Friday, June 08, 2007

What--210 Whole Days in Jail just for Murder?

I just saw on the news that Mary Winkler, who was accused of killing her husband, Matthew, was given a sentence by the judge of only 210 days, 60 of which can be spent in a mental facility:

Selmer, Tennessee (WVLT) Knoxville native Mary Winkler will go to jail in connection with the killing of her minister husband.

A judge sentenced Winkler to three years of split confinement in connection with the shotgun slaying of her husband in March of 2006.

Of that, she’s been ordered to serve 210 days in jail.

Up to 60 days can be served in a mental health care facility.

The judge ruled she will get credit for time served, and Winkler will begin serving her sentence immediately.

She was taken into custody at the conclusion of the hearing.

The judge denied Winkler's defense attorney's request that she be granted judicial diversion on her conviction of voluntary manslaughter

Attorney Leslie Ballin told the judge during testimony today that, "If (Mary's) not divertable, who is?"

Uhh, how about someone who didn't kill her husband in cold blood? Unbelievably, in the news story I watched--her old Knoxville neighbors were being interviewed and all shown were "supportive" of Mary--one woman even wanted her let out on probation and a man stated that he didn't question the legal system in such cases. Well, I sure do. There is a poll over at Volunteer TV asking readers if 210 days is an appropriate length of time for Ms. Winkler to spend in jail--and for reader thoughts--go over and let them know what you think, I sure will.

Update: Trudy W. Schuett has some thoughts on the Winkler case over at Dean's World.

I also have a question for any of my readers out there who are lawyers or criminologists. Since Mary Winkler's charge was lessened to voluntary manslaughter, does this get registered in the homicide statistics as a female on male homicide or is it dropped from the stats altogether?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Your Right to Leer

When I look at my husband with affection, am I leering?

I guess not since I'm a woman and can do no wrong except for being a right-leaning libertarian. However, if you're a man, particularly a Republican man, who looks at his wife with affection, you are now accused of "leering"--especially if you are Fred Thompson. For those of you not familiar with the story from the other day, MSNBC talk show host Joe Scarborough made a crude comment about Thompson's wife "working the pole."

I then read this post by someone named "Libby" at The Newshogger's Blog, saying:

But what really struck me about this piece was the photo. If you didn't know, you would think it was a father and daughter, well except for the slightly lecherous look in his eyes. It's clear he's proud of his beautiful young wife, who is actually four years younger than his real daughter....

Even assuming they fell crazy in love and just had to be together, it's somewhat jarring to see them together in the photo. She looks so young, you expect that she signs her name with a little smiley face instead of a dot on the "i" at the end. In studying that shot, I couldn't help but think if Fred has been dating her only a few years eariler it would have been considered a sex offense [see update].

Now Libby updates her post to mention that she misread Ms. Thompson's age, thinking she was in her 20's when she was actually forty but I say, so what? This is yet another example of a woman who deep down believes that men have no right to leer at women, lest it be considered a sex offense. And she is not alone, there are many other women who feel that unless one is Bill Clinton or the object of their own lecherous desires (of course, for these women, their own desire is called empowerment--not lechery!), a regular joe has no right to look at a woman--not even in pictures--with desire in his heart. In their eagar quest to control men's sexual rights, some "feminist" women (and other prudish ones too!) go to extremes to shame, expose or intimidate men who let their lust for women dare come to the surface.

In an extreme example, one of my commenters (thanks!) linked to this website called Porn Detective whose mission is to catch men reading porn and reprimand them. If this site is real, isn't this intimidation and stalking to take pictures of men going into porn stores and posting them on the internet? How would women feel if a site called Abortion Detectives elected to take pictures of women going into abortion clinics and post them on a website? I bet the site would be shut down pretty fast.

My point here is that men have a right to sexual expression just as women do and leering or even an interest in porn is not a crime--but if some women have their way, it soon may be. So, I say to you men out there who believe in your right to sexual freedom, stand up for your right to leer--or it may soon be a thing of the past.

Update: Ann Althouse weighs with some keen observations: "But back to Fred Thompson. He's leering at his own wife. Does that make it okay? Well, there are lots of things you can do with your wife that people don't want to see in public. But what are people seeing with Fred Thompson? He doesn't stare at her breasts, does he? More likely, you're staring at her breasts, and then you're looking at him -- egad! he's older! -- and you're projecting your own feelings on to his face -- including, perhaps, the feeling that you don't want him to be President. You can still insult him. Go ahead! Just know what you're doing."


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Who are DrHelen Readers?

You can see the results of the BlogAd Blog Project here. A summary of the demographics of DrHelen readers is as follows: the majority of you are between 21-55 with 32.5% between 46-55, 31% between 35-45, and 19.5% between 21-34; 74.6% male and 25.4% female, 54.5% are Suburban dwellers vs. 22% urban and the majority of readers say they have a family income of $90,000-$120,000.

You are well-educated with 38.3% having a post-graduate degree and 36.4% a college degree. 47.1% are Republican, 27% Independent, 13.2% Libertarian, and 5.4% Democrats. 85.3% are white, and the other 14.7% are non-white. 16.2% of you are computer professionals, started reading blogs in 2001 (22%) and read blogs for a better perspective(82.7%), and news you can't find elsewhere (78.8%). Sadly 51.4% of you do not listen to podcasts--come on, they are really fun.

You can read the rest here.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Nanny State

This weekend, I read an advanced copy (sent to Glenn and pilfered by me) of David Harsanyi's Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children. A general book description is as follows:

In the name of health, safety, decency, and good intentions, ever-vigilant politicians, bureaucrats, and social activists are dictating what we eat, where we smoke, what we watch and read. Why do bureaucrats know what’s better for us than we do? Have they overstepped their bounds in dictating our behavior through legislation? Are their restrictive measures essential to our health and safety—or exercises in political expediency? Girl Scout cookies, swing sets, cigarettes, alcohol, and gay authors are all in their sights. Nanny State raises a host of questions about the motives and influence of the playground police, food-fascists, anti-porn crusaders, and other “nannies” popping up all over America.

Nanny State provides a rubric for viewing the debate about the size and scope of the state. Drawing on dozens of examples, Harsanyi offers a convincing argument that government intervention in its citizens’ private lives not only denies us freedom of choice, but also erodes our national character by promoting a culture of victimhood and dependence.

In so many ways, the state has become the babysitter and infantilizer of all of us, even adults and the most depressing part to me is that we are allowing it, bit by bit, every time we give the state more and more authority in the form of petty laws that control the lives of countless citizens in ways that take away personal autonomy while at the same time, doing little to prevent or severely punish those who are truly violent. Rebecca Hagelin, the vice president of the Heritage Foundation pointed out in 2003 that "America started out with three federal laws--treason, counterfeiting and piracy. In 1998, the American Bar Association counted more than 3,300 separate federal criminal offenses on the books--more than 40 percent of which had been enacted in just the past 30 years..."

It may be too much to expect that this book will turn things around, but Harsanyi does a good job of getting his readers to at least start thinking about the larger issues of state intrusion. So maybe the next time a politician wants to pass a new law requiring yet one more nanny state regulation, the voters will make it more expensive to politicians who seek to tyrannize us for "our own good."

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A tour of the Psych-Bloggers is up at GM's Corner.