Just Say No To State-Licensed Relationships -- All Of Them
There's a piece by Max Borders on privatizing marriage at the Foundation for Economic Education:
When we say "marriage," we might be referring to:
A. a commitment a couple enters into as a rite or acknowledgment within a religious institution or community group (private); or
B. a legal relationship that two people enter into, which the state currently licenses (public).
Now, the questions that follow are: Does the government need to be involved in A? The near-universal answer in the United States is no. But does the government need to be as involved as it is in B? Here's where the debate gets going.
I think the government can and should get out of B, and everyone will be better for it. This is what I mean by marriage privatization.
Some argue that marriage is "irreducibly public." For Jennifer Roback Morse, it has to do with the fate of children and families. For Shikha Dalmia, it has to do with the specter of increased government involvement, a reinflamed culture war, and a curious concern about religious institutions creating their own marriage laws.
...What about Dalmia's concern that in the absence of state marriage, "every aspect of a couple's relationship would have to be contractually worked out from scratch in advance"? Never mind that some people would see being able to work out the details of a contract governing their lives as a good thing (for one, it might prevent ugly divorce proceedings). There is no reason to think that all the functions normal, unmarried couples with children and property have in terms of recourse to "default" law would not still be available. Not only would simple legal templates for private marriage emerge, but states could establish default civil unions in the absence of couples pursuing private alternatives.
...Indeed, if people did not like some default option -- as they might not now -- there would be better incentives for couples to anticipate the eventualities of marital life. People would have to settle questions involving cohabitation, property, and children just as they do for retirement and for death. Millions of gay couples had to do this prior to the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality. Millions of unmarried couples do it today. The difference is that there would be a set of private marriage choices in a layer atop the default, just as people may opt for private arbitration in lieu of government courts.
...I like full privatization because "marriage" is currently a crazy quilt of special privileges and goodies that everybody wants access to -- unmarried people be damned. But marriage should confer neither special favors nor goodies from the state. We can quibble about who is to be at the bedside of a dying loved one. Beyond that, marriage (under definition B) is mostly about equal access to government-granted privileges.
Total Abdication Of Responsibility By Cops
A young, mentally ill man -- jailed in Virginia since April without bail over a $5 theft of food and drink -- was found dead in his jail cell.
He was accused of stealing a Mountain Dew, Snickers bar and a Zebra Cake from a 7-Eleven.
Jon Swaine writes for The Guardian
Jamycheal Mitchell, who had mental health problems, was discovered lying on the floor of his cell by guards early last Wednesday, according to authorities. While his body is still awaiting an autopsy, senior prison officials said his death was not being treated as suspicious.
His family believes he starved to death.
"His body failed," said Roxanne Adams, Mitchell's aunt. "It is extraordinary. The person I saw deceased was not even the same person." Adams, who is a registered nurse, said Mitchell had practically no muscle mass left by the time of his death.
...Officials said that after his arrest, Mitchell was taken to Portsmouth city jail, where he stayed for almost three weeks before being transferred across the city to the regional jail on 11 May.
Ten days after that, the court clerk said, Judge Morton Whitlow ruled Mitchell was not competent to stand trial and ordered that he be transferred to Eastern State hospital, a state-run mental health facility in Williamsburg, for treatment.
The clerk said that typically in such cases "we do an order to restore the defendant to competence, send it to the hospital, and when the hospital has a bed, we do a transportation order, and he's taken to the hospital." Whitlow reiterated the order on 31 July and was due to review the case again on 4 September, according to the clerk.
But the hospital said it had no vacancy and the 24-year-old was therefore detained in jail until his death on 19 August, according to Adams, Mitchell's aunt, who said she had tried to assist the hospitalisation process herself but was left frustrated.
"He was just deteriorating so fast," she said. "I kept calling the jail, but they said they couldn't transfer him because there were no available beds. So I called Eastern State, too, and people there said they didn't know anything about the request or not having bed availability."
When asked which state agency was ultimately responsible for ensuring Mitchell was transferred to the hospital, the court clerk said: "It's hard to tell who's responsible for it."
Officials from the court, the police department and the jail could not explain why Mitchell was not given the opportunity to be released on bail.
A mentally ill man is in a cell under your care -- and yes, you actually have to care for him. This may take more than just shoving a plate of food through the bars.
Of course, it is terrible and inhumane that we lock a mentally ill person up in a cage and just leave them there without help. If this had been a relative of somebody on the force, you'd better believe a bed would have been found for him.
This man should have been a patient, not an inmate.
And I have to say, while I am not for government as a big teat for all citizens, I sure am for caring for the disabled, the elderly, and the mentally ill. That's what makes for a humane society.
Taubes: In Weight Loss Advice, The Ridiculous Assumption That Hunger Is Not An Issue
I spend my whole day eating fat -- bacon fat, kale cooked in bacon fat, an omelet with cheese and pate, coffee made with half 'n' half; and steak, sausage, cheese, and green beans swimming in butter. Oh, also, a tablespoon of coconut oil warmed in half 'n' half a few times a day, whenever my brain feels like it's on fire from intense activity.
I have never felt better.
And I'm never hungry the way I would get when I ate low-fat/high-carb -- a hunger that made me feel like I could stop and devour a road sign (and anyone unlucky enough to be standing next to it at the time).
On the subject of hunger's effect on diet maintenance, Gary Taubes has an op-ed in The New York Times that describes a study, taking place toward the end of World War Ii, that placed men on a starvation diet:
For 24 weeks, these men were semi-starved, fed not quite 1,600 calories a day of foods chosen to represent the fare of European famine areas: "whole-wheat bread, potatoes, cereals and considerable amounts of turnips and cabbage" with "token amounts" of meat and dairy.
As diets go, it was what nutritionists today would consider a low-calorie, and very low-fat diet, with only 17 percent of calories coming from fat.
There were horrible physical effects -- and psychological ones. Two men had breakdowns. And then, when they were allowed to eat normally, they consumed "prodigious" amounts of food...eating themselves into "post-starvation obesity," in the researchers' words.
That humans or any other organism will lose weight if starved sufficiently has never been news. The trick, if such a thing exists, is finding a way to do it without hunger so weight loss can be sustained indefinitely. A selling point for carbohydrate-restricted diets has always been that you can eat to satiety; counting calories is unnecessary, so long as carbohydrates are mostly avoided.
But this advice raises a pair of obvious questions, or at least it should: If people on low-carb diets eat less (the conventional explanation for any loss of fat that ensues), why aren't they hungry? Where's the semi-starvation neurosis? And if they don't eat less, why do they lose weight? It implies a mechanism of weight loss other than caloric deprivation and suggests that the carbohydrates and fats consumed make a difference.
Questions like these about the relationship between calories, macronutrients and hunger have haunted nutrition and obesity research since the late 1940s. But rarely are they asked. We believe so implicitly in the rationale of eat less, move more, that we (at least those of us who are lean) will implicitly fault the obese for their failures to sustain a calorie-restricted regimen, without ever apparently asking ourselves whether we could sustain it either. I have a colleague who spent his research career studying hunger. Asking people to eat less, he says, is like asking them to breathe less. It sounds reasonable, so long as you don't expect them to keep it up for long.
Much of the obesity research for the past century has focused on elucidating behavioral techniques that could induce the obese to eat less, tolerate hunger better, and so, by this logic, lose weight. The obesity epidemic suggests that it has failed.
For those who believe that hunger is somehow all in the mind, rather than a powerful biological response to caloric deprivation, it is tempting to wish on them the fate that the goddess Ceres bestowed on King Erysichthon of Thessaly in Greek mythology. She "devised a punishment to rouse men's pity... to torment him with baleful Hunger." Erysichthon then eats himself out of castle and kingdom and ultimately dies by feeding, "little by little, on his own body."
Amazon link to books by Gary Taubes.
By the way, I suspect there are a number of people who are suffering from mood issues who could shift that by not going hungry all the time on what the government told us was a healthy diet.
The Tim Hunt Witch Hunt
Absolutely terrific long (and worthy) read in Commentary by Jonathan Foreman about the disgusting condemnation of Sir Tim Hunt for things he did not actually say, do, or mean:
The coup de grâce came in July with Mensch's release of a short recording from the luncheon. One can clearly hear applause and laughter in the room as Hunt ends his speech. Apparently out of a hundred guests from around the world, most of them women, the only people who were offended by Hunt's remarks were a handful of British and American science writers, all of whom happen to be diversity obsessives.
The most generous interpretation of Connie St. Louis's bizarre behavior is that she was too intellectually limited to recognize irony that was somehow obvious to an audience composed mostly of people who spoke English as a second language. A leak of the unedited version of her "Stop Defending Tim Hunt" piece for the Guardian is so garbled and incoherent that this actually seems plausible, though it also makes you wonder how and why she came to be teaching journalism even at a third-rate institution like London's City University.
That's a question that began to be asked quite widely a few weeks after St. Louis sent her tweets and became a celebrity on the back of her denunciations of Hunt. The Daily Mail discovered that St. Louis had lied on the curriculum vitae she had supplied for the City University website. The CV claims that she is "an award-winning freelance broadcaster, journalist, writer, and scientist" who "writes for numerous outlets, including the Independent, Daily Mail, the Guardian, the Sunday Times..." But when the Mail's Guy Adams went through 20 years of digital archives for the Independent, the Sunday Times, and the Mail he could find no articles carrying her byline. Before the current scandal, her work for the Guardian had been limited to a single piece in 2013. Oddly, the BBC and the Guardian have yet to report not only this evidence pertaining to her credibility, but also all the contradictory evidence concerning her claims about Hunt's speech in Seoul.
...For all his naiveté, and despite the support he was beginning to receive, Hunt knew that his professional life was over. "I'm finished," he said in the interview. "I had hoped to do a lot more to help promote science...but I cannot see how than can happen. I have become toxic." Unfortunately, this is indeed the case. Since his comments came to light, Hunt has been disinvited from major scientific and medical conferences. As Dame Athene Donald wrote: "His ability to go and inspire the young has been unnecessarily destroyed."
At the time of this writing, Hunt has not been reinstated as an honorary professor at University College, London. Nor is he likely to be. Provost Michael Arthur, as if keen to demonstrate the cowardice and lack of intellectual integrity he and so many others confuse with political virtue and good public relations, recently told the press that to reinstate Hunt would send out "entirely the wrong signal."
Right -- like that truth and justice matter?
There is still no truth or justice in the case of Bora Zivkovic.
Oh, and via @LouiseMensch, here's another time Deborah Blum's veracity was in question -- a comment from astronomy and cosmology writer Timothy Ferris on an interview with her. The interview was later edited to exclude her remark about him, which seems to have all the truth her claims about Tim Hunt did.
What Are Your Rituals?
Ritual isn't the superstitious crap it's often made out to be. The same goes for ceremony and ceremonies.
I've been reading research on ritual -- on how ritual can, for example, decrease negative feelings a person has about themself and increase feelings of control.
So ritual -- per the findings I've been reading -- is actually effective and smart.
It would help me to know what rituals you perform, when, and why. Or if you know of interesting rituals other people perform -- famous people or ordinary Joes.
The Pointer Sisters (And Brothers)
I find that a lot of people who write me for advice have as their main problem a habit of picking partners with the "I'll just close my eyes and hope it turns out okay" method. When they get treated badly, they then blame the person they were with -- same as they did the last person and the person before that.
Taking responsibility ultimately tends to have better outcomes than placing blame.
This quote is also on Pinterest with a bunch of other quotes, mostly from "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck."
"Compassionate Egalitarianism" Has Made Hugo Chavez's Daughter A Billionaire
Love that term, which I got from Glenn Reynolds on a post about printing money going "haywire" in Venezuela.
Socialism works! That is, if you're one of the people in charge. Hugo Chavez's ambassador daughter is Venezuela's richest woman, reports the Daily Mail:
During his lifetime, Hugo Chavez denounced wealthy individuals, once railing against the rich for being 'lazy.'
'The rich don't work, they're lazy,' he railed in a speech in 2010. 'Every day they go drinking whiskey - almost every day - and drugs, cocaine, they travel.'
After her father's death in 2013 and until her appointment to the United Nations as alternate ambassador, Chavez continued to live in the presidential mansion, forcing the current president Nicolas Maduro to remain at the vice presidential home.
El Comercio reported in 2014 that opposition congressman Carlos Berrisbeitía claimed the daughters of Chavez and Maduro were costing the Venezuelan state $3.6 million a day.
Victimhood has become quite stylish these days. Jamie Bartlett writes at Little Atoms:
In a 1999 article for the New York Review of Books, Ian Buruma argued that there is strange contentment that comes with feeling like you're oppressed (rather than actually being oppressed which really is not nice). Victims, he said, "cannot escape a momentary feeling of vicarious virtue." He claims to have felt it himself - much to his own shame - as a Jew visiting Auschwitz, each time a German walked past. Buruma even thought he detected a shade of envy in privileged groups that they too can't be victims of similarly sufficient magnitude. This, he stressed, was not to deny, belittle or take pleasure in the historical suffering of many groups, much less the present suffering. What he spotted was a bigger trend at play, where 'communal identity is based on sentimental solidarity of remembered victimhood'. People were increasingly desirous to wear the scars of others, almost as a badge of honour.
Buruma thought people liked to feel like society's victims, even where they were personally doing rather well, because modern life hollows out our identities. Hyper-capitalism is reducing meaningful beliefs and identity to fast food restaurants, sterile movies and empty gestures. But people want and perhaps need the authentic, the real, and the genuine in life. And so in an external world in which everything seems so empty, we turn inward in a search for authenticity. The only thing that can deliver authenticity is our feelings. And what more powerful feeling than victimhood and struggle?
Nothing more than feelings
It's quite true that feelings have become something of a modern obsession (Will Davies in his excellent new book about happiness calls feelings 'the new religion'). They are being elevated to the highest measure of what it means to be human: what matters is how we feel about something. And a growing number of writers - most recently Mick Hume in his new book 'Trigger Warning' - think that people's feelings are fast becoming the only test of whether something should be allowed. Prioritising feelings invariably means that if those precious feelings are hurt, upset, or offended, then these things should be banned or stopped.
The science of sex differences suggests that this victimism is feminism-driven. Researcher Joyce Benenson writes in her book Warriors and Worriers that women bond over shared vulnerabilities. This fits right in with the religion of victimism. It's men who are comfortable in hierarchies and comfortable with the idea that another man might beat them at some or various endeavors.
I'm melllllting. I'm working on my book and column at my fave Santa Monica cafe, which has no air conditioning -- and usually doesn't need it. But it's been unseasonably hot and humid here in So Cal, and fans help me be comfortable. And no, I don't mean the sort who tell you all sorts of nice things about yourself but the kind that blow air on you.
Gregg is getting me this cute little gooseneck USB fan that I can plug into my port on my laptop and angle toward my face. Only $7.99.
Also, still 40 percent off or more on select men's Adidas footwear. Deal ends September 7.
To buy stuff you don't see in my links and give me a wee kickback (that costs you nothing), Search Amy's Amazon here. (For stuff not listed above.)
And thanks to all who shop through my links! Every purchase you make is much appreciated!
TSA Worker Arrested: When Sexual Assault As Usual Becomes Criminal
My TSA News Blog colleague in civil liberties, Lisa Simeone, is just so right on in how she explained the arrest of a TSA thug for the molestation of a 22-year-old woman at La Guardia airport:
A TSA agent at LaGuardia Airport in New York has been arrested for sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman. The only reason he was arrested was because he molested her in a bathroom. If he had followed standard operating procedure, he would've molested her at the checkpoint, where it's usually done.
A college student was sexually molested at LaGuardia Airport by a uniformed TSA agent who demanded she go into a bathroom with him after she got off a flight so she could be searched for a weapon, sources told The Post.
The 22-year-old victim, who is Korean, had gotten off a Southwest Airlines flight from Salt Lake City around 8 p.m.Tuesday when the agent, identified as Maxie Oquendo, 40, approached her near the B4 gate of Terminal B.
Ogendo then asked her to follow him so she could be searched to see if she was carrying a knife or a weapon.
The woman followed him up an escalator to third-floor, near a lounge and a bank of elevators, where he "lured" her inside a bathroom under the pretext of conducting a legitimate search, sources said.
Once inside the bathroom, he allegedly began to molest her.
First, the victim told authorities, he asked her to lift her shirt and began touching her.
Then, he instructed her to unzip her pants and touched her again, the source said.
He then led her outside and she reported the incident.
Here's Julie Borowski on her molestation by a TSA thug back in 2012:
Here's a woman sobbing during her TSA molestation:
Here's my op-ed about mine.
The Everyday Phrases Deemed Racist By Murderer Vester Lee Flanagan
In news reports about this horrible murder of the two on the news crew, there were bits about Flanagan's claim that the newscaster he gunned down, Alison Parker, made "racist" statements. Here's what they were, from David Gardner at the Evening Standard:
He even launched an official complaint against Parker when she was working at the station as an intern in 2013.
The internal memo branding Parker a racist was thrown out by TV executives and it was Flanagan who was eventually axed for his inappropriate behaviour.
But the imagined slight festered with Flanagan, who vowed to take revenge.
And hours after he gunned down Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward during a live broadcast on Wednesday, Flanagan made it clear through his Twitter account that he still held a grudge.
"Alison made racist comments," Flanagan tweeted as he was on the run from the police before turning his gun on himself. "They hired her after that??" he added.
His twisted post was referring to the run-in he had with Parker two-and-a-half years ago over her comments in the newsroom.
"One was something about 'swinging' by some place; the other was out in the 'field,'" said a report on the dispute by assistant news director Greg Baldwin, who looked into the allegations in response to Flanagan's unsuccessful discrimination lawsuit against the station.
Stunned colleagues of Parker insisted yesterday that she couldn't have been less like a racist.
That's field, as in "cotton field," and then there was an "incident" where a boss brought in a watermelon for the news team, which he also decided was some racist call-out of him.
And via @instapundit, ABC has still not released a 23-page manifesto Flanagan sent them.
These Rate Hikes, A Few Years Back, Would Have Been Seen As Reason Obamacare Was Needed
But -- oops -- they're the result of Obamacare.
From an IBD editorial:
When insurers requested huge rate hikes for their 2016 ObamaCare plans, we were told not to worry because state regulators would force them down. But that's not happening. Death spiral, anyone?
In Alaska, the state regulator approved a 39.6% rate increase for Moda Health, and Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska got a 38.7% hike.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee asked for and got a 36.3% boost in premiums. Oregon's insurance commissioner approved a 25.6% increase for Moda, the biggest insurer on its ObamaCare exchange. In Kansas, ObamaCare enrollees will face increases of up to 25.4%.
In the pre-ObamaCare days, rate hikes of this magnitude, no matter how rare, would have been cited as proof positive of the need for ObamaCare-type changes. But these eye-popping jumps are showing up across the country, and ObamaCare itself is to blame.
The law's mixture of heavy-handed market regulations, mandated benefits, taxes and fees have sharply increased the cost of insurance, with no end in sight.
Undaunted, ObamaCare backers say that in many states, regulators succeeded in cutting back on some requests, and that premiums in some states didn't go up all that much. But calling a 14% increase a victory because it wasn't 21% isn't a victory for those still faced with a substantially more expensive product.
I still have health care; I just can no longer afford much more than doctor's visits, because, post-Obamacare, I have a high deductible. I hear this from a lot of people.
So, I paid into the system -- my HMO -- for decades, with the idea that I'd get in and pay in when I was at my youngest and healthiest. It seemed like the prudent and responsible thing to do. Little did I know that the government would wreck -- sorry, are we supposed to say "improve"? -- my health care by passing a gigantic change to our medical care in this country without even bothering to read it.
Linkin Town Car
Suicide do re me.
"If You See Something, Say Something" -- Uh...Except If You See A Cop
The ACLU is representing Roxbury (Boston) resident Mary Holmes in her case against two Boston transit cops for police brutality and violation of her constitutional right to free speech. From the ACLU's website:
Ms. Holmes was pepper-sprayed, beaten, and arrested by the officers because she spoke out to prevent MBTA police from abusing a person in her community.
In March 2014, Ms. Holmes was at the Dudley Square MBTA station in Roxbury when she saw Officer Jennifer Garvey scream at and shove an older Black woman. The situation worried Ms. Holmes so she tried to calm the woman and asked Officer Garvey to stop being so aggressive. When these efforts failed, she called 9-1-1 for help. In response, Officer Garvey and her partner, Officer Alfred Trinh, pepper-sprayed Ms. Holmes in the face, beat her with a metal baton, and arrested her, handcuffing her hands behind her back while forcing her to the ground.
"The MBTA has signs everywhere telling people 'if you see something, say something.' This is exactly what Ms. Holmes did. She saw something wrong, and she spoke out. We need more people to follow Ms. Holmes' lead and do the same," said Jessie Rossman, staff attorney at the ACLU of Massachusetts. "Unfortunately, the officers' reactions are part of a broader, troubling trend, in which police officers mistreat individuals exercising their constitutional rights. It has to stop."
There's video at both the ACLU link and this Boston.com link. Adam Vaccaro writes:
The incident was captured on video at the MBTA station (included at the end of this article). The footage shows Holmes being pepper sprayed as she speaks on the phone, hit with a baton, and thrown to the ground.
Holmes was held overnight because she could not make bail, according to the suit. The next day, the suit says, Holmes was charged with assault and battery on a public employee, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. The charges were dropped months later when prosecutors saw video of the incident, according to the complaint.
Looking at the video, it looks like what the cop got pissed off at was Holmes getting on her phone to 911 to complain about them.
The Pussies Across The Pond (And What Happens When You Give Little Boys Toy Guns)
Well, I guess we should feel a little better that we aren't the only nation of fragile little flowers -- England has joined us in the idiocy.
There, a little girl got a letter sent to her parents over the "violent" design content of her lunchbox.
Neo-nazi storm troopers kicking a dog, perhaps?
Nope. A classic image of Wonder Woman.
Siam Goorwich writes for Metro.co.uk:
According to Redditor twines18, who posted a copy of the letter and offending lunchbox on Imgur, the lunchbox contravened the schools dress code which states children aren't allowed to bring 'violent images' into the building.
The letter states: 'We have defined "violent characters" as those who solve problems using violence. Super heroes certainly fall into that category.'
Here's the offending lunchbox (which, by the way, I think is fabulous and want to have so I can carry it as a purse).
You know who else "solves problems using violence"? Big American young men who save train cars full of strangers from being gunned down like livestock by a murderer.
Mona Charen writes at NRO that manliness is an unsung trait of the train heroes. She makes some good points about boy-type play:
They also seem to have been rambunctious boys -- a trait that tends to be pathologized in modern America. The Sacramento Bee recounts:Friends from age 7, they played with their siblings and neighbors up and down Woodknoll Way, favoring games such as Airsoft, in which participants shoot each other with realistic-looking replica guns that fire plastic pellets, said Peter Skarlatos, Alek's older brother . . .
'We'd basically turn this neighborhood into a war zone,' the brother said, sitting on the shady front porch of his family's ranch house Sunday afternoon. 'Spencer and Alek were all action-oriented kinds of guys.'
When I was raising three boys, I received a few looks askance for permitting them to use play guns and to imagine themselves as soldiers. Some of the more sensitive parents in our area disapproved of the Power Rangers, a cartoonish show featuring teenaged superheroes battling goofy villains. These parents sincerely believed that we must suppress all violent tendencies in our children, especially our sons, to make a gentler world. Our boys relished the Power Rangers, with our blessing.
Researcher Joyce Benenson made the point in her book on evolved sex differences (per her interviews of nursery school teachers and aides), that if you don't let little boys have toy guns, they will invariably end up shooting "bullets" out of a doll's head.
Boys wanting to engage in play combat is part of what it means to be male -- physiologically (with higher testosterone, for example) and psychologically. To take the toy guns away suggests that guns are the problem. Well, guns don't shoot people; sick fuckers shoot people. And if you take away their guns, they'll find some other way to kill.
Links in a very tight dress.
My boyfriend got me the most awesome flashlight -- the really bright night watchman/police flashlight. How bright? I can use it to see into your soul. (Not that I believe in "soul," but if I did, I could see into yours with this flashlight.) It's the Nebo SEVEN-Z Extremely High Lumen Flashlight, powered by AA Batteries. I'm just disappointed that I have yet to spot anyone peeing on the fence across the way. Boy are they going to be surprised. No, you don't get to make my neighborhood smell like a giant men's bathroom. And sorry, but ladies ("ladies," that is) rarely drop trou or skirt -- though we do have the very occasional one squat between our cars. (I can't wait to shine a light on that!)
And on for a few more days, until August 28, there's a special on Antarctic Krill Oil -- 60 percent off. It's a 60-count bottle of 1,000 mg softgels, which means you take only one. (Yay.) Regular price is $64.95; until August 28, it's $26.05. Why krill oil? Here's Dr. Michael Eades on it and here some more -- the reason I take krill oil. And here on how to store for maximum shelf life.
We pair the Krill with Magnesium Malate and Biotech 5,000 iu Vitamin D, both also recommended to us by Dr. Eades. If you're going to take D, you should get your levels tested after a few months and then get them tested again after taking it. (Many or most people who do not spend a lot of time outside seem to have levels that are low, per what I've read on it.) Both of the brands I've included are cheap and high quality. How much magnesium should you take? Adjust it -- sorry -- according to, uh, loose stool. (Magnesium helps everything come out okay, to explain a little further. No, you don't need fiber, which is irritating to the gut.)
Also, still 40 percent off or more on select men's Adidas footwear. Deal ends September 7.
To buy stuff you don't see in my links and give me a wee kickback (that costs you nothing), Search Amy's Amazon here. (For stuff not listed above.)
And thanks to all who shop through my links! Every purchase you make is much appreciated!
"Millions Of Narcissistic Little Jerks..." (Welcome To College Freshman Orientation)
James Richardson writes at Medium, "My Generation is Just Awful, and Colleges are Making it Worse."
He's talking about speech codes and the parental culture that helped give rise to them:
Millions of narcissistic little jerks, reared by an uncommonly hysterical generation who instilled in their children the adamantine conviction that they are exceptional and necessarily worthy of respect, enrolled this week as freshman in universities across the United States.
There was a moment when this exercise might have tested these students, made better and new through confrontation with the uncomfortable and occasionally outrageous thought.
Now, instead, they will pass the next four years of pseudo-scholarship as they have the eighteen that preceded them: swaddled in institutionalized political correctness and protected always from the unconventional or provocative.
These speech codes stretch from the ludicrous, like Jacksonville State University's policy that students not offend anyone, to the plainly unlawful.
This doesn't just affect those on college campuses:
The result isn't simply an emotionally delicate dolt, but a broader culture at jeopardy of losing the most foundational of human rights. Today's over-sensitivity to offense means these students may be entirely desensitized to the loss of speech tomorrow, even in the face of gross government encroachment.
A Barton Hinkle writes at Reason:
A regime that protects everyone's free-speech rights can allow both the gay-rights advocate and the Christian fundamentalist to speak her mind. But a regime concerned with protecting people's feelings inevitably will hurt either the fundamentalist's feelings (by allowing only the gay-rights advocate to speak) or the advocate's feelings (by allowing only the fundamentalist to speak). Unless, of course, it hurts both of their feelings by letting neither of them speak. No matter what, though, it allows the censors to dismiss some people's claims for consideration as less worthy. (You sometimes get the sense that's exactly what the campus censors want.)
What's more, any regime that "privileges" feelings over rights inevitably will ignore the very real emotional pain experienced by another important group: those who cherish individual liberty and abhor censorship of any kind. There are still a few of them left - even on the modern American campus.
Keying Someone's Car Is More Effective If You Consult A Dictionary First
A woman keyed her ex-boyfriend and friend's cars, believing that they'd gotten involved, writing "WORE."
From John Nickerson in the Stamford Advocate:
Lt. Diedrich Hohn said that early on the morning of Aug. 7, the cars of Csapilla's ex-boyfriend and one of her girlfriend's had been keyed and their tires punctured in the city. Scratched into the paint on the woman's car was the word "wore." Figuring there should have been a "h" in the word, police believed they had arrived at a motive for the crime, Hohn said.
Hohn said Csapilla started sending harassing texts to her ex-boyfriend, alluding to the fact that she keyed the cars, and during at least one conversation admitted to him that she did it, Hohn said.
...When she left police headquarters, she took a picture of the building and put it up on the Snapchat social media site with the comment "Stamford police have nothing on me." As is the case with Snapchat, the picture and text were taken down only seconds later, but police were told by at least one recipient of the message that she posted the picture and comment.
"Unbeknownst to her, we did have enough and we obtained two arrest warrants from a judge and took her into custody at her home," Hohn said.
As I write in "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck" about my hate mail:
A common error in e-mailed hate-rants, "your an idiot," tends to convey that you are an idiot, or at least not all that literate, turning what was supposed to be a withering attack into a source of amusement for the target.
The Government Does Not Belong In The Wallets Or Underpants Of Consenting Adults
Scott Shackford writes at Reason about the shutdown by the Department of Homeland "Security" of gay escort site Rentboy.com. (Official complaint here.)
And he's right:
The forced shutdown of Rentboy.com is not small potatoes, not that it should matter when it comes to deciding when to fight for individual liberty.
A few important points from his piece:
•There is absolutely no pretense of pretending there are any "victims" here. Nobody is charged with "trafficking." There is absolutely nothing in the complaint that even hints at the idea that there is anything nonconsensual happening, that so much as a single human being is harmed, even tangentially, by letting men pay for sex with other men.
•As usual, follow the money. Want to know the real reason why DHS is involved? Want to know why it took the government decades to go after a site titled "Rentboy.com"? It's on page three of the complaint against Rentboy. Between 2010 and 2015 the site had more than $10 million in gross proceeds. The feds are looking to seize $1.4 million from six bank accounts related to the raid. This money, thanks to federal asset forfeiture rules, would likely be split among the agencies involved, including the New York Police Department, who offered up their assistance in the raid even though there was probably no need for both agencies.
•The world is not New York City. ... Say you're a pudgy, lonely 55-year-old man in southern Illinois with a fetish for something very kinky. You're a minority within a minority. What do you do if you can't find somebody around you who shares your interest? DHS, Brooklyn's U.S. attorney's office, and a bunch of cops in New York City think you should just do without.
•Remember the names Susan Ruiz, Kelly Currie, Tyler Smith, and Melanie Hendry. Ruiz is the DHS special agent who thoroughly investigated the site and filed the complaint that led to these arrests. Currie, Smith, and Hendry are all attorneys with the U.S. Attorneys Office of the Eastern District of New York (the same office that brought us our current Attorney General Loretta Lynch). They are the attorneys going after the seven people arrested for prostitution charges. They will be responsible for destroying these lives and taking their property for facilitating sex work. One of the defendants is an immigrant who applied for a work visa, so all sorts of bad things could happen to him. If I accomplish nothing else, I want this bust to show up on Google searches of their names to show how callous and reprehensible the four of them are. Congratulations, folks. You've helped stop a lonely old man in Bolivia from getting a handjob from a hot twink! That's your contribution to American justice. Be sure to put it on your resumes!
It is absolutely disgusting and ridiculous that prostitution is illegal. As I've posted here before; it's your body; you should be able to rent it out if you want to -- without any interference from the government.
UPDATE: Much more insight and speculation on the RentBoy takedown from EmptyWheel.
I see you out back, smoking pot behind the Dumpster. (Just don't set anything on fire.)
Hey, Dumb University Leaders: Free Speech Is Not The Same Thing As Sexual Assault
First of all, let me be totally clear that I find a couple of these messages, spray-painted on sheets and hung from an off-campus house, very funny -- "Freshmen daughter drop off" and "Go ahead and drop off mom too":
WRIC.com has the story -- about Old Dominion University and signs hanging "from a private residence."
Yet, here's a school spokestalinist, Ellen Nuefeldt, Vice President of Student Engagement and Enrollment Services:
"Messages like the ones displayed [Friday] by a few students on the balcony of their private residence are not and will not tolerated. The moment University staff became aware of these banners, they worked to have them removed. At ODU, we foster a community of respect and dignity and these messages sickened us. They are not representative of our 3,000 faculty and staff, 25,000 students and our 130,000 alumni..."
Well, why the hell should they be expected to be? You, Ellen, didn't put them out as part of your job. Others put them out as part of their right to free speech.
Also -- thank you -- they amused me.
The President of ODU, John R. Broderick, sent WAVY.com this (dull) statement Saturday night -- one which was sent to all faculty, staff and students. I'll just pull an excerpt:
A young lady I talked to earlier today courageously described the true meaning of the hurt this caused. She thought seriously about going back home.
Women were not allowed in certain colleges -- or certain graduate programs -- for quite some time. And all it takes for this girlie to contemplate packing it in is a couple of signs on sheets hanging from a building?
This fragile flower doesn't seem ready for college -- let alone adult society.
via @CHSommers (who, because she's a little classier than I am, called the signs "a bit loutish")
The War On...Salad? Drug Warriors Stage A Pot Raid -- Oops -- On An Okra Farm
Matt Agorist writes for The Free Thought Project:
Arlington, TX -- In an effort to protect the citizens of Texas, a massive military-style raid was conducted on the Garden of Eden organic farm and commune.
On August 2, 2013, nearly two dozen heavily armed SWAT officers stormed this peaceful farm in search of a plant. They found lots of plants, but much to their dismay, they did not find the plant they were looking for.
Countless tax dollars and months of half-cocked planning went down the drain that day after it was discovered that police incompetence had led these troops into a battle to which there can be no victor.
...After their 20 soldiers had stormed the garden, the Arlington police found not one single gram of marijuana.
What they did find, however, was a myriad of fruits and vegetables; and they seized them. After seemingly disgusted in themselves for such an ignorant and ill-conceived plan, the officers heroically proceeded to confiscate, "17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants ... native grasses and sunflowers."
Since they couldn't arrest anyone for growing pot, these public servants decided that they didn't want to go home empty-handed, so they began writing citations for code violations, like untrimmed bushes and tires laying around. Then they arrested a member of the commune, Quinn Eaker, for an outstanding traffic ticket.
Now, just over two years later, the Garden of Eden farm is seeking damages, and rightfully so. This peaceful group was held at gunpoint and terrorized for hours because of the incompetence of the Arlington PD and the immoral nature of the war on drugs.
And she's right -- this can happen to anyone. And we are all in this together. Or we should be.
Feminism In A Bottle: The Self-Cloistered Adult Babies On American Campuses
American feminists are too busy with campaigns to "Free The Nipple" and demanding "trigger warnings" for classic literature to care about women whose rights are being violated in places like Iran, Yemen, Egypt, and Cambodia. (The exception seems to be women in Gaza, etc., because, well, that's sanctioned hate against the Jooos.)
Christina Hoff Sommers writes at The Daily Telegraph about American women's overblown idea of the horrible injustices they are suffering. But first, here's how it works for women in places like Iran:
In August 2014, 12 members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard charged into 28-year-old artist Atena Farghadani's house, blindfolded her, and took her to prison.
She had posted a satirical cartoon on Facebook to protest proposed legislation to restrict birth control and women's rights. Farghadani has since been found guilty of "spreading propaganda" and "insulting members of parliament through paintings." She has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
As for American feminists:
It's not that they don't feel bad for women in places like Iran or Yemen. They do. But they believe they share a similar fate.
And they can cite a litany of victim statistics from their gender studies class that shows their plight. Someone needs to tell them that most of those statistics are specious and that, although the threat of harm is a human constant, they are among the most liberated and privileged -- and safest -- people on earth.
She makes it clear:
It is not my view that because women in countries like Iran or Afghanistan have it so much worse, Western women should tolerate less serious injustices at home. Emphatically they should not.
But too often, today's gender activists are not fighting injustice, but fighting phantom epidemics and nursing petty grievances. Two leading feminist hashtags of 2015 are #FreeTheNipples and #LovetheLines. The former is a campaign to desexualise women's breasts; the latter promotes stretch-mark acceptance. If the imprisoned women of Iran and Afghanistan were free to tweet, what would they say about these struggles?
Several years ago the American philosopher Martha Nussbaum created a small furore when she noted with disapproval that "feminist theory pays relatively little attention to the struggles of women outside the United States." Her academic colleagues pounced: Gayatri Spivak, professor of comparative literature at Columbia, accused Nussbaum of "flag waving" and of being on a "civilising mission."
I'm reminded of how the women truly in danger of rape are poor inner-city women and especially, homeless women. Where's the activism for rape crisis centers for them? No, never mind -- we've got the largely unused rape crisis centers on campus. That's all that matters.
How To Have Your Personhood Removed By The Police -- Even Though You're No Danger To The Rest Of Us
Jeffrey Tucker has a compelling long read at Liberty.me about his capture, handcuffing, and jailing -- how he was caged like an animal over a bit of government paperwork from (as an officer contended) the wrong government department:
There's a new traffic law in most states called the "move over" rule. When the police are stopped on the right hand side of the road, you are to move over to the left lane. This makes the police feel safer. For my part, I had never heard of this law or never had it really tested in my driving behavior. The police had set up a trap, stopping there on the side just to test compliance. I moved over a bit but not enough.
The lights flashed behind me, and I pulled over. I gave the officer my license. Another police car arrived. He returned and told me to step out of the car, and asked me why my license was suspended. I was shocked. Then I remembered I was one day late in paying a parking ticket. The lady at the counter told me there might be an issue with my license, so she gave me an official paper labelled "Official Notice of Reinstatement of Driver's License," and put the official seal on it.
Remembering this, I told the police that they could find this document in my car. They looked because at this point I was not allowed to move. They brought the paper back and stared at it. One policeman said it was clearly legitimate. The other said, no this was issued by the municipal court, not the Department of Motor Vehicles, so he couldn't accept it. I protested but he had made his decision.
He stared at me and said: put your hands behind your back. I was cuffed and led to the car. I protested that my computer, my phone, all my stuff was in the car. None of this mattered. They searched my car for drugs, guns, liquor, or whatever. They found an unlabelled bottle of pills (a blood thinner) and interrogated me about it, strongly implying that having an unmarked bottle of pills is illegal (is it? I don't know).
One policeman seemed to take a slight liking to me at some point, so he let me keep the pills. Then he said he would do me a favor. He undid the cuffs -- they were very tight and hurting my wrists -- and put my hands in front, re-cuffed me, and loosened them. This did make a huge difference.
My car would be towed to a wrecker lot, he explained. If I get out on bail, I could pay to get it back. Would the lot still be open by then? I asked. The policeman had no answer, no concern. And this is generally what you come to realize. Once arrested, you are a captured animal. Nothing else matters. You are no longer a consumer, a citizen, a person with a job, a normal human being. You are now just fodder, a thing they can use as they see fit.
The notion that you have any rights at all once you are arrested is a joke. What happens to you is entirely the decision of your captors.
They searched him thoroughly. He wondered why.
They want to find any excuse, any small reason to intensifying charges, spread more misery and wreckage. One of the guards seemed less excited than the others, and I asked him how he can stand to watch this kind of thing happen all day, every day. He told me that you just get used to it.
How did we get here?
Generally, the right says the problem is the left, and the left says it is the right. And the masses of people follow these claims and push their agendas, which are always about building the law code, higher, thicker, tougher, more and more horrible.
And yet, every law ends in the right of a tiny elite to capture you, pillage you, and, ultimately, kill you. Every addition to the law code intensifies the violence.
After I was freed -- but of course not really freed -- and reclaimed my car, I ended up at McDonalds, where I was greeted like a visiting dignitary, even though they knew not my name and had never seen me before. I was immediately offered free fries and drink and invited to order the hamburger of my dreams.
There it was in living color, the astonishing contrast between the jail and the fast food restaurant. The former is a hell, created by law. The latter, a product of the emergent social order and civilized by exchange and commerce, is the closest thing to heaven that this world offers.
Laws are dangerous. They can be used to turn each of us into criminals even though we aren't dangerous to anyone.
Don't be smug about how innocent you are. Again, you can be thrown into a cage (and possibly be murdered by some actual criminal) because the lady who stamped your "reinstatement of license" form was from the wrong government department.
Oh, and you're probably guilty of at least three felonies as you move throughout your day, dropping the kids off at school, going to work, and picking up your dry cleaning.
We've really gone off the rails in this country -- a country started on the premise of civil liberties, yet now denies them left and right.
Sai Gets FOIA Docs On The TSA
Lisa Simeone posts at TSA News Blog on some of what's been revealed through the docs released in the request by Sai, "an intrepid, indefatigable young man." As Simeone writes, "He has been forced to tangle with the TSA more than once, when the agency's workers have bullied, harassed, and illegally detained him."
From his FOIA request:
Here's the TSA's old version defining an administrative search:"Administrative Search: A search conducted as part of a regulatory plan in furtherance of a specified non-law enforcement government purpose, such as to determine compliance with TSA regulations or to prevent the carriage of threat items or entry of an unauthorized person into the sterile area or on board an aircraft."
And here's the new version:"Administrative Search: A search conducted without a warrant as part of a regulatory plan in furtherance of a specified non-law enforcement government purpose, such as to determine compliance with TSA regulations or to prevent the carriage of threat items or entry of an unauthorized person into the sterile area or to screen passengers entering any public conveyance."
The words "without a warrant" and "any public conveyance" have been added. Our readers already know that the TSA has always claimed the power to search "any public conveyance" (see VIPR), but most people still don't know it. Now you can see it in black and white. ("Without a warrant" has always been the case since the weasely term "administrative search" was dreamed up by lawyers, because, meh, Fourth Amendment, Schmourth Amendment.)
The TSA is also now claiming the right to search your reading materials. Yep, books, pamphlets, personal documents -- no matter how personal those documents are -- you name it, the TSA now claims the right to conduct a warrantless search on your personal, private information. This claim is new. Up to this point, though many TSA agents have gone through people's personal documents, it's been illegal for them to do so (see Steven Bierfeldt). Now, it would appear, by magic, it's suddenly okay.
Check out this pointless thuggery from last year -- an attempt by the pretend cops known as the TSA to screen a man after he gets off the plane. Here's the YouTube description. The TSA thug pictured is Alex Grossman:
They tried to get me to do additional screening of my Body after I was already off the plane and headed out of the airport. I ended up leaving the airport without incident from the Denver police.