Mailvox: Nice try, Pythagoras

Aziz needs a reading comprehension course for Christmas:

The divorce rate is measured as the number of divorces per marriage, not as the number of divorcees in the general population. So it doesnt matter whether 10%, 50%, or 95% or MA residents are getting married, the divorce rate will always be a measure of divorces per marriage–it has nothing to do with the proportion of the population getting married. Krugman isn’t lying, he just knows how to count better than you do.

Krugman is being deceptive and you, my dear math savant, need to learn how to read. Right at the top of the report it clearly states: Rates are per 1,000 total population residing in area. Now, obviously Aziz is hopelessly wrong, but because I actually have a brain and know how to use it, we’ll trouble to verify our statement.

MA divorce rate 2000: 2.5

MA divorces, 2000: 16,524

Now, how many residents of MA were there in 2000? 6,349,097. Dividing 6,349,097 by 1,000 equals 6349. Dividing the number of divorces, 16,524, by 6349 = 2.60*. Hmmm, that looks familiar, doesn’t it… maybe that’s because IT IS THE DIVORCE RATE PER 1,000 POPULATION, YOU MORON! The number of divorces per marriage doesn’t enter into it.

*I believe the .1 difference between my calculation and the CDC number is probabaly based on slightly different divorce and population numbers for Massachusetts. I don’t have access to theirs; I used US Census, the CDC report only says that populations are “consistent with the 2000 Census”.

Mailvox: Biblical utopians

KD asks about a friend:

I am also a Christian libertarian and I am having a discussionwith a friend on the topic. His argument is that “Just because something isnot possible…i.e. moral utopia….doesn’t mean we don’t strive for it,”(by using the government). He uses references in Romans 13:1-6.

“1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.”

KD’s friend’s argument makes no sense, because on this basis, ANYTHING the government does is therefore right. Settinig aside my personal doubts about that concept, I note that the two of you are discussing what the government should do, not whether to submit to it or not, so these verses simply aren’t applicable. Note that Paul does not say to obey the authorities, but to do what is right instead. For someone who is asserting that it is necessary to submit to the governing authorities, he certainly found himself in jail a lot.

But even a casual observer will note that evil authority always fears those who speak the truth and do right, this may be one of those spiritual laws that are rationally counterintuitive – think of how the leadership of the Soviet Union feared Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and allowed him to speak out against them although they could have killed him at anytime.

No, NPR’s not liberal

All Things Considered’s Michele Norris was on NPR during the election campaign. But she was not doing any politics. She did mostly nonelection stories — a lot of them. A number of listeners and colleagues wondered why.

The reason was simple. Norris’ husband, Broderick Johnson was a senior adviser to the Kerry campaign. For that reason, NPR management decided that Norris should not do any political interviews.

Of course, a liberal not doing political interviews is still a liberal. A liberal talking about football is still a liberal, and it’s not exactly hard to pick them out when they do their annual sports stories about how more quarterbacks/coaches/owners need to be black.

According to FAIR’s analysis, Michele Norris talking to Jonah Goldberg on the air should be scored 1-0, conservatives, proving that NPR is conservative. What a crock of absolute bovine ejectus.

Forget Dr. Phil

Since you’ve got to go through life one way or another, you might as well adopt a life philosophy. And you could do a lot worse than the Tao of Jack Burton:

“I feel good, and I’m not scared at all. I just feel kind of… kind of invincible… Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?”

“Hey, I’m a reasonable guy. But I’ve just experienced some very unreasonable things.”

“You know what Jack Burton always says… what the hell.”

“Would you just stop rubbing your body up against mine, because I can’t concentrate when you do that.”

“May the wings of liberty never lose a feather.”

“Next time some eight-foot-tall, wild-eyed maniac taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall and asks you if you’ve paid your dues, well, you just do what ole Jack Burton always does at a time like that. You stare that sucker right back in the eye. “Have you paid your dues, Jack?” “Yes, sir, the check is in the mail.””

And Jamie reminds me of perhaps the most important one: “”Just remember what ol’ Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big old storm right in the eye and says, ‘Give me your best shot. I can take it’.”

The winners in spite of themselves

Bob Novak writes of the Republican leadership and the election:

Steve Moore, the feisty free market economist who is Club for Growth’s president, concentrated on helping aggressive reformers [Tom] Coburn and DeMint. Both had to wade through fierce Republican primary opposition and were not favorites of the GOP’s Washington establishment. The Oklahoma Republican power structure was aligned against Coburn, as was the House Republican leadership that did not remember him fondly from his congressional days. Speaker Dennis Hastert publicly dismissed Coburn as a probable loser in the same category as Alan Keyes, who finished 43 percentage points behind in Illinois….

The outcome: Coburn won by the landslide proportion of 12 percentage points.

One can’t help but think that Toomey would have won in Pennsylvania, had the Washington Republicans not weighed in on behalf of Specter. Remember, conservative Republicans, the fact that they’re wearing your colors doesn’t necessarily mean they’re on your team. Right now, the words “conservative” and “Republican” are seen as synonymous. As Jonah Goldberg rightly predicted this week, that is unlikely to continue to be the case.

It’s not just Americans

Mothers are rejecting equality in the workplace and prefer the idea of becoming full-time housewives – but not ones who actually do housework. This is the overall conclusion of research among 2,100 British adults that says women are happy to abandon the workplace but not if it means spending all day at home cooking, cleaning and looking after children. Instead they want to play the “role” of housewife with a little help from, for instance, a nanny, and someone who does the ironing. And unlike Kylie Minogue, they don’t want to do any dusting either.

The report, by Marian Salzman, chief strategic officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide, the world’s fifth largest advertising agency, describes these women as princess-style “domestic divas” who effectively exploit their husbands. “Today, ‘women’s lib’ means wanting to be liberated from the intense pressures of the modern-day working mum,” she said….

Her research suggested that the motivation to spend more time at home was “self-centred” for some women. “There are many women who choose to stay home out of concern for their children’s quality of life,” she said. “But there are plenty of others who are paying lip service to being the 2004 version of the perfect mum.

“In reality they are domestic divas who want the flawless kids, courtesy of the nanny; a spotless home, thanks to a cleaning service; and a reputation for being a fabulously put-together homemaker. “These are the women who are becoming a target of disdain and rage on the part of spouses who didn’t expect to be shouldering the financial burden single-handedly.”

But Miss Salzman said the reality was that women with older children were increasingly becoming self-indulgent. “They look at the realities of paid work – the stress, the politics, the pressure, the dress code – and they say that it would mean less ‘me’ time. “And we are not just talking about women who earn lots of money. Women who earn £27,500, or £55,000, or more than £55,000 did not want to work, and men are feeling a great deal of financial pressure. “Women think: ‘What’s mine is mine, and what’s his is mine.'”

This would explain why the much-ballyhooed British Bride service was a flop. It is amazing to learn how shockingly lazy many women are, though. I hail from a relatively wealthy family and I see an awful lot of women that I mentally categorize as “The Useless”, who simply don’t do anything, anything at all, but shop. And I’m not counting the tennis wives either, who tend to be the more traditional homemakers whose kids are out of the nest and whose husbands are often retired. No, I’m talking about the gaggles of butterballs you see at the coffee shops, who sit there gossiping and bitching about their hard lives for hours in the middle of the day – I know because I’m there for hours too when I’m working on a book – and who, based on their conversation, have literally nothing to do.

It’s no wonder that so many of these women are miserable and unhappy; knowing that you are a useless member of society who is contributing nothing to your marriage, your family or society has to be a terrible, soul-destroying thing. The sad thing is that they continue to look outside themselves for fulfillment, when they themselves are the only ones who can do anything about it.

These statistics are also telling:

“The basic problem is that expat men don’t want expat women, and Russian men don’t want expat women,” said notorious ex-Moscow Times columnist Owen Matthews, best known for his nightlife column “Batwing Soup.” “That doesn’t leave eXpat women with much room to maneuver.” Everyone here knows that there is far more cross-fertilization between expat men and Russian women than between expat women and Russian men. Evidence of this comes not only from observing bars and parties, but also in the form of statistics.

Karmen Bruyeva, the director of the Dvorets Drakosochetanya #4 (marriage registry), which handles marriages between Russians and foreigners, noted that of the roughly 1,200 marriages between foreigners and Russians that she registers annually, only about 40-50 are between Western women and Russian men. When asked why this was the case, Bruyeva threw up her hands and said, “I don’t know-you tell me!”

Zhanna Kaminskaya, a partner in the International Agency Gimeni, a Russian marriage agency, has an answer. She says that Russian men simply aren’t attracted to Western women. “Western women can scare them away,” she said. Only one Western woman has actually tried to use her agency to find a Russian man. “I’m puzzled as to why Western women don’t want a Russian man. I think Russian men are nice, normal guys.”

Now, I suppose it’s possible that what Russian men and American men want are entirely different. But isn’t it more likely that we’re simply seeing the results of the drastic program of behavior and expectations modification performed by the feminist movement over the last forty years? Especially since the same thing is being seen in Asia:

UNTIL fairly recently, there weren’t that many single Caucasian career women in Singapore, or in Asia for that matter. More seem to have come, mainly with hopes of fast-tracking their careers, though it doesn’t appear to be doing likewise for their private lives. The topic was dealt with last month in an Asian Wall Street Journal article by Stan Sesser.

In it, he quoted executive Julia Sleva, a 30-something Canadian living in Bangkok. Apparently, Ms Sleva’s on the career superhighway, but her love life moves slower than peak-hour Bangkok traffic. Most Caucasian men in Bangkok are either married, gay or have a young Thai hanging on their arm, while most Thai men don’t date expat women, she complains.

Sesser adds: ‘The difficulties of many single white women in Asia are so widespread that counsellors are dealing with it every day.’ It’s apparently no different in Singapore.

One British female friend tells me: ‘Many Caucasian men arrive as normal human beings and morph into total idiots after sleeping their way around the SPG [Sarong Party Girl] hangouts. ‘They can’t go back home and find a woman because it would shatter their illusions of being a sex god.’ Another friend, an Australian, adds: ‘Everywhere you look, a white guy is holding an Asian girl’s hand. What’s left for us?

Obviously, the rise of lesbian chic. And you wonder if these bitter women have ever considered that those men don’t prefer Asian women because they harbor illusions of being a sex god, but because they simply prefer spending their time with pretty women who are attracted to them and treat them like decent human beings instead of spending it with demanding, self-centered narcissists who openly consider them to be idiots.

Now, it is possible to find a nice, beautiful, good-hearted American woman. Space Bunny is the poster girl for proving that such beings do exist. But I had to burn through an awful lot of girls to find her; speaking as a tri-lingual man who has lived in America, Europe and Asia, it’s quite evident that they can be found much more easily elsewhere.