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Monthly Archive: November 2011

Nov 30 2011

60 Minutes story on homeless families

One in four American children now live in poverty. This report follows some who have been forced to live in cars and trucks. While the story is sad, what it reveals about the resilience of children, their ability to think positively and find ways to overcome their adversity, is heartening.

Nov 30 2011

Inequality makes us less happy

Via reader Norm, I learned about a new study using brains scans that suggest that people are aren’t nearly as self-interested as some might think and that inequality makes people unhappy. “The scientists speculate that people have a natural dislike of inequality. In fact, our desire for equal outcomes is often more powerful (at least …

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Nov 30 2011

Womb raider

Oh that naughty Satan, always getting into mischief and going where he shouldn’t. Recently The Pilot, the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic diocese of Boston, published a column in which the author Daniel Avila alleged that homosexuality is caused by Satan, saying that “The scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be …

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Nov 29 2011

Curiosity landing

The Mars explorer named Curiosity was launched successfully on Saturday and is expected to land on the planet on August 6, 2012. Because Curiosity is a much larger object than previous explorers, engineers needed to develop a new way of giving it a soft landing and this new technique is causing some anxiety to mission …

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Nov 29 2011

Ask an Atheist panel discussion

I will be on a panel Ask an Atheist, sponsored by the CWRU chapter of the Center for Inquiry. The event is free and open to everyone in the university and the wider community. Here is the announcement from the CFI president Lisa Viers: Case Center for Inquiry would like to invite you to join …

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Nov 29 2011

What now for the Occupy movement?

The Occupy movement in many cities have been forced to fully or partially vacate their sites and people are wondering what’s next. Chris Hedges has been doing some excellent reporting on the movement and in a recent piece titled This Is What Revolution Looks Like he argues that the movement has exposed the bankruptcy of …

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Nov 28 2011

Teenager faces down Kansas governor and school principal

High schooler Emma Sullivan refuses to apologize to the governor of Kansas Sam Brownback for criticizing him on Twitter. The governor’s staff apparently scours the internet for unflattering things about him and noticed her tweet and reported her to her school principal who, rather than stand up for Emma’s free speech rights (after all, if …

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Nov 28 2011

Iowa faith forum

Susan Jacoby has a nice article on the Iowa debate last Saturday that turned into a faith fest, where many of the candidates competed to demonstrate their personal sufferings. She asks, rightly, why we should care about their personal tribulations in selecting a president. Boo-hoo, gentlemen. Having endured the ordinary vicissitudes or the extraordinary and …

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Nov 28 2011

Shopping as a reality TV-based competitive sport

Well, another Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone and we get the usual reports of the shopping madness that has become customary. This year thankfully there do not seem to have been any actual deaths caused by crowds stampeding to get items, though shoppers at one place did ignore or step over a dying elderly …

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Nov 27 2011

Tribunal finds Bush and Blair guilty of war crimes

Via Glenn Greenwald, I learn that the seven-member Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia, that was headed by that country’s former prime minister and had an American law professor as one of its prosecutors, found George W. Bush and Tony Blair “guilty of “crimes against peace” and other war crimes for their 2003 aggressive …

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