Politics

OSHA’s beryllium proposal as reality check on anti-regulatory rhetoric

I’ve been reviewing OSHA’s proposed rule to protect beryllium-exposed workers. In the agency’s 262-page Federal Register notice, I see an Administration that has gone above and beyond when it comes to assessing the proposals costs to employers.

Katie Gibbs and Alana Westwood of Evidence for Democracy wrote a terrific piece in The Toronto Star a little while ago, We need a national debate on science: A question about science policy has never been asked at a federal leaders’ debate. Now more than ever that has to change. Given the clear importance of…

With national school nutrition standards up for reauthorization in Congress, a new survey finds that most Americans support healthier school meals.

Great Moments in Evolution Debates

I’m in the mood for something light-hearted today, so here’s a YouTube clip for you: It’s from the Firing Line debate in 1997 about evolution and creationism. Representing darkness and obscurantism were William F. Buckley, Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, and David Berlinski. Sunshine and goodness were represented by Barry Lynn, Eugenie Scott, Michael Ruse, and…

Musing About the Burden of Proof

I see that Barry Arrington is blogging up a storm lately over at Uncommon Descent. It’s all his usual silliness–bad arguments coupled with denunciations of anyone who dares disagree with him–but this post was eyebrow-raising even for him. The set-up is this: Arrington is in the habit of making big bold claims about what is…

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is no stranger to budget cuts — the agency is already so underfunded that it would take its inspectors nearly a century, on average, to visit every U.S. workplace at least once. In some states, it would take two centuries. Unfortunately, appropriations bills now making their way through Congress don’t bode much better for OSHA.

Planned Parenthood heroically provides medical services to a great many women who otherwise would receive little or no health care at all. This can be thankless and even dangerous work, because there are fanatics out there who do not like what they do. They perform abortions, you see, though this is a tiny fraction of…

Comedy on College Campuses

It used to be a major American art form for white actors to cover themselves in make-up and pretend to be black. This persisted for roughly a hundred years, from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. What a golden age for comedy that must have been! As recently as the 1970s we had shows like…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Republican proposal to ban unions at the IRS could mean trouble for other federal employees; ExxonMobil refinery in California cited for violations in February explosion; OSHA fines poultry company for “outrageously dangerous” conditions; and a strip club dancer calls for the same protections and respect afforded to other workers.

One of the big criticisms that opponents of the Affordable Care Act love to trot out is its impact on the economy — one phrase you often hear is “job killer.” In fact, in 2011, Republicans in the House actually introduced legislation officially titled “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” That bill didn’t make it far. However, a new report finds that “job-killing” isn’t just hyperbole; it’s just plain wrong.