Socialism &

Carey Roberts probes and lampoons political correctness. His work has been published frequently in the Washington Times,,,, Intellectual Conservative, and elsewhere. He is a staff reporter for the New Media Network. You can contact him at E-Mail.

Katie Soon to Get the Ax

Two years ago CBS News anchor Dan Rather used falsified documents in his ill-fated Texas National Guard story. For that miscue they ran him out of Dodge and took away his six-shooter. A mere 10 months after she took over, Katie Couric now faces a similar fate.

When Katie made her debut on September 5, over 13 million people tuned in. Now, she’s lucky if she can pull in 6 million on a given night, leaving CBS News a distant third behind ABC’s Charles Gibson and NBC’s Brian Williams. “I’ve gone through a bit of a feeding frenzy and there’s blood in the water and I’ve got some vulnerabilities,” Couric admitted in a recent New York magazine interview. [ ]

Behind her glitzy $2.9 million set, things have turned grim. One producer confided that Couric is “going through hell.” Recently Couric snapped when editor Jerry Cipriano used the word “sputum” in one story. Couric flew into a rage, repeatedly slapping Cipriano on the arm. (Isn’t there supposed to be a law against that sort of thing?)

To hear it from Katie, lingering sexism is to blame for her poor showing. “I’m sure there is a percentage of the population that for whatever reason may not feel completely comfortable with a woman in a heretofore male-dominated role,” she ominously warns.

But that pat answer doesn’t account for the fact that her most vocal critics are women like Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times and TV writer Gail Shister. And last week Myrna Blyth wrote a caustic piece deriding her as “Princess Katie.”

Couric’s biggest mistake was her straight-arming of white males over 40, the demographic that represents the backbone of the evening news. These guys didn’t warm to Katie opening the show with a breezy, “Hi, everyone.” And I doubt many were impressed by the baby pictures of Suri Cruise.

And given Couric’s well-known embrace of all things feminist, her male viewers had good reason for concern. Over the years she has done ideologically-tinged features on the gender wage gap, domestic violence, as well as singing hosannas for Hillary Clinton. [ ]

In a 1997 interview of Nicole Contos, the jilted bride of Tasos Michael, Couric asked, “Have you considered castration as an option?”

Looks like the real sexism lies on the other side of the TV screen.

But the truth is, Katie likes to have it both ways. First she flaunts her legs on camera and allows her cutey-pie picture to be plastered on every New York City bus. But when her ratings take a nose-dive, she tries to blame it on those Neanderthal men who objectify women.

Then there’s the matter of her $15 million salary, which CBS was able to afford only by taking a sizeable whack from the paychecks of Ed Bradley, Morley Safer, and Lesley Stahl. Couric is disingenuous when she claims that she didn’t expect her budget-busting paycheck would become an issue with the other CBS staff members who can’t afford their own 5-person entourage.

When Couric went to Amman, Jordan last November, hairdresser Mela Murphy was informed she would be traveling with the unwashed masses, rather than sitting in first class with Katie. Murphy flew into a rage and made it known that the CBS producers were “lucky to have their jobs.”

There’s little doubt that Couric revels in her celebrity status. Tune in to CBS’s 60 Minutes, there’s Katie. Walk through the airport, and Katie is reminding us to get a colon check. Pass through the check-out line, the gossip rags are taking bets on Katie’s latest heart-throb. And go to the bookstore to buy a woman’s magazine, more Katie!

So while Couric was the effervescent host of NBC’s Today, she is out of her league as a news anchor. CBS News president Sean McManus agrees: “A lot of things that made Katie successful in the morning probably don’t work in the evening news broadcast.”

Katie lacks the gravitas (remember the on-air colonoscopy?), ability to connect with her audience, and hard-news experience. Viewers want to see solid reporting, not America’s Sweetheart chasing an exclusive with a lip-glossed celebrity.

Even Katie realizes the whole thing may have been a terrible mistake. When asked if she would have taken the job if she had known it was going to turn out this way, Couric admits, “It would have been less appealing to me. It would have required a lot more thought.”

So while CBS engineers her graceful exit and scales back that bloated salary package, the question remains, what will be the verdict of the guys who were treated so shabbily by Katie Couric? Can they ever be convinced to return to CBS News?


The Deadliest Catch: A Tale of Exceptional Men

A mayday alarm pierced the metallic walls of the Coast Guard outpost on Kodiak Island. The Ocean Challenger, stranded 90 miles off the Alaska Peninsula, was being pummelled by water surging two stories high. In the words of pilot Jerred Williams, “The waves were so high you actually got white caps at the top of the wave.”

Suddenly the boat capsized. In those frenzied moments the crew launched a life raft, but alas, the seas were too high. Three men died in that October 18, 2006 disaster: David “Cowboy” Hasselquist, 51, Walter Foster, 26, and Steve Esparza, 26. Only one crew member, Kevin Ferrell, survived.

The tragedy calls to mind the words of Sir Walter Scott: “Those aren’t fish you’re buying; it’s men’s lives.”

These events are deeply rooted in the collective conscious of the hundreds of fishermen who scour the Bering Sea, working the deck of a vessel that sways precariously above 36-degree waters. These men are the unlikely heroes who appear on the Discovery Channel’s recent series, The Deadliest Catch. [ ]

The captains who run these ships are equal parts navigator, fishing guru, and disciplinarian. They won’t hesitate to reprimand an obstinate greenhorn with a salty, “Keep your mouth shut and do your f***ing job!”

A fisherman’s biggest fear is being hit with a rogue wave, a 50-foot high wall of water that comes barreling out of nowhere and hits the boat broadside. If you’re lucky, the boat rights itself within a heart-stopping minute. But if your crab pots are coated in three inches of ice and stacked high on the foredeck, your only hope is a rubberized survival suit.

If the water is calm, you may have to confront another threat – ice flows drifting down from the Arctic Circle.

In one recent episode, captain Jonathan Hillstrand of the Time Bandit finds himself surrounded by foot-thick ice chunks. He tries to break free, but the boat can only inch forward at a snail’s pace. Even at this speed, the 60-ton ice cakes inflict dents on the hull, causing the inside paint to crack and peel.

Five excruciating hours later, they make open sea. “I think it took a year off my life,” a grizzled Hillstrand admits.

Once Hillstrand was called upon to rescue a crewman from a nearby boat who had been swept into the frigid sea. At these temperatures, a person can die of hypothermia in just minutes. A desperate Hillstrand maneuvered his 113-foot vessel near the flailing man and hauled him out.

Capt. Hillstrand was touched to the soul by the event, almost moved to tears in the retelling. And brother Andy recounts that in his dreams he still hears the guy yelling, “Help me … Save my life!”

The mind-numbing routine is repeated dozens of times each day: bait the pot, plunge the 800-pound cage into the frigid water, and let it soak on the muddy bottom.

A day later the captain retraces his path. As the boat approaches, the deckhand snags the buoy line with a 4-pronged hook and the winch yanks the careening pot over the rail. The men extract the squirming snow crabs and shuttle them to a holding tank.

If Lady Luck is smiling that day, the pots are brimming with four or five hundred opies, what they call “red gold.” At times like this the deckhands don’t worry about the 18-hour work shifts, towering waves, or aching hands.

The men are sustained by the promise of a 5% cut at journey’s end. With luck, they will rake in 50 grand for a few weeks of excruciating work. “I have no clue what time it is, all I know is I’m making money,” shouts one gleeful deckhand.

Eventually the boats log their quotas and unload their catch at the tender. Time to swing the bow to warmer waters. A few days later captain Sig Hansen, a fourth-generation fisherman whose ancestors came from Norway, eases his 118-foot Northwestern into its Seattle port.

The catch was good and no one got hurt. But one question remains: Will greenhorn Jake Anderson make the cut? He made a boatload of mistakes. But he endured the adversity without complaint and learned the trade.

So the captain presents Jake with the ultimate accolade – a hooded glacier jacket with the name “Northwestern” emblazoned on the back. Grinning ear to ear, Jake embraces all the deckhands.

“Now, no one can mess with me,” Jake proclaims. Captain Sig shoots back, “The jacket don’t make you a man.”

Equal Pay for Equal Work at Wimbledon?

We have it on the authority of Hillary Clinton that women playing at the Wimbledon tournament will finally receive their due this year: “Wimbledon agreed to pay their women tennis champions the same amount of prize money as their male champions. It only took 123 years for them to do the right thing,” Mrs. Clinton recently exulted. [ ]

Hillary has long been an outspoken advocate of equal pay for equal work. So does this news from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club represent a breakthrough for the cause of female equality?

This year the winner of the men’s and women’s singles competitions will each cart home close to $1.4 million in prize money. But one thing hasn’t changed – the number of sets needed to win. Men will play best of five sets, while women only play best of three.

For years the Women’s Tennis Association has been trying to bring women’s earnings on a par with men’s. But in all that time they never proposed to increase the women’s matches to five sets. That offer would have settled the dispute years ago, and would have saved Maria Sharapova the need to threaten a bra-burning.

The truth is, women’s tennis is beset by a volley of woes that include lack of star power, overcrowded schedules, non-stop injuries, faltering ticket sales, and limp TV advertising.

The problem became painfully obvious during last year’s Australian Open. First Amelie Mauresmo of France, who plays bare-midriff style, was matched against Michaella Krajicek. But Krajicek succumbed to heat exhaustion and Mauresmo won by default.

In the semi-finals she was paired against Kim Clijsters of Belgium. In the third set Clijsters was hobbled by an ankle injury. Another win by default.

In the finals, Mauresmo played Justine Henin of France. But then Henin come down with a tummy ache. Default win number three.

At that rate, any grandma wearing pink tennis shoes could have won the Australian Open.

Things didn’t get better at the French Open earlier this month.

Remember grass-court phenoms Venus and Serena Williams? First Venus bowed out in the third round. And then Serena lost to Justine Henin in the quarterfinals, calling her own play “hideous” and “horrendous.” Critics say their dabbling in acting and fashion has caused their careers to nose-dive. [ ]

With Serena Williams out of the picture, Henin went on to play Ana Ivanovic, mauling her in two sets by an embarrassing 6-1, 6-2 score. The match lasted all of one hour. Well, maybe Ana’s sex appeal will make up for her lack of athletic prowess.

In contrast, Rafael Nada and Roger Federer slugged it out for over three hours in the men’s final. Nada finally prevailed through four high-powered, tension-filled sets.

In a sport heavily dependent on television revenues, a three-hour match brings in far more advertising money than a one-hour contest. Despite that fact, Rafael Nada was paid the same as Justine Henin, each of them raking in one million euros.

None of this comes as news to die-hard tennis fans. Given the choice between a one-hour bunny match with a lop-sided outcome versus a three-hour game that hangs on every cannonball serve and strategic backhand, most fans opt to see the men.

So aficionados who wanted to see the quarter finals at Wimbledon ponied up $3,590 to see the men, compared to only $1,590 to see the women. Even at twice the price, the men’s tickets sold out sooner.

Sports columnist Alan Mascarenhas has concluded that by almost all criteria, “women’s tennis is an inferior product.” So if the ladies are bringing in far less revenue but taking home just as much money as the guys, where is their money coming from?

You guessed it -- out of the men’s pockets.

So next time you see Hillary climb on to her equal-pay-for-equal-work soapbox, let’s ask her this question: “Does three equal five?”

The Disgrace of the Duke 88

The three lacrosse players have been declared innocent, Duke University has agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement, and Michael Nifong’s law license has been yanked. But unfinished business remains.

Three weeks after Crystal Gail Mangum made her false allegations of rape, 88 Duke professors ran an advertisement in the student newspaper asking, What Does a Social Disaster Sound Like? [ ]

The rambling April 6, 2006 statement lamented, “… no one is really talking about how to keep the young woman herself central to this conversation, how to keep her humanity before us.” But no mention was made about the humanity of three male students falsely accused of rape.

Worse, the professors’ manifesto used the logic of the lynch mob, fostering the notion that since a Black woman claimed to be a victim of rape, everyone at Duke was now tinged with racism: “We go to class with racist classmates, we go to gym with people who are racists … It’s part of the experience.”

Exactly who are the members of the Duke 88 and what is their agenda?

The most vitriolic member of the bunch was professor Houston Baker, who repeatedly indulged in racist and sexist claims. In his letter to Duke provost Peter Lange, Baker charged, “Young, white, violent, drunken men among us - implicitly boasted by our athletic directors and administrators - have injured lives.”

Young, violent, drunken men among us – Dr. Baker, that’s the language of the KKK, not of a university teacher.

Karla Holloway, chair of the university’s Race Subcommittee, justified her membership in the Duke 88 because she desired to express her support for “all” students at Duke. When asked whether her support for all students included the beleaguered lacrosse players, she refused to answer.

When Crystal Gail Mangum changed her story for the umpteenth time and the case had more holes than the frayed netting of a lacrosse stick, the Duke 88 fell back on their neo-Marxist slogans and stereotypes.

History professor William Chafe made the claim that “Sex and race have always interacted in a vicious chemistry of power, privilege, and control.” Somehow Dr. Chafe forgot his history lessons about the notorious case of the Scottsboro Boys, the nine Black teenagers who were falsely accused of rape in 1931.

Wahneema Lubiano outrageously argued the lacrosse players were probably guilty since they were “the exemplars of the upper end of the class hierarchy, the politically dominant race and ethnicity, the dominant gender, the dominant sexuality, and the dominant social group on campus.”

Rich, white, male, and heterosexual – yep, guilty as charged.

So when the DNA tests failed to link Mangum to any of the lacrosse players, Lubiano poo-poohed the news as part of a “demand for perfect evidence on the part of the defenders of the team.”

Likewise, professor Thavolia Glymph fretted the DNA results would cause the Duke 88’s crusade to transform the campus to start “moving backwards.”

And even after her radical leftist colleagues fell under withering criticism, Gang of 88 member Paula McClain refused to express remorse. “I’m not going to be intimidated into modulating speech,” she retorted.

And for real entertainment, a visit to the websites of the Duke 88 provides a revealing glimpse into the mindset of these academic elites.

Like professor Kathy Rudy’s website that reports she is “Currently workig on a new project critiquing animal rights from speciesist persective.” [ ]

Speciesist perspective? Workig?? Thank goodness this black-gowned agitator is teaching women’s studies, not English spelling and grammar.

And literature professor Antonio Viego, whose website proudly announces he specializes in “queer ethnic studies and lesbian and gay theory.” [ ] Parents, have you ever wondered where your $34,000 tuition money is going?

The Duke 88 advertisement marked a critical turning point in the Mangum rape case. It condoned the actions of the campus potbangers, hardened racial divisions in the Durham community, and provided fodder for Michael Nifong’s re-election campaign.

And just 12 days after their statement came out, two members of the lacrosse team were arrested on charges of rape, first degree sexual offense, and kidnapping. A month later, a third player was indicted.

A year later, these young men have been declared innocent and a semblance of normalcy restored to their lives. But their names and reputations are forever associated with a heinous crime.

Meanwhile, the identities of the Duke 88 remain unknown to the public, their deed of infamy hidden behind the cloak of anonymity and plausible deniability.

So let it be said that these 88 men and women acted in a scurrilous manner to foster race hysteria, inflame gender relationships, and trample on the due process protections for three men falsely accused of the crime of rape [ ]:

1. Stan Abe - Art, Art History, and Visual Studies
2. Benjamin Albers - University Writing Program
3. Anne Allison - Cultural Anthropology
4. Srinivas Aravamudan - English
5. Houston Baker - English and African & African-American Studies
6. Lee Baker - Cultural Anthropology
7. Christine Beaule - University Writing Program
8. Sarah Beckwith - English
9. Paul Berliner - Music
10. Connie Blackmore - African & African-American Studies
11. Jessica Boa - Religion & University Writing Program
12. Mary T. Boatwright - Classical Studies
13. Silvia Boero - Romance Studies
14. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva - Sociology
15. Matthew Brim - University Writing Program
16. William Chafe - History
17. Leo Ching - Asian & African Languages
18. Rom Coles - Political Science
19. Miriam Cooke - Asian & African Languages
20. Michaeline Crichlow - African & African-American Studies
21. Kim Curtis - Political Science
22. Leslie Damasceno - Romance Studies
23. Cathy Davidson - English
24. Sarah Deutsch - History
25. Ariel Dorfman - Literature & Latin American Studies
26. Laura Edwards - History
27. Grant Farred - Literature
28. Luciana Fellini - Romance Studies
29. Mary McClintock Fulkerson - Divinity School
30. Esther Gabara - Romance Studies
31. Raymond Gavins - History
32. Meg Greer - Romance Studies
33. Thavolia Glymph - History
34. Michael Hardt - Literature
35. Joseph Harris - University Writing Program
36. Karla Holloway - English
37. Bayo Holsey - African & African-American Studies
38. Mary Hovsepian - Sociology
39. Sherman James - Public Policy
40. Alice Kaplan - Literature
41. Keval Kaur Khalsa - Dance Program
42. Ranjana Khanna - English
43. Ashley King - Romance Studies
44. Claudia Koonz - History
45. Peter Lasch - Art, Art History
46. Dan A. Lee - Math
47. Pat Leighten - Art, Art History, and Visual Studies
48. Frank Lentricchia - Literature
49. Caroline Light - Institute for Critical U.S. Studies
50. Marcy Litle - Comparative Area Studies
51. Ralph Litzinger - Cultural Anthropology
52. Michele Longino - Romance Studies
53. Wahneema Lubiano - African & African-American Studies and Literature
54. Kenneth Maffitt - History
55. Jason Mahn - University Writing Program
56. Anne-Maria Makhulu - African & African-American Studies
57. Lisa Mason - Surgical Unit-2100
58. Paula McClain - Political Science
59. Louise Meintjes - Music
60. Walter Mignolo - Literature and Romance Studies
61. Alberto Moreiras - Romance Studies
62. Mark Anthony Neal - African & African-American Studies
63. Diane Nelson - Cultural Anthropology
64. Jolie Olcott - History
65. Liliana Parades - Romance Studies
66. Charles Payne - African & African-American Studies and History
67. Charlotte Pierce-Baker - Women’s Studies
68. Wilma Pebles-Wilkins
69. Arlie Petters - Math
70. Ronen Plesser - Physics
71. Jan Radway - Literature
72. Tom Rankin - Center for Documentary Studies
73. Marcia Rego - University Writing Program
74. Deborah S. Reisinger - Romance Studies
75. Alex Rosenberg - Philosophy
76. Kathy Rudy - Women’s Studies
77. Marc Schachter - English
78. Laurie Shannon - English
79. Pete Sigal - History
80. Irene Silverblatt - Cultural Anthropology
81. Fiona Somerset - English
82. Rebecca Stein - Cultural Anthropology
83. Susan Thorne - History
84. Antonio Viego - Literature
85. Teresa Vilaros - Romance Studies
86. Priscilla Wald - English
87. Maurice Wallace - English and African & African-American Studies
88. David Wong - Philosophy

Women Above the Law?

Rev. Al Sharpton and I seldom see eye-to-eye on the issues, but this time he was right on the money. Following heiress Paris Hilton’s release from jail, Sharpton denounced the action as having “all the appearances of economic and racial favoritism.”

For those too caught up in the NBA and NHL finals this past week to pay attention, here’s the skinny: heiress Paris Hilton repeatedly violated the terms of her probation, which earned her a 45-day all-expenses-paid visit to the pokey.

But the jail conditions didn’t meet Hilton’s high standards. “She wasn’t allowed to wax or use a moisturizer,” fumed one of her gal-pals. So Paris turned herself into a regular nuisance, lapsing into a tearful fit in her 12-by-8 cell and repeatedly pushing the medical alert button.

Soon sheriff Lee Baca began to worry Hilton might be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. So Thursday he sent her home in the dead of night – that way she could be spared the embarrassment of having to pose for the paparazzi without lip gloss.

But Friday she was hauled back to the slammer, even as her lawyers argued she was suffering from a life-threatening condition that medical specialists call “having-a-bad-hair-day syndrome.”

That same day, 1,000 miles east of Los Angeles, another courtroom drama was about to unfold.

This one involved Carrie McCandless, a Denver-area social studies teacher and cheerleading coach. In October 2006 she engaged in simulated sex with a 17-year-old male student during a school-sponsored hiking trip. So on Friday, judge James Hiatt handed down her sentence: a 45-day slap-on-the-wrist.

As McCandless was led away to jail, she blew a playful kiss to her husband and friends, saying, “Goodbye, guys.”

Another 1,000 miles or so east of Denver, a third woman stood in the docket Friday. She had admitted to a far more serious crime: murder.

Mary Winkler of Selmer, Tennessee had gotten caught up in a check-kiting scheme. One day she and her preacher husband Matthew were arguing about the family finances, then suddenly she snapped. Pulling out a 12-gauge shotgun, she shot him in the back as he lay in bed. Winkler then fled to an Alabama beach resort with her three daughters.

Following her arrest, she made no accusations of abuse against her husband, nor was there any public record of domestic violence in the family.

But by the time the trial rolled around, she had a change of heart and claimed that he had mistreated her. As proof, she showed the jury a pair of platform shoes and black wig that Matthew had asked her to wear during sex. (Yes, a black wig – that’s what counts for domestic violence these days.)

Her long-dead husband was in no position to refute the claim. So her cold-blooded murder warranted only a seven-month sentence – two of them in a mental health facility that features campfire sing-alongs and foot massages.

Matthew Winkler’s family said that Mary’s abuse allegations amounted to a second attack on her husband. “The monster that you have painted for the world to see? I don’t think that monster existed,” charged Matthew’s mother, Diane.

One of the contradictions of the women’s movement is its failure to object when the criminal justice system condescendingly judges female wrongdoers by a lower standard than men.

When a female high school teacher deflowers a student, she gets a judicial wrist-slap. When a wife kills her husband, it’s the dependable Battered Woman Syndrome defense to the rescue. When a woman falsely accuses a man of abuse and destroys his reputation and career, the chivalrous prosecutor turns the other cheek. If a mother tries to alienate a child from his dad, that’s “protecting the child from a domineering father.” And when a woman kills her unborn child, she’s exercising her constitutional right to privacy.

You might say there’s a historical reason for members of the fairer sex getting a judicial free pass. In old England, women didn’t have the right to vote or own property. So if a woman sank the family into debt, it was her husband who was sent to debtor’s prison. Or if a woman committed a homicide, all she needed to do to get off the hook was to get pregnant.

But times have changed and ladies now have full rights. In a civilized society that prides itself on rule of law, rights go hand in hand with responsibilities. Does anyone believe that women should be exempt from that time-honored principle?

When Paris Hilton appeared before judge Michael Sauer this last Friday, assistant city attorney Dan Jeffries pointedly remarked that preferential treatment of miscreants “destroys any semblance of faith in our judicial system.”

Indeed it does.

Lots of Lucre in False Claims of Abuse

This is a tale of four women who made phony allegations of abuse. All the accused men had to pay dearly to clear their good names. And all four women got away pretty much scot-free.

The first woman was married to John Dias of California. Sometimes the two fell into intense arguments, but never came to blows. But during one heated tiff she threatened to “make me pay.” Twenty minutes later the police knocked on the door. Dias relates:

“So when I read what she was accusing me of, I nearly fell on the floor. She fabricated all kinds of stories. Some were based on harmless events in which she added totally fictional details claiming that I had abused her in the past. Other stories in the restraining order didn’t even resemble any past event. They were just made up out of thin air.” [ ]

Dias, but not his wife, was ordered to attend a year-long anger management course that laid the blame for the marital conflict on him. He was lucky, his legal expenses came out to only $6,500.

Trudy Jackson (not her real name) of West Virginia is serial false accuser. According to sworn affidavits, Mrs. Jackson often neglected their children, sometimes locking them in their rooms. Once her 2-year-old daughter was allowed to wander outside in the winter, the feet of her pajamas quickly freezing to the sidewalk. On another occasion she assaulted her husband, leaving scratches on his arm.

To win custody of the children, she repeatedly accused him of ill-treatment over a three-year period. Not even a divorce decree would quench her ire – afterwards she called her ex-husband’s employer, claiming he was calling her during work hours to harass her, and demanding he be fired.

The judge eventually dismissed all charges against the man. And she was found guilty of contempt of court for failing to return the house to her ex-husband and for vandalizing the premises. “Words really can’t explain what the house looked like,” Mr. Jackson later explained.

He paid over $15,000 in legal bills – and that was after his lawyer’s pro bono help.

Wendy Flanders of Pennsylvania is a repeat false accuser. Beginning in 2002 she began to make a variety of allegations against boyfriend Ben Vonderheide. The claims included – get ready for this -- one charge of kidnapping, 2 trespassing charges, 3 charges of domestic abuse, 3 counts of harassment, and 25 accusations of indirect criminal contempt.

The allegations culminated in November 2004, when she claimed that Vonderheide assaulted her. That night the police came to Vonderheide’s house and put him in the pokey.

Problem was, the whole incident was caught on videotape, which proved that she was the aggressor in a conniving attempt to provoke him: .

Recently Vonderheide was expunged on many of the charges. And two weeks ago a jury in Lancaster County found Wendy Flanders guilty of making false statements to police officials. The punishment? A slap-on-the-wrist $250 fine and one year of probation.

Mr. Vonderheide spent about $350,000 defending himself. “The only reason I’m out of jail is because I filmed, published on my own, and I engaged the ‘underground’ press to expose my case,” he later told me.

Crystal Gail Mangum of North Carolina is another serial false accuser. In 1993 she claimed to have been raped by three men. For reasons unknown she didn’t get around to filing the police report until three years later. And then she got cold feet and dropped the claim.

Thirteen years later Crystal Gail Mangum again claimed to be a victim of rape, but this time she was more choosy, naming three well-to-do Duke University lacrosse players as the attackers.

After prosecutor Michael Nifong steped down from the case, North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper pronounced the players innocent on all charges. Yet Cooper does not plan to prosecute Ms. Mangum for perjury. The reason? Mangum “may actually believe” her allegations to be true.

Each of the lacrosse players spent an estimated $1 million in legal defense fees.

In a country that prides itself on the “innocent until proven guilty” principle, how do we account for these legal travesties?

In some cases, the false accusers were emotionally unstable. Other times the women acted out of spite and vindictiveness.

But most of all we should cast the finger of blame on the Violence Against Women Act, the federal law that allows $65 million a year for the legal fees for women who claim to be victims of abuse, but not a red cent for those who are falsely accused

Matriarchs, Pop Tarts, and Unparented Children

By my reckoning, the United States officially became a matriarchy on January 20, 1993. That’s the day Hillary Clinton moved into the West Wing. Soon she prevailed on Bill to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women, the group that railroaded feminist-inspired policies and programs throughout the federal government. [ ]

Matriarchy refers to a society in which feminist beliefs have become entrenched in the government, mass media, and other institutions. And the cornerstone of feminist belief is the dogma that patriarchy is an unrelenting, pervasive threat to women’s well-being.

That means wayward women always have a convenient excuse. Consider the recent escapades of the Hollywood pop-tart brigade.

Lindsay Lohan? Surely we can blame her father who caused her to flee to cocaine. Paris Hilton? The judge who sentenced her to 45 days in jail was only trying to make a name for himself. Britney Spears? We can blame her demise on her self-absorbed boyfriend, Kevin Federline.

Under the matriarchy, entitlements, quotas, and set-asides are the coin of the realm. That mindset was on display during a recent Fox News debate featuring author Marc Rudov and attorney Lis Wiehl.

The spicy exchange was triggered by Democratic candidate John Edwards’ recent proposal for equal pay legislation. But Rudov ridiculed Edwards’ claim as “sexist and making women out to be victims” and charged the pretty-boy candidate with spreading V.D.: “victimhood demagoguery.”

But Wiehl shot back, saying that Rudov believes that “women are just too darn stupid to be able to see through somebody that’s coming up with platitudes and no real plan.”

Wiehl then cited the recent survey from the American Association of University Women. The AAUW found that after you even out differences in education, occupation, and other factors, the pay of men and women differs by only 5%. [ ]

But that’s not what Wiehl said. She claimed that women are “making 80 cents on the dollar.” Obviously she didn’t bother to read the AAUW press release, which states the 80 cent figure is before those critical adjustments are made. [ ]

Rudov reasoned that if it was really true that women are paid so much less for doing exactly the same work, then “all the men would be unemployed and all the jobs would be going to women.” [ ]

Touché, Mr. Rudov.

Matriarchs also believe that emotion and intuition hold priority over reason and logic -- what they call a “woman’s way of knowing.”

Last Wednesday we got a glimpse of that erudition on ABC’s The View. There Rosie O’Donnell tried to bully and intimidate co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck in front of a nationally-televised audience. The slugfest made for one of those must-see, can’t-wait videos:

The incident was triggered by Rosie’s implication a couple days before that American troops in Iraq are terrorists. O’Donnell started the spat with this ludicrous claim: “Because here’s how it gets spun in the media: ‘Rosie, big fat lesbian loud Rosie, attacks innocent pure Christian Elisabeth.’”

As the argument escalated, the two women referred to each other as “cowardly.” Through it all, O’Donnell never clarified whether she believes American troops are terrorists.

On Friday O’Donnell asked for an early out from her contract. And now O’Donnell says she won’t talk to Hasselbeck again.

That’s right. Go to your room, shut the door, and pout for awhile. Life goes on.

Thirty-odd years ago someone hauled patriarchy into the dock and charged it with a long list of crimes against womankind. The jury was rigged, the defendant was never given a chance to testify, and the verdict was foregone: Guilty as charged.

The sentence? Put the loathsome patriarchs in the pokey and bring on the matriarchy.

Nearly 15 years later we see where it has taken us. But the problem does not lie just with our ersatz celebrity culture, the bogus wage gap claims, or the pointless catfights.

The real threat of matriarchy is to our children. Ponder the long-standing feminist assault on the traditional family. Dads were told they were redundant, and women were advised that marriage was oppressive and children represented a barrier to self-fulfillment.

Now Americans are getting married 30% less often, while the number of unmarried couples living together has increased tenfold. [ ] So no surprise that nearly two-in-five American children are now born out of wedlock.

So when future generations ask where it all went wrong, we can offer these words of solace: It takes a village.

The Gender Card

Have you noticed how often politicos are playing the gender card these days? The upswing can be traced back to January – that’s when Nancy Pelosi was confirmed as Speaker of the House and Hillary Clinton announced her presidential run.

But how many persons truly appreciate the finer points of this latest round of the age-old battle of the sexes? For those who are keeping score, here’s a run-down of the saucy schemes:

1. Play the Victim. This well-honed gambit appeals both to men’s sense of chivalry and women’s sense of angst.

Mrs. Pelosi employed it when she crowed, “I’ve broken the marble ceiling.” And Hillary Clinton incessantly plays this tune with catch-phrases like “now it’s women’s turn to be heard.”

Portraying women as victims is a tactic that is used by male politicians, as well. Senator Joseph Biden, for example, is always good for a juicy sound-bite on abused women, somehow forgetting that women assault their partners as often as men.

And no surprise, Nancy and Hillary are now squaring off in a private contest of play-the-victim one-upmanship. This past Sunday on ABC’s This Week, Pelosi lamented, “it’s harder to become Speaker of the House than president of the United States for a woman.”

Yes, Mrs. Pelosi, I’m feeling your pain.

2. Make Preposterous Claims. Make no mistake, this is Mrs. Clinton’s strong suit. These are my favorites from the Hillorama hit parade:

  • “Women have always been the primary victims of war.”
  • “Here we are at the beginning of the 21st century and women still earn significantly less than men for doing the same jobs.”
  • “Women are 70% of the world’s poor.”
  • “Women were routinely excluded from major clinical trials of most illnesses.”

3. Pretend to be Mother Superior. San Fran Nan has become the latest poster girl for the “do what mother says if you know what’s good for you” school of political persuasion.

In January, Pelosi made history by becoming the first Speaker of the House to publicly flex her biceps with seven grandchildren gasping in disbelief. And earlier this month she used the occasion of Mother’s Day as a backdrop for her latest tirade on the Iraq war.

The mother-knows-best strategy can be deployed against other women, as well. In January, secretary of state Condi Rice went to the Senate to defend president Bush’s Iraq strategy, only to encounter a feisty senator Barbara Boxer.

“Who pays the price? I’m not going to pay a personal price,” Boxer exclaimed in front of the cameras. “My kids are too old, and my grandchild is too young.” Then turning to Rice: “You’re not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family.”

Sometimes the political gets very personal.

4. Appeal to the Uber-Female. Some feminists believe that women represent a superior species, a higher force for moral enlightenment.

Like Marie Wilson of the White House Project, who once claimed that female politicians lead “from an other-centered perspective.” In contrast, male pols – the guys who enacted female-friendly laws like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and breast cancer research -- tend to be “self-centered.”

A couple years ago Hillary made the astonishing claim that “Research shows the presence of women raises the standards of ethical behavior and lowers corruption.” Folks, we’ll let that one pass without comment, OK?

And one day an unhinged Barbara Jordan, former congresswoman from Texas, came up with this empathic insight: “I believe that women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which a man structurally does not have.”

5. Resort to Sex Appeal. When female politicians need an extra boost, they have one more high-card up their sleeves – their feminine charms.

Like representative Loretta Sanchez of California, affectionately known on Capitol Hill as “the babe.” When asked by a reporter who would play her on television, Sanchez replied Jennifer Lopez, since “I’ve got a big booty.” And during a recent interview, Sanchez needed to change for her next appearance, so she stripped down to her black bra in front of the female reporter. [,0,3865811.story?coll=la-home-headlines ]

Across the Atlantic, French presidential candidate Ségolène Royal did not hesitate to capitalize on her ou-la-la to garner media attention and male votes, once allowing herself to be photographed in high-heels and a satiny-pink negligee. [ ]

In the not-too-distant past, candidates for political office scored points based on their record of accomplishment and command of the issues. But now the rational exchange of ideas is at risk of becoming a relic of the patriarchal past.

One day soon politicians will hopefully renounce the use of gender pandering and shrill stereotypes and will forgo displays of racy undergarments. That’s when they will be viewed as serious candidates working to improve the lot of all Americans.

Pelosi Proclaims Women as “Peacekeepers of our Societies”

I once assumed that Mother’s Day would be immune from the intrusions and calculations of partisan politics. But no longer.

This past week House speaker Nancy Pelosi used Mother’s Day to launch her latest salvo against the Iraq war. And while she was at it, she indulged in some back-handed gender stereotyping, making the remarkable claim that “Women have always been the peacekeepers of our societies.”

So is it true that women are the gentle harbingers of peaceful co-existence? And men are testosterone-addled warmongers, as Pelosi seems to imply?

Of course, women have long played supportive roles for male combatants, serving as nurses, supply specialists, and the like. In his report War and Gender, University of Massachusetts political scientist Joshua Goldstein documents how women have actively encouraged military adventurism, both in modern and indigenous societies.

Goldstein notes that in the face of imminent conflict, women goad their men into combat. In the Revolutionary War, women were known to withhold sexual favors from reluctant fighters. During the Civil War, Southern belles refused to accept suitors who did not take up arms. In World War I, British women organized the White Feather campaign, calculated to shame able-bodied men into uniform.

Among the Bedouin, frenzied Rwala women bare their breasts and urge their men to war. And before the 1973 coup in Chile, women threw corn at soldiers to taunt them as “chickens.”

There are numerous documented cases of women killing prisoners of war, often in retaliation for the loss of loved ones. In colonial Massachusetts a mob of women tortured two Indian prisoners to death after they overcame their guards. During the era of the Soviet Gulag, female interrogators were just as ruthless as their male counterparts in extracting “confessions.” In 1993 a group of enraged Somali women murdered four foreign journalists.

Women also play a key role socializing future warriors. Goldstein explains, “since mothers control child care, they could change gender norms, training girls to be aggressive and boys to be passive. But in fact mothers worldwide generally reward boys for being tough and girls for being nice.”

Based on his extensive review, Goldstein reaches this simple conclusion: “Most women support most wars.”

A scan of history likewise reveals that female political leaders are fully adept at the war-making craft.

Let us recall the crusade of Queen Mary I of England, who beginning in 1553 betrayed a fondness for burning unrepentant Protestants at the stake? A sobering thought the next time you plan to raise a toast in the name of Bloody Mary.

Anne of Great Britain was the first female monarch to have an entire war named in her honor – Queen Anne’s War. Thanks to her unblemished support, that devastating conflict persisted in both North America and Europe for over a decade.

It was the scheming Queen Isabella II of Spain who saw to it that military expenditures were multiplied during her rule. That enabled bellicose sorties to be launched against Morocco, Peru, and Chile.

In 1982 British prime minister Margaret Thatcher decided that a chain of wind-swept islands in the South Atlantic warranted the shedding of blood, which triggered the Falklands War. That escapade cost the lives of 258 British and 649 Argentinian soldiers.

During the 1994 Rwanda genocide, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former minister for family affairs, handpicked the “nicest” Tutsi women to be abducted and de-flowered. Nyiramasuhuko was later tried for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal.

Three days after the 9/11 attacks, an Authorization to Use Military Force was brought before Congress. All but one female member of Congress voted to authorize to “use all necessary and appropriate force” to wage the war on terror.

And a few weeks ago the eight Democratic presidential candidates squared off in a South Carolina debate. In response to a question about responding to a terrorist attack, Hillary Clinton shot back, “I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate.”

“Retaliate” – spoken like a true peacekeeper, for sure.

But what about the women’s peace movements that have sprouted up over the years –don’t they prove the ladies are peace-makers at heart? No, for one simple reason: History proves that when women begin to fear for their personal security, they quickly revert to a pro-military stance.

So coming just a month after her ill-fated peace mission to Syria, it’s regrettable the Speaker of the House would tap the occasion of Mother’s Day to indulge in gender stereotyping and male-bashing. As my mother used to say, “If you can’t speak well of someone, it’s better to not speak at all.”

Men Aren’t Couch Potatoes, After All

Over the years I’ve earned a tidy sum debunking the assorted gender myths that are regularly floated by the media. (Well, maybe I exaggerate about the tidy sum, but you catch my drift.)

Did you hear about the latest Urban Legend to bite the dust?

Back in 1989 Arlie Hochschild wrote a book called The Second Shift. This was Hochschild’s conclusion: Compared to men, “women work an extra month of 24-hour days a year.” Basically she was making the claim that while wives cook, clean, and sew after a long day at the office, His Royal Highness was chillin’ in front of the TV set.

Women began to howl and the mainstream media jumped on the bandwagon, as Warren Farrell documents in his book Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say.

Newsweek ran an article that claimed, “Woman’s Work is Never Done.” Time tweaked men with the caustic headline, “The Myth of Male Housework.” And People magazine chimed in with this screamer: “For Working Women, Having It All May Mean Doing It All.”

Even senator Dianne Feinstein of California publicly berated her own husband, saying, “I haven’t taught him to hang up his bath towel yet, but rather than nag I don’t bother any more.” (Can you imagine Bubba confiding to a reporter that he’d once told Hillary to stop using the F-word to scold her security detail, but rather than nagging her, “I don’t bother any more”?)

But it turned out that Hochschild’s conclusions were flawed. First, her data about men’s contribution to household chores was 25 years old. Then she interviewed mostly part-time women -- some of them married to men who clocked 60 hours a week. Apparently Hochschild expected these men to come home and do the laundry between shifts, all in the name of gender equality.

So when other researchers tried to replicate Hochschild’s results, they found the numbers didn’t come out right. Their solution? Cook the books!

Case in point was the United Nations report called Human Development 1995, which purported to show that women worked more hours than men. But Farrell did a little gumshoe work and discovered some behind-the-scenes statistical shenanigans.

When the UN bureaucrats found that men often worked more hours, they went back to the original researchers and asked them to “amend” their study to include the estimated time that women devoted to “basket making, weaving, knitting, sewing,” and similar unpaid work – yes, really!

But they didn’t bother to find out about unpaid work by men.

So when newspapers ran headlines like “U.N. Documents Inequities for Women as World Forum Nears” (New York Times, August 17) and “Women’s Work is Never Done” (Washington Post, August 24), little did readers realize they were being duped.

How could the UN justify this trickery? Well, we all know the matriarchal utopia lies just around the corner. So why not speed things up a little by making people think that men are slothful belly-scratchers?

Recently economist Michael Burda and colleagues issued a report called Total Work, Gender, and Social Norms. The researchers combed through dozens of studies conducted around the world and tallied up the number of hours devoted to work for pay, housework, and childcare. They found that in the United States and other affluent countries – surprise! -- men and women work an identical amount of time – 7.9 hours a day. [ ]

But there’s more to the story.

Around the world, women retire at a younger age than men. That happens both by custom and by law. In the United Kingdom for example, the ladies collect their full pensions at age 60, while the lads have to work five more years before they’re entitled to that gold pocketwatch.

Then there’s the question of the work itself.

Having done manual labor myself in 95-degree temperatures, I know how physical work can take its toll. So take the average Joe who works a construction job in the summer heat -- is it fair to expect him to do as much housework as his wife who spends the day doing clerical work in a climate-controlled environment?

The report also highlights the widespread, but faulty belief among researchers and the public at large that women outstrip men in terms of their work activities. Which begs the question, Why would anyone take it upon themselves to besmirch the good reputation of men?

So for now, guys, kick back and relax after that long day at work. Enjoy a tall, bubbly one. And don’t let anyone unload their guilt trip on you.

AAUW’s Fuzzy Math an Insult to Working Women

Equal Pay Day has become one of our annual rites of Spring. And once again Hillary and her gal-pals were out in force, trying to convince us that women are undervalued and underpaid in the American workplace.

This year the gender victimologists came armed with a new report from the American Association of University Women, Behind the Pay Gap, which purports to show that one year after graduation, women are paid 80% of what men earn.

The AAUW’s press release featured this startling statement: “Women earn less even when working in the same career field, likely due to sex discrimination.” So no surprise, media coverage of the study trumpeted the 80% figure like it was revealed truth.

But women who are familiar with the AAUW’s long-standing gender agenda began to question the study.

Mary Kay Ham sardonically wondered why she, as a highly-educated columnist, should be paid less than a dime-a-dozen brain surgeon. Another blogger asked pointedly, “If an employer is only concerned about the bottom line, why would s/he hire a man at all to perform a job where an equally qualified woman will do it for 69% of pay?” [ ]

To settle the issue, I decided to download the report and see for myself. [ ]

I quickly noticed that the 80% figure is deceptive because it doesn’t take into account differences in work hours, occupational choices, and other key variables.

When you do that, the wage gap shrinks dramatically. As the AAUW report finally admits on page 39: “The regression analysis of earnings one year after graduation for the combined sample of women and men shows a gender pay difference of 5 percent, controlling for educational and occupational choices as well as demographic and personal characteristics.”

But it turns out the AAUW study omitted a number of important factors in its analysis, so even the 5% figure is exaggerated.

For example, many men coming out of high school enter the military and later go to college. These men command a bigger paycheck upon graduation. Likewise, men tend to accept big-city jobs with longer commute times. But the AAUW glossed over those facts.

Of greater concern is how the AAUW shoe-horned the many thousands of jobs into 11 broad occupational categories.

Take the medical profession which is evenly divided between the sexes, compared to nursing which is overwhelmingly female. The AAUW lumped all doctors and nurses into the same “medical professions” group. So you guessed it -- doctors are paid more than nurses, and that’s discrimination!

And women who major in business administration gravitate to human resources administration, while men often specialize in finance. Employees who manage a corporation’s financial lifeblood tend to be paid well. But the AAUW put both groups into the “business and management” category. Yikes, more discrimination!

This isn’t the first time the American Association of University Women resorted to smoke-and-mirrors research to further its political agenda.

Back in 1992 the AAUW published the report, How Schools Shortchange Girls. The report purported to show that American schoolgirls were being kept down by the ever-present patriarchy.

But Diane Ravitch, former assistant secretary of education, took issue with that conclusion, saying flatly, “The AAUW report was just completely wrong. What was so bizarre is that it came out right at the time that girls had just overtaken boys in almost every area.”

To redeem itself, the AAUW finally came out with a second report. Gender Gaps: Where Schools Still Fail Our Children had to admit – a-ha! – that “National data indicate that girls consistently earn either equivalent or higher grades than boys in all subjects at all points in their academic careers.”

But that oops-I-goofed document could not reverse the hysteria generated by the first report, which fueled the passage of the Gender Equity in Education Act in 1994, a law that contributes to the boy crisis we’re now seeing.

But memories are short, and no doubt some will be fooled by the AAUW’s gender wage gap tom-foolery.

But beyond the claims of sex discrimination, Behind the Pay Gap contains a put-down to all working women. That message reads, Ladies, you are unwilling to accept the financial consequences of your decision to work shorter hours and in less lucrative occupations.

That’s patronizing and insulting to the women who don’t believe they need a government mandate or gender quota to get ahead in life. Hopefully this time around not so many will be taken in by the AAUW’s creative calculations.

VAWA Casts a Long Shadow over the Duke Fiasco

Was prosecutor Michael Nifong simply an over-rated ambulance chaser who rose to his level of incompetence? Was he a scheming opportunist who needed to boost his flagging re-election chances? Or did his dogged prosecution of the Duke Three reflect a deeper, more systemic problem in our criminal justice system?

Here’s the dirty little secret of D.A.s who prosecute sexual assault and domestic violence cases: many of the claims they pursue are as flaky as a pie crust and their chances of winning a jury conviction are slim. So why do they bother to go after the case?

Because – get ready for this -- they believe “we are encouraging abused women to come forward and confront their oppressors.”

So according to that neo-Marxist logic, if we want to get really tough on say, bank robbers, what we need to do is randomly accuse innocent persons of burglary and then parade them through the streets, denouncing them for a crime they did not commit.

Of course, rape is a terrible crime. Equally terrible are false allegations of rape.

According to Linda Fairstein, former head of the New York County District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit, “There are about 4,000 reports of rape each year in Manhattan. Of these, about half simply did not happen.”

But sadly, many innocent men have been wrongfully put behind bars. Just this week Jerry Miller of Chicago was exonerated after serving 24 years for a rape he didn’t commit. His release helped inspire a national campaign dubbed “200 Exonerated, Too Many Wrongfully Convicted,” an effort designed to spur state reforms of the criminal justice system. [ ]

Many persons have heard of the Violence Against Women Act -- VAWA for short. But most are unaware of the extent to which VAWA-mandated programs have biased our judiciary and chipped away at the presumption of innocent until proven guilty.

VAWA’s tentacles reach deep and wide, reshaping our nation’s laws on immigration, welfare, and public housing. The Act defines domestic violence broadly, so sexual assault and rape fall within its purview. VAWA authorizes $50 million each year for its Sexual Assault Services Program, which contributed to the Duke fiasco in many ways.

First, VAWA pays the legal bills of alleged victims of sexual assault. Want to guess how much money goes to help men accused of rape? Nada.

That sets the stage for a prosecutorial shake-down that works like this: Find a guy who can’t afford a million-dollar legal defense team. Smear his good name with an accusation of rape. Then settle for a plea bargain conviction on a lesser count of sexual assault. The attorneys get their money and the D.A. can add another notch to his (or her) belt.

Second, did you wonder why Michael Nifong never required accuser Crystal Gail Mangum to take a polygraph test? Simple: the Violence Against Women Act prohibits it. Section 2013 states, “no law enforcement officer, prosecuting officer, or other government official shall ask or require an adult, youth, or child victim of an alleged sex offense … to submit to a polygraph examination or other truth telling device.”

Third, VAWA funds training programs for prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement personnel. To say the content of these programs lacks a scientific basis is generous.

This past November the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence sponsored a conference. First one of the speakers made light of a Florida incident in which a young man was sexually assaulted by a female teacher. The presenter then turned around and used the terms “scum bag” and “douche bag” to refer to men accused of abuse.

At an earlier New Jersey training session, one presenter openly encouraged judges to ignore due process protections: “Your job is not to become concerned about all the constitutional rights of the man that you’re violating as you grant a restraining order. Throw him out on the street, give him the clothes on his back, and tell him, ‘See ya’ around.’”

Fourth, VAWA’s overly-aggressive prosecution measures have been found to be flatly ineffective in stopping abuse. Still, these measures have instilled a legal of climate of “every man is a potential rapist” – ignoring the equally ridiculous corollary that “every woman is a potential false accuser.”

Fifth, VAWA’s unstated belief that women can only be victims dissuades prosecutors from going after false accusers. As Massachusetts district attorney David Angier once argued, “If anyone is prosecuted for filing a false report, then victims of real attacks will be less likely to report them.”

And failing to prosecute women who make malicious accusations only means that men will continue to be falsely accused, charged, prosecuted, convicted, sentenced, and jailed.

Lynch Mob Fever at Duke University

“Outrageous” is the word that comes to mind that describes what happened to the Duke Three, accused of gang-raping Crystal Gail Mangum during the early morning hours of March 14, 2006.

Our country was founded on the principles of rule of law and the presumption of innocence. But what we witnessed in Durham, North Carolina over the last year had little to do with the even-handed pursuit of justice. Except for the absence of ropes and gasoline, it resembled a small-town lynch mob.

Shame on Michael Nifong who, lacking eyewitness accounts, forensic proof, or DNA evidence, violated a long list of due process procedures. Nifong botched the photo line-up, turned his back on a disconfirming report of the examining nurse, ignored the fact that the accuser repeatedly changed her story, downplayed Mangum’s unsavory occupational activities, prejudiced the jury pool by publicly referring to the players as a “bunch of hooligans,” pandered to voters to secure his November re-election, and intentionally withheld exculpatory DNA evidence from a key report – and that’s only a partial listing.

When the books are closed on this case, history will recount the role played by Duke University president Richard Brodhead. It was Brodhead who incoherently remarked, “if they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough,” and fueled the hysteria by canceling the rest of the team’s season and suspending two of the players from the university.

People will long wonder why the “Group of 88” professors printed a defamatory letter on April 6 proclaiming that certain unnamed students “know themselves to be the objects of racism and sexism …regardless of the results of the police investigation.”

Regrettable, too, were the actions of Duke professor Houston Baker, who openly indulged in sexism and racism, denouncing the “drunken white male privilege loosed amongst us” and calling the players “scummy white males.”

And hopefully one day we can forget the specter of the Take Back the Night mobs who chanted death threats, eventually forcing one of the defendants to move out of his home.

Jesse Jackson also ended up on the wrong side of the issue. It was Jackson, of course, who shortly after DNA tests failed to match any evidence taken from the accuser, offered to pay Mangum’s college tuition so she would never again “have to stoop that low to survive.”

And let’s not forget Al Sharpton, notorious enabler of false rape accuser Tawana Brawley, who resorted to his usual grievance-mongering.

One day, perhaps USA Today will explain why it opened its pages on March 30, 2006 to malicious rants, one writer claiming the players belong to a “culture of rape” and “exercise their privilege on the bodies and minds of those of us in their environment.”

With luck we won’t be hearing again from Wendy Murphy, adjunct professor at the New England School of Law, who made television appearances to comment on the Duke case, repeatedly deriding the notion of the presumption of innocence. During one discussion on MSNBC Murphy claimed, “I have never, ever met a false rape claim.”

More deplorable was Wheelock College professor Gail Dines who, after the rape charges had been dropped in December, wrote an on-line article stating she was angry “at the way the media humanized these men as victims.”

A pox on New York Times columnist Harvey Araton who ridiculed the members of the Duke women’s lacrosse team after they wore sweatbands inscribed with the word “innocent” for a Final Four game in Boston.

Most of all, shame on serial rape accuser Crystal Gail Mangum. She filed a complaint in 1996 that she had been raped, but didn’t get around to filing the police report until years later. Mangum was willing to see the lives of the three accused men destroyed, millions of dollars in legal bills expended, and the male gender vilified, in order that she could indulge in her monstrous rape fantasy.

Yes, there are heroes in this sordid tale.

The North Carolina State Bar deserves credit for filing ethics charges against Michael Nifong. Attorney general Roy Cooper was courageous in his decision to exonerate the three players and blunt in scolding Nifong for his “tragic rush to accuse.”

Columnists Michael Gaynor and Wendy McElroy kept the public apprised of the unfolding scandal. Ed Bradley’s 60 Minutes expose on October 15 was a turning point. And throughout, the three accused players conducted themselves with all-star dignity.

The Duke lacrosse team is back on the field and rated in the top five nationally. The azaleas and daffodils are braving a mid-April cold snap. And students stroll to class toting their backpacks and iPods.

But for three former Duke students falsely accused of rape, their lives will never be the same.

Nancy Pelosi’s Power Trip

One of feminists’ favorite slogans goes like this: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” If you consider a House speaker who meets with a terrorist thug to be historical, then Nancy Pelosi recently proved that slogan to be true.

Defying Bush administration requests, Pelosi traveled last week to Israel and Syria hoping to thaw the ice between the long-standing Middle East adversaries. But Pelosi ignored the fact that Syrian president Assad represents an implacable threat to the region.

Pelosi garnered headlines last Wednesday with the claim that Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert was “ready to engage in negotiations for peace with Israel.”

But hours later the prime minister’s office issued a clarification -- Israel’s position had not changed, and chided Syria because it “continues to be part of the Axis of Evil and a force that encourages terror in the entire Middle East.”

Pelosi’s grandstanding attracted criticism from liberal and conservative commentators alike. The Washington Post called her trip “foolish” and an attempt to “substitute her own foreign policy for that of a sitting Republican president.” Vice president Cheney said the trip represented “bad behavior on her part.” Others called her effort “embarrassing” and “reckless.”

Shortly after the November elections, N.O.W. president Kim Gandy lionized Nancy Pelosi as the “first woman and self-identified feminist to become Speaker of the House.” Since then Pelosi seemingly has been obsessed with women and power. But Mrs. Pelosi is not the only high-profile politician to be caught up in a passion-pink power trip.

When senator Hillary Clinton traveled to New Hampshire last month, she commented, “I don't know about you, but I like seeing women in charge.” No one in the mainstream media seemed to be fazed by the sexist overtones of the remark. [ ]

So can we look forward to hearing attorney John Edwards exclaim, “I don’t know about you, but I like seeing trial lawyers in charge”? And will Mitt Romney be announcing that he’s hoping to soon see Mormons run the show?

It’s Hillary who keeps harping on her quest to “break the biggest glass ceiling in the land,” as she remarked last week. Remember that in fem-speak, “glass ceiling” is code language for “evil patriarchy.”

Mrs. Clinton’s real message to women, of course, is that her XX genetic make-up should trump her scanty legislative accomplishments, far-left policy positions, and grating personality.

One of Clinton’s biggest boosters is CBS anchor Katie Couric. Among the three major networks, Couric’s ratings are mired in last place, which may have something to do with her habit of unabashed cheerleading for feminist causes. Here’s one of Katie’s recent blog commentaries: “Women in power create MORE powerful women.” [ ]

Rosie O’Donnell, host of The View, is another reason we should be thankful for woman’s lib. The day after the State of the Union address, the discussion of world news turned to Nancy Pelosi. That inspired Barbara Walters to triumphantly raise her clenched fist while Rosie sang a round of “I am woman, hear me roar.” (Yes, seriously.)

But there’s a problem with the girl-power gig -- it quickly morphs into a frenzied paean to the uber-female.

Take a recent broadcast from National Public Radio’s Weekend America: [ ]

Newly-elected congresswoman Nancy Boyda from Kansas exclaimed, “women are going to be less inclined to look at the politics and just say, you know, I need health care for my family.” And Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona gushed, “women tend to be a better part of the process” and “we get so much done because we make lists.”

Who am I, after all, to dispute that well-honed logic?

On January 17 Diane Sawyer lead off her Good Morning America interview with 16 female senators with this question: “Do you believe that if there were more women presidents in the world, there would be less war?”

Apparently Sawyer never heard of Queen Mary I, the 16th century monarch of England. Affectionately known as Bloody Mary, she ordered 283 persons burned at the stake for religious heresy.

But my all-time favorite is the exchange that took place between a fawning Diane Sawyer and exultant Nancy Pelosi the day she was named Speaker of the House. Are you ready for this eye-witness account of history in the making?

Here’s Diane’s set-up: “We’re walking along with the camera, she looks at the carpet. It has lint on it, little scraps of paper. She can’t stand it. She gets down and cleans the carpet so we could walk.”

And Nancy’s aw-shucks explanation: “It’s just a bonus of having a female Speaker of the House.”

Yes, really.

Does Hillary Clinton Pass the Kitchen Test?

Just because she has assembled a well-oiled political machine and holds a commanding lead over the rest of the pack, doesn’t mean Hillary Clinton should go out and order the invitation cards for the inauguration ball. No, not by a long shot.

The true measure of Mrs. Clinton’s presidential stock is whether she can pass the Kitchen Test. You remember the Kitchen Test, right?

A couple years ago, president Bush nominated John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. I’ve met Mr. Bolton, and he seems to be a decent, straight-talking fellow.

But following Bolton’s senate confirmation hearing, senator George Voinovich of Ohio saw things differently: “I’ve heard enough today that I don’t feel comfortable about voting for Mr. Bolton. I think one’s interpersonal skills and their relationship with their fellow man – it’s a very important ingredient in anyone that works for me. I call it the Kitchen Test.”

Mr. Bolton flunked the Kitchen Test, which led to his eventual undoing. So I think it’s only fair that we also ask Mrs. Clinton to take the Kitchen Test. The voting public wants to know, how does Hillary Rodham Clinton treat her associates, aides, and family members?

So I’m sharing this remarkable compendium, with a hat-tip to my friends at Gateway Pundit. [ ]

I will warn you, however, that many of these statements are coarse, unladylike, and entirely inappropriate for children. Gentle reader, proceed with extreme caution:

  • “Put this on the ground! I left my sunglasses in the limo. I need those sunglasses. We need to go back!” -- Hillary ordering a Marine One helicopter pilot to turn back while en route to Air Force One.
  • “What are you doing inviting these people into my home? These people are our enemies! They are trying to destroy us!” -- Hillary screaming to an aide, when she found out that some Republicans had been invited to the Clinton White House.
  • “Son of a b*tch!” -- Hillary’s opinion of President George W. Bush when she found out he secretly visited Iraq on Thanksgiving just days before her trip in 2003.
  • “Where is the G-damn f**king flag? I want the G-damn f**king flag up every f**king morning at f**king sunrise.” -- Hillary to the staff at the Arkansas Governor’s mansion on Labor Day, 1991.
  • “You sold out, you mother f**ker! You sold out!” -- Hillary yelling at a Democratic lawyer.
  • “F**k off! It’s enough that I have to see you shit-kickers every day, I’m not going to talk to you too!! Just do your G*damn job and keep your mouth shut.” -- Hillary to her State Trooper bodyguards after one of them greeted her with “Good morning.”
  • “If you want to remain on this detail, get your f**king ass over here and grab those bags!” -- Hillary to a Secret Service Agent who was reluctant to carry her luggage because he wanted to keep his hands free in case of an incident.
  • “Get f**ked! Get the f**k out of my way!!! Get out of my face!!!” -- Hillary’s comments to her Secret Service detail agents.
  • “Stay the f**k back, stay the f**k away from me! Don’t come within 10 yards of me, or else! Just f**king do as I say, Okay!!!?” -- Hillary screaming at her Secret Service detail.

But it turns out Hillary’s abusive tendencies go beyond brow-beating and foul-mouthed intimidation. Hillary Clinton is also a batterer.

The first incident happened in 1993 when Hillary went after Bill with her fingernails, leaving a “mean claw mark along his jawline.” White House spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers later explained that Hillary’s vicious attack had been provoked by singer Barbara Streisand’s visit to the White House. [ ]

The second assault occurred on August 13, 1999 after Bill’s confession of the Monica Lewinsky affair. According to author Christopher Andersen, “Hillary rose to her feet and slapped him across the face -- hard enough to leave a red mark that would be clearly visible to Secret Service agents when he left the room.”

Then there are the accounts of Hillary hurling ashtrays, lamps, and books, once leaving a mark on Bubba’s face that required make-up. On one occasion Bill implored his Secret Service agent, “Keep that b*tch away from me!” The First Lady’s press secretary subsequently declined to deny these accounts. [ ]

As we all know, there’s no excuse for domestic violence. By any standard, these incidents are shocking and deplorable.

Mrs. Clinton, I’m afraid you don’t pass the Kitchen Test, especially for a job as demanding as Commander in Chief. And the U.N. ambassador post is obviously out of the question. Have you considered running for county dog-catcher?

More ERA Malarkey

Democratic Senators Edward Kennedy and Barbara Boxer resurrected the long-forgotten Equal Rights Amendment and then anointed it with a new name: the Women’s Equality Amendment.

And no coincidence, the very next day presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accepted an endorsement from the National Organization for Women. Seeking to deflect criticism over the move, Mrs. Clinton explained, “If you look in the dictionary, the word feminist means someone who believes in equal rights for women.”

So in the true Clintonian spirit, let’s parse the meaning of that elusive word, “equal.”

To most Americans, “equality” means granting persons the same opportunities to prosper and succeed. But the Lefties have something entirely different in mind. It was François-Noël Babeuf, the colorful agitator from the French Revolution, who gave rise to the artful ruse.

Babeuf, who organized the famed Conspiracy of Equals, painted his vision of an egalitarian utopia that would “organize a communal regimen which will suppress private property … require each to deposit the fruits of his labor in kind at the common store, and establish an agency for the distribution of basic necessities.”

To achieve that goal, “Society must be made to operate in such a way that it eradicates once and for all the desire of a man to become richer, or wiser, or more powerful than others,” Babeuf explained.

It was that ideal that later inspired Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. And of course that tome later provided the framework for the modern-day women’s liberation movement.

That’s why feminists think of equality in terms of identical outcomes. Case in point is Hillary’s bogus claim about the “gender wage gap.” What better way to consolidate your political base than to point the finger of blame at the patriarchy? That’s a lot easier than telling the truth that women simply prefer to work shorter hours and shoulder less hazardous jobs than men.

That obsession with the genderless society also lies behind the drive to impose a quota-driven interpretation of Title IX on America’s colleges. As a result, over 2,000 men’s sports teams have been forced to shut down.

But even the absurd has its limits, so the Gender Warriors have come up with several variations on the theme. Let’s count the ways:

1. Women’s libbers favor an a la carte concept of equality that disconnects rights from responsibilities. For example, what’s stopping Senators Kennedy, Boxer, and Clinton from introducing a bill that would require all young American women to register for the military draft? The modern-day Rosie the Riveters can be assigned to stateside and non-combatant roles -- that way they can really support the troops.

2. The rad-fems often think of equality as a one-way street. Look how they changed the name from the sex-neutral Equal Rights Amendment, which implies that men might also benefit, to the boys-stay-away title, Women’s Rights Amendment. But why shouldn’t men also be beneficiaries of equality? Why not give dads a fair shake at winning shared custody of their kids?

3. Feminists turn the meaning of equality on its head. Take health care, where men have long lagged women on longevity and every other measure of health status. But feminists have conveniently ignored that fact, claiming we need to make women more “equal” than men by creating a multi-billion dollar women’s health industry.

The Marxist dream of a classless society overlooks the reality that persons differ in their abilities, skills, and motivation. Which explains why every country founded on the collectivist ideal has eventually turned into an economic disaster or totalitarian nightmare.

Remember the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror when thousands who perished under the guillotine’s blade? Think of the Soviet Union, Communist China’s Cultural Revolution, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia. And now Venezuela -- the list goes on and on.

Likewise, the notion of a genderless society ignores the fact that men and women are constitutionally different. My investment advisor tells me that men tend to invest in go-go stocks, while women seek out safe but under-performing bonds. The reason is not exactly earth-shattering: Men are inclined to be risk-takers, while women yearn for financial security.

The lessons of the last 30 years prove that as a society accedes to the feminist vision of gender equality, families come under siege and single-parent households become the norm. The fabric of the social order is frayed. Men become marginalized and women distraught.

So given all the hidden agendas that come with the Hillary Clinton’s notion of “equal rights,” it’s not enough to state that the Women’s Rights Amendment is simply superfluous. It’s time to declare that imposing a Marxist vision of gender equality on our society is a perilous flirtation with social hari-kari.

Hillary’s Bitter Pill: Women Can’t Stand Her

Hillary Clinton’s polling numbers are tumbling, but the real shocker is how poorly she is faring with the female electorate. According to the recent Rasmussen poll, 43% of women say they will not vote for Hillary. And the latest poll by John Zogby reported an almost identical number – 42% of women would not vote for Mrs. Clinton under any circumstances.

Hillary’s gender problem is underscored by the bootleg Apple Computer 1984 ad. [ ] The person who hurls the hammer at Hillary’s Big Sister image is not some 40-something pony-tailed biker dude. No, it’s a young, athletic woman, exactly the demographic that Hillary hopes will put her over the top in November 2008.

Do a web search and you’ll find websites (such as ) and chat rooms buzzing with women who are flabbergasted at the mere thought of Hillary as 44th president of the United States.

One writes, “I, as a woman, would love to see a woman president, but am willing to wait for the right one.” Some refer to her has Hillary the Horrible or simply “that cold “b*tch.” At one recent conference, a smiling co-ed offered me a Hillary Barf Bag.

Many Democrats can’t stomach the idea of Hillary as president, either. The Zogby poll found that among likely Democratic voters, a surprising 18% stated they “would never cast a vote in Clinton’s favor.”

Opposition to Clinton runs high even among Democratic insiders. “There is no more divisive figure in the Democratic Party, much less the country, than the former first lady,” argues former Dukakis campaign manager Susan Estrich. And former NARAL Pro-Choice America director Kate Michelman has already signed on with the campaign of rival John Edwards.

No one disputes HRC’s intelligence and drive. So how did the coronation plans come unglued?

One answer can be found in Hillary’s Equal Pay video that is featured on her website: . There she repeats the wage-gap chestnut, “Here we are at the beginning of the 21st century and women still earn significantly less than men for doing the same jobs.”

But pandering to the “gender wage gap” poses a threat to women’s intelligence, and possibly their lifestyles.

That’s because men and women don’t do the same jobs. Men spend more years in the workforce, work longer hours, and are subjected to far more hazards – 93% of all workplace deaths involve men.

Hillary’s pay plan may also incur the wrath of liberal water-carriers like Katie Couric. The CBS News anchor reportedly earns $15 million a year. At ABC Charlie Gibson rakes in $7 million, and NBC’s Brian Williams ekes by on a measly $4 million. All three do essentially the same jobs. So under Hillary’s scheme, Katie would be forced to cut her salary by at least half.

Now watch Hillary’s Equal Pay video a second time, but with the sound turned off. Observe her expressions – watch how she condescendingly arches her brow. Don’t expect to find any hint of warmth or sincerity. What you see is the visage of an angry and calculating woman.

But Mrs. Clinton’s problem goes deeper than her screeching rhetoric and all-around sourpuss attitude. Hillary’s problem with women is her attitude towards women.

Remember her famous 60-Minutes remark, “I’m not sitting here as some little woman ‘standing by my man’ like Tammy Wynette”? That comment revealed a scornful attitude towards those ladies who choose an ideology and lifestyle that deviates from the feminist creed.

Probe into the feminist world-view, and you discover a philosophy that is deeply distrustful of women and their ability to make decisions on their own behalf. Simone de Beauvoir, grand-dame of the modern-day feminist movement, openly displayed this arrogance:

“No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children …. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”

And attend a local staging of The Vagina Monologues. Note the apparent satisfaction of the actresses chanting the names of their private body parts. Can anyone think of a more demeaning way to treat women? It’s somehow fitting that Hillary invited Eve Ensler, creator of TVM, to serve on her Senate exploratory committee.

So while Clinton mouths the mantra of female choice and liberation, what she really seeks is unquestioning fealty to an ideology that demands women’s obeisance to the blandishments of the Nanny State.

Most ladies sense a master manipulator behind the green velvet curtain. And that’s Hillary Rodham Clinton’s problem with women.

Mostly in Denial about the Fem-Fascists

I first offer an apology to my readers who may be put off by the tone of this week’s column. But as I explain below, I have reached the conclusion that modern-day feminism has become totalitarian in its ideology, tactics, and objectives.

Nancy Hopkins, an M.I.T. biology professor who presumably knew something about sex differences, had a fainting fit at the mention that maybe, just maybe, there are innate distinctions between men and women.

The man who uttered the heresy, who happened to be the president of Harvard University, was subjected to a firestorm of criticism and abuse. Drew Gilpin Faust was named to head up the investigation. At the time Faust was the head of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, “one of the most powerful incubators of feminist complaint and nonsensical academic theory in the country,” reveals Heather MacDonald.

Despite serial apologies and a truce offer packaged as a $50 million faculty diversity program, president Lawrence Summers was eventually forced to step down. And last month Harvard University named his replacement -- you guessed it, Drew Gilpin Faust.

And that’s how the radical feminists staged a bloodless coup d’etat at America’s most prestigious university, all in the space of two short years.

Last week David Horowitz of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture revealed the reach of feminist hegemony. Horowitz reviewed program descriptions from 100 Women’s Studies programs around the country and found that “Indoctrination in dogmatic creeds such as gender feminism” has become “an orthodoxy.” [ ]

For anyone who knows the history of eastern Europe in the 1950s or of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, these accounts are sure to send chills running up your spine.

Some courageous souls have taken it upon themselves to expose the power plays.

Take judge Robert Dierker of the 22nd Judicial Court of Missouri. When a sexual harassment case came before him, Dierker not only ruled against the claim, he also made an aside about the “cloud cuckooland of radical feminism.” Oh my! That remark brought down the PC police, forcing Dieker to explain whether he harbored any “preconceived bias against women.”

Eventually cleared of the charge, Dieker felt compelled to write the must-read book, “The Tyranny of Tolerance.” His account highlights the “schizoid femifascist philosophy – which oscillates between demanding equality with men and demanding better treatment than men.” With bracing candor Dieker reveals, “At its core, the femifascist agenda is based on hatred for men. Hatred is not too strong a word to apply to the most radical feminism.”

No surprise, a complaint has already been filed with the Missouri’s judicial oversight commission. After all, only those who espouse the truth should have the right to free speech.

Women are beginning to lose patience with the Lavender Ladies, as well. In Germany, TV anchorwomen Eva Herman wrote a book last year credited with spurring the anti-feminist revolution. Now she has released the sequel, “Dear Eva Herman.” The work contains letters from women like this: “The fact you’ve been criticized as being a traitor towards women shows just what sort of femi-fascism we have to live under nowadays.”

Most think of fascists as jackbooted brownshirts leading away the innocent at midnight. That’s not happening in America, of course.

But think twice – are you aware of the unfettered power we have ceded to the state under the rubric of curbing “domestic violence”?

Guys, imagine you get into an argument with your wife. Nothing physical, just a once-in-a-blue-moon blow-out. But a neighbor or passer-by overhears your wife’s screams, and calls the police.

Guess what, you’ll be hustled out of your house, probably in handcuffs. And then they’ll stamp the indelible ‘A’ on your record – Abuser. According to one report, this is a commonplace event -- one million American men are preemptively ordered out of their homes each year, even when no physical abuse is even alleged. [ ]

This unprecedented roll-back of rights in the name of stopping partner abuse is happening in other countries as well.

In India, almost anything qualifies as domestic “violence,” and now we’re seeing a rash of suicides by falsely-accused husbands. And Mexico just passed a law that could put a man in jail simply because he became jealous.(!)

When he was president, Ronald Reagan explained, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

Now, a generation after those words were spoken, we are coming to terms with a new and undeniable threat to our liberties, our values, and our families: fem-fascism.

Hillary Headed for a Britney-Style Meltdown?

A few weeks ago Hillary Rodham Clinton surprised a San Francisco audience with the announcement, “I’m not running as a woman candidate.” But then HRC had a change of heart, and on March 6 she unveiled her “I Can Be President” effort designed to appeal to women.

That was a smart move, because the last few weeks the Hillary-for-First-Mom bandwagon has hit some rather unpleasant road-bumps. Now Barack Obama is closing in on Hillary’s once insurmountable lead.

First the New York Post revealed that her campaign had agreed to buy the endorsement of South Carolina state Senator Darrell Jackson to the tune of $10,000 a month. A few days later the Washington Post reported that Mrs. Clinton had failed to list a family charity on her Senate financial disclosure report – not once, but five times.

More proof, I assume, of Hillary’s claim that “the presence of women raises the standards of ethical behavior and lowers corruption.” [ ]

Then in late February media mogul David Geffen took a swipe at the Clintons by saying, “Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it’s troubling.” And a week later former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called Hillary “a nasty woman” who runs an “endlessly ruthless” campaign machine.

Ouch, that hurts!

That hardnosed campaign apparatus was highlighted in a Feb. 25 Washington Post article that revealed the edict to bar any discussion of Bill’s sexual improprieties. “Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has a new commandment for the 2008 presidential field: Thou shalt not mention anything related to the impeachment of her husband,” the Post revealed. [ ]

Is this the harbinger of an open and honest election campaign?

Then there was her secret appearance at the homosexual Human Rights Campaign meeting on March 3 – secret in the sense that it wasn’t listed on Hillary’s official campaign schedule. But someone forgot to shut off the camera as the introducer detailed how HRC schemed to block the Federal Marriage Amendment. [ ]

The next day the campaign staff sent Mrs. Clinton to Selma, Alabama in a bid to upstage Mr. Obama. Speaking in her New York imitation of a southern drawl, she told the congregants at the First Baptist Church that as a high school student, “I had the great privilege of hearing Dr. King speak in Chicago.” That speech inspired her to support “the great revolution that the civil rights pioneers were waging on behalf of a more perfect union.”

Do you know what Hillary did to advance the great revolution? Get ready for this…

Young Hillary, a Republican at the time, went out and bought herself a cowgirl outfit so she could dress up as “a Goldwater girl,” as she wrote in her memoirs. Of course it was Barry Goldwater who soon joined with southern Democratic segregationists to oppose the Voting Rights Act of 1964, a law that had been inspired by Martin Luther King.

Clinton was thoughtful enough to withhold that tidbit from her Selma audience. After all, it’s considered impolite to partake of incredulous belly laughter in church.

So the next weekend Mrs. Clinton found herself in New Hampshire. For the umpteenth time she reflected on the challenge of becoming the first female president – but this time with a new twist:

“A lot of people back then said, ‘American will never elect a Catholic as president.’ But those who gathered here almost half a century ago knew better. They believed American was bigger than that and American would give Sen. John F. Kennedy a fair shake … So when people tell me, ‘A woman can never be president,’ I say, ‘We’ll never know unless we try.’”

Mrs. Clinton, I can think of a number of persons who remind me of your shabby ethics, your shrill rhetoric, and your obsession with playing the victim. But JFK isn’t one of them.

And finally is the sizzling reprise of the famous Apple Computer 1984 commercial, this time depicting Hillary as Big Sister:

Over the last several months we have witnessed the sad unraveling of several high-profile figures including Ana Nicole Smith, former astronaut Lisa Nowak, and Britney Spears.

Presidential wannabee Hillary resembles a celebrity musician more than a traditional political candidate. Every few days the star makes an appearance, goes through her well-rehearsed routine, and poses for the camera.

But the emotional high is short-lived and the audience tires of the glitz. To compensate, the performances become more fevered, the music gets louder, and the gyrations more strained.

Hillary Clinton is pursuing her quest for the White House with Britney-like intensity. But with 20 months left until the election, one wonders how long her high-octane crusade can maintain the pace.

Woozles in the Name of Protecting Women?

The Gender Warriors have discovered the perfect wedge issue, one that carries raw, visceral appeal with liberals and conservatives alike, and to a large swath of the American electorate.

But there’s a catch: For this issue to work, the truth must purged from general awareness. Researchers have to be re-educated, or if need be, cowed into silence. And the media must be goaded to cooperate.

The issue is domestic violence.

This area has become so strewn with Urban Legends that researchers have dubbed them the “woozle effect.” Remember when Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet went hunting and almost caught a woozle?

Dr. Richard Gelles of the University of Pennsylvania is one of the best-known researchers in this field. Gelles recently published an article in Family Court Review that exposes many of these woozles. [ ] Here’s a sampling:

  • “The Centers for Disease Control reports that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women ages 15 to 44.” Interesting, but the CDC never said anything like that.
  • “According to the March of Dimes, battering during pregnancy is the leading cause of birth defects.” That factoid certainly came as a surprise to the March of Dimes.
  • “Female perpetrators of partner homicide serve longer jail sentences than males” Here’s the truth: the average prison sentence for male offenders is 17 years, and for female murderers is 6 years.

The woozles continue.

This past November the Washington Times ran a front-page story that claimed, “A 2005 U.N. Population Fund report found that 70% of married women in India were victims of beatings or rape.”

The notion that 70% of Indian husbands are batterers or rapists defies reason or common sense. So on November 28 the Washington Times was compelled to admit the mistake, saying the United Nations “does not have sufficient data” to make any such claim.

Then there’s the outright suppression of research findings, like one federally funded survey directed by the Kentucky Commission on Women. The interviews revealed that 38% of all violence consisted of unprovoked attacks by women on their male partners -- but that key statistic was omitted from the final report. The cover-up was not discovered until other researchers obtained a copy of the raw data.

And recently the U.S. Department of Justice issued a grant solicitation that specifically prohibited any “proposals for research on intimate partner violence against, or stalking of males of any age.” How’s that for good ol’ fashioned sex bias?

But scientists are still reluctant to kow-tow to the whims of political correctness. So extraordinary measures may become necessary.

Dr. Suzanne Steinmetz knows this from first-hand experience. Her research at the University Delaware revealed that women are as likely to resort to partner violence as men. In response, partisans launched a year-long intimidation campaign. The organizers of one conference were threatened that “if they allowed me to speak, the place would be bombed … I also received a couple of phone calls saying it wouldn’t be safe for my children to go out,” Steinmetz later revealed.

Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire, honored with many awards for his research on family violence, has been shunned for not toeing the ideological line. He has been threatened, heckled, and booed to the point of preventing him from speaking at several college forums.

Another target of the tyranny of ideological conformity is Erin Pizzey. Founder of the first women’s shelter in England, Pizzey published a book that revealed 62% of the women at her shelter had physically attacked their male partners. The result? The police had to be summoned to escort her on the book tour, and she was once shot at. [ ]

All this, of course, in the name of stopping violence against women.

Some would say the distortions and the threats are justified. After all, the domestic violence industry has succeeded in leveraging persons’ fears into a $1 billion-a-year campaign devoted to protecting women from abuse. Why take issue with that?

But what if the truth came out that our country’s War on Domestic Abuse was flatly ineffective in reducing violence, that it ignored the wishes of victims, and that it sometimes placed women at greater risk of abuse? [ ]

And what if it became known that our nation’s domestic violence laws were violating the civil rights of millions and were needlessly breaking up families, forcing children to grow up in single-parent households? [ ]

What would we do then?

Feminist Eugenics

Nearly a century ago a young Austrian corporal became inspired by the vision of creating a Master Race. Once he declared himself the Führer, Adolf Hitler set out to assure the ascendancy of biologically “valuable” Germans. From 1934 to 1937 the Nazi regime sterilized an estimated 400,000 persons whom they viewed as physically and mentally unfit.

To silence his critics, Hitler justified his extermination program by invoking the scientific discipline of eugenics, a word derived from the Greek for “good birth.”

Across the Atlantic, Margaret Sanger was another proponent of the burgeoning movement. A member of the Eugenics Societies in both the United States and England, Sanger penned Woman and the New Race which spelled out her utopian, if unconventional vision. [ ]

Laced with contempt for the female sex, Sanger wrote in 1920, “woman has, through her reproductive ability, founded and perpetuated the tyrannies of the Earth … Had she planned deliberately to achieve this tragic total of human waste and misery, she could hardly have done it more effectively.”

Sanger’s 1932 “Plan for Peace” took this analysis to its logical conclusion. She argued for the need to “apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted” and to “give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization.” Sanger would later clarify that “dysgenic groups” included African-Americans.

The legacy of Margaret Sanger continues to this day. As we know, Sanger founded the Planned Parenthood Foundation of America, which later gave rise to the establishment of the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952.

So in 1979, China implemented its infamous One-Child Policy, which soon spurred complaints of forced sterilizations, coercive abortions, and infanticides. A 2001 report revealed that government authorities in Guangdong province had set a quota of 20,000 forced abortions.

But if a couple is allowed only one child, many may confront a difficult choice. Most families eke out a hard-scrabble existence where the next day’s meal can never be taken for granted. By all accounts, a boy can be sent to work the fields and tend the herd at an earlier age than a girl. And in many societies, aging parents can expect to receive financial support from their son.

Fetal ultrasound became the technology that allowed couples to make this decision. A portable ultrasound machine can be purchased for only a few thousand dollars. And an abortion can be had at little or no cost.

This soon gave rise to what doctors in India call “coffee-bar abortions” – terminate your pregnancy and then hang out at the nearby coffee-bar to sip cappuccino.

Joseph D’Agostino has dubbed the rise in sex-selective abortions as “Feminism’s Triumph: Exterminating Girls.” [ ] Experts disagree on the overall toll, but an article published in the medical journal Lancet pegs the number at 100 million aborted girls, mostly in China and India. In China alone, UNICEF estimates there are only 832 girls per 1,000 boys.

Feminists have a compulsion to impose radical social change and when things go sour, blaming the subsequent fiasco on the patriarchy. The problem of sex-selective abortions is no exception to this rule.

Over the past several decades, the Avatars of Abortion have waged a determined campaign to make abortions available around the world. Of course they will never admit to the possibility that their lethal crusade has anything to do with the current population imbalance.

Instead, the fems deflect the blame, speaking darkly of the “deep-seated power differences between the sexes.” That aspersion conveniently ignores the fact that in India, a large segment of the doctors who profit from the nation’s $100 million sex-selection industry are women.

And exactly how is “male privilege” fostered by leaving millions of Asian men without any prospect of finding a wife?

Ultrasound machines were popularized in the mid-1980s. Twenty years later, we now have a generation of men in their late teens and early twenties in search of a partner. This has the makings of a demographic disaster. In western India, for example, young women from Nepal and Bangladesh are trucked in as “paros” – for a price, of course -- to rectify the gender imbalance.

So what is the solution to the epidemic of female feticides? Laws that ban the practice have been found to be ineffective. Requiring doctors to fill out extra forms, as they do in India, hasn’t worked. And posting warning signs at ultrasound facilities is worthless.

So what can be done to stop this 21st century population time-bomb? To my mind, there is one obvious cure for this modern-day eugenics experiment, an approach that indeed has a reasonable chance of success: Ban abortions.

Foul Emanations from the U.N.

Wondering about all the backpack-toting, hairy-legged women ambling around New York City this week? They’re the delegates to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Don’t expect to hear about random acts of kindness from this bunch. These women care about only one thing – freeing the planet from the baleful influence of patriarchy.

The word “patriarchy,” of course, simply refers to male leadership. History shows that patriarchs have spared women from the dirtiest, harshest, and most hazardous lines of work. That’s part of the reason why in almost every country, men have shorter lifespans than women. [ ]

But at the U.N., patriarchy now takes the blame for everything that’s wrong with the world, from global warming, the spread of AIDS, and no doubt tooth decay.

To keep the fervor strong, the drumbeat of female victimization must be continually sounded. It matters little that the assertions are over-wrought, one-sided, or mendacious. So it’s an amusing exercise to occasionally catalog the falsehoods that regularly arise from the U.N.

I will warn you these statements are cleverly calculated to play upon persons’ sympathies and fears. So before you are tempted to believe them, refer to the indicated web address:

1. “Women are 70% of the world’s poor.” – Hillary Clinton, World Conference on Women, Beijing, China, 1995. Hillary can now add “teller of tall-tales” to her all-star resumé:

2. “. . . women and children account for the vast majority of those adversely affected by armed conflict.” – Security Council Resolution No. 1325, 2000. A bizarre claim that defies common sense:

3. “However, as is often the case in times of crisis, women are bearing the brunt of years of war and sanctions in Iraq.” -- United Nations Development Program, 2003. A one-sided statement, at best:

4. “The majority of the victims of human trafficking are women and children.” – Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Women, 2006. That’s not what the Migration Policy Institute says:

5. “Violence against women persists in every country of the world as a pervasive violation of human rights and a major impediment to achieving gender equality.” – Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Women, 2006. “Gender equality” – can’t the Mischievous Maidens at least come up with a new slogan?

6. “We know that women do about 66% of the work in the world, they produce 50% of the food, but earn 5% of the income and own 1% of the property.” – UNICEF director Ann Veneman, 2007. One of those pseudo-scientific claims that no one could back up:

When persons repeat a lie often enough, they begin to believe them. And soon statements that would smack of bigotry in any other context become acceptable:

1. “Women and children must be at the center of response to Southern Africa's humanitarian crisis.” -- Carol Bellamy, former UNICEF director, 2003.

2. “… all our work for development — from agriculture to health....must focus on the needs and priorities of women.” -- Louise Frechette, former UN Deputy Secretary-General, 2003.

3. My priorities will be “the health of women.” -- Margaret Chan, director of the World Health Organization, 2006.

Over the years the women’s movement has undergone a social make-over. A century ago, feminism was a bona fide liberation effort designed to assure equal rights and opportunities. Who could be against that?

Then the cause morphed into its self-gratification phase, which it euphemistically referred to as “female empowerment.” As author Myrna Blyth puts it, “narcissism is an advanced evolutionary stage of female liberation. Me, me, me, means you’re finally free, free, free.” And don’t lose sleep if you tell an occasional white lie or level a false accusation – after all, it’s for a good cause.

In the 1990s, feminism evolved into the totalitarian period. That’s when the fems began to harness the power of the state to win a series of legal privileges and female-only laws, such as the Violence Against Women Act and Title IX which imposed rigid quotas on school athletics. Their justification: Women needed to play “catch-up” after eons of oppression and neglect.

And now, feminism is reaching its natural culmination, the stage of social destruction. See what the UN feminists did to UNICEF. Look at how they maligned traditional notions of masculinity and femininity. And witness the disintegration of the traditional family.

That’s what always happens to social movements that are inspired by the Marxist creed.

The Rehabilitation of Astronaut Lisa Nowak

It was one of those stories that not even a Hollywood scriptwriter could dream up: A NASA astronaut stows a steel mallet, 4-inch knife, rubber tubing, gloves, and trash bags in her car. She straps on an astro-diaper and drives 900 miles to Orlando. During the wee hours of February 6, she disguises herself with a wig, glasses, and trench coat. Confronting her romantic rival in the airport parking lot, she douses Colleen Shipman with pepper spray.

An outrageous deed, for sure. Have you noticed that the more bizarre the crime, the more persons lean over backwards to make excuses for the perp?

Like school teacher Debra Lafave who raped a 14-year-old student in Florida. Her lawyer claimed, “To place an attractive young woman into that kind of hellhole is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions.” That raw appeal to judicial chivalry relieved Lafave from the inconvenience of a single day of jail time.

And remember the Clara Harris case? In 2002 she repeatedly mowed down her husband, David, with her Mercedes-Benz. Both of them had been involved in extra-marital affairs. Now serving a 20-year sentence in a Texas prison, she was ordered last month to pay $3.75 million in restitution to her ex-husband’s family.

But guess who the media portrayed as the “lying, cheating scumbag” who “deserved what he got”? Hint: CBS portrayed Mrs. Harris in a 2004 movie as the betrayed wife and pitiable victim. [ ]

So back to Orlando, Florida, where we discover that literally within hours of the crime, the rehabilitation of Astronaut Lisa Nowak is set to begin.

Initially the prosecutor charged Nowak only with attempted kidnapping. Excuse me, Mr. Prosecutor, but exactly how do you kidnap a person with a steel mallet, latex gloves, and trash bags?

Soon two fellow astronauts flew to Orlando. No, not to conduct an inquiry or make sure the victim was recovering from the attack. Rather, “Our primary concern is [Nowak’s] health and well-being, and that she get through this,” according to Steve Lindsay.

The first round of news coverage was objective, featuring photos of Nowak being lead into the courtroom in handcuffs, her head hanging in shame. But the very next day, the public rehabilitation of Lisa Nowak would begin in earnest.

On Wednesday, media coverage turned jocular. Newstands were filled with headlines about Astro-nut Nowak, Lust in Space, and the Dark Side of the Loon. Anything to keep persons’ minds off the sobering reality of an innocent person being bludgeoned with a hammer.

And drooling over the high-profile story on Valentine’s Day, newspapers speculated whether Nowak had caused the break-up of the marriage of her love object two years before.

By Thursday, media coverage had morphed into a soap opera promo: “The sad tale of Lisa Nowak” and “Lisa Marie Nowak’s life was falling apart” were the leads of two articles I saw.

Even level-headed columnists went gah-gah.

Myrna Blyth suggested the attack was not as strange as some might think, claiming in her Feb. 9 column, “There’s a crazy astronaut in all of us.” And John Derbyshire pooh-poohed the entire episode, saying that “women are not actually very good at this sort of thing.” I’m sure that assurance will come as consolation to the grieving families of the 1,200 persons who are knocked off every year by hit-women.

Of course when People magazine did its front-page story, it was all about Lisa, Lisa, and more Lisa: a “naturally gifted” woman who yearned for a space career at the tender age of five, Robo-chick astronaut, and a stressed-out but “very loving” mother of three.

And what about Colleen Shipman, victim of the premeditated murder attack? In the entire 6-page spread, People magazine devoted a grand total of 5 sentences to her plight. Sorry, Colleen, your harrowing experience just didn’t fit into the storyline.

Mind you, the crime took place last week, and the rehabilitation of Lisa Nowak has only just begun. We’re still awaiting a call from Katie Couric, and of course the obligatory Oprah interview.

And soon we’ll be hearing that Nowak was the heroic survivor of an abusive childhood, she waged a lonely campaign to break the glass ceiling, and her ex-husband once raised his voice in stern rebuke.

Before long we will all agree that Lisa Marie Nowak, despondent from the recent break-up of her 19-year marriage, was unwittingly seduced into a love triangle and attempted a Halloween-type prank in futile revenge. Her actions were surely more worthy of sympathy than scorn.

At that point, what need will there be for a trial?

Are Female Politicians Other-Centered?

A few years ago Marie Wilson, director of the White House Project, made the remarkable claim that female politicians lead “from an other-centered perspective,” while those Neanderthal male pols tend to be “self-centered.”

I admit this came as news to me, but if it’s true, perhaps we should dispense with the formalities and anoint Hillary as the next Commander-in-Chief. That way we can enjoy the morning newspaper for the next couple years without being subjected to all the electioneering falderal.

In the past, whenever the Women of Woe invoked the cause of female liberation, we were expected to reflexively nod our heads in rapt agreement. Maybe it’s time to put some of their pronouncements under the microscope.

So are female politicos, in fact, “other-centered”?

To answer that question, let’s pay a visit to the website of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues – that’s the group that’s been Nancy Pelosi constant cheerleader for all these years.

Problem is, the Women’s Caucus doesn’t have a website. These ladies’ ethics are so squeaky-clean there’s no need for transparency or accountability.

But persistence pays off, and I eventually discovered the “Report on Accomplishments of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues in the 108th Congress.” Surely this 56-page document would put the argument to rest whether the gentle-hearted gals are the more compassionate sex.

So let’s scan the table of contents. Hmmmm. Education and Athletics, International Women’s Issues, Violence Against Women, Women’s Health, Women’s History, Women in the Military, and Women in the Workplace.

Looks pretty one-sided to me. Maybe the other-centered stuff is buried inside.

So on page 14 I read, “A bipartisan effort by the Women’s Caucus leadership succeeded in tripling U.S. contributions for programs supporting women and girls overseas through the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).”

Fine, but what about needy boys around the world?

Like the teenage boys in Africa who have become night commuters so they aren’t kidnapped and pressed into military combat. And all the boys in Afghanistan who were sent out to tend the goat herd, only to lose a limb to unexploded ordinance. And the 2,000 young boys from Bangladesh taken from their homes to work as camel jockeys in the Persian Gulf -- are they less deserving of our compassion and largess?

The truth is, the Women’s Caucus comes across like any other narrow interest group, pretending the male half of the world doesn’t exist.

But let’s be fair. Maybe the ladies are simply making up for several millenia of neglect. The Congressional Men’s Caucus must be just as self-serving as the Women’s Caucus. Right?

Actually, there is no “Men’s Caucus.” Why? Because it never occurs to male politicians to single out men’s issues for special attention.

Look at the two major pieces of domestic legislation that the Daddy Party has enacted over the last 6 years: No Child Left Behind and the Medicare Drug Benefit. No Child Left Behind is designed to help children struggling to get an education in inner-city schools. And you guessed it, the Medicare Drug program predominantly benefits women.

In her acceptance speech as first female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi proudly exclaimed, “Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling.”

As “Mimi” Pelosi spoke those words, her five grandsons were standing at her side with a slightly confused expression. The thought crossed my mind that compared to girls, her grandsons were at greater danger of having lower grades, falling behind in school, and never going to college.

One can only wonder whether the indelicate reality of our boys at risk has ever tweaked the conscience of Madame Speaker.

CEDAW and I-VAWA: Double-Trouble for Families

Senator Joe Biden kicked off his improbable run for the White House with the pronouncement that Illinois senator Barack Obama was sufficiently “clean” to serve as a worthy opponent -- reassuring news to Mr. Obama, I’m sure.

Now we’re ready for some serious, issues-oriented campaigning.

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Biden soon will be proposing a treaty that would place all U.S. domestic policy under the scrutiny of a United Nations oversight committee.

The treaty goes by the innocent-sounding name, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women – CEDAW for short -- and presents itself as an international “bill of rights” for women. Who could possibly be against that?

But like all things feminist, what you see is not what you get. Because when the rad-fems espouse equality, they are not referring to equal opportunity.

A report from the International Women’s Rights Action Watch revealed far more than it intended: “the CEDAW Convention [emphasizes that] the measure of a state’s action to secure the human rights of women and men needs to ensure equality of results [these three words in bold] . . . Thus, the state is obligated to show results, not just stop at frameworks of equality that are strong on paper.”

In other words, complementary and mutually-respectful roles of men and women would be phased out in favor of the gender-less society. Scary, but that’s what they really want.

But there’s a sticking point to this utopian design. Motherhood has a funny way of discouraging women from putting in 60-hour work weeks, doing long-haul truck runs, and trying to scale the corporate ladder.

Feminists understand that, so their solution is to break up marriages (all the harder for women to get pregnant). And at the sign of the first playful tug, CEDAW advocates would cart the woman off to her neighborhood abortionist.

Promoting abortions may seem easy, but breaking up the family, the foundational unit of society, is not. So feminists have seized on the issue of “domestic violence” – and that’s where I-VAWA comes in.

I-VAWA stands for the International Violence Against Women Act. By now you have probably guessed that Senator Joe Biden is planning to introduce this bill, as well. And who in their right mind could oppose a bill with that name?

Experience shows that domestic violence programs have a lot more to do with breaking up families than curbing partner abuse.

According to the latest report from the Department of Justice, only 2% of domestic violence incidents involve married couples in an intact relationship. [ ] But to weaken the bonds of holy matrimony, the Purveyors of Pink Paranoia must convince women that their husbands are actually closet batterers.

Case in point is Claudia Garcia-Moreno, director of the WHO Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health, who made this startling claim: “We found that women’s greatest risk of violence is from a partner.” [ ]

Not so fast, Ms. Garcia-Moreno -- time to bring in the Truth Squad.

According to the landmark World Health Organization’s Report on Violence and Health, half a million women die each year from intentional violence. But when you work through the numbers, only about 13% of those deaths involved homicides committed by husbands or boyfriends.

So right there Garcia-Moreno is way off the mark. But the WHO logic gets even more loony.

Because you have to realize that the WHO defines “violence” far more broadly than you or I could ever imagine. The WHO claims with a straight face that violence includes “those acts that result from a power relationship” that includes all types of “psychological abuse.”

And we know those all-powerful patriarchs constantly lord it over their downtrodden wives and girlfriends. Which basically means all male-female relationships are abusive.

So if your wife got inspired to do a little Janet Jackson number during Sunday’s Super Bowl and, heaven forbid you told her to lay off -- fella, you just committed domestic violence!

Once women begin to view everything through the prism of gender, power, and abuse, it’s no surprise that they look to the Nanny State as a substitute husband.

That’s what’s going on in India, courtesy of the 2006 Domestic Violence Act. [] That’s what is occurring in the United States, thanks to the Violence Against Women Act. [ ]

And that’s what’s going to happen to the rest of the world if we let candidate Joe Biden have his way with the International Violence Against Women Act.

Hillary’s Gender War

The greatest controversy during the upcoming political campaign will not be Republican vs. Democrat or conservative against liberal. Rather, the most riveting debate is likely to revolve around the question of whether a female president can better lead the nation than a man. It will be the ultimate Battle of the Sexes, played out in endless bedroom discussions, backyard debates, and newspaper headlines.

Three years ago Marie Wilson wrote a book called Closing the Leadership Gap in which she wrote (somewhat ungrammatically) that the United States “has been steered by male leadership who tend to lead from a self-centered, self-preservation perspective,” whereas, “Women…are inclined to lead, their families and nations, from an other-centered perspective.

Hillary Rodham Clinton soon picked up on that theme and began to brag that female officials are more truthful than their male counterparts. At the 2005 Women’s Global Leadership Summit, HRC claimed that “Research shows the presence of women raises the standards of ethical behavior and lowers corruption.”

And others argue that a more caring and peaceful disposition of the fairer sex will lead to a less bellicose world.

Of course these claims are so over-the-top that they are almost self-refuting. Should we start with the notion that women are more ethical?

O Hillary, let me count the ways: insider cattle-future deals, denials of the Madison Guaranty retainer, White House travel office firings, and many, many more.

Then the bone-tickler that you were named after Edmund Hillary’s mountaineering feats. You were born in 1947 and Sir Hillary’s conquest of Mount Everest wasn’t until, let’s see, 1953. Oh well, it made for a good conversation-starter.

In fact entire books have been penned about your calculating manner and ethical lapses. But hey, I don’t want to be accused of piling on!

But the notion that women are more ethical than men? Well, just ask Speaker Nancy Pelosi about that fishy minimum wage deal she finagled with Star-Kist Tuna a couple weeks ago.

Now what about Marie Wilson’s claim that female leaders are “other-centered”?

Say what you want about men and women at home. But my first-hand observation of elected officials leans to the opposite of Wilson’s stereotype.

Elect a man to office and the first thing he does is pass a law that benefits women. Blame it on the patriarchy, chivalry, or political savvy -- I don’t know, but that’s what happens. Yes, men are so predictable.

Take Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and welfare programs – all were passed by largely male legislators, all are paid for mostly by male taxpayers, and all have a majority of female beneficiaries.

Now let’s look at the record of female elected officials -- sorry, folks, this won’t be pretty.

Can you think of a single Congresswoman who has pushed for funding to help boys who are falling behind in school? Can you name a law for prostate cancer research that was spearheaded by a woman? (For the record, it was Sen. Ted Kennedy who first seized on the idea of championing breast cancer research.) Can you wise me up to a single female-sponsored resolution that sympathized with the injustice of loving dads who are barred from seeing their kids?

Hillary and Nancy both claim to be pro-children, and then advocate for “a women’s right to chose.” Help me out ladies, you’ll need to explain that connection to me.

OK, maybe women aren’t more ethical or “other-centered” after all. But surely they are harbingers of a kinder, gentler world. Right?

Within hours of Hillary’s announcement of her candidacy, the pundits were predicting this was going to be one of the nastiest campaigns on record. And traveling to Iowa just a week later, Mrs. Clinton proved them right.

Speaking before a group of 50 Democrats, HRC took off the kid gloves: “When attacked, you have to deck your opponents,” the gentle soul from Chappaqua boasted.

But she saved her best salvo for an appearance at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. In response to a question about greedy, rotten leaders like Osama bin Laden, Clinton responded with a mischievous grin, “And what in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men?”

I am certain of this: No male politician has made a similarly demeaning reference to women. But Hillary’s comment triggered hooting and laughter among the ladies present.

And when Clinton later tried to explain her anti-male broadside to a group of journalists, all they could do was groan in response to her self-serving claim that she was just being a “little funny.”

Some may say the Battle of the Sexes is the spice of life. Fine. But Mrs. Clinton, I don’t think we need to start a Gender War.

Twilight Zone Politics at the UN

What happens when half-truths and outright dishonesty come to dominate the thinking of an entire organization? This is my observation of the current state of affairs at the United Nations, at least when it come to matters of sex. There, the mantras of “gender equality” and “female empowerment” have crowded out notions of what ordinary persons used to call “fairness” and “truth.”

To put the matter in perspective, let’s consider longevity, considered one of the best measures of how persons are faring in the world.

According to the World Health Organization, men’s lifespan is lagging in almost every country around the globe. In the United States, the gap is five years. In Russia and eastern Europe, men are dying 14 years before women. Imagine trying to sustain an economy when large swaths of your most productive workers are dying in their 30s and 40s.

A couple years ago I documented WHO’s neglect of men’s health and concluded, “Something has gone terribly wrong. The health programs of the World Health Organization and other agencies are violating the U.N.’s most cherished founding principles.” [ ]

But apparently that commentary didn’t make it to the attention of Dr. Margaret Chan of China, recently named to head up the World Health Organization. Accepting her appointment, Chan pledged her priorities would be “The health of the people of Africa, and the health of women.”

Why don’t we just call it “exorbitant irrationality” and leave it at that?

But the WHO is not the only UN agency that has fallen into the bitter slough of the feminist “men-stay-away” creed:

1. In early January UNICEF published its annual report on children, this time with a decidedly ideological twist. “Women and Children - The Double Dividend of Gender Equality” demands that women’s liberation, feminist-style, must now become the top priority of that UN agency.

Douglas Sylva at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute remarked, “What is so troubling about this report is that it shows that UNICEF is still in the grasp of ideologues -- specifically radical feminists who are willing to undermine basic child survival in order to push their agenda. . . . Every dollar spent on radical feminism -- transforming the family, reproductive rights, political agitation -- is a dollar not spent on saving children from things like malaria and starvation.”

2. In November a blue-ribbon panel set up by former secretary-general Kofi Annan released a report on reforming the sprawling UN bureaucracy. The report stated, “The promotion of gender equality must remain the mandate of all UN entities.”

And exactly what does “gender” mean? Nobody is willing to say, so that will remain a mystery.

And what is “equality”? Of course that means the elimination of all social differences between men and women, relying on state-enforced mandates, quotas, and set-asides.

3. Momentum is growing to carve out a new agency within the UN devoted to advancing the feminist agenda. Nafis Sadik, special adviser to the Secretary General, claims such an agency is necessary “to put women’s empowerment and gender equality at the center of the work of the United Nations.”

Janice Crouse of the Beverly LaHaye Institute provided this reality check: “There are already a number of agencies and commissions that focus on women and for decades the feminists have dominated sessions at numerous other UN conferences. … Is there no end to the power grabs of the women at the United Nations?”

4. Then there’s the UN Population Fund, the agency that wants to make abortion services available in every hamlet and village, thus contributing to sex-selective abortions and the massive dearth of girls in China, India, and elsewhere. [ ]

Last year the UN (de-)Population Fund published a report on female migrants, making the claim that no doubt played on every chivalrous heart: “despite substantial contributions to both their families at home and communities abroad, the needs of migrant women continue to be overlooked and ignored.”

That statement ranks right up there with the claims that 70% of the world’s poor are female, and Hillary would never tell a lie. [ ]

Ambassador John Bolton once described the UN as stuck in a time-warp that relies on “practices, attitudes, and approaches that were abandoned 30 years ago in much of the rest of the world.”

Bolton’s common-sense solution to the UN Twilight Zone mentality? The United States needs “to shift away from the system of assessed contributions toward a system of voluntary contributions.”

In other words, UN, if you don’t grow up and stop acting like a petulant and self-indulgent teeny-bopper, you might end up being cut out of the deal.

Sen. Biden in Denial about Female Violence

Senator Joe Biden is planning to propose a new bill called “International-VAWA,” a law modeled on his earlier Violence Against Women Act. The bill is designed to eradicate domestic violence from the farthest reaches of the globe.

This is certainly welcome news, because research is now saying that women are more likely to be the instigators of abuse. [ ] We guys need all the help we can get -- I’m not kidding.

A recent report from Japan said increasing numbers of women are hauling off on their husbands. Mitsuko, a woman in her late 30s, openly admits to being a batterer: “I punch guys for the same reasons people ‘discipline’ their children. I've got expectations in love and I want them to improve.” [ ]

Some would say that doesn’t really count as domestic violence – Mitsuko was just putting a deadbeat in his place. And there must be a lot of deadbeats in Japan, because a 2005 government study found that 13.8% of men had been beaten at least once by their wife.

But goodness, I don’t need to tell you, Mr. Biden -- you’ve seen female violence up close and personal. Remember the hearings you held in 1990 for the Violence Against Women Act? This was your testimony, as reported in the Congressional Record:

“In my house, being raised with a sister and three brothers, there was an absolute – it was a nuclear sanction, if under any circumstances, for any reason, no matter how justified, even self-defense – if you ever touched your sister, not figuratively, literally. My sister, who is my best friend, my campaign manager, my confidante, grew up with absolute impunity in our household. And I have the bruises to prove it. I mean that sincerely. I am not exaggerating when I say that.

“And I have the bruises to prove it.” Joe, I’m feeling for you right now, because lots of guys were bullied when they were a kid – but by your older sister? She must have been a total brute.

I know most people never believed your story – they thought you were a wimp, you made it up, or maybe you did something to provoke her. People don’t want to hear about men who were bruised and bloodied by members of the fairer sex, so men keep their pain to themselves.

This is where I’m developing some heartburn, Mr. Biden.

Because last May you were briefed on the Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health of the World Health Organization. Researchers know this study was a sham from the beginning because the interviews excluded men – what better way for the WHO to claim that female-on-male violence doesn’t even exist?

I debunked this laughable study in one of my columns a year ago: .

But a few months later you hailed the research as a landmark event: “The depth and scope of the global landmark study is remarkable. This report reveals a global picture of the treatment of women – and the statistics are appalling and egregious.” [ ]

Time for a reality check, folks.

The Violence Against Women Act has become hijacked by the radical feminists, who claim that domestic violence is all about men trying to keep women in their place. The Damsels of Denial assert that women can never be abusive, or say that women’s violence is done only in self-defense.

But when we downplay the possibility of female abuse, the problem can only get worse.

Last week CNN aired a segment on violence among teenage girls. FBI crime data show that while assaults by boys are slightly down over the last 10 years, attacks by girls have increased a startling 24%. I saw the story while sitting in a doctor’s office – everyone in the room cringed as the girls pummeled their victims into submission. “There’s no argument, though, that the sugar and spice moniker does not fit all,” CNN concluded. [ ]

And columnist David Usher recently compiled a listing of over 50 YouTube videos of violent females – viewer discretion definitely advised. [ ]

Guess what happens when aggressive girls grow up and become violent women? Sometimes these ladies realize they need help so they go to a local VAWA program. “He must have done something to provoke you,” comes the response from the enablers of female aggression.

Our society is in denial about the epidemic of violent women. Before we can talk about International-VAWA, Mr. Biden, we first need to wake up to the reality of female abuse.

First Lady Should Tell the Truth about Heart Disease

This last year I lost three friends to heart disease.

Randy was jogging at a nearby park when he was stricken with a fatal heart attack. Randy was 52 years old, married with two sons.

Bill was diagnosed with a debilitating heart condition five years ago. Doctors ordered him to quit his job to reduce the strain – his wife had never expected to become the primary breadwinner. He died last summer at age 66.

And Paul was playing on his adult soccer team. Suddenly he fell on the field, clutching his chest. I met his widow at the funeral – she looked 35 years old.

Let’s not forget Dr. Lee Jong-Wook, Director-General of the World Health Organization. Last May he checked into the hospital with a throbbing headache. There he was diagnosed with a blood clot, a condition often caused by blood insufficiency. Two days later, at the age of 61, he lay dead.

“There was no warning, no nothing. It was a complete shock,” explained WHO spokesman Iain Simpson.

I’ve looked at government reports and discovered that these men are not unusual. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, men’s risk of dying from heart disease is 50% higher than for women. And more than any other disease, heart disease is the reason why men die five years sooner than women.

Why the sex difference? Because men more often have high blood pressure and smoke cigarettes. And experts believe men are subtly discouraged from seeking help when heart disease lurks in its early stages.

Of course, women also die of heart disease. But those women tend to be in their 60s and 70s, so their numbers are statistically higher than men.

In recent years, First Lady Laura Bush has gotten involved in the national effort to combat heart disease. That’s laudable.

So last February 3, the First Lady described heart disease as, “the number one killer among women in the United States.” [ ] But no word about heart disease in men.

That seems odd, but maybe she only talked about men the year before, so she was trying to be fair.

But in 2005, her focus was on women. [ ]

Same for 2004. []

In 2003, Laura Bush implored, “This Valentine's Day, the American Heart Association wants you to reach out to every woman you know -- every mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.” [ ] But no mention of fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, or uncles.

Four years in a row, heart disease among men was swept under the rug.

Randy, Bill, and Paul all left widows behind. These ladies have probably never heard of Dr. Lois Verbrugge, a University of Michigan social demographer. A few years ago Verbrugge did a study on the living situation of elderly women. She found that single elderly women are four times more likely to end up in a nursing home, compared to their married counterparts.

So keeping Jack hale and hearty turns out to be good news for Jill, as well.

Maybe the First Lady was doing this at the advice of the Republican political strategists who want to lay claim to the female vote. But they are making a serious mistake, because a base-narrowing strategy is the surest path to electoral disaster.

National Heart Month will be coming up in a few days, and no doubt the First Lady will be alerting Americans to the scourge of heart disease. So this year, Mrs. Bush, why not tell the whole truth?

These are the facts that every American needs to know:

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women

Men die from heart disease at a much younger age than women, which deprives children of the guiding hand of a father figure, and later places wives at far greater risk of institutionalization.

Heart disease is often preventable through a combination of not smoking, low-fat diets, and exercise.

I’m sure the First Lady would like to hear from you – why not give her a call at 202-456-1111? Or drop her an e-mail: .

Tell the First Lady about Randy, Bill, and Paul. Remind her about their wives. Or maybe someone who was special to you.

Men: Last Great Hope of the Republican Party

A few years ago Democratic pollster Celinda Lake sounded the alarm that the Dems needed to reach out to male voters, or else resign itself to becoming a party of the perpetual minority. At first everyone laughed her off.

Then candidate John Kerry disastrously admitted in the 2004 campaign that his wife and daughters “kick me around,” and New York Times writer Frank Rich accused Kerry of being a Girlie-Man.

So after the Dems counted their losses and licked their wounds, Representative Rahm Emanuel, Senator Charles Schumer, and John Lapp, former director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, sat down for a long, hard talk. They decided to put together a new game plan -- one that would feature new faces, all men – check that, macho men.

Why? Because “Presidential politics, but also the rest of national political leadership, has a lot to do with the understandable desire of voters for leadership, strength, clarity, and sureness,” according to Jim Jordan, John’s Kerry’s first presidential campaign manager. [ ]

So the trio drafted some go-to guys to run for the House, like former NFL quarterback Heath Schuler. They recruited Joe Sestak, former Navy vice admiral; Patrick Murphy, an Iraq war veteran; Brad Ellsworth, an Indiana sheriff; and Chris Carney, commander in the Navy reserves.

In the Senate, former Marine Jim Webb and Jon Tester, the Montana farmer who sports a no-nonsense buzz-cut, agreed to run.

Maybe these guys didn’t toe the party line on abortion rights for 13-year-old girls. But they did bring an ample supply of testosterone to the line-up. And they all triumphed in their contests.

Even the feminists had to admit the male electorate had been pivotal. “If only men had voted,” crowed Eleanor Smeal, publisher of Ms. Magazine, “Jim Webb (D-Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) would have lost.”

So what about the muscularity quotient of the Republican Party?

Honestly, we’d have to say it’s a mixed bag. President Bush certainly comes across as courageous, resolute, and steady at the helm. Maybe not in the same league as a Brett Favre or John Elway, but certainly stands tall in the pocket.

But during the last presidential campaign, I saw Barbara and Laura Bush speak before a televised gathering of Republican women. That’s when I realized something had gone terribly wrong.

Barbara recounted the story when George W. had put his feet on the living room furniture, only to earn a stern rebuke from the woman of the house. Then she bragged how President Bush was surrounded by a gaggle of “strong women” – as if they were calling the shots. Both accounts were greeted by roaring laughter from the women in the audience.

And then there was the White House Press Correspondent’s Dinner where Laura made tasteless jokes at her husband’s expense.

Since when is it acceptable to announce to the world that the president of the United States is a hen-pecked husband? What’s next – Bill bragging that he’s the quarterback of the operation and Hillary is a political rookie?

It’s no secret, men and women view the world through a different prism. Men value self-reliance, risk-taking, and action. Men are put off by the primping, pouting, and pontificating of celebrity-types like Rosie and Roseanne.

In contrast, women are more interested in safety and security, even if it means an occasional intrusion of the Nanny State. As columnist Allison Brown put it, “Most women are natural socialists.”

Yes, we want women to support our issues. But if you lean too far in casting your message to the members of the fairer sex, you risk betraying your core principles as the standard-bearer of limited government and fiscal restraint.

It’s no secret that the Republican party is in disarray. Its conservative base is in revolt, a front-runner for the 2008 race has yet to emerge, and the president’s governing strategy with the Dems remains in flux.

So Republicans, it’s time to field your veteran players.

No doubt, men are tired of being dissed. Remember the “W Stands for Women” campaign slogan? For every woman who was swayed by that bumper sticker to vote Republican, I’m sure two disgusted male voters decided to take their business elsewhere.

Action item for the Republican National Committee: Here’s your next campaign slogan: “G.O.P. Stands for Guys.”

And look at all the big-government, civil liberties-destroying, family-intrusive programs that the Lefties have been stuffing down our throats – when are you men going to move up to the big leagues?

Speaking of which, the Super Bowl is just around the corner. I’ve invited some of the gang to come over for beer and pizza. So Mr. President, consider this an invitation. You can put your feet on my furniture anytime.

Nancy Pelosi, Queen of Hubris

The women’s libbers have been saying for years that once the Matriarchy came into power, the maternal instinct would prevail and we would become beneficiaries of a kinder, gentler society. With the naming of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of Representatives, we can now put that claim to the test.

The reconvening of Congress is generally a low-key affair held on a dreary Washington winter afternoon. But last week the Democrats decided to take advantage of the occasion to shed Pelosi’s dowdy image as San Fran Nan, reestablish her moral authority as a mother, and re-invent her as a political celebrity.

One media account cast the 4-day extravaganza as a Hollywood re-staging of Charlton Heston descending from the mount to seek the deliverance of his Chosen People:

“The whirlwind agenda, from Jan. 2 to Jan. 5, can be broken down into several themes: The early years in the life of Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi in her hometown of Baltimore, about an hour north of Washington; her college years in Washington; her Italian roots; her devotion to San Francisco; her official duties as speaker of the 435-member House, combined with her job as a Democratic Party fundraiser, and her awareness that her ascension to the post represents a breakthrough for American women.” [ ]

On Tuesday things went pretty much according to plan. Pelosi confidently posed for the photo-ops as she visited her old Baltimore hang-outs, where she had grown up as the daughter of former mayor Thomas D’Alesandro.

The next day, however, a different image emerged. Feted at a Women’s Tea-turned-power-rally, Pelosi crowed, “In more than 200 years of history, there was an established pecking order – and I cut in line.” (Translation: “Sure, I played dirty, but the evil Patriarchy made me do it.”)

Then the estrogen reflex took over. Proclaiming herself “the most powerful woman in America,” Pelosi bent her arm like a weight-lifter. Then she screamed to the ecstatic ladies clutching their teacup saucers, “All right, let’s hear it for the power.”

Memo to staff: That comment was off-script. The event wasn’t supposed to come across as Xena the Warrior-Princess Comes to Washington.

The script for Thursday was crafted to soften Nancy’s pro-abortion voting record. After all, partial-birth abortions don’t fit with the cultivated image of tender motherhood. So she and multi-millionaire husband Paul started off the day by going to a prayer service at a nearby Catholic church.

But then a bunch of disgruntled extras showed up carrying signs that read, “You can’t be a Catholic and pro-abortion.” Someone be sure to switch the camera angle.

At noon things the Nancy-fest swung into high gear with the swearing-in at the House of Representatives. Once the vote tally was announced, Mrs. Pelosi ascended the Speaker’s podium with six grandchildren in tow. ABC news anchor Charles Gibson gushed, “It seemed the ultimate in multi-tasking: Taking care of the children and the country.”

The emotional high point of the coronation – er, ceremony – came during remarks on her selection as the first female Speaker of the House: “Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling.”

At that moment the camera revealed an impassioned and wildly-gesturing Pelosi surrounded by her five grandsons and one granddaughter. Not only was the gender mix completely out of whack, but worse, her granddaughter was seen gently cradling Nancy’s six-week old grandson. Right there on national TV.

Then the long-awaited moment – the newly-named Speaker of the House curled her fist and flexed her right bicep, he-man style. All that was missing was a halter top, G-string, and body oil.

Atta-girl, Nancy!

The festivities wrapped up on Friday with more toasts and macho arm-flexes. Portraying herself as the dutiful Catholic homemaker who decided to clean up the House, Pelosi thanked her family for helping her move “from the kitchen to the Congress.”

And daughter Alexandra performed admirably as best supporting actress, revealing her hard-charging mom had once made Halloween costumes by hand and hosted birthday parties where children built life-size gingerbread houses. Amazing, but true.

We can all take quiet comfort in the events of last week.

We know a Real Mom will be minding the House for the next couple years. We see that Nancy’s hard right-left combination knocked the wind out of Hillary, leaving her gasping for air as America’s second most powerful woman. And from now on, we’ll hopefully be spared from those vain and boastful male politicians who engage in their power-hungry antics.

How the G.O.P. Can Get its Mojo Back

Looking back, it’s hard to imagine a more inept political strategy.

First, ignore and insult your base. Next, dream up a campaign theme of gender “empowerment” that falls flat with the three-quarters of American women who abhor the feminist agenda. Then top it off with a fem-fest at the White House in honor of International Women’s Day. [ ]

To borrow one of my mother’s favorite lines, “What were you thinking?”

I’ve spoken with lots of Republican women over the years – young and young-at-heart, married and single, Black and White. Whether they are driving their kids to a soccer game or running their own businesses, these ladies are definitely a down-to-earth bunch who care deeply about their families and their nation.

Not a single one has mentioned to me a secret yearning to become “empowered.” Not one had a clenched-fist looking-mirror logo pinned to her lapel. Let’s be honest, folks – the last thing these women want is a condescending campaign slogan that panders to “strong women.”

What about the guys?

White men represent 45 million of the U.S. electorate. In 2000, 60% of them pulled the handle for George W. Bush. In 2004 Bush fared even better, winning 62% of the white male vote. In both elections, it was this group that allowed Mr. Bush to grab the brass ring.

But then Mr. Bush looked the other way as feminist operatives throughout his administration stiff-armed this key electoral block. [ ]

Some 20 million disenfranchised parents – mostly dads -- have lost their children to divorce. If you don’t fathom these parents’ grief, then go see Blood Diamond. This movie is not just about pilfered gems, it’s also the saga of a father in search of his lost children. “Where is my son?” bellows a heart-broken Solomon Vandy in one memorable scene.

This is my prediction for 2008 and beyond: Whichever party taps into the concerns of this long-ignored voting block will own the political agenda for the next generation.

And just two months after the November meltdown, new warning signs are appearing on the horizon.

The Democrats are positioning themselves to take the lead on the pro-family agenda. No, I’m not kidding. In the November elections, Dems touted slogans like “support traditional marriage” and “faith and family come first.” And Democratic Iowa governor Tom Vilsak has already signed a law that promotes shared parenting in the event of divorce.

Then there’s the Mark Klein factor. Dr. Klein has decided to shake things up by declaring his candidacy for the 2008 presidential race. His dark-horse appeal is to restore a stable middle class and to bring disenfranchised parents back into their children’s lives.

True, Klein is a long shot candidate, but that’s what the Democrats said about Ralph Nader in 2000. The liberal-leaning Nader siphoned off 2.7% of the popular vote and sent Al Gore home to work the rubber-chicken speaking circuit.

Klein’s message resonates deeply with many disaffected Americans. Recently Klein ran a full-page advertisement in the Washington Times, complaining that the Republican party is “totally in the back pocket of radical feminists.”

Reality check to the Republican National Committee: If Dr. Klein keeps running these ads, don’t expect any Republican to occupy the White House for a good long time.

So how is the party of Lincoln going to turn things around?

First, stop taking the male electorate for granted. Establish an outreach team to bring disgruntled men back into the fold. You already have teams to target seniors and youth. Why not teams for both men and women?

Second, develop the moral clarity to distinguish between the legitimate interests of women versus the radical feminist agenda. Women care deeply about families, children, and men, feminists don’t. Women believe in life, feminists sanction death. So stop pandering to “female empowerment” and start talking about the issues that people care about.

And while you’re at it, Mr. Bush, you’ve got some house-cleaning to do. A lot of feminist holdovers from the Clinton era still occupy key positions in your administration.

Start by abolishing the Office of International Women’s Issues in the State Department. Then reform the Office for Child Support Enforcement. The Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice is another haven for radical feminism.

And why does rabble-rouser Peggy Kerry, sister of senator John Kerry, still hold a sensitive position at the United States mission at the UN?

It’s not just the future of the Republican party that’s at stake here. We’re also talking about the future of the republic.

A Brave Dad Battles Parental Alienation

The elemental bond that links fathers with their children is the subject of ancient poetry, biblical legend, and even diplomatic stand-offs. Remember Homer’s epic saga of Odysseus and Telemachus? The New Testament tale of the prodigal son? And of course the Elian Gonzalez case.

Xavier Quinta was born on June 24, 1998 to Bennett Vonderheide and Wendy Flanders of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. But the relationship went sour and the couple separated.

In February 2003 the judge awarded custody of Xavier to his mother, ordering that he spend two days a week with his father. But Flanders soon decided to ignore the judge’s order, at first restricting visits to only two hours a day, and then thwarting all contact for months at a time.

But that wasn’t enough, so Flanders schemed to alienate Xavier from his father.

According to the contempt motion, Flanders first withheld information from Ben, refusing to advise him about school programs, teacher conferences, or even the name of the kindergarten where Xavier would be attending. [ ]

She then fabricated multiple allegations of abuse, a claim of fear being the only proof she needed. Then she used these unproven accusations to show Xavier that his father was a perp. On the advice of counselors, the father once made several telephone calls to the child. The mother then claimed those calls amounted to harassment. The district attorney later dismissed the ridiculous charge.

Next she resorted to outright manipulation. One day Flanders informed the father he wouldn’t be allowed to see his son for Christmas Eve. Then she had the child dress up in anticipation of the father’s visit. When the father didn’t arrive, she used that as proof the father was a deadbeat.

And finally, Flanders violated a key requirement of the custody order that neither make “derogatory comments about the other parent.” Instead, she waged a campaign of calumnies, repeatedly calling Ben a liar and abuser.

Once Xavier introduced his father to his classmates as, “This is my Daddy – he is filled with hatred and anger” – a phrase that a five-year-old boy is unlikely to come up with on his own.

But as Xavier grew older, he began to realize that he was caught in the middle of a high stakes tug-of-war. He said he didn’t want his mother to control him, and much to her dismay wanted to spend more time with dad.

That gave Vonderheide his opening. He decided to stop the mother from turning the child’s transfer into a screaming confrontation. At the next visit, the father sat calmly on a bench, and cast his best “I’m not sure what game you’re playing but I’m not interested” look. Problem solved.

Once accused of being “the worst dad in the world,” Vonderheide pointed out to his son that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden had killed thousands of persons. “So I’m at least the third worst dad in the world,” dad humorously concluded.

Sometimes Xavier got so angry that he refused to eat. So his father concocted a sumptuous dessert. “This is just for daddy – I know you really want this good creamy stuff but you can’t have it.” Vonderheide teasingly added, “I don’t want any of my sweet stuff to be taken by the sugar monster.” Of course Xavier couldn’t resist that challenge.

Last month Wendy Flanders was found guilty on three counts of making false statements to law enforcement officials, fined, and placed on probation. And Ben Vonderheide’s record was expunged on many of the counts against him. The battle cost him $350,000 in legal expenses. [ ]

Ben recounts this inspirational song by Edwin McCain:

These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive,
These are the moments I'll remember all my life,
I've got all I've waited for,
And I could not ask for more.

This Sunday, 8-year-old Xavier will be spending Father’s Day with his dad. They plan to play laser tag, go for a hike, and maybe take in a movie.

Father and son, reunited.

How the Grand Old Party Lost its Mojo

On November 7 American voters took the GOP to the woodshed and gave them a licking they won’t forget for a good long time.

Congressman Mike Pence concluded solemnly, “I believe we did not just lose our Majority, we lost our way. I believe this happened to us because somewhere along the way we lost our willingness to fight for limited government, fiscal discipline, traditional values and reform.”

So how did the GOP fall off the wagon?

Six years ago the GOP brain-trust decided to get serious about closing the gender gap. At the 2000 Republican National Convention someone seized on George Bush’s middle initial, and soon everyone was buzzing that “W is for Women.”

After Bush’s photo-finish victory over Al Gore, the GOP pollsters poured over the exit results. True enough, a strong showing from the men had tipped the race in Bush’s favor. But despite his “W is for Women” mantra, Bush had lost the female vote by 11 points.

Clearly a catchy slogan wasn’t going to do the trick. So word was put out to recruit more females to prominent party roles and pay more attention to women’s issues.

But that turned out to be a Faustian pact. Because when it comes to women’s issues, it’s the rad-fems who pay the piper and call the tune. Suddenly the Grand Old Party found itself beholden to the dictates and whims of the National Organization for Women.

For starters, the Bush State Department established its Office of International Women’s Issues. After US troops dethroned Saddam, our negotiators demanded the Iraqi Constitution include a 25% female quota for the National Assembly.

Many would call that rigging the elections. But the State Department claimed it was merely “increasing women’s political participation.”

Then the First Lady unveiled her high-fashion women’s health initiative, ignoring the fact that men lag on every health indicator and die 5 years earlier than women. [ ] Don’t worry ladies, there will be a nursing home somewhere to take care of you after he’s gone.

When the 2004 presidential campaign rolled around, the GOP unveiled its new and improved “W Stands for Women” slogan. Soon the GOP-fems were stepping up their demands for female “empowerment” and “strong women,” whatever that means.

A month after George Bush edged John Kerry, the Washington Times ran a defining editorial on “Gender Gap Myths and Legends.” Revealing that Kerry had lost the election because white women in Ohio had voted 55-45 in favor of Bush, the article concluded the gender gap is a “subterfuge of the radical feminist movement.” [ ]

But the Republican party apparently went fishing the day the Times ran that editorial. Because from that point on, all the GOP could do was obsess over the question, What do women want?

And things went from the improbable to the bizarre. These are some of the high points:

In late 2004 Bush tapped libber Ann Veneman to head up UNICEF. Veneman later made the claim that men were good-for-nothings who exploit their wives. [ ]

At the 2005 White House Correspondent’s Association dinner, Laura Bush ridiculed her husband, the leader of the free world. A few months later she publicly advised him on the preferred gender of his next Supreme Court nominee. And earlier this year Mrs. Bush confirmed in an ABC interview that she considers herself a “feminist.”

In September 2005 ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey traveled to the conservative Heritage Foundation. There she delivered a rant so filled with half-truths and larded with radical feminist assumptions, jargon, and conclusions that it left many in the room speechless. [ ]

Maybe her speech was written by Peggy Kerry, sister of senator John Kerry, who still occupies a high-profile position at the United States mission at the UN.

Then conservative senator Orrin Hatch of Utah became an ardent proponent of the family-destructive Violence Against Women Act. And RNC head Ken Mehlman kept telling everyone how the Bush administration had advanced the rights of Iraqi women, somehow forgetting to mention that the vast majority of persons who had died in Saddam’s torture machines were male.

To top it all off, President Bush began to celebrate International Women’s Day, an event that had been instituted years before by the Socialist Party of America.

Some called this pandering. Others worried the GOP was sleeping with the devil. But everyone seemed to agree this would help the GOP put a lock on the female vote.

Call it a cliché if you wish, but women still care deeply about their families, husbands, and children. But over the last several years the GOP has had precious little to say about these concerns. And all the Marxist rhetoric about female empowerment and strong women fell flat with middle Americans, male and female alike.

And on Tuesday November 7, the Republican party lost its mojo. Now, how is it going to get it back?

Yikes! 695 Days to the Election, and Brickbats Are Flying!

Most of us are still catching our breath from the watershed November 7 elections. But with Hillary Clinton the likely contender for the Democratic Party, the pundits are already cranking out their assorted hissy-fits, half-truths, and pre-emptive attacks.

Take last week’s content-free column by Susan Estrich, “First Whiffs of Sexism in Hillary’s Presidential Coverage.” [,2933,234906,00.html ]

With Mrs. Clinton now working the phones with her Democratic pals in Iowa and New Hampshire, people are talking about Hillary’s presidential ambitions. It’s one of those “Will she or won’t she?” storylines that most candidates-to-be yearn for.

But to Estrich, this speculation is proof-positive that the patriarchy is alive and well. “There’s something about Hillary. And it definitely has to do with her sex,” Susan wails.

And when political insider Dick Morris criticizes Hillary for her “coy pretense of indecision,” Estrich hits the roof. “Are men routinely accused of being ‘coy’ for being organized, or is this just the beginning of how it will be to see subtle sexism at work in the coverage of a woman candidate?,” she rants.

(More on Mr. Morris in a minute.)

Finally Estrich plays the victim card for everything it’s worth. She exclaims, “You don’t have to sympathize with Hillary to take issue with how she is treated,” as if to imply the vast right wing conspiracy has already staked out Hillary’s palatial Washington mansion for an old-fashioned cross-burning.

Estrich’s over-wrought essay calls to mind her tasteless attack on Los Angeles Times editor Michael Kinsley, who was recovering from a neurological condition. She charged that Kinsley’s health condition “may have affected your brain, your judgment, and your ability to do this job.”

Yes, once upon a time we all believed that feminism would bring a more caring and empathic perspective to the world.

Now back to Dick Morris.

He’s one of those political operatives who was once known as “The Man Who Has Clinton’s Ear,” then was found cavorting with a DC prostitute (causing the break-up of his marriage with attorney Eileen McGann), and finally turned on bosom-buddy Hillary by releasing his tell-all book, “Rewriting History.”

Along the way, Dick Morris somehow reunited with wife Eileen. How’s that for a real-life rendition of Sex in the City?

So recently Morris looked at the Gallup polls and found lo and behold, 18% of Republican women (compared to only 8% of men) said they would vote for Condoleezza Rice in 2008. (It should be noted that Miss Rice has never explained her views on any domestic issues, has no campaign apparatus in place, and has never run for even county dog-catcher.)

On the basis of those numbers, Morris, now wearing his soothsayer’s turban, concludes that “women want a woman president.” [ ]

But a quick look at the poll results reveals Morris’ intellectual sophistry. The Gallup respondents were given a list of 12 potential Republican candidates to choose from -- eleven men and Miss Rice. [ ]

Seven percent of the persons had “no opinion.” So if 18% of the Republican ladies gave the nod to Condi, that means the remaining women – about three-quarters -- selected a male candidate, most of them picking Rudy Giuliani or John McCain.

Conclusion: Women prefer a male president.

Plus, there’s something demeaning about the implication that women are thinking only about gender when they step inside the voting booth. What’s next, an article about Barack Obama’s presidential hopes with the racist title, “Whitey Wants a Caucasian President”?

Morris makes other boo-boos in his arithmetic.

He says women represent 55-56% of the Election Day turnout. Wrong. In 2004, women represented 54% of the electorate. With that tiny error, Mr. Morris wrote off up to 70,000 male voters.

He also claims that women swung the 2004 presidential election. That’s a hoot, Mr. Morris, because that’s the year men crushed John Kerry by an 11 point margin. [ ]

So is Dick Morris mathematically-challenged? Is he making up an outrageous claim designed to garner headlines, like his famous description of Bill Clinton as “a great president from the neck up”? Or is he simply trying to milk more profits from his latest over-hyped book, “Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race”?

But who really cares about Susan Estrich’s latest temper tantrum or Dick Morris’ female fantasies?

We all deserve a break from the fact-twisting and high-decibel punditry. Let’s allow the Democrats to show their stuff in Congress and let the voters reach their own verdict. That’s the way the democratic process is supposed to work.

Winner of the Coveted 2006 Award for Political Incorrectness

Alas, masculinity has come under siege. All manner of unpleasant things that happen to women are blamed on those linear-thinking, knuckle-dragging males. Even young lads are viewed with suspicion – earlier this month a 4-year-old boy in Waco, Texas was placed on in-school suspension following an unwelcome hug of a teacher’s aide.

We shouldn’t pretend to be surprised. Six years ago Christina Hoff Sommers warned us about the feminist-inspired War Against Boys, and a year later Paul Craig Roberts wrote a column with the startling title, “Criminalizing Masculinity.”

Finally in 2006, people came to realize the assault wasn’t going to let up just because of the preposterous nature of the claims about the patriarchal conspiracy. Indeed, people began to wonder if the opposite was true – that men had willingly carried the most dangerous and onerous roles in society to the primary benefit of women.

Even corporate America saluted the return of the macho. This year Burger King, Miller Lite, and Haggar pants all unveiled ads that put the kibosh on effeminate metrosexuals in favor of the rough-and-tumble he-guy.

So this year’s Award for Political Incorrectness is made to an individual who made an enduring public statement about masculinity during the past 12 months.

In January, Kate O’Beirne released her no-holds-barred critique of the Ladies in Lavender, Women Who Make the World Worse. Noting that the “modern women’s movement is totalitarian in its methods, radical in its aims, and dishonest in its advocacy,” the book intones, “we depend on manly characteristics to keep us safe. Every single one of the dead firemen on 9/11 was a man.”

In April, Carrie Lukas weighed in with “In Search of Chivalry,” a moving tribute to the men who perished on the Titanic. “I’ll start by thanking the men of the Titanic, who 96 years ago gave up their seats so that the women could live,” Lukas memorialized.

Then Foreign Policy magazine came out with an article by Phillip Longman, where he makes the argument that the most harmful legacy of the Matriarchy is its tendency to view children as “a costly impediment to self-fulfillment and worldly achievement.” Longman underscores the obvious truth that no civilization can sustain itself when fertility rates drop below replacement levels. That logic leads to the dicey conclusion of his article: “The Return of Patriarchy.”

But without doubt, the year’s most important contribution to the masculinity debate is Harry Mansfield’s tome, Manliness.

Mansfield doesn’t hesitate to tweak the nose of feminist dogma. He claims that in the battle of the sexes, it’s women who have always held the upper hand. That’s because “Every man is his mother’s son and thus better defended by her than by himself” and because a woman’s “advantage over men is her total disregard of ‘some God of Abstract Justice’ to which men are unable to be indifferent.”

Mansfield concludes with the desideratum that “men should be expected, not merely free, to be manly.” Why? Because “A free society cannot survive if we are so free that nothing is expected of us.”

Just as I was poised to make my selection, a realization flashed in my mind: Masculinity is not a matter of mastery of pen or eloquence of tongue. No, at the end of the day, masculinity comes down to one thing: taking courageous action, especially in the face of improbable odds.

So at the last moment a dark-horse candidate emerged.

Mark Inglis, 47, is a biochemist and mountaineer from New Zealand. In early April he began his climb up Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. On May 15, he miraculously reached the summit.

But hundreds have ascended Everest. So what’s the big deal?

Here’s the big deal: Mr. Inglis is a double-amputee, the result of a horrific 14-day blizzard in 1982. You view Mr. Inglis’ picture here:

On the way up Everest, a fixed-line anchor failed, resulting in Inglis falling. One of his carbon fiber prosthetic legs broke in half. So he had to wrap it with duct tape until a spare could be hauled in.

In a pre-trip interview, Inglis remarked, “I’m not doing this to be the first double amputee -- if I am then it’s the icing on the cake -- but it’s more about I’ve been climbing most of my life and Everest is the achievement really. And it gives you the knowledge of empowerment to do other things.”

For taking courageous action, for persevering in the face of adversity, and for exemplifying the raw spirit of daring-do masculinity, the 2006 Award for Political Incorrectness goes to Mr. Mark Inglis.

The GOP’s Betrayal of the Pro-Family Agenda

I wish I had a dime in my pocket for every time I heard a Republican politician stand up and proclaim his support for “family values.”

When we survey the current state of the family, we see that Americans are half as likely to wed compared to a generation ago, mostly due to a growing shortage of marriage-minded men.

[ ]

How did all this happen?

Over the past 40 years, the Sisters of Spinsterhood have cranked out the message that men are not needed or wanted. That message was eventually translated into a broad range of anti-family laws and policies.

First, Great Society programs forced poor women to choose between a husband and a handout. Then divorce courts routinely took children away from their fathers. No-fault divorce laws meant mom could dispose of dad and claim the kids as ransom money.

Next came the 1994 Violence Against Women Act that became a nightmare of false allegations and household evictions. The final blow was draconian enforcement by child support programs that began to stick low-income fathers in debtor’s prisons if they couldn’t pay.

The resulting marginalization of husbands and fathers lies at the root of the melt-down of the American family. No wonder that 53% of America’s most eligible bachelors now say they are “not interested in getting married anytime soon,” and 22% foreswear any desire to get hitched, ever. [ ]

So what has the GOP’s family values agenda done to reverse the collapse of the family?

Go to the website of the Republican National Committee and look at its list of Teams. Yep, we’ve got outreach efforts to Blacks, entrepreneurs, the faith community, Hispanics, seniors, youth, and women. [ ]

Great, but why no Team for men?

Mr. Mehlman, this is a slap in the face. As head of the Republican National Committee, you know that it was the male electorate that handed President Bush his margin of victory in both the 2000 and 2004 elections.

Now let’s examine the Republican Platform: . But wait, there’s a slight problem – the document was done in 2004. Good morning, GOP, it’s now 2006. Hasn’t anyone come up with any new ideas lately?

And what does the Platform say about families? Promoting marriage, responsible fatherhood, the culture of life, and more. All the right buzz-words, but let’s take a closer look.

“Responsible fatherhood.” Hmmm. There’s an unspoken message that lurks in that phrase, as if to say, fathers are not naturally responsible.

Look at the litany of social welfare laws and programs that date from the Great Society, including no-fault divorce and the Violence Against Women Act. All these laws removed the father as the head of the family and replaced him with a government bureaucrat.

And now you’re calling fathers irresponsible?

What does “responsible fatherhood” mean in practice? The term was coined back in 2000 by President Bill Clinton who let it be known that responsible dads always make their child support payments. [ ]

So to the bean-counters at the federal Office for Child Support Enforcement, responsible fatherhood translates into one thing: send us your child support money. We don’t care if you’re laid-off, injured, sick, poor, homeless, lack marketable skills, the mother refuses to let you see your child, or even if you’re not the real father! We need to see that check, or else.

That’s family values?

And earlier this year, the bureaucrats came out against a proposed law in North Dakota that would help divorced fathers stay involved in their children’s lives. Why? Because it would cut into the state’s child support reimbursements. [ ]


Now think hard -- can you name a single Republican lawmaker who has spoken out against the reckless intrusion of government drones into private family matters? Or has taken a principled stand against the rampant violations of persons’ civil rights? Or has sponsored a resolution decrying the plight of the American father?

Me either.

And what about the Federal Marriage Amendment, designed to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman? Despite its majority status, the Grand Old Party couldn’t get the bill through the House or Senate in either 2004 or 2006.

Over the past 12 years, the Republican base rested on the dependable votes of men, conservatives, and pro-family advocates. But alas, the GOP took its base for granted, went on a taxpayer-funded spending spree, and failed miserably when it came time to deliver on its pro-family promises.

And now that electoral block, disillusioned by years of fruitless happy-talk, has decided to take its business and go elsewhere.

© 2007 Carey Roberts

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