Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Stateside with Rosalea: Just browsing

Primaries

Cue sound f/x: audio of Klondike Bar hitting flesh. Woman's voice: "Ouch! Oooch! No! Don't stop! This chocolate and ice cream is delicious!" So. Alaska nixed Measure 1 for alternative voting by a margin of 2 to 1 last week, and I'm bravely accepting my punishment. For a view of the Georgia primaries, in which the right's Bob Barr and the left's Cynthia McKinney both got nixed by their respective parties, see http://www.thenation.com/thebeat/index.mhtml?bid=1&pid=98 BTW, the primary elections for the state currently governed by the heir apparent to the Oval Throne Room - Jeb Bush - is on the second Tuesday of which month? Yup, it's September. Go look at a calendar for the date.

Tertiaries

Clerical workers at the University of California in Berkeley went on strike for the first three days of this week. On the last day, lecturers joined them, and there's an interesting article in this week's East Bay Express about their gripes: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/issues/2002-08-28/feature.html/1/index.html It sheds a great deal of light on the state of university education in this country, which basically boils down to a life or death struggle between the teaching and research agendas of the institutions that have 4-year degrees.

Quandaries

By coincidence, this weekend's Sunday magazine in the 'San Francisco Chronicle' looks at six professors who are such a big drawcard for top students that the universities hiring them went, in some cases, to extraordinary lengths to get them. For example, luring Prof. Bluestone away from the cancer centre he ran at the University of Chicago cost the University of California in San Francisco "the creation of a chair as a distinguished professor, admission to private schools for his two kids, and jobs and housing for his own dream team of 12 researchers who came with him, along with headquarters of the ITN" - the ITN being the brand new Islet and Cellular Transplantation Facility UCSF built at a cost of $4.5 million.

Most of the money for this would have come from companies and grants from the federal government, whereas the money for clerical workers and lecturers comes mainly from the State of California, but it's hard to imagine that this kind of distortionary funding isn't at the cost of jobs and conditions for lesser mortals. Not to mention the jump it causes in tuition fees, as a June item on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer reported: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education/jan-june02/costs_6-5.html

Heeby jeebies

Want to be really scared? Then read the article "Born-Again Zionists" by Ken Silverstein and Michael Scherer in 'Mother Jones' about the relationship between the Christian right, Zionism, and the Bush administration's policy in the Middle East. Sorry, it's not online, but have a look at http://www.motherjones.com/magazine/SO02/index.html anyway.

The subject has been touched on a couple of times in network news bulletins over the past couple of months, especially when a whole planeload of US families arrived in Israel to move into the settlements, having had the funds for their move raised by fundamentalist Christians. But panic not - this next couple of weeks include the Jewish high holidays to do with atonement, and there is an antidote at http://www.beyttikkun.org/holidays.htm - scroll down to High Holiday Supplement 5763.

Suffer little children And as for the scariest thing on television in recent weeks, it was surely the chilling sight on '60 Minutes' of a small group of small children being ushered into a room where they were watched through a two-way mirror as they were made to design and name their own poison. It didn't kill them immediately. Indeed, it will kill them and their peers slowly over the remaining decades of their lives. By age 10 many will have lost their ability to participate fully in the activities of childhood. Over the years, some of them may even lose a limb. The poison is fast food and the diseases it induces include obesity and type 2 diabetes, which is now considered a national epidemic.

The group of children was a focus group put together by psychologists on contract to '60 Minutes' but who usually work for companies like McDonald's on building brand loyalty in children as young as 2. Hey, next time you're sitting in business class, could be you're sitting next to one of these dollarists, who have so little respect for human life that they enlist innocent children as architects in the creation of slow, painful death from 'natural' causes for millions all over the world.

Hurrah for people fighting back, like the Los Angeles County School Board, which is banning the sale of sodas from vending machines on the school grounds during school hours. Of course, the revenue from those soda machines is what pays for school activities and resources so it's a bitter-syrupy victory. Then again, the Bush administration is big on kids' health, so for a critique of the campaign to make kids more active, take a look at http://slate.msn.com/?id=2069978

Lea Barker
California
Sunday, 1 September 2002


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news