Got Your MBA?
Beware of signage that can easily be subtracted from -- from a photo by Phil Miller (used with permission):
Make Pols Pay For Special Elections After They Resign In Disgrace
Elections are expensive. Here in Los Angeles, they hold them this month and that (like to replace a politician who resigns), not thinking of combining them to save money. (It's only taxpayer money, after all!)
Well, in NYC, Anthony Weiner's rival in the race for mayor is rightly demanding that he pony up the $350K for the cost of the special election require to fill his hastily vacated congressional seat. David Seifman writes at the NYPost:
Weiner resigned under pressure in June 2011 after it was disclosed he was tweeting lewd pictures of himself to women he'd met on the Internet.
In the special election held that September to replace him, Republican Bob Turner pulled off a stunning upset victory over Democrat David Weprin.
Taxpayers were stuck with the $350,000 election tab, according to former Brooklyn Councilman Sal Albanese, a longshot mayoral contender who hasn't been shy about taking sharp jabs at his better-known opponents.
Sal is self-interested, but this time, his self interest happens to coincide with that of the taxpayers.
You Can Buy More As A Star Than Mansions And Fancy Cars
I like the way Zach Galifianakis spends his money. He was friends with a woman who worked at his local laundromat, and when he found out she was homeless, he bought her a one-bedroom apartment.
This was just in the news because he took the woman, 87-year-old Elizabeth "Mimi" Haist, to the Hangover III premiere, as his date.
This sure beats news about stars showing us their hoohoos as they get out of limos.
Our Eroding Civil Liberties: Obama's War Against The Free Press
People who are still under the impression that Obama is so much more wunnnnderful than that evil Bush are thick in the head.
As you can see from searching my blog, I was no Bush fan. Far from it.
But not being partisan, I can also see how dangerous Obama has been and will likely continue to be for this country -- while all the while professing to be better and more transparent than that.
J.D. Tucille writes at reason that Obama's war against the free press has gotten creepier:
Perhaps the most chilling aspect of the U.S. Department of Justice "investigation" of Fox News chief correspondent James Rosen isn't the intrusive tracking of his movements and contacts -- although that's disturbing enough -- but the basis for the criminal charges he may ultimately face.
At its heart, the allegation that Rosen broke the law "at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator" is based on nothing more than meeting with and asking questions of government adviser Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, who told him the non-shocking information that North Korea could very well respond to United Nations sanctions with more nuclear tests.
That's right. Meeting an official and asking questions, which is what journalists do, is interpreted as criminal conspiracy. Taken with the already brewing scandal over the snooping of Associated Press phone records, we're looking at a full-fledged assault on the free press.
Naps For Nursery Schoolers And 40-Something Women
I napped in nursery school and I've taken up the practice again, about every four or five hours. I wake up at 5 am most days to write, take nap number one in the late morning, and then nap number two in the early afternoon.
I nap for about the same time (26 minutes, with a minute to get settled) as Dr. Winter, a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (who apparently has no first name, as quoted by Heidi Mitchell in the WSJ):
Routine Naps A scheduled nap is healthier than catching up on or banking sleep. "Because sleep extension can make you feel groggy, I always recommend a short nap, at the same time, every day," if a person feels they need it, says Dr. Winter. He adds that 25 minutes is ideal. He tracks his alphawaves and sleep quality with a Zeo device, and sets his Sound Oasis machine to wake him after 25 minutes. "When you schedule a short nap, your body anticipates it and slows down, without falling into a deep dream sleep," he says. That refreshing, scheduled break is better than an occasional, disruptive weekend lie-in. "The body likes routine," he says. "When it's prepared, it works more efficiently."
I once took a single class of yoga I took -- and loathed it.
What I did learn from it is how to slow down my breathing.
The key, for me, is not to focus on trying to fall asleep but just on the breathing, and then I just do.
Napping, for me, is like a reboot. If I can even get in three or five minutes, I seem cognitively refreshed. Pretty amazing.
If I had a business where employees came, I'd have an employee nap room.
From the amber waves of grain to the college kegs of grain alcohol...
Big savings in sports and outdoor stuff at Amazon. Up to 70 percent off some things.
Creepy Clown Car: Better Than A Car Alarm
Creep the n'er-do-wells out of trying to rob you.
Photo by Gregg Sutter
Does a baby feminist get her wings everytime another one uses the phrase "old white man" as an insult? #CueTheChillGirlAccusation
"The Asscam Has Been Invented"
Title from a @xeni tweet. And do heed her warnings at the end of her tweet:
Nicky Da B "Go Loko": music video, dir @ClaytonCubitt (NSFW, Seizure Warning)
TSA Thugocracy Invents A Crime After Judge Rules There Wasn't One
The right to free speech is protected by our Constitution, but -- whoops -- all the people going compliantly through the TSA "security" checkpoints have shown them that they can crumple up the Constitution at the airport door.
Rarely a peep out of the flying sheeple or any of the people.
Sit back and enjoy the TV, everybody!
Well, there's a cost to that sort of thing, and it's the continuing erosion of our constitutional rights, and peevishness on the part of the TSA thugocracy when they don't get their way with us.
A case in point is that of the Portland man, John E. Brennan, who, most admirably, stripped down while going through a checkpoint to protest the disgusting and ridiculously invasive TSA "security" measures. Aimee Green writes in The Oregonian that a judge acquitted him last year, but his legal troubles continue:
But the Northeast Portland man's legal headaches continue.
Brennan made national headlines a year ago when smartphone photos went viral showing him standing near a metal detector without a stitch on and then again when a Multnomah County circuit judge determined he was just exercising his free speech.
On Tuesday, Brennan will be back before a judge, appealing a Transportation Security Administration attempt to fine him $1,000 for allegedly breaking a federal rule stating passengers may not "interfere with, assault, threaten, or intimidate" TSA screeners.
"I've had this cloud hanging over my head ... for months and months," said Brennan, 50, who was notified of the $1,000 fine in August.
Robert Callahan, a Portland attorney who has taken on Brennan's case pro bono, said the TSA is going after Brennan "because they didn't like to lose."
It's disgusting -- but not at all surprising -- that this is happening. Without protests from the people, government will just grow bigger and bolder. And one naked guy just isn't enough.
Oh, and he seems to have lost his job at Seagate Technology over this. I'm sorry to say I have a Seagate drive. In the future, that's not going to happen.
Support those who support our rights -- in whatever way you can.
And stand up for our rights -- before they're no longer our rights.
Stupid Thief Tricks
The alleged thief of Virginia Maiden's Toyota 4-Runner pulled up in it to the drive-in window at McDonald's, where Maiden works. Lee Moran writes in the New York Daily News that it was just hours afterward that the Toyota rolled up to the McDonald's:
Maiden called the cops and the 22-year-old driver, Katherine York, was detained before she could even make it out of the parking lot.
A male passenger was also taken in, but later found to be unconnected to the theft, reports KEPR-TV.
Cops said they found a "large amount" of clothing, complete with security tags, that had previously been stolen from JCPenney and Sears in the vehicle.
York was booked into the Benton County jail, reports the Tri-City Herald.
Look, it's a pipe bomb. Meerschaum, I believe.
Advice Goddess Radio ("Best Of" Replay): Tonight, 7-8pm PT -- Fred Hahn On Science-Based Fitness: How To Be Healthier A Fitness Fanatic With Only 15 Minutes Of Exercise
Amy Alkon's Advice Goddess Radio: "Nerd Your Way To A Better Life!" with the best brains in science.
My wee doggie was sick, and this consumed much of my week, so I'm sorry to say I have a rerun for you this week -- but a very good one.
On this show, exercise trainer and rehab expert Fred Hahn explains why slow-speed strength training for just a few minutes a week will make you healthier than a fitness nut who spends their week running miles upon miles in the rain and hours in the gym. (He lays out fascinating and solid evidence throughout the show.)
Listen at this link at 7pm Pacific, 10pm Eastern, or download the podcast afterward:
Fred is co-author, with Dr. Michael Eades and Dr. Mary Dan Eades, whom I greatly respect, of The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution: The Slow-Motion Exercise That Will Change Your Body In 30 Minutes A Week.
He debunks all the myths most of us hold about exercise and fitness, and will leave you with a plan for exercise that will strengthen your heart and bones and increase your metabolism, and will only eat 12-15 minutes of your week.
This is a not-to-be-missed show. This method of exercise has improved my health and my life and I'm hoping you'll follow my lead.
And don't miss last week's show with Kinsey Institute researcher and evolutionary biologist Dr. Justin Garcia, co-author with Dr. Peter B. Gray of the encyclopedic new book, Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior.
This show will help you improve your sex life and diminish sexual anxiety with the latest research on sex.
We talk about orgasms, fantasies, hooking up, what's changed about oral sex, how people can make Internet dating work better for them, how the proliferation of porn really affects the average person's sex life, and whether you can be better in bed -- and how -- among other topics.
Garcia has done fascinating studies on sex and will debunk some widely held myths with straight talk about who's doing what to whom, how things have changed, and how we can do better with a few shifts in our thinking in various areas.
Listen or download the podcast at this link:
Join me and my fascinating guests every Sunday, 7-8 p.m. Pacific Time, 10-11 p.m. Eastern Time, here at blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher.
Probable Bullshit: Story Of Rich Manhattan Moms "Renting" The Disabled To Jump Lines At Disney
"Lesley" writes a detailed post about why at XOJane:
HAVE YOU BEEN OUTRAGED BY THIS YET? Unfortunately, you're probably angry for all the wrong reasons.
...1. There is no way this is a common practice.
Basically the Post has taken the story of one Manhattan mother and extrapolated it to mean that renting disabled people is rampant amongst the rich as a means of administering yet another kick to the teeth of the little guy who probably saved for their big family Disney vacation for the past three years.
If you read the Post story closely, the evidence is that there is ONE disabled tour guide who works for one particular company -- who, indeed, is a co-owner of said company -- and that her contact information may have been shared amongst a few people. (The tour company's co-owner told the Post that his partner has an auto-immune disorder and confirmed that she does use a motorized scooter to access the parks.) This is HARDLY the same thing as wealthy Manhattan socialites jetting down to Orlando and choosing a disabled tour guide from a specially-designed "black market" service to provide them.
2. It wouldn't work anyway.
The belief that using a wheelchair or scooter lets you skip epic lines at the theme parks is a thoroughly popular one, but just because people believe it doesn't make it so. The truth is, most of Disney's ride queues are indeed wheels-accessible these days, thanks to efforts on the part of the company to improve access. And the only reason disabled guests and their parties EVER get to skip a line is because they are physically prevented from using the regular queue space -- just being disabled does not get you a head-of-the-line pass.
The worst offender for inaccessible queues is the Magic Kingdom park, simply because it is also the oldest, and updates have been slower to catch up. For the newer parks, like Disney's Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom and even Epcot, very few of the rides require disabled guests to use a different entrance.
We're so quick to believe stories of the evil rich, people's skepticism filters automatically go to the "off" position.
Via @WalterOlson who posts links to the pieces by other skeptics here.
marco73 comments at overlawyered:
This story sure sounds too good to check. You can hire a Disney employee to personally escort your group anywhere in any of the DisneyWorld parks, jumping to the front of every line, and providing entertaining knowledge to boot. We've taken a couple escorted tours, and the experience is worth every penny.
Why would you bother with having to drag around some stranger for $1000 per day, when you can have a real tour guide for a lot less?
Do reporters ever do any diligence? Oh, yes, the reporter called Disney a couple times and Disney never called back.
Maybe they should have just checked the Disney website.
All The Little Subservient Citizens, All In A Row
Ben Boychuk writes in the Sac Bee that the government is delegitimizing itself with all of these recent scandals (Benghazi, Holder's "I dunno" about the AP phone records sweep, the IRS abuse of power).
Obama picked a particularly bad time, in his OSU commencement address, to make the case for the virtues of collective government action:
"Unfortunately," he said, "you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner."
Talk about bad timing.
"You should reject these voices," the president continued. "Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can't be trusted."
Who is this "we" about whom the president speaks? Is it the elected official or the career bureaucrat? Of course they can't be trusted. They prove it every day, and again this week.
And although our "experiment in self-rule" isn't necessarily a sham, Obama's airy description surely is. Self-rule doesn't mean filling out umpteen forms for Obamacare, or letting a federal bureaucrat dictate how you can use your private property, or acceding to thousands upon thousands of incomprehensible rules and regulations, or getting another pat down at the airport. The proper word for that isn't self-rule, but subservience.
What We're Really Protecting In Afghanistan
Via Martin, Ben Anderson posts his Afghan War Diary on vice.com:
Transition is the fourth and final stage of NATO's counterinsurgency policy, but it isn't supposed to happen until the Taliban have been cleared out, infrastructure has been built up, and the Afghan security forces have been trained and recruited to the point where they are ready to take over without outside support.
After spending five weeks in Sangin, it was obvious to me that Afghan security was nowhere near ready. I'd seen policemen so high on heroin they couldn't stand up straight or tie sandbags, and soldiers firing hundreds of rockets, bullets, and grenades at the smallest of suspicious movements in the desert--"Fuck them, they are all Taliban here," one blurted out when he was told to stop shooting at a father and son--and on at least six different occasions, the use of child soldiers.
The Afghan Police was still active, too, kidnapping civilians for ransom or as bargaining chips in prisoner exchanges. Weapons, fuel, and equipment NATO had supplied to the Afghan National Army were being sold at the local bazaar, and "ghosts"--officers who technically didn't exist--filled police payroll sheets. "Have you ever seen The Sopranos?" said Major Bill Steuber, the marine in charge of the police-advisory team, describing the corruption. "It's vast."
Worst of all, police commanders were routinely abducting young men and using them as "chai boys," house servants who were also kept as sex slaves. In separate incidents, three of those boys had been shot dead while trying to escape. One was shot in the face and one was shot at police headquarters. When a fourth boy was shot, Steuber marched into the police chief's office and demanded action.
The police chief first said that the boys had chosen to live on the patrol bases: "They like being there and giving their asses at night." He also claimed that the practice of soldiers sexually abusing them was necessary. "If my commanders don't fuck these boys, who will they fuck? Their own grandmothers?"
In the description of paradise, Allah says that He has reserved young and beautiful boys as servants for those who qualify to enter the garden of paradise. This pleasure of child molestation is especially relevant to the Jihadis of today, who are dying just to have a real taste of paradise.
More here on the "prophet" Mohammed's "thighing" of little 6-year-old Aisha.
And from thereligionofpeace.com:
In fact, a fatwa was recently issued from a mainstream Islamic source reminding Muslim males of their divine right to rape female slaves and "discipline" resisters in "whatever manner he thinks is appropriate". Not one peep of protest from Islamic apologists was recorded. In 2011, what passes for a women's rights activist in Kuwait suggested that Russian women be taken captive in battle and turned into sex slaves in order to keep Muslim husbands from committing adultery. (Other calls for turning non-Muslim women into sex slaves can be found here). Since Muhammad was a slave owner and slavery is permitted by the Qur'an, the Muslim world has never apologized for this dehumanizing practice. Even Muslims in the West will often try to justify slavery under Islam, since it is a part of the Qur'an.
Americans are dying in Afghanistan for this?
Remember the scene with the chocolates? Fill 'er up!
A Self-Help Book That's Truly Helpful
I get a lot of self-help books in the mail for my behavioral science-based radio show and I have to say, lately, I've been very disappointed. I've got quite a stack of books that have nothing really extraordinary or very helpful to say.
Well, I bought a book on Kindle the other day (and I'm quoting it in a column) and I have to say, it contains truly helpful and practical advice on time management.
The book is Time Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule -- and Your Life, by Julie Morgenstern, and I've been emailing back and forth with her assistant to try to find a date in June to have her on my radio show.
I tend to try to fit too much into an hour and run late, and some of her insights have helped me rejigger my thinking in ways that will help me have an easier time being on time.
Boyfriendism Of The Day
Gregg calls vitamins "all these little crackpot pills you make me take."
Gotta keep the man alive!
Choices, Choices, Choices: Why Women Earn Less Than Men
We've been through this here before, but this video has good explanation from Prof. Steven Horwitz of St. Lawrence University about how the pay differences flow from men's and women's choices.
Sure, there is a wage gap -- of about 2 percent, when you take away choices like having children and taking time off to care for them, and compare comparable men and women:
Texas Catch 22 "Morality" Clause: Unmarried And Dating People Can't Live Together -- And Gay People Can't Marry
Anna Waugh writes at DallasVoice.com:
MCKINNEY -- Page Price and Carolyn Compton have been together for almost three years, but a Collin County judge is forcing them apart.
Judge John Roach Jr., a Republican who presides over the 296th District Court, enforced the "morality clause" in Compton's divorce papers on Tuesday, May 7. Under the clause, someone who has a "dating or intimate relationship" with the person or is not related "by blood or marriage" is not allowed after 9 p.m. when the children are present. Price was given 30 days to move out of the home because the children live with the couple.
Price posted about the judge's ruling on Facebook last week, writing that the judge placed the clause in the divorce papers because he didn't like Compton's "lifestyle."
"Our children are all happy and well adjusted. By his enforcement, being that we cannot marry in this state, I have been ordered to move out of my home," Price wrote.
...Ken Upton Jr., senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal's Dallas office, said he is familiar with the case. He said morality clauses are rarely enforced and were historically used to prevent unmarried people from cohabitating with children present. Courts often include the clauses without people knowing, especially in conservative areas like Collin County, he said.
Gay couples are unfairly targeted under the clause because they can't legally marry in Texas, Upton said.
...The couple can appeal the decision, which would likely be overturned. Upton said many appeals courts look at the relationship and if it causes any harm to the children in deciding whether to honor the morality clause. Being that the couple already lives together with a healthy environment for the kids, Upton said they stand a good chance to win on appeal.
If the couple decides to appeal, he said the case could set an example in Texas for how courts will interpret the clause for gay couples.
"This could be an important case in Texas," he said. "I think it's a case to watch."
The situation is similar to a 2011 Houston case where a judge ruled that William Flowers couldn't leave his children alone with his partner, Jim Evans, because they were not related by blood or adoption, despite the couple being married. Had he ruled under the morality clause, the partner would have had to move out.
Sometimes Mumbo Jumbo Is Just Mumbo Jumbo
In Pat Condell's latest video, he talks about a letter from a Christian telling him he needs "a more nuanced view of the transcendent."
Does anybody really understand what that means?
Religion "transcends common sense" and reality, he notes, "protecting nonsense from examination":
And he doesn't use the exact term, but he's talking about pathological altruism -- when religious people do evil in the name of religion.
Advice Goddess Free Swim
You pick the topics. A little exhausted Friday night. I'll post more on Saturday morning.
P.S. One link per comment or my spam filter will eat your post.
TSA Has Its Hands In Your Panties But US Marshals Had No Idea Where Two "Known Or Suspected" Terrorists Were
Ryan J. Reilly writes at HuffPo:
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Marshals Service gave new names and identities to "known or suspected" terrorists admitted to the witness protection program and allowed them to fly on commercial airlines, despite the fact that they were on the TSA's "no-fly" list, an internal Justice Department investigation found.
The DOJ Inspector General report released Thursday also found that the Marshals lost track of two former known or suspected terrorists who had left the federal Witness Security Program. The DOJ has now tracked down all the current members of the WITSEC program and has determined where the two terrorism-linked individuals who left the program are located, a DOJ official told reporters.
..."There is no threat to public safety," another Justice Department official said. "To-date, the FBI has not identified a national security threat tied to participation of terrorism-linked witnesses in the WITSEC program."
But the critical IG report said the Marshals had not involved other national security stakeholders in the WITSEC process. It also found "significant deficiencies in the handling of known or suspected terrorists" admitted into the program. Because the TSA was not told about the WITSEC participants' new identities, "it was possible for known or suspected terrorists to fly on commercial airplanes in or over the United States and evade one of the government's primary means of identifying and tracking terrorists' movements and actions," the report stated.
Yes, the people we should be taking a serious look at we ignore, while treating every other American who needs to board a plane as if they've been to al Qaeda training camp -- even if they're 6 and disabled.
Viagra? To Know Or Not To Know?...
If you're a woman, and you aren't exactly 20, and a man you've just started dating (also not exactly 20) is taking those little blue pills...do you need to know? Do you think you should?
The War On Drugs Is Working -- But Only To Rid Taxpayers Of Hundreds Of Billions Of Their Dollars
Via Jason S., Serena Dai lays out a chart by filmmaker Matt Groff on theatlanticwire that shows that while drug war spending has climbed astronomically since 1970, the drug addition rate has remained pretty much the same.
As you can see, while the blue illicit drug addiction rate line has remained relatively steady at about 1.3 percent, the green line for drug control spending has skyrocketed. The increased spending did not correlate to lower addiction rates. "Drug use and abuse exists on a spectrum and as a society we must accept that some portion of the population will be addicted to drugs even if we don't like it," Groff says.
More on the chart from Mike Riggs at reason:
A reader points out that the dollar amounts on the right Y axis don't add up to $1.5 trillion. The creator of the chart, documentary filmmaker Matt Groff, Tweeted the following in response to a question about where the $1.5 trillion figure comes from: "Short answer: chart shows only fed drug control, $1.5T refers to all costs assoc. w/ drug prohibition..."
Data Doesn't Support IRS Explanation For Scandal
From reason's newsfeed:
Applications for tax exemption from advocacy nonprofits had not yet spiked when the Internal Revenue Service began using what it admits was inappropriate scrutiny of conservative groups in 2010.
In fact, applications were declining, data show.
Top IRS officials have been saying that a "significant increase" in applications from advocacy groups seeking tax-exempt status spurred its Cincinnati office in 2010 to filter those requests by using such politically loaded phrases as "Tea Party," "patriots," and "9/12."
Jonathan H. Adler at Volokh on White House spokesperson Jay Carney's claim that the IRS is an "independent agency":
Ammon Simon offers more on this point here.
Not only is the IRS not an "independent" agency, but it appears that the substantial bonuses received by the head of the IRS tax-exempt division when the targeting of conservative groups occurred would have been approved by the White House because they exceeded $25,000. This official is now in charge of the IRS' Affordable Care Act office.
LinkedIn Snubs Prostitutes
How rude. And prissy.
It's your body -- sell it if you want to.
Sheri's Ranch, a brothel in Nevada, posted this:
"Legal prostitutes in Nevada are licensed and recognized by their county of employ as independent, taxpaying businesswomen. Nevada brothels are also licensed and recognized business establishments. These are legal businesses in reality, so why shouldn't they have a presence in virtual reality?"
Loved a blurb about this from reason: "You let politicians on here and not hookers?"
Excellent, excellent point.
More on Business Insider.
Follow the company -- Sheri's Ranch on LinkedIn. I just did.
Link, Link, Link Your Boat
Life is but a scream.