Who knew having an ignorant stupid lying braggart as president could have an up side?
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Friday, January 13, 2017
Some of the nominees are competent -- e.g. Mad Dog Mattis -- and some clearly not (Ben Carson for HUD seems like Trump finding a black guy to fill what has often in the past been a black position). About some of them it's too early to say. And Rex Tillerson is way too close with Russia to be trusted. But all of them are more competent than the Tweeter in Chief. It's possible, even likely, that Trump will delegate almost all executive responsibilities to his cabinet, which would be a good thing. Granted, it would be better to have an actual chief executive in charge, but the idea of Trump actually directing policy is frightening.
Trump may well stick to tweeting and corruptly using his office to enrich himself and his family. Which is probably the best possible outcome; furthermore, it's entirely plausible the corruption will stink too much even for the GOP, and he'll be impeached.
And there's also the possibility, given his lifestyle and fatness, of a major heart attack.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
The President is always going to get a lot of incoming. It's part of the job. Trump needs to grow a pair, and start acting like a mature human being. (Pro-tip: he won't)
As for the salacious details, they're still covered by 'It's not my kink, but your kink is OK too'. I honestly don't care what another adult gets up to with sex-workers or anything else. I consider his fetish for covering the entire world with gold-leaf far more offensive than his alleged watersports fetish. However, this kink is particularly easy to joke about, and I will. Maybe, seeing how damaging such allegations can be, he might consider decriminalizing sex work.
And just be thankful I didn't post any pictures.
Friday, January 6, 2017
Katy Talento is slated to be Trump's health care policy wonk on the domestic policy council.Her entire credentials seem to be that he is a 'Harvard-trained epidemiologist' (She has a masters in public health), and that she's spent many years as a political staffer for the Republicans. As far as I can tell, she has never worked as an epidemiologist per se, though she lists her specialty as 'the control of mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria and Dengue.'
She's the author of two worrisome articles about contraception. In the first "Ladies: Is Birth Control The Mother Of All Medical Malpractice?", she describes the ingredients of birth-control pills, twice, as "dangerous, carcinogenic chemicals". Well, no, they're not; some forms of contraception contain purely natural hormones that all of us (including men, BTW) have in our bodies. Progestin based pills may in fact ward off cancer: oral contraceptive use has consistently been found to be associated with a reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. They're certainly not carcinogens, although some forms of cancer (breast, notably) can be aggravated by estrogens -- because estrogens stimulate breast cells. Furthermore, anyone using 'chemicals' as a pejorative should be mocked; any scientist who uses it thusly should be unemployed. And she, like most Democrats, raises the specter of 'big pharma'. Very conservative. In the second article, "Miscarriage Of Justice: Is Big Pharma Breaking Your Uterus?", she attacks her boogeyman again.
The pharmacology of steroid hormones, natural and synthetic, is not her area of competence, so evidently she feels free to write tendentious crap that happens to follow her Roman-Catholic faith. She likes, instead, 'fertility-tracking', i.e. the rhythm method. My parents had six kids on the rhythm method.
I'm past being shocked by the incompetence of Trump' nominees. But this is worse: touting that this is one's area of expertise, and then substituting one's religious dogma for the consensus of the field.
I wrote that there must be some good aspects in what Hitler did, otherwise so many people would not have followed him.
One initially wonders how, living in Norway one's whole life, it is possible to accumulate material for a six-volume autobiography. This is readily explained by the Times, which notes that he spent 100 pages recounting how as a lad he hid beer-bottles in the snow for a party, and another 50 pages in another volume describing how much he disliked another party, this one in Sweden. And yet apparently 10% of all Norwegians have read his books.
For my part, I refuse to believe this is not a Lake Wobegon joke.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Problem is, most of the authors are apparently Brazilian, paid (presumably) by the Brazilian government, and have separate research funding from the same government. A non-Brazilian, English author says two of his three affilitions are with Brazilian universities. There seems to be no other funding aside from a fellowship. 2% of Brazil's GDP comes from cane sugar. Think a pressing national interest, bolstered by research funding from the government, is likely to bias research? If not, then why should industry funding?
Borges MC, Louzada ML, de Sá TH, Laverty AA, Parra DC, et al. (2017) Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Response to the Global Obesity Crisis. PLOS Medicine 14(1): e1002195. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002195
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Oh, did I say 'nothing'? I meant 'anything, including death'.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
This doesn't just apply to ticket-scalping. Every year, thousands of American men and women are prosecuted for consensual sex (or BDSM), or even just negotiating consensual sex, simply because money has changed hands. Aside from the direct costs, the indirect consequences of this -- driving sex-workers underground and making them more vulnerable to predation by cops or criminals, active corruption by the vice-squad, etc., are enormous. But why do we care if John Doe exchanges $500 for a two-hour session with Mistress Nasty? Both are grown ups of sound mind, and both consider they have profited from the transition. Who is some politican or policeman to interpose themself into the exchange?
This is my wish for 2017: that we stop trying to make criminal voluntary transactions between consenting adults. Why is it any of our business, or the State's business?