Zero-Cal Sweeteners: None Of The Calories Of Sugar; A Good Bit Of The Price
Gautam Naik has a piece in the WSJ about research showing that zero-cal sweeteners can raise blood sugar.
The research shows that zero-calorie sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose and aspartame can alter the population of gut bacteria and trigger unwanted changes such as higher blood glucose levels--a risk factor for diabetes. The provocative findings are likely to stoke the simmering controversy over whether artificial sweeteners help or hinder people's ability to lose weight and lower the risk of diabetes and obesity.
"The scope of our discovery is cause for a public reassessment of the massive and unsupervised use of artificial sweeteners," said Eran Elinav, a physician and immunologist at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science and lead author of the study, which appeared Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Though many people consume products containing zero-calorie artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to control their weight, the scientific evidence is mixed. Some studies have indicated that sweeteners can help lead to weight loss, while others suggest they contribute to weight gain.
One reason is that it has been hard to separate cause and effect. For example, it isn't clear whether people who consume products with artificial sweeteners are overweight because of what they eat--or whether overweight people are the ones who typically gravitate to such products.
The sweeteners caused changes in gut bacteria as well.
The results appears to demonstrate that for some people, artificial sweeteners can alter the composition of gut bacteria in such a way that it may contribute to--rather than reduce--certain metabolic conditions related to obesity, such as glucose intolerance.
A well-written piece that also lays out limitations of the research.
Rush Limbaugh Is A Left-Wing Advocacy Group
Hans Bader points out at LibertyUnyielding:
Rush Limbaugh can take a winning issue for conservatives and turn it into a loser just by shooting his mouth off. He gives advocates of extreme left-wing policies ammunition for their views by making stupid arguments when smarter arguments exist, and by lacing his arguments with sexism or scurrilous remarks. He did it recently in response to my commentary about Ohio State University's ridiculously overbroad and intrusive "sexual assault" definition -- which seemingly requires students to agree on "why" they are having sex or making out, which is none of the university's business. And he did it in 2012, when his scurrilous remarks about contraceptive advocate Sandra Fluke being a "slut" and a "prostitute" drove even moderate liberals to support a contraceptive mandate on religious employers that they had earlier opposed (and which the Supreme Court later ruled 5-to-4 violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.)
When the Obama administration required even religious employers to include contraceptives in their health plans in 2012, this initially antagonized some moderate Democrats. That includes the Washington Post editorial board, which has not endorsed a Republican for President since 1952, but which has endorsed moderate Republicans over liberal Democrats for local offices (like endorsing Bob Ehrlich for Maryland Governor in 2006). Even legal scholars who approve of contraception (including me) explained how the requirement violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act...
...Overnight, Limbaugh's remarks made opposition to the contraceptive mandate radioactive, and the Washington Post editorial board and other entities that had criticized the administration later switched position to backed the administration after it made cosmetic tweaks to the mandate. It became an integral part of the Democratic Party's highly-effective "War on Women" meme in the 2012 election. Even social conservatives now admit that this harmed the GOP in 2012.
Links after a taco.
How To Use A Telephone In 2014
From "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck," which I hope you'll buy. It's less than $10 at both Barnes & Noble and Amazon. (P.S. Buying a new copy supports the author.)
There are exceptions -- like if you're in a profession where people expect and want your call, like if they need the test results on their pancreas.
But otherwise, unless you know someone likes to be called, not calling should be the default. We have a whole lot of methods of communication that don't demand a person's instant attention to whatever you want. Use them.
If She's Drunk, He's Guilty; If He's Drunk, Too, He's Still Guilty
From a story by Peter Jacobs at Business Insider, "How 'Consensual' Sex Got A Freshman Kicked Out Of College And Started A Huge Debate":
An ongoing legal dispute over a drunken sexual encounter between two freshmen, which occurred one year ago last week at the college, has become a battle over how to define the terms that govern campus sexual-assault policies.
...Per Occidental's policy, students are unable to consent if they are "incapacitated" -- a state of being that, although often caused by alcohol, is distinct from drunk or intoxicated.
After examining all of the evidence provided by Occidental's team of outside investigators, an external adjudicator made several key determinations. First, that sexual intercourse had in fact occurred; second, that Jane Doe gave her consent; and, third, that Jane was incapacitated when she did so.
As the external adjudicator wrote:[T]he fact that Complainant successfully navigated herself, under her own power, to the Respondent's room, indicates both that, at the time, she had an awareness of where she was and that her motor skills were sufficiently intact to enable her to walk unassisted. Those factors, however, must be considered not in isolation but along with all of the other evidence regarding the Complainant's condition during the relevant period.
The report added that Jane Doe was "incapacitated at the time she engaged in the conduct or statements that indicated she consented to sexual intercourse with the Respondent."
One final question remained: Should John Doe have known that Jane Doe was incapacitated, and thus unable to effectively consent?
Indeed he should have, the adjudicator found. Citing Occidental's policy stating that "Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking or intimate partner violence and does not diminish one's responsibility to obtain consent," the adjudicator determined that John Doe had committed sexual assault, despite not having knowledge of Jane Doe's state at the time.
My suggestion for men on campus -- and I'm not joking -- is to go in with a bunch of friends for a time-share on a prostitute until they're out of college.
Cops And Prosecutors Shouldn't Have This Level Of Cover
Jamie Satterfield writes in the Knoxville News-Sentinel about what your options are if you're falsely arrested.
In short, not much. The paper only makes this available to subscribes, so I copied this excerpt that Knoxville-dwelling Glenn Reynolds posted:
Suppose a police officer finds an aspirin powder in your pocket and insists a presumptive test kit shows it is cocaine.
You are handcuffed and arrested. Maybe your neighbors or co-workers are watching, thoroughly embarrassing you and damaging your reputation. You are hauled off to jail, held for several hours and freed only after you post bail. Your mug shot is published online and in print in one of those "Just Busted" tabloids. You shell out money to get your vehicle out of the impound lot and hire a lawyer.
Then, weeks later, a test by a forensic chemist reveals that powder was exactly what you said it was -- aspirin -- and prosecutors drop the charge.
The officer was wrong. Your dignity, reputation and wallet paid the price for the officer's mistake.
Lawsuit in the making, right?
Not under Tennessee's Governmental Tort Liability Act.
If a citizen is wrongfully arrested, the tort liability law protects governments and their employees from legal action.
The linkiest dwarf. The dwarfiest link?
About That Kent State Sweatshirt...
In general, maybe it's not such a good idea for businesses to get rid of all the expensive old people.
Running Away From Home To Go Behead People
Alistair Bell writes at Reuters:
(Reuters) - U.S. law enforcement is investigating a new phenomenon of women from the American heartland joining Islamic State as President Barack Obama vows to cut off the militants' recruiting at home.
At least three Somali families in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area have female relatives who have gone missing in the past six weeks and may have tried to join Islamic State, said community leader Abdirizak Bihi. He said that while the reasons for their disappearance were unclear, he had told the families to contact police.
In a separate case, a 19-year-old American Somali woman from St. Paul snuck away from her parents on Aug. 25 saying she was going to a bridal shower. Instead, she flew to Turkey and joined IS in Syria.
There Really Are Thought Crimes These Days: Girl Suspended For Diary Entry Mentioning Pot
Claudette Riley writes in the Springfield News-Leader that a Buffalo girl was suspended from high school for more than half a year for her journal entry, found by school officials, in which she wrote about experimenting with pot and contemplating bringing it to school:
Tom Grayhorse said his daughter, Krystal, had never been in trouble before she was called into the office and suspended May 9. Originally, she was ousted for 10 days, but it was quickly extended through the end of the 2014 calendar year.
Unable to finish her junior year, her grades plummeted and she lost out on credits needed for graduation. Grayhorse hoped the district would reconsider, allowing her to return last month so she had a chance of graduating with her class in May.
...Dallas County Superintendent Robin Ritchie said her hands are tied, legally, in terms of answering specifics about this situation. But she agreed to talk in generalities.
"Anything that's drug-related or alcohol-related, we are going to have zero tolerance," she said.
Even if you have no fucking evidence that it happened anywhere but in somebody's head?
Yet another administrator proving that the people most in need of common sense on high school campuses are probably the people in charge.
There was this:
The superintendent of the Dallas County school district said that is "not the full story" but declined to provide any details, citing student privacy laws.
Anyone else smell the wafting manure blowing across the plains?
What more could be written in a diary that could reasonably lead to a kid's suspension?
Also, if you find a diary, the polite thing to do, vis a vis how a person's private thoughts are not for public consumption unless they so decide, would be to return it unread -- not greedily paw through the pages.
A Note From My Boyfriend's Favorite Self-Help Movie, The Godfather
Part III, by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, a line spoken by Al Pacino as Michael Corleone:
"Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment."
(Gregg's of the mind that most of life's problems can be solved with the wisdom from The Godfather, Mean Streets, and a couple other movies in that neighborhood.)
Welcome To The Diversitocracy
Gitika Nalwa has an op-ed at The Stanford Daily about "holistic admissions" -- considering the "whole applicant" -- which are less fantastic and fair than they sound:
As Ron Unz notes in The American Conservative, quoting Pulitzer Prize-winner Daniel Golden, Asian-Americans are the "New Jews." Unz reveals that from 1993 to 2011, the percentage of Asian-American Harvard undergraduates dropped from 20-plus percent to 17.2 percent and has remained steady since. Although it is possible for Harvard to have maintained this surprising consistency without explicit and provable bias, exactly as it did previously to limit Jewish admissions, is it fair?
Colleges argue that they seek racial and geographical diversity, but the former disfavors any race that might see larger numbers admitted on merit alone, and the latter disfavors any race that is concentrated in a few geographical pockets, as is typical of new immigrants. Both introduce implicit, if not explicit, racial bias against Asian-Americans. Do you care whether a cure for your impending disease is discovered by an ethnically and geographically diverse team? There is value to diversity, but not at the expense of merit.
So, the second casualty of holistic admissions is race neutrality. It is laudable to help those with a continuing history of discrimination and socioeconomic disadvantage, but not to distinguish within the remaining population on a basis other than transparently objective merit.
You can be sure if there were a greater number of Asian-Americans in Congress, as there are now Jewish-Americans, perceived discrimination against the "New Jews" would also be a thing of the past. Why? Because no elite U.S. institution can afford to alienate Congress when federal funds are the lifeblood of every institution's research and resultant prestige.
I don't think SAT scores are the answer. Some of us are able to test well. Some are not. I've been lucky to have a sense of the "game" behind multiple choice tests -- how test-writers are trying to trip test-takers up -- and I've done better than I probably should have on a number of tests because of it.
I Love This Woman -- She Is An Example We All Should Follow
She identified herself as Sara Bostonia to the cops -- one of whom threatened to arrest her for being "loud and boisterous" as she videotaped the police brutalizing a man.
Dominic Kelly writes at Opposing Views (where there are photos of the man's injuries):
Police in West Virginia arrested a man who was walking his children to the park because they thought he appeared intoxicated, but unbeknownst to them, he was reportedly merely showing symptoms of his terminal illness.
Reports say that 39-year-old Jeffrey Banes was allegedly approached and brutally arrested while walking his kids to the park because the officers thought he was under the influence of a substance. Banes, however, suffers from Huntington's Disease, which characteristically makes a person look intoxicated due to lost motor function over time.
The incident, which took place on September 6, was caught on camera, and while officers pinned him down after using pepper spray on him, Banes choked on his own blood and cried for help. Banes was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing an officer, and battery on an officer.
"Assuming because of his appearance he was high on narcotics with out reason they began to subdue him, macing and beating him in the head as he fell to his face were he was -- then held with a great amount of force by two officers double his size as a third one landed on his torso," said Banes' nephew Josh to The Free Thought Project.
The Notion That Islam Is A Religion Of Peace
It is -- in the minds of wishful thinkers alone.
Sam Harris explains:
A belief in martyrdom, a hatred of infidels, and a commitment to violent jihad are not fringe phenomena in the Muslim world. These preoccupations are supported by the Koran and numerous hadith. That is why the popular Saudi cleric Mohammad Al-Areefi sounds like the ISIS army chaplain. The man has 9.5 million followers on Twitter (twice as many as Pope Francis has). If you can find an important distinction between the faith he preaches and that which motivates the savagery of ISIS, you should probably consult a neurologist.
Understanding and criticizing the doctrine of Islam--and finding some way to inspire Muslims to reform it--is one of the most important challenges the civilized world now faces. But the task isn't as simple as discrediting the false doctrines of Muslim "extremists," because most of their views are not false by the light of scripture. A hatred of infidels is arguably the central message of the Koran. The reality of martyrdom and the sanctity of armed jihad are about as controversial under Islam as the resurrection of Jesus is under Christianity. It is not an accident that millions of Muslims recite the shahadah or make pilgrimage to Mecca. Neither is it an accident that horrific footage of infidels and apostates being decapitated has become a popular form of pornography throughout the Muslim world. Each of these practices, including this ghastly method of murder, find explicit support in scripture.
...Many believe it unwise to discuss the link between Islam and the intolerance and violence we see in the Muslim world, fearing that it will increase the perception that the West is at war with the faith and cause millions of otherwise peaceful Muslims to rally to the jihadist cause. I admit that this concern isn't obviously crazy--but it merely attests to the seriousness of the underlying problem. Religion produces a perverse solidarity that we must find some way to undercut. It causes in-group loyalty and out-group hostility, even when members of one's own group are behaving like psychopaths.
But it remains taboo in most societies to criticize a person's religious beliefs. Even atheists tend to observe this taboo, and enforce it on others, because they believe that religion is necessary for many people.
If you are reaching out to correct grammar on Twitter, I suggest you find a hobby, like chewing your toenails and creating sculpture from them.
Other links and tweets of wisdom?
"Science News You Can Use" Radio: Tonite! 7-8pm PT, 10-11pm, Amy Alkon & Dr. Jennifer Verdolin On How And Why To Set Boundaries -- Even If It Terrifies You
This is a new, very special every-other-week show -- "Science News You Can Use" Radio -- with science-based advice columnist and author Amy Alkon and animal behaviorist Dr. Jennifer Verdolin laying out science news you can use to solve your relationship problems or just improve your relationships and have a better life.
(And yes, Amy Alkon will still be doing shows on the best behavioral science books on weeks in between.)
Join us tonight for our show on how, when, and why you should set boundaries.
Catch the show live at this link, tonight, Sunday, September 14, 7-8 p.m. PT, 10-11 p.m. ET, or listen at the link afterward or subscribe free on iTunes or Stitcher:
And don't forget to buy our science-based, fun, funny, and illuminating books -- support our show while entertaining yourself and learning a thing or two to improve your life.
Amy's new book is "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck."
"If A Doctor Doesn't Do Excess Testing, He Isn't Going To Be Able To Live"
Afford to live, that is. Compelling piece at KevinMD by Sandeep Jauhar, MD. An excerpt:
Oni said he had received payments from a mobile echo company for referring patients for cardiac ultrasounds. Though he no longer participated in these contracts, he was open about the fees -- about $100 per patient, paid in cash -- and he saw nothing wrong with it. "As internists we don't do procedures, so we have to figure out another way to make money. But it isn't hard once you figure out how to do it."
"We don't clock the number of minutes when we talk with our patients," someone said. "We don't hang up the phone as lawyers may do if they are not going to get paid. No, we listen to patients and answer their questions, however long it takes."
The family doctor suggested that patients call a toll number if they wanted to speak to their physicians. "Sure, I'll talk to you," he said. "Just call this 888 number. I'll talk to you as long as you want. I'll even talk dirty to you." People laughed. "My lawyer always tells me, 'If I'm thinking about your case, even while I'm taking a leak, you're getting charged three hundred and fifty dollars an hour.' "
Oni said, "I have a cousin who is an OB/GYN. He is paying one hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year for malpractice insurance. As an obstetrician, you have to earn five hundred thousand dollars just to make ends meet. That is why people don't want to do it anymore."
"I did obstetrics," someone replied. "They used to pay fifty-five hundred dollars for fourteen office visits plus a delivery when you stay up all night. Now they pay twenty-four hundred. You think that's reasonable? Your wife delivered. Is that enough money to make it worthwhile?" He shook his head, disgusted. "The problem is, they cut the money, they took away the autonomy, but they didn't take away any of the responsibility."
Apparent Case Of KWB -- Kissing While Black
Jared Keller writes at mic.com, "LAPD Confuses Black Actress Kissing White Husband for Prostitute."
The actress is "Django Unchained" actress Danièle Watts, who plays the TV daughter of Martin Lawrence on FX's "Partners," reports Dish Nation. The man she was thought to be soliciting while kissing was Chef Brian James Lucas, who happens to be her husband.
African-American actress Danièle Watts claims she was "handcuffed and detained" by police officers from the Studio City Police Department in Los Angeles on Thursday after allegedly being mistaken for a prostitute.
According to accounts by Watts and her husband Brian James Lucas, two police officers mistook the couple for a prostitute and client when they were seen showing affection in public. When the officers asked Watts to produce a photo ID when questioned, she refused. Watts was subsequently handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser while the officers attempted to figure out who she was. The two officers released Watts shortly afterwards.
...Watt's husband Brian Lucas, who is white, claimed that the two were targeted by police for being an interracial couple. In a separate post on his Facebook page, Lucas said that "from the questions that [police] asked me as D was already on her phone with her dad, I could tell that whoever called on us (including the officers), saw a tatted RAWKer white boy and a hot bootie shorted black girl and thought we were a HO (prostitute) & a TRICK (client)."
An LAPD public information officer said there was no record of the incident as Watts wasn't arrested or brought into the station for questioning.
From the traffic stops, manners, and civil liberties section of my book, "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck," a quote from retired California cop Tracy Ambrico, a 30-year law enforcement veteran, on what to do in cases of police abuse. (Of course, this assumes you're still alive afterward):
Where people go wrong is in thinking they're powerless to fight back against an abusive cop. Ambrico says that if an officer does violate your rights or is rude or otherwise out of line, it's important to recognize that you have recourse--just probably not there, while the stop is taking place. She does say that you can ask for a supervisor to come out during the stop or go afterward to the counter at the police station and ask to file a complaint.
I loved this Buzzfeed of 22 parents "funnier than their kids." Actually funny stuff here.
Pure Evil: ISIS Beheads British Aid Worker David Haines
Steve Robson writes the Mirror/UK that a new video has been released purporting to show the 44-year-old aid worker being executed by a black-clad ISIS member:
David Cawthorne Haines helped those in need in some of the most hostile environments in the world.
The Scots-educated aid worker spent 11 years in the military before going to work for charities in Libya and South Sudan during periods of extreme violence, according to his LinkedIn page.
He was in Libya during its civil war in 2011, according to his online CV, working as head of mission for Handicap International, which helps disabled people in poverty and conflict zones around the world.
Understand that this is not some misunderstanding of Islam. From thereligionofpeace.com:
The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.
Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence, the verses of violence in the Quran are mostly open-ended, meaning that they are not restrained by the historical context of the surrounding text. They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of Allah, and just as relevant or subjective as anything else in the Quran.
...Most of today's Muslims exercise a personal choice to interpret their holy book's call to arms according to their own moral preconceptions about justifiable violence. Apologists cater to their preferences with tenuous arguments that gloss over historical fact and generally do not stand up to scrutiny. Still, it is important to note that the problem is not bad people, but bad ideology.
Unfortunately, there are very few verses of tolerance and peace to abrogate or even balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. Muhammad's own martial legacy - and that of his companions - along with the remarkable stress on violence found in the Quran have produced a trail of blood and tears across world history.
The Rights Of Inanimate Objects To Not Be Face-Raped By A 14-Year-Old Mimicking Getting A Blow Job
Laws should not be passed unless they are absolutely necessary -- because they can be used to jail people who are not truly criminals or dangerous to society.
More obviously, they also should not be passed when they violate our constitutional rights, as does this law in Pennsylvania that makes it a crime to desecrate a venerated object.
That law, passed in 1972, was used to charge a 14-year-old boy for desecrating a Jesus statue (by getting somebody to photograph him mimicking getting blown by the statue).
Not surprisingly, he then did the other thing 14-year-old boys do, and posted the photos on the Internet.
Anyone who knows anything about the First Amendment understands that this is protected speech. Is it offensive to many? Sure.
Again, our right to free speech is protected. You do not have a right to not be offended.
And every violation of the Constitution -- in laws or in practices -- makes it easier for the next one.
Oh, and in support of free speech and wanting to know what the news stories aren't showing, here's that photo:
P.S. It's a statue. Won't Christianity survive just fine without prosecuting a 14-year-old boy for doing what 14-year-old boys do?
OSU Students Must Agree On WHY They're Having Sex
Yes, that's your government, all up in your collegiate undies.
Incredibly, here's the latest from Robby Soave at reason about college requirements for what is considered "consent" to sex. This is from Ohio State University:
Effective consent can be given by words or actions so long as the words or actions create a mutual understanding between both parties regarding the conditions of the sexual activity--ask, "do both of us understand and agree regarding the who, what, where, when, why, and how this sexual activity will take place?"
Hans Bader writes at Liberty Unyielding:
There used to be a joke that women need a reason to have sex, while men only need a place. Does this policy reflect that juvenile mindset? Such a requirement baffles some women in the real world: a female member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights told me, "I am still trying to wrap my mind around the idea of any two intimates in the world agreeing as to 'why.'"
More from Bader at examiner.com. He says that Ohio State applies an impractical "agreement" requirement -- not just to sex but to for "touching" that is sexual in nature:
This "agreement" requirement is impractical, because unlike sex (where there is generally an implicit agreement among the participants before it can even happen, since sex is difficult to do without active cooperation), no one agrees in advance - verbally or non-verbally - to have someone touch them in a particular place while making out. No one ever says, "may I touch your breast" before doing it while making out. They may (and usually do) welcome (and enjoy) it after it occurs, but they don't specifically "agree" to it in advance (indeed, they may have expected the touch to occur in a different place, even if they found it pleasant). The very process of making out is a gradual escalation of intimacy step by step, without constant discussion or an endless series of agreements.
That may be impossible under Ohio State's policy, not just because it requires "agreement" (rather than mere "acquiescence") but also because it expresses hostility to the concept of "consent to one form of sexual activity" being a signal of receptiveness to other, slightly more intimate "forms of sexual activity." But that's exactly what happens in making out: when you acquiesce in one form of touching or other "sexual activity" long enough, that signals a likely willingness to engage in slightly more intimate forms of touching -- although you are free to rebut that presumption of willingness at any time simply by saying "no" or physically conveying your unwillingness.
Such fluid interaction is threatened by Ohio State's definition, which states that that "Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other . . . sexual activity," that there must be "agreement between both parties to participate in each and every sexual act," that only "clear consent" counts, and that "Consent can never be assumed, even in the context of a relationship."
If this definition of "sexual assault" were not already broad enough, Ohio State's Student Wellness Center seeks to radically narrow the concept of consent further (and ban "kissing" without verbal consent as "sexual assault"). It says consent must be "verbal," "enthusiastic," and must be "asked for every step of the way"; "If consent is not obtained prior to each act of sexual behavior (from kissing to intercourse), it is not consensual sex," it says. Consent also must also be a litany of other things, such as "sober," "informed," "honest," "wanted," and "creative."
I can't think of anything more boring than "sober," "informed," and "honest" sexual activity. (And by knocking "sober," I don't mean I like to black out before sex; I mean, it's fun to get tipsy on a glass of wine and make out.)
And if you ask me, "May I touch your breast," and then ask me to sign a statement (perhaps on videotape) confirming my consent, well, let's just say I'm going to remain about as sexed up as I feel while speaking to my deaf elderly aunt.
This becomes like the junior high makeout version of Three Felonies A Day, Harvey Silverglate's book on how, just by living our lives in our overlegislated age, we are each guilty of approximately three federal crimes.
More from Bader on kissing:
Classifying "kissing" as "sexual assault" if it occurs without "verbal" consent -- the way Ohio State's Wellness Center does -- is so extreme that it could create a PR disaster. If a school expels or even suspends a student for kissing and calls him a "sexual assault" perpetrator, many will view it as outrageous overkill, that student may sue, and groups like FIRE will publicize it as an example of PC college administrators run amok.
But if it does not expel or remove the student from campus, despite calling it "sexual assault," people will wrongly assume there is a rapist on campus (because "the terms 'rape' and 'sexual assault' are sometimes used synonymously in common language"), angry classmates may protest the student's presence as a result, and Ohio State may end up being denounced by web sites or journalists who depict colleges as as "rape cultures" or "rape factories" (even though the rape rate has fallen 58% since the mid-1990s).
Up Your Nose
With a linkie hose.
Our Civil Liberties Disappear A Dribble And Drabble At A Time
Like with pressure cooker-buyer watch lists.
Our civil liberties don't disappear all at once; they are slowly eroded as we are too busy to worry about them. We -- many of us -- find these small erosions unimportant. But put together, all of the many small erosions add up, and are dangerous to our continuing as a free society -- one started by people who wanted a society of limited government, meaning limited government power.
Here's the latest small incursion into privacy. Small, but not unimportant.
And remember that each directive like this requires more "(jack)boots on the ground" in the government industrial complex, and once those jobs exist, they don't get erased.
Tim Cushing posts at TechDirt, "DHS Wants To Expand 'See Something, Say Something' To Retailers Selling You Pressure Cookers":
Since it would be impossible to train thousands of retail store employees properly, this will likely take the form of an item watchlist, one that will be constantly subject to change. It will probably also instruct employees to view perfectly normal shopping behavior as suspicious.
As has been the result of previous "see something, say something" efforts, this new directive will create another massive database of false positives for Fusion Center employees and local law enforcement to deal with. Johnson specifically cited pressure cookers (while stating the government couldn't actually forbid their sale) as one example. If so, then this directive has no chance in hell of catching terrorists and is guaranteed to serve up a lot of unsuspecting (and unsuspicious) consumers for further government examination.
Pressure cookers are a legitimate item that thousands of consumers use. Now, they're viewed as the equivalent of buying a U-Haul truck full of fertilizer. Past incidents are prompting future actions, much as they do with the TSA (shoe bomber? off with your shoes!). Constantly being one step behind the clumsiest terrorists isn't going to keep the country any safer. It's just going to make it a worse place to simply "go about your business."
How To Deal With A Bratty High School Student: Call The Cops, Have Three Of Them Wrestle Her To The Ground
4'10" bratty tenth grader, Ixel Perez, using her phone in class, gets sent in the hallway for it, gets asked for the phone by the administrator (per school rules), and then, when she won't give it up, gets wrestled to the ground by three cops.
Writeup at KHOU:
In cell phone video first aired on KHOU Tuesday night, three HISD police officers surround Ixel Perez, two of them have her pinned to the floor face down. One officer has his knee pressed to the side of her head.
"Both of the cops just tackled her down to the floor. They put her knee on her head and after that they just arrested her, took her phone," said student Gustavo Lucio who took the video on his cell phone. "The cop just said you can't use your phone and after that, no words no nothing, just actions, grabbed her, threw her down."
...She says her reading teacher caught her using her cell phone in class, which is against school rules, and told her to go to the hallway. That's where Perez says she was confronted by an assistant principal who demanded she relinquish the phone. Students caught using phones in class are required to turn them over to school administrators and then retrieve them at the end of the school day, for a fee.
"I just didn't want to give up my phone," said Perez who said she was talking to her mom who suffers from medical conditions. Perez said she was trying to make sure her mom was OK.
"She asked me for the phone and I didn't want to give it to her, because I was scared. I ended up walking down the stairs trying to get away from the AP (assistant principal) and then she had already called the cops."
The HISD resource officers also demanded she hang up the phone and hand it to them. Perez admitted she refused again.
'He grabbed my hand, one of them was right here, one grabbed my hand, I didn't want to let go of my phone because I was on the phone with mom," she said.
Via @reason blogger Robby Soave, who writes this:
It sounds like Perez behaved badly: It's not okay to talk on a phone during class, and if she was truly concerned about her mother she should have asked permission to leave the classroom and make a call from the office.
But that does not excuse the administrator who called the cops for no good reason, nor does it justify how the cops handled the situation. Treating students who break school rules like violent criminals is unacceptable and outrageous.
I Couldn't Look At The Tragic 9/11 Photos Another Time
What I do think is important to look at is the absolutely barbaric behavior of Palestinians cheering the deaths of thousands of American civilians, guilty only of arriving at the office on time.
A friend's husband -- a guy in finance, who worked at the WTC -- is only alive today because she had a morning production meeting, so he had to take the kids to school that day.
Here is a photo Professor E. Stringer Keefe found at Ground Zero. Somebody tweeted that they are all Cantor Fitzgerald employees and that the two girls on the right are sisters. That person also tweeted that they are all dead.
Do The TSA Geniuses Think He's Going To Blow Up The Airplane After Getting Off And Going Into The Airport?
"He's pretty objectionable, filming me," says one of the TSA thugs, Alex Grossman, about the passenger, Kahler Nygard, they are trying to detain for a groping and baggage rifling -- after he got off the plane.
Yes, it's so "objectionable" when citizens want to have proof of the violations of their civil liberties.
If screening is about keeping the airways safe, why, after a man gets off a plane, is he being searched?
Clearly, it is about getting citizens accustomed to being docile in the face of their rights taken from them.
And the TSA are only pretend cops in cop Halloween costumes, so they are impotent to detain anything more than a mosquito.
Here's the video:
At InfoWars, Paul Joseph Watson writes:
When Nygard states that he is going to leave, the TSA agent threatens to call Denver police who will apprehend Nygard "for refusing our direction." The agent is unable to provide a statute or law under which this is permissible.
Nygard then leaves the airport as Grossman calls the police. Nygard was able to leave the airport without being apprehended by law enforcement.
A local Fox News story about the incident said that Nygard, "was on a list that should have singled him out for screening -- but that didn't happen."
According to the report, Nygard should have been subjected to enhanced screening at Minneapolis Airport because his name was, "on the secondary security screen list known as "quad S," and Nygard, "had a boarding pass designated with four bold S's."
The TSA failed to notice the details on Nygard's boarding pass and he was allowed to board the plane. It was only after a Spirit employee called the TSA when the plane was half way to Denver that the oversight was recognized.
Nygard, "slipped through three layers of security, and no one was any the wiser until he was already in the air," states the report, noting that some of the red flags that get someone on the 'quad S' list include, "buying your ticket the same day, paying cash, or getting a one-way ticket."
In an email to Infowars, Nygard said that the Fox News story was mostly "lies," noting that he was forced to undergo a full body pat down at Minneapolis Airport. Nygard also states that Fox News' characterization of him as a "Somali-American man" is inaccurate given that his descendents are Poles and Norwegians.
This is by no means the first time that the TSA has attempted to conduct pat downs on passengers after they have already exited their mode of transportation and are attempting to leave the facility. In 2011, travelers were subjected to an invasive pat down and bag search after getting off an Amtrak train in Savannah, Georgia.
More from Fox Minneapolis.
Thank you, Kahler Nygard, for standing up for your rights -- and, in turn, all of ours.
Civil liberties are not yanked from us all at once but little by little, so complacent citizens barely notice -- until we become a police state.
Ice fish for links!
Childhood Vaccines: Our Faulty Risk Perception
From Chris Mooney at Mother Jones, about a PBS program airing tonight. The headline on his piece: Tonight's PBS Special Makes The Most Powerful Argument For Vaccines Yet. A new NOVA special, "Vaccines: Calling the Shots," stands up for science. See the first line of my excerpt below:
The program focuses on our faulty risk perceptions around vaccines, how many people are vastly more scared than they ought to be of a tiny risk (vaccination) while ignoring a huge one, the return of deadly diseases. The consequence could not be more grave: In a scene that is just hard to watch, the program shows a tiny infant suffering from whooping cough, its mother weeping, nurses running in constantly to sit the baby up (he cannot even raise himself) so that he does not choke. It's heartbreaking.