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Question Are state same-sex marriage policies associated with a reduction in adolescent suicide attempts?

Findings This difference-in-differences analysis of representative data from 47 states found that same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 7% reduction in the proportion of all high school students reporting a suicide attempt within the past year. The effect was concentrated among adolescents who were sexual minorities.

Meaning Same-sex marriage policies are associated with reduced adolescent suicide attempts.

(Raifman, et al.)

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Update: Ben Carson’s Fake Apology


“What really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology. Hurting others is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I believe. There are many lessons to be learned when venturing into the political world and this is one I will not forget. Although I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, there are much less offensive ways to make that point. I hope all will look at a lifetime of service over some poorly chosen words.”

Ben Carson

Bush, CarsonPerhaps it adds some clarity to an earlier consideration: It didn’t really mean anything.

Dr. Benjamin Carson has offered an apology for having reiterated a twenty-year stale talking point about homosexuals, child molesters, and cross-species rapists, but it is nonetheless a strange apology:

Step One: The pseudo apology: Last Friday, Carson told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell he was sorry “if anybody was offended” by his anti-gay comments. No one seemed especially impressed by the quintessential non-apology apology.

Step Two: Lashing out at critics: When the criticism continued, Carson appeared on a right-wing radio show to blame his detractors, insisting that white liberals are “the most racist people there are.” He added that his critics are outraged because he dared to “come off the plantation.”

Step Three: Contrition: Dr. Paul Rothman, the dean of the medical faculty at Johns Hopkins and the CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, where Carson has been a celebrated colleague, condemned Carson’s “hurtful, offensive language” that was “inconsistent with the culture of our institution.” Immediately thereafter, Carson published an apology to “the Hopkins Community.”

If nothing else, it (ahem!) colors the context of Carson’s “plantation” remark.

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In defense of WALL•E


Okay, this is a bit much. Let us start with a simple proposition:

    Is there only one way to view art?

If we want to complicate that question, we might ask whether that one perspective properly considers all potential factors, and whether it should.

Pixar's WALL•E has received criticism for its treatment of obesity.

Pixar's WALL•E has received criticism for its treatment of obesity.

The current controversy surrounds Pixar’s latest release, Wall•E, a dazzling and charming shoe-in for the Academy’s “Best Animated Feature” award. Apparently, the film has caused something of a stir among the sensitively obese. However, as quickly becomes apparent, that complaint depends on the proposition that there is only one way to view Wall•E.
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Headline of the Day


Herpes: It’s Got New York by the Balls” (New York Magazine)

Oh, har, har. Like we couldn’t see that one coming. I mean … never mind.

Twenty-six percent of citizens who live in the five boroughs are walking around with herpes, a full 7 percent above the natural average. Here in NYC, the rate is even higher among women, black people, and gay men. Straight white men, don’t think you’re safe — you have all of us herpes-ridden women and gay men still running around trying to trick you into having sex with us.

Twenty-six percent? Holy shit!

Even scarier, the national average is nineteen percent. I mean, think about that. At one in four, New York City is deviantly high, compared to one in five nationwide. I’d call it a crap shoot, but you might think that’s a gay joke.