Saturday, August 23, 2008

Are Teenage Boys Just Stupid?

A 15-year-old teen was shot and killed at Central High School in Knoxville last Thursday:

The bell rings again this morning at Central High School, a day after the shooting that killed a sophomore, panicked more than a thousand Knox County students and their parents, and left a freshman student charged with murder.

Classes hadn't begun Thursday morning when a single shot struck 15-year-old Ryan McDonald in the chest as students gathered in the cafeteria just after 8 a.m. Doctors pronounced him dead less than an hour later at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville Police Department Deputy Chief Bill Roehl said.
Police said the bullet came from a gun in the hand of Jamar B. Siler, a 15-year-old with a troubled past. He faces a charge of first-degree murder.

Katie Allison Granju, a blogger at KnoxNews has a post on the shooting with the title, "Teenage boys are stupid" (Hat tip: Instapundit). Here is what Ms. Granju had to say:

By the time a male is about 16 years old, he has the body of an adult male, an adult male with a brain under assault by a dramatic rush of hormones the likes of which he'll never again see during any other period of his lifetime. Teenage boys are more impulsive and aggressive than any other group. WItness their penchant for crashing cars, diving headfirst into rock quarries, experimenting with drugs, and deciding to "play chicken" by draping themselves across dark country roads in an attempt to prove something to their similarly stupid peers.They are driven by sexual curiosity to the point of insanity, and they hold a misguided sense of immortality.

Yes, I'm generalizing. Many teenage boys are polite, respectful, accomplished individuals, but those of them who are are pulling this off are doing so by fighting the natural impulses to be idiots that threaten to overtake them every day.

Having dealt with numerous violent teens in my career and understanding the complexities that go into the making of a killer, I have to say that I find the sweeping generalization that teen boys are stupid about as helpful as a band-aid on a gunshot wound. What I find interesting is that this boy's own sister is on the run for allegedly killing a woman and yet, where is the similar story with the headline, "Teenage girls are stupid" by Granju? We don't know why this particular boy took another teen's life at this point. But one thing I do know, saying that "boys are stupid" is not the answer to the very complex and emotional problem of teen murder. It is merely a sexist and ineffective response to a very troubling and complicated issue.

You can read more about the complexities of teen murder in my book, The Scarred Heart : Understanding and Identifying Kids Who Kill at or download it for free here.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Duke Accuser is Writing another Story

Crystal Mangum, the woman who accused the Duke Lacrosse team of rape, will now be writing her memoirs:

Disgraced Crystal Mangum, the former stripper and prostitute who accused three Duke University lacrosse players of strangling, beating, and brutally raping her (vaginally, anally, and orally) in a tiny bathroom at a house party back in March 2006, is writing her memoirs. Not an Internet rumor. It’s true!

The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story, scheduled for release on October 1, is Mangum’s sob story of a story. It, like everything else about her, will generate ridicule…unless it contains a big, fat apology to Reade Seligman, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans.

The men who were falsely accused of rape had their reputations and lives ruined. Their accuser writes a book and graduates from college with a degree in Criminal Justice. Men deserve better than this.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Carla Howell: Abolishing the Income Tax in Massachusetts

chowell.jpgLike many states, Massachusetts has an income tax. But in Massachusetts, people are trying to do something about it. Libertarian activist Carla Howell organized an initiative in 2002 that would have abolished the state income tax. It got over 45% of the vote, and now she's back with another effort.
We talk to her about libertarian politics, politicians and taxes, and whether this initiative might start a national anti-tax trend. Plus, what you can do, if you want to help.

You can listen to the file directly -- no downloads needed -- by going right here and clicking on the gray Flash player. Or you can download the file and listen at your leisure by clicking right here. And, of course, you can always get a free subscription via iTunes. Free!

Music is by Audra and the Antidote ("Revolution") and Carla Howell ("The Tax Song.") Show archives are at

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ask Dr. Helen: Workplace Discrimination Against Men

My PJM column is up:

Reader Len writes in to ask for advice on how to handle discrimination against men in the workplace.

If male, have you dealt with discrimination in the workplace? If so, how did you handle it? Read the column and let us know.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rachel Lucas explains why she is steamed that stores are selling male bashing merchandise: "Some have asked me why I bother getting pissed about this kind of thing, and the reason is because it’s wrong. It’s hypocritical and unproductive. It deepens the rifts between men and women, it puts men on the defensive, and personally I don’t LIKE men being on the defensive because they’re just as difficult to deal with as bitchy women. It foments contention and has absolutely no redeeming value. It’s just like “reverse” racism - which we all know is actual racism - and any woman who thinks those captions are “cute” or “funny” is no smarter or more enlightened than your average chauvinist pig."


Monday, August 18, 2008

Amy Alkon: "My question: Was the reason our founding fathers fought for free speech really so tiny little thugs who call themselves "progressives" can foil any possibility of it on the websites of anyone whose opinions they disagree with?"