Showing posts from September, 2006

Slightly Socialistic

A touch of Latin American Socialism… kinda like Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, if you will, is looking good these days.Brazil has been on a tear to stamp out hunger.The Christian Science Monitor has a progress report in yesterday’s online edition. I like Brazil for several reasons, so much so that I even invest a bit in them as a promising “emerging market.”I like the fact that they have done a lot to utilize ethanol without the kind of huge subsidies we give here in the U.S.I like their growth rate and sensible (for Latin America) business policies.Of course, there’s a lot not to like, but hey…One of the things I don’t like is their poverty level.So here’s the good news (excerpted from the CSM).Brazil is the world's fourth-largest food exporter, but more than 40 million Brazilians - a quarter of the population - lived below the poverty line, prompting President Lula da Silva to vow (in 2003) to stamp out hunger by December 2006. This June, the government said it had surpassed i…

The Non-Coverage Phantom

Journalism is both the Sword of Truth and the Cloak of Invisibility as you might gather I believe based on some of the commentaries below (News You Didn’t See Much Of,Coverage Suggestion; etc.).The stories NOT covered constitute the invisibility powers of journalism.Not covered = not real to much of the American public.A reporter named Sarah Phelan of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, an old line, kick-ass “alternative” paper, wrote a very impressive piece called “Censored.” It’s in the current on-line issue.
There’s a lot of good stuff in that piece (like how the media obsesses over trivial stories), but the part I like best is her list of the Ten Biggest Stories the Media Ignored.The actual list is developed by Sonoma State U.My favorite of the ten starts with:2.Halliburton, the US energy company, sold key nuclear reactor components to a private Iranian oil company called Oriental Oil Kish as recently as 2005, using offshore subsidiaries to circumvent US sanctions.…

Re Evolution -- Kinda Embarrassed

Mostly I am extremely proud of the U.S.A. What a country! One has to say that before making any kind of criticism these days, sort of like one must say, “I support the troops” before voicing any kind of disapproval of the war in Iraq.

Our great country is the leading nation in science, business, personal freedoms and a whole bunch of other stuff… but for this commentary, especially in science.

I was thumbing through the 11 August Science Magazine to see if I’d missed anything, and derned if I hadn’t. There’s an article titled “Public Acceptance of Evolution.” Here’s the bottom line:

Of 34 countries surveyed from 2002 to 2005, the U.S.A. is next to last in the percentage of population accepting the concept of evolution of humans as true. Check the bar chart.

We are down there between Cyprus and Turkey!

The authors conclude:

The acceptance of evolution is lower in the United States than in Japan or Europe, largely because of widespread fundamentalism and the politicization of science in the U…