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March 13, 2012

Sandra Fluke Translator

As anyone who has ever studied a foreign language can tell you, even if you have a full grasp of the vocabulary, it can still be difficult to understand what someone is trying to tell you if you don’t fully understand the cultural or social context of their statements.

Such is the problem some people have with understanding Sandra Fluke, an innocent doe-eyed youngster barely 30 years out of diapers who came to fame when testifying at a make-believe congressional hearing (it’s fun to play pretend!) at which she pointed out her friends at Georgetown Law were going broke having sex.

And people say Congress doesn’t have the courage to take on tough issues like deficit spending, entitlement reform, and promiscuous co-eds.  

It might have remained a purely personal matter involving only private citizen Fluke, powerful Democratic members of Congress, and the invited national media, had a certain conservative talk show host not gotten involved.

Shortly after her imaginary congressional hearing, Rush Limbaugh (who’s job it is to say outlandish things) said some outlandish things in the course of pointing out that Georgetown Law students, perhaps one of the more privileged of any subgroups in American society, could maybe pay for their own contraception.

Sandra Fluke, was so hurt and shocked from all the unwanted attention that she did what any purely private citizen would do involuntarily thrust into the limelight:

Hire a publicist with close connections to the White House and appear on eight national news programs.

It’s all part of the healing process.

Which brings us to Ms. Fluke’s CNN opinion piece which reprises much of what she has said earlier and is a perfect vehicle for our:

Sandra Fluke Translator

Fluke: “Access to contraception.”
Translation: When someone else pays for your contraception.

Fluke:Guaranteeing women access to contraception.”
Translation: Guaranteeing that someone else will pay for women’s contraception.

Fluke: “Restricting access.”
Translation: Having to pay for contraception yourself.

Fluke: “Silencing women's voices.”
Translation: Criticizing Sandra Fluke.

Fluke: “Raising this issue in our public consciousness.”
Translation: Agreeing with Sandra Fluke.

Fluke: “Unfair obstacles to participating in public life.”
Translation: Having children.

Fluke: “Attacking women who use contraception by calling them prostitutes.”
Translation: Attacking women who want someone else to pay for their contraception so they can have sex by calling them prostitutes.

Fluke: “The regulation under discussion has absolutely nothing to do with government funding: It is all about the insurance policies provided by private employers and universities that are financed by individual workers, students and their families -- not taxpayers.”
Translation: Taxpayers will not pay for Ms. Fluke’s free contraception unless they happen to be workers, students or their families. 

Fluke: "99% of sexually experienced American women have used [contraception].
Translation: We'll never get that number higher if we don't start making it free.

We hope that clears up a few things for you.

And just remember, as Ms. Fluke painstakingly argues, free contraception is a right and absolutely essential to the health of an individual and remains broadly popular and supported.

Just like sex change operations.

J.

Note: Random blogging of broadly inferior quality continues as day-job demands continue unabated.

March 13, 2012 at 04:16 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack

March 09, 2012

Out: Dunkin’ Donuts. In: Breathin’ Beignets?

It’s good to know that despite how busy the federal government must be legally assassinating American citizens, it still has the time and money to tackle other grave threats to our safety:

Such as novelty caffeine dispensers.

Specifically, “AeroShots,” described as “breathable energy,” and which consist of powdered caffeine and a B vitamin complex you shoot into your mouth in a spray-like cloud and swallow.

The problem? 

First, AeroShots contains caffeine.

Second, it is perfectly legal to sell products containing caffeine.

Those are two warning signs right there.

As a result, maker, Breathable Foods, Inc., this week received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlining a number of problems it saw with AeroShots beginning with the first two obvious ones:

1) You breathe it in.

Consumers may attempt to inhale your product, causing it to enter the lungs. FDA is concerned about the safety of any such use because caffeine is not typically inhaled through the lungs, and the safety of such use has not been well studied.

2) You don’t breathe it in.

Despite these suggestions that your product is intended for inhalation, you indicate in other statements that the product is intended for ingestion. 

In order to satisfy the FDA Breathable Foods apparently needs to come up with an AeroShot that you both do and do not breathe in. 

But that is where it gets really confusing for the FDA.

Your labeling is false and misleading because your product cannot be intended for both inhalation and ingestion.

For the record, marijuana can be intended for both inhalation and ingestion IYKWIMAITYD. 

Regardless, the FDA goes into excruciating detail in support of its contention that AeroShots cannot be both inhaled and ingested:

The functioning of the epiglottis in the throat keeps the processes of inhalation and ingestion mutually exclusive. The epiglottis is a cartilaginous structure that prevents choking or coughing during ingestion. The act of ingestion enables the tongue to push down on the larynx, which in turn elevates the hyoid bone, drawing the larynx upwards. This latter action forces the epiglottis to fold back, covering the entrance to the larynx and the airways, preventing food, drink and particulates from entering the airways and respiratory tract. When a person inhales, however, the epiglottis maintains its upright position, enabling air and particulate matter to enter the airways and ultimately the lungs.

If you are like most Planet Moron readers, you started giggling uncontrollably when you got to the word, “epiglottis.” You are also probably thinking that the FDA is taking much too seriously what is obviously little more than marketing puffery.  (We can’t help but believe that AXE body spray is very popular among FDA bureaucrats.)

The FDA concludes it’s anatomical lesson with this stern warning;

 A product intended for inhalation is not a dietary supplement.

Although the makers say you really just spray it in your mouth and swallow it making it a dietary supplement but if you breath it in, it isn’t a dietary supplement but they say you don’t breath it in which means it is a dietary supplement…

If the FDA were an alien computer from the original Star Trek series, right now smoke would be coming out of its ears.

But that isn’t the only problem the FDA has with AeroShots. There are other serious issues as well: 

We also note that the Supplement Facts panel on the label of your AeroShot product does not comply with 21 CFR 101.36(e)(6) in that the dietary ingredients declared under 21 CFR 101.36(b)(2)(i) (ending with vitamin B12) are not separated from the dietary ingredients described in 21 CFR 101.36(b)(3) (starting with caffeine) by a heavy bar.

 You forgot the heavy bar under 21 CFR 101.36(e)(6) separating dietary ingredients? What, are you trying to get caught?

 And just to clarify, yes, you are paying these people’s salaries.

 The FDA also takes issue with the fact that AeroShots posts links to stories that “…express health concerns about taking AeroShot while drinking alcohol,” which is clearly an outrageous and…

Wait, that can’t be right. Oh yeah, the fact that the stories even mention the possibility of combining AeroShots with alcohol, even while suggesting the hazards of doing so, “publicizes such use.”  As the FDA points out:

Any such publicity may have the effect of encouraging the combination of your product with alcohol---a scenario that raises safety concerns, as peer-reviewed studies show that ingesting these two substances together is associated with risky behaviors, such as riding with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol, which can lead to hazardous and life-threatening situations.

Hey, it could happen.

And of course, the FDA is also very concerned about… the children.

As they point out, when the company says that AeroShots might be useful when “[h]itting the books” and “study[ing] in the library” it is clear that they are marketing to kids.

Leaving aside the fact that students no longer use books or libraries but instead cut and paste Wikipedia entries, the fact that FDA bureaucrats don’t even remember college suggests they did A LOT of bong hits.

But never with caffeine. That would be crazy.

Although you have to admit, an AeroShot would make a nice chaser after a babyccino.

Naturally, Senator Chuck Schumer, a tireless crusader against anything that might make his constituents alert enough to realize they’ve repeatedly reelected Senator Chuck Schumer, came out against AeroShots, calling it the “the new Four Loko.”

“Wait,” you are probably saying to yourself, “Chuck Schumer is still a Senator? Wasn't he removed from office after an investigation revealed that he was Chuck Schumer?”

Also, “But AeroShot doesn’t even have any alcohol.”

That’s true, which is why the Senator feels it is so important that the FDA:

“…focus on testing the inhalable caffeine’s effects on teens, and when it is mixed with alcohol.”

While they’re at it, they should focus on it’s effects when mixed with meth, heroin, sarin gas, and plutonium.

Hey, these AeroShots are even more hazardous than we thought!

The real tragedy in all this?  It’s probably too late to combine AeroShots with the AWOL machine (if only to watch Chuck Schumer’s head explode in a paroxysm of outrageously outraged outrage).

Naturally, as responsible citizens concerned about the well being of our nation and having no prior interest whatsoever in purchasing caffeine delivery systems outside of a powerful cup of coffee, we here at Planet Moron did what any law-abiding American would do upon reading the FDA’s letter.

We ordered ourselves a twelve pack.

AeroShots

We’ll let you know how it goes.

Assuming we live.

J.

NOTE: Annoying day-job-induced sporadic blogging continues for now, just hopefully less so.

March 9, 2012 at 07:24 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2012

Don’t Think of it as Assassination, Think of it as Preemptive Capital Punishment

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today laid out the legal justifications that permit the President of the United States to order the assassinations of American citizens.

Now, before you civil libertarian extremist types start ranting and raving about due process, the rule of law, and the imperial presidency, it’s not like the President can just order the assassinations of American citizens on his own.

He sometimes tells Harry Reid and John Boehner first.

Then he orders the assassinations.

That’s kind of like due process, only without the due.

And most of the process.

It should be noted here that Obama’s assassination of American citizens is in direct contrast to the war monger and international criminal terrorist George W. Bush, who unlike Obama was from Texas and wore hats sometimes.

As the Attorney General explained, the President is permitted under the Constitution to order the assassination of American citizens only under very special circumstances:

First, the U.S. government has determined, after a thorough and careful review, that the individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States.”

That review to be undertaken by the President, with the final determination made by the President unless, of course, the President disagrees.  (Those are called “checks and balances,” for you civics class students.)

“Second, capture is not feasible.”

This is particularly important in that by not capturing the individual and instead killing him on sight, we eliminate any possibility that he might be tortured.  There is simply no excuse for that.

“Third, the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles.”

As Holder is careful to point out:

“This does not mean that we can use military force whenever or wherever we want. International legal principles, including respect for another nation’s sovereignty, constrain our ability to act unilaterally. But the use of force in foreign territory would be consistent with these international legal principles if conducted, for example, with the consent of the nation involved.”

See, The President can only assassinate American citizens if we follow international legal principles respecting another nation’s sovereign territory.

“– or after a determination that the nation is unable or unwilling to deal effectively with a threat to the United States.”

Unless we don’t.

So, to sum up Attorney General Holder's arguments:

  • The Constitution permits the President to assassinate American citizens.
  • And so does international law.

Looks like he covered all the bases.

Mr. Holder did not stay to answer questions following his speech which is probably just as well as he had just patiently explained to his audience that he can kill them.

We don’t know about you, but we feel safer just knowing that the President can order the assassination of American citizens on his own authority whenever he likes.

Hey, as long as it preserves American principles, we’re for it!

J.

NOTE: Day-job-induced sporadic blogging continues for now, just hopefully less so.

March 6, 2012 at 06:13 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack