Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said on a radio show last week that the GOP’s strategy for reducing “the Democratic advantage” should be to marry off all the single mothers who “look to the government for help.”
“Look at the political base of the Democratic Party: It is…
Apparently, I may lose FX on November 1st, which means no more Always Sunny. That’s some bullshit, especially since apparently FOX and DirecTV have a disagreement, and they will stop showing all channels owned by FOX except for FOX News. Gee, thanks guys. Can’t you do THE EXACT FUCKING OPPOSITE?
A constitutional amendment facing voters in Mississippi on Nov. 8, and similar initiatives brewing in half a dozen other states including Florida and Ohio, would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, effectively branding abortion and some forms of birth control as murder.
Dr. Randall S. Hines , a fertility specialist in Jackson working against Proposition 26 with the group Mississippians for Healthy Families, said that the amendment reflects “biological ignorance.” Most fertilized eggs, he said, do not implant in the uterus or develop further.
“Once you recognize that the majority of fertilized eggs don’t become people, then you recognize how absurd this amendment is,” Dr. Hines said. He fears severe unintended consequences for doctors and women dealing with ectopic or other dangerous pregnancies and for in vitro fertility treatments.
But, really, when has “biological ignorance” ever been a problem for people?
I’ve written fairly extensively on the topic of personhood — especially in relation to the abortion and euthanasia debates — here, here, and here. If you take a moment to read these three posts, I think you’ll see that they highlight the fundamental philosophical problem with Mississippi’s proposed redefinition of personhood, to say nothing of the myriad practical problems — intended an unintended — that this initiative poses for all sorts of people.
And if one were to ask me, it all boils down to one alarming trend that seems especially prevelant on the right: denying science. If people imagine that fertilization, pregnancy, and childbirth are all some sort of divine magic trick then they will never be able to move past this. It’s frustrating.
The use of ‘illegals’ as a noun by Romney and other Republicans is just the latest example of politicians using euphemisms to signal antipathy to an ethnic group—in this case, Latinos.
Not “illegal immigrant” or even “illegal alien,” which implies that the people cooking our food and making our beds arrived here by spaceship. But merely “illegal.” Maybe in the general election, when Mitt Romney goes trolling for votes in the Southwest, he’ll soften up and merely dehumanize America’s most vulnerable people via adjective. But when you’re battling Rick Perry and Herman Cain, adjectives aren’t good enough. You need the noun.
Before I go to school, I wanted to post one thing so everyone is aware.
In the U.S. Constitution, only ONE time is religion actually mentioned. That’s where it says
[N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
So, why does everyone always say separation of church and state? I have no idea. But to that, I always affirm that when that phrase was ‘written’, it was meant in the context of keeping the church safe from the state, not the state safe from the church. Let’s be honest here, America is a Christian nation, and there’s no denying evidence.
Next time you hear someone say ‘separation of church and state’, you know what to do. And with that, I’m off!
Hey, idiot, while I’d love to school your dumb ass in the secular history of this country and it’s founding, I can’t help but point out the ridiculously over-the-top special pleading you present. The Constitution only mentions religion once, therefor we’re a Christian nation? How do you arrive at that point. I dare you to present me a logical argument from that point A to that point B. I can’t deny the evidence that you haven’t even provided? I’m glad you’re on your way to school, son, because you got a lot to learn.
This guy apparently stopped reading at the Amendments.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
I other words, separation of church and state. I can’t really make it much simpler than that.
>I wasn’t even calling his views shitty this time. Consistency isn’t necessarily a good thing. If the consistent views are shitty then why would that be considered an advantage?
But then you are so
>Income isn’t the only problem for the poor.
Oh, I’m sure it’s in their top five list of concerns.
It’s the main problem. Not the only problem.
Being able to keep 100% of your income when you make like $20,000 a year isn’t some sort of bonus or an advantage. The problem isn’t the way the poor are taxed, the problem is the way the rich aren’t taxed.
Think about this: people who make between $50,000 and $100,000 per year are of course not poor. But they regularly pay a much higher percentage of their income in taxes than those who make say, $1,000,000 per year. This is because of the definitions of income used in the tax code. You have earned income, then you have capital gains. The very richest people in this country have little comparative ”income”; the majority of their money is from capital gains. This is not a problem in and of itself; rather the problem is that capital gains are taxed at a flat rate of 15%.
I make around $30,000 per year and I pay more than 15%. So while I certainly wouldn’t mind a lower tax rate (I have a son to take care of as well, not easy on this income in Los Angeles), that extra $3000 or so a year doesn’t vault me into a higher income bracket or anything. It just makes it a bit easier to buy my bus pass.
I wrote this response earlier on my other blog, but I thought it would fit in on this blog a bit better. A brief breakdown of one of the many inequalities in the American economic system.
Thirteen Observations made by Lemony Snicket while watching Occupy Wall Street from a Discreet Distance
1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald.
2. “Fortune” is a word for having a lot of money and for having a lot of luck, but that does not mean the word has two definitions.
3. Money is like a child—rarely unaccompanied. When it disappears, look to those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on it while you were at the grocery store. You might also look for someone who has a lot of extra children sitting around, with long, suspicious explanations for how they got there.
4. People who say money doesn’t matter are like people who say cake doesn’t matter—it’s probably because they’ve already had a few slices.
5. There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself. It may be possible to keep your entire cake while explaining to any nearby hungry people just how reasonable you are.
6. Nobody wants to fall into a safety net, because it means the structure in which they’ve been living is in a state of collapse and they have no choice but to tumble downwards. However, it beats the alternative.
7. Someone feeling wronged is like someone feeling thirsty. Don’t tell them they aren’t. Sit with them and have a drink.
8. Don’t ask yourself if something is fair. Ask someone else—a stranger in the street, for example.
9. People gathering in the streets feeling wronged tend to be loud, as it is difficult to make oneself heard on the other side of an impressive edifice.
10. It is not always the job of people shouting outside impressive buildings to solve problems. It is often the job of the people inside, who have paper, pens, desks, and an impressive view.
11. Historically, a story about people inside impressive buildings ignoring or even taunting people standing outside shouting at them turns out to be a story with an unhappy ending.
12. If you have a large crowd shouting outside your building, there might not be room for a safety net if you’re the one tumbling down when it collapses.
13. 99 percent is a very large percentage. For instance, easily 99 percent of people want a roof over their heads, food on their tables, and the occasional slice of cake for dessert. Surely an arrangement can be made with that niggling 1 percent who disagree.
“Make a list… Call them and ask them, ‘Are you going to vote on Issue 2 and are you going to vote for it?’ If they say no, well, you just make sure that they don’t go vote. Let the air out of their tires on election day. Tell them the election has been moved to a different date. That’s up to you how you creatively get the job done.”—
Mike Huckabee, encouraging voter suppression this Friday in Mason, Ohio.
He was speaking in support of Issue 2. Issue 2 is the ballot referendum on Senate Bill 5, the bill in Ohio that stripped collective bargaining rights. Enough signatures were gathered to put SB 5 on the ballot as Issue 2.
A ‘yes’ vote means the voter supports SB 5 and Issue 2. A ‘no’ vote means the voter does not support SB 5 and Issue 2. So if you don’t support it, and you’re the relative of someone who does, Mike Huckabee thinks said relative should keep you from voting.
Thought experiment: What if a Democrat said this? What if Howard Dean said this at a fundraiser? Fox News would have a collective aneurysm. Instead, Huckabee’s comments are defended as “just a joke” online. Gotcha.
“[I]n my opinion there is no greater example of Washington politicians and K Street lobbyists working against our future prosperity than in the treatment of student loan debt. To be clear, this problem existed even before the crisis; families have been taking on crushing debt to help the kids get ahead for a few decades, as the cost of school has far outpaced inflation. It’s just come to a painful head now: graduates with no jobs, or low paying jobs are justifiably panicked that they will never be able to get the loans paid off. Meanwhile, many well-meaning parents who only wanted to help their kids by taking out loans for college, are now laid off, or in new jobs that pay less. Yet where’s the relief for these borrowers, who took out loans so their kids could compete in the workplace, or better yet, we collectively could compete in the global marketplace? Far from relief, here’s what we have: a bankruptcy system that does not allow student loans to be discharged. Many other debts can be discharged, but not student loans. Look, we want a society where everyone strives to repay their debts. That’s clear. But to single out education loans as the one type of debt that our system specifically prohibits from standard bankruptcy is flat-out wrong. We bail out the banks, but offer nothing to American families that borrowed to become more educated and competitive?”
The American Cancer Society did not explicitly reject a massive donation offer from a non-theistic organization on the basis of it being a non-theistic organization.
That was not the stated reason given for rejecting a matching offer of $250,000 from the Foundation Beyond Belief and the Todd Stiefel Foundation to sponsor a national team in the upcoming Relay for Life. (An offer that, as a matching offer, was likely to bring in a total of half a million dollars for the American Cancer Society.) Nobody at the ACS has ever said, in words, “We don’t want our organization to be associated with atheists. It’s too controversial. We don’t want atheist money.” And when asked if this was the case, they have denied it.
How is it controversial to accept a donation from a group that is representative of at least 14% of the population? A group that also includes some of the world’s greatest scientists and doctors, I may add. Stupid.
Where do you get your news? Growing up, I watched both my siblings reach a phase where they realized that the major news resources are heavily biased, so they jumped to the independent, conspiracy-theory-laden end of the spectrum and started eating it up just because it was different. As a result, I checked out altogether. I figured all news is biased, so why bother?
I know I’m not exactly helping the situation by asking someone else to spoon-feed me a news source I can trust, but I’m 22, and I’m tired of feeling sheltered and stupid. I don’t want to be willfully ignorant, but I know I’m naive and don’t have the critical thinking skills or instincts to know when a reporter is full of crap. I’m afraid that I’m the type to mindlessly buy whatever I’m told. How do I get my head out of my ass?
Congratulations. The very fact that you’re tired of feeling sheltered and stupid means you’ve already pulled your head out of your ass. The real trick now is to make sure you don’t shove it up someone else’s by blindly trusting any spoon-fed news source.
Instead, you have to start trusting your own capacity for rational thought. Learn how to analyze the media. Ask questions. Challenge assumptions. Check sources. Most importantly, don’t get distracted by a little bias. Media bias is harmless when you can spot it, so quit whining about your naïveté and sharpen those critical thinking skills.
If you need a jumping-off point for becoming an independent thinker in the face of mass media, go pick up copies of “Manufacturing Consent” by Noam Chomsky, “Understanding Media” by Marshall McLuhan and “Letters to a Young Contrarian” by Christopher Hitchens.
Read them, reread them and then read them again. They may frustrate you at first, but don’t give up. Every time you hit an unfamiliar reference, light up Google and learn something. Remember, it’s not about what to think. It’s about a way to think.
I promise, you are capable of clear and independent thought. You don’t need to be spoon-fed anything. Once you trust in your own ability to analyze the media, you will be able to consume any source of news, chew it up, and spit out all the bias and bullshit.
It’s pretty much taken as an assumption these days that human beings are ‘natural-born believers’. Ask a cognitive scientist who specializes in religion, and they will tell you that our brains are predisposed to all sorts of supernatural concepts.
One consequence of this consensus is a vast outpouring of articles and books pondering over what the evolutionary advantages of religion are. A lot of these explanations are pretty tendentious, and to me it has never seemed likely that this was the whole story.
One popular way to investigate the ‘naturalness’ of religion problem is to see if supernatural concepts are hardwired into children - as you would expect if religious ideas are intuitive and naturalistic ideas have to be learned. Perhaps surprisingly there are very few studies to support this idea - the same ‘classic’ studies keep getting recycled in each new article or book.
And when independent researchers outside the core groups test the hypothesis, they often get results that don’t fit the story.
“If we’re going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, then we have to open doors to everyone, we need all hands on deck. And that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering and math.”—
Mrs. Obama introduced the NSF Career-Life Balance Initiative. This initiative is a 10-year plan to create greater work-related flexibility for women and men in the STEM related research careers.
Women make up 41% of the STEM related graduates today, while only 28% of full-tenure tracked researchers are women. This is a significant loss in retention, mostly caused by family creation. STEM related careers are of particular interest because it is one area where the wage gap between men and women is smaller then other fields. Also, women in STEM careers make 33% more then women in other fields. Retaining these women is important for not only their research but for the national economy.
The NSF has tried smaller campaigns in the past to promote family friendly work environments but their small scale trials led to a mediocre reception. This will be the first foundation wide initiative to meet the goal of providing post-doctorate fellows and early tenure track researchers support in having a family, if they choose, without having to give up on their careers.
“October 1, 2011 - TAMPA, FL - The Occupy Wall Street movement may have just received an unexpected surprise – United States Army and Marine troops are reportedly on their way to various protest locations to support the movement and to protect the protesters. Army serviceman Ward Reilly posted the following on Facebook: “I’m heading up there tonight in my dress blues. So far, 15 of my fellow marine buddies are meeting me there, also in Uniform. I want to send the following message to Wall St and Congress: I didn’t fight for Wall St. I fought for America.”—#OccupyWallStreet - ‘The Marines are Coming to PROTECT the Protestors’ | in5d Alternative News | in5d.com | (via progressivefriends)
Good luck macing them, NYPD.