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United States Science

U.S. Pushing Conservative Science 1036

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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  • by LUN!X ( 621212 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @06:21AM (#4975684) Homepage
    Hormonal cycles are radically disrupted by an aborted pregnancy. Ever been around post-abortive women? You know what I'm talking about. There's almost always a fair amount of internal damage when tools are used, depending on the method of operation. The vacuum device (sorry.. don't know the name) that collapses the skull has a sharp edged attachment and it's difficult to maneuver. That's a pretty confined space to work in, after all.

    Kinda related... I read a book recently which contained some rather compelling evidence for the theory that bras (the kind with wires - not sports bras) contribute to breast cancer.. seems the wires restrict the flow of lymph and the toxins build up. Free radicals accumulate to ridiculous levels in women who wear their bras overnight. I actually know this chick who wears one to bed all the time. Try googling for "breast cancer"+lymph+bras or something... ?

    I doubt anybody here cares, but if you really want to prevent breast cancer, have a kid early. Breast cancer rates are less than half of 'normal' if you successfully bear a child before the age of 26. This does not apply to men as far as I know. OK. Have a nice night.
  • by videodriverguy ( 602232 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @06:37AM (#4975733) Homepage
    Did you read the study done on 1.5 million women? Is that not enough 'evidence' for you? Or perhaps you would prefer the average American study, on 1000 people with massive uncertanties.

    How about women who don't breast feed? Wouldn't that make just as much difference. And what about miscarriages, as someone else pointed out.

    As someone who also posted this very same article earlier (but was rejected), I have to say that the point here is they are CHANGING the sites to further political agendas. A very bad thing, IMHO.

    Sadly, the only thing surprising about it (to me) was that the media kept this so quiet. Wonder what's next (and I really don't want to think about that)?

    'UNBIASED Knowledge is Good' - any other kind is Bad.
  • by rde ( 17364 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @06:52AM (#4975768)
    Bush's pernicious zealotry is mainifesting itself in far more that revisionism; last July, he cut funding to the UN Population Fund (normally at http://ww.unfpa.org , but I can't seem to get in ATM).
    An enthusiastic bunch of our right-wing friends in the Population Research Institute claimed - without evidence and despite UN law to the contrary - that the UNFPA supported coerced abortions in China. Everyone from Colin Powell down who knew anything on the subject derided the PRI's claimes - check out the PDF [house.gov] from the House of Representatives - but despite all the evidence to the contraray, Bush went ahead and cut funding.

    Interestingly, I googled to check the facts before posting (going against /. tradition, I know. Forgive me.), and came across a plethora of news stories on the topic, most of which run along the lines of "Bush cuts funds to UN body that supports coerced abortion", usually with a denial from some Chinese official. Here's the Telegraph [telegraph.co.uk] version.

    The PRI are here [psu.edu]; couldn't find a link to the story.
  • by Sad Loser ( 625938 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @06:58AM (#4975782)
    What people don't realise when the read x is linked to y is how this is done.
    • generally it is a retrospective study, which cannot prove X causes Y, only that X is associated with Y. Retrospective studies are not good science, and you only use them when it is too difficult or expensive to do a proper (prospective) study.
    • the statistical test used in medicine to decide if X is associated with Y is that if the result had less than 1 in 20 chance of occurring by chance.
    • Factor in publication bias (the tendancy to only publish positive results) and this means that at least one in twenty medical stories you read about is rubbish.
    This is one of the dangers of data-mining, especially if done by people with people with political agendas.
  • Re:personally... (Score:2, Informative)

    by NigelJohnstone ( 242811 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @07:02AM (#4975793)
    "reading the article the information about condom use seems very accurate to me"

    The 'condoms are not 100% safe' bit isn't the bit they were complaining about. It was the removal of information that says well 'yeh, actually statistically they are pretty safe':

    "The studies found that even with repeated sexual contact, 98-100 percent of those people who used latex condoms correctly and consistently did not become infected."

    If you can't trust what the government is telling you then you're in deep deep do do.
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:5, Informative)

    by mferrare ( 65039 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @07:11AM (#4975808)
    Then you have lazy, ignorant, and just plain stupid people voting just becuase they have to and circling a random name on the ballot.

    Australia has compulsory voting. We have it at the federal and state levels. It hasn't bred the random name thingy you mention - in fact, quite the opposite. People become dyed-in-the-wool Labor (kinda like Democrats but more leftish) or Liberal (kinda like Rebups but more leftish) voters. Most elections are left up to a small percentage of 'swinging' voters to determine who forms government. This may sound bad but it's actually quite good. Why? Because, as people are becoming more educated and aware of the impact of the government on their lives they are starting to think more about their vote. As a result, the amount of swinging voters is growing which is a good thing - it keeps the government on its toes. Doing so has led to a Labor government implementing rightist policies (selling off our nationalised bank and airlines in the 80's) and has led the Liberal government to implement leftist policies (increasing tax on the rich (in for form of the super guarantee and medicare levy for those over $x,000 with no private insurance)).

    Having compulsory voting makes you vote. This in turn makes you pay more attention to what the government does. And judging by the increasing number of swinging voters, people care. Making voting compulsory has removed the barrier of voter apathy (to an extent at least).

  • by I am Jack's username ( 528712 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @07:20AM (#4975825)
    Thanks to Google news. [google.com] Remember to disable Java and Flash to avoid the ads.
  • Re:Bush sucks. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rhinobird ( 151521 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @08:11AM (#4975928) Homepage
    How the fuck did this get modded up? There is nothing here. If you change 'Bush sucks.' to 'Clinton sucks.' you get the same rant but with a rightist spin. Nothing about anything written in the article, hell, this post isn't even funny.
  • by intnsred ( 199771 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @08:36AM (#4975986)
    Will this lead to a mistrust of the government?

    That's funny. Let's see, we have a president sitting in the White House who lost the election. The election was rigged in a state run by his brother, oversaw by Florida Sec. of State Kathleen Harris (G. Bush's Florida campaign director). This election included denying tens of thousands the right of voting by a deliberate move of removing felons from the voting rolls (fine) and people whose names and SSNs were similar to those of a felon (not fine!). There are clearly documented examples (referenced by federal US election officials) of denying blacks and minorities the right to vote and of several Republican counties throwing ballots away. When the vote was close military ships and bases overseas were alerted to get more people to vote (on the theory those votes would be overwhemingly Republican). Despite the law clearly saying those votes had to have a valid postmark by the election day, Harris' Florida election people said to count those votes that were not validly postmarked.

    Voting was confused enough that a recount was ordered, a recount approved by the Flordia state Supreme Court. When it was clear that Gore was going to win the recount, the media clearly had to fix Bush in the public's mind as the winner. So the head of Fox News (G. Bush's first cousin) called the election in Bush's favor.

    The vote then moved to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had to work fast because Gore was catching up and would soon pass Bush in the recount. One Supreme Court "justice" [sic] had a son working for the legal firm which presented the Republican's case. Another "justice" [sic] had a wife working for Bush's campaign transition team. Yet those 2 justices did not recuse themselves, and instead were the key votes in the 5-4 decision to stop the recount. A very nice, clean, bloodless coup!

    Many times I've heard the US president tell tales of how the IAEA said in 1998 Iraq was working on nuclear weapons, but he IAEA said no such thing. Many times I've heard the president say how the UN weapons inspectors were "kicked out" of Iraq -- yet they left voluntarily after being frustrated by Iraqi resistance to inspections. It's clear these repeated incidents are not "slips of the tongue." It's clear why the president is lying like this -- he simply wants to build support for an attack on Iraq.

    Why this ramble? My point is this: What person is fool enough to trust the government now? What makes you think we're that naive?

    Given the above examples, given the lies surrounding the Iran-Contra affair and the US importing of drugs to support the Contras during the 1980s, given the history of the Vietnam era -- deliberate large-scale lies to the American people and attempts by the Nixon administration to rig an election -- is there any person who really thinks we live in a democratic republic and that our government is trustworthy?!

    This message -- and your e-mail and movements across the WWW/Internet -- is being monitored by the US gov't and it's "new" version of the First Amendment. Don't worry, you have nothing to fear, just trust us -- we'll only use these new draconian laws on the bad guys and you're "free" talk talk about J.Lo or the Super Bowl all you want...

  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @08:43AM (#4976014) Journal
    Since a lot of people seem to make some sort of bond between this topic and global warming, I agree that there isn't much proof that the planet is warming, in an abstract theoretical sense. However I consider what I experience as proof for me:

    When I got to Europe in 1986 from Africa, Winters were blisteringly cold in Berlin in Germany, and I remember one Winter in particular, 86-87, where the temperature went down to -29 Degrees Centigrade. I remember summers here being a balmy 26 to 28 Degrees Centigrade, on a hot summer. I mived to Switzerland in 1989 in time to see a small lake near to Zurich freezing over for most of the Winter for the last time.

    Since then, in the countryside near to Zurich, the last time the small ski-stations had enough snow, anytime in winter for people to ski for more than a week was 1992. I remember sitting outside in the sunshine at 14 degrees Centigrade in a T-shirt, playing my bass guitar, on January 14th 1998. Summers have, since the mid to late 90's, regularly broken all time high records and almost every summer since about 1998 has reached 30 to 32 Degrees Centigrade.

    On top of this the weather has become increasingly chaotic. Autumn and Spring storms that regularly reach huricane strength, each couple of years breaking the record of the last set of storms a few years ago, meandering cold fronts going off their usual west-east course in Winter and bringing a week of sudden (in the space of one hour) freezes of down to -14 Degrees Centigrade which last a few days and the temperature then suddenly boucing back up to 10 Degrees Centigrade. Almost every year now has major flooding in central Europe.

    That was my experience here in Europe. My sister in Australia tells me that the country is getting dryer all the time and the bush fires bigger every year.

    That does make me think, and I don't think that any piece of strange, backward legislation by a somwhat dubious Dubya is going to change that.
  • by TygerFish ( 176957 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @08:58AM (#4976043)
    I disagree completely with the moderator's scoring this, 'informative' for the reasons below.

    Yes, an abortion is bound to do strange things to hormonal cycles in women, however, the question the post poses, and to which the times article refers, is whether or not the government is altering scientific data on health-related sites to suit a conservative agenda. The answer The Times article gave can be summed up with the words 'it seems so to many people including pro-choice politicians.'

    Having got that out of the way, we can examine the poster's statements to extract an implicit argument.

    There's almost always a fair amount of internal damage when tools are used, depending on the method of operation.

    This is not accurate. According to one site, the discomfort associated with a D and C procedure (dilation and curettage, the most usual procedure in early stage abortions) is similar to the discomfort of menstral cramps. With this in mind, what the poster says makes things sound like major surgery is going on. That is weird, but things only start to get really hallucinatory when the poster writes about 'the vacuum device.'

    The vacuum device (sorry.. don't know the name) that collapses the skull has a sharp edged attachment and it's difficult to maneuver. That's a pretty confined space to work in, after all.

    Technical and clinical sounding, and gruesome enough to get your adrenaline pumping, but it has no substance: it is wet and sloshy when it comes to the facts.

    This description of the procedure presupposes a long wait before the decision to terminate the pregnancy in question is undertaken. A long wait before one makes the decision is a possible pathway to abortion but it is by no means a necessary one despite the writer's implicit assertion. Dilation and curettage is only one of a number of options open to women in the United States and there is no reason to assume that abortion involving skull-collapsing sharp things that no one knows the name of is the only option or in any way the norm.

    Current in-home pregnancy tests can allow a woman to know that she is pregnant within 10 days of conception and the poster works hard to describe a procedure that would note be necessary to abort the fetus after tens of weeks have gone by when in truth, during the second month of pregnancy, during the eighth week, the fetus is a legless thing measuring, 0.63 inches long from crown to rump and weighing four hundredths of an ounce.

    The right of men and women to plan and control their reproduction--to control if, when and under what circumstances they will become parents, is an important one. If one is to present arguments where one's tacit assumption is that it's alright to rewrite the conclusions of scientific papers or throw out ideologically inconvenient statistics, one should try to get at least *some* of his facts from somewhere other than pro-life websites or the big book of urban legends.

  • by Xoro ( 201854 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @10:29AM (#4976294)

    Google abortion "breast cancer" Australia lawsuit.

    Mentioned here [prolifeinfo.org] and here. [prochoicea...canada.org]

    I reckon that in a tech-oriented locale such as /., people would have at least learned to check Google before calling someone a "lying troll".

  • by nathanm ( 12287 ) <nathanm@enginee[ ]om ['r.c' in gap]> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @11:19AM (#4976486)
    Conservatives think sex is bad, condoms or no.
    I hope you're kidding, right? Not all conservatives hold the same view. Even the most far-right wing, Christian Coalition, fundamentalist, conservative zealot doesn't believe sex is bad, just that it should be confined to marriage.

    For all your philosophical sophistication, trying to disprove the parent comment through your sheer, logical brilliance, you sure are ignorant.
  • by jdreed1024 ( 443938 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @12:32PM (#4976794)
    Who modded this Interesting? -1 Flamebait is more like it.

    The poster has no concept of history whatsoever. First, some things to clear up. In the 1948 election, Strom Thurmond was not running as a Republican OR a Democract. He was running as a semi-independent. A group of Southern Democrats, who thought Harry Truman (a democrat) was going too far with his civil rights policies, broke from the Democratic party and formed their own party with their key point being the "right of the States". In practice, the only States' Right they cared about was the right to allow segregation. (These were unofficially known as "Dixiecrats".)

    Second, the Democratic Party nominated Eisenhower as a candidate and wanted him to face Truman in the Democratic Primary. Eisenhower (as a national WWII hero) knew that he would win, but declined the nomination. He threw in the towel, and is reported to have discussed this with Truman, saying he (Eisenhower) would decline the nomnation provided Truman did not seek a second term in 1952. We all know the rest of the story - Truman rode around the county, decrying the Republican Congress; the media picked Dewey (Republican) as their favorite; and Truman won by a landslide.

    Now, on to your original post. You claim:
    the last time that the president and both houses of Congress were republican was then - In the Eisenhower administration.
    This was only the case for the first half of the first term of Eisenhower's administration. The 83rd Congress was Republican, but just barely. (In the senate it was a margin of 1 (with 1 independent), and in the house, a margin of 5 (with several independents))
    Do you really think the whole Trent Lott fiasco was because he "misspoke himself"?
    Yes. Lott has a history of misspeaking himself. Regardless of whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, you have to agree that Lott is the kind of person that shouldn't be allowed to speak without a teleprompter. Furthermore, Lott did not say "If we'd had segregation in 1948, things would be better.", nor did he say "Strom, if your platform had been carried in '48, we'd all be happy." He merely said that if Thurmond had been president, we wouldn't have had "these problems" today. He didn't say what problems. It's conceiveable he was talking about Korea, for example. If Thurmond had been elected in '48, it's likely that a) We wouldn't have gone into Korea at all; or b) We would have gone in, but Thurmond wouldn't have fired McArthur like Truman did. He could have been talking about anything at all. Fact is, there's no way in hell Thurmond would have even been elected, given the strong Democratic support for civil rights. Second of all, even if he _had_ been elected, there's no way he would have passed any anti-civil rights stuff with the do-nothing 80th Republican Congress, and by the time the 81st Congress rolled around, it was strongly controlled by Democratic advocaters of Civil Rights, which is what allowed Truman to pass the order of de-segregation for the U.S. Armed Forces so quickly.

    Also, Lott was 5 or 6 in 1948. How many of you paid attenton to politics when you were 5 or 6? How many of you in college now remember the detailed platforms of the '84 election? I sure don't.
    Fact is, whatever Lott's remark meant, it got blown out of proportion. The reason it took 3 days for ANYONE (on either side) to get upset at his remark, is because they had to go back and look at the '48 election, and figure out what the hell platform Thurmond was running on, because nobody remembers. Regardless, he should have known that anything he says as a politician is going to get misinterpreted, and that's why you keep your mouth shut unless your speechwriter and spin doctor are with you.

  • by radish ( 98371 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @01:29PM (#4977114) Homepage

    Since when did sex need "legitimizing"? How on earth can the most basic reproductive act of our species not be "legitimite"?

    Let's get this straight:

    Sex is good, it's fun, people like it and people will always do it. If they stop, we're in trouble.

    Condoms allow people to have sex, whilst reducing the risk of problems (STDs, unwanted pregnancies etc) occuring. Not removing the risk, reducing the risk.

    If people are going to have sex (and they are, and indeed they SHOULD), then it makes sense for them to use condoms. Just like if you're going to get in your car and drive, it makes sense to wear the seatbelt. You're not guaranteed to stay alive, but it improves your chances.

  • Re:Bush sucks. (Score:2, Informative)

    by octalc0de ( 601035 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @02:30PM (#4977411) Journal
  • by ender81b ( 520454 ) <billd@[ ]braska.com ['ine' in gap]> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @06:20PM (#4978371) Homepage Journal
    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.

    As a history major this bit of misinformation has to be swiftly kicked out the door. The japanese would NEVER unconditionally surrender without the Nukes. Indeed, after the first nuke they STILL wouldn't demanding that a conditional surrnder with the Japanese Emperor still held in place the only condition the only option. After the second nuke only the direct intervention of the Japanese Emperor himself convinced the war cabinet to surrender.

    The logical question then arises why did the US demand a unconditional surrender? Simple, it had been agreed upon at numerous conferences between the allies. Italy, Germany, and Japan all must unconditionally surrender or the war would not stop. Not demanding a unconditional surrender would've been tatamount to breaking a treaty between the allies.

    The *reasons* for an unconditional surrender are quite valid. The US , and the allies, wanted to prevent the Germans/Japanese/Italians from ever rising up in power again to make war upon the world. You might remember the Versaille treaty and WWI - or you probably don't. At any rate this conditional treaty totally failed in preventing germany from rearming and, indeed, contributed to the rise of power of hitler. The US and the allies demanded the unconditional surrender to ensure something like this would never happen. And, guess what, it hasn't. Germany and Japan are both fairly strong allies and both are pretty peace-loving and economic powerhouses in the world. Seems the US occupation and surrender did some good.

    Finally, instead of blaming the us for "kicking them while they where down" why the fuck don't you blame the japanese leaders for not surrendering when they *knew* they where beat? They KNEW that the allies would only accept an unconditional surrender but they continued to fight and, ultimatly, it is they who decided the fate of all those people who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki - or the millions who would've died in an invasion of the home islands.

    It had nothing to do with 'kicking them while they where down'. It had EVERYTHING to do with preventing a World War III. And, guess what, it worked. Anyone who thinks that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where simply vengeful acts has not a clue about the historical basis for the reasons for unconditional surrender - as you yourself proved.
  • Re:Bush sucks. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @06:43PM (#4978456) Homepage
    Oh and BTW: Cheny was cleared. he is no longer under investigation.

    More Republican lies, the SEC just upgraded the Halliburton probe [yahoo.com]

    Why tell lies about things that are so easily checked? Cheney is still under investigation, he was CEO while the accounting irregularities occurred.

  • by Hauptkov ( 414018 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @08:11PM (#4978788) Homepage
    "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."

    Ah, Steven Milloy. Webmaster of junkscience.com [junkscience.com], and tobacco industry shill.

    PR Watch [prwatch.org] had a huge article on Milloy, which you can read here [prwatch.org].

    Basic story: "the Junkman" got his start through Phillip Morris's dealings with PR firm Burston-Marsteller when they started creating phony scientific groups to oppose inconvenient research into the harmfulness of tobacco, and phony grassroots citizens' groups to make it appear there was a public groundswell of support for tobacco companies. Guess who was on board some of the groups to give "scientific weight" to what they said.

    Here are some excerpts of the article:

    Steven Milloy describes himself as the publisher of the Junk Science Home Page and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. "Milloy appears frequently on radio and television; has testified on risk assessment and Superfund before the U.S. Congress; and has lectured before numerous organizations," it adds, noting that he has also "written articles that have appeared in the New York Post, USA Today, Washington Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, and the Investors' Business Daily."

    These facts are all accurate as far they go, but they say nothing about how Milloy came to be a prominent debunker of "junk science." This omission is undoubtedly by design, because it would certainly be embarrassing to admit that a self-proclaimed scientific reformer got his start as a behind-the-scenes lobbyist for the tobacco industry, which has arguably done more to corrupt science than any other industry in history.

    Early in his career, Milloy worked for a company called Multinational Business Services, a Washington lobby shop that Philip Morris described as its "primary contact" on the issue of secondhand cigarette smoke in the early 1990s. Later, he became executive director of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), an organization that was covertly created by Philip Morris for the express purpose of generating scientific controversy regarding the link between secondhand smoke and cancer.
    After leaving Tozzi's service, Milloy became president of his own organization called the "Regulatory Impact Analysis Project, Inc.," where he wrote a couple of reports arguing that "most environmental risks are so small or indistinguishable that their existence cannot be proven." Shortly thereafter, he launched the "Junk Science Home Page." Calling himself "the Junkman," he offered daily attacks on environmentalists, public health and food safety regulators, anti-nuclear and animal rights activists, and a wide range of other targets that he accused of using unsound science to advance various political agendas.

    Milloy was also active in defense of the tobacco industry, particularly in regard to the issue of environmental tobacco smoke. He dismissed the EPA's 1993 report linking secondhand smoke to cancer as "a joke," and when the British Medical Journal published its own study with similar results in 1997, he scoffed that "it remains a joke today." After one researcher published a study linking secondhand smoke to cancer, Milloy wrote that she "must have pictures of journal editors in compromising positions with farm animals. How else can you explain her studies seeing the light of day?"

    In August 1997, the New York Times reported that Milloy was one of the paid speakers at a Miami briefing for foreign reporters sponsored by the British-American Tobacco Company, whose Brown & Williamson unit makes popular cigarettes like Kool, Carlton and Lucky Strike. At the briefing, which was off-limits to U.S. journalists, the company flew in dozens of reporters from countries including Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru and paid for their hotel rooms and expensive meals while the reporters sat through presentations that ridiculed "lawsuit-driven societies like the United States" for using "unsound science" to raise questions about "infinitesimal, if not hypothetical, risks" related to inhaling a "whiff" of tobacco smoke.
    Milloy is also highly visible on the internet. In addition to publishing the Junk Science Home Page and a website for the No More Scares campaign, Milloy also operates a "Consumer Distorts" website devoted to attacking Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, which Milloy accuses of socialism, sensationalism, and "scaring consumers away from products."

    And here are some more PR [prwatch.org] Watch [prwatch.org] articles [prwatch.org] on Mr. Milloy.
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:3, Informative)

    by PurpleBob ( 63566 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @09:54PM (#4979203)
    If the preferential votes were counted by the Condorcet system (where the votes are tallied in contests between pairs of people), then putting the Nazi Party candidate last would not be a problem. It would just say "I want this guy to lose in every contest". If there are two such candidates, you have to rank one above the other, of course, but they'll still lose to everyone else.

    In the Instant Runoff Voting system which Australia uses, though, there are often situations where you would rather have your vote go to nobody than go further down your preferences. That's just one of the many flaws in IRV. In that case, IRV with optional voting is a bit of an improvement.

    The problem is that, under that system, people probably get lazy and only mark their top choice even when they do have preferences regarding the other people, and the result is the plurality system (and of course IRV, despite its flaws, is much much better than plurality). That's probably the reason for requiring people to rank every candidate.
  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @09:54PM (#4979208) Homepage Journal
    What other counties were studied? Were those counties similar to Lubbock in economics, education, demographics, etc? If the study didn't have them, then it was NOT A SCIENTIFIC STUDY!

    Lubbock Texas has a character and set of attitudes distinct from all other counties in the country. Drawing nation wide conclusions from just Lubbock county is stupid.

    In the county I grew up in, about 60% of the population were strict catholics. They were also immigrant and migratory workers. (sound a bit like Lubbock?) Teenage pregnancy is sky high and welfare assistance to single mothers is draining the county coffers dry. Is this the fault of catholic emphasis on abstinence? Or was it the fault of economic hopelessness? I strongly suspect the latter.

User hostile.