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Why Rape Survivors Terrify Fox News & the Gun Lobby

March 14, 2015 in Blogs

By Katie McDonough, Salon.com

Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich's recent comments are more disturbing than you realize.


Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich this week told students at Iowa State University that guns “can be a woman’s best defense against a sexual assault,” and called opposition to campus carry laws a ploy to turn women into victims “in order to uphold an anti-gun political philosophy.”

Pavlich dedicated most of her talk to arguing that guns make women safer while feminism has the exact opposite effect. Let’s dispense quickly with Pavlich’s first point because it’s a baseless argument and a completely bananas thing to say given everything we know about firearms and violence against women. And since I have written about the data on women and guns so many times before, I’m just going to quote myself here:

Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other high-income countries. The presence of a firearm during a domestic violence incident increases the likelihood of a homicide by 500 percent. Guns are also regularly used in non-fatal incidents of domestic violence, with researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health concluding in a study from 2000 that “hostile gun displays against family members may be more common than gun use in self-defense, and that hostile gun displays are often acts of domestic violence directed against women.”

And despite Pavlich’s claim that “nearly 300,000 women use handguns every year to defend themselves against sexual assault,” there is also virtually no available data on self-defense gun use in sexual violence cases. As Timothy Johnson noted on Thursday at Media Matters, FBI statistics on self-defense gun use put the number of incidents documented for men and women — for all violent crimes over a five-year period — just short of 240,000.

Now on to Pavlich’s claim that feminism, and not, say, institutional indifference to sexual assault and/or rapists carrying deadly weapons on college campuses, poses the real threat to women’s lives and safety. According to Pavlich, feminists don’t reject campus carry laws because they know that more guns means more dead women, …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Oklahoma Democrat Wants to Require Christian Businesses to Post Notice of Anti-Gay Discrimination

March 14, 2015 in Blogs

By David Edwards, Raw Story

The bill aims to save couples from facing the indignity of being refused service.

Oklahoma Democratic state Rep. Emily Virgin wants Christian businesses to post a public notice of discrimination if they intend to claim that they have a religious right to refuse service to LGBT people. 

State Rep. Chuck Strohm (R) introduced a bill, the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act, earlier this year that would allow businesses like wedding cake bakers and photographers to deny services if it was “against the person’s religious beliefs.”

State Sen. Joseph Silk (R), who introduced a similar bill in the Oklahoma Senate, told The New York Times recently that new laws were necessary because the LGBT movement was “challenging religious liberties and the freedom to live out religious convictions.”

The amendment to HB1371 introduced by Virgin on Tuesday would require religious businesses to come out of the closet.

“Any person not wanting to participate in any of the activities set forth in subsection A of this section based on sexual orientation, gender identity or race of either party to the marriage shall post notice of such refusal in a manner clearly visible to the public in all places of business, including websites,” the amendment states. 

“The notice may refer to the person’s religious beliefs, but shall state specifically which couples the business does not serve by referring to a refusal based upon sexual orientation, gender identity or race.” 

The Gayly noted that Virgin’s amendment “would save minority couples from facing the indignity of being refused service.”

“Thank you to Representative Virgin for calling out the level of segregation allowed under this legislation,” Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Troy Stevenson said in a statement. “If the state of Oklahoma is going to protect discrimination, then at the very least, businesses should be required to own their bias, and post it publicly for the world to see.”

Ryan Kiesel, director of ACLU of Oklahoma, also praised the amendment, saying that it “very pointedly exposes the absurdity of creating a new era of legalized segregation.”

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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What Will the World Look Like When Humans Go Extinct?

March 14, 2015 in Blogs

By Lindsay Abrams, Salon.com

Michael Tennesen can tell us.

The sixth mass extinction is nearly upon us. Species on Earth are dying out at a rate one thousand times greater than they were before humans began altering the environment. By the end of this century, scientists warn, anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of the species on Earth could be lost forever.

 

And among those who might not make it out the other side, says science writer Michael Tennesen, are humans.

It’s to be expected: No species lasts forever, and in our relatively short existence, humanity has done an impressively good job of undermining the forces necessary for our survival. But while we’re already taking a number of species out with us, Tennesen argues, nature is resilient: the end of man won’t necessarily mean the end of life itself. “Plants, animals, and microbes will survive, adapt, diversify, and proliferate,” he writes of life after man. “New plants will evolve to vanquish our monocultures of corn, wheat, and rice. With far fewer animals around, those species that survive the bottleneck of extinction will move into newly abandoned spaces. With little competition, they will thrive and rapidly evolve.”

We know that, he adds, because this sort of thing has happened in the past.

In “The Last Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man,” Tennesen looks to the previous five extinctions for clues as to what we can expect from the sixth. He spoke with Salon about how recognizing our place in nature might help us last just a little bit longer, and how an eventual Earth without man, at least in our current incarnation, won’t necessarily be such a terrible place. Our conversation, below, has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

A lot of us look at these studies about pollution and climate change and extinction on a very day-by-day, headline basis. What was the value for you of stepping back and taking a more pulled-back, planetary perspective on these issues?

I was influenced by a paper that Anthonky Varnofsky from the University of California at Berkeley wrote, about his idea that we …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Bill Maher and Sean Penn Slam the GOP for Their Iran Letter

March 14, 2015 in Blogs

By Joanna Rothkopf, Salon.com

Penn called it a “criminal mutiny.”

On Friday’s edition of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” host Bill Maher held a discussion about the effort of 47 Republican senators to interfere with the Obama Administration’s negotiations with Iran by way of a letter. The panelists, Sean Penn, Arianna Huffington, the Telegraph’s Tom Rogan and Sharyl Attkisson, were largely critical of the letter (with the exception of Attkisson).

 

“When a young William Jefferson Clinton was at Oxford protesting the Vietnam War and then later ran for president of the United States they said that he was a traitor for protesting from foreign shores,” said Penn. “And the moment that letter arrived in Tehran, they were protesting from foreign shores. And in fact I think where we should be looking at this is not in terms of treason, but mutiny. And I think perhaps criminal mutiny.”

“The implication of this letter is that if there’s a Republican in the White House next, they’re going to go to war with Iran,” Huffington later argued. “And there’s absolutely no accountability for how they’re going to pay for it or what that means. We’ve spent about $4 trillion on the two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention what we are spending on the vets so now it’s like we want to ask them, how are you going to pay for a war with Iran?”

Watch the full discussion below.

 

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Why Are Republicans Exempt from the Media's Email Hysteria?

March 14, 2015 in Blogs

By Joe Conason, Creators.com

Is there a double standard?

It is almost eerie how closely Hillary Clinton's current email scandal parallels the beginnings of the Whitewater fiasco that ensnared her and her husband almost 20 years ago. Both began with tendentious, inaccurate stories published by The New York Times; both relied upon highly exaggerated suspicions of wrongdoing; both were seized upon by Republican partisans whose own records were altogether worse; and both resulted in shrill explosions of outrage among reporters who couldn't be bothered to learn actual facts.

Fortunately for Secretary Clinton, she won't be subjected to investigation by less-than-independent counsel like Kenneth Starr — and the likelihood that the email flap will damage her nascent presidential campaign seems very small, according to the latest polling data.

Yet the reaction of the Washington media to these allegations renews the same old questions about press fairness to the Clintons, and how the media treats them in contrast with other politicians. In this instance, the behavior of Republican officials whose use of private email accounts closely resembles what Secretary Clinton did at the State Department has been largely ignored — even though some of those officials might also seek the presidency. 

Jeb Bush released a large volume of emails from the personal — i.e., non-government — email account that he used as Florida governor, and praised his own transparency with typical extravagance. The problem is that those emails represent only 10 percent of those he wrote. The rest he has withheld, without any public review under Florida open records laws. When Scott Walker served as Milwaukee county executive, before he was elected Wisconsin governor, he and his staff used a secret email system for illegal campaign work, which emerged as part of an investigation that ultimately sent one of his aides to prison (another was immunized by prosecutors). Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has used a personal email account for government business, as has Texas Governor Rick Perry. So have Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and various Congress members who have been heard to spout about Clinton's emails, such as Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Hypocritical …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Why Are Republicans Exempt from the Media's Email Hysteria?

March 14, 2015 in Blogs

By Joe Conason, Creators.com

Is there a double standard?

It is almost eerie how closely Hillary Clinton's current email scandal parallels the beginnings of the Whitewater fiasco that ensnared her and her husband almost 20 years ago. Both began with tendentious, inaccurate stories published by The New York Times; both relied upon highly exaggerated suspicions of wrongdoing; both were seized upon by Republican partisans whose own records were altogether worse; and both resulted in shrill explosions of outrage among reporters who couldn't be bothered to learn actual facts.

Fortunately for Secretary Clinton, she won't be subjected to investigation by less-than-independent counsel like Kenneth Starr — and the likelihood that the email flap will damage her nascent presidential campaign seems very small, according to the latest polling data.

Yet the reaction of the Washington media to these allegations renews the same old questions about press fairness to the Clintons, and how the media treats them in contrast with other politicians. In this instance, the behavior of Republican officials whose use of private email accounts closely resembles what Secretary Clinton did at the State Department has been largely ignored — even though some of those officials might also seek the presidency. 

Jeb Bush released a large volume of emails from the personal — i.e., non-government — email account that he used as Florida governor, and praised his own transparency with typical extravagance. The problem is that those emails represent only 10 percent of those he wrote. The rest he has withheld, without any public review under Florida open records laws. When Scott Walker served as Milwaukee county executive, before he was elected Wisconsin governor, he and his staff used a secret email system for illegal campaign work, which emerged as part of an investigation that ultimately sent one of his aides to prison (another was immunized by prosecutors). Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has used a personal email account for government business, as has Texas Governor Rick Perry. So have Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and various Congress members who have been heard to spout about Clinton's emails, such as Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Hypocritical …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The Next Generation of Austrian Economics: Essays in Honor of Joseph T. Salerno

March 14, 2015 in Economics

By Judy

The Next Generation of Austrian Economics Essays in Honor of Joseph T Salerno

BooksMarch 14, 2015Calculation and KnowledgeCapital and Interest TheoryEntrepreneurshipInterventionismMonetary Theory

The Next Generation of Austrian Economics: Essays in Honor of Joseph T. Salerno

The Next Generation of Austrian Economics: Essays in Honor Joseph T. Salerno is a celebratory volume honoring the work of a respected and beloved teacher. It signifies a flourishing career of significant achievement, and also the gratitude and well-wishes of his students.

Read more

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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The Next Generation of Austrian Economics: Essays in Honor of Joseph T. Salerno

March 14, 2015 in Economics

By Judy

The Next Generation of Austrian Economics Essays in Honor of Joseph T Salerno

BooksMarch 14, 2015Calculation and KnowledgeCapital and Interest TheoryEntrepreneurshipInterventionismMonetary Theory

The Next Generation of Austrian Economics: Essays in Honor of Joseph T. Salerno

The Next Generation of Austrian Economics: Essays in Honor Joseph T. Salerno is a celebratory volume honoring the work of a respected and beloved teacher. It signifies a flourishing career of significant achievement, and also the gratitude and well-wishes of his students.

Read more

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE