The Woman in Shorties

I Tell You What: These days, writing anything cogent about torture is, well, you know.

Important Medical Research: Somebody found out why the doctor’s waiting room has mostly out-of-date magazines.

Does it seem like toys are more gender specific these days?: Well, you’re right.

Pope Francis has had a busy week: Brokering international deals, condemning slavery, and he’s still got to work on Christmas.

Just for the record: I am already freaking sick and tired of speculation about the 2016 Presidential Elections. The fact that these guys (and a couple of ladies) are already jockeying for position is disgusting and evidence that the system is terribly broken. Seriously, my calendar still says 2014; Iowa is still over a year away. I still think my simplification plan could work, particularly paired with my campaign finance reform plan…. Here’s some nice candidate trivia for you.

Above the Law: Uber finally condescended to obey a court order and stop working in Portland. Portland being Portland, they’re trying to find some way to work with Uber. In the meantime, some insight into what happened in Nevada, and their business structure. Yeah, maybe they should play by the rules. The big news is an alleged sexual assault by an Uber driver on an Uber rider in Boston. I am not going to link it as an “I told you so” because I think that the whole model has bigger problems than finding Bad Apples.

Wealth, Jobs, and the Economy: Ok, really more like inequity, bad trade deals, bad jobs deals, controlling the media you watch, and being watched.

And Finally: Boobs and Man Soap.

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Music Monday: Weezer

In Closing: Reading about the people justifying torture can seem like they are torturing the truth; a few police brutality and racism items; common sense may not be common; TPP; she can’t be trusted to make a decision regarding having a baby, but she can somehow be trusted with a baby. Oh, and one last must read commentary.

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It’s time for Things I Learned This Semester!

That’s right, another semester is over! If you’re curious about things I’ve learned in the past, please enjoy some links to other posts. So let’s get going with the latest revelations:

General:

  • Eventually, the staff in charge of cleaning bathrooms will notice the graffiti on the back of the bathroom stall door.
  • The kind of high school student who takes college classes is motivated to succeed.
  • An alarming number of undergraduates don’t even know there’s a difference between viruses and bacteria. Come on people, take the whole run of antibiotics and never take somebody else’s meds.
  • Parking on campus gets easier after midterms.

Child Psych:

  • Because of a quirk of how children learn language, most children can relate to Ramona Beasley or Amelia Bedelia misunderstanding what they are told.
  • We adults might not like to think about it, but children are aware of sexual issues much earlier than puberty. Put CCSD’s issues in context.
  • The most messed up thing I have ever read for a class — any class — is the story of David Reimer.

Nutrition:

  • I knew that “You can’t out-train a bad diet”. I didn’t know this was mathematically provable. Go ahead and plug some numbers into a calorie calculator and an activity calculator. You can eat a lot more calories than you can possibly burn in a day!
  • The Food Pyramid is gone, and good riddance. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies, and don’t worry too much about grains.
  • You don’t have to pay Carl Daikeler to put together a workout and diet plan for you, but it’s better than what many people would put together for themselves.
  • A lot of people apparently take Nutrition as an easy class.

Spanish:

  • In a college Spanish class, there are likely to be one or two people who speak Spanish ok but want to learn better grammar and spelling.
  • A Spanish professor from Spain and a Spanish professor from Central America have some fundamentally different ways of doing things.
  • Public speaking is more difficult in a foreign language.
  • Spanish doesn’t actually have a “past tense.” Instead, they have a “preterite” that serves the same function.
  • Don’t be afraid of the Hispanic grocery store. Odds are very good that the employees you’re likely to encounter are bilingual.

Chemistry:

  • Fun and danger in a chemistry lab often go together. It’s important to have a good lab partner and follow directions.
  • The chemical reactions that let antacids work often create gas. If you know how to do the math, you can figure out exactly how much acid you’re neutralizing and exactly how much gas you’ve burped.
  • Some guy actually built a periodic table.
  • Even though the pH scale familiar to swimming pool owners goes from 0 to 14, a pH of less than 0 is possible. This guy won a Nobel Prize for it.

That’s it for today. I’m skipping the closing bits. Have a great weekend!

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Music Monday: Santa’s been working out.

Some of my readers like a little eye candy. Drop the Bass, Jesus:

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Moment of Silence

December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor.

Last week, I did see one of these on the road:

IMG_20130420_135727

 

These guys are still out there.

In Closing: having a hard time working up sympathy for the lady who’s so scared of being a “bag lady” that she buys a fur coat. Thank heaven at least one person — Rep. Loretta Sanchez — had the good sense to ask the right question. And an accidental flash of common sense (don’t worry, we won’t let any of that near a school again!).

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The truth is, None of Us Can Breathe

So, please mark December 5, 2014 in your calendars. It is the day that I agreed with George W. Bush, when he said the Eric Garner grand jury results were “hard to understand.” Sure, we look at the video and say “how the heck can a cop get away with choking out a man on a sidewalk for a non-violent offense?” If anybody other than a police officer had killed Eric Garner, this case would be a slam dunk.

Instead, the system worked to protect cops at the expense of those they are supposed “to protect and serve,” just as it did in Ferguson. And really, any of us could have been Eric Garner. Any of us could have been the person breaking a minor law and ending up  — more or less — publicly executed. And let’s just face the truth: the odds of that happening are simply higher if you are a person of color. Then, you might get a public execution for picking up a toy gun or some other stupid pretext, or you might end up being kidnapped by cops in your own yard. Furthermore, it would be stupid for me to pretend any longer that the same rules apply equally to both blacks and whites.

One thing that gives me hope is that many people are feeling like they can’t breathe. Like they’d better stand up and do something. And even though a full 1% of our population is either in prison or on probation — think about it, one out of every hundred kids you went to school with, one of every hundred people you ever knew from work, one out of a hundred of everybody who was ever your neighbor, now a criminal — even though that’s true, it’s not the only thing that makes it hard to breathe.

A lot of us understand that freedom is more than not being executed in public, is more than not actually being in prison. It’s not much good to be free if you can’t afford the trappings of liberty: food, a roof over your head, medical care when you need it, little picky things like that. And sure, we had some very good employment data yesterday! There are more jobs, more jobs in more different industries, fewer unemployed people. All those are good things. However, median weekly wage is still within a few bucks of where it was in 2007, a shade under $800. Have your expenses gone up since 2007? Mine have. Take a look at the rest of those charts. Somehow, long term unemployment is down, but labor force participation is also down. Isn’t that interesting.

So yeah, the middle class can’t get ahead. People below the middle class aren’t even doing that well. And even though there is evidence that higher wages wouldn’t cause corporate profits to collapse, there are people who consider wage growth to be a problem. Yeah. It’s a real problem when people can work their way out of poverty instead of deeper into it; you might have to treat them like human beings.

In a very large nutshell, there’s laundry list of reasons why “I can’t breathe” resonates more than “Hands up, don’t shoot” ever could.

 

Uber Alles: I’ve given up trying to write something about that not-cab company that thinks it is above the law (maybe that’s how they came up with the name?). They didn’t bother to actually suspend operations until a couple days after the judge said stop it, and then they whined about how this cost Nevada 1000 [part time, contractor, no benefits, oh yeah and provide your own car] jobs.  I’ve already been shouted down about how I don’t know what I’m talking about, and yet a Nevada judge used many thoughts similar to mine in his ruling: there’s no promise that Uber drivers can be held to the same public safety standards as cab drivers (commercial level insurance, DOT physicals, ongoing vehicle maintenance/condition).

In Closing: alert the media, give a kid a job and he’s less likely to become a crook; literary words; a car, a car, my kingdom for a car; which big cat are you?; diet; circumcision; Democrats.

You can’t breathe either? Here’s some music for you.

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Music Monday: Ode to the North

Here’s Michael Bublé, proving that he’s from Canada, eh?

 

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A Rant about the Constitution

Some people in Congress — by which I mean Republicans — have been ranting about how the President can’t do this or can’t do that because it’s unconstitutional (even though those accursed commie libruls can point to Republican presidents who have done the exact same thing.

Well guess what? I can point to at least two things that Republicans want to destroy that are explicitly required by the Constitution. The Post Office is mandated under Article I, section 8, and the Census by Article I, section 1.

So the next time some right wing blowhard tells you how the President is shredding the Constitution, remind him to read the freaking document. The NSA, TSA, CIA, FBI, DEA, FISA, IRS, INS, and a whole lot of other government entities they couldn’t imagine doing without aren’t there, but the Post Office and the Census are specifically mentioned in the first freaking article of the Constitution. Stuff that in your conservative pipe and smoke away.

And then maybe you can shift the conversation to how the government could create some jobs by making sure our bridges don’t fall down.

In Closing: warms the heart, and other bits too; I am not really sure what to say about Ferguson and police killing with impunity anymore; I think I’ve brought up a couple of these tips before; and practice. I had some things I wanted to say about Uber, and that might yet happen.

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Music Bonus: Baste that Bird!

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Music Monday: Thanks, Johnny

Ladies and Gentlemen, Johnny Cash:

 

In Closing: moving; a few diet items; I’m not sure how this works (except Obama is black and therefore any race issues are his fault?); as long as we’re on the topic of the President, a couple immigration items; life chances; it’s good to be king CEO; not so good to be an average worker; even worse to be in prison; but hey at least if you’re in prison you’re alive.

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