Sarah Seltzer

Here Are 16 of the Dumbest Things Americans Believe -- And the Right-Wing Lies Behind Them

Americans are often misinformed, occasionally downright dumb, and easily misled by juicy-sounding rumors. But while the right wing is taking full advantage of this reality, the Left worries that calling out lies is "rude."

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What Does It Say About America That We Jail Teens for Having Sex or Being Late to School?

In the summer of 2012, the country was riveted by the story of young Diane Tran, a high school junior age 17, who was tossed in jail for a night because she was missing too much school.

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Abortion in America: Here Are the Facts, 40 Years After Roe

40 years ago, Roe V. Wade became the law of the land. for decades since then, abortion has been a lightning rod, its legality and women's access to services a subject of relentless attack by the right wing.

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Stewart Rips GOP Congress for Delaying Sandy Aid

Jersey boy Jon Stewart arrived back from his holiday break none too pleased with the delay tactics of the house GOP delaying Hurricane Sandy aid, with more comic timing but similar rage to NJ Governor, Chris Christie's outburst previously.

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Gabby Giffords Takes on NRA, Announces Push for Gun Control

Almost amonth since the unimaginably tragic shooting in Newtown Connecticut and on the anniversary of the massacre that left her fighting for her own life, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is stepping up with her own lobbying group that will counter the NRA and push for what she bills as common-sense gun control solutions to the epidemic of American gun violence.

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Right Wing Gun Nuts Manipulate Data, Falsely Claim Hammers and Clubs More Deadly

In the wake of the horrific Newtown tragedy, pro-gun madness continues to multiply. The latest bit of manipulated data making the rounds among gun nuts arises from an extremely dubious claim on what other site but Breitbart.com?

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2012: The Second-Worst Year for Abortion Rights Since Roe

Think the so-called "War on Women" (really a war on everyone, since family planning, abortion, birth control, and cancer screenings are good for everyone, regardless of gender) is over? Think again, sadly. The reality is that in the state capitols, the steady drive to make it nearly impossible for women to obtain abortions is continuing. Last month, at AlterNet, we profiled just a few of these state initiatives that had cropped up after the 2012 election and continued the unfortunate trend of using political power to legislate the uteri of citizens.

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Study: Booze Damages the Brain, Pot Does Not

Some new science demonstrates that marijuana may not have the harmful effects critics claim. In fact, while pot had no measured impact in a new study, the very legal and very lucratively-marketed substance alcohol actually has a worse health impact on young users.

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3 Brave Women Who Risk Their Lives for Justice

Activists challenging the status quo here in the United States frequently put their bodies on the line by risking arrest or police brutality. But around the world, the simple act of speaking up for basic human rights, whether it's pushing for an end to genocide, fighting impunity for crimes, or supporting the dignity and rights of women, all types of nonviolent resistance can risk death threats, torture, violence, harassment and exile.

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In Landmark Ruling, European Court Sides With Torture Victim; Slams CIA's Rendition Program

The European Court of Human Rights in Paris released a ruling in favor of  a German car salesman kidnapped and "interrogated" as suspected terrorist during the CIA's illegal "extraordinary rendition" phase,  striking out against the Macedonian govnerment for collaborating with the kidnapping.

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New Law Makes Commercials Quieter

Even as the budget showdown continues, congress is determined to prove its worth. This week, commercials will be quieter.

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10 Best Countries In Which To Be Born in 2013 (Hint: America Isn't One Of Them)

As 2012 comes to a close, marking the finish of a year of economic upheaval around the world (with no clear end in sight), the Economist Intelligence Unit posed the question: Which child born next year will be more likely to have a good quality-of-life? And, perhaps most importantly, what person entering adulthood in the 2030s will be gladdest to live where she or he lives?

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Anti-LGBT Donor Has Ties to White Supremacist and Secession Groups

A man named Michael Peroutka who has been associated with white supremacist and secessionist groups, gave $10,000 to try to fight marriage equality in Maryland, a cause his side lost.

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What Happens When Journalists Cover Someone Who Later Commits Suicide?

This week, a Florida woman, Gretchen Molannen, who had fully cooperated with a newspaper story about her debilitating "sexual arousal disorder" took her own life soon after the story appeared in print.

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'Crisis Pregnancy Center' that Made Couples Study the Bible Now Suing for Taxpayer Dollars

Crisis Pregnancy Centers are problematic on many levels: they often engage in deceptive practices, setting up shop near abortion providers to confuse women, handing out medically inaccurate information and sometimes even coercing patients. 

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Hazing Epidemic Continues: Coach Reportedly Witnessed Sexual Assault, Congratulated Victim

Hazing rituals have come under increasing scrutiny of late after a number of them have resulted in injury, trauma and even death for young people. In the military, a hazing incident that led to the death of a young Asian-American soldier has become a target for activists as late as this week, after a light sentence was handed down for the perpetrators.

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5 States Where GOP Extremists Are Pushing Repugnant Anti-Women Laws

The 2012 election was meant to be a referendum on, among other things, the tide of Republican extremism that swept reproductive rights to the edge of existence in many states between 2010 and 2012. Although the Tea Party was allegedly given votes in the midterms to address financial issues, abortion restriction and defunding Planned Parenthood immediately rose to the top of the new Republican priority list.

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Occupy's Rolling Jubilee Has Raised Enough to Forgive Almost $7 Million of Debt

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No Heat, No Electricity -- Desperate New Yorkers Beg for Help Post Sandy

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.

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Woman Dies After Being Denied Abortion: When Religious Rules Trump Science

Savita Halappanavar, who died in Ireland after being denied a pregnancy termination, was a young wife eager to have more children when she learned that her pregnancy went wrong.

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Red Staters (and More) Already Talking Secession After Obama Victory

It was only a matter of time before the bursting of the bubble for hard-core conservatives led to cries of secession. To be fair, blue-staters were saying similar things back in 2004 after Bush's re-election, but the geographical ironies were perhaps less rich then, since this year the electoral map looks suspiciously like slave states and free states lining up in opposition.

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MSNBC Making Moves Against Fox, While Right-Wingers Revolt Against Conservative Media

The big media story of the week continues to be the seeming implosion of the Fox News channel after its on-air talent's refusal to acknowledge Obama's lead, then victory, in the polls. The network's  mishaps have made it a laughingstock, while rival network MSNBC just keeps growing.

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Occupy to Buy Up and Relieve People's Debt?

Occupy's next project (one of many branches on the Occupy tree) is an exciting one; a campaign to buy up debt and relieve it, one lucky debtor at a time.

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Florida to Grade Black Students on a Different Scale Than White Students?

Postracial America, we are not, second Obama term or no second term. From the kids tweeting insanely racist remarks about President Obama's victory, to Oklahoma's vote banning affirmative action, it's clear that racist attitudes remain prevalent for many Americans.

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The 5 Most Sexist Moments of the Campaign

While the GOP candidates tripped over themselves making awful comments about rape, other kinds of campaign sexism also abounded this season, as members of the media, Republicans and Democrats alike used misogynist language, assumptions and ads against female candidates.

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12-Year-Old Rape Victim Called "Negligent" and "Careless" by School District in Legal Papers

The recent spate of GOP callousness towards rape victims is part of a broader rape culture in our country in which victims of sexual assault are frequently  blamed for their own attacks--by gossip, by the media, and also in some cases, legally. 

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The 5 Worst Reactions to Sandy

Disasters very often draw out the kindest and most generous neighborly instincts in people, but the doses of pathos and reality that these crises bring to the fore can also make some ideologues and plutocrats a little uncomfortable. Here is AlterNet’s roundup of the worst comments and reactions in the wake of Sandy’s devastation.

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The Power Outage Didn't Divide NYC: Income Inequality Did

After an explosion at a power station cut off power to Lower Manhattan, photos showed a stark divide in Manhattan between lit-up uptown and downtown blanketed in darkness. The image was gripping, but when the inevitable posts went up declaring that "New York is now divided," I had to laugh. Because it's not the divisions we can see after a storm, but rather the city's giant unseen fissure which makes events like Sandy so threatening.

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