Showing posts from August 17, 2014

Congress Will Review The Transfer Of Military Weapons To Police Forces After Ferguson

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[This is useful, since Congress facilitated the creation of these circumstances by making military weaponry available to municipal police forces in the first place. Another good step that has proven very effective elsewhere is to have all police officers wear live broadcasting video cameras. *RON*]

By Hayes Brown, Think Progress, 17 August 2014

In the aftermath of clashes between heavily armed police forces and protesters in Ferguson, MO, the Senate will review the nearly twenty-five year old law that promotes the transfer of surplus military goods to police forces, the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee said on Friday.

The tensions in Ferguson after the death of teenager Michael Brown at the hands of the police in a shooting that still has many questions left unresolved have been punctuated by the collision of protesters and the Ferguson police force. On Wednesday evening, the local police displayed a wide-ranging array of gear that woul…

On the science and ethics of Ebola treatments

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[A good piece, which I agree with. Whether you agree or not it will give you much to think about. The comments are generally of high quality too, if you click on the link to the original article. *RON*]

by Joanna Monti-Masel, Scientia Salon, 14 August 2014

We have recently seen much ethical hand-wringing around use of the two new and experimental treatments for Ebola, ZMapp and TKM-Ebola. Unfortunately, people are worried about the wrong things.

The first two patients to be treated were Americans. Prior to this came the old (and historically justified) fear of testing potentially dangerous new treatments on vulnerable populations in developing countries rather than on privileged first world patients. The first ever treatment was not given to an African doctor because of this concern [1]. After Westerners were treated, complaints rose about giving infected Westerners access to a new drug while infected Africans went without. These two concerns are o…

Do You Trust the Government? 87% of Americans Don't

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[This doesn't say much for the meaningfulness of democracy. The majority of Americans trusted their government in the 1960s; now it is 13% - the lowest ever recorded. The last time the figure rose to over half was in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. *RON*]

By Kevin Mathews,, 16 August 2014

Americans are seriously lacking faith in the system – in fact, trust in the U.S. government is at an all-time low. According to the latest CNN poll, just 13% of Americans agree that the U.S. government "can be trusted to do what is right always or most of the time."

Instead, nearly everyone (75%) says that the government works properly just "some of the time," a troubling figure. Certainly, a healthy, functioning democracy would not brew so much distrust amongst its population.

"The number who trust the government all or most of the time has sunk so low that it is hard to remember that there was ever a time when American…