November 26, 2007
The so-called “coalition of the willing” is dwindling.
The Labor Party won big in Australia on Saturday; 50-year-old Kevin Rudd is the new Prime Minister, and Labor is the new majority in parliament. In addition to promising to withdraw Australia’s 550 combat troops from Iraq, Rudd said Australia will finally sign the Kyoto Protocol—leaving the U.S. as the only industrialized nation in the world who has refused to sign the environmental agreement on greenhouse gasses.
For the AP report, click here.
November 15, 2007
Benazir Bhutto’s niece writes in today’s LA Times that all the (media) hype about her aunt saving Pakistan, and Pakistani democracy, has no basis in reality. During her two governments, Fatima Bhutto reminds us that Benazir embezzled an estimated $1 billion from the treasury. She’s been convicted of money-laundering in the Swiss courts, and cases in Britain and Spain are ongoing. Benazir also probably had a hand in assassinating her younger brother, who was in Parliament and a critic of her policies. And, Fatima points out, while other critics of Musharraf are carted off to prison for threatening to hold a press conference, Benazir has held multiple ones from her home surrounded by police protection provided by Musharraf’s government. “House arrest” indeed. Fatima concludes:
“By supporting Ms. Bhutto, who talks of democracy while asking to be brought to power by a military dictator, the only thing that will be accomplished is the death of the nascent secular democratic movement in my country. Democratization will forever be de-legitimized, and our progress in enacting true reforms will be quashed. We Pakistanis are certain of this.”
Click here to read it in its entirety.
November 14, 2007
A study with rats, presented by the Society for Neuroscience last week, found that when given the choice between sugar water and cocaine, rats prefer sugar. Then the scientists did the same test with cocaine-addicted rats, and found that the majority of them preferred sugar. When they substituted saccharin for the sugar, the rats chose the saccharin.
Scientists concluded “that sweets like drugs can activate an ‘incentive system’ in the brain that helps reinforce behaviors.” Meaning, sugar is addictive like drugs are addictive.