Archive for November, 2009
The Martyred Son, is a tragic playlet of a Palestinian family whose first knowledge of the radicalization of their only son is after his death in the process of murdering 7 Israelis. Their soul searching and recriminations developed while they rethink how such a thing could occur, provides a painful glimpse into the dynamics and impact of the extreme fundamentalists on what otherwise might be a normal society. One critic has observed, “anyone of any religion will tear up reading this poignant, intimate account of what we never usually consider when we hear of another suicide bombing.”
A dialogue of two Tunisian senior government officials, both Western educated, regarding the problem of modernizing the rural, desert South of the country where religious Islamic fundamentalism and the desert cultural tradition are major obstacles. The modernity, and relatively successful development of the country, with no oil or other natural resources, compared to other Arab countries is historically, culturally and politically explained in this insightful dialogue.
Public Health Versus Private Health: The Coming Battle: 1. The Difference Has Little to do With Government and the Private Sector.
There are two groups of professionals in our nation’s health system. They are the medical providers who treat us advise us about our health. Then there are the public health professionals who develop the tools to prevent disease and create the protocols and recomendations for the treating professionals to use. On most issues, the two groups are in synch and each appreciates the other. But more and more, there are conflicts that result from each group looking at the same data and research, but doing so with a different perspective This article explains the differences between the two types of critical health professionals, and explains why they sometimes disagree and why they are BOTH RIGHT. The recent battle of the breast cancer screening recomendations is used to explain this critically imporant conflcit. Additional articles in this series will suggest ways we as health consumers can make sense of these conflicts, and how our political structure can cope with what often appear to be irreconcilable differences but are not really diametrically opposite.
America produces the most scientific contributions to the world, but the science is not usually done by Americans.
The United States generates more scientific studies than any country of the world and more than the rest of the world put together. We also produce more of the critical breakthrough research than the rest of the world. However, over half of all the scientists working in America are foreign born. Many become Americans, but they did not start out that way. The main reason is the FAIRNESS of much of the American system of allocating research money–a fiarness as this article will explain that does not take place to the same degree anywhere else in the world.
One out of every 4 Americans has been brought up within a family where one or both parents had a drinking problem. Scientists have, in the last 30 years, learned that these “Children of Alcoholics” (COAs) are at risk for a number of different problems ranging from substance abuse to mental illness. However, when the COAs become adults, there are still a set of risk factors they carry and if they develop sufficient resiliancy, they can thrive. Dr. Tian Dayton, one of the world’s leading psychologists and experts on COAs, and herself a COA, has written this article which is one of the clearest explanations of the problem–an explantion light on jargon and heavy on communication and insight. These results of over 20 years of Dr. Dayton’s research, provide an intelligent layperson with a basic understanding of the problem in society and very often in our family or those of our friends.
The evils of earmarks are widely recognized, but there is one that negatively effects the scientific research of the nation. It is one what has rarely ever been mentioned politically, and most of the media have ignored it or may not realize the problem exists. This article explains and gives examples of this additional critical reason for earmark reform.
It is the negative affect on the scientific researchers themselves and their processes and institutions.
A Solution to the Problem of Consumer Contracts That Cannot be Understood by Consumers Who Sign Them
This study and report shows that the vast majority of consumer contracts in America are written with such complexity that the vast majority of Americans cannot read or understand them. One of the causes of the home mortgage meltdown, the lack of contract readabilty is a threat to our very economy. Dr. Eigen proposes a remarkably simple societal solution that costs virtually no public or private money, requires no additional people to implement, and is essentially self enforcing.