Probable Cause Is So 1789
That's the date James Madison introduced the Fourth Amendment in Congress.
The Tacoma police are having none of that. Merely existing with your cellphone in use is enough to get swept up in their giant data suck.
Kate Martin writes in the Tacoma News-Tribune:
The Tacoma Police Department apparently has bought -- and quietly used for six years -- controversial surveillance equipment that can sweep up records of every cellphone call, text message and data transfer up to a half a mile away.
You don't have to be a criminal to be caught in this law enforcement snare. You just have to be near one and use a cellphone.
Known as Stingray, the device -- small enough to be carried in a car -- tricks cellphones into thinking it's a cell tower and draws in their information.
News that the city was using the surveillance equipment surprised City Council members, who approved an update for a device last year, and prosecutors, defense attorneys and even judges, who in court deal with evidence gathered using the surveillance equipment.
...The devices are indiscriminate in the information they collect, and that bothers civil libertarians.
"They are essentially searching the homes of innocent Americans to find one phone used by one person," said Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist with the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C. "It's like they're kicking down the doors of 50 homes and searching 50 homes because they don't know where the bad guy is."
City Manager T.C. Broadnax said he does not know the specifics of what the police department bought. But he believes the department "adequately briefed the City Council on the particulars of what we were buying and how and when they would use it under certain circumstances."
"I'm not in law enforcement, but it's my impression that it assists them in doing their job more effectively, and that's to protect the public," Broadnax said.
Newsflash, Buttnax -- you don't protect the public by yanking away civil liberties.
That Awful "Moralistic Language Used To Describe Al Quaeda ... After The 9/11 Attacks"
Michael J. Boyle writes in The New York Times -- incredibly -- to chastise us for our mean language about Al Qaeda and other Islam-driven fundamentalist death cults:
PHILADELPHIA -- The beheading of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has rightly provoked global condemnation of the insurgent group and its horrific tactics. Yet it has also led to a disturbing return of the moralistic language once used to describe Al Qaeda in the panicked days after the 9/11 attacks.
In an eerie echo of President George W. Bush's description of the global war on terrorism as a campaign against "evildoers," President Obama described ISIS as a "cancer" spreading across the Middle East that had "no place in the 21st century." Secretary of State John Kerry condemned ISIS as the face of a "savage" and "valueless evil," while Britain's prime minister, David Cameron, called the group "barbaric."
They behead James Foley as easily as most of us step out for a latte. Yeah, that's "savage" and "barbaric" and, yes, "evil."
Boyle favors more of a Barbie's Dream House (with Burkas and beheadings) view of ISIS:
Unlike Al Qaeda, whose dreams of forming a caliphate were little more than mysticism and hyperbole, ISIS now occupies large swaths of Syria and Iraq, administering social services and running rudimentary Shariah courts in its claimed Islamic State. In other words, it operates less like a revolutionary terrorist movement that wants to overturn the entire political order in the Middle East than a successful insurgent group that wants a seat at that table.
Yes, poor dears...just a "successful insurgent group that wants a seat at that table."
And about those Shariah courts, Dave Urbanski at The Blaze writes:
"These militants will return us and our country hundreds of years backwards," Umm Mohammed, a 35-year-old teacher, told AFP, "and their laws are the opposite of the laws of human rights and international laws."
...They decreed in a 16-point document the prohibition of the selling and consumption of alcohol and drugs, smoking, carrying weapons, and gatherings. In addition, women are ordered to wear non-revealing clothes and keep to their homes -- and "shrines" are to be destroyed. In fact all depictions of people are considered idolatrous under their extreme interpretation of Islam, and gunmen have removed some statues from the city, including those of famous poets.
Linkie with an even dumber name.
"Je Vous Écoute": Well, Not From A Phone Booth In Paris, You're Not
End of an era in Paris -- the last of the phone booths are carted off. Photo by E. Tarr.
"Je vous écoute" -- "I'm listening to you" -- was the answering machine message of a guy I dated for a while in Paris. Love the brief outgoing messages. I quote my painter friend Max Ferguson's in "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck": "Machine, beep, etcetera."
I met Max back when I was living in New York. I called a wrong number -- Max's number -- thought he sounded interesting, and kept talking.
10 Acts Of Jihad In America That Americans Haven't Heard About
From Robert Spencer at JihadWatch. Here's one:
5. Florida: Muslim who threatened "2nd 911″ found guilty of terror charges
In mid-June, a Tampa Muslim named Sami Osmakac was convicted of plotting to bomb a Tampa bar and then blow himself up in a jihad-martyrdom suicide attack in another crowded area of the city. Osmakac said of non-Muslims: "We will go after every one of them, their kindergartens, their shopping centers, their nightclubs, their police stations, their courthouses and everything until we have an Islamic state the whole world."
Sura 9:5 from the Quran:
And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
The ridiculousness is our notion that we will stop the jihad commanded by Islam by repurposing Cinnabon workers, dressing them up in faux cop uniforms, and stationing them at airports to feel us up and violate our Fourth Amendment rights.
As I write here:
If the TSA's actual mission were its stated one - "protect(ing) the Nation's transportation systems" - checkpoints wouldn't be staffed by low-wage, unskilled workers, and they wouldn't be searching everyone. They certainly wouldn't be waiting until terrorists get to the airport to root them out. Meaningful measures to thwart terrorist acts require highly trained law enforcement officers using targeted intelligence to identify suspects long before they launch their plots.
No More Hugs
Randye Hoder writes in the LA Times about the new rules for camp counselors; they basically amount to "Don't go anywhere near the children!"
He quotes Karen Goldberg, director of youth and family programs at a local YMCA:
Times have changed. There are more lawsuits, more claims of sexual harassment and abuse. We have to be really careful.
From Hoder's piece:
"Don't hug the campers." That was among a handful of things that my 16-year-old son, Nathaniel, was told when he volunteered this summer at our local YMCA. Oh, and also, "Don't let any kids sit on your lap."
He had signed up to help shepherd and supervise a gaggle of 7- and 8-year-olds from the swimming pool to the arts and crafts studio to the playground to the basketball court.
Since everyone knows that kids naturally like to give and get hugs, Nathaniel was presented the directive to refrain with a visual demonstration. The director of the camp showed him how, if a cute little tyke came running at him with arms wide open in expectation of a hug, he was to pivot so as to be standing sideways toward the camper, put up his hand up and say, "High five!" The "high five," the director explained, was the best way to avoid torso-to-torso contact without hurting the camper's feelings.
... At our Y, the counselor in charge can't go and help her because the camper is now naked. Actually, it is two female counselors who cannot help her because of the rule that says no camper is ever to be left alone with just one. They have to try to talk her back into the suit -- a feat that, as any parent of young children can attest, has roughly the same odds of success as having her try to program a supercomputer. If, ultimately, the counselors have no choice but to lend a hand, they will have to fill out a report and the Y will notify a parent so that no misunderstanding about an inadvertent touch of the tush ensues.
What is most confounding, perhaps, is that we have layered on all this caution even though our kids are no more in danger now than they ever were.
Linkie post put up by a tired person who should be all back to life by Wednesday at some point.
I accidentally posted this on my blog instead of in "Columns," but I'll leave it up here. (Deadline day! Tired!)
My girlfriend of a year is really pretty and sweet, and we love all the same outdoor activities. However, I feel there's a ceiling on our connection because she lacks a strong personality of her own. Whenever we discuss something to do, she defers to me. Also, I care deeply about politics and ideas, but she doesn't read newspapers or books or develop her own opinions. Two days ago, I asked about something we'd just heard on the news, and she basically parroted my opinion back to me. I pressed her, saying, "But what do YOU think?" She couldn't answer. This led to my suggesting that maybe she needs to see a therapist to learn to open up more. She was pretty offended, and we haven't talked much since.
When you say to your girlfriend "So, what are your thoughts on the Middle East?" you'd rather she didn't respond, "Like, you mean, Philadelphia?"
It is nice that you both enjoy the same outdoor activities. Having shared interests can sometimes be essential. For example, a guy who lives to sail would find it a downer to date me. As I wrote in "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck," I have motion sickness issues, "which is to say I get carsick on any street with more than five turns in it -- for example, the winding mountain roads of Washington, DC."
But barring an obsessive attachment by one partner to a sport that, say, makes the other hurl her insides into the ocean for days, people put too much emphasis on having a lot of interests in common. You just need to have enough in common. And in addition to physical chemistry, you need to have what I call a crush on your partner as a human being. This means having respect and admiration for them and a sense of excitement about who they are and how they go about life. Respect is the opposite of contempt -- the sneering disgust for a partner that marriage researcher John Gottman finds is the biggest predictor a couple will divorce. And unfortunately, respect is also the antithesis of what you, as a guy who cares about politics, have for a woman whose favorite Supreme Court justice is probably Judge Judy.
The reality is, your girlfriend isn't going to lean back on some therapist's couch and find her opinion between the pillows -- at least not any time soon. Chances are, she has little innate curiosity and has maybe spent much of her life under the mistaken impression that you can keep a man by keeping mum and nodding yes. In the future, when you meet a woman, instead of just taking stock of all the reasons you'd work as a couple, look for reasons you wouldn't -- like if her peers as political thinkers appear to be your hamster and the paperweight that fell behind your desk. A woman who's right for you will take your thoughts, political and otherwise, and run with them and sometimes bring back something better -- making you better for being with her instead of making you suspect her skull contains only a goldfish swimming around a little castle and a couple of plastic plants.
"I Hope You Stop Giving Out Horribly Sexist Advice!"
This question below from my column is just in papers now and won't appear on my site for a while, but check out what a horrified female reader finds "sexist" -- advice intended to (gasp!) protect men from deceptive women leading them into unwanted fatherhood.
That question from my column and my response:
Hot To Tot
Is there a way to make sure someone is on birth control? My girlfriend says she is, but I don't believe her. I know she really wants to have a baby. I'm not ready to be a father yet -- or maybe ever -- so I need to get to the bottom of this.
You're perhaps more of an adoption man -- into adopting the sort of little rascal you can leave tied to a parking meter during brunch without anybody calling social services on you. Unfortunately, a man has limited control over whether a woman he's with gets a bun in the oven with his DNA baked into it -- that is, unless he gets snipped or padlocks his zipper and chucks the key in the ocean. Of course, the single worst form of birth control is trusting that a woman -- especially a woman longing for a baby -- is actually taking or using hers. A mitigating factor is whether she's shown herself to be ethical. Consider whether that describes your girlfriend. If not, you might want to make that a requirement for any partner of yours -- before you find yourself reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" aloud for the 300th time in a week, as it's the only way to keep your toddler from screaming like a goat being slaughtered.
Here are a few of the woman's sneers and impressive leaps to conclusions (BC is "birth control") :
•Really ... Trusting women to take their own BC is the WORST BC option?
•A man has tons of options to protect himself from accidental pregnancies, putting the onus on the woman is abhorrent
•Many? MANY? Right, we're all baby-hungry immoral, unethical hopeful breeders
•"A man has limited control over whether a woman he's with gets a bun in the oven with his DNA baked into it" absolutely false.
She did offer the absolutely brilliant suggestion that men wear condoms.
The reality is, condoms shouldn't be sole form of birth control for man unprepared to be called "Daddy," as women have been known to defeat (save the condom, turkeybaste).
And if I had a son, I'd sure counsel him about the possibility this could be done to him -- same as I'd counsel him to watch his wallet when he gets on the Paris subway line I think of as "The Pickpocket Special."
Is this "sexist"? No, but now people accuse others of sexism whenever they don't rubberstamp the feminist party line that women can do no wrong and men (who haven't been coopted into feminist victimthink) are all giant warring turds with a penis.
An article on "sperm theft."
UPDATE: I couldn't remember where I read the study on this -- but I'm off deadline and have found it. It was by Melinda Spohn -- "Risking pregnancy for "Mr. Right": unintended pregnancy and female mating preferences" -- and I heard her present at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference in 2006, and Robert Franklin writes about it here:
Melinda Spohn, a social worker and researcher at Spokane Falls Community College in Washington, decided to study why so many of her clients told her that their pregnancies were unplanned, despite the variety of easily available birth control.
Some of the women admitted that they had not used birth control with guys who had appealing characteristics. To determine whether such behavior is widespread, Spohn surveyed nearly 400 women at two community colleges. More than a third of women said they had risked pregnancy in the past with men who had attractive qualities--such as commitment to the relationship, good financial prospects or the desire for a family--but hadn't discussed the possibility of pregnancy with their partner. It was unclear how many women actually became pregnant.
Now, it seems clear that this is far from a definitive study. The women chosen were enrolled at one of two community colleges, meaning that they don't represent the universe of all women in the United States, all sexually active women or even all female college enrollees. But what the study strongly suggests is the need for more research into exactly what Spohn inquired about - what percentage of sexually-active women sometimes lie about their use of birth control in order to become pregnant by a man they deem a good candidate?
That's Question One. For me, Question Two would involve just how they go about convincing the man not to protect himself against fathering a child he doesn't want. Again, of what exactly do those communications consist? And what do the men think when they're told "I'm on the pill?" Do they believe her unequivocally? Do they have reservations?
Whatever the precise answers to those questions are, what Spohn's findings strongly suggest is that it's extremely common for women to either lie or mislead about using birth control for the purpose of conceiving a child.
Oh, The Raw, Unbridled Sexuality Of A Dancing Teletubby
A University of Missouri frat was accused of sexual harassment and reported to Title IX coordinator over a dancing Teletubby. Bacon posts at totalfratmove:
Thankfully, presumably due to the fact that Mizzou's Title IX coordinator has common sense and eyeballs, nothing in the video was determined to be harassment and Delt was let off scot-free.
Yeah, it's sooo hot:
Check out the coordinator's letter saying what will not be permitted at the university -- well, that would be pretty much any forms of free thought, free speech, and humor...well, anything that's more suggestive than a "Why did the chicken cross the road?" joke.
I would venture that a "healthy learning and working environment" involves a full set of constitutionally protected free speech rights.
(Oh, aren't I the old-fashioned one!)
"TV Producer In Beverly Hills For Pre-Emmys Event Arrested For Being Tall, Bald And Black"
Juliet Bennett Rylah posts at LAist:
In yet another case of "walking while black," a film and TV producer recently told his tale of being held for six hours by Beverly Hills police while attending a pre-Emmys event because he looked like a burglary suspect.
Charles Belk, 51, writes in a Facebook post that he was on his way to check his parking meter last Friday in Beverly Hills when he was detained. Earlier he had been handling celebrity talent at a Emmy Awards Gifting Suite, and he was planning on heading to a VIP Emmy pre-party later that night. He was walking from a restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard to his car, parked on La Cienega Boulevard at about 5:20 p.m. when it happened. He is grateful that he didn't look even more "suspicious" at the time, "In fact, if it wasn't for a text message that I was responding to, I would have actually been running up LaCienega Blvd when the first Beverly Hills Police Officer approached me. Running!"
He said he was surrounded by six police cars, then made to sit on the curb. He was handcuffed and searched, then transported to the Beverly Hills station. He was booked, accused taking part in the armed robbery at a Citibank location and couldn't leave without $100,000 bail. He said his car was impounded, he was denied a phone call and wasn't given a very good explanation as to why he was being held.
Let's say the guy looked like the bank robber's cousin. There's no justification for holding him without checking to see whether he actually was the guy on the tape -- as soon as possible.
We need to take taking away someone freedom extremely seriously. Police officers often don't. The fact that this is easy for them to do -- just let an innocent man sit, handcuffed on the curb, like a trussed up chicken, and then ignore the man for hours while he sat in jail -- is not reason for it to be allowed.
More from Belk:
I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn't know that just hours earlier, I was at one of the finest hotels in their city, handling celebrity talent at a Emmy Awards Gifting Suite, as part of business as usual, and, invited to attend a VIP Emmy pre-party that very night in their city. The guy doing that, just DON"T fit the description.
What I don't get.........WHAT I DON"T GET, is, why, during the 45 minutes that they had me on the curb, handcuffed in the sun, before they locked me up and took away my civil rights, that they could not simply review the ATM and bank's HD video footage to clearly see that the "tall, bald headed, black male"... did not fit MY description.
Why, at 11:59pm (approximately 6 hours later), was the video footage reviewed only after my request to the Lead Detective for the Beverly Hills Police Department and an FBI Agent to do so, and, after being directly accused by another FBI Special Agent of "...going in and out of the bank several times complaining about the ATM Machine to cause a distraction..." thereby aiding in the armed robbery attempt of a bank that I never heard of, or ever been to; and within 10 minutes......10 MINUTES, my lawyer was told that I was being release because it was clear that it was not me.
The sad thing is, prior to my freedom being taken from me for an easily proven crime I did not commit, I was walking back to my car, by myself, because I needed to check my parking meter, so that I wouldn't get a ticket and break the law.
...I want to thank GOD, Robin Lola Harrison of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau, Robert Dowdy and Attorney Jaaye Person-Lynn, without whom, I am certain that I would still be locked up in the custody of the Beverly Hills Police Department. Based on comments made by a Beverly Hills Police Officer during my booking, and an FBI Special Agent, it appeared that they had tried and convicted me.
And Jaaye Person-Lynn wrote on Facebook:
My Friday Night: After months of anticipation, Tiffany Townend and Jovan Blacknell's wedding was finally here.
As they were reciting their vows, I get a call from William Syms which I responded to via text. He told me he needed my services ASAP for a friend.
During the recessional, I contacted the friend, Robin, who told me, Charles Belk, had just been falsely arrested for bank robbery. Understanding the seriousness of the accusations and after handling the business side, I tell my girl I have to leave, and she agrees to go with me.
We put our drinks from the open bar down,(I had Hennessey Privilege, you know Tiff only serves that good stuff.) and rushed to the Beverly Hills police station. I let the secretary know I was there to see Mr. Belk, and the lieutenant comes out to tell me it will be a second.
After about 10 minutes I ask for the lieutenant again and remind him my client has a right to see his attorney immediately since the lieutenant confirmed my client was in fact arrested for Bank Robbery and Conspiracy to commit a bank robbery, and had a $100k bail. He goes back in.
After another almost 30 minutes I demand the lieutenant let me see Mr. Belk immediately and remind him PC 825(b) makes it a misdemeanor for him to willfully keep me from my client. (Thanks Fred Dorton for hipping me to that).
At this point, my voice is raising and my patience is completely worn. Mind you, my girl is in the car by herself, and we planned on eating dinner at the wedding so we hadn't eaten anything and by this point it's about 10:30pm.
Finally, the jailer comes out, wonds me for any metal objects and takes me to an interview room. Then she gives a bogus reason why my client couldn't come immediately.
The detective walks in and let's me know they're going to review the video. My client walks in the attorney room, the phones aren't working so we're yelling through the glass. I'm in full attorney mode and getting his story from about 3 hours before the arrest on some stationary I borrowed from the secretary.
During the interview, the detectives come back and say they reviewed the tape and the guy they were looking for wasn't my client. Go figure. This is a bit after 11pm.
I assure his release and get back to the car to find my girl sleep and hungry. I apologize to her but she states she understands the life of a Super Hero. Lol.
It was upsetting leaving a Beautiful wedding of two good friends, but they're defense attorneys so they'll understand.
What made it all worth it is that Mr. Belk slept in his bed that night. (If he got any sleep).
Wouldn't it be linkerly?
Dhimmi And Dhimmier: The Insensitive Mention Of Bacon In A Public Place
First, Wikipedia on "dhimmitude":
The concept of "dhimmitude" was introduced into Western discourse by the writer Bat Ye'or in a French-language article published in the Italian journal La Rassegna mensile di Israel in 1983. In Bat Ye'or's use, "dhimmitude" refers to allegations of non-Muslims appeasing and surrendering to Muslims, and discrimination against non-Muslims in Muslim majority regions.
The latest example of this is the removal of a restaurant's sign merely mentioning the word bacon after a Muslim woman complained. (Video, live at the link, is autoplay, so I only posted a screenshot.)
The fact that you don't participate in some behavior or eating habit by others in a free society do isn't reason to shut down the mere mention of it as a great offense to your religious beliefs.
In fact, the possibility that free speech will offend you is one of the problems of living in a free society.
If this is a problem for you, there are plenty of repressive religious regimes across the globe where you'd surely be more comfortable.
Of course, as long as businesses and others capitulate to ridiculous "controversies" like this one, there will be more and more of them.
You Pee On My Fence?
YouTube! (I really, really want these signs at the link, especially the bottom one.)
If you are not a farm animal and there is a bathroom available (which there is for the bar patrons near me), use it. Otherwise, you make my neighborhood smell like a giant men's bathroom when it rains.
Oh, there is the occasional woman. My friend A, when spotting a woman pulling her panties down and watering her flowers, took the hose to her.
Photo I blogged and then put in "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck":
I also include a solution -- shown to work in UCLA and UK studies (though not exactly on this subject) that you can use to stop people from leaving unscooped dog poop on your lawn or front walk.
"One Nation's Flirting Is Another Nation's Motivation To Use Pepper Spray"
Advice for Russians traveling in the US, reported by Therese Oneill at Mental Floss:
2. ON TALKING TO AMERICAN WOMEN
The short version: American women are a little uptight. They might call the cops if you look at them too long. And don't be gallant, that creeps them out."US etiquette prohibits flirting with a woman who is not your girlfriend or wife. If you are not acquainted with a woman, whether she be in a restaurant, on the street, or on the subway, do not look at her legs, etc. Americans could easily call the police on you, even for just ogling her." (Этикет США)
"Welcome and introductions: men and women tend to shake hands. Mutual kissing and kissing ladies' hands is not accepted. Also, women play a greater role in business. Often they insist to be treated exactly as an equal and not as a lady. In this regard, it is not acceptable to be excessively gallant, and you should avoid personal questions (do not find out whether she is married). (Национальные особенности этикета в США)
College Men Getting The Message: Have As Little Contact With College Women As Possible
You've come a long way, baby -- and then gone all the way back and then some.
Ashe Schow writes in the Wash Ex about the fallout from the campus sexual assault hysteria:
Thanks to an increased focus on sexual assaults on college campuses - mostly due to an overblown statistic claiming 20 percent of college women have been sexually assaulted - young college men are starting to rethink how they talk to women.
At first glance that might seem like a good thing - men learning to be more respectful of women and not be so rapey - but that's not what this is.
This is about men actually avoiding contact with women because they're afraid a simple kiss or date could lead to a sexual assault accusation.
Bloomberg reporters John Lauerman and Jennifer Surane interviewed multiple men from colleges like Harvard and Stanford who expressed concern over what was once known as a "hook-up culture" but is now labeled by feminists as "rape culture." The change in terminology ensures that all responsibility is placed on men, just because of their gender.
Take Malik Gill of Harvard University, who said he wouldn't even give a female classmate a beer.
"I don't want to look like a predator," Gill told Bloomberg. "It's a little bit of a blurred line."
This is the environment the lack of due process for men has led to:
William Pollack, a Harvard Medical School psychologist, told the Bloomberg reporters about a patient who was kissing a girl during a party and began thinking about what would happen if things went further.
"'I want to go to law school or medical school after this,'" the student said, according to Pollack. "'I said to her, it's been nice seeing you.'"
Pollack also noted that the media attention to campus sexual assault has led to a "witch-hunt" mentality.
"Most males would never do anything to harm a young woman," Pollack told the Bloomberg reporters. But the current focus is "starting to scare the heck out of the wrong people."
From the comments:
thewlyno / Isaac T
Remember, when men drink they are predators, when women drink they are unaccountable victims
I also find it ironic that feminists who fought for female sexual choice, including the right to engage in drunken hookups, would now like to put the responsibility for the mutual drunken hookup entirely onto the male. He must now take into consideration not just what she wants now, but also what is really good for her in the long run, because in his drunken state he is better able to make decisions for her than she is in her drunken state. It is his job to recognize her vulnerability, to save her from her disinhibition, and to guide her with his greater wisdom into proper chastity. This used to be called patriarchy.
It's the same in the work environment. We're walking on eggshells and worry every day that a gesture or comment can be misconstrued as sexual harassment and boom we are on the street presumed guilty with no recourse for due process. It happens too often. I refuse to have any intimate relationship with any work associate, much less acknowledge any female that I cross paths with in the halls. It is too dangerous.
As I've written before, women used to demand to be treated as equals; now they demand to be treated like eggshells.
Count me out.
Dark 'n' lovely.
Advice Goddess Radio ("Best Of"), Tonight, 7-8 pm PT, 10-11 pm ET: Peg Streep On The Science On Mindful Quitting To Get Ahead In Love, Work, And Life
"Best Of" replay this week, but back with live shows next Sunday and beyond!
Catch the detail on this show at the link below -- on which you can also listen to it from 7-8 pm PT, 10-11pm ET. (Or you can listen afterward at the link or download the podcast.)
Ebola's Back Door To America
Bushmeat -- sold in stores in communities of expat Africans, like those in New York. Gerard Flynn and Susan Scutti write at Newsweek:
Three other agencies are responsible for enforcing import restrictions, according to the FWS: "Bushmeat as meat is also regulated on import by the Food and Drug Administration (from a human health perspective), Centers for Disease Control (from a human health and primate perspective) and USDA (from an agricultural perspective concerned with animal diseases)." Customs, which works under the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for coordinating these four agencies. The inadequate enforcement could be a function of this diffusion of responsibility, or there might be "questions about what exactly is legal and what is not," says Blom. In other words, customs agents may simply not recognize what they are looking at when encountering bushmeat.
"I've seen bushmeat being brought into the U.S. in basically big suitcases of smoked meat or coolers brought on planes," says Blom.
Back in the Bronx, Appiah confirms that plenty of the stuff gets past the gatekeepers. "Immigration in America is trying to control it...but always they find a way of bringing [bushmeat] in here," he told Newsweek in his thick accent, adding, "It's all around."
In California, they confiscated the lone saucisson (dry Italian sausage) Gregg mistakenly packed in his luggage when we flew back from Paris. (I learned he had it there while we were coming home on the plane; I know you can't bring in meat or fruits and vegetables to California and told him to declare it -- there are signs at LAX warning of a $10K fine if you don't and get caught.)
It's a hallmark of how ineffective government is at protecting us from anything that this meat gets into our country -- meat that is not from a pig slaughtered in France and turned into a sausage (quite safe!) but meat that could cause a horrible, deadly epidemic here in the USA.
Well, to be fair, government does a bang up job at protecting us from keeping all that hard-earned money they yank away from us with taxes.
The Date-Rape Drug Myth
This is a 2009 article I never saw -- just read it now thanks to a @CHSommers tweet.
Among young people, drink spiking stories have attractive features that could "help explain" their disproportionate loss of control after drinking alcohol, the study found.
Dr. Burgess said: "Our findings suggest guarding against drink spiking has also become a way for women to negotiate how to watch out for each other in an environment where they might well lose control from alcohol consumption."
Co-researcher Dr. Sarah Moore said: "We would be very interested in finding out whether the urban myth of spiking is also the result of parents feeling unable to discuss with their adult daughters how to manage drinking and sex and representing their anxieties about this through discussion of drink spiking risks."
Nick Ross, chair of the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science, commented: "There is no evidence of widespread use of hypnotics in sexual assault, let alone Rohypnol, despite many attempts to prove the contrary.
"During thousands of blood and alcohol tests lots of judgement-impairing compounds were discovered, but they were mostly street drugs or prescription pharmaceuticals taken by the victims themselves, and above all alcohol was the common theme.
"As Dr. Burgess observes, it is not scientific evidence which keeps the drug rape myth alive but the fact that it serves so many useful functions."
Dr. Burgess and his team questioned more than 200 students at universities in London and south east England.
Earlier this year, Australian researchers found that not one of 97 young men and women admitted to hospital over 19 months to two Perth hospital claiming to have had their drinks spiked, had in fact been drugged.
Too bad nobody's invented myth-detecting nail polish.
Think minx. Link pink.
Henry Rollins On Parental Suicide, And Then Henry Rollins' Apology For What He Wrote
Rollins writes in the LA Weekly:
I simply cannot understand how any parent could kill themselves.
How in the hell could you possibly do that to your children? I don't care how well adjusted your kid might be -- choosing to kill yourself, rather than to be there for that child, is every shade of awful, traumatic and confusing. I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life. No matter what mistakes you make in life, it should be your utmost goal not to traumatize your kids. So, you don't kill yourself.
I know some people will disagree. And I get that you can't understand anyone else's torment. All that "I feel your pain" stuff is bullshit and disrespectful. You can appreciate it, listen and support someone as best you can, but you can't understand it. Depression is so personal and so unique to each of us that when you're in its teeth, you think you invented it. You can understand your own, but that's it. When you are severely depressed, it can be more isolating than anything else you have ever experienced. In trying to make someone understand, you can only speak in approximation. You are truly on your own.
...A few years ago, a guy I'd known for many years hanged himself in a basement. Weeks later, I went to the spot and picked up bits of plastic coating from the cord he used, which were on the floor after he was cut down. I liked the guy, but all I could think of then is all I can think of now -- the drawings his kids had made that were pasted up on the walls of his kitchen.
One of the comments at LA Weekly -- from Eric Hill:
Dear Doctor Rollins, it was indeed enlightening to read your piece on suicide. Clearly you have extensive experience in the field and are more than qualified to speak on such matters. Your compassion, understanding, and insights are an invaluable asset to both the psychiatric community and to those of us who suffer from clinical depression. As someone who has struggled with it for years, I especially appreciate your condemnation of those who choose to shirk their responsibilities for the easy way out. This echoes the extremely helpful canard that "suicide is a selfish act." Gosh, I wish people who were suicidal would just give you a call so you could share your "fuck suicide" therapy with them. Perhaps you could write a self-help book called, "Get Over It, Pussy!" or "Only Losers Kill Themselves."
Also, since depression is a disease that most of us can't simply "snap out of," may I suggest you write another paper entitled: "Fuck Wheelchairs"? I think those who find them necessary are merely weak individuals who could benefit from your wise and encouraging advice...
Another -- from Clare Holzer:
Don't blame the victim of a disease for dying of one of its side affects. Would you be angry if a cancer patient died of cancer? Instead of saying "Fuck Suicide" maybe think about saying, "Find a Cure for Depression"
Rollins apologized for the LA Weekly piece on his site:
The article I wrote in the LA Weekly about suicide caused a lot of hurt. This is perhaps one of the bigger understatements of all time. I read all the letters. Some of them were very long and the disappointment, resentment and ringing clarity was jarring.
That I hurt anyone by what I said, and I did hurt many, disgusts me. It was not at all my intent but it most certainly was the result.
I have had a life of depression. Some days are excruciating. Knowing what I know and having been through what I have, I should have known better but I obviously did not. I get so mad when I hear that someone has died this way. Not mad at them, mad at whatever got them there and that no one magically appeared to somehow save them.
I am not asking for a break from the caning, take me to the woodshed as much as you see fit. If what I said has caused you to be done with me, I get it.
I wrote something for the LA Weekly that they will post on Monday.
America, Land Of The Dumbasses
ISIS, the Boston-based, now-disbanded rock group is being mistaken for the terrorist group.
ABC's Sarah Figalora writes:
Though the band is no longer together, the ex-members are being flooded with threats from individuals who believe them to be associated with the Islamic terrorist group, which recently claimed responsibility for beheading American journalist James Foley. The group has also slaughtered Christians, Yazidis and other Muslims who aren't members of the Sunni Islamic sect.
"It certainly caught us off guard," Aaron Harris, the band's drummer, told ABC News.
"Just like our fans, we've been watching the news in disbelief," Harris added. "We haven't commented on it because we haven't been an active band since 2010, even though our music does live on. We maintain our Facebook page to keep people up-to-date on our current musical projects."
The name of the band's official Facebook page was changed from "ISIS" to "Isis the band," potentially as a way to distance themselves.
Survivors Will Be Shot Twice
Armed 73-year-old woman goes badass on intruder -- one who Fox Carolina reports attacked another woman in the home with a baseball bat.
Jason Howerton writes at The Blaze:
The woman, who was home alone at the time, then retrieved her handgun and called 911.
"Sir, they are in my house now," the woman is heard telling a 911 dispatcher.
After a period of silence, apparent gunshots ring out and unintelligible screaming can be heard in the audio.
"Get out of my home!" the woman screams at the intruder. "Get out now -- while you're still alive!"
"OK, I'll get out," the intruder responds, seemingly terrified. "I'm getting out."
Labor Day Savings
Fifty to 70 percent off all sorts of fashions -- shoes, clothes, jewelry -- until September 1, at Amazon. Don't forget to throw in your copy of "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck"!
"But Where Would I Buy The Ribbons?"
My boyfriend, Gregg Sutter, who was crime novelist Elmore Leonard's researcher for 33 years, has a wonderful little post up at ElmoreLeonard.com about Elmore's bemusement over technology:
I miss Elmore all the time, but especially when the subject is technology.
He didn't believe in computers. The Easter Bunny and Santa Clause, ok, but not computers.
He told his friend and author, Andre Dubus, one time that somebody told him that he could write faster with a word processor. Andre got a big kick out of that. Elmore said, "Why would I want to write faster?" From time to time, he'd ask me questions, like how did they get all that information into the computer (meaning the Internet?) Invariably, my technical answer about ones and zeros would not satisfy him, or be something he could not picture. Finally I said, there had a room full of monkeys typing everything in. (cont'd)...
Even-Funnier-Than-Usual Southwest Air Video
Don't miss the big section on airplane manners in Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck.
It Seems The Israelis Aren't Helpless Or Dead Enough To Be Sympathetic
There's an LA Times op-ed about Israel's missile defense system (intercepting and destroying incoming rockets and artillery shells), "Should Israel and the U.S. rethink Iron Dome's usefulness?" by Benny Morris:
Strategically speaking, the Iron Dome antimissile shield, precisely because of its effectiveness, has been disastrous for Israel: It has saved Hamas from destruction and it has helped to seriously undermine Israel's image as a civilized state in the eyes of many in the West.
During the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, Iron Dome has efficiently protected Israel from massive damage and casualties. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip had launched 2,648 rockets against Israel, and that was before a temporary cease-fire was broken Tuesday. Most fell in empty fields. The 600-odd rockets that had accurately targeted towns and villages were almost all successfully intercepted by Iron Dome's Tamir missiles -- a nearly 90% success rate, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
The civilian death toll in Israel consisted of only two citizens and a Thai guest worker. Had there been no Iron Dome, dozens, perhaps hundreds, of civilians would have been killed; buildings would have fallen. Civilian Israel would have ground to a halt.
No Israeli government could withstand the public pressure that this would have unleashed: The government would have been forced to quickly launch a massive ground invasion of Gaza ...
If there had been a massive IDF ground invasion, within two or three months Gaza's towns and villages would have been cleared, house by house, of Hamas fighters. Hamas, and its fellow organizations, would have been destroyed as a military and political force. Israel would have been relieved, for a decade or two, of the need to worry about a southern front; the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas would have been free, or freer, to cut a deal with Israel; and the destruction of Hamas would have sent a clear message about Israeli resolve and capabilities to all its actual or potential enemies (I include Islamic State, fast-approaching Israel's eastern frontier, among the latter).
...If there were footage of shattered buildings in Tel Aviv, and the dead and dying lying in the streets of the coastal cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, few around the world would condemn Israel for a massive air and ground assault against a palpably murderous Hamas, with the aim of destroying it. Over the months needed to pacify and demilitarize Gaza, no doubt protests would emerge. But the protests would have been less strident than they are today. Israel would weather the international indignation far better; Israel would be better understood.
Aw, how sweet. Just lie down and die and the world will think so much better of you.