A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? How was your week? I ended up spending quite a bit of time managing the twitter thread I wrote. It’s an odd thing sometimes when I remember that social media is part of my job. It’s sometimes hard to differentiate when I’m on my phone/laptop for work, and when I’m on my phone/laptop for entertainment.

This weekend (and every weekend this month), I’ll be working on Alt Summit. It’s coming up fast! But hopefully I’ll get lots of hangout time with the kids too. My mom sent us a big box of Valentine’s Day candy, so I’m thinking we’ll want to have a movie party and eat through the whole box. (Though I will hog the cinnamon jelly hearts which are my favorite.)

Ready for the link list? Here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share:

-It’s 2020 and women are tired.

-Meet the woman who made Netflix get rid of its most annoying feature.

-A 4-year-old in Colorado died from flu this week. Days before, his mom reached out to Facebook’s biggest anti-vaxx group. Members told her not to take the Tamiflu a doctor had prescribed, but give him oils and elderberries. Why does Facebook continue to allow such groups on their platform?

The 19th, a new nonprofit news site on women and politics, wants to do “Deep-dive, evidence-based reporting… that reveals surprising and original stories on the issues that most deeply affect women’s lives, from health care to the economy.”

-A review of OMGYES — the website trying to close the orgasm gap.

-It wasn’t just the National Archives. The Library of Congress also balked at a Women’s March photo. (WP)

Kate Spade heart socks.

-This was a hard but important article to read. In Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt writes about how the relentless onslaught of propaganda conditions people over time to “believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true.”

-Making heart shaped cookies this weekend? Here’s a recipe for the best sugar cookie frosting ever.

-When they tell you women just need to protect themselves tell them about this case.

-Remember that local news crew that I told you about? Here’s the link to the news coverage (it’s in French — but I speak in English).

Here are some tweets I saved for you:

-A clever thread about healthy food (read: climate change).

-I can’t stop thinking about this idea that the media treats Republicans as the dad and Democrats as the mom.

-What a political hearing is like in Denmark.

-You know I don’t follow much celebrity news, but I do love when women who have been treated so awfully by the press and public get a redo. I mean, read this excerpt from a 2009 Vanity Fair profile. It made me want to scream.


-Comments and thoughts about ranked choice voting.

-We don’t really have representative democracy in the U.S. Senate these days.

-I had a big influx of new follower on Twitter this week so I wrote an intro thread about me and my family. I thought you might enjoy it.

I hope you have such a good weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


16 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. I have a Facebook friend who sells essential oils (in real life, she’s an acquaintance through my children). It’s incredible to me how she, and many of her friends, promote oils as medicinal, able to prevent and cure any number of illnesses. I always avoid posting, but when did a shift away from science start happening? Vaccines, antibiotics, etc. were regarded as miraculous achievements of modern science, replacing folk and home remedies which often were ineffective.

    Very sad about that child.

    1. Over and over I meet women who are into homeopathy, anti-vaxxing, etc. who only got to that place after 1. mainstream doctors refused to listen to them and/or treated them like garbage and 2. a naturopath or other alternative medical professional actually listened to them and actively worked with them to try to find a solution to whatever problem they were having. It is not very surprising to me that these otherwise intelligent, reasonable women are going to listen to the person who treated them like a human being over the people who were hostile and dismissive to them! It seems to me that the mainstream medical establishment can’t stop shooting itself in the foot when it comes to listening to women in particular.

      1. This is a great point, Julia. I think I read somewhere that, on average, naturopath/alternative medicine providers spend like twice as much time with their patients per visit.

        Pseudo-science drives me up the wall (not to mention…it is dangerous!) but I think we need to ask ourselves why there has been a rise to it…and I think you’ve raised a good point.

    2. The new season of The Dream podcast is very interesting and treats some of these questions. I recommend giving it a listen!

  2. I would love for you to write a blog about how you feel as an American no longer living in the U.S. with regards to the political climate here. Do you feel detached from what is happening here? Relieved you escaped the dumpster fire that we’ve become? OR do you still feel a part of our country and invested in our future? And if so how do you make change from afar?

  3. My 6-year-old had the flu two weeks ago— but he’d gotten the vaccine (it’s always far from 100% but helps prevent the worst outcomes, and I’m fine with that), and I gave him the Tamiflu. And he bounced back. The story of the 4-year-old is so sad.

    As for the poster above writing about women who turn to homeopathy or anti-vaxxing because they didn’t feel listened to by someone in mainstream medicine: there are many options in between doctors with no bedside manner and pseudoscience. Turning your back on science when it comes to health just because some doctor or PA or NP was a jerk seems like a really foolish option— especially your child’s health. Yes, people in mainstream medicine don’t get that much time with you, but I’ve always been able to find one who listened. In emergencies, though, bedside manner matters a lot less to me than competence. The one time I really didn’t have the luxury of finding one who listens, when the pediatric ER doc thought it was unlikely that my son had appendicitis, I didn’t drag him out of the ER and go buy some essential oils— I waited around for the lab results and the ultrasound and, yep, the surgeon to take out his appendix. Sometimes you have to suck it up and deal with professionals whose people skills aren’t the greatest— she did the workup anyway, she did it thoroughly, and when the diagnosis became clear, she moved things along quickly.

    1. Oh, I definitely I agree with you about how you shouldn’t turn your back on science. It’s just a phenomenon I’ve observed multiple times.

    2. I didn’t read Julia’s comment (or my own) as defending or justifying those women who turn to naturopaths or homeopathy.

      Considering this could turn into a public health crisis (perhaps it already is one), I consider it imperative that we understand the origin of the rise in people turning to these alternative medicine practitioners. I think that’s all she was trying to say.

  4. I am loving the thread on ranked-choice voting. At my Quaker college, we voted “confidence/no confidence” (approval voting) for every candidate in all student elections. I thought it was a brilliant system. It became less about preference and popularity, and more just who I thought could do the job versus who couldn’t.

  5. I’m not anti vax in the slightest but I’m wary of tamiflu after having a bad experience with my 3rd daughter and the flu 2 years ago. I thought “yay! We caught it in time! She can take tamiflu!” But She got so violently ill (puking her guts out). Our doc said stop the tamiflu. 15% of children have adverse reactions… better to suffer thru the flu than get dehydrated as well. So when this daughter was sick again last month, getting flu tests and strep tests, negative results, but very ill (like we were in the regular doc in AM, urgent care by nightfall, and sent to ER by urgent care) I picked each providers brain on tamiflu. 3 different providers, in three different medical organizations, also the Tamiflu is way over prescribed and should be reserved for the most vulnerable of our population… The elderly, the truly immune compromised etc. they said Tamiflu shortens the duration of the illness… But what does that exactly mean? It’s different for everyone and you do not know how long you were going to be with symptoms. For my 11-year-old daughter, if she was to test positive for flu, they all would For my 11-year-old daughter, if she was to test positive for flu, they all said rest, fluids, rest, fluids. (No one mentioned elderberry and that’s not my jam anyway). You need to understand my philosophy with my kids and getting sick is take an Advil get some rest and feel better I don’t run everybody to the doctor. But this kiddo was super sick… obviously ending up in the ER that night. But I would still decline tamiflu. I agree with
    My providers that it is way over prescribed.

    My friend asked my opinion on Tamiflu for her son and I said I’m not his doctor but this was our experience… And so I followed up the next day and asked how her son was and she said he puked it all up and the doctor said to stop it My friend asked my opinion on Tamiflu for her son and I said I’m not his doctor but this was our experience… And so I followed up the next day and asked how her son was and she said he puked it all up and the doctor said to stop it. anecdotal? Yes. But this is my experience. That poor mom.

  6. It is so nice to see you two on this short video on France 3 Normandie. And, I have to say, Ben Blair’s French is REALLY good. Bravo!

  7. While I do think our democracy is in danger for a number of reasons (the results of the Citizens United case, the growing power of the executive branch, the power of lobbies, and on and on) I think it’s important to remember that a two-house Congress was one of the compromises of the founding and that the Senate was not created to be a strictly representative body by population.

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