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Palin and American Women:

Gloria Steinem writes in the L.A. Times,

[Palin] opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

I haven't seen the surveys that Ms. Steinem relies on; but here's a brief summary of what I quickly did find:

  1. On one aspect of gun control questions -- whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right of pretty much each person to own a gun -- Palin's view is shared by 58% of women (Dec. 2007, CNN). (On other aspects, Palin might indeed disagree with many women, but this struck me as a pretty important one.)

  2. If Palin does believe "that creationism should be taught in public schools," her view is probably shared by most women. Of the public generally, polls report that a significant majority favors teaching creationism alongside evolution in public schools: 65% to 29% in a 2004 CBS/N.Y. Times poll, and 58% in a 2006 Pew poll. A 2005 Harris poll actually reported that only 12% of the public supported teaching only evolution, and 82% supported teaching creationism or intelligent design either alone (27%) or alongside evolution (55%). I know of no reason for thinking that women are less likely to take this view than men: For instance, when the Pew survey asked, "What Should Be the More Important Influence on U.S. Laws? [The Bible vs. People's will]", 29% of men said the Bible (67% said people's will) and 37% of women said the Bible (58% for people's will); this suggests that if there is a gender gap on such questions, it probably wouldn't lead to many fewer women supporting creationism teaching than men.

    (As to Palin's views on the subject, she has said "Teach both [creationism and evolution]. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both." but later said she meant that "I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum.")

  3. On global warming, Palin's statement that she "would [not] attribute it to being man-made" probably does differ from the views of women (since it's out of step with the views of the public at large, and I have no reason to think there's a large gender gap on this question).

  4. Likewise, her opposition to stem cell research does differ from the views of the public and almost certainly of women.

  5. On abortion, I suspect that both Palin and Obama disagree with most American women. There's very little gender gap on the subject, but while most women (58% in this 2003 ABC News poll, and I don't think the numbers have changed significantly since) say abortion should be legal "in all or most cases," the fraction falls to 40% if the abortion is "to end unwanted pregnancy" as opposed to when the reason is "to save woman's life," "to save woman's health," "in cases of rape/incest," or "when baby is physically impaired."

  6. I also don't know of any surveys on women's views about shooting wolves from the air (which was apparently "intended to boost moose and caribou numbers"), or subsidies for the natural gas pipeline. (The wolf program also apparently did not involve "taxpayers' millions" but "$400,000 approved to educate Alaskans about wolf killing," plus $150 to be paid per wolf killed, with an objective "of between 382 and 664 wolves" for an expected total of $100,000 or less; but I might have missed some other materials on this.) If there are no such surveys, then I see no basis for Ms. Steinem's "women support by a majority or plurality" claim, which I take it refers to all the items that follow in that paragraph, and not just some.

Mad Max:
So much for an inclusive vision of feminism, one that includes women of very different views and backgrounds. Here we see feminism narrowly presented as a special interest of wealthy, well-educated liberal women - and thus irrelevant to all other women.
9.5.2008 2:33pm
Nunzio:
I'm firmly opposed to spending public money on a study or survey of women's opinions on shooting wolves from the air to save caribou.

As for non-partisan views on science, Steinem was one of the ones calling for Larry Summers head for suggesting research to evaluate the extent of a biological basis for math and science aptitude. She's hardly one who can talk about personal opinions affecting her views on scientific research.
9.5.2008 2:37pm
taney71:
Hey, any thoughts on Oprah not wanting Palin on her show?
9.5.2008 2:39pm
SATA_Interface:
Taney, do you think it would conflict with her Obama support?

Just being on her show is something of an endorsement; she's not like a pundit or a disaffected interviewer - her show is more of an open advertising space for guests.

I think she was harsh to a few of her invitees but that seems to be the exception vs the rule.
9.5.2008 2:51pm
The Ace (mail):
she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska;

Perhaps because the "fair pay act" isn't going to heat a single home nor lead to "fair pay"?

She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools

No, she does not.

but disbelieves global warming

Well, since the globe isn't "warming" why would she?

she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling

Proving this woman is not at all informed.
"Lesser evil" because, er, um, yeah. You get the picture.
9.5.2008 2:52pm
willis (mail):
"she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births."

Is Ms. Stienim proposing a connection between stem cell research and birth control? Else why connect the two thoughts with "but?" Has sex-education courses in secondary schools been shown to be more effective than abstinence-only programs in decreasing unwanted births or STD's? On the matter of stem cell research, does Ms. Palin oppose stem cell research or just the federal funding of stem cell research? Also, aren't scientist uncovering more effective sources of stem cells than embryos?
9.5.2008 2:56pm
SeaDrive:
Does she think that biology classes should spend an hour on Bigfoot?

If not, why not?
9.5.2008 2:58pm
Ooh, Palin, we're so scared! (mail):
Professor, I would hope that you would have more integrity than to recite poll numbers about teaching creationism and evolution. Honestly, this isn't really an issue where polls matter: this is science. (Yes, I know Steinem talked about agreement with most women, but come on). As a member of a learned profession, I'm sure you must be so proud of your proudly ignorant party.
9.5.2008 2:58pm
RAH (mail):
Steinham is old fashioned and she has never been elected to anything. What matters is that Palin's viewpoints were agreed by a majority of Alaskan voters to get elected Governor. She maintains a high approval rating of 80-85%. I doubt if Steinham has that rating.

I am tired of the incessant ranting by looney leftists that we all agree with them News Flash- WE DON'T.
9.5.2008 3:00pm
The Ace (mail):
On abortion polling:

Legal in All Cases: 22%
Which is what Gloria and her ilk believe.
9.5.2008 3:03pm
Spitzer:
Eugene,

I respectfully disagree with your analysis. I'd argue that Steinem's views, in Steinem's own view, really is inclusive. Her assumptions about proper or correct womens' issues, and her assessment that women who don't sign up for the full plate of policies she espouses are traitors to their sex, is a conventional leftist plank, deriving from the Marxist "false consciousness" theories (originally used to explain how workers somehow failed to support Marxist programs). The theory simply concludes that those who do not sign up for the correct slate of policies are imbued with "false consciousness" - that is, they have either been insufficiently educated as to their proper interests, or they are incurably blinded to their proper interests by competing (but false, because unimportant) cultural teachings (i.e. the much-hated "superstructure"). "False consciousness" is vital to radical movements for at least 2 essential reasons: (1) it provides an easy explanation to fellow radicals as to why they are not achieving the kind of success among targeted constituents that their theories tell them to expect, and (2) it assuages their egos because they - the enlightened elite - expect to remain in the "vanguard" even after the revolution (after all, there is no point in espousing radical revolution if you don't expect to rise in station or, worse, if you expect to be among the first placed against the wall).

No, I am not accusing Steinem of being Marxist in a formalistic sense. I am merely noting that leftist organizations in the US have long been influenced by Marxist theorists, at least in part because the Marxists (particularly the Leninists) have created an intellectual framework for radicalism and revolution. To the extent that American leftists read these Marxist revolutionary tracts (or other revolutionary tracts influenced by the Marxists), it should not be surprising that they would find themselves aping (even if unconsciously) the same theories and, sometimes, even vocabulary.

I think the clearest modern example of this sort of thing is Thomas Frank's work - after all, "What's the Matter with Kansas" is entirely predicated on the notions that (1) leftists, including Frank, know what's best for the working class, (2) but the working class fails to adopt or embrace these policies, and so (3) ergo, the working class is blinded by "false consciousness" (i.e. Republican Cultural Wedge Issues) and the vanguard should do its best to combat these "cultural" issues, educate the working class as to their correct interests, and, if necessary, adopt government policies to protect the working class from its blindness and inability to recognize its true interests by forcing them to do so.

A similar sort of thing generally occurs in the Democratic Party - repeatedly accusing the GOP of winning through false cultural issues and blaming the voters for failing to realize it.

Thus, this false consciousness/superstructure mode of thinking is really a way of asserting that there exist objective, meta-policies (maybe better called "substantial" policies and interests, as opposed to the "accidental" variety), and the radicals have convinced themselves that they, and unfortunately they alone, have access to the keys of the kingdom. In this manner they become self-aware Cassandras, warning targeted groups of the dangers ahead but always ignored, and this causes them to take action to force their targeted groups back onto the path of righteousness.

Thus, to return to Steinem, from her perspective it really and simply doesn't matter what polls of women say about their policy interests - correctness is not a matter of (small-d) democratic opinion, which may be infected with blindness and "false consciousness"; instead, correctness applies to the policy positions adopted by Steinem and her fellow members of the feminist vanguard - they are award of the correct policy positions that are in womens' interest, and to the extent that women disagree, it can only be because they are ignorant, blinded by "false consciousness", or morally corrupt. Consequently, if the polls simply don't matter to Steinem &Co., then relying on the polls to contradict her fails to grasp the nettle (if indeed we are seeking to debate her). On her terms, (though her ideas surely cannot be debated, in her own mind at least), the only way to even try to contradict her is to argue that her positions are not actually in the real or substantial interest of women. Unfortunately this is a frustrating way to debate, for it forces us to fight on their chosen battlefields, and on their own terms, but their beliefs are such that it is simply impossible to contradict them (in their minds) unless we do just that. Incidentally, that's where Hayek was invaluable: by focusing on the epistemological issue (societies and markets represent information-exchange mechanisms, and groups smaller than the whole cannot accurately identify the decisions of the whole), Hayek was able to challenge the radicals' self-annointed omniscience, and we found that to be their Achilles Heel.
9.5.2008 3:04pm
The General:
public opinion on global warming is greatly skewed because, for the most part, the public is basically only given one side of the debate, i.e., that the globe is warming (it sometimes warms or cools on its own) and that humans are causing it (which they aren't) and it is bad (which isn't clear) and that we need huge government regulations and subsidies to save the planet from annihilation (which we don't.)

Most media, politicians, business, and utilities apparently agree with the fraudulent premise that the earth is warming because of human activity because they don't want to get slammed as anti-environment by the watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) in the environmentalist movement, who have a very sophisticated PR machine that is good at such demagoguery. They have prevented debate on this subject in America, which is why public opinion on that issue is uninformed. Good thing Sarah Palin knows a bunch of commie BS when she sees it. Too bad Mccain doesn't.
9.5.2008 3:05pm
AntonK (mail):
Steinem says, "[Palin] opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality."

I guess women weren't well represented in this poll: According to the latest Rasmussen survey, Sarah Palin is now more popular than Barack Obama or John McCain:

The new data also shows significant increases in the number who say McCain made the right choice and the number who say Palin is ready to be President. Generally, John McCain's choice of Palin earns slightly better reviews than Barack Obama's choice of Joe Biden.

Perhaps most stunning is the fact that Palin's favorable ratings are now a point higher than either man at the top of the Presidential tickets this year. As of Friday morning, Obama and McCain are each viewed favorably by 57% of voters. Biden is viewed favorably by 48%.
9.5.2008 3:05pm
The Cabbage (mail):
I'm firmly opposed to spending public money on a study or survey of women's opinions on shooting wolves from the air to save caribou.

I'm firmly in favor of a video game featuring air-to-caribou combat.
9.5.2008 3:07pm
wayne (mail):
At this point, we know Palin's opinions on some issues, but for others, we are only guessing. Perhaps its educated guessing, based on statements in the past, such as on creationism, but we don't really know for certain.

Handling the media will be just as important as the debate with Biden, because at least some in the media won't let candidates get away with the subject changing and deflection that is so frustrating in most debates. At this point, the GOP handlers aren't letting her anywhere near the media for interviews. Given the circumstances, they are smart to do this for a little while, to get her up to speed on all the issues and how to respond. If they let her loose with reporters from MSNBC or Meet the Press in the next few weeks, it would show McCain's people have confidence in her. You have to respect Obama going on O'Reilly, for example. If they keep Palin away from the press for more than a week or two, other than a tongue bath from Hannity or someone like that, it will make it look like they have something to hide.
9.5.2008 3:12pm
smitty1e:
@Spitzer
Thanks for an interesting analysis of the Marxist religion. I've always wondered exactly how the 'Satan' symbol was handled.
9.5.2008 3:14pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):

ergo, the working class is blinded by "false consciousness" (i.e. Republican Cultural Wedge Issues) and the vanguard should do its best to combat these "cultural" issues


Remember, no longer will Obama permit you to go about your lives "uninvolved, uninformed".
9.5.2008 3:15pm
The Ace (mail):
Looks like the hype for change is a bit overblown:


Presidential candidate John McCain's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention drew more television viewers than his rival Barack Obama attracted at the Democratic party's event last week, according to preliminary ratings from Nielsen Media Research.

Across all broadcast networks Thursday, Sen. McCain's speech ended the night with a 4.8 rating/7 share, compared to Sen. Obama's 4.3/7 average, according to overnight numbers from metered households in 55 U.S. markets measured by Nielsen.


I guess people just aren't that interested in Obama...
9.5.2008 3:16pm
JackDeWalt (mail):
On global warming, the poll you cited is old and an outlier. Most polling shows that the public is split on the issue and doesn't really know what to think. When asked if climate change is caused by humans or natural cycles, the most popular answer by far is "both."

Partially because of this confusion, this issue is WAY down on the public's list of concerns. Polling clearly shows that the public is unwilling to do much of anything to try and combat the "problem," so I seriously doubt most people really care that Gov. Palin rejects the anthropogenic theory, and many will roundly applaud her for it. The ones who get upset by it wouldn't vote for her anyway.

In other words, this issue is nothing but a net positive for Palin. And since the science is slowing coming around to the side of Inhofe &Co., Palin will soon be able to trumpet her discernment on the issue. Bonus.
9.5.2008 3:24pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Palin could respond on a point-by-point basis but if she runs true to form she'll say something like "A 'spokesperson for women' who prostituted herself to save Bill Clinton from the consequences of his sexist acts has no claim on America's attention now." And in fact this would be a better response, very much in the spirit (beat 'em over the head with whatever you've got) of Ms. Steinhem's comments.
9.5.2008 3:24pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
I, for one, would like to know just what bets are being hedged with

[Palin] opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality.

Which are the "plurality" issues in Steinem's list? Even simple "support/don't support" questions are hugely vulnerable to bias one direction or the other depending on the wording of the question; obviously questions where there are more than two choices (which is what the "plurality" caveat suggests to me) are much more so.
9.5.2008 3:26pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Steinhem = Steinem. Is it my fault if she doesn't know how to spell her name?
9.5.2008 3:28pm
Federal Dog:
On multiple counts, Steinem's claims show that she is either a liar, or shamefully ignorant of facts.
9.5.2008 3:30pm
notaclue (mail):
Good analysis, Spitzer, but I think you miss the Professor's point. He takes Steinem to task for claiming "a majority or plurality" on these issues when the majority or plurality doesn't exist on all of them. That's all he does, and your Marxist analysis, though clear and insightful, doesn't put you in opposition to what's he's saying.

Same thing to you, Ooh, Palin, we're so scared! Maybe polls shouldn't matter here, but that's what the post was about because Steinem used polls indirectly to bolster her claims.
9.5.2008 3:31pm
Ronald Hayden (mail) (www):
She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming

Not only is the first statement incorrect (as Eugene documented), but the second statement is also, in a manner that seems to slip past people. The question of anthropogenic (man-made) causes of global warming is separate from the question of whether global warming exists.

Even this environmentally-focussed site that makes the same error about Palin's creationism-teaching belief says the following about her belief on global warming:

Palin acknowledges the reality of climate change and its potential catastrophic effects on Alaska and other parts of the world, but she remains skeptical about any link between human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.


If that statement of her belief is accurate (I don't know), then Palin is far from a disbeliever in global warming.

From my perspective, the question of human contribution to global warming is only of partial interest, in that it might help determine ways to change the situation if we wish to do so. But if global warming is serious enough that we should do something about it, then that is true regardless of whether there are human contributions to it, and the solutions we engage in may or may not have much to do with how the warming was generated in the first place.

Nothing about Palin's apparent beliefs about global warming would seem to prevent her from being able to support measures to change the situation if warranted.
9.5.2008 3:31pm
EH (mail):
The Ace:
Looks like the hype for change is a bit overblown:


You may want to (re)watch the Seinfeld episode entitled "The Butter Shave."
9.5.2008 3:34pm
oxaccu (mail):
The abortion stats reported above are highly selective. Palin would ban abortion in cases of rape and incest. The number of women who reject that view (according to the poll Volokh cites): 81%.

No majority of that size rejects any of Obama's claims about abortion. At least you couldn't know that from the poll Volokh cites. It isn't specific enough. Volokh says Obama disagrees with most women. But the polls are not sensitive to the timing of abortions. How many women think abortion should be illegal in the first four weeks regardless of the reason? The poll doesn't say. How many women think partial-birth abortion should be illegal when the mother's life is at risk. The poll doesn't say.

On the clear results from the poll, Palin's position diverges dramatically from the vast, overwhelming majority of American women. Obama's is either directly in line with the majority (for abortions during the first trimester), or, at best, only partially divergent.

When the positions are clearly spelled out, this is a losing issue for McCain/Palin.
9.5.2008 3:37pm
Sarge (mail):
The definitions of "plurality" include "a number larger than one."

Including it in the opening disclaimer renders null every point from there after, as far as having any actual political impact.

There has been a "plurality" of women in recent years who believed it was OK to forcibly rip a baby from another woman's womb, killing her in the process, in order to claim the baby as their own.

Because it's happened 'more than once.'

Gloria = no longer relevant.
9.5.2008 3:41pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
Gloria Steinem has delusions of relevance.
9.5.2008 3:42pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
The definitions of "plurality" include "a number larger than one."

Not when it comes to statistics, it doesn't.
9.5.2008 3:44pm
Spitzer:
Fair point, notaclue. Steinem vaguely refers to "majority or plurality support" for her preferred positions, but I am not entirely convinced that she was necessarily referring to empirical polling data, and I have no doubt that she does and would continue to assert that certain policy positions enjoy womens' "support" even if the polling data suggests otherwise, based solely on her own analysis of womens' "preferences". That is, I don't think that pointing out that she is empirically wrong about the existence of "majority or plurality" support would matter much at all to her, and I have no doubt that she thinks she's right about womens' interests and womens' support no matter how much contrary evidence is piled up.

Thus, while it's fun to point out her howlers, I'm not sure that's the way to convince her that she's wrong.
9.5.2008 3:46pm
ex-fed2:
There must be some sexual self gratification Eugene obtains from cheerleading that right-wing-Christian-dumb-hypocrite.

No wonder Hillary was railroaded. Can you imagine debate Hillary vs God-told-us-bomb-Iraq?
9.5.2008 3:46pm
Billy Mays (mail):
Only in America do the "elite" media trop to the observations of a woman best known for (a) once working as a Playboy Bunny and (b)founding a magazine for lonely feminist librarians that finally went under even after she slept with a financier to fund it.

I'd rather read MoDo or Rosa Brooks, the West Coast's ponderous and predictable "MoDo wanna be." I mean really--Steinem? "Delusions of relevance" is right.
9.5.2008 3:51pm
Carolina:
@Taney71:

I think the reason Oprah can't have Palin is that the whole schtick of her show is warm and fuzzy, friendly interviews with people she likes. She is not an attack dog, and is not used to aggressively going after people on her show that she does not agree with. Oprah supports Obama, and having Palin on as a guest would be a boost to Palin (because of Oprah's style).

Oprah is sort of the anti Bill O'Reilly, who had Obama on his show and went after him aggressively. Oprah might very well be good at that sort of thing, but she doesn't practice it, and it might turn off a large portion of her regular viewers.
9.5.2008 3:59pm
Wallace:
Eugene,

Here's another factual error in Steinem's article:



The most in-depth study on the issue found no difference between abstinence-only programs and other sex-ed programs on the rate of unwanted pregancies or STD's.

But other than that, the article is accurate!
9.5.2008 4:03pm
tim maguire (mail):
I have no doubt that Ms. Steinem got these survey results from the same place she gets all her facts--her butt. She simply assumes that most women, some women, all women (depending on her needs) believe whatever she wants them to. In such a case, no survey is necessary.
9.5.2008 4:11pm
eyesay:
The Ace wrote "the 'fair pay act' isn't going to heat a single home nor lead to 'fair pay'."

That would be the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007, H.R. 2831, which passed the House July 31, 2007, by a vote of 225 to 199 with 8 not voting.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a legislative response to the Supreme Court decision in the case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire &Rubber Co. Lilly Ledbetter had worked for Goodyear for over 20 years without knowing that her salary was not commensurate with that of her male colleagues. She sued claiming pay discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The Supreme Court 5-to-4 majority decision was that the 180-day period in the law following the discriminatory act (different salary levels) was binding, even though Ledbetter didn't find out about the differential pay levels until years later. Congress acted to clarify that a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice that is unlawful under existing legislation occurs each time compensation is paid pursuant to the discriminatory compensation decision or other practice.

The bill has not passed the Senate because there were only 56 votes for cloture. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton found time on April 23, 2008, to show up on the Senate floor and vote for cloture, but John McCain was one of just two who did not vote.

By assuring that America's workers, including women, are paid in a non-discriminatory manner, the Lilly Ledbedder Fair Pay Act would go a long way to help struggling families pay for food, clothing, shelter, and other needs of life, including heating their homes.

Respectfully submitted,
9.5.2008 4:22pm
eyesay:
The Ace wrote, "the globe isn't warming."

That's all we need to know about The Ace's awareness of the global climate crisis that is happening right now.
9.5.2008 4:24pm
The Ace (mail):
By assuring that America's workers, including women, are paid in a non-discriminatory manner

That is a good one!

So all female workers are "struggling"?

Er, hell's bells, you don't know and can't say.
It doesn't matter, your whole post is hyperbole.
9.5.2008 4:25pm
David Warner:
Spitzer,

"to convince her that she's wrong."

Good luck with that one. She's older than McCain.

Pretty darn good article from the authority on things sexual.
9.5.2008 4:26pm
The Ace (mail):
That's all we need to know about The Ace's awareness of the global climate crisis that is happening right now.

Prove me wrong.

I dare you.


Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them


Another,


Global warming is a hoax.

"I am of the opinion that this is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people," he says when I visit him in his office on a sunny spring afternoon.


Another,

Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).


Some "crisis" huh?
9.5.2008 4:31pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

When asked if climate change is caused by humans or natural cycles, the most popular answer by far is "both."


Which, interestingly, is almost certainly the correct answer. (Hint: the climate has been warming for 400 years, and warming has been observed on other planets. There is very likely an anthropogenic contribution; it's the magnitude that's at issue.)

In any case, I believe Palin is a bit more restrictive than the general median opinion, since as I understand it she's against the "rape or incest" exclusion.

That doesn't mean Steinem is wrong, however, since the NOW definition appears to be that unless she agrees with them, she's actually a man.
9.5.2008 4:31pm
Lawyer (mail):

Lilly Ledbetter had worked for Goodyear for over 20 years without knowing that her salary was not commensurate with that of her male colleagues


eyesay, that's blatantly false. Her pay was based on her evaluations. Ditto for her male colleagues. Some males were paid more than her, and some were paid less. If you're going to cut and paste Leftist sound-bites at least get the facts straight.
9.5.2008 4:32pm
The Ace (mail):
the global climate crisis

I love the fact you type that without the slightest bit of hesistation.
9.5.2008 4:35pm
JMHawkins (mail):

Does she think that biology classes should spend an hour on Bigfoot?


and


On global warming, the poll you cited is old and an outlier. Most polling shows that the public is split on the issue and doesn't really know what to think


I think spending an hour, or several hours, discussing Bigfoot could be a great use of class time. What's the evidence that Bigfoot exists? How is it studied? How are conclusions drawn? If you (the student) were in charge of mounting an expedition to prove once and for all if Bigfoot (or Nessie, or the Skunk Ape) exists, how would you go about it? How would you handle (and here we connect with the AGW issue) hoaxes and fabricated data, which we know happens?

I think we teach science as too much received wisdom instead of inquiry and tests. A bunch of people in lab coats called scientists say something is true and therefor it is. But controversy in science is normal. Actually, for any given day, the controversial subjects are usually the most important ones. For instance, AGW. Both sides of that debate claim the other side is cooking the books, and I don't think the formal science education we give our kids equips them well enough to deal with that.

So, yes! Let's teach Bigfoot.
9.5.2008 4:37pm
JackDeWalt (mail):
Question: Would the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act also ensure "equal pay" for men in male-dominated professions who are paid less than female coworkers due to their employer's gender-based affirmative action programs? It is simply a fact that many women in engineering and the sciences can name their salary in today's environment.

Sorry, but it is simply bad policy for government bureaucrats to be in the business of determining what pay is "fair." This kind of thing is how you end up with travesties such as men's sports programs being cut in order to ensure "gender equity" in college athletics.
9.5.2008 4:38pm
Houston Lawyer:
How many decades has it been since anyone cared what Steinem had to say? Shouldn't the headline just read "Bitter Old Bitte Hates Younger Prettier Woman".
9.5.2008 4:38pm
Mac (mail):
Eugene wrote:

The most in-depth study on the issue found no difference between abstinence-only programs and other sex-ed programs on the rate of unwanted pregancies or STD's.



Thank you, Eugene. I have been wondering where these studies were that "proves" sex-ed works better. Not that facts will have much impact on people who believe there is a difference.
9.5.2008 4:50pm
SATA_Interface:
To bookend a good science education would involve a statistics class so you could dig into a study and confirm rigor. Then you'd have a critical thinking class that makes you ask "why is this person writing about this topic? What is their desired goal in educating you about this idea?" And you could go from there.

I think you could do the same with your history classes; teach them about Dewey defeating Truman, or Holocaust deniers.

In my chemistry high school course, we did actually study "Bigfoot" - the cold fusion researchers - as an example of what to recognize when looking at reported facts and assumed conclusions. It was useful to teach.
9.5.2008 4:51pm
Riley Still (mail):
Ms. Steinem omitted an important demographic from her statement " …women [I know] …"

"[Palin] opposes just about every issue that women [I know] support by a majority or plurality."

She also doesn't know anyone who voted for Nixon.
9.5.2008 4:54pm
Mac (mail):

By assuring that America's workers, including women, are paid in a non-discriminatory manner, the Lilly Ledbedder Fair Pay Act would go a long way to help struggling families pay for food, clothing, shelter, and other needs of life, including heating their homes


eyesay,

Only if they are attorneys. Heaven only knows how much time and money a business would have to invest in lawsuits and how many jobs this diversion of capital would cost.

It should be called the Lawyer Full Employment Act. Also, the Chinese Full Employment Act. (No offense to lawyers.)
9.5.2008 4:55pm
Mac (mail):
T

hat's all we need to know about The Ace's awareness of the global climate crisis that is happening right now.


eyesay,

Since about 2000. Cooling.
9.5.2008 4:57pm
Mac (mail):
Oops. Sorry, don't know what happened there.
9.5.2008 5:01pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
The abortion stats reported above are highly selective. Palin would ban abortion in cases of rape and incest. The number of women who reject that view (according to the poll Volokh cites): 81%.
That's true, but rape and incest are almost irrelevant to the debate. Something like 99% of abortions are for other reasons.
9.5.2008 5:11pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
So much for an inclusive vision of feminism, one that includes women of very different views and backgrounds.

"Feminism" doesn't mean "whatever women believe". It is a political and social philosophy that involves attention to the primary needs and desires of women and their status in society and, generally, a belief that such needs and desires are to be treated equally to those of men.

There are plenty of women whose political beliefs are not feminist, and plenty of men who are. And there are a diversity of beliefs that can be considered feminist.
9.5.2008 5:12pm
Ken Arromdee:
By assuring that America's workers, including women, are paid in a non-discriminatory manner, the Lilly Ledbedder Fair Pay Act would go a long way to help struggling families pay for food, clothing, shelter, and other needs of life, including heating their homes.

By this reasoning, the act also helps blog posting, since struggling families who get more money may not have to take extra jobs or as much overtime, and therefore have more time to post on blogs. Moreover, with higher salaries, they're more likely to be able to afford good computers and net connections which make blog posting easier.
9.5.2008 5:17pm
ejo:
feminism, as understood by steinem, is the inclusive, holistic diverse philosophy that abortion should be legal up until about the age of 2-1/2. it isn't any deeper or more nuanced than that.
9.5.2008 5:21pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
By assuring that America's workers, including women, are paid in a non-discriminatory manner, the Lilly Ledbedder Fair Pay Act would go a long way to help struggling families pay for food, clothing, shelter, and other needs of life, including heating their homes.
How would it do that? Is there any reason to believe that a significant number of struggling families are victims of sex discrimination?

And in any case, you do understand that rectifying discrimination is not the same thing as paying people more, right? Perhaps everyone will get paid less.
9.5.2008 5:25pm
whoa there:
"81%... No majority of that size rejects any of Obama's claims about abortion."

Really? I bet if you polled the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, more than 81% would support it.
9.5.2008 5:31pm
Virginian:

Really? I bet if you polled the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, more than 81% would support it.


I believe that it passed the US Senate 98-0, receiving a 'yeah' vote from that anti-choice zealot, Barbara Boxer.
9.5.2008 5:36pm
ericH (mail):
Does Palin opposes "stem cell research"?

Or does she oppose "embryonic stem cell research"?

And by oppose does that mean she opposes federal or state funding of embryonic stem cell research but will allow private research?

My guess is that she both supports federal/state funded "stem cell research" and "embryonic cell stem cell research" but without state funding of the latter.
9.5.2008 5:42pm
eyesay:
Lawyer, in response to my statement that Lilly Ledbetter had worked for Goodyear for over 20 years without knowing that her salary was not commensurate with that of her male colleagues, wrote, "eyesay, that's blatantly false. Her pay was based on her evaluations."

That is a non sequitur. The fact that her pay was based on her evaluations does not mean that she knew that her salary was not commensurate with that of her male colleagues. It also does not mean that evaluations were conducted in a fair manner. In any event, this question is relevant to Ledbetter v. Goodyear, but it is not relevant to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007. It is already illegal to discriminate salaries on the basis of sex. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007 clarifies that the 180-day clock re-starts with each salary payment.
9.5.2008 5:44pm
eyesay:
Houston Lawyer wrote, "How many decades has it been since anyone cared what Steinem had to say? Shouldn't the headline just read 'Bitter Old Bitte Hates Younger Prettier Woman'.

I believe this comment is in violation of the Comment Policy. In answer to your question, "zero decades." Gloria Steinem's latest book, Doing Sixty and Seventy was published in 2006, and two years later, still ranks #61,495 in Books on Amazon.com. In contrast, just at random, The Right Man by David Frum was published in 2005 and ranks #378,147. In short, people still care in the 2000s decade what Gloria Steinem has to say, and your ad feminem attack is out of tune with the dignity of the Volokh Conspiracy.
9.5.2008 5:54pm
XXX:
Why would anybody give a shit what a dinosour like gloria steinem thinks.
9.5.2008 5:56pm
eyesay:
JackDeWalt wrote, "it is simply bad policy for government bureaucrats to be in the business of determining what pay is 'fair.'"

I agree, but that's a straw man. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007 doesn't put government bureaucrats in the business of determining what pay is "fair." It is already illegal to discriminate salaries on the basis of sex. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007 clarifies that the 180-day clock re-starts with each salary payment.
9.5.2008 5:58pm
eyesay:
David M. Nieporent asked, "Is there any reason to believe that a significant number of struggling families are victims of sex discrimination?"

National Association of Women has a Women Deserve Equal Pay fact sheet that sheds some light on that question. I found that by Googling "pay equity" (with quotes) and clicking on the 7th hit. There are about 502,000 hits, so there is plenty of information on the Internet on this topic, if you care too look.
9.5.2008 6:07pm
JackDeWalt (mail):
NOW changed its name to the National Association of Women?? Who knew? All I can say is that an advocacy organization is exactly where I go when I want unbiased information. Thanks for the link.

I believe this comment is in violation of the Comment Policy.

Well, THAT'S the way to show that feminists aren't just a bunch of uptight, humorless nags. Congrats.
9.5.2008 6:15pm
theobromophile (www):
No majority of that size rejects any of Obama's claims about abortion.

Y'all beat me to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

According to this site (scroll down to the bottom), only 15% of Americans support unfettered access to abortion during the second trimester. (A pro-life site claims - pg. 2, note 2 - that a Harris poll indicates that 72% of Americans believe that abortion should not be legal after the first trimester.)


70% of Americans
, according to the NRLC, oppose partial-birth abortion. Yet, Barack Obama twice voted "present" on an Illinois bill in 1997. He also voted "present" on a bill to require parental notification.
9.5.2008 6:21pm
Deoxy (mail):

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007


The silly thing about that is that it is unnecessary. We already have the Equal Pay Act, and Lilly Ledbetter lost her case because her lawyers waived her claims under the EPA to make claims under Title VII instead.

Here's some more info about the bill:


What's missing from the debate about the bill, unfortunately, is a discussion about what the bill is about and should be about. It's not really about pay equity — after all, we already have the Equal Pay Act for that. It's really about allowing indivdiuals to recover much more in the way of damages than they could otherwise recover (though you'd be hard-pressed to make heads or tails of it from the seemingly technical language used). And frankly, there's nothing wrong with advancing that goal if there was a fair debate on the merits.

But unfortunately, the public debate on the bill seems to fall into the classic stereotypes that each side rolls out with a piece of new legislation.


link
9.5.2008 6:31pm
Dan M.:
Has "abstinence only" sex education ever been shown to be worse than "comprehensive" sex education?

Now, am I mistaken, or is the "abstinence only" a program that they run for pre-teens and young teens? Am I mistaken in believing that students still get the standard talk about STD's and pregnancy and contraception in their standard health class?

I think parents have a legitimate complain if the public school system is encouraging their 12-year-old kids to use contraceptives. But for anyone to suggest that a 17-year-old high school girl hasn't had any sexual education I think is ridiculous. So I think that, if I am correct in the circumstances about pre-high school sex education and high school sex education, I support "abstinence only" education in principle.
9.5.2008 6:41pm
Pauld (mail):
The fact is that even if McCain is elected, he will likely have little to no impact on abortions. In the last 28 years, we have had strongly pro-life Presidents for 22 years. Yet I see little real movement towards restricting abortions.
Even if McCain appoints several conservative Justices and even if this results in a reversal of Roe v. Wade, the effect would be to return the question to state legislatures, few of which would enact complete bans on abortion.
So it would not surprise me a bit if many pro-choice voters choose McCain because they agree with him on other issues that he is more likely to effect.
9.5.2008 6:42pm
Deoxy (mail):
eyesay:
The Ace wrote, "the globe isn't warming."

That's all we need to know about The Ace's awareness of the global climate crisis that is happening right now.


If that's all we need to know, then we must conclude that he is well-informed.

According to authoritative sources on the Earth's temperature:

The UK Meteorological Office's Hadley Center for Climate Studies

University of Alabama at Huntsville

Remote Sensing Systems

The global temperature has been flat or slightly declining for a decade now.

NASA's data doesn't quite agree, but then, NASA's data was all "adjusted" some time between 1999 and 2007. The "adjustments" bumped down temperatures before 1970 and bumped up temperatures after 1970. No offical explanation for this was ever given (that I have been able to find).

NASA's data used to be quite in line with the other 3 above, but now it isn't.

The man in charge of NASA's temperature data is Dr. James Hansen - Al Gore's science advisor and the world's leading long-term advocate of global warming. The adjustments were made after he took charge.

So, as I said, global temperature has been flat or slightly declining since 1998. This has been reported on for at least 2 years now.
9.5.2008 6:44pm
Lawyer (mail):

eyesay wrote:

The fact that her pay was based on her evaluations does not mean that she knew that her salary was not commensurate with that of her male colleagues."


I agree. Read what I wrote; I have no claim as to what she knew or knows.

What I'm saying is this: if she was being paid more than certain male colleagues at her same level of employment -- which she was -- it's false to claim that her pay was not "commensurate" with her male coworkers. Furthermore, it's disingenuous to conclude, as you have, that since she was paid less than certain cherry-picked highly-evaluated males, her pay was based on sexism.
9.5.2008 6:44pm
Dan M.:
I think there is a distinct difference in saying that Palin doesn't support abortion in the case of rape and saying that she would attempt to ban abortion even in the case of a rape. While, in a very conservative state, she campaigned on this issue, but apparently hasn't really cared about it since becoming governor.

I think the "rape or incest" is a stupid issue in the abortion debate. Suppose there is a law that outlaws abortion except in the event of rape or incest. Then what standard of proof would there be to ensure that a woman had been raped? I'm sure that any woman who so much as made a claim of rape would get a free pass, and feminists would (probably rightly so) consider it an invasion of privacy to have to prove you had been raped in order to get a legal procedure. Then all of the abortion statistics would be but included in the rape statistics and there would be so many laws passed against men that there'd probably be a man vs. woman civil war.

And why would consensual incestual relationships get a pass?
9.5.2008 6:52pm
Monch:
Although I'm opposed to teaching creationsim in schools, what's the big deal? Creationsism can be explained in 2-4 sentences. It's not like a teacher is going to give a sermon on the whole of Genesis.
9.5.2008 6:54pm
Pauld (mail):
As reported by the AP, Palin's position would seem reasonable to anyone who is not an atheist and probably most atheists. The AP on Palin and evolution:

" As for her personal views on evolution, Palin has said, "I believe we have a creator." But she has not made clear whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact.

"I'm not going to pretend I know how all this came to be," she has been quoted as saying...

Palin said during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign that if she were elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add creation-based alternatives to the state's required curriculum, or look for creationism advocates when she appointed board members."
9.5.2008 7:09pm
eyesay:
Sorry. NOW is still National Organization for Women, not National Association of Women as I carelessly posted earlier.
9.5.2008 8:03pm
eyesay:
The Greenland Ice Sheet has experienced record melting in recent years and is likely to contribute substantially to sea level rise as well as to possible changes in ocean circulation in the future. The area of melting in 2002 broke all previous records. Apparently melting ice descends to lower levels, lubricating ice above and contributing to ice loss at a rate far greater than projected by earlier mathematical models. It is a crisis, and thanks to the Bush administration, we have lost eight years in dealing with it.

Even oil companies including BP and Royal Dutch Shell have acknowledged both that global warming is happening and that burning fossil fuels is a major cause of it.

Just because there is global warming doesn't mean it will get hotter everywhere. Global warming could disrupt the Gulf Stream, resulting in cooling of the British Isles.

But never mind the facts! We make our own reality around here! Just as the tobacco companies found a few doctors to say that the health effects of cigarettes uncertain, the defenders of the unsustainable status quo have found a few scientists to deny the scientific reality of global warming. "Move along folks, nothing to see here."
9.5.2008 8:19pm
tsotha:
BP and Royal Dutch Shell don't know any more about the climate than anyone else. The reason they're making these acknowledgments is 1) so if AGW is actually real nobody can accuse them twenty years from now (in court, presumably) of misleading the public about dangers their products posed and 2) because it builds support for all kinds of subsidies they're well positioned to take advantage of. Should we be surprised oil companies are happy to take tax money for dead-end technologies like corn-based ethanol?

The others are right. The earth hasn't been warming for a decade or so. The climatologists have adjusted their models to say it's a temporary pause before the temperature starts rising again, but then again they were stridently confident of the old models, the models that failed to predict the temperatures we're experiencing now. So color me skeptical when people who had to make gross adjustments to five-year-old models claim to know what the temperature will be in a century.
9.5.2008 9:25pm
Dogwood (www):
Ice melts. Water freezes creating new ice, which then melts again, ad naseum throughout the history of the world.

Meanwhile, Antartic sea ice is expanding rapidly, but don't tell anyone, it will undermine the crisis narrative.
9.5.2008 9:56pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

... for anyone to suggest that a 17-year-old high school girl hasn't had any sexual education I think is ridiculous.


I think it's clear that Bristol has mastered the topic at this point.
9.5.2008 10:04pm
jgshapiro (mail):

Obama's is either directly in line with the majority (for abortions during the first trimester), or, at best, only partially divergent.

This ignores Obama's support for public funded abortions and his opposition to banning partial birth abortions. Both of these are way out of the mainstream. Also, I believe Obama is in favor of unrestricted second-trimester abortions. If true, this is also out of the mainstream. Though it is true that the polls do not distinguish on timing within a trimester, I believe that they do distinguish on timing between trimesters. [Hopefully someone has access to links to the relevant polls, because I don't.]

Support or opposition to abortion varies according to the wording of the poll, but my recollection is that there is generally wide support for mostly unrestricted first trimester abortions (allowing for parental notice and consent restrictions), somewhat unrestricted second trimester abortions (e.g, for rape, incest, health-of-the-mother and serious defect in the fetus/baby (including Down syndrome say, but not blindness or a cleft palate or something on that order), and completely restricted third trimester abortions, except for the life of the mother or maybe a serious health consequence to the mother like paralysis.

However, neither political party has ever taken a middle of the road view on abortion that would approximate the median public view. And ironically, I think that the median public view would be seen by the left as pro-life/anti-choice and by the right as anti-life/pro-choice.
9.5.2008 10:28pm
Mac (mail):
The Greenland Ice Sheet has experienced record melting in recent years and is likely to contribute substantially to sea level rise as well as to possible changes in ocean circulation in the future. The area of melting in 2002 broke all previous records.

eyesay,

And, just how long do you think we've been keeping records?

During the Miid-evil warming period, Greenland, was well, green. I tend to think it has more ice on it now than then. Also, a lot of the ice is already underwater, so when and if it does melt, it will actually occupy less space than it does now.

And, in science, it doesn't matter how many people believe something to be true. It only matters if even one proves something to be true. If you want to accept things by consensus, then at least 90% of the world thinks that God or Allah or God by another name, created the Earth and ourselves. So, we should definitely include Creationism and Intelligent Design in our curriculum, no?

PS Why has Mars been warming and it's polar ice caps shrinking?

Can't find the source, but the Artic added 500,000 miles of ice this year. Good news for Polar bears. I''ll try to find the source for that. In the news the other day. Or, buried in the news the other day, I should say.
9.5.2008 10:43pm
Mac (mail):
tsotha wrote;


2) because it builds support for all kinds of subsidies they're well positioned to take advantage of. Should we be surprised oil companies are happy to take tax money for dead-end technologies like corn-based ethanol?


Yes. Just take a look at the Farm Bill which McCain voted against and Bush vetoed to no effect as they passed it anyway with help from Obama's vote.

A more disgusting scene of the Big Boys bellying up to the public trough is hard to imagine. Big agriculture and OIl and anyone else who can get some feed is more than happy to take our tax dollars. Of course, both parties will benefit from donations made by the recipients.
9.5.2008 10:52pm
Dan M.:
"I think it's clear that Bristol has mastered the topic at this point."

Well, I think, given that she's pregnant, that it's still not unlikely that she was using contraceptives. According to about.com, 53% of unplanned pregnancies occur when a woman is using contraceptives. So, uh, it looks like it's less than 1 in 2 that she wasn't using contraception given that she's pregnant.
9.6.2008 12:41am
inmypajamas:
Spitzer - I just had to say I really enjoyed your insightful post. Great breakdown of the influence of Marxist thought on Steinem-era feminism.
9.6.2008 12:45am
Scary but True:

Now, am I mistaken, or is the "abstinence only" a program that they run for pre-teens and young teens? Am I mistaken in believing that students still get the standard talk about STD's and pregnancy and contraception in their standard health class?

I think parents have a legitimate complain if the public school system is encouraging their 12-year-old kids to use contraceptives. But for anyone to suggest that a 17-year-old high school girl hasn't had any sexual education I think is ridiculous. So I think that, if I am correct in the circumstances about pre-high school sex education and high school sex education, I support "abstinence only" education in principle.


Dan M.,

You are mistaken. There is no "standard talk" about pregnancy and STDs in high school. It's up to the school to set the curriculum. Abstinence-only sex education includes all grade levels, not just pre-teens. It is difficult to believe, but true, that students in districts that support an "abstinence-only" approach do NOT get any standard health class that includes contraception, birth control, and STD information (although obviously they may get that information from other sources). It is entirely possible that a 17 year old girl in a district that supports "abstinence only" education would NOT have gotten accurate information about pregnancy, STDs, and contraception. What's scarier is that a teen that does not get this information at school or at home is likely to get snippets of information from less-than-reliable sources (her friends, TV, magazines) that may or may not help her.

This is why supporting abstinence-only education, as Sarah Palin does, is ridiculous.
9.6.2008 1:50am
Jay Myers:
SeaDrive:

Does she think that biology classes should spend an hour on Bigfoot?

If not, why not?

Because monster trucks should be discussed in auto shop instead.

Also, it is true that there has been no global warming for the last ten years and they aren't expecting any for the next ten years either.

Here is a link to info about the expansion of sea ice at the arctic. "The growth over the past year covers an area of 700,000 square kilometers: an amount twice the size the nation of Germany."

Yeah, it's a crisis. But let's not allow facts to get in the way of destroying human civilization and bringing on a new dark age.
9.6.2008 3:33am
Caifornio (mail):
Abortion is constitutionally valid and shall not pass from our midst! A penumbra told me. Well, it didn't really TELL me, more like it eminated from it..
9.6.2008 4:00am
Caifornio (mail):
"P.S. Bigfoot should not be hard to catch - you just have to lead him a little....and squeeze the trigger." as told by Dick Cheney.
9.6.2008 4:01am
LTDan (mail):
All references to polls should include a link to allow people to view the questions asked and info on the demographics of the polled population.

I like a good statistic as much as the next person, but you can find numbers to support nearly any view. It's easy to find them and common to use them, so I can't fault Steinem or the prof for using numbers selectively. I just keep hoping for people to try stop being unconciously or consciously deceptive in their use of numbers.

Personally:
The numbers cited on evolution vs. creationism/ID seem off to me. Abstinence only education, while lofty in its moral justification, is largely ineffective (by most statistics I've seen) regardless of how many people agree with it. As far as abortion, well see my original comments.
9.6.2008 12:28pm
TCO:
I don't care what NYT reading NPR listening hens think of Palin. Heck, she's more of a man than the average liberal Dem man. And more of a woman than the women. That's why she's got the effeminate class all flustered.

Drill, baby, drill!

USA! USA! USA!
9.6.2008 1:33pm
David Warner:
"But never mind the facts! We make our own reality around here! Just as the tobacco companies found a few doctors to say that the health effects of cigarettes uncertain, the defenders of the unsustainable status quo have found a few scientists to deny the scientific reality of global warming. 'Move along folks, nothing to see here.'"

For better or worse, its more than a few. I think we'd make more headway in achieving precautionary action via astute risk-management arguments based on sound science than shaming and truth-stretching. Not that science itself is innocent of such tactics (pace Khun, et. al.), just that its hard-earned credibility arose from scientists who aimed at something better. Consensus built on truth is both longer lasting and more productive than consensus built on fear. See, for instance, Iraq.
9.6.2008 1:44pm
MLS:
Pauld, above, alludes to a point that should be explored over the coming weeks...though more likely than not it will get lost in the rhetoric of "buzzword" interest groups.

Is it possible that an individual can hold personal views (perhaps even strong personal views) on particular issues, and yet still be able to serve in political office without attempting to use the force of government to impose those views on the public at large? Is it possible that such an individual might choose to lead by example, and not by legislative fiat?
9.6.2008 2:26pm
Mac (mail):
LtDan and Scary but True,

Please see Wallace's post above. I doubt if Mathematica has a political ax to grind. Repeated, in part, below.

The most in-depth study on the issue found no difference between abstinence-only programs and other sex-ed programs on the rate of unwanted pregnancies or STD's

.
Also, hang out with some young people. I know a number of girls who have gotten pregnant as they are my daughter's friends or acquaintances and to a woman, ALL have had sex-ed.

If you won't deal in facts, why not go ahead and teach creationism? If nothing else, this shows that current sex ed programs need a lot of help and are not doing the job. Either that or both sex ed and abstinence only are doing as well as they can, given a teen's maturity and ability to comprehend.
9.6.2008 5:11pm
Mac (mail):
Jan Meyer wrote:


Also, it is true that there has been no global warming for the last ten years and they aren't expecting any for the next ten years either.Here is a link to info about the expansion of sea ice at the arctic. "The growth over the past year covers an area of 700,000 square kilometers: an amount twice the size the nation of Germany."


Thank you so much, Jan. I knew I has seen that, but for the life of me could not recall where. Now, we will see if our AGW friends are subject to science or if this is another religion.
9.6.2008 5:15pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
David M. Nieporent asked, "Is there any reason to believe that a significant number of struggling families are victims of sex discrimination?"

National Association of Women has a Women Deserve Equal Pay fact sheet that sheds some light on that question. I found that by Googling "pay equity" (with quotes) and clicking on the 7th hit. There are about 502,000 hits, so there is plenty of information on the Internet on this topic, if you care too look.
Eyesay, NOW's page has absolutely nothing to do with sex discrimination. It has to do with "wage gaps," which would not in any way be affected by the Ledbetter law.
9.6.2008 8:41pm
theobromophile (www):
PS Why has Mars been warming and it's polar ice caps shrinking?

Because George Bush is an intergalactic (or at least interplanetary) menace, obviously.
9.7.2008 4:28am