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  Was that Bill Clinton Last Night?January 24, 2007 11:36 Jeez... it seems that Republican genius strategists have finally figured out that to be loved by the American people a president has to be more like a... Democrat! After years of comparing himself to FDR, Bush took a page from Bill and Hillary last night, talking about health care, balancing the budget, and renewable fuels. Give me a break! All of these policies are diversionary tactics meant to distract from the real spending problem... George W. Bush and his failed Iraq policy.
  The Brain Theory Behind AltruismJanuary 22, 2007 10:56 So basically, George Bush has very little brain activity... I could have told you that...



Researchers at the Duke University Medical Centre have identified a particular brain region that predicts whether people tend to be selfish or altruistic.

"Although understanding the function of this brain region may not necessarily identify what drives people like Mother Teresa, it may give clues to the origins of important social behaviors like altruism," said study investigator Dr. Scott A. Huettel, a neuroscientist at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Centre.

Altruism describes the tendency of people to act in ways that put the welfare of others ahead of their own, but why some people choose to act altruistically is unclear, says lead study investigator Dharol Tankersley, a graduate student in Huettel's laboratory.

In the study, published in the online edition of Nature Neuroscience, the researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brains of 45 people while they were either playing a computer game or watching the computer play the game on its own.

Tankersley said that a region of the brain called the posterior superior temporal sulcus was activated to a greater degree when people perceived an action, that is, when they watched the computer play the game than when they acted themselves. This region lies in the top and back portion of the brain and is generally activated when the mind is trying to figure out social relationships.

Thereafter, the participants were as more or less altruistic, based on their responses to questions about how often they engaged in different helping behaviours. The fMRI scans showed that increased activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus strongly predicted a person's likelihood for altruistic behaviour.

The researchers believe that altruistic behaviour may originate from how people view the world rather than how they act in it.

 
  A Land of Bigotry, Fear, and RacismJanuary 11, 2007 09:39

This morning I was on an American Airlines flight that pulled away from the gate, sat on the tarmac for an hour, then returned to the gate after we were told that there were technical difficulties. It turned out that two men on the plane were offended that there were 'suspicious passengers' on the plan, even though we had all gone through security screening. If they had merely chatted with their fellow passengers, they probably would have found them to be harmless. Instead, they became disruptive and demanded to the airline and flight crew to be allowed to take alternate flights. The flight crew, gate agents, and other staff did an excellent job of containing the issue and keeping calm. Unfortunately, I was forced to disembark because, by the time we could take off, my business meeting was sure to be missed.

In 2007, I cannot believe that simply because of skin color or other physical appearance, grown men are willing to believe the worst about a complete stranger. I believe that our American world of extreme passenger screenings, constant 'terror alerts,' and a never ending war in Iraq is changing us from a country of acceptance to a country of fear and racism.

I wish these two men could be fined or prosecuted for causing businesses and individuals to lose thousands of dollars with their irresponsible behavior. Surely it would be even better if they could go to some diversity training. At this rate, they are surely failing the test of life.

  Bush's Last Stand: Stability In Iraq, Credibility In USJanuary 10, 2007 21:11 Tonight, president Bush gave a speech proposing increased troop presence in Iraq, more spending, and even the circumspect suggestion that the administration is going after groups in the sovereign territories of Iran and Syria for providing 'material support' to terrorists. Is there not end to this folly? Would our billions of dollars per year spent in Iraq not be better off used in our classrooms, our research labs, and our health care facilities?

The madness of King George must stop now. Let's hope that the rational thinkers in our government agree.

 
  Surge?!?!?January 09, 2007 22:51

I would say that I can't believe that our glorious administration is considering actually increasing the number of US troops in Iraq, but to use Senator Biden's reference (I believe it was he), that would be like expecting a heroin addict not to go back to the needle when he worked in a needle factory. Bush continues to surround himself with a warm, fuzzy blanket of hawks who remain Hell-bent on dragging us all to, well, Hell!

What the heck are we going to do in five to ten years when the country is broke, we can't afford to send students to college, and our elderly have no benefits? I guess we'll blame George, who will probably be holed up in some Chinese palace that is currently under construction thanks to Halliburton and the Carlyle Group.

  Parents Of Disabled Children Ask Doctors For 'Ashley Treatment'January 08, 2007 13:53 I'm sorry, but I think the concept of tailoring a disabled child to make it more convenient to care for them is simply sick. The question must be begged... if their life is so miserable or meaningless, then isn't euthanasia an option?

Doctors in Seattle who treated the severely disabled girl Ashley with surgery and hormones to keep her at the size of a six-year-old child have received requests from parents of other disabled children to repeat the treatment.
Dan Gunther, an associate professor of paediatrics at the University of Washington who devised Ashley's treatment with the blessing of her parents, said four sets of parents had contacted him to ask that their children be considered.