Saturday, April 30, 2005


Not surprising, I guess, but you wouldn't want to let ANY kids near such embittered and hate-fostering harpies

UCSF's Center for Gender Equity hosts its annual "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" on Thursday -- but judging from the list of activities being offered, the gender equity program is anything but equal.

For example, the 9- and 10-year-old daughters are being invited to participate in 17 hands-on activities such as working with microscopes, slicing brains, doing skull comparisons, seeing what goes on in the operating room, playing surgeon, dentist or nurse for a day, and visiting the intensive care unit nursery, where they can set up blood pressure cuffs and operate the monitors. They can learn about earthquake and disaster preparedness, how to use a fire extinguisher, how to operate several types of equipment -- even fire a laser.

And what do the boys get to do? Learn about "gender equity in fun, creative ways using media, role playing and group games" -- after which, the boys can get a bit of time in with a microscope or learn how the heart works. "It's ridiculous," says one UCSF doc, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation from the university. "I have no problem with the Center for Gender Equity, but just make it equitable."

Longtime center director Amy Levine, however, tells us the program isn't intended to give boys and girls the same learning opportunities -- nor, she says, is it a career day. "It's about dealing with effects of sexism on both boys and girls and how it can damage them," she said. Hence, while the boys undergo gender sensitivity training, the girls focus on their capabilities -- be it handling a scalpel or microscope.

UCSF tried mixing the boys with the girls a few years back, but Levine says it just didn't work out. "It mirrored the same sexism that occurs in the classroom daily," she said, "where boys raise their hands more often, demand more attention and have discipline problems."

So now the boys have their own gender sensitivity program, where "they learn about violence prevention and how to be allies to the girls and women in their lives," Levine said.


The Politically Correct Make-Over of Passover

In recent years, Passover has undergone a make-over in the American Jewish non-Orthodox community, one that has converted it largely into a holiday devoted to celebrating human rights, protesting a long list of human rights abuses and promoting fashionable causes. The remake seems designed to make Passover a cosmopolitan holiday, one with a universal message in which all can join, in essence the Jewish answer to the Declaration of the Rights of Man of the French Revolution.

Back in the 1960s, a series of Political Correctness Haggadahs were written, in which the message of Passover was turned into a celebration of the civil rights movement in the United States. Arthur Waskow, the guru of the Tikkun-"Renewal" crowd, wrote at the time a Black Liberation Passover Haggadah, celebrating black militants like the Black Panthers, who were themselves coincidentally calling at the time for the annihilation of Jews. Later Political Correctness Haggadahs were devoted to homosexual rights, women's liberation, and assorted other faddish causes, not least of which was Palestinian "liberation". No doubt, this year will see fashionable Abandon Iraq and Restore Saddam Haggadot or No War for Oil ones. "Multicultural" Passover seders became vogue and trendy in some circles, in which the seder became a mixture of acclamations for human rights and freedom, taken from a wide variety of non-Jewish sources.

As yet another illustration, a few years back, the Passover cause celebre of American Jewish liberals was Tibet, with Tibetan officials invited to Passover seders, and where the leftist Religious Action Center (RAC) of the Reform synagogue movement called on Jews to hold Tibetan-freedom Passover seders in solidarity with Tibet. The RAC is devoted to the proposition that Jewish values are nothing more and nothing less than this year's leftist political fads, including gay "marriage", supporting affirmative action apartheid programs, and opposing all welfare reform.

In all of these attempts to recast Passover as the celebration of human rights, the Professional Liberals of the American Jewish Establishment (or PLAJEs, for short) seem to be overlooking one little point. And that is that Passover has absolutely nothing to do with human rights and is not at all a celebration of human freedom. Not that there is anything wrong with celebrating human rights, mind you. I would certainly not object to creating such a holiday, and my personal preference would be to hold it on Hiroshima Day, the day in which the A-bomb saved countless human lives and created the conditions by which freedoms could be extended to many millions of oppressed Asians.

For the record, Passover is the celebration of Jewish national liberation. It is one of three such Jewish holidays devoted entirely to celebrating Jewish national liberation, the other two being Hannuka and Purim, and the only one with Torah foundations. It is not the celebration of generic civil rights, nor even the celebration of freedom and dignity for oppressed peoples around the globe. It is the celebration of Jews achieving national self-determination and taking their homeland back by force of arms.....

The real lesson of Passover is that Jewish national liberation and freedom does not come cheaply. The real world involves difficult choices and moral compromises and tradeoffs. Achieving a higher moral end often involves taking steps that would themselves be abusive or immoral on their own grounds, but are required in order to achieve the greater good. Such tradeoffs are the stuff with which moral posturers and self-righteous practitioners of recreational compassion cannot deal. It does not fit into their simplistic worldview and lazy armchair moralizing.

It is the great tragedy of the American Jewish community, or at least the non-Orthodox majority therein, that it is so overwhelmingly dominated by assimilated Professional Liberals and self-righteous practitioners of recreational liberal compassion, people whose understanding of political tradeoffs and public policy analysis never go any deeper than a good bumper sticker.

Excerpt from Steven Plaut

Friday, April 29, 2005

Police used to enforce homosexual agenda

Why must the little children of poor people be compulsorily indoctrinated about homosexuality? Poor people cannot choose their schools

Lexington parent, David Parker, was arrested today by the Lexington Police for “trespassing” at his son’s elementary school during a scheduled meeting with the principal and the city’s Director of Education over his objections to homosexual curriculum materials and discussions in his son’s kindergarten class. At the meeting, Parker demanded that the school inform him when homosexual subjects are to be discussed with his son, and allow his son not to be included in such activities. He said he would not leave until his request was granted. The Principal and the city’s Director of Education both refused his request. They then telephoned the Superintendent of Schools who also refused. Police were called, who told Parker that unless he left the school he would be arrested.

Statement by David Parker(April 27, 2005):

“I, David Parker, am the father of a kindergarten student at Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington, Massachusetts. Since the beginning of this school year, my wife and I have learned that school materials and discussions about gay-headed households/same-sex union issues have been exposed to the children. There are definitive plans to increase the teacher/staff/adult mediated discussions of these subjects. “We have officially stated on many occasions—to the Lexington school administration—a request that we be notified when these discussions are planned, and want our 6-year-old opted out of such situations when arising “spontaneously”. “Our parental requests for our own child were flat-out denied with no effort at accommodation. In our meeting on April 27, I, insisted that such accommodation be made and refused to leave the meeting room. I was informed that I would be arrested.”

Parker will be arraigned on Thursday, April 28, in Concord District Court at 9 am.



The desperate attempt to transform social unacceptability into a medical problem

Despite the fact that the CDC has been caught out creating "statistics" to back up the "fact" of an obesity epidemic, it appears to be neither embarrassed nor remorseful. As the Associated Press reported:

"CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said because of the uncertainty in calculating the health effects of being overweight, the CDC is not going to use the brand-new figure of 25,814 in its public awareness campaigns and is not going to scale back its fight against obesity."

So let's get this straight. When the CDC's numbers said that obesity was overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of death, allegedly killing 400,000 Americans a year, it was all right to use that 400,000 figure non-stop to scare us into losing weight. But when the real number turns out to be just short of 26,000 then the CDC is so worried about "uncertainty" that they aren't going to use the figure. Obviously, Dr. Gerberding did not get her doctorate in logic.

The reason, of course, that Dr. Gerberding does not want to use the supposed 25,814 deaths (remember, we're not even certain there are this many) from obesity as the basis for a new campaign in the war on fat is that, well, as things go, it just isn't terribly useful. Gerberding knows that it is pretty hard to talk about an epidemic if you've only got 25,000 victims, and without talk of an epidemic it's pretty difficult to get the media's attention, Washington's money and, most importantly, push through a host of coercive policy measures that tell Americans what they can and what they cannot eat.

But notice, the good doctor isn't going to let a few hundred thousand fewer deaths stop a good thing. Despite the lack of credible statistics, we just "know" that obesity is still killing millions of Americans -- even if we can't find where they live -- and there is no reason to "scale back" the fight against obesity. Now that's what makes the CDC and much of official Washington such scary places. Typically a good public policy process first finds clear evidence of a substantial problem and then goes about finding a policy solution. Evidence drives and shapes policy. But here we have policy "creating" evidence. Even though the supposed justification for intervening into the lives of millions of Americans is now defunct, the claim that fat causes early death is still made and the campaign against obesity still goes forward.....

First, take the study that really started the "obesity epidemic", the 1999 JAMA published research "Annual Deaths Attributable to Obesity in the United States" which suggested that being overweight was responsible for about 300,000 deaths a year in the US. If you look at this data you find that individuals with BMI's of 25 -- overweight -- have a lower risk of dying prematurely than those with BMI's of 20 or normal weight. Again, those with BMI's of 20 have the same risk of premature death as those with a BMI of 30 -- obese.

Second, take another widely cited study, "Overweight, Obesity and Mortality from Cancer" (New England Journal of Medicine, 2003) which like the JAMA article generated huge headlines with its claim to provide a definitive account of the obesity-cancer relationship. The authors claimed that up to 90,000 cancer deaths a year could be avoided if every adult kept his or her BMI below 25. Yet the data actually shows something quite different. People with BMI's of 18.5-24.9 - normal -- had a cancer mortality rate of 4.5 deaths per 1000 study subjects while individuals with BMI's of 25-29.0 -- the overweight -- had a cancer mortality rate of 4.4 deaths per thousand -- actually lower. In other words, for the 100 millions plus Americans who are classified as overweight there was a negative correlation between being overweight and dying from cancer.

Nor are these findings flukes. Ancel Keys, the proponent of the cholesterol-heart disease theory, who over 25 years looked at fat and mortality rates in Japan, Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Finland and the United States came to similar conclusions. Published as the Seven Country Study in 1980, Keys found the risk of premature mortality due to excessive weight increased only at the extremes of over and under weight. A recent study looking at a group of Europeans from his original data found men with BMI's of less than 18.5 -- that is thin men -- had almost twice the mortality rate of either normal or overweight men, even controlling for smoking. The study further found that being overweight -- a BMI of 25-29.9 -- had no effect on mortality and even those men who were obese still had lower death rates than the thin men.

A similar pattern was found in a 1996 US study that re-analyzed data from previous studies involving more than 600,000 subjects. The study found white males with BMI's in the normal range of 19-21 had the same mortality rate as those with BMI's of 29-31 -- overweight and obese. Again, for non-smoking white males, the lowest mortality rate was found with BMI's of 23-29, a range that includes the overweight.

More here

Thursday, April 28, 2005


In a world encouraged to embrace differences, B.C. and A.D. are increasingly finding themselves on the wrong end of the religious sensitivity meter. Educators and historians say schools from North America to Australia have been changing the terms Before Christ to Before Common Era and anno Domini (Latin for "year of the Lord") to Common Era. In short, they're referred to as B.C.E. and C.E. The change has stoked the ire of Christian conservatives and some religious leaders who view it as an attack on a social and political order that has been in place for centuries. Ironically, for more than a century Hebrew lessons have used B.C.E. and C.E., with C.E. sometimes referring to Christian Era.

That begs the question: Can old and new coexist in harmony, or must one give way to the other to reflect changing times and attitudes? The terms B.C. and A.D. have clear Catholic roots. Dionysius Exiguus, an abbot in Rome, devised them as a way to determine the date for Easter for Pope St. John I. The terms were continued under the Gregorian Calendar. Although most calendars are based on an epoch or person, B.C. and A.D. have always presented a particular problem for historians: There is no year zero. "When Jews or Muslims have to put Christ in the middle of our calendar ... that's difficult for us," said Steven Brown, dean of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. "They are hard for non-Jews, because they assume a centrality of Jesus ... it's not offensive, but it's not sensitive to my religious sensibilities."

The new terms were introduced by academics in the 1990s in public elementary and high school classrooms. "I started using B.C.E. when some of my students began asking more earnestly than before just what B.C. meant," said Bill Everdell, a history book editor, teaching instructor and Brooklyn history teacher in the private, formerly religious St. Ann's School. Everdell said most history teachers he knows use B.C.E. and C.E. "I realized the courtesy was mine to extend."

In New York, the terms are entering public classrooms through textbooks and worksheets, but B.C.E. and C.E. are not part of the state's official curriculum, and there is no plan to debate the issue, said state Education Department spokesman Jonathan Burman. "The standard textbooks primarily used in New York use the terms A.D. and B.C.," Burman said. Schools, however, may choose to use the new terms.

Candace de Russy, a national writer on education and Catholic issues and a trustee for the State University of New York, said she doesn't accept the notion of fence-straddling. "The use of B.C.E. and C.E. is not mere verbal tweaking; rather it is integral to the leftist language police - a concerted attack on the religious foundation of our social and political order," she said.

More here


At Bankstown Town Hall last month, just three kilometres from the scene of one of the most horrific of the gang rapes of 2000, a young and popular Lebanese Muslim sheik told a packed audience that rape victims have "no one to blame but themselves". These are the words of Sheik Faiz Mohamad, 34, to more than 1000 people squeezed into the hall on March 18, as recorded digitally by a concerned citizen. "A victim of rape every minute somewhere in the world. Why? No one to blame but herself. She displayed her beauty to the entire world. She degraded herself by being an object of sexual desire and thus becoming vulnerable to man who looks at her for gratification of his sexual urge."

There was much more about women's responsibilities and the sins of the "kaffir" (infidel) that night from the charismatic former boxer and Liverpool Global Islamic Youth Centre teacher. But there was nothing about the responsibility of men to exercise self-restraint, even though most of the audience was male..... "Strapless, backless, sleeveless, nothing but satanic skirts, slit skirts, translucent blouses, miniskirts, tight jeans," he shouted into the microphone. "All this to tease man and appeal to his carnal nature."

Mostly he appealed to Muslim women to wear the hijab (head covering), which, incidentally, has become fashionable on global catwalks since France banned it in public schools last year.

Born in Sydney of Lebanese parents, Faiz embraced Islam at 19 and spent several years studying in Saudi Arabia..... the centre at which he teaches has attracted controversy over the actions of two former students. Supermarket shelf-stacker Zaky Mallah, 21, was last week sentenced to two years' jail for threatening to kill Commonwealth officials and Muslim convert Jack Roche, 51, was convicted last year of plotting to blow up the Israeli embassy in Canberra.....

A non-Muslim who lives in Auburn and attended Faiz's lecture said: "My biggest concern is that the Muslims who come to our country and just want to mind their own business, get a job, have a family and a home life with freedom, are progressively being pressured by their own community leaders to conform. The mould [they] are being pressed into is not good for them and not good for Australian society."

Faiz's view that unveiled women invite rape does Muslims a disservice by promoting an image which is repugnant to the majority of his fellow citizens. After all, when a judge feels so strongly that he would stand in front of a group of strangers, as one did in recent weeks, and make the comment that Lebanese Muslim men are a "cancer", you know the community has an image problem which Faiz isn't helping.

Faiz may not care but his words are a slap in the face to the brave young woman, known to the courts as Miss C, who was raped 25 times by 14 men over six hours outside the Bankstown Trotting Club and elsewhere in 2000. At worst, his words sanction the kind of contempt for non-Muslim women that led those gang rapists to regard 18-year-old Miss C, dressed in her best suit for a job interview, sitting on a train reading The Great Gatsby, as an "Aussie pig" and slut.

More here

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


A Swedish lesbian couple who were thrown out of a Stockholm restaurant in 2003 for kissing won an appeal Monday against an earlier court ruling that cleared the restaurant owner of sexual discrimination.

The Court of Appeals in Stockholm ordered restaurant owner Aziz Cakir to pay 50,000 crowns ($7,100) in damages and to cover the legal costs of Sweden's ombudsman against sexual discrimination, HomO, which filed the appeal.

Cakir asked Anna Fernstrom and Susanne Gustafsson to leave his restaurant after they kissed and later told police he did not let anyone engage in such behavior on his premises regardless of their sexual orientation.

Stockholm District Court cleared him of discrimination, a charge that can result in a year in jail, in the country's first test of legislation against sexual discrimination in the provision of goods and services.

But HomO director Hans Ytterberg said the appeals court found the restaurant failed to prove "these two girls behaved in a way that would justify telling them to stop or telling them to leave the premises."

"The Court of Appeals has made it clear that discriminating on grounds of sexual orientation is a serious violation of people's rights and can cost you dearly," he told Reuters. "This will hopefully function as an effective deterrent."



Some excerpts from an excellent essay by Paul Graham

If you could travel back in a time machine, one thing would be true no matter where you went: you'd have to watch what you said. Opinions we consider harmless could have gotten you in big trouble. I've already said at least one thing that would have gotten me in big trouble in most of Europe in the seventeenth century, and did get Galileo in big trouble when he said it-- that the earth moves.

Nerds are always getting in trouble. They say improper things for the same reason they dress unfashionably and have good ideas: convention has less hold over them.

It seems to be a constant throughout history: In every period, people believed things that were just ridiculous, and believed them so strongly that you would have gotten in terrible trouble for saying otherwise.

Is our time any different? To anyone who has read any amount of history, the answer is almost certainly no. It would be a remarkable coincidence if ours were the first era to get everything just right.

It's tantalizing to think we believe things that people in the future will find ridiculous. What would someone coming back to visit us in a time machine have to be careful not to say? That's what I want to study here. But I want to do more than just shock everyone with the heresy du jour. I want to find general recipes for discovering what you can't say, in any era.

Like every other era in history, our moral map almost certainly contains a few mistakes. And anyone who makes the same mistakes probably didn't do it by accident. It would be like someone claiming they had independently decided in 1972 that bell-bottom jeans were a good idea. If you believe everything you're supposed to now, how can you be sure you wouldn't also have believed everything you were supposed to if you had grown up among the plantation owners of the pre-Civil War South, or in Germany in the 1930s-- or among the Mongols in 1200, for that matter? Odds are you would have. Back in the era of terms like "well-adjusted," the idea seemed to be that there was something wrong with you if you thought things you didn't dare say out loud. This seems backward. Almost certainly, there is something wrong with you if you don't think things you don't dare say out loud.

What can't we say? One way to find these ideas is simply to look at things people do say, and get in trouble for. Of course, we're not just looking for things we can't say. We're looking for things we can't say that are true, or at least have enough chance of being true that the question should remain open. But many of the things people get in trouble for saying probably do make it over this second, lower threshold. No one gets in trouble for saying that 2 + 2 is 5, or that people in Pittsburgh are ten feet tall. Such obviously false statements might be treated as jokes, or at worst as evidence of insanity, but they are not likely to make anyone mad. The statements that make people mad are the ones they worry might be believed. I suspect the statements that make people maddest are those they worry might be true. If Galileo had said that people in Padua were ten feet tall, he would have been regarded as a harmless eccentric. Saying the earth orbited the sun was another matter. The church knew this would set people thinking.

Certainly, as we look back on the past, this rule of thumb works well. A lot of the statements people got in trouble for seem harmless now. So it's likely that visitors from the future would agree with at least some of the statements that get people in trouble today. Do we have no Galileos? Not likely. To find them, keep track of opinions that get people in trouble, and start asking, could this be true? Ok, it may be heretical (or whatever modern equivalent), but might it also be true?

This won't get us all the answers, though. What if no one happens to have gotten in trouble for a particular idea yet? What if some idea would be so radioactively controversial that no one would dare express it in public? How can we find these too?

Another approach is to follow that word, heresy. In every period of history, there seem to have been labels that got applied to statements to shoot them down before anyone had a chance to ask if they were true or not. "Blasphemy", "sacrilege", and "heresy" were such labels for a good part of western history, as in more recent times "indecent", "improper", and "unamerican" have been. By now these labels have lost their sting. They always do. By now they're mostly used ironically. But in their time, they had real force.

The word "defeatist", for example, has no particular political connotations now. But in Germany in 1917 it was a weapon, used by Ludendorff in a purge of those who favored a negotiated peace. At the start of World War II it was used extensively by Churchill and his supporters to silence their opponents. In 1940, any argument against Churchill's aggressive policy was "defeatist". Was it right or wrong? Ideally, no one got far enough to ask that.

We have such labels today, of course, quite a lot of them, from the all-purpose "inappropriate" to the dreaded "divisive." In any period, it should be easy to figure out what such labels are, simply by looking at what people call ideas they disagree with besides untrue. When a politician says his opponent is mistaken, that's a straightforward criticism, but when he attacks a statement as "divisive" or "racially insensitive" instead of arguing that it's false, we should start paying attention.

So another way to figure out which of our taboos future generations will laugh at is to start with the labels. Take a label-- "sexist", for example-- and try to think of some ideas that would be called that. Then for each ask, might this be true?

Just start listing ideas at random? Yes, because they won't really be random. The ideas that come to mind first will be the most plausible ones. They'll be things you've already noticed but didn't let yourself think.

In 1989 some clever researchers tracked the eye movements of radiologists as they scanned chest images for signs of lung cancer. [3] They found that even when the radiologists missed a cancerous lesion, their eyes had usually paused at the site of it. Part of their brain knew there was something there; it just didn't percolate all the way up into conscious knowledge. I think many interesting heretical thoughts are already mostly formed in our minds. If we turn off our self-censorship temporarily, those will be the first to emerge.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


The usual Leftist disrespect for majority beliefs at work in the story below. I might mention that, in my fundamentalist teens, I used to refuse to say the Australian equivalent of the American pledge at High School. But I objected to the pledge “from the opposite direction”, as it were. I felt that I owed my allegiance to God only, not to “Caesar”. The headmaster called me in for a talk about it but nothing else was done—as is appropriate. So in cases such as the one below, there is no need for teachers to dishonour community customs and beliefs. Individuals who don’t want to say the pledge can keep silent—as I did. Although I have been an atheist for over 40 years now, I always address and refer to the clergy using their proper ecclesiastical titles (I address a bishop as “Your Grace”, for instance) and I have no difficulty of any kind in doing so

The students in Vincent Pulciani's seventh-grade class were reciting the Pledge of Allegiance this week when they heard the voice over the intercom say something they'd never heard before, at least not during the Pledge. Instead of "one nation, under God," the voice said, "one nation, under your belief system."

The bewildered students at Everitt Middle School in Wheat Ridge never even got to "indivisible," according to Vincent's mother, Christina Pulciani-Johnson. "He came home and told me about it after school, and he said, 'I just stood there, Mom. I didn't even know what to do. We all just stood there and didn't even finish it,'" Mrs. Pulciani-Johnson said, quoting her son.

Margo Lucero, the eighth-grade guidance counselor at the school, substituted the phrase "under your belief system" as she led the recitation of the Pledge on Wednesday.

After irate phone calls poured in from parents, Principal Kathleen Norton, who normally leads the Pledge but was out of the building at the time, apologized to students Thursday and sent home letters of apology yesterday. "The principal called me later. She said she was dumbfounded. She wasn't in the building. She didn't approve it," Mrs. Pulciani-Johnson said. Meanwhile, Jefferson County School District spokesman Rick Kaufman was engaged in damage control, describing Miss Lucero's decision to rewrite the Pledge as "inappropriate" and stressing that she had acted independently, without consulting the district or other school officials....

Parents said Miss Lucero had been slated to leave Everitt at the end of the year, and Shelley Pierce, whose daughter is in seventh grade, said it appeared that the counselor was clearing out her office.

Her daughter, Bailey, told her about the incident after school Wednesday. "I was really angry," Mrs. Pierce said. "Legally, that's our Pledge of Allegiance, and I don't think anyone has the right to change it," she said.

More here


It hurt her feelings, says Jane Fonda, sharing her feelings, that one of her husbands liked them to have sexual threesomes. "It reinforced my feeling I wasn't good enough."

In the Scottsdale, Ariz., Unified School District office, the receptionist used to be called a receptionist. Now she is "director of first impressions." The happy director says, "Everyone wants to be important." Scottsdale school bus drivers now are "transporters of learners." A school official says such terminological readjustment is "a positive affirmation." Which beats a negative affirmation.

Manufacturers of pens and markers report a surge in teachers' demands for purple ink pens. When marked in red, corrections of students' tests seem so awfully judgmental. At a Connecticut school, parents consider red markings "stressful." A Pittsburgh principal favors more "pleasant-feeling tones." An Alaska teacher says substituting purple for red is compassionate pedagogy, a shift from "Here's what you need to improve on" to "Here's what you have done right."

Fonda's confession, Scottsdale's tweaking of terminology and the recoil from red markings are manifestations of today's therapeutic culture. The nature and menace of "therapism" is the subject of a new book, "One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture Is Eroding Self-Reliance," by Christina Hoff Sommers and Sally Satel, M.D., resident scholars at the American Enterprise Institute. From childhood on, Americans are told by "experts" -- therapists, self-esteem educators, grief counselors, traumatologists -- that it is healthy for them to continuously take their emotional temperature, inventory their feelings and vent them. Never mind research indicating that reticence and suppression of feelings can be healthy.

Because children are considered terribly vulnerable and fragile, playground games such as dodgeball are being replaced by anxiety-reducing and self-esteem-enhancing games of tag in which nobody is ever "out." But abundant research indicates no connection between high self-esteem and high achievement or virtue. Is not unearned self-esteem a more pressing problem?

Sensitivity screeners remove from texts and tests distressing references to things such as rats, snakes, typhoons, blizzards and . . . birthday parties (which might distress children who do not have them). The sensitivity police favor teaching what Sommers and Satel call "no-fault history." Hence California's Department of Education stipulating that when "ethnic or cultural groups are portrayed, portrayals must not depict differences in customs or lifestyles as undesirable" -- slavery? segregation? anti-Semitism? cannibalism? -- "and must not reflect adversely on such differences."

Experts warn about what children are allowed to juggle: Tennis balls cause frustration, whereas "scarves are soft, nonthreatening, and float down slowly." In 2001 the Girl Scouts, illustrating what Sommers and Satel say is the assumption that children are "combustible bundles of frayed nerves," introduced, for girls 8 to 11, a "Stress Less Badge" adorned with an embroidered hammock. It can be earned by practicing "focused breathing," keeping a "feelings diary," burning scented candles and exchanging foot massages.

Vast numbers of credentialed -- that is not a synonym for "competent" -- members of the "caring professions" have a professional stake in the myth that most people are too fragile to cope with life's vicissitudes and traumas without professional help. Consider what Sommers and Satel call "the commodification of grief" by the "grief industry" -- professional grief "counselors" with "degrieving" techniques. Such "grief gurus" are "ventilationists": They assume that everyone should grieve the same way -- by venting feelings sometimes elicited by persons who have paid $1,795 for a five-day course in grief counseling.

The "caregiving" professions, which postulate the minimal competence of most people to cope with life unassisted, are, of course, liberal, and politics can color their diagnoses. Remember the theory that because Vietnam was supposedly an unjust war, it would produce an epidemic of "post-traumatic stress disorders." So a study released in 1990 claimed that half of Vietnam veterans suffered from some PTSD -- even though only 15 percent of Vietnam veterans had served in combat units. To ventilationists -- after a flood damaged books at the Boston Public Library, counselors arrived to help librarians cope with their grief -- a failure to manifest grief is construed as alarming evidence of grief repressed, and perhaps a precursor of "delayed onset" PTSD.

Predictably, Sept. 11, 2001, became another excuse for regarding healthy human reactions as pathological. Did terrorist attacks make you angry and nervous? Must be PTSD. And Sept. 11 gave rise to "diagnostic mission creep" as the idea of "trauma" was expanded to include watching a disaster on television. Sommers and Satel's book is a summons to the sensible worry that national enfeeblement must result when therapism replaces the virtues on which the republic was founded -- stoicism, self-reliance and courage.

From George Will

Monday, April 25, 2005


On April 8, the president of the Brevard, Fla., chapter of the National Organization for Women was charged by the Florida state attorney's office with filing a false rape report and making a false official statement. She could be imprisoned for one year on each count and forced to pay for the police investigation she incurred. The case has far-reaching implications for gender politics and for women who report sexual assault in the future.

The facts are as follows. On Nov. 17, 2004, part-time Rollins College student Desiree Nall reported being raped in a campus bathroom by two men. The Winter Park Police Department put Rollins on `high alert,' advising students to remain indoors when possible. The dean immediately dispatched a campus-wide email to assure students that extra security measures were being taken. In a Sandspur article entitled "A Rape Hoax is No Way to Get Attention,"Jean Bernard Chery relates how the incident impacted campus life. "It was a nightmare for every female student and faculty/staff at Rollins. They were afraid to go to the bathroom or walk on campus alone after dusk..The incident prompted a candlelight vigil on campus in support of the alleged victim [then unnamed]," Chery wrote.

The police had reason for skepticism. Nall could not assist with composite sketches, offered inconsistent details and did not wish to press charges. An examination at a sexual assault treatment center after the alleged attack produced no evidence of foreign DNA. Due to publicity and campus panic, however, a police investigation continued at a final estimated cost of more than $50,000. The report of rape was judged a hoax. According to police, on Nov. 19,Nall phoned and asked to have the case dropped. When Detective Jon Askins questioned her original report, Nall reportedly confessed that she was "not a victim of a sexual batter." The police speculate that Nall, a vocal feminist, may have been trying to "make a statement" about violence against women. The allege raped occurred during Sexual Assault Awareness Week, which was intended to highlight the issue of sexual violence against women......

NOW apparently wishes to maintain distance as well. As of Monday, searching it's website for the term "Nall" returns no results. After all, NOW has argued that women do not lie about rape. Catharine MacKinnon--a founding mother of the gender feminism that NOW promotes -- stated in her book, Feminism Unmodified, "The reason feminism uncovered this reality [of male oppression], its methodological secret, is that feminism is built on believing women's accounts of sexual use and abuse by men." If this methodology is debunked, if women are viewed as no more or less likely to lie than men, then the foundation of gender politics collapses.

Assuming that Nall lied, she has achieved the opposite of what I believe she intended. By "crying rape" she has made every woman who is a victim less credible and less likely to receive justice from the police or the public. She has made women less safe. Rollins student Elizabeth Humphrey states the point simply: "Lying about that story is absolutely horrible because women are victimized every day. And if we get the reputation of lying, then people won't start to believe us if it does happen."

Instead of publicizing sexual violence against women, Nall has spotlighted the problem of false accusations against men. Her case also raises the question of whether NOW-style feminists encourage false accusations when they flatly insist that women must be believed.

More here


The Interpreter," a new movie starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, is a thriller about a terrorist assassination plot at the United Nations. The Wall Street Journal's "Hollywood Report" ran a piece last week detailing how the picture has been "changed" since it was first conceived about 10 years ago. Nothing unusual about that - finished movies almost never resemble their original concepts. There was one major change in the story that I found interesting, however.

The terrorists in the story, as originally written by two screenwriters, were to have come from a fictional Middle Eastern country. Throughout the 90's the script bounced from producer to producer, each claiming the story just wasn't ready to be filmed in its present form. Finally Kevin Misher became interested in the project and the plot was reworked.

Because of the 9/11 attacks by Middle Eastern terrorists in 2001, Misher didn't want to make the terrorists in his movie Middle Eastern. "We didn't want to encumber the film in politics in any way," Misher said. So now the assassination plot involves a fictional African country called Matobo. Matobo - great name.

Did you get that? He didn't want to "encumber the film in politics." What is he talking about? Middle Eastern terrorists have been blowing people up all over the world for years. Are there terrorists that come from other regions? Yes. But the preeminent terrorist danger to the civilized world right now happens to be oozing out of the Middle East, not Africa, not Northern Ireland, not Antarctica. Besides, in the original treatment the Middle Eastern country mentioned was also fictional. Why is it okay to have terrorists from a fictional country in Africa, but not from a fictional country in the Mid East?

Is Misher afraid of offending Middle Eastern Islamists? Is he scared for his life? Does he want to avoid Arab "racial profiling?" My sense is, the guy is in liberal Hollywood denial over Islamic Wahhabi terrorism. If he doesn't want to "encumber his film in politics," then instead of making a film on terrorism maybe he should have produced the next Benji picture. No politics? Almost every movie to come out of Hollywood in the last fifteen years has had a leftist political bent. Who is he kidding?

This isn't the first time Hollywood changed the ethnicity of terrorists from Arab to something else in a movie. Who are they afraid of insulting - Arab terrorists? Funny how they've never worried about changing the ethnicity of Italian Americans in all the gangster/Mafia movies they made.

The fact is, Hollywood does not want to make movies about Arab terrorists, or the Iraq war, or radical Islam's jihad against the western world. As far as show biz is concerned the World Trade Center's Twin Towers fell down because of high winds. The Pentagon was hit by a gaggle of crazed geese. And all the Americans that were killed were killed by Republicans living in Orange County.

Funny how things have changed. Movies didn't have any problem in depicting the rotten Germans in World War I and II. No problem in calling the Japanese our enemy for bombing Pearl Harbor. There have been plenty of films made about the cold war with no hesitation in referring to the Russians as Russians. Imagine a producer making a cold war spy picture and saying he "doesn't want to encumber the film in politics in any way." Why then, this current reluctance to call a Muslim terrorist a Muslim terrorist?


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Another word for `politically correct' is `intolerant'

MY ONLINE dictionary has a politically correct definition of "politically correct," saying that the phrase refers to support for "broad social, political, and educational change, especially to redress historical injustices in matters such as race, class, gender, and sexual orientation."

It gives a hint at the real meaning when it says the phrase can point to someone who is perceived as being "overconcerned with such change, often to the exclusion of other matters," and that PC behavior "involves changing or avoiding language that might offend anyone." But the definition still misses the boat.

Should the American Heritage Dictionary call on me for advice, I would tell its editors that the phrase refers to the attitude in certain circles that there is just one acceptable view of a host of issues related to supposed bigotry or insensitivity, and that those who don't conform are inarguably wrong and worse.

The politically incorrect are, in fact, probably racist or sexist or otherwise misshapen human beings, according to this ideologically instructed, one-sided mode of thinking. Such malformed creatures really ought to shut up, the politically correct crowd believes. If they don't, coercive steps may be taken. And there is also the tactic of branding the miscreants publicly for their imagined crimes while ignoring outrages committed in the name of the one true, politically correct way.

Thus it is that if you believe affirmative action usually translates into group preference in contradiction of a principle meant to safeguard all of us, including minorities, you are a redneck segregationist.

If you think courts have usurped the constitutional prerogative of legislatures in determining that marriage must be permitted people of the same sex for the first time in recorded history, you are a homophobe.

If you are repulsed by the thought of vacuuming babies' brains from their skulls in what is euphemistically called "partial-birth abortion," you have no respect for women.

And if you believe that Israelis are justified in fighting back against the suicide bombers who murder their children and wish the abolition of their nation, you are a moral thug intent on further marginalizing an indigenous people whose gravest error was finding themselves next door to the only Westernized democracy in the Middle East.

Let's get concrete. Let's visit Chicago's DePaul University, where a math professor, Jonathan Cohen, talked to me about the politically correct atmosphere, such as the faculty session on Sept. 13, 2001, just two days after terrorists struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The session, he said, was hostile to the United States. One professor advised the others to identify with the terrorists and thereby see where their motivation came from - namely, how U.S. policies were responsible. Cohen gave other examples of how "political correctness has run amok" at the campus, but the major one we discussed is one I have written about before, the case of Thomas Klocek.

An untenured professor at the school, Klocek got in an argument with Muslim and pro-Palestinian students outside the classroom about the Israel-Palestine conflict, taking the Israeli side, and soon found himself removed from a teaching assignment with no other assignments coming his direction.

The school's after-the-fact rationale is that it was the professor's "belligerent" conduct that was at issue, but the chief complaint of the students was what he said. To some, it was racist and cause for firing that he identified the Palestinians as purposeful killers of civilians and denied that their claim to nationhood was historically legitimate.

Even though the students had called Israelis murderers and compared their leaders to Hitler, a dean worried in a letter to a student newspaper about how the students' "perspective was dishonored" and their ideas demeaned. DePaul, she wrote, makes "a particular point of diversity." And here we had a professor pressing "erroneous assertions," which is to say, taking positions the dean did not like.

Contrary to what happened at Columbia University, where an ad-hoc committee pronounced everything hunky-dory after professors teaching about the Middle East and other subjects were accused of anti-Semitism and classroom intimidation of students not bowing obediently to their anti-Israel views, Klocek was clobbered. His career seems ruined. His life is wrecked.

Now that's political correctness - injustice, not redressing injustice. I hope the people at American Heritage are taking note



So, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is really an animal-rights front group wearing the sheep's clothing of the medical profession. And "responsible" medicine apparently means no animals may be harmed to save the life of your child, your parent, or your spouse.

How could doctors write such a prescription? Very few do, which is why people with no medical degrees comprise more than 95 percent of this group's membership.

The animal-rights theme carries over into PCRM's activism on food issues as well. Dr. Barnard has written that feeding kids meat and milk "is a form of child abuse." He has also compared meat-eating and milk-drinking to smoking. In a 2003 FDA hearing, he tried to convince federal regulators that cheese was (literally) an addictive narcotic, calling it "morphine on a cracker" and "dairy crack."

PCRM's animal-rights sympathies are clear. Some of its most public figures have participated in PETA's naked street protests, acted as spokespersons for "direct action" protesters outside research labs, sued school districts over field trips to the rodeo and threatened lawsuits against dairy producers. At a recent animal-rights convention, one activist (then a PCRM spokesperson) even endorsed the idea of "political assassination" directed at doctors who test tomorrow's miracle drugs on animals.

Dr. Jerry Vlasak was billed on the "Animal Rights 2003" conference program as a PCRM representative. Dr. Vlasak spoke his mind, and it wasn't pretty. "I don't think you'd have to kill -- assassinate -- too many vivisectors," Dr. Vlasak told a room full of activists, "before you would see a marked decrease in the amount of vivisection going on. And I think for five lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, 10 million non-human lives."

More here

Big fat mistake: "'We misled you. And we plan to keep on misleading you.' That's essentially what the Centers for Disease Control announced this week. The agency said Tuesday that it has greatly over-exaggerated the number of lives lost each year to obesity. After years of putting the figure somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000, the agency now says the number is just under 26,000, meaning the government has been telling us obesity is fourteen times the threat it actually is, leading policymakers at all levels of governance to prescribe all matter of intrusive, expensive, choice-restrictive public policies aimed at addressing it. ... If all of that weren't bad enough, press reports indicate the CDC will still continue to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on anti-obesity programs, and will not be using the new data in those programs."

Saturday, April 23, 2005


A natural experiment which shows that being bought up female does NOTHING towards making a male adult feminine. Two articles on the subject are reproduced below:

Startling sex-changes on the island where little sister may become big brother

By SANDRA JOB50N, in London

On a lush tropical island in a remote area of the Caribbean something, very peculiar is happening. The young girls in one village are turning into boys. This startling sex change is occurring naturally, and a team of scientists sent to the island believes it could throw a new light on fundamental aspects of human nature and sexual identification. It has all been revealed in a fascinating documentary shown recently on BBC television, called The Fight to be Male.

The Caribbean phenomenon has been happening for the past 50 years. In that time 37 village girls have changed into boys around the age of 13. The cause has been traced back to one woman seven generations ago who passed on genetic abnormality to her descendants.

The story of the Batista family is typical of the village. Four out of the ten children in the Batista family have changed from girls into boys. The eldest, Mario, now 29 and married with children, began life as a girl named Antonia. The next daughter Milady. remains a girl. Then came Chichi, now 19, a normal male who started out as a girl called Isobel. Then there is Venecia, a normal girl. And now Virgilio, who is 12 and in the process of changing from a female to a male.

The Batistas do not regard themselves or their affected children as freaks. After all, 22 other families have experienced the same sex transformation over the years. The primitive lifestyle of the village contributes greatly to the relaxed and passive acceptance of "God's will." The people of the island are a mixture of Negroid and Creole stock - well-built handsome men and tall, strapping girls able to share the work load of cutting sugar cane, the island's staple crop.

The Caribbean climate makes life both easy and lazy. So some of the girls turn into boys? Who cares? As long as they are happy. Virgilio's brothers immediately found girlfriends when they turned into boys. Mario, the eldest, is the father of two children now, living in one of the bigger towns.

"We always brought up our girls as girls" Mr Batista says. "Because that's what we always thought they were."

"And some of our girls stayed girls," adds Mrs Batista, pointing to two of her grown-up daughters who remained girls and are now married with babies of their own. None of the Batista men who were girls appears to show any sign of embarrassment about the change. Even Virgilio, still in the process, did not mind removing his trousers to reveal his sexual parts.

At birth Virgilio and his other sisters who became boys looked just like any other female baby. But the male anatomy was waiting inside his body and the external genitalia began to change at puberty. The testes dropped, as with all pubescent boys. But in the Caribbean children, the testes have to force their way from deep inside the child's body. The clitoris grew into a normal, full-size male penis.

In Virgilio's case the process is still half-way and his external sexual organs appear curiously bisexual at present. But soon his tiny, infantile vagina will close up and he will be completely male. I am looking forward very much to being a man" she says through an interpreter. "I have a girlfriend already".

The phenomenon was first observed by a Spanish doctor who visited the village on holiday soon after it was connected by road to the rest of the island back in 1950. He wrote up his discovery in a Spanish medical journal where it remained unnoticed until 1972 when a team of doctors _came cross the article and decided to investigate more closely.

To protect the families the team will not reveal the name of the village or the island, but a BBC producer, Edward Galdwyn, was allowed to film the children recently. The team, headed by Dr Julienne Imperator-McGinley has pieced together a family tree of all the 23 affected families, tracing them back seven generations to one woman named Altagracia who married four times and produced a large number of children.

All of them carried a mutant gene which shows up only when one of the members of the 23 families marries a cousin. The clue to it all is a chemical called dihydrotestosterone which Virgilio and the other affected children were unable to produce when they were tiny babies. Doctors can now reliably state that it is the chemical which creates the external anatomy of the male.

In the womb all babies have the beginnings of both male and female sex organs. How the child develops, is determined by the "program" laid down by the chromosomes within its cells. If the child has the female chromosome structure, she will develop ovaries, and the male organs will disintegrate, leaving the female organs to grow.

But the Caribbean children had inherited a faulty gene which meant that the testes developed, but failed to produce the chemical which would remove the female parts. The body did not start producing the vital chemical until puberty, and then the children underwent the changes that should have occurred in the womb.

What is particularly significant is that all of the Caribbean children were brought up as normal girls. They were taught the ordinary female village tasks: Washing the clothes, cooking, fetching the wood, and they played with dolls.

But when they reached the age of l0 they suddenly felt the urge to be male. Young Virgilio explains: "I began to feel like a man in my muscles." Virgilio's father explains: "When they turn into men they change into different clothes. Soon everybody forgets. They find girlfriends very quickly." Indeed, the affected children become more muscular and virile than their normal brothers.

The easy adjustment of the Caribbean children led the scientists to challenge the usual view that our "male" or "female" behaviour is determined more by the way we are brought up than by our physiology. They suggest that there may be a part of the brain which is different in males and females and which governs much of what we think of as sex-role behaviour,

(From the Sydney "SUN-HERALD" JUNE 17 1979, p. 41)

Another version of the same story:

"In the south-west corner of a tropical Caribbean island live Belarmino and Benilda Batista and their family of ten children. Four of them were born as girls, grew up as girls but, at puberty changed into muscular men. Their eldest child, Mario, now aged 29 began as a girl called Antonia. Chichi, now a male 19-year old, began as a girl called Isobel. All 'changing' children were born with normal female genitalia and grew to have the normal female body shape; until at the age of twelve their vaginas healed over, two testicles descended and they grew full-sized penises. Their ten-year old, Virgilio, is in the process of changing from a female to a male.

After their change, the boys are on average more muscular than their normal brothers. They take on the tough jobs in the local quarry. They marry and lead a normal male sexual life - even though they have not been fertile.

The Batistas are just one of 23 affected families in their village, in which 37 children have changed. In the society of the village - a deeply religious Catholic community - these children's change has been seen as part of God's mysterious ways. They are accepted and allowed to be themselves in a way which couldn't happen in Western society.

In conversation with Dr Gautier, director of the children's hospital on the island, the parents were quite clear about their feelings towards the children. They spoke of their pride in their new sons, of the extra money the children would bring home as boys rather than girls; and they insisted that the children's adjustment to their new gender roles was immediate. Benilda admitted having feelings of sadness and worry; but, supported by a devout community, she came to see the phenomenon as God's will: "If WE made children with our own hands we would make them perfect, beautiful and complete. But God knows what he is doing."

Although girls had been changing into boys since 1930, it was not known outside the district until the first doctor went on holiday there. He published his findings about the children in an obscure Spanish journal, where it lay unnoticed until 1972. Dr Gautier's attention was originally drawn by a patient who had been in his hospital when about eight years old, and whose behaviour had then seemed completely female. And some time later he met that person working in the mountains cutting wood, and his behaviour was as a male. Dr Gautier was so surprised that he and a group of scientists began investigating the change and how it came about.

When scientists put all the family pedigrees together, they began to see the interrelationship between one family and the next. They ended up with an enormous family tree, showing 23 families going back seven generations to one woman - Altagracia Carrasco. She lived in the mid nineteenth century, and she is the commonest ancestor of the affected families. The mutant gene has been passed down from her - but shows only when both parents carry it. How these children develop in the womb has been worked out by the scientists, and it gives a new twist to the story of how male genitals form.

The egg is fertilised by a Y sperm and it first develops to a foetus with normal testes. Perfectly normally, they absorb the female parts, and testosterone preserves the male ducts. But in these children's cases, it doesn't change the external anatomy, because in their bodies the children miss a critical chemical step.

Normal men are able to process cholesterol through to testosterone - and on to a mysterious hormone called dihydrotestosterone. No-one knew what its function was. But because the Caribbean children cannot make it, and because injecting it into them stimulates their genital growth, it is clear now that dihydrotestosterone creates the male external anatomy. The pubertal surge of testosterone in these children forces up the dihydrotestosterone level and growth that should have happened ten years before, in the mother's womb, takes place at last.

(From The Fight To Be Male from Horizon, At The Frontiers Of Medicine, Ariel Books, BBC 1983. Reproduced here)


See here for a medical explanation of how human protandry happens.

Friday, April 22, 2005


First note this challenge from the CCF:

Stop stonewalling:

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still insists on using its deeply flawed study purportedly showing that obesity kills 400,000 Americans each year. And so the Center for Consumer Freedom must ask them again to set the record straight. The CDC should get the weight of its blemished obesity study off its chest, and help prevent frivolous and unnecessary regulation and litigation. Click here for a complete timeline of events surrounding the CDC's study. [timeline] ... Even as a mountain of evidence -- growing by the day -- further strains the CDC's credibility, the agency has yet to retract its flawed and most likely politically motivated obesity deaths number. We're left demanding: CDC, come clean, and stop using this flawed and exaggerated statistic."

Then this:


Being overweight is nowhere near as big a killer as the government thought, ranking No. 7 instead of No. 2 among the nation's leading preventable causes of death, according to a startling new calculation from the CDC. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated Tuesday that packing on too many pounds accounts for 25,814 deaths a year in the United States. As recently as January, the CDC came up with an estimate 14 times higher: 365,000 deaths. The new analysis found that obesity - being extremely overweight - is indisputably lethal. But like several recent smaller studies, it found that people who are modestly overweight actually have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight.

Biostatistician Mary Grace Kovar, a consultant for the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center in Washington, said "normal" may be set too low for today's population. Also, Americans classified as overweight are eating better, exercising more and managing their blood pressure better than they used to, she said. The study - an analysis of mortality rates and body-mass index, or BMI - was published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. Based on the new calculation, excess weight would drop from the second leading cause of preventable death, after smoking, to seventh. It would fall behind car crashes and guns on the list of killers.

Calculating the health effects of obesity has been a major source of controversy at the CDC. Last year, the CDC issued a study that said being overweight causes 400,000 deaths a year and would soon overtake tobacco as the top U.S. killer. After scientists inside and outside the agency questioned the figure, the CDC admitted making a calculation error and lowered its estimate three months ago to 365,000. CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said because of the uncertainty in calculating the health effects of being overweight, the CDC is not going to use the brand-new figure of 25,814 in its public awareness campaigns and is not going to scale back its fight against obesity. "There's absolutely no question that obesity is a major public health concern of this country," she said. Gerberding said the CDC will work to improve methods for calculating the consequences of obesity.

Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said she is not convinced the new estimate is right. "I think it's likely there has been a weakening of the mortality effect due to improved treatments for obesity," she said. "But I think this magnitude is surprising and requires corroboration."

The analysis was led by Katherine Flegal, a senior research scientist with the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. The study that had to be corrected was conducted by a different arm of the CDC, the Division of Adult and Community Health, and its authors included Gerberding. One major reason for the far lower number in this latest study is that it used more recent data, researchers said. "This analysis is far more sophisticated," said Kovar, who was not involved in the new study. "They are very careful and are not overstating their case."

A related study, also in Wednesday's JAMA, found that overweight Americans are healthier than ever, thanks to better maintenance of blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Diabetes is on the rise among people in all weight categories, however.

Flegal said the two studies raise questions about what definitions to use for obesity and "where to draw the line." Under current government standards, a BMI, or weight-to-height measurement, of 25 or higher is overweight; 30 and above is obese. In recent years, the government has spent millions of dollars fighting obesity and publicizing the message that two out of three American adults are overweight or obese, and at higher risk for heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.


And finally this:


Being overweight may not be as dangerous as it is generally portrayed, a new study in the United States has found. Those who are only moderately overweight have a lower relative risk of death than those of supposedly optimum weight, the results show. Modest obesity - a body mass index of 30 to 35 - increases the risks of dying only slightly, leaving only the grossly obese, with a body mass index greater than 35, with a greatly increased risk.

While it may be fashionable to be extremely skinny, it does nothing to prolong life. The risks of dying among people with a body mass index of less than 18.5 are slightly increased. The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, have been lauded by some specialists as a useful corrective to the national panic in America over obesity. Steven Blair, of the Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas, said: "I love it. There are people who have made up their minds that obesity and overweight are the biggest public health problem we have to face. These numbers show that maybe it's not so big."

However, the study, by a team led by Katherine Flegal, of the US National Centre for Health Statistics, is limited in its conclusions. It looked only at deaths, not at disease or disability, which generally increase with weight. Earlier studies have shown that being moderately overweight is not necessarily a bad thing and that being grievously thin is a hazard, so the new results will not astonish experts. Nevertheless, the study is larger and more comprehensive than earlier ones.

The team used data from three US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, carried out in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. These surveys measured body mass index in a representative sample of the American population, then followed them, recording deaths as they occurred.

More here

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Women have a right to control their own bodies -- Right? That's what the pro-abortionists say. But that is only when it suits Leftists, apparently. In other spheres women should do what they are told with their bodies

"For decades members of the National Organization for Women and other groups that support abortion rights have been urging politicians to 'keep your hands off our bodies!' Today women who want to enhance their appearance with silicone breast implants can justly turn this slogan against NOW, which is pro-choice on abortion but anti-choice on cosmetic surgery. NOW President Kim Gandy says the controversy over whether the Food and Drug Administration should allow wider use of silicone breast implants, which are currently limited mainly to reconstructive surgery following mastectomies, is about 'science and medicine.' But while science can tell us (in theory) what risks the implants pose, it cannot tell us whether the risks are justified. Different women will answer that question differently, depending upon their values, tastes, and circumstances. In sharp contrast with its position on abortion, however, NOW argues that they should not be allowed to do so. "

More here


Amazing that anybody ever took such a fruitcake seriously -- which makes it an interesting comment on feminism

Still, with Dworkin's admirers hailing her as a titan of modern feminism, obituaries describing her as a controversial but noble crusader against pornography and violence, and even some of her feminist critics paying homage to her alleged achievements, it's important to set the record straight.

To put it plainly: Dworkin was a preacher of hate. Her books are full of such declarations as, ''Under patriarchy, every woman's son is her betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman." (''Patriarchy," of course, covers contemporary Western societies.) ''Male sexuality, drunk on its intrinsic contempt for all life, but especially for women's lives, can run wild." ''Hatred of women is a source of sexual pleasure for men in its own right."

In Dworkin's world view, the Marquis de Sade and Jack the Ripper seem to be representative of all men (though she made an exemption for some men in her own life). Meanwhile, women who defend their right to enjoy heterosexual sex are branded ''collaborators, more base than other collaborators have ever been: experiencing pleasure in their own inferiority."

Dworkin's defenders insist that she has been unfairly maligned as equating all heterosexual sex with rape when she merely assailed male sexual dominance. Yet in her 1987 book, ''Intercourse," Dworkin argued that penetration itself is a form of ''occupation" and ''violation of female boundaries," however enthusiastically enjoyed by ''the occupied person." She wrote that ''intercourse remains a means or the means of physiologically making a woman inferior" and is ''the pure, sterile, formal expression of men's contempt for women." ''All sex is rape" is fairly accurate shorthand for these ravings.

While allowing that intercourse could survive under gender equality, Dworkin was skeptical (''intercourse itself may be immune to reform"). In the 1976 book ''Our Blood," she proclaimed, in language too blunt to be reproduced here, that the feminist transformation of sexuality requires male impotency -- though how she would achieve this goal remains unclear.

More here

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Do you know the definition of racism? Ask any sane individual and they should tell you that racism is "discrimination or prejudice based on race" or "the belief that a particular race is superior to others." This definition seems simple enough and one would think everyone would accept it. It is the definition given by the Merriam-Webster and Cambridge dictionaries. In fact, every dictionary I have ever seen uses this definition.

Nonetheless, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the radical left sees things differently. Way differently. The radical left has launched a subversive campaign to change society's understanding of racism. They believe that only those "in power" (read: white people) can be racist and that those without power (read: all minorities except Asians) cannot be racist. According to a particularly delusional student I met on Bruin Walk, "Only those that wield power in society can be racist. Minorities can hate others of another race, but this is prejudice, not racism. Because they don't have any power, their bigoted beliefs can't hurt anyone."

Sorry, but last time I checked both whites and minorities were committing hate crimes against each other. Is murdering someone because of the color of his skin not hurtful? Normally I would pass this student off as one of a kind. This "definition," however, is popping up all over the place. While I was listening to a talk radio broadcast, a female caller phoned in and parroted this same trash to the host. I've debated several people on political forums on the internet who also believe this misconception. There are even a few people who live on my floor who have argued that minorities can't be racist because they "lack power." It is very clear what is going on. The left believes that if enough of their ilk insists on their definition, the rest of America will go along with them.

This cannot be allowed to succeed. Anyone can be racist. To think otherwise is farcical. Prejudice and discrimination have nothing to do with race. To discriminate is to distinguish based on arbitrary features. Prejudice is an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual. When talking about racism, we are really talking about racial prejudice or racial discrimination. These are important distinctions that need to be drawn. The left, unfortunately, has continued its efforts to indoctrinate others with its ideology.

So next time you hear someone attempting to push this unfounded rhetoric, stand up and correct them. It is vital that we set a precedent and do not allow these dishonest methods to succeed. The English language depends on it.



But since they are a minority they can't be bigoted, right? (Post below lifted from WhymRhymer)

So maybe the Religious Right won't let you get married, how would you feel if they started playing practical jokes on you and outing you on the public airwaves. The focus of this article is a rash of really nasty anti-gay pranks being pulled off by Latino radio shows. Here's the opening of the article:

"When the call came on his cell phone, Roberto Hernandez was driving to work in San Francisco. The caller, who identified himself as Juan, said in Spanish that he had met Hernandez at a gay bar and wanted to see him again.

'Refresh my memory, there are so many Juans,' said a puzzled Hernandez. The man described himself as slim with 'a very nice butt.' Eventually, the caller offered to give Hernandez his phone number -- then announced that the conversation was being broadcast live nationwide on the "Raul Brindis and Pepito Show," a Spanish-language morning radio program."

How cruel is that?

San Francisco, apparently, isn't alone. It appears to be a National Latino Radio epidemic and, the topper is, it's apparently not seen as a problem by the Hispanic community. Iv n Rom n, for example, the Executive Director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is quoted in this article as saying:

"It's seen as perfectly normal to ridicule gays and lesbians, to see them as less than human."

The FCC has levied some fines against certain radio stations but radio station management is apparently very slow to respond and the behavior continues.

Why, you may wonder, is homosexuality so heavily ridiculed in the Latino community? The answer is simple. Latinos are very religious people and while the majority are Catholic almost 25% of them have joined other Christian denominations. From FACSNET, the Journal of Faith and Public Life:

"The association between Latin Americans and Catholicism is so strong that it belies a surprising fact: Almost one quarter of all Latinos in the United States are Protestants.

Of the 35.4 million U.S. Latinos in 2002, about 23 percent (almost 8 million) identified themselves as Protestants or other Christians. Of this group, 6.2 million consider themselves Evangelical or "born-again," according to a study by the Hispanic Churches in American Public Life (HCAPL) research project.

. . and well, the rest is obvious.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


What a relief! (Really just a new way to make fat seem dangerous)

A health epidemic which threatens to become greater than HIV-AIDS is affecting about one in three Australians, but few are aware of it, experts warn. An estimated 31 per cent of Australians have what has been dubbed metabolic syndrome, the "epidemic of the 21st century" making them twice as likely to die prematurely of a heart attack or stroke than the rest of the population, a Berlin conference has been told. The syndrome is characterised by a "tubby tummy" in combination with two or more of a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure, raised cholesterol, diabetes or diabetes risk factors such as elevated blood sugar levels.

Based on Australian research, International Diabetes Federation experts have agreed even people who regard themselves as only moderately overweight are vulnerable. They say the key lies in where a person carries their fat. If it is around the stomach, then they are at risk of having the syndrome, a condition scientists say has evolved from changing diets and lifestyles lacking in exercise. "This is a silent epidemic. People with the metabolic syndrome are dying from heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure," Melbourne-based epidemiologist Prof Paul Zimmet. "In terms of epidemic proportions, we used to talk about Yellow Fever and typhoid, cholera, and more recently, AIDS. "The metabolic syndrome epidemic is an epidemic of enormous magnitude over and above AIDS or any of those other epidemics."

Prof Zimmet chaired a diabetes federation task force which released a new definition of metabolic syndrome in Berlin, hopeful it will be used by general practitioners. Under the definition, women of European origin who have waists of 80cm or over and men with 94cm girths or bigger should be considered at risk of having the syndrome, recognised by the World Health Organisation.



It comes from California, after all!

A funny smell hangs in the air in Lauren Ayers' classroom at Caroline Wenzel Elementary School as students pile in from morning recess. With the kind of glee usually reserved for shouts of "ice cream!" the children skip through the door and cry: "Sardines!" All but two students head for the plastic cups full of fish Ayers has placed on each desk. They dig in with delight. The unusual morning snack at this school in Greenhaven is the cornerstone of Ayers' mission to improve childhood nutrition in the Sacramento City Unified School District. Ayers believes her students behave better and learn more when they eat a steady diet of sardines, pinto beans and flax meal. The foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered essential to human health. Studies have shown omega-3 fatty acids boost brain function, lower high blood pressure and reduce depression.

Nutritionists say many Americans eat too many of the unhealthy fats found in processed foods and too few of the nutritious fats found in some fish and plants. The imbalance, they say, is one factor contributing to high rates of obesity among American children. Almost one-third of California students were overweight in 2004, according to the state Department of Education. The prevalence of childhood obesity makes the current generation of American youngsters the first in 200 years that could have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Whittier, have proposed eliminating soda and junk food from vending machines on the state's school campuses. Ayers wants to take the idea further. Schools shouldn't focus only on taking away unhealthy foods in machines, she says, but also on adding nutritious items to cafeteria meals. And reducing obesity isn't the only reason she thinks students should eat better. A good diet helps children pay attention, according to academic studies as well as Ayers' anecdotal evidence. That's why she spends about $35 of her own money each month giving students daily snacks of fish, peanut butter and bean soup. "To me it's worth it because they're so much better behaved and I'm less crazy as a teacher," she said.

Ayers' students are second-and third-graders in special education because of disabilities related to communication. But Ayers said she would give the nutritious snacks to any class. How did she get them to eat the sardines? By offering them up on a dare. Ayers introduced the snack by saying only the bravest students would dare give sardines a try. The tactic apparently worked. On a recent school day, many children lined up for seconds after finishing their first cup of fish.

Experts applaud her efforts. "Omega-3 fatty acids are essential, good for you and kids don't get enough," said John Burgess, a professor of food and nutrition at Purdue University in Indiana. Burgess researched consumption of omega-3 supplements among children deficient in the fatty acid who also had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. He found improved attention and uplifted moods among those who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids, though the supplement had little effect on hyperactivity.

Better attention is obvious to Raynette White-Walls, whose son Cedric Stone adores eating sardines in Ayers' class. The 9-year-old boy now asks his mother to buy sardines at the grocery store, she said. "I've noticed tremendous change," White-Walls said of her son's learning. Previously, she said, if she asked Cedric a question, he frequently responded by repeating the question. Now, she said, "I ask him, 'What did you read? Can you explain it to me?' Without a doubt, he comprehends it." When she goes grocery shopping now, White-Walls said she carries a list of foods Ayers recommends and makes sure to buy Cedric lots of fresh fruit, refried beans and smoked oysters.

Ayers has developed a Web site loaded with information about her nutritional philosophy. And she hopes to expand her school nutrition program next year. She is searching for grant money that would allow five campuses to overhaul their school lunches by removing foods high in transfat and replacing them with meals rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fresh produce. The question then will be whether students outside Ayers' classroom will also learn to love fish and flax meal. If her own experience is any indication, the odds are good.


Monday, April 18, 2005

A WISE QUEEN Queen Margrethe of Denmark has spoken out against radical Islam and called on Muslim immigrants in the country to improve their Danish language skills. The queen, quoted in a new authorised biography, said people had to take the "challenge" of Islam seriously. "We have let this issue float around for too long, because we are tolerant and rather lazy," she said. The queen said Muslims should learn Danish properly, so they would not feel excluded from society.

In the book Margrethe, written by journalist Annelise Bistrup, the queen is quoted as voicing disapproval of "these people for whom religion is their entire life". Calling for opposition to radical Islam, she said: "We have to run the risk of being labelled in an unflattering way, because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance."

More than 400,000 of Denmark's 5.4 million inhabitants are immigrants, but only about 150,000 are Muslims, amounting to 3% of the population. However, that still makes them the second-largest religious group in Denmark behind the Lutheran-Evangelical Church, of which the queen is supreme governor and to which 85% of the population belong. The government has implemented a series of measures in recent years aimed at curbing immigration, which include making it harder for people to bring in foreign spouses or gain asylum in Denmark.

As in France, the issue of Islamic headgear for women has caused controversy. In January, Denmark's Supreme Court ruled that a supermarket chain had the right to fire a young Muslim woman for wearing an Islamic headscarf to work.



Excerpt from Heather MacDonald

The "diversity" mongers have just brought up the one thing that they should have stayed far far away from: the web. Newsweek's technology columnist Steven Levy has declared that the lack of "diversity" among the web's most popular blogs requires corrective action. The goal? A blogosphere whose elite tier "reflects the actual population" - i.e., where female- and minority-written blogs are found among the top 100 blogs in the same proportion as females and minorities are found in the general population......

These diversity grievances follow the usual logic: Victim-group X is not proportionally represented in some field; therefore the field's gatekeepers are discriminating against X's members. The argument presumes that there are large numbers of qualified Xs out there who, absent discrimination, would be proportionally represented in the challenged field.

If the quota mongers really believed these claims, they should welcome the web enthusiastically, since it is a world without gatekeepers and with no other significant barriers to entry.... For allegedly discriminated-against minority and female writers, the web is just that heaven. They can get their product directly out to readers with no bigoted editors to turn them away. As Steven Levy himself conceded in a column last December, there are virtually no start-up costs to launching a weblog: "All you need," he explained, "is some cheap software tools and something to say." In case reader prejudice is a problem, web writers can conceal their identity and simply present their ideas. And there is no established hierarchy to placate on the way to the top. As Levy wrote: "Out of the inchoate chatter of the Web, the sharpest voices simply emerge."

So here is the perfect medium for liberating all those qualified minority and female "voices" that are being silenced by the mainstream media's gatekeepers. According to diversity theory, they should be far more heavily represented in the blogosphere's upper reaches than they are in traditional journalism. In fact, the opposite is the case, as the Washington Post's Keith Jenkins pointed out. The elite blogging world is far less "diverse" than the mainstream media.

Why? Could it be that the premise of the "diversity" crusade is wrong - that there are not in fact hordes of unknown, competitively talented non-white-male journalists held back by prejudice? Don't even entertain the thought. Steven Levy certainly doesn't. After fleetingly rehearsing his own previous analysis of the web as a pure meritocracy, he dismisses the argument without explanation and trots out the hoariest trope in the "diversity" lexicon: "the old boy's club." Why is the top rung of the blogosphere so homogeneous? Levy asks. He answers: "It appears that some clubbiness is involved" - that is, that white male bloggers only link to other white male bloggers. (Susan Estrich likewise accused the Los Angeles Times's Michael Kinsley of favoring writers in his old boy's club.)

Appears to whom? Where does this alleged club meet? In fact, the web is the antithesis of a closed, exclusive society. Levy offers no evidence for a white male bloggers club beyond the phenomenon he is trying to explain: the popularity of certain blogs. If the top blogs link to other top blogs, Levy assumes that they are doing so out of race and gender solidarity. Levy is suggesting that if an Alpha blogger comes across a dazzling blog, he will link to it once he confirms that a white male writes it but pass it up if he discovers, for instance, that a Latino woman is behind its sharp and clever observations on current events. The charge is preposterous. Moreover, as Buzz Machine notes, bloggers don't know the race and gender of many of their colleagues.

Here's a different explanation for why the blogosphere is dominated by white males: because they're the ones producing the best product. Sorry, ladies, but there aren't as many of us engaged in aggressive, competitive opinionizing and nonstop consumption of politics as our male tormentors. In 2001, the Hartford Courant, desperate to promote women on its pages, analyzed its letters to the editor, expecting to find bias in letter selection. It turned out that women write only one third of the letters that the paper receives, exactly the percentage published, incidentally. Even Gail Collins, editor of the New York Times's editorial page, admitted through clenched teeth to the Washington Post in the wake of the Estrich blitz: "There are probably fewer women, in the great cosmic scheme of things, who feel comfortable writing very straight opinion stuff."

As for minorities, the skills gap in reading and writing means that, at the moment, a lower percentage of blacks and Hispanics possess the verbal acumen to produce a cutting-edge blog. For decades, blacks and Hispanics have scored 200 points below whites on the SATs' verbal section. Black high-school seniors on average read less competently than white 8th graders; Hispanic 12th graders read only slightly better than white 8th graders. And those are just the ones who are graduating. In the Los Angeles school system, which is typical of other large urban districts, 53 percent of black students and 61 percent of Hispanic students drop out before graduating from high school; most of the dropouts exit in the 9th grade. Assuming, generously, that those dropouts have 5th-grade skills, they are unlikely candidates for power blogging.

Here's Steven Levy's minimum prescription for joining the ranks of Alpha blogging: "You have to post frequently . . . link prodigiously," and, like one technology guru he describes, spend two hours daily writing your weblog and "three more hours reading hundreds of other blogs." If you have difficulty reading, you're probably not going to find that regime attractive. Obviously, many individual blacks and Hispanics possess more than the necessary skills to power their way into the top 100 blogs. But diversity zealots don't look at individuals, they look at aggregates. And in the aggregate, blacks and Hispanics lag so far behind whites in literacy skills that it is absurd to blame racial exclusion for the absence of racial proportionality on the web. Junking "progressive" pedagogy, with its absurd hostility to drilling and memorization, is the only solution to the education lag; diversity bean-counting is window-dressing.

No one has succeeded in closing the skills gap yet, but over the years we've developed numerous bureaucratic devices to paper it over. These devices will undoubtedly prove highly useful in addressing what Levy calls the web's "diversity problem." Levy proposes, as an initial matter, that the power-bloggers voluntarily link to some as yet unspecified number of non-male, non-white writers. The history of 'voluntary' affirmative action efforts need not be rehearsed here; suffice it to say, once 'voluntary' race- and gender-conscious policies are proposed, mandates are not far behind.

But even Levy's "voluntary" regime calls out for regulation. How will the diversity-minded linker know the "identity" of a potential linkee? To be workable, a diversity-linkage program needs some sort of gatekeeper - precisely what the web has heretofore lacked. One can imagine something like a federal Digital Diversity Agency that would assign a diversity tattoo to each blog: a lavender pig, for example, signifying a white male blogger with an alternative sexual orientation. A mismatch between the diversity tattoo on a site and its content could trigger a federal audit to track down identity fraud. Let's say an allegedly black female site (tattooed with a black halo) canvassed technologies for sending humans to Mars. Regulators might find such content highly suspicious, since everyone knows that black females are supposed to write about black females.

As absurd as such a regulatory regime would have to be, it still would not be enough to make a properly "diverse" blogosphere, for the web's real diversity flaw is the role of readers. It is readers who determine which blogs zoom up to Alpha orbit, and until now they have been frustratingly outside any sort of regulatory reach. Only when Internet users are required to open up a representative sample of sites can we be confident that the web's "diversity problem" will be solved.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


In the realm of political defeats, last month's no-confidence vote in University President Lawrence H. Summers probably ranks somewhere below the Bolivian government's execution of Ernesto "Che" Guevara in 1967. But after three months of battle with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Summers has risen to Guevara's height of pop-culture martyrdom with a new t-shirt modeled after the famous image of the Argentinian guerilla leader. "The only similarity is that they're both revolutionaries," said Aaron J. Mowery '08, who began selling the Summers tees last week. "Granted, Che was a communist," noted Mowery, a member of the Harvard Republican Club, "and we don't think Summers is a communist at all."

The shirt's website,, encourages patrons to wear their confidence in Summers, who was presented with his very own tee at a study break in Lowell House last week. Mowery said 68 supporters of the president, including Kenan Professor of Government Harvey C. Mansfield '53, had purchased the shirt as of Tuesday afternoon.



Fisher offers these intriguing 37 words: "Add the punishing quotas that Asian students face in the college admissions game - colleges don't admit to using quotas, but the numbers tell the story - and the result is pressure through every step of childhood." Huh. Interesting. This confirms data from California and Texas that when racial preferences are lifted, whites don't gain much, but Asian admissions jump through the roof. At the University of Texas-Austin, when preferences were removed, Asian freshmen jumped to 18 percent in a state where Asians comprise only 3 percent of the population.

In other words, what is denied with Orwellian savoir-faire by defenders of the Diversity-Academia complex is just plain obvious to people who are not professionally or ideologically invested in denying the existence of the elephant in the corner: The diversity "racket" discriminates against some minorities for the benefit of other minorities......

Today, the debate over diversity is driven largely by the unavoidable fact that, on average, African-Americans and Hispanics are less academically qualified than whites and various other demographic groups. This was highlighted a few years ago during arguments over the University of Michigan Law School's quota system. Justice Antonin Scalia noted during oral arguments before the Supreme Court that the easiest way to increase diversity would be to lower the law school's standards. If diversity is "important enough to override the Constitution's prohibition of racial distribution, it seems to me it's important enough to override Michigan's desire to have a super-duper law school."

This is where the Orwellian savoir-faire tends to kick in. The school's lawyers, along with columnists such as The Washington Post's David Broder and countless others, insisted that increasing diversity never comes at the expense of quality. Well, if the trade-off didn't exist, we wouldn't be having this debate. If there were a surplus of high SAT-scoring, straight-A blacks and Hispanics, no one would sue because they lost their slot to a less-qualified minority. The entire affirmative action controversy is predicated on the unavoidable fact that there is a greater demand for well-qualified blacks than there is a supply. Period.

However, even if that weren't the case, this quest to make all of our major institutions "look like America" is still basically arbitrary and unfair. It's simply absurd to think that the distribution of Chinese, black, white, Hispanic, Indian, Jewish, Hmong and so forth in the society can or should be replicated at a given university. Indian-Americans, for example, are hugely over-represented in the ranks of hotel and motel owners in the United States. Harvard President Larry Summers got in a lot of hot water for thinking out loud about why women were underrepresented at the highest reaches of science. But his observations that Catholics are underrepresented in investment banking, and that Jews are underrepresented in farming, went largely unnoticed.....

If, as a group, the kids of Asian immigrants work harder and do better academically than blacks or whites or Jews, is it fair for Harvard to say at some point, "Sorry, we're full up on Asians," simply because it had reached a quota based on the Asian share of the U.S. population? Some cultures are going to emphasize the importance of becoming a doctor more than others. There's no principled reason why advocates of quota games for law schools shouldn't support the same thing for basketball.

But all of this talk about groups obscures the most basic point. Racial and ethnic groups are supposed to be invisible to the government. Any other system is merely guilt - or credit - by association.

More here