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Do we notice things? [May. 31st, 2007|02:21 am]
a.d.h.d ramblings and obsessions
So it appears we have accidentally stumbled on our first inadvertant act of food terrorism, and it was the pet food from china. Some 14,000 pets were reported as being effected to the FDA. (Not sure how affected if those were just being sick or dying).

It seems to have shown up the FDA's system of inspections, which are low and its good to know these things before it gets into human food.

Heck of a job brownie? There are somethings that shouldn't be fucked with by politics, and our food system is one of them, but they probably are anyway. That is mostly suspicion but I did hear that the mad cow disease investigations were essentially stripped of staff and budgets around when i returned from England around 2003, when my mom was following it. A lot of regulatory agencies, which are for the most part bipartisan, seem to be being viewed as "the idealogical enemy."

What the FDA often inspects, and what it doesn't.
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So now the academics... [Feb. 20th, 2007|10:58 am]
a.d.h.d ramblings and obsessions
Corporate Chiefs May Come to Rue Fat Paydays: Albert R. Hunt

By Albert R. Hunt

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- There is hand-wringing in America over growing income inequality and excessive executive compensation.

The complaints aren't emanating from left-wing populists or ivory-tower academics. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke devoted an entire speech this month to income inequality, worrying that it threatened ``the dynamism'' of capitalism. A critic of greedy executives: George W. Bush.

These conservatives have realized that, for all the strength of the American economy, many people feel it's chiefly the rich who are getting richer while the middle and working class struggle to stay even. This is going to be a big issue in the 2008 presidential election.

The gap between the wealthy and the less affluent has gradually widened for decades, accelerating during the Bush presidency. Meanwhile, American chief executive officers and chief financial officers now make 400-fold more than average workers; that's 20 times what the gap was in 1965.

Inflated CEO pay -- such as the $357 million retirement package given Exxon Mobil Corp.'s Lee Raymond or the $210 million that Home Depot Inc.'s Robert Nardelli walked away with after being fired -- is fueling the populist backlash far more than the salaries of baseball players and other celebrities that Bernanke cited.

`Important Symbol'Collapse )

The economists are some of the most influential players in the american political sphere as we give so much legitimacy to economic models and the country is based on a free market way of life. If the academic optomists get worried then it really is likely to start to trickle down into real policy.
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This is what I think Bush's Orthodoxy is.. he believes himself a revolutionary. [Feb. 19th, 2007|07:19 pm]
a.d.h.d ramblings and obsessions
Bush Compares Revolutionary, Terror Wars

MOUNT VERNON, Va. (AP) -- President Bush honored the 275th birthday of the nation's first president on Monday, likening George Washington's long struggle that gave birth to a nation to the war on global terrorism.

"Today, we're fighting a new war to defend our liberty and our people and our way of life," said Bush, standing in front of Washington's home and above a mostly frozen Potomac River.

"as we work to advance the cause of freedom around the world, we remember that the father of our country believed that the freedoms we secured in our revolution were not meant for Americans alone." ....
Read more...Collapse )

Poll sees hope in West-Islam ties

Most people believe common ground exists between the West and the Islamic world despite current global tensions, a BBC World Service poll suggests.

In a survey of people in 27 countries, an average of 56% said they saw positive links between the cultures....

Read more...Collapse )

This is just kind of an observation, but it seems many intellectual factions seems to be really re-thinking the revolution, but particularly the conservatives. Lately the liberals are starting to get into the game too particular in some areas with weird vibes where there isn't much difference between the groups and it's really the vibe I've gotten out of a lot of arguments lately. It also seems to be somewhat of a generational flavor, as it seems younger intellectuals are more optomistic and into civic involvement.

Of course most normal people aren't as political, which is probably good as it should reduce tensions. As wars are often conflicts dealing with power and influence it is important to believe that normal people will be more reasonable then their leaders.
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Red State Blue State, Sunni Shiite- it strikes me as identity politics (fought by younger peeps)... [Feb. 13th, 2007|03:57 pm]
a.d.h.d ramblings and obsessions
Across Arab World, a Widening Rift
Sunni-Shiite Tension Called Region's 'Most Dangerous Problem'

CAIRO -- Egypt is the Arab world's largest Sunni Muslim country, but as a writer once quipped, it has a Shiite heart and a Sunni mind. ...

The syncretic blend makes the words of Mahmoud Ahmed, a book vendor sitting on the shrine's marble and granite promenade, even more striking.

"The Shiites are rising," he said, arching his eyebrows in an expression suggesting both revelation and fear. ...

"To us Egyptians," said writer and analyst Mohammed al-Sayid Said, the sectarian division is "entirely artificial. It resonates with nothing in our culture, nothing in our daily life. It's not part of our social experience, cultural experience or religious experience." But he added: "I think this can devastate the region."

It seems to be their whole "Red-State/ Blue-State," "Clash of Cultures- with say old England and Europe over the idealogical differences that led to the Revolutionary War" IE Old Politics but not necessarily forgotten or taken seriously by most normal people. Identity-Culture warfare fought with bombs seem to be the new type of war promoted by those who would be leader-capitalists in the new world economy. There will always be doubting political people who need to make their case by polarization, who are seldom visionaries but often make good "idealogical lietenants" and their followers either idealogical soldiers, or real soldiers with real bombs.

We're in an akward period of history, lots of people have been educated in the last century and are insecure: how many people have come from families who have gotten an education in the last 20-50 years (50-150 years)? Read more...Collapse )
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Who pays to stop a pandemic? [Feb. 9th, 2007|05:05 pm]
a.d.h.d ramblings and obsessions
[mood |curiouscurious]

Who Pays to Stop a Pandemic?

BIRD flu has not yet turned into a pandemic, but it is already killing the meager hopes of some of the world’s poorest people for a marginally better life.

When poultry become infected with the deadly strain of avian influenza (H5N1), it is essential that all birds nearby be culled to prevent further spread. ...

Moreover, it is not clear how Jakarta’s poor will replace the income they once received from chickens and other birds. ... [W]hen the birds of small-scale poultry farmers are culled, entrepreneurs who were just beginning to move up the development ladder can be plunged right back into poverty. The most dependent and vulnerable members of the community become even more dependent and vulnerable. “Backyard birds” are the only source of income for many women and children.

So these are interesting questions when trying to figure out how to work together for the greater good. I thought it was a well thought out article, it is written with a bioethics slant. Indonsia also wanted some compensation for the avian flu strains if I remember, as they would not be able to afford them otherwise. The big pharmacuticals seem to have lost a lot of goodwill with the whole fiasco over AIDS drugs in Africa.

Its also what you get in a partially developed world moving towards international cooperation, as some of these world organizations resemble in some ways a crude international government. Sort of a federation of countries on a much larger scale then the US states and poor countries, like poor people, sometimes are not entirely sure where they fit into a free market economy. There are a lot of parallels between past history and the present just with less profiling of individuals and more autonomous states, while some poor countries have dictators some are just poor.
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Continuing ... [Feb. 4th, 2007|08:22 pm]
a.d.h.d ramblings and obsessions
Olivier Roy, perhaps France’s greatest authority on Islam, says that the matter of respect, what he calls “the discourse of dignity,” is Ramadan’s greatest appeal to his followers. I asked Roy in a telephone interview recently who Ramadan’s main followers were. “Not the first generation of immigrants,” he replied, “and certainly not the fundamentalists. The poor in the French suburbs don’t care about him, either. He appeals to people of the second generation, who have a college or university education but do not feel fully integrated. They are the would-be middle class, and for them the discourse of respectability, of dignity, is very important.”

This strikes me as making sense, it is in reference to Tariq Ramadan, who is apparently trying to blend islam with european society and seems to argues that europe should accomodate the muslims rather then the other way around. He sounds like a charactor.

Read more...Collapse )
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I rather wonder about how familiar the 80's really was, I just didnt pay much attention. [Jan. 29th, 2007|02:37 pm]
a.d.h.d ramblings and obsessions
[mood |curiouscurious]

Some women embraced their outsider status. Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, campaigned in 1992 as “just a mom in tennis shoes,” capitalizing on a dismissive comment once directed her way by a male politician. But the reservations of many voters were real 15 or 20 years ago.

Today, many political strategists say women no longer have to be so defensive. Read more...Collapse )

It sounds weirder then I remember. 15-20 years ago would have us at 1987-1992. I guess I am not really a Gen-Xer. I was entirely too oblivious to catch many cultural references. The 80's I remember mostly as the era where my friends picked up a lot of their nostalgia music and fashion taste: I like lace gloves and punk rock! I was kind of a loner as a child, and didn't really get into music much until I went clubbing, my less nostalgic friends grew up "Clinton centrists."

Also: what I remember in the 1980's had more to do with stories out of Brazil and I wasn't much interested in having a social life until I discovered parties. When I was a kid, I was content to play monopoly and ponies with the girls down the street and their sisters; I rather ignored the culture wars, even if a lot of my friends did not. I never redefined as much of my vocabulary.
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When Transitions Happen! [Jan. 18th, 2007|02:24 pm]
a.d.h.d ramblings and obsessions
What seems to be the path of most democratic change, is when the liberals infilterate the conservatives and take over the status quo: this often happens later in a movement's maturity or if situations change. In different generations, there are also less animosity and old drama to overcome, neutral parties are more likely to compromise then parties who feel like they are losing and are under attack.

With this in mind: I present you Health Care. As suggested by businesses, unions, and the AARP (American Association of Retired People). Read more...Collapse )
It seems that sometimes economics is counter-intuitive. You can be doing something you think will help research but if you treat all research the same then you don't get much that spans new fields. I do believe in unintended consequences. :P
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Well its good to know congress agrees on something. :) [Dec. 19th, 2006|11:49 pm]
a.d.h.d ramblings and obsessions
109th Congress / House / 2nd session / Vote 534
Question: On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Agree, As Amended
Bill: H RES 1091

Vote description: Condemning in the Strongest Terms Iran's Commitment to Hold An International Holocaust Denial Conference
Vote type: 2/3 Yea-and-Nay

Result: Passed, 408-0, with 25 not voting.
Date/time: December 8, 2006, 3:53 p.m.
Republican majority opinion: Yes
Democrat majority opinion: Yes

(A two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required for approval or passage. Used for suspension calendar bills in the House and certain Senate votes.)
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This is a good idea. [Dec. 1st, 2006|02:34 pm]
a.d.h.d ramblings and obsessions
World AIDS Day: Bristol-Myers is donating $1 to the National AIDS Fund every time someone goes to their website and moves the match to the candle and lights it.


Locally: They finally start addressing DC's problems with HIV/AIDS by targetting poor neighborhoods for condom distribution, where the most AIDS cases are. (And this is btw an excellent source of information for the city itself, even if some people prefer the NYTimes for more national news.)

Washington Post Article: The Condoms? Please, Take One: A Grass-Roots Alliance Is Making 30,000 Packets Available in Stores In D.C. Areas Hit Hardest by AIDS
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