Deep in the Heart of Texas

Texas don’t need no steenking fact checking.

Ya know, when the Christian Science Monitor calls you out on your nonsense, you should probably pay attention!

In Closing: Taco Bell #1; The Princess who worked at Macy’s (and ran from the room when she met her future king!); and making abortions hard to get doesn’t prevent them.

Shorties Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

Hope everyone had a safe Halloween. Happy All Saints Day.

Dave Johnson Telling the Truth: on the economy; on secret trade deals.

Enough to drive you crazy: Meat is bad for you, unless it isn’t; calories are the only thing that matter, but what the study says depends on who is reporting. The researchers concluded “When compared with dietary interventions of similar intensity, evidence from RCTs does not support low-fat diets over other dietary interventions for long-term weight loss.”

Unlikely source: The Economist isn’t where you would expect to find a report on a new canid species.

All Asking For It: On average, police in America killed 3 people every day of October. ThinkProgress has some highlights of police brutality.

Damned Liberal Media: with their facts and bias.

Pretty In Pink: Even the editors of the Las Vegas Sun noticed the pinkwashing of girls Halloween costumes and toys, publishing this NYT article.

TIL: Some cultures have a “Toilet God.”

Gilligan!: 22 shipwrecks found off the archipelago of Fourni.

See everyone tomorrow for some Music Monday!

Tilting at Windmills

Today’s 2016 Election news — and remember, despite the clown car of candidates, the actual election is still over a year away — is perhaps the only time that Jim Webb will be the top story. He’s dropping out of the race. The next part is just bizarre. Reuters put this best:

Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb said on Tuesday he will drop his long-shot bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and explore an independent run for the White House.

Yeah. Low in the polls, but he claims that’s because Anderson Cooper is a big meanie who let Hillary talk twice as long as him. So even though by his own admission independents don’t win, he thinks he’s got a shot.

Maybe he should invest in lottery tickets instead. They’re a better bet.

In Closing: Love this guy’s art; it’s in the stars; Bronies are now apparently a subject of scholarly research; at the very least, taxpayers should not be funding unsafe activities for children; I still think PreCheck is a bad idea if the TSA is really trying to stop terrorists (and a brilliant one if they are really trying to control the masses); on the economy; oops! and pizza alternatives — most can be made vegetarian, a few can probably be done vegan, some can be done gluten free.

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.

Oddly Appropriate

So it seems that the $10 bill is about to get a makeover, and a woman’s face will grace the note. She will replace Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton was a known, uh, “man about town”. He has the honor of being at the center of America’s first political sex scandal.  In fact, Hamilton “got around” so much, that Martha Washington named a particularly randy tomcat after him.

So yeah, this move is oddly appropriate.


A few random thoughts about Baltimore

So on one side we have a lot of people saying stuff that boils down to “those people are animals and that’s why they can’t have nice things.”

This attitude ignores the realities on the ground: no jobs, no economic development (because after all who would open a factory there?); a minimum wage that won’t get you above the poverty line and barely allows you to pay rent. Oh yeah, and there’s a teensy weensy double standard in play too.

And hey, why not punish “those people” for daring to want things like the right to get arrested without dying on the way to the station? “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is for other people?

Sometimes, you need a comic writer or two to put things in perspective.

Of course, it turns out that the situation was at least in part caused by the police — no, not just because they killed somebody. When you show up in riot gear, force adolescents off school busses so they can’t go home, and then wait for trouble, you are the problem and will never be the solution. They came prepared for a problem caused by their own preparation.

And lest we forget that police-delivered death sentences occur in many places around our great country, Raw Story has these “tips”.

In Closing: don’t forget TPP; I bet we’d get “reform” real quick if cops shot up a banker or two; a couple feminism items; really #5 should be first, because you won’t get an interview without it; shipwrecks.

Music Monday: A Night at the Symphony

This is probably my favorite full symphony composition of all time. And that’s saying something from a lady who loves her some Wolfgang Amadeus (yeah yeah and props to Ludwig Van).

In Closing: some more NSA and privacy follies; student loans; crude; illustration of double standard; embarrassing coincidence; lost Sherlock Holmes story; malls have always been an easy target and I’m not sure why this is news (oh but if you had to go through a TSA checkpoint to go shopping I bet Americans would say enough); a shocking misunderstanding of anatomy; because ads will surely cure you; and amusing alteration of signage.

Crystal Ball

It is the year 2035, and one court case is receiving a whole lot of attention: Average vs Doe. The facts of the case seem simple. Back in 2020 Joe Average got married to Mary Doe-Average. Just last year, Mary tragically succumbed to cervical cancer. Doctors were able to trace her cancer to Human Papilloma Virus.

When Mary was a pre-teen, her parents John and Jane Doe decided they would not consent to her receiving the vaccine for HPV, despite the fact that her school encouraged all incoming 7th graders to get this vaccination. Their reasoning was that they were not going to do anything that would encourage her to have premarital sex. Unfortunately, Mary was raped as a teenager. Despite the fact that Mary and Joe had a completely monogamous relationship, Mary got HPV as a result of that rape.

Joe is suing the Does for wrongful death and a bunch of other things his lawyers thought up. His reasoning is that his beloved Mary would still be with him today if it weren’t for a short-sighted decision by her parents. The Does argue that they had no control over what happened.

How do you think this will play out?

In Closing: more spying on Americans; a couple of hopefully last words on vaccines.