From: email@example.com (Johann Opitz)
Fear Trumps Freedom
ifeminists.com: Urban Legends
Advocacy research refers to studies and reports produced by people with a vested interest in reaching a foregone conclusion. Politically correct feminism is notorious for its advocacy research and for the shoddy methodology that often accompanies political bias. Theory is paraded as fact, anecdotal accounts as hard data. Those who raise contradicting evidence are slandered in ad hominem attacks. Such "research" could be dismissed as worthless and irrelevant if it did not form the basis of so much public policy. Feminist smears could be written off as bad manners if it did not damage people's lives. As it stands, PC feminism and the urban legends it creates hurt innocent people. And that can never be ignored. In 1994, Christina Hoff Sommers exposed the urban legends feminism has perpetrated on the North American public in her book _Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women_. Examples of feminist urban legends include: ... ... But honest research is possible, and the!
media must cease being complicit in ringing false alarms and spreading inaccuracies. Even cursory attention to common-sense guidelines would allow journalists and reporters to filter out the worst of the legends that pose as fact instead of passing them on to listeners as "news." What are some of these common-sense guidelines? The media should ignore, or severely question, any report:
-- with highly emotive language;
-- with specific policy recommendations or funding demands;
-- with a "snapshot" approach rather than data over time;
-- with internal and unexplained anomalies or contradictions;
-- without collaborating empirical evidence;
-- without a statement of parameters, e.g. margin for error;
-- without disclosure of researchers' relevant affiliations;
-- which has an unrepresentative or small sampling;
-- which does not attempt to verify the accounts;
-- which stresses anecdotal accounts
-- which does not independently verify accounts from subjects
Moreover, the media should stop treating slander as though it was a counter-argument. ... A generation has been raised to believe that shouting is debate, defamation of character is argument and valid research does not exist. This PC legacy must not be allowed to stand.
[It will be an extremely cold day in Hades before the mainstream news media ever reforms itself.]
More snowmobiles at Yellowstone
Interior Dept. reverses rules from Clinton era
New Emission Rules to Cost Snowmobile Industry
As if the possibility of another winter of scanty snowfall wasn't enough bad news for snowmobile enthusiasts, now the vehicles themselves may cost more as stringent air pollution controls go into effect. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued first-time emission standards on snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles under the Clean Air Act. The new rules may cost manufacturers millions of dollars by sending retail prices higher, dealing a blow to future snowmobile sales.
A World Body That Authorizes Military Force Is A World Government
... The UN is an autocratic organization that consists of unelected bureaucrats, many appointed by dictators, the others appointed by presidents and prime ministers. In either case the people of any given nation do not elect their representatives to the UN the same way that U.S. citizens elect members of congress. The UN is inherently a tyranny. The most frightening aspect of this is that it exists now. The UN is asserting itself as a world government now. It may be illegitimate, but it exists, nonetheless.
Dan Walters: Pelosi personifies coastal California's split from rest of nation
Early European maps of the North American continent, reflecting the observations of explorers, depicted California as a large island. It's not accurate geographically, of course, although some have speculated that when the long-anticipated killer earthquake strikes along the San Andreas Fault, the coastal strip of California will break off and become an island. As it happens, the seismic fault is also a political dividing line. The heavily populated coastal communities west of the fault largely voted for Democrats last week, but inland communities east of the line leaned strongly toward Republicans.
Mailing Raccoon Called Hate Crime
Community Leaders Want An Investigation
Community leaders are calling for an investigation after a severed raccoon's head was reportedly mailed to the principal of the high school in Maple Heights, NewsChannel5 reported. A group of community leaders called the act a hate crime against Debra Houchins, principal of Maple Heights High School. A Bedford school teacher is on administrative leave, accused of sending the animal's remains during the Maple Heights teachers' strike.
A recent National Academies panel report on the effectiveness of lie detectors highlighted one of the biggest problems we face when dealing with data. Polygraphs, the panel concluded, were not sophisticated enough to help in screening out potential risks to national security. If there were ten security risks in a pool of 5,000 people to be screened, then a test designed to catch as many of them as possible - eight out of the ten - would also flag up over a thousand innocent parties as security risks. If the polygraphs were set to minimize the number of innocent parties misidentified, then while they would only find about 40 such cases, they would also find only two of the real risks. n data-gathering terms these errors are known as false positives - where the test is set to find the presence of something, but finds it where it does not exist - and false negatives - where the test fails to find actual examples of what it is looking for. These errors bedevil the understandin!
g and usefulness of data. One example is in the question of how many times privately-owned guns are used defensively each year in the prevention of crime. Every time someone has run a survey to answer this question, the answer has been surprisingly large, from around 765,000 incidents to over 3.5 million (there are about 450,000 gun crimes every year, although that number is not directly comparable). As very few defensive uses of guns are reported to the police, these numbers seem to some to be inappropriately high. The designers of one survey for the National Institute of Justice, Philip Cook of Northeastern University and Jens Ludwig of Georgetown, that found about 1.5 million defensive uses in the previous year decided that the survey instrument was too broad, thereby allowing many false positives. ... Other survey designers, such as Gary Kleck of Florida State University, argue that the surveys may actually underestimate the use of guns defensively, because people who own !
guns illegally (in contravention of a restraining order, for instance) or who carried them without a permit, for instance, may not wish to admit their use. The surveys, Kleck and his fellows argue, are therefore balanced when it comes to the possibility of both false positives and false negatives. It is clear that in this area, at least, there is substantial room to doubt the accuracy of any of the surveys, although there does seem to be a preponderance of evidence that guns are used defensively a lot more than official statistics tell us (about 200,000 incidents a year). ...
Libertarians urge Americans: Hold onto your wallets now that GOP controls both House and Senate
Now that Republicans control both houses of Congress and the presidency, Americans should brace themselves for an era of skyrocketing federal spending and ballooning budget deficits, Libertarians say. "Our prediction is that with a GOP Congress egging him on, George Bush is going to make Bill Clinton look like a fiscal conservative," said George Getz, Libertarian Party communications director. "Even when Republicans controlled only one house of Congress, Bush managed to sign the first $2 trillion-plus federal budget, throw more money at Clinton-era programs and propel the deficit toward outer space. With complete congressional control, expect Bush to go on an absolute spending rampage."
NYC: Lawyer: NYC to pay fired officer
The city has agreed to pay $327,500 to a black police officer fired after criticizing the department following the fatal shooting of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo, her lawyer said Monday. The Police Department also agreed to reinstate Yvette Walton so she can retire with a pension, said her New York Civil Liberties Union attorney, Christopher Dunn. ... Former Police Commissioner Howard Safir had testified that Walton was fired for disciplinary reasons unrelated to her comments. However, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein found last year that Walton would not have been fired if she had not criticized the department after the 1999 shooting. The judge said the officer's First Amendment rights were violated.
Vin Suprynowicz: Sitting in jail for spanking
Suzanne Shell, director of the American Family Advocacy Center in Colorado Springs, writes: "I'm working on a Wisconsin case where the mother now sits in jail. ... She was charged with a felony for spanking her 10-year-old son on the bare bottom with her non-dominant hand." Kay M. Henson, 31, a mother of six from Sharon, Wis., pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of "simple battery" after she "admitted spanking her son 15 times, but said she also tried grounding him, using timeouts and ordering him to do extra chores as forms of discipline, but nothing worked," The Associated Press reported Aug. 18, 2001. "I spanked him on the bare butt with my hand," said Henson, who weighs 110 lbs. "This was after a whole summer of this boy misbehaving." The boy reported to school officials that his mother had spanked him 30 times on his bare buttocks. Henson could have faced a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
Supreme Court refuses to get involved in state campaign finance case
The Supreme Court isn't giving any help to states that want to collect more information about campaign spending. Justices turned down a request Tuesday by Mississippi and 20 other states that want to clarify what campaign speech is so states can more closely regulate it.
Supreme Court refuses to consider whether workers must pay for union organizing activities
The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to consider whether workers can be forced to pay for union organizing activities in other workplaces against their wishes. The issue has put the Bush administration at odds with the business community. The administration defended the mandatory dues and pressed the court to stay out of a fight that involved grocery workers but could also affect millions of other employees. Workers in 28 states can be forced to pay some dues, whether or not they join the union, under agreements negotiated with companies. The other 22 states have restrictions under right-to-work laws. The Supreme Court has strictly limited the union agreements to protect the nonmembers' free-speech and free-association rights. Workers cannot be forced to be full members, pay full dues or support a union's political activities, the Supreme Court has ruled. The nonunion employees can be required to pay for a union's collective bargaining work, however, so long as the money isn'!
t spent on political and ideological purposes. At issue in the latest case is a government decision to force grocery workers for chains based in California, Colorado and Michigan to pay for union organizing activities in other grocery markets.
Supreme Court agrees to review challenge of filtering software at libraries
The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide if public libraries can be forced to install software blocking sexually explicit Web sites. Congress has struggled to find ways to protect children from Internet pornography without infringing on free speech rights for Web site operators. Lawmakers have passed three laws since 1996, but the Supreme Court struck down the first and blocked the second from taking effect. The latest measure, signed by President Clinton in 2000, requires public libraries receiving federal technology funds to install filters on their computers or risk losing aid. A three-judge federal panel ruled the Children's Internet Protection Act violates the First Amendment because the filtering programs also block sites on politics, health, science and other non-pornographic topics.
Johann Opitz <firstname.lastname@example.org> RKBA!
"Throughout recorded history, without exception, it has been the sole accomplishment of organized government to deprive their populations of liberty and of their property." -- John C. Calhoun