Archive for September, 2009

Remembering Norman Borlaug

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

From New Perspective Quarterly: Norman Borlaug, who died Saturday, was known as the father of the Green Revolution. His work with high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties is credited with saving as many as a billion people from starvation worldwide. Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply. He is one of only five people to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Nobel Peace Prize. The others are Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Elie Wiesel. Borlaug was a distinguished professor at Texas A&M University. He spoke with Nobel Laureates editor Nathan Gardels this past spring. Read the interview…

Middle School Policing

Friday, September 4th, 2009

I just caught a couple of minutes of footage on one of those road-disaster shows that make porn of wrecks. One of the items was the Illinois semi trucker who was dumb enough to risk crossing against an oncoming train during rush hour. He misjudged the space he had. Train plowed his semi, sent it crashing against a dozen other cars that ended up piled up one against the other. No one died, but the cars and the semi were totaled, and there were quite a few injuries. The truckers’ punishment? Two years’ probation. I mention this only to contrast it with a story in today’s paper about an 11-year-old middle school student locally who got slapped with a felony–a felony–for threatening a classmate to blow him up. Instead of giving him a good talk and a lesson about dumb judgment, he got a felony charge. So here we have a child at the age of dumb (and dud) judgments getting a lifetime record, as opposed to an adult, a trained driver, an alleged professional, getting what amounts to a slap on a likely oversize rear end that long ago became benumbed to anything after demolishing a dozen vehicles and putting two dozen people’s lives knowingly at risk. You call this justice? I call it Southern law, where cons are the lawmakers.

Town Hall Asylums

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

A terrific piece of video reporting by the Newark Star-Ledger’s Brian Donohue (who’d have been a better choice than Diane Sawyer as a replacement for ABC’s previous has-been at the anchor desk.)

Can there be any room for a centrist at a health care reform town hall meeting?