Friday, June 29, 2007

"Nearly twice as many women as men said they perpetrated domestic violence in the past year"

Trudy W. Schuett at Dean's World sent me a link to this interesting study on domestic violence:

SEATTLE, June 27 (UPI) -- University of Washington researchers tracing the development of violent behavior have found a link between teenage violence and domestic violence.

Adolescents who engaged in violent behavior at a relatively steady rate through their teenage years and those whose violence began in their mid-teens and increased over the years are significantly more likely to engage in domestic violence in their mid-20s than other young adults, according to lead author Todd Herrenkohl, an associate professor of social work at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The study, published in the journal Violence and Victims, also found no independent link between an individual's use of alcohol or drugs and committing domestic violence. In addition it showed that nearly twice as many women as men said they perpetrated domestic violence in the past year, including kicking, biting or punching a partner, threatening to hit or throw something at a partner, and pushing, grabbing or shoving a partner, said Herrenkohl.

Our culture seems to be encouraging aggressive behavior in girls and women, who tend to display aggression in interpersonal relationships. It is no wonder that many young women feel that it is acceptable to kick, bite or punch a partner. A commenter mentioned the movie, The Holiday, in a previous post. I saw this movie over the weekend and I must say that the part where Cameron Diaz punched her cheating boyfriend squarely in the face not once but twice and left him bleeding made me wince, it was not funny. But our culture thinks women hitting, pushing and shoving men is hilarious. I wonder if more girls and women just feel more comfortable now admitting that they hit men since it is seen as powerful rather than "unladylike." But is hitting, kicking and punching your significant other really the way to solve a problem, for either sex?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hi all, it seems that the troll that none of us has missed over the past few weeks is back making comments about my work etc. in an attempt to shut me up for fear of losing my livelihood. The problem is, this tactic only makes me dig in my heels harder and shout even louder. My rights as a citizen and my committment to the first amendment (and the second) are more important to me than my job anyway so this tactic is not a good one to take here. I don't like to delete comments, but nobody has a right to comment on someone else's blog -- these anonymous cowards can always start their own blogs if they want, and see if they can attract any readers of their own. (Good luck with that, guys). So if you see trolling, just ignore it. Don't feed the trolls!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Why No One Trusts Experts

It is important when on TV to think before you speak because sometimes what you say can be misconstrued or add to sterotypes that lead others to discount expert opinions. Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell has a post and link to a CNN video showing a discussion of risk factors between three experts discussing pregnant women killed by boyfriends. One of the risk factors is men who own guns, says the commentator and asks criminal profiler Pat Brown to comment. "Psychopaths are fascinated by weaponry ....If you are hooking up with a guy with a big gun collection or those big ninja knives it's a big red flag, he's not doing yoga....if he loses it with you or in his life--he may eliminate you." A poor choice of words.

It implies that men who own guns may be psychopaths who will kill you. That's silly, and I hope that Ms. Brown did not mean to say this--it is false. Psychopaths are very rare anyway, and gun owners are common. The fact is that the majority of legal gun owners in this country are found to be more law abiding--not less. The Department of Justice did a study and found that "Boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use (than boys who own illegal guns) and are even slightly less delinquent than non-owners of guns." Ms. Brown would probably be careful to avoid smearing an entire racial group with charges of criminality, and I hope that next time she'll be careful to avoid similar statements about gun owners.

And by the way, Say Uncle, in response to your question, am I psycho? Not for being a gunowner but that's about all I can vouch for at the moment.

Update: Criminal Profiler Pat Brown responds in the comments:

Wasn’t it just a few months ago when I got wailed on by the left during the Virginia Tech massacre for suggesting kids should carry guns to school to protect themselves? Sometime during the many interviews I did that week I said something to the effect that if we allowed concealed carry on campuses maybe someone would have taken Cho out. I am a big fan of concealed carry because I know criminals carry concealed weapons all the time and I would like to even the field with some honest citizens carrying a few themselves so criminals don’t think no one will shoot back. I think of how many lives would be saved if only someone in the school or company could defend against mass murderers instead of allowing these killers from mowing down a bunch of sitting ducks who are desperately try to hide behind furniture to save their lives.

Now, after doing interviews on the Jesse Davis murder, those from the right are taking one statement out of context and going nuts about it. It seems they think that I believe any man who owns a gun is a danger to women. If I thought that, I guess I would be talking about my own father and my own son. They have guns for personal protection. For that matter, my daughter has guns for personal protection and I also own firearms for personal protection. I am all for gun ownership for personal protection. Clearly, I was not saying a man with a gun is a psychopath.

Nor was I saying a man who might have a collection of guns is a psychopath. I know many of these men as well. They are hunters or lovers of antiques or do a lot of target shooting. What I was talking about during the Paula Zahn Show was the combination of psychopathic behavior and an obsession with weaponry as psychopath love weapons as it gives them a feeling of power and control. Psychopaths do indeed have a fascination with guns and knives and just because the rest of us might happen to own weapons or even have a number of them as a hobby doesn’t eliminate the fact that psychopaths may also be shopping at the gun store with us.

Women must learn to differentiate between psychological healthy men and unpsychologically healthy men if they want to keep from getting into a dangerous life threatening situation. No one trait will be proof that an individual is a psychopath but add a bunch of traits together and this is a warning. A kind, honorable, honest man with a gun collection is not a psychopath or a danger to anyone but a lying, manipulative, arrogant creep who has a cache of twenty weapons is someone a woman wants to get the hell away from. A man who teaches history at the local junior high school and happens to have a collection of Asian swords is not someone a woman should be frightened of but a man who obsessively watches ninja flicks, brags about how he used to be in the CIA, can’t keep a job, calls women sluts and whores, and owns a huge collection of swords and daggers, now there is a guy a woman wants should avoid like the plague.

Anyone who watched the actual Paula Zahn Show and paid attention to the whole conversation and intent would clearly know I was not labeling gun owners psychopaths. Unfortunately, when words are taken out of context and printed on the Internet, often the meaning of those words get misunderstood. I apologize to any gun owners (who aren’t psychopaths) who thought they were the target of my statements. I respect your constitutional rights to own firearms and would never want to see those taken away. I, like you, want to be sure I can protect myself and my family. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Podcast with Austin Bay and Jim Dunnigan

We're back with our favorite military experts, Jim Dunnigan of Strategy and soldier-blogger Austin Bay of Austin, to talk about the global war on terror and other military matters. They discuss the surge, the Iraqi campaign, Iranian troops moving into Iraq and Paris Hilton.

We talk to Jim Dunnigan, publisher of and author of numerous books on war, intelligence and security, and Austin Bay, who blogs at, and who is the author of both novels and nonfiction works on war and military matters. They provide their always-interesting take on what's going on, and what's likely to happen next in Iraq and Iran.

You can listen directly -- no downloading needed -- by going here and clicking on the gray Flash player. You can download the file and listen at your leisure by clicking right here, and you can get a lo-fi version suitable for dialup by going here and choosing the lo-fi version. Plus, you can always subscribe for free via iTunes, which is what all the cool kids do.

This podcast is sponsored by Volvo at

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Family Court Hell

Thanks to the many readers who been sending me this story over the past several days. Many of you expressed concern about the horrible story of Mark Harris, an English father who was jailed for waving at his daughter:

Denied access to his three children after his divorce, Mark was jailed for standing outside his house to wave to them. It took ten years and 133 hearings before they were reunited. How CAN the Government insist cases like his are kept secret?

Every day there is some reminder of what Mark Harris calls 'the lost years'.

It could be his daughter's reference to a particular birthday party or a family holiday. It could be talk of exams sat, dentists visited or pop stars worshipped.

Each time it happens, he feels a stab of regret. 'I missed so much,' he reveals, with understandable bitterness. 'They took my daughter's childhood, her formative years, from me. Lisa is 20 now. I didn't see her between the ages of ten and 16. An awful lot happens in a child's life in that time, and I missed it all....'

'What happened to my family is unforgivable. And that it was all sanctioned - ordered - by a system that is supposed to help families is outrageous.'

The controversial family court system has much to answer for in this case. Mark Harris isn't the first father who has questioned how it operates. Family court proceedings are notoriously secretive, and campaigners have long appealed for the proceedings to be more open and judges more accountable.

That is not to be, however. Last week the Lord Chancellor ruled that proceedings must remain secret - something that horrifies Mark and his girls.

...So angry is he about his experiences that he has written a book, Family Court Hell. 'Surely my story is evidence enough that the system needs to change.

'If it doesn't, the family courts are open to abuse by unaccountable judges and social workers with their own agendas, whose word is taken as law and who almost invariably favour the mother.

Mr. Harris says that his case is not unique, many other fathers are going through similar situations--heck, even in the US, being a movie star is no protection-- Alec Baldwin believes he has gotten the shaft and is writing a book about the experience.

It is common knowledge among men that they have fewer rights than they could ever imagine when they get into the divorce process. I sometimes wonder if in the back of their mind, some dads know that the deck is stacked against them and this is why they do not get too engaged with their children if they are not getting along with the mother. The less emotional engagement, the less pain and frustration when the courts, the mother and the lawyers finish with the process. Many men are told that they do not care about families and children and maybe some don't but my guess is that there are a number of fathers who had to disengage to save their emotional lives. This ends up being tragic for both the father and the children.

Ask Dr. Helen

I have a new advice column over at Pajama's Media called "Ask Dr. Helen" where readers can ask questions and have them answered:

She’s wearing her Pajamas and she’s ready for your questions.

Dr. Helen Smith, the forensic psychologist and blogger from Knoxville, Tennessee, co-star of PJM’s Glenn and Helen Show, also known popularly as the Instawife, kicks off her new advice column with an important question on the topic of competence: “What should an adult be able to do?”

Do you have a pressing question that you need help with regarding relationships, men's issues, culture or life in general? Drop a comment below, write one at PJM or email me at askdrhelen at

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bloggers Fighting Back

This elitist and tacky behavior by The New Republic writer Christopher Orr makes me glad we let our subscription to the magazine run out a couple of years ago. What I love is the comment section at TNR where almost all of the comments are supportive of Orr--and there are almost no comments supportive of Prof Althouse--except Prof Althouse. Looks fishy to me--I wonder if Orr's elitism extends to editing out comments that disagree with his position? I guess Ann is correct when she states:

Ha! You'd prefer to slam people and have them silently take it, right? Bloggers don't do that. The comfy old days of MSM are gone. Thanks for admitting that you can't handle the new situation where the people you attack have a way of fighting back.

I repeat: Ha!

I second that Ha.