Friday, December 21, 2018

Once again

The Michigan Attorney General has released a document noting that my alma mater, Michigan State University, has so obscured the truth about the tenure of Larry Nassar that it would be impossible to find the overall truth about the matter.

And while we know that any investigation will not get the total truth, humans being fallible, it strikes me that what is implicit here is that investigations of sexual assault ought to be handled by those with large amounts of resources, subpoena power, the ability to handle physical and other circumstantial evidence, and most importantly who are bound by Constitutional limitations.

In other words, while I understand the motive of using internal discipline procedures to make sure that students need not fear other students--really the Genesis of Title IX in this area--keeping the matters out of the hands of those qualified and entitled to handle them serves only to exonerate the guilty and convict the innocent.  It's time to seriously re-evaluate Title IX to de-mystify the process of criminal investigation and drive complaints into the hands of police and prosecutors.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Why am I so fat again?

Oh, it just might have something to do with the fact that I'm buying "emotional support chickens" from Popeye's all the time.  Seriously, sad to say, there is no Popeye's in Rochester, although there is a Chick-Fil-A to help me maintain my adipose reserves.  More squats tonight!

Why are we so fat?

ColdFusionGuy links to this excellent article from the New York Times about the one factor that reliably (shift of statistical means) results in losing weight; bariatric surgery.  I am in agreement despite my endorsement of the Mayo Clinic Diet, and really that of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), and really for the same reason; any successful diet works by persuading the body that it doesn't want as much food as it thinks it does.  Mayo's diet does so by introducing plant foods in place of calorically more dense animal products, and bariatric surgery does so by physically reducing the size of the stomach. 

To grossly oversimplify things, the body's "full" signals from the stomach thus counter-act other signals that would induce us to eat more.  And that, in turn, illustrates a well-known fact of behavioral change; you need to see things before your eyes all the time, it seems, to be consistently reminded of your need to change.  The athlete needs to envision competition to get out of bed; the overweight person (guilty) needs to envision his next lipids and blood sugar test.  Doing so in a world of Krispy Kreme and the like often takes some doing.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Gateway drugs

I commented earlier on the apparent redefinition of "gateway drug" to mean "drug whose use is correlated with the use of other drugs" instead of "drug whose use leads to the use of harder, more dangerous drugs."  Well, with regards to the first, I saw this article today, and in one paragraph, this is noted:

And a 2017 Washington University study found that 33.3 percent of heroin addicts entering rehab in 2015 initiated nonmedical drug use with heroin, as opposed to 8.7 percent in 2005.

Now chew on that a little; regarding the overall hypothesis of the gateway drug, one would expect first of all that it would be difficult to figure out what was "people who use drug A are more likely to use drug B to begin with", and which was a true "gateway" drug.  But even more significantly, we are finding that for a very significant portion of heroin users, there was no other illegal drug involved before they started using what is, apart from fentanyl, one of the most dangerous drugs out there.

In other words, we have the very difficult task of figuring out what the real motivation is for people to try these powerful painkillers, and that seems to lead to what should be a fairly obvious conclusion;  Maybe we should ask those who are using why they're doing something so dangerous, and ask ourselves whether we can meet their needs with something less lethal.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Sad if true. Update: yikes

The Wall Street Journal, using "sources" (what else these days?), is suggesting that the Boy Scouts are (H/T John Manly) seriously considering bankruptcy in the wake of policy changes, membership drops, and lawsuits by those who have been sexually assaulted--one of whom used to comment on this little blog, for reference. 

Now obviously, the law firm referenced is not going to talk, and the Boy Scouts won't say anything about this until they might actually file, so we don't know anything for sure, but it strikes me that they're going to have trouble going through bankruptcy before putting some of their under-used camps up for sale--and sad to say, I'd suggest this ought to include Philmont, too.  As I noted in this comment regarding church-owned camp facilities, capital is not equivalent to the mission.

But even more sadly, this is something of a shock to me, as I had been under the impression that the Scouts were actually one of the best at child protection.  This may be true, but at least if sources be trusted ("if"), it's not been enough to satisfy those who have been hurt and their attorneys.

Update: given that the 2017 annual report of the Boy Scouts of America lists over a billion dollars in assets, I am very skeptical of the notion that they'll be filing for bankruptcy, unless a number of huge misconduct lawsuits are set to go against them and somehow it's never made the papers.  The only other possibility is that they'd be attempting to pay debts without selling assets, and I'd at least thought that a Scout is "trustworthy".  So count me very, very skeptical--and hopeful as a result. 

Update 2: the BSA has sent out a letter explaining that every option is on the table.  They are not denying investigating Chapter 11.  Yikes, and sad.

Annals of "not being observant"

Apparently any number of otherwise sane-looking people have decided that it is somehow offensive for an expecting mother to cradle her baby bump, and journalists have come to the rescue by trying to explain why this might be normal behavior.

Now maybe I'm a bit amused by this, having watched Mrs. Bubba carry our six babies, but one thing that seems to have escaped these journalists is that caressing one's baby bump (or one's wife's, for that matter) is simply a natural reaction to how incredibly cool it is that a woman's body is nourishing a baby in there.  Sure, it has benefits for Mom and baby, too, but it says something about our society that many women have absolutely no clue about the process by which a woman becomes a mother.  

We might infer that isolating children from families in public schools and colleges, as well as Roe v. Wade, have wreaked a wicked work in the minds of too many of us. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Now that's a great place to work

In this "Art of Manliness" podcast, widower Herb Knoll notes that a few months after his wife died of cancer, one of his subordinates at the bank where he worked came up to him and told him "the whole floor misses your laughter."  It strikes me that Mr. Knoll was an extremely fortunate man to have a subordinate who had the chutzpah to come up to him and say that, and moreover it says a lot about his leadership that this subordinate got the nerve to do so as well.

The rest of the podcast is worthwhile as well, saying an awful lot about how men do, or do not, seek community in their time of trouble. 

Monday, December 10, 2018


You've got Jim Comey leaking his (classified) memos to the press to get an investigation started, you've got Mueller's team leaking like a sieve every time they think they have something (also feloniously), you've got the DOJ and FBI working to circumvent real investigations as long as the day, and somehow I'm supposed to think it's Donald Trump that should be in trouble for paying off a whore.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Speaking of "very large brain plans"

Incoming Congress-dingbat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has decided to threaten Donald Trump Jr. with a Congressional subpoena on the rationale, apparently, that Trump Jr. noted that under socialism, people eat their dogs instead of walking them.

Seems to me that if Ms. Ocasio-Cortez were to actually attempt this, she might learn about the legal concept of "quashing a subpoena" on the grounds that it is merely vindictive.  If she wants to talk to someone with a "very large brain plan", she can do her makeup.

(to be sure, I don't doubt that, with a degree from Brown, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez does have raw brainpower--it simply suffers because it is devoted to false ideas)

And to be fair, she did point out later that she would not have that power unilaterally, I'd guess after having been read the riot act by one of her colleagues, but the simple fact of the matter is that her tweet was indeed a threat.  She could, in a Congress with some devotion to basic ethics (which won't happen under Nancy Pelosi of course), enter the body as the first member to start her term under censure, or for that matter not enter it at all.

Who is Michael Avenatti?

Well, here's a nice summary of the last few years of his life, courtesy of The American Thinker.  What a pity, however, that we don't have groups of people with printing presses, websites, television and radio stations, and the like who might have investigated this months ago and made it very public that Donald Trump's most notorious accuser is a lying, adulterous skunk who most likely belongs in jail?  Peter Zenger, please call your office.  You've got some work to do.

Side note; Avenatti is apparently have a heck of a midlife crisis.  Me, I'm dreaming of a nice carbon fiber bike, and I've quite frankly got no use for a Ferrari.  I've seen a few on the streets, and the nicest thing I can say about them is that they sound flatulent.  The video is hilarious, though, as it's got to be infuriating to drive a vehicle that will do 150mph+ on anything but the Autobahn or the Nurburgring. 

Thursday, December 06, 2018

I'm confused

Didn't the Democrats tell us, repeatedly, that this sort of thing is OK?   Why is it that legis-critters are entitled to a bathroom used only by their own biological sex, but high school students are not?  Call me confused.

That said, kudos to (Republican) State Senator Beth Martinez Humenik for noting that what she primarily wanted was an apology, not necessarily a resignation.  Once again, if you are, like me, watching with some interest what happens in the #MeToo movement, this is very instructive.

Also of interest is that USA Gymnastics has temporarily halted progress towards dealing with their "Larry Nassar" problems by filing for bankruptcy.  Now to a degree, they've got some defense--lawsuit demands probably will exceed their resources--but since they've not lost a case yet, isn't this premature?  Moreover, observant people cannot fail to notice that the legal hullaballoo about this is going to put a crimp into doing what needs to be done; get the evidence out, make sure they understand what cultural tendencies led to the toleration of what Nassar and others were doing, fixing the culture, and finally re-staffing with people who know and appreciate what the new culture ought to be.

In other words, my view was that the only way for USAG to survive was for them to fall on their sword, ironically.  Putting that blade back in the sheath will only result in killing them off, and in the possible degradation of the national gymnastics teams for years to come. 

Sounds to me like they've forgotten what they were all about. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Change society for the better

Talk to a teenager.   How so?  Well, this Atlantic article, referenced by this "Art of Manliness" podcast, indicates that many young (and middle aged) people are missing out on marriage and legitimate sexual outlets because, in part, they're wedded to their cell phones instead.  I personally note this at the health club where I pretend to work out; where weight rooms had lively banter when I was a young pup, now most lifters are listening to "mood music" on their cell phones.

That isolation born of cell phones, however, appears to be having a nasty consequence; they aren't learning to interact with adults on an adult basis.  As a result, they don't grow up, don't get married, get some nasty habits, and worst of all, you don't get grandchildren to spoil or kids in the church nursery for your kid fix. 

So talk with a young person and save society.  And your sanity, and at least a remnant of the Social Security and Medicare people are counting on to take care of you when you get a touch older.

What happens when a state legalizes weed?

Students in California, which has recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, have started to claim that children's show Veggie Tales is racist--and I quote here--because the evil characters are of color.  Lost in the analysis, of course, is the fact that the biggest hero of the show, Larry Boy, is bright green, gold, and purple. 

No, I'm not seriously arguing that this insane stupidity is all because California legalized marijuana.  Usually when someone comes up with an idea this idiotic, I'm assuming it's something stronger in their pipe.