02 July 2014

Headlines for 2 July 2014

Summary
Check out headlines with notes on: companies humorously gain the right to sacrifice their employees (plus comics and a link for you to "Join the Dissent"), a professor may have lost her job over her marijuana advocacy, the current ebola outbreak is the deadliest and longest on record, abortions hit record low in Minnesota (likely due to birth control), and some empowering street art. Just headlines for: MN archbishop accused of multiple same-sex relationships, San Francisco names street after transgender icon, and Colorado asks for its marriage ban to be overturned. Also, my adviser's Evolution 2014 talk.

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More parodies of the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision
The recent Supreme Court decision allowing closely-held private companies to refuse to cover birth control in their insurance policies due to the demonstrably incorrect but sincerely-held religious beliefs of the owners is FAR too easy to mock. It is generally expected that this is going to lead to a large amount of litigation. Here are some parodies of the decision:
Supreme Court rules JCPenny allowed to sacrifice employees to appease Cthulhu
Supreme Court upholds Little Caesar's right to feed christian employees to lions
Comic by Ben Sargent
Posted on the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Facebook page
Planned Parenthood Action is asking people to express their unhappiness with the Hobby Lobby decision using their "Join the Dissent" form
Marijuana researcher says she lost job at University of Arizona over her advocacy
From the Chronicle of Higher Education's Academe Today email. I actually saw her speak at a committee meeting on Minnesota's new medical marijuana bill. She discussed how while the FDA quickly approved her project, actually getting marijuana to use in her study had delayed it for years. It would be very sad if it turned out this was political retaliation. It provides yet more evidence that strong academic tenure is a necessity (see yesterday's headlines for an article on tenure being necessary for shared governance).

Ebola outbreak: Deadliest, longest on record
The ebola outbreak is something I feel we need to be paying closer attention to and putting more resources into. I posted about it earlier, and it has only gotten worse. Doctors without Borders and the World Health Organization are the two major groups besides these nations' governments working on this problem. Ebola is an emerging disease, and one that clearly can devistate communities and distrupt/destroy cultural practices. Also, given its latency period of up to 21 days, it is entirely possible for it to spread well beyond the communities it originates in.

Minnesota abortions hit a record low
If you want to see where the Hobby Lobby decision might have a big effect, this is one of them. Anti-choice activists will claim it is their trap laws that led to the decrease in abortion, but this is contrary to the evidence (for example teen pregnancy rates decreasing, while reports of teenage sexual activity are about the same as before, as well as the decline beginning in 2001 when their trap law began persecuting women in 2003). It thus appears birth control may be a large part of the explanation here (which could be due to better access or better sex ed). Yet more reasons to support Planned Parenthood (or even Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota specifically).

18 empowering illustrations to remind everyone who's really in charge of women's bodies
This is a street art project that got online and translated. Check out some of the images!

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Just Headlines:
Colorado asks federal court to declare marriage ban unconstitutional

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My advisor's talk at Evolution 2014

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