Fox News and the Republican party surrender to Trump

Eric Boehlert looks at how the Republican Party and especially Fox News have surrendered to Donald Trump and the widely panned softball interview that supposed tough interrogator Megyn Kelly gave him was the best indicator of it. He quotes the New Yorker magazine saying that the interview was “a useless exercise, except, perhaps, for those watching from one group: Republicans looking for a script for how to surrender to Donald Trump.”
[Read more…]

How gender-designated bathrooms came to be

Thanks to the huge fuss generated by the issue of which public bathrooms transgender people can use, I have learned a lot more about the issue of bathrooms than I would have ever imagined. While the idea of public bathrooms separated by gender has, like any practice whose origins are lost in the mists of time, come to be seen as the natural order of things not requiring any explanation, this article by Terry S. Kogan, Professor of Law at the University of Utah, says that it was the result of a deliberate sexist ‘separate spheres’ ideology that saw women’s role as to be in the home to take care of children and do household chores.
[Read more…]

Trump reneges on promise to debate Sanders

Donald Trump initially welcomed the idea of debating Bernie Sanders but then put in a condition saying that he would do so only if the debate sponsors would put up $10 million to be given to charity. That ploy seemed to be designed to avoid him carrying through on his promise. Then Richie Hecker, chairman and CEO of a tech company called Traction and Scale, came forward and made just such an offer.
[Read more…]

Capitalism is not in the US constitution

A little over a year ago, I was invited to lunch at a friend’s place and among the other guests were an Indian-American academic economist and his wife and mother. The discussion turned to politics (specifically the issue of net neutrality that was in the news at that time) and I found myself in disagreement with that family. At one point in the discussion, the economist said that his position was based on sound capitalist principles and he seemed to think that this clinched the argument. I replied that I was a socialist and that hence I did not have to accept the premises of his argument.
[Read more…]

Meet Shmuley Boteach, politico-religious grifter

Political campaigns draw grifters like moths to a flame. The fact that money sloshes around so freely attracts hustlers who promise to reward the candidate with access to special groups and in return get favors if the politician does win the office that is sought, and in addition use their proximity and presumed closeness to prominent political candidates to enrich themselves by peddling influence.
[Read more…]

Slowing down lightning

High-speed photography enables us to see the beauty of some of nature’s most spectacular effects, such as lightning strikes. Ningyu Liu at the Geospace Physics Laboratory at the Florida Institute of technology recorded lightning during a storm. He filmed it at 7000 frames per second and with the playback speed reduced to 700 frames per second, the result is quite beautiful.
[Read more…]

Women now leaving the church in greater numbers

When I think of the typical churchgoer, the image that comes to mind is an older woman, though perhaps in the megachurches this stereotype may not hold. Such people have been the mainstay of traditional churches as younger and male parishioners fall away. So it should be of some concern to churches that women too are now drifting away in larger numbers.
[Read more…]