Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Times Argus

Times Argus: "Giuliani faces protest"

Taking the Heat

Bg: Menandering Post... Don't like the tone (and the headline is unduly laudatory), but worth a read.
Taking the Heat: "
Taking the Heat

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 25, 2005; 9:06 AM

The press, it is clear from the filibuster coverage, loves moderates.
The same can't be said of the blogosphere.
In the Old Media portrayal, McCain and the Gang of 14 (how did new members slip in there after we'd all decided on the Gang of 12?) are principled mavericks who care deeply about the institution of the Senate and are willing to risk their careers and buck their parties to preserve it.
But to bloggers on the left and right, the Mod Squad is comprised of finks, scoundrels and sellouts.
The talk in Washington had been that it would be hard for the two sides to cut a deal because both Democrats and Republicans are under strong pressure from their interest groups. And some of those strong feelings are being vented online in the wake of Monday night's squishy compromise.
Being denounced by right-wingers and left-wingers, respectively, does tend to burnish one's reputation as a thoughtful man (or woman) of the middle. But does that reputation mean anything in an age of polarized politics?
'The fate of the agreement defusing the Capitol Hill confrontation over judicial nominations now rests as much in the hands of President Bush as the senators who crafted it,' says the Los Angeles Times. 'The dramatic deal reached Monday night by a bipartisan group of 14 senators forestalled a showdown over a GOP effort to ban the filibuster for judicial nominations. It produced immediate results today when the Senate swept away a filibuster preventing a final vote on Priscilla R. Owen, a long-stalled Bush nominee to the federal court of appeals now expected to win confirmation Wednesday...
'But the deal, in which seven"

Listen to My Wife - New York Times

BG: Interesting....
Listen to My Wife - New York Times


May 25, 2005
Listen to My Wife
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world," wrote George Bernard Shaw. "The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

Or maybe on the unreasonable woman. Take my wife.

Jody - and I mean this in a sweet and not a clinical way - has been in a state of perpetual schizophrenia since our daughter was born. She used to run a company, but she loves being a mom. So she's settled on a string of part-time roles that (in my view, at least) call on a fraction of the skills corporate America spent two decades helping her develop.

Maybe you know a woman (or a few million) like her. It's hardly news that the issue vexing talented people is the struggle to balance their professional lives with time for fulfilling lives outside of work. The shock is that after decades of wrestling with these tradeoffs, the obvious answer is the one everyone has been too skeptical or afraid to explore: changing the way top jobs are structured.

In a world where most people are struggling, the search for "balance" in high-powered jobs has to be counted a luxury. Still, there is something telling (if not downright dysfunctional) when a society's most talented people feel they have to sacrifice the meaningful relationships every human craves as the price of exercising their talent.

Nowhere is there a greater gulf between the frustration people feel over a dilemma central to their lives and their equally powerful sense that there's nothing to be done. As a result, talented people throw up their hands. Women are "opting out" after deciding that professional success isn't worth the price. Ambitious folks of both sexes "do what they have to," sure there is no other way. That's just life.

My unreasonable wife rejects this choice. If the most interesting and powerful jobs are too consuming, Jody says, then why don't we re-engineer these jobs - and the firms and the culture that sustain them - to make possible the blend of love and work that everyone knows is the true gauge of "success"? As scholars have asked, why should we be the only elites in human history that don't set things up to get what we want?

When your wife declaims like this daily for a decade, the effect can be surprising. For years I listened politely but inadequately, to judge from Jody's grumbling. Now, thanks to her persistence and my exhaustion, I've discovered I'm a feminist ("humanist," Jody corrects). They say spouses come to look like each other; maybe their convictions do, too. In any event, now that I've internalized this, I can help other men avoid my agonizing learning curve.

Here's the deal: this isn't a "women's" problem; it's a human problem. Yet for 30 years women have tried to crack this largely on their own, and one thing is clear: if the fight isn't joined by men (like me) who want a life, too, any solutions become "women's" solutions. A broader drive to redesign work will take a union-style consciousness that makes it safe for men who secretly want balance to say so.

Today talented people live in fear of sounding anything less than 24/7. Tell your boss you have to deal with a drinking problem and you'll be fine; say you want more time with your family and you're on the endangered species list. As a result, my wife says, we're being led by a class of people who made choices (because there was no alternative) that are alien to what most of us want.

Some call this "whining." Others like working 24/7. Still others assert that you can never change the nature of work near the top. But our corporate experience persuades us that change is inevitable. In a globalizing world, many senior jobs are already impossibly big. If they need to be restructured anyway (we're working on how), why not do so in ways that give folks the option to have a life? Skeptics should recall that everyone once "knew" that a weekend or a minimum wage would spell economic ruin, too.

The first step in any tough transformation is what A.A. famously teaches: admit that we're powerless and that our lives have become unmanageable. It's time workaholic males took up this cause, because top jobs will never change unless we do. Jody even has an incentive plan.

In Aristophanes' play "Lysistrata," the women withhold their charms until the men agree to stop making war. Jody thinks that's a promising model. Talk about unreasonable.

E-mail:; Matt Miller is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Maureen Dowd is on book leave.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company Home Privacy Policy Search Corrections RSS Help Contact Us Back to Top

BBC NEWS | Europe | Amnesty accuses US over 'torture'

BBC NEWS | Europe | Amnesty accuses US over 'torture'

Great Lies of the American free press - PRAVDA.Ru

Great Lies of the American free press - PRAVDA.Ru

Lookout, France! Google hires neo-con headbanger | The Register

Lookout, France! Google hires neo-con headbanger | The Register

Galloway vs. The US Senate: Audio and Transcript of Statement
George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, delivered this statement to US Senators today who have accused him of corruption

NewsGateway - Truth and Lies of 9/11

NewsGateway - Truth and Lies of 9/11
BG: General Discussion Page

ZNet |Iraq | The Anti-War Movement and Iraq

ZNet |Iraq | The Anti-War Movement and Iraq

Depression / Treatment

BG: Maybe Fintan is right about Big Pharma? Look how negatively Tom Cruise is portrayed...

MSN - News - Gossip

Cruise Down on Brooke's Anti-Depressants

Tom rails against drugs, pushes vitamins; plus, news on Renée, Gwyneth & Chris, Angelina & Brad and more ...

May 23, 2005

Has Tom Cruise received a medical degree in his spare time? The megastar is openly questioning the treatment Brooke Shields received for her crippling postpartum depression, a struggle she details in her new memoir, "Down Came the Rain."

Tom, sticking close to Scientology's anti-psychiatry party line, believes Shields, despite experiencing what she has described as suicidal thoughts, should have avoided taking the anti-depressant drug Paxil following the birth of her daughter, Rowan, in 2003.

"These drugs are dangerous. I have actually helped people come off," Cruise proselytizes, er, says, in an interview with Access Hollywood set to air Thursday (via the New York Daily News). "When you talk about postpartum, you can take people today, women, and what you do is you use vitamins."

According to Dr. Tom, "There is a hormonal thing that is going on, scientifically, you can prove that. But when you talk about emotional, chemical imbalances in people, there is no science behind that. You can use vitamins to help a woman through those things."

(And somewhere, a "War of the Worlds" marketing exec smacks his forehead and tries to convince himself that moms really won't comprise too much of the movie's opening weekend audience.)

The actor, who made his film debut in the 1981 Shields clunker "Endless Love," adds, "Here is a woman, and I care about Brooke Shields because I think she is an incredibly talented woman -- you look at, where has her career gone?"


When he's not dissing the "Suddenly Susan" star's B-list status and medical choices, Cruise, 42, has been out promoting his ardor for girlfriend-of-about-a-month Katie Holmes, 26, to major media outlets.

But was the actress, who has had a difficult few weeks, what with the tabloids gleefully analyzing her facial blemishes and allegedly bunion-filled feet, a runner-up for toothy Tom's affections?

According to the Daily News, the A-lister originally hoped to woo the once and possibly future flame of Orlando Bloom.

"Before Katie, he was interested in Kate Bosworth," a mole tattles to the paper. But it appears the 22-year-old actress, currently Down Under filming the blockbuster-to-be "Superman Returns," was able to resist the all-consuming Cruise charisma.

While Kate's rep is mum, Tom's sister-turned-mouthpiece LeeAnn Devett pooh-poohs the rumor, insisting to the Daily News, "That is completely and utterly false information."

Either way, he seems perfectly content in his current choice, with his admiration now bordering on hysteria.

"I love this woman," Cruise enthuses to Access. "I've got to tell you something, I'm not going to hide it. I am so happy and I am not going to pretend or hide it or be shy. This woman is magnificent ... I'm really, really happy and I can't contain it. I'm not going to pretend."

He's equally effusive on Monday's Oprah, pumping his fists and falling to one knee in excitement, and racing backstage in an attempt to bring out a skittish Holmes, who tries to scamper away (go with that feeling, sweetie).

"I've known Tom a long time, and he has always been so private," marvels Oprah. "I've never seen him like this before -- he's gone."

When MTV News asked him why he's going so public with his amour, he explains, "When I make a move like that, I'm saying, 'This is my woman.'" (No word on whether that statement was followed by a grunt and some chest-beating.)

Says the star, "People are going to do what they are going to do. Here's the thing: You can't think in terms of what are people going to do or say. [Stepping out with her publicly is] saying, 'I want to share my life with this woman; this woman is exceptional, she is special, she is extraordinary and I have great respect for her.' And it's saying, 'I got nothing to hide. I'm happy.' I'm happy, man ... she is something else."

So what does Cruise look for in a woman, besides the ability to reciprocate his immediate and intense passion? "I'm concerned about whether or not someone can keep up with me," he tells MTV. "I got a fast life. I got a lot going on."

Including the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, which he seems to be introducing to Holmes. The couple, who recently enjoyed a Mexican holiday with Tom's two kids, reportedly visited a Scientology-affiliated school in Los Angeles two weeks ago.

And just in case you've been in a cave ... on Mars ... with your fingers in your ears, Cruise hits theaters in "War of the Worlds" on June 29, while Holmes plays second banana to Christian Bale's Caped Crusader in "Batman Begins" starting on June 15.

Iraq Started the Iran/Iraq War? :: from :: news from occupied Iraq - it

Iraq Started the Iran/Iraq War? :: from :: news from occupied Iraq - it



BBC NEWS | South Asia | FBI 'ignored Pakistan US torture'

BBC NEWS | South Asia | FBI 'ignored Pakistan US torture': "'Routinely tortured' "

Another Day in the Empire � Michael Isikoff: Government News Source Junkie

Another Day in the Empire � Michael Isikoff: Government News Source Junkie
BG: Not sure I buy all of this. I'm sure if real truth about 911 isn't part of the discussion, then, a big part of the truth is missing.

Afghan Poppycock - Hamid Karzai's halfhearted jihad. By David Bosco

Afghan Poppycock - Hamid Karzai's halfhearted jihad. By David Bosco

Pics for Fun

Statement of Senator Russ Feingold on Tonight's Decision Regarding Judicial Nominees and the Filibuster

Statement of Senator Russ Feingold on Tonight's Decision Regarding Judicial Nominees and the Filibuster

A Troubled Hunt - Newsweek World News -

A Troubled Hunt - Newsweek World News -
BG: Chastised: Newsweek serves the masters.... (of propaganda).
Technorati Tags: sept11 bin Laden disinformation

blogpost cartoon

August J. Pollak -

August J. Pollak - have nothing new to add to the filibuster discussion
So I walk in the door and turn on the TV to check out the "all-nighter" session the Senate declared and to see if Bill Frist was wearing the Spongebob pajamas James Dobson bought him and instead get the most fearsome of images in the form of Joe Lieberman trying to smile. I apparently already missed the speeches from Mike DeWine explaining that his name was Mike DeWine and he was actually a United States Senator, and Robert Byrd telling a story about how he knew Ben Franklin.

Friedman Agonistes - Will the New York Times columnist read himself? By Timothy�Noah

Friedman Agonistes - Will the New York Times columnist read himself? By Timothy�Noah

What Women Want - New York Times

What Women Want - New York Times


May 24, 2005
What Women Want
Suppose you could eliminate the factors often blamed for the shortage of women in high-paying jobs. Suppose that promotions and raises did not depend on pleasing sexist male bosses or putting in long nights and weekends away from home. Would women make as much as men?

Economists recently tried to find out in an experiment in Pittsburgh by paying men and women to add up five numbers in their heads. At first they worked individually, doing as many sums as they could in five minutes and receiving 50 cents for each correct answer. Then they competed in four-person tournaments, with the winner getting $2 per correct answer and the losers getting nothing.

On average, the women made as much as the men under either system. But when they were offered a choice for the next round - take the piece rate or compete in a tournament - most women declined to compete, even the ones who had done the best in the earlier rounds. Most men chose the tournament, even the ones who had done the worst.

The men's eagerness partly stemmed from overconfidence, because on average men rated their ability more highly than the women rated theirs. But interviews and further experiments convinced the researchers, Muriel Niederle of Stanford and Lise Vesterlund of the University of Pittsburgh, that the gender gap wasn't due mainly to women's insecurities about their abilities. It was due to different appetites for competition.

"Even in tasks where they do well, women seem to shy away from competition, whereas men seem to enjoy it too much," Professor Niederle said. "The men who weren't good at this task lost a little money by choosing to compete, and the really good women passed up a lot of money by not entering tournaments they would have won."

You can argue that this difference is due to social influences, although I suspect it's largely innate, a byproduct of evolution and testosterone. Whatever the cause, it helps explain why men set up the traditional corporate ladder as one continual winner-take-all competition - and why that structure no longer makes sense.

Now that so many employees (and more than half of young college graduates) are women, running a business like a tournament alienates some of the most talented workers and potential executives. It also induces competition in situations where cooperation makes more sense.

The result is not good for the bottom line, as demonstrated by a study from the Catalyst research organization showing that large companies yield better returns to stockholders if they have more women in senior management. A friend of mine, a businessman who buys companies, told me one of the first things he looks at is the gender of the boss.

"The companies run by women are much more likely to survive," he said. "The typical guy who starts a company is a competitive, charismatic leader - he's always the firm's top salesman - but if he leaves he takes his loyal followers with him and the company goes downhill. Women C.E.O.'s know how to hire good salespeople and create a healthy culture within the company. Plus they don't spend 20 percent of their time in strip clubs."

Still, for all the executive talents that women have, for all the changes that are happening in the corporate world, there will always be some jobs that women, on average, will not want as badly as men do. Some of the best-paying jobs require crazed competition and the willingness to risk big losses - going broke, never seeing your family and friends, dying young.

The women in the experiment who didn't want to bother with a five-minute tournament are not likely to relish spending 16 hours a day on a Wall Street trading floor. It's not fair to deny women a chance at those jobs, but it's not realistic to expect that they'll seek them in the same numbers that men will.

For two decades, academics crusading for equality in the workplace have been puzzled by surveys showing that women are at least as satisfied with their jobs and their pay as men are. This is known as "the paradox of the contented female worker."

But maybe it's not such a paradox after all. Maybe women, like the ones who shunned the experimental tournament, know they could make more money in some jobs but also know they wouldn't enjoy competing for it as much as their male rivals. They realize, better than men, that in life there's a lot more at stake than money.

For Futher Reading:

Do Women Shy Away from Competition? by Niederle Muriel, and Lise Vesterlund (working paper)

Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences by Uri Gneezy, Muriel Niederle and Aldo Rustichini (Quarterly Journal of Economics, CXVIII, August 2003, 1049 – 1074)

Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever (Princeton University Press, 240 pp., September 2003)

Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior by James McBride Dabbs with Mary Godwin Dabbs (McGraw-Hill, 256 pp., July 2000)

The First Sex : The Natural Talents of Women and How They Are Changing the World by Helen Fisher (Random House, 377 pp., May 1999)


Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company Home Privacy Policy Search Corrections RSS Help Contact Us Back to Top

ZNet |Mainstream Media | Daniel Okrent's Revealing Closeout as Public Editor of the New York Times

ZNet |Mainstream Media | Daniel Okrent's Revealing Closeout as Public Editor of the New York Times