Friday, September 03, 2010 "'Alpha-Male' Role in Hollywood Is a Dying Trend, Experts Say" (thanks to reader Eleanor for emailing the article):

The masculine, alpha-male movie star – brought to life in films such as “Rambo,” “Die Hard,” and “Rocky” – is becoming extinct in Hollywood, according to actress Michelle Rodriguez.

“The alpha man is dying in film, the warrior is dying,” she told us. “Hello geek.”

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Carey Roberts at PJM: "Domestic Violence Fairytales Threaten Constitutional Protections" (thanks to Trey for emailing the article):

Like everything in the law, the problem begins with definitions. The Violence Against Women Act, passed during the first term of the Clinton administration, includes a definition of domestic violence that is so wide you could drive a Mack truck through it.

States picked up on the loophole, and now most states include within their definitions of abuse, actions like making your partner “annoyed” or “distressed.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) likewise followed suit. The CDC’s Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements declares that partner violence includes “getting annoyed if the victim disagrees,” “withholding information from the victim,” and even “disregarding what the victim wants.”

In her book, Violent Partners: A Breakthrough Plan for Ending the Cycle of Abuse,Lawyer Linda Mills makes the point that domestic violence is a complex story in which both partners often participate in the dynamic of abuse. She also mentioned that more than 800,000 men are assaulted by their intimate partners every year. I bet it's more than that. Why call 911 when attorneys give advice like this (click on report):

“Don’t call 911 unless you are bleeding and she still has a weapon in her hand. Too many men who have called 911 for help have ended up being arrested for DV.”13
—Family law attorney Lisa Scott

Civil rights groups are starting to file law suits on men's behalf. If you are the victim of an unfair domestic violence charge, contact one of these groups and do the same. When the cost of stripping men of their Constitutional rights starts to cost something, it will change.
CARPE DIEM: Evidence of a New "Reverse Gender Wage Gap" (via Newsalert):

In other words, if you control for all of the important variables that contribute to wage differentials (age, marital status, having children, etc.), i.e. impose ceteris paribus conditions, there is no evidence of gender discrimination, and either there is no statistically significant wage gap, or now there's a wage gap in favor of women.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class - it is the cause of humankind, .."

Have you ever read the quotes across the top of your passport? I never really noticed them until recently and one of them by Anna Julia Cooper really stood out:

Pages 26 and 27 of every new United States passport contain the following quote: "The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class - it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity." - Anna Julia Cooper

I was recently at a law conference where there was a discussion of the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure). I was shocked when one of the panel speakers (a lawyer!) stated that the Fourth Amendment was in place only to protect minorities. I thought she was kidding but alas, she was not. Perhaps she should check out her passport one of these days and realize that freedom and equal rights is the birthright of all human beings, regardless of race or sect.

Monday, August 30, 2010

No protein, no way...

I am reading a book by Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier entitled Thrive Fitness: The Vegan-Based Training Program for Maximum Strength, Health, and Fitness. Though the book seems geared toward the more serious athlete, there are a number of diet and exercise tips that might be helpful to those who are just looking to get fit.

He has diagrams and instructions for structured gym workouts, though many of the exercises look like you could do them at home with a bench, dumbbells and an exercise ball like this one. He has some good tips about exercising while traveling and suggests not slacking off during this time as one can really see results fade.

The book makes mention that Brazier is one of only a few professional athletes in the world whose diet is 100% plant-based. After reading the diet section, I can see why. It looks like a lot of trouble and not enough protein, but perhaps it has more than I realize just by eyeballing the diet. Brazier owns some kind of nutritional line called VEGA that is plant-based and the food he suggests is based on that. It consists of a lot of smoothies, fruit and cereal during the day and a big salad of mixed greens, grated carrots and dressing for dinner and raw pumpkin seeds and almonds for snacks. Sorry, but if I exercise, this diet is not going to cut it for me.

There is no way I could live without more protein in the form of chicken, meat or fish. I tried when younger to eat a plant-based vegetarian diet and ended up at 24 (12 years later) trolling the supermarket in the middle of the night in search of tuna fish. Tonight, I'm about to bake a bunch of barbecued chicken for dinner. Perhaps if I were more serious, I would try harder, but I don't have it in me.

If you have had a good experience with a plant-based diet or not, let me know. Maybe I'm missing something....or not.


Amy Alkon: Do Unemployment Benefits Keep People Unemployed?

I would definitely say "yes" to this question, having seen those who get unemployment checks over the years wait to look for a job (or just not try very hard) until benefits run out.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"I wish I didn't work so hard."

Glenn found an interesting post from a woman who worked in palliative care who discussed patient's last dying regrets:

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.....

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again....

I was most interested in the first two regrets:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed....

Maybe the first two go together. Perhaps the men worked hard because the women and children in their life expected it and looking back, they regretted it. I wonder if the current generation of men don't work as hard and let women pick up the load if they will be happier at the end of their lives or just regret something else? Perhaps all we really regret at the end is what we didn't do, not what we did. Perhaps that is human nature.

Is there anything you would regret?