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July 20, 2016

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The Blog Has Moved!

Please visit the new site.

At www.justbadforyou.comyou can follow the fun and entertaining journey of my random thoughts as well as all the excitement of my Stage 4 Lung Cancer experience. Living with lung cancer as a relatively young non-smoker who had no obvious risk factors or genetic predisposition has been enlightening. I’ve gotten a lot out of it, and I hope you will, too. So, come on over and read about the crunchy goodness in my Chemo Diaries, or get my take on alternative treatments and natural cures that are touted all over these InterWebs. I’ve done the research — and provided the links — and there is plenty to read for your rainy Sundays.

Hope to see you there! (Or at least your truly engaging comments.) It isn’t for nothing that I got my own domain name…

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The Risks of Critical Thinking

December 15, 2015

I have never reblogged another writer’s post before, but I think that this one is worth sharing with a wider audience (partly because I don’t have the time to write my own riff on the topic today). I have written many times about the importance of critical thinking, and I believe it is not being well taught in our schools much of the time. It seems to me that too many adults in these here United States are under-practiced in basic critical thinking skills, so it is difficult to merely fault the students or their teachers. This is a problem that should start and end at home, with school being a place to practice and develop an existing skill, rather than create one from scratch.

Anyway, for your reading pleasure, my friend Elena’s post on “The Risks of Critical Thinking…”

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I recently read an article in which the author, a professor of science, deplored the pitfalls of teaching students critical thinking skills: eventually, the students begin to doubt everything, even the techer’s knowledge and experiences. When I read the title of the article, my thoughts snapped out of “Mom in her PJs Drinking Coffee” to my alter ego, “Defender of Teaching Our Students Conscious Choices and Critical Thinking.”

I’m working on the name. But this persona is really tall, she wears super cool boots and can run really fast. In her boots, even. Not that she needs to run. She spends a lot of time standing in front of schools and ranting about how we teach our students in this country. Or don’t, as the case may be. She wears sharp fitted business suits and her hair always looks fabulous. Plus, her children are standing beside her in support and awe of…

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You Made It This Far…

November 25, 2014

Now you should probably visit the new or current home of this fine blog, where it actually does get updated every so often…

Just Bad For You has moved!

See you there.

Labels: Bad, bad, bad.

December 15, 2009

Labels Are Just Bad for You

That’s right: labels are bad. Specifically, labels that are there to mislead or misinform their intended audience. In many cases, this is a political audience (read, “Conservative” or “Liberal”) and in many cases this is a consumer audience (“Healthy Choice” or “Laugh Out Loud Funny” or “Fun For The Whole Family”)…

The truth is, labels are not to be trusted at face value. Anyone who only pays attention to a label is likely to swallow something toxic, whether they realize it or feel the immediate results at all, the toxicity is nonetheless introduced to the system.

While I am constantly at odds with major grocery chains over the brands they carry with names like “Eating Right” (an actual brand that has perhaps less unhealthy options than some of its competition but still manages to squeeze unhealthy and unnecessary ingredients into the mix), this is a problem that plagues our society on a deep, philosophical level. Sure, we should ALWAYS look at the ingredient list on the label of anything we plan to consume. Soups, for example, are routinely poisoned with MSG, a chemical that is sold as a “flavor enhancer” because it causes the taste buds to become over-excited. This same chemical has been proven to cause neurological damage and frequently sets off reactions in sensitive people. And, honestly, if food is made to taste good from the beginning, substances like MSG would not be needed to counter the banal tastelessness of most mass-produced foodstuffs. But this is a subject for another thread…

The point is, in some obvious ways, by not reading our list of ingredients we are unknowingly shoveling things like highly toxic yellow or red dyes and impossible to process agents like hydrogenated oils and addictive substances like high fructose corn syrup which have been shown to actually sap the body of nutrients… There is a growing list of ingredients that are no longer allowed in my house, comprised of some items which have a surprisingly long and open history of being “exposed” as unhealthy and some items which have only more recently been brought to light as being bad for you. It is stunning to know how long Aspartame has been on the market, considering that its health issues were known long before it became the common alternative to sugar that it still is today.

But food labels are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. When we consider that the world we live in is neither “black” nor “white,” it is astounding that people get so hung up on terms like “conservative” and “liberal” when talking about politics. In reality, the term “conservative” is supposed to mean someone who wants things to essentially stay the same, whereas the term “liberal” is supposed to imply one who wants change. This is not the same thing as the terms “Left” and “Right” which are intended to designate the end of the political spectrum toward which a person is inclined. But “Liberals” are automatically “Leftists” and “Conservatives” are automatically far to the “Right” in so much typically dogmatic chatter that the terms themselves fail to hold any true meaning after a while.

And this is dangerous. For everyone.

Labels have become just another way to marginalize ideas. They are thrown about easily in order to discredit individuals or concepts, to polarize the conversation and generally to distract from the truth.

And, as such, they are just plain bad for you.

Fear Mongering: It’s Just Bad For You

December 1, 2009

As an inaugural post, although I think it is pretty obvious, it never hurts to point out that buying into Fear Mongering (as recently popularized by the Bush-Cheney Years, but readily in use, well, forever and counting) is bad for you.  It’s unhealthy to believe every scary headline on Fox News, and just as bad for you to believe every frightening claim made by homeopathic “medical practitioners” to scare you away from unnecessary medication or surgery…  The fact is, people use hyperbole to sell you whatever they want, and lately it has become more aggressive than ever across all media.  This is partly because of the blogosphere — truthfully, the level of misinformation out there is growing exponentially every day — AND WILL SOON CAUSE ALL KNOWN INFORMATION SYSTEMS TO COLLAPSE UNDER THE VIRTUAL WEIGHT OF IT ALL.  Well, maybe not the part in bold, but there certainly is something there to be concerned with, and probably a little afraid of, until we can all take a breath and reason things out.