Saturday, November 22, 2008

Being harassed about sexual harassment training

Professor Alexander McPherson speaks up on the sham of sexual harassment training (via Reason):

Four years ago, the governor signed Assembly Bill 1825 into law, requiring all California employers with more than 50 people to provide sexual harassment training for each of their employees. The University of California raised no objection and submitted to its authority.

But I didn't. I am a professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at UC Irvine, and I have consistently refused, on principle, to participate in the sexual harassment training that the state and my employers seem to think is so important....

I am not normally confrontational, so I sought to find a means to resolve the conflict. I proposed the following: I would take the training if the university would provide me with a brief, written statement absolving me of any suspicion, guilt or complicity regarding sexual harassment. I wanted any possible stigma removed. "Fulfilling this requirement," said the statement I asked them to approve, "in no way implies, suggests or indicates that the university currently has any reason to believe that Professor McPherson has ever sexually harassed any student or any person under his supervision during his 30-year career with the University of California"....

What's more, the state, acting through the university, is trying to coerce and bully me into doing something I find repugnant and offensive. I find it offensive not only because of the insinuations it carries and the potential stigma it implies, but also because I am being required to do it for political reasons. The fact is that there is a vocal political/cultural interest group promoting this silliness as part of a politically correct agenda that I don't particularly agree with.

Some of the hard-core commenters at Reason say the professor should comply--he signed up to work for the state and is a parasite, says one:

He is the one who chose to work for The State and make a living as a parasite. Work for the state- do what the state tells you.

This is ridiculous. The professor did not sign up for this crap 30 years ago when he took the job. Now due to political reasons and feminist dogma, he is supposed to attend training implying that all male professors are guilty of sexual harassment. Sure, women may have to attend the workshop too, but we all know who they're really talking to. I think the state has more obligation, not less, than private enterprise not to force workers to participate in politically charged training that they find offensive. Those who push this politically correct agenda should remember that what goes around comes around and they may one day find themselves being forced to do something they do not agree with or risk losing their job. Then, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

"Men are nothing but props in Hollywood..."

So says Oscar nominated filmmaker Lionel Chetwynd in a fascinating conversation with Roger L. Simon on the wimpiness of men in Hollywood on PJTV. "To be a man is to be seen as damaged," says Chetwynd. I have to agree that Hollywood has done everything it can to feminize men and treat traditional male traits as evil and worthy of humiliation. Watch the show and see what you think.


Friday, November 21, 2008

The underground economy

I read with interest an article entitled, In Ethnic Enclaves, The U.S. Economy Thrives (Hat tip: Newsalert):

Dr. Alethea Hsu has a strange-seeming prescription for terrible times: She is opening a new shopping center on Saturday. In addition, more amazingly, the 114,000 square foot Irvine, Calif., retail complex, the third for the Taiwan native's Diamond Development Group, is just about fully leased.

How can this be in the midst of a consumer crack-up, with credit card defaults and big players like General Growth struggling for their existence? The answer is simple: Hsu's mostly Asian customers – Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese – still have cash. "These are people who have savings and money to spend," she explains. "Asians in Orange County are mostly professionals and don't have the subprime business...."

The center, reconstructed from a failing old mainstream mall purchased in 2005, is now roughly 90% occupied. "We are doing so well that we are expanding the mercado," Legaspi says, referring to the thriving centers dominated by very small businesses run from attached stalls that are a popular feature of many Latino-themed centers. "It's all cash economy. They pay their bills with cash. The banks and credit card companies are not involved. It's true capitalism, and it works."

Latino shoppers, he suggests, also have been less impacted by the stock market collapse than other consumers. After all, relatively few, particularly immigrants, have large investments on Wall Street. In addition, even if they have lost their jobs, particularly in construction, Legaspi adds, they tend to pick up other employment, even at lower wages, often in the underground economy. "They get paid in cash, and they pay in cash" [my emphasis].

My initial thought about the article was that I like that the "ethnic enclaves" are said to be "true capitalism" that works but when I got to the part about Latino immigrants going into an all cash economy as a result of the "underground economy," I must say, I was a bit puzzled. Afterall, this would imply that they are paying no taxes--not even payroll taxes--and not filling out income tax forms like the rest of us. Isn't this illegal, hence the name "underground economy?" They play by one set of rules, the rest of us another?

Mike Huckabee, in our interview with him for PJTV discussed how the fair tax would be more fair since those in the underground economy would pay taxes on what they bought. This seems like a good idea to me. I wonder how big the underground economy is? I thought about this the other day after overhearing a conversation at the hair salon.

One of the customers having her hair done was talking about how flush in cash she was because of her new job. "I'm making a lot," she stated to the hair sylist, "it's all under the table, of course." "That's the best way," replied the sylist. Is this really fair to the other Americans who pay their fair share of taxes? I don't think so, do you?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PJTV: Interview with Mike Huckabee

The Glenn and Helen show comes to PJTV! We interviewed governor Mike Huckabee about his new book, Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America. Huckabee describes those of us who are right-leaning libertarians as "faux-cons" in his book--what does that mean and are we still welcome in the Republican party? I ask him on the show and he answers. Also, Instapundit readers send us their questions for Mr. Huckabee--making our job easy. Huckabee was an excellent guest (he has a lot of practice with his own tv show on Fox) and is definitely worth watching. If you haven't checked out PJTV, do so.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reflections on Jonestown

Neo-Neocon reflects on Jonestown on the 30th anniversary:

The first relevant lesson to be learned is the danger of blindly following a charismatic leader. Jones became more deranged later on, but as his congregation grew in the 60s and 70s, he was a respected member of the San Francisco community, with connections to Democratic politicians (I’m not sure there’s any other kind in San Francisco) and a strong reputation for racial equality.

The second lesson is to beware of the trust that gullible and trusting human beings can place in that charismatic leader. Jones required that people give over their lives and their assets when they became followers—a danger sign. Members had varied reasons for joining, but it can probably be safely said that most of them were exceedingly idealistic. According to the testimony of many of the survivors (a small group, but an articulate one), once they realized the true character of the man in whom they’d placed such hope and faith, it was too late. They were in a prison, subject to various forms of physical and psychological torture in Jones’ attempt to control the inmates. And in the final year before the terrible end, the prison we know as Jonestown was at least as isolated as Alcatraz, because it was located in the heart of the Guyanese jungle.

Speak Up!

I read with interest this good advice from Ted Nugent on speaking up in California and the rest of the country:

You don't need tough love in America, you need tougher love. Around the water cooler, at the church, at school. At the work place, at the picnic, and the bowling alley. You should be pounding the desk with your fist, raising hell, and take this beautiful state back from the pimps, and the whores, and the welfare brats, and the gang-bangers who seems to have all the rights in the world while the good people, the productive, law abiding people don't have jack squat -- and I think I am going to throw up.

So many people who do not support Barack Obama and are downright sick of the creeping socialism in our country are not speaking up. It is imperative to do so, even in small ways. The other day, I was at a drugstore and the clerk was talking to what looked like a Baby Boomer who was discussing how he voted for Obama. They both scoffed that not many in Tennessee voted for him, "what do you expect?" said the older guy, "this is Tennessee we're talking about." They both chuckled in agreement. I looked at the clerk and said in a loud voice, "So what you're saying is those of us here in Tennessee who voted for McCain are rednecks, is that right?!!!!" There were several people milling around in line at this point and the clerk turned red and stammered, "No, ma'am," and went on to give some lame explanation about what he meant. But I knew I had him. He was visibly shaken and I hope the next time he decides to diss Tennesseans while at work, he'll think twice.

Please remember that most people are cowards, if you speak up, they will often back down or stammer. Too many times, we let liberals get away with making fun of Republicans and those of us who do not agree with them politically. This needs to stop and the only way to do it is to speak up in the classrooms, public and at work. Remember that we are 56 million strong--those of us who did not vote for Obama. We are hardly alone.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

"I'm just another man crying, 'I don't know this person. I don't have their kid.' It's a routine they're just used to."

Reader Chris sends in a pathetic story about a man who was forced to pay child support for a kid even though he was not the child's father:

When Walter Andre Sharpe Jr. signed for a certified letter from Dauphin County Domestic Relations in 2001, he didn't know he was signing on for a seven-year nightmare. Since then, the Philadelphia man has been thrown in jail four times, lost his job, become estranged from his four children and spent more than $12,000 to support the child of another man.

It finally stopped in May 2007 when a judge reversed a finding that he was the father. But the same judge has since ruled that Sharpe is not entitled to any compensation, not even the money he was forced to pay to support the child.

Think this can't happen to you? Think again. Many times, people think that these mistaken cases are few and far between until it happens to them. Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young in their book, Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men, point out that one of the problems inherent in our legal system is inefficiency. The authors suspect, however, that this inefficiency would not be tolerated if women suffered from it and I agree. For instance, the authors state, "Officials in Los Angeles County have admitted to going after the wrong man for child support payments approximately 350 times a month."

Women's groups would stick up for women who suffered this type of injustice and put a stop to it. I can't imagine things will improve in many (if any) states with the incoming administration. This is why it is so important for men's rights activists to keep up with these issues and fight back when they can. It may be an uphill battle, but it is worth the struggle to keep innocent men like Walter Sharpe out of jail.