September 3rd, 2010

i like CHOcolate milk.

Skin Deep: Men's Cosmetics

Jeffrey Lederer checks himself out after using cosmetics. He prefers Menaji.

Men’s Cosmetics Becoming a Bull Market

WHEN cosmetics began disappearing from her bathroom drawer a few years ago, Gretchen Bain, who lives in Merchantville, N.J., knew the culprit.

Her husband, Jarrod.

It turned out that Mr. Bain, 34, a Customs and border-protection officer who is 6-foot-3 and weighs 240 pounds — and whose uniform includes a 9-millimeter handgun — had developed a fondness for his wife’s under-eye concealer, which hid his occasional dark circles. He was also swiping her face lotions and mud masks.
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misc. | Campbell Brown

"The End of the Combat Mission in Iraq " (the Obama speech).

Surprised this has been posted, but here's the 20 minute video, and some follow-up links to facilitate post-viewing discussion/debate.

Various MSM reactions/assessments:

Have at it.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Let's all put that ev-psych shoe on the other foot

Is infidelity natural? Ask the apes.
by Wendy Shalit

In recent weeks, a series of CNN articles have appeared purporting to get to the bottom of male infidelity. "Men More Likely to Cheat on Women With Bigger Paychecks," one headline informs us; yet in the body of the article we are told that the opposite is true as well: "A man who makes significantly more money than his girlfriend or wife is also more likely to cheat."

It's a bit bewildering, keeping track of all the things that could cause a man to be unfaithful. Earn too much and he might cheat, but earn too little and he might cheat then, too.

Association is not the same as causality, but news outlets have latched on to this anyway as the reason actress Sandra Bullock was betrayed; high-and-low-earning ladies everywhere had better beware.

This article and others like it that surface in the media every so often amount to something of a cottage industry in the justification of male infidelity. Scratch the surface of any of them and you get a phenomenon of male entitlement that is oddly abetted by some women.

For example, if you thought that the man himself had anything to do with it, former "sugarbabe" and mistress Holly Hill explains otherwise in an article that ran a few weeks ago: "Men are hardwired to betray women on the long-term." In this view, man is but a victim of faulty "wiring" -- although the wires evidently worked well enough to fund her "sugarbabe" business.

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This is a witty Space Ghost reference.

Withdrawal Method Finds Ally

Which birth-control method is more effective: condoms or withdrawal?

For sex educators and others, the answer is glaringly obvious. Withdrawal before ejaculation, the so-called pullout method, is a last resort, they say — something to be used only if there are no other options. The effectiveness of condoms, on the other hand, is well known.

So reproductive experts were taken aback by a paper in the June issue of Contraception magazine. Based on an analysis of studies, the paper pronounced withdrawal "almost as effective as the male condom — at least when it comes to pregnancy prevention."

"If the male partner withdraws before ejaculation every time a couple has vaginal intercourse, about 4 percent of couples will become pregnant over the course of a year," the authors write.

For condoms, used optimally, the rate is about 2 percent. But more significant, the authors say, are the rates for "typical use," because people can't be expected to use any contraception method perfectly every time. Typical use of withdrawal leads to pregnancy 18 percent of the time, they write; for typical use of condoms 17 percent of the time.

(There are other, more effective methods. Failure rates for the pill and the patch are about 8 percent; for Depo-Provera injections, about 3 percent; and for diaphragms, about 16 percent. Intrauterine devices fail less than 1 percent of the time.)

The lead author, Rachel K. Jones, a senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health matters, said she and her co-authors were motivated to write the paper because it seemed to them the pullout method was getting short shrift.

"We had all noticed that social science researchers and health care providers just kind of dismiss withdrawal and don't seem to realize that it can prevent pregnancy," Ms. Jones said. "Most people seem to be under the impression that you might as well do nothing."

Even she used to think of withdrawal as "cheating," she said. But "most women have used withdrawal at some point in their lives" and it seemed logical to compare the method to condoms, because health care providers "have no problem advocating the use of condoms as a method even though those are flawed."

Some educators and physicians said they worried that putting out a message that withdrawal is effective would just give teenagers encouragement to have unprotected sex. And many underscored what the authors themselves point out: that unlike condoms, withdrawal does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, a strong reason to encourage condoms.

But Ms. Jones said the intention was not to advocate withdrawal, but to advocate talking about it.

"Health care providers and health educators should discuss withdrawal as a legitimate, if slightly less effective, contraceptive method in the same way they do condoms and diaphragms," the authors write. "Dismissing withdrawal as a legitimate contraceptive method is counterproductive for the prevention of pregnancy and also discourages academic inquiry into this frequently used and reasonably effective method."

Ms. Jones and her co-authors said they were dismayed to see that withdrawal had not been exhaustively studied.

"Despite its role in the European fertility decline, and relatively high levels of use, acceptability and effectiveness," they write, "most studies of withdrawal since that time have been small in scale (e.g., married Turkish men), or have focused on specific populations (e.g., Israeli Jews or Chinese Canadians obtaining abortions)."

The authors say there has been a bias against studying or legitimizing withdrawal, partly because of "preference for modern methods and the strongly held belief that pre-ejaculate fluid contains sperm, despite the lack of supporting evidence."

Studies may underreport withdrawal use "because respondents do not consider it a 'method,' " they write. "One study found that only 3 of 62 Turkish factory workers reported on a questionnaire that they used withdrawal. However, in face-to-face interviews, an additional 17 reported current use of this method."

Two of the authors also conducted their own interviews to gather anecdotal information on people's sexual practices. The interviews indicated that many people did not consider withdrawal a serious method. One woman, said she used no birth control, adding: "Sometimes we use condoms. But for the most part just the withdrawal method. Which I know is, like, the worst thing."

Many people preferred withdrawal to condoms. As one said, "you can still have sex, it doesn't smell bad, it doesn't have chemicals in it."

The research convinced the authors that "it is unfortunate that some couples do not realize they are substantially reducing their risk of pregnancy when using withdrawal, as these misperceptions may cause unnecessary levels of anxiety. More speculatively, if more people realized that correct and consistent use of withdrawal substantially reduced the risk of pregnancy, they might use it more effectively."

Some experts said they did not dispute the findings but worried that young people would construe the article's conclusion's too liberally. "Those data don't necessarily translate to youth today," said Dr. Melissa Gilliam, chief of family planning and contraceptive research in the University of Chicago's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who is on the board of the Guttmacher Institute. "In terms of a reliable method used over and over again, the risk of failure is quite high."

Martha Kempner, vice president for information and communications at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, said withdrawal, while less problematic for married or long-term monogamous couples, is not as acceptable in other circumstances because "well-intentioned young men can get it wrong, or somebody can just not do it after they said they would."

Spirited comments on blogs largely agreed. "I wouldn't want to trust a dude to get it right every time," read one comment on the blog CollegeCandy.

Still, Ms. Kempner said: "It has made some classroom teachers nervous to give out the truth in this instance, but we do have to tell the truth. People, kids in particular, they're using it. It is better than nothing, and it is always available. You can't say, 'Oh, I didn't have one.' "


(no subject)

IAS calls for an end to harassment, intimidation and imprisonment of HIV professionals

IMAGE: Dr. Illya Podolyan, a 62-year-old physician providing opioid substitution therapy (OST) for people using drugs, was detained on May 28, 2010, by Odessa police and charged with alleged crimes relating...

3 September 2010 (Geneva, Switzerland) – Following the imprisonment of Maxim Popov in April 2010, sentenced to 7 years jail primarily for the promotion of HIV prevention efforts in Uzbekistan, the International AIDS Society (IAS) notes with alarm the detention of a medial practitioner working in HIV prevention in Ukraine. Dr. Illya Podolyan, a 62-year old physician providing opioid substitution therapy (OST) for people using drugs, was detained on 28 May 2010 by Odessa police and charged with alleged crimes relating to drugs trafficking.

"This arrest is yet another example of committed professionals being subjected to harassment, detention and even imprisonment as a consequence of implementing best practice HIV prevention and care," commented Professor Elly Katabira, President of the IAS. "Implementing evidence-based responses should never be a crime, and this arrest is especially disturbing in a country such as Ukraine, which has in recent times seen the start of a turn around in its HIV epidemic due to improved policies and the efforts of professionals such as Dr Podolyan."

Substitution therapy is highly effective at reducing the spread of HIV in epidemic's such as Ukraine's which are fueled primarily by injecting drug use. Substitution treatment programmes and the use of methadone and buprenorphine, drugs prescribed by Dr. Podolyan for his patients, are legal in Ukraine and are included in the National Programme for HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support for 2009-2013, approved by law in February 2009.

In practice, however, medical and other health personnel involved in providing substitution therapy are subject to criminal prosecution, harassment and intimidation. Dr. Podolyan's arrest is unfortunately consistent with the systematic and widespread harassment of OST professionals and patients carried out by Ukrainian law enforcement officers across the country.

The IAS strongly urges the Ukrainian government to honour the guidelines of their National Programme for HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support, to ensure better protection for their HIV professionals and to urgently review the charges against Dr. Podolyan. Suffering from a number of medical conditions including chronic heart disease, cardiac failures and chronic arthritis, Dr. Podolyan's health has deteriorated rapidly during his incarceration. As he poses no threat to public security while he awaits trial, the IAS also appeals for his urgent release from custody.

"Dr. Illya Podolyan's detention, just before the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) in Vienna, is a sad testament to the serious human rights violations which continue to hamper HIV prevention and treatment efforts in Eastern Europe," said Dr. Katabira. "AIDS 2010 was held in Vienna to highlight the state of the epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and to stress the need for a rational approach to drug policy in the region. While the attendance of over 1,200 participants from Eastern Europe and Central Asia during the conference gives us real hope that policy makers are listening, the detention of Dr. Podolyan is a stark reminder of how far the region still has to go."

"As Dr. Podolyan is unable to receive the medical treatment he urgently requires while he is in custody, his imprisonment constitutes a violation to his individual human right to health," said Mats Ahnlund, Acting Executive Director of the IAS. "Dr. Podolyan has been imprisoned for attempting to reverse his country's growing HIV epidemic through providing services which are not only scientifically proven to reduce the spread of HIV amongst drug users, but also included in the country's national HIV programme. The Ukrainian government should be doing everything it can to support these programmes and to acknowledge the critical role they play in the national response to HIV, rather than allowing the persecution of those who implement them. I urge all influential political and public health leaders to join IAS in calling on the Ukrainian government, and on all other governments who permit the harassment, vilification and unwarranted imprisonment of HIV professionals, to ensure better protection for those working on the frontline of the HIV epidemic."

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Mosques and Mount Rushmore: The debate over what’s sacred

Mosques and Mount Rushmore: The debate over what’s sacred

By Simon Moya-Smith

So the controversy – for the moment – is over the mosque slated to be built near the site of the World Trade Center bombings in New York City. Don’t you worry, we’ll get back to that ugly immigration debate momentarily.

I feel compelled to share some not-widely-known wisdom with my mosque-naysayers, for if there’s one thing citizens in this country get instantly aroused by it’s some good old American Indian wisdom.

So here you go, folks.

Since time immemorial, the Black Hills in South Dakota have been a holy place for the Lakota Sioux – my people. And to the Lakota, the Black Hills is where life began. Although the story of creation significantly differs between Sioux and Christians – our messenger from the Creator came in the form of a woman – Paha Sapa is not unlike Christianity’s Eden in its significance.

But here is where today’s debate over the mosque and my peoples’ sacred site come together: It didn’t matter to the Christians, those innumerable settlers who came West seeking gold, land, riches and religious freedom (ironically) that the Black Hills was our holy site, our sacred location, our Jerusalem. No. What mattered was that their monument – Mount Rushmore – be chiseled into it.
If only we were lucky enough to have seen Christians build their institutions and monuments near our holy sites, and not on them.

And the key word here is “on,” not “near.” The American Muslim community wants to build their 13-story mosque near the World Trade Center bombing site, not on it. If only we – American Indians – were lucky enough to have seen Christians build their religious institutions and monuments near our holy sites, and not on them.

And for some odd reason, the desecration of the Black Hills continues in the form of the Crazy Horse monument, still in construction. Although it is said that the Lakotas have supported the depiction of the never-photographed war leader be etched on its rock face, I remain of the opinion that Crazy Horse would want his likeness carved into the Black Hills as much as a priest would like someone disfiguring his cathedral.

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I think something like this--pointing out how many Americans have not cared one little bit about what they do on Native American sacred sites--is a good counter to the people screaming that Ground Zero is too "sacred" to build a community center mosque anywhere near it.

A Million Women vs. Wal-Mart: Battle May Go to the Supreme Court

NEW YORK -- An epic nine-year battle between a million women and the giant retail chain Wal-Mart is likely to play out soon in the august chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court. In what is shaping up as a David vs. Goliath legal showdown, the world's largest private employer will try to shoot down the largest employment discrimination class-action lawsuit in American history.

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