Tag Archives: Gangs

Study: fathers are important for the development of children’s brains

Fathers and children
Fathers and children

The study was reported in the Wall Street Journal.


Dr. Braun’s group found that at 21 days, the fatherless animals had less dense dendritic spines compared to animals raised by both parents, though they “caught up” by day 90. However, the length of some types of dendrites was significantly shorter in some parts of the brain, even in adulthood, in fatherless animals.

“It just shows that parents are leaving footprints on the brain of their kids,” says Dr. Braun, 54 years old.

The neuronal differences were observed in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is related to emotional responses and fear, and the orbitofrontal cortex, or OFC, the brain’s decision-making center.

[…]The balance between these two brain parts is critical to normal emotional and cognitive functioning, according to Dr. Braun. If the OFC isn’t active, the amygdala “goes crazy, like a horse without a rider,” she says. In the case of the fatherless pups, there were fewer dendritic spines in the OFC, while the dendrite trees in the amygdala grew more and longer branches.

A preliminary analysis of the degus’ behavior showed that fatherless animals seemed to have a lack of impulse control, Dr. Braun says. And, when they played with siblings, they engaged in more play-fighting or aggressive behavior.

In a separate study in Dr. Braun’s lab conducted by post-doctoral researcher Joerg Bock, degu pups were removed from their caregivers for one hour a day. Just this small amount of stress leads the pups to exhibit more hyperactive behaviors and less focused attention, compared to those who aren’t separated, Dr. Braun says. They also exhibit changes in their brain.

The basic wiring between the brain regions in the degus is the same as in humans, and the nerve cells are identical in their function. “So on that level we can assume that what happens in the animal’s brain when it’s raised in an impoverished environment … should be very similar to what happens in our children’s brain,” Dr. Braun says.

Read the whole thing.

I think this is important because we hear so much today that marriage can be redefined, that having one of each parent doesn’t matter, that live-in boyfriends and stepfathers have the same motivation to care for a woman’s children as the biological father does. We don’t want to make judgments, even if setting boundaries is better for children. A child’s well-being is enormously affected by the woman’s choice of biological father.  You can’t have it both ways – either we are going to judge women who choose men who don’t have the desire to commit to marriage, and do the father role, OR we are going to take things away from children by encouraging women to choose men based on “feelings” instead of abilities. Lowering moral standards and removing moral obligations hurts children. It sounds so nice when we tell women, “you can do whatever you feel like, and just forget about responsibilities, expectations and obligations”, but letting women be guided by their feelings harms children. My stock broker makes me feel uncomfortable because he knows more than I do, and does not respect my opinion. But I pay him to make investment decisions for me. I mustn’t let my pride get in the way of letting him do his job – a job he is more qualified than I am to do. Let him do his job.

Here’s a related question: Are biological fathers or unrelated men more dangerous for children?

This article from the Weekly Standard answers the question.


A March 1996 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics contains some interesting findings that indicate just how widespread the problem may be. In a nationally representative survey of state prisoners jailed for assaults against or murders of children, fully one-half of respondents reported the victim was a friend, acquaintance, or relative other than offspring. (All but 3 percent of those who committed violent crimes against children were men.) A close relationship between victim and victimizer is also suggested by the fact that three-quarters of all the crimes occurred in either the perpetrator’s home or the victim’s.

A 1994 paper published in the Journal of Comparative Family Studies looked at 32,000 documented cases of child abuse. Of the victims, only 28 percent lived with both biological parents (far fewer than the 68 percent of all children who live with both parents); 44 percent lived with their mother only (as do 25 percent of all children); and 18 percent lived with their mother and an unrelated adult (double the 9 percent of all children who live with their mother and an unrelated adult).

These findings mirror a 1993 British study by the Family Education Trust, which meticulously explored the relationship between family structure and child abuse. Using data on documented cases of abuse in Britain between 1982 and 1988, the report found a high correlation between child abuse and the marital status of the parents.

Specifically, the British study found that the incidence of abuse was an astounding 33 times higher in homes where the mother was cohabiting with an unrelated boyfriend than in stable nuclear families. Even when the boyfriend was the children’s biological father, the chances of abuse were twice as high.

These findings are consonant with those published a year earlier by Leslie Margolin of the University of Iowa in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect. Prof. Margolin found that boyfriends were 27 times more likely than natural parents to abuse a child. The next-riskiest group, siblings, were only twice as likely as parents to abuse a child.

More recently, a report by Dr. Michael Stiffman presented at the latest meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in October, studied the 175 Missouri children under the age of 5 who were murdered between 1992 and 1994. It found that the risk of a child’s dying at the hands of an adult living in the child’s own household was eight times higher if the adult was biologically unrelated.

The Heritage Foundation’s Patrick Fagan discovered that the number of child-abuse cases appeared to rise in the 1980s along with the general societal acceptance of cohabitation before, or instead of, marriage. That runs counter to the radical-feminist view, which holds that marriage is an oppressive male institution of which violence is an integral feature. If that were true, then child abuse and domestic violence should have decreased along with the rise in cohabitation.

Heritage also found that in the case of very poor children (those in households earning less than $ 15,000 per year), 75 percent lived in a household where the biological father was absent. And 50 percent of adults with less than a high-school education lived in cohabitation arrangements. “This mix — poverty, lack of education, children, and cohabitation — is an incubator for violence,” Fagan says.

Why, then, do we ignore the problem? Fagan has a theory: “It is extremely politically incorrect to suggest that living together might not be the best living arrangement.”

The moral of the story is that it is a lot safer for children if we promote marriage as a way of attaching mothers and fathers to their children. Fathers who have a biological connection to children are a lot less likely to harm them. We should probably be teaching women to choose men who have a certain tenderness towards people they mentor or nurture, as well. These things are not free, you have to persuade women to value the male tendency to want to lead / guide / mentor. A lot of social problems like child poverty, promiscuity and violence cannot be solved by replacing a father with a check from the government. We need to support fathers by empowering them in their traditional roles. Let the men lead. Swallow your feminist instincts, and prefer men who take seriously their role of leading others upward.

Two girls charged with aggravated stalking after 12-year old victim commits suicide

From the NY Daily News.


Guadalupe Shaw, 14, and another girl were charged with felony aggravated stalking in the suicide death of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, who jumped off a tower last month. Sedwick’s tormentors were relentless in their bullying, police said, and Shaw even wrote a heartless message on Facebook after the girl died.

[…]Sedwick was bullied relentlessly for several months before she jumped to her death from a tower at a nearby abandoned concrete plant in Lakeland, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.

The 14-year-old, identified as Guadalupe Shaw, reportedly posted a coldhearted message on Facebook after Sedwick’s suicide — prompting cops to arrest her.

The implicating post said, “Yes ik [I know] I bullied Rebecca nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don’t give a (expletive)].”

As many as 15 girls “terrorized” Sedwick for several months with messages such as “You should die” and “Why don’t you go kill yourself,” but Shaw and a 12-year-old girl are the only ones that have been charged so far. The sheriff’s office released the name of the 12-year-old, but it is the Daily News’ policy not to identify minors.

“Detectives have determined that on Sept. 10, 2013, Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide by jumping from a concrete silo tower to her death, and that the malicious harassment by (the 12-year-old girl) and Shaw was likely a contributing factor in Rebecca’s decision to commit suicide,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Witnesses told investigators that Shaw harassed Sedwick by calling her ugly, told her to “drink bleach and die,” and suggested that she should kill herself. Shaw’s animosity may have stemmed from the fact that a boyfriend of hers had previously dated Sedwick.

I always thought that only boys could be bullies, and not girls, so I find this story surprising. However, it does sort of make sense since studies have shown that women commit domestic violence at almost the same rates as men do. Let’s take a look at those studies.

Studies on domestic violence

Let’s see what’s happening with domestic violence rates in the UK.


Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British Crime Survey show that men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims each year between 2004-05 and 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available. In 2006-07 men made up 43.4% of all those who had suffered partner abuse in the previous year, which rose to 45.5% in 2007-08 but fell to 37.7% in 2008-09.

Similar or slightly larger numbers of men were subjected to severe force in an incident with their partner, according to the same documents. The figure stood at 48.6% in 2006-07, 48.3% the next year and 37.5% in 2008-09, Home Office statistics show.

The 2008-09 bulletin states: “More than one in four women (28%) and around one in six men (16%) had experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16. These figures are equivalent to an estimated 4.5 million female victims of domestic abuse and 2.6 million male victims.”

In addition, “6% of women and 4% of men reported having experienced domestic abuse in the past year, equivalent to an estimated one million female victims of domestic abuse and 600,000 male victims”.

And the numbers from the government of Canada are the same.

Canada numbers:

An estimated 7% of women and 6% of men in a current or previous spousal relationship encountered spousal violence during the five years up to and including 2004, according to a comprehensive new report on family violence.

So it’s pretty even. Women are about as likely to commit violence as men are. And in lesbian relationships, the rate of domestic violence is extremely high, from 17% to 45%, depending on the study. I think in general, women are more violent when there is no man present, because they have more difficulty restraining their emotions and resolving disagreements with rational arguments instead of fist, feet and weapons. It would be interesting to know more about which of the girls in the Florida stalking story – predators and prey – had fathers in the home. I think that the presence of fathers would have helped everyone concerned. Fathers are a stabilizing influence in the home.

Obama administration allowed American gun shipments to Mexican cartels

From the Houston Chronicle, the latest news on the investigation of Obama administration’s Mexican gun-trafficking program. (H/T Doug Ross)

Full story:

House and Senate lawmakers are threatening to block presidential nominees and subpoena Justice Department officials this week to force the release of documents on a controversial gun trafficking program that allowed American shipments of weapons to Mexican cartels.

Congressional investigators claim U.S. officials allowed American gun stores to sell weapons in bulk to Mexican buyers in order to track the shipments and identify the ringleaders, known as “Operation Fast and Furious” under “Project Gunrunner.”

Weapons from those sales were found at the scene of two separate attacks on U.S. agents, and Congress wants to know if they were used specifically in the deaths of Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Jaime Zapata or Customs and Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, claims the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is conducting a cover-up in its refusal to hand over documents and witnesses to congressional investigators.

Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he will block President Barack Obama’s nominees from confirmation until he gets the documents he needs for his panel’s investigation.

In the House, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., will hold the first of several hearings today into the failure of the Justice Department and the ATF to cooperate with the congressional probes. Issa is threatening to issue subpoenas to retrieve documents and to gain access to witnesses.

The efforts by Grassley and Issa have won bipartisan support from Texas lawmakers frustrated with the lack of information about the death of Zapata coming from the administration.

“The Justice Department engaged in an unauthorized activity which actually ended up putting guns in the hands of dangerous drug cartels in Mexico,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. “Unfortunately, they seemed to be engaged now in a cover-up and refuse to be forthcoming with regards to Senator Grassley’s reasonable request for documents and information.”

Zapata, a Brownsville native, was working in Laredo as an ICE agent before he was transferred to Mexico to serve as a U.S. government consultant to the Mexican military’s battle against the cartels.

He was killed Feb. 15, and agent Victor Avila was wounded, when Los Zetas cartel members shot the agents in their SUV during an attempted car jacking along the highway between Mexico City and San Luis Potosi.

The Zapata family wants more information about the death of their son, said Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who supports Grassley’s attempt to obtain documents.

Congressman Darrell Issa tweeted this Daily Caller story.


Four Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents in transcribed interviews with top GOP oversight official Darrell Issa’s office are contradicting the Justice Department’s account of “Operation Fast and Furious,” saying hundreds of weapons -– including assault rifles and military grade sniper weapons -– were allowed to escape into the clutches of Mexican drug cartels in an apparently reckless investigative strategy.

Their testimony raises the question of whether Ronald Weich, a deputy to Attorney General Eric Holder, lied to congressional investigators in a Feb. 4 letter denying the allegations. Weich is testifying before Issa’s committee Wednesday.

The four ATF agents describe how the weapons were tracked from sales at U.S. gun shops but not seized as is normal practice. The goal of the operation was to track the weapons as they progressed from the purchasers through criminal networks.

Yes, apparently Democrats are only opposed to legal gun ownership by law abiding citizens. If you are a murderous, torturing Mexican drug dealer, then the Democrats want you to have guns so you can murder people. And if the Democrats keep blocking border security measures, then the Mexican drug gangs can just come over and murder Americans on American soil. If you’re a Democrat, this makes sense to you. You voted for it. You support it. It’s “gun control”.

It’s similar to the way Democrats are only opposed to legal immigration. Illegal immigration is a great idea, according to Democrats. But if you have skilled workers who want to come here and work, start businesses, pay taxes and to NOT commit crimes, then the Democrats don’t want them to get green cards. People who pay taxes tend to vote Republicans, and that makes them bad – according to Democrats. Democrats only want illegals to become citizens – because illegals vote for more and more dependence on government.

And if you’re a Democrat, then executing convicted criminals is a bad idea, but murdering innocent babies is a good idea. Apparently, for Democrats, it’s a bad idea to deter criminals from committing violent crimes with the threat of capital punishment. But Democrats want people to have as much irresponsible sex as possible… and if a baby is created then people can just get rid of it. Babies are so inconvenient – for Democrats. Obama doesn’t want people who freely choose to have irresponsible sex to be punished… with a baby.

And if you want to start a business or get a job, that’s bad – according to Democrats. Bad people who work hard and don’t commit crimes should pay lots of income taxes – especially if you work really hard and make lots of money. But if you just want to be on welfare and collect federal benefits and food stamps, then you can do that and not have to pay any taxes. Democrats love to encourage people to be dependent on the government, because it’s easier to buy votes that way. The Democrats want to spend lots of money on people who choose not to finish high school and who choose not to get married before having children. They subsidize that – largely with the money they get from married workers.

And don’t even think about requiring people to have a photo ID before voting. Democrats think that it is unfair for illegal immigrants and criminals to not have the right to vote – multiple times, if possible. Because they probably don’t vote Republican, and that makes it OK.

Welcome to the Democrat party – check your moral sense at the door, please.

SEIU union thugs rage against private citizen on his own front lawn

SEIU union thugs storm private citizen's home

Story here from CNN Money. (H/T Peter Sean Bradley at Lex Communis)


Last Sunday, on a peaceful, sun-crisp afternoon, our toddler finally napping upstairs, my front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), a senior executive based in Washington, D.C. And that — in the minds of the organizers at the politically influential Service Employees International Union and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action — makes his family fair game.

[…]As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack — alone in the house — locked himself in the bathroom. “When are they going to leave?” Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.

[…]Now this event would accurately be called a “protest” if it were taking place at, say, a bank or the U.S. Capitol. But when hundreds of loud and angry strangers are descending on your family, your children, and your home, a more apt description of this assemblage would be “mob.” Intimidation was the whole point of this exercise, and it worked-even on the police. A trio of officers who belatedly answered our calls confessed a fear that arrests might “incite” these trespassers.

And why were the SEIU trying to intimidate a private citizen on his own property?

[Bank of America] is the union’s lender of choice — and SEIU, suffering financially, owes the bank nearly $4 million in interest and fees. Bank of America declined comment on the loans.

Now you know everything you need to know about the people who get Democrats elected. When I think of the SEIU, I think of Hitler’s brown-shirts. (Just as when I think of Obama’s former employer ACORN, I think of the mafia).

This new tactic of violent intimidation defines what it means to be a Democrat today. They don’t want to debate with those who disagree with them, they want to shout obscenities and intimidate dissenters with threats of violence and vandalism – or to attack people and their property, if that’s what is needed. There was a time when Democrats were a mainstream, respectable party – the party of JFK. But that time is gone.

It’s not difficult for me to compare Democrats gangs with the socialist Greek rioters who murdered three people while burning down a bank – it’s the next stage of the “striking” and “community organizing” that the left is so fond of. They want their inflated salaries, their pensions, and their generous health care plans – and they will use violence and intimidation in order to get someone else’s money to pay for it.

How much does it cost to enforce immigration law?

Story here from Byron York. (H/T ECM)


On April 19, the same day the Arizona Legislature passed the immigration measure, the state’s two Republican senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl, unveiled a new plan to secure the U.S. border with Mexico. It’s a combination of completing and improving the border fence, adding new Border Patrol agents, expanding a policy of briefly jailing illegal border crossers, and several other programs already in existence. Although there is not yet an estimate of how much it would cost, the price would be vastly less than the sums going to bailouts, the stimulus, and the planned national health care system.

[…]Start with the fence. The Secure Fence Act, passed by Congress in 2006, specified 700 miles of the Southwest border to be secured with double-layered, reinforced fencing and other physical barriers.

[…]How much would it cost? Given that much of the basic structure already exists, perhaps $1 million per mile. Revamp the whole 700 miles and it’s $700 million.

[…]Kyl and McCain would add 3,000 new Border Patrol agents. A back-of-the-envelope cost estimate is about $100 million per 1,000 new agents, so the plan would cost about $300 million. The proposal also calls for hiring more U.S. marshals, clerks, and administrative staff, which would mean more costs.

[…]Then there is the jailing program, called Operation Streamline, which sends all illegal crossers to jail for a period of 15 to 60 days. When it has been tried selected areas, it has caused the illegal crossing rates to plummet.

[…]There are other expenses. For example, McCain and Kyl want to send a few thousand National Guard troops to the border. When this was done in 2007 and 2008, it cost a total of $1 billion.

The article is a nice little primer on border security measures and associated costs. Don’t forget that illegal immigration actually costs states money for things like increased emergency room usage, increased education costs, increased crime, increased prisons, etc.

We can recover a lot of the costs for border security measures by opening up the country to highly-skilled immigrant workers who pay more in taxes than they use in services, since they are (I think) not even eligible for unemployment, medicare, medicaid or social security – they have to leave when their work term ends.

It’s a national security issue. We have enemies, we need a secure border. Particularly with a naive, weak President whose policies of moral equivalence and appeasement have encourage several attacks on US soil in the past few months.