I feel the need to write a political post, for a change. I've been observing the recent debate over immigration, and it's got me thinking. The part of the debate I dislike the most is the idea of a guest worker program. First of all, this system is in place in Germany (you know, one of those evil European powers that didn't support the war), but doesn't work that well. In Germany there is a sizable Turkish population (Turkish, but not born in Turkey), but the Turks stay low income and separated. In some parts of Europe this ghettoesque set up is fueling the terrorist cells. It doesn't work in Germany, but that's not what makes me cringe at the idea of an American guest worker program.
First we heard that ugly people commit more crime. Now we're being told that they're less attentive to their children than attractive people.
"'Unattractive parents are less likely than attractive parents to supervise their children closely,' said Andrew Harrell. He's the same social scientist who took a fair bit of heat last year when he presented evidence suggesting parents pay more attention to attractive children. Now he's onto new findings bound to stir up further familial feelings. 'The unattractive parents may be ugly because they have had economic difficulties, health problems, diabetes, poor eyesight, psychological and physical hardships that distract them,' Harrell offers as an explanation. 'They have their own personal concerns and they have less time to be attentive to their children. They are in such physical and psychological misery they are not there.' He admits his limited data can't prove the theory, since his team never interviewed the parents or children who were observed."
Can you say "junk science"?
It’s hard to argue with this guy’s logic. Then again, St. Anselm’s ontological argument for the existence of God sounds good at first, too. That is, until you really pick it apart. So I leave it to my compitent readers. What’s wrong with this argument?
“I usually don’t send out pure opinion pieces, but let it be said: There is not one person anywhere who can give you a good reason why it’s OK to show a man’s chest on TV, but not a woman’s chest. You can ask over 100 people why — trust me, I have — and not get a real answer. It’s just a silly superstition that some people came up with, a bunch of others went along with it, and now we’re stuck with it. Have you ever heard a real reason?”
“This is different from other issues, like abortion, affirmative action, or the death penalty — I have opinions on all of those, and probably so do you, but there are two sides to each issue, and I can at least see where the other side is coming from. But I’ve never heard the other side of the boob issue.”
“A good sign of a widespread belief that has no supporting logic is that if you ask people why they believe it, they always pass the buck on to someone else. ‘Our society has decided…’ ‘The community feels that…’ ‘Judges have ruled that…’ — except with that last one, if you listen to what judges say, they pass the buck too, saying ‘According to contemporary community standards…’ What’s missing is someone standing up and saying ‘I, yes *ME* *PERSONALLY*, I believe that seeing a mammary gland is harmful, and here’s why.’
“To people who say that inciting any male lust is bad, I tell them I grew up in Denmark (although I’m American) and there you could see bare breasts in public advertisements, on the covers of supermarket tabloids, and on the beach, and nobody cared. And, the sex crime rate is much lower there. It’s not obvious that nudity even incites much ‘lust’ once you’re used to it anyway — men live in nudist colonies surrounded by naked women and don’t get turned on. (It’s the visitors who are easy to spot, because they aren’t used to it and it makes them stick out, so to speak.)”
Read the rest here and let me know what you think.
"PITTSBURGH — It was not the first time prosecutor Lisa Pellegrini had been enraged by the sight of the T-shirt with the traffic-sign message: STOP SNITCHING. But this guy was about to wear one into court, with matching baseball cap."
"Worse, he was a witness — her witness — and the intended victim in an attempted murder case that had brought him, her and the defendants to court that day last fall."
"This was Rayco 'War' Saunders — ex-con, pro boxer and walking billboard for a street movement that has sparked a coast-to-coast beef involving everyone from professors to rappers."
"Pellegrini, thinking 'witness intimidation,' told Saunders to lose the hat and reverse the shirt. Saunders, crying "First Amendment," refused. He left the courthouse, shirt in place. Case dismissed. 'In almost every one of my homicides, this happens: 'I don't know nothin' about nothin', ' the prosecutor says. 'There is that attitude, 'Don't be a snitch.' And it's condoned by the community.'"
"Omerta, the Mafia's blood oath of silence, has been broken by turncoat after turncoat. But the call to stop snitching — on other folks in the 'hood — is getting louder."
"Is it an attempt by drug dealers and gangsters to intimidate witnesses?"
"Is it a legitimate protest against law enforcers' over-reliance on self-serving criminal informers?"
"Or is it bigger than that?"
It's freakin' retarded is what it is. We're not talking about hiding innocent people from a police state. We're talking about covering up for street thugs and hoodlums – drug dealers, murderers, and the like.
"In his weekly pastoral letter, Archbishop Agustin Garcia-Gasco of Valencia, Spain, said greater charity must be shown to those families that are most in need, for while ‘the working class was considered the poor in the past, today’s poor are the families.’”
"In his letter, the archbishop warns that in today’s world, ‘Choosing to have a family and raise kids is seen by many as way of ending up poor.’"
"’Families are the poor of our time,’ he said, noting that ‘all of us can contribute to establishing social changes so that the right to have a family is a reality.’ ‘There are many countries that have policies harmful to families,’ he warned."
If anyone knows where the full text of the Archbishop’s letters can be found, please let us know.
Update 03/25/06: Here’s an automated translation of the whole letter. It’s not perfect, but it’s readable.