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Monthly Archive: October 2012

Oct 29 2012

Troubling rise in racist views in the US

A new Associated Press poll finds a disturbing rise in anti-black sentiment in the US over the last four years.

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Oct 29 2012

The Daily Show on the foreign policy debate

This is a bit late but Jon Stewart makes the roughly accurate point that during the debate what we saw was Mitt Romney adopting Barack Obama’s foreign policy, while Obama has adopted Bush’s policy.

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Oct 29 2012

The dubious media claims of cause and effect in politics

RAND 10:28:12

We are currently being inundated with polls and it is easy to become overwhelmed, with the risk of whiplash as one poll jerks you one way to be followed immediately by another in a different direction. The media will highlight any new poll, especially if it is a surprising outlier, and even more so if …

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Oct 28 2012

Home video proves Obama born in Kenya!

Conservative circles are buzzing at the release of a new home video that was taken by Barack Obama’s father during his actual birth. Although old and grainy, the video clearly shows a white woman giving birth to a baby, with Obama’s mother’s name (Ann Dunham) on her chart, her photo, a calendar open to the …

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Oct 28 2012

The bad stuff from ‘the good book’

The Maryland Marriage Alliance, the group leading the effort against the referendum that grants equal rights to same-sex marriages in that state, has been careful to try and not appear to be religious hatemongers, arguing that they do not oppose gays or gay rights in general, but that their goal is limited to only objecting …

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Oct 28 2012

Copyright and fair use

The rules about what you can legally use of other people’s creative work are not very well defined. ‘Fair use’ guidelines depend on judgments about what fraction of the work is used and whether it is being used for commercial purposes, with educational use getting more leeway, but there are no formulas that can be …

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Oct 27 2012

Triumph the Insult Dog after the final debate

I am not generally a fan of insult humor of the kind made famous by Don Rickles, which consists of rude put downs of the other person. I tend to prefer the more subtle forms.

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Oct 27 2012

Rape as god’s will

The statistics on rape in the US are truly horrible. On average, a woman is raped every two minutes and every year about 32,000 women get pregnant because of rape. One needs to keep those numbers in mind to understand why Republican Senate candidates like Richard Mourdock (who thinks that rape is god’s will) and …

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Oct 27 2012

Being the norm means never having to explain

In my book The Achievement Gap in US Education, I emphasized the distortions in thinking that can occur when people unquestioningly take the performance or behavior of one group (usually the majority group) as the norm and/or desirable, and evaluate all other groups by how they compare with that standard.

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Oct 26 2012

Benghazi-gate

For reasons that are not at all clear to me, Fox News seems to think that the story of the attack on the US consulate in Banghazi that resulted in the deaths of four diplomats is a huge story in this election and is pushing it relentlessly, though there is no evidence that people care …

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