Archive for January, 2011

Child Sexual Abuse: Bullshit Stats or Hard Science?

Friday, January 28th, 2011

We’ve all gotten use to hearing that abusers are mostly men. I’ve got friends who would be reluctant to leave their kids in the hands of any men but don’t mind random female babysitters. I think it’s uncalled for and I think you should screen your babysitters carefully regardless of their gender.

I started googling for stats and I ran across a quote from The Department of Veteran Affairs under the heading “Who Commits Sexual Abuse?”

Under the child sexual abuse laws, the abuser must be older than the victim in most cases. Some states require the abuser to be at least five years older.

Most often, sexual abusers know the child they abuse but are not family. About 60% of abusers fall into that group. For example, the abuser might be a friend of the family, babysitter, or neighbor. About 30% of those who sexually abuse children are family members of the child. This includes fathers, uncles, or cousins. The abuser is a stranger in only about 10% of child sexual abuse cases.

Abusers are men in most cases, whether the victim is a boy or a girl. Women are the abusers in about 14% of cases reported against boys and about 6% of cases reported against girls. Child pornographers and other abusers who are strangers may make contact with children using the Internet.

I’m all for safety. And I believe it is true that more men are committing this despicable act. What I want to know now is what percentage of men in general are abusers. And also, I want to know if this percentage justifies the fear that any man can be an abuser… the lopsided fear that does not think women can be abusers. As my girlfriend pointed out, when listing the relatives in the above example they mention “This includes fathers, uncles, or cousins” but no mothers, aunts or female roles.

I do not want to give women an additional negative stereotype. But when it comes to places such as child safety, that’s a place you’re going to want to use critical thinking correctly. What’s worse than an abused child? A dysfunctional society that thinks any member of their society could be an abuser.

Just saying.

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Empowering The People

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Americans seem to make a lot of choices in favor of keeping their choices at a maximum. They like the choice to make bad decisions such as drug use, dropping out of high school, and choosing poor diets. Also, they want to be able to focus on the pursuits that interest themselves socially, financially, professionally, and just for curiosity.

But free will is bullshit. Whether it exists or not doesn’t matter. If free will doesn’t exist, it just plain doesn’t exist and it means all your bad choices aren’t choices at all. You are on rails to make your healthy choices and your unhealthy ones. If possible, the only way to avoid the bad choices is for someone to rescue you for yourself.

If free will exists, this doesn’t guarantee you the right to choose from any immediate option. There is some sort of room for a best choices theory given a particular situation. Wanting to guarantee the most choices are available is a sort of gut shot principle of such a theory since having the most options could provide you with the access to the best choices or enough good choices that you can avoid bad choices more clearly. There is a right way to make choices in general and there is a right way to make choices based on your subjective goals. You may simply not pay enough attention to calculate such a thing.
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Cycling Evolution

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Let’s say for the sake of argument that some people still don’t believe in evolution. Such a person is surely uninformed and either skeptical or a victim of confirmation bias. If a person had time to pursue a college or better course involving biological sciences, they are going to come face to face with the reality of the present day best explanation for modern lifeforms. That result is insured, the question is how should the rest of us non-scientists approach the subject of evolution.
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Thought I Was Gone

Monday, January 24th, 2011

It’s been a while
since I’ve put words to paper
Left you something to savor
Give you a wink and a smile for your
good behavior
It might have been
years since I handled the flow
but I’m here so let’s go
Ho!
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Decoding The Black Swan

Monday, January 24th, 2011

The Black Swan Promotional I saw Black Swan yesterday after returning my kids to their rightful owner. Previously, any invitation to see Black Swan began with “You wanna see Black Swan?” To which I would respond, “No.” And every time on cue the next line was “But it has a lesbian scene in it.” And then I would try and explain how that was not in itself a compelling draw both because I was a legitimate film critic at heart and also because I know where to find the kind of lesbians that would warm the loins.

The last thing I want to stumble across unprepared is ballerina lesbian sex by the maker of Requiem For A Dream. I’m not particularly into ballet as it appears to be yet another way to remind women to be anorexic. Real lesbians don’t require a male gaze and therefor the rest of me is a little tangential as well. Natalie Portman is a take it or leave it actress for me. The combination of lesbian Natalie ballerina is creepy enough. There’s no need to get Aronofsky involved.

Afterward, I remarked a bit on the movie and Lorie thought I should blog about my comment that Black Swan was really a movie about women in general.
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Exes Etiquette

Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Simon Combes cheetah used to illustrate disdain

Click the image to go to the original photographer's, Simon Combes, site.

I’ve gone through a couple intimate or dating type relationships. I haven’t gone through a ton but I’m running out of fingers when I tally them up. Some people weren’t good partners. Some of these people and I just crossed paths and shared space together. Sometimes I messed it up by suggesting it was more than proximity (women can handle honesty). Relationships end for a variety of reasons in the natural course of things and people who were close for moments or years become estranged.

Estranged is such a good word because it has “strange” jammed in there. Nothing is as strange as an ex. The longer the relationship, the stranger the ex is likely to be. The more recent the relationship the more mysterious this strangeness is. I’ve got an ex-wife who would like to stay socially friendly and in some ways she’s rooting for me to succeed at life in general. I reciprocate the general feeling. But like any friendship crossed into a relationship, the lightheartedness back when we were interested but not willing to get involved is gone. We can’t joke about sexual stuff. We can’t halfheartedly commiserate about running away together. Let’s be clear that I’m not intending any of these statements as serious, but I might make them for comic and commiseration purposes when in conversation with the appropriate friends. We can’t accidentally imply lingering affection because of the perception that it can fuck everything up if we stop and think about it.
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Johnny Hoax: Atheist Rapper

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

I stumbled on the rap atheist known as Johnny Hoax. I don’t know much about him but I listened to three songs on Youtube and I like what I hear.

Without further ado, here’s “Mary, Did You Know”

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#24 Jesus Camp

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Yesterday, Lorie had the idea to randomly pick a number from 1 to 76 which represented all the movies and shows we had queued up in our Netflix instant queue. She runs up to the loft and shouts down “24”. That happened to lead us to the documentary Jesus Camp.

For those who have seen Jesus Camp, there is nothing more that needs to be said. The documentary is about how children are being indoctrinated with the faith of their parents. This effect is put against the opinion of another Christian voice that represents moderate believers who think the separation between church and state is a good one. Additionally, the moderate doesn’t think Intelligent Design is a science and he slightly resonates with a live and let live attitude.
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Young Junius Reviewed

Monday, January 17th, 2011

The cover of the book Young JUnius I finally sat down and read Young Junius. As a quick recap, Young Junius is the second physical book written by Seth Harwood in his “Jack Palms” series. He does have a few other stories written about Jack Palms, the hero from the first book, but they are in eBook formats. I will read them eventually, but I’ve only read the physical books at this point.

Jack Wakes Up and Young Junius have deliberate parallels. In both cases, the protagonist grows into their criminal future selves. The difference is that the reader feels quite a different response to Junius’s slide into his career compared to Jack’s.
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A New Position for a New Year

Friday, January 14th, 2011

It’s a new year. We get that ’cause it’s January and our calendars all got swapped out recently. For the new year, I’ve got a new moral position.

In public school, we remember our social studies, our literature, and our history classes. We had some of those in college as well. The goal of such studies was to have a grasp of who we are as a people (relative to where you live a bit), what questions we’ve asked rhetorically via our literary accumulations, and the past that got us to where we are now. I don’t know about you, but I got the impression that English, history, and other majors of those sorts didn’t do so well in the current economy. I’m a software engineer with a Computer Science degree for example. Point being, all this wonderful food for thought was not related to what I needed to earn money or enter my profession of choice. Perhaps you too feel like what you needed for your professional life wasn’t included in these human studies.
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