Re: What should be the big issues of the 2008 election?
I hate to throw around the word "change" after hearing it incessantly from the candidates this past couple of weeks, but it is undoubtedly the best word to describe what we should be facing and thinking about as we go to the polls. The issues that have crept up in the last eight years, but not gotten their due or appropriate response...healthcare for one. The issue of healthcare in this country has been inching closer and closer to catastrophe/climax/showdown...whichever one you think is more appropriate. Healthcare needs to be overhauled, from scratch in my opinion, to meet the needs of changing demographics and changing times.
Whether Obama or Clinton end up winning the democratic nomination, an issue that will strike a chord is discrimination and intolerance. A black man and a woman, they'll be much harder to pressed to uphold their views on minority and equal rights, which will eventually mean some kind of resolution on the gay marriage debate, abortion, and maybe gays in the military.
I don't think it'll be a big issue before the election (unless people start dying directly from it), but global warming, energy sources, and big oil will definitely become prominent in the news hopefully in policies during the next presidential term.
Obviously Iraq will also be a big issue, but Iran and/or Pakistan may become contentious too if they stir up trouble (or if Bush stirs it for them).
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How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.
- Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
- Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
- As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
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