G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
I tried to get this and variations of this published at various outlets but with no success. I’ve written about it here before. Today is the last day of the pre-trial hearing on the use of voice identification experts in the upcoming trial. Right now the defense has on the stand a York University professor named Peter French who is basically blowing the prosecution experts’ testimony out of the water. He’s saying, like plenty of others I’d spoken to, that it’s pretty much impossible to compare a scream to known speech. I was fascinated by the way that Charles Lindbergh’s “expertise” – in realms outside of voice identification – was parlayed into his credentials when he testified against Richard Bruno Hauptmann.
Betty White is not a sex machine even though she’s been presented as such during her resurgence over the past several years. White and other old sexualized broads like Cloris Leachman and Joan Rivers have driven me nuts for a while. Someone else finally caught on and wrote about it at The New Republic (this is re-print of the original article that is in the magazine):
To understand the specific angle of the pop cultural infatuation with Betty White, look no further than the magazine cover on which she poses in a leather bikini and knee-high boots, straddling a centaur. It’s a cartoon rendering, but still a perfect emblem of White’s current status as the poster girl for raunchy old ladies on television.
Her sitcom, “Hot in Cleveland” — about a group of older women who move to Ohio after discovering that local men eye them like porn stars in Spanx — was recently renewed for a fifth season. The NBC reality show “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” features senior citizens pranking unsuspecting youths. “Stop staring at my (breasts), you pervert,” one granny tells a mortified young man. White is the host, applying frosting to the chest of a shirtless Chippendale and dropping one-liners about her scandalous sex life.
What the New Republic article fails to tackle is whether or not older women are as sexually charged in the first place as portrayed by White. What the article does mention is that older female characters have usually been filler. A way to put spin on the character and make them compelling at all is to give them this sexual quirkiness and callousness in general.
I’ve got some action over at the Daily Caller.
Adam Alter writes on how names, at least to some degree, are destiny:
Even the names people choose for their children vary from simple to complex, and that decision determines some of their outcomes later in life. With the psychologists Simon Laham and Peter Koval, I found that people prefer politicians with simpler names—and lawyers in American firms with fluent names rise up the legal hierarchy to partnership more quickly than their non-fluently named colleagues. (The result persisted even when we focussed on Anglo-American names, so it doesn’t simply boil down to xenophobic prejudice.)
I’ve covered something similar with regards to Willard Romney.
And then there’s the George Carlin bit on names: “soft names make soft people”.
The latest Room for Debate asks the question “What are Fathers For?” It’s a leading question that fosters a pretty tame set of responses. But there is this from Brad Harrington:
The latest grabber came from a Pew study that found women are now the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of U.S. households with children. Clearly, there is good news embedded in this story. For example, women now earn 60 percent of university degrees in the U.S. And these young, college-educated women in urban areas are now beginning their careers with higher starting salaries than their male counterparts. This is a cause for celebration for those of us interested in greater gender equality.
At The American Scholar, William Deresiewicz gives a back-handed compliment to Portland. Start with the back-hand portion:
Portland, to be blunt about it, is not exactly bursting at the seams with intellect. As another transplant recently remarked, the people are too provincial, too poorly educated, and too apt to take personally arguments about ideas. (Before you get indignant, have you lived here? If so, have you lived in a big city, or anywhere back east?) It takes you longer to explain a question than it would for people in New York to answer it. There are guys who work in baggage claim at LaGuardia who are more on the ball than most of the people I encounter here.
So why does Portland work? Common decency, says Deresiewicz: “You don’t have to be a genius. You just have to not be a dick.”
A lot of the side streets are designed to accommodate a single lane of traffic—you have to pull over into a parking lane when someone’s coming in the opposite direction, a constant exercise of courtesy—the idea being to slow down vehicles in residential areas and keep the streets at a neighborly scale. When fire forced the temporary closure of a popular local restaurant, other places helped the owners stay afloat during the reconstruction by lending their kitchens for pop-up dinners. On hot summer days, businesses put bowls of water on the sidewalk, so dogs can get a drink.
So the next question is why is there so much trust in Portland?
1. The face of the guy who illegally recorded Mitch McConnell.
2. A very NYT article on SWPLs choosing unique baby names. One snippet among very many snip-worthy passages:
Looking beyond the Top 1000 was not enough for Jenn Lewis-Gordon, a waitress in Lakewood, N.J. She and her husband crossed off any name that had been used more than 100 times in the entire country in the last year. This left “Ptolemy,” “Bombay,” “Thursday” and “Ocean,” as well as “Atlas,” their ultimate choice. “I feel as though he’ll be less likely to be a follower if he starts out from the beginning being different,” Ms. Lewis-Gordon, 35, explained.
3. Three NYC public school officials push back against the claim that NYC schools are a “school-to-prison” pipeline.
But the psychic rewards, the seduction of an audience discovering you right now, have never been greater.
5. Research out of Brown University finds that 16% of the pregnant women in their study claimed that the father of their child committed “reproductive coercion” by poking holes in condoms or hiding birth control pills. Wesley Smith responds, and I wrote about it a few years ago. In studies where both gender vectors were compared, a higher percentage of women committed reproductive coercion than men. One inherent bias in this kind of study is that there are never any information gathering points where doctors or clinicians ask men if they were coerced by women into having sex without a condom. So men’s testimony is reduced to anecdote which is easily disregarded by researchers and feminists. It’s regarded as a conspiracy theory because men don’t have many outlets, nor the desire really, to tell anyone that a woman tried to get them to knock them up.
In broad daylight, and within full view of a busy stretch of East River Road, a group of seven young men struck two joggers totally at random.
Police say this is the first incident of this nature that’s been reported along the jogging path. Authorities said the suspects are described as a group of six to seven Somali men that were traveling together — one wearing a hooded sweatshirt and another who was wearing a balaclava around his neck.
“It’s a very rare thing, a very concerning thing, to us,” Monsrud said. “That’s why we’re doing what we can to try and get these people identified.”
In the suggested videos of this news story was the video shown below of some Somali immigrants in Minnesota harassing a gay white guy in broad daylight. What is notable about Somali harassment and attacks thus far, at least in Minnesota, is that they are relatively weak. There isn’t yet a deep enough well of anger and violent energy for these groups of immigrant kids to wage larger and more violent attacks. And I say “yet” for a reason.
In the video below, focus at around the 0:57 mark on the two Keystoners wading through the crowd without thinking much of what’s going on in broad daylight.
A sickening story out of Minnesota about a Division II football coach who was dismissed after a false child porn allegation. The story is well covered by ESPN:
The inquiry began on Aug. 10 because of an everyday inconvenience: Hoffner’s university-owned cellphone had broken, and he brought it to the school’s IT department. A technician offered a temporary replacement phone and agreed to rescue Hoffner’s photos and videos. A few days later, the technician was “very shocked,” he later testified, to find videos of Hoffner’s naked children on his old phone — one of them 92 seconds long and the other 10, both recorded earlier in the summer.
During the previous year, the university president had sent an email to all employees telling them to report suspected sexual crimes in the wake of accusations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. “Subject: Sexual Violence Reporting,” the email had read. “Importance: High.” So the technician brought Hoffner’s videos to a supervisor, who alerted someone in HR, who notified the police. But even the police didn’t know whether what they were watching was a crime. The officers found the videos “disturbing,” they said, but they also realized these were ambiguous acts by Hoffner’s own children. They wanted more guidance on how to proceed, so they called Hanson.
In the coming weeks, the university would conclude its second investigation and dismiss Hoffner from the payroll without explanation. The union would file a grievance on his behalf. The university would again refuse to comment. Hoffner would consider signing up for unemployment insurance. More supporters would write the university in protest. A divided town would wait for the university to reveal its findings and its motives at an arbitration tentatively scheduled for late this summer, when another verdict would be rendered in the complicated, convoluted case of Todd Hoffner.
The basis for the charge is even weaker than what I imagined when I started reading the piece. The thing that kills me most about the arc of this tragic scenario is that some lackey in the school’s IT department misinterpreted a cell phone video and then reported it to authorities who were scared about another Jerry Sandusky scene. There’s a systemic bias there towards lending the benefit of the doubt to any charge brought to light. And that gives way too much power to the IT dweeb. The whole “See something, say something” gambit carries this systemic flaw of lending credence to a layperson’s accusations. The initial report ties the cops in a little bit, and then not receiving an immediate explanation from the accused reinforces their belief that he was guilty of something. And during the course of that the school and community begins to think the guy is guilty. The benefit of the doubt is flipped around, and by then everyone wants the accused to be guilty because it’s just easier that way. By the end of it they’ve moved on and when the accused is shown to be innocent there’s just too much shame floating around for things to go back to normal.
This is why false accusations are so harmful. Going in a slightly different direction, there are groups of people – Scotch-Irish come to mind – who were once said to be very protective of their honor. Any accusation of a lie or a deception was grounds for a duel or a fight of some kind because even an insinuation was thought to be enough to impact how others viewed the person. We can’t completely rid our minds of sneaking thoughts that even lies carry some truth. There’s the thought that “truth will out”. While that’s 98% correct, it’s that 2% that’s the problem.
Footage out of Sweden of Somali immigrants protesting for more housing and better conditions (h/t Robert Reis and JG):