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Showing posts from April, 2006

Orson Scott Card and Michael Crichton, Bad for Humanity

Media, and authors especially, must be very responsible, knowledgeable people about the topics they write about. It's too bad that Orson Scott Card and Micheal Crichton, two very famous science fiction writers, have no idea what they're talking about. These two are nothing more than very good writers, but they are not scientists, have no idea what science is, and are both doing a disservice to actual science for the public.

Let's start with Micheal Crichton. Skip past his books, which, while entertaining, are mere stock science fiction. Let's go to his public advocacy, in this case, of global warming (or lack thereof). His views, shown in his book State of Fear, include evidence, but not strong evidence, as it has been refuted by specialists in the field, including Dr. Jeffrey Masters, chief meteorologist at The Weather Underground. His evidence, therefore, is still very much under dispute.

The problem is that people are beginning to accept what he says as fact, simply b…

Conservative Media Defeat Educational Experience

It’s normal for teachers to ask students to participate in projects. It’s part of an important learning process. Sometimes these projects might draw complaints from the students for their difficulty, but rarely do parents or others complain about the actual project being done. That all changed for the worse when a mock trial that put President Bush on trial for "crimes against civilian populations" and "inhumane treatment of prisoners" was conducted in a Parsippany High School AP Government class.

The right became very angry. Conservative media pundits everywhere were in a fit. Freedom of speech and educational value be damned, they weren’t going to let this go on. How dare these students even suggest that any laws limited President Bush’s powers? Who would even think that our President, the savior of democracy, freedom, and apple pies, be put on trial? The answer is that the trial is an important exercise of free speech, educational freedom, and a vital less…

Don't Forget About the UN

More than 60 years ago a bold plan was set out to form a new organization to foster international cooperation. This was the United Nations, what was and remains the best hope of peace and collaboration between its 191 member nations today. Although the term started out to simply stand for the Allied Forces in World War II, it has taken on a new definition as the world’s only organization to peacefully work out international issues.
To remove the UN would not cause catastrophe, at least not immediately, this much is for sure. However, it would symbolize an end to trying to reach a cooperative agreement with the entire world in concurrence. Without the UN, there is no hope of all of the world’s governments coming to a consensus on international policy without constant and costly warfare. In short, there is no better solution to creating an international organization of the world’s countries than the UN, and there never will be.
Any organization with less power than the UN, which itself …