Browsing All Posts published on »May, 2012«

Rutgers Case: Not a True “Hate Crime,” But Justice Served

May 31, 2012

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Dharun Ravi gave a written apology just before heading off to start his jail sentence for bias intimidation:  “I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made on September 19, 2010, and September 21, 2010.”  Ravi had used a webcam to spy on his roommate’s romantic encounter […]

Why Don’t Cleanliness-Obsessed Americans Use the Bidet?

May 30, 2012

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I have long been interested in having a bidet in our home, but it just wasn’t practical or affordable to renovate our bathrooms.  Silly me, I had no idea (until recently) that there are economical, simple-to-install, effective bidet attachments that can just go right on your existing toilet.  A mere $39.95 later, Lila became the […]

Easy, Predatory Credit is Still Out There

May 29, 2012

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A financial basket case gets a six-figure loan A longtime acquaintance was never very good with money.  She has established a long and quite predictable pattern of always earning barely enough money to squeak by each month, or not quite enough to squeak by.  I have known this woman to quit perfectly good jobs with […]

Swim Season is Here. How Sanitary are Swim Diapers?

May 28, 2012

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Answer:  they’re not. So there I was, clipping coupons, and ran across the one for swim diapers.  I find the whole concept of a diapered child in a communal swimming area a little… revolting. A healthy person’s urine is sterile upon exiting the body, so I have no fear of urine-borne disease (although the idea […]

Happy and Safe Memorial Day Weekend!

May 25, 2012

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All, according to AAA, this Memorial Day Weekend is shaping up to be a busy one on the roads.  Maybe that’s because gas prices are actually down, which is a very good thing.  A lot of travelers will be headed out to the beaches, or to visit family, or to enjoy a long weekend somewhere […]

New York Yankees Honor Rex the War Dog

May 24, 2012

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Here’s a happy story as we head into the Memorial Day Weekend:  the New York Yankees took the time and effort to honor a former Marine, Cpl. Megan Leavey, and her now-retired military working dog Rex.  Both were injured in Iraq, but now live peacefully in Rockland County, New York.  Check out the story at […]

End “Traditional Asian Medicine.” It is Useless and Horrific.

May 23, 2012

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I have never been a fan of so-called “traditional medicine” which trades in elephants’ feet, rhino horn and tiger penises, pushing endangered species to the brink of extinction and achieving exactly zero benefit for humankind.  And then I saw a horrific article whose headline was worthy of some tabloid rag, if only it were not […]

An Eloquent but Impractical Plea for Afghan Women

May 22, 2012

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I am no fan of “Dubya” Bush, but Laura Bush makes an eloquent plea in the Washington Post for the US not to abandon Afghan women and all of the progress that they have made in the last ten years.  She correctly points out: Despite these gains, however, Afghanistan’s progress remains tenuous. A March 2 […]

Transgendered: How Young is Too Young?

May 21, 2012

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Sunday’s Washington Post carried an extensive article profiling a family that is convinced that their five-year-old daughter is fully transgendered.  Their suspicions about this were first sparked when the child was just two, and preferred short hair, pants, and toys like swords and trucks.  The child insisted “I am a boy,” and at age three, […]

Breastfeeding Controversy: What’s Normal? What’s Accepted?

May 18, 2012

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It would be hard to miss all the ado over Time magazine’s cover showing Jamie Lynn Grumet breastfeeding her nearly four-year-old son as both look directly into the camera.  I’m in the camp that sees something wrong with this, and my opinion admittedly has a lot to do with 21st-century American culture, because that’s where […]

Single Gay Dad Vindicated After Groundless Accusation of Raping Daughters

May 17, 2012

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This story just gets my blood boiling, because I am the daughter of a single dad myself.  Artist and photographer Paul Rusconi, a single gay man, has young twin daughters.  Last year, he took this photo of himself in the bathtub with them.  And that led to his nanny and her husband accusing him of […]

Prevent Childhood Injuries and Reduce Obesity: Sit At a Table to Eat. Simple as That.

May 16, 2012

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Time magazine ran an article about the hidden dangers of bottles and sippy cups.  Intrigued, I thought:  what could it be?  BPAs?  Some kind of choking hazard?  Not exactly.  It would seem that between 1991 and 2010, some 45,000 toddlers went to the emergency room for injuries sustained in falls while cups or bottles were […]

Gender Discrimination for Stripper Past: Some Claims are Bogus But Choose Your Path Carefully

May 15, 2012

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The Houston Chronicle fired reporter Sarah Tressler when another publication revealed that Tressler has worked as, and still occasionally works as, a stripper.  The basis for the termination was the omission of previous work history on Tressler’s job application, as she did not reveal the exotic-dancing employment on her application to the Chronicle.  The ubiquitous […]

Strange Justice in Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law: Black Women Need Not Apply? [UPDATED]

May 14, 2012

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We have all heard  the outrage over the long delay in arresting and charging George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teen Trayvon Martin in Florida.  Now the nation awaits the defense that will be put up at trial, and it will probably involve some angle on Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.  The whole episode […]

The Disposable Water Heater: When Maintenance Costs Aren’t Worth It

May 11, 2012

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We have a four-year-old water heater, and today I figured out that it’s cheaper to throw it away and buy a new one than it is to do regular maintenance on it.  Apparently, the law of supply and demand means:  when your supply of customers dries up, as it does in a recession, you demand […]

John Travolta, Latest Victim of Celebrity-Gouging?

May 10, 2012

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Here we go again.  Some anonymous people are accusing John Travolta of sexual misconduct, and asking for – what else? – money.  As in, $2 million a pop.  These are masseurs, as in, the male kind, and it is not lost on anyone that there is an embarrassment factor here since various random folks keep […]

Ethnic Identity and Over-Diluted Claims

May 9, 2012

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Elizabeth Warren is taking some heat for having perhaps received some employment advantage through her Native American heritage… or lack thereof, as reported by Greg Wayland for NECN.  It’s not proven that she has any Native American heritage, and even if she does have a Native American ancestor or two, that’s not the point.  Just […]

Suing UVA for Yeardley Love’s Murder: Little Sense, Less Justice

May 8, 2012

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In news which is as unsurprising as it is dismaying, the mother of murdered UVA lacrosse player Yeardley Love is suing the school’s coaches, the athletic director, and the state.  Why?  Because they “ignored” murderer and fellow student George Huguely’s “erratic behavior.” Quick recap:  Yeardley Love was a 22-year-old student and women’s lacrosse player.  George […]

End-of-Life Decisions: Amy Berman, Living and Dying in Her Own Way

May 7, 2012

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Amy Berman, a health foundation executive, was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer in 2010.  With the help of a doctor who respects her goals, she has chosen to skip the misery of aggressive treatments in favor of palliative care and quality of life.   Read her story here at Health Affairs.

NFL and Concussions: Suing for the Obvious – An All-American Sport

May 4, 2012

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Over 1600 former NFL players are suing the National Football League, claiming that the organization hid the dangers of concussions from them.  I’m not buying it.  Common sense, people!  Why do we wear helmets for biking, motorcycling, parachuting, horseback riding, hockey, rollerblading, whitewater rafting, race car driving, construction work, just about any activity where you […]

Somebody in the DEA Should Get Jail Time in Case of Student Forgotten in Holding Cell

May 3, 2012

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UCSD student Daniel Chong figured he’d spend a little time getting high at a friend’s house to celebrate 4/20, a date which has become associated with the open use of marijuana.  Bad luck for him: the DEA chose that moment to raid the house.  He was questioned, admitted using ecstasy and was told he was […]

The Secret Service Prostitution Scandal – More Women Won’t Fix It

May 2, 2012

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You know, I was going to write something along the lines of guys patronizing prostitutes where it is legal not being such a big deal.  I confess, when I read Elaine Kamarck’s article at CNN, I initially snorted at her statement that “Paying prostitutes for sex is, of course, sordid, immoral and pretty embarrassing in […]

War on Women: Texas Legislature Showing Ignorance On Women’s Health

May 1, 2012

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The battle is still on.   Texas already had a law forbidding any government funding to specific clinics that provide abortions.  You would think this pretty much covered it:  no taxpayer-funded abortions, period.  But last year, Texas Republicans passed a law prohibiting the state’s Women’s Health Program from funding any organization affiliated with abortion providers.  The […]