Only a crazy system could allow this to happen

Most people have heard about David and Louise Anna Turpin who kept their 13 children aged 2 to 29 like prisoners under the most appalling conditions, where they were shackled and starved. These children were not sent to school but kept at home pretty much all the time. It was only after one 17-year old child escaped through a window and called the authorities that the abuse was discovered although it had been going on for years. She was so emaciated that police thought she was just 10 years old.
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Backlash to the #MeToo movement

As was inevitable, there has been a backlash against the #MeToo movement and from some surprising quarters. The French actress Catherine Deneuve was one of the signatories to an open letter from 100 women that suggested that the movement had gone too far and was risking infantilizing women and denying them agency and becoming puritanical. The letter suggested that the movement seemed to be condemning even flirtatious behavior and defended the right of men to hit on women. She later apologized to victims of sexual assault and, while she herself stood by the letter, distanced herself from some of the other signatories whom she said had distorted the message of the letter in the process of expanding upon it.
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More appalling stories of ‘the greatest health care system in the world’

The Guardian has been running a series called The Mother Load that looks at what happens to pregnant women in the US. Giving birth can be expensive enough even when things go smoothly, but if there are any complications at all, the costs can go so far off the charts that families are ruined. Jen Sinconis writes about what her family went through when her twins were born very prematurely. It is a harrowing tale, not least because while the parents were worrying themselves sick about how to enable their tiny children to survive and grow, they were being socked with massive bills. This was 11 years ago before Obamacare came into being that removed lifetime caps on insurance payments and eliminated pre-exiting conditions clauses that limited coverage. Those two features alone would have made a huge different to them, though they would still have incurred major costs.
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So that’s ok then

After initially not denying that he used the word ‘shithole’ at a meeting to describe Haiti, EL Salvador, and every single African nation, and even having his aide issue a statement that did not deny the use of the word, Donald Trump later started vigorously denying it, although Democratic senator Dick Durbin and Republican senators Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham confirmed his use of it. Trump accused Durbin of lying and was supported by two Republican senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue who said that he had never uttered the word.
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Responding to the “Can you explain that?” challenge

I have written several posts recently about investigations into the paranormal. While there is no conclusive evidence for such phenomena, many people do believe in them. I also recently had a discussion with some friends who are broadly skeptics but two of whom told me about events that seemed to have no material explanation. It was clear that they were puzzled by not only what they felt was a lack of a material explanation for the events but that the facts suggested that such an explanation was not even possible.
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Watch what happens in New Jersey

Now that New Jersey will swear in a new Democratic governor Phil Murphy tomorrow to replace the widely reviled Chris Christie, the party controls all three branches of government, and Murphy reportedly has plans to take the state in a more progressive direction, and other states will be watching closely.

On Tuesday, when he is sworn in, New Jersey will become one of just eight states where Democrats run every branch of government. If Murphy has his way, New Jersey will become a proving ground for every liberal policy idea coming into fashion, from legalized marijuana to a $15 minimum wage, from a “millionaire’s tax” to a virtual bill of rights for undocumented immigrants.

Undergirding all of it: automatic voter registration, early voting and the right to register with a political party as late as Election Day.
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