What’s not to despise?

Americans don’t like atheists so much:

American’s increasing acceptance of religious diversity doesn’t extend to those who don’t believe in a god, according to a national survey by researchers in the University of Minnesota’s department of sociology.

From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.

Well, let’s see, they want to ban Christmas, are constantly trying to tell everyone else what to do, always assume that they are more intelligent and educated than everyone else on the mere basis of their beliefs and have a historically murderous track record that is second only to Genghis Khan.

There are some delightful exceptions, of course but I’ve found that American atheists tend to have social skills that hover around the Chess Club level, just above the hairier man-hating feminists. Unlike European atheists, who couldn’t care less whether you believe in Jesus Christ, Allah or Mighty Cthulhu, American atheists will bring up either a) the Spanish Inquisition, b) the Crusades, c) the purported Christianity of Adolf Hitler, or d) the Thirty-Years War within five minutes of hearing that incindiary word, “hello”.

No one minds agnostics, partly because they’re perfectly willing to admit that they have no idea and partly because they tend to keep their suspicion that you don’t either to themselves. Atheists, on the other hand, seem to have nearly as strong a propensity for proselytizing as Jehovah’s Witnesses,

And, of course, they SAY their disbelief in a god doesn’t mean that they have no morals or character, (although they can never explain what their carefully thought-out morality is based upon), but then, it’s not as if they believe they’re ever going to be held to account for lying about it either.

Go to college, forget kids

There was an article today in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that discussed the recent statistic that 40% or more female college graduates here in Germany are still childless by age 40. And the thinking is that the fault lies in lack of a suitable mate. Male college grads want spouses young and pretty (not that hard to find) and the female college grads want men even better educated and more successful than themselves (apparently harder to find).

The author of the article posited that childlessness leads to unhappiness and I agree with her. What will you advise your own daughters?

If I had a daughter, I’d tell her to go to college, get a degree and then pursue an advanced degree and a career. That should leave her a whole three years, between 27 and 30, to quickly get married and start having children. Of course, if she makes a bad dating choice or two during that time frame, those three years will flash quickly by and she’ll either have to settle or find herself entirely SOL.

But then, writing memos, making Powerpoint presentations, attending speed-dating events and feeding cats is entirely satisfying and is really okay and while maybe it’s not what she wanted she’s still in a really good place right now and her therapist thinks she’s doing fine now that they’ve got the dosages straight… or so I’ve been told.

This should get very interesting in the next ten years, when most men figure it out and start scrapping the liberal arts scam altogether in favor of technical education and Internet degrees that cost less and take less time. Women, of course, will continue to go for those sociology and poly-sci degrees because college is “so important” in much the same way that Hillary Clinton “has done so much”.

By the way, here’s one feminist’s solution to the problem. One guess as to where she finds the answer… (hint, it begins with a G):

If politicians want babies to kiss on the campaign trail, they’re going to have to ante up, starting with part-time jobs with full benefits, tax equity, paid maternity leave, Social Security benefits for stay-at-home parents, and subsidized child-care centers—with well-paid teachers. Even more important, they’ll have to finally admit that the minivan does not qualify as a child-care center, and make the school day match the work day—complete with PE, music, sports, and other enriching activities on site. (Think of the traffic jams that could be eliminated!) Men must sign binding contracts to start doing laundry, mastering the vacuum cleaner, and driving the carpool a few times a week. Then—and only then—should women agree to fire up the oven. After a few years without new life to inspire, project their expectations upon, and inherit their empires, men just might come around. And if they don’t, childfree women will have plenty of time to take over the world and do the job for them.

Actually, that Japanese politician’s idea of banning women from higher education would cost far less and achieve much better results faster, but our ever-brilliant feminists will be wearing burqahs and living under sharia before they’d admit that. After all, if it’s obvious and based on historical reality, it’s probably too simple a solution. It makes much more since to attempt drastically changing society by force, especially since their previous attempts have been working out so well for them.

In Afghanistan, Mr. Faster Please

Wherein Michael Ledeen reveals how out of touch he is:

WHERE’S THE MEDIA? [Michael Ledeen]

In March, 2004, nearly two hundred people were killed and hundreds more wounded in suicide attacks on the occasion of the Ashurah, the holiest day in the Shi’ite calendar. The disaster led the news. last year Karbala was relatively calm, but there were bombings in Baghdad. Again, big news. This year, millions of people filled the streets of Karbala, and there was no violence. And Baghdad was also pretty calm. You might think this was newsworthy, but of course you’d be wrong. And you know why the MSM did not compare this year’s celebration with those of the recent past: the comparison would have suggested progress, and that’s taboo. Better to focus on Cheney’s TV preferences.

Or perhaps they are paying attention to how our Afghan-installed government is flirting with the idea of killing a man for the crime of worshipping Jesus Christ. Ledeen is looking forward to Iran while the rest of the West is looking with horror at Afghanistan and Palestine and wondering why on Earth anyone listened to the insane neocon theory about how democracy would save the Middle East.

What affirmative action hath wrought

From the New York Times:

Few of us sitting around the table were as talented and as directed at age 17 as this young woman. Unfortunately, her test scores and grade point average placed her in the middle of our pool. We had to have a debate before we decided to swallow the middling scores and write “admit” next to her name.

Had she been a male applicant, there would have been little, if any, hesitation to admit. The reality is that because young men are rarer, they’re more valued applicants. Today, two-thirds of colleges and universities report that they get more female than male applicants, and more than 56 percent of undergraduates nationwide are women. Demographers predict that by 2009, only 42 percent of all baccalaureate degrees awarded in the United States will be given to men.

We have told today’s young women that the world is their oyster; the problem is, so many of them believed us that the standards for admission to today’s most selective colleges are stiffer for women than men. How’s that for an unintended consequence of the women’s liberation movement?

The elephant that looms large in the middle of the room is the importance of gender balance. Should it trump the qualifications of talented young female applicants? At those colleges that have reached what the experts call a “tipping point,” where 60 percent or more of their enrolled students are female, you’ll hear a hint of desperation in the voices of admissions officers.

First, a question for those who believe in gender equality. Why should colleges pay any attention whatsoever to gender? If there is no importance to gender, how can you justify admitting men on a different basis than women and why is it a problem if a college is 85 percent women or 85 percent men?

And if you believe it is acceptable for colleges to discriminate on a gender basis, why is it unacceptable for corporations to do so?

A more significant question is this: is the declining propensity for men to attend college a sign of increasing female power or the decreasing value of a college degree. Five years ago, I would have stated the former. Now, I am not so sure.