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Quote of the Day

In other good news, this time in Latin America, the Nobel-prize winning novelist Gabriel García Márquez is dead.
One of the great phonies and bootlickers of leftist dictators has passed from the scene. Those who love freedom can only be grateful.

The Diplomad 2.0

Resurrection Shuffle.

It’s Easter Monday, a day of great joy for Christians. Their Lord and Saviour is risen from the dead. But 55 of the prod nosed, know better than you do, self righteous, would prefer you forgot all about it. Could their letter to the Telegraph be just a coincidence on this day? I seriously doubt it.

I’m looking out of my window, and from where I stand (I live on top of a hill here in Bristol) I can see  at least five church spires. Admittedly two of them are now carpet warehouses and another converted into sheltered housing, but the other two are still functioning places of worship. I live in the district of St Andrews, just down the hill is St Pauls, then next to it is St Annes and St Werburghs , all with their attendant churches. Bristol was just a little bit Christian religious in the past, just like the whole of Great Britain, don’t you think?

Are we now? In strict observance and church attendance certainly not, but who can deny that the whole of our culture, Laws and morality stem directly from Christianity, and as belief in some imaginary sky fairy or other goes, it is most certainly the most benign that has ever been invented.

But the 55 signers of the Telegraph letter think that iDave’s professed belief is divisive to our country. Oh really? what more divided than it is already? This is Hotel UK. Come on in, get yourself a room, make whatever mess you want , carry on just as you did wherever you came from, live in a parallel universe, and we’ll do our best to just ignore it. Don’t bother trying to fit into our culture or learn our funny little ways, cos it’s all made up rubbish anyway, say the 55. The great cathedrals of Wells, York, Canterbury etc etc matter not a jot, in fact pre Christian contributions to our Nation count as much… Er, who the hell was that then? Bronze age Britons? The Romans?

It would seem to me that the ones being divisive here are the signatories to  the Telegraph letter. Is iDave being a two faced little PR shit in trying to hoover up every spare vote he can get, including the Christian one? You bet! But if the 55 want to have a go at Potato Face then do it directly, not through knocking what we fundamentally are and have been for over a thousand years… A Christian country.

A little music for a bank holiday that suggested the title of this piece. Bugger Ashton Gardner and Dyke, this is much more fun… Or riseable… take your pick.

Richard Epstein & Federalist Society Panel on Direct Democracy

Government of the People, by the People, and for the People?

The second Showcase Panel at the the Federalist Society’s 2010 National Lawyers Convention. November 19, 2010.

Prof. Epstein, as usual, has some thoughts on practicalities. (He’s wrong about the V-N War, though. What can I say, he’s a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn. And among other things he did time at Berkeley.)

Very interesting discussion, and the gentlemen all are. :>)

From the description:

Direct democracy is feasible today to an extent that it was not feasible in 1787. Does that change the calculus in choosing between direct democracy and representation? What lessons, positive or negative, can be learned from the state experience with initiatives and referenda? Should Congress set up a system of national initiatives and referenda? Can Congress delegate its legislative power to the American people without violating the nondelegation doctrine? Should national initiatives and referenda be binding or merely advisory? Would it be acceptable for a national referendum to alter a law so as to effectively reverse a Supreme Court decision? Should the health care law be subject to such a referendum? Should increases in the national debt or in taxes be subject to voter approval?

In order of appearance:

Steven G. Calabresi — Moderator (Introduction, 6:32)

Panelists, speaking roughly 15 min. each:

William N. Eskridge, Jr. — Yale
Richard A. Epstein (at ~19:40) — NYU, U. of Chicago
Robert D. Cooter — Berkeley
Thomas W. Merrill — Columbia

Then the moderator puts a few questions, and finally there’s Q&A from the audience.

The Book of Sidney.

The Gospel According to

Sidney

Recent excavations in the Holy Land have brought to human cognizance this fragment, the only page extant of the Book of Sidney

[FRAGMENT BEGINS]

spoke unto him out of the window in a voice of thunder saying, Begone 8 Ace who is begat of 32 Eiger.
34 And he took up his tins and dwelt in his shed.

CHAPTER 14.

And it came to pass that on the seventh day there came from the North East Sidney, who was begat of his mam who dwelt in the land of Byker.
2 And he came down unto the town of New Castle to go to the pub to seek his friends.
3 And he came upon Joe who is begat of Big Joe and Bob and Barry, who is called Baz. And they looked upon their glasses and saw that they were barren. And Sidney was cast forth unto the bar that they be replenished even unto the fourth pint. For it was written that it was His shout.
4 And Sidney did buy the round and some crisps of salt and vinegar and cheeses and onions and the scratchings of the swine of the fields, even unto two bags. And the others who were gathered looked upon the round and they saw that it was good.
5 So they sat back and did drink deeply of the lagers and were becalmed. And they began to cast their lecherous eyes upon the women of the pub and they were tempted for they had fashioned their garments one cubit above the knee and did leave little to the imagination, I can tell you.
6 And their heads were full of unclean thoughts. And Sidney beheld a woman’s jugs and did covet them for they were indeed smashing. And he nudged Barry who is called Baz and passed adulterous comment and blasphemed saying he wouldn’t mind a faceful of them.
7 But Baz did mock him, saying that he was virgin and chaste and celibate, and that he hath known not a woman though he be one score and eight.
8 Yet did Sidney answer and spake unto those who sat with him, saying these words were untrue, and that the women he hath known were multitude and numbered more than the lilies of the field or the birds of the air.
9 But his friends laughed and reproached him saying, cease with these falsehoods, Sidney, for we are wise to your ways. And they accused him saying that he did take up the Freeman’s catalogue and seek the bra pages and spill his seed upon the ground. And they pointed at him and sang cherry boy, cherry boy.
10 And Sidney rose up and great was his anger.
11 And he rebuked them in a terrible voice, saying that they were all a bunch of cunts. But yet did they mock him and great was his woe for he knew in his heart that it was true.
12 And in his wrath he did spill the pint of Dave, who is called Mental who sat at the table on his right hand and his pint was cast upon the sticky carpet. And Mental who had a head of skin looked upon it and great was his displeasure. And Sidney spake to him a parable; Behold, for I want not any trouble. But Mental had got the mist, and lo, the mist was red. And he smiled not upon Sidney, but smote him an mighty blow in the teeth.
13 And again.
14 And thrice did he lamp Sidney whose fall was as that of a sack of spuds and great was his suffering.
15 And they heard the voice of the LANDLORD standing behind the bar. And he was sore vexed and spake unto them in a loud voice saying, Yeez lot, oot.
16 And Sidney and Joe who is begat of Big Joe and Bob and Barry who is called Baz were cast out into the car park. And there was much cursing of the name of Sidney and much gnashing of teeth and they wished pestilence upon his head.

CHAPTER 15.

And it came to pass that after holding counsel they did reach a covenant that they maketh their passage to the house of Ke-Bab, by the bus station. And so they did.
2 And they entered the house. And they looked upon the kebab revolving on the altar and did ask of themselves what was in it.
3 And Baz spoke saying that it was made of the nads and the lips and eyelids of the goat and the cow and the sheep and the cat and all the unclean parts thereof, even unto the chopper and ringpiece.
4 And great was the plague of flies upon the kebab. And the price of the kebabs was one pound and nine and ninety.
5 And Sidney and Joe who is begat of Big Joe and Bob and Barry who is called Baz spoke saying, Four kebabs pal. And the shopkeeper was called Stavros.
6 And Stavros said, Seven pound and six and ninety, matey peeps. And he began preparations for their feast and he did scratch his nuts and take the unleavened bread.
7 And Sidney spoke another parable unto his three disciples; Verily I say unto you, That Dave who is called Mental was geet lucky, for had the LANDLORD not stepped in, yea would I surely have slain the baldy fucker.
8 And they heard a voice and the voice said, Oh yeah? And they turned about them and beheld Dave who is called Mental, for he had likewise journeyed to the house of Ke-Bab.
9 And Sidney’s raiments of Levi became besoiled.
10 And he spoke another parable saying; Hello Dave who is called Mental. I was just talking about another Dave who is called Mental.
11 But Dave who is called Mental believed not Sidney’s falsehood and great was his wrath.
12 And mighty was the smoting that Sidney took up the bracket and elsewise. And Joe who is begat of Big Joe and Bob and Barry who is called Baz stepped not in for Sidney, but did look upon their footwear. They denied Sidney and He was forsaken.

CHAPTER 16.

And it came to pass that Sidney was put upon a litter. And Joe who is begat of Big Joe and Bob and Barry who is called Baz did journey with him to the land of the Royal General Infirmary, whereupon…

[END OF FRAGMENT]

Basically that is Viz and that is what made me. And if I’m a sweary Geordie then that is what I am. I hope I am funny. I really hope so because I have fuck all else to bring to the party. “Ace” by the way is lager that is pure piss made by the Federation “brewery” in Gateshead. It is a step below Carling. It is Rankensteinwasser. I’m not sure they make it anymore so thank fuck for small mercies if that is true.

Via heretical.com

Cannibals!

There has been an outbreak of cannibalism in Pakistan. I really have nothing much more to say. Except this seems an act of depravity almost beyond the comprehension of Burke and Hare. Or it could just be nonsense because I trust “Pakistani Authorities” as far as I could spit a pig. Oh, and any wannabe cannibals out there – get a fridge because then you can keep your head full of headly goodness and not cause a Dame Judi that gets the neighbours upset. Jus’ sayin’.

My Dad (who worked there) has a front page of the “Times of Zambia” covering an outbreak of cannibalism. Headline is “Gobblers strike again!” The UK has no laws against human-munching. We have never seen the need. That’s called being civilized. Mind when I watch “Geordie Shore” I have doubts.

Barque to the Future…

This is USS Zumwalt…

Just launched at a cost of umpty billions. Now I know aeroplanes and bugger all about ships but does that not look rather similar to a US Civil War ironclad to you? Like this…

The Zumwalt class is designed to have the radar sig of a fishing smack. I guess you might get much the same from the CSS Albermarle not, obviously, that it was an issue at the time. It is possible (and the USN has been ickling on about railguns for some time and a planning sea trials in 2016 which is when the Zumwalt is due to enter service. So clearly looks may deceive and it might look the same but be bigger on the inside so to speak.)

So… It’s kinda odd but for completely different reasons the naval architects have gone back to the future. Either that or the Confederacy had some unknown naval genius beavering away and designing a low radar-return ship almost a century before radar.

But, and this is a biggy for me. Now it might sound nit-picking but how the heck is that a destroyer? It displaces 15,000 tons, it is 610ft long. That is a cruiser at least. Surely. Is this some bizarre ruse to get the funding past Congress? Because the Zumwalt class is essentially designed as a 1-1 replacement for the Iowa class battleships.

That is a broadside from an Iowa class (Actually BB61 USS Iowa). Those are 16″ guns. Who needs railguns when you can hurl a shell the mass of a VW for a couple of dozen miles. I’d be much more impressed by railguns on the Zumwalt if it was nuclear powered and therefore had practically unlimited electricity. Hell’s teeth I’d be going for a fully nuclear navy! No need for oilers and fill ‘er up every 25 years! You’d buy a car that did that. Especially if it had a railgun. It has to be noted though that we won the Cold War partly (thank you Ronnie!) with recommissioned Iowa class battleships and the off-key caterwauling of skanty-clad songstresses. I dunno which scared the Kremlin most. But they are very big guns indeed and Cher is wearing very little indeed. That was the ’80s and that is how we won. Hard and soft pressure. Ronnie and MTV – an unstoppable alliance.

I mean can you imagine how dull communism must have been?

Yeah, and inevitably here’s the video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G4O5AMSevc

Yeah, I liked the ’80s. We seemed to be going somewhere and that dear reader is a guilty pleasure from the era. But that’s one hell of a ship whatever you think of Cher.

And if we had another Ronnie then Vlad would be hiding under a table in the Kremlin with stained trews. And if we could take out Comrade Kim and the Ayatollahs and dear old Bob and… I can dream. But that video speaks to me of serious belief in our moral, social, military and economic might. We believed it then. That is why I liked the ’80s.

PS. The Iowa class were designed to be Panamax. They had 18″ wiggle room so never again complain about parking in TESCO.

PPS. This has been edited by moi. This fecking Toshiba is at the very end of the tether.

Things not to do #1057

I once dried socks in a microwave. It worked quite well.

But yesterday my wife attempted to dry a sports bra on a halogen heater and the result, dear reader, was fucking tragic. I’d show you the photo but I don’t like picturing my wife’s under-garments in a public forum or scrabbling around the bin.

So, kids, don’t do it!

PS. The halogen heater survived.

The Miller’s Tail…

So Maria Miller, Sec State for Culture has fallen on her sword (for I am slain iDave!) due to her diddling expenses.

What the flying fuck do we have such a position for, apart from some croney of iDave diddling expenses, obviously?

Have you been to the National Gallery (it’s free by the way – and my favourite art gallery in the World*). Did Turner need a Department of Culture to paint his piccies? Did Francis Bacon? I recently saw some of his in Amsterdam recently**. Did Tolkien need one to write Britain’s favourite books? Did Elgar? Did the Beatles? The Stones? Does Adele? Do you or me? God help us Shakespeare managed to make it without the state!

Culture is simply what we do. In a sense it is what we are. We just do it. From posting video of a cat doing something amusing on Youtube to the Elgar violin concerto we just do it. In this case “we” is Kyung-wha Chung. She is my fave fiddler ever -do listen to the rest – it’s great***. And I have a weakness for the violin concerto. And that is her with the LSO conducted by Solti. Neither are Brits but Elgar was. And in a real sense that kind of sums up “culture” for me in the sense that here we have a piece of music played by a Korean/American with the orchestra conducted by a Hungarian/mainly American with an honorary British knighthood. What I mean is Elgar has “stretch”. All true culture has. Elgar is quintessentially English and not from a rich background (at one point he was employed to conduct an orchestra in the local lunatic asylum) but that his music can reach from Seoul to Budapest to Chicago and touch people enough to play it that well says something.

I have been to a folk festival (for my sins). It was curious. Apart from getting Brahms und Liszt (it was a stag do) it struck me how parochial (and in extreme cases nationalistic – not in a good way****). True culture is in a sense beyond borders. God help me I am English but I can’t stand the Tory club Little-Englander with his G&T any more than I can stick the “shop local, think global” lot with faux tribal tattoos. I was going to get one if I’d completed my PhD – my equation. Alas for me and an inker this did not come to pass. Folk is shite anyway. But what I was really trying to say is… I once came across in Georgia (USA – not entering the Putindoom) a fellow who expressed surprise at my mere existence. He declared a desire (and he was well adult) not only to never leave the USA (for there be dragons elsewhere ) but to never leave the state of Georgia. I’d just done a 2,500 mile road trip round the SE USA. I guess I just like globalization and that Huge Furnished Shitting-Stall can get his locally-sourced onions off behind his organic arras.

Anyway, that is getting seriously off the point (if there ever was one*****). This I like. (Aside – there is a shop in central Amsterdam that sells Brit stuff called “Arkwrights”).

Yes there was. Culture. It is universal and natural. It should be allowed to just happen but it is intrinsically global (and that scares people). Now don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against “local colour” but our culture is increasingly self generating and global. That does not mean it is less diverse. Gods no! You can get decent sushi in Manchester******. If that means the Eccles cake is heading the way of the sauropods then so be it. Mind, in Porthmadog you can get excellent fish and chips (but fuck all else). And they all speak Welsh! But that is not my point. You expect good fish of whatever sort in a fishing port. And good chips anywhere (apart from Amsterdam).

Culture happens. It can be global. It can be local. It can be both. Concentrating on the local is absurd in the age of jet planes and youtube in my eyes. The more it goes global the better I think. I have God knows how many channels off my Sky dish. I can watch a Nigerian soap opera if I want – I don’t because they are piss-poor but… Why do we need a culture secretary at all? Why when we have Easyjet? Why when we have the internet? Why when within walking distance I have have Chinese, Italian,Spanish and Indian take-aways/restaurants? Why have a culture secretary?

*I’ve been to quite a few of the greats.
**See, I’m not uncultured. I could have gone to the ‘Dam and spent my time bombed out of my box sucking dope from bongs shaped like penises. I went to the maritime museum, the Jewish history museum and… Mind the food over there ain’t great. I did eat kangaroo mind (a first for me) but it was bloody awful. Having said that it might be just due to the Dutch tendency to serve Flintsonian portions and bugger the quality. And chips with everything.
***But not as great.
****Not that that was anything like that.
*****There wasn’t really.
******My brother would disagree because he’s lived for several years in Japan.

The “Victimology” lens

Nigel Evans

As lurid details spilled out about the MP’s struggles with alcohol and his sexuality, his accusers – five of whom were friends – played down the incidents to the point of levity. “It was like we were out one night and the shadow secretary of state for Wales put his hand down my trousers. Crazy, crazy Westminster. It seemed so funny,” said the first alleged victim.

How the case against Nigel Evans fell apart

Speaking as a representative of Team Pink, I’ve never tried this particular approach on anyone, no matter how drunk I might have been, because I’ve found that a punch in the face often offends.

If every rugby club prank or drunken fumble of the sexually curious was to be brought to trial then the courts would be overflowing.

I think the men reluctantly dragged into this by the Palace of Westminster Police, who categorically refused to be victims and said so on the stand were quite correct, but their refusal to be victims undermined the main allegation of rape and made both the police and CPS appear foolish – correctly and understandably in my view, although not in the view of the execrable Alison Saunders, Head of the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service.

Alison Saunders: CPS ‘was right to take Evans case to court’

Time for this rape hysteria to be brought to an end as it undermines the genuine cases. The fact that these matters were escalated from bar room gossip to sexual assault charges by Sarah Wollaston MP (a “GP with 20 years’ experience including a spell working as a police forensic examiner where she dealt with victims of sexual and domestic violence”) does not surprise me. If, like Wollaston you go around viewing every aspect of life through a lens of “victimology” then you will find victims everywhere you look.

This is not to suggest that the rape charge against Evans should have been ignored, but by bundling it along with these other spurious and largely inconsequential events, presumably to establish Evans as a sexual predator in the years prior to the rape allegation then the CPS and police have undermined their case rather than enhanced it.

After all, juries live in the real world rather than that defined by the “Rape Culture” viewpoint of Alison Saunders.

Tupolev Tu-95: World’s Fastest Prop Aircraft

Counter-rotating fans! How cool is that!

One of the commenters says the thing is ugly, but I think that in flight it’s quite beautiful, at least from the video. There’s also back-and-forth as to whether it’s a Russified Nazi plane or an American one.

Published on Sep 1, 2013

Russian Aircraft The Tupolev Tu-95 (Russian: Туполев Ту–95; NATO reporting name: Bear) is a large, four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform. First flown in 1952, the Tu-95 entered service with the Soviet Union in 1956 and is expected to serve the Russian Air Force until at least 2040.[1]

[ ... SNIP of a great deal more info. Go to UT and click "See more"* ...]

*But be warned, among other things “See More” passes us such gems of information as this:

An aircraft is a machine that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. …

And this:

The human activity that surrounds aircraft is called aviation.

It also includes a few titillating details about the USAF. Actually the thing reads like a paper written for school by someone of Junior-High age (say, 11-14).

However, there are some interesting, substantive comments.

North of the DMZ and beyond the pale.

There has been some crazy news out of everyone’s favourite totalitarian heckhole recently.

First I heard this nugget…

Doctor Who, Top Gear and Teletubbies have apparently passed the suitability test to be shown on North Korea’s tightly-controlled state TV.

After months of negotiation with the BBC, the three shows have been deemed worthy of consideration for broadcasting in the totalitarian state.

The country’s state broadcaster, Korean Central Television, is only on air for six-and-a-half hours every day.

Odd choices. Skipping over the tubbies the sight of that Bellendius Maximus Clarkson whizzing around in a Bugatti is almost torture to the poor buggers up there who feel lucky to get a puncture repair kit for their bike. And the Doctor is a rather anti-authority figure which probably wouldn’t fit with the rest of KCT’s output… Although I guesss the Cybermen might go down well with the Kimocracy.

At least a third of the output is spent praising the government of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, while another third extols workers to toil harder for the good of the country.

And I thought endless repeats of “Last of the Summer Wine” was soul-crushing.

But wait…

The weekly television highlight is ‘It’s So Funny’, a long-running comedy show in which two uniformed soldiers perform slapstick sketches in between propaganda lectures about the greatness of North Korea.

Now that’s what I call entertainment! That’s better than Cannon & Ball that is and they were fucking terrible beyond my comprehension. Here’s a modest proposal. We parachute Piers Morgan into the Pyongyang. He’s without a berth and it is a win-win if you ask me. I feel so sorry for the North Koreans.

This speaks volumes…

Likewise, there is no fundamental difference between the way in which North and South Koreans look [The entire peninsula is very ethnically homogeneous in the World and this is an ancient civilization - Nick]. Having said that, however, 60-plus years is not a short amount of time, and the two Koreas did live through two very different worlds. South Koreans now live in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, North Koreans one of the poorest. In particular, the crushing famine that North Korea suffered in the mid-1990s has left a visible impact on North Korean people’s physique. While the average height of adult South Korean men is 171.5 cm (~5′ 7.5″), the average height of adult North Korean men is 165.4 cm (~5′ 5″). Because North Korean youths have become so malnourished, North Korea had to lower the minimum height requirement for its soldiers from 140 cm (~4′ 7″) to 137 cm (~4′ 6″) in 2010. (In contrast, South Korea recently had to extend the maximum height requirement from 196 cm (~6′ 5″) to 204 cm (~6′ 8″) for its conscripts.)

And that is not unrelated to the TV on my wall (Samsung) and the fact I have never bought a single item from North of the DMZ. I mean if they can’t get enough food they ain’t going to break the mould in tech are they? (More on that later). But this isn’t even the end-point of socialism as we understand it and as the socialist Eric Blair understood it. This is not Sweden with toothsome murder mysteries and beer you need a mortgage for. This is Hell run by an insane Satan. This is the prison state as envisaged by Vasily Grossman as the end of Stalinism.

But they have drones you know. Things that sound like they were built in a shed. I have spoken to hobbyists who can do better. At least it ain’t the grotesquely over-budget, under-performing and over-time F-35. I mean that camera… I have a better camera and I’m not on a defence budget here.

But before we simply regard the Kimocracy as risible buffoons it would be be wise to consider this. And also to consider that it is entirely possible to laugh and be revolted at the same time. They are profoundly risible but also profoundly evil. The two are not mutually exclusive.

RIP – Peaches Geldof (13 March 1989 – 7 April 2014)

While I always regret the death of some mothers daughter, and some child’s mother, I am at a loss to understand why the Australian ABC radio news is headlining the demise of some obscure British media personality.

Yale Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder

This is outrageous — the Yale Administration’s Mommy-Knows-Best attitude, if that’s what it is…but no, I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s the “You’ll do what I say, OR ELSE, young lady!” attitude. In loco parentis* on steroids! I have to cheer this woman for writing this up, even if she did see fit to post it on HuffPo.

Coming on the heels of Prof. Rubenfeld, he of the Yale Law School, and in light of Yale’s reputation for having an unfortunately highly Progressivist weltanschaaung, I find myself disgusted with Yale altogether. When Lucy grows up I’m sending her to Oxbridge.

Herewith, the whole thing. I just don’t see how to break it up without ruining the flow.

–J.

Yale University Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder

“I don’t know if my body is even capable of gaining three more pounds.”

The nurse looked at me apprehensively. “It’s easy to gain a couple pounds. What I’m afraid will happen is that you’ll lose it again and you’ll just be cheating yourself.”

I couldn’t keep the impatience out of my tone. “So you’re just going to keep checking on me until I graduate?”

“If we don’t tackle your low weight now, it will kill you.”

***

In the past three weeks alone, I have spent ten hours at Yale Health, our student health center. Since December, I have had weekly weigh-ins and urine tests, three blood tests, appointments with a mental health counselor and a nutritionist, and even an EKG done to test my heart. My heart was fine — as it always has been — and so was the rest of my body. So what was the problem?

The medical professionals think I have an eating disorder — but they won’t look past the number on the scale, to see the person right in front in them.

I visited the cancer hospital on September 17, 2013, worrying about a lump in my breast. It turned out to be benign, but I received an email in November from the medical director about “a concern resulting from your recent visit.” My stomach lurched. Was the lump malignant after all?

I met with a clinician on December 4 and was told that the “concern” was my low weight and that I would meet with her for weekly weigh-ins. These appointments were not optional. The clinician threatened to put me on medical leave if I did not comply: “If it were up to the administration, school would already be out for you. I’m just trying to help.”

I’ve always been small. I’ve been 5’2” and 90 pounds since high school, but it has never led to any illnesses related to low weight or malnutrition. My mom was the same; my whole family is skinny. We all enjoy Mom’s fabulous cooking, which included Taiwanese beef noodle soup, tricolor pasta, strawberry cheesecake, and cream puffs, none of which make the Weight Watchers shortlist. I just don’t gain weight easily.

Yet the clinicians at Yale Health think there’s more to it. Every week, I try to convince my clinician that I am healthy but skinny. Over the past several months, however, I’ve realized the futility of arguing with her.

“You should try to gain at least two more pounds.” (What difference does two pounds make?)

“Come next week to take a blood test to check your electrolytes.” (No consideration that I had three exams that week.)

“I know you’ve said in the past that you don’t eat as much when you get stressed out.” (I’ve never said that.)

So instead of arguing, I decided that perhaps the more I complied, the sooner I could resume my normal life.

I was forced to see a mental health professional. She asked me all of the standard questions — how I felt about my body, how many calories I ate. I told her everyone’s body is beautiful, including mine. When I said I didn’t know how many calories, since I don’t care to count, she rephrased the question, as if that would help.

Next step was a nutritionist. The nurse passed a post-it note, saying “Here are two times for the nutritionist next Tuesday. Usually it takes three months to get into nutrition at all.” What a privilege! Now I get to feel guilty about using clinical resources in desperately short supply!

Finally, I decided to start a weight-gain diet. If I only had to gain two pounds, it was worth a shot to stop the trouble. I asked my health-conscious friends what they do to remain slim and did the exact opposite. In addition to loading up on carbs for each meal, I’ve eaten 3-4 scoops of ice cream twice a day with chocolate, cookies, or Cheetos at bedtime. I take elevators instead of stairs wherever possible.

Eventually, the scale said I was two pounds heavier. When I saw her last Friday, I felt my stomach tighten, my heart racing. Would I finally be granted parole?

“You’ve gained two pounds, but that still isn’t enough. Ideally, you should go up to 95 pounds.” I hung my head in disbelief. I’ve already shared with you the memorable exchange that followed.

She had finally cracked me. I was Sisyphus the Greek king, forever trapped trying uselessly to push a boulder up a hill. Being forced to meet a standard that I could never meet was stressful and made me resent meals. I broke down sobbing in my dean’s office, in my suitemate’s arms afterwards, and Saturday morning on the phone with my parents. At this rate, I was well on my way to developing an eating disorder before anyone could diagnose the currently nonexistent one.

It seems Yale has a history of forcing its students through this process. A Yale Herald piece from 2010 told the story of students in similar situations. It’s disturbing how little things have changed. “Stacy” was “informed that if she kept failing to reach [Yale Health]‘s goals for her, she would be withdrawn for the following semester.” Unfortunately, “the more she stressed out about gaining weight, the more she lost her appetite.”

Furthermore, a recent graduate messaged me saying that her cholesterol had actually gone up due to the intensive weight-gain diet she used to release herself from weekly weigh-ins.

It is clear that the University does care about students suspected of struggling with eating disorders. And it should. Eating disorders are particularly prevalent on college campuses and Yale is no exception. However, because the University blindly uses BMI as the primary means of diagnosis, it remains oblivious to students who truly need help but do not have low enough BMIs. Instead, it subjects students who have a personal and family history of low weight to treatment that harms our mental health. By forcing standards upon us that we cannot meet, the University plays the same role as fashion magazines and swimsuit calendars that teach us about the “correct shape” of the human body.

I was scheduled to have a mental health appointment at 9:00 a.m. and a weigh-in at 10:30 a.m. this past Friday. But I’m done. No more weigh-ins, no more blood draws. I don’t have an eating disorder, and I will not let Yale Health cause me to develop one. If Yale wants to kick me out, let them try — in the meantime, I’ll be studying for midterms, doing my best to make up for lost time.

. . .
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

Prof. David Bernstein discusses the 1905 Supreme Court case “Lochner vs. New York”

Prof. David Bernstein of George Mason Univ. published in 2011 his book Rehabilitating Lochner. So vass ist ziss case Lochner, anyvay?

The Foot of All Knowledge explains:

Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that held that “liberty of contract” was implicit in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case involved a New York law that limited the number of hours that a baker could work each day to ten, and limited the number of hours that a baker could work each week to 60. By a 5–4 vote, the Supreme Court rejected the argument that the law was necessary to protect the health of bakers, deciding it was a labor law attempting to regulate the terms of employment, and calling it an “unreasonable, unnecessary and arbitrary interference with the right and liberty of the individual to contract.”

Lochner is one of the most controversial decisions in the Supreme Court’s history….[SNIP]

…and has until recently enjoyed a lousy reputation among the right-thinking (that is, the librul-Progressive, which is to say, not at all right-thinking) legal professoriate.

Professor Bernstein, along with Profs. Randy Barnett and Richard Epstein (as we inferred from his remarks in his last appearance on CCiZ) disagree on that, stout fellows that they are. They talk about legal esoterica such as Freedom of Contract and other stuff that is not for the tender and innocent ears of the Elite (or of various Union leaders or members and their legbreakers and enforcers).

David Bernstein is one of the contributors to Prof. Eugene Volokh’s law weblog The Volokh Conspiracy. (The Volokh Archives going back to 2002 are now found here.) Interviewer Josh Blackman is also an attorney and an Assistant Law Professor at the U. of South Texas. You can read his short summary of the interview at his website. You can also download the interview as a podcast there, watch the video there, click on over to Vimeo and watch it or download it as an mp4 there, or stay here and listen to the audio.

Epstein Thrashes Rubenfeld on Natural Law; Panel on Redistribution of Wealth

I would swear that I saw, for the first time ever, outright anger in Prof. Epstein’s face the first time I watched this clip. Never mind, you can hear it in his voice as he gives Yale Law School’s Prof. Jed Rubenfeld a concise and pithy jolly what-for for a**-hattery.

This is the final 5:48 of a panel discussion described as below. The whole thing is quite interesting. Steve Forbes also seems to have some understanding of what’s what. Andy Stern of the infamous SEIU brings along his flag and his violin. And the odious Prof Rubenfeld is…well, odious. Although his question in Part 11 is one we all get asked a lot, and I’m glad to have Prof. E.’s response.

Best part first. The series begins with Part 1, below Part 11 here. I think you can just click through the segments from there.

–J.

Uploaded on Nov 17, 2009

The Federalist Society presented this panel discussion on Redistribution of Wealth at the 2009 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2009. Panelists included Prof. Richard A. Epstein of New York University Law School; Mr. Steve Forbes, Chairman and CEO of Forbes Inc. and Editor of Forbes Magazine; Prof. Jed Rubenfeld of Yale Law School; Mr. Andrew L. Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union; and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit as the moderator. Part 11 of 11

The whole thing is very much worth seeing, highly recommended, and be sure you have your kidney basin at the ready for Prof. Rubenfeld’s first appearance:

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