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Monthly Archive: June 2013

Jun 26 2013

The Texas abortion bill failed

Even though the Republicans in the Texas Senate tried their best to cheat, the bill still failed. The final outcome took several hours to sort out. Initially, Republicans insisted the vote started before the midnight deadline and passed the bill that Democrats spent the day trying to kill. But after official computer records and printouts …

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Jun 26 2013

Supreme Court strikes down DOMA

Yeah. It’s in the Washington Post, right nearby, so it must be true. The Supreme Court Wednesday struck down as unconstitutional the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in the states where they reside. The decision was 5 to 4, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy …

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Jun 25 2013

More dubious still

David Robert Grimes takes a beady-eyed look at the way theocrats distort scientific research to support their opposition to things. The abortion debate provides numerous examples of such contrivances. In this paper recently, Breda O’Brien  brandished a study by Ferguson et al (2013) and claimed abortion damages women. However, her championing of this study is …

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Jun 25 2013

They don’t think they are especially wonderful

I’m still thinking about dissonance theory and self-justification and how it relates to quarrels and feuds and rifts. I’m wondering if it does me any good at all (in terms of avoiding some of the cognitive dissonance and thus some of the self-justification) that I actually don’t think of myself as an easy person to …

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Jun 25 2013

Texas Senator Wendy Davis filibusters to block abortion bill

She started this morning. At 11:18 this morning, State Senator Wendy Davis took to the floor of the Texas State Senate, beginning a filibuster that Democrats hope will stop the passage of a bill that targets abortion rights in the state. Senator Davis wore pink tennis shoes, ready for the almost 13 hours she must …

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Jun 25 2013

Point of Inquiry staff moves to Mother Jones

It’s a press release, which several people have published already. On Friday, Point of Inquiry’s two co-hosts—Indre Viskontas and Chris Mooney—resigned from their positions at the Center for Inquiry. On Monday, Point of Inquiry producer Adam Isaak followed suit. This note is to explain our reasons for departing CFI and our future plans. In May …

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Jun 25 2013

I cannot ask Allah!

What were we saying about FGM? Egyptian cleric Sheikh Yussef al-Badri sets us straight, explaining to the Beeb’s Aleem Maqbool why it’s such a great idea. I transcribed the heart of it. The ellipses represent his pauses to hunt for the word; he’s not fluent in English so make allowances for that. Allah gives us …

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Jun 25 2013

Not a small problem

The scope of the FGM problem is appalling to contemplate. It’s huge, and hidden, and implacably hard to deal with. More than 70 women and girls in Britain seek treatment every month after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM), with the actual number subjected to the illegal practice likely to be far higher, figures reveal. The …

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Jun 25 2013

Elocution

Let’s talk about mumbling and muttering. I mean – lsss tbb mmmmmnmmmmmmmnga. Too many actors mumble their way through their lines, neither enunciating nor projecting words clearly enough for audiences to understand them, according to leading figures in theatre. Edward Kemp, artistic director of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) and actress Imogen Stubbs …

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Jun 24 2013

Not welcome at tryouts for the football team

Girl likes football. Girl plays on team in 6th grade. Girl gets kicked off team in 7th grade because Impure Thoughts. A private school outside Atlanta recently informed 12-year-old Madison Baxter that she would not be welcome at tryouts for the 7th-grade football team, even though she started on the sixth-grade team and has been …

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