Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hey, Man-Hating, Nerve-Grating Feminists: Good Fathers Are Irreplaceable

Doug Giles echoes below many of the things I have said about the "Daddy's Girl" phenomenon.  Fathers can be very good for daughters

I have two twentysomething daughters who’re currently taking over the planet. When these female charges popped out of their mommy’s womb, this thing called “responsibility for their upbringing” hit me like a Jackie Chan punch.

I didn’t slough off my role in their lives onto my wife, my church, public school, day care, relatives, TV, or “the village.” I didn’t expect any of the aforementioned to fill my boots chiefly because … they can’t.

Living in Miami, I knew I would have to pony up and become a major player in my little ones’ lives if I wanted them to escape being part of the local teen chum slick. In other words, I was going to have to be a dad in the traditional sense of the word.

Here’s a little FYI for slack-jawed sperm donor baby daddies out there: A lack of mental, physical, and spiritual input from you, dad, will exponentially boost the odds that your youngster will grow up to be more lost than an AK-47 under Holder’s oversight.But you probably don’t give a crap because you’re the type who wears sunglasses indoors. It’s always sunny in Doucheville, eh?

Now, the man-hating feminists would love for us all to believe that a dad’s role in his daughter’s life really isn’t that important and that a father can be easily replaced by extra mothers, or public school, or some government program; however, the facts speak to the contrary.

For instance, when a little girl has a loving dad in her life who is a provider, protector, hunter, and hero, research shows that said lucky lady is going to turn into one amazing woman. Yep, when a great pappy is in the house, these are the kinds of reports you hear:

* Toddlers securely attached to fathers are better at solving problems.

* Six-month-olds scored higher on tests of mental development when their dads were involved in their lives.

* With dads in the home, kids managed school stress better.

* Girls whose dads provide warmth and control achieve higher academic success.

* Girls who are close to their fathers exhibit less anxiety and withdrawn behaviors.

The good news doesn’t stop there. As little darlings mature and plow into puberty and beyond with dads who’re worth their salt at their sides, these young women show these not-too-shabby traits:

* The likelihood that daughters engage in premarital sex, drug use, and alcohol plummets when their dads are involved in their lives.

* Girls with doting fathers are more assertive.

* Daughters who feel that their dads care about them and feel connected with their dads have significantly fewer suicide attempts and fewer instances of body dissatisfaction, depression, low self-esteem, substance abuse, and unhealthy weight.

* Girls involved with dad are twice as likely to stay in school.

* A girl’s self esteem is best predicted by her dad’s loving affection.

* Girls with fathers involved in their lives have higher quantitative and verbal skills and higher intellectual functioning.

* Girls whose parents divorce or separate before they turn 21 tend to have shorter life spans by four years.

* Girls with decent dads are less likely to flaunt themselves to seek male attention.

* Fathers help daughters to be more competent, more achievement oriented, and more successful.

* Girls with involved fathers wait longer to initiate sex and have lower rates of teen pregnancy. Teen girls who live with both parents are three times less likely to lose their virginity before their sixteenth birthday.

* 76 percent of teen girls said their fathers influenced their decisions on whether they should become sexually active.

* 97 percent of girls who said they could talk to their parents had lower teen pregnancy rates.

* A daughter from a middle-class family has a fivefold lower risk of out-of-wedlock pregnancy if her father lives at home.

* Girls who live with their mothers only have significantly less ability to control their impulses, delay gratification, and have a weaker sense of right and wrong.

* Kids do better academically when their fathers establish rules and exhibit affection.

(The above bullet points were taken from Meg Meeker’s book, Your Kids at Risk: How Teen Sex Threatens Our Sons and Daughters .)

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there who are living their lives in the grand masculine sense of the word. No matter what the man-hating, nerve-grating feminists yammer, you are irreplaceable in the grand family scheme of things. Therefore, stay your traditional course and watch life pay you back in spades. Salute!


The Government Insists on Cutting Us Down to Size

Mayor Michael Bloomberg ignited a firestorm of debate with his proposal to ban super-size sugary drinks in New York City. Critics bashed his nanny-statism, but supporters like first lady Michelle Obama hailed his courage.

Nationally, just 24 percent of American adults think the ban is a good idea, while 65 percent oppose it. This response is similar to the high level of opposition found for efforts to impose so-called "sin taxes" on soda and junk food. People never like it when the government picks winners and losers, and they are especially resistant to having the government determine what foods we should eat.

Those who advocate sin taxes or plans like Bloomberg's often express frustration that voters don't seem to realize the seriousness of the nation's obesity problem. However, the facts suggest that the American people are well aware of reality. Sixty-two percent recognize that exercise, diet and lifestyle choices have a bigger impact on someone's health than health insurance and medical care. Nearly half consider themselves overweight. Eighty percent see childhood obesity as a serious problem.

To some, numbers like that should naturally translate to support for government regulation to fix the problem. They simply can't see other possible solutions.

Harvard professor Daniel E. Lieberman writes in The New York Times that there are only three options in the obesity debate. The first is to do nothing. The second is better nutritional education. "The final option," he says, "is to collectively restore our diets to a more natural state through regulations." This approach is consistent with the way America's political class likes to frame every debate as a choice between doing nothing and letting the government do it.

In the case of nutritional issues, most Americans see a fourth option, one that is consistent with traditional American values: Let individuals make their own choices, and then let them bear the burden or reap the reward of those choices. That's the reason Americans overwhelmingly support the notion that health insurance companies should be allowed to offer discounts to non-smokers.

The same logic applies to other lifestyle choices. Sixty-three percent think insurance companies should offer discounts to individuals who exercise regularly. By a 54 percent to 34 percent margin, Americans think those who eat healthier also should be eligible for insurance discounts.

With such an approach, people who exercise and eat better would not only end up feeling better, they'd save money along the way. Those who don't take care of themselves would pay extra for the right to do so. People would quickly see which behaviors help them save money and how much other behaviors really cost. It would lead to a much healthier nation and a much healthier relationship between individuals and the government.

Ultimately, Bloomberg's ban on large sugary drinks highlights the gap between the American people and their political leaders. Most Americans are looking for ways to change the system so that they can make their own health care choices rather than have decisions imposed on them. The political class wants to make those choices for us. That's the key question in the health care debate. Who do you trust more with important decisions: the government or the people?


Fixing Britain's Keystone Kops

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, is proposing Tom Winsor as HM Inspector of Constabulary – the regulator of Britain's police service. Naturally, a lot of people are alarmed at this prospect.

In the first place, nobody expects that Winsor would conduct the regulation of the police in a genteel manner. He has a reputation for speaking his mind, and uttering a few sharp words when he thinks people aren't doing their job properly. That is certainly what he did at the Office of Rail Regulation.

Then of course there was his two recent reports on the police, in which he proposed a radical programme of reform, major changes in pay and conditions, and a demand that police officers shed their 'clock in, clock out' reputation with the public. He's not a man to take prisoners. It's partly down to his recommendations that 30,000 police came out on the streets to protest about their pay and pensions.

Police bosses, of course, argue that Winsor has no history or experience of policing. But maybe that is exactly what the police service needs, someone coming to it from outside who can see it from the point of view of the public, and of managerial and economic efficiency, rather than being bound up in the status quo.

One of Winsor's criticisms of police recruiting is precisely that officers start on the beat and have to to work up to the higher ranks, steeping them in the status quo – when really we should be recruiting intellectually able managers straight into the higher, managerial ranks such as superintendent. And usually it is only a police insider, an existing chief constable, who has come up in this way who gets to regulate the whole system.

Sure, the Chief Inspector has traditionally been more than just a regulator. Part of the job has been to advise senior police officers on difficult issues such as public order and the policing of large events, policy on terrorism and suchlike. Winsor, with no past day-to-day involvement in such issues, might not be the best person to advise. But again, maybe we need a police regulator who is not poacher and gamekeeper at the same time. Perhaps the advisory job needs to be done by someone else, or through some other mechanism, so the regulator can get on with regulating.

A public monopoly which starts people on the lowest rank, and through which people are promoted on the basis of longevity and clubbability as much as on brains and skill, is an outdated concept. If ever there is an example of producer capture, the police service must be it.

That is why I am so looking forward to Dr Tim Evans's talk to the ASI's Next Generation Group tonight. He goes even further than Tom Winsor, arguing that the only way to change the nationalised-industry culture in the police, and make them properly responsive to the public's demands, is to introduce competition and privatization.


What the Victorians could teach today’s social workers about helping today's British problem families

Eric Pickles's observation on Sunday that the welfare state’s ‘problem families’ were ‘fluent in social work’ exposed the damage that many social workers do by teaching their clients how to play the system.

He confirmed the idea many of us have about social workers — that they see their main duty as helping the feckless milk the welfare state for every penny, rather than weaning them off dependency.
Eric Pickles has exposed the widespread abuse of the social services and is right to say problem families need to take more responsibility for their actions

Eric Pickles has exposed the widespread abuse of the social services and is right to say problem families need to take more responsibility for their actions

It seems hard to imagine now, but it is not so long ago that social work was a noble calling and its practitioners were widely respected and admired for the role they played in the lives of the poor.

The Victorians who followed this vocation, in an age before the welfare state had begun corrupting society, would have been profoundly shocked by the present state of their profession.

In mid-19th century Britain, poverty of a depth incomprehensible to us existed in a country that was the richest in the world.

Ghettoes of people lived on the edge of starvation in squalid rooms without sanitation rather than submit themselves to the workhouse.

Industrialisation had tempted many of the country’s agricultural population to migrate to towns in search of higher wages.

When there was plenty of work they could live tolerably. When demand fell and they lost their jobs, they were on their own.

In the countryside, a more structured society ensured the poor usually had work — whether on the land, at a time when agriculture was labour-intensive, or weaving on hand looms in their cottages — and the gentry cared for them when they fell on hard times.
Boys from the Barnardo's homes: It seems hard to imagine now, but it is not so long ago that social work was a noble calling

Boys from the Barnardo's homes: It seems hard to imagine now, but it is not so long ago that social work was a noble calling

But in the most deprived areas of cities, the middle classes had moved out, not wishing to be outnumbered by the poor, and the traditional support systems had ceased to exist.

As a result, middle-class reformers — some of them evangelists, others motivated by social conscience rather than religion — began missionary work among the poor.

Their intention was not to trap people in dependence upon charity, but to help them to support themselves — however unpromising their circumstances.

The unofficial ‘regulator’ of the private charities helping the poor was the Charity Organisation Society. When families came to ask for help, it sent people to talk to them and to seek to understand their circumstances before offering assistance.

While researching a book on mid-Victorian society, I discovered numerous examples of the distinctions that were drawn between the deserving and the undeserving poor.

In the early 1870s, for example, a widow asked for money to buy a pair of boots for her ten-year-old son, so he could go out to work and support the family.

After investigations by the social worker, it was discovered that the widow was a denizen of her local pub in the East End of London.

She was told that if she wanted her son to have boots, she should stop drinking and save up to buy them.

Charitable grants were often given to abstemious men to buy tools so they could pursue a trade and become independent.

One of the Victorians’ guiding principles was laborare est orare — to work is to pray.

Above all, highly motivated men and women who undertook social work set out to befriend the poor.

They did not see them, in the Soviet-style language of modern social work, as clients.

That word implies an unequal relationship. Victorian social workers felt it was their duty to approach the poor as friends and to do what a friend would do — guide them away from charity and towards self-reliance.

One of the greatest social workers of the late 19th century was Octavia Hill.  In the 1850s her mother ran a co-operative in Holborn, London, where women who would otherwise be in the workhouse, or in brothels, made toys.

Octavia, then a teenager, helped out, and became intimately acquainted with the hard and often squalid lives the women endured.  Mrs Hill would invite the women to her house one evening a week for a sewing circle. This had the practical benefit of teaching them to make and repair clothes, to ensure they and their children were dressed respectably.

However, it also set them an example. The Hills were not rich, but they lived in domestic order. Mrs Hill would talk to her sewing circle about the benefits of hygiene, the value of thrift and the importance of living life honestly and prudently.

Her close contact with the poor was used to promote improvement and self-reliance, not to teach them how they might lead a life of dependency.

Later, Octavia Hill would persuade the art historian and social reformer John Ruskin to use part of his inheritance to buy three houses in Marylebone — then a deprived part of London — which she renovated and let at a low rent to poor families rescued from squalor.

Octavia put the tenants in charge of cleaning and maintaining the properties, and found they would thrive on responsibility.

She ensured they paid their rents by encouraging saving for times when work was scarce.

She would help find work for those who, despite their best efforts, could not find it themselves — even if it meant employing them herself on her ever-expanding estate of properties.

She continued her mother’s principle of not merely superintending her tenants, but befriending them.

She took a close interest in their personal development, ensuring the children had a playground to take exercise in, arranging singing classes for them and taking them on excursions. As a result they grew up with a glimpse of civilisation, and a sense of the possibility of their improvement.

Other philanthropists dealt with different aspects of social breakdown by similar means.

Charles Dickens, in the late 1840s, persuaded the richest woman in Britain, Angela Burdett-Coutts, to fund a home for fallen women at Shepherd’s Bush, where, again, they were shown examples of self-reliance and respectability.

Some women relapsed: but others, having shown they could learn basic skills of housekeeping, were rewarded by having places found for them in service in the colonies, with their passage paid for.

Again, the purpose of charitable help was not to entrap, but to liberate.

Thomas Barnardo took orphaned boys into his refuge in Stepney in the early 1870s and taught them to make brushes, to chop and sell firewood or to shine shoes for a living.

Girls, many of whom would have become child prostitutes, were admitted to his ‘village’ of cottages in Essex, where they learned the skills required to go into domestic service.

Barnardo had fallen foul of the Charity Organisation Society when, new to London in the 1860s, he opened a soup kitchen in the East End. The COS complained this was an indiscriminate form of charity, and people would take free soup and spend their money on drink instead.

That, too, demonstrates the Victorian determination to ensure only the most deserving benefited from charity: not just to see that precious funds were spent where they could do the most good, but to deter spongers from embedding themselves in a life of idleness that would, all too easily, lapse into vice or crime.

The modern welfare state (which costs us a staggering £205 billion a year) has lost sight of these values — values which, in the end, enrich society by maximising the numbers of those who contribute to it.

It is hard to imagine a modern social worker lecturing the poor on the benefits of thrift, cleanliness, education or self-respect: but then, as the welfare state will provide all the feckless need, perhaps they think there is no point their doing so.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCHAUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site  here.


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