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Monthly Archive: September 2013

Sep 27 2013

Ted Cruz ‘s long game

cruz-ham-i-am-toles

Texas senator Ted Cruz has infuriated his Republican party leadership by boxing them in into a situation where they could not avoid looking as if they were surrendering on the Tea Party push to defund Obamacare. And sure enough, this afternoon, the Senate voted to restore funding for Obamacare in the continuing resolution bill and …

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Sep 27 2013

Seymour Hersh on US media

The legendary investigative journalist apparently has a new book coming out and recently he gave a talk in London where he lambasted the ‘pathetic’ state of the US media today.

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Sep 27 2013

It is not always about us

In a post titled Threat inflation, Stephen M. Walt takes the case of the US response to the recent events in Kenya to bemoan the practice of the US viewing any terrorist action as a potential threat to the US that needs to be countered. He asks whether al Shabab, the ones who carried out …

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Sep 27 2013

Protests against NSA surveillance on October 26

Cory Doctorow writes that a coalition of groups under the name of Stop Watching Us are organizing a mass rally and protest in Washington DC to protest the NSA’s massive spying programs.

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Sep 27 2013

Is this any way to run the world’s largest economy?

What the hell is going on in Congress? I have been (kind of) following the posturing that has been going on over the efforts to pass a continuing resolution bill by October 1. The normal budgetary process of passing the 12 appropriation bills to fund the government for the next fiscal year has long since …

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Sep 26 2013

The pluses and minuses of using GPS navigation

GPS navigation systems are undoubtedly helpful. But at the same time, having those devices and following the instructions obviates the need for having a mental image of where you are and where you want to go, the way that a paper map gives you. A study finds that as a result you may be less …

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Sep 26 2013

More on cutting food stamps

Those arguing for cuts in the SNAP program point to the growth over the last few years (it now supports 47 million individuals, up from about 26 million in 2008) as a symptom of an entitlement system that is out of control that is encouraging more people to be ‘moochers’.

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Sep 26 2013

How many habitable planets are out there?

By ‘habitable’ I mean planets that are neither too cold nor too hot but occupy a sweet spot that would be conducive to life as we know it existing. By combining actual data, from the Kepler space observatory launched by NASA in 2009 to look for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, with statistical analysis, scientists …

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Sep 26 2013

The dangers of traveling while Muslim

I have written repeatedly about the fact that it is when you are entering the US that you have the least rights and that the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which operates as part of the Orwellian-sounding Department of Homeland Security, abuses people with impunity by detaining them for long periods of time, harassing them, …

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Sep 25 2013

What are you?

ag-at

Of course, the particular pair of dichotomies in the figure below does not capture the full spectrum of beliefs. I, for example, do not believe in any gods because they are a totally unnecessary, evidence-free hypothesis. I am as certain of their non-existence as I am of the non-existence of Santa Claus. But where does …

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