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Ronald Kephart
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Congressman King's precursors
As reported here and elsewhere, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) recently claimed that we owe "civilization" to the Europeans; nobody else contributed significantly.  This idea is straight out of the playbook of the 19th-century evolutionists, who claimed that cont...

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"The idea that every culture is equal is not objectively true"
Rep. Steve King (Iowa): "The idea that every culture is equal is not objectively true." Well, yeah. There is a sense in which the ethnocentric Rep. King is right, but it's not the sense he was thinking of. Some years ago, in Exploring the Ways of Mankind (1...

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Denying science
You know, I've been used to this kind of thing for many years, because being a linguist/anthropologist means having to listen to people who don't know shit tell you about language and human nature and expect you to respect their nonsense because they're hum...

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Who's surprised?
It's been a while.  So much has been going on, so much has happened, so much of it positively depressing and angering at the same time, that it has been hard if not impossible to focus the anger. And frustration.  But what I wonder about is why anyone is ev...

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Human rights?
The other day, the US abstained from voting on a UN resolution condemning our decades-long trade embargo on Cuba.  The US ambassador to the UN (I think) commented after the vote while we didn't veto the resolution, we are necessarily still concerned about C...

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Where's the firearms recall?
OK, so all yesterday they've been mentioning on the News that an 11th person has been killed by those defective Takata airbags, which are already under recall. Meanwhile, Thursday on the Diane Rehm program , a British journalist, in a really heartbreaking ...

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Things that keep me awake at night...
Am I alone in thinking there is zero moral equivalency between some donor to the Clinton Foundation getting to have dinner at the Chinese ambassador's table and what is being done to all of us by Republicans in the name of their NRA donors and lobbyists?

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Summer's almost gone...
Not officially, of course.  But tomorrow morning I meet with the chair of our department (Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work) to strategize our upcoming departmental "retreat," which takes place a week from today.  I have to meet since I'm the "coordi...

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August 6th, again
So, it's that day of the year again. On August 6, 1945, about a month after I was born, my country committed what has to be by any logic or reckoning the most egregious single-event war crime of all time. And then, a couple days later, we did it again. Hi...

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English is weirder than most people realize
OK, so I just encountered this on Facebook, representative of the many "English is weird" memes floating around out there. And as I nearly always point out, the spellings shown here have nothing to do with the English language itself. If you want weird, con...
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