Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category
‘Jamie’ is a ten year old boy. He thinks he should be a girl.
When I was ten I thought I came from another planet, that my real name was Dr Zuric, and that I had secretly been sent to Earth to investigate the local populace prior to invasion. Fortunately for humans, I had seen their potential and renounced my superpowers forever, instead standing vigilant against the threat posed by my former galactic gangster buddies.
My parents were amused. My Mum refused to believe the scale of the spaceship that delivered me to Earth. When I drew her a picture of it, she said she thought the windows should be bigger.
‘Mum,’ I said, ‘Those windows are four storeys high.’ She laughed and told me that was ridiculous.
I was deeeply insulted. Didn’t she realise the engineering skill that had gone into the construction of that ship? Or the sacrifices I had made for the sake of her species?
No she didn’t.
My parents treated my fantasies with respect. My dad even made me a control box so I could summon my warrior robots whenever I needed them (the one I had arrived with had been stolen – I was never able to find out by whom. I still have suspicions. Not everyone on Earth is good, you know).
My parents never suggested I needed psychiatric help – even when, in an earlier phase, I had demanded in tears to be allowed to take tea out to the faires in the grass behind the house next door because it hadn’t rained for two weeks and they were dying of thirst. Mum gave me some very small cups and some lukewarm water with sugar in it. I reported later that the fairies were very grateful, and had promised to watch out for any dangerous visitors, and to warn me if any shadowy figures arrived by putting coded messages in the constant birdsong, messages which only I would understand.
Several potential crises involving demonic visitors were avoided in this way.
It is barely worth mentioning that at different times I believed myself to be a re-incarnation of Manolete, the famous matador (never mind that I did not believe in re-incarnation); the eldest son of an Eastern European monarch who had smuggled me to safety as a baby and left me to be brought up by peasants who pretended to be my parents (he would be back to restore me to my rightful place as crown prince as soon as the kingdom had been made safe); or an entirely new kind of creature, a mutated sea lord (my mother was actually a mermaid, but we had agreed never to mention this potentially embarassing fact – even Dad did not know), who found it convenient for the moment to conceal my true powers and identity.
No psychiatric help for me. I was a child. Children play games and inhabit a world of magic and monsters. That is part of what childhood is.
I believed my stories, or pretended to, with the utmost seriousness. But I would have been appalled if they had.
Their common sense, their being adults, and consequently grounded in reality, created a safe place for me to be a child; growing into who I was was by pretending to be all sorts of things I was not.
Jamie’s parents appear not to be grounded in reality. There was no safe place for Jamie.
Jamie, like many little boys, went through a period of thinking he would really like to be a little girl.
Tragically for him, his parents seem to have believed him, and consequently, he has been stuck in that fantasy ever since. They got him psychiatric help.
The psychiatrists, people who are supposed to know a thing or two about human nature and the intricate tarantella of growing up, also believed him, proving they know nothing about anything.
His parents found him a school which was willing to accept him as a girl.
Then they went to court to get permission to begin a process that will turn him from a boy into a pretend woman. Family Court Judge Linda Dessau has agreed.
All he needed was someone to say no – to recognise that that he is a child, that children say things they don’t mean, live lives of earnest fantasy, and need adults to fix boundaries to those fantasies.
Jamie is ten. If the process goes ahead, he will not become a man. He will never have a family. And he will gain nothing in return. He will never be a woman, no matter what mutilations hormones and surgery wreak upon his body and mind.
Parents, psychiatrists, school and court – none have done their job. Jamie was just being a child. They could not find it in themselves to be adults.
Jamie has been betrayed.
Fifteen years later, a letter from the then CEO of Cypress (a US designer and manufacturer of semi-conductor based technology) is still the best response to demands for quotas of women or minorities on company (or other) boards.
On April 23, 1996, Cypress received a letter from the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. The latter is a religious congregation of approximately 1,000 women and was, at the time the letter was written, the beneficial owner of a number of Cypress shares. The letter was a form letter, and it carried the stamped signature of Doris Gormley, OSF.
In the letter, Sister Doris, speaking for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia as a Cypress shareholder, expressed the view that a company “is best represented by a Board of qualified Directors reflecting the equality of the sexes, races, and ethnic groups.” The letter went on to say that it is the congregation’s policy “to withhold authority to vote for nominees of a Board of Directors that does not include women and minorities.”
In response, CEO TJ Rodgers wrote a long letter in which he described the sisters’ position as unsound, even immoral, and more related to political correctness than Christianity.
This is the beginning:
Dear Sister Gormley:
Thank you for your letter criticizing the lack of racial and gender diversity of Cypress’s Board of Directors. I received the same letter from you last year. I will reiterate the management arguments opposing your position. Then I will provide the philosophical basis behind our rejection of the operating principles espoused in your letter, which we believe to be not only unsound, but even immoral, by a definition of that term I will present.
The semiconductor business is a tough one with significant competition from the Japanese, Taiwanese, and Koreans. There have been more corporate casualties than survivors. For that reason, our Board of Directors is not a ceremonial watchdog, but a critical management function. The essential criteria for Cypress board membership are as follows:
•Experience as a CEO of an important technology company.
•Direct expertise in the semiconductor business based on education and management experience.
•Direct experience in the management of a company that buys from the semiconductor industry.
A search based on these criteria usually yields a male who is 50-plus years old, has a Masters degree in an engineering science, and has moved up the managerial ladder to the top spot in one or more corporations. Unfortunately, there are currently few minorities and almost no women who chose to be engineering graduate students 30 years ago. (That picture will be dramatically different in 10 years, due to the greater diversification of graduate students in the ’80s.) Bluntly stated, a “woman’s view” on how to run our semiconductor company does not help us, unless that woman has an advanced technical degree and experience as a CEO. I do realize there are other industries in which the last statement does not hold true. We would quickly embrace the opportunity to include any woman or minority person who could help us as a director, because we pursue talent — and we don’t care in what package that talent comes.
I believe that placing arbitrary racial or gender quotas on corporate boards is fundamentally wrong. Therefore, not only does Cypress not meet your requirements for boardroom diversification, but we are unlikely to, because it is very difficult to find qualified directors, let alone directors that also meet investors’ racial and gender preferences.
I infer that your concept of corporate “morality” contains in it the requirement to appoint a Board of Directors with, in your words, “equality of sexes, races, and ethnic groups.” I am unaware of any Christian requirements for corporate boards; your views seem more accurately described as “politically correct,” than “Christian.”
My views aside, your requirements are — in effect — immoral. By “immoral,” I mean “causing harm to people,” a fundamental wrong. Here’s why:
I presume you believe your organization does good work and that the people who spend their careers in its service deserve to retire with the necessities of life assured. If your investment in Cypress is intended for that purpose, I can tell you that each of the retired Sisters of St. Francis would suffer if I were forced to run Cypress on anything but a profit-making basis. The retirement plans of thousands of other people also depend on Cypress stock — $1.2 billion worth of stock — owned directly by investors or through mutual funds, pension funds, 401k programs, and insurance companies. Recently, a fellow 1970 Dartmouth classmate wrote to say that his son’s college fund (“Dartmouth, Class of 2014,” he writes) owns Cypress stock. Any choice I would make to jeopardize retirees and other investors from achieving their lifetime goals would be fundamentally wrong.
Rodgers goes on to explain in more detail what the consequences of quotas would be for employees, shareholders and the wider economy.
Follow the link above to read the whole letter.
An unborn baby died yesterday after the car the mother was driving struck a guard rail and went into the Barwon River near Geelong:
The woman, who was about 30 weeks’ pregnant, managed to free herself from the car as it sank into the river on Friday evening …
Police are adding the unborn baby’s death to the road toll which now stands at 67, one fewer than for the same time last year.
I am glad that in this instance the child is being recognised as a person.
Similarly in this accident a few days ago in Texas:
A 17-year-old woman and her unborn baby were killed in a pedestrian crash Wednesday night in Horizon City.
Emergency crews took Nelly Pizarro, who was five months pregnant at the time of the crash, to Del Sol Medical Center. The baby died shortly after arriving at the hospital. Nelly Pizarro died Thursday morning.
What I don’t understand is what makes those babies ‘babies,’ and thousands who are aborted ‘foetal tissue.’
There is no difference in the babies. Surely we are not judging whether people are people on the basis of whether they are wanted or not?
And if that is what we are doing, how are we different from the Hutus when they decided the Tutsis were not human? Or Saddam Hussein and the Kurds? Or Hitler and the Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals?
A person’s a person, no matter how small.
Andrew Bolt will appear in the Australian Federal Court this week to face complaints made against him and the Herald and Weekly Times under Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act 1975.
In 1995 provisions were introduced into that act which dealt with expressions of racial hatred. Specifically, those provisions made it illegal for a person (corporate or natural) to:
do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
(a) the act is reasonably likely in all the circumstances to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people, and
(b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or some or all of the people in the group.
There are some exemptions. The racial vilification page on the website of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission explains these exemptions as follows:
To protect freedom of expression, the legislation sets out certain circumstances in which the prohibition will not apply, providing the person has acted reasonably and in good faith. First, if the communication is part of an artistic work it is not unlawful. Also excepted are academic and scientific works and debates or comments on matters of public interest. This permits a range of public policy issues to be debated such as multiculturalism, native title and so on. The media are given considerable scope in a third exception which permits fair and accurate reporting on any matter of public interest. This last exception enables the media to report on public issues, such as racial incitement or racially offensive conduct. It also allows editorial opinions and the like, providing they are published without malice.
As in much legislation, this is an attempt to balance different rights which may be in conflict. In this case, the right of citizens to engage in robust discussion without fear, against the right of persons to be protected against statements likely to provoke hatred against them on the basis of their race.
Now to the specifics.
In two columns published on his blog and in the Herald Sun on April 15th 2009, and August 21st 2009, Andrew Bolt drew the public’s attention to a number of persons who had claimed benefits intended to assist indigenous Australians, but whose basis for claiming to be aboriginal was not clear. Most of those identified looked as white any full-blooded dutchman, and some had little or no identifiable aboriginal descent or heritage.
Andrew made it clear in his columns that part of his concern was that if awards intended to assist underprivileged aboriginal persons were being given to educated middle-class white people, then the persons who should have been helped by those awards were not being helped at all:
… when a privileged white Aborigine then snaffles that extra, odds are that an underprivileged black Aborigine misses out on the very things we hoped would help them most.
Take Mellor’s art prize. This white university lecturer, with his nice Canberra studio, has by winning pushed aside real draw-in-the-dirt Aboriginal artists such as Dorothy Napangardi, Mitjili Napanangka Gibson and Walangkura Napanangka, who’d also entered and could really have used that cash and recognition.
DOES this make sense? What’s an Aboriginal art prize for, if a man as white and cosseted as Mellor can win it, and with a work that shows no real Aboriginal techniques or traditions?
What’s a black Aboriginal artist from the bush to think, seeing yet another white man lope back to the city with the goodies?
That hardly seems calculated to to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people … because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person.
Those claiming to have been offended, insulted, humiliated and intimidated are represented by Joel Zyngier from the legal firm Holding Redlich. Zyngier told The Age on Sptemeber 18 2010 that:
‘‘We see it as clarifying the issue of identity — who gets to say who is and who is not Aboriginal. Essentially, the articles by Bolt have challenged people’s identity. He’s basically arguing that the people he identified are white people pretending they’re black so they can access public benefits.’’
The argument, then, is that any discussion of who is aboriginal and who is not, except by aboriginals themselves, amounts to racial vilification. In other words, that the only persons who have the right to determine who is aboriginal and who is not, are aboriginal people and aboriginal communities. Any discussion of this by other persons is foreseeably likely to cause offence, insult or humilation, etc.
Others have pointed out that questions of aboriginal identity and entitlement have been raised before, frequently by aboriginal people.
For example, in Quadrant September 2010, Keith Windschuttle noted that:
In 2001, after the Commonwealth government announced it would tighten eligibility for the right to vote in elections for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, the head of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, Michael Mansell, declared there were “more phoney than real Aborigines in Tasmania, and more than half the voters in the 1996 ATSIC election were not Aboriginal”. According to the Canberra Times, Mansell added:
“With the coming of ATSIC, we got stuck with people trying to rort the system. Saying you’re Aboriginal is the password into ATSIC and its money. It’s happening all over Australia, though Tasmania has had one of the sharpest increases.”
This is discussion of aboriginal identity by aboriginal people, or at least, by people claiming to be aboriginal, so no one should feel offended, humiliated, or intimidated.
But let’s say that those excluded by Mr Mansell’s criteria do feel offended and humiliated. Let’s further say that they produce evidence of their aboriginality, and ask the court to overturn the decision made by Mr Mansell and his group.
This will necessarily involve the court, a whitefella organisation, in consideration of who is aboriginal and who is not.
This is a circumstance in which it would be both appropriate and necessary for non-aboriginal people to consider what constitutes aboriginality.
Are there other circmstances in which such discussion might be reasonable?
To avoid any appearance of focussing on aboriginals, imagine that the Federal government has determined that red-headed dwarves are under-represented in Australia’s sports teams, political parties, art galleries and boardrooms. It is clear that they are frequently subject to humiliating insults – rusty, ginger, shorty, runt, etc – and that they face considerable obstacles in gaining employment and recognition.
A number of measures are introduced to remedy this situation. Special benefits are offered including access to education, prizes and scholarships.
After a while, members of the public notice that some of those claiming benefits seem to be of average, even more than average height. Some even have brown hair. It is hard to imagine that these broad-shouldered six footers with chestnut curls have suffered a great deal because of their red headed dwarfiness.
But when questions are asked about this, the questioners are met with outrage, and even threats of lawsuits. It is, they are told, the exclusive province of the red headed dwarf community to determine who are its members, and who are not. Any such questions raised by others are offensive and humiliating, and dwarfist.
That might be true if the question of who was in and who was out related to events and benefits solely provided and organised by the red headed dwarf community. But it does not.
It becomes a question of public interest because public money is involved. The public has set aside money to assist members of a group which appears to be under-privileged.
Money has been taken from tax-payers and allocated for that purpose. This money could have been used elsewhere, for roads, water supply, medical equipment, etc.
The public is entitled to be reasonably confident that the persons to whom their money is given are genuinely members of the group intended to be assisted.
This is not dwarfist. Nor is it racist. Persons claiming public money on the basis of membership of a particular group should expect the public to take an interest in whether they really do belong to that group.
Andrew Bolt is entitled to ask such questions. It is in the public interest that they be asked, whether by him or others.
This does not mean he is right in every instance.
I have an aquaintance, a friend of a friend, who was the daughter of a white man and an aboriginal woman. She grew up in a remote camp, speaking only pidgin, and subject to years of sexual and physical abuse.
She escaped when she was fifteen and went to work in a pub. She learned to speak standard english. She taught herself to read and write, and eventually went to university. She is a strong, couargeous, intelligent woman. She has red hair and light coloured skin. She lives in the city.
But she identifies, because of her mother and her childhood, as aboriginal.
If anyone deserves recognition and acknowledgement it is she. But she has never accepted any special benefits, prizes or scholarships.
I suspect she would regard reliance on those things, and the sense of entitlement that they encourage, as being as much a poison, a cause of paralysis and lack of progess for indigenous people, as Jarndyce and Jarndyce was for Richard Carstone in Dicken’s Bleak House.
I also suspect (and will ask her one day) that if she had accepted some special award for aboriginals, and been among those listed in Mr Bolt’s columns, she would have rung him and talked to him, rather than ringing her lawyer.
Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Lent, the forty day period of fasting which ends at Easter. Christians remember Jesus’ forty days of fasting in the desert prior to his baptism and public ministry.
The purpose of the Lenten fasting and self denial (which need not be in relation to food) is to remind us of our reliance on God, and to take some less important or distracting things out of our lives, in order to make more room for prayer, service, study, and other things which really matter.
Hundreds of churches around the world are keeping this Lent as 40 Days for Life, a focused pro-life effort that consists of three key areas of participation:
•40 days of prayer and fasting
•40 days of peaceful vigil
•40 days of community outreach
So on that subject I note with sorrow that in New York city in 2008, there were 82,475 induced abortions. This figure is only for surgical procedures, and does not include use of the ‘morning after’ pill, or any of the unknown number of non-recorded abortions.
The total number of deaths in all age groups from all other causes was 55,391.
82,475 abortions. 55,391 deaths from all other causes.
A black baby is three times more likely to be aborted than a white baby.
Every culture has its moral black spots. we look back at the Nazis with horror. Not just at the comparatively few who were actively involved in the wholesale murder of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and other ‘undesireables,’ but at the vastly greater number who knew what was happening and did nothing.
Western society’s argument in relation to abortion is that an unborn child is not really human. The Nazis thought the same about Jews and Gypsies.
Future generations will look back at us with the same bewildered horror.
Mardi Gras means fat (or big) Tuesday. It is the day before Lent.
It is also called Shrove Tuesday because it is a day to be shriven, that is, to confess your sins and ask for absolution so you can enter into the season of Lent with a clear mind and heart, and the determination never again to do anything contrary to the will of God. Mardi Gras because Christians fast during Lent, and luxury foods like eggs and meat are to be finished off on that day – even if there is plenty. So it is a day both to reflect and to feast.
Tonight is the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney. It’s the Saturday night before Shrove Tuesday, not Shrove Tuesday itself. But this has to be just about the most egregious appropriation of a religious festival in human history.
Christians may find the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras offensive. I certainly find some aspects offensive. The sisters of perpetual indulgence, for example, a group of self-obsessed morons who mercilessly belittle and abuse the group, Roman Catholic nuns, who do more on the ground work to relieve AIDS suffering than any other.
But Christians being offended doesn’t matter. We will go out of our way not to be offensive in return. We certainly won’t subject those who offend us to physical violence.
If the gay and lesbian population really want to make a stand for what they perceive as their rights, why not hold this festival at a time or in a place when it is confronting to a culture that regards them as less than human, which decrees that gays and lesbians should be hanged, stoned or beheaded?
How about the Ramadan Gay and Lesbian Festival? Held in Lakemba?
A clear majority of Australians, including me, believe that gays and lesbians should be treated equally under the law. Not subject to sanctions, and able to register long-standing partnerships for tax or pension or bequest purposes.
But where the heck do they get the idea that a clear majority of Australians believe two men or two women should be able to marry one another?
Marriage is a lifelong union between one man and one woman. Nothing anyone says is going to change that. And nothing anyone says is going to change the fact that most Australians believe the law should reflect what marriage really is, not whatever passing trends claim it should be.
And no, you can’t marry your pet dolphin.
Everything I have read about Julian Assange suggests that he is a self-righteous glory seeker, unconcerned about anyone’s privacy, rights or welfare except his own.
The argument that the public is entitled to access to private business or government documents is a nonsense. Frank assessments of other nations, their leaders and policies, are vital to negotiations on trade, defence or other forms of co-operation.
The same applies to business. Without the assurance that discussions and negotiations can be conducted in confidence, whether in politics or commerce, participants will not speak freely, problems will not be uncovered, agreements will be made which do not benefit theose entering into them. Enough of that happens already.
To claim that because the people elect politicians to govern on their behalf, the people have a right to know every detail of every assessment or negotiation, strikes me as being manifestly absurd. Something like a spoilt little boy refusing to go to bed because he wants to know what the grown-ups are doing, and is worried he might miss out on something.
That, of course, is exactly what Assange gives the impression of being – a spoilt little boy.
Julian Assange is wanted by Swedish police for questioning in relation to accusations of sexual assault. Swedish authorities are seeking to extradite Assange from the UK so he can be questioned and possibly charged.
Demands by Assange’s mother that Kevin Rudd should fix things for her boy or resign confirm the spoilt brat impression. According to her, Rudd should:
… make a strong and urgent representation to Sweden, to drop the extradition case against Julian on the grounds that he cannot now receive a fair trial. If you do not act I can only conclude that you’ve been gagged or intimidated, possibly by the very person who deposed you from your prime ministership eight months ago. Alternatively, you are choosing freely to be derelict in your duties as Australian Foreign Minister.
Meanwhile, Olympic class publicity seeker Geoffrey Robertson, who seems to have been drawn to Assange like a pirate to stolen treasure, has been relentlessly critical of the Swedish legal system, claiming that the prosecutor in the case is an irrational man-hater, that the complaints are trivial, that they are politically motivated, that his client will end up in Guantanamo Bay or on death row in the US if the extradition proceeds, and that the Swedish legal system cannot be trusted.
Not surprisingly, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is annoyed by these slurs:
Since Julian Assange came under police investigation for rape in Sweden, several international debaters have questioned the Swedish legal system. In the most extreme conspiracy theories the accusations have been mentioned that it is controlled by CIA.
Prime Minister Reinfeldt says to the newspaper Expressen that the right for women to start a legal process when they claim they have been victims of abuse is at stake. He says that Sweden has reached far when it comes to not accepting any kind of sexual abuse and those who attack the Swedish legal system is trying to limit the right for women to take a claimed sexual abuse to court.
Reinfeldt also comments in Expressen on Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens’ claims that Assange risk not getting a fair trial if he is sent to Sweden.
This (the false information on the Swedish legal system) is unfortunately the consequences when, in order to defend a client, one describe other countries legal systems in a patronizing way. But everyone who lives in Sweden know this is not true. The Swedish legal system is independent and work in accordance with the law.
Claes Borgström, the former Equality Ombudsman and legal representative of the two women who accuse Assange for sexual abuse, says to Svenska dagbladet (SvD):
There is a lot of false information about the Swedish legal system, about me and above all about my clients.
Geoffrey Robertson’s response to these perfectly reasonable expressions of frustration is to claim that Fredrik Reinfeldt has declared Julian Assange to be ‘public enemy number one,’ and that in doing so he has created a toxic atmosphere in which it will be impossible for Assange to get a fair trial.
Nonsense. The only person who has said anything of the sort is Geoffrey Robertson.
The women’s claims are not trivial. If true, they amount to rape. Whether ultimately upheld or not, they have a right to be heard.
That Assange is popular in some circles does not void that right.
These low tech, fuel efficient wood burning stoves are a renewable energy project that will save lives, by leaving more time for mothers to spend with their children, and more money to be spent on food and medical care.
You can help – just follow the link.
Of course, if we really want to help people out of poverty, nuclear power would be better. But this is a good start.
People tell lies, or use statistics, which frequently amounts to the same thing, to get what they want.
Most people acknowledge that telling lies is a bad thing. In general. But in this particular case, their case, the positive outcome justifies a little liberality with the facts.
So the liberal media proclaims about such malicious misportrayals as those in ‘The Rabbit Proof Fence,’ ‘OK, it is completely false, but it speaks to a larger truth.’
No it doesn’t. Lies don’t ‘speak to anything’ except the dishonesty of those who repeat them.
“A reporter might take liberties with the factual circumstances to make the larger truth clear.” O large, large truth. Apparently Mr. Reid believes that imposing a truth is the same as arriving at one. Illogically, he also seems to think that truths may be disclosed through lies.
Lies are like the one ring. You might think that if you only use it once or twice, in an emergency, you will get what you want, and no harm will be done.
But like the ring, lies cannot be used except in a way that benefits the enemy. They always, ultimately, work to do harm.
The global warming lobby is a perfect example of this. Lies. To gain more funding. To do useful, valuable research.
But it wasn’t useful research. And the money was diverted from other, genuine research or infrastructure development which could have saved lives, encouraged democracy, produced useful goods and services, etc. And those same lies have discredited science and scientists.
Just as repeated media lies in the interests of ‘the larger truth’ discredit journalists.
Honest scientists and honest journalists should be very annoyed.
Another long standing group of lies relates to domestic violence.
Christina Hoff Summers has more on this in an article on USA Today:
During the 2010 World Cup, British newspapers carried stories with headlines such as “Women’s World Cup Abuse Nightmare” and informed women that the games could uncover “for the first time, a darker side to their partner.” Fortunately, a BBC program called Law in Action took the unusual route pioneered by Ringle: The news people actually checked the facts. Their conclusion: a stunt based on cherry-picked figures.
But when the BBC journalists presented the deputy chief constable, Carmel Napier, from the town of Gwent with evidence that the World Cup abuse campaign was based on twisted statistics, she replied: “If it has saved lives, then it is worth it.”
It is not worth it. Misinformation leads to misdirected policies that fail to target the true causes of violence. Worse, those who promulgate false statistics about domestic violence, however well-meaning, promote prejudice. Most of the exaggerated claims implicate the average male in a social atrocity. Why do that? Anti-male misandry, like anti-female misogyny, is unjust and dangerous. …
Worst of all, misinformation about violence against women suggests a false moral equivalence between societies where women are protected by law and those where they are not. American and British societies are not perfect, but we have long ago decided that violence against women is barbaric. By contrast, the Islamic Republic of Iran — where it is legal to bury an adulterous woman up to her neck and stone her — was last year granted a seat on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defended the decision by noting Iranian women are far better off than women in the West. “What is left of women’s dignity in the West?” he asked. He then came up with a statistic to drive home his point: “In Europe almost 70% of housewives are beaten by their husbands.”
That was a self-serving lie. Western women, with few exceptions, are safe and free. Iranian women are neither. Officials like Attorney General Holder, the deputy constable of Gwent, and the activists and journalists who promoted the Super Bowl and World Cup hoaxes, unwittingly contribute to such twisted deceptions.
Victims of intimate violence are best served by the truth.
Indeed. And so are the rest of us.
Oh, it’s so warm and cuddly.
Liberal progressives are forgiving, inclusive, welcoming of those who disagree with them. And of course, they never use violent or malicious rhetoric.
Just listen to the bile and hatred from some of these folks: Clarence Thomas should be impeached, tortured, sent back to the planatation, and strung up, along with his wife.
There are lots of things to like about Sarah.
She is courageous, caring, loyal, and she understands what makes the economy work – how jobs and wealth are created.
For a long list of real accomplishments, see Bob Beers’ article ‘In Praise of Sarah’ from Canada Free Press, which includes this assessment: “She has a proven record of honesty and self-sacrifice for the people who elected her.”
Her commentary on Obama’s State of the Union speech can be found on her Facebook page.
A couple of excerpts:
He couched his proposals to grow government and increase spending in the language of “national greatness.” This seems to be the Obama administration’s version of American exceptionalism – an “exceptionally big government,” in which a centralized government declares that we shall be great and innovative and competitive, not by individual initiative, but by government decree. Where once he used words like “hope” and “change,” the President may now talk about “innovation” and “competition”; but the audacity of his recycled rhetoric no longer inspires hope.
Real leadership is more than just words; it’s deeds. The President’s deeds don’t lend confidence that we can trust his words spoken last night.
In the past, he promised us he’d make job creation his number one priority, while also cutting the deficit, eliminating waste, easing foreclosures in the housing markets, and making “tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.” What did we get? A record $1.5 trillion deficit, an 84% increase in federal spending, a trillion dollar stimulus that stimulated nothing but more Tea Party activism, 9+% unemployment (or 17% percent if you include those who have stopped looking for work or settled for part time jobs), 2.9 million home foreclosures last year, and a moratorium on offshore drilling that has led to more unemployment and $100 dollar a barrel oil. …
As it is, the American people should fully understand that when the President talks about increased “investments” he’s talking about increased government spending. Cut away the rhetoric and you’ll also see that the White House’s real message on economic reform wasn’t one of substantial spending cuts, but of tax increases. …
And what about that crucial issue confronting so many Americans who are struggling today – the lack of jobs? The President came to office promising that his massive, multi-trillion dollar spending programs would keep unemployment below 8%; but the lack of meaningful, pro-free market reforms in yesterday’s speech means his legacy will almost certainly be four years of above 8% unemployment, regardless of how much he increases federal spending (or perhaps I should say because of how much he’s increased it).
Perhaps the most nonsensical bit of double-speak we heard last night was when the President said that hitting job-creators with a tax increase isn’t “punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.” But government taking more money from the small business entrepreneurs who create up to 70% of all jobs in this country is not “promoting America’s success.” It’s a disincentive that will result in less job creation. It is, in fact, punishing the success of the very people who created the innovation that the President has supposedly been praising.
Despite the flowery rhetoric, the President doesn’t seem to understand that individuals make America great, not the federal government. American greatness lies in the courage and hard work of individual innovators and entrepreneurs.
No, she’s not the messiah. But she could just be the leader America needs.
At work, but just had to take a moment to pop in these brief comments from Sarah Palin on President Obama’s STUFU speech:
Or maybe not.
Sarah tweeted that she wasn’t happy with low-life leftist website Gawker (no link for them!) quoting large passages of her new book out of context, and without her permission.
This was Gawker’s reply:
“Did you catch the excerpt we posted yesterday from Sarah Palin’s new book? Sarah did. She tweets with rage: “The publishing world is LEAKING out-of-context excerpts of my book w/out my permission? Isn’t that illegal?”
[Sarah: If you’re reading this—and if you are, welcome!—you may want to take a moment to familiarize yourself with the law. Try starting here or here. Or skip the totally boring reading and call one of your lawyers. They’ll walk you through it.]
Oh Sarah, you’re so dumb. Reading that legal stuff will be too hard for you, so just get a lawyer to explain it to you, slowly.
From Gateway Pundit:
Unfortunately for Gawker, they don’t seem to have read their own links. Or perhaps they simply didn’t comprehend them as explained to them, no doubt, by their attorneys. Harper Collins, Palin’s publisher, promptly asked for and received an injunction against Gawker Media, asking that the site be banned from what it termed “further copyright infringement.” The injunction prohibits Gawker from “continuing to distribute, publish or otherwise transmit pages from the book” pending a hearing on Nov. 30.
The Other McCain has a copy of the court order. He adds: The judge found probable cause that Gawker violated copyright and ordered Gawker to pull the leaked pages and appear in court to defend themselves and explain why this wasn’t a violation of copyright and why the leaked pages shouldn’t be permanently removed. This temporary restraining order prevents Gawker from potentially further violating copyright by keeping the pages up until the court date. Date set for Nov. 30th. This is a huge victory for HarperCollins’ lawyers.
MacRanger at Macsmind is reporting that under US copyright law each page could cost Gawker up to $500,000 in penalties. (Gawker excerpted from 14 pages.) A spokesperson for Harper Collins told me that “Substantial Damages will be sought”. “We intend to put them out of the business of printing protected material ever again.”
I am not a vengeful person, but there is a certain satisfaction in seeing the self-righteous smuggery of professional mockers like those at Gawker get their come-uppance.
‘Social justice’ is a key identifying phrase, a shibboleth, for liberal/progressives. Conservatives are assumed not to care about social justice, being concerned only with making money and reducing taxes.
Then why is it that conservatives give more to charity, and are more likely to be involved in their communities as volunteer fire fighters, ambulance officers, etc?
Informaworld has an interesting article on social justice from a conservative perspective.
Bruce Thyer points out that conservatives are just as concerned about social justice. We just differ about how the best results are to be achieved.
But in Australia, women are paid as much as men for the same work. It’s the law.
Nonetheless, on average, women do earn slightly less than men. The ASU wants this fixed. It’s unjust!
But the difference is not because women are victims of discrimination. It is simply because they make different choices.
Women tend to opt for safer, more comfortable jobs, jobs that have predictable hours and involve less travelling. They are more likely to work part-time, and to retire earlier.
More at Carpe Diem, including this, from a report prepared for US Department of Labor:
‘The differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.’
Proof of psychic powers? Actually, no.
Just proof that academics are not easily able to think beyond their preconceived notions.
He conducted nine different experiments on over 1000 students. Eight of the experiments showed some psychic ability.
I am willing to bet that the experiment that didn’t was the only one that was properly designed.
One experiment asked students to memorise a list of words, and then asked them to recall as many as they could.
The students were then asked to type a list of the words randomly selected – which tended to be the words they had earlier recalled.
It suggests they knew which words were going to be selected to be typed.
No it doesn’t.
The question is, how were the words to be typed selected ‘randomly’?
If they were just picked by another person, all this means is that some words have more impact than others, and that those words are more likely to be remembered, and chosen.
It is amazing to me – a non academic, but someone trained in problem solving – how quickly academics jump to the wrong conclusion, and how firmly they then insist on those conclusions being accepted.
I have a friend who is a PhD candidate. She is studying changes in Black Brim populations. Black Brim are a common fish in South Australian waters.
Her thesis is that Black Brim numbers have declined over the last fifty years because of changes in water quality.
She is extraordinarily diligent in examining ear bones from Black Brim. This enables her to track changes in water quality over the life of the fish.
I have no doubt she can get an accurate picture of water quality over the life of any individual fish.
But there are three problems with her thesis.
She has no idea how many Black Brim there really were fifty years ago. There were no accurate counts.
She has no idea whether water quality now has deteriorated in ways that affect Black Brim compared with fifty years ago. There were no accurate measures.
She has no idea whether other factors (eg, fish just move) might account for changes in Black Brim populations in the small area she is studying.
I asked her, since her theory was that fish numbers had declined because of changes in water quality, whether she thought it important to have accurate measurements of fish numbers and water quality from fifty years ago.
She insisted it was OK, because she had accurate measures of fish numbers and water quality now.
But surely, I insisted, if she was claiming changes in fish numbers over fifty years were a result of changes in water quality, she had to know what the numbers and water quality were fifty years ago.
She told me she could measure changes in water quality through studying ear bones.
OK. That tells you about changes over the life of an individual fish, but nothing about what the starting point was fifty years ago.
Nope. She just didn’t seem to understand the question.
Well, it doesn’t matter, really. She’ll get her PhD and work for Natural Resources and ruin a few fishermen’s businesses, or spend her life telling farmers to use less fertiliser.
Not much harm done.
But lots of harm is done in other ways.
As an example, there are reduced rates of HIV infection in males who have been circumcised.
So of course there claims that male circumcision acts as a ‘vaccine’ against HIV infection.
A couple of days ago the Deputy Speaker of the Ugandan parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, called on male MPs to be circumcised to give a moral example to others, and to help reduce the rate of HIV infection.
It seems blindlingly obvious to me that many men who are circumcised are either Jews or Muslims, and that differences in sexual behaviour in those groups would better account for the very small measured differences in rates of HIV infection.
Certainly behavioural differences might be worth investigating before spending vast amounts of money ramping up ‘circumcision services.’
This won’t work. It is cruel and irresponsible. In fact, like dishing out condoms, it is likely to increase rates of HIV infection, because it encourages people to think they are safe.
The only thing that has been shown to make a long term difference to rates of HIV infection is changes in behaviour.
But that is an unacceptable conclusion, so Africans continue to be given advice which is known to be, or should be known to be, wrong. And more Africans die.
Africa has suffered enough from AIDS.
We have all suffered enough from the consequences of shoddy thinking.