Looking Left and Right: Let’s Stop Legislating Ignorance

This seems like a series of fairly simple questions: If one is advocating for an issue but must resort to deceit if not outright lying to persuade others, what does that say about the merits of the argument to begin with? And just what are we to make of such a person who finds those…

After release of torture report, the only thing Ted Cruz condemns is Democrats

After reading a report that included descriptions of horrific acts like “forced rectal feeding,” the only thing Senator Ted Cruz chose to condemn is Democrats. In a statement on his website he blames Democrats releasing the report, and not torture itself, for damaging America's reputation in the world. “Within 48 hours, President Obama has set…

WaPo OpEd: Former St. Louis Cop Speaks Out

Does any American seriously NOT know that there is a “Cop Culture” in this nation?  Do any of us have a genuine understanding of what goes in inside that culture? Unless you've lived inside of it, you really don't.  Redditt Hudson works for the NAACP and chairs the board of the Ethics Project in St….

Media Bias is 25 Sports Writers and Zero Environment Reporters

Any news outlet that distributes information unflattering to Republicans or views out of step with conservative ideology will be hounded with cries of “liberal media bias.” The badgering will continue until all news outlets are as “fair and balanced” as Fox News. But the most consequential expression of bias in the press is in what…

Looking Left and Right: What’s It Gonna Take?

Several months ago, more than two dozen United States Senators held an all-night vigil and speech-making about climate change. Their efforts focused on the urgent need for an appropriate demonstration of legislative initiative and leadership from Congress. Predictably, given the Republican-dominated House of Representative’s general aversion to facts when they conflict with ideology, the symbolic…

Shot and killed in the line of duty: racial demographics

First and foremost, what this diary isn't: it isn't a discussion of the demographics of people shot and killed by the police. I'd love to present that data. But so would plenty of other people. There's no central reporting of who cops shoot or even kill, nor anything like a reliable third-party repository of that…

Clinton shows she's not the climate leader we need

Hillary Clinton did us a favor. At a recent speech to the League of Conservation Voters, Clinton showed that she doesn't understand what it will take to confront the climate crisis and she's unwilling to stand up to fossil fuel interests who are threatening to destroy civilization. Even after climate scientists warned we must keep…

Tea Party Charter School

No one should ever forget that one of the leaders in the profits before kids charter school movement is Hillsdale College. Their brand of for-profit charter schools which they call, “Classical Education”, is a nice way of saying Christian conservative education that bears little relevance to what students actually need to be prepared in a…

Looking Left and Right: What’s The Reason?

A few months ago, Bob Cesca offered an interesting article entitled Debunking the Top 10 Most Egregious Republican Lies. It was a litany of the same, tired nonsense viewed from a multitude of sources on almost any given day. It’s an excellent summary and well-worth a read. The list itself:

UCLA Votes to DIVEST!

The meeting lasted well into the night, with the campus paper Daily Bruin unable to get a report out until after 11:30 PM Tuesday night. The final vote was 8 For, 2 Against, and 2 Abstentions. Details and links after the Orange Cloud of Celebration.

Looking Left and Right: Unsettling Truths

Nowadays the members of one tribe (calling themselves liberals, progressives, and Democrats) hold sharply different views and values than the members of the other (conservatives, Tea Partiers, and Republicans). Each tribe has contrasting ideas about rights and freedoms (for liberals, reproductive rights and equal marriage rights; for conservatives, the right to own a gun and…

It doesn't pay to be a fossil fuel Democrat on election day

This was a difficult election for Democrats and it was even worse for Democrats still pushing fossil fuels. The Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Coal Caucus lost his seat along with a slew of others who tried to prove they're as pro-coal, pro-oil, and pro-fracking as any Republican. There are plenty of examples like Grimes…

All Illinois Democrats have to do for re-election is govern like Democrats

There's a simple lesson for Illinois Democrats from the Tuesday election. If you want to get re-elected as a Democrat in Illinois all you have to do is govern like a liberal Democrat. It's not complicated. Illinois is a Democratic state. A majority of voters are pro-union, pro-environment, pro-choice and progressive. The biggest employer is…

Looking Left and Right: Threat Or Opportunity?

The prospect that one’s empirical arguments will be shown to be false creates the identity-threatening risk for her that she or others will come to form the belief that her group is deluded and, in fact, committed to propositions inimical to the public welfare. In addition, the certitude that empirical arguments convey — ‘it’s simply a…

Southern Illinois asks legislative committee to reject weak fracking rules

Yesterday Illinois was facing an environmental and economic crisis from fracking that was greenwashed by a Democratic Governor who told us regulation can make it safe. Voters were asked to choose between two pro-fracking candidates for Governor. Bruce Rauner won after many downstate voters decided they didn't like either choice and stayed home. Illinois is…

Looking Left and Right: Awareness

When collective decisionmaking turns on facts or other propositions that are understood to bear special significance for the interests, standing, or commitments of opposing groups … identity-protective cognition* will predictably exaggerate differences in their understandings of the evidence. But even more importantly, as a result of a dynamic known as ‘naive realism,’ each side’s susceptibility to…

Policing the Police – A “How To” By An Expert, Detective Frank Serpico

Fully-automatic weapons and armored vehicles used on unarmed protesters in Ferguson, MO., and the questions which remain about Michael Brown's death are both enormous and numerous.  The local PD and hundreds of others across the nation close ranks to protect the cop – not to demand that an independent investigation determine the truth about the…

Illinois Wasting Millions on Another Coal-to-Gas Pork Project

The state of Illinois is throwing millions of taxpayer dollars at another coal-to-gas plant just two years after a similar project ended in failure. The Coal Development Fund has so far given Homeland Fuels two grants totaling $4.25 million in taxpayer dollars. The first grant was awarded in 2013 to fund a study for the proposed “Coal to…

As Above So Below: Tea Party Hate In Michigan

Whether you live up north or down state in Michigan, one of the most interesting aspects of the 2014 election that barely anyone's talking about is the split in the Republican big tent. And by split I mean yawning Hell's Canyon-deep chasm (Hell's Canyon is on the Idaho-Oregon border. I mention Idaho for a reason)….