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Archive for April 2010

Nebraska law is first to ban abortion on fetal pain basis

Nebraska passed a law on Tuesday that bans most abortions 20 weeks after conception or later. What’s unique about this law is that is is the first to restrict abortions on the grounds that the fetus feels pain. Some states require counseling to women contemplating an abortion, and are told then how fetuses may experience […]

South Hadley suicide: the dangers of stressing vulnerability

Thumbnail : South Hadley suicide: the dangers of stressing vulnerability

Guest Post by Nancy McDermott A sad story of teenage suicide in a small town has become a national fascination. Last week three teenage girls pleaded “not guilty” to civil rights violations and harassment in the death of Phoebe Prince, a 15-year old girl who committed suicide in her home in South Hadley,  Massachusetts. The three girls […]

In defence of science and progress

In this TED talk video clip, Michael Specter, a New Yorker journalist who writes about health and science, passionately argues against those who adopt anti-scientific stances: those who, despite the evidence, reject vaccines, consider GM foods “Frankenfoods”, believe there is a link between MMR and autism, embrace alternative health, and so on. Specter argues that this is a fear-driven response […]

Family is becoming “more important” in America

Writing in Forbes, Joel Kotkin argues that the American family, despite claims of its decline, “is becoming not less but more important”. Some facts that Kotkin marshals to establish his case: “80 percent of Americans eventually get married, often after cohabitation” “Since 1982 the number of those over 35 who give birth have more than tripled” “According to […]

Bacevich: “Osama is not Hitler,” use police not military

Bill Moyers has a very interesting interview with Andrew Bacevich, a professor of international relations at Boston University and a former US Army colonel (watch video here). Here is Bacevich’s perspective on Osama bin-Laden and the war on terror: BILL MOYERS: In this context, then, what do we do about what is a real threat, from […]

Obama’s NASA plan: an “elaborate wake” for human spaceflight

Last month, President Obama announced proposals for restructuring the NASA space program, and a key plank of his new approach was to rely much more on commercial companies. As I noted earlier, this sounds more like the outsourcing of leadership. And as an article in today’s New York Times today finds, it turns out the private aerospace industry that is supposed […]

Play ball!: baseball season begins

Thumbnail : Play ball!: baseball season begins

Nothing says “spring is here” like the start of the baseball season. And this past weekend marked the beginning of Little League baseball in our town, like thousands across the country.  Major League Baseball inaugurated its 2010 season last week, but for me, baseball season is as much about the kids and the wider social […]

This week’s articles of note

“Time to rebalance: special report on America’s economy,” The Economist, by Greg Ip “Building a green economy,” New York Times Magazine, by Paul Krugman “Up from slavery,” Reason, by David Boaz “Making the rest of the world crazy,” (Review of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche, by Ethan Watters), Boston Globe, by […]

Democratic Party image at historic low

After the health bill passed last month, the President Obama and the Democratic congress appeared to be on the rebound. Celebrations among Democrats suggested a new confidence, and Obama was said to have a new spring in his step. But as I noted earlier (here), these celebrations seemed inconsistent with the country’s mood.  Now there is evidence that the […]

Obama’s changes to nuclear policy aren’t epochal

Peter Feaver, a professor of political science at Duke and a former National Security Council member under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, presents a careful analysis of President Obama’s new policy on the use of nuclear weapons, known as the Nuclear Posture Review, in today’s New York Times. In a nutshell, the new […]

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April 2010
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