Friday, June 24, 2016

Condoms reducing STDs and pregnancies?

Well, according to David Limbaugh, a National Bureau of Economic Research study finds that free availability of condoms in schools correlates to a 10% rise in teen pregnancy and a rise in STDs to boot. Here's another article about the study.  Interestingly, a supporter of comprehensive sex ed, Christina Cauterucci of Slate, gives the reason; she noted that condom giveaways are  helpful to teens that want to have sex, are too embarrassed to buy a condom, and are reluctant to have sex without them.

Well, yes.  That's precisely what conservatives have been telling the country since I was a child.  Giving away condoms to kids tells them that it's OK to have sex before marriage.  Thank you, Ms, Cauterucci.  Thank you, NBER.

Now, can we stop doing this?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Another reason to get the Feds out of student loans

Apparently, due in part to easy student loans from the federal government, there is shaping up to be a massive surplus in the number of lawyers in our country.  Moreover, that surplus appears to be forming (gulp!) in many of the educated professions, which I would assume includes my own.  Check out this article as well--I grew up just north of Valparaiso, so it's especially meaningful to me.   Notice--also close to home now--that the U. of Minnesota law school is cutting admissions.

Now if we had sane economic policies--pretty much reverse most of what has been done since 2006--it's likely that the economy would pick up, but all in all, I dare suggest that it's long past time for would-be students to justify their degree plan to a banker whose neck is on the line for whether that loan gets repaid or not.  At the very least, we need to start restricting student loans to those who have a realistic chance of graduation--meaning "not the bottom third of incoming students", who have an approximately 17% chance of getting a degree.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dressing a wife, or trying to hold it together?

My wife and I recently (at the encouragement of dear sister Elspeth) took a look at a neat little book called "Wife Dressing", and I figure that a review from the male point of view might be of interest.

Or perhaps "amateur detective perspective" might be more accurate, as a look at Anne Fogarty's wiki page  puts the book in interesting perspective.  She married her first husband in 1940 and was married for over 17 years; the book was published in 1959.  Do the math; she was writing and editing her book as, or after, her marriage fell apart, and yet somehow she remains strongly in favor of marriage, and even of the Biblical model of marriage, including male headship.

This is more remarkable yet given that there was no such thing as no fault divorce in 1957; she, or her husband, had to allege divorce-worthy behavior to get that divorce granted.  What was it?  Look at the husband's obituary; it lists his profession as an art professor and artist, including figure and life drawing, and the obituary lists two daughters that could not have been Anne's--she lists only two adopted sons in the book.  My best guess is that he traded in his wife on a younger model, if you catch my drift.

It also is worth noting that unless he inherited a fair amount of money from his father (also an artist), it doesn't seem likely that he could have supported his wife in the style the book describes--professors get paid well, but not well enough for a large Manhattan apartment or home filled with the work of couturers to the tune of dozens of traveling trunks.  I'd guess she earned most of the money, but--radical patriarchy here on her part--she treated her paycheck as his to dispose of.  The book and the wiki bio give little idea of her religious life, but her view of marriage puts many "fundagelicals" to shame.

(other things of interest include that the sons were adopted, and the obituary of the husband contains no mention of military service, although he was a very draftable 25-26 years old in 1942)

And the fashion advice?   Quite frankly, my Midwestern/Scots blood rebels at the idea that one ought to buy lower quality garments and keep up with fashion trends.  Give me one pair of Allen Edmonds instead of the entire stock of a typical Wal-Mart or Target.  Give me one nice Pendleton shirt instead of the whole warehouse of cheap flannels.  Nobody cares that I've been wearing my Lodge Shirt for 24 years, or my wing tips for 14, and nobody cares that my wife's Beautifeels are 16 years old, and her Pendleton skirts over 20.  Well, maybe in Manhattan, but we don't go there often.  And tons of clothes instead of the other things we can do with that money?   Simply not my language!

Where the author goes right in fashion is to note that what's underneath is important--I'd add whether that's one's natural frame/musculature or a garment--and to note that ultimately, one needs to dress for the enjoyment and comfort of those who are most important--one's spouse, hence the title.  Really, that last bit is a contribution worth ten times the purchase price.  She doesn't use time telling women how to dress for their body type, but rather to your husband.

It's something we need to hear more in this day and age, especially in the church.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Navy builds new battlecruisers?

It's something that we can't apparently learn well enough; that ships cannot outrun artillery or missiles.  One would figure that the lessons of the Battle of Jutland (where lightly armored "battlecruisers" were target practice for battleships) would still be taught in Annapolis, but apparently we need to re-learn this from time to time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

About that lenient sentence

I'm not ready to comment much yet on the atrocity in Orlando, but this story from Stanford got me thinking a bit.  More or less, a student-athlete at Stanford received only a six month sentence for sexual assault. 

Now I am no great expert on sexual assault, except to note that Biblically, it's a capital crime.   However, it strikes me that while the official sentence is lenient, Brock Turner has an unofficial sentence that makes the official sentence pale in comparison. 

Specifically, he's a guy who had the treasure of Division 1 athletics (or possibly even the Olympics)  before him, and now I'd be surprised if any coach is willing to touch him.   He's also a young man who had the intellect to go to Stanford, but now is going to have trouble getting a college degree at all, and his conviction is going to dog him for the rest of his life.  Corner office or Tahoe mansion to Wal-Mart greeter in minutes, more or less.

And the trial?  Let's concede the obvious here; getting drunk or stoned can be the difference between a sinful thought and a lifetime of consequences, the difference between walking home safely and passing out on the sidewalk, and between being an excellent witness and not remembering the crime committed against you.

Those who deny these facts on campus--I am told there are many--hate the young people that come there.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016


I'm glad that members of France's special forces stopped a robbery, but what humiliation it must be for that great nation that they were indeed eating at a McDonald's.  What's wrong--are they running out of brie and foie gras there?

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Great research...

...from the 2nd best Big 10 university in the State of Michigan and the 14th best Big 10 university overall; it appears indeed that having sex can lead to pregnancy.**

**yes, I realize it's the Babylon Bee and not a real news source, but darn it, I'm a Spartan born just south of Columbus and I need to make fun of the stinky weasels whenever I can.  Plus, if it were true, it would be no more embarrassing to them than the fact that kids with SAT scores below 700 somehow earn 3.0 GPAs in their vaunted "general studies" program, would it? ***

*** well, at least they earn 3.0 GPAs if they happen to be good at playing basketball or football. Otherwise, not so much.

Friday, June 03, 2016


According to this article, overdoses of painkillers are killing about 20,000 people per year in the U.S., far more than are murdered (about 12000) or die of AIDS (about 13000) and closing in on the number that commit suicide (41,000 in 2013), are killed in car accidents (about 33,000), and the like.  One of the more recent famous deaths was Prince, whose drug of choice apparently makes heroin look pretty mild in comparison.

I don't know that I would have gotten addicted, but it strikes me that this is a great time to say a public thank you to the nurses and doctors who monitored my painkiller use after I got my gallbladder out!

Thursday, June 02, 2016

So who cut the video dealing with the deal/non-deal with Iran?

Jen Psaki, of course, who first gave a misleading statement referring to the "briefing transcript" instead of the video, and who then lashed out at a reporter for calling her on it.  Really, if "nobody knows" who requested the edit, but everybody knows that somebody did, do the math.  The person responsible reports fairly closely to the White House.

Completing the deceitful hat trick was State Department spokesman John Kirby, who closed things up with the statement "we don't lie".  Sorry, John, but after seven years of Mr. Obama at his current address, we know better than to believe that.

Friday, May 27, 2016

More clear cuts for the environment

Hmmm.....would it be possible that the reason you need a 1 ton (or bigger) pickup to tow "tiny homes" just might be that they're using 6x6s to frame the ceiling? 

Maybe.  Keep in mind here that you also need to hold those big beams up; we are talking about some serious tree-killing here.  Never mind the coal you need to build a tow vehicle, and the oil you need to fuel it--some of those "tiny homes" have three axles on their trailers, meaning they weigh about 7 tons and are at the load limit of even most one ton pickups.

Beautiful?  Yes.  Cool? Yes.  But please; don't tell me you're doing the environmentally responsible thing when you're using 15000 lbs of material to make a home that's about the same size as a 19', 4000 lb Airstream or large garden shed.

Nope, not possible

There is no way that high school males would possibly, ever, use the Obama administration's diktat that boys can use the girls' restroom (or vice versa) as cover for prohibited activities.  Nosirree.  Never.  By no means is it smart to have separate spaces for bodily functions.

On a brighter note, Dr. Henry Heimlich has finally gotten a chance to use his famous maneuver to save a life.  You almost want to choke on a cough drop or something just to get the chance to meet him. :^)  (just kidding....)

Clear-cuts for the environment!

In Buffalo, MN, the developers of a solar power complex have gotten things going by clear-cutting 11 acres of mature hardwood forests.  So even apart from the energy used to create solar cells (close to what you get out of them in reasonable use) and the environmental impact of the wafer fabs and other things you need, you've got environmentalists who are blissfully unaware of large treeless areas suitable for mounting solar panels.  Like, for example, Buffalo High School, the Buffalo Civic Center, or any number of other large buildings with flat roofs.. It's worth noting that mounting them there would also reduce cooling costs by keeping heat away from the actual roof and provide power at peak times for A/C.

But of course, installing these things sensibly appears to be beyond the ability of people making their money not from solar power, but rather from federal subsidies.  Three Bronx Cheers for green brown energy!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Attack of the psycho pothead sheep!

No, it's not a B movie (though I think it could be a great one), but rather is a real event in Wales.  Apparently a herd of sheep got the munchies for a load of illegally dumped marijuana in the village of Rhydypandy.  Which would also be a cool name for a band--either Rhydypandy or "the Psycho Pothead Sheep".   Maybe a wool sweater at next year's hash bash

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Some more reasons to vote against Hilliary

For starters, I think she'll be losing all of the Great Plains and mountain states after this one; she's come out in favor of reinstating the "double nickel" speed limit.  My take is that anyone who favors this really needs to take a trip from San Francisco to Chicago on I-80 at that speed; there are stretches in Utah and Nevada where you have basically the same view for well over 100 miles and no services for that same stretch.  Beautiful country, but after a dozen hours of it, you're ready for a break--and that break comes a lot more slowly if the police are enforcing 55mph!

In other news, Walter Williams is taking on the Democratic penchant for accepting people's nonsensical self-identifications by describing himself as a springbok.  This is apparently a big shift in his self-identification, as he'd previously identified as caucasian to avoid the worst jobs when he was deployed in Korea.  However, the reality that springboks are not required to file income taxes changed his mind, and, apparently, his DNA.

I think I'm a black bear now.  Hopefully Mark Dayton doesn't start taxing them as a result.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Actually, yes they do

In hilarious testimony before Congress, the head of the VA claimed that Disney makes no measurement of hours spent waiting in line at Disneyworld, and made the argument that since (as far as he knows) Disney does not do this, neither ought the VA.

Now apart from the fact that in general, nobody dies waiting to get a ride in Space Mountain, it struck me as a quality engineer that if I were working at Disneyworld, I would in fact take a look at how long lines are, because that does in fact impact the customer experience.

And so I googled "Space Mountain Wait Time", and can find wait times for Space Mountain here.  Note as well that you can get something called "FastPass", and it's been said that many visitors to Disneyworld actually hire line waiters to get around this.  I believe I remember seeing signs in the waiting lines telling you how long you would have to wait the last time I visited as well--it's been a while, but they were certainly there.

Closer to the area of medical care, our little clinic here in Rochester routinely asks about and measures wait times.  So what can we conclude?

The head of the VA not only hasn't been to a major amusement park in the past four decades, but he also has no clue about what best practices are in his own industry.  I recommend we just get it over with and impeach the guy and remove him from his position.  Yet another brilliant hire by the community organizer in chief.