Saturday, November 29, 2008

Boy babies die, women hardest hit

I was horrified to read at Ace of Spades about two villages of women in Papua New Guinea who have killed all male babies to keep them from waging war:

The Papua New Guinea jungle has given up one of its darkest secrets - the systematic slaughter of every male baby born in two villages to prevent future tribal clashes.

By virtually wiping out the 'male stock', tribal women hope they can avoid deadly bow-and-arrow wars between the villages in the future.

'Babies grow into men and men turn into warriors,' said Rona Luke, a village wife who is attending a special 'peace and reconciliation' meeting in the mountain village of Goroka.

I agree with the point made at Ace's place:

The report sympathetically portrays these women as desperate hut wives who, faced with tribal extinction, are forced to take extreme measures in order to survive. One wonders how sympathetic the writers of this story would be if the men of the tribe killed all of the female babies to prevent them from growing up and committing male infanticide.

I doubt they would be sympathetic at all. But the commenters to the Daily Mail article that discussed the story certainly had sympathy for these female infant killers. One has to wonder about what kind of twisted morality commenters like the following must possess to write the following:

Stop judging these people with Western ethics. The commenters here have no idea how these people live and deal with life. I've lived with New Guineans and their minds do not work in the same way as Westerners. Overall they are gentle people and things must have got pretty bad for the womenfolk to kill their own children. In their minds it was the only way to save the village. Save your disgust for the baby killers in this country who should know better.

In any conflict, it's always the women and children who suffer through no doing of their own. And when everything has been ruined, and the men killed, they have to pick up the pieces and restore everything. They must have really had enough to kill their own children like that.

How horrendous that these women so no other option but to kill there own babies to prevent heartache in the future,its a lose lose situation for them.

No sympathy at all for the male infants that died, just for the women who had to do the killing, how pathetic.



Now I'e seen everything. Jose at Bracepundit let me know about a new gift for men--mantyhose--a male version of pantyhose. This has to be the stupidist idea I have heard in a long time. I agree with the stylist blog which says:

Unless you're playing Robin Hood or pretending to be Louis XIV (like you do), we think maybe you should pass this trend up in favor of, you know, looking hot. But to each his own, right? Whatever. We don't care what you do on weekends, we're just saying it's not in fashion.

There's even a book, Fashion of the 21th Century - Pantyhose for Men that has been put out by the manufacturer of mantyhose.

I hate pantyhose and I'm a woman, how the hell would a man wear them with all that hair on his legs? Wouldn't that be miserable? Are they trying to turn men into women because women buy more shit? What other reason could there be?

Friday, November 28, 2008

"They're savages," said shopper Kimberly Cribbs, 27. "It's sad. It's terrible."

If you need another reason not to go near the stores today, here's one:

A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.

The unidentified worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.....

Before police shut down the store, eager shoppers streamed past emergency crews as they worked furiously to save the store clerk's life.

"They were working on him, but you could see he was dead, said Halcyon Alexander, 29. "People were still coming through."

Only a few stopped.

"They're savages," said shopper Kimberly Cribbs, 27. "It's sad. It's terrible."

It seems that cities and congested areas breed the type of anonymity that would lead to such a tragedy.

Update: There is a chapter on panic in the book I am reading, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why. The author says that panic in a crowd is a tragedy, but one of errors, not malice:

But it is one of the more preventable human mistakes in the disaster portfolio. If mass gathering places are designed with physics in mind, than the prerequisites to panic should never develop. People will not feel potentially trapped, helpless, and alone. They will just feel crowded.

The author goes on to point out that the problem lies in the design of the space and the management of the crowd. Communication between the organizers and the crowd is also important. Perhaps more forethought needs to be put in place when stores expect large crowds.

Holiday boom or holiday bust for retailers?

I went to my local mall at 5:00 AM this morning. No, I have never done this before but some younger family members insisted on going to the sales and I am the only one up at 4:30 AM and was drafted to drive them. It wasn't incredibly busy but the people (mainly women) who were going into the stores in groups of two looked highly determined. I was reading this morning that holiday sales are starting early but retailers fear that consumers will not buy as much this year:

Experts predict this could be the worst sales season since the early 1990s as Americans hit by a housing slump and credit crunch make do with fewer holiday gifts.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters data have forecast that retail sales at stores open at least a year could fall 2.2 percent for November compared with 4 percent growth last year.

Excluding expectations for growth at discounter Wal-Mart, the expected decline is a more precipitous 6.6 percent.

Me, I plan on saving money and my sanity this year by shopping at Black Friday at Amazon. There is no way I am going near a store again this holiday season, I hope, unless I am drafted. I do plan on spending a bit less this year, but not much. How about you, are you buying fewer gifts this year?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

PJTV: Ask Dr. Helen: From Himbos to Holiday Stress

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

If you are feeling a bit stressed about the holidays (or just need a laugh), take a bit of time to watch my segment on PJTV. I answer your emails and questions from himbos to the holidays. The first question is from a male reader who wonders if it's okay to be an "intentional himbo" (pictures included). Then the topic turns to holiday stress including how to deal with politics at the Thanksgiving table and how to cope with gift-giving for the kids post-divorce. You can watch the video here ( free with no registration needed).


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Are men "going John Galt" at the health spa?

Is it my imagination or are more men going in for spa services these days? In the past few months, every time I go into the local spa I like, there are men having services or coming in to order services for themselves such as facials and massage. I used to watch men come in to order for wives or girlfriends but now the gift is for themselves.

Most of the men are middle-aged or older and I wondered if many of them have just decided to "go John Galt" and let others take on the burden of the world while they relax. Perhaps they have had enough of the work world and are taking more time for themselves, or maybe they want to look or feel better. Of course, this is just one observation of mine at one spa. Let's take an informal poll here. How many of you who are men use spa services?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Glenn Sacks on his recent DART campaign: "Father-bashing is so prevalent in the media today because there is little political cost to be paid for doing it. We launched the campaign in part because we wanted to show that there is a political cost to demeaning fathers, and in that regard we more than succeeded."


Monday, November 24, 2008

The traits of heroes

This is interesting:

Stopped. Cold turkey. North Carolina authorities say a shopper clubbed an alleged carjacker with a frozen turkey as he tried to steal a woman's car in a grocery store parking lot Sunday.

Police say 30-year-old Fred Louis Ervin of Raleigh stole money from a gas station before running across the street to a Harris Teeter store in a town just south of Raleigh. Garner police say he began beating Irene Moorman Bailey while stealing her car.

Other shoppers came to her rescue, including one who hit Ervin with the turkey. Police did not release the person's name.

I am in the middle of reading an incredible book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why that explains why it is that some people are prepared for disaster and others are not. One of the chapters in the book is on heroism and it found that those who are heroes like the above turkey clubber have confidence in their abilities. They tend to have an "internal locus of control"--that is, a sense that they shape their own destiny rather than looking to someone else.

Bystanders, on the other hand, tend to feel buffeted by forces beyond their control. 'They pay scant attention to other people's problems. They will concentrate on their own need for survival,' Oliner [a researcher] says.

According to the book, some common traits of heroes in a study of 450 acts of heroism found a whopping 91 percent of them performed by males. The author notes that this could be a bias of the sample used.... but anyway, the heroes in the study also tended to be working class men. They tended to be truck drivers, laborers, welders, or factory workers--physical jobs that required some risk, just like rescuing. A high number of the rescues were in rural or small-town America and 80% of the rescues happened in places with less than one hundred thousand people. The author opines that this might be because in small towns, people know one another and acts of kindness are recognized and remembered. A strong sense of duty to help others was also mentioned. I will hopefully post more on this incredibly fascinating book.

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