Government Is A Bully -- Of Pretty Scary Proportions
Mark J. Perry writes at AEI of the unbelievable -- save for anyone who recognizes every one of his examples as something that actually happened to somebody in the U.S.:
A government that will lock you up in a cage for smoking weeds grown in your back yard is a government that will take your children away from you for playing basketball unsupervised in your own yard. That same government will also seize your cash and keep it from you even if you broke no law and are not charged with a crime. They'll anally probe you against your will with a forced colonoscopy if they suspect you are hiding a small amount of drugs. They'll break into your house with a SWAT team kill your dogs and throw stun grenades that explode in your toddler's face, scaring him for life, etc. etc. etc. You get the point...
A case like this is almost unbelievable because it goes way beyond nanny statism into the dangerous realm of state totalitarianism. For those of you who put faith in the government and tolerate them regulating your life, allow them to tell you what you can and can't put in your body - which plants and weeds and what type of milk you're allowed to ingest, accept government laws that force employers to pay their workers a mandated wage, etc., be careful what your wish for.... and watch out when a neighborhood snitch calls your government and they come and seize your unsupervised children.
Red, White, And Blue
Lady Gaga, at one with the national anthem, at the SuperBowl.
Yes some cultures are better than others. I'll take the one where clerics don't proclaim women dressed like Gaga "uncovered meat," with the implication being that they are good for the rapin.
More on the rights of women under Islam:
The many opportunities denied women under Islamic law, from giving equal testimony in court to having the right to exclude other wives from their marital bed, is very clear proof that women are of lesser value then men in Islam. Muslim women are not even free to marry outside the faith without being killed by their own families.
Islamic law also specifies that when a woman is murdered by a man, her family is owed only half as much "blood money" (diya) as they would be if she had been a man. (The life of a non-Muslim is generally assessed at one-third).
Although a man retains custody of his children in the event of his wife's death, a non-Muslim woman will automatically lose custody of her children in the event of her husband's death unless she converts to Islam or marries a male relative within his family.
Contemporary Muslims like to counter that Arabs treated women as camels prior to Muhammad.This is somewhat questionable, given that Muhammad's first wife was a wealthy woman who owned property and ran a successful business prior to ever meeting him. She was even his boss... (although that may have changed after the marriage). Still, it is somewhat telling that Islam's treatment of women can only be defended by contrasting it to an extremely primitive environment in which women were said to be non-entities.
Homa Darabi was a talented physician who took her own life by setting herself on fire in a public protest against the oppression of women in Islamic Iran. She did this after a 16-year-old girl was shot to death for wearing lipstick. In the book, Why We Left Islam, her sister includes a direct quote from one of the country's leading clerics:
"The specific task of women in this society is to marry and bear children. They will be discouraged from entering legislative, judicial, or whatever careers which may require decision-making, as women lack the intellectual ability and discerning judgment required for these careers."
Modern day cleric Abu Ishaq al-Huwaini has called for a return of the slave markets, where Muslim men can order concubines. In this man's ideal world, "when I want a sex-slave, I go to the market and pick whichever female I desire and buy her."
At best, Islam elevates the status of a woman to somewhere between that of a camel and a man.
Muhammad captured women in war and treated them as a tradable commodity. The "immutable, ever-relevant" Quran explicitly permits women to be kept as sex slaves.
After 100 Years, Scientists Are Finally Closing In On Einstein's Nipples
Uh, ripples. It's still exciting.
Why Black Activists Look The Other Way When Blacks Kill Blacks -- In Epidemic Proportions
Michael Krikorian writes of one of these shootings in the LA Times:
It was the fourth time in two days last week that a young black person was killed by other blacks in South Los Angeles. It didn't make much of a news splash. Like the 16-year-old girl and 20-year-old man at 81st and Avalon, like the 17-year-old boy at 83rd and Main Street, Gerrik Thomas' shooting death, on Jan. 25, was to everyone other than his family, friends and the LAPD, just another L.A. killing.
Thomas, 21, had gone to the market to buy a soda. As he walked back to his great-grandmother's blue-and-white house eight doors down from the corner of West 54th Street and 9th Avenue, he was hassled -- maybe asked, threateningly, "Where you from?" -- by two males about his age driving by. He didn't answer; he called his mom. Moments later, according to police, at the corner, in front of the M & J 100% Hand Car Wash, the car stopped. The two guys got out. One grabbed Thomas, and the other shot him in the head. Thomas was pronounced dead at California Hospital.
There will be no protest marches organized in Thomas' memory. No downtown streets will be blocked; the entrances to the Harbor Freeway will remain open. No angry citizens will demand the arrest, trial and conviction of those responsible for his killing.
I get the outrage when a cop kills an unarmed civilian, I get the fury when a video shows what looks like an unnecessary, excessive police shooting. But what I don't get is why Gerrik Thomas' death barely signifies. Why isn't his excessive and unnecessary killing a story? Why are the community, the hashtag leaders, the media and the politicians mostly silent?
Railing against black on black violence provides little benefit for Al Sharpton, as the answer is looking at and fixing problems in the black community. There's little money or fame in that, as it lacks a convenient white Satan and starts with scolding black people who have children without creating a family first to bring them up in.
Black Lives Matter? It seems they only do on the (comparatively few) times when a white cop is the one with the gun.
Linky with star-bellied krikes.
Welcome To The ZuckerBowl
I turned on Superbowl to see the music and thought the Coldplay guy was Mark Zuckerberg.
For a little change of pace, here's the Punjabi half-time show.
Vote For A Vagina, Urge Gloria Steinem And Madeleine Albright
There is nothing that screams "I'm unequal!" like voting for a candidate simply because she's a woman.
Yet, Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright are using their renown to try to sneer young women out of voting for Bernie Sanders.
Young progressives are drawn to Sanders on a number of fronts -- for his socialist leanings, his not being in bed with big banks, his not remaining married to somebody who blatantly and repeatedly cheated on him, and his not making more per speech than some millennials will make in five or 10 years.
Alan Rappeport writes in The New York Times of the old feminist bags trying to guilt the young women into a Clinton vote:
While introducing Mrs. Clinton at a rally in New Hampshire on Saturday, Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of state, talked about the importance of electing the first female president. In a dig at the "revolution" that Mr. Sanders often speaks of, she said that the first female commander in chief would be a true revolution. And she scolded any woman who felt otherwise.
"We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it's done. It's not done," Ms. Albright said of the broader fight for women's equality. "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other!"
...In an attempt to explain Mrs. Clinton's struggles with female voters in New Hampshire, Ms. Albright said during an NBC interview on Saturday that women could be judgmental toward one another and that they occasionally forgot how hard someone like Mrs. Clinton had to work to get where she is.
I don't care how hard you worked; I care about the kind of president you'll make.
Voting for somebody because she'll be the first female president is like voting for a candidate because they have a cute dog. Women who vote along these lines don't deserve to have the vote.
If You Became President, What Would You Do?
What's the first thing, and what would be your other priorities?
Social Isolation Is Not Romantic
I posted recently on the torture that is solitary confinement in prison, noting:
We are people who evolved in small bands, living cooperatively with others, meaning our minds are adapted for social living -- being amongst others.
Even famous loners weren't all alone, or tried not to be, writes Kimberlee Brownlee at Aeon:
The wild is a source not only of sensory stimulation, but also of interspecies sociality. ... Robinson Crusoe had a dog, two cats, some goats and a parrot, and later a human companion in Friday. And another Crusoe-like character, the runaway 12-year-old Sam Gribley, the protagonist in Jean Craighead George's children's novel My Side of the Mountain (1959), takes a baby falcon from a nest, trains it, and names it Frightful. He also adopts a semi-tame weasel, which he calls the Baron.
The same kind of anthropomorphising happens in the movie Cast Away (2000) where Tom Hanks, who appears to be bereft of all animal contact on a deserted island, personifies a volleyball by giving it a face, naming it Wilson, and later being genuinely grieved when he loses it.
Real, relentless isolation is not at all romantic. Indeed, it is far worse than the stress of social life. In contrast with the success of military-trained Proenneke, the inexperienced hiker Christopher McCandless died of starvation in Alaska in 1992 after venturing into the wild alone with few supplies, a victim of the fantasy of the wilderness hermit.
Moreover, the evidence from people who've endured unwanted social isolation - among them the US journalists Jerry Levin and Terry Anderson, who were held in solitary confinement in Lebanon as political prisoners by the Hezbollah in the 1980s - is heart-wrenching. Another political prisoner, Shane Bauer, who was held incommunicado for 26 months in Iran, described the black horror of his experience and his desperate desire to reconnect with other people, even with his captors.
Such accounts are confirmed by a growing body of psychological evidence that indicates that supportive social contact, interaction and inclusion are fundamentally important to a minimally decent human life and, more deeply, to human wellbeing. For the most part, we need one another; we cannot flourish or even survive without each other. These fundamental needs are the ground for a range of rights that we neglect, but should not, including the rights to be part of a network of social connections.
How Come Airline "Change Fees" Go Only One Way?
I want $200, Air Canada, for your changing the flight I'm on -- same as you'd charge me if I changed my flight.
I'm going to a scientific conference in Canada. I bought the ticket six months in advance in hopes of getting a low fare and times I wanted, and whoops, today, I got a note from Air Canada saying they'd changed my itinerary.
My flight, carefully booked to leave at 8:45 a.m. and getting in at 11:30 a.m. so I'd have the day at home to write, is now leaving at 10 a.m. and getting in at 1 p.m.
This change may not seem like much to somebody who isn't a writer, but your brain tends to be in its prime earlier in the day. Later in the day, mine's for shit for any sort of science writing, column writing, book writing.
I noticed in my original booking that there was this message (which they cleverly didn't include in the PDF of my changed itinerary they just sent me).
Prior to day of departure - Change fee per transaction, per passenger, is $200 USD plus applicable taxes and any additional fare difference. Changes can be made up to 2 hours prior to departure.
So, how come they aren't giving me $200 for their "prior to day of departure" change?
Unintended Consequences Of Regulation Come Home To Bark
After my beloved little Yorkie, Lucy, died at age 15, my life had a giant doggie hole in it.
Gregg told me he'd get me another dog.
But a dog, for me, is like a child, and I didn't want just any doggie. I wanted another extraordinary dog, like Lucy, who was gorgeous and just a wonderful little doggie spirit.
My wee Chinese Crested, Aida, came from a breeder -- one who requires 10 pages of documentation, references (including our vet's phone number), and had three long conversations with my boyfriend and me before they decided we could have one of their dogs. Their dogs are genetically tested (and registered with CERF and OFA) to see that they don't breed carriers of genetic diseases with other carriers.
People who want a dog on those terms -- and I would only be interested in a breeder who operates on those terms -- will get one. People who don't care aren't going to start caring because they can't get a puppy at a pet store -- which you probably can't in LA, unless one gets dumped off at a shelter.
Per a 2014 LA Times story by Kate Linthicum, the idiots on the LA City Council voted 12 to 2 back in 2014 to ban pet stores from selling non-rescue dogs, cats and rabbits. They now are only allowed to sell animals that come from shelters, humane societies and registered rescue groups.
This is one of those showboat initiatives. Of course, anybody intelligent enough to cross streets without assistance doesn't think that stopping pet stores from selling animals would stop buyers of "puppy mill" animals -- or backyard breeders who don't know what they're doing. All anybody has to do is look on Craigslist or the Internet for numerous dogs.
Of course, the LA City Council didn't quite work this whole legislatey thing out -- even beyond the obvious bit above. From an LAT editorial from February 4:
The ordinance, which passed in late 2012, prompted an unforeseen zoning problem.
Many animals sold in "humane" stores are older, no longer puppies or kittens. Under the city's municipal zoning code, any pet store selling four or more dogs that are four months of age or older is deemed to be a kennel. While pet stores are allowed by right in commercial C2 zones, kennels are only allowed in industrial zones. The city planning department ordered that these humane stores not be considered kennels, but a lawsuit led the Los Angeles Superior Court to invalidate the order on the grounds that the planning department didn't have the authority to issue it.
It's time for all this legal growling to be put to rest. Most pet stores are in commercial areas because that's where people shop. And there's no good reason for humane stores not to be there as well. On Wednesday, the city council's Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee (PAW -- funny) recommended that the city pass an ordinance specifically exempting pet stores from falling under the definition of "kennel" in the zoning code even if the shops have four or more adult dogs. The council should have done that when it passed the humane store ordinance.
Loved this comment from Tito Flanders at the LAT's site:
Tito Flanders So, basically LA wants to force people to adopt pets that other people couldn't handle. Next up - an LA ordinance forcing people to take in foster children instead of having their own.
Linkie, and Linkietail.
From a tweet by Marian Call:
Just heard a gorgeous radio piece on a legally blind astronomer. Reminded me of my weekend cooking with a blind filmmaker.
We're pretty sure we have numerous legally blind drivers on the streets of Los Angeles.
Hail Of SJW Stupid
Sonny Bunch writes in the Free Beacon of the Coen brothers' fabulous Huh? response to criticism of the whiteness of the cast of their new film, "Hail, Caesar!":
Brothers Ethan and Joel Coen laid bare the absurdity of this thinking in an interview with the Daily Beast:
I asked the Coens to respond to criticisms that there aren't more minority characters in the film. In other words, why is #HailCaesarSoWhite?
"Why would there be?" countered Joel Coen. "I don't understand the question. No--I understand that you're asking the question, I don't understand where the question comes from."
Nigel M. Smith gets into the follow-up in The Guardian:
Asked by the Daily Beast's Jen Yamato to respond to the criticism leveled at the film's casting, Joel said: "It's an absolute, absurd misunderstanding of how things get made to single out any particular story and say, 'Why aren't there this, that, or the other thing? It's a fundamental misunderstanding of how stories are written. So you have to start there and say, 'You don't know what you're talking about.'"
"You don't sit down and write a story and say, 'I'm going to write a story that involves four black people, three Jews, and a dog' -- right?" Joel continued. "If you don't understand that, you don't understand anything about how stories get written and you don't realize that the question you're asking is idiotic. It's not an illegitimate thing to say there should be more diversity in an industry. But that's not what that question is about. That question is about something else."
Ethan concurred, adding: "It's important to tell the story you're telling in the right way, which might involve black people or people of whatever heritage or ethnicity - or it might not."
Helen Mirren explains to The Guardian's Ben Child why Idris Elba wasn't nominated for his performance in Netflix child-soldier drama Beasts of No Nation:
"He [Idris] wasn't nominated because not enough people saw, or wanted to see, a film about child soldiers in Somalia or the Congo or somewhere like that," said the 70-year-old, who was promoting her role as Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper in new film Trumbo. "They just couldn't face watching that movie and so not enough people saw that movie. It wasn't in the cinema for long enough."
The TSA's Ridiculous -- And Meaningless -- Chortling About All The Guns They Steal From Passengers
Smart piece at Lew Rockwell by Becky Akers about something I've long understood -- that it is just ridiculous for the TSA to take the firearms of people who inadvertently bring them in their bag.
Or to prohibit guns on planes to begin with.
Before 9/11, before any of us gave much thought to Islam, we thought hijackers wanted a bag of money and a safe passage to a country that doesn't extradite. The day after 9/11, we all knew the score. Passengers would tackle any passenger who was trying to take over the plane.
And the cockpit doors are locked, anyway.
Part of the government's propaganda on aviation is that guns are bad, even worse than they are on the ground. But not a shred of evidence confirms this, at least that I can find (and if any of you know of pertinent studies or stats, please alert me): it's simply more of the scorn politicians and bureaucrats hurl at the Second Amendment.
Indeed, weapons would come in mighty handy were hijackers to attack a plane, especially since passengers are among the TSA's 20 vaunted "layers of protection"--though one it has stripped of every defense but our fingernails. (By the way, catch this brilliance from one of those disgusted "layers": "...I re-read Kippie's [Kip Hawley, formerly the TSA's Head Cheese] testimony.
It's now clear to me that Kippie included 'passengers' as Layer #20 in order to someday be able to blame us for an in-flight security failure. 'Unfortunately, Senator, Layer #20 failed yesterday, which is why the airplane got hijacked. All other 19 layers directly under my control performed perfectly.' I don't know about anyone else, but I don't remember either volunteering for for [sic] or being drafted into the TSA." Indeed!)
Alas, neither facts nor logic matter when Our Rulers or Their Lapdogs mount the soapbox against our guns. USAToday reliably wags its finger at all the "people [who] claim they just 'forgot' they had a firearm in their bag."
But it may want to scold another group that misplaces its guns far more often than we do: the thugs at the Department of Homeland Security. "DHS had over 188,000 firearms issued over eight component agencies..."; in 31 months, 165 of those went missing. That may amount "to less than one-tenth of a single percent"-but compare that average to passengers'. With something like 720 million "emplanements" every year, and the TSA's finding only 2654 guns in 2015, we score a mere .0000376%. (Yes, yes, I know: we must multiply to compensate for the 95% that eluded the TSA. But that still keeps us well under the DHS's level.)
Black Icy Links.
I'm So Adult
My Chinese Crested seems unsympathetic to my need to make up for lack of troll dolls in my childhood.
Finland's National TV Teaches Women Super Secret Rape-Stopping Hand Motion
Yes, that's right -- stick out your hand in a halt motion.
According to Finnish TV, that's all you need to do to avoid being raped by one of those migrants who are told by imams that women who aren't walking around under tablecloths are "uncovered meat," good for the rapin'.
That worked well for this 14-year-old Finnish girl, raped by two Afghan "asylum seekers."
Here's the bizarre rape-"prevention" video Finland's state TV station came out:
Apparently, there's also a Star Wars version somebody posted to YouTube, but I can't find it. Please post the link if you can find it, and I'll put it up.
Oh, and Mohammed encouraged raping non-Muslim women.
Yes, though I'm an atheist, I see that there's a, you know, wee difference between the Christian prophet I don't believe in and the Muslim one I don't believe in.
Yes, Christians have done horrible things to my peeps, the Jews, throughout history, but at the moment, Christians are about as dangerous to my being gunned down in a Paris cafe as astrology buffs are.
Her KitKat bar, part of an eight-pack, was missing the wafer. It was solid chocolate.
(I know -- the horror...the horror.)
The 20-year-old British law student, Saima Ahmad, is now threatening to sue Nestle, demanding a lifetime supply of KitKats -- or they'll face her legal action.
First problem: KitKats are seriously shitty chocolate.
Second problem: This isn't like finding a rat's foot in there.
From an ITV story via @WalterOlson:
The student admitted she is "trying her luck", adding "if you don't ask you don't get."
The basis of her demand -- her claim of "monetary and emotional" loss:
"They go about advertising the unique concept of KitKat, but I'm so disappointed by what I have purchased," she said.
Modern life is an easier life in so many ways, and I mostly love that -- except for how it seems that the helicopter-parented generation coming up now is basically cotton candy with legs.
Campus Rape: Are the Accused Being Treated Unfairly?
My recent talk with law professor and Instapundit blogger Glen Reynolds:
My Boyfriend Raped Me Hello Again Last Night
Under "affirmative consent" rules on campus rules, each sexual act must be preceded by a request for consent. From a New Republic piece by Batya Ungar-Sargon:
Even within an existing relationship, verbal consent must be given. Must two married college students verbally consent to each other? The law stipulates the rather awkward condition that affirmative consent must be "ongoing throughout a sexual activity." Must a couple stop at every stage to reaffirm their consent?
But there is a larger problem at stake in Bill 967. It is an argument of definition: A failure to procure "affirmative agreement" means that sexual assault has taken place.
Hans Bader writes at NCFMCarolinas.com:
As lawyer Scott Greenfield notes, progressive law professors have submitted a controversial proposal to the American Law Institute that the Model Penal Code be radically changed to require affirmative "consent" throughout society, for both "sexual intercourse" and a broader range of "sexual contact."
On page 69 of their draft, they explicitly admit that this affirmative "consent" requirement would classify as sexual assault even many "passionately wanted" instances of sex (presumably because of the technicality that such mutually-wanted sexual intercourse is welcomed after -- not affirmatively consented to before -- the sex is initiated).
Perversely, they justify this massive invasion of people's sex lives as supposedly protecting people's sexual "autonomy" from potentially unwanted sex, even though their proposal goes well beyond banning unwanted sex, to banning sex that was in fact "passionately wanted" although not agreed to in advance.
Pretend, for a moment, that this has been passed.
Well, on Monday night, my boyfriend blew through the doorway and kissed me -- without any sort of petitioning of me as to whether I would be interested this activity.
I could have called the police and had him arrested. However, he had arrived with three Sous Vide-ed steaks and other fixins for dinner, so I must confess that I kept my mouth shut -- that is, until it was time to hoist a fork with a delightful looking piece of rare steak on it.
P.S. My actual policy has always been: Ask me if you can kiss me and the answer becomes no. (Ya big pussy.)
What's Broken Isn't College Housing: Pernicious Move To Segregate Black Males At U Conn
Martin Luther King and Ruby Bridges, never mind. Black people are being segregated again, and it's being put forth as a good thing.
At Fox News, Cody Derespina writes:
Faced with alarmingly low graduation rates for black males, the University of Connecticut is trying something it calls bold -- and critics call segregation.
The school's main campus in Storrs has launched a program slated for fall in which 40 black male undergraduates live together in on-campus housing. Proponents believe the students can draw on their common experiences and help each other make it to commencement. But others cringe at the idea of black-only housing, saying it turns decades of hard-fought racial progress on its head.
"Forget about this nonsense and just treat students without regard to skin color," President and General Counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity Roger Clegg told Insidehighered.com. "If there are students of color who are at risk or who could use some access to special programs, that's fine, but schools shouldn't be using race as a proxy for who's at risk and who's going to have a hard time as a student. There are lots of African-American students who come from advantaged backgrounds. And lots of non-African-American students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds."
What makes the difference for black people -- or any people -- is class, not race, and coming from a stable, two-parent home. And 67 percent of black children are growing up in single-parent homes, which often means impoverished homes.
When you have a mother and a father in your home, there's a support system that's not there in a single-parent home. Your mother, because she isn't a single woman working insane hours to support children she's left daddyless, can do as mine did and advocate for your education, as mine did. And your father can go to your junior high school when you're bullied to lean on the principal to do something, as mine did.
And you are less likely to end up poor and attending some failing school in the inner city.
By the way, I grew up with black people who were top achievers in school and I believe went on to Harvard. And who were from a wealthier neighborhood than I was. They didn't need segregated anything, because it's not about race -- really it's not.
And pretending that you can fix the results of poor schooling and affirmative action (putting black students in schools too advanced for them out of a desire for "diversity") by shoving a bunch of black men on one hall...it's depressingly ridiculous.
Also, out in the real world, life tends not to be segregated. College, of course, is less and less about preparing students for the real world and more about preparing them for a life of constant coddling.
In the drawing room with potting soil.
Solitary Confinement Is A Form Of Torture At Sharp Odds With Our Evolved Psychology
We are people who evolved in small bands, living cooperatively with others, meaning our minds are adapted for social living -- being amongst others.
Evolutionary psychologist and psychiatrist Randy Nesse (though I can't find the exact reference on deadline day morning) contends that we, in fact, seem to have a deep psychological need to be around others. In fact, it seems to be essential to our psychological health, which is why solitary confinement is a horrible punishment that we need to stop using.
Here is one quote from Randy, from his paper, "Emotional disorders in evolutionary perspective," from 1998:
Many authors have noted that for humans, the main reproductive resources are social resources, and much of life is spent in social efforts (Alexander, 1974; Cronin, 1993; Humphrey, 1976). That solitary confinement is worse even than most prisons, is a telling fact about human nature.
The New York Times editorial board rightly lauded President Obama for barring federal prisons from holding juveniles in solitary confinement and making big changes in how solitary is used throughout the federal prison system:
By taking a new course at the federal level, Mr. Obama hopes to accelerate changes that are already underway in many state and local corrections systems.
Solitary confinement, which is often used arbitrarily and to punish minor rule infractions, is a form of torture. It is psychologically damaging even to healthy people and increases the likelihood of suicide among the young and the mentally ill.
Announcing the new policy in an op-ed essay in The Washington Post, Mr. Obama wrote: "The United States is a nation of second chances, but the experience of solitary confinement too often undercuts that second chance. Those who do make it out often have trouble holding down jobs, reuniting with family and becoming productive members of society. Imagine having served your time and then being unable to hand change over to a customer or look your wife in the eye or hug your children."
He cited the shameful case of Kalief Browder, who was arrested in New York City at the age of 16 in 2010 and jailed for three years without trial for allegedly stealing a backpack. Mr. Browder spent two of those years in solitary confinement, endured "unspeakable violence at the hands of inmates and guards" and tried to kill himself several times. He was released in 2013, but never fully recovered, and he hanged himself last year.
I'm not a fan of this president, but this is a case where he has done the right thing -- and a very essential and humane right thing.
Prisoners also need to be protected from harm, especially rape, but from other forms of violence, too. There's sometimes a sneering that you go to prison; you deserve whatever happens there, but that is disgusting "cruel and unusual punishment" -- unconstitutional and a black mark on our society and humanity.
If prisoners need to be protected or punished, as the President notes in the WaPo op-ed, there needs to be another way -- something other than solitary.
Welcome To History, Ladies!
Charlotte Allen blogs at IWF about the recent mewling that Disney princesses aren't yakkity enough.
Researchers found that men are speaking, oh, 68 percent of the time in Little Mermaid, and so on.
Charlotte quotes this line -- which led to the title of my post:
There are no women leading the townspeople to go against the Beast, no women bonding in the tavern together singing drinking songs, women giving each other directions, or women inventing things.
As Charlotte put it:
I love the bit about "women inventing things." Because in real life women invented the airplane, the steam engine, the automobile, the mechanical harvester, the sewing machine, the typewriter, the radio, the television, the electric light bulb, the grammophone, and the computer.
I'm always sort of amazed when women fall all over themselves to laud women in history -- simply because they are women. Women may have achieved a number of things, but generally, there's a sort of unwarranted female promotion going on far beyond women's actual achievement.
Cufflinks for gorillas.
The Train Instead Of The Plane (Or The Car)
I just got back from a great social science conference -- the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference (SPSP) -- down in San Diego.
I get carsick -- from my own driving, just across LA -- and thanks, but I don't have a brain tumor or Meniere's or need an Epley to get my otoliths repositioned. I just have a stone age brain that has always done poorly with car, plane, and boat (horrors!) travel.
Dramamine? For me, that's like trying to knock down a building by throwing pebbles at it.
The patch works pretty well, but makes me groggy and sort of stupid for days.
I did find a drug not sold in the USA, Serc, that helps, but not entirely. The cool thing is that I can drive on it. The bad thing is the worry I have in ordering drugs from weird pharmacies in Canada or overseas.
Taking the train (Amtrak, in this case) is another big help. It's also a lot of fun and much more comfortable than driving. And I loved seeing the train stations, out of other eras, on each end. These are from the San Diego train station.
Oh, and the ride along the coast on this train -- the Surfliner -- is supposed to be beautiful, but I slept both ways, almost all the way there and back. And in case you're wondering, it was $37 each way for an unreserved, plush and very nice coach seat with Wifi, which was also a huge bargain over driving down and having to pay for parking for three days.
And I checked two bags -- one of luggage and another of books and textbooks publishers gave me that I brought back -- and had a small carry-on. All wheeled. No problemski!