- Only men are required to register with Selective Service (in case of a future military draft.)
- Only men are allowed to serve in direct combat, which is why 99% of the Iraq War deaths occurred to men. Yet the media always uses obfuscatory phrases such as "the men and women serving in Iraq."
- 92% of workplace deaths occur to men, yet you never hear of reverse discrimination efforts to help improve workplace safety for men. Yet when women suffer a less critical deficit, e.g., they're "underrepresented" in engineering, massive redress efforts are initiated.
- Men die 5.2 years younger than women and earlier of all the top 10 causes of death, yet all we see is a sea of pink ribbons for breast cancer.
- Books on the disposability of men such as New York Times' columnist Maureen Dowd's Are Men Necessary? and Bill Clinton's press secretary Dee Dee Myers' Why Women Should Rule the World became bestsellers while books decrying today's unfair treatment of men go unpublished or ignored. Even books on boys' and young men's struggles languish.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
- your career's professional association's conference-planning committee
- a board of directors of a nonprofit you believe in
- go on a cruise
- a few-day-long training or retreat
- a class that meets for at least a few sessions.
- actively participate in an online discussion group, especially one in your profession.
- a club: for example, a golf or tennis club, or a public affairs forum such as the World Affairs Council or Commonwealth Club.
- Ask about things more central to a person than the sports scores or the pretty outfit. I’m not saying you have to process deep feelings right away if ever, but people care plenty about their career, health, relationships, and finances.
- Find out what the person is most concerned about and explore that, being sure to not just ask questions but also to share common ground with them--for example, "I had the same experience...."
- Be careful not to give unwanted advice, especially to women. The stereotype is generally true: women mainly want to be heard rather than to have their problem solved. When you’re talking with a man, however, you usually can be freer to tactfully offer a suggestion. Indeed, mutually helping each other may bond you enough that you both want to help each other’s careers.
- After you've explored an issue of theirs, share a concern of yours.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Obama proposes to double or quadruple spending on existing education programs while creating a batch of new ones. Yet the taxpayers are likely to receive little bang for their buck.
For instance, contrary to Obama's claims of 10 dollars in societal benefits for every dollar invested, his proposed $10-billion expansion of federal preschool programs is unlikely to be worthwhile. A Reason Foundation study found that universal preschool programs in the states where universal preschool has been tried--Oklahoma, Georgia and Tennessee-- has made little difference in student achievement.
One of Obama's chief approaches for improving the much derided No Child Left Behind Act is to replace standardized tests with assessment of portfolios of student work. Alas, in states where that's been tried on a large scale, it's been a costly disaster. A Rand study of Vermont’s portfolio assessment system found that scorers were confused by the guidelines and disagreed among themselves about scoring decisions. And variation in student tasks from classroom to classroom made reliable results impossible.
Even where Obama has made forays into real reform areas, such as charter schools, his proposals are problematic. For example, he wants to increase their funding but also talks about “accountability” strings, which could undercut their very raison d'être.
The spendthrift Bush White House and Republican Congress may have prompted many Americans to vote for change, but we must be aware that the sorts of education changes Obama is proposing will certainly cost a lot but be unlikely to improve education significantly.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Just what I was afraid of: Obama and the new more liberal congress aren't close to being inaugurated yet and already they want to take more money from working- and middle-class people to bail out those who don't deserve it.
If we hadn't bailed out Chrysler 20 years ago, the auto industry would have felt forced to improve. But the industry knowing that the U.S. government would probably never allow the industry to fail encouraged the automakers and auto workers to feel complacent about continuing their inferior practices.
Yet the government is contemplating ever more bailouts. We've already bailed out the financial industry with uncertain results, are bailing out insurance giant AIG (who then congaed to Vegas for a $350,000 celebration) will soon bail out the auto industry, and rushing up to join the line are four more insurance companies, Citigroup, the airlines, home builders, people who bought houses they couldn't afford, and those who ran up too much credit card debt.
- Levitz Furniture insisted on huge showrooms and overpriced low-quality, poorly styled furniture. They're in Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy. Meanwhile Sweden-based IKEA is doing just fine. Should you and I bail Levitz out?
- How about the nose-diving Circuit City, Best Buy, and Macy's, with their enormous, expensive bricks-and-mortar stores while the world buys online. Should you and I bail them out?
- What about the liberals' darling company Whole Foods, which refused to stop its noble but unrealistic business practices even though that forced it to charge absurdly high prices that most shoppers won't pay. So its stock price has plummeted from 78 to 9 while German-owned Trader Joe's has long checkstand lines filled with happy customers. Should you and I bail out Whole Foods?
- And then there are the cities and states. Here in California, our governor's already got his hand out for a huge bailout.
What about laid-off workers? I'd encourage the private sector to create excellent online training programs. The entrepreneurial among laid-off workers would be trained on how to start a successful, ethical, and important small business. The not-entrepreneurial would be trained in such sustainable fields as health care, biotech, education, global business, elder care, and law enforcement.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
- his having promised to limit his campaign to public financing and then reneged.
- the disingenuousness of his promise to lower taxes on 95% of Americans while funding all the massive programs he promised.
- the fact that in just weeks, he changed his proposal from raising taxes on people with incomes of $250,000 or more, down to $200,000, and this week, according to his vice president, $150,000. Most observers are convinced that Obama will end up not lowering but raising taxes on middle-income people.