People massively overestimate the percent of the population that is homosexual: More than 12 times higher than the true number
A new national study on male sexual behavior, the most thorough published since the Kinsey report more than four decades ago, shows that about 2 percent of the men surveyed had engaged in homosexual sex and that 1 percent considered themselves exclusively homosexual.
The figures on homosexuality in the study, released yesterday by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, are significantly lower than the 10 percent figure that was published in the Kinsey report in 1948 and that then became part of the conventional wisdom.
But the new findings are in line with a series of surveys of sexual practices done in each of the last four years by researchers at the University of Chicago, and with recently published reports from Britain, France and Denmark, said Tom W. Smith, who directs the General Social Survey at the University of Chicago. . . .
A more recent April 2011 study put the percent at around 1.7% for both men and women.
The analyses suggest that there are more than 8 million adults in the US who are LGB, comprising 3.5% of the adult population. This is split nearly evenly between lesbian/gay and bisexual identified individuals, 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively. . . .
Some have claimed that the percent of "regular" characters on "scripted shows" who were homosexual was as high as 3.9 percent in 2010. From the NY Times:
In a study released on Wednesday, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said that the number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters on television had reached a new high in the new season. On the broadcast networks, there are 23 gay characters this season, representing 3.9 percent of all series regulars on scripted shows, the group said, up from 3 percent last year.Some television commentators have claimed that more than 10 percent of the US is homosexual. From CNN:
The group, which has tabulated the number of gay characters for 15 years, said it was pleased by the progress but pointed to several areas where it felt the networks could improve. On scripted network television this season, it found, there are no gay characters who are black and no transgender characters. . . .
BEGALA: She should be asked about this theory. She's a candidate for president. One out of 10 Americans is gay. She should be asked if she wants to lead a country where at least 10 percent of us are gay or lesbian, does she believe in this crackpot, bigoted theory that somehow there's something to be repaired in our brothers and sisters and sons and daughters who happen to be born gay? . . .
Difference between men and women voting in Canada: Men much more likely to support conservatives than women
Among male decided voters, the Conservatives keep a sizeable lead over the New Democrats (43% to 28%). Among women, the NDP is now the frontrunner (39%), with the Tories eight points behind (31%). The New Democrats also have a double-digit lead over the Conservatives among voters aged 18-to-34 (40% to 30%). The Tories hold a 12-point advantage among Canadians over the age of 55 (41% to 29%). . . .
Men are much more likely than women to want legalized prostitution in Britain and Canada
As was observed in a Canadian study on this topic conducted last year, there are some marked gender differences in Britain. Women are more likely to call for an approach that punishes both prostitutes and “clients” (44%) than to support a move towards consensual prostitution (30%). Conversely, men are more likely to believe that nobody should be punished (49% to 33%). The notion of decriminalisation is definitely more popular with men (52%) than women (29%).
Now even Bill Clinton acknowledges Romney's "sterling" business record
President Bill Clinton veered sharply off message Thursday, telling CNN that Mitt Romney's business record at Bain Capital was "sterling." "
I don't think that we ought to get into the position where we say 'This is bad work. This is good work,'" Clinton said. "The man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold."
Clinton also went on to say that Romney's time at Bain Capital represented a "good business career."
The Obama campaign is in the third week of an all-out assault on Romney's time as a corporate buyout specialist — accusing the GOP nominee of bankrupting companies and laying off workers all while pocketing a profit for himself and investors. . . .
But the negative tenor of their attacks on an influential segment of Wall Street have made some Democrats uncomfortable. . . .
Banks pressured to buy sovereign debt: When will government realize the problems from forcing banks to make risky loans?
US and European regulators are essentially forcing banks to buy up their own government's debt—a move that could end up making the debt crisis even worse, a Citigroup analysis says.
Regulators are allowing banks to escape counting their country's debt against capital requirements and loosening other rules to create a steady market for government bonds, the study says.
While that helps governments issue more and more debt, the strategy could ultimately explode if the governments are unable to make the bond payments, leaving the banks with billions of toxic debt, says Citigroup strategist Hans Lorenzen.
"Captive bank demand can buy time and can help keep domestic yields low," Lorenzen wrote in an analysis for clients. "However, the distortions that build up over time can sow the seeds of an even bigger crisis, if the time bought isn't used very prudently." . . .
Human brain size has been shrinking for last 20,000 years
First, it's clear, from glancing around society, that clever people—who on average have slightly bigger brains—aren't having more babies than less-clever people. Second, the fossil record strongly suggests that our brain size peaked at 1,500 cubic centimeters around 20,000 years ago and has since shrunk to 1,350 cc. . . .
Pennsylvania Castle Doctrine doesn't prevent disabled Vets conviction in stabbing death
A PHILADELPHIA JUDGE said Wednesday he was convinced that a disabled, retired Marine was being attacked in the moments before he fatally stabbed a man last October, but he concluded that the stabbing was still a criminal act rather than self-defense.
Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner then convicted Jonathan Lowe, 57, of voluntary manslaughter and possession of an instrument of crime. The judge found him not guilty of the more-serious charges of first- and third-degree murder.
Lowe, who wears a pacemaker and has survived two strokes and two heart surgeries, could face up to 12 1/2 to 25 years in prison when Lerner sentences him Aug. 16.
The case underscores how uncertain the claim of self-defense can be, even in a state that revised its "Castle Doctrine" last year to give an individual the right to use deadly force in self-defense anywhere in which a person has a legal right to be. The revised law also eliminated the duty to retreat before using that force. Lowe’s case was featured in March in a Daily News article about the revision of that doctrine.
The voluntary-manslaughter conviction means that Lowe committed the stabbing under provocation but that his actions were unreasonable, or imperfect self-defense, Lerner said.
"There are some unanswered questions in my mind about what happened here," Lerner said. "We will never know exactly how this incident began, and I don’t think we will ever know, 100 percent, when the stabbing began." . . .
Lowe testified that he used a small, quick-open knife to stab Manning after being knocked to the ground and choked during a robbery attempt.
Two Temple University students said Manning was chasing Lowe and trying to hit him with a metal pole before he caught him. Manning then pinned Lowe to the ground, they said.
But both students said they did not see Lowe stab Manning while the two men were on the ground, nor after Manning got up and quickly collapsed from four stab wounds in his neck, thigh and back.
[The prosecutor] seized on inconsistencies between the testimonies of Lowe and the students, including where the stabbing took place. . . .
Few Wisconsin public employee members agree to continue paying dues when given a chance
Wisconsin membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees—the state's second-largest public-sector union after the National Education Association, which represents teachers—fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011, according to a person who has viewed Afscme's figures. A spokesman for Afscme declined to comment.
Much of that decline came from Afscme Council 24, which represents Wisconsin state workers, whose membership plunged by two-thirds to 7,100 from 22,300 last year.
A provision of the Walker law that eliminated automatic dues collection hurt union membership. When a public-sector contract expires the state now stops collecting dues from the affected workers' paychecks unless they say they want the dues taken out, said Peter Davis, general counsel of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.
In many cases, Afscme dropped members from its rolls after it failed to get them to affirm they want dues collected, said a labor official familiar with Afscme's figures. In a smaller number of cases, membership losses were due to worker layoffs. . . .
Polk Co., Florida, homeowner shoots, kills suspect who barged into home
Deputies say a Polk County homeowner shot and killed a suspect who barged into his home early Sunday morning.
Deputies and emergency crews were called to Lake Daisy Drive in Winter Haven around 4:00 a.m.
Officials say the incident started when a woman called 911 to report that an unknown man had broken into her back porch area. While en route to the woman's home, deputies received a second 911 call from a neighbor, who said he had just shot a man who barged into his home.
Investigators quickly learned that both 911 callers were reporting the same man.
Officials say the suspect was yelling, banging on the door, and demanding to be let in. The suspect barged into the home when he was confronted by the homeowner, who was identified as 33-year-old William Cornwell. Deputies say Cornwell was armed with a handgun. . . .
Anonymous calls get police SWAT teams sent to conservatives' houses
"New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks"
The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.Liberals want to keep out of people's bedrooms?
The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.
“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Wednesday in the Governor’s Room at City Hall. . . .
People with college degrees cluster together in same cities
Just 24 percent of the adult residents of metropolitan Dayton have four-year degrees, well below the average of 32 percent for American metro areas, and about half the rate of Washington, the country’s most educated metro area, according to a Brookings Institution analysis. Like many Rust Belt cities, it is a captive of its rich manufacturing past, when well-paying jobs were plentiful and landing one without a college degree was easy.
Educational attainment lagged as a result, even as it became more critical to success in the national economy. “We were so wealthy for so long that we got complacent,” said Jane L. Dockery, associate director of the Center for Urban and Public Affairs at Wright State University here. “We saw the writing on the wall, but we didn’t act.”
Dayton sits on one side of a growing divide among American cities, in which a small number of metro areas vacuum up a large number of college graduates, and the rest struggle to keep those they have.
The winners are metro areas like Raleigh, N.C., San Francisco and Stamford, Conn., where more than 40 percent of the population has a college degree. The Raleigh area has a booming technology sector and several major research universities; San Francisco has been a magnet for college graduates for decades; and metropolitan Stamford draws highly educated workers from white-collar professions in New York like finance. . . .
IL Rep. Mike Bost (R) furious over just getting a copy of the bill immediately before the vote
How bad is the unemployment rate?
The percentage of workers between the ages of 25 and 54 who have jobs now stands at 75.7 percent, just a percentage point over what it was at the downturn’s worst, according to federal statistics.
Before the recession the proportion hovered at 80 percent.
While the unemployment rate may be the most closely watched gauge of the economy in the presidential campaign, this measure of prime-age workers captures more of the ongoing turbulence in the job market. It reflects “missing workers” who have stopped looking for work and aren’t included in the unemployment rate. . . .
GM protected from product liability claims over old cars
A General Motors Co. (GM) lawyer demanded the widow of a car-crash victim drop a plan to seek punitive damages from the auto maker, even though the company's government-brokered overhaul doesn't bar plaintiffs from going after such legal penalties.The GM lawyer in a March 3 email told a lawyer representing the widow of a man killed in a GM-made U-Haul truck that GM couldn't be sued for punitive damages in the case. Other lawyers say that assertion stretches beyond what they believe is GM's legal exposure in product-liability cases. Even so, after receiving the email, the widow's lawyer abandoned plans to make a claim for punitive damages against GM.
Punitive damages are intended to punish corporations and others for reckless or intentional wrongdoing, such as selling products despite knowledge of their dangerous defects. Their goal is to deter future wrongdoing by the defendant or others poised to engage in misconduct.
The dispute highlights questions now arising over how much legal protection GM and Chrysler Group LLC have in certain product liability cases following 2009 government rescues that exceeded $70 billion. A bankruptcy judge allowed Chrysler to immunize itself from new punitive-damage claims arising from alleged manufacturing defects in vehicles sold before its restructuring. Chrysler's immunity was the subject of a Page One article in The Wall Street Journal on April 5. . . .
Mass murderer Robert Mugabe asked to be the UN's "leader for tourism"?
Despite that fact Mugabe, 88, is under a travel ban, he has been honoured as a "leader for tourism" by the UN's World Tourism Organisation, along with his political ally, Zambian president Michael Sata, 75. The pair signed an agreement with UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai at their shared border at Victoria Falls on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper quoted Rifai urging tourists from around the world to visit : "I was told about the wonderful experience and the warm hospitality of this country … By coming here, it is recognition, an endorsement on the country that it is a safe destination." . . .
Yet another Obama misstatement: Obama talks about 'Polish death camp'
The White House said President Barack Obama misspoke on Tuesday when he referred to a "Polish death camp" while honoring a Polish war hero.
The president's remark had drawn immediate complaints from Poles who said Obama should have called it a "German death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland," to distinguish the perpetrators from the location. Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski called it a matter of "ignorance and incompetence." . . . .
A couple recent defensive gun uses
May 17, 2012, St. Louis, Missouri: "Intruder shooter won't face charges, say police"
Rep. Paul Ryan versus Goolsbee
WALLACE: But let me just ask you, sir, do you see anything wrong with what Bain Capital did, and what lots of money, millions of dollars into this steel industry, the time when the steel was in trouble, what's wrong with that?
GOOLSBEE: Well, it depends on how they did it. And as I say, they ought to turn over the annual records of the company.If you want to establish they did not have kind of a leverage buy out mentality of pulling the resources out of the company -- turn over the records and let the people see what the business record was. Don't just pick two or three companies that are the success stories and say look at these because that invites the ones that went wrong.In this case, the company did horribly but the investors did great. So, I think it's a little bit different than a normal investor philosophy which if we can turn the company around in a positive way, we benefit. This was the case where they canceled the pension, they drove the company into the ground but the investors from Bain actually profited a great deal.
WALLACE: Let me follow up with Congressman Paul Ryan.Because the Obama campaign says the point of Romney economics is to make money for Bain, to make money for their investors, even if all of the workers get wiped out. And in this particular case, with the steel mill in Kansas City, the workers and that plant went bankrupt. The 750 workers were laid off and Bain did make millions of dollars in profits.
RYAN: You know what's ironic about this, Chris, Mitt Romney was running the Olympics during this time. He wasn't even running Bain during the time period in question.I think the individual if I'm not mistaken who was running Bain is a big Obama contributor.But for the point, Chris, what Bain did was they used private capital to help struggling businesses. What President Obama is doing is he's gambling with taxpayer money and giving money to corporate contributors, to campaign contributors like Solyndra and he's losing taxpayer money.So, what we have in the Obama administration is this crony capitalism, this corporate welfare where President Obama thinks it's right that we taxpayer dollars to give to private companies and take bets on these private companies. That's wrong.What is right is a private sector that you have risked that capital. You put capital in businesses whether they're struggling or not to try and grow those businesses, some succeed, some don't. On the net, when on Mitt Romney ran Bain, they were very successful. They created thousands of jobs, great success stories.But for the point, we don't think that the government should be in the position of picking winners or losers in the economy which is the result of the president's economics.
WALLACE: Let me --
RYAN: The result of it is, we have stagnation.
WALLACE: Let me let Mr. Goolsbee into that.I mean, what about the argument that, you know, it's the private sector. If companies want to take a chance, they take a chance. But the government shouldn't be picking winners and losers.
GOOLSBEE: Well, that's two different arguments. The first one I actually think is a little bit cheeky because in several of these bankruptcy cases, you saw the investors profit by dumping the pension on to the government and actually getting bailouts from the government, which helped to cover the profits that were going to the investors.On the picking of winners, it is absolutely not the Obama philosophy to try to transform the government into only picking winners. By that I think Congressman Ryan is referring to things like in the midst of the crisis deciding to save General Motors and the auto industry.
WALLACE: I think wait a minute. Without speaking for him, I think he's talking about things like Solyndra. . . .
Housing prices continue to head down
S&P/Case-Shiller reported that its indexes ended the first quarter of 2012 at new lows. The national composite, which covers the entire country and is only released on a quarterly basis, was down 1.9% from a year earlier and fell 2% in the first quarter compared with the fourth. The composite 20-city home price index, a key gauge of U.S. home prices, was essentially flat in March from the previous month and fell 2.6% from a year earlier. Eighteen cities posted monthly declines, with just Phoenix and Miami showing increases.
Thirteen of the 20 cities posted annual declines in March, but Phoenix, Minneapolis, Denver, Miami, Detroit, Dallas and Charlotte notched gains. . . . .
Brit Hume: Obama ‘doesn’t get how the whole system works’
“The president and his team seem to think that the idea of creating wealth is unrelated to creating jobs,” Hume said. “Every business person who runs a hamburger stand understands you are trying to make a profit, and that the business of making a profit has jobs as a bi-product. Not as if there is a favorite industry called ‘Jobs R Us,’ which is in the business for the purpose of creating jobs.” . . .
Walter Williams' 2012 Commencement address
"Markets and Morality"Dr. Walter E. Williams
Benjamin Franklin said “A frequent reference to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of Liberty, and keep a Government free." That is what I would like to do today – talk about fundamental principles.
How often do we hear the suggestion that free markets or capitalism is immoral? Some of the alleged injustices of capitalism include that it is a system where there is unfair distribution of income, there is greed and materialism where the rich get richer whilst the poor get poorer, and there’s systematic bias in favor of big business and bias against the little guy. . . .
ABC News discussing Bain Capital
Liz Claman -- self described: "tree-hugging, West Coast, free-market, liberal Jew from L.A.” (presumably her affiliation with Fox News is to make her look conservative, but Fox has some reason liberals working for them)
Jennifer Granholm -- former liberal Democratic Governor of Michigan.
Nia-Malika Henderson -- liberal Washington Post reporter
Ron Brownstein -- a well-known liberal
On the conservative side there is George Will.
Fox News: "Global warming skeptics as knowledgeable about science as climate change believers, study says"
Cardinal Wuerl explaining why they have sued the contraception mandate
The return of the zip gun?
Zip guns were always very easy to make, but these seem like a dangerous and poorly done cousin. You need a metal tube to contain the explosion, and plastic just doesn't do it.
Factchecking the claim that Obama controlled government spending: The problem with fact checking
“I simply make the point, as an editor might say, to check it out; do not buy into the BS that you hear about spending and fiscal constraint with regard to this administration. I think doing so is a sign of sloth and laziness.” — White House spokesman Jay Carney, remarks to the press gaggle, May 23, 2012 . . . Nutting basically takes much of 2009 out of Obama’s column, saying it was the “the last [year] of George W. Bush’s presidency.” Of course, with the recession crashing down, that’s when federal spending ramped up. The federal fiscal year starts on Oct. 1, so the 2009 fiscal year accounts for about four months of Bush’s presidency and eight of Obama’s. In theory, one could claim that the budget was already locked in when Obama took office, but that’s not really the case. Most of the appropriations bills had not been passed, and certainly the stimulus bill was only signed into law after Obama took office. . . . On the other end of his calculations, Nutting says that Obama plans to spend $3.58 trillion in 2013, citing the Congressional Budget Office budget outlook. But this figure is CBO’s baseline budget, which assumes no laws are changed, so this figure gives Obama credit for automatic spending cuts that he wants to halt. . . .Meanwhile, PolitiFact.com thinks that the Nutting claims are "mostly true." Politifact accepts the Nutting assumption that Obama shouldn't be responsible for any government spending before October 1, 2009. One wonders whether PolitiFact.com even bothered to look up some of the objections that were floating about on this claim before they wrote up their evaluation.
Other evaluations from Political math via Hotair and the Daily Caller are available.
Some conservative blacks
Charlie Cook goes after Intrade
. . . On that Monday, the Intraders saw Republicans as having a 74.9 percent chance of keeping their House majority. Democrats had a 29.8 percent chance of regaining the chamber. These predictions strain credibility a bit, as the odds add up to more to than 100 percent, but that’s another matter. On this one wager, the numbers are not too far off The Cook Political Report’s prediction that Republicans have a 75 percent chance of holding the House (and, yes, Democrats have a 25 percent chance of taking it). In the Senate, Intrade says that Republicans have a 56 percent chance of taking control (its phrase, not mine). Democrats have a 27.9 percent chance. My hunch is that the odds of neither side controlling the Senate are 100 percent. At The Cook Political Report, we see the Senate as purely a 50-50 proposition. But it’s the 58.8 percent chance of Obama winning that interests me today, because that prediction stands in stark contrast to what most pollsters, Democrats and Republicans alike, whom I talked with privately, believe. The number crunchers who conduct and analyze polls, and others who study these things closely, see a lot of metrics pointing to a very close contest that could go either way. They don’t see an election in which either Obama, or Mitt Romney, is likely to have an almost six-in-10 chance of winning. . . .
Stossel rips: "More 'Media Matters' Deceit"
Google caught in massive acquisition of private info in the UK
Google is facing an inquiry into claims that it deliberately harvested information from millions of UK home computers. The Information Commissioner data protection watchdog is expected to examine the work of the internet giant’s Street View cars. They downloaded emails, text messages, photographs and documents from wi-fi networks as they photographed virtually every British road. It is two years since Google first admitted stealing fragments of personal data, but claimed it was a ‘mistake’. Now the full scale of its activities has emerged amid accusations of a cover-up after US regulators found a senior manager was warned as early as 2007 that the information was being captured as its cars trawled the country but did nothing. . . . Last month a report by the US media regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revealed that the Google programmer who wrote the Street View software repeatedly warned that it collected personal data, and called for a legal and privacy review. . . . The report by the FCC attacked Google for inadequate oversight of Street View, and claimed it was planning to use the data collected for other internal projects. . . . .
How to prevent vote fraud in Egypt