Saturday, August 19, 2006

"My ugly came out."

Mary Winkler, the Tennessee preacher's wife who allegedly killed her husband because of emotional and verbal abuse was released on bond from jail this week. I love her comments about her new-found self esteem:

And, she told Alabama officers that the killing was not planned and that she had been verbally and emotionally abused by her husband, Ballin said. She also said she had been through a life-threatening event in the past year, Ballin said.

'My ugly came out'

The attorney would not elaborate on that event, and no details were given about the abuse Mary Winkler claimed she suffered. Winkler did tell police that the emotional and verbal abuse from her husband had worsened over the past year.

"I have nerve now, and I have self-esteem. So, my ugly came out," Alabama investigator Stan Stabler quoted her as saying, according to a report on the hearing published in The Jackson Sun. She referred to herself as a "moron" and an "evil woman," the newspaper reported.

Maybe in some cases, low self-esteem is a good thing. Really, how many people would justify verbal and emotional abuse for a man killing his wife?

Update: Dadvocate has more thoughts on women, murder, and self-esteem.

Should BMI be Scrapped as a Measure of Health?

Dave at the Crisper Blog says it's time to scap the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a way of calculating obesity or health. I have to say that I agree. My BMI is fairly low (20) but I've had heart problems and BMI seems to have little correlation to the amount of actual body fat one has--a linebacker who has huge muscles and little body fat could easily be obese by the standards of BMI.

I recently had my body fat tested--you know, when they pull out the body fat calipers and pinch different areas of your body to see how much fat you have--I was amazed at how high mine was. I won't bore you with the exact percentage, but let's just say that my body has a lot in common with a 200 pound woman. I have no idea why my body fat is so high--the lowest it has ever been (17%) was after I gave birth to my daughter. I have always been a bit of an anomaly so I don't take these tests too seriously. Unfortunately, many insurance companies and doctors do and this makes for a lot of discrimination against people who are in otherwise good health and not necessarily obese.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Who Needs Vegetables Anyway?

So here is a guy who has not eaten a vegetable in over a quarter of a century. One doctor's verdict: "Perhaps your diet is not ideal as a long-term strategy, but you are healthy now," he says. "In fact, I would say that you are as healthy as our vegetarian clients." Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fearless, Clueless, or Just Plain Mean?

Do you ever get tired of the lame bumper stickers or slogans that say, "Obedient women don't make history"--I know I do. I laugh when I hear women repeat this mantra--mainly because of the hypocrisy. Many feminists expect such strict adherence to the tenets of feminism that there are no allowances made for anyone who is "disobedient" in following their agenda.

You know the drill of feminist dogma--all women are victims, the patriarchy is evil, all women must be pro-choice, read Reviving Ophelia, vote as Democrats and wet their panties when Bill Clinton enters a room. If you are a self-assured female who believes that women can get by on their own merits, votes Republican on some issues, doesn't hold women out to be victims, or sees Condi Rice as a better role model than Hillary Clinton, you better watch out because your disobedience will not be tolerated by the enlightened.

The enlightened in this case is the author and blogger, Arianna Huffington, who gives misguided advice to women on how to make it as a fearless femme fatale in today's world. In her new book On Becoming Fearless.... in Love, Work, and Life, Huffington sets a new low for standards of fearlessess.

My favorite chapter is the one entitled, "Fearless About Leadership and Speaking Out: The Power of One." Huffington describes her run for the governor of California in 2003 and how then-Lieutentant Governor Cruz Bustmante rolled his eyes a few times whenever she would make a point or open her mouth (frankly, I would be right there with him) and Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed his displeasure at having to debate a fullthrottle female--this she discerns by his suggestion that she drink more de-caf. Huffington writes that this debate made her realize how "deeply engrained our culture's fear of assertive women is and how much of this fear women have unconsciously internalized." ..."A man who doesn't toe the line is not only tolerated but even hailed as an appealing scamp or rogue..." Could it be, Ms. Huffington, that your opponents just did not like what you had to say, whether you were a man or woman? After all, they are your opponents. If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. And if a man who does not toe the line is tolerated and hailed as an "appealing scamp or rogue," what the hell happened to President Bush? It seems like the whole world calls him one name after the next with no regard for his maleness. If people just suggested that he drink more decaf, he would probably consider that a walk in the park.

There are assertive women out there who are talented and have reached leadership positions just like Ms. Huffington suggests. How does Ms. Huffington treat them? Like trash.

In her leadership chapter, she describes how to be fearless at any cost. She discusses the consequences of speaking out fearlessly, and decribes a Mommy Dearest moment with her own daughter, Isabella.

Her daughter's godmother was Elaine Chao, who Huffington described as:

Married to Senator Mitch McConnell, whom I had often castigated for having been--among other things--one of the biggest obstacles to campaign finance reform. As if this were not enough, George Bush went ahead and nominated Elaine to be Secretary of Labor. ..So there she was, part of an administration that I kept insulting on pratically a daily basis. She was gracious enough to give Isabella a tour of the Labor Department when we were in Washington for spring break a few years ago, but it was clear that Isabella needed a godmother whose relationship with her goddaughter was not encumbered by her mother's political views. So I asked Isabella to pick a new godmother among my girlfriends.

So the champion of women's fearlessness has now taught her daughter the lesson that if a friend or family member does not share your political views, you can just substitute someone who does--with mothers like this, it's no wonder girls grow up to be scared to speak their minds. What if Isabella turns into (gasp!) a Republican, for goodness sakes, will her mother disown her, like she did her godmother?

Ms. Huffington closes the end of the leadership chapter with "whatever the price, we must speak out about what matters. The world needs the leadership of women now more than ever. We may lose friends in the process, but we can no longer afford to remain silent."

With friends like Huffington, who needs enemies? If we want to teach our daughters to be fearless in expressing their opinions, we probably shouldn't give them the idea that their friends will disown them for expressing a controversial idea. Men seem better at tolerating other points of view and keeping a friendship than women. Maybe tolerating dissenting points of view is how we should be teaching our daughters to be fearless.

Update: A couple of commenters have claimed that I do not allow dissenting views or that I am equally as intolerant to dissenting views as Huffington is. Huh? You are posting your opinion here freely on my blog and then accusing me of being intolerant of other points of view? That makes no sense. This post is actually about the lack of guts women like Huffington have when they are so intolerant that they kick out family and friends from their clan for dissenting points of view. If one is so fragile that they would get rid of a friend or family member because they have a different set of political beliefs, it seems that they are full of fear, not fearless.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Podcast on 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

Do you ever wonder who the nuts are that think the US government caused 9/11? Well, apparently, they are everyday Americans and others with thinking processes that border on the delusional and involve magical thinking which requires some serious grown-up intervention. The intervention manual has been written by the team at Popular Mechanics in their new book, Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts.

Today, we talk with David Dunbar, Executive Editor of Popular Mechanics and his co-editor, Brad Reagan, about their new book that debunks the 9/11 myths using facts and interviews with experts to dispel step by step any government involvement in the tragedy of 9/11. If you want to listen to real experts discuss the reality of what happened that day as opposed to conspiracy theorists who change the facts to fit their pet theories, take a listen.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here or subscribe via iTunes. You can find an archive of our previous podcasts at the And there's a lo-fi version for dialup users here. Leave questions or comments below.

Oh, and if you've had trouble playing these from my site, try this Flash player and see if it works better.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Carnival of the Insanities

The Carnival of the Insanities is up at Dr. Sanity's blog. Also, be sure and check out Dr. Sanity on the Sanity Squad podcast at Politics Central. The Sanity Squad podcast is definitely worth a listen with topics ranging from how a group of mental health professionals got interested in blogging on politics to how therapeutic lingo such as victimhood is playing a negative part in America's worldview.