Voice in the Wind: Does Julia Even Have Free Will?

Voice in the Wind, pp. 245-257 This section starts with a return to Atretes, who has become such a star that an inn keeper who knows Bato (the director of the lanista) has paid him to spend a night in his inn. Of the thirty aurei Atretes will be paid for spending the night, he will be able to keep ten aurei (the rest going to Bato and the emperor). We learn that Atretes has now amassed 21 kills. It is unclear... Read more

What the GOP’s “Listening to America” Poll Reveals about the Republican Party

You can learn a lot about an organization from the questions it asks in polls—in this case, we’re talking about the Republican Party. The GOP is conducting an online poll they’re calling “Listening to America“—a poll that also gives us a snapshot of the Republican Party’s current goals, viewpoints, and priorities. This question is perhaps the least surprising, in a poll conducted by the Republican Party, but I would note the importance of the phrasing. “Are your taxes too high?” the question... Read more

The New Face of Racism in “Colorblind” America

I grew up hearing two things about race—first, that my (white) community was “colorblind” and did not see race, and second, that black people who succeeded and achieve likely did so only because of affirmative action. Even my parents told me that color did not matter, that we did not “see” race, my father simultaneously disparaged a black colleague, insisting that she was incompetent and had surely only got the job because of affirmative action. I did not at the time realize that the two were contradictory. Few white children... Read more

Texas’ SB 3 and the Death of Small Government Conservatism

As reported by LGBTQ Nation on Sunday: The Senate State Affairs Committee in Texas voted 8-1 to approve a bill that would restrict transgender rights. Senate Bill 3 would require people to use the bathroom associated with the sex on their birth certificate in government buildings and schools and ban local governments and schools from passing rules that allow transgender people to use the bathroom associated with their actual gender. … … The bill’s author, senator Lois Kolkhorst, opened the hearing. “We’re here today because... Read more

Is the Ark Encounter For-Profit or Non-Profit? It Depends on the Taxes.

As a teen, I listened to Ken Ham speak, read Answers magazine, and visited the Creation Museum. I was a huge fan of Answers in Genesis, a young earth creationist organization that shaped my understanding of both science and the Bible. At some point I came to the conclusion that young earth creationism was pseudoscience. That realization was painful, but it’s only one part of my disillusion. Answers in Genesis claims to be Christian, but recent decisions make clear that its... Read more

Lesbian Duplex 130: An Open Thread

It’s time for another Lesbian Duplex thread! If you have a link or article or interesting thought that’s not relevant to an ongoing thread, you can share it here. If a conversation on another post has turned entirely off topic, you can bring it here also. Every so often, as the number of comments on a given Lesbian Duplex post becomes unmanageable, I put up a fresh post. I’ve added a “chatter” tab under my blog banner that will direct readers to... Read more

Saturday Link Love: Guns, Sex, and Gender

Saturday Link Love is a feature where I collect and post links to various articles I’ve come upon over the past week. Feel free to share any interesting articles you’ve come along as well! The more the merrier. What the Media Gets Wrong about Children Dying of Gunshots, on Skepchick—“The problem with portraying all these gun deaths as accidentally happening to small children means that people will get the wrong idea of how we might go about combatting it.” I Had... Read more

Voice in the Wind: Bitten at Both Ends

Voice in the Wind, pp. 241-244 There has been a lot of wrong in this book, but for some reason these short paragraphs hit me harder than much of what has come before. Julia has just arrived home, dragged there by Marcus, and upon arrival they find Phoebe waiting. Julia launched into her story about worshipping Hera, then added that she went to the marketplace afterward to look for a healing amulet for Father. Surprising Marcus, she produced a carnelian pendant from... Read more

No, Complaints Do Not Typically Get Officers Fired

Earlier this week, a Minnesota police officer shot and killed Justine Damond, a 40-year-old white woman who was about to be married. Damond had met the police in the alley outside of her home after placing a 911 call to report a personal assault. While she was standing at the driver’s side door, the officer in the passenger seat shot her. Black Lives Matter activists quickly identified this case as an example of police brutality and the troubling policing tactics that have turned the police... Read more

The Creationist Giraffe

On my journey away from young earth creationism, several memories stick out. Today, I want to address three of them. The first has to do with giraffes. Growing up, my father held up that giraffe necks as evidence against evolution. “You can’t just grow another neck vertebra,” he would say. “No amount of trying to reach higher leaves would result in another vertebra.” Now yes, this argument was flawed. A giraffe could in theory obtain an additional vertebra if a portion of its... Read more