The newsie news, and other junk

It’s Tuesday, and I’m not too sad about being at work. I enjoy my off time, but my brainstorming works best on a back burner. I watch too much Netflix at home to do any real thinking!

Wendy Davis’ story may have misstated details

I tell people I was married and divorced by age 21 because I can’t remember when the divorce was officially finalized. Between residency issues and mis-sent paperwork, I spent about two years in the process of getting divorced. And I’m only 27, with very little excuse as to why I can’t remember that kind of detail.

Maybe politicians (in general) should consider looking for strong arguments FOR themselves instead of personal attacks AGAINST their opponents. After all, the only narrative this kind of campaign can give is a negative one; it reflects on everyone, including Greg Abbott. I, for one, would LOVE to see an entire campaign done solely on the issues.

Is marijuana as safe as — or safer than — alcohol?

I like that this article didn’t say yes or no at the end. They laid out the current facts on alcohol and marijuana, side-by-side, and let you take a look.

My only issue with legalized pot is the DUI potential. Someone who uses pot regularly will acclimate to it, allowing them to have a much higher blood level of the drug without having the same effects as someone like me (a non-smoker). A medical user could have a constant level in their blood due to dosage, hours or even days after taking marijuana for their condition. So how do you fairly and safely keep dangerous people off the streets?

To be fair, it’s not like we have at-home (or in-the-bar) breathalyzers to let people self-scan for their blood alcohol level. Instead, drinkers get to decide if the four hours since their last beer sufficed to clear their minds of influence; the only way they find out they were wrong is by crashing or by being pulled over for reckless driving. I believe the same would happen with marijuana users, but that they would face a harder time demonstrating their lack of influence in court (since the law would have a set percentage).

Security firm traces Target malware to Russia

I hope the retailers find a way to block this particular strand of malware. I’m still deciding how to go about protecting our money; we have three users for one bank account, but it’s easily monitored online. We might switch to pocket money again, which is the idea that each person has X-amount of money to spend on stuff around town. Only ATMs and bills would use cards, which limits our exposure to hacks.

However, we’ll see. I love debit cards, except that they have vulnerabilities that cash doesn’t. That’s why I know physical money isn’t going anywhere. People like to have a solid way to protect their funds, and holding it in a box somewhere in your house protects it from ALL hacks. (I’m not partial to this method, based on the “oops, I was robbed or my house burned down and now I’m screwed/broke” concept.)

Support for nation’s emergency medical care gets D-plus

Part of the problem with access to emergency care is the queue. People with the flu, a twisted ankle, and a weird feeling in their knee are all waiting to be seen in the same ER as the guy who broke his nose and the child who hit her head hard enough to break skin (and possibly get a concussion).

When people can’t afford healthcare and insurance, they go to the local ER for the little things your personal physician would normally take care of. I know this as fact, having watched friends rack up bills at the local hospitals over possible sinus infections and migraines. I’m hoping the Affordable Care Act can ease this strain, allowing many to move away from ER care and into normal doctor-patient treatments.

If our country offered to eat the student loans of those who complete medical training to become a doctor or nurse, our shortage of staff could be diminished. There are plenty of people who would reach for those kinds of educations if they knew it wouldn’t mean lifelong servitude and debt. I actually wish all high-education jobs were subsidized to allow individuals with aptitude to gain free education and training; imagine of the best and brightest were automatically given the keys to whatever career opportunity they desired, money be damned?

41 Years of Fighting Over Roe

I think I’d like to do a ritual to honor the Roe v Wade fight, since tomorrow’s the anniversary. It’s weird to think that the whole thing started when my mom was entering kindergarten. I’ve always thought of the women’s rights movement as so much older than that, like something as older as my grandma.

As I sit at my work desk, I have a talisman hanging from my computer. It’s a little goddess image I made, a fiery woman in orange and red. She was originally created for the Stand With Texas Women campaign after Wendy Davis tried to protect our rights; however, I might have to take her home and re-bless her for the continued strength and willpower to keep pushing boundaries and making waves.

Obama Didn’t Go Far Enough On NSA Reforms: Human Rights Watch OR The President and the NSA OR Surveillance and Scandal

You should’ve seen the disappointment and frustration in my house after Obama’s speech on surveillance. It’s hard to be an Obama supporter and dislike his choices so much; I still stand by his election into office (as the lesser of two evils), but I really wish we could see serious and sustained change.

I just hope that our next president, whoever that may be, wrestles our government out of inaction and into governing again. I hope for smart spending AND positive societal changes, which I don’t consider to be mutually exclusive goals.

School Makes Kids Pay To Pee, Outrages Parents

My teacher had a better system than fake money. In second grade, she had a blank chart with two columns: students and teacher. If we (individually or as a group) behaved or did something especially well, we gain a student point. If we misbehaved, our teacher gained a point. Whoever had the least points at the end of the day won. The prize? We got an extra 15 minute recess after lunch if we won the day before, while the teacher did nothing for or against us if she won instead.

We were surprisingly well-behaved little kids. I mean, there were days when we ended up being too rowdy to get good points; we didn’t bully each other or anything, but we were pretty good at self-policing (“hey, shhhhh… it’s time to do this thing”). I also remember us taking pity on others, like when I got sick and kept having to use the restroom (I was drinking too much water at recess, to make up for feeling like crap). Nobody gave me grief over ruining our points for the day. We were a team, and we learned to work together toward our goal of extra recess time.

Then again, that was the same teacher who impressed parents with her unique teaching ideas. She’s the one who had us do a small ballet performance as a class (The Nutcracker), learn about Hawaiian culture and host a luau, and act out The Three Little Rabbits play (I was the Lemondrop Fairy). We set Leprechaun traps in March, and an ostrich puppet danced around you on your birthday before giving you a small treat or trinket.

AZ Governor Uses ‘State Of State’ Address To Get Rid Of Child Protective Services

Um… what? Brewer is a bit crazy, and this is just icing. I’m not sure that dissolving CPS is the cure for a mismanaged CPS system… Changing who’s in charge, retraining CPS employees, and updating workflows for filing cases as investigated (or not) would all be better options. I hope nobody gets hurt while this shuffle is in play.

How Restaurants Are Coping With Food Allergies and Intolerances

I’d like to point out that there’s been a rise in food intolerances over the years, not just a movement to be picky. People without allergies often judge those who need dairy-free, gluten-free, etc. food options.

Also, I live with a chef. He didn’t have issues with food allergy orders, because many restaurants are see as “as is” food sources (i.e. don’t go to the steakhouse and ask for a vegetarian option other than salad). It’s the bigger, more flexible restaurants (with broader menus in the first place) who face more special requests.

The other unfortunate issue is honesty. Some people DO lie about an allergy (say, to onions) in order to make sure their server doesn’t forget to add “no onions” to their order. An allergy is taken more seriously than a standard “I don’t like it” request, because lawsuits suck for business.

The Danger of Telling Poor Kids That College Is the Key to Social Mobility

I think this article sums up my feelings about college. It’s a place to either earn a piece of paper toward a specific job (which you may already have the skills for, unofficially), or it’s a place to pick up new skills you actually want.

I finally have my degree, and it falls into the “just a piece of paper” category. Given a chance, I’d love to take sign language or coding classes for my personal enjoyment. Sure, I could move on to become an interpreter or app designer, but my real interest is in learning random things that interest me.

I’m so against college, though, because it’s a financial suicide pact for many people. Whether you go for career or intellectual pursuits, you usually end up with loans that will haunt you for decades. At the same time, it seems unfair to say only the smart (i.e. students who get a free-ride after high school) deserve free access to education. This is why I like MOOC offerings as well; they provide everyone a chance to engage in learning, regardless of educational level or economic status. I’d love to see some MOOC courses taken seriously on resumes and applications; if you have the skills, they should count even if they were earned for free.

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3 thoughts on “The newsie news, and other junk

  1. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could go to college for free? It’s not like this county can’t afford it~~just quit going to war! And hey, if we quit going to war we could feed the hungry, fund education, take care of our elderly, not to mention our present veterans. But oh yeah, I forgot, war is BIG BUSINESS, gotta rake in those dollars.

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