Saturday, August 30, 2003

The war against boys

Yep, it's true. Society doesn't like boys. It's provable too. USA Today knows it. Just look at studies in education.
Now 56% of college freshmen are women. 76% of National Honor Society members are girls.
USA Today mentions a major factor in this imbalance. Boys learn differently than girls (surprise! boys and girls are different) and curricula are now designed more for the manner is which girls learn. Result, girls are doing better at the expense of boys.

Educators don't want to do anything about it though. USA Today pointed out, "Female education researchers...questioned whether helping boys would mean hurting girls." In fact, when the question is raised, advocates for girls cry foul. Jacequline Woods claims that " the implicit solution sounds disturbingly close to advocating rolling back gains for girls to address our concerns about boys." Her statement acknowledges there is no calls to roll back gains for girls. Those who are concerned are just "close" to it. Her statements show a disturbing lack of concern for a problem that will effect all of society, even women when there are fewer qualified mates. Intelligent, responsible people know that dragging one group down does not elevate another.

My solution? Single sex classrooms. Separate boys and girls. Then each can taught in the manner in which they learn best without having to compromise to accommodate the other sex. An added advantage is neither boys or girls are distracted by trying to impress the other. It really is win/win.

Society needs to stop penalizing boys of today because others in prior years had an advantage. So what if men have quickly slipping edge in federal math and science scores?

Society has changed. Women now have a historically unprecedented choice in careers. Men won't have that choice if we don't educate them as boys.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Madonna still kicking around

The social decay that is MTV marches on. Last night the MTV Music Awards show stopper was Madonna giving an onstage kiss to Britney Spears. Great.

At this point, I'm not sure why this is such a big deal. There have been plenty of lesbian kisses on TV. Madonna published her sex book over ten years ago. What is the significance? I suppose it may be that as rich as booth Britney and Madonna are, they will still do anything for money and a little public attention.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Terrorist friendly media

Why is the media so friendly to terrorists. In reading today's Reuters' story about Israel killing a Palestinian terrorist, the recap recent events leads one to think Israel broke the cease fire. Amazing how they can state the facts but still mislead:

"Islamic militants renounced a seven-week-old truce a week ago after Israel assassinated Hamas's second-ranking political leader, Ismail Abu Shanab, by destroying his car with a missile. That followed a suicide bombing that killed 21 in Jerusalem."

Reuters reports the events, but not chrnologically. The result is to make Israel look like the rogue state. So this is the real order of events:

1. Terrorist kills 21 Israelis. Notice Reuters does not mention that 21 Israeli civilians were killed. Just that "21" were killed. Whatever that means.

2. Israel retaliates by killing a terrorist leader. Notice Reuters paints him as a "political leader".

3. The terrorists renounce the cease-fire. Notice again, Reuters calls them "militants". How are they militants when they target civilians? Their bombings have no military connection.

Beware when you read an article. They may state the facts, but not present them accurately.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003


If you haven't noticed, I have updated my layout today. It took hours and hours of design, and code writing. OK, I installed a new template and figured out how to add my own colors. Ingenius.

Roy's Rock

I disagree with Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and his supporters. I understand where his frustration comes from though. Our right to freely practice our religion has come under attack. The majority of the country believes in God, yet suits are filed to prohibit children from saying the pledge of allegiance because it acknowledges God. Student led prayer is now against the law.

The Roy Moore does not have the authority to arbitrarily decide which laws to follow and which to ignore. That leads to anarchy. I agree with the position Judge Moore's two options were to follow the judgement of the higher court, or to resign in protest. Ignoring the law as interpreted by a higher court undermines his own authority as Chief Justice when he makes a ruling.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

The Cable Conundrum

Finally, someone on the national level has put out the idea I’ve been thinking of for years. USA Today has weighed in on the issue of cable companies not allowing their customers to choose which channels they want to buy. Today nearly every basic cable package includes MTV and ESPN whether or not you actually want to watch either channel. Don’t like the debauchery MTV tells young people is normal? Tough. If you want FoxNews you have to pay for MTV as well. Like Discovery Channel but hate sports? Bite the bullet because you are paying for ESPN even if you don’t know a field goal (NFL) from a field goal (NBA).

Now USA Today brings this issue to light. Why can’t we pay for and get only the channels we want? Can you imagine going to the store and wanting to get a Coke, only to be told you have to buy a Sprite, Dr. Pepper, and a Vanilla Coke as well? Cable does it to you every month. They are saying, since we sell the channels together, you are getting more channels at less cost. So really, you are saving money.

Don’t forget a law of economics. You are not saving money you spend. When you spend $40, you have not just saved $20 – even though the item may be on sale from $60. That $40 is gone. Add that to the fact that you may not even want some of the products you just bought for $40. Cable is exactly like this. You won’t use half the channels you are paying for in the current system.

Fine, I’ll pay more per channel. I’ll still spend less money in the long run giving me a better value. So what is the better value for the consumer? 40 Channels for 40 dollars (most of which will never be viewed), or 15 Channels for $20.00 - all of which are viewed sometime during the month?

Friday, August 22, 2003

AP joining the terrorists

I first found this at who tracks terrorism at his blog.

AP published this photograph picturing three Palestinian terrorists (four counting the AP photographer) planting a bomb. Look at the caption. Notice how AP generously avoids the term terrorist when talking about the bombings which specifically target children as young as 5 months old.

Is it wrong to hate the rich?

Two debutantes, Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie, are starring in an upcoming series The Simple Life. The premise is the two rich girls leave their life of luxury to work on a farm for five weeks. MSN's article provides a number of quotes from the women that are none too flattering.

Here is a sample:
Paris on proper rural attire: "We don't have, like, farm clothes. We just sort of, we just wore our own clothes, and I don't know. It was cute."

Nicole on higher education: "I went to University of Arizona and I stopped going there because I went there for two years. I felt like I experienced the college life, or whatever, but I know ... I'm over it."

Clearly these two women are morons - probably because of, rather than in spite of, their fortunes. A life of every want being met does not develop the self-reliance one needs to lead a meaningful life. Is it fair these two manufactured idiots will have hundreds of millions at their disposal? No it isn't fair these two can buy $1,500.00 bags for their dogs. It also isn't fair they don't have the necessary tools to find happiness in their lives either. Life isn't fair.

Yes they are spoiled little rich girls. The thing to remember is you really can't judge your happiness by the material possessions of others. Right now my biggest want is a $3000 camera set. These two could by it and not make any adjustment in their spending while I would have to save for at least a year.

Still what I have, they can't buy - a spouse who I love and returns my commitment to her. It may sound cliche, but I know I'm richer. These two brats do prove the adage. Money can't buy happiness, er sum junk.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

USA - Where most of the men are men...and some of the women are too

Our society routinely tells little girls they can be anything they want to be, but should there be a limit on that? Do we need women acting like men? The latest example is boxing.

Christy Martin is coming out of retirement to fight Laila Ali. During their first press conference, the two boxers got into an onstage scuffle like Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis (and others). I don't understand the desire to masculinize women. How does it help society to turn women into entertainment fighters? It robs women of the mystery of femininity when you turn them into inferior versions of men.

Yes, I said it. Women will never compete effectively with men in the boxing ring or any other athletic (not performance) sport. As a result, their athletic performance is inferior to men.

Women have many wonderful gifts. Their creativity, intellect and femininity should be emphasized - not suborned.

Meanwhile, the neutering of the U.S. male continues. People are trying to convince men they can be just like women. Stay-at-home Dad's are they new cultural phenomena. Do women really want their husbands to be the nurturer? I doubt it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Integrity in Corporate America

I was reading an article about John Mack the CEO of CSFB (a very large bank) in the September 1 issue of Fortune magazine. Mr. Mack was brought into the company to turn it around after a series of bad business decisions and corporate scandals.

The article shows him as being an ethical man, seemingly rare in today's evironment of regulatory investigations. He is directing employees to cooperate fully with investigators. When an issue comes up that may be of interest to regulatory agencies, he is proactive in notifying them of any problems. He has been able to get top executives to actually give up hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed cash payments - a marked contrast to other firms that are giving executives over priced salary packages.

That is all well and good, but you know what makes this man qualified to be an ethical leader? It turns out he has been married to one woman for 30 years. Doesn't this indicate how important a person's family life is when judging his character? If he can keep his commitments to his wife, surely he is much more likely to keep his promises to coworkers, employees, and shareholders.

The tragedy of diversity

In my professional life, I have had the unpleasant experience of dealing with diversity issues in the last few days.

Where I work is truly a diverse workplace. The problem with "diversity" is that it focuses on people's differences. Supposedly celebrating diversity only keeps people with common goals seperated by constantly suggesting we do not have common ground.

I'm reminded of the last winter Olympics in Utah. The U.S. won a gold in the 2 person female bobsled event. As I was watching the gold medal ceremony I was briefly happy the U.S. won. That is until the NBC announcer informed me that it was the first bobsled medal for an African-American. In one split second I went from viewing that person as an American the whole country could celebrate to a black woman. Phrases like "A good role model for black children" infer that she is not a good role model for children of other ethical backgrounds. Isn't it great we have a media that further divides us when we have the opportunity to be most united?


I went to the local community college open house this evening to check out check out some possible career moves. I have been really hooked on the idea of pursuing digital photography lately. I realize the $3000 worth of camera equipment and a new computer is a bit out of reach at this point. I think I'm going to shelve that idea and go after something a bit more realistic but just as interesting to me.

I seem to have an apptitude for things in the computer realm. Tomorrow I'm going to call a couple universities and check out their Master's programs. I think network security is going to be the next (or current) big opportunity in the industry so we'll check that out.

Friday, August 15, 2003


Aren't people tired of Madonna? Gap now has her doing a very high profile ad campaign. You've probably seen her doing a commercial singing a wierd mix of her newest single "Hollywood" to the tune of one of her first singles "Get Into the Groove" but with new lyrics about Gap jeans interspersed with rapping by Missy Elliot.

I'm sure she is getting paid a load of money and some market research somewhere indicates the spot will be a big hit. But doesn't that music scream 80's? Is this suppose to be a retro look? Certainly the music doesn't make you think of being current with the times. I hear that music and think parachute pants (no, I never owned a pair; I wasn't that cool).


Looking at today's Reuter's headline you would think that the city of New York was the only place hit by the power outage. Reading the story you may revise that belief to include a small part of Canada. Barely a mention of any other cities affected. Reuters bends over backwards to provide quotes lauding New Yorkers on their ability to get by without electricty and air conditioning (and apparently ATMs).

Here are the top three headlines I pulled up on Yahoo news:
New York Gets Power Back After Massive Outages
Libya Takes Blame for Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103
New York City Bounces Back from Massive Blackout

This media infatuation with NYC is getting old.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Stupid headline of the year

Here it is - without a doubt the most idiotic headline and news item of the year.

"ATMs Down in Areas Hit by Power Outage"
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Large automatic teller machine networks in areas affected by the power outage in the Northeast on Thursday were shut down, making it impossible for most retail customers in those areas to withdraw their money.

You have gotta be kidding me. Really? ATMs don't work without power? We can rest easy knowing that the press is there to discover these otherwise unknown facts.

Next week be on the look out for more headlines like "The Sky is Blue" and "The Sun Rises in the East."

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Life changes

I must be going through my 30-something crisis. I have gotten to the point where I want to do something for a living that I enjoy. Anyone know where I can get $10,000 worth of digital photographic equipment for free? Huh? Didn't think so.

I was reading a book on being self employed. The author Kenn Oberrecht made a great point. He said that many people considering their own business fear they lack self-motivation and self-discipline. These people still must have these qualities to hold a regular job, get to work on time, and meet family obligations. Great food for thought.

Now I just need some direction. I want to be a photographer, work with computers (which you can do in photography) and be a writer (blogging anyone?) Of course I'm not good enough at any of them to make a living out it. Maybe I should do something about that.

The scratch on my nose from the new kitten is getting better. She is still a terror though. Its amazing how annoying and aggressive a 2 lb kitten can be when she decides she wants to share the cereal in my bowl.

Very partison groups

The NAACP is once again showing they are more concerned with a political movement than social causes. Even democrats believe a judicial nominee should be approved because she applies the law.

The 45 Democrat Senators in Washington D.C. apparently can't abide having anyone with that level of integrity. They are expected to filibuster.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Rumble in the house

I look like I've been beat up. First my eyelid is swollen from a sty (uck). Then this morning I'm playing with the new kitten by waving a string. She jumps, misses the string and scratches the tip of my nose. You gotta be kidding me! Now my wife is afraid that people will think she is beating me up ;)

The biggest news in Colorado is the recall election in California. At least Arnold's entry has taken some of the focus off the Kobe bryant case here. I think we are Kobe-overloaded. I suppose that illustrates the dangers of making moral heroes out of sports stars.

Todays big manufactured Kobe story is a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll disucssing how black America is more likely to think Kobe is innocent than white America. Thanks to the media for helping to further the racial divide. Perhaps next week we'll find out how various breeds of dogs feel about the case.

On to other stuff. My take on the implosion of the Episcopalian church. Lileks really got it right. He said:
"This story has irritated me from the start, and it has nothing to do with Rev. Robinson's sexual orientation. The guy left his wife and kids to go do the hokey-pokey with someone else"

The Episcopalians really have some issues. I don't really understand the we're-Christians-but-don't-believe-in-the-Bible mentality. Come on, choose an ethical standard. The Bible and follow-your-heart morals are not compatible. Its also strange that a supposedly Christian Bishop would have such a fundamental misunderstanding of marriage.

Lileks brought up an argument I have heard some make. A homosexual should leave a marriage because they don't want to live a lie. Assuming most of these people took the standard marriage vows, I'm curious where they think they said "I will be physically attracted exclusively to my spouse". Marriage isn't about physical attraction.

It's about commitment. A candidate to be a Christian Bishop certainly should be required to follow that principle.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Speaking of California

Arnold has thrown his hat in the ring. Surprising but not shocking. With no qualifications other than a brand name, he will probably win the election. The real question is: is there anyone who can save the state from bankruptcy?

Chaos theory.

My house this morning: a new kitten attacking my toes, a 105 lb black lab trying to inhale her, and visiting relatives packing to leave. This is chaos. For a moment, I thought I woke up in California.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

The first post of my new blog. I'll be posting about culture, a little politics, some religion and some personal anecdotes.