Saturday, April 15, 2006

Internet Dating

Wow, I never knew Eugene Volokh met his wife online--he is one of a number of intelligent men, whom I have heard met their future wife online. Perhaps when there are fewer potential spouses out there for you because of being quirky, smart, or different, online dating makes sense, since it can narrow the field by matching the same interests, likes, dislikes etc. I must admit that I used to work at a dating service in Brooklyn for several years after my first master's degree (what job did I not have?)

No, I was not an escort, I worked as a matchmaker and the job required a psychologist who had at least a masters or PHD to match people all over the country. I thought I was pretty good at it as I often got letters back from happy couples reporting that they were getting married or dating seriously. I never took advantage of meeting men through the dating service, although, Lord knows, I should have, given the bunch of winners I met in New York. I will not go into detail but let's just say that one of them was OCD to the point he became non-functional, another -- an aspiring model -- mooched off me for a year (I was a grad student, worked two jobs to pay the rent and he would not even help pay for groceries, just his own beer), and well, let's just stop there. Luckily, I met my husband when I moved back to Knoxville.

But enough about me. Has anyone had any luck with Internet dating or not?

Happy Easter

I hope all of my readers who celebrate Easter are enjoying the weekend and those who do not celebrate are doing something fun!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Transparency in Healthcare

Dr. Wes, a cardiologist, asks if it might make a difference in healthcare costs if we knew the actual cost of our care:

But what if costs were disclosed? What if costs were available online or during the ordering process on the Electronic Medical Record for physicians to make judgments about how many tests they REALLY need? Might it affect care negatively? I doubt it. Would it change outcomes? Probably not. Reduce cost? Absolutely. Is it difficult to implement? No.

And taking that concept one further, what if the patient could see the costs of expensive technologies? What if the costs of implantable defibrillators were available online? (For instance, it’s easier to find what a defibrillator weighs, than what it costs…. I checked Google, the big three ICD manufacturers websites [Guidant, Medtronic, St. Jude] and could find none.) Stents? Would patients always want the “expensive version” of technology or would they settle for a lesser model if it saved them or the system a few bucks? I don’t know. But to shield the ultimate consumers (the patient and their doctors) from these costs is counter-productive and serves to permit price increases to occur without public awareness and limits free-market competition. Transparency in healthcare costs is just as important as transparency on corporate financial statements. Maybe more. And this won’t just help the doctors and patients.

Incidentally , Dr. Wes, mine cost about one hundred thousand dollars--give or take a bit.

The Well-Managed Husband?

I was thinking of doing a podcast featuring men talking about marriage--pro or con--and started conducting a little research. I initially went to and which I found too mean-spirited; for example, here is a list that FireYourwife tells husbands is the type of advice wives are getting pre-divorce:

Wait till he falls asleep. Rifle through his pockets.

Does he fall asleep after sex? Have fun -- then rifle through his pockets!

Go to Las Vegas or Atlantic City and tell him you lost it all -- except you did not.

If your husband pays your credit card bills but won't share his cash, charge! Then return for cash refund or resell that expensive stuff to friends.

If you cook, serve him hamburger, not steak. Pocket the difference.

If a bill is for $220, round it up to a nearest hundred and enter $300.

"Pay" the same phone or utility bill three times each month.
Always carry something to remind you of your his credit card.

Secrets are not necessarily bad. Putting money away can be a wonderful thing for a relationship.

The first one who gets to the bank is the one to empty the joint accounts.

Learn to aggravate your husband whenever possible.

Criticize him daily... Accuse him of having affairs (falsely)... Lend his money to your relatives... Run up his credit cards... Nag, Nag, Nag...

Control your husband by being alternately loving and indifferent to keep him in a state of continual concern.

His money is going to be your money anyway when he drops dead.

I was upset reading this, thinking, surely women do not stoop to this--but as a psychologist and a grown-up, I guess I should know better.

Apparently, this controlling behavior can start during a marriage that is not categorized as "pre-divorce" (although maybe it should be)." I came across this site by a Mad Suburban Dad (thanks MSN) discussing his puzzlement at being a well-managed husband. The author of the blog seems perplexed and a bit taken aback when he finds out that his wife is chatting up other women about how they "manage" their husbands. He asks his wife what "well-managed" means and gets this interchange:

"A well-managed husband does not realize he is being managed, nor do his friends," she said. "Usually, the only other person who can tell he is well managed is a woman who also has a well-managed husband or boyfriend." Then I asked the question that I am afraid to ask and even more afraid to hear the answer to: "So, if you know your friend's husband is 'well managed,' does that mean I'm 'well-managed' too?" I asked with trepedation.

Mad Mom gets this silly grin and says: "Excuse me, I have got to go to the bathroom."

Say what? If I was MadDad and I heard this, I would have been livid. No trepedation, no humiliating strikes like MadDad talks about (check out post 4-4), no asking women on my site for comments, no, nope, nada. Just a simple statement from me to this prize of a wife, "I hear you talking like that or trying to manipulate me like that again and I am out of here."

And I would mean it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Podcast with Harold Ford, Jr.

Today, we had the pleasure of talking with Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. who is vying for Bill Frist's Senate seat in 2006. He is on a bus tour around Tennessee and happened to be in our neck of the woods and stopped by the Glenn and Helen studio. Below you can see him outside his bus holding a copy of Glenn's book, An Army of Davids. We interviewed Mr. Ford about his campaign, the war, Iran, immigration, gun rights, healthcare and anything else we could work in. He is quite an interesting guy.

You can listen to the podcast here or you can subscribe via iTunes. A dialup version is here.

As always, please leave comments and suggestions below.

Male Teachers Under Scrutiny

Not that we will have to worry much longer--the pool of male teachers is dwindling--thanks in part, to scrutiny like this (Thanks Trevor):

Negative comments and raised eyebrows also have affected aspiring male kindergarten teachers in recent years, said Pam Fleege, associate professor of early childhood education at the University of South Florida.

"It's very sad. Male students have come to me after they've been challenged by their own families and friends," Fleege said. "Some are accused of being pedophiles. But they mostly get a lot of, 'What are you going to say when a parent confronts you?'"

Confrontations with suspicious parents are rare, teachers say. That could be because parents who are uncomfortable with a man teaching their children often request a female teacher.

Those requests are honored every year by Carol Hughes, principal of Leila G. Davis Elementary in Clearwater. She leads the only Pinellas County or Hillsborough County public school with two male kindergarten teachers.

Tamara Lowe, whose son was in Goldstein's kindergarten class years ago, said that when her son was assigned to Goldstein she contacted Berkley Prep officials to "express concern about the wisdom of having a young man teach kindergarten."

If a male teacher encounters fearful parents, the key is to involve them in the class as much as possible, said Brian Esparza, who teaches at Leila G. Davis.

"You just have to get to know them, let them get to know you, and win them over," Esparza said. "You get those kinds of parents, but I hear a lot more of the flip side, people happy that their child has a male role model in kindergarten."

Principals take many requests to place children with male kindergarten teachers. That opportunity, though, is available at a small percentage of schools.

In Pinellas, eight of 418 kindergarten teachers, or almost 2 percent, are men. In Hillsborough, there are 13 men and 764 women, again almost 2 percent

In Pasco County, the numbers are higher than the 9 percent national average. That nationwide number, though, is at a 40-year low, the National Education Association says.

Of the 884 Pasco kindergarten teachers, 105 are men, almost 12 percent. In Pasco, kindergarten, first- and second-grade students are educated together, based on their achievement levels.

As I dropped my daughter off at school today, I noticed that all of the safety patrollers were girls, not a boy in sight. Her elementary school held elections for class President and Supreme Court--the nominees--all girls except one. A coincidence? Maybe--but my guess is that early in the education game, boys are being marginalized. But hey, as long as the payback against the male sex is alive and well, and no one seems to put up much of a fight, it will continue. But my question is, how much revenge is enough?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Do you think Al Sharpton will come out to protest this crime? I doubt it.

Update: For those who want a direct link to the pitiful initial NYT's story on this case, here it is. Notice the bland headline--"Chase Led Man into Car's Path." Here is an updated story from the NYT's from today that gives more information. Luckily, one of the thug's grandparents described his progressive child-rearing plan--just give a kid everything they want so they won't steal from others:

Rodney Jenkins, a grandfather of one of the 15-year-olds, said he spoiled his grandson so he would never be lured into the thuggery that upends the lives of so many young black men. "He has a jacket for every day of the week and stack of jeans," Mr. Jenkins said. "We do that so he won't have to go to the street to sell drugs."

Yep, always best to bribe the kids so they don't take to the streets.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sodomy of Boys