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United States Science

U.S. Pushing Conservative Science 1036

Posted by michael
from the badthink dept.
mozumder writes "Does abortion lead to breast cancer? Does condom use lead to increased sexual activity? According to the government, the answer is now inconclusive. The New York Times has a story on how the government is altering low-level scientific conclusions to satisfy conservatives. Will this lead to a mistrust of the government? Or is the government now correct?"
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U.S. Pushing Conservative Science

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  • This may shock some (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nizcolas (597301) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:42AM (#4975577) Homepage Journal
    but most readers familiar with the way science "works" won't be all that shocked. Scientific results are frequently altered or completely made up for one reason. Money

    Most science is funded by a sponsorship of some kind. Very little is done out of the scientist pocket. Because of this, science becomes a sort of business model. As long as the scientist is producing results, his funding continues. See where this is going?

    Is this going to lead to a distrust of government.? Doubtful. It may wake up a few but the vast majority either know now, or will never know.

  • If... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cornjchob (514035) <thisiswherejunkgoes@gmail.com> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @05:07AM (#4975652)
    If there were a connection between abortion and breast cancer, wouldn't there be a connection between miscarriages and breast cancer? Same hormonal changes would occur, I'd think. Only differences would be how the abortion was induced (drugs or surgical). Anyone have any ideas?
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @05:15AM (#4975671)
    The more I think about it, the more I like the system that Ecuador uses.
    Voting is mandatory. You want the government services available to citizens? Vote, otherwise you get what's available to legal aliens. While I'd love it if everyone understood thieir civic duties as well as they do their civil rights, which would make this idea unneccesary, the fact is, people don't vote often enough, as a rule.
    And I know there will be those screaming about secrecy of the vote, etc.Note: I didn't say keep track of who you voted for, I said keep track of WHETHER you voted or not. Should be easy enough to do, given the near-universality of SSN's and the like.
  • Re:Since when... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 29, 2002 @05:26AM (#4975697)
    Hell, the whole U.S. Constitution is *BASED* on mistrust of government. Healthy thing if you ask me.
  • Re:Bush sucks. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Martigan80 (305400) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @05:45AM (#4975748) Journal
    And what they want is to get money for themselves and their big campaign contributors, that is absolutely all they are about

    Isn't capitalism great? This is what happens when governmental Ideals mix with economics. It's also interesting that any country that America helps has a EULA about allowing American businesses in to help "stimulate" the economy. Yeah we see how great it's going right now. And don't give me this stuff that it is because of 9/11 that's what these great accountants tell the share holders in hopes that they don't sell. Much of this has been brewing way before that. It also doesn't help that politicians have so many ways to acquire money from different sources. It will always happen and will continue to happen in our country because of people that would read this and call me a troll because I think the economy and government is too corrupted, instead of going out and voting, hell I would even be happy if people actually took the time to learn about the candidates. In fact how many people here even go to a local council meeting, or city meeting? Oh well this isn't a politics story it's about conservatism, or the conservatism of the governments medical ideas. Now we all get Smallpox vaccine, well not all of us the Government doesn't want to be blamed for the few deaths that will happened, they would rather give you the option to take it, then ask you to fill out a waiver of responsibility.
  • by mc6809e (214243) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @06:00AM (#4975786)
    why is it the case that /.'ers, who are the most technological, want to ignore how technology has shown us miracles. i have two children. the ultrasounds at less than 1 month of my wife's pregnancy showed a clear heartbeat. and we could hear the heartbeat as well. so hide your heads in the sand, ignore modern technology, but face it, abortion is murder. period. it kills a beating heart.

    Yeah, and heart transplants kill beating hearts too but we don't call that murder.

    Why do you believe that a beating heart should be the standard used for determining when a collection of cells is a person to be defended?

    It seems like a strange standard to me when most science points to the brain as the carrier of the mind and conscience.
  • by Afrosheen (42464) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @06:25AM (#4975842)
    "christian wackoes" "combines with bad journalism"
    "impeeded science"

    Victim of the system huh? Here's my grammar nazi post for the day.

    Your sentences should read "christian wackos", "combineD with bad journalism", and "impeded science". If you're gonna criticize public schooling, don't do it like a retard, unless you're really proving a point by showcasing your own American School System ignorance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 29, 2002 @06:52AM (#4975890)
    This culture of sex is oppressive and distorts the beauty of sex in a healthy marriage.

    You are right in that the sex between two people who actually love each other tends to be much better than a one night stand (which, I think, are is great most of the time too). However, I object to your use of marriage as a criteria for healthy and great sex. To be blunt, I would say that marriage has nothing to do with love.

    Then again, I come from a broken home and have seen much so more love between unmarried (gay and hetero) couples than between my mom and dad that I practically consider marriage mostly a trap and a sham at best.

    Abstinence is not taught in schools because it is common sense. If you don't want to have sex, you don't have it. Yet, kids - no matter how you would like to sugarcoat this - are human beings with a just awakened, ferocious hunger for sex. This brings us to the use of condoms the safe use of which does not come naturally. Thanks to the religiously influenced misinformation and teens' natural insecurity about their sexuality, even going to the drug store to buy condoms can be so embarrasing to a teen that he rather risks unprotected sex. And even if he gathers up enough courage to buy condoms, peer pressure ("you used rubber? what kind of loser are you?" and/or unfamiliarity with the use of a condom leads into unsafe sex. This is what the sex ed should be taught: If you are going to have sex, it is not only OK but necessary that you get condoms and know how to use them. If you are not going to have sex, that is ok too.

    No point in favouring either option because that will be more like coercing kids into your own world view. Let them make their own decisions and mistakes and BE there for them when they need your help (pregnancy, STD, whatever).

  • by Stonehead (87327) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @07:00AM (#4975909)
    To hell with an euphemism like 'pushing conservative science'. What the NYT describes seems plain censorship and degradation of science to me. So much again for your Land of the Free.
  • Re:Actually... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 29, 2002 @07:13AM (#4975931)
    It wasn't really so much that Bush 'stole' the election but rather the Supreme Court improperly intervened. Clearly the Court's established Political Question Doctrine and the Constitution's own words regarding how presidential electors are to be chosen direct that the Bush v. Gore case not be heard. So Bush is not so much the person who 'stole' the election but rather the receiver of a fradulently awarded position. That is not to say that Bush is would be innocent in that situation. There is much speculation that improprieties were directed performed on his behalf. For more on those improprieties look here: http://www.gregpalast.com/unprecedented.htm
    For Law School Teachers' commentary on the Supreme Court decision look here: http://www.the-rule-of-law.com/archive/supreme/vie wad.html
    and also the root site here: http://www.the-rule-of-law.com/archive/supreme/
  • by fmaxwell (249001) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @07:25AM (#4975955) Homepage Journal
    According to revised estimates, implementing the Kyoto Treaty would increase gas prices in the USA upwards of 60 cents per gallon

    That would be a good thing. I'm sick of kissing Saudi ass and funding terrorists so that commuters and soccer moms can drive around in 11mpg Lincoln Navigators. Bush and Cheney have made it clear that they have no intention of doing anything to encourage fuel conservation. So the only way it can be done is through consumer demand -- and that won't happen unless fuel prices go up significantly.

    I have a VW Golf TDI. It gets 45MPG on average and I've broken 50mpg. It handles far better than the aforementioned SUVs and has plenty of power, with acceleration that bests most of them. The same engine and fuel economy is available in the two and four door hatchbacks (Golfs), four door sedans (Jettas), and four door station wagons (Jetta wagons). Honda and Toyota also make extremely fuel-efficient vehicles. So it's not like the vehicles aren't there. If fuel prices went up and many consumers converted to those vehicles, our reliance on foreign oil would go away and our air would be far cleaner (since SUVs are permitted to pollute far more than passenger cars).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 29, 2002 @08:44AM (#4976141)
    This is quite possibly the stupidest thing I've ever read.

    Condoms are a contraceptive device. You can bet your ass that people are making a lot more whoopie now then they were three hundred years ago--and having fewer children while they're at it. Isn't it self-evident that condoms are designed from the very beginning to increase the rate of non-reproductive sex?

    On the other hand, more guns is not going to have a huge effect on the number of morally banckrupt thugs (unless by 'killing', you mean clay targets and geese). Guns are not a contraceptive, but rather a tool.

    The two topics have nearly nothing in common, and yet you compare them like birds of a feather.
  • Re:Bush sucks. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zeinfeld (263942) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @08:48AM (#4976149) Homepage
    This administration lies about everything -- every goddamned thing -- as a matter of permanent policy

    The problem isn't just the administration, its the Republican echo chamber that chose the candidate, chose the policies and lied to the people to get him elected.

    Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the Washington times have a new version of Gobbel's 'big lie' it is the myth of the 'liberal media'. By repeating this myth often enough they aim to immunize themselves against criticism for their packs of lies.

    That is why we have in the Whitehouse a Vietnam draft dogger who deserted his National guard post that daddy pulled strings to get, a man with a criminal conviction and a man who was investigated by the SEC for corruption who got off on a 'technicality' - if you call having daddy being Vice President at the time a technicality.

    All of this was known during the campaign but the Republican echo chamber made sure that attention was instead focused on the 'real issues' of Gore's 'lies', like saying he went to Texas fires with the head of FEMA, not the deputy head, according to the Republican echo chamber this was an attempt to embelish his record, a vice president claiming to be on equal terms with an agency director! imagine!

    Very little is being said about the fact that the SEC is currently investigating Cheney for corrupt accounting. One would thing that would be a big story, bigger than Lott's racist gaffe even. But no the big story the Republican echo chamber want to talk about is the alleged cost of Kerry's hairdo.

    And so having made a mess of the economy and failled to catch Bin Laden the Administration is desperately trying to start a war in the hope that everyone (or at least sufficient numbers) can be fooled by the flag waving.

    Question for the republican slashdot monitors - can you honestly claim that W, who deserted from the National guard would have served in the war he wants to start with Iraq?

    Over where I come from we have words for people like W, they are Hypocrite, Liar and Coward.

  • by Ektanoor (9949) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @09:31AM (#4976301) Journal
    You are partially wrong. While there is no doubt that average temperature has been going positive, there are several situations that lead to conclude that maximums and minimums have not been in place also. Right now, in central European Russia we are suffering the worst Winter since 50 years ago. For nearly all December we are getting an average -20 in several places. Right now, in some cities temperatures are beating the -40 limit. Last year we didn't have such a radical frost but it was largely colder than average. Note that for many regions in European Russia the average in December is -15 - -5, with episodical minimum limits of -20.

    Summer floods have also presented an interesting pattern. Usually, a large section of East Europe gets hotter than +20 degrees (note all numbers are in centigrades). However, this last Summer has not only be too wet but also too cold. In Russia several regions beated the low records for Spring and early Summer. In our region, temperatures were frequently not higher than +15. And it was raining non-stop for several days. Meanwhile, in Siberia it was largely hotter than usual.There they entered Autumn with temperatures higher than +10 in many places.

    Some other examples.

    For some years I see snow falling in middle to late May, what is considered quite unusual for older generations.

    In other situation, a highly traditional weather pattern seen here, suddenly broke for quite a long time. We are not too far from Moscow, so, it is usual to see Moscow's weather coming down here in two or three days. This year, either we had the same weather pattern as Moscow for several weeks, or we were generally colder than Moscow.

    Meanwhile, while colder than usual, Moscow's green belt suffered one of its worst forest fires for many years. Due to the cold weather and these fires, for weeks Moscow was engolfed in a huge smog.

    While I would not dispute the fact that the globe is getting hotter, I would advise to be careful on direct experiences. The weather is surely changing, but not in the stereotyped pattern that the partisans of global waring think.
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gilroy (155262) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @09:43AM (#4976347) Homepage Journal
    Blockquoth the poster:

    I would be concerned, however, about people going in and randomly filling out a ballot just to keep their govt. services.

    I wouldn't. In fact, I teach 17- and 18-year-olds, and every year I tell them this: They should vote even if they're uninformed -- provided that they truly vote randomly (if uninformed). Here's my rationale: If lots of people vote truly randomly, then it'll basically cancel out. But voter turnout will have risen -- and the politicians won't know which votes were random. From their point of view, they'll have to conclude that voter interest really is rising, which means that voters count -- which will de-emphasize the current "play to my base" logic.


    Let's be honest here: Many of the ills of American democracy follow from the pathetically low participation rate. Corruption, ideology triumphant, slash ads ... they all result from the (justified) assumption by politicians that only a small fraction of people actually care.

  • Re:Lead to mistrust? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by userunknown (82605) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @10:08AM (#4976444) Homepage

    Why would anyone trust a government which could do something as heinous as the Tuskegee experiments [everything2.com] [everything2.com]?
    This is one of the most annoying things about the propaganda spewed by our media and the Bush administration. I want someone to bring this up every time Bush says something about how Saddam poisoned his own people. He always says it in such a way as to point out the vileness of such an act in an effort to differentiate us from them.

    In reality there are more similarities than differences. You don't here that on the evening news, do you?
  • by nathanm (12287) <nathanmNO@SPAMengineer.com> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @10:10AM (#4976449)
    If you think that North Korea (or Iraq) as aspirations to take over the world, then I think you are mistaking them with the most power / money-hungry country on Earth - the US. Everyone else (except for Israel) is quite happy left to their own devices, and only has weapons to protect themselves from the inevidable invasion from the US military / economy.
    North Korea may not want to take over the world, but they definitely have plans to invade South Korea and Japan. Their quasi-Marxist, central-planning philosophy of "self-sufficiency" has led to massive famine and economic stagnation. The only reason they have any food to eat is South Korean and US aid.

    As far as these inevidable [sic] US invasions, you didn't say the word, but essentialy you're accusing us of imperialism, which is complete, utter, delusional nonsense. We could've ruled the world long ago. After WW II, we were the only real power left on Earth. It would've been easy to establish the first truly global empire and rule the entire planet. Instead, we rebuilt Europe and Japan, then went home. You can find a much more cogent argument here [ejectejecteject.com].

    If you want to get upset about who has weapons of mass destruction, then have a look at 'our' side. The US has more nuclear, chemical and biological weapons than every other country on earth combined. And they have proved on numerous occasions that they are willing to use them to assert their economic 'rights' (while pretending that they are fighting the 'good fight' for decomcracy).
    Are you kidding, or just ignorant? Russia has more nukes than us, and the only biological and chemical weapons we have left are used for training and research only, not research into new weapons mind you, but how to defend against them.

    Yes, we are still the only country to use nuclear weapons in war. However, it probably saved the lives of 5 million American and Japanese soldiers who would've died in an invasion, and it ended the war.

    When will we see UN, or Iraqi, or North Korean inspectors checking out the US's weapons of mass destruction and shaking their heads and saying 'This is not good enough. These are clear signs or your intent to invade us. We will therefore make a pre-emptive strike!'. Until the US disarms itself (and all countries should), then it has no right to demand other countries disarm themself. If the US insists on hunting down every last terrorist and every last weapon on the 'other side', then it is going to produce more terrorists and more weapons in the act.
    First, we actually do allow the UN and Russia to inspect our weapons of mass destruction. They ensure compliance with several arms control treaties.

    If you think all countries should disarm, you're incredibly naive. Someone else would always rearm and try to assert their power. This is partly what we're seeing now with Al Qaeda, a non-governmental organization waging war across international borders. As long as there are humans left, there will be war and violence. Your utopia will never exist, and besides, I wouldn't want to live there.

    You also have a severe misunderstanding of the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists' mindset. The reason they even attempted 9/11 is they thought the US was a "paper tiger." Throughout the 90s they kept escalating their attacks, but Bill Clinton never retaliated quickly or decisively enough. The most he ever did was lob a few cruise missiles at empty training camps and pharmeceutical factories.
  • Re:I blaim Bush (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 29, 2002 @10:12AM (#4976459)
    The no-fly zones were part of the cease-fire agreement that Iraq signed to end the Gulf War. The UN is irrelevant, as always.
  • Sex, Truth & Race (Score:3, Interesting)

    by seven89 (303868) <<gro.speep3m> <ta> <cr>> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @10:22AM (#4976496) Homepage

    From the article:

    "Information that used to be based on science," the lawmakers said, "is being systematically removed from the public when it conflicts with the administration's political agenda."

    I'm not impressed by the holy hand-wringing. There are large agendas on all sides of issues pertaining to human sexual activity. Whatever a government agency puts up on a web site will always represent the triumph of one faction or another.

    If Republicans and "conservatives" tend to be less than 100% eager to have their moral positions illuminated by "scientific truth," then Democrats and "liberals" get massively rabid whenever the cold reductions of science threaten to intrude into their favorite racial fantasy, i.e., that there are NO racial differences at all, except for those caused by oppression and discrimination.

  • by userunknown (82605) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @10:51AM (#4976602) Homepage

    Exactly. One thing I don't understand is how is it that the US and allies can have any sort of weaponry or resource but any other country who does is labeled a "terrorist state" or part of some "axis of evil".

    Isn't it all just propaganda to support this administrations "might makes right" approach to foreign policy. I say we have no business interfering in the affairs of another sovereign country unless we know they intend their power and resources for imperial use. As it stands right now the only country who does this is the US.

    Even if we do know that a country intends to invade another country it should be up to the UN to decide their fate. We should not act unilaterally and we should not bully the UN but defer to their judgment. The only reason to maintain any WMD are for purposes of defense, ironically the most prevailing reason why you would need to maintain a stockpile of weapons now would be to defend your country against the threat of a US invasion.

    In summary, who are we to tell other countries what weapons they may have and what resources they can develop?

    All countries should be treated equally and bound by the same rules and laws. Just because we can bully other countries doesn't mean we should or that we are somehow morally superior.
  • by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet@hotmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @10:55AM (#4976620) Journal
    but most readers familiar with the way science "works" won't be all that shocked. Scientific results are frequently altered or completely made up for one reason. Money

    Most science is funded by a sponsorship of some kind. Very little is done out of the scientist pocket. Because of this, science becomes a sort of business model. As long as the scientist is producing results, his funding continues. See where this is going?

    Erm. You neglect a few key points. First, (most) scientists like to publish interesting--or even controversial--results. It enhances their standing among their peers, and often leads to promotion, job offers, and better funding.

    If the results they publish do not suit the whims of their current industrial masters, there is often other funding to be had elsewhere. The flawed 'business model' you describe assumes that there is only one source of funding for only one preferred result. Usually competing interests will fund interesting research. In may nations, government funding is provided by agencies that operate at arms' length from politicians and are most concerned with doing good science.

    Finally, if you make something up in science, you eventually get caught. It's the nature of the scientific method. Someone will check your work--often fairly soon after publication, if not before--and you will have some explaining to do. 'Because the United States Government says so' is not an acceptable proof, no matter what results they buy. Conclusions not based in fact will be challenged.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:15AM (#4976707)

    North Korea may not want to take over the world, but they definitely have plans to invade South Korea and Japan. Their quasi-Marxist, central-planning philosophy of "self-sufficiency" has led to massive famine and economic stagnation. The only reason they have any food to eat is South Korean and US aid.



    You don't know the difference between having plans and excuting them do you? Everyone have insane ideas and make totally absurd plans, but their common sense tends to get in the way, and since countries are ruled by people they won't be any different. G.W. Bush might or might not know the difference, but does it matter anyway? He seems just a puppet for the large corporations.

    And what gives US of A the right to tell how other countries work? The right of military power perhaps? I personally don't know much about North Koreas political status, all I see is sensationalist news about the place. If I were to believe only "the news" the world would be a very dark place indeed, they only provide news about misery because "doing well" has no news value.

    As far as these inevidable [sic] US invasions, you didn't say the word, but essentialy you're accusing us of imperialism, which is complete, utter, delusional nonsense. We could've ruled the world long ago. After WW II, we were the only real power left on Earth. It would've been easy to establish the first truly global empire and rule the entire planet. Instead, we rebuilt Europe and Japan, then went home.


    Yes, but rebuilt why? And they most certainly didn't leave Europe (or the rest of the world) to their own devices. Think of NATO, I believe USA has lots of weapons around Europe. And I really doubt USA could've conquered the world by military might, or if it would've been possible the resulting "country" would've been so unstable that it would've probably ruined the economy far beyond what WW II did.

    I wonder if even Americans could've won the war had Hitler not gone to Russia (or if he would've won that war).


    If you think all countries should disarm, you're incredibly naive. Someone else would always rearm and try to assert their power. This is partly what we're seeing now with Al Qaeda, a non-governmental organization waging war across international borders. As long as there are humans left, there will be war and violence. Your utopia will never exist, and besides, I wouldn't want to live there.


    Yes, America is the only "Utopia" allowed to exist clearly, and a Bush America at that. And when Bush proclaimed it "War on Terror", it ceased to be a war on "Al Queda", and now it's just a generic "War to Grab the Gas", and a war to keep the masses on the right side of the opinion pole for the next coming election.

    I wonder why Bush wants even to be a president if he just accepts the person with the most money?

  • by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet@hotmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:15AM (#4976708) Journal
    Condoms are a contraceptive device...Isn't it self-evident that condoms are designed from the very beginning to increase the rate of non-reproductive sex?

    On the other hand, more guns is not going to have a huge effect on the number of morally banckrupt thugs (unless by 'killing', you mean clay targets and geese). Guns are not a contraceptive, but rather a tool.

    Guns and condoms are both tools.

    Question: Since you've chosen to describe guns as purely recreational devices, which pastime seems healthier psychologically--simulated reproduction for fun or simulated killing for fun?

    Aside: The conservative right tends (not always, but often) to find sex education objectionable, and gun ownership appropriate. Meanwhile, simulated killing with simulated weapons in modern computer games is hotly debated--it's only okay if you're killing simulated terrorists. Interesting.

  • by jgalun (8930) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:16AM (#4976711) Homepage
    You know, the modding on Slashdot is outrageous sometimes. There is nothing trollish about this post. But too many moderators on Slashdot think that trolling means saying something they don't like.

    Someone posts a comment that the only reason other countries in the world have weapons is because they're afraid of an American attack, and it gets moderated as +5 insightful. Someone simply says that there are left-wingers who produce biased science too (which is demonstably true), and he gets modded as a troll.

    Recently, in a thread on SGI, I saw a post by a user with an ID around 600, which gave a lot of evidence for why SGI is in trouble in a number of marketplaces, because of pressure from cheap Athlon systems. He got modded as a troll. Then a user with a userID above 600,000 posted nothing more than "SGI will lose because Linux is taking it on the low-end" and got rated as insightful. So apparently, if you say SGI is dying because of low-end PCs, that's trolling because Slashdotters emotionally prefer SGIs to PCs. But if you say SGI is dying because of Linux, that's not trolling, because Slashdotters emotionally prefer Linux to all else.

    You can mod me down as off-topic, or as a troll, but I don't care. Moderators need to recognize that just because you don't like an opinion doesn't make it a troll.
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @12:10PM (#4977002) Homepage

    This is why these organizations should be privatized non-profits. The FDA, EPA, NCI, etc. should be able to say whatever they think best. If some group disagrees, then they can start another group that says something else. No social or political group should be backed by the government as the absolute authority on a subject. This would lead to honesty and lower taxes.

    (Vote libertarian!)
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @01:18PM (#4977372) Homepage Journal
    Are you kidding, or just ignorant? Russia has more nukes than us

    US: 7,982 deployed nuclear weapons [brook.edu]
    Russia: About 6000. [fas.org]

    the only biological and chemical weapons we have left are used for training and research only, not research into new weapons mind you, but how to defend against them.

    Bullshit. "How to defend against them" is a euphemism for "how to unleash them with minimal losses on our part". And you don't really need new wepons, you already have good weapons...people won't get any more dead with new weapons than with what's already available.

    Yes, we are still the only country to use nuclear weapons in war. However, it probably saved the lives of 5 million American and Japanese soldiers who would've died in an invasion, and it ended the war.

    Against civillians, mind you, and the war was already won. Japan had been trying to negociate a surrender with the help of russian diplomats for about a year when the US decided to nuke 'em (twice!). The point was not to end the war, it was to get an unconditionnal surrender...kick 'em while they're down.
    It also came in handy as a way to scare the rest of the world into submission to US foreign policy...the "we have the bomb" argument was a pretty good one for 10 or 15 years, until others could say the same.

    Your utopia will never exist, and besides, I wouldn't want to live there.

    How's your best friend Satan?

    You also have a severe misunderstanding of the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists' mindset.

    I don't know about him, but my understanding is like this: You hit them, they hit you back more, you ht THEM back more, they hit YOU back double more...

    Round and round it goes...

    So, yeah, keep on picking a fight with Irak, and when the extremists hit you back for them, you can say "see, they hit us, we were right to hit them first", again and agin and again.

  • by Kohath (38547) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @01:41PM (#4977459)
    • Secondhand smoke kills ###### people a year.
    • The rich don't pay taxes.
    • Cell phones cause cancer.
    • There are # million homeless people in the US.
    • Breast implants cause illness.
    • Global warming will kill us all in ## years.
    • Ozone depletion will kill us all in ## years.
    • Overpopulation will kill us all in ## years.
    • Women are paid $.7# cents for every dollar a man is paid.
    • No one knew cigarettes were dangerous before 19##.
    • Cigarette smoking costs the public $## billion for health care.
    • Animals have Rights.
    • There are ### species going extinct each day/month/year.
    • It's ---------'s fault children are fat, not their parents' fault.
    • Nuclear power is more dangereous than ------ power.
    • -------- is dangerous in small doses.
    • Vaccines cause autism.
    • Organic food is safer.
    • GM "frankenfoods" will kill us all in ## years.
    • Air polution is getting worse.

    If you want a hundred examples of outright leftist falsehood, you only need to look to junkscience.com [junkscience.com]. It's updated daily. They're not always right, but they seem to have brought back the concept of healthy skepticism.

    This is not a defense of untruth by the right either. I've noticed just the opposite of your contention. Untruths are more a historical phenomenon for the right and more a contemporary phenomenon for the left.

    The thing is, political falsehood is usually used to oppress people, not to free them. In general, modern conservatives in the US want more freedom, and modern liberals want more control over people. This represents a shift from the '60s, and it goes hand-in-hand with the shift in political untruth-telling.

  • Re:Not surprised (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ring Kichard (109550) <frostbit@snet.net> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @02:10PM (#4977601) Homepage
    I'm going to try to keep this as on topic as possible, but please allow me a little digression, because - as is frequently the case - the discussion is more interesting than the article.

    First, I'd warn you away from this sort of "but for" thinking: "But for Nader, Gore would have won" assumes a large number of unproven assertions. For all we know, but for Nader's candidacy, some kook with a rifle would have killed Al Gore. If the future is an epistemological quandary, alternate futures are doubly so.

    Second, if we do play the, "but for" game, Nader may have radically increased Democratic turnout. In states with close Senate races, (Washington?), while it's possible that the Al Gore presidential campaign lost votes, the extra liberal turnout likely pushed the Democratic Senate races over the top. This contributed to the 50-50 split of the senate and allowed the senator from Vermont to leave the Republican Party and give control of the Senate to the Democrats.

    Third, Monica Morehead, another presidential candidate (one of the socialist parties) received over 1k votes in Florida. If the argument that "Nader voters should just have taken Gore, he's closer to what they wanted than Bush" is true, it also holds for the parties further left. I don't see a overwhelming tide of blame coming down on her head.

    Fourth, even if all the Nader voters had voted for Gore, it's not entirely clear that it would have mattered. The recount shenanigans, the dueling Supreme courts, the enormous conflict's of interest on both sides, that election wasn't settled by voters.

    Finally, if Gore were president it is almost a certainty that we would be invading Iraq. Joseph Lieberman (currently representing my state) is a strongly religious Jew and has been calling for war with Iraq ever since we left the first time around. This is the same Joseph Lieberman, you may remember, that would have been Al Gore's VP.

    ---

    Obligatory on topic comment: Of course government scientists are going to try to kiss up to their bosses. They want more money for themselves or their projects. The real question is, "Is the peer review system sufficient to counteract this trend." If our government has (effective?) checks and balances, should science as well? How do we achieve this?
  • by aerojad (594561) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @02:22PM (#4977655) Homepage Journal
    Where are you diging this up from? I've had family members who have died from smoking, was their death faked for me by the left?
    Air pollution is getting worse, try breathing country air compared to the air in Detroit where I live.
    No homeless in the country? Have you ever left the pedistol you're on and visited, oh I don't know, ANY inner city?
    Want examples of women being paid less than men? Let me take you to the k-mart where I used to work where I would get a $0.35 raise and a woman would only get a $0.25 raise.
    Of course cigarette smoking dosen't cost the public money, because people who are suffering from lung cancer don't go to the hospital, right?
    Animals don't have rights? Tell me that again when the ecosystem is in shambles and we don't have anything to eat.
    No species going extinct per day? Oh what do you care, they're just insignifigant bugs.
    Nuclear power isn't dangerous? Go visit Eastern Europe and tell people that.

    For the love of God, think before you sound tremendously stupid, but above all, remember that no one political party is out to "get you", and so no one political party is going to make up world history and scientific breakthroughs over the past century! I suppose man never landed on the moon too, right?
  • by feed_me_cereal (452042) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @03:12PM (#4977870)
    you forgot about some of the other things that keep being said on this thread:

    What's the best way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases? Condoms or Abstinence?

    I'm getting sick of this misrepresentation of the issue. No shit abstinence is better, but this is a choice that OTHER people are making, not the government. A real characterization of the issue before the government is this:

    Which would be a more effective method of preventing unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STD's: passing out condoms or advocating abstinence?

    This is a much more difficult question, and it is the one we actually face. Just because you say abstinence a better idea dosen't mean ANYONE is listening, and it could be possible that these people who are going to have sex whether you like it or not (which is most people I've knew in highschool and college) could benefit from condoms.
  • Re:Not votint (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sjames (1099) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @03:27PM (#4977930) Homepage

    I could go for that, though if 'none of the above' was an option and could cause something meaningful to happen, I would happily vote without compulsion.

    Compulsory voting leads to a danger for abuse. What would be really interesting (but won't happen) would be no vote = no government services = no taxes. Given most American's opinions of how well their tax dollars are spent, it would lead to a record low turnout :-)

  • by FatHogByTheAss (257292) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @05:42PM (#4978452)
    If the kids are raised where abstinence is the way to go, then you get teens that use abstinence.

    Bullshit. What you get are kids that have sex and try to cover it up. You get kids that have unsafe sex because they are scared to death that someone at the drugstore might tell dad he was buying rubbers. You get girls that hide their pregnancies, give birth in bathrooms, and leave their babies in trash cans.

    Where/when I went to high school, no body did anything except get drunk on the weekends.

    Just because you couldn't get any, you shouldn't assume everyone else couldn't, too.

  • by Arandir (19206) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @09:05PM (#4979242) Homepage Journal
    Your sex ed classes are the exact opposite of those I had to take when I was a kid. We were never told about abstinence (but we were smart enough to realize it existed). Instead we were told that we would have sex with multiple partners and told how to use a condom (complete with banana demonstration) because we would have the need before the month ended.

    Two opposite assumptions: all teenagers will have sex before marriage versus no teenagers will have sex before marriage. Isn't there a middle ground here? I'm guessing a solution that manages to piss off both the left and the right might be the right one. How about: "If you are going to have sex then use a condom, please. But do your best to wait until you're mature, married, committed, or similar."

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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