Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Young people are eager to have sex, but will post-pandemic hookups bring happiness or despair?

  As an associate teaching professor who teaches a very large human sexuality class at the University of Washington, I benefit from frequent access to young people’s inner thoughts and desires surrounding relationships and sex.

  Recently, I administered an online poll asking my students what they predicted fall quarter would be like when everyone returns to campus. Nearly three-fourths – or 73% – said that they expected to engage in more hookups and casual sex themselves, and 94% agreed that there would be more hookups among other students in general than there were prepandemic.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Conservative hard-liner elected as Iran’s next president – what that means for the West and the nuclear deal

  Iran’s conservative rulers’ effort to orchestrate the outcome of the June 18 presidential election triggered a voter boycott – but the result may still bode well for ongoing negotiations over the lapsed 2015 nuclear deal.

  Iran’s Interior Ministry on June 19 announced that the winner is Ebrahim Raisi, chief of Iran’s judiciary and close ally of the supreme leader. He was all but assured of victory after the candidates who could have posed a serious challenge to him – including three reformists – were disqualified and prevented from participating in the election.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Fighting back against cyber attackers

  “There is no way that this winter is ever going to end as long as this groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I do not see any other way out. He’s got to be stopped. And I have to stop him.”

  Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day” comes to mind as we witness the recurring spate of ransomware, cyberattacks, and cyber espionage that have targeted U.S. agencies and businesses in recent years. From the ransomware attacks on the Colonial oil pipeline, which caused consumer panic and gas shortages along the East Coast, and on JBS, the world’s largest meat processor, the problem is only getting worse.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Racial bias makes white Americans more likely to support wars in nonwhite foreign countries – new study

  The effects of American racial bias and anti-Asian sentiment do not end at the nation’s borders. The racial attitudes of white people also influence their support for American military intervention abroad according to our working paper on U.S. foreign policy and racism.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Biden’s Supreme Court commission probably won’t sway public opinion

  In late 2020, President Donald Trump nominated conservative jurist Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. She was quickly confirmed to fill the seat previously held by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

  Many liberals feared the court was becoming too conservative and called on then-candidate Joe Biden to “pack the court” by adding new seats and filling them with liberal justices.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Why the Second Amendment protects a ‘well-regulated militia’ but not a private citizen militia

  When a federal judge in California struck down the state’s 32-year-old ban on assault weapons in early June 2021, he added a volatile new issue to the gun-rights debate.

  The ruling, by U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez, does not take effect immediately, because California has 30 days to appeal the rejection of its assault weapons ban. Most coverage has focused on Benitez’s provocative analogy between an AR-15 and a Swiss army knife. But the case raises troubling questions about the meaning and proper role of “militias” under the Second Amendment.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Property disputes in Israel come with a complicated back story – and tend to end with Palestinian dispossession

  The threat of violence in Israel is never far from the surface. It is sustained and fueled by what is at the core of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: land and property ownership.

  A key component in the most recent violence – 11 days in which 282 Palestinians were killed by Israeli bombs or bullets and 13 Israelis killed by Hamas rockets from Gaza – was tension following efforts by Jewish settlers to evict Palestinians from their homes in the urban neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse - Prison issue unresolved

  There were two major issues not resolved during the just-completed regular legislative session. Gambling and prisons were left on the table.

  It is foolish to not garner some revenues for the state from gambling. However, it is not imperative that the problem be solved.

  The prison problem is another question. It has to be addressed. The federal courts will take over Alabama’s prisons and tell the governor and legislature what to do to resolve the crisis. The federal courts will win that fight every day of the week. They will act and give the legislature the bill for the expenses.

Monday, June 14, 2021

What are ‘ghost guns,’ a target of Biden’s anti-crime effort?

  It’s not expensive or difficult to produce large numbers of untraceable firearms in the United States. Whether for private use, sale on the criminal market, or arming violent extremists, it’s actually startlingly cheap and easy to mass-produce firearms that police can’t track – what are often called “ghost guns.”

  For just over US$2,000, I can buy a machine – not much bigger than a desktop laser printer – that will do the trick. If I’m feeling handy, I can get it done with just simple power tools.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Humane policies, not harmful propaganda, will improve quality of life for everyone

  Let’s focus on human rights, not hate.

  The national conversation on immigration has suffered in recent months, hijacked by lies and misinformation about families seeking protection on our shores.

  It’s a tired tactic that ignores our moral and legal obligations toward people fleeing danger. We cannot allow those with large platforms to so carelessly mislead the public on policies that directly impact citizens’ and non-citizens’ safety and livelihoods.