I am a bit surprised the poll did not ask students if they had ever had a drink spiked with the date-rape drug, Rohypnol (also known as flunitrazepam). If you are interested in facts, a study in the UK examined 120 claimed cases of use of “date-rape” drugs: not a single instance survived scrutiny.

I repeat: not one survived scrutiny.

The San Diego Medical Examiner’s office also looked into the issue– again, using real science– and found some evidence of possible flunitrazepam in about 1% of the alleged incidents. (Keep in mind that Rohypnol is sometimes– often– used intentionally, recreationally by people.)

Obviously, the investigators never watched Oprah or 20/20, or any of the other numerous programs on their mission of frightening the uninformed.

The University of Illinois, incidentally, casually asserts that date rape drugs are being used “at an increasing rate”. Really? And how do they know this? What previous studies are they comparing current studies to? What was the rate ten years ago, or fifteen years ago? They further assert that it is “often” brought back from Europe (where it can be prescribed as a sleep aid) by students.

I think I know where they got these conclusions from. They asked people their impressions. Do you think the use of date-rape drugs is going up or down? What do you think? Give us your honest opinion.

Do a search on the question of “does Rohypnol leave any traces” and you will find that a lot of websites use exactly the same text to say it does not. Look for the phrase:  “is colorless, odorless, and tasteless and dissolves without leaving any traces”.  They are all republishing information from same misinformed source.

It is not truthful. First of all, since about 10 years ago, the manufacturer, Roche, has made the tablets “less dispersible”. It doesn’t dissolve cleanly quickly, and colors the liquid in which it is mixed.

More importantly, Rohypnol can be detected in the urine of a person who ingested it for up to 60 hours afterwards. In the situation in which a woman suspects she has been secretly drugged and raped, she has at least two days to report it and have her urine tested for the unlikely possibility she really has been drugged.

But then, Rohypnol is supposed to cause amnesia: the victim is supposed to lose her memory of the assault, and even time before the assault. Then how would she know? That’s problematic, especially since alcohol has a similar effect. And that’s why when you do see cases of suspicion of the date-rape drug, victims report that they were bruised or sore in the groin area, and that’s what made them suspicious. They understand the problem: how did they know?

Even more problematic: many of the alleged symptoms of the drug are very, very similar to symptoms of excessive alcohol consumption. Would there be a temptation for a woman in this situation to under-state the amount of alcohol she has consumed?

Have you ever understated the amount of alcohol you have consumed?

The disturbing part of this– something which should be very disturbing to women who are genuinely concerned about sexual assault– is the number of women who have claimed to have been drugged and then raped. A charge of rape can often boil down to he said/she said arguments, and feminists urge us to always believe the woman, but if a woman is tested within 60 hours, it is possible to prove, scientifically, whether or not she was drugged. But if it can be proven that most of the claims of having been drugged and raped are false– at least, insofar as the drug part goes– a rational person might consider whether there’s something going on here that needs to be acknowledged by the legal system, by society, and by feminists.

Campus Duplicity

Dr. Foubert said he considered many of those responses a form of “excusing the perpetrator and blaming the victim,” and was very concerned about it. NY Times, 2014-10-28

MIT’s Study of Sexual Assault

The Real Rohypnol

I could not imagine a more emblematic example of how duplicitous this issue has become than the quote above: Dr. Foubert, responding to details in the MIT study that show that “large numbers” of undergraduates agreed with statements suggesting that the blame for sexual assault “did not always rest exclusively with the aggressor”, says, oh, we can ignore that data. Just pay attention to the results I like.

The results seem to imply that this university campus is just rife with monstrous men committing sexual assault everywhere with near impunity (only 5% of the victims ever report it).

Let’s start with the fact that only 35% of the student body completed the questionnaire. We don’t need to assume that a higher majority of victims than non-victims might be willing to take the time to complete the questionnaire, skewering the results, because it is obvious that that possibility exists. Dr. Foubert trusts this minority when they assert that they have been victims of unwanted sexual conduct, and then heaps contempt on the same minority when “two-thirds agreed that ‘rape and sexual assault can happen unintentionally, especially if alcohol is involved'”.

This is called “cherry-picking” your data. You take the results that support your ideological commitment, attribute fabulous reliability to this data, and then ignore the same “reliable” results that don’t.

Foubert is “concerned” about the fact that many of the supposed victims feel they might be co-responsible for the sexual activity that took place. As, perhaps, in “I guess I shouldn’t have gone to the bedroom with him while I was drunk and my friends were urging me not to”. No no– women must not even be permitted to think that that would be unwise.

In other words, we need to train these women to see things the way we want them to see them, instead of how they actually see them, without having been programmed.

Foubert wants everyone to report every unwanted sexual advance to the campus police and the authorities. He asks the students who did not report these assaults, why they didn’t: “more than half” didn’t think it was serious enough. Perhaps some did not think it worth the trouble (heresy!). Some, possibly, didn’t want to ruin somebody’s life over an incident they feel they can handle.

A few years ago, two children were killed in a car accident on the 401 highway. The driver of a transport truck was clearly at fault. Yet the parents of the children refused to demand “justice”, or severe punishment. They felt that the driver would benefit more from their compassion and forgiveness than from a stern prison sentence. Dr. Foubert would undoubtedly feel a need to insist that these parents demand a pound of flesh. He would be “concerned” that they don’t understand what needs to be done in that situation. He would argue that other parents of children killed in at-fault accidents have been undermined.

Perhaps some of the girls filling out his survey just don’t believe there is a lot to be gained by getting back at someone. Is it really all that satisfying? Yes, yes, we will conduct the charade of “trying to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else”, and we know the necessity of that cover, because otherwise, you know, it looks like revenge.

Oh my, no, — that cannot be permitted. Dr. Foubert will undoubtedly embark on a vigorous program of re-education to correct this deficiency. Everything is serious. Everything is assault, if you don’t have an explicit “affirmative consent” (which is “consent consent”, and will shortly be replaced with something like “affirmative positive consent”, or “consent consent consent”, until the authorities realize that even more gravity is required.


Credit Shackles

It is quite amazing how the credit industry in the U.S. has convinced conservative and liberal legislators that extending easy credit to people without the means to pay off their loans is an act of kindness and generosity. As if they were not charging interest or demanding repayment.

That is what they will tell you if you bring up the fact that U.S. credit industry has essentially reintroduced indentured servanthood on the sly. The average American carries a balance of $5,000 to $8,000 (depending on your sources) on their credit cards, for which they are paying an interest rate that was regarded as illegal for most of American history– usually, about 28%.

Most of these credit card companies are headquartered in the state of Delaware (yes, Joe Biden’s home) because at one time it was illegal in most states to charge “usurious” interest rates on loans.

Why is this allowed? The cover story, as I stated, is that this is a service to people, especially people with low income who otherwise would not be able to buy the big-screen television or xBox or laptop, or lavish that trip to Disney World on their youngsters. It’s a clever ruse: they are only able to continue to consume until they have reached the limits of their credit; if their limits are extended, they go even deeper into debt, and are even less able to pay off the principal. In keeping with the Republican tradition of giving laws names that are the opposite of their real purpose, (like the “Clear Skies Act”, in 2005, Congress passed “The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005”. The BAPCPA should have been called “The Perpetual Credit Servitude Act” or the “Consumer Exploitation Act”. Some Democrats opposed it, some supported it. All Republicans supported it.  And that tells you a hell of a lot.

It is a tragedy that many otherwise sensible people take the attitude that if people are so stupid as to run up debts they can’t pay off quickly, they deserve what they get. To me, that is like asserting that a woman who goes to a party and drinks is asking to be raped. This attitude might make a little sense if most of the people you know are well-educated, have decent jobs and a decent income and an RRSP, and understand how they are being ripped off but do it anyway. But most people are not; they are drunk with consumer choice, bombarded by advertising, convinced by government and the media that they are entitled to enjoy the fruits of capitalism, lavishly.

But the essence of good government regulation is to protect vulnerable people from being exploited and abused by other people or corporations without a sense of right and wrong. And a corporation never has a sense of right or wrong: it has profits. The fact that the average credit card balance in the U.S. is so high tells you that the average citizen doesn’t understand credit or credit cards and is vastly over optimistic about his or her ability to pay off debt. The average consumer is vulnerable. They don’t understand that being able to buy the big screen tv and xBox now on credit means they will be able to buy a lot less in the future when their credit card payments are $400-500 a month, and barely cover the interest, while they continue to add on debt. It makes perfect sense for the government to step and restrict the ability of banks and credit agencies to offer them loans.

It made more sense when the government allowed some of these consumers to declare bankruptcy and crawl out from under an unbearable debt load. That’s what the BAPCPA was all about: tightening the noose. It imposed new, vast restrictions on the ability of any person to declare bankruptcy.

Why? The banks will tell you that they have to charge 28% on credit cards because of the great risk they take that people won’t pay these loans back. The only escape for many people was to declare bankruptcy and start over: risk taken, Mr. Banker, sometimes you lose. That’s why you were allowed to charge 28%– why are you complaining?

The only way Congress should have tightened the restrictions on bankruptcy law should have been by forcing the banks to drop their interest rates to something like 7% at the same time, in the same legislation.

The banks and the conservatives and their lobbyists and toadies would have howled to high heaven. For good reason. It’s easy profit. If you are in the investor class, it’s a fantastic way to extract money from poor people. Like taking candy from a baby, and just as ethical.

The banks and credit card agencies insisted that consumers would benefit because the tighter regulations would increase their profits and then– get this — allow them to pass on the savings to consumers in the form of lower credit costs.

Of course it did increase their profits. And of course, credit costs to consumers went up, not down.

Indentured Students

Did you know that the Government of Germany pays the full cost of post-secondary education for all of its students? Even for American students who speak German?

The student loans program  needs to be seen in a completely different light. Here we are now recruiting even younger people with even less knowledge or understanding of credit and pushing them to lock themselves into major debts so that immediately upon leaving college or university they begin making their perpetual payments to the banks.

The banks don’t care about he principal. They don’t need the principal. What they need and want is your perpetual payments to them, and you must not be allowed to escape until you are very old.

That’s when the medical bills kick in…