Archive for January 8th, 2009

January 8, 2009

Advertising is rape (and other profound truths of feminism)

“This is what the victory of Barack Obama means for women: We are all fair game“:

As bizarre as the “Burn It Down” video may be, its ideology is really no more extreme than the Women’s Caucus at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where one speaker — actress Rosario Dawson — earnestly assured her fellow delegates: “One-in-three women in this country will be affected by rape, abuse or be killed.”
There it is again — “one-in-three women,” the statistical assurance that any woman who hasn’t yet been victimized still has a chance to claim her prize in the victimhood lottery. You’re “fair game,” Obama is to blame, and don’t let anyone tell you different, sister.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: A 130+ comment thread at AOSHQ.

January 8, 2009

Crazy Cousin John

“We didn’t pander enough to the open-borders lobby,” or words to that effect. Russ at AOSHQ has more.

Don’t blame me — I voted for Bob Barr!

January 8, 2009

Uganda update

Pastor Sam Childers is currently in South Sudan, about 20 miles from the Congolese border, his wife, Lynn, informs by e-mail:

[Sam] is right in the heart of the LRA conflict. They are still abducting children, and killing the villagers. Since Christmas the LRA has killed more than 600 people. Sam is with 16 soldiers, a photographer from Australia, and a journalist from the New York Times. They will be visiting a nearby hospital to interview the victims and get photographs of the damage these evil men do to his victims. Sam was given a report of a village where small children are living by themselves because of the killing the LRA had done there. Sam will go and assess the area and rescue as many as possible should there be any children orphaned there. He has the food truck and two other vehicles with him so he will be able to bring some of the children with him back to the orphanage.
Please keep Sam and the team in your prayers. Financial support is needed to help with the rescuing of the children, and food and other supplies. If you would like to help please go to our web sites and make a donation or your support will help with the lives of many children. Tell your friends and families to get the word out. These children and Sam need your help. I want to thank all of you for your support and prayers.

Previous posts on this subject.

UPDATE: Strategy Page reports:

LRA depredations in Congo led to several hundred civilians being kidnapped, and up to 500 more killed. Thousands of civilians fled their homes to escape the LRA rebels, who continue to move towards the Central African Republic (CAR). . . .
Both UN and Congolese sources report that the LRA’s retreat towards the Central African Republic (CAR) continues. The Congo and various NGOs operating in northeastern Congo estimate that the LRA cadres retreating toward the CAR killed around 430 people in attacks on December 25 and 26. The UN and Ugandan military estimate that Kony still has 650 fighters. Since the “joint attack” began on December 14, 2008, the LRA forces have broken down into very small groups.

Which is to say, Sam and his escort of 16 soldiers could find themselves suddenly confronted with one of those LRA fragments numbering scores or hundreds of gunmen. Prayers.

January 8, 2009

Teen pregnancy: fact vs. spin

The Associated Press:

Mississippi now has the nation’s highest teen birth rate, displacing Texas and New Mexico for that lamentable title, a new federal report says. . . .
The three states have large proportions of black and Hispanic teenagers — groups that traditionally have higher birth rates, experts noted.

Indeed, and if you take a little time to examine the actual CDC report, what you find is that the birth rate (births per 1,000) for females 15-19 breaks down like this:


Ergo, states where blacks and Hispanics constitute a large proportion of the 15-19 population will tend to have high rates of teen pregnancy. Furthermore, the category “Hispanic” encompasses many nationalities, with varying rates of teen pregnancy, so that for instance, those of Mexican origin have a teen birth rate of 92.9, while Puerto Ricans have a teen birth rate of 69.3.

A bit of Census research reveals that the population of Mississippi is 37.1% black and 1.8% Hispanic, whereas Texas is 11.9% black and 35.7% Hispanic, and New Mexico is 2.5% black and 44.0% Hispanic. By comparison, the state with the lowest teen birth rate, New Hampshire, is 95.8% white.

The obvious conclusion, then, is that demographics has a powerful influence on teen pregnancy. Ah, unless you’re a liberal fanatic:

While the new report does not explain why [Mississippi’s] teen pregnancy rate is increasing, one reason may be the poor quality of its sex ed programs. As the Sexuality Information and Education Center explains, Mississippi focuses heavily on abstinence education and teachers are prohibited from demonstrating how to use contraceptives . . .

Right. So what about Gov. Bill Richardson’s progressive paradise New Mexico, huh? The teen birth rate there is 64 per 1,000, compared to Mississippi’s 68 per 1,000. Why aren’t liberals excoriating New Mexico? (Crickets chirping.)

UPDATE: Linked at RCP Best of the Blogs.

UPDATE II: Linked at Nashville Post. BTW, I would like to point out that I personally don’t consider it a social tragedy every time a 19-year-old gets pregnant. Unwed pregnancy is more of a problem than teen pregnancy, per se. Maggie Gallagher did a must-read report on this subject 10 years ago. Also, see my post on Famous Teenage Mothers.

UPDATE III: To argue briefly with commenter Richard: Sex education is redundant, wasteful and intrusive. Are we really supposed to believe that the teenage girl who gets pregnant doesn’t know that sex causes pregnancy? We are living in a society where accurate information about sex has never been more widely available. Any 12-year-old can go to Borders (or the school library) and find a dozen or more books on the birds-and-bees stuff, to say nothing of what’s available on the Internet.

If teenagers are getting pregnant, ignorance cannot be the explanation, so what is it that schools need to educate them about? How to use a condom? Last time I looked, every box of condoms had illustrated instructions on proper usage. If you are too stupid to use a condom properly maybe . . . I don’t know . . . you shouldn’t be having sex. Yet our enlightened elites insist that anybody who wants schools to focus on telling kids they shouldn’t be having sex — “Hey Kids: Keep Your Britches On!” — is an irresponsible, anti-science Taliban fundamentalist.

Some people have an annoyingly tautological certainty about the importance of teaching kids the Latin names of their genitalia — vulva, clitoris, etc., being pretty much the only Latin taught in schools anymore — as if there were some intrinsic value in that knowledge. It’s like believing that, unless you teach kids the Latin names of their digestive organs, they won’t be able to eat properly. And yet, in all the debate over sex ed, nobody ever seems to notice the manifest absurdity of that premise.

The advocates of “compehensive sexuality education” (CSE) are not really concerned about addressing any meaningful deficit of useful knowledge. Rather, the CSE agenda is about inculcating a certain attitude toward sex, which is where we encounter the problem of intrusiveness. CSE advocates want to establish as Officially Approved Attitude about sex — a PC sexual dogma — and, if you actually take time to read their esoteric literature (as I have), they aren’t even secretive about this goal. It is very much about telling people what to think.

The whole point of the sex-ed agenda from Kinsey onward has been to eradicate “old-fashioned” (i.e., “Puritanical” or “Victorian”) attitudes toward sex, and they mean to accomplish this through the coercive action of government-imposed education. I am certainly no prudish Victorian, but my inner libertarian is profoundly hostile to schools propagandizing children in this fashion, especially since the schools go out of their way to deceive parents about the actual content and purpose of sex-ed.

UPDATE IV: Linked at American Power.

January 8, 2009

Obama bitterly clinging . . .

. . . to his BlackBerry.

Fortunately, I haven’t gotten the “Crackberry” habit. Yet. I wanted one for Christmas, given that my wife broke my sweet Motorola Razr flip-phone, but . . . it’s probably for the better that I don’t have one. I see so many of my friends constantly working their BlackBerries, iPhones, etc., and I’m sort of glad I don’t have one. With my addictive personality, I’d probably Twitter myself into a coma.

January 8, 2009

The obligatory John Ziegler video interview of Sarah Palin post

Via Conservative Grapevine to Big Hollywood:

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey:

If we’d seen more of this Palin on the campaign trail … well, we still would have lost, in all likelihood, as VP candidates simply can’t rescue running mates. However, Palin seems determined not to let 2008 be the last word for her on the national stage.

I’ve been saying since Labor Day that Team Maverick mishandled Palin’s media. If they’d have done an impromptu press conference on the day she was announced — before the reporters had time to research their “gotcha” questions — it would have made all the difference in the world. Palin certainly represents herself better than Tucker Bounds ever represented her. Don’t hide your light under a bushel.

January 8, 2009

Top of her class

Gee, why would Caroline Kennedy have graduated, you know, near the top of her class at Harvard?

Caroline at Harvard was a resume enhancement. For Harvard. Caroline would have been accepted at any school she applied at. And the tenure of any professor be in question if she failed a class. So it’s no surprise she graduated near the top of her class.

You know, I never thought of that, you know.

January 8, 2009

Link/quote etiquette

A reader who is also a relatively new blogger e-mailed to ask:

If I cross post something from your site, do I need your permission? or at least a good link or two to the work in question as well as a hat tip.

The etiquette of linking, quoting and hat-tipping has been explained by several people, including Ace of Spades:

Basically, I think that when you link someone else’s find or analysis, you’re permitted to excerpt a taste of what they’re quoting or saying, but it’s always important to leave something fairly important behind to click on. After all, if you just quote all the good parts, you’ve left your audience with no reason to click on the link– the blog that tipped you gets the link, for what that’s worth, but very little traffic at all.

Ace points out that one of the reasons Instapundit drives so much traffic is that his links are often opaque — the word “Heh” being the extreme example — and he very seldom quotes more than a sentence or two of another blogger’s work. The link-to-text ratio is high.

So Ace’s “Leave Something Juicy Behind” rule applies: Don’t swipe somebody’s whole post, or quote so much of it that there’s no reason for the reader to click the link.

Also, when the point of your post is specifically to call attention to something clever a fellow blogger has said — rather than to address the underlying news story — a short post is better than a long post. In other words, I’m not going to get much traffic off your link if you quote me and then add a 600-word rant of your own (see this post about Little Miss Attila as an example of the shorter-is-sweeter principle). On the other hand, if something I write inspires you to a 600-word rant, well, I guess your rant is a thing in its own right — but I likely won’t get as much traffic from the link.

HAT TIPS & LINKBACKS: I try to be scrupulous about hat-tips, but I get so much stuff from Memeorandum that it seems almost redundant to write “via Memeorandum” every time. And I guess I sometimes slack off about crediting Hot Air for videos. But those are personal lapses you don’t want to emulate vis-a-vis hat-tipping me, LOL.

Generally, when another blogger links me and I notice the linkage on SiteMeter, I will add an update with a link back to the linker. (Call this the “Full Metal Jacket” Reach-Around Principle of Blog Reciprocity.) The reason I do linkbacks is because Blogger software doesn’t have the “trackback URL” feature and installing a separate trackback program is a hassle. I’m not sure how much traffic is produced by a linkback, but every link adds to your Technorati rankings, and that counts for something, right?

January 8, 2009

Democrat strikes a blow for feminism

Progressive values:

A Queens state senator who denies beating his girlfriend was caught on security cameras dragging the scared, bleeding woman from his apartment, law enforcement sources told the Daily News.
Newly elected Sen. Hiram Monserrate “will be convicted by the security video” taken in the hallway and outside his Jackson Heights apartment after he allegedly slashed Karla Giraldo in a jealous rage, sources said. . . .
The video shows Giraldo grabbing the apartment’s front door as Monserrate tried to drag her out of the building, sources said.
Other video clips show Giraldo clutching a towel to her injured left eye and banging on the door of a neighbor’s apartment for help, sources said. . . .
Emergency room doctor Dawne Kort told Queens prosecutors on Tuesday that Giraldo accused Monserrate of bashing her in the face, sources said.

Better put some ice on that, honey.

January 8, 2009

A glimmer of sanity

Just when you think the world’s gone completely nuts:

The Pentagon has decided that it will not award the Purple Heart, the hallowed medal given to those wounded or killed by enemy action, to war veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder because it is not a physical wound.

My God, why would anyone ever think they deserved a Purple Heart for a psychological problem? Look: Ten GIs go into combat, one gets killed, two get wounded, and seven survive unwounded. Now, two of those seven subsequently are diagnosed with PTSD. What about the five guys who don’t get PTSD? Why are they, who survived the same fight as the two PTSD sufferers, less deserving of the Purple Heart?

What next? Medals for dysentery?

Where’s General Patton when we need him?