The myth of spinach and various other links

Comic Book Legends discusses a 40-year-old claim that a misplaced decimal point in some German research led to medical researchers overestimating the iron content of fresh spinach in the early 20th century and this, in turn, inspired E.C. Segar to make Popeye a spinach-eater.
A paper (link at the site) does a magnificent job showing that while the merits of spinach as an iron source are exaggerated, there’s no evidence German research has anything to do with the error. And when Popeye made any reference to the merits of spinach, it was the vitamin A content that he ate it for.
The paper is an excellent lesson on the importance of going back to original sources whenever possible. For me, too——I’ve read elsewhere that spinach was only attached to Popeye by the Fleischer animated cartoons, and the sources seem definite enough I might have accepted it as accurate. I’d have been wrong.
•To follow up on yesterday’s discussion of conservative issues with women’s sexuality, here we have a right-to-lifer whose focus seems to be strictly on abortion (though she’s just as keen as so much of the right wing to annihilate Planned Parenthood).
So let me make it clear: I think abortion is a right, and it’s up to the woman to decide whether or not it’s acceptable to God. Even when the right-to-lifers’ motive isn’t some veiled (or not-so-veiled) hostility to women having sex, I still think they’re wrong.
As witness the activist, Charmaine Yoest, profiled at the link. Her stated motivation is the one I touched on in my first And column, the idea no woman really wants an abortion——therefore, by denying women what they think they want, Yoest is protecting them, saving them from a life of regret (conservative nanny-state time again). This also reflects an assumption I’ve mentioned before——Yoest was grief-stricken from a miscarriage, so she now claims no woman could ever want to lose a baby.
And I swear, if one more forced birther starts asserting, as Yoest does, that just because a woman got raped, we shouldn’t create “another tragedy” by aborting the baby …Anyone who thinks a woman bearing her rapist’s child against her will is not a tragedy needs some serious bitch-slapping.
In other links:
•My latest And column, on the pretense that gay-marriage opponents are motivated by objections to the legal process by which gay marriage gets approved.
•Articles here and here on the conservative myth that poor people——even the working poor——live free of tax and are therefore parasites leeching off the taxes paid by the hard-working rich (another take on this topic, here).
•The rich, meanwhile——specifically the banks engaged in crooked foreclosure activity——have Obama fighting to protect them from lawsuits.
Hullabaloo links to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner asserting that the banks can’t function if there’s legal uncertainty about their liability. I agree: If they were certain that lying in court about mortgage debt and forging signatures and affidavits (all of which have happened) would bring on swift retribution, they’d function a lot better.

2 Comments

Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

2 responses to “The myth of spinach and various other links

  1. Pingback: Libertarian myths « Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: The word envy does not, perhaps mean, what Charles Coulson says it means « Fraser Sherman's Blog

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