bible-based PC preaching operates through conjuring up the ethics of the Prophets as scriptural underpinning for the Left's political agenda.....

In most cases, politically-correct Bible thumpers are scripturally motivated only under circumstances that they find convenient, and with respect to those political causes they happen to find appealing. Otherwise, they simply ignore everything else in scripture and halacha (Jewish Law) that does not fit their political agenda.

These folks are generally not Jews whose lifestyles are determined by Biblical rules regarding, say, diet, Sabbath, sexual relations, etc. Indeed, when Scripture clearly favors a moral or political position that is not fashionable, these same PC Bible thumpers suddenly decline to adapt themselves to Biblical ethics.

At times, they will go through contortions to force their supposed understanding of these ethics into a PC mold. For example, there is probably nothing as clear-cut as the Biblical prohibition against homosexuality, yet the Thumpers insist that gay "marriage" is a grand expression of Biblical values.

The very notion of gay rights is completely antithetical to Biblical morality; the Bible, in fact, explicitly labels sodomy an abomination and makes it a capital offense. While such punishment was generally not literally applied in Jewish tradition, there is no doubt as to the disgust and condemnation with which the Bible views gay relations.

But that did not stop the PC branch of the Reform movement from deciding that Reform rabbis can ordain gay marriages. It is not clear why they did not at the same time decide that inter-species marriages could be ordained; after all, the Biblical injunction against the latter is no less unambiguous than the prohibition against homosexuality.

Similarly, while the Jewish religious position on abortion is not identical with the one espoused by the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian denominations, abortion on demand when a mother's life is not in danger is hardly a position held by traditional Judaism.

One can accept or reject the scriptural view of homosexuality or abortion - it's a free country. But if one is representing one's political agenda as being Biblically-based, why the arbitrarily selective distortion?

The biggest problem with PC appeals to Prophetic Ethics and Jewish compassion is that there is absolutely no support in Jewish tradition for feel-good advocacy programs that actually exacerbate real-world problems. In other words, one cannot conscript Biblical ethics and morality on behalf of a political cause - even if doing so makes one feel righteous and moral - until one can at least show credibly that the cause would indeed resolve or alleviate real-world problems.

The PC Biblical Ethics-poseurs are too lazy to go out and actually acquire the analytic tools needed for assessing policy proposals. Learning economics, statistics, cost/benefits accounting, etc., requires effort and investment. The PC posturers prefer to practice effortless recreational compassion and armchair peacemaking.

Besides, the very first thing one learns in social science and in policy analysis is that all things have tradeoffs. That is the one truth with which leftist Biblical Ethics-poseurs and other PC preachers simply cannot cope. If a policy proposal has both costs and benefits (and which does not?), there is no way that selective scriptural quotation and appeals to Prophetic Ethics can resolve the dilemma.....

In some cases, the PC Bible thumpers take positions in such clear contradiction to the scriptural ethics they claim to uphold that one does not know whether to laugh or cry. For example, not only is there no Biblical case for animal rights (although the humane treatment of animals is indeed mandated), but one of the most clear-cut messages of the Bible is that human interests always take priority over those of animals. It's true that the Bible does not explicitly prohibit vegetarianism, except on Passover, but there is absolutely nothing therein that mandates it, and much rabbinic commentary is concerned with the rules of kosher slaughter and diet.

Another example: While there is a clear Biblical basis for charity, it is equally clear that the emphasis is on individual charitable acts over which the giver exercises control, choice and personal responsibility. There is nothing that can be interpreted as mandating a massive welfare state that deprives individuals of control over their property; indeed, a good deal of Biblical and rabbinic law concerns the protection and preservation of private property rights. The main rules of Biblical mandatory income-distribution regard funding Levites and priests.....

The hypocritical pretend-enthusiasm for Prophetic Ethics on the part of the PC Bible Thumpers is best understood as part of the overall trend of Jewish assimilation in North America. Liberalism has been the main avenue of assimilation for North American Jews. In effect, assimilationist Jews long ago substituted the liberal/Left political agenda for Judaism as their religion. They are as zealously attached to this pseudo-religion as most Jews in the past were to authentic Judaism.....

More here

Saturday, January 22, 2005


A month-long series of events to teach gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history has been organised. These include poetry competitions, films and discussions about the sexuality of famous figures from the past, such as William Shakespeare. Schools are invited to attend and the government has part-funded the project, aimed at stopping homophobic bullying. However, Shadow Education Secretary Tim Collins criticised the event, saying it was "achingly politically correct".

LGBT History Month, which runs throughout February in England, includes a national anti-bullying poetry competition. There will also be a discussion of "celebsexuality" and an exhibition of works by the artist Caravaggio.

Mr Collins said: "It's all achingly politically correct. Surely there must be time and resources that could be spent on better things than this." He voiced concern that children as young as seven could be taking part in events, adding that it was important "to protect the innocence of children of that age". The government is helping to fund the project's website.

More here


The pressure put on Prof. Summers for speaking the truth is appalling

The soul of Political Correctness is a blinkered insistence that something is true, because of politics, especially in the face of all reason and evidence to the contrary. It's not used as an argument, it's a squelch on any semblance of honesty. Speak with any frankness, or apply any intellectual rigor to the doctrine and dogma of the PPC (Painfully Politically Correct), and one usually winds up with an outcry and Star Chamber over your heresy which makes the Spanish Inquisition look like a kindergarten.

To make matters worse, some matters are just not subject to being mentioned in any way under this mental fascism. Or only mentionable by certain select groups. In any event, rather than civilize discourse, it stifles it, and makes it subject to the whims of obnoxious little tin gods with pinched faces.

Let's take one case in point, that of the Late Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder. A former oddsmaker, he drew a gig with CBS as a commentator and analyst until he made the fatal mistake of musing over the reason for the dominance of blacks (No - unless you were born in Africa, you ain't African-Diddley. You're black, I'm white, and the fact that the real colors are Mocha and Peach are irrelevant. Besides, "mocha" and "peach" are for pussies. Grow a pair.) in sports. He remarked that as slaves, they had been bred for it.

Gents and Ladies - Jimmy the Greek was a hundred percent right. You take any people, put them on the slave boats where only the strong survive; put them in the field where only the strong survive; breed them for endurance, breed them to work faster and more efficiently, and see what you get in a few hundred years. You are going to have big, strong, fast people who can go and go, tirelessly, all the live-long day. The perfect athlete, in other words.

But we can't say that - well, you can't. I will, and defend myself by saying "Prove me wrong." It's not that great a leap in intuitive thought. It's true, but it can't be said, no matter how true, in polite company because it offends someone's politics.

There is the problem. Many people, most especially liberals, have based entire philosophies on tenets which are tenuous as best. Knock down a primary premise, and the whole line of specious reasoning comes falling down. "Gays are born that way." Ignore all the ex-gays. Tell them they don't exist. Put on the blinders, stick the fingers in the ears, hop up and down, and chant "La-LA-la-la-LA!" Why? Well, because the minute it is shown that there are gays who are most certainly NOT born that way, every argument they make proceeds from that false premise. Pardon me - Was that the crash of an entire philosophical structure coming down?

It's correct - but only politically. And you can't possibly discuss it. Once a discussion begins, pesky details like "facts" start popping up. Damned inconvenient, these facts, eh wot? We can't have a discussion of racial epithets, like the word "nigger." Everyone starts printing it "n****r" or something to that effect. Or "The "N" Word." You can't even say someone is niggardly. (Stingy, if you are a graduate of Publik Skule.) Never mind that it is derived from a totally different language and root. See? Those darn facts again.

It lends nothing to civility. Once the PC-fest begins, everyone starts playing the "I'm more offended than you!" game. Or, for a real hoot, they get offended on behalf of someone who isn't offended their damn selves. Or begin squabbling over who has the right to speak this way, or use that word, or address the other subject material. This is civility? More like a couple of old hound dogs fighting over some road-kill.

That's what I mean by poison. It kills any significant discourse, just like if you or me were to imbibe a tumbler of Chateau Lafite-Rothschilde Strychnine '55.

And, like a lot of things, Summers made the mistake of not only speaking heresy, but speaking heresy which many are afraid might be true.

Not true? Let's look at some inconvenient facts. Feminism has had two generations to work its ju-ju. And in fields like science and engineering, women are staying away in droves. Women all over the place are abandoning careers in favor of family. There's article after article of hand wringing drivel asking, "Why? Oh, WHY?!?!" and it comes to the same conclusion, and interviews the same woman, or it least it seems so, saying "I tried to juggle family and career. I was never satisfied. So I chose to stay home and be a mom." Oh, societal pressure. I see.

Our mind is made up. Please do not confuse us with facts unless it supports our conclusion. Heh. Well, I guess it can be said that feminists aren't good at science. Or linear thinking. But, hey, that's okay. That's way too patriarchal anyway.

The only consolation to me in this whole mess is that, as a former Clinton appointee, the Left-Feminist savaging of Lawrence Summers is another case of the political correctoids eating their own. The fact that they refuse to take a stark and honest look inward, do some introspection and brutal self-critique, and try to massage all the numbers to fit in their predefined world-view is the reason they have been getting their butts whipped in elections the past few decades. Nothing like driving the data to an erroneous conclusion, and then proceeding from that bad premise, to be a recipe for failure.

More here

Friday, January 21, 2005


Doing remarkably little to combat the stereotype that women are emotionally frail and constitutionally incapable of dealing with stress, Professor Nancy Hopkins of MIT told the Boston Globe that she had to leave a lecture delivered by Harvard president Larry Summers because if she didn't she would have "either blacked out or thrown up." What caused this damsel Hopkins to hie to her fainting couch? Why, the mere suggestion that there might be inherent differences between men and women when it comes to aptitude to the hard sciences..... Summers raised the possibility that "innate difference" might be a factor as well. According to reports, he didn't necessarily embrace this view so much as throw it out for discussion. Indeed, before he raised this point he apparently said several times, "I'm going to provoke you" — which Hopkins might have noticed had she been able to hear over her ideological agenda. "When he started talking about innate differences in aptitude between men and women, I just couldn't breathe because this kind of bias makes me physically ill," Hopkins told the New York Times. "Let's not forget that people used to say that women couldn't drive an automobile."

That's true. "People" also used to say that women aren't as tall as men, that men are more aggressive than women, that women are the ones who make babies, that men are physically stronger than women, and all sorts of other things that happen to be true. The mere fact that "people" used to say some things that weren't true doesn't mean that everything people used to say is untrue — even if some of those comments offend Hopkins's delicate sensibilities.

In fact, the scientific consensus is that there are innate cognitive differences between men and women — as groups. Individual men and women can be geniuses or morons (though the data suggest that men tend to produce more of both than women). Men tend to perform better at spatial tasks — rotating three-dimensional objects in their mind, for example — as well as some mathematical and navigational tests. Women, on the other hand, are better at word games of various kinds, and they beat men at identifying matching items rapidly and putting the right-shaped pegs in the right holes. This is all fairly uncontroversial stuff — you can find a nice summary on the web in a Scientific American article called "Sex Differences in the Brain" from May 13, 2002.

But don't show it to Nancy Hopkins. She may lose her lunch..... In the past, women used to claim that vulgar language would cause them to grow ill or faint. Now feminists like Hopkins use the same tactic to silence ideologically unacceptable ideas and to intimidate the intellectually curious. That's the stereotype Hopkins is reinforcing: that feminists and the Left are pro-science and pro-scholarship as long as they already agree with the conclusions

More here. See Peg Kaplan for some good comments on the sequel to the matter. And Steven Pinker summarizes the scientific issues involved.


Catholic League president William Donohue addressed today the claim that there is a December Dilemma in the schools: “When people say there is a December Dilemma, what they mean is that school officials are in a bind: how can they allow the celebration of Christmas without offending others? The answer? Censor Christmas.

“The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is so worried about Christmas that it issues an annual document, ‘The December Dilemma,’ on how to deal with this problem (in response, the Catholic League offers, ‘The December Celebration’). In a Q&A section, the ADL comments on what is excessive when it comes to Christmas decorations. After admitting that the courts have said Santas and Christmas trees are secular symbols, it warns, ‘Nevertheless, their inordinate usage is inappropriate.’ It does not say what constitutes an inordinate number, nor does it say why secular symbols of any kind should be censored, regardless of their volume. But it does tell us a lot about how the ADL views Christmas...

“In every instance, school officials say they must censor Christmas because the holiday is not inclusive. But if they were advised to censor Martin Luther King Day celebrations—on the grounds that it is not inclusive (it represents only a small minority)—they would respond by saying that white kids who feel left out should respect diversity. Why, then, should not those who are not Christian (a small minority) be told to respect the diversity that Christmas offers? There is a game being played here: in one instance, those who complain are rewarded; in the other, they are denied. Such is the game of multicultural madness.”


Thursday, January 20, 2005


Don't add up and don't question the assumptions!

With their most frightening figure -- that excess fat supposedly causes 400,000 deaths a year -- thoroughly debunked, obesity scaremongers are now leaning more heavily on an equally media-friendly factoid: that obesity hits us where it counts -- the pocketbook. To substantiate this claim, they take a cue from Dr. Evil and turn to a deeply flawed study by Anne Wolf and Graham Colditz, which concluded that obesity costs the U.S. economy $117 billion each year. This frequently cited statistic has been used to justify numerous proposed regulations aimed at forcibly slimming us down. But the Wolf-Colditz study is just one example among many intended to spur Americans into action. For comparison, consider some other supposedly hundred-billion-dollar problems.

* The National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research reports that lost sleep costs the nation $150 billion dollars a year.

* The World Resources Institute claims that traffic costs the nation more than $100 billion annually due to lost productivity alone (not counting the extra cost of gasoline or accidents associated with road congestion).

* The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says that chronic pain is a real pain in the nation's wallet -- costing upwards of $100 billion a year.

* The U.S. National Pharmaceutical Council complains that non-compliance with medication instructions in the U.S. totals a hefty sum of $100 billion, and caused 125,000 unnecessary deaths in 1990 alone.

So where's the outrage? Where is the Surgeon General's "Call to Action" on sleep? When is the Secretary of Transportation's high-profile conference to solve the immense cost of traffic? If these and so many other problems are so costly, why does their importance pale in comparison to obesity? The answer is simple. A powerful lobby of trial lawyers, pharmaceutical companies, and activists with obesity axes to grind have over-hyped the problem for their own personal gain.



Exhibit A: A recent essay by Laura Kipnis, professor of media studies at Northwestern, telling readers that "there's simply an irreconcilable contradiction between feminism and femininity." According to Kipnis. "Femininity . . . tries to secure advantages for women, primarily by enhancing their sexual attractiveness to men. It also shores up masculinity through displays of feminine helplessness or deference." Meanwhile, feminism "strives to smash beauty norms" and "demands female equality in all spheres" -- but alas, it has failed to eradicate women's (even feminists'!) infuriating desire to be beautiful. The problem, Kipnis hectors, is that "the beauty culture is a heterosexual institution, and to the extent that women participate in its rituals, they, too, are propping up a heterosexual society and its norms" -- norms which supposedly subordinate women to men.

And here I thought this kind of rhetoric had withered away some 30 years ago, except for a brief flare-up in Naomi Wolf's 1991 bestseller "The Beauty Myth." But no. Never mind that in the intervening years, the equation of femininity with helplessness or submissiveness has been thoroughly exploded in popular culture. Our ideals of feminine beauty now include athletes and the strong heroines of television shows like "Alias," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," or "Xena: Warrior Princess," more than capable of holding their own against men.

Kipnis's polemic is not only tripe, it's self-defeating tripe. If you tell women that they must choose between feminism on the one hand, and beauty, femininity, and heterosexuality on the other, there goes 99 percent of your target audience (newsflash: beauty and femininity are not exclusively heterosexual turf).

Exhibit B: An article in another respected liberal Web magazine,, defending patriarchy's latest victim: Jennifer Aniston. The former "Friends" star, author Rebecca Traister complains, is being "pilloried" because her split with husband Brad Pitt was apparently caused by his desire for a child and her desire, at 35, to postpone motherhood and focus on work. Traister is seeing red over "a regressive and scary message to women": The only thing that matters is "our ability and willingness to reproduce," while putting professional ambition first is stigmatized.

Just where Aniston is being "pilloried" is unclear. To Traister, simply reporting that Aniston is (according to her friends) reluctant to have a baby or that her grueling filming schedule for the next three years would leave little time for it, reeks of disapproval. In fact, nothing that's been said about Aniston approaches the nastiness of Traister's jabs at Pitt for being too outspoken about his desire to be a dad. Besides, shouldn't feminists be candid and admit that if you're a woman in your mid-30s and want children, waiting much longer is not a good idea? Or that, for most people, parenthood is a vitally important part of life?

Exhibit C: On the op-ed page of The New York Times, columnist Maureen Dowd gripes that men are egocentric babies who want submissive women, not equals. Her proof? An alleged trend of powerful men marrying their personal assistants, secretaries, nannies, and the like (illustrated by a couple of movies and a couple of anecdotes) and a couple of recent studies, one of which, from the University of Michigan, shows that men regard a subordinate as a more desirable wife than a boss.

What's that all about? Well, the male college students in the study were shown a photo of a woman and asked to estimate her desirability as a marriage partner on a 1-to-9 scale. When the woman was described as their hypothetical assistant, she got an average rating of 6.4; a co-worker got 4.9 and a supervisor 4.2. (Women gave men an average rating of about 3.1.)

Whatever this tells us about how men interact with women in real life, even in theory the higher-ranking women were hardly rejected. Of course there are men who are still intimidated by female ambition. But there are millions of women who have successful careers and successful marriages. Why not pay a little more attention to those couples, and a little less to the well-worn men-are-pigs theme?


Wednesday, January 19, 2005


And we feed these b******s!

In a letter to the Daily Mail, Karina Pickering reports the following notice at the rail station car park in Guildford, Surrey: “We regret to announce that this car park will be free until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but it is due to circumstances beyond our control.”



The Violence Against Women Act, a hand-me-down from the Clinton administration based on gender myths, anti-male bias and an infatuation with Big Government, expires this year. A new appropriation request for over $360 million will soon hit Congress, but a chance for gender sanity is coming. The answer to renewing VAWA should be a thundering "NO!"

What is the Violence Against Women Act? In 1994, Congress passed the act as part of an Omnibus Crime Bill. VAWA pitted the sexes against each other by focusing on "crimes of violence motivated by gender;" victims were defined as female and only women were offered the massive tax-funded benefits. VAWA institutionalized the political belief that women, as a class, must receive special protection from men and privileges from government.

Domestic violence was a specific focus. When male victims protested their exclusion, VAWA advocates dismissed them as statistically insignificant. Today, an impressive body of research shows that men constitute anywhere from 36 to 50 percent of domestic violence victims. (The situation is similar with rape. Women are the victims only if you exclude prisons where male rape is prevalent.)

But VAWA is more than an attempt to establish women as a protected class at the expense of men. If this were its only flaw, then including men under its umbrella would have solved the Act's unfairness. The Act seeks to create new gender attitudes through the social engineering of society. The most aggressive example was also VAWA's biggest failure to date: namely, its attempt to revise the judiciary system in order to benefit women. A key section of VAWA '94 allowed a "rape" victim to sue her alleged attacker for compensatory and punitive damages in federal civil court on the grounds of having violated her civil rights. The federal claim did not replace criminal punishment on the state level; it was a supplement.

In 1995, Christy Brzonkala brought a federal lawsuit over an alleged rape at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. The two accused men had been cleared by both a university judicial committee and a criminal grand jury. Under VAWA, however, Brzonkala could pursue a case that was not admitted into criminal court. The U.S. Supreme Court found VAWA's civil rights remedies and access to federal courts to be unconstitutional.

VAWA 2000 was rewritten to exclude the unconstitutional bits and to broaden the Act's mandate to areas such as "Strengthening Education and Training to Combat Violence Against Women." In short, to change society's attitudes on gender through education, research and training programs. The underlying ideological bias is illustrated by the fact that, after spending millions of dollars on domestic violence research, VAWA advocates couldn't seem to find male victims. Or, if they did, the data did not induce them to rename the Violence Against Women Act.

VAWA's attempt to educate society into adopting new attitudes on gender contributed to what some call "the domestic violence industry." The Massachusetts News offers a glimpse into the programs in its state. "Every month, it [the woman's safety movement]...spawns new sub-programs, clinics, shelters, research institutes, counseling centers, visitation centers, poster campaigns. The state disbursed about $24 million for domestic violence services last year, but that certainly is not all the money spent... "

Women's "safety" has become a tax-funded growth industry for lawyers, consultants, researchers, counselors, professors and other "experts" who always seem to conclude that more funding is needed. VAWA advocates trumpet the Act's funding of domestic violence shelters, and it is difficult to argue against helping a battered woman. It is not clear, however, that the bureaucratic and "industrialized" approach to domestic violence is an effective form of help. Every dollar spent on ideological programs is a dollar snatched from a victim. Moreover, the ideology blinds VAWA advocates to many real victims.

The Massachusetts News also reports that the state has 37 tax-funded women's shelters, but no "shelters or services for men," except homosexual men....

VAWA is a fundamentally flawed piece of social engineering. The proper response is not "Me Too!" It is a flat "no," followed by an insistence on rethinking our entire approach to issues like domestic violence.

More here

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Recently, it was reported in The Mirror tabloid daily newspaper that a father had been banned from seeing his own son, and from visiting his own home for six months because he smacked his child.

An elderly couple were found dead in their own home. An investigation into their deaths showed that they had died of exposure. This didn't quite sit well with the authorities until they discovered the couple had been disconnected by their gas / electricity provider. Obviously, the utility provider were contacted by the authorities and asked why they didn't inform the appropriate services. They were told that because of the Data Protection Act -- and all of its incumbent incongruities and ambiguities -- they weren't sure if it was legal for them to disclose their confidential details to the appropriate services.

A local council isn't entirely full of festive cheer this year. They've been told to use low power bulbs, which means they have to use dimmer fairy lights in the towns municipal christmas decorations. Why? In case those who make it their duty to damage and destroy anything within arms reach go and get themselves electrocuted while they're at it.

The above cases come from British blogger Wayne Smallman but he gives no links for them. I would be happy to post the relevant links if anybody can find them


Almost everyone is a victim now, but some are more newsworthy than others. Here are the best of last year's victims:

* Courtney Love is a victim of George W. Bush. "The last thing I want to say is `I'm a victim,' " the singer told London's Sunday Telegraph after an emotionally troubled period. "I believe it's a trickle-down from Bush . . . . Did I bring it on myself? I don't think so."

* Florida Democrats, 15 of them, came down with "post-election selection trauma" and required treatment by licensed therapists after Bush's re-election. Signs of the syndrome, according to psychologist Douglas Schooler of Boca Raton, are being "depressed and angry" and "threatening to leave the country." The executive director of the American Health Association said pest is something "we're working to develop a counseling program for."

* Students in West Covina, Calif., were all potential victims of an "unsafe situation" created by their classmate, 11-year-old Deirdre Faegre. So her school suspended her for a day. Deirdre's offense? Doing cartwheels and handstands during lunchtime. Her father pulled her out of the school, complaining about "cartwheel cops."

* Single professors on college faculties are an unnoticed but deeply aggrieved victim group, according to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The report said that unmarried profs are under pressure to do more than their fair share of work because they have no family obligations and are expected to show up at wedding showers they do not wish to attend. "Single people are the last underrepresented minority," said one professor.

* Tammy Imre, 29, a receptionist in Stratford, Conn., was charged with repeatedly having sex with an 8-year-old boy. Imre's mother blamed the boy. "It's not her . . . she was just too friendly; that's all," said the mother. "He's the one who needs to be looked at."

* Atheists are still seen as negative elements of society, according to the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia, a support group for nonbelievers. Complaining that "religious people are permitted everything," the group said, "religious organizations have also been glorified by the government . . . [as] `social service providers.' " Discriminatory acts and slurs against beleaguered atheists can now be reported to the National Atheist Ombuds.

* Santa Clauses are victims of unsympathetic bosses and parents, as well as kids who ask tenacious questions, said Victor Nevada, a professional Santa in Calgary, Canada. The kids are heavy to lift and ask tough questions about Iraq and Afghanistan, he said. And there is always the risk of getting sued. "I had a Santa working for me a couple years ago; he had a girl on his knee and he commented, `You have nice eyes and nice hair.' She claimed sexual harassment."

* Antoinette Millard told New Yorkers she was a Saudi princess, when she was really a divorced investment banker from Buffalo who went on a spending binge. When American Express sued to recover $951,000 in charges, Millard countersued for $2 million, saying Amex should have known she was acting irrationally because of anorexia, panic attacks, depression, and head tumors.

* Lottery winners may become victims of Sudden Wealth Syndrome, experts warn. Painful confusion, guilt, and self-destructive behavior can befall anyone who strikes it rich, according to the Money, Meaning and Choices Institute. Education and personal counseling are particularly important, the institute said, in cases of "Ticker Shock" (anxiety and depression in response to stock market volatility) or "Clinton Syndrome" (a condition marked by a pull between one's childhood life and the adult life we all are supposed to be living). Psychologist Stephen Goldbart reports seeing clients afflicted with Sudden Loss of Wealth Syndrome, which often follows cases of Sudden Wealth Syndrome.

* Steven Sarenpa's father and stepmother complained when Steven separated from his wife and found a new girlfriend. Steven says they called him a sinner. But Steven was an employee in his father's business. After his father fired him, Steven sued his parents in federal court for religious and marital status discrimination. The case comes up this year.

* Todd Bertuzzi of hockey's Vancouver Canucks delivered a vicious assault on Colorado's Steve Moore, breaking Moore's neck and two of his vertebrae. But a team official thought Bertuzzi was the victim of the news media. "All you have done is crucify my player," said the Canucks' general manager, Brian Burke.

* Patricia Frankhouser of Jeannette, Pa., is suing Norfolk Southern Railway over injuries she sustained when she was hit by a freight train. In her suit, she argued that the railroad should have warned her that walking along the tracks was dangerous. She also charged that the train should have yielded the right of way.