Quickies

Quickies: Children Representing Themselves in Immigration Court, the Gender Bias of the Tampon Tax, and Star Wars Fan Video

  • The new SAT, explained in 7 annotated sample questions – “As the Common Core takes hold in classrooms and national concern grows about income inequality, the test is supposed to be more closely connected to what kids learn in school — and more difficult for rich families to game.” It’s time for a reform so I’m happy to see this. 
  • U.S. judge says 3- and 4-year-olds can represent themselves in immigration court. – This judge has no humanity. One child forced to defend herself in court was holding a baby doll and was too short to see above the railing. From cerberus40.
  • Black Women Writers and the Secret Space of Diaries – “One of the fears that many black women writers have historically had is that if they reveal too much of their intimate lives, it could reflect badly, not only on themselves but on the black community. In addition to matters of romance and money, these earlier diaries of black women are filled with confessions about strained familial relationships, and personal demons and insecurities.”
  • It’s Time To Stop Apologizing For Tina Fey – “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’s racism and exoticism are not novel. Nor, in the grand, offensive history of Hollywood films, that grave. The film is fairly funny; the acting is highly watchable. That’s exactly what makes it so infuriating.” From Radium.
  • Ego Depletion: An Influential Theory in Psychology May Have Just Been Debunked – “Baumeister’s theory of willpower, and his clever means of testing it, have been borne out again and again in empirical studies. The effect has been recreated in hundreds of different ways, and the underlying concept has been verified via meta-analysis. It’s not some crazy new idea, wobbling on a pile of flimsy data; it’s a sturdy edifice of knowledge, built over many years from solid bricks. And yet, it now appears that ego depletion could be completely bogus, that its foundation might be made of rotted-out materials.” (This is just the normal process of science, despite the alarmist tone of the article–but it is still interesting to see a theory possibly crumble.)
  • Citing Gender Bias, State Lawmakers Move To Eliminate ‘Tampon Tax’ – “Sales tax isn’t applied to Viagra in Wisconsin, but it is applied to tampons and pads. Birth control, medicated condoms and yeast infection medication are exempt because they are considered drugs. One lawmaker in that state says the taboo around menstruation that prevents women from openly talking about their periods may also explain why women are paying extra to manage those periods.”
  • Watch the ‘Hamilton’ Leading Ladies Rap, Sing and Recite Feminist Quotes – ” ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal/ And when I meet Thomas Jefferson/ I’m ‘a compel him to include women in the sequel!’ Angelica Schuyler sings about the Declaration of Independence.” And there’s a video! From Jamie.
  • The First Day of the New Supreme Court – If a police officer collects evidence illegally, it cannot be used in court (as it violates the Fourth Amendment), and this is known as the “exclusionary rule.” Unsurprisingly, Scalia (and the conservative Supreme Court bloc) is against this. But now that he’s gone, and a case debating the exclusionary rule is up in the court, it went much differently than planned. 
  • This Amazing Fan Film Showcases All The Things We Love About Darth Maul – There’s always a lot of depressing news items, so enjoy some Star Wars escapism. 

Featured Image 

Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

Previous post

Peeple: Harassment is Destiny?

Next post

Does T. Gondii Really Create "Crazy Cat Ladies"?

5 Comments

  1. March 7, 2016 at 3:21 pm —

    A class action suit on the taxing of tampons and sanitary pads was filed in New York last week:

    http://www.ecbalaw.com/ecba-files-class-action-to-end-tampon-tax-in-new-york/

    interesting that the NPR piece failed to mention it.

    • March 7, 2016 at 6:29 pm —

      I would say basic hygiene needs in general shouldn’t be taxed. If people aren’t able to take care of that type of thing…more penny-wise and pound-foolish thinking from Uncle Sam.

  2. March 7, 2016 at 6:28 pm —

    So, we should change the old expression to an attorney who represents himself has a three- or four-year-old refugee from a regime America backed for a client?

    (Seriously, the law can be sociopathic sometimes.)

  3. March 9, 2016 at 3:52 am —

    So, if three-year olds can understand immigration law, surely we don’t need highly paid judges to preside over said courts – we could just get some toddlers to do it. Think of the money that could be saved.

  4. March 9, 2016 at 5:24 am —

    The Justice Department is disputing the idea that all children are entitled to an attorney. “Nothing in the Constitution requires the taxpayers to provide counsel to minors in immigration court,” Justice Department lawyers said in a 2014 motion, adding that doing so would cause “potentially enormous taxpayer expense.”

    Let’s just make a rule saying that any child not represented by counsel gets the benefit of the doubt and is automatically granted permanent residence. I predict that suddenly the necessary funds would be found to pay for those attorneys.

Leave a reply