December 19th, 2013
|daily_kos||07:20 pm - It's not easy being a carpetbagger|
Liz Cheney’s husband has been registered to vote in both Virginia and Wyoming for the past nine months, even though he signed a document in Wyoming saying he was not registered elsewhere.
This isn't exactly the biggest sin in the world: Cheney's husband, who still works in Washington, DC, apparently signed the document saying he wasn't registered elsewhere when registering in Virginia, where he had been previously registered—and simply never got around to removing his name from Virginia's roles, at least not until now.
But it's another example of how tough it can be to be a carpetbagger—and maybe has a few lessons for Scott Brown, who will face similar issues with his move to New Hampshire.
|daily_kos||06:34 pm - Marriage equality: New Mexico joins the 21st century|
Congratulations, New Mexico, on becoming the 17th state to recognize marriage equality!
And welcome to the 21st century!
New Mexico's highest court declares same-sex marriage legal - @AP
|gordon_edgar||06:20 pm - Cheese list — the first time since Thanksgiving I’ve had a chance to post|
1. Isn’t this just about the most gorgeous cheese label you’ve ever seen?
2. I love that Rush Creek is now a Thanksgiving tradition. I wish we could get enough Winnimere to make that an Xmas one, but I get it! I get it! Rush Creek for xmas too!
3. Here’s one of my Thanksgiving cheese plates. My family got the more American plate.
(From front left, clockwise: Anton’s Peppered Ass Cheese, Cremeux de Bourgnone, Camembert di Bufala, Scharfer Maxx Extra, Molleux du Revard)
4. Still collecting Cheesemonger Selfies. More are being posted all the time. Email me your pics and I’ll put em up. (gordon.zola.edgar at gmail dot com)
5. If you are local and are not on the invite list for the monthly cheesemonger gatherings, go here, or hit me up at that email as well and I’ll put you on the list. It is not exclusive!
6. I really cannot create any real content you know… it’s that time of the year.
7. I should be able to officially announce my book contract in my next post though. I would be able to now except for a couple of e-book details that weren’t in my last contract. Things have changed!
8. I am going to post a picture a day starting tomorrow. My cheese memories of 2013. You likely have seen ‘em before, but whatever. True beauty doesn’t fade.
|marlowe1||01:42 pm - Life Hacking is for White People|
James Altucher recently posted a short piece on Quora entitled, How to Break All the Rules and Get Everything You Want.Friend posted this article on my Facebook Timeline. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, thank G-d someone else is calling these smug assholes on their shit. When I googled Sean Aiken and his "I'm going to work one job every week until I find my life's passion (which turns out to be talking about himself - surprise surprise)" bullshit, I found dozens of articles - articles that weren't written by Aiken's PR people - praising him for being white and privileged and totally able to try out jobs to find out which one is the most fun. (or fulfilling)
In this piece, Altucher — whose Wikipedia page contains the phrase “ran a fund of hedge funds” — recounts the tale of taking his daughter out for a fashion show and some ping-pong. When he is not on the list at the fashion show (a friend had promised to add him), he manipulates his way in. When the ping-pong venue is closed due to a private event, he manipulates his way in and plays ping-pong at someone else’s party.
He believes his fun evening provides a lesson for us all: “Don’t break the laws. Don’t kill people. Don’t steal. But most other rules can be bent.”
James Altucher thinks he has written an article about “getting everything you want.” He has actually written an article about white privilege. (And probably class privilege, and male privilege, and maybe some others.)
On the other hand, my blood pressure is rising. The opening anecdote of the post office where the white guy walks in, ignores the 18 people waiting in line and tries to get the postal worker to "do him a favor" and let him cut in line happened to me as well. Only it was a young and attractive woman with a large box, but it was just that one box.
But the guy who was taking up all the time at the counter, just chatting away with the postal worker as if they were old friends and not people engaged in a transaction - blithely ignoring the 20-30 people in line who also had things to mail - actually tried to "graciously" let her go after him.
I wasn't the only one yelling "No! Get the fuck in line!" Actually there might have even been some back and forth as the woman tried to say that she only had that ONE heavy box, but the upshot was that everyone in line had things to mail. The fascinating thing is that in the eyes of the woman trying to cut in line and the guy who was trying to help her, I was the asshole.
|wring||10:25 am - GST|
Baby and tree
|mccovey_chrons||10:04 am - Masahiro Tanaka unlikely to pitch for Dodgers in 2014|
Have you noticed the Dodgers have been really, really quiet this offseason? It's creepy. They're just sitting in the corner, staring at you, using a stack of hundreds as a loofah, completely naked for some reason. Also, you're picturing Tommy Lasorda as the personification of the Dodgers.
Let me start over.
The Dodgers' offseason shopping list, so far:
- Brian Wilson
- J.P. Howell
- Juan Uribe
- Seth Rosin
- Dan Haren
- Alex Guerrero
I like Haren as the token non-ex-Giant. Way to throw everyone off your scent, Ned. But that's a completely reasonable list of acquisitions. Those players filled organizational needs quietly and effectively. It's the kind of offseason shopping list you might see from the Padres or Astros, depending on the year.
Edit: I forgot about Guerrero when I posted. That's kind of risk-spendy. Carry on.
And the Dodgers keep staring. Keep staring. Keep staring.
There are a couple of reasons, I'm guessing. The first is there just aren't a lot of ways for the Dodgers to throw money around recklessly right now. Their biggest need is at third base, and they signed the biggest third-base free agent on the market. That would be Juan Uribe. Also, "biggest" is ambiguous, but I'm using it in a context of "best." If, say, Chase Headley were on the market, the Dodgers would have already given him the Werth.
The second reason is everyone's pretty sure the Dodgers will offer a Maybach filled with jewels and robots to Masahiro Tanaka when he's available. That was supposed to be this offseason. Ah, ah, ah, Dodgers. Not so fast. From the Grey Lady:
But on Thursday morning, several Japanese newspapers reported that the Eagles — who control the rights to Tanaka until the end of 2015 — would not permit major league teams to bid for him.
If the Dodgers' offseason plan revolved around Tanaka, they'll probably have to go to Plan B. They'll have to think quietly about what that plan is. While they stare at you and keep up with the money loofah.
There are a couple different Plan Bs, I'd reckon. The first is to trade the farm for David Price. The Rays are looking for a "Herschel Walker trade", according to something I read (but can't find now). I would be in favor of the Dodgers playing the role of the Vikings in that situation. In most situations, really. While a Greinke/Kershaw/Price/Ryu rotation is stupid and unfair, I'd rather the Dodgers give up the prospects if they just have to have another premium pitcher.
They could also pay a ton of money for Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, or Ubaldo Jimenez. Garza wouldn't cost a draft pick, and he's probably the most trustworthy of the trio. He'd make the Dodgers better, and it's not like they care about the money, so the Giants wouldn't exactly get to giggle at their misfortune. But better Garza than Tanaka.
Maybe the Dodgers will just do nothing and keep staring at you until the deadline. It's possible.
I wasn't looking forward to Tanaka 13 or 14 times a year under the unbalanced schedule. There's still a chance the Golden Eagles will change their minds. Let's hope not.
Update: The Golden Eagles are being jerks, and Tanaka still might be posted, according to this Japanese news source. What say you, Google Transalate?
The 19th, in response to coverage of the press in Sendai city, it's that tough for the "system but certain as to whether to accept a U.S. Major League Baseball moved in the new posting system Tanaka Masahiro pitcher Tachibana Yozo team president of comfort. "I have comments policy and will continue to. Discussion are not out yet." Teams are undecided talks time with the Tanaka future.
Image: Untitled by Louise Bourgeois
I wrote this for the Spolia tumblr, but it seems relevant over here as well.
A year ago, I referred publicly to a woman’s blog post as “hysterical,” and was shouted down by a few people for using a misogynist term. I wasn’t being flip, I tried to explain. To me, being hysterical online is a very specific thing, when you don’t really read the piece you are responding to, and are instead responding to some perceived insult that may or may not truly exist, and then you inflate your own sense of hurt and wear your injuries around in order to protect yourself from any sort of logical response. Taking an argument out of the realm of logic and taking it to this heightened, and personal, emotional state and deliberately blocking a person’s ability to argue.
No one cared. I would have used the same word if a man had written the piece, and it’s not like they don’t. Nerd dude culture is soaking in these responses, just read any blog posts responding to negative movie reviews of The Avengers or responses to women claiming sexism in video games. They get hysterical.
But it started an argument with a colleague: whether or not I was allowed to use the word “hysterical” in reference to a woman. It is too historically loaded, I was told. But the word fits so wonderfully, it is such a wonderfully specific and useful word was my argument. This colleague, a man, also refuses to use the word “bitch.” I use the word bitch a lot.
I understand that the term is loaded in a particularly gendered way. But I also think because it is more often a feminine tactic than a masculine tactic — not because women are more emotional or less prone to logic but because it’s a behavior that is encouraged in women by being rewarded. And any sort of emotional behavior or display is still discouraged in men. It’s not to say the hurt or the injury is never there, it’s that online culture really does encourage this type of response. The “I am right — and the victim! — so any argument is a form of bullying.” And the comment sections fill up with echoes of support, and dissent is shouted down.
(More common on sites like The Wall Street Journal and more male-dominated conversations is the blank refutation of “facts” they picked up by whichever warped source happened to agree with them, and claims of logic that do not in any way exist, and that is a different thing from what I am talking about. Neither one is a better or worse way to have a conversation, they both are horrible.)
Take the 19th century French hysterics at Salpêtrière. They had obvious problems, all of them. Abusive families, rapes and assaults, emotional disorders, PTSD, etc. And that caused physical symptoms, as it tends to do. So off to the asylum they went. Where they were responded to if their physical symptoms lined up with the expectations of the doctors. If they convulsed, they were rewarded with attention. If they contorted, they were asked to perform and found a level of fame. Soon their physical symptoms, which had been chaotic and very wide-ranging, aligned with what the doctors believed about hysteria.
The problem was, the emotional problems and past traumas were never addressed and dealt with. The physical symptoms were all anybody saw. Most of the women were lifelong inpatients. The performance becomes a distraction, a way to keep the conversation or our train of thought or psychotherapy sessions from hitting the real source. It allows us to “win,” an argument or a belief or whatever our rewards are, and that is often times the only thing we want.
Maybe I shouldn’t use the word “hysteria,” maybe using the word is its own form of shutting the argument down. I do use it, though. But I thought I perhaps needed to clarify what I mean when I use the word.
|daily_kos||09:32 pm - New Obamacare customers get a little more time to pay first premium|
People purchasing new plans on the health insurance exchanges have just been given an extension on their first payment deadlines, courtesy of the insurance industry. The sign up deadline is still December 23 for plans beginning on January 1, but now the first premium can be paid as late as January 10, with coverage retroactive to January 1, AHIP announces.
Health plans across the country are voluntarily giving individual market enrollees who select a plan by December 23 more time to pay their first month’s premium. Consumers must still pay their first month’s premium before coverage takes effect, but those who pay their premium by January 10 will now be able to have coverage retroactive to January 1.
The health insurance industry is very much looking forward to having all these new customers, apparently. The new payment deadline doesn't do much about the deadline that's just a week away for actually enrolling. The additional flexibility, which includes an additional pay period for many people, could encourage more people to sign up.
“Our community is taking an important step to give consumers greater peace of mind about their health care coverage,” said AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni.
|daily_kos||04:33 pm - PolitiFact. Sigh.|
PolitiFact is very pleased with itself because its calling President Obama's "you can keep your health insurance" flub the "lie of the year" got lots of attention. It got attention from "both sides" and "both sides" didn't like it so of course that means good.
In the middle of their self-congratulating is this:
Over at the website Daily Kos, Joan McCarter said our Half True rating showed the selection was a cave to conservative pressure. "What exactly has changed in the past year, other than a Republican-fed media frenzy? Nothing. And nothing has changed with PolitiFact either, which is still picking and choosing its own ‘facts,’ " she wrote.
No, not really. I mean, I did write that, but I also wrote something PolitiFact is choosing to not address at all as they bask in their not-wrongness. In June, 2012 they said the same statement from President Obama was half true. In December, 2013, they declared it the lie of the year. Nothing about the statement changed in the intervening year and a half. So why in the hell did PolitiFact reverse itself?
We don't know! And they don't tell us! They're too proud of the fact that people from "both sides" don't like them. They don't seem to be interested into delving into why that might be.
|daily_kos||04:15 pm - Bobby 'Stop being the stupid party' Jindal defends Duck Dynasty star because Miley Cyrus|
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who famously blasted federal funding for volcano monitoring just days before a volcano eruption in covered Sarah Palin's home town in ash, had a message for Republicans earlier this year:
La. Gov. Bobby Jindal back when he was the GOP savior
Stop being the stupid party.
And now, one year later, Jindal has weighed in on A&E's decision to suspend Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for making crude homophobic comments in a GQ interview, saying that Robertson and his family are "great citizens of the state of Lousiana" and:
I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.
I'm not about to defend Miley Cyrus as a musician or performer, but if Bobby Jindal can't tell the difference between getting your First Amendment rights violated and getting suspended from a TV show, or the difference between someone promoting sales of a music album and someone starring on an advertiser-supported TV show, or the difference between raunchiness and bigotry, well, then he should take his own advice, and stop being stupid.
|daily_kos||03:30 pm - Hillary to decide in 2014|
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tells ABC's Barbara Walters she hasn't yet decided whether to seek the presidency in 2016, but will make her decision within the next year:
Ready to tackle the problems facing the country—including today's GOP
"Obviously, I will look carefully at what I think I can do and make that decision sometime next year.
That's pretty much in line with what most people have been expecting, but in the meantime, Hillary said the focus shouldn't be on her decision, but rather:
"I think we should be looking at the work that we have today. Our unemployment rate is too high. We have people getting kicked off food stamps who are in terrible economic straits. Small business is not getting credit, I could go on and on, so I think we ought to pay attention to what's happening right now."
And she also said she thinks it's important for a woman to serve as president one day:
"It matters. It matters because we have half the population that has given so much to building this country, to making it work, raising children and, of course, I want to see women eventually in the White House," Clinton said. "If you look at my friends and former colleagues, who are now in the Senate, it was the women senators, on both sides of the aisle, who finally broke the fever over the government shutdown and the debt limit. ... They have been working across party lines, and we need more of that."
So Hillary Clinton would like to see a woman in the White House and thinks the most important problems facing the country are helping people find jobs, protecting the social safety net, and supporting small businesses.
Hmmm. I know she says she hasn't decided whether to run, but off the top of my head, I can think of one person who could meet all those goals and give Democrats a huge head start on 2016. And I guess we'll have to wait just a little bit longer to find out if she's ready to do it.
|daily_kos||02:50 pm - Income inequality in six panels|
Tom the Dancing Bug, by @RubenBolling.
Members of the elite and prestigious INNER HIVE get Tom the Dancing Bug emailed to their inboxes every week, at least a day before publication -- and much, much MORE! That could be YOU!
JOIN or don’t.
|awful_books||02:12 pm - Blasphemy!|
A Touch and Feel Book
Submitter: We do not have this book in my library but according to Worldcat, some do. There is nothing wrong with this book, but I think the title is just a bit inappropriate.
Holly: It is a cute book, but I can see some people being a bit put off by the title. What, exactly, do you get to touch and feel? The lambs and the straw, maybe? HOPEFULLY??
|daily_kos||01:00 pm - Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Republican concedes Virginia attorney general's race|
Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here
• VA-AG: On Wednesday afternoon, Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain conceded the Virginia attorney general's race to Democrat Mark Herring. After an initial tally found Herring ahead by just 165 votes out of over 2.2 million cast statewide in November, Obenshain sought a recount, hoping to turn the contest in his favor.
But that recount, which began Monday, went very poorly for him. According to an unofficial but very thorough tally maintained by Daily Kos Election's own Taniel, Herring's lead bloomed to over 600 votes. That's thanks mostly to officials uncovering undervotes in heavily Democratic areas like Fairfax County, which uses paper ballots. In a somewhat ironic twist, most of the redder jurisdictions in Virginia rely on electronic voting machines that leave no paper trail for individual votes, so there simply weren't undervotes to be discovered there.
More importantly, Obenshain's concession gives Democrats a sweep of November's elections and undisputed control of all five of Virginia's statewide elected positions—for the first time since the late 1960s. That's a connection in name only, though, as this quintet represents an utterly different party from their predecessors who held sway during the height of segregation. Remarkably, two of these Democrats—Sen. Tim Kaine and Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe—were former DNC chiefs, and McAuliffe ran an explicitly liberal campaign. And the others—Sen. Mark Warner, Lt. Gov.-elect Ralph Northam, and Herring—are incomparably more progressive than Virginia Democrats of yesteryear.
It's a major sea change in the Old Dominion, and one that Republicans should find troubling. Democrats have a moment to celebrate this massive set of victories, but very soon, the hard work of governing begins.
|daily_kos||01:18 pm - Cheers and Jeers: Thursday|
From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…
Oh! More Things I Know (Holiday Edition)
>> When one of the dendrites in a tea party caucus member's head goes out the whole string goes out.
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
>> Wild weather! When I woke up yesterday I looked out the window and noticed that another foot had fallen overnight. It's size 9½ and we left it on the porch in case it's yours and you want it back.
Other things I know:
Santa just IS purple.
And also a T. rex.
>> I look forward to the day when the Salvation Army stops discriminating against the LGBT community so I can start tossing some coin in the kettle.
>> Bing Crosby and David Bowie once sang a duet of Little Drummer Boy. Even 36 years later, that's trippy.
>> Figgy pudding is PEOPLE!!!
>> Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings. Every time a horn honks an angel falls through a trap door into a tank of alligators.
>> So all I want for Christmas is peace on earth. And if I can't have that I'll settle for a constitutional amendment banning people from starting sentences with "So…"
>> I sold my precious pocketwatch so I could afford to buy my partner Michael a set of hair brushes. But unbeknownst to me he sold his precious hair so he could afford to buy me a watch fob. He laughed and said at least we've got each other. I stomped off, slammed the door, and declared Christmas ruined.
>> A Hallmark Hall of Fame movie you'll never see: The Tar Sands Oil Spill That Saved Christmas.
|daily_kos||01:30 pm - Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9am ET!|
Daily Kos Radio's Kagro in the Morning show podcasts are now available through iTunes.
And we're now being broadcast live on We Act Radio, Washington, DC's WPWC 1480 AM! So if you're in the area, tune in on your actual radio. And if not, you can always find their live stream at WeActRadio.com.
OK, it's Thursday before a week the kids have off from school for the holidays. Is that excuse enough to stop working, you think? Can I get away with that much clock-watching?
Well, would we even want to? The day after we found out that John Boehner rents his Capitol Hill apartment from a lobbyist for the indoor tanning industry. And that there are lobbyists for the indoor tanning industry!
And that's not even the craziest story I found yesterday!
Not that they still aren't all pretty much about how we're all getting suckered. SS, DD in that respect.
We're LIVE at 9:00 a.m. ET with Kagro in the Morning, thanks to NetrootsRadio.com.
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|neur0bl0g||12:54 pm - OK – But Should I Take a Vitamin|
In a follow up to my post earlier this week, I have received (in the comments and elsewhere) multiple questions about whether or not it is still reasonable, in some circumstances, to take a multivitamin. This is ultimately an issue of how to apply scientific evidence to specific individuals – something which physicians have to do every day.
What studies of vitamin supplementation have generally found is that taking a multivitamin does not reduce the risk of cancer, reduce the risk of vascular disease, or prolong survival overall. The question is – can we generalize from the populations in these studies to the general population – to you? Perhaps you are in a subgroup that would benefit from vitamins.
Another common question is whether or not it is reasonable to take a vitamin for “nutritional insurance” in case your diet is lacking in one or more vitamins.
The scientific evidence we have is imperfect and incomplete, otherwise we would have a definitive answer to any such questions. Scientific evidence in medicine is always incomplete – we cannot study every possible permutation of physical conditions and interventions.
At this point, however, the evidence is robust and we can make fairly confident statements about some basic conclusions. If you are a member of the general population, which means you have no diseases or conditions which result in a restricted diet, poor absorption of nutrients, or greater than usual nutritional needs, despite many studies there is no evidence of any health benefit from routine supplementation.
This does not rule out a small benefit, or a subgroup benefit, but it does mean that any possible benefit is highly likely to be minimal. Further, the subgroup argument is not helpful, because you won’t know whether or not you are in a subgroup that may benefit (by definition, otherwise you wouldn’t be considered part of the general population. In other words, known subgroups have already been identified and removed.)
You can make the subgroup argument about any failed clinical trial. This generally does not pan out as a way of rescuing a failed treatment. It’s mostly not worth considering (it’s mostly special pleading) unless you have a good reason to suspect that a specific subgroup might benefit, in which case you should study the subgroup.
The nutritional insurance argument also does not fly – this is exactly what the studies have looked at. Taking a vitamin routinely as nutritional insurance is of no benefit.
A number of studies have compared dietary changes to vitamin supplementation for the prevention of cancer or vascular disease. These studies generally find that dietary changes are helpful, while supplements are not.
Often critics of these negative studies argue that the control group had a good diet, and this obscured any benefit from the vitamins. But that is exactly the point – if you have a good diet, you don’t need vitamins. And – if you have a bad diet, taking vitamins does not make up for it. You need to improve your diet.
The evidence shows that, either way, you are better off improving your diet, and taking vitamins does not help.
Yesterday on Science Based Medicine I wrote about a recent analysis showing that just recommending that people eat an apple a day – essentially adding a portion of fruit to their diet (without increasing their overall caloric intake) could save 8,500 lives a year in the UK, about as many as would be saved from taking a statin.
The same basic power and type of clinical and observational studies that show no benefit to vitamins do show that adding a portion of fruits and vegetables to your diet has a measurable health benefit.
Therefore, if you want some nutritional insurance, eat an apple.
What are the known subgroups that could benefit from some supplementation? I cannot give an exhaustive list, as there are many specific conditions, but here are a few common ones:
- Woman who are trying to get pregnant should take prenatal vitamins
- Recovering from surgery or injury
- Any malabsorption disorder
- Older patients may have a decreased ability to absorb vitamin B12, and should have their level checked periodically.
- Anyone on a restrictive diet should be familiar with which nutrients their diet may lack.
- Certain medications may deplete specific vitamins, in which case your physician will likely give you a supplement to take with the medication.
Dieting for weight loss may be a situation where it is reasonable to take a supplement. However, you should not be restricting to the point that you cannot get adequate nutrition through your food. Further, adding lots of vegetable to your diet is a good way to both lose weight and get your vitamins.
What about growing children? Here again it is optimal to encourage a well rounded diet. However, I admit to being on the fence here. If a child is going through a picky phase, and has a narrow diet despite your best efforts, a multivitamin may be reasonable as they are growing.
But – do not fall into the trap of thinking this is adequate and relieves you of the need to encourage a well-rounded diet. That would still be better.
If your child is not having a problem with obesity, then fruit is usually a good solution. My daughters love strawberries and apples, so we make sure there are always plenty of both in the house, and they can eat as much as they want. Strawberries in particular are packed with vitamins. And yes, you have to nag them to eat their vegetables.
You are better off giving them good eating habits for life, rather than just giving them a supplement.
I wish it were not the case. I really do wish that I could stave off disease and prolong life – in my patients, my loved-ones, and myself – simply by taking a supplement. The evidence, unfortunately, just doesn’t show it.
The good news is that, for most people, the best advice is actually quite simple. Eat a well-rounded diet with 5 portions a day of fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly. When it comes to vitamins and supplements – save your money. Spend it on food or a stationary bike.
If you have reason to suspect that your nutritional needs may be special, then consult your physician. It is easy enough to check your vitamin levels.
Also, the one vitamin that is perhaps the exception to the above is vitamin D. Research on this is still preliminary, but vitamin D insufficiency (if not outright deficiency) may be very common. The darker your skin and the further from the equator you live, the greater the chance you may need to supplement your vitamin D, since we get most of it from the sun. The consistent use of sunscreen, while good for preventing skin cancer, also decreases vitamin D levels.
But again – get your levels checked and supplement accordingly. Primary care doctors are doing this routinely now.
|nick_kaufmann||09:02 am - The Peter O’Toole Miracle|
It is a little known fact that ever since Peter O’Toole died five days ago, he has been mysteriously appearing on old science fiction book covers around the globe:
A miracle? A message from the great beyond? You decide.
Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.
|beypndchron||04:04 am - Mayor Lee Issues Executive Directive to Preserve, Expand Rental Housing|
http://www.BeyondChron.org/index.php?itemid=12186When San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced on December 18 that sixty units of new affordable housing at 474 Natoma had 2800 applicants, he took two critical actions that housing activists have sought for decades. First, he issued a directive requiring city departments to prioritize affordable and moderate-income residential projects in the planning and permitting process. Second, he issued a directive subjecting every permit application that would displace residents or result in the loss of a rental unit to a full review by a multi-agency working group prior to the permit’s approval. Landlord and tenant representatives will be part of the working group.
Tenant activists have long been frustrated by speculators securing over the counter issuance of permits for work that potentially displaces tenants and eliminates affordable housing. Until Lee’s directive, activists only remedy was to appeal these permits to the Board of Appeal---which required them to learn about the permits within the appeal period and then to secure four of the five votes on the body. Now a super-review body will catch all of these permit applications without an appeal being filed, saving rental housing and ideally stopping any permit-caused displacement.
|beypndchron||04:02 am - “Unfathomable”: Why Is One Commission Trying to Close California’s Largest Public College?|
http://www.BeyondChron.org/index.php?itemid=12184To appreciate the value of a community college education, consider the transformation of Shanell Williams. By the time she was a teenager, Williams was constantly getting into trouble on the streets of San Francisco’s Fillmore District. Her abuse of drugs and alcohol, along with a difficult family life, would lead her into the juvenile justice system, drug treatment centers and foster homes. “I was a juvenile delinquent,” she admits.
Today Williams, now 29, hardly resembles that troubled youth. She is a hard-working student at City College of San Francisco, taking urban studies courses and hoping to transfer to Stanford University or the University of California at Berkeley. She has served as president of the student council at CCSF’s Ocean campus and was elected to be the student representative on CCSF’s Board of Trustees.
“Community college has helped give me a pathway to higher education,” she says.
|beypndchron||04:02 am - Favorite Books and Films of 2013|
http://www.BeyondChron.org/index.php?itemid=12181I’m not sure why, but 2013 was a year in which my tastes diverged from other critics. In films, critics described Before Midnight as the most realistic view of marriage ever portrayed on screen; I saw Ethan Hawke as a bad method actor trying to play a successful writer, and did not find his character believable for a minute. In books, Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers is on most top 10 lists, but after loving her previous Telex from Cuba, I found her new effort comprised entirely of characters who have never existed in real life. Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life also made all the lists, and it did nothing for me.
Because my list includes books published in 2012 but which I read in 2013, topping my book list is Ben Fountain’s brilliant Billie Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. No book better describes the United States in the decade after 9/11, yet its themes transcend the setting and are timeless. My favorite film for 2013 is the Australian “The Sapphires,” based on the true story of three Aborigine women singing soul music for American troops in Vietnam. It includes love, politics, a stirring plot and great music, and is not to be missed. Here are my favorite top ten.
|beypndchron||04:01 am - The 5 Biggest Meat Stories of 2013|
http://www.BeyondChron.org/index.php?itemid=12185The food-politics beat took a carnivorous turn in 2013. It's not that all the year's biggest stories involved the meat industry, but most seemed to. Here they are, in no particular order.
We're emerging as the globe's factory farm.
First, Virginia-headquartered pork giant Smithfield Foods announced it was phasing out ractopamine, a growth-enhancing, stress-inducing drug banned in China, the European Union, and Russia. Then it shocked the world by announcing it had been bought out by Shuanghui International, a Chinese conglomerate. And then several huge beef processors announced they were dropping Zilmax, a ractopamine-like growth enhancer for cows, also banned in big foreign markets. Meanwhile, China's expanding industrial footprint is rapidly degrading its farmland even as its appetite for meat continues to grow. What do all these data points have in common? They signal a US meat industry increasingly looking to foreign markets for growth as America's meat appetite wanes. And that means that even as we eat less meat, American communities will have to deal with the consequences of ever-intensifying meat production: water pollution, hollowed-out local economies, "egregious" food safety violations, deplorable working conditions, and an ongoing explosive manure foam problem.
December 16th, 2013