Monthly Archives: July 2008

A Canadian Court Has Lost Its Mind

A Canadian court has lifted a 12 year old girl’s “grounding,” overturning her father’s punishment for disobeying his orders to stay off the Internet.  The girl had taken her father to Quebec Superior Court after he refused to allow her to go on a school trip for chatting on websites he tried to block, and then posting inappropriate pictures of herself online using a friend’s computer.

Unbelievably, the judge, Justice Suzanne Tessier, decided the punishment was too severe, and basically severed this father’s parental authority.  Unbelievable.  Unbelievable.

Evidently, the girl’s Internet transgression was just the latest in a pattern of broken house rules.

Obviously, this situation should never have been accepted for adjudication.  Obviously, this judge has taken leave of her common sense.  Obviously, this judge should lose her position.  Obviously, this is going to undermine parenting in Canada, and anywhere else such nonsense is permitted.

By the way, there’s a twist to this story – one which may explain the judge’s behavior.  The court-appointed lawyer who represented this child is the same lawyer who has been involved in the child’s parents’ 10 year custody battle!  If I were suspicious, I might wonder if this judge is a feminist type who identified with the mom as a co-oppressee and misused judicial power to support women – right or wrong.  Not an accusation, you understand, but just an attempt at understanding the unacceptable.

Three Internet Providers Agree to Block Child Porn

Internet providers Verizon, Sprint, and Time-Warner Cable have agreed to block access to child pornography and eliminate the material from their servers, according to Andrew Cuomo, New York State’s Attorney General.

According to the AP, “Investigators said they found 88 newsgroups devoted to child pornography in an 8 month investigation. “   All are being shut down by these cable providers.

“We are doing our part to deter the accessibility of such harmful content through the Internet, and we are providing monetary resources that will go toward the identification and removal of online child pornography,” said Sprint spokesman Matthew Sullivan.  “We embrace this opportunity to build upon our own long-standing commitment to online child safety.”

A Verizon representative pointed out that they can’t possibly scan every user group, but they will work very quickly to deal with the issue when it is brought to their attention.

Ya know, technologically, Internet providers have incredible resources for scanning….they just need the will.  It looks like Andrew Cuomo has made them find the will.

If You’re a “Metabo,” You’ll Be Fined

Japan has instituted one of the most serious campaigns in the world to get its citizens to be fit.  This action is motivated by the rapidly aging society’s ballooning health care costs, as most Japanese are covered under public health care or through their employment.

The term “metabo,” comes from the medical concept of “metabolic syndrome,” i.e., the factors that heighten the risk of developing vascular disease and diabetes.  They are:  obesity, high blood pressure, high glucose, and high cholesterol.  The term “metabo” has become the nation’s nickname for “overweight.”

Under a two month-old national law, companies and local governments must measure the waistlines of people between the ages of 40 and 74 as part of annual checkups.  That amounts to 44% of the population of Japan.

The International Diabetes Federation’s ( guidelines for Japan of no more than 33.5 inches for men’s waistlines and 35.4 inches for women is being used as the standard.  When folks are over those measurements and have a weight-related ailment, they will be given dieting guidance and education.

The government will impose financial penalties on companies and local governments that fail to meet these targets.  NEC, a Japanese personal computer production company, said to the New York Times (6/13/08) that if it failed to meet its targets, it could incur almost 20 million in penalties.

A survey by the National Center for Health Statistics in the U.S.A. found that the average waist size for Caucasian American men was 39 inches, a full inch smaller than the 40 inch maximum established by the International Diabetes Federation.

Ladies didn’t do as well:  the average waist size of Caucasian American women was 36.5 inches, about two inches above our threshold.  (The differences in thresholds between Japanese and Americans and men and women have to do with height and body type).

Quote of the Week

He was off by two days, but he definitely was able to see into the future:

“The second day of July, 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America.  I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.  It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.  It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
               – John Adams
                 2nd President of the United States
                 Signer, The Declaration of Independence

Have a wonderful Independence Day weekend celebration!

Ambulances to Save the Dead revealed that a select group of New York City paramedics may soon have a different kind of task:  saving the dead.  The city is considering creating a special ambulance whose crew would rush to collect the newly deceased and preserve the body so that the organs might be taken for transplant.  Top medical officials in the NYC Fire Department and Bellevue Hospital say it has the potential to save hundreds of lives.

Generally in the United States, only people who die at hospitals are used as organ donors, because doctors are on hand with life-support machinery to preserve the organs and remove them before they are unusable (which can happen after only a few critical hours).

The new transplant ambulance would ideally turn up at the scene of a death minutes after regular paramedics ceased efforts to resuscitate a patient.  They would have to wait for 5 minutes after a formal declaration of death, but then the team would begin work immediately, administering drugs and performing chest compressions intended to keep the organs viable. 

Some of these steps may be taken before getting approval from a relative and without knowledge of the deceased’s wishes regarding organ donation, but any organ removals would only be done at a hospital.  And no organs would be removed without getting the family’s express consent. 

U.S. opinion surveys routinely show that a majority of Americans are willing to donate their organs.  An estimated 22,000 people die at home each year in the United States, and several hundred people die every month waiting for organs.  This seems like a worthy pilot project.

Dress Codes At Work – A Political Land Mine

Boy, oh boy, talk about a feminista double standard!  There are big problems for men who try to impose a dress code for women.  The subhead of a Wall Street Journal article from June 19 read “When a Man Regulates Attire At Work, Women Often See an Oppressor, Not a Mentor.”  The ultimate suggestion is to have a woman boss lay down the wardrobe law.

Oh, please.

Tom Mills, Managing Partner of a Washington DC law office, was asked to make a firm-wide apology for complaining to the Wall Street Journal’s “On Style” column that the work attire of some young female law associates was based on the “TV-woman lawyer look with skirts 12 inches above the knee and very tight blouses.”  Evidently, the attire seen in many law offices and courtrooms reaffirms the accuracy of his statement.

Mr. Jim Holt, president of the Mid-American Credit Union in Wichita, Kansas, has become a target since he expressed his view publicly that panty hose are more professional than bare legs for working women.  That relatively benign statement got him lots of actual hate mail – hate mail!!  Gee, it doesn’t take much for feministas to start spewing hate, does it?

The rage seems to be centered on the concept that men should not be able to comment, criticize, suggest, offer an opinion, have a preference – nada – towards a woman without being accused of oppression.  What would female bosses do with male associates who came in with muscle shirts and low, baggy pants revealing skin really low on the abdomen?

If women wish to be taken seriously (for their minds, and not their bodies), then they shouldn’t be using professional circumstances to dress as they might if they were looking for casual sex.

The Amorality of Advertising

J.C. Penney officials are upset about a racy, fake advertisement on YouTube, in which the retailer appears to be endorsing teen sex.  The “fake” ad was not done with their knowledge or permission.

The video, called “Speed Dressing,” ends with teens telling the girls’ mother that they’re heading down to the basement to watch TV.  As they head toward the basement door, the words “Today’s the day to get away with it” flash on the screen, echoing Penney’s use of the phrase “Today’s the day to…” in a series of ads it launched last year.  Penney’s logo and slogan then appear on the screen.

The title refers to the beginning of the video which shows two teenagers in their own respective bedrooms stripping down to their underwear and then timing themselves as they race to put their clothes back on. 

The amoral part of this story is the response of Alan Siegel, chief executive of New York strategic-branding company Siegel + Gale.  “It’s not going to reflect well on the brand in Middle America, but the ad is nicely done and the people in it are attractive; young people in New York and LA will get a kick out of it,” he said.

The potential impact on young people is irrelevant, however, as long as it’s clever and attractive?  Amoral thinking at best.