Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Barack Obama's Second Inaugural Address

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a President we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.  We affirm the promise of our democracy.  We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.  What makes us exceptional -- what makes us American -- is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: 
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just Kidding (sort of) | Responding to Crazed Free Fire Gun Advocates

Top three responses to free fire advocates who are flinging their feces over the prospect of any gun regulation whatsoever...
Number 03: “Before I reply, my daughter wants to know if you're planning to shoot me if I disagree with you.” 
Number 02: “I checked the list of people I believe are safe and sane gun owners...you’re not on it.” 
Number 01: “Alll right Barney, give me your bullet.”

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Save the Senate Filibuster (for special occasions)

From Senator Elizabeth Warren today:

What did the filibuster cost in the past two years?
  • We had a majority to vote for three jobs bills.
  • We had a majority to vote for the DREAM Act.
  • We had a majority to vote for campaign finance reform.
  • We had a majority to vote for equal pay for equal work.
Every one of these laws was stopped dead by the filibuster.
Let's be clear: The reforms don't eliminate the filibuster. Instead, they just make it necessary for someone to stand and talk through their objections -- out in plain view for everyone to see.
The reforms are about making the filibuster an extraordinary measure rather than a routine no-business-gets-done. 
We need to put an end to the aggressive obstruction that has paralyzed the Senate. If someone objects to a bill or a nomination in the United States Senate, they should have to stand on the floor of the chamber and defend their opposition.
The measure under consideration is a simple proposition that ends the ability of any senator to anonymously stop a Senate action from even being discussed. It doesn't reduce senators' right to speak up for what they believe, it just means they have to actually speak up, not just phone in their undisclosed objection.

If you agree this sounds like a reasonable idea, tell your two senators this week. You can find their contact information at Senate.gov.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Girls, Women + Binge Drinking | CDC Report

Percentage of the ~38% of high school girls who drank in the prior 30 days who said they binge drank
  • In females, the benchmark for binge drinking is four servings of beer, wine or liquor on a single occasion.
  • In a 2011 CDC study, one in eight U.S. women and one in five high school girls reported binge drinking in the prior 30 days.
  • Girls reported binge drinking considerably more than women (with the exception of non-Hispanic black girls who are about as likely (at 10%) to binge drink as their mothers, aunts and older sisters).
  • Among high school girls in the 2011 study:
    • 37.9% had one or more drinks in the prior 30 days
    • 19.8% binge drank the prior 30 days (four or more drinks at a time)
    • of those who drank at all in the prior 30 days, more than half (54.6%) binge drank
  • "Excessive alcohol use" led to an estimated average of 23,000 female deaths each year from 2001-2005
What do you think?

Q: What are the perceived upsides to binge drinking among 20% of high school girls?

Q: Why do the other 80% of girls not pursue those perceived benefits in the same way?

Q: What risks do you associate with binge drinking?

Q: How can adolescents cooperate to lower the risks of binge drinking among their peers?

Sunday, January 06, 2013

An American Prayer | On the Fourth Sunday Following a Killing Spree

Patient and enduring God,
One week has passed in silence 
since we sought a clear word from you 
on gun violence.

With that week passed also
130 of your children, 
dead from gunshots 
along American streets and 
within American homes. 

How long Lord? 
How long must 
we wait 
for you 
to act?