Title IX and George Orwell

As young adults settle in on college campuses around the country, they’ll experience new freedom to make mistakes. While we hope for good choices based on parental example, the fact is that most people learn only from painful experience.

Some will have their first brush with alcohol or drugs. An unlucky few will mix the two and awaken next to someone else in a room full of regret. That’s a horrible way to “win” the sexually-transmitted disease lottery or the pregnancy sweepstakes, but worse, it is also an invitation for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to levy permanent and devastating consequences to their future.

Under Title IX law, there is virtually no need to respect rules of evidence or constitutionally guaranteed rights to a speedy trial, a jury of one’s peers, the ability to confront and question witnesses or the provision for a capable defense.

Hello, Title IX; goodbye, Sixth Amendment!

Recently there has been much discussion of the ways certain aspects of Title IX are being implemented on college campuses.  The latest entry is from Robert McClain at cleveland.com. Mr. McClain (presumably no relation to John McClain) opines in “The dark side of Title IX sexual-assault investigations” that college freshmen (not freshwomen) have much to worry about. Shortly we’ll write about Title IX and George Orwell. First, however, some background. Here are the first four paragraphs of Mc. McClain’s column →

Here at pfpfp we are of two minds about this issue.  On the one hand, we really like sex.  But on the other hand, one often unintended consequence (at least for those considerably younger than us) is pregnancy.  And that flies in the face of the stated purpose of this blog.

Mr. McClain is far from the first to write about this.  The case of “mattress girl” at Columbia University has become a cause celebré among both progressives and conservatives.  (If you’ve been living in a cave for the past two years, a good summary of the issue is on Wikipedia. This also about the most neutral presentation you can find.  Good conservative comments are at the National Review and Reason. Contrary viewpoints are found in several articles at Jezebel.com. And, of course, there is the case of the Duke University lacrosse team. In the Wall Street Journal, Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote eloquently about this.

In response to an article by Hans Bader at LibertyUnyielding.com: “College: Students must agree ‘why’ they had sex to avoid sexual assault charges,” David Burge (better known by his nom-de-blog Iowahawk) has this advice for college freshmen:Iowahawk suggestion

Title IX and George Orwell

You may remember a significant subplot of 1984. The Junior Anti-Sex League.  Here are a couple of images from various sources:

1984 cover detail1984 cover

JASL buttonAnd there’s even JASL swag:

JASL bag


That Orwell guy was sure smart.  And, mostly because we don’t have to worry about consequences (old, happily married), we have to endorse this idea.

Climate Science Communicator Supports Our Cause

Climate Nuremberg Testimonials

Over at the Climate Nuremberg blog (run by a blogger with the nom-de-death of Brad P. Keyes), they have wished death on much of their audience.  The motto of this site is “When what you really need is some sort of Climate Nuremberg.”  Mind you, Brad is a self-described “science communicator” whatever that means.  My guess, however, is that he’s quite a few notches below Carl Zimmer, for example.

This caught our attention:

Communication Dilemmas #1: Wishing Death on People Without Losing Them

Part of being a science communicator is hoping a natural disaster kills as many members of the audience as possible, as soon as possible, with as much media exposure as possible. As a communicator myself, I’d like nothing better than for thousands of middle-class white people to die in an extreme weather event—preferably one with global warming’s fingerprints on it—live on cable news. Tomorrow.

The hardest thing about communicating the deadliness of the climate problem is that it isn’t killing anyone. And just between us, let’s be honest: the average member of the public is a bit (how can I put it politely?) of a moron. It’s all well and good for the science to tell us global warming is more dangerous than Nazism, but Joe Q. Flyover doesn’t understand science. He wants evidence.

So we’ve probably reached the limits of what science communication can achieve. At this point only nature herself can close the consensus gap—or the fear gap.

Cognitive scientist C. R. R. Kampen thinks the annihilation of a city of 150,000 people might just provide the teaching moment we need …

Amen, brother!  The sooner we rid this planet of the pestilence called the human race, the better off everyone will be.  Especially the cockroaches and crows.

Brad doesn’t want to give his real last name because then we could actually verify his credentials.  Far easier to call for the deaths of thousands behind the shield of anonymity.  FYI his Twitter handle is @BradPKeyes.


Obama’s Halloween Costumes for Bo and Sunny

Here are my suggestions for President Obama’s Halloween costumes for Bo and Sunny (the two White House dogs).  All are available from Target stores.

First, the original wiener costume for a wiener dog.  $12 – $16.

Wiener Wiener Dog

Next, for the more conventionally-shaped dog. $10 – $14.

Hot Dog

Finally, for those who want to go less conventional, this model works well. $16.

Taco Dog

NukeMap3D Shows You the Future

[Update August 3, 2013: The site is back online and the bug noted below (which I still believe is a feature) has been fixed.  Selecting San Francisco as a target no longer targets New York City.]

NukeMap3D shows you the future that we at pfpfp hope for. Pick your target city, …

Target Choices

 … or you can just type in a city name.  I picked Downer’s Grove, Illinois, southwest of Chicago:

Downers Grove, IL targeted

Once the city is targeted, you get to select the size of the weapon you want:

Bomb ChoicesIf you want to play with my setup (target: Downer’s Grove, IL; 1 megaton blast) click here.  If you’d just like to see a video, here it is:

Alex has been kind enough to estimate of casualties as well as a map of the likely spread of fallout:

Casualties Estimates, Downers Grove Target

NukeMap3D: at pfpfp.org we fully support this effort.

Driving and Texting: An Obvious Solution

An enormous number of people use text messaging while they are driving.  In California and a number of other states this is illegal.  But that has not stopped the carnage on our freeways.  At PFPFP.org we have a proposal that should solve the problem in short order.

A simple change to the law is all that is required.  Make it legal to text while driving as long as the driver (also, presumably, the texter) is not wearing a seat belt.  Ideally, airbags would be switched off, too, but that presents technical difficulties that us folks at pfpfp are not prepared to take on.

We Need More of This!Prediction: within a few years the problem of drivers texting will take care of itself.  And, as an added bonus, this will further our organization’s goals.

The Other Day I Caught a Cold

The other day I caught a cold.  Then my wife caught it from me.  We now believe this was actually a case of the flu.  Which is a surprise because every year I get a flu shot sometime in October.  As I did in 2012.  Our household relies on this so no one gets the flu.  My wife mainly works from home and doesn’t get the exposure I get from my students (many of whom have kids).

I won’t go into the symptoms that indicate flu rather than a cold because this website is offensive enough already.  But after a quick look around the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), I have a pretty good idea what’s going on.  This appears to be a beta test of the U.S. government’s solution to the financial problems facing Social Security and Medicare (and Obamacare as it is currently written).

The pullquote below is a long quotation from the CDC’s website.  Let me summarize the relevant parts.  For people older than 65 (which includes me, but not my wife),  Incidentally, VE stands for vaccine effectiveness.

  • “…the VE against flu A and B viruses ranged from 27% in people 65 and older…”
  • “…VE against flu A (H3N2) viruses in people 65 and older was significantly lower than in other age groups.
  • “Overall, VE estimates suggest that the 2012-2013 flu vaccine has moderate effectiveness for most people against the flu viruses spreading in the United States, similar to previously published reports. The one exception to this was the VE among people 65 and older against flu A (H3N2) viruses, which was lower. The single point estimate for VE in this age group was 9% (95% CI: -84% to 55%). Note that because the confidence interval crossed zero for the 65 and older age group, this estimate is not statistically significant, and therefore, the results should be interpreted with caution.”

Got that?  The government is trying to kill us old folks.  Their first attempt was the distribution of “free” cheese to those 65 and older.  Unfortunately (for the government, not for us elderly), Big Pharma invented the statin drugs which are keeping us alive longer than the government prediction.  So here we have a second try: a flu vaccine that just happens to not work very well against old folks.  Gotta hand it to the folks in Washington, D.C.  This is almost better than trying to use a poisoned cigar to assassinate Fidel Castro.

What are CDC’s current estimates of flu vaccine effectiveness this season?

… Overall, the VE estimate for protecting against having to go to the doctor because of flu illness was 56% for all age groups (95% confidence interval: 47% to 63%). … This VE estimate means that getting a flu vaccine this season reduced the vaccinated population’s risk of having to go to the doctor because of the flu by more than half. However, VE can vary across age groups and across different flu viruses, so CDC further analyzed the VE estimates to adjust for these factors. When broken down by different age groups, the VE against flu A and B viruses ranged from 27% in people 65 and older to 64% in children (aged 6 months to 17 years old). …

… The one exception to [the overall VE] was the VE among people 65 and older against flu A (H3N2) viruses, which was lower. The single point estimate for VE in this age group was 9% (95% CI: -84% to 55%). …. Overall, this estimate means that vaccine effectiveness was lower than expected in this age group against flu A (H3N2) viruses. …