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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sureshbhai Patel had recently come to the United States from his farm in India to help care for his grandson, who was born prematurely and was suffering from health complications. Just days into his visit, Patel was strolling through his family's neighborhood when he was approached by police. A neighbor had called authorities and told them a man who looked "suspicious" was peering into garages.

One of the two police videos shows the officer holding Patel forcefully, pushing him to the ground. Patel, on the ground, is then told to "chill out" by one of the officers. The officer tells a third, approaching officer that Patel doesn't "speak a lick of English," and that they were trying to pat him down. "I don't know what his problem is, but he won't listen," one of the officers adds. read more


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Customs officials in the Central Asian country of Turkmenistan have reportedly refused to allow the importation of black vehicles. They haven't given a reason for the decision, but are advising importers to buy white vehicles instead because it's considered a lucky color. Turkmens have become accustomed to eccentric restrictions on daily life, which often seem to be imposed at the president's whim. In 2014, authorities demanded they remove air-conditioning units from blocks of flats in order to improve the city's appearance. The government has also been spending billions of dollars remodeling the capital into a "white city" by covering all the major buildings with marble. read more


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dartmouth professor Brendan Nyhan argues it's appropriate to name and shame media organizations who give a platform to vaccine misinformers as well as anti-vaccine activists and elites who mislead parents in public forums. However, it's not only unfair but likely counterproductive to attack well-meaning parents who have been misled or are misinformed. They are the victims here, not the villains.

Dan Kahan of Yale had qualms about it: "Sure, some of those prominent figures promoting anti-vaccine nonsense or muddying the waters deserve ridicule and are awful people. But denouncing or shaming them actually only gives them exactly what they want -- more attention, which in turn does make more members of the public agitated and confused." In addition, this kind of shaming "likely chills anxious parents who aren't militant or political but just confused from trying to get answers to their questions from their doctors or neighbors." read more


Saturday, February 07, 2015

Tonight Maher said quite strongly, "I'm not an anti-vaxxer." However…

He still insisted he's an "anti-flu shot guy" and has some serious problems with how the media coverage of anyone remotely questioning vaccines is basically "shut the ---- up" and "don't ask any questions."

Maher also shot down any comparisons between vaccine skepticism and global warming denialism. He also seemingly argued that when you get vaccines, your immune system stops reacting the way it should, and that can cause serious problems for a person's body.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

An Australian woman had her pregnancy aborted at 28 weeks after she became depressed when she found out her would-be offspring had a non-life-threatening condition that would cause him to have a deformity in his left hand. But according to the Australian media covering it, the only tragic thing was she wasn't automatically able to have a late term elective abortion.


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