Friday, April 5, 2013

In News: Morality of Taxation, Dan Savage on Supremes and Gay Marriage, Women's Mortality Rates, NPR

As the work week ends, a miscellany of items that have caught my attention in this week's news, on a variety of subjects:

In my home state, a group of pastors (including my friend Wendell Griffen) has just issued a statement about the moral implications of taxation. They note that our current state legislature, which is dominated by tea-party Republicans with strong ties to the religious right, is considering tax cuts for the rich, though our state already has a regressive tax system which taxes those at the bottom and middle of society at a rate higher than that applied to those at the top of society. As the pastors maintain,

A system that taxes middle and low income earners TWICE what the highest earners pay is not moral and just.

At Salon, Dan Savage talks with Katie McDonough about the forthcoming Supreme Court decisions re: DOMA and prop 8. McDonough asks Savage what he expects the Supremes to do. His reply: "I expect the worst because I'm Catholic." 

Via Washington Post's Wonkblog yesterday, grim news for women's health in the U.S.: the map at the head of the posting tells the story. As it indicates, from 1992-6 and 2002-6, on a county-by-county breakdown, women's mortality rates are increasing in the U.S. The map is the work of Bill Gardner based on research by David Kindig and Erika Cheng as reported in Health Affairs.

The health of women (and of poor women, in particular) is trending downward across much of the U.S., and yet political and religious conservatives who style themselves as "pro-life" are working feverishly to block health initiatives designed to improve women's health, to undermine organizations like Planned Parenthood which provide much-needed medical services to poor women, to prevent women's access to contraception as a basic element of good healthcare. Something about this "pro-life" picture simply does not make the slightest bit of sense to me.

Finally, readers may remember that back in February, I complained of an error in this NPR article reporting on the rate of disaffiliation of Catholics from the Catholic church in the U.S. I blogged again in March about the fact that NPR had not corrected its mistaken statement that a 2009 Pew study showed one in ten U.S. Catholic adults leaving the Catholic church.

What the Pew study states is that by 2009, one in three U.S. Catholic adults had left the Catholic church, and one in ten U.S. adults was a former Catholic.

This week, I received notice from NPR that it had heard my complaint and had made a correction to the February article. As readers will now see if you visit the NPR article, it's prefaced by a correction statement.

And I'm grateful, it goes without saying, that NPR listened to my complaint and issued a correction, and then had the courtesy to notify me of this.

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