21st Century's Priority One
Sunday, June 10, 2007
As common sense in science is lost with the continued stagnation of our energy base and deep troubling theoretical foundational issues in physics, so too, Civilization's Survival Parameters fly out of sight, out of mind, along with the values and morals inherent within new scientific understanding which new energy systems would reveal.
June 10, 2007
NYT: The Way We Live Now
The Inequality Conundrum
By ROGER LOWENSTEIN
In 1976, Richard Freeman wrote a book called “The Overeducated American.” So many Americans had been getting college degrees that the relative wages of white-collar professionals had started to fall. It no longer paid to go to college and, for most of the ’70s, fewer people did. Just so, incomes of the educated began to rise again.
People like Freeman, a labor-market economist, waited for the cycle to turn. They expected that with white-collar types riding high again, more people would stay in school, and incomes at the top would level off once more.
But they never did. Instead, the rich kept getting richer. Across the spectrum of American society, the higher your income category, the more your income continued to grow. And for a quarter-century, albeit with zigs and zags along the way, that rich-get-richer pattern has held. The figures are striking. In 2004, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s latest official analysis, households in the lowest quintile of the country were making only 2 percent more (adjusted for inflation) than they were in 1979. Those in the next quintile managed only an 11 percent rise. And the middle group was up 15 percent. Do you sense a pattern? The income of families in the fourth quintile — upper-middle-class folks with an average yearly income of $82,000 — rose by 23 percent. Only when you get to the top quintile were the gains truly big — 63 percent.
Numbers like that have made inequality a hot topic, not only for liberals but also for Bush administration officials like Henry Paulson, the secretary of the Treasury. The press is full of stories of the outlandish wages of the superrich, like the 25 hedge-fund managers who each earned at least $240 million last year (the top dog took home $1.7 billion). Democrats are giving tougher scrutiny to trade bills and are now thinking the unthinkable: tax hikes for the rich. Inequality “isn’t good as an economic matter,” says Steven Rattner, an investment manager and contributor to Democratic politicians, “and it’s not good as a moral or social matter .. full text
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
China Warns U.S. May Set Off Arms Race
NYT By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 5:58 a.m. ET
BEIJING (AP) -- China joined Russia on Tuesday in criticizing a U.S. plan to build a missile defense system in Europe, saying the system could set off an arms race.
The White House plans to install a radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland -- two Eastern European countries that were in the Soviet orbit during the Cold War era.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the plan had ''aroused great concern and attention.''
''China believes that the impact of a missile defense system on strategic defense and stability is not conducive to mutual trust of major nations and regional security,'' she said. ''It may also give rise to a proliferation problem.''
Russia perceives the shield as a direct threat and says it has no choice but to boost its own military potential in response. In some of his latest comments on the matter, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow could take ''retaliatory steps'' including aiming nuclear weapons at U.S. military bases in Europe.
The U.S. says the network is meant to protect NATO allies against a missile launch from Iran, not Russia.
Once Cold War rivals for the allegiances of the socialist world, China and Russia improved relations dramatically in the 1990s and forged what they call a ''strategic partnership.''
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
NYT June 3, 2007
Russia Warns U.S. on Missile Defense
Russia's Putin Warns of Retaliatory Steps if U.S. Installs Missile Defense in Europe
By MARIA DANILOVA
The Associated Press MOSCOW
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow could take "retaliatory steps" if Washington proceeds with plans to build a missile defense system for Europe, including possibly aiming nuclear weapons at targets on the continent.
Speaking to foreign reporters days before he travels to Germany for the annual summit with President Bush and the other Group of Eight leaders, Putin assailed the White House plan to place a radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland. Washington says the system is needed to counter a potential threat from Iran.
In an interview released Monday, Putin suggested that Russia may respond to the threat by aiming its nuclear weapons at Europe.
"If a part of the strategic nuclear potential of the United States appears in Europe and, in the opinion of our military specialists, will threaten us, then we will have to take appropriate steps in response. What kind of steps? We will have to have new targets in Europe," Putin said, according to a transcript released by the Kremlin. These could be targeted with "ballistic or cruise missiles or maybe a completely new system" he said.
On Monday, Iran's top security official called the U.S. plans for the missile defense shield a "joke," saying Tehran's missiles do not have the capability to reach Europe.
"Claims by U.S. officials that installing a missile defense system in Europe is aimed at confronting Iranian missiles and protecting Europe against Iran is the joke of the year, ..full text
Monday, June 04, 2007
ROSTOCK, Germany, June 2, 2007
(CBS/AP) Protesters with black hoods and bandanas covering their faces showered police with rocks and beer bottles Saturday, before the heavily armored officers drove them back with water cannon and tear gas during a rally against an upcoming Group of Eight summit. Black smoke from burning cars mingled with the sting of tear gas in the harbor-front area of the northern German town of Rostock, where tens of thousands of people had gathered peacefully at the start of the day. The clashes broke out among hundreds of stone-throwing demonstrators and police on the edges of the crowd as the rally progressed. Some 146 police were hurt, 25 of them seriously. Police said they made 17 arrests. It was an unruly start to what is expected to be a week of rallies against the three-day G-8 summit beginning Wednesday in the fenced-off coastal resort of Heiligendamm, 14 miles from Rostock. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host the leaders of Britain, France, Japan, Italy, Russia, Canada and the U.S. for discussions on global warming, aid to Africa and the global economy. The summit, like past ones, is attracting protesters opposed to capitalism, globalization, the war in Iraq and the G-8 itself. Police have surrounded the summit site with a seven-mile-long fence topped with barbed wire, and closed the surrounding waters and airspace, fearing terrorism or disorderly protests like the ones that marred at 2001 summit in Genoa, Italy, where police and protesters clashed for days and one demonstrator was killed. Protests near the fence have been banned. In Rostock, the officially permitted demonstration began peacefully Saturday with two groups of marchers gathering at the waterfront. Clashes broke out near the end of the scheduled four-hour rally, as some people pried up paving stones and broke them into smaller pieces. Eventually, five large green police trucks with twin water cannons mounted on top moved in to blast the rioters. A police car was destroyed and several parked cars burned, spreading black smoke over the area. Protesters also torched a large blue recycling bin. Police spokesman Frank Scheulen estimated the number of violence-minded demonstrators at about 2,000. Police put the size of the demonstration at 25,000, while organizers said it was 80,000. Werner Raetz, an anti-globalization activist with Attac, one of the organizing groups, distanced himself from the violence: “There is no justification for these attacks.” As for the demonstrations planned over the next few days, Raetz said both sides should try to get the “emotional situation” under control. There are several camps in the area for protesters, and marches and other events are planned. Some protesters say they intend to try to block roads leading to the summit site. Peter Mueller, who was among the demonstrators, had tears streaming from bloodshot eyes after the tear gas was released. “As long as the police were in the background it was OK, but as soon as one took a step closer, it went out of control,” he said. He shrugged. “What can you do? So ends the peaceful protest.” The protest was organized by several dozen groups under the motto “another world is possible.” “The world shaped by the dominance of the G-8 is a world of war, hunger, social divisions, environmental destruction and barriers against migrants and refugees,” organizers said in leaflets handed out on the streets. "For the member nations of the G8 summit, there are so many controversial issues — including the delay in getting agreement on climate change, the war in Iraq and global terror — that the demonstrations against the meeting are a 'perfect storm' of different intersecting ...full text
Sunday, June 03, 2007
After Sanctions, Doctors Get Drug Company Pay
By GARDINER HARRIS and JANET ROBERTS
A decade ago the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice accused Dr. Faruk Abuzzahab of a “reckless, if not willful, disregard” for the welfare of 46 patients, 5 of whom died in his care or shortly afterward. The board suspended his license for seven months and restricted it for two years after that.
But Dr. Abuzzahab, a Minneapolis psychiatrist, is still overseeing the testing of drugs on patients and is being paid by pharmaceutical companies for the work. At least a dozen have paid him for research or marketing since he was disciplined.
Medical ethicists have long argued that doctors who give experimental medicines should be chosen with care. Indeed, the drug industry’s own guidelines for clinical trials state, “Investigators are selected based on qualifications, training, research or clinical expertise in relevant fields.” Yet Dr. Abuzzahab is far from the only doctor to have been disciplined or criticized by a medical board but later paid by drug makers.
An analysis of state records by The New York Times found more than 100 such doctors in Minnesota, at least two with criminal fraud convictions. While Minnesota is the only state to make its records publicly available, the problem, experts say, is national.
One of Dr. Abuzzahab’s patients was David Olson, whom the psychiatrist tried repeatedly to recruit for clinical trials. Drug makers paid Dr. Abuzzahab thousands of dollars for every patient he recruited. In July 1997, when Mr. Olson again refused to be a test subject, Dr. Abuzzahab discharged him from the hospital even though he was suicidal, ...full text
Friday, June 01, 2007
“All they’re saying is, ‘Don’t worry, it’s not aimed at you,’ ” Mr. Lavrov said at a news conference after the meeting. “It’s such answers that are ludicrous.”“We quite agree,” Ms. Rice said with a sly smile, countering that Russian officials themselves have bragged that their strategic defense systems can easily overwhelm any missile defense system that the United States puts up in Europe. Mr. Lavrov was having none of it. “I hope that no one has to prove that Condi is right about that,” he interjected.
Perhaps a tour down the perceptual "illusions, delusions, deceptions and reality" lane may spark interest and action to retrieve and/or redevelop the long past due and suppressed energy systems that are INDISPENSABLE to survival for growing and increasingly complex civilizations: Illusions Delusions Deceptions & reality - The Joker There is an added bonus by-product, that comes with new energy science theory integration, called Wisdom and Approach to Understanding. The new scientific comprehension eliminates the caveman 'club/stick' conflict resolution methods still used in the 21st century. Besides, caveman club/stick methods do not work well with nuclear toys, as they threaten all of humanity
Rice Clashes With Russian on Kosovo and Missiles
By HELENE COOPER
POTSDAM, Germany, May 30 — The United States and Russia, with relations between them at their most contentious since the collapse of the Soviet Union, openly sparred here on Wednesday at a meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of 8 industrialized nations.
The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, accused the United States of starting a new arms race and implicitly threatened to veto any United Nations Security Council resolution that, like the one proposed by the United States and its European allies, would recognize the independence of Kosovo.
Even as the White House and the Kremlin were announcing plans for a rare kiss-and-make-up meeting between President Bush and President Vladimir V. Putin, their top diplomats were clashing here in the historic castle where Churchill, Truman and Stalin met to decide how to carve up Germany after World War II.
This time, the big issue was the carving up of the former Yugoslavia, where the mostly Albanian-inhabited province of Kosovo wants to secede from Serbia. That, along with the American plan to place antimissile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, has pitted Russia against the West in a war of words with flashbacks to the cold war.
Mr. Lavrov harshly criticized Washington’s plan to build a missile shield over countries that were once part of the Soviet sphere of influence. And he took issue with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for calling Russian concerns about it ludicrous.
“All they’re saying is, ‘Don’t worry, it’s not aimed at you,’ ” Mr. Lavrov said at a news conference after the meeting. “It’s such answers that are ludicrous.” ...full text