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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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I was a liberal adjunct professor. My liberal students didn’t scare me at all.

by Amanda Taub

I was a liberal adjunct professor at a large university until 2013, and my liberal students never scared me at all.

I covered sensitive topics in my courses, including rape, capital punishment, female genital mutilation, and disputed accounts of mass atrocities. Our classroom debates were contentious, and forced students to examine their own biases. I kept an "on-call" list that pressured students to participate actively in those discussions. I did not use trigger warnings.

I never had any complaints.

I bring up my own experiences as a reminder that if the plural of anecdote isn't data, the singular of it sure as hell isn't, either. The fact that I enjoyed my time teaching doesn't tell you anything about the state of education in America — and neither does the fact that the pseudonymous author of this Vox article is a liberal professor who is terrified of his liberal students.


As he nears a 2016 bid, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal hits political bottom

By Tyler Bridges June 6 at 4:12 PM
BATON ROUGE — Just weeks before he is expected to announce his presidential campaign, Bobby Jindal is at the nadir of his political career.

The Republican governor is at open war with many of his erstwhile allies in the business community and the state legislature. He spent weeks pushing a “religious freedom” bill that failed to pass, while having little contact with state legislators trying to solve Louisiana’s worst budget crisis in 25 years.

Jindal is now so unpopular in deep-red Louisiana that his approval rating plunged to 32 percent in a recent poll — compared with 42 percent for President Obama, who lost the state by 17 percentage points in 2012.

“This is very much a low point for Bobby Jindal,” said Pearson Cross, a political science professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who is preparing a book on the governor.



Poor Piyush. Nobody Loves Him…

Budget Cuts In Illinois Could Leave Hundreds Of Thousands Without Kidney Dialysis

If Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposal to cut Medicaid dollars comes to fruition, kidney dialysis patients in 40 percent of the state’s treatment centers will no longer receive the proper care they often receive.

Gov. Brauner (R) suggested the $1.5 billion cut to Medicaid earlier this year, arguing that it would bring the state closer to closing its $6 billion deficit. Under the plan, some service providers will have their reimbursement rates slashed by nearly 17 percent. Nursing homes and drug treatment centers face similar cuts, to the chagrin of medical professionals and social workers.

Patients whose kidneys can no longer function undergo dialysis to eliminate the waste and unwanted liquid from their blood stream. Without the procedure, waste levels in the bloodstream could reach levels that cause coma or death. In Illinois, more than 28,000 people use dialysis machines routinely, causing advocates to worry, especially with the possibility of increase in emergency room visits looming.

“What I think it boils down to is these patients suffer enough with their disease, and we need to do everything we can to maintain access to high quality, local convenient care,” Dr. Tim Pflederer, president of Illinois Kidney Disease and Tension Center, told WQAD 8 this week.



Faith Leaders To Obama: Give Women Raped By ISIS Access To Safe Abortions

Faith leaders are calling on President Barack Obama to issue an executive order allowing the United States to fund access to safe abortions for women and girls raped in foreign conflict zones, especially those forcibly impregnated by terrorist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram.

On Thursday, a collection of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faith leaders gathered with secular reproductive justice advocates in Washington, D.C. for a “Faith Leaders’ Summit.” The summit was convened to discuss the Helms Amendment, an addition to the Foreign Assistance Act enacted in 1973 that states, “No foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” Historically, this has been interpreted to mean that the U.S. government should avoid apportioning any public money for abortions when funding aid in other countries.

But in a press conference at St. John’s Church near the White House yesterday afternoon, religious leaders argued that women who have survived rape in war-torn areas and want to terminate their pregnancies do not fall under the category of “family planning.” As such, they argued, President Obama should take executive action to allow federally funded relief programs to offer abortion services.

“In cases of rape or incest, or when the life of a woman is at risk, abortion is clearly not family planning,” Rev. Harry Knox, head of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, said. “Despite that clear distinction, administration after administration has incorrectly interpreted Helms to be a complete ban on abortion. We’re here to say that not only is this interpretation wrong, it is morally bankrupt.”

“Our faiths demand that we use our voices to insist that President Obama take executive action now,” he added.


Gay pride rally attacked in Kiev

Several dozen unknown assailants attacked a gay pride march in Kiev on Saturday, throwing flares and wounding two policemen, a Reuters witness reported.

On Friday the organisers for 'KyivPride2015' said the march along the Dnipro river would go ahead despite warnings from city mayor Vitaly Klitschko, who advised the event be cancelled because of a threat of violence from far-right groups.

Despite the presence of several hundred police in riot gear, the march of around 150 LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans-gender) supporters carrying rainbow banners and placards came under attack and 25-30 "hooligans" were arrested, parliament member Serhiy Leshchenko said on Twitter.

Leshchenko said police had prevented any direct clashes between participants in the march and the attackers.


More than 2/3 of the Humvees the US supplied to Iraq have ended up in the hands of ISIL

More than two-thirds of the Humvees the US supplied to Iraq to fight terrorists have ended up in the hands of Islamic State militants.

And the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh, has not wasted any time in converting those vehicles into one of its deadliest and most nightmarish tools: suicide car bombs.

According to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, ISIS controls about 2,300 armored US Humvees. Most of those vehicles were seized after ISIS overran Mosul in June 2014.

In addition to being used in further attacks against Iraqi forces, these vehicles were sent over the border to Syria to help ISIS solidify its foothold there.


Weekend Toon roundup 2: The Rest









Customer Service


Weekend Toon roundup 1: Clueless and Classless

Toon: The Clown Car

Which State Was the Worst for Women This Week?

By Amanda Marcotte

The state legislative season is beginning to wind down, so it's time to squeeze in some last-minute attacks on women's access to health care. Last week's Worst State of the Week honors were handed out on grounds of sheer weirdness, but this round is defined mostly by mean-spiritedness.

Third place goes to North Carolina, where the state Senate passed a bill that would expand the abortion waiting period from 24 hours to 72 hours, because lately women have become even more slow-witted and need yet more time to think over their decisions. This move isn't just about hassling women and their doctors, however. State legislators are also screwing over Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who won his swing state in 2012 by promising not to sign more abortion restrictions; McCrory has been dodging and weaving when reporters ask if he plans to sign this bill. You'd think McCrory's Republican colleagues would avoid putting him in this no-win situation, but apparently forcing women to stay pregnant 72 hours longer than they'd otherwise choose was just that important.

Second place goes to last week's winner and perennial contender Texas, for its devotion to expanding anti-woman attacks past mere abortion restrictions. Now it's cancer screening for women that's on the chopping block, as state lawmakers there cut Planned Parenthood from the breast and cervical cancer screening program that provides free cancer screening to uninsured, low-income women. Planned Parenthood handles about 10 percent of women who get screened through the program.


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