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Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

Religious Police Nab Sherif

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Women are better drivers than men, true or false? Yes, or no considering many factors, or factoids, and depending on which side of this age old argument you want to be on. You have your mind made up, so why read on?

"Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition." (also attributed to Marilyn Monroe) (Timothy Leary, psychologist & promoter of mind-altering drugs 1920 -- 1996). Of course he also said "There are three side effects of acid: enhanced long-term memory, decreased short-term memory, and I forget the third."

Even though I am writing this before Memorial Day, I think I'm safe in saying no woman has ever finished first in the Indianapolis 500 race. There were high hopes for the then 23 year old Danika Patrick in 2005 when she made history by being the first woman to ever lead the race (she was out front for 19 of the 250 laps). She finished fourth that year and third in 2009. She, Simona De Silvestro, Pippa Mann, and Ana Beatriz were entered this year.

NASCAR has over 75 million fans, with women making up 40 percent of them. I don't know - Do the fans like the drivers, the crashes, or do they just like to rotate their head in an oval?

Sarah Fisher was the first big-time woman driver, and Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sara Christian, Patty Moise, and Louise Smith have been successful racers.

There are two things no man will admit he cannot do well: drive and make love. (Stirling Moss -- famous racecar driver)

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Some women, being better at multi-tasking, can talk on the cell-phone while gossiping (redundant?), applying lip gloss, and tapping their toes while listening to headphone songs. These types do not have accidents, they cause them.

Unless they are going to work or shopping, teenage girls are more apt to be passengers than drivers, but then they go nutso during their twenty-thirtyish years. Then the minivans with two kids in the back seat happen. At this stage women with kids aboard drive very defensively and thus greatly improve women's safety records. Meanwhile, their guys are causing road rage after leaving late for work, and then driving home from a bar after Monday night football.

During the divorce/widow years, but before blue hair, assisted living and Oprah, women continue the ten-two steering wheel grip and just drive carefully to work, church, Weight-Watchers and the gym. They only do the last two in January.

Elderly women are 60 percent more likely to die on the road than a 16-year-old boy. This has nothing to do with driving ability, but because they are so frail. The boy is the same one who could fall thirty feet from a tree and bounce up asking for cookies.

As far as insurance claims go, the reason female drivers benefit from lower premiums is largely due to the fact that statistics show claims made by women tend to be for minor bumps whereas male drivers are involved in more expensive accidents. Speed, derring-do and alcohol may be factors in the latter.

School buses, usually driven during safe hours, have a death rate that is one-50th that of average passenger vehicles, but the death rate on motorcycles was nearly 32 times higher than for cars.

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Saudi Arabia rulers have cracked down harder than usual on 32-year-old Manal al-Sherif, who has flaunted her behind the wheel experiences. She remains in jail as I write this. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women, even foreigners, from driving.

Although there is no written law banning women from driving in Saudi Arabia, "fatwas" (religious edicts) are enforced by police. The issue is a highly emotional one in the kingdom, where women are also not allowed to vote, or even travel without their husbands'. King Abdullah has promised reforms in the past and has taken some tentative steps to ease restrictions on women. But the Saudi monarchy relies on Wahhabi clerics to give religious legitimacy to its rule and is deeply reluctant to defy their entrenched power.

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Not much is said about it but when legislative Republicans are attempting to reduce state budgets they are also driving local governments to do the same. Their constituents are driving the issue.

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Presidential candidate and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is defending his budget approach and says that he balanced every one of his budgets. How (not) refreshing to hear yet another governor bragging about balancing their budget. Every state but Vermont has a type of constitutional requirement that the budget be balanced at the end of the fiscal year. News media types should call them on it.

Don Paulin, 7557 30th AV, Norwalk, IA 50211. 2carpenterdon@gmail.com 515-201-7236

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By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That