So what the blank could possibly go wrong?

[Video] Quote of the Day for Friday, September 28, 2012. Illinois State Senate candidate Barbara Bellar putting some context around the Affordable Care Act:   [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdnY8r7_fLw&hd=1] Now that I’ve figured out what was wrong with my video embeds, I’m on a roll… As funny as this is, Bellar is actually softballing the problem of the plan’s utter lack of attention to the need for doctors in order to provide government care, what with stories like 83 percent of doctors have considered quitting over Obamacare floa...

Initial Thoughts on Reactions to Fast & Furious and Obamacare Developments

Very interesting day in the political world, with the Supreme Court handing down its judgment on Obamacare, and Congress finding Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress for his evasive shenanigans trying to cover up the background to the “Fast & Furious” program – the first sitting US Attorney General to receive such an honor. How now to prosecute him becomes quite a conundrum, since the department he runs is responsible for such prosecutions, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Neither finding is very surprising to me (the first admittedly more...

Forced Abortions & Sterilizations in Massachusetts?

Occasionally, I read or hear about something so stunning that I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience, watching from a detached vantage point as the world unfurls strangely in front of me. Yesterday afternoon, I had one of those experiences. I was at work, pausing to check the headlines, weather and traffic, when I saw the surreal headline: “Massachusetts Appeals Court rules that judge was wrong to order mentally ill woman to have an abortion and to then be sterilized”. Forced abortions and sterilizations in Massachusetts? Granted, the court-ord...

Scientists who didn’t predict quake are indicted

When I saw this headline, I thought it was a joke – perhaps something from the Onion. Apparently, the story is a few days old, but I just saw it a few minutes ago: Seven scientists and other experts were indicted on manslaughter charges yesterday for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy in 2009. …. Judge Giuseppe Romano Gargarella ordered the members of the national government’s Great Risks commission, which evaluates potential for natural disasters, to go...

An article that was never worth dying for

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011: From a New York Times article, published on Boston.com, from four Times’ reporters who had just been released from several days of captivity in the loony bin of wartime Libya, relaying some of the details of their ordeal, including this moment of realization that their Libyan driver had likely been killed by the soldiers who’d captured them: From the pickup, Lynsey saw a body lying next to our car, one arm outstretched. We still don’t know whether that was Mohammed. We fear it was, though his body has ye...

“Libyans don’t want anyone but Gadhafi. He gave us loans.”

Quote of the Day for Saturday, February 26th, 2011: From an AP story by Maggie Michael and Ben Hubbard, as posted on boston.com this afternoon: Supporters in about 50 cars covered with Gadhafi posters drove slowly around the square, waving green flags from the windows and honking horns. A camera crew filmed the procession. A taxi driver, Nasser Mohammed, 25, was among those who had put a picture of Gadhafi and a green flag on his car. "Have you heard the speech last night?" he asked. "It was great. Libyans don’t want anyone but Gadh...

Free Speech and the Peaceful Public Order

I arrived home from my sister Mary’s funeral Saturday evening, and saw that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several other people had been shot during some kind of meet-and-greet in her congressional district. I’d never heard of Giffords, but was discouraged that such a thing would happen – it’s hard enough just given our political process to get good people to run for public office, and it was of course a terrible tragedy for the people involved. It seemed to me that it had been a long time since something like that had happened. As I read t...

Religious Coping Superstitions

A couple weeks ago, I came across an article on Boston.com that really struck me as being foreign to the world I live in. "Patients with strong faith more likely to get aggressive end-of-life care" looked at a Journal of the American Medical Association article that explored the influence of religious faith on end-of-life medical decisions by terminal patients. What startles me in the writing is the apparent assumption that religiosity among these men and women was not something constitutive of them as persons, but a selected process of "c...