Rich harvest from the New York Times today

I’m catching up on the news and I can hardly believe the riches in the New York Times opinion section today.

“How to Attract Female Engineers” dovetails nicely with my “Women in Science” article. The author says that the way to get women interested in engineering is to change the goals of engineering employers. Instead of hiring engineers to make the brakes in a Honda Accord last longer so that more people with cash will spend it on an Accord instead of a Camry, Honda needs to start developing products to improve the lives of people who don’t have any money: “the key to increasing the number of female engineers may not just be mentorship programs or child care centers, although those are important. It may be about reframing the goals of engineering research and curriculums to be more relevant to societal needs. It is not just about gender equity — it is about doing better engineering for us all.” (where “us all” does not include people who are currently buying the products of companies that employ engineers)

“Why Massachusetts Led the Way on Same-Sex Marriage” includes this gem:

“Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity,” Ms. Marshall wrote then, “civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.” Decisions about sexual intimacy and raising children are, the opinion said, “among the most basic of every individual’s liberty and due process rights.”

This is peculiar because out of all 51 jurisdictions Massachusetts probably offers the largest financial incentives to people who marry for the cash, intending to divorce after a few years, and/or get pregnant after a one-night encounter with a high-income partner and/or get pregnant in order to market the abortion for cash. And it can’t be the case that decisions about raising children are some sort of due process right in Massachusetts because the state’s family courts nearly always dispose of one parent in favor of a “primary parent” who will keep the house, the kids, the child support cash, and all of the practical decision-making authority. (See the “Massachusetts” chapter of Real World Divorce.)

“Think of Undocumented Immigrants as Parents, Not Problems” is interesting for its sentimental attitude toward children who lose a parent because of the cruelty of U.S. immigration policy. Americans spend $ 50 billion per year on the family court system which, in most states, operates to strip children of one parent. (Statistically the parent who has been ordered to pay the bills and see the children at most every other weekend eventually fades from the scene.) If we don’t mind deporting a U.S. citizen from a child’s life why should we get upset about deporting a non-citizen parent from a child’s life?

“Ted Cruz’s Gay Marriage Opposition Is No Secret” is interesting because the writer and others are beating up on and boycotting a couple of gay hotel owners in New York for hosting a dinner for Ted Cruz. Mr. Rosenthal is apparently a one-issue voter, but why does he demand that the gay hotel owners be one-issue voters? Why can’t the hotel owners have some other issues on which they agree with Cruz that are more important to them? And if Ted Cruz is so hostile to gay people, wouldn’t it be best for everyone if he got to know some more gay Americans? Then he can say “Some of my best friends are extremely rich gay people.” (I’m standing by my refusal to learn anything about any Republican candidate so I don’t have an opinion on whether Ted Cruz is actually hostile to gay citizens. And it is tough to be passionate about the gay marriage issue one way or the other after hearing the perspectives of divorce litigators on the subject (previous posting). I think the whole concept of marriage being for heterosexuals might now be irrelevant due to the transgender revolution; if one spouse changes gender the couple is not automatically divorced and therefore there will be at least some same-sex marriages everywhere.)

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