If alcoholism is a disease, as most professionals in the treatment industry assert – then shouldn’t those who get in trouble with the law for alcohol-related reasons be treated as “ill” rather than “criminal.”?
LifeHealth reports that “A police officer fired for driving drunk in an unmarked police car while off-duty has filed a $6 million lawsuit against the city of Gresham, the police chief and others, alleging his rights were violated under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).imgres-1
“The lawsuit filed in Portland alleged the officer, Jason Servo, was suffering from alcoholism, a recognized disability under the act, and shouldn’t have been dismissed.The suit also alleged Servo was denied due process, and the police union failed to represent him adequately. Continue reading “Alcoholism as disability”
“A hidden epidemic is poisoning America,” writes the French publication Le Monde today in an article entitled “You Are a Guinea Pig.”
“The toxins are in the air we breathe and the water we drink, in the walls of our homes and the furniture within them. We can’t escape it in our cars. It’s in cities and suburbs. It afflicts rich and poor, young and old. And there’s a reason why you’ve never read about it in the newspaper or seen a report on the nightly news: it has no name — and no antidote.
“The culprit behind this silent killer is lead. And vinyl. And formaldehyde. And asbestos. And Bisphenol A. And polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). And thousands more innovations brought to us by the industries that once promised “better living through chemistry,” but instead produced a toxic stew that has made every American a guinea pig and has turned the United States into one grand unnatural experiment. Continue reading “Americans as guinea pigs”
Pedagogical Vaudeville Revisited: Yvonne Rainer at UC Irvine
A celebration of Yvonne Rainer at UC Irvine and beyond, Monday, April 29, 2013 | 7 – 9 PM, UC Irvine, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Contemporary Arts Center , Experimental Media Performance Lab (xMPL)
With performances and contributions by: Yvonne Rainer, Ben Boatright, Maura Brewer, Pat Catterson, Marcus Civin, Heather Delaney, Aaron Guerrero, Maya Gurantz, Natilee Herren, Patricia Hoffbauer, Kuan Hwa, David Kelley, Simon Leung, Monica Majoli, Lyle Massey, Lara Odell, and Sara Wookey.
The United States is ranked as the world’s biggest economy and the world’s largest military spender. But Chinese people lead the world in global tourist spending. Asia times reports that:
“China, which has outranked Japan as the world’s second-largest economy and moved ahead of Russia as the world’s second-largest military spender, has hit the top spot in global tourism.
“Chinese tourists spent US$102 billion during their travels in 2012, more than any other nationality, making the Asian nation the world’s number one tourism source market, according to a report released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
“Asked if China will be able to hold on to the number one ranking inyears ahead, Lakshman Ratnapala, chair of Enelar International, San Francisco, and emeritus president and chief executive officer of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), told IPS, ”Yes, the primary reason being the continuing growth of the Chinese middle class.” Continue reading “Chinese tourists lead the world”
Here’s a fact that may not surprise you: the children of the rich perform better in school, on average, than children from middle-class or poor families. As today’s New York Times puts it: “Students growing up in richer families have better grades and higher standardized test scores, on average, than poorer students; they also have higher rates of participation in extracurricular activities and school leadership positions, higher graduation rates and higher rates of college enrollment and completion.
“Whether you think it deeply unjust, lamentable but inevitable, or obvious and unproblematic, this is hardly news. It is true in most societies and has been true in the United States for at least as long as we have thought to ask the question and had sufficient data to verify the answer.
“What is news is that in the United States over the last few decades these differences in educational success between high- and lower-income students have grown substantially. Continue reading “No wealthy child left behind”
Recently released with book launches in Los Angeles and New, Art and Queer Culture by Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer is now available. As the authors write:
“Spanning 125 years, Art and Queer Culture is the first major historical survey to consider the ways in which the codes and cultures of homosexuality have provided a creative resource for visual artists. Attempts to trouble the conventions of gender and sexuality, to highlight the performative aspects of identity and to oppose the tyranny of the normal are all woven into the historical fabric of homosexuality and its representation. “From Oscar Wilde to Ryan Trecartin, from the molly houses of eighteenth-century London to the Harlem drag balls of the 1920s, the flamboyant refusal of social and sexual norms has fuelled the creation of queer art and life throughout the modern period.
“Although the book proceeds in a chronological fashion, it does not propose a progressive narrative in which homosexuals become increasingly adept at negotiating the circumstances of censorship and overcoming the terms of stigma and invisibility. The dialogue between art and queer culture does not move towards ever more affirmative images of equality and dignity. Rather than countering homophobia with ‘positive’ images of assimilation, many of the artists and photographers featured in this book draw upon, and even draw out, the deviant force of homosexuality. Continue reading “Art and Queer Culture”
Having a choice is generally a good thing, and being able to choose among several college acceptances should be a wonderful thing indeed, as Paul Sullivan wrote this past week in the New York Times
“But let’s face it: the cost of a college education these days ranges from expensive to obscenely expensive. So the decision is likely to be tougher and more emotional than most parents and children imagined as they weigh offers from colleges that have given real financial aid against others that are offering just loans.
“While some students will be able to go to college only if they receive financial aid and others have the resources to go wherever they want, most fall into a middle group that has to answer this question: Do they try to pay for a college that gave them little financial aid, even if it requires borrowing money or using up their savings, because it is perceived to be better, or do they opt for a less prestigious college that offered a merit scholarship and would require little, if any borrowing? It’s not an easy decision.
Full story: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/20/your-money/measuring-college-prestige-vs-price.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Women and men experience shame differently, according to Brene Brown in a new book discussed in a recent article in the Atlantic. As the essay begins: “I recently devoted a lot of energy to avoiding an uncomfortable conversation with my wife. It involved, as many uncomfortable conversations with spouses do, the distribution of unpaid labor in our house, as well as the distribution of responsibility for paying the bills. It was difficult for her to see, and for me to explain, why it seemed like she was shouldering more than her fair share of both.
“The reason for the imbalance was that I had been devoting more time to chasing implausible dreams of the writerly variety than to doing household chores, which, in my capacity as a (mostly) stay-at-home dad, would seem like something I should be able to stay on top of.”I started thinking about this book I had read, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown, on a hunch that it might shed some light on why I was dreading this conversation. Continue reading “Considering gender and shame”
Five years after starting to keep track of whether people with disabilities are working, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found fewer people with disabilities in the labor force even as the population has grown, reports the Pittsbugh Gazette
“In June 2008 when the bureau started to keep track of the disabled population’s relationship to the labor force, there were 27.3 million people who were disabled and 21.7 percent of them were either working or looking for a job.As of March, that number had grown to 28.9 million, but their participation rate in the labor force had fallen to 18 percent.
“During the same time period, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities in the labor force has risen from 9.3 percent to 13 percent. The trends for people with disabilities mirrors the larger population, in which the unemployment rate rose from 5.6 percent in June 2008 to 7.4 percent in March (without seasonal adjustment) while the labor force participation rate has fallen from 72.6 percent to 68.7 percent. “In this market when there are so many people looking for work, people with disabilities have to outshine everybody else,” said Eric Smith, associate director of the Center for Accessible Technologies in Berkeley, Calif. Continue reading “Looking for work with a disability”
Wikipedia stands accused of sexism and being the “encyclopaedic embodiment of the male gaze” after it was revealed the website is moving female authors from its ‘American novelists’ category into a sub-section called ‘American women novelists.’ As today’s The Post (UK) reports
“Successful novelists such as Donna Tartt, Harper Lee and Amy Tan have all been relegated to the sub-category by Wikipedia editors and the process is ongoing. American novelist Amanda Filipacchi says female writers whose surnames begin with A or B have been “most affected” so far. The explanation given by Wikipedia at the top of the page is that the American novelists category is “too long” and authors have to be put into sub-categories wherever possible, Filipacchi notes in the New York Times.
“For Filipacchi the relegation of women authors to a sub-category is a pernicious process as people “get ideas” about which authors to “hire, or honour, or read” from Wikipedia lists. “They might simply use that list without thinking twice about it. It’s probably small, easily fixable things like this that make it harder and slower for women to gain equality in the literary world”, she writes. Continue reading “Encyclopedia of the male gaze”
A UC Irvine fraternity is trying to distance itself from a member-produced video featuring a man in blackface, reports items in The Daily Pilot and the Chronicle of Higher Education today
But UCI’s Black Student Union says it’s an example of racial insensitivity that is common on campus, states The Pilot
“This month, members of Lambda Theta Delta, a historically Asian-American fraternity, filmed four students lip-syncing to the Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z song “Suit and Tie.”The fraternity member portraying Jay-Z wears blackface throughout. OC Weekly first reported on the incident. The video had been uploaded to the fraternity’s YouTube page, where UCI students pointed out this week there was a second video featuring blackface. Continue reading “Blackface at Irvine”
Psychological forces like motivated reasoning have long been associated with conspiracy thinking, but scientists are learning more every year, states today’s Salon.com, continuing: “For instance, a British study published last year found that people who believe one conspiracy theory are prone to believe many, even ones that are completely contradictory. “We’ve written before about the historical and social aspects of conspiracy theories, but wanted to learn more about the psychology of people who believe, for instance, that the Boston Marathon bombing was a government “false flag” operation. Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive scientist at the University of Western Australia, published a paper late last month in the journal Psychological Science that has received widespread praise for looking at the thinking behind conspiracy theories about science and climate change. We asked him to explain the psychology of conspiracy theories. This conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.
“There are number of factors, but probably one of the most important ones in this instance is that, paradoxically, it gives people a sense of control. People hate randomness, they dread the sort of random occurrences that can destroy their lives, so as a mechanism against that dread, it turns out that it’s much easier to believe in a conspiracy. Then you have someone to blame, it’s not just randomness. Continue reading “The appeal of conspiracy theories”
Over the past few decades, we’ve made a lot of changes in the English language to make it more gender neutral. We say “police officer” instead of “policeman,” and “people” instead of “mankind.”
But there’s one thing we can’t seem to get right: pronouns, reports NPR today: ” We know that if you say, “Every child has his monkey,” it excludes girls. So instead we might say, “Every child has their monkey,” even though it’s not grammatically correct. And “Every child has his or her monkey,” is just clunky.
“But some kids in Baltimore have come up with a solution that has caught the attention of linguists.
“At the UMAR Boxing Gym, you hear the word “yo” a lot. Continue reading ““Yo” as a gender-neutral pronoun”
Women in Canada are as healthy and educated as men, but gender equality plummets when it comes to economic and political opportunities, according to a new study, as reports the Tornoto Star.
“Even though six of Canada’s provinces and territories have female premiers, women’s representation in politics and on corporate boards has grown by just 2.3 per cent in the past two decades, says the study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released Tuesday.
“At this rate, Canada will not close its gender gap for another 228 years,” said the report’s author Kate McInturff, “I won’t be alive to see it close and neither will my children or my grandchildren.”The study, based on methodology developed by the World Economic Forum, calculates the Canada’s overall performance in the areas of health, education, economics and politics since 1993.
Public opinion surveys conducted since the bombings last week at the Boston Marathon indicate that most Americans — while convinced future attacks are quite likely — don’t feel personally threatened by terrorism, and an increasing share of the public is skeptical about sacrificing personal freedoms for security, reports FiveThirtyEight.com
“Concern about another terrorist episode in the United States has increased after the events in Boston, which led to the deaths of four people and wounded more than 260. But there has not been the upsurge in concern over such an attack that there was in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City. The post-Boston polls have also shown that Americans’ personal sense of threat — as opposed to the generalized threat that the country faces — remains low.
“Just after the 9/11 attacks, a Washington Post poll found that the threat of another major terror attack was something that worried nearly 9 in 10 Americans either “a great deal” or “somewhat.”
“In the most recent Washington Post survey, roughly 7 in 10 respondents were worried either a great deal or somewhat. That figure increased just slightly from the last time the newspaper asked this question, in September 2008. Continue reading “Most are resolved to live with terrorism fears”
Earlier this year Capella University and the new College for America began enrolling hundreds of students in academic programs without courses, teaching professors, grades, deadlines or credit hour requirements, but with a path to genuine college credit.
The two institutions are among a growing number that are giving competency-based education a try, including 25 or so nonprofit institutions, reports Inside Higher Education. Notable examples include Western Governors University and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
“These programs are typically online, and allow students to progress at their own pace without formal course material. They can earn credit by successfully completing assessments that prove their mastery in predetermined competencies or tasks — maybe writing in a business setting or using a spreadsheet to perform calculations. Continue reading “And now, credit without teaching”
One out of about 2,800 people in Sapporo is suffering from gender identity disorder, according to a survey compiled recently by a medical group in Hokkaido. As Japan Times today reports
“On a national scale, the ratio would translate into about 46,000 patients across Japan, which is more than 10 times the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s nationwide estimate of at least 4,000 GID patients in 2011.
“Mikiya Nakatsuka, head of the Japanese Society of Gender Identity Disorder, said the Hokkaido outcome is close to what he feels the real GID total should be.
“This is going to be important data when we discuss whether patients should get insurance coverage for treatments, such as gender reassignment surgery,” Nakatsuka said. The result was based on data from 82 Sapporo natives who were diagnosed with GID by Sapporo Medical University Hospital between 2003 and 2012. Continue reading “Gender identity disorder seen rising in Japan”
The city’s latest health crusade — backed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn — would raise the smoking age from 18 to 21, reports todays New York Post
“A bill introduced in the council Monday by Quinn and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley would make New York the first major city in the country to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21.
“That will literally save lives,” Quinn said. “The more difficult it is for [young people] to gain access to tobacco products, the less likely they are to start smoking. The more likely they are to live longer.”The bill is a sign that Quinn, a leading mayoral contender, would carry on Mayor Bloomberg’s trademark public health agenda if elected. Though Quinn opposed the mayor’s move to ban big soda, she made it clear Monday that she admires his health initiatives, which critics deride as creating a nanny state. Continue reading “Raising smoking to 21”
RECAPS is a wonderful online magazine, bearing the subtitle: “Reclaim Culture Art Politics Sexuality.” As editor Martabell Wasserman (among others) writes in the “about” page:
“RECAPS Magazine is a forum for conversation. Our mission is to explore what emerges when content from different historical, geographical, methodological, aesthetic and political vantage points is brought together. The magazine includes work that ranges from the canonical to the provisional, the abstract to the polemical, the timely to the archival. RECAPS explores the relationship between virtual community and embodied activism. The (re)print section is the most literal example but this line of inquiry structures the entire project.
RECAPS attaches uses the prefix “re” in categorizing the content because the magazine is built on the ideas that resistance is a process of repeating ideas, reworking strategies and reimaging what seems possible. “Re” reflects the belief that ideas are collectively produced and an engagement with the political present requires looking backward”. Continue reading “Check out “Recaps””