Sunday, February 05, 2006


Leftists salivate about rape. It liberates some juicy "anti-men" or "anti-other-people" hatreds in them. Post lifted from The Volokhs -- which see for links

The Oregon State University newspaper (The Daily Barometer) had this to say last week:

According to a press release issued by the Women's Center, 2,000 rapes occur every five minutes.

Huh -- 2,000 rapes every five minutes. That would mean 2000 x (60/5) x 24 x 365 = 200 million rapes a year (presumably in the U.S.). Many people underestimate the frequency of rape. Still, one would hope that it doesn't happen 200 million times a year; at least a little bit of multiplication should have alerted the writer and the editor that something was wrong.

Something was indeed wrong; when I e-mailed the Barometer to ask what the source was, they pointed me to the press release they were citing. It reads:

About 2,000 rapes are committed daily at the rate of about one every 5 minutes.

Not 2,000 rapes every five minutes, it turns out, but 2,000 rapes daily, or one every 5 minutes. Off by a factor of 300 (5 x 60) from how the newspaper rendered it.

But wait! A "rate of about one every 5 minutes" would be about 300 daily ((60/5) x 24), not about 2000 daily. The Women's Center press release was also mistaken (on at least one of the statistics, and maybe both); and again a little multiplication would have helped catch this.

For those who are interested about what the real number actually is, the answer of course is that we don't know for sure. The National Crime Victimization Survey, a survey of noninstitutionalized Americans age 12 or over, estimates that there were 72,000 completed rapes in the U.S. in 2003, plus 45,000 attempted rapes, and 82,000 sexual assaults (completed or attempted attacks short of vaginal, anal, or oral penetration); the 72,000 number would of course translate into roughly 200 rapes daily, not 2000. On the other hand, other studies have reported considerably higher levels, including the 700,000 number that corresponds to 2000 daily (though this was from the early 1990s, and the rape rate has apparently fallen considerably since then). To my knowledge, there continues to be a hot debate about the number (though not about whether 60/5 x 24 = 2000).

I e-mailed the Daily Barometer and the Women's Center to ask what's up, and to suggest that a correction be published (or, as to the web site, simply made); no response from them yet, I'm afraid.

(Note that the NCVS site was down when I checked the link; I fortunately have a printout from which I read the data, but I wanted to alert people that they might have trouble accessing the data themselves.)

Too much tolerance: Australia needs leaders to show the way on respect

Below is an editorial from "The Australian" newspaper

AS the violence that erupted in the Sydney beachside suburb of Cronulla and the revenge attacks that followed demonstrated, civility matters. At its most extreme, an absence of civility can result in social collapse. Australia has clearly not reached that stage, but NSW Chief Justice Jim Spigelman is nonetheless on the mark to issue a warning about the deterioration of Australians' ordinary manners and the dangers this poses to our social fabric. As the Prime Minister agreed in response, good manners are the basis of a more civilised society. Knowing how to use a fish fork, pass the port correctly and other fine points of etiquette are not at issue. Rather, Justice Spigelman called for a "zero-tolerance" policy to reverse a decline in Australians' ordinary manners, evident in the alarming incidence of road rage, ugly behaviour by parents at school sporting events, the expanding use of offensive language, lack of courtesy when it comes to mobile phone use, the virtual disappearance in everyday interaction of the words please, sorry and thank you and the vulgarity of reality TV shows.

Zeroing in on the role of broadcast media, Mr Howard aired his view that TV networks were leading the collapse in manners and proposed they should adopt a voluntary curb on the use of foul language. He might add to his list the increasingly frequent presence of gratuitous violence on television that mars its value as family entertainment. Certainly offensive language is ubiquitous across much of popular culture - any parent who takes the time to read the lyrics of their teenagers gangsta rap CDs is in for a nasty shock - and reality television programs such as Channel 10's Big Brother and its "uncut" version are among the worst offenders. When gutter-level language, full frontal nudity, casual and hot-tub sex, drunkenness and discussion of masturbation are the common currency of Australians' evening viewing, it can only have the result of legitimising the lowest common denominator when it comes to standards of behaviour in social interaction. While reverting to censorship is unpalatable, there is sense in the Prime Minister's call for more voluntary restraint by broadcasters when it comes to violence, sexually explicit material and obscene language. Similarly there is a strong case for more parental guidance and supervision over what our youngsters consume on a daily basis.

Television, however, is not the only culprit. Leaders in many areas of Australian life are letting down the community by failing to provide role models on civility. NSW magistrate Pat O'Shane, for instance, did the Australian community no favour last year when she threw out a case of offensive behaviour against a 27-year-old man who told police "youse are f. . .ed", arguing she was "not sure there is such a thing as a community standard any more". Most Australians would disagree that as a society we should tolerate anti-social behaviour, whether it involves abusing police, schoolyard bullying, defacing property with graffiti, breaking windows or other forms of petty vandalism. The many parents fleeing to private schools believe, on the contrary, that there is too much tolerance in the public school system when it comes to disciplining bad behaviour. Unfortunately parents wanting to raise polite, respectful offspring are not being helped by the example of boorish behaviour from many in public life. From Nationals defector Julian McGauran giving Opposition senators the finger or former Labor leader Mark Latham calling Mr Howard an "arse-licker" and the Coalition "a conga-line of suckholes", role models are thin on the ground. Institutions such as courts, parliament and schools must not sanction ill-civility, or as a society we will suffer


The yearly Electronic Entertainment Expo show is known for cutting edge game announcements and outlandish costumes, but in recent years companies have been using scantily clad models to lure attendees to their booths. Now the Entertainment Software Association, the organization that runs the event, says that these "booth-babes" will be banned. Companies will be given on warning and then face an immediate $5,000 fine for further violations.

In a handbook given to exhibitors, ESA says that "sexually explicit and/or sexually provocative" models will be prohibited from the show floor. For the industry that has brought us Lara Croft of Tomb Raider fame to the blond-haired "Ghost" girl from Blizzard's Starcraft Ghost, it may be difficult to judge what is acceptable or not.

We don't know what prompted the change in rules, but last year PlanetWide Games pushed the envelope by having several scantily-clad models pose at their booth. Kevin Donovan, President of PlanetWide Games, told TG Daily that models made sense for the demographic. "Our online role-playing game R.Y.L. was meant to be edgy and the models appealed to the demographic," says Donovan.

More here

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