Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Supreme Court FINALLY Rules Against Dubbya - Good News Right?

Ahhhh. American politics. Proving that once again, nothing can just be as it seems, the Supreme Court issued a major ruling against G.W. Bush yesterday while also managing to piss off those who can't stand him. According to the Los Angeles Times in a 6-3 decision, the court said President Bush's urging to re-open the case of Mexican foreign nationals serving time on death row was oversteppin' his bounds. The judicial arm of U.S. government noted that the President, including our current one, doesn't have "unilateral authority" when it comes to forcing states (in this case Texas) to comply with international treaties. But before you throw up your hands in celebration of these people FINALLY not giving Bush what he wants, note that it's ticking off those who say that the court is allowing the U.S. to be excused from honoring international treaties and laws (sort of like how approved torture ignores and belittles the Geneva Convention). But wait...there's more. If the court did give the "liberals" what they wanted in this ruling, then the cases of several Mexican citizens would be reopened. Here's the catcher, these nationals were charged and convicted of murder - hence their current location on death row. So who do you route for in this one? The neo conservative court, George W. Bush (gasp), Mexican murderers or....Man, these are the crappiest options we've seen in one story in a long time.

Yet Another "Smoking Gun" in Academic Corruption

We're tired of this shit. The "quick and dirty" on a New York Times article published today details how once again, critical research in the field of health is compromised by corporate funding. We're not saying that corporations shouldn't spend their big, tax-deductible dollars underwriting research meant to benefit the masses of society that they often utilize for profit. Still, isn't there something amiss with a cigarette conglomerate funding an organization or panel that is researching lung cancer?! While the article delves deeper than we will here, the bottom line is that a headlining researcher's conclusion that lung cancer can be more readily prevented through certain types of X-ray screening has been called into question.

1) Several other prominent people in the research field always questioned her findings since the same screening can lead to unnecessary surgery or procedures. 2) Turns out her research was funded by a foundation that was almost entirely funded itself by Ligget, a major cigarette maker. 3) The researcher in question stands to make a hefty profit as she already began gathering patents on certain types of machinery that would be used in these "preventative screenings." At the root of it all is the obvious point that when an industry funds research about itself or anything related to its product, (objective) research shows that the end result is compromised. Because this happens again and again in academia where most people don't venture, understand or have in any interest in, few recognize how it has anything to do with them. Everyone's too tired, distracted and entertained to connect the dots. All we know is that if certain "screenings" become part of the packaged deal with our healthcare and we have to cover it with a copay, we'd feel it then. Are we talking your language now mainstream America?