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Politics

Submission + - Pussy Riot Faces Sentencing Friday (reuters.com)

ideonexus writes: "Three members of the punk-rock band Pussy Riot will be sentenced Friday. The trio have spent five months in pretrial detention and face three to seven years in prison for 30 seconds of singing a "Punk Rock Prayer" in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour protesting Vladimir Putin's reelection. They chose to use their closing statements not to defend their actions, but to further register their protests against the state, its President, and the Russian Orthodox Church, which has called for divine retribution against the women. The trial has gained international attention and sparked a Free Pussy Riot movement."
Politics

Submission + - The Art of Elections Forecasting (nytimes.com)

ideonexus writes: "Years ago Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com, a blog seeking to educate the public about elections forecasting, established his model as one of the most accurate in existence, rising from a fairly unknown statistician working in baseball to one of the most respected names in election forecasting. In this article he describes all the factors that go into his predictions. A fascinating overview of the process of modeling a chaotic system."
Politics

Submission + - Texas Textbooks Battle is Actually an American War (nytimes.com) 1

ideonexus writes: I've been lackadaisical when it comes to following stories about Texas schoolboard attempts to slip creationism into Biology textbooks, dismissing the stories as just "dumbass Texans," but what I didn't realize is that Texas schoolbooks set the standard for the rest of the country, and it's not just Creationism that this Christian coalition is attempting to bring into schoolbooks, but a full frontal assault on history, politics, and the humanities that exploits the fact that final decisions are being made by a school board completely academically unqualified to make informed evaluations of the changes these lobbyists propose. This evangelical lobby has successfully had references to the American Constitution as a "living document," as textbooks have defined it since the 1950s, removed in favor of an "enduring Constitution" not subject to change, as well as attempting to over-emphasize the role Christianity played in the founding of America. The leaders of these efforts outright admit they are attempting to redefine the way our children understand the political landscape so that, when they grow up, they will have preconceived notions of the American political system that favor their evangelical Christian goals.

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