Friday, March 24, 2006

Amber Alert

Yesterday, while driving on the interstate, Glenn and I saw an Amber Alert for a missing Tennessee family. They were found last night minus one member. Here is what might have happened. I wonder what was going on with this family?

Update: The wife in this saga has confessed. Little surprise that this is what a church member said about her:

"They were the perfect family," said Pam Killingsworth, a member of the church and an assistant principal at the elementary school attended by two of the children.

She was "the perfect mother, the perfect wife. She brought her children to school every day. She volunteered at the school," Killingsworth said on CNN.

"It is just not real. In my heart, I can't believe this is happening," she said. "She was not this kind of person."

I would have been shocked if a neighbor had said anything different.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

One of my commenters pointed out this op-ed piece in the NYT (thanks) entitled, "To All of the Girls I've Rejected." The Times piece is an apology to all of the girls who are being turned away from their pick of colleges due to "demographic realities."

The author discusses the "tragedy" of her own daughter who received only four acceptance letters but (gasp!) was waitlisted at a fifth school. The author is the Dean of admissions and financial aid at Kenyon College, where they are having to turn away (or at least debate whether to accept) accomplished young women.

Had she been a male applicant, there would have been little, if any, hesitation to admit. The reality is that because young men are rarer, they're more valued applicants. Today, two-thirds of colleges and universities report that they get more female than male applicants, and more than 56 percent of undergraduates nationwide are women. Demographers predict that by 2009, only 42 percent of all baccalaureate degrees awarded in the United States will be given to men.

We have told today's young women that the world is their oyster; the problem is, so many of them believed us that the standards for admission to today's most selective colleges are stiffer for women than men. How's that for an unintended consequence of the women's liberation movement?

Okay, so the "you go girl!" program is now backfiring--instead of Prince Charming coming to rescue their little Princesses, some mothers such as the author, have just rewritten the script. It now goes like this: "if you are a girl, the world owes you, nothing can stop you and you will be given everything you want--while pushing all others (e.g. boys) out of the way." All colleges become Daddy, who is to hand over the fat envelopes of admissions, just because you happen to be "an accomplished young woman." Perhaps these same mothers would have been better off teaching their daughters something different about the world--like how to deal with adversity and how to tolerate being rejected. It is something boys learned a long time ago. If shit happens, you suck it up like a guy and do not complain. (Look how feminists tend to dismiss male complaints as unmanly "whining.") If you fall down, you get back up. The world does not owe you and life isn't always fair, especially if feminists are in power.

But now the tides are turning and the very affirmative action rules and regulations that were to be used to promote their little girls (as well as other select groups) are backfiring. Maybe if we selected students based on their actual qualifications, rather than gender or skin color, their daughters would be back in the running. But if you are going to play the affirmative action card, you have to live with the results and play by the rules, and that may mean the very "minority" you are trying to promote may become the very ones who lose out. Watch out what you wish for, it may come back to bite you in the ass.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Podcast on Israel, Blog Carnivals

Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Daniel Ayalon, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Ayalon currently resides in Washington, D.C. He discusses Palestinian politics, Iranian nukes, American perceptions of Israel and Sharon Stone's recent visit. Ms. Stone's new Middle East peace plan? "I will kiss just about anybody for peace in the Middle East". Yeah, Sharon, that will work. You can hear more about Ms. Stone's visit to Israel at www.Israellycool.
We also are talking to Brad Rubenstein, one of the founders of Blog Carnival (and my cousin)--a site that puts together a virtual cornucopia of blog carnivals. Want to know more about homeschooling, knitting, or cats? Blog Carnival will direct you to bloggers who are posting on the subject. If you are the host or organizer of a Carnival, a reader of Carnivals or just interested in Carnivals, listen to this important information.

You can listen to our podcast by clicking here or subscribe to iTunes here. And if you'd like a dialup version, it's here. (An archive of all our previous podcasts is here.)

Please leave comments and suggestions below. Thanks!

Carnival of Homeschooling is Up

The 12th week of the Carnival of Homeschooling is up--but don't tell the homeschool haters over at Atrios who apparently think homeschooling is evil. I guess the idea that some kids might get away from being indoctrinated by the state is more than they can bear.

The Politicization of Psychology Continues

Shrinkwrapped discusses yet another study casting a negative light on (shockingly) Conservatives. The Toronto Star "interprets the study for us:"

Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.

At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals.

The study from the Journal of Research Into Personality isn't going to make the UC Berkeley professor who published it any friends on the right. Similar conclusions a few years ago from another academic saw him excoriated on right-wing blogs, and even led to a Congressional investigation into his research funding.

By the end of the Toronto Star article, the author summarizes the study to conclude the following:

It could be that whom we vote for has less to do with our judgments about tax policy or free trade or health care, and more with the personalities we've been stuck with since we were kids.

What about people who change their political orientation over time--were they really just whiny kids or self-reliant ones originally who fooled themselves?

Update: Michelle Malkin has a copy of the entire study if you would like to read more.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Reviewing Trash So You Don't Have to

I am asking my readers not to get angry, but I picked up this week's Star magazine to read about the "Baby Battle's" of the celebrities. I know that I should not be reading this trash but I am only doing so to keep the thinkers of the internet (my readers) up to date on current events in the world of trashy tabloids. Why is this important from a psychological standpoint? Because it shows us how celebrites manipulate the MSM (and vice versa) by using victimhood to get more publicity for their wilting careers--and we fall for it.

Case in point. I discussed Terri Hatcher revealing to the media that she had been sexually abused as a child in a post entitled, "Is this Really Breaking News?" This week's Star has a section called "In & Out" that mentions that the new "In" is Terri Hatcher as the cover girl of Vanity Fair's April issue. The "Out" is Sheryl Crow, Lance Armstrong and Natalie Portman as VF covers--Teri replaced them after revealing she had been sexually molested as a child. In the Vanity Fair article, Ms. Hatcher brings up her sexual abuse:

"I didn't intend to talk about this with you," she tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Leslie Bennetts, "but it is something that's been surfacing with me for the past three years. This is something I've tried to hide my whole life."

Hatcher tells Bennetts that, in 2002, when she learned that her uncle was arrested, she hesitated going public with her story of sex abuse, fearing that cynics might accuse her of using it to get attention and resuscitate an expiring career. But Hatcher found herself tormented by the thought of Sarah Van Cleemput, the young girl who had shot herself, and she was wracked with anxiety over whether Stone would be convicted. "I kept thinking, If she'd known me, especially me being famous, if I could have said to her, 'Look, it happened to me!,' if I could just have said to her, 'You're going to be O.K.'—I kept thinking, What do I do with this information I have that no one else has?"

Well, if you really cared about being the altruistic helper you portray yourself as, you could have waited until Natalie Portman had her chance at the cover of Vanity Fair before you pushed her aside with your tale of woe. When we allow celebrities to use their status as a victim to sell books (Ann Heche), make the cover of magazines or gather other goodies, we cheapen the experience of other victims of abuse and reinforce the idea that victimhood pays--big time.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mountain Blogging

My cousin, Brad, came down from New York to visit for the weekend and we took him to the Smokies and to see Gatlinburg, a small town in the middle of the mountains. No, we did not make it to Dollywood (although we did show him Pigeon Forge)--it is closed until the end of the month. If you have never been to Gatlinburg, it is quite an experience--the town is not for those watching their weight--there are non-stop fudge shops, taffy stores and funnelcake stands. My cousin was baffled as to what a funnel cake was--but if you have spent time in the South, you will know. The town was full of tourists and children hyped up on sugur wandering aimlessly from shop to shop. If you are looking for some tacky t-shirts with interesting sayings--Gatlinburg will not disappoint you. My favorites--"There is thin woman in every fat woman trying to get out--but I usually shut the bitch up with chocolates" and several men I saw displayed the chick magnet t-shirt--"No Fat Chicks." Well, you get the idea. Anyway, here are some pictures from Cades Cove in the Smokies:

Here is a picture of Glenn and me.

Here is a picture of Brad and me.

Anyone else have an interesting weekend?