Edge of Justice
|Janis Siegel||June 9th 2008|
From JT News via JTA
|Accused Gunman Naveed Haq|
|Photo: Joel Magalnick|
A judge declared a mistrial in the case of the gunman who shot up the offices of this city's Jewish federation.
The King County prosecutor vowed to retry Naveed Haq, 32, who claimed he was not guilty by reason of insanity.
The jury said it could not agree on all but one of the 15 counts of murder and attempted murder against Haq, whose July 2006 shooting spree at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle left one woman dead and seriously injured five.
Jurors deliberated for eight days after a six-week trial that featured testimony from 32 prosecution witnesses and 16 for the defense.
“Substantial justice cannot be done,” Superior Court Judge Paris Kallas told a packed Seattle courtroom Wednesday. "There is no reasonable probability of the jury reaching an agreement. I declare a mistrial.”
Prosecutor Daniel Satterberg said he hopes to try the case again in six months. A hearing to select a new trial date is scheduled for June 12. Read more ..
What rally will Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain all attend? Answer: the annual AIPAC Policy Conference being held June 2 to June 4 in Washington, D.C.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) Annual Policy Conference is the most important event of the year for America’s mainstream pro-Israel community, observers and Mideast media watchers. This year’s AIPAC
Policy Conference will be the largest ever, with more than 7,000 people participating and some 5,000 going
to Capitol Hill on the final day of the conference to lobby Congress in support of the U.S.-Israel relationship. The event is unparalleled in Washington policy circles.
Not only will all three remaining presidential candidates appear, so will all four leaders of Congress -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV),
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Rounding out the political headliners will be Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
The Policy Conference events will include major speeches, panels and forums covering a wide range of issues concerning the U.S.-Israel relationship, America’s support for Israel in her search for peace, Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and the future of the Middle East. Many of the events are off the record allowing experts to express themselves frankly. Read more ..
|Joseph Grieboski||May 26th 2008|
Cutting Edge Foreign Editor
Police in Nigeria on May 12 rescued two kidnapped Christian teenage girls – Mary Chikwodi Okoye, 15, and Uche Edward, 14. The girls were kidnapped in the Islamic enclave of Ningi three weeks ago in an attempt to force them to marry Muslim men. Police transported the two rescued girls to safety in southeastern Nigeria where their biological parents live.
Kidnapping of teenage Christian girls by Muslims has become a regular practice in Ningi. Muslims have kidnapped at least 13 Christian girls in the town, Christian sources said.
But after the two most recent girls were rescued, the Hisbah Command, a paramilitary arm of Kano state’s Sharia Commission, went on a rampage, attacking Christians and setting fire to churches. Damaged churches include the Deeper Life Bible Church, St Mary's Catholic Church, All Souls Anglican Church, Church of Christ in Nigeria, Redeemed Christian Church of God, and the Redeemed Peoples Mission.
Islamic stalwarts argue that forced marriages of young Christian girls to older Muslim men in Africa are a legitimate attempt to regain demographic growth of Islam in Africa. Islam is now waning on the continent. According to Sheikh Ahmad Al Katani, President of The Companions Lighthouse for the Science of Islamic Law in Libya – an institution specializing in graduating imams and Islamic preachers, “There are now 1.5 million churches [in Africa] whose congregations account for 46 million people. In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity.” Read more ..
The Way We Are
|Elizabeth Black||May 19th 2008|
Cutting Edge Columnist
I usually hit delete even before reading sappy e-mail forwards. The older you get, the more of them come your way. They come from friends who’ve lost husbands through death or divorce, or newly retired women who sit at their computer early in the morning — as you get older you start waking up ridiculously early. As they sip their coffee, they begin reading and passing on the forwards that have come in from other friends who are also up way too early.
I wonder what women alone did in those early morning hours before computers? Men alone with too much time on their hands seem to pass on raunchy jokes. Well, actually, quite a few of my women friends also forward raunchy jokes. The butt of their jokes are usually men — the same kind of men passing on their brand of raunch. God bless them all.
Anyway, I was deleting a nice little sentimental forward from someone I’m very fond of, but happened to read the last two lines just before I hit delete.
“People are made to be loved, and things are made to be used — there is so much confusion in this world because people are being used and things are being loved.”
That line cut through my morning haze, and stayed with me throughout the day.
I’m at that crossroads with “things” again as I’m packing up to move from one house to another. I just did this a year ago prior to my cross-country move from Washington, D.C., to Lawrence. I thought I had stripped my “things” down to the bare minimum but now am discovering I kept a lot of things I don’t need. But this time it’s easier. Anything I haven’t used or haven’t worn in the year since moving to Lawrence is going out — that is unless it carries sentimental/historical significance that outweighs the usefulness factor. Therein lies the rub. I’m pretty sentimental ... and obsessed with family history. Read more ..
What Society Has Come To
Cutting Edge Contributor
In the wake of the Josef Frizl incest scandal that has rocked Austria, the public has been drawn into a veritable vortex of self-recrimination, denial, defensiveness, utter helplessness, and anger at way in which the spectacle has unfolded—shocking even the most callous observers of criminal endeavors.
To summarize the case: Mr. Frizl began raping his daughter, Elizabeth (now 42), when she was eleven. When she was 18 and had already attempted to run away, he incarcerated her in the basement, tied with a leash, and occasionally gave her the option of starvation or sex. He later built a windowless nuclear fallout shelter-like bunker in his back yard, and designed the interior so as to have a secret dungeon hidden behind heavy key-coded doors that were locked electrically. Into this dungeon he secreted his daughter, while telling his wife that she had run away to join a cult. For the first number of years she was kept in her new dungeon alone. Then, as a result of repeated rapes, she became pregnant with the first of what were to become seven children—born of criminal incest.
Of the seven children, one, which was a twin, died at birth and was swiftly discarded in the furnace. The other six children were split up over time, with the babies "showing up" at the Frizl doorstep with "a note from the daughter" indicating her inability to care for them and requesting the parents to take care of their grandchildren. Three of the six children were thus reared "normally" in the grandparents’ household with the state agreeing to the grandparents’ assumption of custody and care, while the other three remained in the dungeon with their mother. After 24 years in her cell, one of the children in the dungeon, Kerstin, 19, became extremely ill, and Elizabeth persuaded her father to release the child to be treated at a hospital. Read more ..
|Elizabeth Black||May 5th 2008|
Cutting Edge Contributor
Each spring in the Flint Hills they burn off the grasslands. This is to mimic the lightning-ignited prairie fires of ancient times, which kept trees and underbrush off the plains and somehow reinvigorated the grasslands. But I don’t like it one bit. I don’t care if it is somehow ecologically beneficial—although I don’t see how, given all the carbon it’s throwing up into the atmosphere and into my lungs.
Yes, I love the tall grass prairie—and the short grass prairie too. Yes, I’m enthralled by the vistas of rolling hills with nothing but grass as far as the eye can see. No, I don’t like prairie burning season.
This morning, a gray haze hovers in the air. I can’t see across Wakarusa Valley. My throat burns, I woke up coughing. I called off my morning walk. Up the road to the mailbox to figure out where my paper had been tossed—always an adventure—was enough for me. This morning my mood matches the sodden air. I feel phlegmatic, unable to focus. The haze has invaded my mind. Why am I here, I ask myself. How did I end up here on the northern edge of the Flint Hills? Here, where the range fires stop and the trees begin. Here straddling the borderline between pragmatism and introspection. Or to focus my malcontent more clearly, what’s with the prairie fires, anyway?
Skip ahead two weeks. Given the above, why would I accept a neighbor’s invitation to participate in a prairie burning? Curiosity? To prove that I am able to rise above my prejudices? To fuel my secret desire to punish myself? All of the above. Read more ..
What Society Has Come To
|Joyce Bender||April 28th 2008|
Cutting Edge Contributor
Suicide is a leading cause of death for teenagers 10 to 19 years old. The number one cause is still depression. Depression can be triggered by events in a child’s life – but one of the leading causes has now emerged as “bullying.”
Attempting suicide because of being bullied in school is a shocking and sometimes inexplicable choice that many young people are making today in middle schools and high schools across America. This tragic form of death, known as Bullycide, is triggered by relentless bullying and depression. Neil Marr and the late Tim Field first coined the term in their book, Bullycide: Death at Playtime.
Even more tragically, researchers have discovered that almost 40 percent of bullied students are students with disabilities. Psychologists and social concern groups here and in the UK have finally discovered this hidden epidemic. Children with disabilities are not just being harassed, and made the brunt of cruel jokes, they are physically assaulted. Sadly, not enough is being done in our society and in our school systems to prevent these atrocities.
Children with disabilities are often assaulted as a form of entertainment for other children. At town hall meetings, college students with disabilities have told personal stories of years of bullying when they attended high school. One young woman told the story of bullies in high school stealing the joy stick from her wheelchair and directing the chair over and over again into the wall. This young woman spoke about attempting suicide to avoid the bullies. She said she was treated so poorly for so many years of school that she assumed she was a person of no value. In one case, a boy with an intellectual disability was hit after school by other children nearly every day for an extended period of time. Read more ..
What Society Has Come To
Special to The Cutting Edge News
(Top row, from left) April Cooper, Brittini Hardcastle, Kayla Hassell,
Britney Mayes, (Borrom row, from left) Cara Murphy, Mercades Nichols,
Zachary Ashley and Stephen Schumaker
For many, there are still so many unanswered questions about the shocking video of violence broadcast by television networks and across the Internet.
Six teenage girls and two boys have been charged as adults in the March 30 beating in Lakeland, Fla. of a 16-year-old acquaintance.
The teens videotaped the assault and allegedly threatened to post the film on the Internet at MySpace and YouTube. The incident has received worldwide media attention and commentary.
According to reports published late last week in the Lakeland-area newspaper The Ledger, and to Polk County Sheriff's Office affidavits, Mulberry High School cheerleader and honor student Victoria Lindsay had fought with her mother and was temporarily staying with her friend Mercades Nichols, 17, at Nichols' grandmother's house. On the evening of March 30, Lindsay entered the house, and Nichols and 17-year-old Brittini Hardcastle began to threaten her. Fourteen-year-old April Cooper struck Lindsay in the face and slammed her head into a bedroom wall, knocking her unconscious. Lindsay awoke on the living room couch, surrounded by Nichols, Hardcastle, Cooper, and three other girls, 17-year-old Britney Mayes, 16-year-old Cara Murphy and 15-year-old Kayla Hassell. Lindsay's complaint also alleges that she was held down and prevented from escaping as the girls took turns beating her while they videotaped the incident, statements supported in the video obtained by law enforcement.
Two male neighbors of Nichols, 17-year-old Zachary Ashley and 18-year-old Stephen Schumaker, are accused of acting as lookouts during the 30-minute assault. Read more ..
Enabling the Disabled
|Joyce Bender||April 7th 2008|
Cutting Edge Contributor
I have a great way to quiet a room – start talking about my epilepsy to a group of strangers. There is always a look of surprise and shock when they discover that I am a person with epilepsy. I can read the “balloon” above the heads of those who suddenly look like deer caught in headlights. In cartoons, the “balloons” above the characters tell us what they are really thinking. I know the words in their “balloons” include: “I thought you were fine” or “I never knew she had this terrible problem” or “Oh, no, epilepsy, I do not want to talk to you about it.”
Most people with hidden disabilities do not discuss their disabilities, due to the stigma attached. In the United States today, approximately three million Americans are people with epilepsy and many do not disclose it. The reason they do not is their fear of being treated differently. With epilepsy comes this automatic fear of reprisal and discrimination not only in the workplace, but also in the family and in relationships. People with other hidden disabilities such as depression, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis face the same trauma associated with stigma. Read more ..
|Armstrong Williams||March 31st 2008|
Cutting Edge Contributor
Take a minute to think about the following: When was the last time you made a mathematical calculation in your head or by hand (yes, which means not using a calculator)? Surely, some of you avoid math like the plague – especially when your teenage child comes around looking for help on their math homework – but you must admit that even in this compalculator era it comes in handy to be able to tally your bills in your head or figure out the miles per gallon you’re getting while driving along in traffic.
It seems reasonable to expect that people with high school diplomas and college degrees shouldn’t be afraid of a little algebra. We all took math in school, and although most of us struggled with the subject, and many of us hated every second of it, we did it and we got by. We got by, and it has helped us in some way or another while at college, work, or home. But if you thought math was hard for you, consider how hard your kids have it.
It shouldn’t be hard to understand why most American teenagers struggle with math and other basic subjects like science and English. Schools are overcrowded and rundown, teachers are underpaid and overworked, kids are over-stimulated and cannot focus, and administrators are forced to push testing over learning. The fact is that kids are left behind, and sadly, even when they’re not, they don’t always grasp what we think they do. Read more ..
|Jesse Reynolds||March 17th 2008|
Cutting Edge Contributor
The prospect of biotechnology companies capitalizing on genetic information in order to develop profitable products without properly compensating the studied populations brings to mind biocolonialism, in which politically and economically vulnerable indigenous groups are exploited. But a growing convergence of genomics and information technology may lead, ironically, to the genetic "exploitation" of society's most elite.
A new brief by the ETC Group on the rapidly growing direct-to-consumer genetic testing industry asserts that the genomic data - which clients pay handsomely to have taken from them - will likely be correlated with health data in order to develop new products:
The information gleaned from most genetic tests has very limited use for patients, but it is extremely valuable to companies and researchers trying to establish links between medical conditions and genetic variations, enabling - they hope - the development of drugs targeted to people with specific genetic profiles. In the shorter term, drugs that have been taken off the market due to unexpected adverse reactions in a small percentage of the population could be re-marketed as personalized drugs, intended only for those with the appropriate genetic profile. Through clever (and often misleading) marketing, some companies are persuading consumers to pay for storage of genetic data and health information, which the companies intend to use (e.g., sell) for research and drug development. Read more ..
|Edwin Black||March 12th 2008|
Of one America’s most knowledge experts on genocide suddenly passed away a few days ago.
Historian Stephen Feinstein, 65, died on the job last week during a presentation at the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival. Feinstein lapsed mid-sentence during his remarks. His wife reportedly rushed to his side and summoned paramedics. But at the hospital nothing could be done to repair what was close to an aortic aneurism. The loss to his family, to his friends, to the community and to scholarship will be permanent.
As the founder and director the University of Minnesota's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Feinstein was a expert on the unlimited darkness surrounding humanity’s greatest atrocities—the effort to destroy an entire people by means of genocide. His collection of books and articles was on the finest. His cavernous knowledge of the small but important details was as encyclopedic. As smart as he was, he was never afraid to learn more, and raced toward new facts the way a thirsty man runs toward water.
Feinstein fearlessly devoted himself to the spectrum of the evil, from the Holocaust, to the decimation of the American Indian, to the Turkish genocide against Armenians, to the current systematic mass murders in Darfur. He was fearless because he stood up to the politics of genocide. Although pressured and threatened by Turkish elements, he refused to desist in publicizing and documenting the Ottoman genocide against Armenians. When the USHMM in Washington tried to dismiss the Nazi-allied pogrom against Iraqi Jews, known as “the Farhud,” Feinstein refused to back down. When it came time to shine a bright light on the Carnegie Institution’s financial and scientific support for Nazi eugenics, he worked vigorously. Read more ..
|Joyce Bender||February 20th 2008|
Cutting Edge Contributor
A wonderful book is “Why We Can’t Wait” by Martin Luther King, Jr. This is a classic in many ways, as it explores the civil rights movement that he was the father of. If you have never read this book, I would suggest you read it. It is always important to know your history and to understand what formed issues we deal with in America today.
In 2010, we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 1990, after years of work by former Congressman Tony Coelho, the great patriot Justin Dart Jr., and many, many other great leaders, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law, in front of a joyful crowd spread across the south lawn of the White House. What a great day for all people of ability! We all believed we would be free; of course, freedom means we would all have the treasure of employment.
We know that to be free in this country, we must be employed. You cannot buy a car, go on vacation, buy a home, or send your children to college without employment. No employment means no freedom. Read more ..
The Genetic Battlefield
|Marcy Darnovsky||December 11th 2007|
Research teams at two prestigious universities announced a major feat of biological alchemy this week: They've taken ordinary human cells and turned them into cells with all the characteristics and promise of embryonic stem cells.
This entirely new way to derive what the researchers are calling induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells uses neither eggs nor embryos. Instead, it reprograms body cells, reactivating genes that return them to the undifferentiated state characteristic of "conventional" embryonic stem cells.
If the new technique holds up, it will also reprogram the science and politics of stem-cell research. Read more ..
The Genetic Battlefield
|Richard Hayes||December 11th 2007|
Cutting Edge contributor
The debate over cloning embryos for stem cell research has been one of the most divisive and unpleasant public controversies of the last decade. Partisans on both sides have sought to polarize the issue for political advantage rather than look for middle-ground positions that a majority of Americans would welcome.
In general, Republicans have equated medical research using single-celled clonal embryos with murder, while Democrats have promoted state ballot initiatives enshrining human embryo cloning as a constitutional right and committing billions of taxpayer dollars to a procedure that could open the door to socially pernicious applications, threaten women's health and exacerbate healthcare inequities.
Now we have a chance to put the cloning debate behind us. Read more ..
|Edwin Black||November 18th 2007|
|Chef Ricky Moore|
Washington’s tres chic Indebleu Restaurant has just appointed Chef Ricky Moore as its new Executive Chef. He replaces Chef Vikram Garg who oversaw the Indebleu kitchen for nearly three years and helped establish modern Indian cuisine in Washington, DC area. Chef Moore will oversee all operational aspects of the kitchen while continuing to develop Indebleu’s modern cuisine featuring Indian flavors.
Chef Moore previously worked at several noted Washington establishments, including Agraria at Washington’s Waterfront, as well as Equinox, Galileo, Vidalia, and Lespinasse restaurants. He also served as exec chef at Parrot Cage and South Water Kitchen, both in Chicago.
Chef Moore is scheduled to compete on a special Thanksgiving themed "Iron Chef America" November 18th on The Food Network. The restaurant will host its best customers for a special viewing that night in its lounge with the Chef on hand to serve themed appetizers.
Getting Off Oil
|Edwin Black||November 14th 2007|
|Honda's new Clarity|
American Honda Motor Company stole the Los Angeles Auto Show with decisive clarity today. Shortly after show doors opened, the company announced the summer 2008 initial rollout of its sleek, new and tantalizing four-passenger zero-emissions hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. The long-awaited, market-ready hydrogen car, called “Clarity,” will use zero oil and feature zero emissions.
No longer experimental, the Honda FCX Clarity is powered by a breakthrough, “V Flow” fuel cell stack that delivers vastly increased power and range over previous FCX hydrogen models. The FCX Clarity utilizes its V Flow stack in combination with a new compact and efficient lithium ion battery pack and a single hydrogen storage tank to power the vehicle's electric drive motor. Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where chemical energy from the reaction is converted into electric power to propel the vehicle. Additional energy captured through regenerative braking and deceleration is stored in the lithium ion battery pack. It is used to supplement power from the fuel cell when needed. The vehicle's only emission is water. Indeed, the company invites drivers to drink the exhaust, and has even distributed novelty drinking glasses to drive home the point. Read more ..
|Edwin Black||September 24th 2007|
No one needs to be reminded that a significant segment of our population has become geographically and financially immobilized by an infectious condition known generally as “the housing and mortgage crisis.” Make no mistake. The crisis involves not just the so-called “sub-prime” business, but ordinary creditworthy consumers battered by financial misconduct and over-speculation by developers.
People can’t move on because far fewer people can move in or move out. Too many houses exist for too few buyers. Prices have tumbled. Inventories of unsold parcels have skyrocketed. The whole concept of property as “a sure bet” in America has been threatened. For each person who cannot sell a house, buy a house or suffers a foreclosure, the pain and hurt is multiplied like a slow-moving epidemic throughout the domino-structured housing market. Our national housing crisis in turn is flattening or eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs and economic vitality.
Now to the overnight fix: Bring back “the assumable mortgage.” The financial world abolished this age-old method of home buying and selling during the financially turbulent seventies and eighties when President Jimmy Carter’s double-digit inflationary society inspired the rapacious mortgage lending industry to pressure the last one to five percent assumable loans out of existence and contractually prevent any new ones. Read more ..
|Abraham Foxman||September 23rd 2007|
Anti-Defamation League national director
|Abraham H. Foxman|
The U.S. House of Representatives finally has passed a bill to protect consumers from unfair life insurance discrimination on the basis of past or future foreign travel. This is a much needed and welcome development. For far too long, insurance companies have routinely denied coverage to individuals because of their travel plans.
This unfair practice has adversely impacted everyone from tourists to corporate executives to students studying abroad. Insurance companies typically ask questions on life insurance applications about past or future travel destinations. Those travelers listing countries appearing on the U.S. State Department’s advisory list – including Israel - have too often found themselves rejected for coverage.
We understand that the insurance industry relies on risk assessment to determine whether to provide coverage, but denials should only occur when bona fide statistical differences in risk or exposure have been substantiated. Read more ..
|by Edwin Black||September 12th 2007|
|BBT'S broken website notice|
BBT is still struggling to bring its online service back to full functionality and cope with outraged consumer backlash. Shortly after the bank "improved" its online software on August 3, 2007 to make it “safer, faster, and more convenient for you,” the website slowed to a crawl, lost and duplicated transactions, clobbered integrated customer financial management software such as Quicken, and in many cases became completely inaccessible. The problems were first reported exclusively by The Cutting Edge. Online function problems heightened during late August and by Labor Day the BBT site became completely inaccessible for many customers during most business hours. In early September, patches and fixes were installed, but problems have persisted so the company has been forced to post a prominent apology on its logon page.
“Recently, you may have experienced slow response times while accessing BB&T OnLine banking.” The statement reads, adding, “Over the past several days, you may also have been unable to log on to BB&T OnLine at different times. We understand this may have made it difficult for you to access your accounts and schedule your bill payments. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Please know that our technicians are working diligently to expedite a solution. Our goal at BB&T OnLine is to provide you with the Perfect Client Experience for every online interaction. We know we have fallen short of this promise and want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to correct this problem. Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve our performance issues and restore your confidence in BB&T OnLine.”
Consumer Bank News
|By Sam Orez||September 3rd 2007|
|HSBC Local But Not|
A recent call responding to an exquisite HSBC bank brochure inviting new local customers revealed a startling and noisome policy. HSBC does not permit its customers to call their local branch with questions or to receive information. Phone numbers are not listed on the bank's massive website and even the phone company won't provide the number--they are unlisted. In order to reach their local bank branch, consumers must first call an offshore call center in the Philippines and then after evaluation, that offshore call center will decide whether consumers need to be connected. HSBC, which claims to be a global network of "local banks," stands by its policy, insisting it is for the customer's protection and to enhance customer service. One phone bank representative argued, "How can our tellers get anything done if they are answering the phone?" The HSBC phone bank representative went on to explain that all major banks refuse to divulge their branch phone numbers. Not so. Read more ..
|by Edwin Black||September 2nd 2007|
BBT customers have been groaning recently over BBT's overtaxed and sometimes dysfunctional online banking website. The website was inaccessible for several days at the end of August, and the first days of September after the Labor Day weekend, especially in the morning when more people tend to log on. System burps and stutters caused some linked Quicken money management programs to record false double payments created by the overtaxed BBT online site. Attempts to reach the company’s much touted “24x7” online banking help line to correct problems were fruitless. Not a few customers gave up after multiple 30-minute and 45-minute hold sessions hearing the same tedious on-hold messages. Worse, BBT’s online Quicken assistance does not even operate on the weekends when most people often need such help managing their personal finances. Anxious branch officers trying to help their customers straighten out glitches were subjected to the same frustration since they were calling the same BBT toll-free number. At press time, the website was back to normal with some of the glitches resolvable by manually deleting false Quicken entries, and re-entering the needed BBT information. But the web meltdown was a warning sign that with the explosion in online banking, driven both by personal convenience and the banking industry’s growing insistence on paperless relationships, more meltdowns can be expected from BBT and others.
Genetically Modified Food
|By Osagie K. Obasogie and Pete Shanks||August 12th 2007|
Cutting Edge Contributors
The FDA is still considering whether to allow meat and milk from cloned animals into America’s food chain, without so much as a warning label. Polls show that Americans oppose cloned foods 3 to 1, and the livestock and dairy industries have repeatedly said that cloned hotdogs and milkshakes make little business sense. Neverthless, the push for cloned livestock has been insistent for years.
In 2003, approval was said to be six months away; that didn’t happen, presumably because of fears of public outrage, but the public relations campaign continued. At the very end of 2006, a long-awaited draft “Risk Assessment” was published, inspiring a flurry of ill-informed puff pieces intended to legitimize the technology. That failed: the FDA received over 100,000 public comments, overwhelmingly opposed to food from cloned animals.
Officials then paused to consider their final decision. Some reports say that FDA approval will come later this year. Others suggest that it may take two years. The mainstream media seems to accept that it’s only a matter of time, no matter what the public wants – and no matter what the real scientific evidence is.
A scathing report by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) exposed embarrassing if not crippling inadequacies in the data the FDA used to suggest that cloned food is safe. The CFS report showed there are no peer-reviewed safety studies on meat from cloned cows, pigs or goats, and only three inconclusive ones on milk; this suggests further study, not immediate approval. Even before that, the National Academies of Science – the government’s science advisors – articulated concerns that the processes for assessing cloned food safety are currently not up to par. Read more ..
See Earlier Stories 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44