Category Politics

I don’t do math

How many times have you heard the phrase “I don’t do math.”? Lots, I bet. It’s a common enough sentiment, sometimes stated with pride. On the other hand, I’ve never had anyone tell me, “I don’t do words.” Literacy is considered essential, indeed it’s a marker of how well a country educates its citizens. In […]

Top five reasons the Hobby Lobby decision was a bad one

You don’t have to be a lawyer to realize that the Supreme Court’s decision today in the Hobby Lobby (HL) case was a bad one.  Here are five reasons, I’m sure there are more. 5) Hobby Lobby’s claims were scientifically invalid. HL objected to providing insurance coverage for certain contraceptives (IUDs and “morning after” pills) on […]

Don’t lower taxes, raise salaries

Let us, for a moment, assume that the anti-tax rhetoric from some parts of the populace reflects real concern rather than mere Libertarian wankery. Now of course, everyone wants to hang on to as much of their earnings as possible, but why is this message so strong right now? Well, for one thing, median wages (measured in […]

It’s not “maybe” any more

Thirty-six years ago, Nature magazine featured an article by J. H. Mercer. It said that if we continued to use fossil fuels and pump CO2 into the air, there was a strong risk that humanity would be responsible for melting the of Antarctic ice sheet. This week, NASA confirmed that we have gone so far […]

Schools or Prisons?

A note to my fellow students, who are suffering yet another round of budget cuts in higher education. In addition to lobbying for better support of the university system, you can pressure your legislators for prison reform. Think those are two separate things? Guess again. In Louisiana, where I’m attending school, state funding for colleges […]

Mr. Orwell to the white courtesy telephone

With all the recent revelations regarding the NSA, it’s clear that the surveillance state is a reality. What has not been clear, however, is how the government will respond. That has changed, at least for anyone living in Britain. The Guardian has just reported that in the preceding months, they’ve been under pressure from GCHQ […]

After too many post-election stories…

Looking at Polling Data after Loss, Republicans Embrace Science Amalgamated Press After exit polls revealed the demographic realities of the Obama re-election, top GOP officials have announced their intent to embrace science in hopes of changing the result of future elections. When asked if this meant giving up their doctrinaire positions on such topics as […]