Friday, January 25, 2008

"A man is a sperm bank, a meal ticket, a handyman and an early retirement plan,..."

Reaons heterosexual men are staying single and "fabulous" according to this Seattle Times article by The Associated Press (Thanks Dan). However, when you read the article, you will wonder why these guys feel so fabulous. It seems that discrimination against single men is prevalent:

Experts say society still favors married men over their single counterparts, though. The most common complaints come from the workplace, where many say they are discriminated against.

"Especially as you approach your mid-30s and 40s and all your colleagues around you are married, there's a lot of unsaid words that go on and feelings of inadequacy at work," says Sherri Langburt, founder of the new Web site, an online community for happy singles.

Those include speculation about a single man's sexual preferences and, concomitantly, a difficulty in making friends with heterosexual co-workers because colleagues might question his motives.

Single men often say they are asked to work on holidays, put in longer hours or travel more for business. Employers often assume that without a spouse, unwed workers have extra time to spare, says Nicky Grist, executive director of the Alternatives to Marriage Project. That organization is for people who choose not to marry or cannot legally marry.

Particularly in the powerful worlds of business and politics, it's often all about appearances and presenting oneself as a stable man with a solid foundation, Grist says.

Perhaps as more men stay single, these stereotypes will change.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ask Dr. Helen

My PJM column is up:

Middle-aged virgins are not necessarily the stuff of comedy. Choosing to wait is just fine, writes Dr. Helen Smith — unless past sexual abuse or a debilitating lack of confidence is making the choice for you.

Go take a look and drop a line if you have something to add.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Irrational Atheist

I spent part of the day reading Vox Day's new book, The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens. You might know Vox Day from his blog and interesting take on feminist issues--he always has something provocative to add to that particular conversation and his book proves to be just as stimulating in regards to religion and faith. The Irrational Atheist is described as follows (from the inside cover):

The Irrational Atheist is not a theological work nor is it a conventional religious defense of faith. It contains no arguments for the existence of God and the supernatural, nor is it concerned with evolution, creationism, the age of Earth, or intelligent design. This book contains no arguments from Scripture. In attacking the arguments, assertions, and conclusions of the New Atheists, Vox Day's only weapons are the secular tools of reason, logic and historically documented, independently verifiable fact. The Irrational Atheist is not a book about God, but about those who seek to replace Him....

Day takes on the likes of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens and seeks to demonstrate that they and other "New Atheists" are no champions of reason. For example, Day discusses one argument made by Harris where Harris questions the correlation between Christian conservatism and social health:

If there was a strong correlation between Christian conservatism and social health, we might expect to see some sign of it in red-state America. We don't. Of the 25 cities with the lowest rates of violent crime, 62 percent are in "blue" [Democrat] states and 38% are in "red" [Republican] states. Of the twenty-five most dangerous cities, 76 percent are in red states, and 24 percent are in blue states. In fact, three of the five most dangerous cities in the US are in the pious state of Texas.

Interestingly, though, Day found that "red-state" crime is primarily committed by "blue counties" within those states and has a nice chart to show the stats on this. It seems that Harris was looking at states such as Texas that had more crime and called the states "red" but conveniently omitted the part where the counties where the crimes were committed tended to be "blue."

Other myth busters include the notion that religion causes the majority of war as some atheists profess, Day provides evidence to the contrary--he found that more than 93% of all the wars in human history had no relation to religion. In the twentieth century, in fact, he states that atheistic regimes killed three times more people in peacetime than those killed in all the wars and individual crimes combined.

The book is definitely thought provoking and worth a read if you are interested in the topic!


Monday, January 21, 2008

"Some of us still believe that the worth of a CEO should be determined by stockholders rather than the President of the United States."

David Harsanyi, author of The Nanny State, is worried about the expanded role of government that Hillary Clinton proposes:

According to the New York Times, Hillary Clinton says that if she becomes president the federal government will take a more active role in the economy “to address what she called the excesses of the market and of the Bush administration.” Scary stuff for anyone who still believes in the free market.

I agree--scary stuff. What's next? Holding wages down on those people she deems make too much money, taxing the daylights out of those who are successful? What will become of a country that rewards doing poorly with tax rebates and penalizes those who are successful with higher taxes? You get more of what you reward. But then, isn't that the idea? Remember the lyrics to the the old Rainmaker's song, Government Cheese:

They'll turn us all into beggars 'cause they're easier to please
They're feeding our people that Government Cheese ....

Perhaps that should be the new slogan for the Hillary campaign.

What Would MLK , Jr. have Thought?

An interesting article at PJM: Identity Politics: Not What Martin Luther King Was About:

What would Martin Luther King, Jr. have thought of today’s “sorry national burlesque in which ovaries and melanin are all but exit poll determinants?” Michael Weiss doesn’t think the great exemplar of universalism would be too impressed.

Go take a look.