Saturday, December 13, 2008

Is spraying fox pee really a violent act or a practical joke?

I was reading an article today about a fifty-year-old man who was fed up with teens toilet-papering his house, and decided to take matters into his own hands:

A 50-year-old man who told authorities he was fed up with teens toilet-papering his house decided to defend his property — with a squirt gun filled with fox urine.

Now, Scott Wagar is in trouble with the law....

According to police, Wagar was on his property Sept. 16 when he used night vision goggles to see 15-20 people running toward his place. He told police that he told them to leave, swore at them and sprayed them with the fox urine. He also allegedly struggled with one of the teens.

It seems to me someone really trying to defend their property would have more than fox urine. If he really struggled with one of the teens, perhaps this should be looked into. However, if this man is in trouble, shouldn't the teens who were trespassing and proceeding to cause problems to his property also be in trouble with the law?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Are parents responsible when kids are fat?

Katherine Berry at PJM has a column entitled, "Fat Kids Have Their Parents to Blame" with an accompanying caption, "Childhood obesity ultimately comes down to the choices mom and dad make." I am not sure I agree entirely with this.

Parents may be in part to blame for poor choices but I have to ask where these poor choices came from. In a society that makes a mockery of self-discipline (bailouts anyone?), tells us that it's always someone else's fault when something bad happens, tells us that everything is a "right," and we deserve everything we want, what the hell can we expect? Parents are just doing as they are taught by the nanny-staters in this country and passing these "pearls of wisdom" down to their kids. "Self-discipline is for suckers, you deserve the best, you can have it all just because you're you." Why shouldn't these messages translate over to eating? You can have it all, live life with gusto, no need to restrain yourself, discipline is for suckers and abusers etc. Kids get away with anything they want these days and frankly, I have seen parents, teachers and caregivers use food to reward kids because they are not allowed to use any other means of discipline. Just give Johnny a cupcake and maybe he'll behave. It's a vicious cycle. I am not saying that just because of lack of discipline, kids and parents are turning to eating, but I do think it plays a role, one that society contributes to, by not allowing parents to truly parent.

I am troubled by Berry's last 2 paragraphs in the article:

It’s a job that parents of overweight children better get serious about performing, too, or they may lose their kids entirely, and not necessarily due to the dire health consequences they’re allowing their children to suffer. In Britain last year, a child’s excess weight was a factor in over 20 child protection cases, and just this week a six-year-old boy was taken from his parents care solely due to his obesity.

Think it couldn't’t happen here? Then, next time you’re pulling into McDonald’s for dinner (again) or reaching for that microwaveable high-fat, high-calorie dinner-in-a-box, ask yourself which entity requires you to get your kids vaccinated and send them to school for their own good and what would happen to you if you blew off that responsibility because “it’s not convenient.”

So, rather than fight the state for it's draconian laws that take kids from their parents, Berry seems to suggest that parents appease the state by keeping the kids slim? Yes, I do think parents should look after the best interests of their kids by feeding them healthy food. I try to do that myself. However, I think that our society and other cultural issues play just as big a role in keeping our kids fat as parents do. It is much easier for some, I suppose, to point the finger at mom and dad as the main source of the problem, even to the point of taking their kids away. But that hardly seems a suitable solution.


The other Glenn and Helen Show

I interviewed men's rights activist Glenn Sacks on PJTV today on why blogging is so important in terms of activism for the men's movement. We talk about the biased ads from JC Pennys showing men put in the doghouse for giving the wrong gift, why men won't stick up for themselves, how to make it politically expensive to bash men in our society and more! You can watch the show here (currently free with no registration). Please support our endeavors at PJTV--for it is one of the few places that will give politically incorrect ideas like ours a place to be heard.

Watch the show here.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why do intellectuals sympathize with criminals?

Bernard Chapin at PJM has a terrific interview up with psychiatrist Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, author of Not With a Bang But a Whimper: The Politics and Culture of Decline and In Praise of Prejudice: The Necessity of Preconceived Ideas. This part of the interview caught my eye:

BC: Why do we as a society automatically extend empathy and compassion to criminals rather than the victims of their crimes? There’s a phrase that you use in this context: “a preference for barbarism.” Why do our intellectuals rally to the cause of miscreants rather than that of good, honest citizens?

Dr. Dalrymple: Intellectuals need to say things that are not immediately obvious or do not occur to the man in the street. The man in the street instinctively sympathizes with the victim of crime; therefore, to distinguish himself from the man in the street, the intellectual has to sympathize with the criminal, by turning him into a victim of forces which only he, the intellectual, has sufficient sophistication to see.

I noticed this sympathy with miscreants in Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers: The Story of Success in which he describes a "genius" whom he uses as an example of success. It seems that this "success" tried at one point to poison and kill his tutor over some trivial matter. This genius got probation. Rather than condemn this act, Gladwell discusses how this genius could talk his way out of anything and went on to be a success whereas Gladwell's example of a "non-successful" genius was a guy who never committed such a heinous act, but lacked the fortitude to talk his way out of anything. Perhaps I am naive, but I think the latter guy who has a moral compass is more of a success.

Update: TigerHawk weighs in.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What is considered "rich"?

I read with interest an article at MSN entitled, "Are you rich? Here's how to tell." The so-called "rich" live mainly on the coasts:

By Obama's definition of rich, the top 20% of households in San Jose, Calif., San Francisco and Washington, D.C., would be targeted for higher taxes. But in 32 other cities with a lower cost of living, households in the same upper quintile would qualify for tax breaks, because they earn less than $200,000, Obama's cutoff point. In six remaining cities, average incomes for the top 20% are between $200,000 and $250,000; these households, Obama says, would see neither a tax cut nor a tax increase.

I don't think living in these places qualifies one as "rich" on $250,000. As the article points out, a family of four would need $718,989 to be classified as "rich" in NYC. I used to know lawyers and other professionals when I lived in Manhattan who made $100,000 or more in the 1980's. None of them was living all that well. They mainly had a one bedroom apartment with no doorman and could go buy beer as they pleased. Doesn't seem all that rich to me. You can do that in Knoxville on $30,000 a year easy. What do you think, is $250,000 rich?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Men are losing jobs at a higher rate than women

Job loss is affecting more men than women according to a recent Boston Globe article (via Newsalert).

Men are losing jobs at far greater rates than women as the industries they dominate, such as manufacturing, construction, and investment services, are hardest hit by the downturn. Some 1.1 million fewer men are working in the United States than there were a year ago, according to the Labor Department. By contrast, 12,000 more women are working.

This gender gap is the product of both the nature of the current recession and the long-term shift in the US economy from making goods, traditionally the province of men, to providing services, in which women play much larger roles, economists said. For example, men account for 70 percent of workers in manufacturing, which shed more than 500,000 jobs over the past year. Healthcare, in which nearly 80 percent of the workers are women, added more than 400,000 jobs.

The article states that 1,069,000 fewer men are working than a year ago. 12,000 more women are working. Yet, I am sure that all we will hear about in the MSM is how the recession is affecting women.

"It is calculated that 250,000 babies who would have been boys have been born as girls instead in the US and Japan alone."

This is scary (via Instapundit):

The male gender is in danger, with incalculable consequences for both humans and wildlife, startling scientific research from around the world reveals. The research – to be detailed tomorrow in the most comprehensive report yet published – shows that a host of common chemicals is feminising males of every class of vertebrate animals, from fish to mammals, including people.

Backed by some of the world's leading scientists, who say that it "waves a red flag" for humanity and shows that evolution itself is being disrupted, the report comes out at a particularly sensitive time for ministers. On Wednesday, Britain will lead opposition to proposed new European controls on pesticides, many of which have been found to have "gender-bending" effects....

Communities heavily polluted with gender-benders in Canada, Russia and Italy have given birth to twice as many girls than boys, which may offer a clue to the reason for a mysterious shift in sex ratios worldwide. Normally 106 boys are born for every 100 girls, but the ratio is slipping. It is calculated that 250,000 babies who would have been boys have been born as girls instead in the US and Japan alone.

I have noticed for the past ten or fifteen years that it seems like there are more girl babies and just girls in general wherever I go and thought perhaps it was just a coincidence, but now I see it may not be. I hope that more research and attempts to address this problem are forthcoming, or could it be that if only males are affected, no one cares?

" least Sally and Johnny will be sitting in energy efficient schools as they learn how not to compete in the private sector."

Riehl World View blog highlights some of Obama's job creation programs in a post entitled, "How Many "Hopeful" Workers Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?" I checked out Obama's goals for schools which is as follows:

—SCHOOLS: “[M]y economic recovery plan will launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen. We will repair broken schools, make them energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms. Because to help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.”

Dan at Riehl World had this to say in response:

Ack!! Sorry, but when someone launches a job creation program and it's government-centric, I'm unimpressed. Seems we're going to find our way out of the economic darkness by changing lightbulbs. And at least Sally and Johnny will be sitting in energy efficient schools as they learn how not to compete in the private sector. No mention of Math and Science, but at least they'll be able to watch YouTube videos with High Speed access....

Yes, make the building pretty and suddenly it'll be wonderful schools for all. I'm starting to think this guy really is fixated on image, as opposed to substance. And, as usual, we'll get to pay for ten guys, eight of them standing around holding flags, while two eventually start to work fixing potholes. It isn't that we don't need to focus on infrastructure, but how about dealing with the inefficient way we approach it if you want to bring some change?

If Obama wants to really bring change to schools, how about bringing back critical thinking to the classroom? But image over substance is much more politically advantageous these days and seems to be what the public wants.