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Watering Good Seeds: This is priceless!

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Intelligent Design proponents are soooooo mad at Wikipedia, calling it a “tyranny of the unemployed.” Because when editors suggest that ID isn’t credible and evolution is a theory on very solid footing, obviously, they’re just haters incapable of properly discussing science:

You simply can…

Birth Control 101

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Link: Birth Control 101



This is hormonal birth control.


As you can see on the box, you take exactly one pill per day. To make sure it works, you need to take one pill every day at the same time, or it stops working. You take only one pill, and you keep taking them regardless of what you are doing that day.

Hormonal birth control can be used to treat a lot of different diseases, like anemia caused by excessive menstruation. It is a prescription medication that can cost around $15-50 a month. Because it is a prescription medication, it should be covered by insurance, as it treats legitimate health problems.

This is Viagra.


It, too, can treat legitimate health problems like altitude sickness and pulmonary hypertension, but it is usually prescribed for erectile dysfunction. Unlike the Pill, Viagra is taken every time you want to have sex. A lot of health insurance companies cover Viagra, so it costs about as much as your co-pay.

This is a condom.


It is not a prescription medication, and has no health benefits (besides the prevention of STIs and pregnancy). Like Viagra, you must use one before you have sex: indeed, before each sex act. They cost about a dollar per condom.

This is Sandra Fluke.


She testified before a small, Democrat-led hearing after she was cut out of the actual birth control/insurance discussion. Her testimony was about a friend of hers who, because her insurance did not cover birth control, lost an ovary due to an ovarian cyst.

This somehow translates into “I, myself, personally, am having so much sex I can’t afford birth control, and so I want the government to pay for it.”

This is wrong for multiple reasons.

  1. It was about a friend, not her. To say her testimony was about her personally is factually incorrect.
  2. Sex had nothing to do with the testimony – her friend lost an ovary because of medical condition that was left untreated. A medical condition that was completely treatable, but wasn’t, because her insurance wouldn’t cover it. To say that her testimony was about her being “a slut” or “a prostitute” is factually incorrect.
  3. Even if she was having loads of sex, she would still only have one pill a day, not one pill per sex act, so to say “I’m having so much sex I can’t afford birth control” is completely erroneous. The Pill is not Viagra or condoms. To say that she is such “a slut” that she constantly needs more pills is factually incorrect.
  4. The current political debate is not “should the government pay for birth control?” The debate is “should insurance companies, that people and their employers pay for, on their own, be required to cover birth control?”To say that Sandra Fluke wants the government to pay for her birth control is factually incorrect.
  5. Religious organizations do not want to have birth control covered by their insurance, even for employees not of their faith, even if their employees never actually usetheir insurance to cover birth control. By this logic, they should also not pay their employees, because they could use that money to pay for birth control out of pocket. To say that this issue is about religious freedom and not about women’s health is disingenuous, as Ms. Fluke’s testimony demonstrates.

Hopefully this makes things a little clearer.

This is excellent.  And you have to love “Birth Control 101.”   

Watering Good Seeds: The most offensive thing I’ve seen in awhile…

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Here’s a screen-grab from Left Behind II: Tribulation Force that needs to be highlighted on its own (HT slactivist)

OK, so for the vast majority of you who don’t read Hebrew, (and those of you who do, and who are scratching your heads), what they did to create the “Hebrew” portion…

The Bible Is Not a Public Policy Manual

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For example, most of my conservative friends are convinced that they have a biblical mandate to outlaw abortion and gay marriage, even though abortion is only mentioned once in Scripture, and the reference is — oddly — the Prophet Jeremiah cursing the man at his mother’s side for not aborting him! (Jeremiah 20:14-18). And gay marriage was hardly an issue on the radar in biblical times. The Laws of Leviticus prescribe a massive redistribution of wealth every 50 years by canceling people’s debts and restoring property to original owners, yet many Christians are convinced — right or wrong — that justice for the poor is a matter of individual charity alone, and that anyone who suggests otherwise is duped by the devil. And while we’re talking about what’s biblical and what’s not biblical, why isn’t anyone suggesting that America as a nation love its enemies and turn the other cheek?

You know what’s scary? That this has to be pointed out.

The bible also has incidents where people eat “excrement” and drink urine.   Going to make that a policy statement too?    

Politicalprof: Separating Church and State

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Link: Politicalprof: Separating Church and State


This year’s Republican primary has brought the return of the culture war: the war between those who some allege to be godly against others presumed to be ungodly; the war between those who insist they are moral against those who are found to be immoral. Front and center in the culture war this…

Prison to keep execution drug

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Link: Prison to keep execution drug


This story is amazing, really. Sick and amazing. I’d advise someone to use it as a plot element in a novel, except that the reader would say, “Nah, that’s just not believable.” Here’s the short version:

  1. Nebraska needs execution drugs, but said drugs are no longer manufactured in the U.S.;
  2. Nebraska contacts broker in India, who procures drugs from shady source and imports them using questionable means;
  3. Because neither Nebraska nor the Indian company had the proper permits to import the drugs, a legal battle begins;
  4. Drug broker procures new shipment from reputable international pharmaceutical company by lying about their intended use;
  5. Drugs are shipped to broker who then ships drugs to Nebraska to be used to kill people rather than to Zambia where they could help people (as he claimed he would do);
  6. International pharmaceutical company demands return of drugs from Nebraska.

Like I said, if this was in a novel, you’d never believe it. But it’s real life and it’s a great example of how wedded we are to our death penalty system in the United States. We are so desperate to kill people that state governments are working with international drug dealers who lie to companies in order to procure drugs that the companies wouldn’t ordinarily provide — because the companies don’t want their medicines being used to kill people.

Here’s the story itself:

The chief executive officer of Naari, the Swiss company that produced the sodium thiopental — which is now waiting to be used in Nebraska’s execution chamber — has asked the state to return the drug, saying it was obtained under false pretenses by a third-party broker. CEO Prithi Kochhar made the request in a Nov. 18 letter to Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican.


The letter said the company gave 485 grams of the drug to a broker by the name of Chris Harris, who said he would use the samples to get the drug registered in Zambia. Harris promised that once the drug was approved by the African nation, he would order additional supplies for use as a medical anesthetic.

“I am shocked and appalled by this news,” Kochhar wrote. “Naari did not supply these medicines directly to the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services and is deeply opposed to the use of the medicines in executions.”

The arrangement appeared plausible because sodium thiopental is widely used as an anesthetic in the developing world, Kochhar wrote.

But Harris sold the drug to the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, which requires sodium thiopental as the first of three drugs to carry out an execution by lethal injection.

Shame on us.

Double shame on us.   The death penalty needs to go.  

Warrantless GPS Surveillance, Privacy, and the Supreme Court

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Link: Warrantless GPS Surveillance, Privacy, and the Supreme Court

Join me for a discussion about the implications of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States v. Jones, which ruled that police must get a warrant before using GPS to track a suspect.    

I’ll be posting segments of my talk as I finish it here first.  

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