Rape Conviction Does Not Disqualify Man from Becoming a Doctor in Florida

If you live in the Tampa area, and you are thinking about making a trip to the doctor soon, you best look out for this guy:

Mark Allan Seldes, convicted rapist

From CBS Miami:

Would you want a convicted rapist as your doctor? In Florida, that’s apparently OK, according the the Florida Board of Medicine, which voted Friday to allow a doctor who raped a co-worker to return to medical practice. The board decided being a rapist had nothing to do with being a good doctor.

The board, meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, made the decision in the case of Tampa doctor Mark Seldes a former Air Force flight surgeon who was serving in South Korea when he was accused of raping a civilian co-worker. He was convicted in a military court-martial in 2008, served 3 years in prison, and was dismissed from the service for rape and adultery. He was also forced to be registered as a sex offender, and appears in the Florida Sex Offender Registry.

The person he raped was sedated due to medication when the crime occurred. Clearly, a scenario that would never occur in the medical profession, and therefore the board’s decision that “being a rapist had nothing to do with being a good doctor” is obviously reasonable, and justifies the Florida Board of Medicine’s 7-3 vote to allow him to practice.

The state agreed not to put him on formal probation, after Seldes argued that probation might make it hard for him to get a job in the future.

Yeah, wouldn’t it be a terrible injustice if this rapist’s reputation were tarnished by formal probation? It’s best not to trouble this fine gentleman any further.

White & class privilege much? Just saying.

Via Shakesville.

What Else Would You Ban from Me?

If there are two things we know incontrovertibly about poor people, it is that they are stupid and obese. What with their drinking of soda and purchasing of cheap, unhealthy foods. Don’t they know that’s why they’re all fat? No they don’t, because they are uneducated and also obviously bad decision makers. I mean, if they chose to be low-income, can they really be trusted to make other, smaller choices correctly? Good thing millionaire NYC Mayor Bloomberg is right on top of that with a ban just for food stamp recipients on “sugary drinks”.

Of course, these “sugary drinks” largely don’t contain real sugar. They contain High Fructose Corn Syrup, which indeed has been linked to obesity, moreso than plain sugar. So why are these drinks called “sugary” and not “fructose-y”? DUH.

So if HFCS is SOOOO bad that it must be banned, why not ban it from everyone? Why just poor people? Why can’t poor people make their own choices?

Ooooh right, because A) poor people have no power, and B) SO WE CAN EXPERIMENT ON THEM!

The mayor requested a ban for two years to study whether it would have a positive impact on health

That sounds ethical. Non-consensual human experimentation while infringing on the autonomy of a specific demographic of citizens? Yeah.

Charing Ball at the Atlantic Post writes:

Despite the many years of research, our politicians have yet to figure out why obesity and socioeconomic class are often interconnected.

…Moreover, not everyone…can afford to spend his or her “whole paychecks” on “organic” and “healthy.” Can someone explain to me why a 1,000 calories bag of potato chips is cheaper than a 44-calorie apple? Oh yeah, that right: because our government subsidizes many of the food items found within that bag of potato chips as oppose to fresh fruits and veggies, which we are suppose to eat.

I probably wouldn’t be so outraged at this ban if it also came with a plan – and funding – to address the issue of food insecurity in many of these lower income communities, many of which are more likely to have several fast food restaurants and no adequate supermarket. Giving grocery stores tax incentives for doing business in low-income neighborhoods is just as effective as food bans at giving these lower income families access to healthier options.

How about this: Don’t make rules that only apply to one group. Especially if that one group is historically oppressed by the group making the rules. Condescending government paternalism doesn’t change the real reason why many impoverished people experience obesity. It isn’t poor people’s “fault” for our cultural and social conditions that have ramped up obesity and other illness… it is the fault of corporations who have something to gain. Why punish the victim and let the perpetrator go unscrutinized?

What else does it “make sense” to you to ban from me and my poor brethren? Cookies? Jello? Potato chips? Is there anything else that you higher income people would like to ban from the poor? Let’s get it all out now so I can start planning how to do without.

Why ban it from me but not from yourself? Oh right, I’m spending your tax dollars on a soda. Since food stamps are about 1.6% of the federal budget, which is half of the interest we pay on the national debt, and 1/10th of the Defense Budget, clearly my soda purchases, which come directly from your paycheck, are what’s wrong with government today. Let us recall that we aren’t talking about shrinking the food stamp budget, so ban or no ban the amount of the budget the program goes up or down only based on how many people are poor.

Soda

Poor people can't handle the high level of maturity that soda-drinking requires.

Here are articles by two of my fave bloggers explaining this point
better than I could:
Shakesville
Womanist Musings

Also read Why the Food Stamp Soft Drink Ban Is BS at A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss.

Yoga: Satan’s Exercise Preference

From the Seattle P-I: Yoga and Christianity Don’t Mix

From the New York Daily News: Yoga a Dangerous ‘Risk’ for Christians

From the NYDN article:

Stating that yoga “threatens” to push Christians into a “post-Christian, spiritually polyglot” reality, [Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert] Mohler asks, “Should any Christian willingly risk that?”

…”Yoga begins and ends with an understanding of the body that is, to say the very least, at odds with the Christian understanding,” he wrote. “Christians are not called to empty the mind or to see the human body as a means of connecting to and coming to know the divine.”

Actually, We Like Our Toxic Waste Just Fine

Some of the denizens of Kellogg, Idaho and the surrounding Silver Valley area would really prefer the government not clean up the toxic mining waste in their community. So what if poisonous chemicals are found at record-setting levels in the bodies of their children. Because you know what, if the toxic waste clean-up efforts continue, it would be bad for business.

That’s right. The willingness of the government to clean up the toxic waste sends a bad message to mining companies, a message that some locals are trying to silence: Companies should have a plan for safe hazardous waste disposal. THE HORROR!!!

Or to put in the words of a concerned resident:

“They’ve got their environmental science degree from some place like Berkeley and they drive their Prius to the back hills of Idaho and here are a bunch of miners and they want to do what they think is best for us,” said attorney James McMillan.

We like our poisonous mining sludge just the way it is, thank you. That arsenic doesn’t just get into children’s blood by itself, for gosh sake!

Finally, Police Focus on the Real Criminals: Purveyors of Locally Produced Food

In a raid coordinated by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, armed investigators raided a Venice, CA health food shop.

The dangerous criminals inside were harboring illegal substances: raw food, including milk, honey and cheese.

With no warning one weekday morning, investigators entered an organic grocery with a search warrant and ordered the hemp-clad workers to put down their buckets of mashed coconut cream and to step away from the nuts.

Then, guns drawn, four officers fanned out across Rawesome Foods in Venice. Skirting past the arugula and peering under crates of zucchini, they found the raid’s target inside a walk-in refrigerator: unmarked jugs of raw milk.

Incensed that small, local organic farmers are able to produce food that is healthier and tastier than their own, BigAg has been pushing for a crack-down on the availability of sustainable, local products. Everyone from the feds to local-level politicians are listening.

Demand for all manner of raw foods — including honey, nuts and meat — has been growing, spurred by heightened interest in the way food is produced. But raw milk in particular has drawn a lot of regulatory scrutiny, largely because the politically powerful dairy industry has pressed the government to act.

I sincerely hope that these people with a criminal interest in supporting health and sustainable agriculture spend the rest of their life behind bars for treason against Capitalism.

Genital Mutilation at Cornell University

Dan Savage reports:

Dr. Dix Poppas

A pediatric urologist at Cornell—Dix Poppas—has been operating on little girls with what he judges to be oversized clitorises, cutting away important clitoral tissues, and then stitching the glans to what remains of the shaft.
….
At annual visits after the surgery, while a parent watches, Poppas touches the daughter’s surgically shortened clitoris with a cotton-tip applicator and/or with a “vibratory device,” and the girl is asked to report to Poppas how strongly she feels him touching her clitoris. Using the vibrator, he also touches her on her inner thigh, her labia minora, and the introitus of her vagina, asking her to report, on a scale of 0 (no sensation) to 5 (maximum), how strongly she feels the touch…. Poppas has indicated in this article and elsewhere that ideally he seeks to conduct annual exams with these girls….

I believe all genital mutilation/cutting/circumcision/surgery performed on children is wrong. This is for two related reasons. The first is consent- a child or infant cannot understand the reasons for and consequences of genital surgery. Any surgery that is not medically necessary, and genital surgery is rarely medically necessary, should not be performed without the individual’s consent. Unless a major bodily function is impeded by the formation of the genitals, the surgery is cosmetic. The second is that this surgery may have long-lasting and deep-rooted effects for the infant or child, and so cannot in good conscience be performed without the individuals consent.

Intersex SymbolSome people are born with genitals that may seem “too big” or “too small” by the parents’ standards or in the opinion of the family’s physician. This is natural variation. There are plenty of genetic situations that can cause a person’s genitals to appear different than what we consider “the norm”. When a person’s genitals don’t neatly fall into what we expect a “woman’s” or a “man’s” to look like, that person is intersex. There is no way to tell by looking at an intersex baby’s genitals whether that baby will grow up to identify as a woman, man, both or neither. There is also no way to tell from genitals whether a person will grow up to be L, G, B, T or Q. The Intersex Society of North America estimates that about 1% of the population is born with “bodies [that] differ from standard male or female”.

That means that reshaping a baby’s genitals to fit a preconceived notion of what a girl or a boy “should” look like is not only likely to harm sexual/sensual function in adulthood, but also may result in the parents and physician guessing wrong and reshaping the child’s genitals into the “wrong” sex. Our sex and gender identification is not formed only by outside society… see As Nature Made Him.

In the article above, Dan Savage is correct in identifying clitoris-reduction surgery on infants as based on sexism and homophobia. Since we do not know whether all children described as having a large clitoris will identify as girls/women in adulthood, I cannot say that this is specifically “female” genital mutilation, but more broadly genital mutilation.

All non-medically-necessary genital surgery is cosmetic. And do we have any good reason to perform cosmetic, permanent surgery on a non-consenting child’s genitals? My stance is “no”. Some circumcision of boys and girls is done by religious dictate: because a holy text mandates it, or because it purportedly helps ensure virginity, etc. Other circumcision is done to fit the child into a cultural idea of what a “woman” or a “man” should look like. It is prescriptive… we see a baby as nature made hir, and we decide god or nature made a mistake that a human must correct.

But why must it be “corrected”? What is there to correct, exactly, when no major bodily function is impeded? Parents and doctors who perpetuate cosmetic genital surgery are allowing their own fears and limitations regarding sex, gender, and sexuality to play out physically upon the body of their child, a child whose very existence makes them fear for the rectitude of their dearly held social categories. Is it right to make a child suffer for life so that the parent and doctor can avoid hard questions and self-examination?

Some will always, inevitably say, “well it is too hard on the child to be raised intersex/with ambiguous genitals/ambiguous gender”. Why is it hard? Because society is sexist and homophobic, believes viscerally in a culturally-moderated gender binary, and people can be narrow-minded about these issues. Is the potential meanness of others, the potential bias against diversity, enough to perform cosmetic surgery? Why is it so hard for the parents to follow their child’s lead, to leave paths open and allow their child to pick one? I suspect that the parents are more worried about themselves, the potential explaining they may have to do, than about the highly touted danger of allowing the child to make hir own decision.

The situation that Dan Savage describes above only takes this human rights violation farther. Farther than even your average person is comfortable with, I think. To draw out the process of forcing a young body into a man-made sex mold for years, with close and constant medical intervention, is cruel and unusual torture. Parents who allow this are gravely remiss in watching out for their children’s best interests. They are also probably deeply misinformed by the “experts” into whose hands they have fallen. And the doctors—and doctor Dix Poppas particularly—are committing deep ethical breeches that I believe are egregious enough to be human rights violations.

Discuss infant genital surgery in comments, if you will. Slurs and insults not tolerated.

Kein Geschlecht Oder Viele

This sign is held by activists in Germany and says: "No Gender/Sex or Many". Source

Resources for Your Footprint and Your Health

Calculate your carbon footprint at WattzOn. This calculator is better than some of the ones you can find by random googling, but is still imperfect. It’s cool to see which of your activities contributes most to your carbon footprint. Air travel is the worst.

H/t Ayana J.

ALSO, I just heard about the Environmental Working Group, which offers a compendium of tips for avoiding poisonous industrial chemicals in many areas of your life. Huh, isn’t it strange that we have to rely on random non-profits to avoid life-threatening substances in common products? Doesn’t it seem like there should be some sort of government regulation preventing such toxins, or, even more radical, humans with functioning morals who work at the companies producing these products? I wonder what it feels like to live comfortably with money you make by offering poisonous products.

H/t Louise J.

Poverty Now: POC Are Suffering

The Food Paradox: How Obesity Commingles With Hunger in Brooklyn
In Brooklyn’s communities of color, the poor sometimes experience obesity because of lack of access to healthy food. Healthy food can be very expensive, and is often not available at the small bodegas that stand in for the lack of supermarkets. Note: not all obesity is due to unhealthy diet.

362 Dollar Water Bill Costs Black Mother Her Home
Vicky Valentine owned a home in Baltimore with all mortgage debts paid. The city sold her water bill debt to a private company, who, using tax liens, tripled the debt and eventually auctioned off her house to pay for it, putting her and her children on the street. This process is legal, and supported by the Baltimore city government, which defeated a bill to prevent such situations.

The American Cancer Society Cancels First-Ever LGBT Relay

You go, ACS! You let homophobia trump your own mission statement!

No Relay for Life for gheyz!

ACS Relay for Life logoFrom Watermark:

[O]rganizer Bobby Poth was enthusiastic about its potential success. However, officials within the ACS were concerned about an LGBT-focused fundraiser within its organization.

“Shortly after we began to promote this event we encountered hesitation from a few people within the organization,” Poth said in an e-mail. “They were worried about how the general public would react to an LGBT-targeted event [and] allowed personal beliefs to play a role in that fear, etc.”

The American Cancer Society nixed the event.

Kansas Governor Vetoes Anti-Abortion Bill

Kansas State Rep Lance Kinzer (et al)’s weird anti-abortion bill has been vetoed by governor Mark Parkinson. HALLELUJAH!

The bill would have eliminated threats to mental health as an acceptable reason to obtain a late-term abortion and forced doctors to hand over medical details about women receiving late-term abortion to politicians. Another part of “pro-life” attempts at chipping away women’s medical rights and bodily autonomy.

On a different note, how come every article about stupid anti-abortion antics has to include 1.) a quote from someone representing a wacko pro-life agency and 2.) someone from Planned Parenthood? Well, I guess Missouri is changing the standards, since the article under discussion was printed in the redoubtable bastion of unbiased journalism, the Kansas City Star, it only contains quotes from the Kansans for Life wacko and from the pro-life politician, Kinzer. Bleh.

UPDATE 5/5/10: On the second try, the Kansas Legislature overrode the veto. On to the Senate…

Mental Health Attacked as Reason for Abortion in Kansas

Sigh. Yet again, tiresome Kansas State Representative Lance Kinzer, a man, is leading the way in attempts to restrict women’s reproductive choices and her decisions regarding her own health.

His current hobby horse is finding ever-more invasive and paternalistic ways to take away women’s ability to obtain late-term abortion. He has found that outlawing late-term abortion altogether won’t fly, because then some women who need such abortions merely to survive might die, and he’d have a PR nightmare on his hands.

So he has refocused on eliminating the mental health exception to the general late-term abortion ban (late-term abortions are banned in Kansas except for “irreversible impairment of a major bodily function”). Mental health has been ruled by courts as possibly meeting this exception, and Kinzer is incensed.

From the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Kinzer argued that getting rid of the mental health exception fit with the state’s “legitimate interest in protecting life.”

“What we have here is a baby, a baby if given the chance would be able to live on its own outside its mothers’ womb,” Kinzer said.

What about the state’s interest in protecting the life of the woman, you idiot!? AAAAArg.

Oh, but friend-of-women Kinzer isn’t done yet. Oh no, he and his pals have more ideas about how they can improve women’s lives by intruding into their personal business and restricting their medical options.

From the Wichita Eagle:

[A] second proposal would require doctors to provide an exact medical diagnosis justifying a late-term abortion in their reports to the state.

It also would allow a woman or her family to sue a doctor if there was evidence that her late-term abortion violated the law.

Nice guys. Real nice. Totally constitutional. I, for one, would relish the opportunity to report ALL my doctor’s visits to the state! Because my health and the medical procedures I undergo are totally the proper business of Lance Kinzer, et al. So can we work on making this bill equal? I have a feeling men are going to really pissed to so be cavalierly left out of this life-protecting measure. What’s good for the gander is good for the goose, no?

Haiti: Don’t Believe the MSM!

Don’t trust the MSM reporting on Haiti!

To start, here’s a great article: New Orleans’ Heart Is in Haiti

Many New Orleanians have roots in Haiti, and their revolution lent inspiration to our city. The 500 enslaved people from the parishes outside New Orleans that participated in the 1811 Rebellion to End Slavery (the largest armed uprising against slavery in the US) were directly inspired the Haitian revolution.

…Now, just as after Katrina, the media is eager to demonize and criminalize the victims as “looters.”

…Author Naomi Klein reported that within 24 hours of the earthquake, the influential right-wing think tank the Heritage Foundation was already seeking to use the disaster as an attempt at further privatization of the country’s economy. The Heritage Foundation released similar recommendations in the days after Katrina, calling for “solutions” such as school vouchers.

…Our Katrina experience has taught us to be suspicious of the Red Cross and other large and bureaucratic aid agencies that function without and means of community accountability. In New Orleans, we’ve seen literally tens of billions of dollars in aid pledged in the years since Katrina, but only a small fraction of that has made it to those most in need.

Al Jazeera critiques the United States’ weird decision to use the crisis as an opening to militarily occupy Haiti:

Contradicting MSM and US government accounts:

“There are no security issues,” says Dr. Evan Lyon of Partners in Health, reporting from the General Hospital in Port-Au-Prince in Haiti…

This quote comes from the Democracy Now! story: Doctor: Misinformation and Racism Have Frozen Recovery Effort at General Hospital in Port-au-Prince.

From the INCITE! Blog:

Right now, there are many people, organizations, and governmental agencies mobilized to provide immediate aid relief and rescue operations in Haiti. However, there tends to be more readiness to donate supplies and money in the “immediate” time when things are very chaotic and before we know what the conditions are on the ground and have identified the long-term re-development needs as articulated by those most impacted. The long-term vision is critical because, when the dust settles and the big international relief organizations have left, people’s lives will still be devastated, and the need to rebuild will still be there.

…As many of us work to figure out appropriate strategies to support the people of Haiti, it’s important to note that the people most vulnerable–namely, women, LGBT folks, people with disabilities, incarcerated people, children, and elders–can experience a slower unfolding of specific crises that are consequences of the original disaster and the social conditions that preceded the disaster.

Here are the words of Jay Smooth where he calls Haiti a “country of heroes” (also note his links for information and donations):

Ooh, this is getting a little heavy. Well, on a lighter note, isn’t it refreshing that cruise ships are still docking on private, guarded Haitian beaches?

Sixty miles from Haiti’s devastated earthquake zone, luxury liners dock at private beaches where passengers enjoy jetski rides, parasailing and rum cocktails delivered to their hammocks.

…”I just can’t see myself sunning on the beach, playing in the water, eating a barbecue, and enjoying a cocktail while [in Port-au-Prince] there are tens of thousands of dead people being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water,” one passenger wrote on the Cruise Critic internet forum.

Donations:

Global Fund for Women
Partners in Health
Zanmi Lasant Clinic – Partners in Health’s Sister Organization in Haiti
Dwa Fanm (meaning “Women’s Rights” in Creole)
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
International Rescue Committee

Thanks to my roommates who helped me compile all this coverage. Look what one of them participated in to support Haiti!

The West Colonizes Mental Illness

Such new behavior!

If you haven’t already checked it out, take a look at “The Americanization of Mental Illness” in the last NYT Magazine.

Some quotes:

[R]esearchers have amassed an impressive body of evidence suggesting that mental illnesses have never been the same the world over… In some Southeast Asian cultures, men have been known to experience what is called amok, an episode of murderous rage followed by amnesia; men in the region also suffer from koro, which is characterized by the debilitating certainty that their genitals are retracting into their bodies. Across the fertile crescent of the Middle East there is zar, a condition related to spirit-possession beliefs that brings forth dissociative episodes of laughing, shouting and singing.

The diversity that can be found across cultures can be seen across time as well. In his book “Mad Travelers,” the philosopher Ian Hacking documents the fleeting appearance in the 1890s of a fugue state in which European men would walk in a trance for hundreds of miles with no knowledge of their identities. The hysterical-leg paralysis that afflicted thousands of middle-class women in the late 19th century not only gives us a visceral understanding of the restrictions set on women’s social roles at the time but can also be seen from this distance as a social role itself — the troubled unconscious minds of a certain class of women speaking the idiom of distress of their time.

And…

For more than a generation now, we in the West have aggressively spread our modern knowledge of mental illness around the world. We have done this in the name of science, believing that our approaches reveal the biological basis of psychic suffering and dispel prescientific myths and harmful stigma. There is now good evidence to suggest that in the process of teaching the rest of the world to think like us, we’ve been exporting our Western “symptom repertoire” as well. That is, we’ve been changing not only the treatments but also the expression of mental illness in other cultures. Indeed, a handful of mental-health disorders — depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anorexia among them — now appear to be spreading across cultures with the speed of contagious diseases.

And…

Mental-health professionals in the West, and in the United States in particular, create official categories of mental diseases and promote them in a diagnostic manual that has become the worldwide standard. American researchers and institutions run most of the premier scholarly journals and host top conferences in the fields of psychology and psychiatry. Western drug companies dole out large sums for research and spend billions marketing medications for mental illnesses.

Is this another one of them Objective Sciences which it turns out was never objective at all? Oh my god, ARE OUR ENDEAVORS INFLUENCED BY OUR CULTURE!? Next you’ll be telling me that persuasion and/or force can change people’s behavior, and that drug companies have some sort of motive to make a profit. Well that’s all silly.

It’s much easier to believe that if America can police the world, logically America can police the world’s mental health too. Because we’re Americans, we’re exceptional, and what I mean by that is, we’re exceptionally right about everything. So if American doctors and drug companies say people experience mental illness a certain way, they’re saying that because they are, objectively speaking, right, and not because they are fallible human beings armed with research but also with hubris. And potentially, with capital at stake.

***
I was pretty impressed that the NYT ran an article that would challenge stuff like mental health colonization, the eternal rightness of America, the objectivity of science, and the unassailable authority of mental health professionals. It got my gears turning, certainly. It also made me recall the book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman, which essentially deals with this very issue. A family of Hmong refugees in California has an epileptic daughter, and great conflict ensues between how the doctors and the family view and treat the illness.

Question Cultural Infallibility.

White Does Not Equal Right.

West Does Not Equal Best.

300 People in LA Declare Housing a Human Right

This is a really exciting video. A bunch of economic justice groups in LA got together on Human Rights Day (Dec. 10) and rallied for the human right to housing! Los Angeles Community Action Network posted this video. Just as civil and political rights are important, so are economic and social ones. How can you pursue life, liberty and happiness if you can’t afford a home? How can racial disparities disappear until everyone has the same economic rights?

The diminutive activist from Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates wearing the black cowboy hat and pumping his fist is the highlight.

Video: International Human Rights Day in LA from pete white on Vimeo.

“It’s more difficult today because we are struggling now for genuine equality. And it’s much easier to integrate a lunch counter than it is to guarantee a livable income and a good solid job. It’s much easier to guarantee the right to vote than it is to guarantee the right to live in sanitary, decent housing conditions. It is much easier to integrate a public park than it is to make genuine, quality, integrated education a reality. And so today we are struggling for something which says we demand genuine equality.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1967

And a random related quote:

“The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it.”

-Sitting Bull, ~1886

Obesity, Like Poverty, Is the Result of Personal Failure

And Lincoln University will stand by and watch their students deliberately make themselves fat no longer:

A Pennsylvania university’s requirement that overweight undergraduates take a fitness course to receive their degrees has raised the hackles of students and the eyebrows of health and legal experts.

Officials at historically black Lincoln University said Friday that the school is simply concerned about high rates of obesity and diabetes, especially in the African-American community.

“We know we’re in the midst of an obesity epidemic,” said James L. DeBoy, chairman of Lincoln’s department of health, physical education and recreation. “We have an obligation to address this head on…”

Yeah, like DeBoy said. It’s not like the United States government has subsidized corn over-production, it’s not like grocery stores are filled with boxed, canned and frozen food filled with corn derivatives and chemicals, it’s not like cities are planned around car culture, it’s as though poor neighborhoods are filled with fast food restaurants and suburbs with chain restaurants, it’s not as though we are all surrounded by advertisements pushing us to consume unhealthy foods, it’s not as if school lunches American children grow up on are made out of anything but the best, healthiest ingredients available.

No, it is the personal choices of these bad, bad Lincoln University students that lead to obesity. Change an unhealthy system? Heck, why not just blame the already-marginalized obese for their own health problems.

While they’re at it, why doesn’t Lincoln University add mandatory testing and classes for people with diabetes? And people with high blood pressure? How about students with mental health issues? People with STDs? Students with acne?

What’s the difference? Lifestyle choices can affect all of these health conditions. So why stop at obesity?

Surely it is safe to say our obsession concern about obesity, inspite of the fact that Lincoln University does not mandate testing and classes for any other health condition, is just because we are worried about the poor, ignorant college students’ well-being, and has nothing to do with a national pastime of blaming the victims of our greed-based capitalistic system for their own misfortune.

Just like poor people are poor because they are lazy, fat people are fat because they are lazy. As a matter of fact, poor people are often fat, therefore making the laziness descriptor even more apt. Apter.

Basically, I think we can all agree that what brings fatness and poverty together is that both are caused by personal failure, and not larger forces controlled by fabulously wealthy elites who benefit from keeping people poor and fat. I mean, besides government subsidy money, factory monoculture farming, enormous profit from cheap and fatty food, enormous profit from exploiting labor, and a huge benefit to maintaining a downtrodden lower class from which to draw cheap labor, what is there to gain from creating a system that encourages obesity and poverty? Because the very idea is so ridiculous, personal failure is a much more reasonable explanation. I’m sure James DeBoy would agree with me.

Because by mandating special classes to “teach” the obese about how they have failed and how they are personally responsible for the conditions that led to their health problems, he is thoroughly behind me in the fat = stupid and lazy but other health conditions are legitimate crowd.

And nobody, I mean nobody better make a peep to the effect that it is possible to have a high BMI and yet still be healthy. Come on, that doesn’t even make sense! It’s SCIENCEtm!!!

Blech.

Cao: My Constituents Are Poor

Louisiana Representative Anh (Joseph) Cao was the only Republican to vote for the health care bill:

“I have a constitutional duty to make the right decision for my district whether or not the decision was popular. I had to make a decision of conscience based on the needs of the people of my district. A lot of my constituents are uninsured, a lot of them are poor.”

Anh Joseph CaoNYT:Louisiana Republican Breaks Ranks on Health Bill

LA Times: Cantor: No retaliation planned against Cao, only Republican to vote for health care bill

CNN: Update: Lone GOP vote came after call from President Obama

Think Progress: GOP Threatens Retribution Against Cao For Health Care Vote

The Washington Independent: The War on Joseph Cao

Fox News: White House Spent ‘Weeks’ Courting Lone GOP Vote on Health Care Bill

Washington Post: A vote to make or break a career
Lone House Republican backed health bill after abortion was limited

Politico: Shenanigans: Get to Know Rep. Anh ‘Joseph’ Cao

Michelle Malkin: What GOP Rep. Joseph Cao got from Obama

TPM: Cao To Steele: Come And Get Me — Just Remember You Need My District