Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Liars Club

Hillary Clinton's recollections of imaginary sniper fire in Tuzla, Bosnia have damaged her standing with voters still quaint enough to hope for honesty from their politicians. The fabricated Bosnia escapade, however, is not the only manifestation of the Senator's superficial relationship with reality. When Hillary worked for the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate hearings in the 1970s she was fired by her boss, a Democrat congressman, for lying, unethical behavior, and generally acting like a Clinton.

I don't know if the media is going to make anything of this story, but if she continues to jeopardize the Second Coming of the Anointed One by remaining in the race, they probably will. The problem is that Senator Obama has recently undermined his own reputation for sinlessness by denying he ever saw a survey that has his name on it and which reveals him to be so far to the left on issues like abortion and gun control that he's in danger of falling off the earth.

He has also discredited himself by repeatedly misrepresenting John McCain's statement about spending 100 years in Iraq.

Six months ago the Democrats looked like there was no way they could lose in November. It doesn't look that way now.


Re: Documenting Hate

There are a couple of interesting responses on our Feedback page to yesterday's post titled Documenting Hate Is Hateful. Check them out.



Here's another report warning of the danger of cell-phone use. I have no way of evaluating the validity of the study, but the guy who did it is a neurosurgeon of considerable distinction:

Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos, a study by an award-winning cancer expert has concluded. He says people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take "immediate steps" to reduce exposure to their radiation.

The study, by Dr Vini Khurana, is the most devastating indictment yet published of the health risks.

It draws on growing evidence - exclusively reported in the IoS in October - that using handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer. Cancers take at least a decade to develop, invalidating official safety assurances based on earlier studies which included few, if any, people who had used the phones for that long.

Professor Khurana - a top neurosurgeon who has received 14 awards over the past 16 years, has published more than three dozen scientific papers - reviewed more than 100 studies on the effects of mobile phones. He has put the results on a brain surgery website, and a paper based on the research is currently being peer-reviewed for publication in a scientific journal.

He admits that mobiles can save lives in emergencies, but concludes that "there is a significant and increasing body of evidence for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumours". He believes this will be "definitively proven" in the next decade.

Noting that malignant brain tumours represent "a life-ending diagnosis", he adds: "We are currently experiencing a reactively unchecked and dangerous situation." He fears that "unless the industry and governments take immediate and decisive steps", the incidence of malignant brain tumours and associated death rate will be observed to rise globally within a decade from now, by which time it may be far too late to intervene medically.

"It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking," says Professor Khurana, who told the IoS his assessment is partly based on the fact that three billion people now use the phones worldwide, three times as many as smoke. Smoking kills some five million worldwide each year, and exposure to asbestos is responsible for as many deaths in Britain as road accidents.

Maybe this will help motivate you to cut down on your cell-phone use. Or not.


As We Forgive

Most people are familiar with the Rwandan genocide perpetrated by the Hutus against the Tutsis in 1994 during which one million Tutsis were brutally slaughtered (See Hotel Rwanda or Beyond the Gates for a cinematic glimpse of the horror). Twelve years later an absolutely amazing thing began happening in Rwanda.

A program of reconciliation was established in which tens of thousands of the Hutu murderers are being released from prison and put to work helping the Tutsis cope with the devastation they helped to inflict. They're building homes and delivering services, in some cases to some of the same families whose loved ones they killed.

A documentary on the reconciliation program titled As We Forgive is being released later this month, and the story of the film can be read here. It's almost literally incredible. There's also a link to the trailer on the page, but I had trouble getting that to work. At any rate check out the story. It sounds like it will be a powerful piece of film-making.