Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Lazy Day News Roundup

What’s with all the recent acknowledgements of error coming from the administration, lately? Rice admits bad Iraqi decisions and Bush Regrets Language That Hurt U.S. Diplomacy ?? They sure as hell couldn’t admit anything of the sort during the election year, but as soon as Rice and other confirmations are on the line they expect the American public, and Congress – to forgive and forget? Hell, who am I kidding – they probably will.

Wow, I just saw this: Harvard President suggests women do not have the same natural tendencies in math and sciences as men. Snip: "The latest controversy over Summers' remarks began on Friday when he offered some explanations for the small number of women at top levels of science and engineering, including one that suggested that there was a biological explanation to why men earned the top scores in math and science exams " (apparently pointing to boys' outscoring of girls in math & science in the last few years of high school). To give the guy some credit - he also suggested "reluctance or inability of women to work 80-hour weeks, and discrimination" might be partly to blame. Summers, of course maintained that he neither said -- nor does he believe -- that women lack the ability to succeed at the highest levels of math and science, and that he "hoped to stimulate research on the many interrelated factors that bear on women's careers in science."

But according to critics of the feminist movement - there's no longer a need for activism. Yeah... whatever. There's no need to look at *non-biological* reasons girls may not excel as much in math & science in high school (like perhaps... they're socialized to believe boys won't date smart girls?) and there's no need to look at *why* so many women are unable to put in 80 hour workweeks (disproportional family responsibilities, etc.) And am I just too sensitive or does "reluctance to put in 80 hour workweeks" sound suspiciously like "they're too lazy?"

Oh, and I bet we won't hear a peep of "Tort Reform" from the Freepers or Bush regarding this little jury award: Policemen Awarded $2.4 Mln for being unfairly disciplined in California Beating Case". Snip: "Inglewood Mayor Roosevelt Dorn was astonished by the verdict. "How do you give a man who was suspended for only 10 days more than $800,000? Morse was fired, but $1.6 million?" . Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - but cities and other municipalities carry employment liability insurance for just such occasions. I'd be very interested to see how much Inglewood taxpayers end up forking out in the next 5 years due to increased insurance premiums as a result.

One bright spot in the world lately (in case you haven’t been following) : Probe to Saturn moon Titan resounding success. I’ve been getting a kick out of the language being used in the coverage: “ the surface of Titan is bright orange with a tangerine sky” and they think the area it landed in has the consistency of “crème broulee”. When did Willy Wonka go to work for the ESA??? I begin to hear strains of “Big Rock Candy Mountain” and “On the Good Ship Lollipop” every time I read a new press release.

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