Sex Ed in Clark County, Nevada

There is quite the local controversy surrounding exactly what students should be taught about their own bodies and sexuality in the 5th largest school district in the nation, Clark County School District. CCSD, to its credit, wants to teach more and make sure students get more accurate information. Students want that too. Parents, on the other hand, want to sharply limit what their kids learn, and they want to keep an “opt-in” mechanism so that parents actually have to sign a piece of paper saying it’s ok to teach kids about sex education.

Now here’s the thing. Well over 99.9% of school kids do in fact have either a vagina or a penis. Sure, I’ll allow for a small chance somebody doesn’t have one or the other. Those same parents who want to “control” how exactly how much their kids know about sex are not teaching them enough, and they aren’t starting early enough. These are the kind of parents who don’t bother to mention to a girl that she will get a period someday, waiting until the inevitable menarche panic. These are exactly the parents whose kids most desperately need sex ed.

Kids who don’t get enough information resort to asking friends who know little more than they do, as in that classic scene from your old Judy Blume book. They make mistakes because they don’t know any better. By contrast, kids who get sex ed wait longer to have sex, and they use contraception when they do — an unmistakable win-win reducing the chances of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

When I was young, most people had never heard of the internet. Now, thank [deity], there are places online where young people can get straight talk about their bodies and their sexuality.

Interested in more of my musings on this and related topics? Here’s Shelby Knox, contraceptives prevent abortions, and twisting the facts. Oh, and what do you call people who use the rhythm method of birth control? Parents!

In Closing: the return of the MERS controversy; Joe Biden’s TPP problem; wasn’t supposed to say that in public (but hey, in the summer of 2007 Hillary seemed inevitable too); internet hacks for students; gosh, that headline means something completely different until you get to the last two words; your elected representatives don’t care what your opinion is.

The Grown-Up in the House

Here’s just a little round-up of things people are saying about John Boehner’s resignation. The consensus is that now there is no “adult supervision” of Republicans in the House of Representatives. It’s looking more and more like the House is headed towards the river on the road where there’s no bridge. I sure hope those Duke boys know how to fly.

In Closing: There are folks out there still trying to ram the TPP through before anybody can ask pesky questions like “what’s in it”; in which an economist slaps down the political blogger; on inflation; even diet experts disagree about diet (except for a handful of obvious facts like “veggies are good for you,” “drink enough water,” and “too much sugar is bad for you”); and it’s the Supreme Court!

Just a little JEB! Roundup.

So everybody knows now that JEB! Bush has said some, ahem, ill advised things about worker productivity, right? By now pretty much everybody who isn’t huddled up on the far ultraright end of the spectrum with Donald Trump’s hair has weighed in. Here’s an economist, twice, a CNBC commentator (you know, where people talk about business?), a Moderate, and more smart people. By morning, there are likely to be more people saying similar things.

Of course I guess it doesn’t really much matter which party your Wall Street lackeys belong to.

In Closing: Pow Pao!; evidence that we mostly need better enforcement of gun laws; rich people habits you can (mostly) do too; the IRS will never ever call you to say you owe money; Sure they did (and I totally thwarted 3 tiger attacks last weekend — hey, you didn’t hear about any tiger attacks in Vegas last weekend, now did you??); trade deficit; “lemme take a selfie“; bad charting; Disney Princes.

Music Monday: It’s still over a year from now….

So Scott Pelley pointed out that it’s “only” 594 days until the 2016 elections and what were candidates waiting for. Um, what?

So anyway I have this survey from the Democrats about Hillary’s potential presidential bid. I notice there’s not an option for “No, I don’t think she should run at all!” And no, I don’t want candidates who have to be “pressed” to run on progressive ideals; I want an actual progressive to run! Better yet, I want that progressive to stay progressive after election day.

No, not Elizabeth Warren. She’s more important where she is.

In Closing: Waah; interesting; throwback; the radioactive man; on Obamacare.

Not So Simple

So, just to make sure you’re up to speed before we get rolling. Uber put together service in Nevada arguing that they’re just a technology service that happens to connect consumers to people who are willing to drive them in private cars for a fee but they’re so not a taxi service. It looks like a duck and quacks like a duck but somehow it isn’t a duck. Nevada courts said “What you’re doing is illegal. Stop it!” Some days later Uber said “Ok fine, we’ll stop breaking the law but we’ll bury you under a petition until you let us do whatever we want, bwahahahaha!”

Since then, Uber has had a couple of little assault problems in other states, which is unfortunately nothing new. In one country, Uber has decided they don’t give a darn about being banned. Yeah, way to show how much you want to follow the law by simply ignoring it.

Got that? Ok.

Today the Review Journal published an article that begins by saying all Nevada has to do is copy-paste some other state’s laws to make it all good. Later down, concessions are made that yeah, we kinda have to address the public safety issues. And sorry, the safety issues do go beyond what kind of insurance they are required to have and what kind of background checks drivers need. Keep in mind that Nevada requires background checks and fingerprints on hand for a whole bunch of professions (including real estate agents and casino workers), so I’m one of the people who thinks its reasonable for Uber drivers to give them up too. Most of the coverage I have seen doesn’t mention that in Nevada, taxi drivers have commercial drivers licenses and have to pass a DOT physical every couple of years. Further, taxis get regular professional maintenance, which is something you can’t count on from one of the independent contractors using private cars for Uber.

So the short version is that the  only easy fix is for Uber to follow the same rules that taxi companies currently follow in Nevada. Anyone who believes otherwise doesn’t understand the problem (or doesn’t want to).

In Closing: Tardigrade; “Nobody’s paying attention anymore? Good! Scrap the plans to scale back mass surveillance”; translating Joni Ernst.

Eat It

Today’s question:

Do you tend to order the same thing at restaurants? Or do you like to jump around the menu?

Answer: yes. It depends where I am. There are places where I just want the one or two things that I know are awesome. There are other places where I am busy trying new things. Remember, Vegas is a world class food city! Sorry, I don’t have much more to say about the issue than that.

In Closing: no regard for the Supreme Court; catching the cold; one Indiana lawmaker doesn’t think you should have a choice whether you raise a child with severe disabilities; cybersecurity; doing the same thing and expecting different results; finally somebody said it out loud.

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.

Big Bad Shorties

It’s the Food: It turns out that people do pay attention to nutrition labels. That’s a good thing, because soon and very soon obesity will overtake tobacco as the #1 killer of Americans. Have some truth in comic form.

Zombies!!: Well sure, they aren’t allowed to try and collect it, but they can still claim you owe it!

Act Two is Coming to Ferguson: The grand jury will speak soon. And it looks like the police are prepared for anything that happens… by which I mean that they are heavily armed in a manner that is itself inflammatory.

On Privacy, not Piracy: Americans are aware of how little privacy they may have.

A few last election items: Yeah, voters are disappointed in Democrats. Yeah Republicans simply “lost less.” And yeah, anybody who wants to win in 2016 better pay attention to how things are going for normal Americans.

And Finally: It would appear that I am the one person in America that does not give a single **** about Kim Kardashian’s ass.

Music Monday, Might Be Tuesday: Elementary

Turns out chemistry isn’t as hard as I feared.

In Closing: voice actors; only when it comes to spending that helps normal people; anybody have any idea why our government cares about ISIS/ISIL more than Boko Haram? (Is it just oil? Could there be a faint whiff of racism?); money money money money; I bet he even remembers that Commandment about not killing; and jumping cats.