In 2006, thirteen men and women from Maine participated in study titled “Body of Evidence: A study of Pollution in Main People” sponsored by the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, which sought to draw attention to the growing presence of toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products. The study looked for a handful of known toxins and heavy metals, some which have been around forever, such as lead and arsenic and some, which are relatively new, such as phthalates, flame retardants, and perfluorinated chemicals.
Seven years after Hurricane Katrina wreaked its havoc on New Orleans and the Gulf coast, Republicans had to delay the start of their national convention because of fears that Tropical Storm Isaac would interrupt the party. Given that the Republican party chooses to ignore climate change as a problem, it sure is ironic that extreme weather is messing up their plans in Tampa. How many years packed with extreme weather do we have to have before Republicans and Democrats will make it an issue worth debating?
Election 2012 is now in full swing. The rhetoric is escalating across many different policy areas -- from the economy, to international relations and defense, to healthcare, to immigration, to such social issues as abortion rights and same sex marriage. In my commentary today, I will focus on the education components of the just – released Republican platform. Subsequent commentaries will address the Democratic education platform and discuss how the public policy proposals of each party differ and could impact K-12 and higher education.
Bread and butter issues will undoubtedly be emphasized in this presidential campaign season. The unemployment rate, the need for jobs, the rapid growth in dependents, fiscal deficits and the enormous debt overhang will garner headlines in the weeks ahead. But there are other issues the nation must confront. While on some fronts the government cannot do much about them, campaigns are a venue for the airing of ideas, a time to educate and persuade.
There’s too much regulation, says Romney. Too much regulation, say some businesses. It’s always categorical, not about which regulation. Just that regulation is bad. Stop it.
The forests are burning. The drought continues. The deserts are growing. The earth is warming. The diseases are spreading. The storms are destroying our towns and farms. The glaciers are melting and the oceans are retaking our shores, submerging islands, making refugees and warriors. But oh block the regulation.
The ancient Greeks had a word for it: “HYBRIS;” their term for the sin of “excessive pride or arrogance.” They believed it resulted from too much prosperity without ethical restraint. This bred “nemesis” or public indignation that demanded punishment. Today, we call it “hubris” but it still means the same and begets the same response.
A federal appeals court ruled last week that tobacco companies are not required to comply with the implementation of new graphic warning labels on cigarette packs, arguing that the law violated corporate free speech rights. These warnings are required by the federal government and are supposed to go into effect next month.
The death camps were liberated almost seven decades ago. Auschwitz and Birkenau, Chelmno and Dachau-- the ABCD’s of the Final Solution-- have long been silent memorials to the mass murder of millions. But despite this passage of time, World War II and the Holocaust have remained popular topics for filmmakers.
Mitt Romney just tossed Medicare front and center into the presidential campaign with the selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate. It is the most unexpected development yet in this political season.