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Topics - Christiane

Main / Mary Winkler Bond Set - Huh?
Jul 07, 2006, 05:12 PM
Mary Winkler's bond was set today at $750,000.

That's right.   All she has to post is 10% I believe, and she can walk free until her trial.   This for a woman who shot her husband in cold blood, with premeditation, and watched him die instead of getting him medical help.   She shot him in the back as he lay in bed, because they "argued" over finances.   She has been alleged to have been involved in financial misconduct.  

"For her, that's tantamount to no bond at all," said defense lawyer Steve Farese.

By comparison - the boys in the Duke case had bond set at $400,000 - when there was no crime committed at all.

Blatant is too weak a word.
Main / Here We Go Again
Jun 13, 2006, 07:45 AM
Before I launch, I realize I need to stop watching Good Morning America.  

Today's offering was just beyond beyond.  

First, according to my calendar, Father's Day is this coming Sunday.   So where are the segments honoring fathers?   Today, there was a long segment on a recent contest sponsored by Good Housekeeping magazine to find the husband/father who did the most housework in the US and reward him.   The winner is a guy who works full time (and so does his wife), then he comes home and does all the housekeeping and cooking for his wife and 14 month old daughter.   He works 24/7, scrubbing, dusting, everything.   He proudly described his cleaning tips.   Then they gave him and a male soap actor a mock "contest" where the two competed in a timed window washing, rug vacuuming, and pancake flipping.   The soap actor exaggerated his incompetence, while the housecleaning superdad showed off his domestic prowess.  I thought I was going to throw up.   Superdad's pregnant wife was standing by holding their daughter, just beaming about what a hard worker he is.   Good Housekeeping gave him $22,000 of stuff including a plasma TV.   They also talked about the 2 runners up, one of whom works 14 hour days and still does everything else around the house for wife and kids.   This was presented as the ideal to which all men should aspire.   The point was made that these men feel their marriages are better because they work so hard around the house.  Wow, we really need to set the bar just a little higher for dad, don't you think?  

Flash forward through one commercial break to the next segment highlighting Linda Hirshman's book:   Get To Work - A Manifesto For Women.   This lady is the epitome of a condescending, elitist, radical feminazi bitch from hell.   I'm on my fourth cup of coffee so bear with me.

This is pure poison.   What she's saying is that women who are full time homemakers are not realizing their potential, that this job is not sufficient for a full adult life, that they're making themselves dependent.   She says SAHM's do what they do because they enjoy it - not because of any benefit to the children or family.   In other words, SAHM's are inferior to the likes of her because they can't possibly be fulfilling their intellectual potential.   Her arrogance is absolutely breathtaking.

Interestingly, the interviewer was a young woman who has 2 small children, and her husband is the stay at home parent.   Hirshman does not make the point that a man who is a SAHD is somehow stunting his intellectual growth or making himself dependent on his wife.   What a double standard !   When the reporter talked about her particular family's choice, Hirshman kept making the point that this wasn't about any one family's choice, it's a sociological fact that women become dependent and don't realize their full potential if they don't work full time outside the home.   Women need to be in the world of adults, she says.   (I suppose the companionship of other stay at home parents doesn't count, because they're just childish dependents who aren't true adults).

Then Hirshman said, and I'm not kidding, "Where are the fathers?  I'm always skeptical of any choice women make that men can't.   Where are the fathers spending time with the children?"    And she's saying this to a woman whose husband is a stay at home dad.   Unbelievable.

Now - juxtapose these two segments together for just a second and try to find some logic.    The ideal man, according to this reasoning, is someone who works full time outside the home, then spends all his time afterwards doing all the household work.   The kids go to daycare, and mom works full time, then she comes home to bask in her intellectual fulfillment while dad does the drudgery.   He gets a "better marriage" and a plasma TV.  

Where are the fathers in this model?   They sure don't have time to spend with their kids - with both parents working full time and dad doing all the housework besides.   In Hirshman's world, it's wrong for one parent to concentrate on the home front so both parents actually have some time to relax with the kids and each other.   She even goes so far as to say that women shouldn't have more than one child, because women tend to leave the workplace more often after the second child.   I think I hear China calling.

True to Dr. E's prediction, I was struck by a commercial last night.   Just in time for Father's Day.   Maybe some of you saw it.   I don't remember if it was for Craftsman, or TrueValue Hardware (obviously a poor commercial as I can't remember the product), but it jumped from father to father using tools, and singing a silly song about how they don't know what they're doing.   They messed everything up - total baffoons.   The last poor guy cut the power to his house while trying to repair something.  Great way to sell tools.

It's really sad that we've gone from Father Knows Best in this country, to Father Doesn't Know What The Hell He's Doing.
Main / Female President Flops
Jun 10, 2006, 07:16 PM
My problem with this is not content - I liked the show - but I take issue with the insinuation that the cancellation is because the title character is female.    That's a crock.   It's ratings.   She could be a hermaphrodite....    Well, she might be...  but that's a subject for a later date..   I still contend it's the red lipstick...   Enjoy....

'Commander in Chief' too good to be true
Saturday, June 10, 2006

Remember when we were told that a woman who wanted the top job had to be twice as good as a man? The first woman in any post would be inspected with a microscope and dismissed for the smallest flaw.

Now the first woman president of the United States of Television has failed to get a second term, excuse me, a second season, because she was too good to be true. Is this progress? Or is it yet another double bind?

Next week, the last episode of Commander in Chief will air. Geena Davis' star turn as the first woman president was heralded as a breakthrough in the fall. Marie Wilson, the unsinkable cheerleader of the White House Project, said that the television series could "hurry history." The bloggers harrumphed that it could "hurry Hillary."

There was the hope that Commander in Chief could do for women in the Oval Office what Will and Grace did for gays in your office. "We have to visualize a woman president in office before we can have one," said former Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin. See her on TV; see her in real life.

Mackenzie Allen got to the ABC White House virtually untainted by politics. She was a college president and an independent picked to be vice president by a conservative Republican candidate trying to attract women voters. Talk about your fantasy figures.

After the president's death, she overcame opposition, self-doubt, a male chauvinist pig of a politician and a sabotaged teleprompter to win over the hearts of the American people. She also won favor with the real public, garnering 16.9 million viewers in the first two episodes.

Of course, our gal Mac suffered some of the blows familiar to women in politics. Like every female candidate with a hemline and a hairdo, more media attention was paid to her appearance than her position papers. "She looks like she's wearing those red wax lips they sell for Halloween," hissed Washington Post critic Tom Shales.

If there's a woman behind every great man, the men behind this great woman were her undoing. The creator and first writer, Rod Lurie, was less disciplined than Bill Clinton. He couldn't get the shows done on time. His replacement, Steven Bochco, never could decide if this series was about the First Female leader or the First Mom. And the network honchos managed to jerk the most powerful woman from one time slot to another until her approval ratings sank to the level of the real president's.

But the real problem fell into the be-careful-what-you-wish-for category. Lurie wanted his first woman president to be someone of "unimpeachable integrity, very kind, very calm." And, alas, he got it.

She was an accidental rather than ambitious politician. Instead of the crackling wise-guy dialogue of The West Wing, with its flawed staffers, its docudramas, compromises and no-win situations, we got a woman, noble and principled, strong and caring, apolitical and perfectly unbelievable.

Singlehandedly, as First Woman and Working Mom saving America from terrorists and saving Halloween for the kids, she brought the late, unlamented, superwoman cartoon out of retirement and into the White House.

Yes, it's possible that any network executive now shown a script starring a powerful woman will offer that fateful judgment: "We already tried one!" But on the other hand, Commander in Chief may have truly hurried history.

The opening of the TV show was accompanied by a survey that showed 79 percent of the public was comfortable with "a woman" in the White House. We have long assumed that comfort zone would shrink when "a woman" got a name and a face and a flaw.

But what if the public is ahead of the punditry again? Am I allowed the optimistic view that the closing of this show suggests perversely that the American public may be more ready to see and accept women as both individuals and imperfect?

Katie Couric just ascended the CBS throne, gravitas be damned. The female politicians on a firstname basis with the American public - Condi! Hillary! - have been attacked and still survived in the rough arena. Both carry baggage from standing by their man, be he George or Bill. Both have played politics, real politics, party politics. And both are at least as qualified as "fresh faces" such as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Virginia's Democratic Gov. Mark Warner.

So here's where we stand as they play taps for Commander in Chief. The first female politician may no longer have to be too good to be true. Thank you, Mackenzie Allen, we already tried that. Maybe she just has to be better than the guys running against her.

That's a reality show I'm ready for.

Ellen Goodman writes for The Boston Globe.

[email protected]
Main / The "Father Factor" - How to blame Dad
May 30, 2006, 06:01 AM
OK, my turn to be angry.   Going about morning stuff, GMA on in background, report comes on.   Robin Roberts saying, "we always hear about how the mother is to blame, now we're learning problems we have in the workplace can be directly attributed to our relationship with our FATHERS"    (right, mothers are always blamed in the media - what planet is she on?)

This is the biggest bunch of BS I've heard in a long time.   This PhD, Stephen Poulter, has written a book describing the 5 types of fathers - oh, yes, you guessed it, only the last type is favorable at all.  

He identifies five major types of fathers such as the "Superachiever," "Time Bomb," "Passive," "Absent" and "Compassionate/Mentor."

The article doesn't even begin to describe how slanted the interview was.   Poulter even asserts that perhaps the reason women can't break the "glass ceiling" is because they had an "Absent" father - he claims 40% of women do.   Right - "Absent" is when Dad is there, but works so f*cking much he's not there every second to fawn over princess and prop up her fragile self-esteem.   My elaboration of course.   By that reasoning, Hubs is certainly "Absent" -  what a total CROCK !   Give me a break.   The bias was so blatant.

Poulter suggests that when you finally realize how your father has victimized you by hampering your ability to perform in the workplace, you should seek support, and explain to your co-workers why you can't respond effictively in certain situations.   Because your dad was a "Time Bomb" for example, you might shy away from conflict.

And Roberts was fawning all over him, like he's the new guru of why women just can't seem to scale that wall.    We've finally figured it out.   Blame Dad.    I'll be sending them an email.
Main / We Remember and Honor You
May 28, 2006, 05:53 PM
Happy Memorial Day to All !

Please share your stories.  

Hubs and I would like to share the story of his father, my father-in-law.   He was shot down over Italy during WW2.   He was the navigator, and most of the crew was killed.   He survived, but was captured very soon after he hit ground.   He told us that a German soldier put his rifle into his stomach, and he pushed it away, looking the other man in the eye.   His reason was that if he was going to be shot in the gut, he wanted to look into the eyes of the man who did it.  The German looked away.

This alone could have gotten him killed.   They marched the prisoners.   An old Italian woman gave him an egg.   He thanked her.   It was the best tasting egg he ever had.

After a long time, and a lot of between trains, he arrived at a POW camp near Rostock.   He was interned there for 18 months, during the coldest winter on record that century.   They ate rutabagas.   They played cards.   Red Cross packages were rare and treasured.    He told  us  the deck of cards they used was swollen to 3 inches high by the end of the war.   There would be 6 guys playing, and all the others standing around.   Moisture and use took their toll.

Near the end of the war, he escaped.  He and a buddy bolted, and weren't shot.  They made their way over the countryside, and he never would tell us what he saw there.   We asked, but he said nothing about that, only that the Germans took as good as they gave.   He and his buddy came upon  some Russians.  They took some offered cigs, and one of the Russians practiced his English.   Then, they went on, and finally made it to the American lines.

I loved him with all my heart.  He's been gone these 5 years now.

Happy Memorial Day to all who protect our country, and our way of life.

Please share your memorials.
This was very enlightening for me - I had heard the 2% figure before.   I'll be interested to see Dr. E's new site on this topic.,2933,194032,00.html

False Rape Accusations May Be More Common Than Thought

Tuesday, May 02, 2006
By Wendy McElroy

Is it the new 1-in-4 statistic?

I don't mean the widely-circulated '1-in-4 women will be raped in their lifetime' but a statistic that suggests '1-in-4 accusations of rape are false.'

For a long time, I have been bothered by the elusiveness of figures on the prevalence of false accusations of sexual assault. The crime of 'bearing false witness' is rarely tracked or punished, and the context in which it is usually raised is highly politicized.

Politically correct feminists claim false rape accusations are rare and account for only 2 percent of all reports. Men's rights sites point to research that places the rate as high as 41 percent. These are wildly disparate figures that cannot be reconciled.

This week I stumbled over a passage in a 1996 study published by the U.S. Department of Justice: Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science: Case Studies in the Use of DNA Evidence to Establish Innocence After Trial.

The study documents 28 cases which, "with the exception of one young man of limited mental capacity who pleaded guilty," consist of individuals who were convicted by juries and, then, later exonerated by DNA tests.
At the time of release, they had each served an average of 7 years in prison.

The passage that riveted my attention was a quote from Peter Neufeld and Barry C. Scheck, prominent criminal attorneys and co-founders of the Innocence Project that seeks to release those falsely imprisoned.

They stated, "Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained, the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing. Specifically, FBI officials report that out of roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases since 1989, about 2,000 tests have been inconclusive, about 2,000 tests have excluded the primary suspect, and about 6,000 have "matched" or included the primary suspect."

The authors continued, "these percentages have remained constant for 7 years, and the National Institute of Justice's informal survey of private laboratories reveals a strikingly similar 26 percent exclusion rate."

If the foregoing results can be extrapolated, then the rate of false reports is roughly between 20 (if DNA excludes an accused) to 40 percent (if inconclusive DNA is added). The relatively low estimate of 25 to 26 percent is probably accurate, especially since it is supported by other sources.

Before analyzing the competing figures, however, caveats about the one just mentioned are necessary.

First, the category of 'false accusations' does not distinguish between accusers who lie and those who are honestly mistaken. Nor does it indicate that a rape did not occur, merely that the specific accused is innocent.

Thus, there is a drive by voices for reform, like the Innocence Institute, to improve eyewitness identification techniques within police departments.

For example, the Innocence Institute suggests "Police should use a 'double-blind' photo identification procedure where someone other than the investigator -- who does not know who the suspect is -- constructs photo arrays with non-suspects as fillers to reduce suggestiveness."

Second, even if false accusations are as common as 1-in-4, that means 75 percent of reports are probably accurate and, so, all accusations deserve a thorough and professional investigation.

Third, the 1-in-4 figure has 'fuzzy' aspects that could influence the results. For example, Neufeld and Scheck mention only sexual assault cases that were "referred to the FBI where results could be obtained."

It is not clear what percentage of all reported assaults are represented by those cases. As well, the terms 'rape' and 'sexual assault' are often used interchangeably, especially when comparing studies, and it is not clear that they are always synonyms for each other.

Nevertheless, the FBI data on excluded DNA is as close to hard statistics that I've found on the rate of false accusations of sexual assault.

Where do the other figures come from and why is there reason to doubt them? Let me consider the two statistics that I have encountered most often.

"Two percent of all reports are false."

Several years ago, I tried to track down the origin of this much-cited stat. The first instance I found of the figure was in Susan Brownmiller's book on sexual assault entitled "Against Our Will" (1975). Brownmiller claimed that false accusations in New York City had dropped to 2 percent after police departments began using policewomen to interview alleged victims.

Elsewhere, the two percent figure appears without citation or with only a vague attribution to "FBI" sources. Although the figure shows up in legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act, legal scholar Michelle Anderson of Villanova University Law School reported in 2004, "no study has ever been published which sets forth an evidentiary basis for the two percent false rape complaint thesis."

In short, there is no reason to credit that figure.

"Forty-one percent of all reports are false."

This claim comes from a study conducted by Eugene J. Kanin of Purdue University. Kanin examined 109 rape complaints registered in a Midwestern city from 1978 to 1987.

Of these, 45 were ultimately classified by the police as "false." Also based on police records, Kanin determined that 50 percent of the rapes reported at two major universities were "false."

Although Kanin offers solid research, I would need to see more studies with different populations before accepting the figure of 50 percent as prevalent; to me, the figure seems high.

But even a skeptic like me must credit a DNA exclusion rate of 20 percent that remained constant over several years when conducted by FBI labs. This is especially true when 20 percent more were found to be questionable.

False accusations are not rare. They are common.

Wendy McElroy is the editor of and a research fellow for The Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif. She is the author and editor of many books and articles, including the new book, "Liberty for Women: Freedom and Feminism in the 21st Century" (Ivan R. Dee/Independent Institute, 2002). She lives with her husband in Canada.
Introductions / New Here
May 19, 2006, 11:32 AM
Not sure if it's customary here to introduce oneself before posting on other threads, but saw this and thought I'd say "hi" first.    This is a very interesting and thought provoking site for me.   Found you totally by accident when looking at articles on the Duke Lacrosse Team.

Still digesting Dr. Evil's manifesto - I had no idea this was such a huge movement.   You've got some points I truly applaud.

I'm female, but I didn't notice a "No Girls Allowed" sign on the treehouse, so here I am !     :)