Studies like these make me angry

July 31, 2007

The LA Times has a story about the stress of going to war on the remaining spouse and showed that it led to a 60% increase in child neglect or abuse. Taking these numbers as a given, since I haven’t seen the study it seems pretty clear that the effect is simply what happens when you go from two parents to one parent in a household. Now the article mentions nothing about a control group used, but it sounds like some of the same old Gulf-War syndrome nonsense.

A Kinah for Tisha Bav

July 24, 2007

This Kinah is meant to be from the perspective of somebody angry at G-d not actually expressing anger towards G-d.

למה זה תשאל שמי והוא פאלי

For all of our troubles the blame goes to You
You set it in motion, they just picked up the cue
70, 1290, You know them all G-d
Don’t spoil the child, but for once spare the rod
למה זה תשאל שמי והוא פאלי
Which merciful attribute and which Heavenly trait
made you lose all control, just let your anger abate!
All the innocent children G-d forget all the rest,
did they have baseless hatred, did they fail any test?
למה זה תשאל שמי והוא פאלי

The Jews in the gas chamber, the Jews on the rack
Every light in the tunnel is another train on the track
The centuries have passed G-d and so have the years
We’ve lost all our anger, all that’s left are the tears.
למה זה תשאל שמי והוא פאלי

Somebody I know made DrudgeReport

July 20, 2007

When I went to a shiur in Northbrook last night I heard about someone from my class whose family received an early copy of the book. Apparently they weren’t interested in a free ride through college because they didn’t post the book on Craigslist. Now apparently the postman has taken the book back. It doesn’t seem legal, isn’t that interfering with the mail? I’m sure they have the right, but I know in their situation the book would be gone within the day.

The Natural Family

July 16, 2007

Michael Medved had on one of the authors of The Natural Family. That author made clear that he felt  that it was vitally important for  children to be raised with their natual biological parents and that any non-nuclear family does irreparable harm to the child. There are a few problems with this. The first is that this supposed natural family has never existed in history. Even in the past when children weren’t born out of wedlock as frequently (or at least it wasn’t known about, which might be equivalent) you still had a large percentage of children who were raised by a stepmother and not their natural parents. So to claim that our nuclear family is natural is far-fetched given history. (I mean is there any reason to believe that in primitive societies father’s contributed anything towards raising their children aside from protection and food) The other problem is that if he is right you would expect there to be a Golden Age in America approximately 20 years after the families were all so wonderful. In fact the 1970s are considered one of the bad decades yet these children were raised in the glory filled 50s. The children of the 50s were born in 20s and 30s families which lacked the moral fiber and the strong father figure. So in other words until there is some extremely strong evidence I think a natural family is pretty worthless.

Elitist Populists

July 10, 2007

    I was listening to talk radio as I wasted my day today. At around 10:00 I heard an interview with some Fox host. They were discussing the Chinese imports and the host, who has made a living attacking the elites for being out of touch with the common man, said that she thought were tired of trade with China for some cheap t-shirts. This attitude is normally expressed by wealthy people who avoid Chinese imports because of the low enviromental standards, the very people the host (Laura Ingraham) loves to lambaste for their support of anything she disagrees with.

These elitist arguments are typical of populist demagogues and oddly enough it strikes a chord even among the masses. For some reason people who buy large percentages of their goods from Asia agree wholeheartedly with massive tariffs and even patronize those hosts who criticize them as not knowing what’s best for themselves.

Unfortunately those demagogues who make enough to easily live without hypocrisy, are growing in influence. They managed to defeat the immigration bill which, though flawed, was somewhat better than the status quo.

Warrantless Wiretapping?

July 9, 2007

This term is technically correct as the NSA did not have a search warrant, but given the fact that there is such a strong double-entendre wouldn’t you think that the news reports would be more hesitant to use that phrasing, it might seem better to use the phrase “wiretaps without a warrant”, although it lacks snap it is much clearer.

The Most Sickly-Sweet Commercial Ever

July 5, 2007

This is near verbatim

Dramatis Personae

Little Girl (around 3 with fake cute voice set to max)
Authoritative Announcer

LG: Mommy will you love me when I turn 5?
M: Yes honey
LG: Mommy will you love me when I turn 10?
M: Yes honey
LG: Will you love me when I turn 15?
AA: While you can’t engineer a mother’s love you can engineer a car and that is why the Chevy Escalade (or something I can’t remember the brand) is designed with space collision resistance systems
LG: Will you love me when I’m as old as you?
M: I will always love you

Doesn’t that make you throw up inside?