Archive for June, 2010

June 30, 2010

Redemption and Dads

by thefulllidvmg

With the current stories on the male gender falling behind females in multiple categories, an important question arises: If fathers are unimportant, why does our society bother to hold deadbeat dads accountable?

I see it that although some fathers have fallen into dark holes, they still can seek redemption. They still matter. They still need to be held accountable, to not only others but their family, their children, and themselves.
From what I am hearing, the reporting on the pro’s of same-sex parenting are not fully encapsulated in what we read, merely leaving a slanted view. I read the entire Atlantic article and would be willing to read more on this. The freckled red head and I are thinking of writing in a follow-up letter to the the Atlantic.

June 30, 2010

Byrd could be in Heaven or Hell

by thefulllidvmg

The former KKK member supposedly was confronted by Baptist Convention officer Wiley Drake and recited the “sinner’s prayer” with him about four years ago. And we quote:

“Sen. Byrd, I don’t mean to be unkind,” Drake said he responded, “but you are getting up in years and when you do leave this world you need to know you are going to heaven.”

Drake said Byrd replied that he hoped so and then the preacher asked the senator if he wanted to know for sure.

“I led him in the sinner’s prayer right there in the halls of Congress,” Drake said.

June 30, 2010

The Doc is Staying

by thefulllidvmg

Full story here.
So how will Boston regroup this offseason?

June 30, 2010

Can You Let Him up in this Bizzle?

by thefulllidvmg

I love this show.

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June 30, 2010

Conan the Barbarian: The Musical

by thefulllidvmg

Staring Arnold Schwarzenegger

June 30, 2010

Fear the Fringe

by thefulllidvmg

Behold, the pretty, Conservative Christian, gun-toting candidate!

June 30, 2010

Sweeping Statement of the Day

by thefulllidvmg

“Somebody has to say this. When Hitler took power, no one wanted to think that the Holocaust, the murder of 6 million Jewish people, was possible. I’m saying that you have to recognize and name tyranny when you see it. And I think people are finding out that I’m the candidate who’s willing to speak clearly and not be afraid of sounding politically incorrect, and my opponent isn’t that candidate,” – congressmancongressional candidate Rick Barber, finally forced to respond to the press about his increasingly deranged ads.

June 30, 2010

Build your House

by thefulllidvmg

Rauhut describes the new USDA Rural Development self-help program:

The USDA provides the mortgage financing, and a non-profit agency — in this case, Interfaith Housing Alliance — acts as the grantee and supervises construction.

Families have to meet income guidelines and complete mandatory home-buyer education classes.

They are required to complete 65 percent of the work themselves, which works out to about 30 hours a week for eight months. Professionals do the wiring, plumbing and some of the more technical work, but the home buyers do most of the rest.

“It’s just amazing to see the families out here working 30 hours a week while holding full-time jobs and working toward that dream,” said Bryan Lyburn, director of business operations for Interfaith. “They end their day at 5, and come out here and do this in the hot and cold, and in good weather and bad.”

This sounds pretty neat and could allow for people to really appreciate the homes they have.

June 30, 2010

Petraeus on 2011’s Exodus

by thefulllidvmg

Petraeus isn’t going one way or the other with withdraw dates from Afghanistan:

Obama has said that troops would begin to leave in July 2011 but that the pace and size of the withdrawal will depend upon conditions.

Petraeus did not rule out a significant exodus then, as Vice President Biden favors, but he would not promise one either. Petraeus has previously said that he would recommend putting off any large-scale withdrawal if security conditions in Afghanistan cannot sustain it.

As the number of troop deaths rise, support for the war is dropping in the United States and Europe. June is the deadliest month of the war so far, with the total U.S. deaths above 1,000, and the new British government says it wants its troops out in five years.

June 30, 2010

Is this possible?

by thefulllidvmg

Excerpts from Tuesday’s hearing for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan:

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R. Ala.): “Greg Craig, former chief counsel to President Obama, who’s known you for some time, I understand, said of you, ‘She is largely a progressive in the mode of Obama himself.’ Do you agree with that?”

Kagan: “Well, Sen. Sessions, I’m not quite sure how I would characterize my politics, but one thing I do know is that my politics would be, must be, have to be completely separate from my judging.”

June 30, 2010

Empathy: Crucial for SCOTUS

by thefulllidvmg

Seymour Toll from the Philly Inquirer supports empathy, both in a SCOTUS nominee and in the outlook by our POTUS:

Speaking of replacing Souter, the president told reporters at the time: “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook; it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation.

“I view that quality of empathy,” he continued, “of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.”

To consider whether empathy is a desirable judicial credential, it’s essential to keep its meaning in mind. Empathy is the ability to vicariously experience another person’s thoughts, feelings, or attitudes.

The specificity is found in those who do the work. Whatever their race, religion, sexual orientation, or alma mater, judges are real people. And because their judgments inevitably affect the lives of real people, we have every right to insist that judges – however extensive their professional qualifications – be excellent human beings. And this excellence must include the ability to understand the human condition.

Thus, the core question is: What kind of person is a judicial nominee? That’s an elementary question, but that’s precisely why it’s essential.

June 30, 2010

The Many Battles within the War

by thefulllidvmg

Speaking from many years of involvement, this is an interesting story:

When even the U.S. military is soon to accept gays, the scouts’ policy is out of step with mainstream sentiment on wrongful discrimination.

As long as the scouts’ official policy is to bar homosexuals, the city has no choice but to continue to try to cut all ties. Indeed, U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter urged the scouts and city to reach a deal.

The scouts’ primary incentive should be to put this controversy behind them and get on with the good work of providing mentoring and educational programs for thousands of area youths.

A dinner conversation this past weekend with a freckled red head and my family brought this up. I see it that gay men/women have two strikes against them in many cases as opposed to heterosexuals when it comes to reasons as to why they shouldn’t be given a leadership position with the same sex. The no brainer is that gay individuals by their preference are attracted to those they are overseeing. But they have criminals and wrong-doers before them to blame for reasons why some see them as not “trustable”. Heterosexuals, on the other hand, have only one strike against them: criminal and wrong-doers before them.

A University of California – Davis study has me sifting through some interesting numbers. It is worth a full read beyond my excerpts.

The number of Americans who believe the myth that gay people are child molesters has declined substantially.

In a 1970 national survey, more than 70% of respondents agreed with the assertions that “Homosexuals are dangerous as teachers or youth leaders because they try to get sexually involved with children” or that “Homosexuals try to play sexually with children if they cannot get an adult partner.”

By contrast, in a 1999 national poll, the belief that most gay men are likely to molest or abuse children was endorsed by only 19% of heterosexual men and 10% of heterosexual women. Even fewer – 9% of men and 6% of women – regarded most lesbians as child molesters.

One problem is that none of the studies in this area have obtained data from a probability sample, that is, a sample that can be assumed to be representative of the population of all child molesters. Rather, most research has been conducted only with convicted perpetrators or with pedophiles who sought professional help. Consequently, they may not accurately describe child molesters who have never been caught or have not sought treatment.

As we continued on, we dove into the understanding of heterosexual’s as more commonly the ones who are child molesters/pedophiles:

For the present discussion, the important point is that many child molesters cannot be meaningfully described as homosexuals, heterosexuals, or bisexuals (in the usual sense of those terms) because they are not really capable of a relationship with an adult man or woman. Instead of gender, their sexual attractions are based primarily on age. These individuals – who are often characterized as fixated – are attracted to children, not to men or women.

Using the fixated-regressed distinction, Groth and Birnbaum (1978) studied 175 adult males who were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child. None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. 83 (47%) were classified as “fixated;” 70 others (40%) were classified as regressed adult heterosexuals; the remaining 22 (13%) were classified as regressed adult bisexuals. Of the last group, Groth and Birnbaum observed that “in their adult relationships they engaged in sex on occasion with men as well as with women. However, in no case did this attraction to men exceed their preference for women….There were no men who were primarily sexually attracted to other adult males…”

Science cannot prove a negative. Thus, these studies do not prove that homosexual or bisexual males are no more likely than heterosexual males to molest children. However, each of them failed to prove the alternative hypothesis that homosexual males are more likely than heterosexual men to molest children or to be sexually attracted to children or adolescents.

What this all should stand for is a fair and open approach to thinking over this and other related issues. How many of our decisions or inner-dialogues (think of a film reel constantly replaying) of life are based on unrealistic and  or hurtful conclusions?

June 30, 2010

The Gap Widens

by thefulllidvmg

Between Dems and Repubs. Look out midterm pols!

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June 30, 2010

Failure is an Option

by thefulllidvmg

Millman debunks the utopian view of the Afghanistan war:

But failure isalways an option. Ruling it out in advance doesn’t make success probable or even possible – it just rules out doing any kind of cost-benefit analysis of trying to achieve it. Worse, it rules out asking whether “success” actually advances our interests in the region, or actually sets them back.

And, while I don’t want to belabor comparisons between Nixon and Obama that I’ve made before by bringing up the Cambodian incursion, the sign probably should be reversed. The Pakistani military and intelligence services bankrolled the Taliban for years. But their goal is to secure their rear, to make sure that Afghanistan does not become an ally of any potentially hostile power (the old Soviet Union once, now Iran or India) and thereby become a potential base for operations against them. Given that our war in Afghanistan is very unpopular in Pakistan, and is directly contrary to the interests of the Pakistani military, it’s not at all clear why we should assume as a given that the war serves the interest of securing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons against capture by terrorists.

June 30, 2010

Thinking about Jihad

by thefulllidvmg

Robert Wright breaks down the testimony of Faisal Shahzad (would-be Time’s Square bomber), combining it with a National Review piece:

Now, for a Muslim holy warrior to see his attacks as revenge runs counter to Pipes’s longstanding claim that Islamic holy war is about attack, not counterattack. Roughly since 9/11, Pipes has been telling us that jihad is “unabashedly offensive in nature, with the eventual goal of achieving Muslim dominion over the entire globe.” This notion of “jihad in the sense of territorial expansion has always been a central aspect of Muslim life” and is now “the world’s foremost source of terrorism.” That’s why you have to respond with “superior military force.”

Now we have Shahzad suggesting roughly the opposite — that the holy war could end if America would stop using military force. He said in court, “Until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan and stops the occupation of Muslim lands and stops killing the Muslims and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S., and I plead guilty to that.”

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June 30, 2010

Sullivan’s Justification of Political Gossip

by thefulllidvmg

He provides a big blog posting on his Sarah Palin obsession:

For me, the issue here is about the political-media system that now operates in America. It was a system that never challenged the facts about the rush to war in Iraq – something I take personally as a failing of mine as well as of everyone else. It was a system that allowed a vice-presidential candidate to be selected by a Google search, with no vetting, and didn’t insist on an open press conference for the entire campaign. It was a system that gave a pass to a candidate who could have become president if a 73 year-old cancer and torture survivor were to become incapacitated, and who had a long, documented record of crazy lies, tall stories and a chaotic family life, because it was too unseemly to ask such a question and because asking it would have provoked an uproar from the heartland.

I still disagree strongly with him and think that the gossiping, reaching in assumptions, and time spent does not line up with where I want to be in life. At the end of the day, I think about the things I talked about or worked on. That isn’t one I want on that list.

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June 30, 2010

Electoral History Chart

by thefulllidvmg

Five Thirty Eight gives a cool chart-piece on how each state has gone in Presidential elections since 1948.

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June 30, 2010

Correcting the News

by thefulllidvmg

Brendan Nyhan extols fact-checking amongst the press but is not blind to its pitfalls:

Their [AP's] fact-checking efforts are almost uniformly the most clicked and most linked pieces they produce. Journalistic fact-checking with authority, it turns out, is popular.

However, based on my experience withSpinsanity and research on correcting misperceptions, I’d expect that the online popularity of fact-checks is in large part driven by bloggers and readers who want to see their political opponents be discredited. As Jason Reifler and I showed (PDF), people aren’t generally receptive to corrections of politicians on their side of the political spectrum.

June 30, 2010

Dirk Nowitzki out of Dallas?

by thefulllidvmg

ESPN thinks not. Think so?

June 29, 2010

War, College, and Inner-City Graduates, Ctd.

by thefulllidvmg

A reader writes in:

Sider wrote about Edison some 30 years ago in Rich Christians. I thought the “economic draft” was the most unique idea in this article. Good stuff!

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