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Doug Berger's Library tagged "secular humanism"   View Popular, Search in Google

Mar 18, 15

"This relies on “some magical thinking that states know how to [run these programs] and no one is letting them,” said Mark Schmitt of the New America Foundation. The House budget document says that when it comes to food stamps, “the core challenge is that while states have the responsibility of administering the program, they have little flexibility to ensure it is well run,” but that block-granting it would give them the room to “administer the program in ways that … achieve better results.” Of Medicaid, Republicans claim the change would “give states greater freedom to build the most effective programs for their communities … to better cut down on waste, fraud, and abuse.”"

Mar 15, 15

"I can mourn the loss of innocent lives taken by officers who used excessive force. I can rage against the apparent systemic injustices of rogue departments. I can weep for the lives lost in the line of duty and for the families they leave behind. I can be on both sides and not pick any side at all. I can understand the need for police men and women and still be aware of their need for oversight and regulation. I can see the value in the police, can see the men and women who risk their lives daily to maintain order and enforce laws written by people who cannot see the daily battles on the streets. I can also understand the need to keep prejudices and fear from getting the best of these brave men and women."

Mar 08, 15

"At the Iowa Agriculture Summit on Saturday, ThinkProgress asked former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), a vocal opponent of marriage equality, how Iowa’s same-sex weddings have negatively impacted the state. But rather than providing any specific examples, Huckabee dodged the question and fell back on old rhetoric."

Mar 01, 15

"Gerrymandering -- drawing political boundaries to give your party a numeric advantage over an opposing party -- is a difficult process to explain. If you find the notion confusing, check out the chart above -- adapted from one posted to Reddit this weekend -- and wonder no more."

Feb 23, 15

"Legend took the opportunity to remind the audiece that the struggle continues. “We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today,” Legend said. “Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now.”"

Feb 18, 15

"Amazing, isn’t it, that evangelist Reinhard Bonnke is speaking to a crowd of over a million people… and they’re not even looking at him?

That’s because the photo isn’t real."

Feb 17, 15

"Last week, Kasich was at it again when he described school district critics of his school funding formula and budget as being “irresponsible.” According to the Columbus Dispatch, the governor said “We need more superintendents who are educators, and less superintendents who are politicians.”

Kasich’s observation is laughable at best. But it also shows the flexible meaning of terms like educators and superintendents that are used by him and his allies as they promote an alternative or parallel public education universe known as charter schools."

Jan 24, 15

Here are some signs you might have an imaginary gluten issue. This is a good essay about the latest food fad:

"3. Trying to "watch your gluten consumption." Sorry, but celiac disease and real wheat gluten allergies are an on/off disease. That is, there is no acceptable amount to consume, any amount is dangerous. There are individuals who can lick a piece of bread, not eat it, and fall over sick. Again, you can't "watch" the amount of gluten you eat, you watch for every tiny bit of gluten that may appear anywhere. Someone with real gluten sensitivities are basically obsessive about their food, because not doing it is dangerous. Bragging to someone that you're "watching" your gluten probably means you don't have a real gluten sensitivity.

5. You claim you feel better without gluten. Someone with a real gluten sensitivity didn't develop it when they turned 30. It's something that mostly (but not always) shows up in childhood, and a real celiac disease child won't say they feel better without gluten, they'll say how horrible it is when they accidentally consume it. It's not some new age therapy with intangible results like "I can't point it out, but I just feel like a new person." Real gluten sensitivity means if you have gluten, you want to rip your intestines out of your body without anesthesia."

Jan 14, 15

"Science educator Eugenie Scott deemed the technique the “Gish Gallop,” named for a notoriously sleazy creationist named Duane Gish. The Urban Dictionary defines the Gish Gallop as a technique that “involves spewing so much bullshit in such a short span that your opponent can’t address let alone counter all of it.” Often users of the Gish Gallop know their arguments are nonsense or made in bad faith, but don’t particularly care because they are so dead set on advancing their agenda. Unfortunately, the strategy is so effective that it’s been expanding rapidly in right-wing circles. Here are just a few of the most disturbing examples of the Gish Gallop in action."

Dec 30, 14

"Among the incorrect beliefs held with conviction, no matter the party: China holds more than half of the U.S. debt; there is no time limit for benefits under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, commonly known as welfare; the combined salaries of all members of Congress make up a bigger part of the federal budget than the pay of all members of the military. In other words, these were beliefs not colored by partisanship. (President Bill Clinton in 1996 signed a bipartisan bill that cut off benefits at 60 months.)"

Dec 17, 14

" Looking over the long history of people claiming to be speaking for God’s wishes, it quickly becomes evident that Christians are frequently on the wrong side of history. Here are 10 things that American Christians of the conservative stripe got completely wrong when they were so sure they were speaking on God’s behalf."

Dec 15, 14

"the per capita rate of black deaths per 100,000 residents is .28, which is twice as high as the rate for white deaths of .13"

Dec 11, 14

"After Raddatz's report--which detailed the Senate's findings--the broadcast turned to Jonathan Karl to flesh out the CIA's response. As he told viewers, "The tactics were harsh, but the CIA says it is flat out wrong to say they did not work."

Karl wasn't there to weigh these claims: "One key question: Did the interrogations help get Osama bin Laden? The report says no, the CIA says yes, that only through harsh interrogation did they discover bin Laden's personal messenger.""

Dec 10, 14

"White people with strong political agenda can walk around the street and in stores carrying their semiautomatic "long guns" and nothing happens to them. A drunken, angry white man stand outs in the street pointing a loaded rifle at passersby, and law enforcement treats him with respect and spend as much time as they need to "de-escalate the situation." Black boys play in an empty park with a fake gun, or carry a fake samurai sword and get shot shortly after police arrive on the scene."

Dec 03, 14

"Earlier tonight, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree (who said last month that a gay marriage ban in Kansas was unconstitutional) dismissed COPE’s lawsuit:

… Crabtree ruled Tuesday that a nonprofit group and individuals challenging the standards did not claim specific enough injuries to allow the case to go forward.

Which is a fancy way of saying their religious beliefs weren’t really affected by the state standards."

Dec 03, 14

"Lastly, that only the non-default worldview is even identified as a worldview (rather than objective truth) works to the advantage of currently dominant worldviews. "Politics" and "ideology" are both terms with negative connotations in our society. Consequently, being able to accuse critics of "politicizing" or "injecting their ideology into" some aspect of culture or society without risking the same accusation is a useful weapon in defense of the status quo. Similarly, one can accuse critics of bias or subjectivity while being able to claim objectivity for the dominant perspective. This is how it is possible for men to say that they have an objective outsider perspective on gender-related issues or how conservative Christians can connect their religion to the Republican party while at the same time claiming that Islam is different than Christianity because Islam is a political ideology."

Nov 22, 14

"Then there's House Speaker John Boehner, who wrote on Facebook, "An open, vibrant #‎Internet is essential to a growing economy, and #‎netneutrality is a textbook example of the kind of Washington regulations that destroy innovation and entrepreneurship." Boehner ignores the entire history of the internet, which was built on the concept of net neutrality and allowed innovation to flourish. Real net neutrality does the exact opposite of what Boehner is saying; it gives startups the same access to the internet that behemoths like Amazon or Google or Facebook have. The tech world, minus the companies that provide the big telecoms their hardware and software, is solidly behind net neutrality precisely because they want to preserve the open environment that built the internet economy."

Nov 13, 14

"The reason, Cornell’s researchers argue, is that political correctness is a norm that provides clear guidance for how members of the opposite gender ought to relate to each other, which is otherwise ambiguous. “If it is difficult to anticipate exactly what kinds of statements might trigger offense,” the researchers write, “the safest approach may be to withhold all novel ideas.” So by following the PC norm, team members were spared feelings of uncertainty about how to behave, freeing them to comfortably exchange ideas instead. (The effect was the opposite in same-gender teams: with less uncertainty to begin with, the PC group produced fewer novel ideas.) As Goncalo notes, you’d expect something similar to happen when race (or some other potential tension point) was at issue."

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