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Apr 16 2014

Putting humanism to work for the common good

The organization Foundation Beyond Belief is organizing its first annual conference Humanism at Work to be held in Chicago, IL on July 18-20, 2014.
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Apr 16 2014

Hobby Lobby owner branches out

Steve Green, the president of the company Hobby Lobby that has a case pending in the US Supreme Court where they argued that they did not have to comply with the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act because of the religious objections of the owners, has even greater ambitions for the role of religion in public life. He has financed a new curriculum that he wants public schools to adopt that consists of a “four-year public school elective on the narrative, history and impact” of the Bible. One school district in Oklahoma has already adopted it.
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Apr 16 2014

Problems of the American university

One problem that has received plenty of attention is the astronomical rise in the cost of higher education that is either preventing some from thinking of college at all or resulting in them graduating with crippling debt that strongly inhibits their career choices and lives. A graduate with large student loans is more likely to be tempted by a soul-killing but high-paying job than one who is free and clear. The rise in college costs has far outstripped inflation.
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Apr 15 2014

Call for higher taxes on the rich

Today is tax day in the US, the deadline for filing one’s returns. Reader Norm sent me this short clip by Robert Reich where he explains how it can be that the rich and super-rich pay taxes at a much lower rate than do the middle and classes, thanks to a whole bunch of measures that have been thoughtfully inserted into the tax code by the people they purcahsed, also known as the members of Congress.
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Apr 15 2014

Abusing prosecutorial power

The US Attorney for a region is part of the US Department of Justice and is tasked with prosecuting federal crimes in that region. They have a lot of power and some of them have developed a reputation of using that power in ways that infringe on the rights of people to due process.
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Apr 15 2014

Children’s judo

Here is a very cute video of little children at judo. I love the way they bow to each other before going at it, doing it so vigorously on one occasion that she fell over.
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Apr 15 2014

Oh goody! Another end of the world prediction

Many of us have heard of the ‘blue moon’. This is when a full moon appears twice in one calendar month. This is a perfectly predictable astronomical phenomenon that occurs once every two or three years, infrequent enough to serve as a metaphor for rarity, as in the phrase ‘once in a blue moon’.
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Apr 15 2014

Help Ed Brayton fight a lawsuit

Ed Brayton not only writes the widely read blog Dispatches from the Culture Wars but is also the person who manages the business end of the Freethought Blogs site and keeps the whole thing running smoothly.
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Apr 15 2014

Snowden gets a Pulitzer prize to add to his Polk award

Yesterday the Pulitzer prizes for 2013, considered the apex of establishment US journalistic achievement, were announced. Of those the public service prize is the most coveted and the committee stunned the world by giving it to Edward Snowden, adding to the Polk award that he received earlier in the year.
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Apr 14 2014

Outreach to Hispanics on ACA

Al Madrigal of The Daily Show looked at how the Spanish language media promoted the Affordable Care Act to encourage people to sign up and how that was covered by Fox News.
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