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Slate reporter endorses anorexia as viable dieting technique

Eating only 500 calories a day and drinking the urine of pregnant women is not a medically or scientifically sound diet. It's anorexia paired up with debunked quackery. So of course Slate publishes it and touts how wonderful it is. Slate is pretty much the worst. Pushing this self-harm as effective dieting should be illegal. Check out this fantastic takedown of this horseshit. hCG diet: How it worked for me. - Slate Magazine
. . . Still, I didn’t think a fad diet was the way to go. Certainly not one I learned about on the Internet, like the hCG diet. Here’s how it is supposed to work: You take human chorionic gonadotropin—which occurs naturally in the placenta of pregnant women—once a day for three to six weeks, depending on how much weight you want to lose. The hCG burns your “abnormal” (read: extra) fat stores, allowing you to eat 500 calories a day without feeling hungry, all while losing about a pound a day. Five hundred calories? On the crazy scale, this seemed only mildly more sane than the tapeworm diet. Those Internet ads that say you can “lose a pound a day with one simple trick”? The hCG diet is one that you’ll find when you click on those. And there is a trick to succeeding on the diet: Don’t follow the plans on the Internet, which usually involve ordering homeopathic drops. The FDA considers the drops to be “fraudulent and illegal,” though the agency rarely does anything about it. Instead, find a doctor to prescribe injections. They are considered off-label use for weight loss, but when I found out that my OB-GYN—the same woman who once changed her vacation plans to deliver one of my kids—was offering the diet through her practice, I figured it was safe enough to consider. I attended an information session, learned the pros and the cons, and thought about it. And then I mentally deducted all the money from my imaginary iPad fund (It cost me $450, which isn’t cheap, but then, neither is Nutrisystem), and went for it. . . .

September 29, 2011

Michigan Republicans push bill that would jail teachers who send political emails

There is no way this constitutional. But also with all three branches of the Michigan government controlled by extreme rightwing Conservatives, there is no way anyone would care if this was constitutional. In Stealth Assault On Unions, Michigan GOP Bill Would Jail Teachers Who Send Political Emails | ThinkProgress
In a transparent attempt to punish teachers for organizing union efforts, Michigan Republicans are pushing a bill through the legislature that would prohibit public employees from sending political messages through their work emails. The bill is an attempt to stifle any union-related communication between teachers and other public employees, imposing ridiculously harsh penalties for teachers who send “political” messages: Michigan educators could face a year in prison for conducting union or political business over public school e-mail servers under a bill advancing in Lansing. State House Bill 4052 was reported out of committee last week, and would prohibit a public employee from using public e-mail for political campaigning, union activities, union recruitment, and fundraising. Violators could be found guilty of a misdemeanor, which would carry a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in prison or both in the bill’s amended version. Organizations found guilty would face up to a $10,000 fine.[...] The bill is an example of ongoing “classic scapegoating” in Lansing against teachers, and is being used to appeal to the Republican-led Legislature’s base, said Doug Norton, former Howell Education Association president. “I think that they hate the fact that teachers are able to join a union and collectively bargain. I think they have targeted teachers in their organization,” Norton said.

September 05, 2011

How the Israeli Yellow Pages lets them totally avoid ineracting with Palestinians

This is just one of the ways they quietly enforce their apartheid. Looking for a business that’s Arab-free? Try Yellow Pages!
It turns out that certain businesses advertising in the Yellow Pages in Israel use the term “Avoda Ivrit” (Hebrew Labor) in their adverts, to reassure readers that they won’t be interacting with any Arabs should they decide to take their business there. Happy days. The term Avoda Ivrit harks back to a classic (and therefore, nostalgic and partly legtimized – see below) practice of the first Zionist communities in Palestine, who employed only Jews on farms, factories and so forth. At the time, it was described as a campaign to reduce (Jewish) immigrant unemployment and to solidify the Jewish Yishuv as an independent economic polity in Mandatory Palestine. In hindsight, Avoda Ivrit was the first modern segregationist institution in Palestine, and played a key role in ensuring that immigrant Jews never integrated with the Palestinian majority, contributing to turning existing tensions into the all-out ethnic conflict that has plagued the country for three-quarters of a century. Since 1995, thankfully, employment discrimination by nationality has been illegal. The businesses that state they guarantee their customers will not have to interact with Arabs are violating the law. But since enforcing these laws against the businesses is likely to prove difficult if not futile, a campaign has now been launched to at least get the Yellow Pages to stop facilitating their discriminatory practice. The small umbrella organisation Shutafut-Sharakah has produced a short clip pointing out that prostitution ads are illegal and are not allowed in Yellow Pages, but Hebrew Labor , equally illegal, still gets a free ride. . . .