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Monthly Archive: September 2011

Sep 29 2011

Introducing the First Amendment to College Administrators

As I’ve documented many times, speech codes on college campuses are a clear and present danger to free speech. Here’s a perfect example from the University of Wisconsin – Stout. Here’s how it started: On September 12, 2011, Professor Miller posted on his office door an image of Nathan Fillion in Fireflyand a line from an episode: …

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Sep 29 2011

Romney’s Disingenuous Anti-Intellectual Pandering

There are few more idiotic memes on the right than the denigration of intellect and learning, but it’s especially ridiculous coming from Mitt Romney. Here he is in a speech last month claiming that Obama is weak when dealing with dictators: “That may be what they think in that Harvard faculty lounge,” he said, “but …

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Sep 29 2011

Why Guantanamo Matters

The two hikers finally freed from an Iranian prison demonstrate why the existence of Guantanamo matters: “In prison, every time we complained about our conditions, the guards would immediately remind us of comparable conditions at Guantanamo Bay,” he said. While the hikers don’t believe American policies “justify what has been done to us,” he said, …

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Sep 29 2011

Perry = Palin?

Kevin Drum says that Rick Perry has screwed up the debates because he hasn’t bothered to put in the work to get better: But there was a bigger problem: Perry looked like he didn’t think he needed to even care about any of that stuff. He muffed his attack lines because he hadn’t bothered to …

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Sep 29 2011

The Progress of Human Morality

Steven Pinker has an interesting essay in the Wall Street Journal arguing that violence has declined precipitously in the human race in recent decades and centuries. He recognizes that there is still far too much violence in the world and also that his claim will be greeted with skepticism, but he presents compelling arguments for …

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Sep 29 2011

Roger Ebert’s Inspiring Courage

If you haven’t been inspired by how Roger Ebert has handled the tragic health problems that have beset him, you haven’t been paying attention. Thyroid cancer has resulted in the removal of part of his jaw and the loss of his ability to speak or to eat and drink and he now takes nourishment through …

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Sep 28 2011

Robert O’Brien Nominee: Larry Klayman

You can always count on Larry Klayman to bring the crazy: As just one example, this time from the Democratic side of the aisle, our president, Barack Hussein Obama, Muslim under Islamic law as his father was Muslim and clearly Muslim in his heart, is in the process of orchestrating what Netanyahu branded “theatre of …

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Sep 28 2011

The Founding Fathers and Vaccination

The incredibly cool Lindsay Beyerstein writes at The Nation about Michele Bachmann’s anti-vaccination nonsense — and what the founding fathers she claims to revere so much might think about it. Bachmann’s grasp of political science is as shaky as her grasp of medical science. As a Tea Party conservative, Bachmann styles herself as defender of …

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Sep 28 2011

Romney’s Attempt to Otherize Obama

One of the most persistent memes on the right since the rise of Barack Obama is the attempt to otherize him, turn him into not just a non-American but an anti-American. That’s the root of Birtherism and all that nonsensical talk about American exceptionalism. And it’s the whole purpose of the relentless claim by Mitt …

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Sep 28 2011

The Finality of the Death Penalty

Balko links to this article by an attorney named Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry about the death penalty. He calls the Troy Davis execution “an unconscionable miscarriage of justice,” yet he still comes out in favor of the death penalty. He examines many of the arguments for and against it, admitting that it has no deterrent value for …

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Sep 28 2011

Scalia and Catholic Morality

Justice Antonin Scalia gave a talk at Duquesne University Law School recently, a Catholic school, and made some rather odd claims. “I hope this place will not yield, as some Catholic institutions have, to this politically correct insistence upon suppressing moral judgment, to this distorted view of what diversity in America means.” … A devout …

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Sep 28 2011

Repeal Obamacare or Die!

That’s the actual headline on the latest bit of stupid from Roger Hedgecock and the Worldnutdaily. It begins with this: My uncle once told me in a low voice, “Never let them take you to a hospital. You’ll never come out.” In his 90s and near death, he was rushed to a hospital and died. …

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Sep 28 2011

Obama Bans Guns. By Not Banning Guns.

You can’t fool Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, he’ll see right through you. And he’s figured out President Obama’s devious plan to take away our guns by not taking away our guns. “[The Obama campaign] will say gun owners — they’ll say they left them alone,” LaPierre told an audience at the Conservative …

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Sep 28 2011

Florida’s Lt. Gov. Turns Preacher

Jennifer Carroll, the Lt. Governor of Florida, gave a speech at Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition gathering last week and appeared to be auditioning to be Pat Robertson’s next co-host on the 700 Club. She says crazy things like this: You know the Bible says faith is believing in what is not seen, today …

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Sep 28 2011

Religion and the Death Penalty

In the wake of the execution of Troy Davis, Christopher Hitchens ties America’s use of the death penalty to the continuing influence of religion: The reason why the United States is alone among comparable countries in its commitment to doing this is that it is the most religious of those countries. (Take away only China, …

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