Posted inViolence

The terrible ‘blast effect’ of AR-15s

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s about time. Finally, a major news outlet—The Washington Post—had the temerity to show, in 3D, the obscene damage inflicted by high-velocity, needle-nosed bullets from AR-15-type long guns as they blast into and tumble through bodies, leaving “gaping holes” where they exit. In a special report Tuesday, unflinchingly titled “The Blast Effect: This is how […]

Posted inEconomics

Do Biden’s bank bailouts create a ‘moral hazard’?

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Biden administration is insisting its recently announced bailouts of two failed tech-focused banks—Silicon Valley (California) and Signature (New York)—is something else. But experts in previous government interventions to save failing financial institutions, notably those that crashed and burned in the infamous 2008 “Great Recession,” say that’s exactly what this is—a federal bailout. Neil Barofsky, […]

Posted inThe Secular

Should Christmas trees be banned in tax-funded public spaces?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Although I’m a committed nontheist and ardent church-state separationist, I’m not inflexible about it. Which is to say I see no good reason to oppose Christmas trees, for example, in public, tax-supported spaces. It’s been a centuries-long American civic tradition to erect Christmas trees all over creation, so to speak—in public and private spaces—and these […]

Posted inEconomics

Low-income workers get a little raise! Big whoop.

Reading Time: 4 minutes We’re all, at least to some degree, deluded. Whether we believe fervently in deities that—let’s be honest—seem not to exist anywhere. Whether we believe someone we love deeply loves us back when they actually don’t. Or whether we believe we understand what being poor really means. The problem is, we often blithely believe we aren’t […]

Posted inPolitics

Nancy Pelosi’s swan song implies America is a Christian nation

Reading Time: 3 minutes US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s epoch-ending, gavel-passing speech Thursday on the floor of the House demonstrated—the Founding Fathers’ vision of secular governance notwithstanding—how casually and normatively embedded Christianity remains at the summit of American government. Speaker Pelosi’s “swan song” as the revered, two-decade leader of Congressional Democrats and final arbiter of House public-policy priorities was […]

Posted inTechnology

Finally! Federally-funded research will be open to all… by Jan 1, 2026

Reading Time: 3 minutes On August 25, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) updated its 2013 memo on research materials to eliminate a loophole used by scholarly publications to protect their business model. New policy guidance calls on agencies to ensure that “publications and their supporting data resulting from federally funded research [are] publicly accessible […]

Posted inPolitics

Should the US government enforce separation of church and state?

Reading Time: < 1 minute The overwhelming majority of Americans support the strict separation of church and state when asked. Ninety-eight percent of nonbelievers support or strongly support strict separation, the highest percentage of all religious affiliations. Baptists are the least likely to support separation at 56%. To have Baptist opinion leading the opposition to church-state separation is interestingly at […]

Posted inReligion

Think Americans could never be like the Taliban or ISIS? Think again.

Reading Time: 4 minutes You think the Afghan Taliban are bad? They’re relative sweethearts compared to their domestic arch-nemesis, the ruthless Islamic State affiliate known as Islamic State in Korasan Province, or IS-K for short. But make no mistake, ISIS and their ilk are both truly evil. As these two rival Muslim terrorist groups continue modeling their claimed superior […]

Posted inPolitics

Disinviting bigoted campus speakers blocks bigotry, not free speech

Reading Time: 6 minutes When American university and college students try to deny “free speech” platforms to arch-conservative opinion leaders they consider dangerous purveyors of bigotry, or just shout them down, right-wing complaints of suppression are swift and virulent. The constant trope is that American higher education institutions are controlled by “woke,” “liberal” academics and students who want to […]

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