Saturday, March 15, 2008

I Am as Cool as I Have Ever Been

I was listening to the interview on NPR with Dan Kennedy about his days working in the record business. He tells a rueful tale of being a middle-aged guy who thinks he is still as cool as he was at 17.

This got me thinking: was I ever cool? Certainly not at 17, nor college, graduate school, early married life, making a career. Nope, nerd all the way. So now - as a professor who looks so much like a professor that I am on college billboards, a dad whose children gave him a bumper sticker reading "I [heart] embarrassing my teenage children in front of their friends," a fat guy pushing 50 who holds hands with his wife in public -- now I am as cool as I have ever been.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Spitzer's Wife

I agree with Maggie Gallagher: the innocent wives of guilty adulterers should not be expected to stand by their men during the public confession of guilt. That should be his humiliation, not hers. If she chooses to keep him afterwards, that should be credited to her moral heroism. And if she stands by him when he denies the charges, that is honorable marital loyalty.

Adulterers should do the perp walk and press talk alone.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Susan Estrich, a smart politico who taught Elliot Spitzer in law school, concludes that this is why a man so smart could do something so stupid:

"There is only one obvious explanation for why a smart man would commit such a totally self-destructive act: He didn't think he would be caught."

This could be so. Still, my inclination is to think that it is something else. He is a sometimes sanctimonious, sometimes bullying crusader. I think such a man might do something so wrong, catchable, career-ending, and humiliating because he thinks, subconsciously, that he is a fraud.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Half of Teens Girls Are Sexually Active, and Half of Them Have a Sexually Transmitted Infection

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their major study of teen girls and sex. The headline of this post contains the main finding.

The news story, and many variants on it, goes on to attack abstinence-based sex ed curricula. This strikes me as a non sequitur, at best. The report does not indicate what sort of sex education these girls might have had. One might look at the raw finding and conclude that we need much more education in abstinence.

The secondary finding is that half of African-American girls have sexually transmitted infections. The rate for white and Hispanic teens is 20%. This is just a disaster. My expectation is that the sexual activity of girls directly correlates with whether their fathers are active in their homes, but that is not provided in the news articles. This would account for the enormous racial disparity in the STI rate, though.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Vasectomies for March Madness

Yes, this is a serious suggestion. The University of Oregon suggests that men get a vasectomy before the NCAA tournament begins, so they can sit around healing while they sit around watching basketball.

What a wonderful idea.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Catholics Come Home

A Catholic ministry (apostolate) run by American lay people, called Catholics Come Home, has produced some fine commercials now running on television. I particularly commend the one called "Epic." It does, indeed, present the epic sweep of the Catholic Church, both now and historically. They make some astounding claims -- astounding because they are true -- such as "we are the largest charitable organization on the planet"; "we invented the college system"; "we developed the scientific method"; and my favorite, "with the help of the Holy Spirit, we compiled the Bible."

Beat that, proddies.