Thursday, August 31, 2006

Poseidon Adventure Stokes Fear in the Faint-hearted

Okay, I've never been on a cruise, but regular readers know that in October we're taking the crew and some relatives, ala Scott Adams, on a Disney cruise. What's on the flatscreen as I type? Poseidon Adventure. I hear screaming right now.

Does it seem like a good idea to you to aggravate fears or is watching the movie a version of desensitation and a form of "conquering" the fear? Just hearing the shrieks of terror is freaking me out.

Apple: Come Home To Mama

Okay, I thought that maybe I wouldn't be posting tonight, 'cuz of the new wheels and all. But, my iMac took like two seconds to hook up. They play music and everything when you turn it on for the first time.

My husband, who bought this for me for an anniversary present, laughed at my delight and said, "Did Apple make you feel special?"

"Yes, it did!" is my enthusiastic reply.

Only downside thus far, is that I'm going to have to use html tags because there is no short-cut interface in Blogger that I see. Am I missing something? Will that change when I load Microsoft's Windows programs? Any advice from Mac lovers would be helpful.

Otherwise, it's choice and fast. More soon. I'm going to go post on my ancient back-up computer in the kitchen.

Mmmmmm Apples

I got one of these today. (Except mine has 2MB RAM and 500 GB Hard Drive. Zoom! Zoom!) Might be a while before I post from it. But I hope not.

By the way, what am I leaving behind? A Dell Inspiron that has burnt through four hard drives even though I don't travel with it. Working on it this last year has been like driving in a traffic jam 24/7. Can you say high blood pressure?

The questions: Will Apple live up to the hype? And, is Dell as bad as everyone says they are now?

Guardsman Attacked While in Uniform

Tolerance: thy name is Progressive. NOT!

Maxed Out Mama: "Grim and Grimmer"

She is none too happy with recent housing happenings. Real-estate investers, owners, etc. Take note!

I have been trying to explain aspects of the mortgage market that have changed sharply in the last five years over at Piggington's. I don't think I'm succeeding. But try this paper for an explanation of the shift in the market (pdf).

Also, please take a look at the second post on this NJ RE Report thread
. I got this from the comments on Grim's excellent blog, which has poor linking facilities. So this is the best I can do.

Wal-Mart Changing the World One Lightbulb at a Time

Glenn Reynolds links to this article. He says that he isn't too happy with his fluorescent bulbs:

I replaced the bulbs in the overhead fixture in my study with compact fluorescents, and I'm not crazy with the quality of the light they're producing. But I may not have chosen the best new bulbs. I have been replacing outdoor lights with fluorescents, though, as I don't care as much about the light quality there.

Then Glenn, I have something for you: Full-Spectrum lighting. Not quite as energy efficient as fluorescent but much better. Full-spectrum (really "fuller spectrum" since only the sun is full spectrum) light is more natural light. So reading is easy. They are quiet and they last for years. We have them at our Chiropractic office and use them constantly. They required changing only every five years, or so, with constant daily use. Not bad. They use 60% less energy than incandescent, but more than fluorescent. The downside? About 10x the expense. But in my opinion, for an office and other works spaces, it is definitely worth it.

Here's more:

Lighting designer Stefan Graf, IALD, principal of Illuminart in Ypsilanti, Mich., says to think of full-spectrum lighting in audio terms. "Full-spectrum sound has bass and treble frequencies, as well as everything in between," he says. "Most light sources have peaks and valleys across the spectrum of light frequencies, but a full spectrum lighting system delivers nearly all light frequencies equally."

Graf inserts the word "nearly" in that phrase because he says that the only true full-spectrum light source is the sun. Many electric light sources come close to full-spectrum—some labeled as full-spectrum and some not—but none truly are so. "They should be labeled ‘fuller-spectrum,'" Graf says.


Full-spectrum lighting does offer some positive human effects. Graf points to recent research that proves that fuller-spectrum lighting helps improve visual acuity and accuracy. "Almost everyone who lives or works under a fuller-spectrum lighting environment says the space just ‘feels' better," Graf says. "It enables your eyes to work more efficiently because of better visual acuity and depth perception, so almost every task is easier and more comfortable to perform in some way."

Perhaps that is where the greatest benefits for full-spectrum lighting are: in areas and for tasks where visual acuity, accurate color rendering and comfortable light levels are needed. Spaces such as offices, retail stores, print shops and design studios may benefit from the improved color quality and visual acuity offered by full-spectrum lamps.

I should note here that there is controversy over health benefits with "full spectrum" lighting. They may or may not exist due to "full spectrum" bulbs.

It is universally recognized, though, that all people should spend at least 20 minutes per day out in the sun with little sunblock (depending on your skin tone--darker pigmented skin requires less sun-block) or sun glasses to help with Vitamin D production. This action significantly reduces colon and other cancers, as well as prevents osteoporosis. Get your young girls, elementary to teenagers, into the sun for bone development! Good diet alone will not meet the needs of your daughters bone formation. They do need Calcium (lactate cheap and effective, no carbonate) supplemented as it is imposssible to get the calcium needed through diet.

The sun isn't bad. Excessive burning is bad. There is a difference.

Update: Reader Sharon sent this link. Looks like Wal-Mart is changing the world one Rainbow Flag at a time, too.

Update II: Oh my goodness! I've been Instalanched!!! Thanks, Glenn & I really do hope you buy some full-spectrum lights.

Update III: Now, that I'm back on the granny computer, I just got an Apple (woo hoo!), I'd like to point you new people in the direction of a post or two you might like. Two days ago, I posted about the "neuterization" of America where any gender tendencies are scorned. Also, the Duke case has bugged me since the beginning. The NYT's article made it more irksome. More today, too. Thank you for visiting! I hope you come back soon.

Violent Kids: Send Them to Church

The results of this study should surprise no one. (This is a 2001 article, so the info. is old, by the way). In a nutshell:

  1. Kids exposed to violence are more likely to use violence to solve a problem.
  2. Kids who regularly go to church are less aggressive and violent.
That second point ends the Psychology Today article, but to me, it's the most important point: a structured church environment and the teachings provided help ameliorate youth aggression even if they see the violence at home.

DuRant's study found that the greater the subjects' exposure to violence, the more likely they were to engage in violent behavior. "They see others winning conflicts by using violence. As a result of that modeling, they choose to use those same behaviors," he says. And just as in the Canadian study, high levels of depression were associated with violent behaviors.

In addition, children who attended church regularly were generally less violent than non-churchgoers. By engaging in positive social activities, DuRant speculates, it's possible that schoolyard bullies would be better-equipped to respond positively to difficult situations. "If they're victims of severe corporal punishment, if they witness their mothers being hit, there's very little you can do from a policy standpoint to change that," says Durant. "But what we want to do is influence their response to those exposures and teach them positive ways to deal with conflict."

I did some research into Dr. DuRant's background: for what it's worth, he says that teens watching Professional Wrestling ups dating violence. Of course, that might be true, too. Let a bunch of ten year old boys watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and watch what happens. Or, older guys watching the SuperBowl. The ER is filled with sauced up, carb-laden middle-aged men with knee and ankle injuries from getting out there and re-enacting the game.

Note: To the editors at Psychology Today and other online news organizations, please put links to the actual research in your articles or an interview with the research at least. Oy, it took me fifteen minutes of looking to verify the research.

Fat Men & Infertility

Fat guys have fertility problems.

Morbid obesity is a problem for men and women because fat secretes estrogen. That is why the little pooch a post-menopausal woman has is called the "third ovary". Men with belly fat, essentially grow an ovary. Where that can be helpful for a post-menopausal woman, the estrogen interferes with testosterone, and thus sperm production, in men.

Researchers found that men’s BMI was an independent risk factor for infertility. The researchers adjusted for other factors that could affect fertility, including high BMI of the woman, age, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, and solvent and pesticide exposure. After adjustment, there was a general increase in infertility with increased BMI, reaching a nearly 2-fold increase among obese men.

When researchers divided the sample into two equal groups by men’s age, they found that men’s BMI was a risk factor for infertility in both the older and younger men.

The researchers did not have data on frequency of sexual intercourse, so it is possible that overweight men have less sexual intercourse than their normal weight counterparts and this could influence fertility. However, there have been recent studies looking at semen characteristics that show lower semen quality for overweight and obese men, as well as hormonal differences.

I'm also wondering, since the study was conducted on farmers, about repetitive stress from sitting on tractors all day. What used to be an active profession, has become less so with airconditioned combines.

Another problem with being fat--less energy for sex. It becomes a degenerating cycle: people feel bad about themselves because they're fat, they get depressed and embarressed, they don't have sex, which makes them feel more depressed, they eat more, and they get fatter.

The solution is actually very simple: take a 30 minute walk five days a week. No need to kill oneself. It ups the endorphins (feel good hormones), ups the testosterone (also tied to a more positive outlook, less depression, better muscle mass) and gets the blood flowing to everywhere. Your brain (the main sex organ anyway) gets infused with blood. The extremities do, too--all of them. Better sleep means reactive eating. Better sleep means more alert mentition, more engagement. Better sleep means less fatigue at the end of the day which can translate into more sex, which can translate into more babies.

As an aside, Vitamin C and Zinc, support hardy sperm production. Take 1-2 gms/day of Vitamin C and 15 mg of chelated Zinc. This helps, too.

Bill Frist: Fined for Missing Continuing Ed

State Boards, the bane of every Doctor's existence. The Boards are made up of political appointees. Their job is to generally harass Doctors and other professionals, make money for the state, make money for favored continuing ed cabals, and make money off of continuing education. Oh, that's right, they discipline doctors for infractions and sins and every once in a while get after the real criminal docs, but that's rare.

Essentially, State Boards are the hall monitors of the profession throwing the kids without passes into detention and letting the pot-heads go. Why? Cause it's easy to bother the minor rule breakers.

Do I sound sympathetic to Dr. Frist? Well, I am. The same thing happened to me about two years into practice. I had two babies, one a sick child who had just been diagnosed Autistic. I had to cancel my continuing ed weekend because of his illness. Well, that pushed me into a later month. My continuing ed happened after my birthday, so it didn't count for that year--even though my paperwork was in like a week and 1/2 late. I could have appealed, of course, but my personal circumstances were still the same. That meant driving to Austin to appeal--a whole day shot. Or, I could pay the fine. I paid the fine.

The situation in Texas is so political. They won't allow Chiropractors to do more than four hours of on-line continuing education. Why? Money. It is a huge hoo-ha to get a course certified for continuing education in Texas. Rather than certify a course, they certify by hour. The course instructor/company must pay for each course hour certified. The Colleges in Texas want the continuing ed to stay off-line, too. Otherwise they lose money. It's a racket.

The State also charges a $30 fee to send a certificate for all the continuing ed a doc takes. I can only imagine how much money the system generates for the state.

To top it all off, the Board publishes all the doctors names every year who are fined. They don't say why they were fined--just that they're fined. So docs who were late on continuing ed are in the same category as the doc doing something really bad. Nice.

Duke Drama

Betsy has a good round-up. She mentions an ESPN piece by Jon Pessah (via KC Johnson) that I hadn't seen that explores how the case affects six people--players, coaches, professors.

You know, I think this Nifong guy is going to go to the ropes over this case. And you know what? I have flashes of the O.J. reverse. If the jury can be set up to Nifong's satisfaction, these boys will be hung before they're tried no matter how feeble the evidence.

While the boys at the New York Times opined about race and privilege, they meant exactly opposite the problem being exposed in Durhum. There is a bias against white, educated, athletic, "in crowd", popular men. These guys are the younger version of the stereotype it's okay to hate in America--they're just not fat, bald and in senior managment, yet. If they can be stopped while they're young, though, the world will be saved! Why, Mike Nifong is doing everyone a favor: one of these guys could be a future President Bush.

As long as college towns have existed the "Townies" have hated students. Sometimes for good reason. More often, it is simply malicious jealousy. If you read some of the history, you'll see that a couple of the police officers in Durham made sport of putting students picked up for some drunken misdemeanor into a cell with hardened criminals.

While Mike Nifong and his keystone cops exploit this case and seem to be making a sport of the whole thing, lives are at stake. Reputations are at stake.

And the biggest loser of this case, ultimately? Women. This case is having a chilling effect on truly traumatized women coming forward to press charges. More men, true criminals, will get away with rape in the future because of this. And that is what upsets me most about this case.

Background here and here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Instapundit: Canadian Censorship

No longer unbelievable: liberals censoring satire. Because they have NO SENSE OF HUMOR! (Oh, and they are wrong all the time and that is tiring, too. And losing elections sucks....)

Glenn says: "That's been their pattern, I believe. It only makes the satirist's point, of course."

This is the site troubling their delicate sensibilities. Funny as heck, enjoy!

Welcome to the Nuclear Club, Iran, You Widdle Fuzzballs You

Yer soooo cute! We'd like to invite you into our clubhouse, but don't give out the secret password. Or the handshake either. And, don't blow up the clubhouse, even though that's what you've said you want to do. We don't really believe you, 'cuz you have, like, the totally hottest hair!!!!! Plus, you totally hate Satan, Bushchimpy, as much as we do, which makes you like super-double-special cool!! We lurve you!


Robert Baer writing an Op-Ed for the New York Daily News writes:

This leads to an unavoidable conclusion: if Iran stalls instead of dealing - and all indications are that this is exactly what they are going to do - the world is wasting time with anything short of a military strike aimed at Iran's growing nuclear infrastructure.

Otherwise, we will be complicit in welcoming Ahmadinejad's regime into the nuclear club. Exactly how soon that will happen, no one knows - but no one who cares about the region's security should be content to wait and find out.

Why? Because a nuclear Iran would pose a genuinely apocalyptic hazard to the world. In Washington today, it is fashionable to pay this notion lip service - but few people seem to genuinely believe it.

Deterrence worked during the Cold War because both the United States and the Soviet Union were governed by common assumptions of rationality. Iran, to the contrary, flatly calls for "wiping Israel off the map" - a call that itself is a violation of the Genocide Convention of 1948. Given Iran's recent actions - arming Hezbollah and fomenting sectarian murder in Iraq - we can only imagine how they would throw their weight around the region with a nuclear weapon in their arsenal.

Let's stop kidding ourselves. Iran must be stopped immediately from acquiring atomic arms, and this can only be accomplished through what international law calls "anticipatory self-defense."

Getting Fired: The Best Way to Advance Your Career

Tom Cruise is finding out what many others have to: that the courage it takes to leave a less-than-great-but-okay gig sometimes eludes us and a kick in the butt can help. The hook needs to pull us off-stage to find a better one down the road. Looks like he found a better stage.

Readers of my blog know that I'm no Cruise fanatatic. But I don't hate the guy either. He's just another weird Hollywood actor. More than the couch-jumping episode (definitely weird), I think his derision for antidepressants pissed off the 50% of brain-addled Americans using them to make it through the day thus his declining popularity.

Give me a break. He's young and still cute. He has a good long career ahead of him. Same with Mel Gibson. He is so NOT done. A good shave, some rehab, a better attitude and old Mel will ride the success train again. As far as he goes, I think that Hollywood was irritated/alarmed more at the fact that he made a crap-load of money outside of their inbred, old-school system with an avante-guard movie that was more documentary than special effects. The anti-semitism was secondary. Hollywood, as we have seen over the past few years, hasn't seemed particularly concerned with anti-semitism--at least when its delivered by Muslims who hate Bush as much as they do.

Stuart Taylor Jr.: (New York Times) Witness for the (Duke Rape) Prosecution?

The Slate tagline is "How the New York Times is still victimizing innocent Dukies." I was enraged by the same NYT piece and posted on it. This Slate article is more articulate and comprehensive than what I wrote, but covers the same territory.

The Wilson-Glater piece highlights every superficially incriminating piece of evidence in the case, selectively omits important exculpatory evidence, and reports hotly disputed statements by not-very-credible police officers and the mentally unstable accuser as if they were established facts. With comical credulity, it features as its centerpiece a leaked, transparently contrived, 33-page police sergeant's memo that seeks to paper over some of the most obvious holes in the prosecution's evidence.
He goes on to say why this is so. Very much worth reading. Or, just read KC Johnson or Liestoppers who had the news first and were so kind as to link to my post.

H/T Instapundit

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jeff Goldstein: How Useful Idiots are Made

Could a lost propaganda war force Israel into conceding to a cease-fire that is bad for them? And did they lose the propaganda war because the press is so biased they cannot even see the truth in front of them?

SF Car Rampage Terrorism?

It could be.

Ford: Idealized Mediocrity in Advertising

The number one marketing tool is a smiling face. People respond positively to happy, shiny people which is why so many ads feature shiny, happy, (and often semi-naked) people. Sex sells too.

Why would the Ford Motor Company defy this marketing rule and create a sad-sack advertisement featuring a divorced couple and their children? Slate (where I first saw this travesty of advertising) calls it: The Divorcemobile. Please go to this link, watch it, and tell me what you think. Here's the set-up:

The Spot: A family drives through some gorgeous hills and along a pretty coastline, making picturesque stops at a roadside farm stand and a beach. "The Ford Freestyle crossover," says the voiceover. "More than 500 miles on a tank of gas." Then the SUV pulls to a stop in front of a housing complex, where the dad gets out with his luggage. "Thanks for inviting me this weekend," he says to the mom. He hugs his kids, they say their goodbyes ("See you next week"), and the SUV drives off—leaving Dad by his lonesome. "Bold moves. They happen every day," concludes the announcer.

This is perhaps the weirdest commercial I've covered in this column. It is a freakish mash-up, blending a classically boring car ad with a bizarre stab at social commentary. I can't for the life of me see what Ford hopes to achieve here.

A couple things occurred to me with this ad:
  1. A woman's standard of living goes down after divorce, not up. The person likely living in what Slate article writer Seth Stevenson calls the "Recent Divorcé Condo Complex" would be the woman, not the man.
  2. Likewise, what recently divorced woman goes out and buys a new vehicle? She might buy a used minivan, but a hot new SUV? Puhleeeze. Unless she's divorcing Donald Trump, her immediate worry is getting her job skills polished because she either needs to move up professionally or prepare to enter the work world for the first time after many years out of it.
  3. The guy character is written completely pathetic. He mouths the words "thank you" to his teary wife. Alone and forlorn, he waves good-bye to his cherubic children. While this characterization might be accurate about the devastation divorce brings to families, is this devastation going to sell Fords? My association with the Ford Freestyle is misery. I don't need to buy that, there's enough misery in life as is, thank you very much.
  4. If there is that much love between these two people, why are they divorced? Along this lines, Stevenson says:
    The wife invites her estranged husband along for a weekend with their kids? Won't that make the poor kids hope for a reconciliation? You'd better know what you're doing here, Mom! And while we see Dad's overnight bag, we don't see the inevitable argument over whether he and Mom will share a motel room. ("I can't even afford my own room with these alimony payments!"; "I told you this was about the kids, not us!"; "Emasculating witch!"; "Quiet, the children!" This is the sort of thing the ad leaves out.)
Here is the meta-message though: don't hope for an ideal, settle for average. You're not a bad person just because you couldn't make it work. You're trying your best. Don't worry, everyone is like you. No one else is happy either.

It might be annoying to see all the happy couples portrayed in ads, but the advertisments are idealized versions of ourself. People don't like buying reality. They are living reality. Just like they don't like buying reality at the movie theater. People like happy endings.

Along the same lines, morbidly obese women don't sell clothing. Now, a healthy size 12 woman who is six feet tall might be considered a "plus-size model", but in real life she just looks normal. What I'm saying is that you don't put average, ugly, fat people in ads because people are buying an ideal. It's what they want. Most likely, it's what they want, because it is not what they have.

So, people buy a new car, home, clothes to redefine and glamorize their mediocre, average life. No one wants to buy a vehicle because it's "the vehicle of sad sack divorced people", do they? No one wants to buy a vehicle because it's what fat people, stupid people, ugly people buy, either.

They want to "Be Like Mike". (See if you can spot even one unhappy person in the ad. You just feel good watching it.) People want fun, like "It's more fun in a Mini." People what to be "it"--as in "Coke is It".

Sadness. Separation. Insecurity. Not the words I'd want associated with my product.

This Ford Ad reflects the morose grasping at survival that has set in at this struggling company. I can assure them, that where they see a socially cutting-edge contribution to the modern psyche, I see a company trying to portray divorce as some idealized "life choice" that is anything but to anyone involved.

I hope this isn't where advertising is going. It won't matter all that much to me. I rarely watch TV anymore anyway.

"I have a right to be Muslim, and I don't have to assimilate."

American Muslims assimilating? Don't be so sure:

Ismahan recalled similar experiences. In elementary school, she had tried to fit in. As an adult, though, "I know I don't have to fit in," she said. "I don't think Muslims have to assimilate. We are not treated like Americans. At work, I get up from my desk and go to pray. I thought I would face opposition from my boss. Even before I realized he didn't mind, I thought, 'I have a right to be a Muslim, and I don't have to assimilate.' "

Via Instapundit

JonBenet "Killer" Demonstrates "Press Caution" A Non-Sequiter

Press Caution is hilarious......Unless of course, the object of the investigation is Bill Clinton. Remember, it was Drudge who broke that story. The press decided to be cautious because the allegations were against a "sitting" (Democrat) President. Press Caution is laughable, unless of course, the object of the investigation is anyone Muslim killing Israelis and Americans. Remember, it was LGF that broke the whole doctoring photos, making news story.

Regular peeps? Regular creeps? No caution necessary. Rush in for ratings! Wham, bam, but no apologies to fellow Americans left hanging. In fact, the Press turns around to blame anyone they can because they were misled. You have got to be kidding.

Meanwhile, after a few hours of thinking about it, most bloggers I read were suspicious and very cautious. Hardly any outrageous coverage. I am probably more excitable than most and here were my three posts over the last two weeks:

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

JonBenet Ramsey Murder Suspect Arrested
So it wasn't the Ramseys. Can you imagine the grief of losing your child and being falsely accused of murder. How do you ever get your life back? Her mom didn't. posted by Dr. Melissa @ 5:26 PM

Thursday, August 17, 2006

JonBenet's Killer.....Maybe?

Holy crap! Look at his resume via Jeff Goldstein (h/t SarahW, via Ace)

-Private Teacher / Caregiver (2002-03 in Western Europe) as follows:

Germany: Three girls - 7, 11, and 12: I taught English to the girls through conversational and instructional methods.
I gave computer instruction to the girls via their laptop PC's. I drove the girls to their activities: ballet, riding,
handball, etc. I assisted the girls with their homework.

Germany: Two girls - 5 and 8; boy 10: I taught English to the children through conversational and instructional
methods. I awoke the children in the morning and gave them breakfast. I helped the children get ready for school
and escorted them to the school bus. I helped the 8 year old girl with her homework each day. I took the children
outside for play. At days end, I made sure the children had their evening bath, then put them to bed and read to
them before they went to sleep.

Netherlands: Baby girl 9 months, boy 3, and girl 4: I taught English to the three year old boy and four year old girl,
through conversational and instructional methods. I was very attentive to needs of the baby which included
changing, feeding, and bathing her. I helped the baby when she learned to walk at 10 and a half months. I fostered
independence in the children's activities.
How many children did this psycho harm? Look at the ages of the children.

Friday, August 18, 2006

JonBenet: The Press Needent Apologize Just Yet

I agree. Read this piece about why that is so. (H/T Instapundit) You know, even now, John Ramsey's reaction is all caution and weirdly worded press releases. Wouldn't you be THRILLED to know the perpetrator was coming to justice? Something is wrong with these people. There is no question the dude they picked up is a nut, but.....something still ain't right. Ann Althouse has more on that.
posted by Dr. Melissa @ 2:35 PM
Now, the post I linked to by Ann Althouse said this:

Is this just an obsessive guy craving his 15 minutes of fame?"

"Do we have a wack-job or a murderer?"

My guess: wack-job.

MORE: If I were writing a work of fiction inspired by this man, I would make him a good man tortured by pedophilic urges he knows are wrong, struggling all his life to resist them, struggling -- so far -- successfully, but feeling he has reached the limit of his strength, and choosing now to confess, falsely, to killing a little girl whose image he really has fallen in love with, to make the authorities come and get him and lock him away, so that he can never hurt hurt anyone, as he has, in fact, never hurt anyone.
So within two days, major questions were being raised, theories considered. What was the Mainstream press doing?

An MSNBC search brings up fifty posts from the past few weeks and over 30,000 on JonBenet.
That is just one media outlet. Go through CNN, ABC, CBS, and see what you find. And yet, information like this is out there and well-known. You would think that it would give them some pause, but no.

The Press is picky and choosy about their coverage. Is it sensational? Will it make them money? Will it support a cause they believe in--almost any Democrat that is liberal enough and hates Bush and shows it will be under significantly less scrutiny--and diminish "enemies"?

I would be thrilled to have the JonBenet murderer caught. In fact, I was excited about a killer being caught and tried, and saddened that a mother under suspician wouldn't have the satisfaction of seeing this through. And then, the story stunk.

The problem, I think, is that the evidence points to the fact that true killer, she just may be dead. That fact should bring some caution to the news people. But it doesn't. Heck, you'd think the stupid DA would exhibit some caution.

Caution, in the cut-throat world of media, is a curse word.

(A note: I updated the post because the block-quote from MSNBC was causing formatting problems. I deleted them for better viewing. You can get to the article titles and synopses by the link. -Ed.)

"Katrina Probably Saved 50,000 Lives"

Via Gateway Pundit, over at Wizbang, read about how faulty engineering of NOLA's levee caused the breech. He has great video and commentary.

Here is what Wizbang says:

The bottom line is, Katrina's storm surge did not wash the wall away. As you may remember, water had been seeping under the floodwall at the break location for about a year before Katrina. The ground under the levee was soaked and ready to give at any moment...

New Orleans was doomed with or without Katrina, we just didn't know it. A good high tide puts more water in the canal than this. As the video shows, the water was barely higher than normal levels. The walls could have failed on a decent high tide.

From the looks of the video the fact the wall failed when Katrina was approaching was really coincidence. Yes, Katrina was the "final straw" but so could any winds from the southeast. Or any given winter storm. (we often get winds out the south that "stack" the lake far higher than this.) Indeed these same walls held much higher surges in the past; that is, before they were undermined by seeping water for a year.

Ironically the same flawed walls are incrementally safer now. We'll never have water seeping under them for a year and nobody doing anything. The flaw(s) is still there but now we can compensate for it more effectively. The right answer, of course, is to replace them.

What I will say next will probably completely throw you. Katrina saved probably over 50,000 lives.

That levee was doomed. If it had failed without notice, the death toll would have been measured in tens of thousands. There would be no evacuation, no preparation, no Feds at all. (such that they were anyway) no Coast Guard in choppers etc. Tens of thousands of people would have been dead in hours and tens of thousands more would have died on 120 degree rooftops waiting for rescue. It would have been unimaginable. - More unimaginable.

"Luckily" -and I groan when I say that- Katrina allowed the city to be evacuated.

As an outsider, though, I look at the above picture of New Orleans, and I still believe it is insanity to rebuild New Orleans. Certifiable. I'm not alone in this opinion. Not that it matters.

We do need New Orleans as a port-city, but do we need 100,000 people living below sea level? And if scientists are to be believed (which I'm not sure they should be) hurricanes will continue to increase.

Here's what Brendan Loy says about that, too:
I have to put a caveat here. Ironically, the strucutral weakness of the levees means that the true “worst-scase scenario” wasn’t actually realistic, since it involved — in my words — “not a levee breach equalizing the water level in Lake Ponchartrain and ‘Lake New Orleans,’ but rather a storm surge over-topping the levees and causing the water level in ‘Lake New Orleans,’ hemmed in by the still-intact levees, to rise substantially higher than the water level in the lake.” Given what we know now, I think it’s safe to say that there’s no way would the levees have remained intact, so even if Katrina had hit New Orleans directly as a major hurricane, the water wouldn’t have been “hemmed in.” Just as an inadequately secured cockpit door would become an asset if the pilots were terrorists, New Orleans’s inadequately built levees would have become an asset if overtopping had occurred.

Wizbang's Paul thinks we should cut Nagin more slack. I'm not so sure about that, either. The man continues to dither when clear strategy and moving forward needs to happen. And yes, Nagin points at New York as a failure five years later, but the comparison is stupid. 250,000 people weren't displaced by 9/11. And he has already demonstrated a problem with misspending taxpayer dollars.

I have posted over and over during 2005-06 about Katrina, and Rita, too. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the whole thing but there is one you should take home and keep in your heart and spur you to action:

You cannot count on the government in case of severe emergency. You must be prepared yourself, to the best of your ability.

Glenn Reynolds took a lot of crap the yesterday for saying just this. What about the poor and sick? Even they must have one contact person. At least that, to make sure they have someone to help them. If they don't/can't do even that, hopefully they are in a hospital or care facility where they are being taken care of by someone else

All I know is this: a hell of a lot of cars got destroyed in New Orleans while 80,000 (stupid) people remained. The people who had to remain, who were stuck, did meander down to the Dome. What about the rest? The fact is, a lot of stay-behind people engaged in "magical thinking" and believed the city would be spared. The results of this magical thinking, unfortunately could be death. My brother calls that Darwinism.

Don't move back to New Orleans. Don't live in a city buried by water, save for a few government workers. It's folly. It's like living on the edge of an active volcano that may erupt any time. And then it erupts and then we rebuild?


Mary Katherine Ham: "Why we don't believe you"

Over at Townhall, read a nice summation of the recent press atrocities and why the Right doesn't believe, or trust, I might add, the media.

A regular reader and recent visitor of mine wasn't aware of the "green helmet guy", wasn't aware of the news staging by Hezbollah, various media outlets, etc. even though I have covered them in real time over the last month. For more go here, here, here, and here. Or, just read Ham's analysis linked above.

This was the response I got when I said, "You don't know Green Helmet Guy?" (I showed the pic of him stealing brewskis in NOLA. "That's just wrong," said he. He's everywhere, that guy.)

Conflicted Leftist: [Sighing, wearied by the facts.] "No. I had never heard of Green Helmet Guy "

Me: "Dude, he's like everywhere. It started out not funny, but it's funny now. Unless you still trust the press."

Conflicted Leftist: [Tortured yelling, ala "STELLA!"] "Isn't it enough that you people have all three branches of the government?!? Must you have the press TOO?!? Everything is a conspiracy with you people. How can you RUN EVERYTHING and still be a VICTIM?!!!! "

He then plug his ears with his index fingers and started yelling "la la, la la! I can't hear you!!" This made others of us laugh, which is kinda mean.

Monday, August 28, 2006

"Western Guilt"

And so we have Islamic fascists exploiting the postmodern rhetorical assumptions of a western socialist / progressivist left in order to bring about the spread of totalitarianism.
Jeff Goldstein's summation of the nature of these widdle world event thingies that end up in hurling bombs and testing nukes and wiping out countries, yadda, yadda, yadda. No big whup.

Manic-Depression, Bi-Polar Female Suffers of Childbearing Age: MEDICATION ALERT!!!

I am reprinting this PsychCentral blog post by Sandra Klume in its entirety. I'm not sure of their blog's readership and this information needs to reach far more people.

Nutshell: Valproate, an anti-convulsive med that is a first line treatment for Bi-Polar causes birth defects or death to the baby in 20% of cases. You read that right: ONE out of FIVE women will have babies that suffer severe harm. This med should NEVER be used in women of child-bearing age. Period.

Valproate (brand names Depakote, Epival, Epilim and others worldwide) is linked to an alarming rate of serious congenital anatomical and cognitive defects, and deaths, in babies with in utero exposure. Valproate is used to treat epilepsy but is also a first-line mood stabilizer for bipolar disorders, and prescribed for migraine.

The Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (NEAD) ongoing study is assessing risks with three other drugs tagged as antiepileptics/anticonvulsants as well as mood stabilizers, including lamotrigine and carbemazepine (both also first-line bipolar meds), and a recent article involves data collected 1999-2004 at 25 epilepsy centres. Lamotrigine had a very low incidence of serious adverse effects (1%) while valproate emerged with 20%. For women who may become pregnant the benefits of treatment options must be reconsidered.

“What’s really overwhelming about this finding is not our single study per se, but the sheer volume of evidence [linking valproate to adverse outcomes in infants], all of which has emerged just in the past 2 years,” said Dr. Meador.

“The trouble is, all of this work has been published in specialty journals, so it is unlikely that primary care physicians [and psychiatrists?] are getting the message,” he said. “The word needs to get out that the drug has a 10% to 20% risk of birth defects. This is a clinically important piece of evidence that physicians need to know about.”

Read more in MedScape’s plainly-titled article Valproate Should Not Be Used as First-Line Therapy in Women of Childbearing Age, or if you have subscriber access, read the research article In utero antiepileptic drug exposure: Fetal death and malformations, Meador et al. 2006, Neurology.

It’s neurology news at MedScape, and mainstream news (like Reuters) don’t mention bipolar. I also haven’t seen it yet from bipolar news sources. That maybe speaks against the arbitrary separation of brain disorders and disciplines. Other treatments for epilepsy now used for depression include cutting-edge neurotechnology like the vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS). No birth defects reported with those.

Please, forward this post to anyone you may know in this situation. This important news was not picked up anywhere that I saw. I nearly missed this myself.

Gender of Teacher Affects Student Learning

Girls learn better from women. Boys learn better from men. So says this Washington Post article cited by Will Meek at Psych Central.

That's the upshot of a provocative study by Thomas Dee, an associate professor of economics at Swarthmore College and visiting scholar at Stanford University. His study was to appear Monday in Education Next, a quarterly journal published by the Hoover Institution.
Interesting. Only problem? The only male teacher my son is taught by is the gym teacher. Not enough to outweigh the female influence, I suspect.

Ann Althouse: Teasing Saddam "We Should Be Above That"

So what of it? Is it wrong to needle helpless prisoners even one particular prisoner's initials is Saddam Hussein? Soldiers evidently have the South Park movie on a loop for Saddam Why-Didn't-You-Just-Kill-Me-When-You-Had-A-Chance Hussein.

Does it matter that the heckled prisoner is Saddam?

As for abuse: at the local Welfare office there is a video on a loop saying things like "If you are fraudulantly taking payments you will be prosecuted" in a deadpan voice and repeated over and over and over all day long. Is that abusive to needy people? Kinda like kicking them while they're down?

Commenter Sam says:

Cripes. I can't imagine a moral universe where law professors defend the imprisoned Saddam Hussein from teasing that pales in comparison to that routinely absorbed by fat twelve-year-olds.

Actually, having his dignity defended by sissy moralists must be as least as humililiating as a South Park episode. Stop it, Ann. Your motherly coddling of Saddam cruelly mocks his swarthy manliness. Have you no decency?

Do You Get the First Ammendment?

If you are confused, Betsy has help.

Feminization of America? No, the Neuterization of America

Warning: Long post. I'm still working on the ideas herein.

This post is an essay about how a "neuterized" America creates social chaos that eventually affects political, social and defense policy. (By the way the word "neuterizing" does not officially exist. I suggest that the definition be: eliminating both the male and female gender tendencies in an attempt to create an androgynous utopian society.)
Women and Men are Different
This weekend I read a wonderful post by The Anchoress about her protective, strong sons and big, burly men as dance partners. She talks about the joy of the sense of being protected in a man's embrace.

It is a strong desire for a woman to be protected and cared for by a man. Most women, anyway. The rest are tied up in knots trying to be everything to everyone and needing nothing from no one no how. And even still, feminist women prefer that their men make more than them and are taller than them. Why the arbitrariness of more money and height? Feminists would say socialization. I would say 'cuz we're made that way. And who cares anyway? It is what it is.

Why fight it? Viva la differance!

Last year, when we watched Hurricane Rita march up the Gulf and into Galveston, I wrote about my gratitude for all the men. Big, strong, serious, protective men doing the grocery shopping (going out and hunting food and fighting off competition to feed the brood), boarding up homes (buzz saws and bolts, sweat and muscle and mission), and loading up the guns, and procuring the water and "hunkering down" (the press's favorite phrase) for the coming storm.

Men don't get the opportunity to demonstrate manliness much anymore in everyday life. Oh, there's the softball league ("three homers hon"), or dove hunting ("I shot me fifteen birds!") and of course, the getting into a stare-down with the IRS. Bah. Modern life just doesn't showcase a man in all his manly glory like the old days. There are bright exceptions: a shirtless, muscles-rippling bearhug given to children "helping" to wash the car. Now that's manly. And rather exciting to this old wife. But I digress.

The Anchoress linked to this post by Fausta and she says this (the whole post is worth reading and pondering) about why life is hard for men:

The Church of Oprah
One of the central tenets of the Church of Oprah is that women are inherently better than men. A corollary of that is that women are more nurturing than men.

This point of view has been erroneously based on the fact that men are not women.

While the women's movement might want to believe that men are hirsute women with different plumbing, they are mistaken. No matter how they cut it, one fact remains
Men are not women, and women are not men.
That doesn't mean they have nothing in common, either. A former Oprah protege has made piles of money - has actually created an industry - out of the premise "men are from Mars and women are from Venus" (if you want to look it up, knock yourself out, I'm not linking to it). Nonsense. Women and men are made of the same clay. Just because men are not women doesn't mean they come from another planet.

Jeff Foxworthy has said "Men are simple creatures. They want a beer, and they want to see something naked" which, if you ask the average Joe, is true. Let's divide Jeff's statement in two parts and see what this means, in Oprahspeak:
a. "they want a beer": men don't like to talk about their feelings. In fact, the more you insist that a man discuss his feelings at length, the more he will resent you. Since the Church of Oprah is based on confessional feelings, this invariably leads to problems among its adherents. Rather than fill six verbal pages of conversation about his feelings, a man will rather sit down, have a beer and enjoy a moment of emotional peace and quiet. That's what Jeff means by "they want a beer".

b. "they want to see something naked": they do because it's in their wiring. As Ron White put it, "once you've seen a naked woman, you want to see them all."
Men and women have been having sex with each other without love for as long as there've been men and women. However, while I have known two severely emotionally damaged women who truly loved men and not desire them, I've never even heard of a man who did not desire the woman he loved. A man may not love a woman he desires, but a man can not not desire a woman he loves. That's just the way it works.
(see also this gentleman's comment)
I've always loved men. This statement may seem absurd. Of course, Melissa, you love men. You've been married over 15 years. True. But how many married, and single, women do you know who despise men? Bitter with disappointment because the man doesn't measure up to some feminized Oprah ideal, women try to make over their man, or any man, into something he can't be.

Now this is not to excuse borish, horrible behavior. Can we just agree that rape is out of bounds behavior? It's understood, right?

The reason I say this, is because I received this anonymous (shocking) comment in regards to the latest Duke Rape case info coming out of the New York Times. First, I took issue with the Time's writers emphasis and editorial, and second, I took issue with the portrayal of the Lacrosse Players and alleged victim. Here is what the commenter said:
Not very many Non-misandry feminist can stand you. Most recognize you as a joke.
What is a "Non-misandry feminist", first of all? I am not: "not a man-hater". This term is negative to start. The better word might be pro-andry (for men) or androphilia (man-loving--although the latter term is used to denote sexuality--which would be true in my case--but has been co-opted by the transgendered to clarify their ambiguous sexuality.) More semantic gymnastics that confuse and obfuscate understood meanings and accepted norms.

And what of the charged word "feminist"? I am definitely pro-woman. But feminist means all kinds of politics and ideologies I don't identify myself with. Pro-gyny? Wow, that's awfully close to progeny, isn't it? Any consistent reader of my blog knows that I support women's equal rights, but "egalitarianism" stops short because while it is evident to me that men and women have equal value, they are not the same.

What I object to in our modern society is painting normal male behavior and normal female behavior as bad. Women "breeders" are painted as parasitic, no-minds intent on living off of society and men, as opposed to contributing through the loving rearing of children as their first priority. Men "aggressors" are painted as unevolved Neanderthals intent on bringing women low with abuse, rape and domination.

The above view is insane. The most unique and lovely aspect of womanhood (bearing and caring for children) is vilified. The most unique and impressive aspect of men ( protecting and providing for the family) is vilified.

All this doesn't mean that women can't work. Or that women can't provide for their family. Or that men can't nurture. Or that men can't care. Fiddlesticks! The manifestation of providing, caring, nurturing just tends to look different from men to women. Big shock! They're different. There are genetic, Darwinian, and/or created, and/or intelligently designed, tendancies that ensure our species survival. Men don't have a uterus and women don't have a .... Do I have to spell this out?

Part of the problem for men today, is that their aggressive, conquering nature is minimized by women hoping men will be like them. So rather than channelling and harnessing this raw energy, it is denied and vilified.

A friend of ours who is an ex-professional sports player lamented that men in real-life can't "sort things out simply anymore". He was mystified and irritated with the back-stabbing, cruel, sabotaging behavior in his current professional life at a Tech firm that he thought could best be solved by "taking it outside and then be done with it". It worked really well in sports, he said. Clarified things.

All this leads me to a comment that MaxedOutMama brought up that she "feared the feminization of our culture". I have been pondering this notion, but I'm not sure it's quite right. I think the modern feminist movement has pushed a neuterization of our culture.

The essence of femaleness, the essence of masculinity is being pressed through an androgynous mould where we end up with wussified metrosexuals (all grooming and sexual grazing) and butch babes (all power grabs and gonads).

The emphasis both ways is self and self-gratification, either through money accumulation and/or sexual conquest. Is this the ideal those bent on gender-equity have fought for, lo, all these years? That men and women are essentially flawed and must "evolve" into one genderless, narcisstic being?

I'm not sure this "neuterization" was the goal, but that is where we are in America now. The result has been confused, used, materialistically wealthy and spiritually empty people seeking meaning everywhere but where it can be found: through faith, family and fidelity.

How did neuterization happen?
Modern feminists aren't alone in bringing about gender neuterization. Social policies put forth by "free love" men and women started a revolution with significant unintended consequences.

Men, more than women, supported (and support) abortion, because, in my view, they were (and continue to be) the chief beneficiaries. The social stigma associated with being pregnant out of wedlock (doesn't that sound quaint?), and resulting marriage crimped a man's "playuh" style and his selfish budget forever. Women forced to marry the father of their baby (the euphamism "fetus" wasn't heavily used back in the day) was stuck with an often (not always) less-than-desirable marriage candidate (demonstrating little self-control, little respect) and divorce was considered shameful. So, in a sense, they both reaped what they soed. They often struggled financially because education and advancement got short-circuited. They often were young and overwhelmed.

And still, society benefitted. Children were generally raised with their biological mom and dad. They often were surrounded by extended family, the ones who enforced the "shot gun marriage". It might not have been pleasant all the time, but at least a whole subclass of women trying to be the mother and the father didn't exist as a huge chunk of the population--25% now of white children are raised without their fathers.

Because abortion short-circuits the man's attachment to the mother of his child, men grow callous to women and view them as a means to getting a sexual need met, nothing more. They view responsibility to the woman or child with contempt, because they no longer control when and if that responsibility happens. It used to be that they could assume that they would have to "make it right". The "shot-gun marriage" enforced positive changes in unchecked male behavior. Men enjoyed the provider and protector status. This assumption helped to make men men. Predatory behavior was shamed. (I'm not saying it never happened.)

Now, they may or may not be held responsible by a woman they may or may not love. No one likes to be helpless. And no one likes to live with consequences they don't believe is their problem to accept. Thus the new men's rights movement, which is just a code-phrase for "leave all children behind". While the men and women run around feverishly protecting their "rights", guess who is the pawn in the war? It's not like some car or debt is being faught over, it's a person.

Because abortion short-circuits a woman's attachment to herself, women grow callous to children and view them as a noose rather than a blessing. They despise their own bodies and force a detachment to their own creative life-force. They view men as the perpetrator of a crime when inpregnated. They view men through the spectrum of sexual satisfaction disrupted by an unintended side-effect.

A woman can bring home the bacon, fry it, love a man and leave him, until she has enough notches in her belt to decide to accomplish a child. Or she might decided to "keep" the unintended "fetus" because "the time is right" for her. She has joined men in the love 'em and leave 'em club, except she must divorce her own body to do it.

The resulting human being (this is not a stock portfolio or hamburger being created afterall) must be cared for, but by whom? The child is then put in daycare. There may or may not be a man needed for more than the conceiving part of child accomplishment.

A woman is less than if she wants to care for the child. She is parasitic. She has bought the hype that only a dupe would want to breed and nurture. She pumps her breasts for as long as she can stand it. She finds a day care. She works, unwilling to forgo her career. Why should she?

A man is less than if he wants to work and support the family and show his love by doing this. He is less than if he wants to show his kids how to turn a wrench and wrestle roughly. He must accept that the woman may or may not have the baby. He must accept that he may or may not be involved with the raising of the baby. He must communicate like a girl and think like a woman if he is to gain entry into the family home.

This ambiguity creates a social mess. All around America today, women attempt the impossible: to be a mother and a father. All around America today, men displaying hyper-aggressive dominance and death-tempting criminality are viewed in some sections as "manly" or they simply don't exist or they are passive by-standers in their family's life.

Children today are being neither adequately feminized or masculinized.
They are being institutionalized.
The institutionalization results in Neuterizing.
Children, divided between divorced parents with no consistent role models suffer. Children, the results of selfish parents refusing to change their career paths and life choices, to, heaven forbid "sacrifice" lack present role models. Children, introduced to groups of children as infants, cannot possibly receive the one-on-one attention that a devoted mother can give. Higher-order notions such as love or belonging needs are silly notions when eating and safety needs are barely met. Kids are working in survival mode. Their parents are too.

The result is atrophy of the family and of positive feminine and masculine role models: a society ambivalent about everything. Neuterization.

Neuterization & Public Policy
We are a double-minded America. Uncomfortable with shows of force, uncomfortable with shows of sacrifice, we are dithering to destruction.

Sacrifice for others, putting another human being's needs above our own (a feminine trait) is scorned. Any woman who has given birth knows that she must surrender her body to the birth of that child. Many interventions throughout pregnancy and birth are just a metaphor for avoiding the nurturing, female, surrendering aspect of self.

Conversely, the authoritarian use of power is almost uniformly scorned as well. There is no notion of misuse or abuse of power. Power itself is to be condemned and avoided.

The politically correct view is that children don't need their moms or their dads and that women don't need men.

This translates into the modern secular worldview: no one should have to sacrifice their own desires (socialism) to nurture those in need (elders, children, family, spouses) and no one should ever use power to affect change (pacifism)--punishment, war. Some have called all this "rational egoism", but I dont' think that philosophy goes far enough.

Hatred for both the essential uniqueness of men and women have created a hostile environment for all people. The unintended consequences of neuterizing--both men and women feel betrayed by their innate gender tendencies and with their self-loathing project this hatred on society.

Maureen Dowd is a perfect neuterized example. Things like lipstick and stillettos and sex substitute for feminity. She is liberated, but still considers herself "feminine" because of superficialities. She's enslaved by destructive dogma. Unable to connect for fear of self-loss. Unable to procreate for fear of surrender to something bigger. Distrustful of both men and women, she has locked herself in a neuterized world where the only reason for sexual plumbing is sex--all other gender traits must be expunged. Need, connection, relying, perhaps, on a man's strength would diminish, rather than compliment her. Why, today's woman is essentially a man in drag, strong, costumed jeweled and wearing four-inch platforms.

Simple social acts entwined in society become gut-wrenching dilemmas: should she allow him to open the door, pay for a bill, lead the conversation, lead a dance? Should she sleep with him on the first date? Should she want a relationship or is that a set-up for disappointment. Just have fun?

For a man, does even wanting a relationship enslave a woman? Should he open the door, pay the bill, wait on sex out of respect? Will he be viewed as an old-fashioned putz? Will he be viewed as not manly? Will he be viewed as aggressive? A throw-back?

And don't get me started on the waxing Dandies, delicately brushing out their Beemer, careful to not sully their suit, while preparing to go get a massage after talking to their shrink for an hour. Far too many men wouldn't know what to do with a chain-saw or a lawn-mower or any other implement used to fix something.

And how do these trends genralize to society?

Do we put predators in prison or hang them (heavens no!) or do we "rehabilitate" them? Do we legalize sex with 12 year olds or younger? All people are sexual.

Do we wage war against someone who might dominate us? But isn't that dominating? That would be aggressive. That would be wrong. We need to use words, not swords.

Some say that our society is too feminized. But I don't think so. I don't believe the true essence of feminity is any more honored than the true essence of masculinity. No, our society is neuterized. Driftless on the gender sea, uncomfortable with who and what we are, eliminating our discomfort by eliminating fetuses and any other evidence that men and women are different.

The problem: gender differences ensure our survival not only as a species but as a society, but there is a concerted effort to create a neuterized utopian society. Sameness equals goodness. For some, clinging to supposedly "outmoded" notions of gender uniqueness is archaic and an attempt to subjugate women and elevate men.

Is it any wonder this country is at war with itself?

America: Just Like Sweden

Hey socialists and secret commies: this may be disappointing news for your notion of social and economic justice American-capitalistic (pig) style.

H/T Instapundit

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Fox Newsman Released After Converting to Islam & Bribe is Paid

What an ordeal. Michelle Malkin has everything.

You know those scared CNN news reporters in Iraq? They stayed, they just didn't report the truth because they were afraid?

Do you think it was any accident that FOX reporters were kidnapped? The other news organizations rightly fear for their lives and adjust their reporting accordingly.

That is not news. These Western organizations become a propaganda arm of terrorist organizations. The feed filth to the West and do it with moral superiority, so sure of their safety and freedom at home.

It makes me sick. It must stop.

Ernesto Watch II

Brendan Loy has more. He says that if the hurricane hugs Florida, it shouldn't be as bad because the gulf waters next to Florida aren't as warm.

Just looking at the map, I wonder if hurricanes like warmer water and are drawn to it, kinda like they need High Pressure systems to move out of the way. I know nothing about weather and it's causes, but the water temps and changes in the ionic charge must do something. But this is just ramblings from a rather limited science background.

By the way, we do have a hurrican prep kit. Still need to go get a few lamps, more duct tape, more sheeting, more water, and buy a gun. Why do I put these things off? The baby books are ready to go, though. Hey! You might think I'm crazy, but that's history I'm interested in saving.

UN Broadcasted Israels Movements For the Enemy to See

Anyone who believes the UN to be a neutral body... Can you imagine 15,000 "peacekeepers" aiding and abetting the terrorists, providing cover for them to carry out their nefarious schemes? And this is okay with Israel, not its people, but its pusilanimous leaders?

I hope Jeff Goldstein is right, that there is some greater picture that we're not seeing. 'Cuz I'm not seeing how this UN decision benefits Israel. Diplomacy and playing nice and appeasement will get Iran nukes, rearm Hezbollah and land a bunch of European dupes in the Holy Land. This nasty brew gets more vile as the days pass.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Not a Hurricane yet.....

All I can think of is the ABBA song Fernando:

Abba - Fernando Lyrics

Can you hear the drums Fernando?

I remember long ago another starry night like this

In the firelight Fernando

You were humming to yourself and softly strumming your guitar

I could hear the distant drums

And sounds of bugle calls were coming from afar

They were closer now Fernando

Every hour every minute seemed to last eternally

I was so afraid Fernando

We were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die

And I'm not ashamed to say

The roar of guns and cannons almost made me cry

There was something in the air that night

The stars were bright, Fernando

They were shining there for you and me

For liberty, Fernando

Though I never thought that we could lose

There's no regret

If I had to do the same again

I would, my friend, Fernando

Now we're old and grey Fernando

And since many years I haven't seen a rifle in your hand

Can you hear the drums Fernando?

Do you still recall the fateful night we crossed the Rio

I can see it in your eyes

How proud you were to fight for freedom in this land

There was something in the air that night

The stars were bright, Fernando

They were shining there for you and me

For liberty, Fernando

Though I never thought that we could lose

There's no regret

If I had to do the same again

I would, my friend, Fernando

There was something in the air that night

The stars were bright, Fernando

They were shining there for you and me

For liberty, Fernando

Though I never thought that we could lose

There's no regret

If I had to do the same again

I would, my friend, Fernando

Yes, if I had to do the same again

I would, my friend, Fernando...

Strangly appropriate don't you think? Thunder is almost like distant drums. Holding your gun to scare off looters.... Okay, maybe it's a stretch. But I'm going to rework the lyrics if Ernesto gets bizzy.

Light Blogging

Family in town. (My tall brother, very smart, is here but he hates GW.) What can I say? It is fun to watch his face turn red.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Taller People Are Smarter

Shhhh.....don't tell my sister this (or anyone else in my short family):

But researchers Case and Paxson believe the height advantage in the job world is more than just a question of image.

"As adults, taller individuals are more likely to select into higher paying occupations that require more advanced verbal and numerical skills and greater intelligence, for which they earn handsome returns," they wrote.

For both men and women in the United States and the United Kingdom, a height advantage of four inches equated with a 10 percent increase in wages on average.

But the researchers said the differences in performance crop up long before the tall people enter the job force. Prenatal care and the time between birth and the age of 3 are critical periods for determining future cognitive ability and height.

"The speed of growth is more rapid during this period than at any other during the life course, and nutritional needs are greatest at this point," the researchers wrote.

The research confirms previous studies that show that early nutrition is an important predictor of intelligence and height.

"Prenatal care and prenatal nutrition are just incredibly important, even more so than we already knew," Case said in an interview.

I can assure you, though, no one in my family was and/or is malnourished. Perhaps the good researchers might find another cause of shortness and dumbness?

And, since average heights have been increasing generationally, if someone was tall for their generation does their relative height equate to higher I.Q.? Or is there some objective height that increases I.Q.? (Are we talking four inches taller than 5'6" if you were born in 1930 or today?) And, is higher I.Q. corrollated to relative family height? (pardon the pun) Since I'm the tallest girl in my family on both sides up through my Grandma, should I be smarter? It's pretty to think so. Somehow I doubt it.

More on wage and height here.

Heights of Presidents here.

And for fun, here's some short and stupid jokes. Enjoy!

More Liberal "War Games"

Also known as take-over-the-world-Machiavellian-masturabatory fantasies. (Sorry if I offend. Read this post and tell me if you disagree.) You know it's bad when the premise is:

What if another terror attack just before this fall's elections could save many thousand-times the lives lost?

I start from the premise that there is already a substantial portion of the electorate that tends to vote GOP because they feel that Bush has "kept us safe," and that the Republicans do a better job combating terrorism.

If an attack occurred just before the elections, I have to think that at least a few of the voters who persist in this "Bush has kept us safe" thinking would realize the fallacy they have been under.

If 5% of the "he's kept us safe" revise their thinking enough to vote Democrat, well, then, the Dems could recapture the House and the Senate and be in a position to:

You'll have to go read the article to find out what wonderful developments would justify a terrorist attack in a Progressive's mind.

Via Instapundit who has more.

Tropical Storm Ernesto

Oy. Over to Brendan Loy. He says:

The storm is heading west quickly towards Jamaica, and may eventually become a threat to the Gulf Coast. The deciding factor appears to be a large area of wind shear (50 knots or so) near Jamaica that is heading off to the west...
Could it be that hurricane season is just starting later and lasting longer?

"Tom Cruise's Fall From Grace"

PerezHilton says " Sumner Redstone ain't so crazy after all, bitches." Ha!


According to Marketing Evaluations Incorporated, the company that calculates the "Q scores," which measure a given celebrity's likeability factor, the public's positive perception of Tom Cruise over the last year and a half has fallen by 40%, while the negative perception of the Scientoligist has jumped a whopping 100%!!
Here's the article on the research.

Duke Rape Details Are Duds

Duff Wilson and Jonathan Glater, authors of this editorial, I mean article ,titled

Files From Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers

which ostensibly covers revealing details about the Duke Rape debacle, represent the worst sort of journalists. They write a startling headline on the front page, and reveal themselves to be no more factual or unbiased than the breathless neighborhood gossip. Why, oh why, did I even bother reading it? I should know better by now.

Where to start? The piece was so irritating I didn't even want to blog on it--which is why I waited 'til tonight. Rrrrrr..... Here's one example:

Whether the woman was in fact raped is the question at the center of a case that has become a national is cause célèbre, yet another painful chapter in the tangled American opera of race, sex and privilege. (My comments in green throughout: Could we be any more dramatic boys? Besides, you're wrong. The scandal with this case is that no matter the outcome of this case, 48 boys--one black--will have to live with the infamy of being a "Duke Lacrosse player of '06", and could be 100% innocent. They have been tried, and hung in the press because the alleged victim is black. This case confirms the biases that liberals have about "race and privilage".) Defense lawyers, amplified by Duke alumni and a group of bloggers who have closely followed the case, have portrayed it as a national scandal — that there is only the flimsiest physical evidence of rape, that the accuser is an unstable fabricator, and that Mr. Nifong, in the middle of a tight primary campaign, was summoning racial ghosts for political gain. (After this statement, you'd expect the article to be filled with facts that would contradict that exact point of view, wouldn't you? In fact, any time-challenged reader stopping here, would say, "hmmm, the newspaper of record says there is a lot more to the case." Except that there isn't.)

By disclosing pieces of evidence favorable to the defendants, the defense has created an image of a case heading for the rocks. (Oh, really? The defense is the problem in this case? You mean they shouldn't try to rebut the constantly spewed nonsense out of the DA's mouth, they should just let his unsupported notions lie and let the defendents die on the vine of public opinion shaped by a tyrannical DA and complicit MSM?) But an examination of the entire 1,850 pages of evidence gathered by the prosecution in the four months after the accusation yields a more ambiguous picture. It shows that while there are big weaknesses in Mr. Nifong’s case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury. ("Big weaknesses"? You're kidding right? You could drop a MOAB through this case's weaknesses.)

Now, you might think after those two paragraphs citing "1,850 pages of evidence", that loads and loads and loads of damning material was disclosed. Uh oh! Those Duke devils deserve damnation. Fer shur! You might think that, but there's just nothing there. Here it comes:
Crucial to that portrait of the case are Sergeant Gottlieb’s 33 pages of typed notes and 3 pages of handwritten notes, which have not previously been revealed.
But wait, those 3 pages of handwritten notes were written during the investigation. Where did this booklet-length typed notes come from?

The sergeant’s notes are drawing intense scrutiny from defense lawyers both because they appear to strengthen Mr. Nifong’s case and because they were not turned over by the prosecution until after the defense had made much of the gaps in the earlier evidence.

Joseph B. Cheshire, a lawyer for David Evans, one of the defendants, called Sergeant Gottlieb’s report a “make-up document.” He said Sergeant Gottlieb had told defense lawyers that he took few handwritten notes, relying instead on his memory and other officers’ notes to write entries in his chronological report of the investigation. (Hahahahaha! This is where the evidence lies? Duff and Jon, you're kidding right? That this is giving you hope that the case will go the way you want with potentially innocent guys going down based on a dude's long-term memory and "other officers"?)

Mr. Cheshire said the sergeant’s report was “transparently written to try to make up for holes in the prosecution’s case.” He added, “It smacks of almost desperation.”

Desperation, indeed.

And then, on page two of this fair article, the pictures of the three young men, are again plastered. Still innocent, I recall, until proven guilty. You know what? If DNA and timing and every other detail of this case supported the woman of high honor making this claim, I might not feel so bad with their pictures revealed. But give me a break, the evidence is flimsy, but the pictures and names do elicit "frat boy rage"--a new disease started by Bush hatred. (I can just hear liberals saying, "I bet that's just the kind of guy George Bush was when he was in college. Rich, privilaged and WHITE!")

The article authors go on to describe the alleged victim. Why she sounds almost saintly.
Her partner was a 27-year-old single mother of two, a student with a B average at North Carolina Central University, the historically black college across town. She worked flexible hours at Platinum Pleasures, a strip club, and for Angel’s Escorts. She was a stripper, not a prostitute, she later told the police. She told them that “she had been to one event in the past where she thought a male at the party was nice, so after the party they went out and had consensual sexual relations,” but just that once.

The article goes on and on like this. Rehashing what everyone knows, but spinning it into literary cotton candy.

I read over at Betsy's that even Dan Abrams is fuming about the NYT's piece. Betsy has a lot more and great links if you can stomach it.

Misquantifying Terrorism Using Statistics

Reader David, who has the blog Photon Courier wrote and linked to this post:

Calculations of probability and cost-effectiveness must be based on the assumption of a trend or lack of a trend. If probabilities of a particular phenomenon are changing over time, you can't just snapshot the phenomenon at one point in time and extrapolate those probabilities into the future. Suppose that for a particular model of car, there are 2 million vehicles on the road. In a particular year, 2 of these cars encounter complete steering failure. How much of an issue is this? A simplistic statistical analysis might conclude that there is only one chance in a million of encountering the failure in any given year--representing a fairly small increase in the risk of driving--and hence, from a cost-effectiveness standpoint, money would be better spent on other aspects of automotive safety.
Read the whole thing.

As an aside, David, I think I read this post somewhere, maybe at your site, maybe somewhere else. It was good then. Thanks for the heads up so I could link to it.

Sever Ties With Israel

The Zionist lobby is just too strong and Jeff Goldstein variously donning the "Bubba" persona and the "Peacenik Pete" persona sets out to prove it. The results are hilarious. (Video blog that is iPod down-loadable.)

My favorite bit? The Mexicans, armyless, coming over the border and invading America with Bollo Ties. Interestingly, the children seemed to "get" Jeff's silliness. The adults, however, either bought or panned what he was selling based on beliefs.

Abducted for Eight Years

With a pedophile running amok right now in our area, (three attempted abductions in as many months-moms intervened every time) something like this is a constant worry.

I am just sorry the captor killed himself. These are the times when torturing someone to death seems like a rational decision.

But that's my primal brain talking. May he rot in hell.

Are Career Girls Losers? And Bag Ladies, too.....

I love this criteria: career women are "less likely to keep a clean house". They don't have a WIFE AT HOME cleaning it. Sheesh! Are we superimposing 50's expectations on New Millenium realities? Is it any wonder that women, and men, feel so inadequate while trying to be everything to everyone? Does it really matter that she's not inclined to "keep house" (code for cleaning up after everyone in the family, not just her) if she can afford to hire someone who can?

This whole issue came up based on a very intriguing Dr. Helen post. Dr. Helen says:

Along related lines, here is an article in Forbes entitled, "Don't Marry a Career Woman." Frankly, the article seems rather sexist to me--using as their criteria for "career girls" those women who make more than $30,000 a year, have a university degree or higher, and work outside the home over 35 hours. The article says such women are more likely to cheat, be unhappy, not have kids or if they do, be unhappy with that, and to get divorced more readily and to keep a dirty house. Wow, I never knew we "career girls" were such losers. Read the article and decide for yourself.
Earlier in her post she discusses women's fears about "ending up a bag lady" even though 60% of the nations finances will be controlled by women by 2010.

My feeling is that a woman's experience has lagged behind her achievement. What I mean is that while my parents encouraged education (mostly because my mom wanted us to have freedom if we married a dud), we were also encouraged to not get jobs, not save money, etc. But my parents weren't particularily good with money. So as an adult, all of us, guys and girls have had a steep learning curve.

If a career woman is single and not good with money, she can suffer. Likewise for a man. Marriage can amplify this or ameliorate it, if the spouse has a talent or gift. I have acquired more knowledge with time, but still need lots of help. So I get it. My husband I both know that investing is important, but how to do that is another thing. Perhaps self-awareness is key here. If you know you need help--get it! There are lots of people whose gift it is to make money with your money.