How Every Part Of American Life Became A Police Matter
At Mother Jones, Chase Madar writes about how, "from the workplace to our private lives, American society is starting to resemble a police state." An excerpt:
Overcriminalization at Work
Office and retail work might seem like an unpromising growth area for police and prosecutors, but criminal law has found its way into the white-collar workplace, too. Just ask Georgia Thompson, a Wisconsin state employee targeted by a federal prosecutor for the "crime" of incorrectly processing a travel agency's bid for state business. She spent four months in a federal prison before being sprung by a federal court. Or Judy Wilkinson, hauled away in handcuffs by an undercover cop for serving mimosas without a license to the customers in her bridal shop. Or George Norris, sentenced to 17 months in prison for selling orchids without the proper paperwork to an undercover federal agent.
Increasingly, basic economic transactions are being policed under the purview of criminal law. In Arkansas, for instance, Human Rights Watch reports that a new law funnels delinquent (or allegedly delinquent) rental tenants directly to the criminal courts, where failure to pay up can result in quick arrest and incarceration, even though debtor's prison as an institution was supposed to have ended in the nineteenth century.
And the mood is spreading. Take the asset bubble collapse of 2008 and the rising cries of progressives for the criminal prosecution of Wall Street perpetrators, as if a fundamentally sound financial system had been abused by a small number of criminals who were running free after the debacle. Instead of pushing a debate about how to restructure our predatory financial system, liberals in their focus on individual prosecution are aping the punitive zeal of the authoritarians. A few high-profile prosecutions for insider trading (which had nothing to do with the last crash) have, of course, not changed Wall Street one bit.
That's what my business card used to say: "Amy Alkon, godless harlot." Really.
A related tweet from Daniel Gilbert:
Atheists need better marketing. For example: "Dear Christians, we are the ONLY people who don't think our god is better than yours."
A feature of religion is believing in the "tradition" that you grew up in. People born Christian believe in Jesus; people born Muslim believe in Allah, and so on. They "just know" because they were just told that guy is god.
The Sleep Of A Tiny Creature Without Deadlines
Aida, cozy, while I write my ass off:
Is The Rent Really Too Damn High?
Or are incomes too damn low?
John Aziz writes at The Week:
A new study from Harvard University shows that in the last thirty years, rents have risen and the income of renters has fallen:
Indeed, more renters than at any point in recent history -- just under half -- are spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent. And of these renters, many are even devoting 50 percent of their income to rent.
This is clearly problematic. People who can't afford their rent have to cut back on other essentials like food, transportation, and heating.
Here are his suggestions, all of which I disagree with:
So where does that leave the growing numbers of people struggling to pay the rent? Building more housing would not only create a larger supply, thereby driving down rents, but would also create jobs in construction and infrastructure. Raising taxes on corporations and high-income earners can yield funds to create jobs for the unemployed, build infrastructure, and invest in public projects like going to the moon. The strong economic growth and low unemployment of the 1950s and 1960s was accompanied by much higher taxes on the wealthy, and much more infrastructure building. And as I've argued before, the government could even start redistributing wealth in a more direct fashion.
Your more rational and economically sound ideas?
One Day, A Computer Will Fit On A Desk...
Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke on the future, from 1974.
Government Blog For TSA Praises TSA; The Reality Comes Out In The Comments
A commenter fact-checked their ass, as the saying goes.
The government's post is "TSA Week in Review - 34 Firearms Discovered This Week - 30 Loaded."
12,000,000 people flew last week on 210,000 flights.
TSA missed 70 weapons, so a total of 100 weapons, none of which were possessed by a terrorist, were brought into US airports.
100 out of 12,000,000 flyers = .0008%
100 out of 210,000 flights = .05%
TSA found 34, so 66 people got on those 210,000 flights. Since none were threats to aviation safety, no one was threatened and no planes fell out of the sky.
These useless blotter blogs are statistically insignificant. Stop pretending the TSA is doing anything more than wasting $8,000,000,000 per year.
The TSA itself says in court documents that no terrorists are trying to blow up planes.
The TSA is an embarrassment to America.
And, as other comments there point out, don't forget the two-inch toy gun confiscated from the sock monkey.
Linkers Can't Be Choosers
Or is it that they shouldn't beg on Wednesdays?
The "Truth" Is Not What's Winning Out In Forcing Creative People To Do Business With People They Deplore
A site, truthwinsout, posted this graphic.
What's "winning" here is the antithesis of freedom and self-determination.
I've posted before that if I were any more pro gay rights, I'd have a girlfriend, but I'm also pro freedom and self-determination and, well, Marc J. Randazza put it just right on Facebook:
I'm sorry, but I agree with the fundamentalists on this one.
An artist, of any type, should never be forced to create something they do not want to create -- even if their motivation is based in superstition, bigotry, and stupidity.
Of course, comparing gays to nazis is just pathetic, so its still a fail.
TSA Monkeys Disarm Toy Monkey, Preventing Him From Taking Over The Cockpit With His Two-Inch Toy Gun
Andrew Johnson writes at NR of the latest show of the "security" we have at airports -- separating a toy sock monkey from his two-inch toy gun:
TSA agents in St. Louis, Missouri, disarmed Rooster Monkburn, a cowboy sock money, of his two-inch toy gun after a woman brought the stuffed monkey through security. Agents said that it posed a threat because it could be confused for a real gun, according to local reports.
"[The agent] said 'this is a gun,'" said Phyllis May, recounting the experience to fly back to her home in Washington state. "I said no, it's not a gun it's a prop for my monkey."
Do you feel safer?
Boy Suspended For Firing Pretend Arrow At Another Student
There's apparently a race in U.S. school districts to see which can be the most idiotic in punishing children for being children.
From Metro.UK, a Pennsylvania 10-year-old faces expulsion from his middle school for, yes, pretending to fire a pretend arrow at another student:
According to the Rutherford Institute, which is defending the youngster, Johnny was accused of breaching the school's regulations on using weapons, even though the bow and arrow were not real.
He was reprimanded after the girl he 'fired' the bow at notified a teacher.
The Rutherford Institute's president John W. Whitehead said: 'We all want to keep the schools safe, but I'd far prefer to see something credible done about actual threats, rather than this on-going, senseless targeting of imaginary horseplay.'
What I'd like to see is parents demanding the expulsion of the idiots behind these policies and the sell-out idiots enforcing them.
And it isn't just parents whose kids are affected who should be standing up but all parents.
Of course, it is generally boys who play with weapons, so these policies tend to amount to boys being suspended or expelled for being boys. (It's only later that schools suspend or expel girls for carrying Midol.)
We have become a country of pussies and enablers of that and few people seem to care.
Linkie with stupid sauce.
"If You Leaf Me Now..."
I think my plants like to die to spite me.
Gratuitous Photo Of My Dog In A Cable-Knit Sweater
Bonus picture of me in an ugly dress at around 8 years old in the back.
And yes, there are always books on the floor at my house.
How A Small-Time Pot Arrest Ate A Great Teacher
He says he wasn't even smoking pot. The cop pulled a butt of a joint off the ground. Another Drug War casualty. The injustice here is stunning.
He was never found guilty of anything. The evidence wasn't there. But he wasn't allowed to come back to his job.
All Men Are (Still) Criminals And Can't Wait To Rape You
In the continuing feminism-driven push to completely criminalize being born male, there's a quote from an assistant city attorney in Madison, Wisconsin about a business charging $60 an hour for hugs, snuggling, spooning.
Personal opinion on this business concept: Eeeuw. But that's beside the point.
There's a story on this from the AP by Todd Richmond that includes this quote from the assistant city attorney:
"There's no way that (sexual assault) will not happen," assistant city attorney Jennifer Zilavy said. "No offense to men, but I don't know any man who wants to just snuggle."
I don't want to, oh, just take out the garbage, but if you hire me to do that, I'm going to do that and not rob you of whatever you have of value whenever your back is turned and then pawn it or sell it on eBay.
More from the piece:
(Zilavy) said no city ordinances address snuggling businesses. She's drafting regulations that would allow health inspections as well as create licensing requirements. She also planned to take Hurtado up on his offer to watch security footage of a snuggle session and view client rosters.
Of course, the government must be a part of this because, wow, how could grown, consenting adults manage to conduct business between themselves without government extracting a licensing fee and deciding what works for them?
The Kafkaesque Country We've Become
The Identity Project website has details from the first lawsuit challenging a US government no-fly order. The plaintiff is a woman, Dr. Raninah Ibrahim.
Dr. Ibrahim, of course, was the one witness who had no option of testifying in person at her own trial. The State Department's witness today confirmed that Dr. Ibrahim applied for a U.S. visa in 2009 for the specific purpose of coming to San Francisco to be deposed in this case. Knowing that was the purpose for her trip, the State Department denied her application for a visa.
The government's attorneys objected to questioning about why that visa application was denied, and most of those objections were sustained on the grounds that the reasons for the visa denial, like those for the "nomination" and placement of Dr. Ibrahim on the no-fly list by the FBI and its Terrorist Screening Center, were "state secrets."
However, the limited State Department testimony that was allowed to be presented in open court suggested that the State Department visa officers who denied Dr. Ibrahim's application in 2009 did so purely on the basis of the fact that her name had been placed on a watchlist in 2004 or 2005, without any review or even knowledge of the "derogatory" information (if there was any) which had been alleged by the original "nominating" FBI agent to provide a basis for that watchlist placement.
Here's the most chilling bit:
(FBI documents) showed that the mere opening of an investigation was itself deemed to be sufficient grounds for placing a person on a watchlist, without the need to evaluate whether there had been any factual predicate for the opening of the investigation. This contradicted the government's claims about the existence of threshhold evidentiary criteria for watchlist decisions.
Here's more that reflects an America I think most of us believe we're not supposed to be:
The essence of Prof. Kahn's testimony was the absence from the watchlist procedures of essential elements of due process: notice, opportunity to be heard, and the ability to have decisions reviewed by an entity independent of the decision-making agency. As Prof. Kahn summarizes this in his book, on the basis of information including interviews with the officials who established and operated the system of watchlists:The watchlisters are prosecutor, judge, jury, and jailer. Their decisions are made in secret and their rules for decision -- like their evidence for deciding -- are classified. There is no appeal from the decisions of the watchlisters, except to the watchlisters themselves.
This is key to Dr. Ibrahim's complaint, which is both (1) that there was no, or no sufficient, factual basis for her placement on the no-fly list and other watchlists, and (2) that the decisions to place her on those watchlists violated due process, regardless of any evidence on which they might have been based, because she was not given notice, an opportunity to rebut any allegations against her, and an opportunity to have the decisions independently reviewed.
More about Ibrahim here (scroll down for her biography and education).
Abe Linkin, International
Advice Goddess Radio, LIVE Tonight, 7-8pm PT: Dr. Adam Grant On How Giving Can Lead To Success Or Work To Your Detriment
Amy Alkon's Advice Goddess Radio: "Nerd Your Way To A Better Life!" with the best brains in therapy and research.
Wharton organizational psychologist Dr. Adam Grant will be on this week talking about his terrific book, "Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success," which draws from research to explain what makes giving both powerful and dangerous to people's achieving their goals.
Paradoxically, it's often those who give without looking for anything in return -- who just want to do good, open the playing field to good people -- who ultimately get the most in return. But, Grant warns, there are caveats to this -- and he lays them out in the book and we'll discuss them as well as giving's many nuances and benefits on the show.
Listen at this link from 7-8 pm Pacific, 10-11 pm Eastern, or download the podcast afterward:
Don't miss last week's show, "Dr. Carl Alasko On Blame -- Why It's Toxic And How To Actually Resolve Conflict."
My guest was psychotherapist Carl Alasko, Ph.D., talking about blame -- one of the most toxic and destructive components of relationships and so many human interactions.
We discuss how to stop blaming and how to take healthier -- and far more productive -- steps to problem-solving, in relationships and beyond.
Alasko has written a very comprehensive book on blame -- Beyond Blame: Freeing Yourself from the Most Toxic Form of Emotional Bullsh*t.
Listen at this link or download the podcast:
Join me and my fascinating guests every Sunday, 7-8 p.m. Pacific Time, 10-11 p.m. Eastern Time, at blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher.
One More Reason To Love Librarians: The American Library Association Wants To Protect Your Privacy From The Government
I have been grateful to librarians (to whom I put an acknowledgement in my last book, I See Rude People, my whole life.
They don't disappoint now.
Here's an article on CommonDreams, "Nation's Libraries Warn of NSA's 'Ravenous Hunger' for Data," by Andrea Germanos.
It includes this letter to American Libraries Association members from ALA President Barbara Stripling. An excerpt:
When we spoke out in 2001 against the passage of the PATRIOT Act, we were concerned about Section 215, a provision of the law that allowed the government powers to obtain "business records and other tangible things" from suspected terrorists. We were fearful that the government would come into libraries without warning and take library records on individual patrons without reasonable suspicion. Libraries were one of the first groups to publicly oppose the bill, and many legislators and privacy experts have noted that Congress would not have understood the chilling impact on privacy if librarians had not brought it to the nation's attention. Librarians were so vocal in their opposition to the law that Section 215 was called the "library provision." We could not have imagined then what is happening today. Today, in spite of the leak allegations, the government continues to use the "library provision" to vacuum up private communication records of Americans on a massive scale.
Even the most cynical among us could not have predicted that the Obama Administration--an administration that campaigned on the promise of greater government transparency and openness--would allow a massive surveillance program to infringe upon the basic civil liberties of innocent, unsuspecting people. We understand the responsibility of the government to investigate terrorism and other harmful acts. But the need to protect the public does not mean that Americans have to relinquish their Fourth Amendment privacy rights in the process. ALA has already joined other civil liberties groups to call for more legal review, judicial oversight, transparency and public accountability. Our country needs to find the right balance.
We need to restore the balance between individual rights and terrorism prevention, and libraries are one of the few trusted American institutions that can lead true public engagement on our nation's surveillance laws and procedures.
via Lisa Simeone
Government-Approved Property Theft: "They Paved (The Artist's Studio) And Put Up A Parking Lot"
In Philadelphia, real life is starting to echo that part about paving and parking lots in Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi".
Institute for Justice's Nick Sibilla writes at Forbes.com that Philadelphia wants to call "eminent domain" (blandly evil words meaning "forcibly take a person's property") on an artist's studio and turn it into a parking lot and supermarket:
James Dupree has been celebrated around the world for his art. But now he is being condemned by the city of Philadelphia--literally.
...A native son of Philadelphia, his studio is just blocks away from his childhood home in the Mantua neighborhood of West Philadelphia. After eight years of renovations and sweat equity, Dupree's studio has become a part of the community. Dupree has hosted and taught art classes at his place and has plans to start a mentorship program to educate inner-city youth on entrepreneurship and aesthetic appreciation. Visitors can rent part of the studio out on Airbnb.
But the city of Philadelphia has other plans for his property. In November 2012, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) was authorized to acquire 17 properties to build a supermarket in Mantua. According to the redevelopment plans, the PRA wants to bulldoze Dupree's studio to make room for the privately-owned grocery store and its parking lot. No tenant has been identified yet, but the supermarket project has received $2.75 million in state subsidies.
In an egregious lowball, the city offered Dupree $600,000, which is less than a third of the asking price for his studio. Even worse, it was a drive-by appraisal--"they didn't even come into the building," Dupree said in an interview.
Later on, two appraisers from the city actually entered his studio. But this time, the PRA reportedly offered him just $40,000 more. That figure is supposed to compensate Dupree for all the extensive renovations he's made and the more than 5,000 pieces of art in his studio. These works represent a lifetime of painting, spanning four decades.
...Yet rather than respect his right to property, according to Dupree, "they would rather steal it:"
"These eminent domain laws have been changed where they can go into these communities, seize their property, relocate the tenants for next to nothing, and then sell that land back to a private developer for a profit, under the guise of 'the good of the community.' I find this totally un-American."
Incredibly, his studio was seized just four days before an eminent domain loophole was closed.
...Dupree is determined to keep fighting, both in and out of court. To raise awareness, he's partnering with the Institute for Justice and building coalitions to press the city to return his deed. In one month, a petition on change.org has already garnered almost 2,000 signatures.
"Just give me my deed back," Dupree remarked. "I want to decide when and if I sell my property, on my terms."
This is an egregious violation of his rights, and we all need to stand up against these and oother violations of our civil liberties. Because it's the right thing to do, and because every violation makes the next one more possible. And because we could be next.
Going back to "Big Yellow Taxi," in it, Joni Mitchell has some words that pertain to our civil liberties, of which property rights are an essential one:
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
Don't Assume Your Doctor Is Operating Based On Anything More Than Medical Hearsay
A must-read @DrEades post -- "Statin madness: A close encounter with medical idiocy." An excerpt of what is a detailed post:
But back to the statin prescription.
How could any doctor in his/her right mind write such a prescription for an 86 year old, totally paralyzed man who has normal cholesterol? Even one who has elevated cholesterol? After about age 50, the higher the cholesterol, the greater the longevity. So, again, why would anyone write a prescription for a non-benign drug to an elderly patient? Plus, the chance for rhabdomyolysis is greater in the elderly who take statins as well as those who are taking a ton of other drugs, as is my dad. It's a set up for disaster with no potential upside to balance the risk. It is blind stupidity to prescribe a statin under these circumstances.
And not just any old statin. The script was for a large dose of Lipitor, a fat-soluble statin. Fat soluble statins are much more likely to be involved in drug interactions, and they can induce insulin resistance and possibly cause diabetes. If you're going to give an unnecessary drug, why wouldn't you at least give one with the fewest side effects?
There are seven statins available right now. Five of them are fat soluble and two are water soluble.
Fat soluble statins
Water soluble statins
I doubt that one doctor in 500 who prescribe statins know there are lipid soluble and water soluble and which are which. Now you're ahead of the game.
If I had to take a statin or prescribe on, I would certainly take or prescribe a water soluble one. These drugs pretty much pass through the kidneys unchanged, and since they don't have to be metabolized in the liver, there is less likelihood of serious liver problems, which are a problem with the lipid soluble statins. And, as I mentioned above, the lipid-soluble statins are more inclined to cause drug interactions, insulin resistance and probably diabetes. Why use them at all?
Great Deals On Books Released All Day
At Amazon. Plus up to 50 percent off books below the Holiday Deals panel (scroll down).
Linker Is Quinker
I have to stop drinking bathtub gin when I post. Or was I playing bathtub gin rummy? Memory fails.
Don't fail to amuse. Or excite. Or horrify. Or something.
Boyfriend: "You're feigning helplessness to exploit male labor?"
Me: "You mean it's Saturday?"
Sign to be hung by exploited boyfriend later today:
Higgs Boson Prof Believes He'd Never Get A Prof Job Today
Decca Aitkenhead writes for The Guardian that the requirement that professors keep churning out papers makes physicist Peter Higgs doubt that he could keep a university job today:
Peter Higgs, the British physicist who gave his name to the Higgs boson, believes no university would employ him in today's academic system because he would not be considered "productive" enough.
The emeritus professor at Edinburgh university, who says he has never sent an email, browsed the internet or made a mobile phone call, published fewer than 10 papers following his groundbreaking work in 1964 which identified the mechanism by which subatomic material acquires mass.
He doubts that a similar breakthrough could be achieved in today's academic culture, because of the expectations on academics to collaborate and keep churning out papers. He said: "It's difficult to imagine how I would ever have enough peace and quiet in the present sort of climate to do what I did in 1964."
Speaking to the Guardian en route to Stockholm to receive the 2013 Nobel prize for science, Higgs, 84, said he would almost certainly have been sacked had he not been nominated for the Nobel in 1980.
Edinburgh university's authorities then took the view, he later learned, that he "might get a Nobel prize - and if he doesn't we can always get rid of him".
Higgs said he became "an embarrassment to the department when they did research assessment exercises". A message would go around the department saying: "Please give a list of your recent publications." Higgs said: "I would send back a statement: 'None.'"
E-Cigs And New York's "They Look Too Real!" Argument
Reason Foundation's Adrian Moore tweeted:
Nanny NYC Health Commissioner Says E-Cigarettes Must Be Banned Because They Look Like the Real Thing
My tweet back:
Tofurky, meatless meatballs, and those hotdogs made from tofu feet and snouts should be next on the "looks real" hit list.
Moore's tweet linked to this Jacob Sullum piece at reason:
Yesterday the New York City Council held what The New York Times describes as "one of the most scientifically vague and emotionally charged health committee hearings in recent memory."
He continues in another reason piece:
The New York City Council is considering a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes in bars, restaurant, and other "public places"--not because there is any evidence that the devices pose a hazard but because they look too much like regular cigarettes. Councilman James Gennaro, a sponsor of the proposed ban, tells The New York Times, "We see these cigarettes are really starting to proliferate, and it's unacceptable." Why is it unacceptable? According to the Times, "Mr. Gennaro said children who could not differentiate between regular and electronic smoking were getting the message that smoking is socially acceptable."
The Warrior Linker.
Thanks For All These Purchases + The Vitamins I Take
I am grateful for all your purchases on Amazon -- even the tiniest grocery item!
I do sometimes get bowled over by the kickbacks I get -- like $47 for the wild 3D TV somebody bought the other day, and the 7-inch Kindle (yet to come up in my accounting; still just in the orders).
Truly appreciate all these purchases. They help support this site by helping fund my life in these days of many newspapers just hanging on.
Here's a link for whatever you want to buy: Search Amazon and credit Amy for your purchases.
Also, a friend called yesterday to ask about what vitamins I take. I get asked this a lot, so I'm going to post them below. (You should get your D level tested after about three months of taking it to see where you are.)
•Bio-Tech - D3-5 5000 IU 250 caps. These are pharmaceutical-grade, recommended by Dr. Michael Eades, and about the size of a grain of rice.
•Vitamin K2 MK-7, 100 mcg, 120 Mini Softgels - The Gold Standard 100% Natural Vitamin K2 in Organic Olive Oil and Certified Free of GMOs and Allergens. These put calcium in the right place. Gregg takes them (for heart health) and I take them for bone health.
•Doctor's Best Strontium Bone Maker (340mg Elemental), 120-Count. (For bone health.)
•Source Naturals Magnesium Malate 1250mg, 360 Tablets. (These correspond with Vitamin D and are needed to increase its effectiveness. Magnesium is also an extremely essential part of our diet that we don't seem to get enough of. Also recommended by Dr. Michael Eades.)
And no, I don't take calcium. As cardiologist Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, put it on my radio show, taking calcium for bone heath is like trying to build a backyard patio by throwing bags of cement out your back door.
Also, I eat a "ketogenic" (low-carb diet) and eat between one and two cups of kale a day (made in bacon grease), and have probably a tablespoon of very healthy Medium Chain Triglycerides in organic coconut oil daily, which I make in chamomile tea with organic half 'n' half. Sound gross; it's actually great!
The idea of drinking tea with coconut oil, which I've been using successfully to quash a migraine in progress, came via psychiatrist Emily Deans, another practitioner of evidence-based dietary medicine, especially in service of psychological health.
Floss One Tooth: How To Ingrain A New Habit
The secret to changing habits may be starting small, Drake Baer writes at FastCompany that the tinier your habit change, the easier it is to establish:
After coach/speaker/workshop leader Margaret Lukens found out that the secret to changing habits is to "make them so small that they seem trivial," she decided to put the theory to the test. While she'd always meant to be a regular flosser, she never quite got the oral hygiene habit to stick. So she decided to put her mouth where the motto was: she'd floss just one tooth to establish the habit. Her takeaway:Don't try to cajole yourself into action by saying that you're going to do one tooth then do them all. Just floss one. Do it every day. And watch what happens. I can tell you what happened to me - one day, about three weeks in, I had an itch for completion. I wanted, needed to floss them all. I wasn't even particularly aware of the change, which seemed natural and unconscious. And now I can't not floss. Mission accomplished.
In flossing just one tooth, Lukens avoided biting off more behavioral change than she could chew. But once she started flossing just one tooth every day, she worked up an appetite to floss fully. Soon after, the habit became automatic. It integrated into her routine.
The "floss one tooth" example is a classic of productivity, care of Stanford psychologist B.J. Fogg, whose research into lazy-smart habit formation we've talked about before. Since the habit is so tiny--like flossing one tooth--you'll feel ridiculous for not getting it into your day. Then, over time, that minuscule becomes a part of your day, rather than no part at all. You could think of that absurdly tiny habit as a skeleton for an extension of your routine--once it becomes "normal" to your routine, you'll glide right into it.
Since the habit is so tiny you'll feel ridiculous for not getting it into your day.
The tiny habit hack can be applied across areas: To eat healthier, eat one extra vegetable. To become more mindful, sit for five minutes of meditation. To get more knowledgeable, savor two pages of reading. And to get more active, you could do like Tiny Buddha's Stephen Guise did and challenge yourself to doing one pushup per day.
I do one minute of slow-burn workout with weights. Inevitably, I feel so good about that, I want to add more minutes to it. Yesterday, I did 10, which, per my show with science-based fitness trainer Fred Hahn, is about all you need to do every five days. (I do more than that now because it's good for my brain.)
Yawnies: Another Accusation Of "Sexist!"
Gregg used to joke that a woman who used to be in the LA writer/pundit circle, Moxie, is "just to the right of Genghis Khan.
Moxie was completely wonderful in my late friend Cathy Seipp's last moments, stroking her head and talking to her in the sweetest way, and was like a big sister to Cathy's daughter in the year or so that followed, and for these things I'll love her always.
But politically, we don't agree at all on a number of things. We could just duke it out and duke it out and duke it out and never change each other's mind.
But, as I used to joke, it was more productive for us to talk about shoes.
And yes, that really was my joke about us.
And now, that line in an ad for the DC Metro is the source of a brouhaha among the usual suspects -- Jezebellies, yawn, yawn, yawn -- crying "Sexism!"
Going back to Moxie, the truth is, we had many interesting conversations about things other than shoes -- including politics, education, and social issues. But when you have no hope of changing somebody's mind, sometimes it's unpleasant to spend the whole evening fighting futilely. So you look for things on which you have common ground.
The point is, it is necessarily not a sign of sexism to suggest that women should just talk about shoes or men should just, say, talk about baseball.
Sometimes, it's just a pass at a joke. Really.
And the ones this little brouhaha says the most about, really, are those who see sexism and horrible insults at every turn.
Really, is there anything that says you're small and unequal like the inability to take a joke?