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Monthly Archive: November 2011

Nov 22 2011

Young people becoming less religious

The evidence that religion is losing the battle of ideas keeps coming in from all sides. A new Pew survey compares the attitudes of the various generational age cohorts that it identifies by the years in which they were born and labels as the Greatest (before 1926), the Silents (1927-1944), the Baby Boomers (1945-1964), the …

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Nov 21 2011

Invoking the mercy rule on Herman Cain

Herman Cain is continuing in full gaffe form suggesting, in response to a question about the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, that he thinks the president can overturn US Supreme Court rulings. Elsewhere, Cain said that the Taliban are in the new Libyan government, perhaps because he thinks that Libya and Afghanistan share a common …

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Nov 21 2011

Clever UC Davis students

Here is another view of the long silent walk of UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi to her car after the contentious press conference on Friday after the pepper-spraying atrocity. I have to hand it to the students. This was one of the most effective strategies they could have adopted. The dead silence with which they …

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Nov 21 2011

How Iowans are choosing

Over the weekend, there was yet another Republican debate set in an Iowa church and organized by a group that opposes abortion and gay marriage. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman did not attend so with the two Mormons out of the way, the stage was set for some heavy-duty pandering to right-wing Christian evangelicals, with …

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Nov 21 2011

The creeping paramilitarization of the police

The government response to the Occupy Wall Street movement has been to unleash the police to forcibly clear the protestors from various sites. The crackdown has many of the signs of paramilitary actions: dark uniforms and hard enveloping black helmets with visors that hide the faces, brandishing large truncheons, with tasers and guns on their …

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Nov 20 2011

UC Davis chancellor faces backlash

This video of students massively protesting being excluded from a media press conference by the university chancellor Linda Katehi, who is facing demands from her own faculty to resign, is gripping. Using the ‘mic check’ technique that is one of the great innovations of the Occupy movement, they get their voices heard. The last minute …

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Nov 20 2011

Which side are you on?

From reader Tim, I received this animation from The Guardian that explains the growth of inequality in the US. The reason I back the Occupy movement is not because they have specific demands that I agree with. Long time readers of this blog know that I, along with scattered others, have been railing against the …

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Nov 19 2011

Time for some oldies

Lee Pockriss, the composer of the 1960 hit song Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini by Brian Hyland, has died at the age of 81. This was one of the many silly songs that became hits in that ‘beach party’ period before rock-and-roll really took off. Pockriss also wrote the much better song …

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Nov 19 2011

Confrontation with police at UC Davis

In a further example of the growth of paramilitary practices in the US, watch a policeman walk up and down a line of sitting students at Occupy UC Davis and squirt pepper spray directly into their faces, as if they were a row of weeds. After some initial confusion, the other students react, chanting “Shame …

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Nov 19 2011

If South American countries prosecute their war criminals, why don’t we?

Latin American countries used to be notorious for having dictators who ruthlessly repressed their own people, used death squads and torture indiscriminately, and demanded and received immunity for their acts. The rest of the world looked down at them for their lawlessness. Almost all of those dictators were strongly supported by the US. But things …

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