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??

Griswold v. Connecticut

June 7, 1965 was the day that the Supreme Court decided that women had the right to contraception. More precisely, the Supremes ruled that ordinary Americans have a right to privacy, and little is more private than what a married couple do in the privacy of their home. It was later rulings that extended the right of contraception outside marriage.

That was over 40 years ago. Women of my generation have never known a time when you couldn’t get the means to control your whether or not you could get pregnant. We’ve lived all our lives knowing that reliable birth control was a prescription away. Things weren’t so rosy for the generation immediately ahead of us.

Yet despite the fact that birth control is almost universally used by women, despite the fact that it’s good for our health to control the size of our families, and despite the fact that it is good for the economy that we can choose not to get pregnant, this fundamental right is under fire. There are people who want to make sure we can’t get it, people who want to make sure we can’t afford it, and people who want to make sure that we can lose our jobs for getting it. How exactly does that last bit figure into the right to privacy?

None of this is about how wonderful babies are. None of this is actually “pro-life,” because if they thought about it for 5 whole seconds the so-called pro-life movement would realize that contraceptives prevent abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancy. The desire to limit access to something almost all women use is one thing and one thing only: anti-woman.

In Closing: short stories; age gap; Carol Burnett does her best James T. Kirk; couldn’t have to do with dumping underwater houses; and oh hell no you’re not charging me extra for the privilege of sitting with my family.

Oh Nuts, It’s Her Annual Feminism Post

If you don’t read Natalie Dee, you should:

She’s married to Drew of “Toothpaste for Dinner” and “Married to the Sea.” You should go check it out and maybe order some T-Shirts.


I’m trying to link to more news than other people’s opinions. No point in being part of the echo chamber. Nevertheless, PunditMom is right to point out that the “SuperCongress” (it’s a bird! it’s a plane! its Unconstitutional!!) has some fundamental problems with it’s makeup. Namely,  nobody’s wearing any. Not even the token female member, Senator Patty Murray — for whom I once voted. One token woman, one token black man, one token Hispanic, no Asians, nobody controversial. So 9 white guys and 3 other. And these people are supposed to decide that we can make do without by Thanksgiving. Worse yet, nobody seems to be able to stop them.

Other bloggers have done a great job talking about Christian Dominionism, an offshoot of Christian thinking that would have horrified both Jesus and George Washington. And while it may seem like a tangent to bring it up, hair pat-downs and other TSA intrusions are quite a nice way of telling the sheep — particularly brown and/or women sheep — to shut up and obey daddy/husband/authority.

And before anyone says that profiling is the only answer because only scary brown people are terraists, don’t make me slap your worthless ass with Tim McVeigh and William Krar! The Unabomber was a white man planting bombs before the War on Terror, too. If you think only Muslims are terrorists, you are too ignorant to participate in this discussion. Kindly close this tab and go away.

I am a woman. I don’t need a man’s permission to live my life, do my job, or much of anything else. If that offends you, I sure hope somebody invents a time machine so you can go back to the 50s and enjoy an era when each of us knew his or her place.

In Closing: math lesson; download this coffee; SF/F; won’t somebody please think about thinking of the children?; You tell’em, Professor!; Taibbi nails it again; sex offenders; the Costs of War; and seriously, go check out Drew and Natalie.

Cyrus: Shorties of a Serial Killer

8 Years: Somehow I managed to overlook my Blogiversary.

Next time you have a hard time getting through to your doctor’s office: Remember that the Feds are tying up the line trying to figure out how hard it is for you to get an appointment.

He’s just so nice: Matt Damon is trying to find ways to help African people get clean, safe water. And he’s good looking, and he can act.

On Fitness: Ladies, please ignore the fact that it comes from a publication called “Men’s Journal.” The Truth is unisex.

Let’s Get This Out of the Way: Everybody knows that yet another appeals court says there’s no Constitutional problems with the Affordable Care Act, right? Ok, moving on then.

In other news, Bill Gates Doesn’t Understand Capitalism: Ignoring the diseases of poverty isn’t a failure, it’s a sign that there’s no money in it. That’s why it’s called “poverty.”

Shut up and get back to work!: Yeah, it sure would be nice to have paid sick days. I have no idea how you’d do that for those of us who are self-employed.

Professor is Correct Again: Cutting the budget deficit won’t put a single person to work. In fact, it will put some government employees out of work. It will also reduce GDP — which by definition includes government spending. Who are the President’s economic advisers? The ghost of Herbert Hoover? A least he understands that there is no way to balance the budget without taxes.

Computer Security: Don’t stick strange memory sticks in your computer! You don’t know where they’ve been! Stupidity makes hacking possible.

Missing Cute White Girl of the Week Club: Why it’s bad for all of us. Amen, brother.

Senator Bernie Sanders: Speaking Truth in a place where it has been lacking.

To those of you who just got out of medical school: Sage words of a Dinosaur.

Too Big To Fail: Simply must be Too Big To Exist.

Sahara: The sign is going to be at the Neon Museum.

Most expensive used car ever: A painstakingly restored 1963 Volkswagen Microbus.

Looking forward to it: Shatner‘s latest film is a documentary wherein he interviews all 5 actors who have played a Star Trek captain.

Speaking of documentaries: Everything you know is probably wrong.

Screw Infrastructure: Apparently it is more cost effective to build a bridge in China and have it shipped here. We won’t have any lasting recovery until we get away from the Latte Economy.

Tomorrow, I’ll have some exciting news for you. In the meantime, stay cool.

Twofer Thursday: This is Your Economy and Warren Buffett Redux

This is Your Economy:

The ADP payroll report is out today. They’re the people who print paychecks, so they have a very good idea how many private sector jobs there are. And in May, they say there were 55,000 more private sector jobs. All the gains came from the “service” sector: jobs that often begin with “how can I help you” and end with “is there anything else” (or alternatively, “would you like fries with that”). No new manufacturing jobs; no new construction jobs; no jobs doing anything that won’t be gone or irrelevant in 6 months. Tomorrow the Bureau of Labor Statistics will come out with their own numbers, which include government jobs. And since there are roughly 400,000 extra Census workers on the job right now, they are expected to announce something like 540,000 new jobs. Because those Census workers will be unemployed by Christmas, we should really call this 140,000 new and possibly permanent jobs. Once more, we haven’t added enough jobs to account for people entering the workforce (sorry, class of 2010!) let alone put the unemployed to work.

Speaking of the unemployed, the percentage of them who have been out of work more than half a year is at record levels. Sadly, unemployment is higher among parents, who have families to feed. Let’s not forget that the biggest reason for unemployment benefits is that those kids didn’t do anything wrong and still deserve roof-over-head and dinner-on-the-table. And in an unconscionable move, at least one employer is advertising that they won’t consider your application if you are unemployed! On what planet is it desirable to hire people who you know will jump ship for a better gig, when there are thousands of unemployed people desperate to work for you? Even without the public relations nightmare unfolding, how can this possibly be good business?

No wonder personal bankruptcy filings are up.

This is your economy. And now, in the face of a consumer revolt that threatens to turn into a voter revolt, Congress is actually considering doing something about the people who got us here. It sure sounds like too little too late, if it happens at all.

Warren Buffett Redux (a follow up):

Yesterday was the big day for the Oracle of Omaha. He had to sit down in front of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and explain how the 3rd richest man in the world let a ratings agency he had partial ownership of overlook the real estate bubble. Well, he didn’t want to “look foolish” by sounding the alarm. After all, everybody was trying to make a buck in real estate. Nobody could have seen it coming, especially the company that was paid to see it coming. Which is it: he didn’t want to be the first to say anything, or nobody could have foreseen it?

Kind of unimpressive testimony. It’s almost like he was trying to invoke his right to remain silent.

In Closing: Androids don’t play Tetris; Wal-Mart’s lawyers warned the company not to be misogynist prigs in 1995; obligatory Gulf of Mexico oil spill items; Congressional slap-fight may make it hard to buy a home anywhere floods are a remote risk; Driving While Black (I feel certain that “brown” is close enough in many areas); cooking is hard; health insurance limbo; vaccine refusal puts everyone at risk; National Association of Evangelicals might actually be ready to face reality, that birth control prevents abortions; farewell Mercury; the 50 year “anomaly”; Governor Gibbons made the Real ID Zombie walk again, but the ACLU’s got a boomstick; and Star Trek insignia. Yes, I do try to always make the last item fun.