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:: 7.26.2006 ::  

Government-funded misinformation

In December 2004, Rep. Henry A. Waxman released a report analyzing the scientific accuracy of the curricula taught by federally funded abstinence-only education programs. That report found that the abstinence curricula often contained false or distorted information that misled teens about sex and reproductive health.

At the request of Rep. Waxman, this report examines the scientific accuracy of the information provided by another Bush Administration priority: federally funded "pregnancy resource centers." These organizations, which are also called "crisis pregnancy centers," provide counseling to pregnant teenagers and women. Since 2001, pregnancy resource centers have received over $30 million in federal funding. Most of this money has come from federal programs for abstinence-only education. Additional funding has been distributed as "capacitybuilding" grants to 25 pregnancy resource centers in 15 states as part of the new $150 million Compassion Capital Fund. Individual centers have also been the beneficiaries of earmarks in appropriations bills.

For this report, female investigators telephoned the 25 pregnancy resource centers that have received grants from the Compassion Capital Fund, requesting information and advice regarding an unintended pregnancy. Twenty-three of the centers were successfully contacted. In each call, the investigator posed as a pregnant 17-year-old trying to decide whether to have an abortion.

During the investigation, 20 of the 23 centers (87%) provided false or misleading information about the health effects of abortion. Often these federally funded centers grossly misrepresented the medical risks of abortion, telling the callers that having an abortion could increase the risk of breast cancer, result in sterility, and lead to suicide and "post-abortion stress disorder."

[emphasis added - Deb]
Man, I sure wish I was able to earmark my taxes - no way would these places get any of my hard-earned money. Read the full report here. Link thanks to Planned Parenthood.

Take action! Voice your support for H.R. 5052, the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney.

:: Deb 2:59 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.21.2006 ::  

Upcoming films that look interesting



:: Deb 9:52 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Moral boundaries

So, our fearless leader recently used his first veto to claim the moral high ground.

Read Digby.
Link c/o Tom Tomorrow.

:: Deb 9:20 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.20.2006 ::  

White House Director for Lessons Learned

AKA Stuart Baker, has a salary of $106,641.

Yep, you read that right.

Link c/o Tom Tomorrow.

:: Deb 1:40 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

How does Sara Lee do it?

Check out this whole wheat bread that looks, feels and tastes like white bread. Do I really want to know how they make it? I saw a coworker making a sandwich from the stuff.

My guess: it's highly processed, including some form of bleaching. Yech.

:: Deb 1:21 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Speaking of inflammatory speech from the right....

Here is an interesting column from the below-mentioned David Carr of the NYTimes, on Ann Coulter and her "package".
Ann Coulter knows precisely what she is saying. Her current book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," is heading to the best-seller lists in part because she has a significant constituency and in part because no other author in American publishing is better at weaponizing words.

:: Deb 1:19 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Tom Tomorrow rocks.

The thing is, David, that while your colleagues focus on the occasional swear word or internecine pissing match on left wing blogs, they mostly ignore what’s happening on the right half of the blogosphere.
One example I’m sure you’re aware of: when the Travel Section of the New York Times published a puff piece about Cheney and Rumsfeld’s vacation homes, the right-wing blogosphere concluded that it was a deliberate attempt to aid an Al Qaeda assassination plot. Starting out from this delusional premise, they decided that the only appropriate response was to seek out and publicize the addresses and home phone numbers of New York Times reporters in retaliation — and started with the unfortunate freelance photographer who shot the article’s accompanying photos with Secret Service permission.

These are not people upon whom reality exerts an undue influence. It would be laughable, if not for the very real possibility that some nutcase out there will take it all a little too seriously.

So how about it? How about writing the story that really needs to be written — the story of major right wing blogs, and the unhinged rhetoric and implied threats they either routinely employ or uncritically link to?
Read this now.

:: Deb 11:59 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.18.2006 ::  

If Justice Scalia thinks so, it must be true

On June 26th, The Supreme Court narrowly upheld a Kansas statute that "requires juries to sentence a defendant to death as the default sentence over life in prison if there is equal evidence for and against imposing the death penalty." The decision itself has generated debate, but Justice Scalia's concurring opinion is much more controversial: "...in every case of an executed defendant of which I'm aware, [DNA] technology has confirmed guilt."
In a July 2 op-ed published in The Anniston Star, Mr. Dieter addresses Justice Scalia's claim that exonerations prove the system works. "In some cases, that is, thankfully, true. But in many cases, it was only the fortuitous advent of scientific DNA testing that freed the individual, or the dogged work of journalism students, or the pro bono work of a large law firm -- services available only to a handful of the thousands of individuals on death row -- that saved these lives." However,
[Richard Dieter is executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center - Deb]
Read more about it, here.

:: Deb 12:16 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

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