Friday, September 29, 2006

Abortion Notification Laws and Behavior Modification

Sounds like a no-brainer to me...


Abortion Notification, Consent Laws Reduce Risky Teen Sex Says New Study

TALLAHASSEE, September 28, 2006 ( - Laws that require minors to notify or get the consent of one or both parents before having an abortion reduce risky sexual behavior among teens, according to a Florida State University law professor in Tallahassee, Fla.

Jonathan Klick, the Jeffrey A. Stoops Professor of Law, and Thomas Stratmann, professor of economics at George Mason University, came to that conclusion after they looked at the rates of gonorrhea among teenage girls as a measure of risky sex in connection to the parental notification or consent laws that were in effect at the time.

The researchers found that teen gonorrhea rates dropped by an average of 20 percent for Hispanic girls and 12 percent for white girls in states where parental notification laws were in effect. The results were not statistically significant for black girls. The study will be published in an upcoming edition of The Journal of Law Economics and Organization.

"Incentives matter," Klick said. "They matter even in activities as primal as sex, and they matter even among teenagers, who are conventionally thought to be short-sighted. If the expected costs of risky sex are raised, teens will substitute less risky activities such as protected sex or abstinence."

In this case, the incentive for teens is to avoid having to tell their parents about a pregnancy by substituting less risky sex activities. In doing so, the researchers say, the rates of gonorrhea among girls under the age of 20 went down.

"This suggests that Hispanic and white teenage girls are forward looking in their sex decisions, and they systematically view informing their parents and obtaining parental consent as additional costs in obtaining an abortion, inducing them to engage in less risky sex when parental involvement laws are adopted," Klick said. "Unfortunately, the data do not allow us to differentiate between the possibility that teens engage in less sex or they simply have the same amount of sex but are more fastidious in their condom use."

The researchers ruled out the possibility that teens simply substitute risky sexual behaviors for which pregnancy is not a concern, such as oral or anal intercourse, because these activities still could transmit gonorrhea. The use of birth control pills also would not protect against the sexually transmitted disease.

The researchers used data from the Centers for Disease Control to determine the rates of gonorrhea for women by age and race for the years 1981 through 1998. Gonorrhea rates for teenage girls were compared to those of women 20 and older whose behavior would not be affected by the notification and consent laws. Using the rate of gonorrhea among older women as a control, the researchers were able to ensure that the decline in incidence among the teens was not simply reflective of an overall decline of the disease in the state.

Forty-four states, including Florida, have adopted laws requiring minors to obtain consent or notify one or both parents prior to an abortion, but the laws have been blocked by the courts or otherwise not yet enforced in nine of those states, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ethics Begins at Home

In an age in which business school students are taught in their ethics classes just not to do anything that they don't want to read about in the newspapers, it's reassuring to know that there are still honest people like these in the world.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Delaware Abortion Facts

From the Delaware Right to Life site--

Delaware Abortion Facts
Did you know?
Delaware is #1 in the nation in teen abortions (19 and under)
Delaware is #2 in the nation in the rate of abortion (21 per 1,000 women)
Delaware is #1 in the nation in infant mortality rates
More than half of all abortions in Delaware are repeat abortions
42% of abortions in Delaware are performed on black women
Approximately 5,000 abortions are performed each year in Delaware
Approximately 1/3 of all abortions are performed on out-of-state women

* statistics are from the Centers for Disease Control and Alan Guttmacher Institute and reflect the year for which they are most recently available - 2003

Delaware takes its "First State" motto a bit too seriously, methinks. These are not areas in which we should covet first place.

Also, among the upcoming events on the Delaware Right to Life calendar--

Thursday, October 12 is the night of DRTL's Annual Banquet, an evening of good food, wonderful company, and inspiring speakers. This year's special guest is Day Gardner, Media Specialist at the National Pro-Life Action Center in Washington, D.C. and director of the newly founded National Black Pro-Life Union. Gardner, a former Miss Delaware, will speak on the genocide of blacks by abortion. Be sure to send in your reservation!

Check out their site for more information.

New CDC Spinach Advice


CDC Changes Spinach Advice

The following is advice for consumers about this outbreak:

Currently, we are advising consumers to not eat any fresh spinach or salad blends containing spinach grown in the three counties in California implicated in the current E. coli O157:H7 outbreak -- Monterey County, San Benito County, and Santa Clara County. Fresh spinach grown outside these counties can be safely eaten. Spinach grown in these counties is often packaged in other areas of the country. If consumers cannot tell where fresh spinach was grown, they are advised not to purchase or consume the fresh spinach. Frozen and canned spinach can be safely eaten.

E. coli O157:H7 in spinach can be killed by cooking at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds. (Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.) If spinach is cooked in a frying pan, and all parts do not reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit, all bacteria may not be killed. If consumers choose to cook the spinach, they should not allow the raw spinach to contaminate other foods and food contact surfaces, and they should wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling the spinach.

Persons who develop diarrhea after consuming fresh spinach or salad blends containing fresh spinach are urged to contact their health care provider and ask that their stool specimen be tested for E. coli O157.

Persons who ate fresh spinach or salad blends and feel well do not need to see a health-care provider.

This information obtained from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Issued on 9-25-2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Clinton Lies- Part 23,569

Tammy Bruce takes Clinton to task for lying about Osama bin Laden not being involved in Somalia.


It's Official: Nerds R Us

Well, the results are in. DCBA Nerd scores are as follows:

Jeff The Baptist: 97%
Ryan of Jokers to the Right: 86%
The lovely Miss Anonymous Opinion: 59%
Mynym: 54%
Anna Venger: 48% (Mr. Venger: 88%)
Hube: 40%
Paul: 40%

I never doubted. What shocked me most is that I actually came out nerdier than two of us. How did that happen?

Perhaps we should drop the "DCBA" name in favor of "Nerds R Us"?

Thanks, DCBA for playing along. I didn't even ask. The fact that we each just had to know speaks volumes, don't you think?

Wishing Mike Castle Well

Here's wishing our Representative Mike Castle a speedy recover.

I have no idea what this means for the upcoming election, but first things first. He needs to get better.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Up or Down? Oh, and Cats Rule.

This video is just too cool. Now we have the answer to the age old argument about whether the toilet seat should be up or down. It's definitely down, but close the lid too.

Cats rule, and dogs...well, I actually like dogs too, so never mind about the missing word.

Thanks, Jeff, for the amusing link.

Calls to German Embassy Requested

Calls Needed to the German Embassy

The German government is persecuting homeschoolers like never before. Armin Eckermann, president of Schulunterricht zu Hause (School Instruction at Home--SIH), the homeschool legal defense association of Germany, states that there are over 40 homeschool families in court in Germany! The families are being heavily fined; the parents are being jailed; the children are being threatened with being seized and placed in the custody of the state; and families are being forced to flee to Austria and other surrounding countries.

Here are a few current and frightening situations:
1) The Rudolph family: They are diligently homeschooling their six children in Hamburg. The father, Andre, was jailed for a week for refusing to send his children to public school. Like many of the homeschool families in Germany, they are evangelicals. What is even more surprising about Andre Rudolph being put in jail for homeschooling is that he has a degree in teaching! He and his wife have been fined 840 euros ($1,090) for homeschooling. After Andre's jail time the authorities tried a new weapon and began to forcibly take the children to public school each day. Their plan was take custody of these six children and make them wards of the state. One day, however, the authorities came to take the children to school, but no one answered the door. The Rudolphs fled to another country in order to homeschool their children according to God's ways.

2) The Plett family: If you recall, last year we asked you to pray and contact the embassy about the seven Baptist homeschool families of Paderborn. One of the families, the Pletts, have continued to homeschool their 12 children. Last week, a female plainclothes police officer rang at the Platt's house. When the mother opened the door, other police officers who were hiding in the bushes forced their way in. The mother was able to inform her husband by cell phone before the police took her to jail. The husband then fled to Austria with the children. She was given a 10-day prison sentence and is facing heavy fines and more jail time. Of the seven Paderborn homeschool families from last year, two have fled to Austria and five have enrolled in a Christian school in Heidelburg. They all still have pending cases against them.

3) Three homeschool families from Saxony have been taken to court and convicted. One was fined 3,000 euros, one 6,000 euros, and another 10,000 euros.

4) The Bauer family: This family in Hesse are American missionaries > for the last 15 years. They were prosecuted about five years ago and have exhausted their appeals and have sought review by the Human Rights European Court that covers all of Europe. There are now eight cases pending before the European Court, most of which the SIH organization has brought, along with Ronald Richert, a renown Constitutional law attorney who has handled some of the SIH members' cases. The problem with the European Court, is that it all cases are discretionary: there is no right of appeal. If the Court decides not to rule on them, the case will not be heard. Another problem is the Court has no particular deadline of when they have to decide to take the case or not, so some of these cases have been sitting for three to four years, with no resolution in sight.

5) The Herrmann family: This family from Baden-Wurttemberg was facing prosecution for homeschooling their twins who have many medical problems. They have been forced into hiding and are seeking asylum in the United States and other countries. The Maisch family, also from Baden-Wurtemberg, has been convicted of homeschooling. For the past three weeks they have faced increasing fines. Schulunterricht zu Hause (SIH), the legal association that HSLDA helped establish, is being worn out with defending all these families in court. They have approximately 150 members in their association that are all homeschool families, many of whom are underground, and almost 40 in court. Appeals have been exhausted time and time again, and money is running out. The German homeschool families are pleading for your help.

Will you take a moment and contact the German Embassy?

1. Please contact the German Embassy and give them this message: "German governments need to make homeschooling legal. Over 40 families are being prosecuted in Germany merely for teaching their children at home. These families have been given huge fines, some parents have been jailed, some have been forced to flee to other countries, and they are all being threatened to take their children into state custody. This is deplorable and unacceptable for any free nation to persecute Christian families who are providing an excellent education for their children. We ask you to stop prosecuting these families like the Maisches, the Pletts, the Bauers, the Rudolphs, and the many others. Homeschooling needs to be legalized in Germany."

This message can be put in your own words, along with a story or information about the success of your own homeschool.

2. If you want to support homeschoolers in other countries--and causes such as Schulunterricht zu Hause in Germany--you can make a donation to the Home School Foundation's international fund. For more information visit .

3. Please pray fervently for these poor families facing incredible pressure and fear. We cannot give up. Our brothers and sisters in Germany need us and have their back against the wall.


Homeschooling in Germany has been illegal in Germany for a long time. In fact, according to some newspaper accounts it has been illegal since Hitler banned it in 1938. Five years ago we helped establish Schulunterricht zu Hause as a way for Germans to receive some legal defense. However, even though the determined lawyers defending the families have worked for free and many attempts have been made to battle to make it legal, homeschooling is still outlawed. We have had tremendous success in many countries in the past to influence their parliaments to legalize homeschooling and even release people from jail. When Americans and homeschoolers in other countries have contacted the German Embassy, officials there have communicated the thousands of calls back to their national government and it makes a difference, even in policy considerations. We have been successful in help legalizing homeschooling in South Africa and Romania and in stopping bad legislation that would destroy homeschool freedoms in Ireland, Australia, Czech Republic, and other countries. Thank you and God bless you for your willingness to make a difference.

(The above letter from the Home School Legal Defense Association was forwarded to me from someone who knows I have a soft spot in my heart for homeschoolers. If you have a chance, please contact the German embassy in support of these families.)

Here is a link to the German embassy in Washington, D.C. The phone number is directly below the address and an email link appears beneath the phone number.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Grace, Grace, Amazing Grace

I ran into an old acquaintance from back home. Our small community saw little crime and rarely anything violent. However, this particular acquaintance was the wife of the one murder victim in recent memory there. His murder took place a few years ago.

Her husband had been trying to help a down-on-his luck young man get his act together. He had welcomed the young man into his home. One night, for no apparent reason except perhaps greed, the young man smashed the older man's head with a hammer.

I really hadn't discussed the incident with his wife until I saw her the other day. She told me that when she received the phone call that her husband had been murdered, her first words were a prayer, "Lord, please don't let me hate."

That stunned me. I cannot imagine that that would have been my first thought. She explained that she knew that she would need to lean heavily on the Lord to get through the pain of losing her husband, especially in that way. She knew she would need to lean heavily on the Lord to endure the trial. She knew that she would need to lean heavily on the Lord to survive financially. And she knew that if she hated, her fellowship with the Lord would suffer when she needed Him most.

Since that time she has lived free from bitterness; she has been free. Her husband's murderer has apparently been changed and is leading Bible study in prison. They correspond regularly. She hasn't visited yet, but that day may finally come too, she thinks.

As she continues to live in grace and peace, proving that grace, peace, joy and love are possible even when walking through incredible trials, she is an inspiration to me. She inspires me to choose God's way even when my own way seems more sensible and natural. Her peace and freedom are evidence of the excellence of a life lived in love. The fact that she is just an ordinary woman living an extraordinary life of love is encouragement to all around her that with God, all things are indeed possible.

Friday, September 22, 2006

How Nerdy Are You?

I am nerdier than 48% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Okay. I know what you all are thinking, especially those of you who have held my hand through html changes and patiently answered my stupid questions. You thinking to yourselves, "Anna Venger, half nerd? You've got to be kidding!" And you'd be right. (Though you have to admit; I am learning!)

Honestly, my answers were skewed in part because I have a hubby who is probably 100% nerd. We have lots of nerd paraphenalia around the house which factored into my answers a bit.

My boy is a nerd too. He came home from school one day and said, "Mommy, am I a nerd?"

I replied, "Well, of course, you are, darling. Why do you ask?"

Apparently he had been called that dreaded "n" word. We had a long talk about it, and I explained that I had married a nerd and there was nothing wrong with being one. Now being a dork is another thing altogether, but I didn't raise dorks!

Could I be an honorary nerd? Honestly, how many other people do you know who read through sporting events and who feel naked without a book in hand?

Thanks for this quiz goes to my friend, Carole, who is an engineer and much, much nerdier than I could ever hope to be. :-)

P.S. Carole and I were just discussing this whole nerd issue and we think there is a problem with terminology. Much of the test was geared toward more techie kinds of stuff. Isn't that more "geek" than "nerd"? A low geek score would actually make some sense since technology and I don't always get along well. I'm definitely not a gadget person. Using that definition, hubby is far more geeky than nerdy, though the boy is, well, still a nerd.

P.P.S. Mr. Venger's is 88%. I watched him get one wrong; he had the right answer and switched it. Oh, well.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

In Remembrance of Emmie-Rose

Emmie-Rose Yannella

Emmie-Rose Yannella was born on July 15, seventeen weeks early. This little girl faced many obstacles and health concerns, but defied the doctors' pronouncements again and again. They discovered in early September that Emmie-Rose had a potentially fatal intestinal disease. Against the parents' wishes, the hospital withheld nutrition from the little girl. She went without food for over a week before they relented and allowed her to have some nutrition. From what I understand, starvation is a painful way to go. To withhold basic nutrition seems very un-ethical. In the interim, the parents, much to the dismay of the hospital, sought other hospitals that could possibly take Emmie-Rose's case.

Sadly, Emmie-Rose passed away on September 19.

For more information on Emmie-Rose's life, go to her parents' blog.

Hat tip: Carole of Mt. Pleasant Classical Academy

NOTE: I've had a difficult time getting this YouTube up. I posted this last night, trusting YouTube's promise that it would be on my blog soon. I discovered tonight it had never posted. If the video is still not showing, please go here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another New Blog

Here's a new blog. It's called Campus Newpapers Confab. Their motto is "Dissecting -- and making fun -- of the news and opinions of American college newspapers. 'Cuz it's just so easy to do!" I'll have to keep my eye on this one. It could be fun.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Homeschooling Heartaches in Germany

In 1938, Adolf Hitler outlawed homeschooling in Germany. It has remained illegal ever since. Nevertheless, small numbers of German citizens have followed their consciences and have taught their children themselves. They have suffered for their educational choices.

Most recently, Katharina Plett, a homeschooling mother of twelve, was arrested. On Thursday, September 7, a plain-clothes, female officer called on Katharina Plett. When Plett opened the door, police officers who had been hidden, forced their way in. Her husband fled to Austria with the children a couple days later. Others have fled from Germany to Austria which may be able to provide safe haven since homeschooling is legal there for a trial period of a year. After that time, Austrian authorities determine if the family will be allowed to continue their home education pursuits.

It is not surprising that homeschooling would be banned under a dictator. Schools provide an excellent means of isolating children from parental control and values and allow the state to inculcate children with its own propaganda. What is more surprising is that Germany did not lift that ban after becoming a democracy after Hitler's demise. However, a recent poll in Germany reveals that many of its citizenry do not value democracy as a viable form of government. (via RightWingNews) Perhaps there is a connection between the state's refusal to relinquish control of children to the rightful authority of their parents and the populace's lack of value for self rule?

Read more about the Plett's plight at The Brussels Journal.

Hat tip to Carole of Mt. Pleasant Classical Academy for the link to SpunkyHomeschool where I first heard of this particular family.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bible and Koran Differ in Violence

Over at HotAir, Bryan has written a good post discussing the pointlessness of comparisons between the Koran and portions of what Christians call the Old Testament. Many atheists and secularists will counter claims that portions of the Koran seem to teach violence with quotes from books like Leviticus to show the equivalence between the two religions. Bryan explains why this is a vain attempt to compare apples to oranges. It's not overly long and well worth reading.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fascinating Facts

Some fascinating facts...

1. A rat can last longer without water than a camel.

2. Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it will digest itself.

3. The dot over the letter "i" is called a tittle.

4. A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.

5. A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find a mate.

6. A duck's quack doesn't echo. No one knows why.

7. A piece of 2x4 is really 1-1/2 by 3-1/2.

8. During the chariot scene in "Ben Hur", a small red car can be seenin the distance.

9. On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily worldwide!

10. Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants.

11. Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood.

12. The number of possible ways of playing the first four moves per side in a game of chess is 318,979,564,000.

13. There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, purple and silver.

14. The name Wendy was made up for the book "Peter Pan".

15. The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin in World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

16. If one places a tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion, it will instantly go mad and sting itself to death.

17. Bruce Lee was so fast that they actually had to s-l-o-w film down so youcould see his moves.

18. The first CD pressed in the US was Bruce Springsteen's "Born in theUSA".

19. The original name for butterfly was flutterby.

20. The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English lawwhich stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

21. The first product Motorola started to develop was a record player for automobiles. At that time, the most known player on the market was Victrola, so they called themselves Motorola.

22. Roses may be red, but violets are indeed violet, not blue.

23. By raising your legs slowly and laying on your back, you cannot sink into quicksand.

24. Celery has negative effect on calories. It takes more calories to eat apiece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with.

25. For fun, Charlie Chaplin once entered anonymously a "Charlie Chaplinlook-alike contest", and won third prize.

26. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.

27. Sherlock Holmes NEVER said "Elementary, my dear Watson".

28. An old law in Bellingham,Washington, made it illegal for a woman to take more than 3 steps backwards while dancing.

29. The glue on Israeli postage is certified kosher.

30. The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from Public Libraries.

31. Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a space suit damages them.

32. In the movie Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart never said "Play it again Sam". What he said was "If you can play it for her you can play itfor me, so Play it".

33. It is impossible to lick your elbow.

34. A crocodile can't stick its tongue out.

35. A shrimp's heart is in its head.

36. In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand.

37. It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

38. A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

39. More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.
40. Horses can't vomit.

41. The "sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" is said to be thetoughest tongue twister in the English language.

42. If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib. If you try to suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die. If you keep your eyes open by force, they can pop out.

43. Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over amillion descendants.

44. Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your earby 700 times.

45. If the government has no knowledge of aliens, then why does Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations, implemented on July 16, 1969, make it illegal for US citizens to have any contact with extraterrestrials ortheir vehicles? (Not true!)

46. In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

47. 23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their rear ends.

48. Most lipstick contains fish scales.

49. Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different.
and lastly...

50. Over 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow.

I lifted this from KezzieAG

Note: I did not fact-check these. Some I know to be true. But I just can't vouch for them all. If you know some to be false, do tell. (I did check out number 45 because it was unbelievable, number 5 because I really could believe it, and I found the source for many of these---Useless Data)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Men Smarter Than Women? A Questionable Study

Paul has quoted one of the stupidest, bogus pieces of, er, research ever on his blog. What was he thinking? Oh, never mind. I get it. He wasn't.

Okay, what he was actually doing was probably the technological equivalent to pulling a girl's hair for attention. I know I ought to just ignore him. But as much as I tried to avoid it, this stupid "study" really should be addressed.

First of all, we've all been burned by believing media, quoting tidbits of studies, only to find out later that the results really weren't all that conclusive or that the media misunderstood or misrepresented the researchers' claims. Unless we actually read the study itself, we really don't know for sure. It's just so easy to repeat the little factoid that we've just heard. Hey, I've done it too.

But there are other problems with this study that should be obvious from just a perusal of the article about it. Here, for example, is one of them:

"The study - carried out by a man - concluded that men's IQs are almost four points higher than women's. "
I know that it is easy to assume that the problem is that the study was carried out by a man. But that actually is not what we should pounce on. After all, men have done some good. Wasn't it a man who came up with indoor plumbing? How about central air and heating? See? I rest my case. This isn't men-bashing. No, the problem is that 3-point-whatever is not a significant difference. When I've looked at IQ tests and discussed them with professionals, they are sure to point out that there is a margin of error of about 5 points. That means if your IQ is 100 (dead average) that it could really be 95 or 105. A person who has an IQ of 110 may think he is smarter than a person with an IQ of 106, but it is possible that the 110 is really a 105 and the 106 is really a 111. It's too close to count, and for all practical purposes, they're equivalent. (If the professionals have updated their margin of error since I last heard, be sure to tell me. However, that should be fairly current.) Now if we were talking about fifteen points, a difference of a whole standard deviation, then we'd have something to discuss here--but not 3 or 4 points. Sorry.

Another issue in this study is the possibility of a huge sampling error:

The University of Western Ontario psychologist reached his conclusion after scrutinising the results of university aptitude tests taken by 100,000 students aged 17 and 18 of both sexes. A focus on a factors such as the ability to quickly grasp a complex concept, verbal reasoning skills and creativity - some of they key ingredients of intelligence - revealed the male teenagers had IQs that were an average of 3.63 points higher. The average person has an IQ of around 100.

Where did his sample come from? College students? College students are hardly representative of the population as a whole. College students are arguably, as a group, smarter than the general population as a whole. A truer study would have taken a large, random sampling of the population as a whole and not those who are intellectually and economically capable of attending college. One reason that this is vitally important is because (as I recall from my studies on IQ in college) there really are more males in the idiot/imbecile/moron categories than females, technically speaking. (Of course, if we add in the number of guys who simply act mentally deficient, the number of them becomes huge, but that's another post because I'm talking here of the truly mentally deficient.) If a sample of the general population were included, this might un-skew the results.

Therefore, the researcher's conclusion may be a bit hasty.

...that the faster maturing of girls leads to them outshining boys in the classroom.
And since almost all previous data showing an absence of difference between the sexes was gathered on schoolchildren, the gender difference could easily have been missed. 'It looks like up until late adolescence, the females have the advantage over males because they mature faster, which masks the underlying difference, he said.
It could just be that he's lopped off some people that would have brought the male scores down and not that these guys are just late bloomers. He doesn't have enough evidence to back up his claims.

Other questions I would ask are: Where specifically was this research conducted? And were there even numbers of males and females in the participating schools and were proportional numbers of males and females being tested? The article doesn't answer these questions. The reason I ask them is because in the U.S., for example, we are witnessing a new phenomenon in which more young women are going to college than men. Maybe disproportionate numbers of smart guys are going to college than smart girls. (Honestly, with PC and all, I think it might be easier for women to get scholarships than for guys which could mean guys would have to be that much smarter to get in and would skew test results.) Also, if more females were tested than males--because there are more females than males in some colleges-- the female score should be statistically more accurate than the male score just because of greater numbers being tested. Again, without further access to the research, we just can't tell from this little article.

This researcher, Rushton, also says that

the 'glass ceiling' phenomenon is probably due to inferior intelligence, rather
than discrimination or lack of opportunity.
This is such a poorly drawn conclusion that it's almost shocking. There are many reasons for the glass ceiling; whole books have and could be written about it. Discrimination and lack of opportunity do factor in at least to some extent, but inferior intelligence probably does not. (Come on, people, even if the results were accurate, we're talking just over three and a half points. Gimme a break.) More likely, the glass ceiling is experienced for a variety of reasons. The fact that women often choose to spend more time with children and have historically taken on greater responsibilities at home---even when both partners have full-time careers---than men do, contributes greatly. People rarely ask how a man can balance work and family, but it's assumed that women have a lot of balancing to do. And they really do. Something's got to give, and often it's the success that could have been had if a woman had eschewed family. (For example, I know a few women with master's degrees in engineering and a medical doctor who chucked it all to stay home with their kids and even to homeschool them. Men just don't do things like that in the same proportion that women do.)

Still another very disturbing quote from the article in question is this one:

Prof Rushton, who four years ago triggered a scientific row by claiming intelligence and behaviour are influenced by race, with blacks being more likely to be involved in crime and Asians having a greater chance of high IQs, however, stands by his results.

A more thoughtful person would point to societal factors such as family instability (higher percentage of single parent families) or poverty before drawing conclusions like "behavior...influenced by race, with blacks being more likely to be involved in crime..." Doesn't stuff like this make you wonder about this guy? Doesn't he sound a little racist?

Paul, Paul, Paul...I know that this study probably boosts your ego, but you can't be serious about believing this stuff and starting a blogwar within the Delaware Conservative Bloggers Alliance to boot. Can you?

P.S. There are several sites which explain IQ more fully. If you don't like the one I've chosen, simply Google it.

P.P.S. In the interest of completeness, I'd like to add that in addition to there being more male idiots/imbeciles/morons than female, you should also know that there are more male geniuses. Granted my college studies were a few years ago, and I haven't kept up on the research as I should have, but the way it worked out is that the average male and female IQ is the same, 100. However, males are a bit more spread out across the spectrum than women, who tend to cluster a bit more around the center. So taking college students as the base for a sample is even more problematic since throwing in a few male geniuses, like my brother :-) , really can do a number on the stats--pun not intended. And if my research is out of date here (did I mention that college was a little while ago?), please feel free to correct me and provide me with a link to more current, reliable research. I'm growing curious now and would truly be interested.

P.P.P.S. Mynym over at Into Good and Evil had this to say in his comment section:
I've actually never quite understood the whole war of the sexes and the identity politics of it. For instance, if men were smarter than women (a difficult hypothetical to imagine given some of the oafs that exist among men) then what would that have to do with me or an individual woman? After all, there are individual women who are more intelligent as well as more technically capable than I am in numerous ways so why would vast generalities matter? "Men in general are smarter than women and uh, I'm a man so that must mean I'm smart too or somethin'. If I stand in a crowd of men, that means I'm smart right?" Even if it were true the aggregate wouldn't actually mean much at the individual level.
Now, isn't he smart? I think so too.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Hi, Mynym!

Mynym over at Into Good and Evil desperately seeks my attention. I am hereby complying with his wishes. Hi, Mynym!! Just so you know, I linked to you here too!

Seriously, try an email or pick up the phone next time. Or come out with us next time we do something. Wouldn't that be simpler?


UN Convention vs. Belgian Homeschoolers

Remember back in May when I expressed concern over homeschooling rights in the U.S.? The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has never been ratified here, yet the Home School Legal Defense Association had stated that activist judges could still use UNCRC to restrict Americans' rights to educate their own children by citing it as international law.

Well, a family from Belgium has run afoul the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by homeschooling their child. They, in fact, had already successfully homeschooled their first four children who are now studying at a university. Only one remains at home. Previously, Belgium had been tolerant of homeschooling, but in 2003, the government "decreed that all homeschoolers are obliged to sign a document in which they promise to rear their children along the lines of the UN Convention".

Mrs. Belien writes on their blog, The Brussels Journal, about their situation:
The document the homeschoolers are made to sign also states that government inspectors decide whether families comply with the UN’s ideology. Furthermore, it contains a clause in which the homeschooling parents agree to send their child to an official government recognized school if the inspectors report negatively about them twice.

We refused to sign this document. Not only do we object to the imposed UN ideology, but we would never put our signature under a document that forces us to send our children to government controlled schools simply because two bureaucrats decide on the basis of arbitrary criteria that we are not in
compliance with the imposed philosophy. Last week my husband was questioned by the police. He was informed that, because we refuse to sign, our children are not being schooled or brought up adequately, i.e. along the lines of the UN Convention. Hence, we are committing a criminal offence. The authorities are threatening to prosecute us.

Mrs. Belien explains that even the public schools are not held to these standards. The schools in Belgium are required to respect the religious views of their students and their families, yet homeschoolers are being required to teach philosophies contrary to their beliefs.

She continues:
In a free society, which Belgium apparently no longer is, citizens do not have to allow two strangers into their homes who come to make judgements about their religious or philosophical beliefs and their children’s attitudes, and then assess the quality of their education on those grounds. The Belgian Constitution specifies that “everyone is entitled to respect for his private and family life” and that “this right is guaranteed by law.” Parents cannot be obliged to sign away this basic constitutional human right.

If the Belgian authorities decide to prosecute us we think we can win in court – at least if the court bases its verdict on the Belgian Constitution. In order to prepare for court cases we have established a Vlaams Centrum voor Huisonderwijs (Flemish Home Education Centre), which can be contacted here. There is, unfortunately, always the possibility that activist judges will rule that the UN Convention overrules the Belgian Constitution. If this is the case, the consequences are far-reaching. Not only for us. In effect it would mean that the laws, and even the Constitution, of our lands are no longer decided by the people of the land, but by the UN, i.e. the international club of states that includes members such as North Korea, China, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Iran,...

And that's why we should be concerned here in the U.S., apart from an altruistic interest in seeing justice done for homeschoolers in Belgium. What happens there really can affect what happens here. Imagine if activist judges in the U.S. got ahold of a ruling like that. We could indeed see them citing a Belgian court's decision to outlaw homeschooling as contrary to the UNCRC as precedent in international law and therefore, in their minds, binding on us. Will we remain free?

Hat tip: Spunkyhomeschool via Carole of Mt. Pleasant Classical Academy

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Rosie and Radical Religions

Rosie O'Donnell once again showed her ignorance of what radical Islam and "radical" Christianity are all about yesterday on "The View" when she stated, "Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America."

Does Rosie really not get it? Afghanistan was controlled by radicals. Women were refused health care, forced into burkas or worse chadars, forbidden an education, and otherwise oppressed. In Pakistan, parliamentary members threatened to walk if their president brought modest changes to the nation's rape laws, allowing women to testify on their own behalf and to use medical evidence to support convictions rather than requiring four Muslim males to testify that they witnessed forced penetration, a crime that is rarely committed publicly.

Furthermore, homosexuality carried a death penalty under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Several Islamic countries continue to carry a possible death penalty for homosexual behavior.

Practitioners of radical Islam even attack other Muslims whom they deem insufficiently Muslim enough. While these extremists have certainly killed innocent non-Muslims, they have killed even more innocent Muslims with their terrorist activities. Religion of Peace keeps a tally of terrorist strikes by radical Muslims. "Radical" Christians, whomever they might be, are not causing this kind of trouble. No, "radical" Christianity is not as threatening as radical Islam.

Hotair has a Vent on this.

UPDATE: Reformed Chicks Blabbing weighs in here.

FURTHER UPDATE: My friend mynym over at Into Good and Evil has weighed in also. By linking to him twice in the same post, I admit that I am utilizing the oft- tried liberal appeasement tactic to avert further negative attention-seeking behavior via the technological equivalent of grade school hair-pulling. Think it will work better for me than for Chamberlain? Yeah, probably not.

McDonald's Donates to Obesity Research

The McDonald's Corporation is donating two million dollars to the Scripps Institute in California for research into the prevention of childhood obesity. McDonald's has been accused of being partially to blame for the high rate of obesity among the young in the United States.

Attacks on the McDonald's Corporation center on the fallacious theory that Americans are stupid and irresponsible. Then again, maybe we are. People who eat at McDonald's once in a while as a treat will not get fat from their experience. Healthy home cooked meals complete with vegetables are best for children. Did anyone not know that? Unfortunately, with busy schedules, parents have opted for fast food meals too often---children did not drive themselves to McDonald's, after all. Parents choose McDonald's and like places because they are cheap and fast. Most fast food places have even added healthier fair such as salads to their menus in recent years. Drink water instead of soda and milk shakes and order the salad, for Pete's sake, or stop by the salad bar at the grocery store.

Yes, America's children are overweight. Our whole culture has changed. Children don't play outside as much for various reasons and often sit in front of the television, eating nutrition-less, high calorie foods, a double whammy. Many schools have even dropped gym classes and physical play at recess from their daily regimen for students. Add harried, exhausted mothers to the mix, seeking fast and cheap, and we have a recipe for a health disaster.

But blame McDonald's? No one ever got fat from eating at McDonald's a couple of times a month. Furthermore, many restaurants serve fat laden foods, using lots of butter, because fat tastes good. Fast food joints alone are not to blame.

Nevertheless, McDonald's is kindly donating two million to research the obesity issue. I suspect that the research will show that if kids exercise more, get adequate sleep, lessen their sugar and cheese curl intake, and eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and ditch the white carbs in favor of whole grains--- in moderation, of course--we would see a rapid decline in obesity and type II diabetes among the young. Since kids probably won't choose those options for themselves, schools will have to reintroduce physical activity into the children's day since children aren't supposed to sit all the time and historically never have done so. Parents also will have to encourage these behaviors by keeping their shelves conspicuously free of sodas and easy-to-grab snack foods and limiting access to the television set. Relegate the fast food option to special treat or road trip status. And be prepared for grumbles and whines from the children. Hard? Yes, but doable.

Poland Offers Troops for Afghanistan

Poland is the first to answer NATO's call for more troops in Afghanistan. They will send 1000, though where they will position them is still unclear. In making their declaration public, Poland's prime minister and NATO's secretary general hope to encourage other nations to respond to NATO's request.

Poland has a history of fighting for freedom. Count Casimir Pulaski, for example, fought with us in the American Revolution, dying at the Siege of Savannah. Also, General Thaddeus Kosciusko (Tadeusz Kosciuszko) fought as a colonel in the Continental Army under George Washington, and returned home to Poland to begin reform efforts there.

Poland was the first European nation in the modern era to introduce a written constitution, enacting many reforms and bringing many freedoms to its people. Unfortunately, this threatened and angered Poland's bellicose neighbors, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, who ganged up on her and subjugated her.

Now that Poland is finally free from Russian domination, it is not surprising to see her stepping up for freedom in whatever small ways she can.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Abortion Facility Closed in Cleveland, Ohio

Another abortion facility is in trouble--this time in Cleveland, Ohio.


State officials forced an abortion business in Cleveland to close after inspectors found numerous health and safety violations. They found more than a dozen problems at the Center for Women's Health on the city's east side, which prompted officials to reject the center's request for a new state license.

In June, the Ohio Department of Health said CWH did not have a local transfer agreement that would allow it to bring women to a local hospital in cases of botched abortions and other medical emergencies.

The state also said the abortion business failed to meet basic standards for medical care.

Roy Croy, a state health department official who works to oversee ambulatory and surgical care facilities told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, "[There were] six to seven patients where there was no record that their temperature or blood pressure had been taken before the [abortion]. These are things that should be done before you start surgery," he said.

Although other abortion facilities in Cleveland do more abortions, the Center for Women's Health is one of the few to do abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy when women's health issues and complications from the abortion are at their peak.

Read the rest here.

No blood pressure readings? No body temperature records? Doctors’ offices routinely perform such simple tasks for visits involving nothing more serious than a common cold. What kind of moron would fail to engage in such simple practices before a surgery?

Many abortion facilities are not well-regulated and don't want to be--which is strange for an industry that touts "safe" as one of its redeeming qualities and that preaches about how much they care about women's health. Of course, it is a business and can be quite a money making operation. Like any business, greed can take over and encourage corner-cutting. Thank goodness state health department officials discovered this clinic was in violation of basic health practices before anything serious occurred--at least that's my impression.

This particular abortion mill in Cleveland, Ohio, the Center for Women's Health, also performs abortions after twenty weeks of gestation. Approximately two-thirds of babies born at twenty-three weeks do survive. To the left is a picture of a baby at five months gestation. (Source) The reader may draw his own conclusions about whether the person in the photo looks like a human or a clump of cells at this stage of development.

A related story is here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Embassy in Damascus

Oh, please. Not another U.S. embassy under attack.

Heavy gunfire was heard by witnesses around the complex in Damascus, Syria. Syrian security forces have sealed off the area.

Source: Breitbart

If you hear any news before I do or before I can get back to update, please leave me a comment and a source.

Update: The attack was carried out by four Islamic suicide bombers whose car bomb failed to detonate. They attempted to storm the embassy with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, but were successfully resisted by Syrian security guards who killed three of the militants and wounded the fourth. One Syrian guard was killed in the exchange of gun fire.

Monday, September 11, 2006

2996 Project: In Honor of Chin Sun Pak

Note: This post will remain at the top of this site through 9/11 and has been dated 9/11. Please scroll down over the weekend to view other posts as they are added later today and Sunday.

In honor of Chin Sun Pak as part of the 2996 Project

Army Specialist Chin Sun Pak was among those whose lives were taken on 9/11. “Pako” or “Sunny”, as she was often called because of her sunny disposition, had no premonition that she was to die that day, two days shy of her twenty-fifth birthday. Her finance, Christopher McFarland, had teased her that morning about having to go to work at the Pentagon while he himself had off that day. She had teased him right back, telling him to have dinner waiting for her when she returned home. She never did.

Sunny, a young woman from Lawton, Oklahoma, enlisted in the army on December 23, 1997. Her basic training and advanced individual training was received at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. From there, she served in Korea at the 8th Army headquarters. By 9/11 she was serving as a personnel specialist at the Pentagon at the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. Chin Sun Pak had also received the Joint Service Achievement Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Army Good Conduct Medal.

Chin Sun Pak, by all accounts, was a truly beautiful person with many hopes and dreams. She and McFarland had planned to marry in March of 2002. They dreamed of starting a family together. Sunny also had plans to study medicine after she left the service in February of 2002. Those dreams were nullified on September 11.

Many who loved and knew her have written their thoughts at Below are some of their words:

January 11, 2002

Sunny and I were engaged over the past 4 years and were to be married in March 2002. Never have I felt pain in my life like I have since September 11th. I lost my fiancee', my friend, and the love of my life. I love you Sunny.
Christopher McFarland (Woodbridge, VA)

March 11, 2002

I knew Sunny from Korea, she was a beautiful person inside and out. I will truly miss her and my heart goes out to her family, Christopher and friends. What took place on Sept. 11 has changed my life and made me aware of how you can know someone and lose them in an instance. I think about her everyday and I know she is looking down upon us from that house not built with hands, eternal in the heavens. I love and miss you Sunny.
Tyrone Bumpus (Miami, FL )

Sept 20, 2004

Sunny was a very close friend to me. Chris is my brother in law and we lived 1 mile from each other. We spent alot of time together playing games and talking. She was there at the hospital when I gave birth to my son A.J. She loved him and treated him like her own. She was a wonderful person and I will never forget her. I miss her so much. My prayers go out to all of her family and friends. I will always miss and love you Sunny.
Mary Mcfarland (Vienna, OH )

Jan 14, 2003
My heart goes out to Sunny's family. I was friend's with Sunny for the last two years of her life, we spent many days in the pentagon together. That dreadful day I was on the phone with her when the plane hit, my heart broke in many pieces when I knew she was gone. She was a great friend, just her smile brought a smile to my face. She was a true gift to anyones life and a best friend for life. I love and miss you terribly SUNNY, God Bless and hope to see you again some, Keri
Keri Mcleod (Lakeridge, VA )

Dec 19, 2002
As I look back at the time when I was stationed in Korea with "2Pac", I think about how sweet of a person she was. It really was a sad day when I found out that she had passed away. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and to Chris. May God continue to strengthen you each and every day for I know she is in a place that is Truly Blessed and she is looking down on each and every one of us.God Bless,BJ...
Brune' Lovett (Valrico, FL )

Most of us did not have the honor of knowing Chin Sun Pak personally. No doubt we are the worse for it. A young woman who served her country well and who brought joy and sunshine into many lives, a woman committed to raising a family with a man she loved, a woman who wished to continue serving her fellow citizens by studying and practicing medicine surely would be worth knowing and is clearly worth honoring and remembering.

Baltimore Sun
Arlington National Cementary Website
Defend America

Be sure to check out the other tributes to the 9/11 victims and heros here.

Random Thoughts on This Fifth Anniversary of 9/11

Blogs of War has many You Tube video clips of the actual events of 9/11 and its aftermath. Stop by there if you get the chance.

Also, HotAir has a side by side comparison of an edited and unedited clip from "The Path to 9/11". I still can't figure out why the Democratic party leaders wanted to censor the movie so badly. Thank goodness they are so strongly in favor of free speech. Seriously, what I'm taking away from the movie is the impression that these terrorists have hated us for a long time more than anger over any mistakes our leaders made.


Today is the fifth anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks on American soil which killed 3000 of our people. We must never forget 9/11. We must never forget that there are people who hate us because we are. These extremists hate us and want us dead whether we have a Democratic administration or a Republican one. They hate us whether we respond to attacks or we roll over and play submissive dhimmi dead. I can't speak for others, but I know that I would prefer to go out fighting. But today is a day of remembering and honoring of our fallen. May God comfort those who are still grieving and suffering from their losses of 9/11.

My memories of 9/11 are here, and my tribute to Chin Sun Pak who died at the Pentagon on 9/11 is here.

Update: typo corrected

Timeline for al-Qaeda

Frontline has a timeline of al-Qaeda's emergence and development.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wheelchair Bound Woman Nobody's Victim

Deron Johnson, a 45 year old mugger, made a huge miscalculation when he tried to mug Margaret Johnson as she was scooting along in her wheelchair in Harlem. As it turns out, she was on her way to the shooting range with her .357. When Deron Johnson came up from behind and attempted to yank off her necklace, she pulled out her gun and shot him in the elbow.

When so many news stories tell the tales of innocent people suffering at the hands of vicious criminals and of young lives snuffed out, I really appreciate stories that turn out as this one did. Way to go Margaret.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Like most Americans, I remember 9/11 well. I had taken my children to the doctor that morning. When I arrived home, there were eight messages on the answering machine. We hadn’t been gone that long. Something was very wrong.

“Anna,” said the first voice, “I know you don’t have the television or radio on during the day. I wanted to make sure you knew. A plane flew into the World Trade Center.”

Another message and another, with bits and pieces of information, kept coming. Horror at the magnitude of the attacks and at innocent Americans like myself being killed flooded my heart. Sadly, though, I felt little surprise. I had long suspected we would not forever be spared such attacks on our own soil. Still the magnitude and the grief…

I called one of my friends, the one who was always most diligent in making sure I knew urgent news since I rarely had the television on. She said her first thought was bin Laden. We shared our deep sorrow over the lives lost. People all over were leaving work and their homes and rushing to schools to pick up their children if possible. Fortunately, my children were with me. I was very glad of that. I was also thankful that my husband’s trans-Atlantic flight to the west coast had been the day before but saddened for all those who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. How many lives were lost and how many hearts were broken that day.

Though he was safe, I wished my husband were with us. His presence would have been comforting. Yet other men and women would never have the pleasure of their spouse's company again. How awful.

Next I put the news on. No one knew anything. Newscasters supposed this and that and showed the clips again and again of the planes flying into the World Trade Center. My children were terrified. They wanted answers, but I had none. Neither did the reporters. I decided to turn the television off and get them busy with something else. I knew I would have to keep up with the information, but I decided that one hour of news a night would give me as many answers as I would get from listening all day.

9/11 was my mother’s birthday. We had had plans to meet for dinner. Surely she would want to cancel that. Who wanted to go out? Would any place even be open? Were the attacks ended and was it safe to go to public places yet?

She still wanted to go. I had to drive quite a distance to meet my mom, and we had to try a couple places, but we found one open for business. Unsurprisingly, there were not many patrons that evening. The television was on in the restaurant. Scenes of people from certain Middle Eastern countries dancing in the streets and cheering the news of the death of almost 3000 Americans flashed across the screen. Europe, however, liked us, at least for the moment.

I couldn’t sleep that night or much of the next week. I had nightmares of my fellow citizens being attacked. I wept for people I didn’t even know. My heart resonated with that of the young man in New York City who expressed his anger on camera that terrorists had attacked his city and his people. I still remember his face and his emotion so clearly. And he was right. We were all Americans. We were all attacked that day. I don’t know if he did enlist or not, but I was so glad brave young men like he lived in our great land. Oddly, even the criminal minds seemed to be shocked as the crime level dropped for several days after the attacks.

Since 9/11, it is clear that there are people in this world who want us dead just because we’re Americans. Since 9/11 it is obvious that the attacks can occur here, on our soil. Since 9/11 it is evident that we can’t do anything to reason with people who will murder innocent civilians without cause and on purpose. We can’t make them like us. We must be vigilant. Thankfully our intelligence has averted several attacks on our land over the last five years. Yet I know that they need to be right every time while terrorists need be right only once to destroy some of us.

While we should continue to live our lives without fear, on this fifth anniversary of 9/11, we should look back and remember the day that our safety was shattered and honor those who lost their lives while going about their daily business of providing and caring for their families. They deserve our respect. They deserve to be remembered.

Other remembrances can be found here at Rocks in myDryer....and here at Blogging Chicks.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Eleven-year-old Assaulted


What can we say about a culture in which an eleven year old Milwaukee girl is sexually assaulted by fifteen to twenty older teens and adults?

What happened to teenagers fantasizing about their first kiss?

Is a society flooded with sexually imagery and obsessed with sex as entertainment-without-commitment partially to blame for this kind of perversity?

Where were their fathers?

Google search "Milwaukee 11 year old girl assaulted" and you'll find several hundred stories. "consensual" or not-- and who knows at this point?--this is just plain sick. Regardless, eleven year olds are easily led and are not mature enough to make such decisions for themselves, as our laws attest.


Apparently not long ago in California, another eleven year old was gang raped by as many as eight college football players, and it was clearly not consensual. (Link here.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pakistan and Hudood Ordinances...


...a culture of oppression?

Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf supports amendments to the Hudood ordinances, yet religious parties in Pakistan's Parliament have torn up the bill, and sixty-eight parliamentary members from a coalition of six separate Islamic (religious) groups, have threatened to walk out, possibly forcing new elections.

The Hudood ordinances were adopted in 1979 by President General Zia ul-Haq. Under these ordinances, extramarital sex was criminalized. A woman's testimony became worth half that of a man's, and statutory rape laws were repealed so girls under fourteen could be charged with unlawful sex if they had reached puberty. The Hudood ordinances also made rape all but unpunishable. For a woman to prove a rape charge, the attacker must confess or four Muslim males must testify to witnessing penetration. Technically, a Muslim male can, in fact, rape a woman in front of Parsi, Hindu, and Christian males and females and be free from prosecution since no Muslim males were present to witness the crime.

These laws have, not surprisingly, led to significant abuse against Pakistani women who have no redress. For instance, Shamim, a young mother of two, was kidnapped and raped by three men, but when she lodged a complaint against them, she herself was arrested and raped repeatedly by police during her stay in jail.

When the police are rapists, women in Pakistan have no chance of justice in this world at all as Shahida Parveen discovered after two policemen forced their way into her home and raped her. Although a medical exam confirmed her testimony, the police refused to press charges against the rapists.

In fact, police frequently charge rape victims with extramarital sex charges which are punishable by death instead of following up on victims' allegations. Women can then spend months in jail where they are repeatedly sexually abused by police, according to human rights groups. Even if they are eventually freed, they face possible "honor" killings from male relatives. There were, for example, 1600 "honor" killings in Pakistan in 1998.

Also, political rivals have used rape of their opponents' female relatives as weapons against them. One poor soul whose husband was in jail was kidnapped on her way home from his hearing by police, taken to the police station, and gang raped by them. Another woman, Veena Hyat, a forty year old daughter of a prominent politician, was gang raped in her home for five hours. Although her father bravely came forward to seek justice, a "judicial investigation concluded insufficient evidence to convict the alleged perpetrators." (

The proposed changes to the Hudood ordinances include a relaxation of the requirement for witnesses to the crime, allowance of indirect and circumstantial evidence, and a downgrading of extramarital sex to a bailable offence so women can be bailed out instead of sitting in jail for months. Some human rights groups, however, say these changes are not enough and that the Hudood ordinances should be repealed not amended. The amendment fails to acknowledge marital rape or to repeal the death penalty for extramarital sexual relations, for example.

So what has the religious parties in Pakistan's Parliament up in arms? As they put it, these amendments will promote "vulgarity and obscenity in society". (International Herald Tribune)

...or maybe those men have enjoyed subjugating women and knowing they could violate a woman without facing any possible punishment.


South Asian Voice

Islam Online

Reuters AlertNet

International Herald Tribune

USA Today

Mattes Attacker Out on Bail

Fox 6 News reporter John Mattes was viciously attacked by Sam Suleiman who was the subject of an interview. Mattes was about to discuss Suleiman with another man when his wife appeared, threatening Mattes and the camera man. Then Suleiman got out of the car, walked over, and began beating Mattes, cracking ribs and gouging his face. His wife swore she was getting a gun, but reappeared with a rock which a bystander took from her. The whole event is caught on video.

Previously, Suleiman has threatened many people with whom he has worked--architects, accountants--and their families.

Suleiman and his wife have been released on bail and will be arraigned on Monday. Since he has been released, Suleiman has called another enemy and threatened him saying he's not finished with him yet.

Why are such violent people even out on bail? Suleiman is obviously not making idle threats. There's video showing he's more than willing to use actual force. Does the court want to give him and his wife more opportunity to follow through on what he is clearly more than capable of doing?

Source: WorldNetDaily

Go to the link provided on WorldNetDaily to see the television news report with video clips of the attack and also previous interviews and stories with and about Suleiman.

UPDATE: Spelling error in second paragraph corrected.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Google News- Archives

This in from the Washington Post:

“Earthquake and Flames Bring Death and Ruin to City of San Francisco”

The greatest earthquake disaster in the history of the United States visited San
Francisco early yesterday morning. The earthquake was followed by a fire which was still burning at 2 a.m. to- day, and which has covered most of the affected area.

Of course, this tidbit is from Apr 19, 1906, following the Great Quake.

Google Inc. just added newspaper archives to its Google News, so searching through time just became easier. This was one of several articles that popped up during a search of “san francisco quake 1906”.

Reuters had this to say:

Archive Search instantly generates a timeline of stories on a particular subject over the years, allowing Web surfers to target particular dates, or to observe how coverage of an issue has evolved over time…

Archival search adds historical and chronological dimensions to Google News, which since it first was launched in 2002, has allowed people to use keywords to search for the latest news from recent weeks in thousands of publications.

Starting immediately, users of Google News will find a News Archive Search link as an alternative to searching the wider Web or zeroing in on breaking news.

Many of the articles that popped up from the above Google News search were links to which is scanning a page a second into its collection. Currently, they have over 45,000,000 images stored.

College students and historical researchers will surely find this much more convenient than microfilm.

Woman Walks Again

Fifty-seven year old Anne Bennett spent the last seventeen years in a wheelchair after a disc in her back collapsed and burst while she was carrying a load of books. Doctors said she would never walk again. She, however, never completely accepted their diagnosis and continued to exercise and keep her weight down. While utilizing a toning table a few weeks ago, Bennett felt an excruciating pain in her back. Fearing she had done even more damage to herself, she returned home to bed.
"I was scared and didn't tell my husband what I'd done. Later that night I realised that my legs were doing what I was telling them to. My legs were listening to my brain for the first time I could remember.

"I got out of bed and put some weight on my feet. I wouldn't say I was walking, but I was staggering and I could put one foot in front of the other. It was astounding.

"The movement loosened scar tissue and allowed my nerves to work again.

"Now I have so much to look forward to. I find the most simple things exciting, like getting on an escalator or visiting a restaurant for the food and not for the wheelchair access."

Hat tip: Right Wing News

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Obesity Pandemic

The 10th International Congress on Obesity was held in Sydney, Australia recently. From Reuters:
Evolution and the environment, not just gluttony, has led to a global obesity pandemic, with an estimated 1.5 billion people overweight -- more than the number of undernourished people -- an obesity conference was told on Monday.

"The mounting epidemic of obesity in children would see many die before their parents," said Kate Steinbeck..."This is the first generation in history where children may die before their parents," Steinbeck told the conference.
What an incredible historic change---more people overweight than undernourished?

Sedentary lifestyles and foods lacking nutritional value while being energy dense are wreaking havoc with the human body. People engaging in hard physical labor can afford to eat larger amounts of food, but people who expend little physical energy while eating junk will surely find their waistlines growing. Furthermore, many convenience and "fun" foods lack real nourishment, causing a body to still "desire" more food as its nutritional needs have not yet been met. (This isn't rocket science.)

The Congress on Obesity, however, feels more research is needed to combat life-stealing obesity and to discover the "environmental and genetic contributors".

Hat tip: The Drudge Report

Terror in Thailand

At least 22 bombs exploded almost simultaneously Thursday inside commercial banks in southern Thailand, killing one person and wounding 27 in a region bloodied by a Muslim insurgency, police said.

The homemade bombs, which were triggered by mobile phone signals, were placed in garbage bins, at newspaper stands and near seats where customers wait for service in the banks in Yala province... One person was killed and 27 injured in the bombings.

"We received some intelligence reports, but we did not anticipate it would happen inside banks, especially on the last day of the month. We didn't believe they were that cruel," Ongkorn said. Banks are normally crowded at month's end with customers withdrawing funds from their deposited salary checks.
See the rest of the story from the International Herald Tribune here.

Terrorists have been plying their trade all over the world, but often we don't hear about their handiwork if their attacks do not involve our interests.

For an eye-opening list of the attacks that have occurred around the world in the last five months, click here.

Hat tip: Word around the Net

Monday, September 04, 2006

When I'm 86

My goal for my 86th birthday is to be as fit as Morjorie Newlin. She's an inspiration.

Hat tip: Mt. Pleasant Classical Academy

Don't Mess with Betty

Betty Horton, a 75 year old woman from South Salt Lake, Utah, is one tough lady. Discovering that her purse was missing from her cart as she was putting her groceries into her vehicle, she spied a man running away with it tucked under his arm.

"Good thing I had my running shoes on," Horton said.

She caught up with him in a residential area and threatened to shoot him.

Betty Horton said the man apologized to her and said he was broke.

I said, 'Why didn't you just ask me for some change? I would have helped you. I would have gladly given it to you,"' Horton said.


I guess the guy learned not to mess with Betty.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Looking for something good to read today? Try Word around the Net. Christopher Taylor has been writing about virtue the last three Saturdays, finishing his series yesterday. Here are the articles in order:

Virtue and Vice
The Care and Feeding of Virtue, Part 1
The Care and Feeding of Virtue, Part 2

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Why Children?

Why children? Long ago, I often pondered why God didn’t just create all the people He wanted to make in the beginning. Why would He set up a system in which He would partner with a man and woman each time in making a new soul?

Surely some great theologians have already answered this question, but I must have missed their responses during my religious training. Therefore, I am not in a position to share the thoughts of any other great mind, only my own. ;)

When I first had children, what amazed me most was the love. How could there be so much love in me for these little people? Sometimes I could hardly stand it. How could I have so much feeling inside me for people who had done nothing whatsoever to earn my love? As I gazed upon my small people while these overwhelming emotions regularly surged through me, I had an epiphany. “Father, is this, this how You feel about me?” Talk about a shocker. Sure I could preach about God’s love for people. Intellectually, I certainly knew that God loved me. However, I never came close to truly grasping the concept in my heart until I understood that I, a mere mortal, could have so much love for my own children. And God called me His child.

Then my little darlings learned how to misbehave. Oh, could they irritate me. Oh, how they could frustrate a person! Yet, even in the midst of irritation, I was aware of a love that constrained me. Another epiphany. “Oh, Lord. I get it! No matter how messy I am, no matter how often I soil my spiritual diaper, throw temper tantrums, or disobey You, You are never so angry with me that You wish I wasn’t Yours.” This was a tremendous revelation to me. I have often not qualified as a “good Christian”. Often I would wonder how God could put up with me (and a lot of other people on the face of the planet for that matter). Why didn’t He just disown me and be done with it? Now I had my answer. Just as I’ve told my children all their lives that there’s absolutely nothing they can do to make me stop loving them, there is likewise nothing I can do to make my Father change His commitment to me.

Punishment and discipline were other things I grew to understand more in my role as parent. Punishment, for example, is not meant to be about expressing anger. Discipline and punishment are tools in a parent's arsenal to teach her offspring right from wrong, to mold them into decent human beings who can control themselves so they will not find themselves being controlled by prison guards later in life. So too, sometimes God has to correct His children. Never does He discipline His children in order to make Himself feel better, but He does it in love to mold us into the image of His dear Son.

The children's visits to the doctor to receive vaccinations were difficult times for me. I would bundle the children up, whisk them off to the doctor, and then at the end of the visit would come vaccination time. Forms to sign were placed in front of me saying that I understood all the side effects that could occur. Then I would have to hold my wee ones still so they could be hurt, so they could be helped. It was so awful not to be able to explain to them why this was happening. Their young minds could not begin to understand that in the long run vaccinations were in their best interest. Would they trust me after that? Through those experiences, I grew to understand that when bad things happen, I may not be able to understand why, but I can be sure that God is holding me close the whole time, and that somehow He will make sure that everything is in my best interest.

Not only did I learn much about the character and nature of God through being a parent myself, I also grew in character. Being a mom meant that it wasn’t all about me. I promised God that I would always put the children's needs ahead of my own needs. I was, after all, the grown-up. They were just kids. They were going to need a lot. They would need a lot of love. They would need someone to cook for them, to clean them, to wash their clothes, to teach them right and wrong, to transport them, to nurse them when ill, to reassure them when they were sad or hurt, the list was endless. I would need to change. What a revelation to know that there were other people infinitely more important than myself.

I have learned a measure of patience and forbearance. Yes, there would be those days when little people would shriek over whose turn it was to get the yellow cup or some such ridiculous thing. I had to bear with them in their immaturity. I wondered if I sounded that way to God sometimes with my silly complaints over things that lacked eternal significance.

I have learned gratitude and the value of hard work. Falling into bed exhausted at night, I learned to pray, “Thank You, Lord, for another day to serve my family. Thank You for the strength to do so. Please grant me yet another such day tomorrow.” That’s a big prayer for someone who is basically allergic to manual labor!

Additionally, I have learned more dependence upon God. Facing some difficult circumstances, I was driven to my knees. Surely the God who gave me this family could give me the wisdom to handle all that came our way. All families face difficulties to various extents. All parents raise their children with no guarantee that they will turn out okay in the end. Having not even a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, I walked by faith. And knowing now that that faith was not in vain can only help me when I face hard times in the future.

Lastly, I recovered from my arrogance in thinking that I could ever truly understand God or explain Him to another. Little children, for example, cannot begin to grasp the adult thoughts and actions for their parents. So too, I realized that I would always be as a very small child in comparison to God. And that is enough. Yes, if all I ever understood was that my Father was big and in charge and that He loved me, that would indeed be enough. The mysteries of the universe could wait.

I’ve concluded finally that the process by which God chose to populate the earth had everything to do with what was best for us. Even with my fallen nature, parenting did more for my life, my character, my sense of personal fulfillment than any other choice I’ve ever made. True, I've got a long way to go, but He's taught me so much. Sure these concepts are all in His Word, but nothing cements a truth in the soul like an object lesson. In the end I discovered that once again God knew exactly what He was doing. I guess that's why He's God and I'm not.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Anti-Military, Not Anti-Violent

Apparently anti-military does not equal anti-violence. Certainly these guys who brutally attacked a National Guardsman, whom they called a baby killer after they beat him, shouldn't qualify as Nobel Peace Prize finalists. They definitely aren't peace loving.

Hey, didn't we see Betty Williams, a former Nobel Peace Prize laureat, engaging in violent rhetoric a few weeks ago? Hmmm. On second thought...

Hat tip: Right Wing News

Religious Persecution around the World

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is a bi-partisan government agency that was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. Their job is to monitor countries for freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. Nations are expected to abide by Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Nations that are especially egregious violators of these standards are placed on a list of “Countries of Particular Concern”, and the USCIRF reports to the Secretary of State, Congress, and the President with their findings and recommendations.

The USCIRF placed eleven nations on their “Countries of Particular Concern” list. The following eight were confirmed by the Secretary of State: Saudi Arabia, China, North Korea, Sudan, Iran, Vietnam, Eritrea, and Burma. The other three were Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan. In addition, seven countries made their “Watch List”, including: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, and Nigeria. All of these nations are discussed at length in the USCIRF May 3, 2006 Annual Report from which all quotes are taken.

Saudi Arabia is a Muslim nation. In Saudi Arabia there is no freedom of religion whatsoever. The government allows no public religious expression apart from one form of Sunni Islam and represses private dissenting private religious activity. In addition, the Saudi government has been found to help finance activities “that support extreme religious intolerance, hatred, and, in some cases, violence toward non-Muslims and disfavored Muslims.”

China is communist. In China, “every religious community in China is subject to serious restrictions, state control, and repression. The most severe religious freedom abuses are directed against Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims, Roman Catholics, house church and unregistered Protestants, and spiritual groups such as the Falun Gong—abuses involving imprisonment, torture, and other forms of ill treatment.”

China’s cruelty toward Tibet has attracted attention from many and rightfully so. However, China has been one of the worst persecutors of Christians of all the countries of the world with legions of stories whispered from there of their suffering. Nonetheless, Christianity is taking hold there with estimates of 10,000 conversions per day. Chinese Christians, accustomed to persecution, have vowed that they will be the ones to take the Faith to the Muslim world much of whom have not even heard the message. They feel that they are better able to do this because the Muslim nations do not view them with the same suspicion as they do the United States. That distrust runs deep, all the way back to some of them siding with the Nazis during World War II and with the USSR during the Cold War period.

North Korea is a dictatorship with communist leanings. “Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief does not exist” in North Korea, “as the government severely represses public and private religious activities and maintains a policy of tight control over government-sanctioned religious practice…religious belief of any kind is viewed by the government as a potential competitor to the forcefully propagated cult of personality centered on Kim Jong Il, and his late father, Kim Il Sung. In the past several years, North Korean government officials have arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and sometimes executed those discovered engaging in clandestine religious activity.”

In fact, the persecution is so horrific in North Korea that some have attempted to escape to China for relief from their suffering. China, however, has little use or respect for these political and religious asylum-seekers and sends them back.

In Sudan, which is mostly Muslim, genocide has been occurring for decades. “[S]ecurity forces have not been held to account for the human rights abuses committed during Sudan’s North-South Civil War, most of whose victims were Christians or followers of traditional African religions.” In the North “government agencies continue to harass and discriminate against Christians, other non-Muslims, and Muslims who dissent from the government’s views. In prisons and vagrant camps, non-Muslims are pressured to convert to Islam. Apostasy is legally punishable by death. Permission to build churches is routinely denied.” Little real change has transpired in Darfur.

“The government of Iran engages in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of
religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions… President Ahmadinejad’s repeated threats to destroy Israel and denials of the Holocaust have intensified fears among Iran’s Jewish community.” Iran remains overwhelmingly Muslim.

Vietnam is a communist nation. Its government “continues to harass, detain, imprison, and discriminate against leaders and practitioners of all religious communities.” Christian groups that face great persecution there include Montagnard and Hmong Protestants (both minority ethnic groups) and Vietnamese Mennonites.

In Eritrea, which about evenly divided between Muslims and Christians, “the government officially recognizes the Orthodox Church of Eritrea (Coptic Orthodox), Sunni Islam, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Evangelical Church of Eritrea, a Lutheran-affiliated denomination”. The government is guilty of egregious human rights’ violations including disruption of private ceremonies such as weddings, “arbitrary arrests and detention without charge of [religious detainees], and the mistreatment or torture of religious detainees, sometimes resulting in death. Hundreds of members of unregistered churches are believed to be detained at any given time, typically without charges, even for extended periods.”

Burma, also known as Myanmar, is a military dictatorship/Buddhist nation. “The government imposes restrictions on certain religious practices, controls and censors all religious publications, has supported, allowed, or instigated violence against religious minorities, and, in some areas of the country, has forcefully promoted Buddhism over other religions.”

Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan are all Muslim nations and “have engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom”.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Indonesia are overwhelmingly Muslim nations. Belarus is technically Christian but the Communist influence remains and repressive laws are in place against any unregistered religious activity. Cuba is communist and dislikes and strongly discourages dissent, and Nigeria is more than half Muslim and a bit less than half Christian. The Muslim north, however, continues to push for an expansion of Shariah law and makes frequent incursions into the Christian south.

Despite the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there are many places in this world that do not allow dissenting religious views. Regardless of who is being persecuted or who are the persecutors, it is clear that this is not an acceptable situation. Christians, especially, seem to get the short end of the stick in most of the nations that engage in religious intolerance. The stories that flow from these nations of the abuse faced are heartrending. This list is hardly inclusive of all the places where persecution and abuse take place. Witness the Christian orphanage in Nepal.

One organization which works to educate the world about the persecution of the Church that takes place in nations such as these is Voice of the Martyrs. Please check out their site. Also, this is my first post in the VOM carnival. Check out others’ posts if you have opportunity.