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Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

Victory for free speech and human (not animal) rights

In a defense of the First Amendment free-speech rights, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that banned videos and other depictions of cruel acts against animals. There are a few areas, such as child pornography, where speech is considered to fall outside of the First Amendment. The law effectively sought to have animal […]

Technical-fix education reforms have failed

I’m in Chicago, and I was pleased to open the Chicago Tribune and read a sensible op-ed by Steve Chapman on education reforms. Considering reform moves over the past two decades, Chapman finds that “Coming up with solutions for public education, it turns out, is easy. Coming up with solutions that actually work – well, that’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

NBC TV shows tell us to recycle, eat organic and exercise

You’ve heard of “product placement,” whereby companies pay to have their products displayed in the midst of movies or television programs. Well, now NBC Universal deploys “behavioral placement” in its TV shows, according to an interesting item in today’s Wall Street Journal. It turns out that it is no accident when “Tina Fey is tossing […]

“Race to the Top”: an irrational way to run education policy

The Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” competition among states for federal education funding was problematic from the start – and now its inherent irrationality is starting to show. The administration is offering $4.35 billion to states that it deems are the most innovative in reforming their education programs. Last week, the White House selected two […]

Misanthropic greens call for “no kids”

In the environmental website Grist (“we’re making lemonade out of looming climate apocalypse”), Lisa Hymas espouses her GINK Manifesto – Green Inclinations, No Kids: I am thoroughly delighted by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all. Making the green choice too often feels like […]

Send Jamie Oliver back to Britain!

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has his first reality TV show on a major network, ABC. It’s called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and its first full episode was aired this evening. Rob Lyons warned us in spiked about Oliver. And God, is he obnoxious and patronizing. In his new series, Oliver parachutes into Huntington, West […]

Tiger Woods is a golfer. Let him golf

Tiger Woods has announced that he will return to golf at the Masters in April. This has led a number of commentators to question his decision. Mike Walker at golf.com says the Masters is “sports at its best” while the Tiger saga is “sports at its worst”, and the Masters is likely to suffer from the circus surrounding Woods. Michael […]

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