Category Archives: politics

Europe: not quite the secular paradise you’d think

by Grania There is a tendency in atheist circles for Europe to be held up as a place where religion has been all but relegated to the bin, and secularism reigns supreme. It’s true that in comparison to the USA, there is a difference. People on the whole do not make public displays of religiosity or […]

The ghoulish and inhumane side effect of legislating for the “pro-life” position

By Grania Spingies At the beginning of the year Texas had a case of a woman being kept alive by a hospital for the sake of a fetus, even though it was against her own previously stated wishes as well as her husband’s. Eventually the court ruled to allow the machines to be turned off. […]

The contest for ownership of Shahada

By Grania Spingies Ayaan Hirsi Ali has written an op-ed for TIME in the aftermath of the tragic and brutal siege in Australia, very worth reading for yourself. Her focus is on the Shahada, now becoming a familiar sight on television news as the white writing on a black flag waved by extremists. She points […]

The Senate’s “torture report”

Say what you will about President Obama—and some here say he’s the worst President ever—he’s promoted the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on post-9/11 torture that will be be released later today. The report is said to recount graphically how the CIA dealt with prisoners (waterboarding, etc.) in Guantanamo and elsewhere. Obama has also called for the Cuban detention […]

Reader’s beef of the week

There is only one beef this week, as none of the moderated/new comments were particularly memorable. This one comes from our old friend (?) Don McLeroy, the Texas dentist who rose (?) to the position of chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, serving as a board member from 1998-2011. More than anyone else […]

Abbas’s condemnation of rabbi slaughter turns out to be a political ploy

I don’t hold out any hope that, on the Palestinian side, Hamas can play a meaningful role in solving the eternal Israel/Palestine dilemma. Given that their charter calls for the wiping out of Israel, and cites the forged and anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion, they don’t exactly look like great peace partners. I looked instead […]

The Republican punishment of Obama begins

Actually, this has surely been in the works for a while, but was just announced this last hour on CNN. House Speaker John Boehner says that House Republicans have filed a lawsuit against Obamacare, in particular faulting Obama’s “unilateral actions” in pushing it.  I know nothing about the allegations that would lead to a real lawsuit, […]

Immigration reform at last!

I know some readers think Obama is equivalent to Stalin in his policies and actions, but I think that’s completely nuts. In general, he’s been a good President, has gotten the economy moving, gotten health care enacted, and is pulling the U.S. out of our futile entanglements in the Middle East. And really, would you have […]

The evolutionary psychology of politics

Today’s Doonesbury, by Garry Trudeau, echoes some old research news (trigger warning: Chris M**ney):   I haven’t read the relevant papers (I have neither the time nor the interest), but if conservatives have bigger amygdalas (amygdalae?), is there evidence that their politics, and their “innate” fearfulness, is a consequence rather than a cause of conservativism? […]

The elections: We’re screwed

As my CNN bulletins kept coming in over email last night (I had no heart to watch the election results on television), my heart sank lower and lower. One by one, Republicans took Senate seats, House seats, and governorships. Democratic victories were rare. The only bright spot is that Oregon and Washington D.C. legalized marijuana, […]

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