Suffragists: The Fight to Vote

When they arrested us on the steps of the Pentagon, while we were demonstrating against the war in Vietnam, they dragged us off to Occoquan where we we held until the demonstration ended.

Creepy Freak Paul Ryan on marriage

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Man in Red Dress: Cardinal George On Gay Marriage: ‘Society Will Be The Worst For It’

From Huffington Post:


Chicago Archbishop Cardinal Francis George on Sunday turned an event intended to celebrate the 50-year anniversaries of more than 400 couples’ marriages into another opportunity to express his opposition to same-sex marriage.

During the Holy Name Cathedral mass, Cardinal George stated that the institution marriage “comes from God,” not the state or the church, CBS Chicago reports.

“There must surely be ways in our civil society, where we can honor friendships, where we can respect other people, without destroying the nature of marriage,” George continued, in a vague reference to same-sex relationships. “It is very important, for your whole lives, give witness to what marriage truly means. And while civil laws might change – if they do – then society will be the worse for it.”

John Becker, of LGBT advocacy group Truth Wins Out, described the cardinal’s statement as “a slap in the face to married same-sex couples, couples living in states like Illinois that forbid them from marrying, and even the married straight couples in attendance at that Mass, many of whom surely felt that the cardinal hijacked their happy moment by delivering these divisive remarks.”

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Clinton calls on elites to pay more tax in remarks seen as criticism of Romney

From The Guardian UK:

Secretary of state Hillary Clinton strays into presidential politics with call for elites to pay more taxes

in New York, Monday 24 September 2012

Hillary Clinton strayed into presidential politics on Monday with a call for the global elite to pay more taxes, a day after her husband re-ignited speculation she would seek the White House herself in 2016.

The barbed comments, made in a speech to the Clinton Global Initiative event, were widely seen as a dig at Mitt Romney. The Republican contender has been under attack – from Bill Clinton among others – for paying a relatively small portion of income tax despite his immense wealth.

The secretary of state’s remarks on taxing the rich were directed at developing countries, and they included a disclaimer. “I am out of politics now,” she said. But she said she had become increasingly convinced of the need for changes in tax structures around the world.

“One of the issues I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner, especially from elites around the world,” Clinton said. “It is a fact that around the world the elites of every country are making money.

“There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to their growth of their own countries.”

The remarks met with nods of recognition inside the room as a rebuke at Romney and earned a smattering of applause.

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The Optimism Cure

From The New York Times:

Published: September 23, 2012

Mitt Romney is optimistic about optimism. In fact, it’s pretty much all he’s got. And that fact should make you very pessimistic about his chances of leading an economic recovery.

As many people have noticed, Mr. Romney’s five-point “economic plan” is very nearly substance-free. It vaguely suggests that he will pursue the same goals Republicans always pursue — weaker environmental protection, lower taxes on the wealthy. But it offers neither specifics nor any indication why returning to George W. Bush’s policies would cure a slump that began on Mr. Bush’s watch.

In his Boca Raton meeting with donors, however, Mr. Romney revealed his real plan, which is to rely on magic. “My own view is,” he declared, “if we win on November 6, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see capital come back, and we’ll see — without actually doing anything — we’ll actually get a boost in the economy.”

Are you feeling reassured?

In fairness to Mr. Romney, his assertion that electing him would spontaneously spark an economic boom is consistent with his party’s current economic dogma. Republican leaders have long insisted that the main thing holding the economy back is the “uncertainty” created by President Obama’s statements — roughly speaking, that businesspeople aren’t investing because Mr. Obama has hurt their feelings. If you believe that, it makes sense to argue that changing presidents would, all by itself, cause an economic revival.

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Is America moving back to the left?

The drugs don’t work: a modern medical scandal

From The Guardian UK:

The doctors prescribing the drugs don’t know they don’t do what they’re meant to. Nor do their patients. The manufacturers know full well, but they’re not telling.

The Guardian, Friday 21 September 2012

Reboxetine is a drug I have prescribed. Other drugs had done nothing for my patient, so we wanted to try something new. I’d read the trial data before I wrote the prescription, and found only well-designed, fair tests, with overwhelmingly positive results. Reboxetine was better than a placebo, and as good as any other antidepressant in head-to-head comparisons. It’s approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (the MHRA), which governs all drugs in the UK. Millions of doses are prescribed every year, around the world. Reboxetine was clearly a safe and effective treatment. The patient and I discussed the evidence briefly, and agreed it was the right treatment to try next. I signed a prescription.

But we had both been misled. In October 2010, a group of researchers was finally able to bring together all the data that had ever been collected on reboxetine, both from trials that were published and from those that had never appeared in academic papers. When all this trial data was put together, it produced a shocking picture. Seven trials had been conducted comparing reboxetine against a placebo. Only one, conducted in 254 patients, had a neat, positive result, and that one was published in an academic journal, for doctors and researchers to read. But six more trials were conducted, in almost 10 times as many patients. All of them showed that reboxetine was no better than a dummy sugar pill. None of these trials was published. I had no idea they existed.

It got worse. The trials comparing reboxetine against other drugs showed exactly the same picture: three small studies, 507 patients in total, showed that reboxetine was just as good as any other drug. They were all published. But 1,657 patients’ worth of data was left unpublished, and this unpublished data showed that patients on reboxetine did worse than those on other drugs. If all this wasn’t bad enough, there was also the side-effects data. The drug looked fine in the trials that appeared in the academic literature; but when we saw the unpublished studies, it turned out that patients were more likely to have side-effects, more likely to drop out of taking the drug and more likely to withdraw from the trial because of side-effects, if they were taking reboxetine rather than one of its competitors.

I did everything a doctor is supposed to do. I read all the papers, I critically appraised them, I understood them, I discussed them with the patient and we made a decision together, based on the evidence. In the published data, reboxetine was a safe and effective drug. In reality, it was no better than a sugar pill and, worse, it does more harm than good. As a doctor, I did something that, on the balance of all the evidence, harmed my patient, simply because unflattering data was left unpublished.

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Mitt Romney HATES LATINOS HISPANICS Ann iowa radio interview

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Scientists: ’93 percent’ of Fox News climate change coverage is ‘staggeringly misleading’

From Raw Story:

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, September 24, 2012

When it comes to reporting on what scientists say about climate change, the Union of Concerned Scientists told Raw Story that their research shows Fox News can be counted upon to mislead its viewers.

In a study (PDF) published Monday, the group takes Fox News and The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page to task for consistently misleading their audience on climate change. Data collected over six months showed that Fox News was the worst offender on climate issues between the two, allowing misleading statements to permeate “93 percent” of its broadcasts on the subject from February to July 2012. The Journal‘s editorial page did not fare much better, however: the Union said “81 percent” of their climate coverage from August 2011 to July 2012 was “misleading.”

“[Fox News and The Wall Street Journal] both were staggering in the levels of misleading information about climate science,” Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Raw Story. “We found that both Fox News and [The Wall Street Journal] opinion page have staggeringly high levels of misinformation.”

“We can only base [our opinion] on the evidence that we have and the reporting that’s out there,” she added. “The BBC has undertaken similar types of analysis for their own reporting and that’s what we modeled [our research] after, and we call on News Corporation to do the same.”

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Bill Nye the Science Guy Slams Biblical Creationism: “They’re Not Kidding”

From Alternet:

Bill Nye doubled down on criticisms of Creationism, which he says thwarts American innovation.

By Tana Ganeva
September 24, 2012

In a video that has been viewed 4,617,916 times on YouTube since August, Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” politely explained that the Creationist movement brainwashed children and corroded America’s capacity for growth and innovation.

“When you have a portion of the population that doesn’t believe in [science], it holds everybody back” Nye says in the video.  “And I say to the grown-ups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we’ve observed in the universe that’s … fine. But don’t make your kids do that because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and tax payers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

The Creationism Museum, featuring such wonders as Animatronic Noahs and babies frolicking with dinosaurs, tried to turn Science on Nye by issuing a response with “2 of  our science guys,” (one is a woman, so already there’s some trouble with their understanding of the natural world). In the video the first guy points out that America is not the only place where evolution denialism exists (although, a 2006 study found that there’s much lower rates of acceptance of evolution in the United States than Europe or Japan.) The woman says that “as a scientist and a mom,” she wants her daughter to be familiar with evolution “so that she can see the inherent problems with it.”

Unintimidated by such a scientifically sound debunking, Nye doubled down on his criticisms of Creationism in an interview with the AP published today. Siring distrust in science and teaching kids to have faith in ancient religious texts are not the best ways for America to lead the world in science, Nye said again.

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