Friday, June 27, 2008

Tidbits from USA Today

I am traveling today and while hanging out in the hotel picked up a USA Today to see what was going on in the world (like I can't find out more easily on the internet). Anyway, I like USA Today for their little sidebars and snapshots of interesting stats on American life.

On the frontpage sidebar, I learned that more and more women are attending law school then ever before. In 2007-2008, there were 53% men in US laws compared to 47% women. By contrast, there were 72% men in law and 28% women in 1977-1978, 59% men, 41% women in 1987-1988 and 55% men, 45% women in 1997-1998.

The next study I read was entitled, "Sweeping study finds blacks in U.S. diverse, optimistic." Interestingly, I found out that although liberals and others keep insisting that we call blacks "African Americans" (wouldn't this be like calling me an Israeli American because I am Jewish? Nevermind that I was born in California and have not yet visited Israel but that is beside the point), many blacks do not prefer this title. Blacks are evenly divided about what they prefer to be called--42% favor "black" and 44% favor "African American."

Finally, in the "Nation" section of the paper, I found an article that stated fewer Americans are expected to drive or fly for the 4th of July:

Fewer Americans than last year will be driving and flying during next week's Fourth of July holiday, travel experts say.

The number of people driving 50 or more miles from home will drop 1.2% to about 34.2 million, reflecting the continued impact of high gasoline prices, auto club AAA says.

The drop follows a similar decline over the Memorial Day holiday and is the first time this decade that AAA has forecast smaller numbers of people taking driving vacations on consecutive holidays.

The article goes on to talk about how the travel industry is responding to high gas prices by offering discounts, promotions, and other incentives to get people traveling this holiday. Really? I haven't noticed any. The bill for the hotel we are staying in seems higher than ever, including a charge (although very small) for the USA Today that I did not order but received anyway because in order not to be charged, one has to remember to call the front desk and tell them to take the charge off and not deliver the paper. Fat chance of that.

But anyway, the paper gave me some fodder for a blog post to keep a few readers amused or at least hopefully, not too terribly bored and entertained me for a few minutes so it's not too bad.


Blogger Misanthrope said...

I myself am not planning to travel for Independence Day. However I am sitting in a hotel about a mile from LAX because United cancelled my flight to OKC where I am supposed to be attending my high school reunion.

Here's to hoping I leave today, the earliest flight they claimed they could rebook me on leaves at five pm.

Hope you're enjoying your trip doc.

11:55 AM, June 27, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


Sorry to hear about your flight--I hope you are able to make the reunion and still have a good time despite the delays.

12:19 PM, June 27, 2008  
Blogger Misanthrope said...

I'll get a day in, and see my sister also (twins, she's not going). I had other business I was going to try to take care of, but since I've put it off for ten months, what a couple more?

12:48 PM, June 27, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I'll be spending the 4th at Boy Scout camp with my son and his troop. It's a great vacation for someone like me who likes to camp and loves the outdoors.

It's free for me, I camp out all week, do nothing but outdoors activities and the camp staff does all the cooking and clean up.

1:13 PM, June 27, 2008  
Blogger BobH said...


So you're jewish. That explains a lot. One of the reasons that I stopped going to church, more than 20 years ago, was the pacifism ("Turn the other cheek") being relentlessly promoted from the pulpit. Now I'm an agnostic with two uncles who are mainstream protestant ministers. We decided long ago that we could either be a family or try to convert each other, but not both.

Concerning the proportions of male and female lawyers, I find the changes to be entirely unsurprising. I have heard law described as "morality enforced by people with guns". As such, it is social manipulation performed and/or mediated by largely by lawyers. I have long been convinced that women are more interested than men in manipulating their social environment, so, given the option, they would be more drawn to one of the manipulative professions. (That may also be why it seems that so many of my female fellow psychology students want to be therapists and counselers instead of going into research.)

As for "Black" vs "African-American" (what about "people of color"?), the thing that I always resented was me, as a caucasian, deciding on one of these description then being accused of racial bigotry by some other person because my choice wasn't the choice preferred by that person. Admittedly this has happened very infrequently and the objectors have been more likely to be white than black. I finally decided that it was just that other person wanting an excuse to jerk me around.

Or maybe I'm just projecting.

1:14 PM, June 27, 2008  
Blogger Derek said...

I'll be traveling next week... alone. I've a conference to attend that runs over 4th of July.

But I'll be wishing I was with Dadvocate. My time will come, though. Our oldest just received his information/application packet for Cub Scouts. (Yay!)

1:52 PM, June 27, 2008  
Blogger Larry J said...

The whole name game that blacks (or African Americans) use is kind of amusing. A term that is accepted in one era is later deemed racist but the names of organizations formed during that era rarely if ever change.

Should the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People change its name?

How about the United Negro College Fund?

Or the Congressional Black Caucus?

Finally, if someone objects to being called black because they don't want to be referenced by the color of their skin (a completely reasonable goal, IMO), it would be less hypocritical if they didn't go around calling others white based on the color of their skin.

1:53 PM, June 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Black isn't so much a modern description of race as it is a political category - or more specifically a designated victim group. That should be obvious from the fact that only a small fraction of Negroid ancestry is required to be a member. The same is true for "Native Americans" but not for orientals because, well, they are doing well without government handouts and special privileges. (Imagine arguing, say, for special consideration in college placement because you are 10% Japanese. Now realize how ridiculous and racist all those basic arguments really are.)

Re survey, I wonder whether the option was even made available: How many "Blacks" or "African Americans" would rather be referred to simply and profoundly as Americans? That would be a meaningful result.

2:45 PM, June 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

. . . So you're jewish. That explains a lot. . .

What do you mean by that comment, BobH? is that a positive thing, negative thing, or irrelevant.

4:07 PM, June 27, 2008  
Blogger David Foster said...

I wonder how many of the people going to law school...male or female...are doing so because of a genuine interest in the field. My sense is that there are an awful lot of people who go to law school because they can't think of anything else to do.

5:00 PM, June 27, 2008  
Blogger Serket said...

I prefer the term black, but I also don't like the term caucasian (unless you are a Russian). As for the 4th, we do activities locally, but I did have to drive for work.

11:38 PM, August 04, 2008  
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