Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Affirmative Action | ABC News’ This Week

Justice Sotomayor appeared on ABC News’ This Week to speak on Affirmative Action. She rightly points out that the alternatives that have been suggested in the past don’t work.

I agree. Whether or not we end up providing free college education to all doesn’t change the fact that there is rampant race-based discrimination at every point, from college admissions through employment. Making an education available to all Americans doesn’t change what African Americans still endure.


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Paul Krugman: The Big Green Test – NYTimes

Paul Krugman

On Sunday Henry Paulson, the former Treasury secretary and a lifelong Republican, had an op-ed article about climate policy in The New York Times. In the article, he declared that man-made climate change is “the challenge of our time,” and called for a national tax on carbon emissions to encourage conservation and the adoption of green technologies. Considering the prevalence of climate denial within today’s G.O.P., and the absolute opposition to any kind of tax increase, this was a brave stand to take. But not nearly brave enough. Emissions taxes are the Economics 101 solution to pollution problems; every economist I know would start cheering wildly if Congress voted in a clean, across-the-board carbon tax. But that isn’t going to happen in the foreseeable future. A carbon tax may be the best thing we could do, but we won’t actually do it. Continue reading Paul Krugman: The Big Green Test – NYTimes

#OliveOil: buyer beware!

Life with food allergies is fraught with mysteries, a few of which, I suspect, are never elucidated. My daughter has many allergies and, as a result, her food is prepared at home, from single ingredients that are carefully-vetted to exclude soy, corn, palm, gluten, and dairy, just to name the main culprits. We’ve had too many accidents that resulted in a trip to the emergency room to stray too far from our regimen. While a great number of those accidents were traceable to a food she ingested, or the possibility of cross-contamination, there were still a great many instances where there was an illness and no obvious culprit.

Olive oil is a staple in our kitchen. Up until recently, while I would strive to buy our olive oil mostly from either Costco or Whole Foods, I would buy it at my local grocery chain when in a pinch. Recently, I ran out of olive oil as I was getting ready to make a limited run to the local grocery. I bought a liter bottle there. Within hours, my daughter was sick. While she was not sick enough to need the emergency room, she was noticeably ill and we didn’t know why. After all, nothing new was added to her diet. Right? Continue reading #OliveOil: buyer beware!

ProPublica: Myth vs. Fact: Violence and Mental Health

by Lois Beckett ProPublica, June 10, 2014, 3:30 p.m.

After mass shootings, like the ones these past weeks in Las Vegas, Seattle and Santa Barbara, the national conversation often focuses on mental illness. So what do we actually know about the connections between mental illness, mass shootings and gun violence overall?

To separate the facts from the media hype, we talked to Dr. Jeffrey Swanson, a professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine, and one of the leading researchers on mental health and violence. Swanson talked about the dangers of passing laws in the wake of tragedy and which new violence-prevention strategies might actually work. Continue reading ProPublica: Myth vs. Fact: Violence and Mental Health