Saturday, March 28, 2009

Readership vs. Viewership

Vox Day did a breakdown of various blogs and how many words viewers of a particular blog actually read. Apparently, you all are avid readers!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"It is a society steadily transitioning toward statism."

So says Mark Levin about American government in his new book, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. I looked over the book a while back after Glenn received an advanced copy but didn't read it thoroughly due to time constraints. It looked pretty good then but when I saw it was up to #1 on Amazon, I decided to give it a second read. I'm glad I did. For his "Conservative Manifesto" is a wake-up call to all of us who care about individual freedom and resisting the transition to statism.

Mr. Levin gives some thoughts on what conservatives need to be doing. He describes why many conservatives don't become engaged in public matters but explains why it is important to change:

The Conservative must become more engaged in public matters. It is in his nature to live and let live, to attend to his family, to volunteer time with his church and synagogue, and to quietly assist a friend, a neighbor, or even a stranger. These are certainly admirable qualities that contribute to the overall health of the community. But it is no longer enough. The Statist's counterrevolution has turned the instrumentalities of public affairs and public governance against the civil society. They can no longer be left to the devices of the Statist, which is largely the case today.

This will require a new generation of conservative activists, larger in number, shrewder, and more articulate than before, who seek to blunt the Statist's counterrevolution--not imitate it--and gradually and steadily reverse course. More conservatives than before will need to seek elective and appointed office, fill the ranks of administrative state, hold teaching positions in public schools and universities, and find positions in Hollywood and the media where they make a difference in infinite ways. The Statist does not have a birthright ownership to these institutions. The Conservative must fight for them, mold them, and where appropriate, eliminate them where they are destructive to the preservation and improvement of civil society.

We are already seeing people who have never been politically active taking part in tea parties across the nation. You will often hear that these tea parties "don't matter" but in reality, the tea parties are a "mind hit." That is, they are not what people expect. Lefties form groups and rally--building connections and networks of grassroots activists who can be called on when needed. Conservatives typically stay home. But not anymore. Moms,Dads, business people and others are taking to the streets and forming connections with each other and learning to organize against the statists of the world.

If there is a tea party near you, attend. I plan to.


Zonation on PJTV

If you have not checked out AlfonZo Rachel's show, Zonation, on PJTV, do so. He is funny, understands pop culture and is a conservative. His short two minute segments may be amusing, but they are filled with a serious message for conservatives and those on the right. Culture drives politics. If we can change culture, we can change politics. It takes time and effort but Rachel is on the right track.

Take a look at his shows here--they are short, easy to watch and to the point.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"If you made it yourself,....Why shouldn't you keep it, you made it..."

So says Ayn Rand, in an interview with Phil Donahue (thanks to reader Jeff for the link) when talking about citizens keeping money that they make themselves. Take notice of the audience reaction to Rand's ideas in the clip--people seem to love her. Imagine what would happen if she were on Jon Stewart's show in today's political climate. The boos and hisses would be deafening. Take a listen, it is really interesting:


Monday, March 23, 2009

The double standard of teen "rape"

Reader James (thanks!) emailed a post at Slate that referred to this article from the Daily Beast on "The Teen Rape Double Standard:"

After a 17-year-old boy had sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend, he was charged with a felony for statutory rape. When a 17-year-old girl in the same town committed the same crime, she was charged with far less. Was the boy the victim of gender bias?...

The cases caught the attention of the local press, generating a heated debate over whether Alan is being given harsher treatment simply because he is a boy. “After all,” said Purnell, “this isn’t one district attorney in Tennessee and one in New York deciding how to charge these cases. This wasn’t even one district attorney in one county in Wisconsin and another county in Wisconsin. No, this was the same guy who charged these two cases.”

The district attorney’s office refused to comment, but experts say it would not be far-fetched to assume that Alan has been the victim of bias. According to Dr. Marty Klein, author of America's War on Sex, “the double standard is not unusual. It is unusual to find such an extraordinarily clear example of it, but the philosophy behind the phenomenon is very common.”

The post from Slate was a response to this article and made the ridiculous argument that cases like this that charge a teen with a felony are okay as long as he is male because he is an aggressor just by lieu of his gender:

Diaz-Duran asks if the "boy was a victim of gender bias." Certainly it seems that his gender influenced the charge. But maybe that's as it should be. Yes, a 17-year-old female is capable of causing harm to an innocent 14-year-old with her sexuality, just as is her male counterpart. But men tend to be bigger, stronger, and have more parts that they can force into you. That's a crucial difference, and one that explains to some extent why rape laws would (and should) treat the sexes differently.

Okay, two can play at this game. Experts are always talking about how much more mature teen girls are than boys. If one can use biology as an excuse, then why not use psychology also? Shouldn't a much more mature girl of 17 be held more liable from a psychological standpoint than a boy of 14 since boys are said to lag behind girls socially and emotionally? Isn't it probable that better skills in this area would translate into better persuasion skills to get younger boys to have sex with them? And yes, many young men are harmed by girls and women who force or persuade them against their better wishes to have sex with them.

But I don't believe that sex with one's boyfriend or girlfriend in the teen years is akin to rape, if it is not forced. It is just adolescent sex. But, if the cases are to be charged as rape (and I do not believe they should be)--then they should be tried in a fair manner. Using sex as a basis for charging a person with a felony is a slippery slope to go down. The truth is, currently, boys and men are being punished in our society for their gender as payback by feminists and their enablers, and no one cares except for their families, the men and boys who are harmed by this, and a few good men and women.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vasectomy rates up

Hmmm, this is kind of interesting:

Doctors around the United States are reporting a sharp increase in the number of vasectomies performed since the economy soured last year, with one noting that many of his clients are from the beleaguered financial industry.

Their best guess is that the trend is due both to a decreased desire to have children because of the expense involved, and an increased desire to get such medical procedures done before their jobs -- and health insurance -- disappear.

Since November, Dr. Marc Goldstein, surgeon-in-chief of male reproductive medicine and surgery at the Cornell Institute for Reproductive Medicine in New York City, said his practice has seen about 48 percent more vasectomy consultations compared to the same time the previous year.

Nearly 50 percent of the patients in 2008 were employed within the financial industry, and more than 36 percent were seen since September, according to unpublished data from the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Microsurgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

I wonder if when the recession turns around, these men might regret their decision. Perhaps not, many men who get vasectomies generally seem relieved--depending on why they got the vasectomy. Here is a site that has some advice for men considering a vasectomy that looked pretty decent and seemed to indicate that men who thought through their decision felt okay about it. On the other hand, there are books like If It Works, Don't Fix It: What Every Man Should Know Before Having a Vasectomy that tells the story of a man who had a botched vasectomy but I imagine this is rare. Anyway, if you have an opinion on the topic, share it in the comments.