More for the College Bound Crowd

This time of year, I usually link back to my 2007 post on campus drinking. And hey, it’s still unfortunately relevant.

Today I’d like to remind you that  hand in hand with college drinking is the problem of sexual assault on campus. No victim blaming is intended here, but if you are headed off to college — especially if you are female — here are some things you need to remember:

  • Sexual assault is a crime and should be reported to police, not campus officials. It should be prosecuted in a real court and not a campus disciplinary panel designed to deal with such infringements as scholastic dishonesty.
  • Your campus may have a vested interest in making sure few serious crimes — including sexual assault — are reported. After all, they want to look parents of prospective students in the eye and talk about their low crime rate.
  • Victims of a crime have the right to have their complaint taken seriously, even if the alleged perpetrator is a campus hero.
  • More protections might be coming, but they of course must be balanced against the rights of the accused (who are still “innocent until proven guilty”, and yes some are unjustly accused — another argument for involving the real police and real courts early).
  • Just like with most crimes, it is always a good idea to be a little proactive about not becoming a victim. Use common sense. Use the “buddy system” when you go out and keep an eye out for one another. Watch your consumption of booze and other intoxicants. Be aware that not-nice people exist. These tips are useful for preventing theft and the more mundane sort of assault too.

Look, I sincerely hope you never ever have to call the cops to report a crime on campus. Likewise, I hope you won’t hesitate if the need arises.

In Closing: More on privacy, watchlists, andreform“, with a bonus blast from the past; dude, highway deaths are so down in Colorado; in the Navy; co-signing is a bad idea; mountain lions don’t like opera; airport playground.

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Music Monday: Excuse me, do those immigrants have visas?

It’s not new, but I can’t listed to the song now without seeing this….

And here’s a bonus cat for you, only 35 seconds long:

 

In Closing: Looks like this judge found a way to ‘splain it; high speed rail coming to Texas; on poverty, wages, debt, and getting by; LEGO scientists; on Congress; a few more items on Israel and Palestine; pollution has reached Antarctica.

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Shorties Fright

The Monk who Saved Lives: Ittetsu Nemoto.

The Priest who Preached Happiness: Let’s hear it once more for Pope Francis.

Israel and Palestine: Just a few assorted and random links.

You know you want it: Here’s the NSA, privacy, FBI, CIAWar on Terror, and related links.

Broken:  immigration and immigration reform problems.

Wow: Larry Kudlow seems to have found his lost mind.

All about the Jobs: We did have good jobs numbers this week. Let’s put it in perspective.

Research supports my observation:  Indeed: “[I]t sure does seem like the vast majority of the people who say diets don’t work have somewhere in their story a sentence like ‘I went on my first diet when I was 13.’ Or 11. Or 16.”

Fiddling while America Burns: Congress is too busy making baseless lawsuits and running out of town, so they can’t be bothered to fund things like fighting forest fires.

Want to know the interesting thing about this article?: This article about events that empower girls by reinforcing gender stereotypes was written by a man.

And finally: Keep it clean, people.

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Huh, maybe the old fashioned way that used to work still does work.

The other day, results from a study on diets for diabetics were published. In short, it said that the low fat diets that have been recommended for many years don’t work very well to control diabetes, but the low carbohydrate diets that came before them did:

The authors point to the specific failure of the prevailing low-fat diets to improve obesity, cardiovascular risk or general health, and to the persistent reports of serious side effects of commonly prescribed diabetes medications. By comparison, the authors refer to the continued success of low-carbohydrate diets in the treatment of diabetes and metabolic syndrome without significant side effects.

Diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate intolerance,” said Barbara Gower, Ph.D., professor and vice chair for research in the UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences and one of the study authors. “Reducing carbohydrates is the obvious treatment. It was the standard approach before insulin was discovered and is, in fact, practiced with good results in many institutions. The resistance of government and private health agencies is very hard to understand.”

Emphasis added.

This summary goes on to point out not just one or two, but twelve research-backed facts to support their point of view. Go ahead and read them for yourself. Although these points include the fact that dietary intervention doesn’t have side effects the way drugs do, they did not include that food is relatively cheap compared to medicine. Nor did they point out that metabolically, complex carbohydrates are little more than chains of sugars.

 

In closing: NSA, War on the NSA, War on Terror, War on Brown People, War on Schools that Work, War on Marksmanship, War on the Middle Class, War on the Working Class, War on the Palestinians, Here a War, There a War, Everywhere a War on War. Old MacDonald had a War, EIEIO. Cosigning is a bad idea. Kids will eventually eat what they are served. And let’s close with friendly Satanists.

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Music Monday: Well, it’s a start

Ladies and Gentlemen, Tim Minchin’s Peace Anthem for Palestine.

 

 

 

 

In Closing: Get the latest juicy NSA, privacy, surveillance, War on Terror, and the impact it all has on the world you live in; Oops, they pissed off the Witches and Wizards; worth less; this could be bad; all about the banksters and plutocrats; civil forfeiture; and maybe more of us are left of center than we thought.

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Put the Outrage where it Belongs

So, this story has been making the rounds: a worker at a Subway sandwich shop was allegedly fired because she left sick. More specifically, she went outside to puke some more and a worker at a nearby Pizza Hut noticed her, calling an ambulance on her behalf. Cue the outrage and petitions saying she should get her job back. As the article points out, Subway has a history of labor violations, so the story is plausible but not confirmed. Remember that the overwhelming majority of these shops are franchised.

Let’s assume that the allegations are true.

Sure, be outraged that this worker was fired for leaving her shift sick. Be outraged that American workers can’t afford to be sick, even on so-called days off.

But remember to be really outraged at the manager. Oh, not for firing a sick employee. Be outraged that he was willing to endanger the health of every employee and every customer of that store.

Justice would not simply be hiring that employee back. Justice would not even be firing that manager. Justice would be random weekly inspections by the local health department every freaking week until they are absolutely sure there will be no more problems. This would, by the way, send a message to every restaurant and fast food joint in town: don’t play games with customer safety.

In Closing: Aw no it’s time for some more NSA and terror related links; more reasons not to like that sportswear company with the three L’s in the name; the DEA somehow thinks FedEx can be responsible for knowing whether or not a package contains prescription medication for which there is no prescription; pretty much the conclusion I reached; funny how the news media refers to Hamas as “militants” when in fact they are the democratically elected government (and shame on the media that a freaking CARTOONIST has to point that out); but it makes a pretty scatterpoint graph; a couple Affordable Care Act links; and LEGO Beach.

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Music Monday: The Sea

Today is a holiday in Japan called Sea Day (Marine Day or Ocean Day, if you prefer), so enjoy this little sea shanty from Shogun:

 

In Closing: Oh yeah get your hot fresh NSA and privacy and War on Terror links right here (H/T Comrade Misfit); the War on [Brown People Using] Drugs, the Police State, and other oddities; uh, that’s still less than one in 5; infrastructure; I hope this crazy woman ends up paying everybody’s legal fees; Why Johnny Can’t Sit Still; Turns out that higher minimum wages are good for job creation (and I have yet to see an iPad run a deep fryer or stock a shelf, thanks); the working poor have jobs, stupid; a couple education items; and a terrifying coincidence.

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Random Purple Flower

IMG_20140518_170541

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Keep It Simple, Silly.

Alright, so apparently it took tens of thousands of kids showing up all alone in our country, having traveled thousands of miles through incredible obstacles to get us to collectively pay attention to immigration policy for more than 5 minutes. There’s screaming on both sides: they’re kids, many of them little, and they need our protection; they’re here illegally and we need to send them back to their [incredibly impoverished and unsafe] homes as quickly as possible before they bring crime and disease for crying out loud, due process be damned.

Let’s be clear on this. Immigration policy is broken. Further, our current system for asylum and naturalization is so complicated that any solution that does not involve radical simplification is no solution at all. That simplification needs to include a reduced amount of paperwork, written in a way that it can be filled out in some cases without the help of expensive lawyers. That simplification needs to eliminate limits on the numbers of immigrants that can come from specific regions and get work permits – unrealistically low limits that even the Senate knows need to go. Maybe it doesn’t need to be so simple that a little kid can navigate the system, but certainly an adult who knows how to read should be able to get started.

Of course that’s only one piece of the puzzle — the part the most helps the kids right now. In the long term, we as a nation have to stop doing things that increase poverty and gang violence in Central and South America. That will make it safer for other children to stay in their homelands with their families rather than come thousands of miles to a strange land that only offers the faintest hope of a better life.

We also need to remember that children aren’t the only ones who illegally come to the United States because no matter how bad conditions are here, it’s better than at home. Conditions are bad here for undocumented immigrants because the byzantine rules for work permits means they work in low wage, low skill, long hours, sometimes blatantly illegal, non-existent protections for workers jobs — the so-called “Jobs Americans Won’t Do [because we foolishly want minimum wage and a safe workplace]“. The employers who exploit these willing workers (and put law abiding businesses at a competitive disadvantage) must face consequences: fines, inspections, jail for the people who sign off on breaking the law.

This is not a complete solution. However, it’s how we “stop digging the hole” we’re trapped in.

In Closing: “The beatings will continue until morale improves”; the latest attempts to undermine your privacy (and indeed, your access) online, and bonus NSA links; the rich get richer and the poor get poorer yet again; “This isn’t about your health. It’s about control.”; great, because it turns out we’re gonna need some new bridges soon! (I saw a picture of the set-up last week and it’s truly impressive); and Remember Come November. Oh, and vote in the damned primaries so we at least have decent candidates!

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Music Monday: Outrun

Outrun is — as nearly as I can tell — an 80′s revival movement using emulation of early MIDI hardware. It seems to derive it’s name from an album by Kavinsky. The album was named after an 80s video game.

 

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