Friday, June 29, 2012

Should Gay Males be Allowed to Adopt Black Boys

Convicted pedophile, Jerry Sandusky, lured young black boys into his basement and molested them.  His wife, Dottie Sandusky, claims she did not hear their cries of pain and terror.  Both Sanduskys had worked for years to build up the Second Mile Foundation, a so-called safe haven for poor black children from urban backgrounds.  Maybe Sandusky's victims were chosen solely on account of opportunity.  But, then again, maybe not. 

The suspicion that race might play a role in a pedophile's choice of victim roared back into my consciousness when I learned that sixty-six year old San Francisco gay activist, Larry Brinkin had been arrested for the possession of child porn. This was no issue of clinging to photos of a favored nephew toddler sitting on the potty or being lifted out of the bathtub.  It was. . . well.  Let me just cite one of the emails found in Brinkin's possession:

 “I loved especially the nigger 2 year old getting nailed. Hope you’ll continue so I can see what the little blond bitch is going to get. White Power! White Supremacy! White Dick Rules!”

Whether or not the man is convicted, the fact remains that someone was molesting young children, and had come up with shockingly racist and fetishistic captions for the black ones.   I decided then that it was time for me to look into this matter, regardless of where it might lead and whose political sensibilities it might rattle.And this is what I found.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Higgs Boson Uncloaked

My stomach keeps doing a roller-coaster plunge in anticipation of  a press conference scheduled by the European Organization for Nuclear Research or CERN on July 4, 2012.  It will announce whatever progress has been made thus far in finding the elusive Higgs Boson.  "So what?" friends ask.   And true, the discovery of its existence (or non-existence) won’t erase poverty or usher in world peace.  It won’t even pay my skyrocketing summer utility bill.  But, peeling away the mysteries of the universe is worth every penny we humans can spare for such endeavors.  Isn’t that the real reason we’re here, alive on this planet, allowing the universe to experience itself through us and find answers to questions the cosmos is as clueless about as we?

As excited as I am about scientists being on the verge of a new discovery, my problem is that  I have yet to find a clear statement of what the Higgs Boson is actually supposed to be. The number of websites promising answers is nearly infinite.  But they are repetitive, tossing around the same unhelpful cliches.  So, I will pose a few questions that had at some time or another bugged me, and answer them to the best of my ability in plain English.

Question:  What exactly is the Standard Model that the Higgs-Boson is supposed to confirm?  Is it the same diagram those of us over fifty, learned in school decades ago with little electrons flying around a solid-looking core?.

Answer:    For the most part yes, even though a bunch of new particles have been identified through experiments in atom smashers.   I, my computer, and everything else in a material form are made of particles that have mass, rather than being pure energy like light.  Mass is made up of the protons, neutrons, electrons and other sub-atomic particles, which form themselves into atoms, then molecules.  Without it, only massless particles (points of energy)  would zip through space at the speed of light.  [Bytheway, if you're wondering how a particle can have zero mass, the reason is that the term "mass" as it is used by scientists means more than just having weight, which changes with gravity.  That is, you would way less on the moon than on earth, and a whole lot more on the surface of Jupiter.  "Massless" particles always travel at the speed of light and cannot be slowed down.] 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pedophiles Don't Worry me as Much as Their Clueless Boosters

Larry Brinkin accused of child porn possession
My mouth dropped open when I read comments by Theresa Sparks, Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission upon the arrest of Larry Brinkin for possession of child pornography.  Rather than give herself time to assess the situation, she reflexively blurted out:  

 "It's almost incredulous, there's no way I could believe such a thing. . . I support Larry 100 percent; hopefully it will all come out in the investigation."  

Did she borrow that quote from Syracuse University basketball coach, Jim Boeheim,  who not only defended assistant coach Bernie Fine of pedophile charges, but dismissed the accuser as a liar. Boeheim declared:  
"This matter was fully investigated by the university in 2005 and it was determined that the allegations were unfounded. I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years. I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would been involved in any of the activities alleged. Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action. Bernie has my full support."
A tape recorded phone conversation eventually surfaced in which Fine's wife admitted that the molestation had taken place. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jerry Sandusky, Race and the Pretense of Justice

Jerry Sandusky's booking photo
Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky seeks appeal
    Having suffered through gut-wrenching testimony from young men whom Jerry Sandusky raped as boys,   I am shivering with outrage to hear mutterings about a possible appeal of Sandusky's guilty verdict. The defense attorneys raised several issues that could be part of the future appeal.  They claimed that they had inadequate time to prepare their defense of the former coach and point to a "mistake" made during an interview, which may have influenced jurors to believe that their client was guilty of molesting children (see Reuters news agency report).

But surely even convicted child molesters deserve an appeal if some procedural matter.... blah, blah, blah?  Alas, that's precisely my point. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

What REALLY Drives Research on Racial Differences in Intelligence

Should science study whether white males have a greater genetic predisposition toward precipitating Wall Street crashes than do black males?  Nature magazine has not posed such questions and never will.  The premises upon which such research would be based are not considered "mainstream science."  No audience would be willing to pay hard-earned cash for such findings, however mathematically precise they might be graphed and packaged.  Why then should the cognitive inferiority of certain races be treated any differently?
My latest book,  Straightening the Bell Curve: How Stereotypes about Black Masculinity DriveResearch on Race and Intelligence explores this issue in painstaking detail. Its answers are unsettling.