HIV prevention pill receives approval by FDA – Boston.com – July 16, 2012 – Helen Shen
The Food and Drug Administration approved Monday the first pill aimed at preventing HIV infections in healthy people who risk contracting the disease through unsafe sex.
The medication, Truvada, is the first drug shown to protect people from becoming infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. It is already used to treat HIV-positive patients.
Bites from Vampire Bats Might Protect People against Rabies: Scientific American
Ketchup Cups Are Higher Tech Than I Thought | Strollerderby
The hard-nosed reporters of FoodBeast revealed to us today that those paper cups are built to fan out, creating greater capacity and dunking surface. …
Yeah. You just tug it open. So, something that means I’ll use less paper, can dip a burger into the ketchup, and make things easier when I eat out with my kids?
MIND IS BLOWN.
[Mine, too, Strollerderby! -L]
9 natural phenomena you couldn’t see 100 years ago | Matador Network – By Jason Wire – July 11, 2012
Technological innovation has given us so much utility, but perhaps one of its least considered contributions is its ability to transform our imagination, revealing to us that which we are otherwise unable to see. The photograph, the moving picture, broadcast television, the internet, data storage — this string of technology has enabled us to alter our preconceptions of what is possible in nature, and thus reality, even without us having witnessed it firsthand.
Here are nine other incredible natural phenomena you likely couldn’t have even imagined 100 years ago but, thanks to technology, you can now.
Romney’s Compliment to the Jewish People Closer to a Slur | Religion Dispatches – by Shalom Goldman – July 30, 2012
Until this morning’s comments, Romney’s remarks on his Israel visit had followed a prepared script; he presented the usual campaign bromides about support for Israel and labored to distinguish his foreign policy from that of President Obama.
…Romney’s remarks about Jewish superiority were of a different order [from his gaffes in London], and it’s not only the Palestinian leadership that should be aghast at his remarks. Essentially, what the GOP’s candidate for president was saying is that “Jews are good with money.”
…The myth of Jewish financial acumen—and dishonesty—has been at the core of anti-Semitic discourse throughout the centuries. It was present in the writings of Church fathers, in the dramas of the Elizabethan period, and in the screeds of the Nazi propagandists.
Hearing Romney’s slur, surely intended as a compliment, I couldn’t help thinking of the many Israelis living at the poverty line and below. Over the past year these Israelis and thousands of their supporters have been demonstrating against the inequities of the Israeli economic system. But it seems that these ‘poor Jews’ don’t count in the Republican campaign calculus.
How to help underwater homeowners | Felix Salmon – July 25, 2012
I’m a huge fan of Senator Jeff Merkley’s new plan to help out the 8 million American homeowners who are current on their mortgages but underwater and therefore unable to refinance. If you like to see such things in video form, the YouTube announcement is here; for the nerds among us, the full 31-page proposal is here. [links]
I’ve been bellyaching for a while about one of the biggest and most obvious market failures out there: the fact that huge numbers of mortgages are trading well above par — at roughly 106 cents on the dollar, on average — just because the homeowners are locked in to high interest rates because they’re underwater. When investors made these loans, they made them in the knowledge and expectation that if rates fell sharply, the loans would be refinanced and prepaid. But that never happened, and now they’re reaping an undeserved windfall.
Merkley’s plan addresses that problem straight on, and because it only concerns homeowners who are current on their mortgages — and not the 3 million homeowners who are underwater — it doesn’t come with any moral hazard problems attached: indeed, at the margin, it encourages homeowners to stay current on their loans, rather than defaulting on them.
The basic idea’s very simple: the government will buy, at par, any new underwater mortgage written on certain terms. …
In many ways, if you don’t sell your house, this is functionally equivalent to a principal reduction.
Why social mobility is important | Felix Salmon
If you have lots of social mobility, then the general standard of living is going to go up: you’ll have lots of poor people becoming richer, and you’ll also have the rich protecting their downside, in the likely event that they become poorer, by doing their best to improve the lot of the poor.
…[consider] two societies, equal in all respects except that one is high-stasis and the other is high-churn, then fast-forwarding to see which one turns out better. The answer, of course, is the high-churn society — which means, working backwards, that if you want growth, you also want social mobility.
As a result, it’s reasonable to conclude that anything which impedes social mobility — like rising inequality, say — also impedes growth.
U.S. Drought 2012: Half Of Nation’s Counties Now Considered Disaster Areas – By JIM SUHR – 08/01/12
Nearly 220 counties in a dozen drought-stricken states were added Wednesday to the U.S. government’s list of natural disaster areas as the nation’s agriculture chief unveiled new help for frustrated, cash-strapped farmers and ranchers grappling with extreme dryness and heat.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s addition of the 218 counties means that more than half of all U.S. counties – 1,584 in 32 states – have been designated primary disaster areas this growing season, the vast majority of them mired in a drought that’s considered the worst in decades. …
As of this week, nearly half of the nation’s corn crop was rated poor to very poor, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. About 37 percent of the U.S. soybeans were lumped into that category, while nearly three-quarters of U.S. cattle acreage is in drought-affected areas, the survey showed.
Sexual Harassment in Online Gaming Stirs Anger – NYTimes.com
Sexism, racism, homophobia and general name-calling are longstanding facts of life in certain corners of online video games. But the Cross Assault episode was the first of a series this year that have exposed the severity of the harassment that many women experience in virtual gaming communities.
And a backlash — on Twitter, in videos, on blogs and even in an online comic strip — has moved the issue beyond endless debate among gaming insiders to more public calls for change.
… Like Ms. Sarkeesian, many women gamers are documenting their experiences on blogs like “Fat, Ugly or Slutty” (whose name comes from the typical insults women receive while playing against others online). It cheekily catalogs the slurs, threats and come-ons women receive while playing games like Resident Evil or Gears of War 3.
The blog publishes screenshots and voice recordings that serve as a kind of universal citation in each new controversy, called upon to settle debates or explode myths. For instance, many of the site’s recordings feature deep voices captured from the chat features of online games, debunking the widely held belief that bad behavior begins and ends with 13-year-old boys.
Am I a Romney?
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they ask themselves that quintessential question: ‘Am I a Romney?’ Click on the start button below and take a short quiz to find out once and for all. All the questions are inspired by facts about – and direct quotes from – Mr. Romney. Upon completion of the quiz you will be shown your results, as well as the facts behind each question. Different questions will appear each time, so feel free to reassess your status as often as you see fit.
Daily Kos: Mitt Romney says he built that – 8/2/2012
Other than insulting people in foreign countries, Mitt Romney’s main focus over the past few weeks has been accusing President Obama of believing that government creates jobs, so when he told a crowd in Basalt, Colorado earlier today that he was personally responsible for creating jobs as governor of Massachusetts, it was something of a surprise.
Daily Kos: The Chicago Teacher Revolt—- of 1933
By 1932, half of the Chicago labor force was out of work and those who did have jobs found their wages cut. Teachers were paid their monthly salaries only three times between January 1931 and May 1933. They did not receive regular paychecks, but were paid in “scrip” which had to be redeemed by businesses and banks who did not honor their full value. …
Classroom conditions were especially grim as schools were overcrowded with impoverished, undernourished students. …
In the face of the social catastrophe, Chicago teachers stayed on the job despite the payless paydays, determined as one Chicago teacher put it “…not to desert the Chicago schools.” Teachers raised $112,000 to buy clothes and provide breakfasts for needy children and despaired that they could not raise more. …
Harry Tate of the Chicago Teacher Voter Association addressed a 1932 teachers’ mass meeting by calling schools “the last bulwark protecting American democracy.” In a nation where many believed the entire economic system was on the point of a violent collapse, this was not idle hyperbole. Totalitarian movements were on the march and working class resistance was critical to preventing their spread. …
It takes a spark to set off a militant mass movement in the streets and that spark came on March 17, 1933 when teachers discovered that school janitors, many of whom were patronage employees protected by Chicago’s political machine, had received a secret raise when teacher’s pay was cut in January. … Teachers also organized a boycott of businesses that were still evading taxes.
…On July 12, 1933, the Chicago Board of Education approved a budget that stunned the packed meeting room with cuts so drastic that School Superintendent William Bogan, who had not been consulted, was seen holding his head in his hands in shocked silence. …
John Fewkes, whom Time Magazine called the “John L. Lewis of the teaching profession”, was, like the legendary Lewis, a militant, not a radical. Fewkes was anti-communist at a time when communists played an important and generally positive role in the labor rebellions of the Depression Era. Fewkes would use militant tactics, but only for limited objectives. …
Today, the Chicago Teachers Union, under new progressive leadership, is facing many of the same problems that teachers did back in the first half of the 20th century, plus new ones, such as the drive for privatization of the schools. Today the very existence of public education faces a greater threat than in the worst days of the Great Depression, but Chicago’s teachers are showing no signs of complacency.
The spirit of ’33 lives on.
First on CNN: Rove, Gillespie hosting joint political briefing in Aspen – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs
Aspen, Colorado (CNN) – Despite laws barring coordination between federal campaigns and outside groups, Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie are hosting a joint closed-door political briefing with leading Republican donors Thursday. …
Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, is a senior strategist for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
Though Rove and Gillespie have known each other for years and are two of the GOP’s most eminent strategists, it would be illegal for them to discuss internal campaign plans.
Daily Kos: Rachel Maddow Helps President Obama Expose Romney’s Achilles’ Heel
In her opening segment Wednesday night, which was titled “You’re going to have to take my word for it,” Rachel Maddow delivered a scathing indictment of the veracity of Mitt Romney’s ability to tell the truth, about anything, but especially his income taxes. …
This is the most damning 18 minutes of video on Romney’s ability to tell the truth I’ve seen to date. If you can’t watch the video (embedded at end of diary) online, and you missed the show, I have transcribed every word.
[Summary: Romney was a resident of Utah and not qualified to run for governor in Massachusetts. He claimed that he was a resident of Mass. and he filed taxes there. Except that it turned out he hadn't and he was trying to retroactively re-file at the same time that he was still telling the public that he filed in Mass. -L]
Republican likens contraceptive mandate to Pearl Harbor, 9/11 – First Read
Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly (R), an ardent opponent of abortion rights, said that today’s date would live in infamy alongside those two other historic occasions. Wednesday marked the day on which a controversial new requirement by the Department of Health and Human Services, which requires health insurance companies to cover contraceptive services for women, goes into effect. …
*UPDATE* Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, a veteran of World War II, condemned Kelly’s comments in a statement. [link]
Daily Kos: Do-nothing ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ Republicans still banning stuff that doesn’t exist
Remember how the House Republicans came to power in 2010 with their whole “jobs, jobs, jobs, all we care about are jobs” pitch? And how they haven’t actually done anything on jobs because apparently, they think all the jobs are hidden in American women’s lady parts?
Well, here’s yet another not-a-jobs idea from the super-geniuses of the Republican House:
“A Homeland Security spending bill approved by the GOP-led House on Thursday includes a provision to bar Immigration and Customs Enforcement from providing abortions for illegal immigrant detainees.” …
Daily Kos: What ‘Cloud’ Computing Is And Why It Should Worry You
The problem with clouds is that many of the cloud providers are big companies like AT&T who of course have a history of collaborating with illegal government searches and share common interests against things like net neutrality.
There’s also no real guarantee that these companies won’t filter content or go through private data to accomplish their ends. Take a company like Dow Chemical, recently it was revealed that they hired the private firm Stratfor to spy on Bhopal activists; there have been no charges or calls for investigation.
While folks like Zizek might be a little off when claiming that clouds will privatize the internet (the internet already consists of many privately owned servers) what cloud computing will do is centralize it the hands of unaccountable corporations.
Cycle on the Recycled: A $9 Cardboard Bike Set to Enter Production in Israel – Business – GOOD
Using nine dollars worth of materials, bicycle enthusiast Izhar Gafni has created a fully functioning, water-resistant bicycle, made, from seat to spokes, entirely of recycled cardboard. …
The all cardboard bike is shockingly durable: it can carry riders who weigh up to 485 pounds. A layer of coating atop the cardboard shields the bike from the elements and gives the finished product the look and feel of lightweight plastic. …
According to Kariv’s documentary, Gafni’s cardboard bicycle was inspired by news that an inventor had succesfully built a cardboard canoe. Gafni’s bike design was initially deemed “impossible” by three engineers, but over the course of three years, Gafni proved triumphant. …
He’s currently working with investors to have the product ready for mass-production and worldwide distribution by next year.
‘No Cost’ Women’s Health Benefits Begin Wednesday
Here are the eight new no-cost services — all pretty important, if you ask us:
Gestational-diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases
Domestic and interpersonal-violence screening and counseling.
FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling
Breast-feeding support, supplies and counseling
HPV DNA testing for women 30 or older
Sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually active women
HIV screening and counseling for sexually active women
Dan Froomkin: Reporters Know What the ‘Voter ID’ Push Is Really About. Why Don’t They Just Say So?
Think about it. If you were covering elections in another country, and one political party was actively trying to limit voting in the name of a problem that objectively didn’t exist, would you hesitate for a moment to call out that tactic — and question that party’s legitimacy?
Carole Simpson, Last Female Presidential Debate Moderator, Says It’s Time For Another Woman – Laura Bassett – 08/01/2012
When ABC News’ Carole Simpson was hired as the first female and African American presidential debate moderator in 1992, it never occurred to her that two decades would pass without another being chosen. …
A trio of high school students has circulated a Change.org petition demanding a female moderator for the upcoming elections, and Simpson says the timing couldn’t be better. “Now that we are back in 1971 again with Mitt Romney suggesting that he wants to kill Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe v. Wade, this year more than any other presidential year needs a female moderator,” …
Even though Simpson cracked a glass ceiling as the first minority woman to run a presidential debate, the event was not the major feminist breakthrough it seems, she said. The 1992 presidential campaign saw the first “town hall” style debate, which means Simpson’s job mainly consisted of walking through the audience and handing people the microphone so they could ask their own questions.
“They kept saying they wanted an Oprah-style town hall format, so that probably had something to do with them choosing a black woman,” she said. “I was told in my earpiece by a producer, ‘Go interview the lady in the green dress on the left, and now the man in the red sweater.’ I had no control over the questions that were asked, or who asked, or in what order. I was like a traffic cop.” …
The lack of female voices in the presidential debates highlights an issue that continues to plague American media: Men do the vast majority of the talking, even on issues of particular import to women.
A recent study of major publications found that men are quoted five times as frequently as women on issues such as abortion, birth control and Planned Parenthood. On general election topics, including the economy and foreign policy, men had 81 percent of quotes on the 11 major national television shows.
States With Voter-ID Laws: Why the GOP’s Southern Strategy Moved North
The scariest voter-ID laws might be the ones that aren’t in solidly red states.
By: Edward Wyckoff Williams | Posted: August 2, 2012
Martha Chase – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Hershey–Chase experiments were a series of experiments conducted in 1952 by Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase that helped to confirm that DNA was the genetic material. While DNA had been known to biologists since 1869, a few scientists still assumed at the time that proteins carried the information for inheritance. In their experiments, Hershey and Chase showed that when bacteriophages, which are composed of DNA and protein, infect bacteria, their DNA enters the host bacterial cell, but most of their protein does not. Although the results were not conclusive, and Hershey and Chase were cautious in their interpretation, previous, contemporaneous and subsequent discoveries all served to prove that DNA is the hereditary material. Knowledge of DNA gained from these discoveries has applications in forensics, crime investigation and genealogy.
Hershey shared the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Max Delbrück and Salvador Luria for their “discoveries concerning the genetic structure of viruses.”
[But not Chase, because she was a lab assistant. This sounds fair, right? But let us consider the bigger picture, in which women were generally discouraged from having careers at all, much less in science. In a world with equality, Chase might have already had a doctorate and been acknowleged as Hershey's co-discoverer. It's hard to say that she as an individual was robbed of a Nobel. But we can certainly say that women as a class were robbed of Chase's Nobel. -L]
Save The Life Of A Woman You Love By Sharing This Today | MoveOn.Org
Beginning August 1, 2012 a whole range of crucial health care services will start becoming available to women with no cost-sharing like co-pays or deductibles, thanks to Pres. Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
San Francisco Embraces the Pop-Up for Neighborhood Revitilization – Cities – GOOD
Once a strategy for retailers to build brand awareness and coolness cred in a flashy spectacle (now you see us, now you don’t), the pop-up shop has transformed into a tool of urban revitilization. In San Francisco, the city government has partnered with a pop-up incubator called SQFT to help activate a downtrodden neighborhood’s potential with a jolt of temporary business inserted into retail deadspace. Today, SQFT celebrates its launch by bringing a slice of life to a string of blocks in San Francisco’s Mid-Market with a pop-up library, yoga studio, and cafe, among other temporary businesses.
…While a realtor might think you’re crazy if you asked for help finding an office that could accommodate a lecture series only on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings, for example, that’s exactly the kind of request that SQFT was built to field, provide a quote for, and find spaces for.
…According to SQFT, pop-ups have the potential to bring a buzz of activity to the area by boosting foot traffic, supporting existing business, and potentially luring permanent businesses.
ENIAC Programmers Project
Sixty years ago, six young women programmed the world’s first all-electronic computer, the ENIAC. Their ballistics program used hundreds of wires and 3000 switches. Never introduced, they never became a part of history. Forty years later, Kathy Kleiman was told that the women in pictures with ENIAC (1946) were “Refrigerator Ladies,” models posed in front of the machine.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The ENIAC Programmers worked tirelessly to make programming easier for all. They created the first sort routine, software application and instruction set, and classes in programming. Their work dramatically altered computing in the 1940s and 1950s. They paved the path to the modern software industry.
The ENIAC Programmers Project records the stories, seeks recognition for their accomplishments and seeks to produce the first feature documentary about this dramatic story.
You can help. If we raise the money now, we can produce the ENIAC Programmers documentary NOW, while the ENIAC Programmers are still with us. This is an effort funded by individuals worldwide, through donations large and small. It’s not easy, but together we can change history.
Data Toolbox: Money, money, money – Pulse of the Bay – The Bay Citizen
Money makes the world go ’round, and following its trail can tell a story. Here are some free online tools that anyone can use.
Olympics: John Carlos Recalls His 1968 Protest | The Root – By: Brett Johnson – July 30, 2012
An Unbiased Review of the Marvel “Avengers” Movie « Ex Urbe
Once again, Loki’s true plan, which succeeded, was pure genius, and cunningly designed as a terrible plan which failed. Yet sophistication of his scheme has declined in complexity so radically since his elegant and subtly-worked plan to destroy Bifrost and fake his own death in the “Thor” film that the viewer is left wondering what happened? Was he distracted when he came up with this plan? Further research into the “Marvel Universe” led me to several alternatives. Is he simultaneously waging another battle in the Astral Plane, or the Mojoverse, which requires the majority of his attention? Perhaps we are to believe that this was a cry for attention? This would be consistent with the focus on his youth and desire for respect, treated in both films (though smelling more like a ruse than truth in both). Perhaps we are to believe he was so frustrated that no one noticed the brilliant success of his earlier scheme that this time he has dialed down the subtlety in hopes that at least some of the supposed-genius members of the adversary squad might piece together the logic chain: “Loki is an unmatched genius. This plan is dumb. Therefore this is not Loki’s plan.”
An Unbiased Review of the Marvel “Thor” Movie « Ex Urbe
I have been driven to write this review since so many people seem to have missed the subtleties of this excellent and richly-worked commentary on Norse Mythology. First off, I should like to correct a common, basic confusion about the film’s plot, since so subtle was the crafting of Loki’s character that many viewers seem to have been taken in by his brilliant plan, which succeeded, and which was cunningly disguised as a terrible plan which failed.
Machiavelli – S.P.Q.F. « Ex Urbe
“So, why is Machiavelli really so important?” …
Petrarch, father of Renaissance humanism, desperately wanted Florentines to love Florence as much as Romans had loved Rome, the ancient Romans that he read about in mangled copies of copies of copies of the beautiful, alien Latin of a lost world. …
The solution Petrarch proposed to what he saw as the fallen state of “my Italy” was to reconstruct the education of the ancient Romans. If the next generation of Florentine and, more broadly, Italian leaders grew up reading Cicero and Caesar, the Roman blood within them might become noble again, and they too might be more loyal to the people than to their families, love Truth more than power, and in short love their cities as the Romans loved Rome. …
The flowering peak, as we see it, when Raphael and Michelangelo and Leonardo were working away, when the libraries were multiplying, and cathedrals rising which are still too stunning for the modern eye to believe when we stand in front of them, this was such a dark time to be alive that the primary subject of Machiavelli’s correspondence, just like the subject of Petrarch’s 150 years before, was the desperate struggle for survival.
…all [the European] powers want more territory, and there is no territory juicier than Italy, with its fat, rich little citystates, booming with industry, glittering with banker’s gold, situated on rich agricultural fields, and with tiny, tiny populations capable of mustering only tiny, tiny armies. The southern half of Italy has already fallen to the French… no wait, the Spanish… no, it’s the French again… no, the Spanish. The north is next.
…This, now, was Machiavelli’s job when he worked in that little office in the Palazzo Vecchio:
* Goal: Prevent Florence from being conquered by any of 10+ different incredibly enormous foreign powers.
* Resources: 100 bags of gold, 4 sheep, 1 wood, lots of books and a bust of Caesar.
…I am being only slightly facetious. The War of the League of Cambrai is the least comprehensible war I’ve ever studied. Everyone switches sides at least twice, and what begins with the pope calling on everyone to attack Venice ends with Venice defending the pope against everyone.
Report: California school facilities need funding, roadmap – The Bay Citizen
More than 6.2 million students attend K-12 public schools in California, but the conditions of the classrooms they sit in, playgrounds they run on and cafeterias they eat in are largely unknown. Unlike 22 other states in the country, California does not have a statewide inventory of its public school facilities. …
If the state continues to fund school facilities – it provided 30 percent of school construction funding between 2005 and 2008, according to the report – it must do so with an eye toward equity and prioritize funding around the greatest needs, he said.
State funding for public school facilities is largely doled out on a first-come, first-served basis – a process that favors schools that typically have more resources, organization and planning, Vincent said. Without adequate and equitable funding, he said, campus conditions deteriorate and schools don’t build educational enhancements like science and technology labs. …
Williams v. California was a class-action lawsuit that argued that tens of thousands of students, most of whom were low-income and nonwhite, were being deprived of basic educational opportunities by attending schools in “slum conditions.”
The state settled the suit in 2004, promising $800 million to help the lowest-performing schools become clean, safe and functional. A recent investigation by California Watch, sister site of The Bay Citizen, found the state has provided less than half of that money, and more than 700 schools have been waiting as long as four years for their share of funds.
Deals to save state parks in question after department scandal – The Bay Citizen
For months, the city of Benicia has been working with the California state parks department on an agreement to keep the Benicia State Recreation Area open.
The park was one of 70 parks around the state slated to close after the state cut $22 million from the parks department budget last year.
But two weeks ago, an investigation revealed the department has been sitting on a $54 million surplus for several years. The director of the agency, Ruth Coleman, quickly resigned, and its chief deputy director, Michael Harris, was fired. The agency’s chief counsel, Ann Malcolm, also left.
“Now, we don’t know who is going to sign (the agreement),” said Mario Giuliani, economic development manager for the city.
Across the state, municipalities like Benicia and nonprofits like the Benicia State Parks Association, which are working to sign agreements with the parks department to keep parks open, don’t know what will happen to those efforts.
South Dakota Legalizes Lies With Suicide Warning for Abortion Seekers – The Daily Beast – Michelle Goldberg – Jul 27, 2012
Ordinarily, when a doctor warns you of the risks connected to a medical procedure, you can trust that you’re being told the truth, or at least what your doctor believes to be true. For any woman seeking an abortion in South Dakota, though, this is no longer the case. … not just an attack on abortion rights that’s likely to be copied in other states — it’s an attack on the broader idea that policymaking should privilege fact over fantasy. …
To justify a law forcing doctors to tell women otherwise, the 8th Circuit has turned the burden of evidence on its head. Essentially, it said that the state doesn’t have to prove the suicide advisory is true — rather, the plaintiffs have to prove it definitively untrue.
…Coleman and her coauthors, it turned out, didn’t just rely on mental illness that manifested after abortion — they counted mental-health diagnoses across women’s entire lifetime. Thus if a depressed woman had an abortion, the abortion was treated as a risk factor for her depression, even if the depression came first.
…The 8th Circuit basically ruled that legislatures are free to pick and choose which “science” they’d prefer to believe. “We express no opinion as to whether some of the studies are more reliable than others; instead, we hold only that the state legislature, rather than a federal court, is in the best position to weigh the divergent results and come to a conclusion about the best way to protect its populace,” the court wrote. …
The court’s ruling should also comfort creationists, anti-vaccine activists, global-warming deniers, and purveyors of ex-gay therapy — anyone who wants ideological fictions to be given the same policymaking weight as scientific consensus. For now, though, the immediate effect will be on women with unwanted pregnancies in South Dakota. They’re the only people in the United States who must, by law, be deceived by their doctors.
South Dakota Doctors Ordered To Say Abortions Lead to Suicide | Mother Jones – By Kate Sheppard – Jul. 27, 2012
A federal appeals court this week upheld South Dakota’s law requiring doctors to tell women seeking abortions that they will face “increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide.”
The “informed consent” law, which required doctors to read a formal script to all women seeking an abortion, has been in litigation since it passed in 2005. …
Most of the research out there has not found a causal relationship between abortion and increased risk of suicide.
…South Dakota has passed a number of anti-abortion laws in recent years — so many that the state created a separate “Life Protection Fund” to defend them in court.
Fascinating New Study: Sex Sells — But Not With Female Athletes | The Jane Dough
…a new study shows that female athletes (compared to men) are rarely used as spokespersons — and when they are, companies often fail to use them effectively.
In short, advertisers don’t know what to make of strong women.
Romney’s Ties to Israel in Question – The Root
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is pushing his campaign beyond America’s borders with appearances in England and boasts that he’s very familiar with key international political players like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Vanity Fair reports that Romney referred to the Israeli head as an “old friend.” Netanyahu, however, doesn’t see their relationship in quite the same way, but according to Mother Jones, that’s not the point. …
Black Natural-Hair Care: Worth VC Dollars – The Root
Natural-hair care for African Americans can be expensive, from products to specialty hair salons. For proof, just ask a black woman with free-flowing curls in a beauty-supply store as she navigates pricey creams from the likes of Mizani, Miss Jessie’s and Mixed Chicks. Unfortunately, New York magazine writer Kevin Roose didn’t get the memo. He included the natural-hair-care site NaturallyCurly.com on a list of “dumb” investments made by Silicon Valley…
MHP: Stop and Frisk Spreads to San Francisco – The Root – By: Hillary Crosley – July 29, 2012
As a result of the Aurora, Colo., shootings, Mayor Ed Lee made a concerted effort to put the controversial procedure into action this week. This comes despite community outcry in New York City against the practice that has been proven to unfairly target black and Latino men…
Few deportation cases dismissed, despite policy to ease courts’ backlog – The Bay Citizen
Last year, ICE Director John Morton asked prosecutors to consider a number of factors – including an individual’s length of time in the United States, educational pursuits, family ties, contributions to the community and criminal history – before deciding whether to proceed with a deportation case.
By urging prosecutors to use greater discretion, Morton hoped to reduce the strain on the immigration court system and place more of a focus on higher-priority criminal cases. …
Unlike the criminal court system, defendants in the immigration courts are not entitled to legal representation. Advocates say that without adequate representation, individuals often receive only cursory reviews.