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Immigrants and Violent Crime in the United States: Do You Trust Stories or Studies?

Which will you believe?

Anecdotal Stories? …or… Systematic Research? “A. True Ott” shares the story of one crime victim on his personal web page:

Here’s little 9 month old Serenity Reed, a blonde blue-eyed little darling who is now yet another “statistic”. From the Barstow California Examiner we read about the horrific and shocking events [...]

Is Your Member of Congress Rewarding Corporations that Move Production Out of the U.S.?

As years pass, corporations have been cutting more and more manufacturing jobs in America and shipping those jobs halfway around the world to factories in Asia, which then ship their products back to the United States for sale. There’s nothing wrong in the abstract with people in Asia having jobs — it’s when we get [...]

Congressional Priority: Suspending Import Duties for Outsourced Goods

At Congress.gov, it’s possible to carry out a boolean search of the Congressional Record and proposed legislation to get a sense of both the rhetoric of speeches and the priorities for action in the U.S. Congress. The following figures represent legislation in most recently completed 112th Congress:

# of pieces of legislation before the Congress [...]

49 Senators Vote to Double Student Loan Rates (Are Your Senators on the List?)

51 members of the United States Senate voted yesterday for S.1238, a bill to keep the interest rate for undergraduate loans at an annual rate of 3.4% rather than double the student loan rate to 6.8% per year. That’s a bare majority in favor of keeping a university education more affordable for Americans. Low student [...]

Is Chief Justice John Roberts Right? Is Pervasive Racial Discrimination in the USA Really a thing of the Past?

Writing the 5-4 majority opinion of the Supreme Court on June 25, 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts declares that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is no longer necessary to prevent voting discrimination on the basis of race in the United States because times have changed and racial discrimination is no longer the problem [...]

Barack Obama and Benjamin Franklin: The Choice

Barack Obama said it recently:

Barack Obama discussed the idea of that choice in pledges he made in 2007 and then in 2008. As a candidate, many years closer to the attacks of September 11 2001, Barack Obama told us that we should reject the urge to choose between security and liberty:

As [...]

Republican Tea Party Priority in Congress: Keep Poor People Away From Lawyers

Welcome to America, home of the free, where some people feel free to abuse people less powerful than them. If your employer is breaking the law, if your landlord won’t take care of poisons in your home, if someone is violating your rights, what can you do?

If you’ve got enough money — a $2,500 [...]

Life’s Too Short to Worry About Having an Ugly Boat

I saw this on the street just yesterday:

Oh, eyeroll. My response:

People Getting Married Is Worse Than Violent Assault, French Protesters Say

The French right wing moral code: Allowing people who love each other to get married is wrong, but engaging in violent riots is morally upright. [...]

Catch A Peace Tiger By The Tail

This week, we have added a tiger to our menagerie of animals for peace. Is that safe? Shouldn’t we remember Life of Pi, for goodness sakes?

It’s true that we all have the capability to act violently. We may even have the propensity toward violence.

That doesn’t mean we have to act violently.

The [...]

What Makes Eating The Heart Of A Dead Soldier The Gruesome Thing?

The fact that the soldier whose heart is being eaten has been killed seems to be regarded as unremarkable in the reporting on this incident. Yet, the dead soldier wasn’t harmed by having his heart eaten. He was already beyond harm. [...]