Addressing a trend

I’ve been getting more than my fair share of comment spam recently (not quite enough that I’m ready to use one of those “prove you’re human” things). Lately, one of the topics is HCG diets.

Let me make one thing perfectly crystal clear about HCG: it is the only diet drug required by the FDA to have a black box warning saying it does not work! Really, that’s the only thing you need to know about HCG. Just say no. It’s a waste of your money and potentially dangerous.

As for the new “safer” homeopathic HCG drops, they’re still sugar water. Further, even if homeopathy did work, the “Law of Similars” — “a substance that when taken in crude form causes a set of symptoms or disease in a healthy person can cure similar symptoms occurring during an illness when treated with small, often infinitesimal, potentised doses of the same substance” — would suggest that diluting a weight loss “drug” for homeopathic use would make the user gain weight, wouldn’t it?

It is at this point that I will point out that I’m not a doctor, nor a dietician. I’m only pointing out two things: HCG is FDA proven to not work for weight loss, and mixing it with a bunch of water isn’t likely to make it more effective.

While we are on the topic, here’s some tips for not letting the holidays ruin your diet.

In Closing: tricorder; oops; The Jungle returns; doing good work; what??; free markets won’t fix health care; which reality will win, not enough money to retire or not enough health to keep working?; couples and money; the near poor; I’ve always thought it would be a great idea to have a “third party debate,” and apparently there was; and who needs MacGyver when Dolph Lundgren really exists??

The Cabin in the Shorties

Gee, no kidding: When young people pay all their money on student loans, they don’t have money to take out mortgages.

Separate but Equal?: On women’s workouts.

I hate agreeing with Kip: I’ve said a lot of things about former TSA director Kip Hawley over the years, but the Kipster is making sense these days. Among other things he says that there cannot and will not ever be a get out of the security line free card, even though he wanted to make it happen. Turns out that he’s starting to agree with Bruce Schneier at times.

They can only get away with it because mostly poor people ride the bus: Houston is going to put undercover cops and TSA officers on buses to paw through bags, report suspicious activity, and “interrogate” passengers. Where are they getting the money to pay somebody to ride the bus all day?

On the standard of living and the dual income family: Making twice the money but barely having the same standard of living means we are half as well off. Tricks of counting inflation are partly to blame. Of course, some moms (and a small number of dads but CNN doesn’t mention them) are finding that the costs of working can completely devour a paycheck. This is particularly true when the pay gap between men and women is taken into account. Oh, and when the minimum wage is worth less than in the Johnson Administration (when, by the way, the highest tax bracket was much more than it is today).

How nice for them: Bank of America is making money hand over fist again.

Peeing in a Jar: It turns out that Florida‘s drug screening program for welfare applicants was a big waste of money and found drug use rates roughly a third what they are in the general population. Funny, when you barely have money for food you can’t afford weed.

Don’t panic: Yeah, chicken sometimes has E.Coli in it. That’s why you don’t see Chicken Sashimi at your local sushi bar.

It’s back from the dead: Bowles-Simpson. I have a better idea: repeal the tax cuts that gave us a budget problem in the first place, and bring troops home from places they don’t belong.

More than 100 to 1 against: Corn producers want to change labeling of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to the more benign sounding “corn sugar.” They can’t change the fact that some scientists consider it “unsafe for human consumption.” Consumers don’t like the idea.

Let’s Go!: The literal translation of this blog’s title, Ikimashoo.

Right, cause there’s no discrimination any more: Romney thinks it might be time to get rid of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Never mind the other things HUD does. Never mind the portfolio of FHA foreclosures.

Money Quote:First, if suburbanites with above-median incomes are big fans of a program aimed at helping minorities and the poor, it’s a safe bet that it’s not actually helping minorities and the poor.”

And finally: Crime must not pay.

Compare and Contrast

Over the weekend, the people who brought us TaintedEggs™ said that anybody who got sick? It was their own damn fault. Yes, that’s right, it’s our fault for enjoying eggs over easy, Hollandaise sauce, and Caesar Salads. These aren’t your grandmother’s farm fresh eggs, sweetie! Treat them like toxic waste that must be incinerated to be healthy!

Today the FDA pointed out that maybe, just maybe, letting 8 foot tall piles of chicken poop accumulate and having rats around might be part of the problem. I wonder how long until they find a way to make that our fault too.

In closing: it‘s still the economy, stupid; and giant raptor.

I’m going to speak slowly….

Pedant aside: please note that I did not say “Imma” in place of “I’m going to”.

The end of August is upon us. This is normally I time of year that I republish A Little Message for the College Crowd, updated with the newest Beloit Mindset List. As important as I still believe that message is — and I encourage you to send that link to the college students you know — there’s something else I have to say this year.

What is with you parents and your dorm room obsessions? Have you lost your minds?

Ok, yes. The kid is “out on his/her own” for what is probably the first time (heaven forbid you sent them to summer camp for a couple of weeks). Still, the space they will be occupying is a room. Not an apartment. Not a luxury suite. They are unlikely to have access to a kitchen, and there will be restrictions on what cooking implements they are allowed to have in their room. Also remember that they will not have a lot of room for, well, anything. And finally, remember that they will have a roommate. The aforementioned roommate may have his/her own ideas about the space — or worse yet, roommate’s mom might.

Here’s what you need to send to the dorm: school appropriate clothes (including pajamas and a jacket); bedding and towels; personal toiletry items; a travel bag (1); an alarm clock; school supplies, including stuff that would normally live on the student’s desk; laundry supplies including a basket, hangers, and soap; a few small items of decor (favorite poster, fun lamp, picture of the kid’s dog, stuff like that); essential personal electronics (computer, cell phone, MP3 player, etc.). Ask whether they need a trash can. If you’ve missed something really essential, I bet there’s a store near the school.

Here’s stuff that’s nice to have but not necessary: mini-fridge, if allowed; microwave, if allowed; calendar; white-board or cork memo board; a small stereo system and a few favorite CDs (assuming his/her whole collection isn’t on the computer and/or MP3 player); a little tote for getting toiletries to and from the shower; an electric fan (check dorm rules for when it may be used).

Every dorm room I have ever seen has two beds, two desks, two chairs, two dressers, and two rather small closets. Usually there’s lamp or flourescent light, and sometimes a task lamp on the desk. Do not send furniture to the dorm. And no, the kid doesn’t need a 42″ flatscreen in his room. He doesn’t really even need a TV! There’s one of those in the floor lounge, and he should really be studying anyway! Sure, make a list so you don’t forget important stuff. But if you have to rent a truck to get it all there, you’ve got way too much junk.

In short, treat the dorm like a bare bones hotel room instead of Baby’s First Apartment and you’ll do fine. The kid is legally an adult; now let the kid get on with his or her life. Please.

Now I get to sit back and wait for Calvin’s Mom to tell us what all those little darlings say when they arrive….

Obtuse Angle: Just a little rundown of the various Sharron Angle stories out there. At an event where she wasn’t expecting recordings, she said that evolution is a theory (just like phrenology, right?) and NPR has too small an audience for debates so Harry Reid needs to agree to meet her on Fox News. Both candidates think Cordoba House shouldn’t be built (is it sacrilege to have an apartment near Ground Zero? And if so, is it alright to *ahem* make whoopie there?) Here she is trying to sound sane repudiate clarify all her previous positions. Here’s our local politics guy calling her out on it. Here’s a blast from Sharron’s past. If you wonder what became of the Chicken Lady, this link is for you. And as a bonus? I’m Voting Tea Party T-Shirts.

Phoney Argument: Right, because just what we all need is to turn our $400 smart phones into $5 transistor radios.

Finally, In Closing: If “the easy answer is yes,” what are all the extra words for?; turns out everybody is cutting back, Boomers and retirees more so; the things you can dig up; we can hope; Thanks to E.B. Misfit for pointing out that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce thinks that women need to “make the tough choices about work-life balance” including “choosing the right place to work and choosing the right partner at home.“; what does it take to get shut down??; on arguing with conservatives; and more than you wanted to know about Death and Sesame Street.