Pakistan: When Is A Husband Justified In Beating His Wife?

A poll. The graphic is a little funny. You can switch it from male to female, and if you aren't paying attention it looks like men are more likely to think they are entitled to beat their wives under certain circumstances. But notice that when you swap the sex, the scale at the bottom of the graph changes. It looks like less than a fifth of men believe they are entitled to beat their wives for any of these causes, but nearly a third of women agree that wives should be beaten for most of them.

Georgia Legislature Senate Resolution 736


1 Applying for a convention of the states under Article V of the United States Constitution; and
2 for other purposes.

3 WHEREAS, the founders of the Constitution of the United States empowered state
4 legislators to be guardians of liberty against future abuses of power by the federal
5 government; and

6 WHEREAS, the federal government has created a crushing national debt through improper
7 and imprudent spending; and

8 WHEREAS, the federal government has invaded the legitimate roles of the states through
9 the manipulative process of federal mandates, most of which are unfunded to a great extent;
10 and

11 WHEREAS, the federal government has ceased to live under a proper interpretation of the
12 Constitution of the United States; and

13 WHEREAS, it is the solemn duty of the states to protect the liberty of our people,
14 particularly for the generations to come, by proposing amendments to the Constitution of the
15 United States through a convention of the states under Article V of the United States
16 Constitution to place clear restraints on these and related abuses of power.

18 GEORGIA that the General Assembly of the State of Georgia hereby applies to Congress,
19 under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States, for the calling of
20 a convention of the states limited to proposing amendments to the United States Constitution
21 that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of
22 the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of
23 Congress.

24 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate is hereby directed to transmit
25 copies of this application to the President and Secretary of the United States Senate and to
26 the Speaker and Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, to transmit copies to
27 the members of the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives from
28 this state, and to transmit copies hereof to the presiding officers of each of the legislative
29 houses in the several states, requesting their cooperation.

30 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this application constitutes a continuing application in
31 accordance with Article V of the Constitution of the United States until the legislatures of
32 at least two-thirds of the several states have made applications on the same subject.
Just in committee for now, and of course it may not survive the legislative process. Even if it does, more than thirty other states would have to file similar demands before Article V can be invoked.

Still, it's a start.

Going In For Guns

My answer to Eric's question about 'what more you could want'... how about a band called Dos Gringos, apparently made up of F-16 pilots? This song is the cleanest one I could find. That is to say, it's just as clean as you'd expect from a band made up of veteran fighter pilots.

Anybody who looks up the rest of their tunes is forewarned: some of them are a whole lot less clean. Let the buyer beware.

A Conundrum

Earlier today, someone directed me to this article on the online harassment of women. I've been pondering the problem today, and it's a very difficult one.

I'm going to take the author at her word about the scale of the problem. I don't actually know that she's right about it, and as she apparently writes a column about sex, it may be that there is a lightning-rod effect in terms of drawing sexually-aggressive responses. On the other hand, she cites some evidence that backs up her position that this is a problem on the kind of very large scale she's describing. So, for the purpose of this discussion, I'm just going to assume she's completely right about the facts, and consider what might be done about it.

She has several implied measures that she thinks would improve things, all of which prove to be problematic on even a moment's consideration:

1) Police action. The problems here are twofold:

(a) The very scale of the problem defies policing as a workable response. Even with the right tools (see the next point), it would take hours to chase down a positive identification on an anonymous comment left on a blog, or one of these "tweets." You'd have to contact the ISP or online service, get the data, and then do the work of tracking it back to the specific IP address. Then, you'd have to do the work necessary to prove that the individual you're planning to arrest is the one guy who was using that anonymous account at that specific IP address at that moment.

This is all very workable if the problem we're talking about is, say, terrorism. The incidents of terrorism are rare enough that you can run each one to ground. But she's talking about something that, according to her report, happens millions of times a day. If every cop in America did nothing else, the very scale of the problem puts it outside their power to solve. You couldn't even prosecute enough of a percentage to make an impact, so the prosecutions would have to serve as meaningful symbols. But given the difficulty of proving that the IP address ties to a specific person beyond a reasonable doubt, as well as given the possibility of 1st Amendment defenses ("She misunderstood: that was intended as parody, which is protected free speech")... well, you could easily end up losing your meaningful symbolic prosecutions, sending exactly the opposite message intended.

There's a problem with symbolic prosecutions anyway, but if you're going to make an example, it has to work.

(b) As she is herself aware, many of the tools that the police would need to address these issues effectively are the very tools that people are objecting to the NSA leveraging. Now presumably there would be less problem with police doing it, in an open environment of due process and subpoenas. Still, there is a legitimate counterbalancing interest in limiting the government's ability to do what the police would have to be able to do to be as effective as they could be. It may not be the case that there is the political will, or trust in the state, to hand over the powers they would require.

This compounds the difficulty of bringing off effective symbolic prosecutions. You can't afford to lose, because the symbol is all you've got, but you may be denied some of the evidence you require by privacy advocates (and may encounter a jury hostile to police snooping on internet activity, who could therefore find the 1A defenses more palatable than one moved chiefly by outrage at the things said to the women).

2) More female police. There are two problems with this, too:

(a) There's no draft for police. Women aren't choosing to be police officers in greater numbers because that's not what they want to do with their lives. You could make a case that women have a duty to do this, but unless women are persuaded by that case, you certainly can't make them.

(b) Even in the case of the FBI, which works extremely hard to recruit as many women agents as possible, her own evidence suggests that the very high percentage of women (19%) has not led to institutional changes making prosecutions more likely. This may be because the ratio of hot air to serious threats has proven to be so low. Again, we're talking about apparently millions of offenses a day; the actual number of these that turn into physical stalkers or attackers is so much lower that the FBI may be acting rationally in focusing its efforts elsewhere. Compared to their counterintelligence mission, for example, time invested here is much less likely to uncover and stop a serious threat; and if it does, it's a threat to one person, whereas a counterintelligence risk could threaten very many.

3) More female game designers and software engineers. The problem here is the same as 2a: "While the number of women working across the sciences is generally increasing, the percentage of women working in computer sciences peaked in 2000 and is now on the decline."

4) Get offline. This is a solution for the individual, if they're willing to pay the price she talks about in great detail. It's not a solution for the society, unless we want the internet to be a public space like a Saudi shopping mall.

5) Enable software to block hateful messages. As she points out, this will greatly improve the experience for the woman, though it takes a constant effort. However, it doesn't actually do anything at all to deal with the one person who is really a danger.

6) Treat the whole internet as a Title VII area, which is subject to intense Federal scrutiny aimed at preventing harassment of women. This has all the problems of (1), especially because (as the author of the suggestion admits) the real intent is to pressure police into working harder on this problem. It's also not going to improve the underlying tension between the sexes to extend all the pleasures of the office or campus Equal Opportunity Department to all our private internet activity. If anything, I'd think this would increase the number of men inclined to hate and lash out at women.

7) Protect yourself. The author tried to use a protective order, and describes how difficult it was to obtain (and how overwhelmed the courts are anyway). She lives in California, so she can't carry a gun (and perhaps wouldn't anyway); but even if she had one, she would have to wait until she found herself in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury to use it. This could solve the most serious aspect of the problem -- an actual assault or rape attempt -- but only for those women who are willing to kill another person. That's not every woman, and that's not their fault.

I would have to say that the best workable solution is some combination of 5 and 7, combined with some efforts by everyone to make clear that this kind of behavior is not acceptable. Of course, aside from deleting comments here at the Hall, there's nothing I can do to actually enforce that. And, also of course, the whole pleasure of doing it is that it is offensive to people. Making clear that it's offensive and inappropriate isn't going to stop them, or even slow them down.

It's a difficult problem, at least for the non-DL-Sly's of the world. I suspect she's got this. But not everyone is like her!

UPDATE: Cathy Young attacks the premise I was granting in paragraph two. She's got a good argument in parts, though in the end I think she is monumentally unfair to the NYT's Douthat. I don't think I agree with his conclusion either -- we need not a new vision of masculinity, but a restoration of the old one -- but it ought to be clear that his position is far better than the kind of attacks that we're talking about here. His final lines are remarkable for their respect for the quality of women's influence, while asserting men's responsibility: "Forging this vision is a project for both sexes. Living up to it, and cleansing the Internet of the worst misogyny, is ultimately a task for men."

He may be wrong about that one-sided responsibility, too. But he's not the enemy of women: if anything, he's erring in the other direction.

Friday Night AMV

Angsty Teenagers. Check.
Giant Fighting Robots. Check.
Angsty Teenagers piloting Giant Fighting Robots. Check.
Invading Aliens. Check.
Giant guns. Check.
Robot-fu. Check.
Large amounts of property damage. Check.

What more do you want?


Now I want to go to Mars.

Big Brother Guitars

Gibson Guitars pokes some fun at the gubmint.

Pete Seeger died recently, or I'm sure he'd be writing a protest song about this.

The un-Superbowl ad

How to film a Superbowl ad that doesn't cost anything and won't be run during the Superbowl.

I Never Again Want To Hear...

...that argument about how some good or service is so basic to human dignity that government should provide it.


Since Tom was asking about gear, here's an old post I wrote about selecting a Stetson hat. I found it because, by coincidence, someone dropped by yesterday to comment on what is now a seven-year-old post!

I don't know that it's still true that bricks-and-mortar stores sell them cheaper. Seven years ago, it was. Some of the other advice is probably outdated too. But there's still a lot of use.

A Small Sliver of America

Watch as a small business' employees learn about their new health care plan. They are not happy campers.


Watts Up With That posts a guest column suggesting that the "pause in global warming" risks destroying the reputation of science.  I disagree.  What destroyed the reputation of a lot of scientists, and the confidence of thinking people in a particular arm of the scientific community, was the subversion of their scientific professionalism and honesty to wishful thinking and political expediency.  The "pause in warming" was simply the evidence that exposed them.

Cheap microscope

If this isn't just about the coolest thing ever.

H/t Maggie's Farm.

And now for something completely different

DL Sly made me do it.  Cassandra didn't stop me.


Those darned Republicans, always obstructing the President's plans for greatness.

Wanted and found

You may recall my post about the death of my neighbors' 14-year-old grandson Sam last August.  The driver of the truck that crossed the median and struck Sam's car, killing him and the car's driver, was on parole at the time.  He was badly injured and spent some weeks in the hospital--but then somehow he was allowed to leave the hospital without being taken into custody.  By the time he was indicted in late November, he was in the wind.

He was found yesterday, however, in Arkansas, and will be brought back here for trial.

The defendant has a moderately impressive rap sheet.  The police told my neighbors that, in the minutes before the fatal crash, he had nearly run several other cars off the road.  An accident waiting to happen, as they say.

The man's son, who was also in the wreck, has received more favorable public notice.


Why not?  The Nobel Peace Prize couldn't get much more degraded than it already is.  I'm sure the President would be thrilled to share his honor with Mr. Snowden.


American bankers are jumping off buildings in London.  HSBC, a London bank, inquires innocently of its customers what they plan to do with that cash they propose to withdraw, if they should by any chance be allowed to do so?  Investors cast nervous eyes on the Chinese banking system.  Turkey enacts drastic interest-rate hikes in failed bid to halt the collapse of their currency.  Argentina and Venezuela--oh, there's no point following any further details in their concerted efforts to destroy their economies.

Granted that a currency and an economic system are based in large part on what people believe, there's still an apparent limit to how much can be achieved by lying.  Signals from reality have an inconvenient habit of intruding.

No need, therefore, to address any of the usual nonsense contained in the SOTU address.

Atlanta metro area paralyzed by global warming

Fifty schoolchildren trapped on buses.  I assume our host is pretty frozen in.  The frigid air just missed us to the east; we've been hovering in the mid-30s day and night.

Making sense

Rand Paul responds informally to the SOTU.  It's crazy, he says, to send our money to central planners in Washington and hope they'll send it back in such a way as to create jobs.  It's not that the government is stupid, he observes--"though that's an open question"--but that it can't match the focused, close-up, personal performance of the original owner in picking winners and losers.

It's nice to watch a politician who's not afraid of basic free-market economics and knows how to expound them in plain English.

But Of Course

"96% of Dems Who Support Raising Minimum Wage Don't Pay Their Interns."

Well, I mean, you should pay more for your labor. I'm doing these kids a service, what with all the exposure I'm giving them.

Funny thing about exposure:

American Wins Syria

Winning by not losing may be an even better strategy if you are not fighting, suggests the National Interest.
The U.S. is right to seek a quick settlement to the civil war in Syria. The humanitarian costs alone compel America to push for reconciliation between the warring sides. Nonetheless, the legitimate desire to end the conflict does not diminish the reality that the U.S. is winning in Syria. From a purely strategic standpoint, no country has benefitted more from the horrible tragedy in Syria than the United States.
There's a lot of hemming and hawing at the opening and closing of the article about how 'of course' none of this justifies allowing the war to continue in a prolonged, grinding way. The humanitarian concerns alone justify ending it as soon as possible.

Just, you know, noting the fact that it's really worked out great that these guys have been killing each other for years now.

Tough Sell

My sister did once talk me into doing "the Warrior Dash" with her. It was kind of fun, because you couldn't possibly take it seriously. (She chided me that we were never going to get a good time, because I kept stopping to help people over the obstacles if they were having trouble. But really, courtesy aside, that's what you should do: if it's meant to be a quasi-military event, the military moves as a unit. Helping your brothers and sisters over the obstacles means the unit gets there faster, and can bring its power to bear as designed. It just happens this particular unit is especially flabby.)

I also like the beard. I don't have the long hair, but my beard is pretty thick this winter.

More nullification

Connecticut is surprised and disappointed that so many of its gun owners failed to take advantage of a new opportunity to register their weapons and magazines.  No doubt, as one newspaper speculated, the problem was that many were prepared to meet the deadline on New Year's Eve, but were taken by surprise when the office shut early at noon.


The Responsibility to Protect doctrine represents a leap forward in accountability for states and does not infringe upon their sovereignty, as states are no longer held to be completely self-contained entities with absolute power over their populations. Rather, there is a strictly defined corpus of actions that begin the R2P process — a process that has different levels of corrective action undertaken by the international community in order to persuade, cajole and finally coerce states into actively taking steps to prevent atrocities from occurring within their boundaries. That R2P does not violate sovereignty stems from the evolution of sovereignty from its Westphalian form in the mid 17th century to the “sovereignty as responsibility” concept advanced by Deng, et al. Modern sovereignty can no longer be held to give states carte blanche in their internal affairs regardless of the level of suffering going on within their borders.
That's a mouthful, if you intend to apply it to real states.


Meanwhile, on the marijuana front, the people of states like Colorado are engaging in an odd, 21st century variety of nullification. Unlike the 19th century John Calhoun version, state laws legalizing marijuana don't purport to neutralize the still-extant federal laws banning cannabis. But the state, and millions of Coloradans, are simply ignoring the federal law and, in essence, daring the feds to do something about it.

State laws, of course, can't neutralize federal law, as the Constitution's Supremacy Clause makes clear. But, bloated as it is, the federal law enforcement apparatus isn't up to the task of prosecuting all the marijuana users in Colorado. And if it tried, it would have to bring them to trial before juries in Colorado, who would probably acquit most of them. There would also be massive political backlash, amplified in the coming 2014 and 2016 elections because Colorado is a swing state. And in response to Colorado's example, other states look likely to follow suit, making the feds' problem much bigger.

So, despite all the federal laws on the books, Colorado has de facto nullified them, and started a process that may very well snowball, all without directly attacking the federal laws, or the federal government, at all.

Rand Paul On Women

Dr. Althouse is worried that Republicans still can't talk about women. Really, she'd rather they didn't, but thinks Democrats won't let them stop:
Gregory tries to drag Paul back to the question — whether the GOP should be talking about "women's health, women's bodies." And Paul goes through the same tactics: cooling things off with a joke ("I try never to have discussions of anatomy unless I'm at a medical conference"), saying that the whole subject is "dumbed down" and political, and observing that way women are doing well. He adds another compliment, that the women he knows are "conquering the world," not complaining about how "terrible" and "misogynist" it is. He never says one thing about birth control, women's bodies, or the unfortunate locutions of other members of his party.

So that's how Paul is going to deal with the media efforts to lure Republicans into playing the Democrats' war on women game.
Of course, Paul's a libertarian, and so he's one of those on the Right most inclined to let the whole business go.

And in truth, the Right as a movement had let it go before Obamacare. Whatever your personal feelings about contraception, they were personal feelings, and we were going to accept that people could make choices in private. Whatever else may be said about the decision to require free birth control in Obamacare-compliant insurance, it's been a huge political win for the Left because it's forced the issue of contraception back into the public space. "Free" just means that everyone else has to pay for it, which means that it's everyone else's business.

Dr. Althouse seems to be out at sea here:
If young women are "conquering the world" (as Paul said), why not credit Monica Lewinsky with her conquest of the world's most powerful man? She was enthusiastic and willing, from what I read. I think the sexual harassment problem in the case of Bill Clinton has to do with other women who were pressured to have sex and with the women and men who were not in a position to improve their standing in the workplace by interacting sexually with the boss.
The relevant moral issue here is not that men in the White House were denied the opportunity to advance themselves by pleasuring the boss. That won't even come up as an issue if you hold the line on the real moral issue, which is... are we really so lost that we have to explain what it is? That we have to explain why this isn't something to celebrate? The oathbreaking, the use of power to seduce and corrupt, the lies under oath, the adultery, all of it?

No, the Clinton legacy hasn't been fully appreciated. Not at all.

Well Done!

Arms & Armor. Keep scrolling.