Apparently, you can’t throw out test results just because you’re not happy with the races of the people who do well on them

A victory for the New Haven firefighters.


Keep Being Awesome!

From Passive Aggressive, where I go when I just can’t study anymore:

soyfuckers anonymous

P.S. Don’t you just love the idea of “vegan-curious”?

And you want these people in charge of your healthcare, part ?? (I always knew that cartoon bee was up to no good edition)

According to the FDA, Cheerios is a drug, and must be regulated as such. 

The FDA sent a warning to Cheerios maker General Mills Inc. that it is in serious violation of federal rules.

“Based on claims made on your product’s label, we have determined that your Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal is promoted for conditions that cause it to be a drug because the product is intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease” the FDA letter said. “[Cheerios] may not be legally marketed with the above claims in the United States without an approved new drug application.”

If the FDA were to win its enforcement action against Cheerios, all the boxes would have to be pulled from grocery-store shelves, and children could only get their morning “fixes” with a prescription from their doctors.

Two claims on the Cheerios cereal box upset the FDA: “Cheerios is clinically proven to reduce cholesterol 4 percent in 6 weeks” and, “Cheerios can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, by lowering the ‘bad’ cholesterol.”

Is Porn a Dangerous Job?

Feminist Law Professors bemoans a recent outbreak of HIV among porn actors, citing 16 previously unreported cases in Los Angeles County in the last 5 years, for a total of 22. 

Ann Bartow, the author of the piece, approaches it from, of course, a feminist perspective.  But, what I would like to know is what happens if we just look at it from a dangerous jobs perspective.  I am loath to google the number of porn actors and actresses in Los Angeles County, so I’m going to keep this hypothetical. 

No one can claim that porn actors don’t know the risks that they are signing up for, particularly when they choose to work bareback.  How does this number, as a percentage of the total number of workers, compare to deaths (to take it to extremes, since how often do we hear now that HIV is not a death sentence?) in other dangerous jobs, such as military, firefighters, commercial fishermen, police officers, oil rig workers, etc.? 

Of course, I guess one has to bear in mind that most of the people who die or are seriously injured doing those jobs are men.

Which of these things are “low-level terrorism”?

According to the Department of Defense, “protests.” 

  A written exam administered by the Pentagon labels “protests” as a form of “low-level terrorism” — enraging civil liberties advocates and activist groups who say it shows blatant disregard of the First Amendment.The written exam, given as part of Department of Defense employees’ routine training, includes a multiple-choice question that asks:

“Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism?”The correct answer, according to the exam, is “Protests.”

— Attacking the Pentagon

— IEDs

— Hate crimes against racial groups

— Protests

Question 1: How, how is speaking out against some policy that is disliked, en mass, but otherwise peacefully, terrorism in any way, shape or form?  Does dissent create terror?  Please explain how. 

Question 2: Does this scare you, as a supporter of the First Amendment? 


So, did we always have a Health and Human Services “faith based” Position?

or is this something new? 

President Barack Obama has tapped an anti-abortion activist to a senior Health and Human Services “faith-based” position just a week after the murder of prominent abortion doctor George Tiller.

Alexia Kelley is executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG), and will head the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to The American Prospect, a liberal magazine, “Kelley is a leading proponent of ‘common ground’ abortion reduction — only CACG’s common ground is at odds with that of Obama. While the administration favors reducing the need for abortion by reducing unintended pregnancies, Kelley has made clear that she seeks instead to reduce access to abortion.”

Kelley’s appointment appears yet more salient in lieu of the fact that President Obama has expanded the faith-based project of the executive branch to include public policy — with an eye toward reducing the need for abortions.

But a Prospect blogger, Sarah Posner, points out that opposition to the nomination can be found simply in an argument that “reproductive health is a public health, not a religious issue.”

Now, please don’t get me wrong; I consider abortion to be an abomination, and I approve of legal protections for the unborn.  I’m also not one of those sorts who expect people to check their religion at the doors- I understand that there is no specific call for the “separation of church and state” in the Constitution.  That said, I’m a big fan of the Establishment Clause, and the idea of a specific faith based position kind of freaks me out. 

*** BTW, don’t miss reading the comments, which lament the fact that we couldn’t have given the presidency to such fine candidates as Cynthia McKinney or Dennis Kucinich, rather than the horrible Barry O.  It’s pretty darn hysterical.

Brains: Nature or Development?

Every now and again, a study comes out attesting to the fact that homosexual men have brains that are more similar to women’s than to men’s.  This one is just the latest (HT Instapundit)

Using brain scanning equipment, researchers said they discovered similarities in the brain circuits that deal with language, perhaps explaining why homosexual men tend to outperform straight men on verbal skills tests — as do heterosexual women.

The area of the brain that processes emotions also looked very much the same in gay men and straight women — and both groups have higher rates of depressive disorders than heterosexual men, researchers said.

The study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, however, found the brain similarities were not as close in the case of gay women and straight men.

Previous studies have found evidence that sexual orientation is hard-wired. More than a decade ago, neurobiologist Simon LeVay reported that a key area of the hypothalamus, a brain structure linked to sexual behavior, was smaller in homosexual men compared to heterosexual men.

The latest study, led by Ivanka Savic of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, was significant in that it looked at areas of the brain that have nothing to do with sexual behavior, suggesting there was a basic biological link between sexual orientation and a range of brain functions.

The way I see it, this research means nothing when they are done after  the person has identified and lived as gay.  Brains change and develop over time; how can we say that the way that we use our brain, say, by embracing a more feminine attitude/personality as some gay men do, doesn’t cause the brain to develop in a more “feminine” way? 

What I would like to see is a longitudinal study, done starting in childhood and following to adulthood, to see if we could “predict” homosexuality based on brain physiology.  (Yeah, that would be a Pandora’s Box- it’s my research fantasy, so I will limit it only to answering questions about which I am curious and assume that it will never be misused.)