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Grab bag Friday

There have been just a few things that I wanted to cover but that don’tneed separate posts.

  • From the Economist: ONE IN six adults in the 33 mostly rich countries of the OECD is obese (measured as a body mass index of 30 or more) according to a report published on September 23rd. The fattest countries are the United States and Mexico, where around a third of adults are obese. Britain’s adults are the biggest in Europe. By contrast, Asian OECD countries Japan and South Korea are the leanest. Governments will count the eventual cost: health-care spending on an obese person is 25% more than for someone of average weight. And the problem is not confined to the rich world. In rapidly developing countries such as China, Brazil and India obesity rates, though still low, are growing fast as the dietary habits of the ever-increasing middle classes change. (Ed. Note – The Economist notes that they made an error in these data. The US is the most obese country and NOT Mexico.)

  • For some reason, there is a buzz around the $100 million that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is giving to the Newark public school system. He might be trying to clean his image. Really? S, he is the first millionaire billionaire to try to whitewash his image? If you give me $100 million, I’ll hold a press conference and thank you without worrying about your motivations. Arianna has more: So the $100 million donation to Newark’s crumbling public schools is not in and of itself the story? The story is figuring out the motivation behind it? Is this what we have come to? Can you think of anything more ridiculous? I really don’t care why Mark Zuckerberg is donating $100 million of his own money that will make a profound difference to the lives of Newark’s children. I care very much that it’s being done — that one of America’s worst school systems will be getting a massive infusion of funds.
  • The Republican “Pledge” is one of the biggest pieces of public misinformation in a long time. I’m still laughing at Republicans who now think that their plan will reduce the deficit.
  • One of the best examples of a non-story is Rep. Steven King being steamed that Stephen Colbert testified on Capitol Hill. I’m sorry, but I don’t care that Rep. King is steamed. He seems to love being on Fox and will say anything to be on the network, again.
  • Speaking of a media hound, there is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president. He made wildly inaccurate statements during his UN speech yesterday, accusing the US of being behind 9/11.  Then again, this is par for the course. He has denied that millions of Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
  • Finally, on a lighter note, a lost language may have been found.
By |2010-09-24T19:44:28-04:00September 24th, 2010|Civil Rights, Healthcare, Iran, Science|Comments Off on Grab bag Friday

What's Going On: Evening News Round-up

  • A 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit just outside Los Angeles. There was no major damage or injuries reported.
  • Senator Barack Obama talked about immigration in front of an Asian American and Pacific Islander group.
  • Now, even the Washington Post is questioning Senator John McCain’s ad. Once they get into the act, you know that the ad stinks.
  • One of the saddest stories that I have seen in a while is this Extreme Makeover house in Atlanta. If you don’t know the story, I summarize. While this family was sent on vacation to Disneyland, this TV show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, destroys their home and builds a bigger, newer one on the same spot. The family was given enough money to pay the taxes on the home for decades. Since then, the family borrowed against the house and now can’t afford payments. The home will be auctioned on Tuesday as another foreclosure.
  • Senator John McCain’s health needs to become a serious topic of this campaign. We really didn’t see his records. Some selected reporters were able to peak at selected records. Now, McCain had another “spot” or lesion removed from his right cheek. We, the American people, should get a detailed history of his melanomas. How deep were they? How large were they? What are his chances for recurrence? None of these questions have really been answered.
  • David Brooks writes an interesting article on education in today’s New York Times. He discusses how America became an economic powerhouse as a result of investment in education. He then points out that we have been stagnant in this area since 1970. What he doesn’t mention is that his Republican party has done everything that they could think of to retard and destroy our public education system. The two best examples are No Child Left Behind, which has been great at dumbing down our students and teachers, and charter schools, which suck needed funds out of our public school system. I doubt if David Brooks will call out President Bush in his next article for Bush’s disasterous educational policies.
  • Finally, bombings in Iraq yesterday killed 61 people and wounded 238 people. In Pakistan, the U.S. bombed a suspected Al Qaeda training camp. Now, we are going on the offense. Where was this over the past four to five years?
By |2008-07-29T19:51:06-04:00July 29th, 2008|Al Qaeda, Bush Administration, Domestic Issues|5 Comments
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