Monday, August 03, 2015

Nice job, there

So, there's a story in the Guardian about children who have severe, crippling aversion to new or indeed most food. Kids who actually vomit when made to taste something new. Kids who literally cannot eat more than a handful of things. These kids, of course, can grow up to have many severe psychological problems.

The researcher in the story is quoted as saying:
“What I don’t want to do with the reporting of the story is to create panic among the parents,” Zucker said. “To pathologize something that’s not pathological.”
So what headline does the Guardian slap on it?
Picky eaters may grow into depressed and anxious kids, research suggests

New study claims tendencies, which pediatricians have long advised children will ‘grow out of’, are associated with more serious conditions

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3 Comments:

At 11:41 AM, August 04, 2015 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

The Washington Post's current homepage is no better: "Your kid’s picky eating may
not be so harmless after all. Picky eating could be a gateway to other, deeper psychological problems, according to a study."

 
At 3:52 PM, August 04, 2015 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

OTOH, on Google News's homepage right now, this more responsible listing:

Picky eating is usually harmless but can signal young children's emotional ...
Vancouver Sun - ‎2 hours ago

CHICAGO - Parents of picky eaters take heart: New research suggests the problem is rarely worth fretting over, although in a small portion of kids it may signal emotional troubles that should be checked out.

 
At 4:43 PM, August 04, 2015 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Yes, that's much better.

 

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Sunday, August 02, 2015

The Weeks in Entertainment

Whoa. I missed a couple of weeks again (I've been distracted). Also pretty much just reading.

Read: I discovered N.K. Jemisin and was blown away. I read The Inheritance Trilogy (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods) and the novella The Awakened Kingdom and the "triptych" of short stories Shades in Shadows (which you really need to have read the trilogy before you read. Well, they need to be read in order, anyway). Simply splendid. So I have begun The Killing Moon, which is completely unconnected and (so far) very good if not as instantly captivating as The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was. Also read the excellent "Five Gods" novels by Lois McMaster Bujold (The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt, Penric's Demon)after the fifth or sixth time I saw Curse recommended on a blog. Heart of Tin, another Dorothy Must Die novella. Man, I wish she'd get the last book out there instead of all these prequels, even thought it's interesting to see how the Oz she's writing about came to be.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

TooManyCops

The video of Samuel DuBose's killing illustrates one massive problem we have here in the US.

No, it's not that the cop murdered DuBose and then blatantly lied about it, despite having a body-cam on that showed he was, in the words of the prosecutor, "making an excuse for a purposeful killing of another person." (The prosecutor also said the killing was "murder" and "so senseless", and that "It was so unnecessary for this to occur. People want to believe that Mr DuBose had done something violent toward the officer. He did not. He did not at all." When a prosecutor says that, well.)

That is terrible, horrible, a huge problem, yes, absolutely.

But the fact is that at least one other cop backed up the killer's story 100%. He reported things that simply didn't happen. He lied to uphold the Thin Blue Line. And another one gave it a good shot, too.

So keep on saying "#NotAllCops". Keep on telling yourself and us that "most cops are good guys" and the "most cops don't kill people". Just realize that if 1 cop kills and 2 cops who wouldn't still lie to protect him, you've got 3 cops who conspired to cover up a murder. The whole barrel is becoming full of rotten apples.

If the Good Cops® cover up for the Bad Cops what is it exactly that makes them the Good Guys?

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why indeed?

"A neighborhood dispute gets ugly. Why an off-duty police officer is accused of pulling his gun on his neighbor."

I so hate that style of teaser-writing. Why is he accused of it? Don't mean you'll tell the alleged reason he did it, not the alleged reason he's being accused of doing it?

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2 Comments:

At 3:08 AM, July 30, 2015 Blogger Barry Leiba had this to say...

Sorry: I don't get what you're complaining about here. They can't say "Why he pulled his gun," because that presumes that he did. They're going to tell you why he's accused -- that is, the alleged reason he did it, as you say. No?

Now, if they said, "Why [he] is accused of allegedly pulling his gun," then that would be badly written.

 
At 7:26 AM, July 30, 2015 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

The question here seems to be "why do they say he did it?" that isn't a questioning of whether he did it but their identification of him. It accepts that a gun was drawn and questions why they say it was him.

 

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Well...

This is of course the point where she says "Daryl, what part of 'not necessarily' and 'quite often' do you not understand?"


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You read what you expect

I vaguely noticed the "typo" in the headline "Oklahoma Guv's Daughter Living In Trailer Parked Outside Guv's Mansion" but really read right over it. To the extent that I was actually startled to realize she wasn't living in a "trailer park" (I figured the article was going to be about the governor's refusal to help her daughter or the daughter's crime-and/or-poverty-ridden life) but was in fact living in a trailer that was parked on the mansion's grounds. The story is about people complaining about taxpayers "footing her bills" - though, as the governor points out, if her daughter had moved into the mansion people would be paying for "her" utilities just the same.

By the way, I also was only vaguely aware that the daughter is in a band (which is why she's in a trailer). What can I say? Oklahoman politicians' families are not really on my radar.

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At 3:26 PM, July 29, 2015 OpenID q-pheevr had this to say...

What I find most weird about that headline is "Guv." For me, the abbreviated form of governor is gov, whereas guv is short for guv'nor.

 

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Oh hell no

Just got an email from Care2 thanking me for signing up to the PETA newsletter.

They must have subscribed me when I signed a petition about the guy who shot the lion in Zimbabwe (follow the link only if you don't mind being really pissed off).

I unsubscribed as soon as I got their email. When they asked why on the form, I told them I didn't remember signing up, and I don't like to auto-subscribed to anything and especially not PETA.

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Do these guys make you feel safe?


a small group stands guard outside an armed forces career center in Colorado Springs.
Photograph: Michael Ciaglo/AP
(picture source)


Okay. Would the sight of this bunch standing around a strip mall -the one with the jocular tshirt celebrating drinking and killing as much as the one hiding his face - make you feel warm and fuzzy and safe? I personally would take my business elsewhere.

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3 Comments:

At 11:30 AM, July 28, 2015 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

I would drive on through. I saw somewhere else someone asking what would happen if the "protectors" were black men with guns. Interesting thought experiment.

 
At 11:49 AM, July 28, 2015 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Indeed. The difference between a black man carrying a bb-rifle in a KMart and a white man carrying an actual rifle in one.

 
At 4:19 AM, July 29, 2015 Anonymous Picky had this to say...

I'm happy to say that in my neck of the woods they would most certainly be arrested, and I suspect some interesting interviews with MI5 would follow.

 

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Submitted for your consideration

Hey, Christians. If you don't like the Satanic statue, might I suggest that you try a tiny bit empathy? That is what (maybe not quite so viscerally discomforting but then again maybe moreseo) non-Christians feel when they have to pass your religious statues and monuments all the time.

Perhaps the answer isn't to fill the public square with statues of Jesus and Mary and Baphomet and Kali and Ganesh and the Koran and the Triple Goddess and whatever or whoever. Just perhaps the answer is to keep all such things on the grounds of your church, or in your own front yards.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Now is not the time

Because the time is like "tomorrow" in Alice - it's always coming but it's never here.

An angry right-wing white man who hates women buys a gun in a pawn shop in Alabama and drives to Louisiana. He swaps his car's license plate. He then walks into a movie theater showing a rom-com starring a mouthy woman, a theater with about 25 people in the audience, mostly women, and sits in the back.  Once the movie starts, he stands up and starts shooting. He shoots methodically, not crazily, and he tries to leave the theater but apparently spots the cops rolling up. So he walks back inside, fires off a couple more rounds and then shoots himself.

But we shouldn't do anything but pray for the victims and their families. Because doing anything else is politicizing the tragedy.

We shouldn't ask how it's legal for a man with his history to be able to buy that gun

We shouldn't ask why his record of "extreme erratic behavior" didn't trip any alarms.

We shouldn't ask why his behavior was alarming enough that he was denied a concealed-carry permit, yet was allowed to buy a handgun in a pawn shop.

We shouldn't ask why he joins the long list of angry white men who shoot people, because every white man acts as an individual and is in no representative of anything larger than himself.

In fact, we basically shouldn't ask anything at all - except maybe "How long, Lord?"

Because asking - let alone doing - is "politicizing the tragedy". We just have to wait till things cool down. Except by then, there'll have been another. So far this year there have been as many "mass shootings" (not necessarily multiple deaths) as there have been days and over 40 mass killings, and the average number of "active shootings" (an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area) has gone from just over 6 per year from 2000-2005 to over 16 from 2006-2013).  By the time we're "ready" to talk about Lafayette, another big one will have come along to making talking about as heinous as doing it.

And one last note: we're always being told to pray for the victims ("Now it's time to shower the victims with love and prayers," says Bobby Jindal, and "The best thing we can do across Lafayette, across Louisiana, across our country, is come together in thoughts, in love, in prayer.") and not for a sea-change in our country's attitudes, not for people (men, mostly white men) to stop thinking shooting a bunch of strangers is the answer, not for the government to do something. No, "pray for the victims". So even the praying we do is meaningless by design. 

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1 Comments:

At 5:35 PM, July 26, 2015 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Remember during the 2008 Presidential campaign when Sarah Palin praised teachers by saying that they would receive their reward "in the next life"? The most reasonable inference is that she opposed their being rewarded appropriately "in this life."

 

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy Birthday with added deception

Today's Writer's Almanac offers the standard almost dateless capsule of birthday boy John Newton's life:
"In 1748, he had a spiritual conversion on a journey back to England. He almost drowned in a terrible storm, but he prayed to God, and the ship did not sink. After that, he stopped gambling and drinking, and he married a girl he had loved for many years. Newton was ordained as a minister. He gave up the slave trade entirely, and later in his life he became an outspoken abolitionist"
Notice how there's only one date, that of the miraculous prayer and intervention that set Newton on his new life. Or did it? Let us add 3 more dates:
  • 1748 as noted.
  • 1754 while still captaining a slave ship has stroke; stops sailing but continues investing in slaves.
  • From 1757 to 1764 studies for the ministry and becomes first a lay and then ordained minister.
  • 1788 publishes his pamphlet and becomes outspoken abolitionist.
In 1748 Newton prays to God during a storm and his ship doesn't sink. He reforms his life. But he continues to captain a slave ship and to trade in slaves. Even after he has a stroke that prevents him from being aboard a ship, he continues to invest in the slave trade. Clearly, slavery is not one of the things he thinks God wants him to give up.

This is important because the dateless biography strongly implies an immediate cause-and-effect sequence that simply isn't there. Slavery and Christianity went hand in hand for centuries in England and the US, and decades in Newton's life. "Amazing Grace" was not about seeing the light concerning slavery; he "stopped gambling and drinking " but he did not stop carrying, or trading in, slaves. Newton did do yeoman's work in the cause but he didn't start until 40 years after his conversion event. Implying otherwise is deeply dishonest.

And staggeringly common.

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