I Thought This Era Had Come and Gone

A prominent US abortion doctor has been shot dead at a church in Wichita, in his home state of Kansas.

Sixty-seven year-old George Tiller was killed just after 1000 (1500 GMT) at the Reformation Lutheran Church.

Dr Tiller – one of the few US doctors who performed so-called late-term abortions – had been a long-time target of anti-abortionists. His clinic had often been the site of demonstrations, and he was shot and wounded by an assailant 16 years ago.

Kansas is my home state (though you’ll rarely hear me admit it). My teen years were heavily tinted by the anti-choice violence that went on there at the time. But I admit, I was feeling pretty carefree about it all by now; feeling like those were the old days. And I bet most of my fellow pro-choice Kansans (not that there are many of us) were too. What sad news.

Does having daughters make parents more liberal?

So research done in England suggests:

Having daughters rather than sons, or vice versa, can change a father’s politics.

That is the conclusion of British researchers Andrew Oswald, of the University of Warwick and Cornell University, and Nattavudh Pawdthavee, of the University of York.

… Oswald told the Telegraph newspaper this past weekend that the research “provides evidence that daughters make people more left-wing, while having sons, by contrast, makes them more right-wing.”

It sounds good to me, but why would that happen?  Here’s what Oswald told the Telegraph:

Professor Oswald said that having daughters made men “gradually shift their political stance and become more sympathetic to the ‘female’ desire for a … larger amount for the public good”.

“They become more Left-wing. Similarly, a mother with sons becomes sympathetic to the ‘male’ case for lower taxes and a smaller supply of public goods,” he said.

Hmmmmmmm.  Makes it sound as thought we’ve got sex-related characterisitic dispositions that easily become political.   Should this just go along with the research showing that women have a preference for pink?

Anyone For an M&S boycott?

Update: The commenters have convinced me that the word ‘boycott’ above should be replaced with ‘rant’. I guess all the marking put me in a bad and intolerant mood. (That and the sense of betrayal: they *do* have lovely fair trade T-shirts.)

Marks and Spencer Chair Stuart Rose:

He said: “Apart from the fact that you’ve got more equality than you ever can deal with, the fact of the matter is that you’ve got real democracy and there are really no glass ceilings, despite the fact that some of you moan about it all the time….He told the newspaper: “I mean, what else do you want to do, for God’s sake? Women astronauts. Women miners. Women dentists. Women doctors. Women managing directors. What is it you haven’t got?…He rejected the suggestion that working mothers face greater challenges in the workplace.
“Well, childbirth is a biological fact. Women have children; I can’t help that,” he said.
“But I know lots of women who’ve got two or three kids – Nicola Horlick is a good example – there are many girls in here who’ve got two kids who come to work.”

For more, see here. Thanks, Nicola!

I mean, is a recession REALLY a good time to insult half of your customer base?