Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Better Bridge than Duluth: part 4

I’ve been going through the Duluth Power and Control Model for a few posts, and given that the hypothesis of patriarchy being the major or primary cause is not remotely defensible, we really ought to develop a tenable hypothesis. 

Let’s try Romans 3:23; we are all sinners, and hence we will do cruel things (insults, physical violence, sexual violence, etc..) when we have some justification (authority in church, politics, or elsewhere, mental illness, lack of conscience) and we think we can get away with it.  We know from Scripture—Moses and the foreman, David with Bathsheba and Uriah, Peter regarding the Gentiles, etc..)—that believers also can fall into this trap when our consciences do not prevent us.

In recognizing this, we instantly reject a few claims of Christian proponents of the Duluth Model: that the accused is not a Christian, that he is not entitled to the Matthew 18 process, and that repentance is difficult to impossible.  The Bible’s treatment of Moses, David, Peter, Paul and others refutes this.

(side note; I hope that people who assume the accusation is proof of guilt never get into a jury box!)

Rather, we must assume that repentance is probable for the believer confronted per Matthew 18—and even the unbeliever.  The purpose of church discipline is not bludgeoning, but rather restoration—see 2 Corinthians 2’s treatment of the man caught with his father’s wife. 

So if we have a case that I’ve seen—say the physically abused wife, or the wife of a man ensnared by pornography, alcohol and drugs who appears to have at least dated other women—why would we refuse to apply principles like 1 Peter 3:7 and Colossians 3:19 to that case?  At best, we win a man to Christ or restore him to fellowship—at worst, we are where we started, needing to make tough decisions about how to keep the rest of the family safe.    Either way, the woman can be freed from the abuse, and most likely the marriage.

For those not in the church, freedom from the Duluth Model means that we can finally differentiate between abuse cases rooted in patriarchal beliefs (of which I’ve seen at least one, to be fair) from those with other causes, and finally start dealing with what’s really going on in probably the majority of abuse cases.  We cannot implement Matthew 18:15-19 as a rule for secular cases, but we can implement our description of abuse in terms of opportunity, justification, expression to better fit the real data.

Now this is cool

One thing I noted when my great aunt was dealing with dementia (we believe Alzheimer's but we're not sure) was that she would pick at the "nutritious" food, but would make multiple trips to the dessert table.  Given that one of the consequences of dementia can be drastic weight loss due to forgetting to eat, it struck me that it might be possible that more flavorful food might be a God-send to dementia patients.  My mom's cousin, who cared for my great aunt, thought there was something to it.

Fast forward to today, and it turns out that some native American nursing homes are starting to serve traditional foods to the acclaim of the residents.  Hopefully this trend spreads not only among native americans, but also for the rest of us.  Perhaps one of the keys to taking care of the old lies not in the medical suite, but in the kitchen--I would dare suggest specifically in the spice cabinet.

And I've got to admit that I'd like to try musk ox stew sometime. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Yes, black lives matter....

.....and that's why you want to support the police, as five people protesting a recent police shooting recently learned in Minneapolis.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Liberal logic

Among the politically correct, apparently it's wrong for a racist like Woodrow Wilson to be honored, but it's A-OK to honor a murderer of hundreds and architect of the Cuban police state, Che Guevara.

I guess it shouldn't surprise me, as I knew already that they were pretty uniformly in favor of Planned Parenthood, but yeesh....

Friday, November 20, 2015

Horst Wessel, call your office....

.....a school district in Huntington Beach, California, has insisted that children learn and sing a "Muslim Fight Song".  Not only is that a nasty breach of the students' 1st Amendment freedoms not to be compelled to a given religion, and not only is this pretty close to forcing kids to recite the first pillar of Islam, Shahada, but it's pretty pathetically bad, almost as bad as the Horst Wessel Lied.

Why is it that my family homeschools again?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Duluth Model, Part 3: Divorce Statistics

Let’s examine the power wheel of the Duluth Model in light of the known fact that about two thirds of divorces are initiated by women, and women retain custody of the children in the vast majority of those divorces—as well as in the divorces initiated by husbands.

Does the wife who threatens divorce make a threat—to leave, specifically?  Does the wife who threatens divorce take money that is earned by the husband?  If indeed working women earn only 77 cents for each dollar earned by men, as feminists note, that is exactly the case in any 50/50 split of assets.  Add into that “child support”, and we are talking some serious money.  Would we assume that a certain portion of prospective divorcees hide or dispose of assets to keep them from a spouse?  You bet—I can name names.

Does the divorce-minded or control-minded woman seek to make all the big decisions, or act as the master of the castle?  Does she start to define roles?  Of course.  Will she use access to the children to manipulate her man?  Unless she files for joint custody, this must be the assumption.

Must we not assume that those who file divorce are likely to blame the other instead of themselves?  Again, I can name names.  Would we guess that some spouses of both sexes seek to isolate their spouses from friends with the threat of ending the relationship?  Is it not likely that a great portion of divorce filers belittle their spouses?  I certainly can name names.  Do they use intimidation tactics—say a restraining order or threat of legal action—to get what they want?  Absolutely—it’s proverbial among family lawyers, really.  And what are divorce papers, if not a form of legal intimidation?

The observant reader is going to notice that I have taken a quick walk around the Duluth Power and Control Wheel, and in doing so it would appear that the vast majority of women who file for divorce-about a third of women or so—would qualify under the Duluth Model as abusers.  Add to that women who have used family court for non-marital relationships (e.g. child support and all), as well as men, and we quickly arrive at the conclusion that the majority of adults are abusive.

So is this an anomaly, or is it what is common to man?   Given that a huge portion of women qualify as abusers under the Duluth Model, we can safely discard the patriarchy hypothesis, exactly as we should have when we found that 30-40% of domestic violence arrests were of women.  Yes, the conviction rates are lower, but maybe that has more to do with reluctance to convict women and the marks left, or not left, in altercations.
Maybe it's time to figure out a better model that actually works with the data we have.  To use pictures from my profession, we've only gotten to the "measure" portion of the Six Sigma DMAIC model, or the "I" of the IDOV model, or the second step of any 8D method, before finding that the operating hypothesis was hopelessly flawed.

Monday, November 16, 2015

It boggles the mind

According to Fox News, fuel trucks and convoys of ISIS were previously "off limits" to U.S. attacks.  Lessee....we have an enemy that uses mechanization to go across large expanses of land to attack innocents, and we had to let over a hundred people die in Paris before we could even go after their fuel trucks and oil refineries

Seriously?  When a huge part of winning the Civil War, World War One, and World War Two was due to effective blockades of the enemy, we couldn't even go after the supplies of ISIS?  

Friday, November 13, 2015

In honor of college hissy fits

Well, that's what I'll call them because, after all, this IS a family friendly blog.  Mr. D. comments on the horrific, unspeakable evil of white people dressing up as if they were Hispanic for Halloween.  Or as a "sexy Hester Prynne" on the left, I guess.  Obviously, don't read my blog or Mark's aloud to your kids, because they'll be wearing their bedsheets and burning crosses in the front lawn if you do.  Fer sure. 

Or, quite possibly, just like kids who grew up listening to Weird Al's parodies of Michael Jackson, they might just grow up to be normal, well adjusted adults who actually have a sense of proportion. 

But for those of you throwing the hissy fits and demanding the ouster of your professors and university presidents for no particular reason, here you go.

And for extra credit, rent "Blazing Saddles", of course.  And you guys throwing the hissy fits need all the extra credit you can get.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Blessings for Armistice Day

Ever since I learned that Armistice Day was originally about gratitude for the end of hostilities in the "Great War", I've been reluctant to treat "Veterans Day" as just another patriotic holiday where we thank those who have served.  Let's remember it as it started.

About that "swastika"

Powerline does a nice job pointing out that the "evidence" for a fecal swastika is, to put it mildly, some pretty thin gruel.  There are no pictures, no samples taken, and it was claimed to have been found at 2am on a Saturday morning, suggesting that if it actually existed, alcohol may have been more involved than racism.

Plus, if they'd decided it was racism, pretty odd that they didn't keep a sample.  You can track who "donated" it by DNA, and even if you didn't find the perpetrator (to punish for a threat to public health if nothing else), you could easily figure out what race he was from his DNA. 

And of course, there are all kinds of questions about why one would neglect such an obvious way of figuring things out.  It's almost as if there was a narrative going on that was more important than actual justice.  I can't prove it, but I have to wonder if this whole deal is a coup d'├ętat and not a real set of racial incidents (though one use of ethnic slurs has apparently been corroborated now).

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Celebrating "Offend a College Student Day"

Thanks to IowaHawk for the tip.  My humble contribution:  Go Cougars!  A college dropout and an education major outwrite anyone at your J-school, kittens.  And if your major has the word "studies" in it, don't worry; I'll put a nice tip when you deliver my pizza. 

Seriously, it boggles the mind that the protests over racial slurs are bigger news in Columbia than the fact that someone's being murdered (generally a young black person) every other day in St. Louis, with another hundred or so annually in Kansas City.  I would have thought that the prospect of bullets would be more intimidating than insults, but apparently not everyone thinks like I do.

Legitimate protest, or coup d'etat?

I've been watching the issues around the University of Missouri, and it strikes me that four alleged racial incidents, only one of them plausibly criminal and none of them corroborated by independent evidence, is awfully thin gruel for proving a "culture of racism", let alone adding a very significant infrastructure of "mandatory diversity" demanded by the protesters.  This is especially true when I consider that the same protesters are actively preventing reporters from covering their protests.

Now this would be odd in most cases, as the point of a protest is to get media attention.  But if you've got the coverage you want and don't want people looking too closely at what you're doing--say it's not a response to real racism but rather a publicity stunt designed to get your way and set up that mandatory diversity Politburo--then it makes a lot of sense.

At any rate, what is clear is that two faculty members involved in preventing a reporter from doing his job need to "leave Mizzou to pursue other opportunities."  Another thing that is clear is that Tim Tai needs to be on the short list for hiring at the AP, Reuters, Fox, and the New York Times.  He's got the guts that are all too often missing in today's journalists.

No defense of racial slurs or putting excrement anywhere but in the toilet from me, but we have cross examination of claims for a reason.

Monday, November 09, 2015

About that global warming study

Apparently global warming experts think that increasing temperatures are going to have a nasty deleterious effect on our sex lives--that when things get above eighty degrees, libidos just plunge.  Now apart from the reality that not to many people go to Ely for their honeymoons in February, but rather backwater places like "Jamaica" and such, I've got to simply note that two of my six children were born in February, and another was born in early May.  Do the math. 

Thursday, November 05, 2015

A linguistic thought on Old Testament music

I have learned recently about a breathtaking view of "good music" by Bill Gothard; that if it is in common or 4/4 time, emphasis ought to be on the first and third beats of each measure, with particular emphasis on the first.  He further noted, with no particular evidence, Biblical or otherwise, that "offbeat" emphasis on the 2nd and 4th count of common time (or a basic polka beat) was the common tactic of modern music.

My first thought was that a lot of the music I grew up listening to follows the pattern Gothard recommends, including this IBLP-friendly song featuring a musician who performs in a coat and tie, and he's honoring his childhood school with the choice of outfit.  What a nice young man--turns out he's a teetotaler and a family man, too.  Notice that the lead singer also is wearing a hat--how nice!  Let's sign them up for special music this Sunday, no? 


Seriously, a look at the Hebrew language might say something a little bit more edifying than bringing up my misspent youth and my obvious mockery.  Specifically, classical Hebrew tends to stress the final syllable of each word, and if we take a look at, say, Psalm 1, we will find that two-syllable words are very prevalent to start a line in Hebrew poetry. 
In other words, the very structure of the Hebrew language lends itself to an off-beat musical structure like this.

Which is exactly what anyone familiar with traditional Jewish music would have told you to begin with.

VW fails high school chemistry?

Apparently, a new scandal is breaking out at Volkswagen: they have understated carbon dioxide emissions for eight hundred thousand cars.  This isn't much like the nitrogen oxide emissions scandal, where there at least was software modifying the engine's operation to reduce emissions--there was at least some cleverness in that case.

In this case, we have a simple equation; minus soot, unburned fuel, and carbon monoxide (all of which are minimized in a well designed modern engine), one gallon of gasoline has about five pounds of carbon which are changed into a bit above 18 pounds of carbon dioxide.

So if you've got a reasonable estimate of mileage, you can get pretty close to the actual carbon dioxide emissions simply as 18/MPG pounds of carbon dioxide per mile.  Diesel, maybe 20/MPG pounds /mile.  So what we have here is that not only did VW's engineers fail to make this simple calculation, but so did the EPA, European regulators, Asian regulators, environmental groups, car magazines, and more.

It's a breathtaking mistake on the part of a bunch of people, really.

Monday, November 02, 2015

The Duluth Model Part 2: Power and control wheel

For reference, take a gander at the "Power and Control Wheel" showed by proponents of the Duluth Model. 

OK, for starters, note that the wheel always assumes that the perpetrator is male and the victim is female; this is, of course, the basic logical fallacy of begging the question.  Here are the BJS statistics on the matter; suffice it to say that it's not just male on female violence in marriage, to put it mildly. 

But apart from this, another problem is that power and control is presented as the problem, and not as a tool used by people who sin.  Reality is, however, that most of the behaviors are only sinful in light of the motivation.  For example, "give an allowance" is just another term for "setting a budget".  So what we have here is, in part, a list of benign and malign behaviors that will be interpreted uniformly as malign--leading Duluth victims (enthusiasts?) to jettison otherwise worthwhile relationships.

And having abandoned their first love, are they going to find another husband?  Statistically, no; they end up in unwed heterosexual or homosexual relationships, the most likely place for domestic abuse.

In other words, it is likely that the continued of the Duluth model may actually be increasing domestic violence versus what it would otherwise be.  Having seen domestic violence up close, I'm glad that we're punishing it, but we really would do well to take a close look at what we're doing after the arrest.