Education & Political News

first_imgWhat’s been happening in school boards about evolution and intelligent design?  Here are some recent stories about politicians, reporters and ordinary citizens:Kansas Grass Roots:  Candidates vying for school board seats in Liberal, Kansas squared off over the evolution issue: see Hutchinson News.Ohio Rematch:  Despite an earlier loss, Darwin critics in Ohio are hoping to bring up the issue for a vote again, reports CNS News.  The article editorializes that “Their goal is to force curriculum changes that would also allow discussion of the intelligent design theory,” when the wording of the proposed changes specifically denies this.McCain’s Open Mind:  Though an evolutionist himself, Senator John McCain thinks students ought to hear both sides in the debate over evolution, according to a piece in Evolution News that comments on a story reported in the New York Sun July 18.  The Sun said, “the senator mocked the idea that American young people were so delicate and impressionable that they needed to be sheltered from the concept” and compared it to cold-war efforts to shield students from learning about Marxism.White House Press:  President Bush’s press secretary Tony Snow entertained Wesley J. Smith of the Discovery Institute.  Smith was there to congratulate the president for vetoing the stem cell funding bill this week.Quilt Warfare:  In a bizarre piece of propaganda, Canadian quilt-making mom Barbara West ridiculed intelligent design on her (hopefully) intelligently-designed quilt.  According to Canmore Leader, West, whose quilt showed the earth on a pile of turtles (see humor page), won the National Award of Excellence for her design.  Casey Luskin of Discovery Institute had some smirks about this.Free Press:  Patrick Gavin, associate editorial page editor of the LA Examiner, gave lengthy coverage to Casey Luskin and John West about their post-Dover book Traipsing Into Evolution that critically analyzes Judge Jones’ ruling.WWJD:  Lita Cosner wrote for Creation Ministries International about how governments and secularists are fighting to make US schools Christ-free zones and are erring on the side of censorship.Conservative Backlash:  Not all pro-evolutionists are liberals.  A new group calls itself Conservatives Against Intelligent Design.  See also report on Science and Theology News.National Wahoo:  In the vein that everyone is someone elses’ weirdo, George Gilder of the Discovery Institute wrote a lengthy article supporting intelligent design for National Review, only to be trashed a week later by John Derbyshire on National Review.Evolutionary Faith:  Uncommon Descent found out that the National Center for Science Education is looking for a “Faith Project Director,”  This is odd, because the NCSE argues that evolution is built on science, and creation is based on faith.  The job duties include “developing materials pertaining to evolution and religion for print and web; representing NCSE to the faith community, in print and in person; serving as liaison between NCSE and professional theological societies and religious organizations; speaking to the press about issues involving evolution education and challenges to it; counseling teachers, administrators, parents, and others facing challenges to evolution education.” Thanks to Evolution News and Access Research Network for most of these leads.  Let’s get the ACLU to turn on the NCSE over separation of church and state.  Derbyshire is an arrogant hack who likens creationists to whack-a-moles.  This is a psychological disorder known as role reversal.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read more

TPP poised to move forward

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Numerous agricultural organizations, after reviewing the text of the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, expressed strong support for the TPP deal and called on the U.S. Congress to expeditiously pass the agreement.Initiated in late 2008, TPP is a regional trade deal that includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which account for nearly 40% of global GDP.“Past U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) have demonstrated the importance to our industry of opening international markets,” said Dr. Ron Prestage, a veterinarian and president of the National Pork Producers Council. “TPP will provide benefits to our producers that dramatically exceed those of prior trade agreements. I assure you that pork producers across this great nation will do whatever it takes to get TPP passed by Congress and implemented.”Previous agreements have increased U.S. pork exports by 1,550% in value and almost 1,300% in volume since 1989 — the year the United States began using bilateral and regional trade agreements to open foreign markets — and now are valued at nearly $6.7 billion.“The United States now exports more pork to its 20 FTA partners than to the rest of the world combined,” Prestage said. “Free trade agreements work,” he stressed, “not just for pork producers and U.S. agriculture but for the entire U.S. economy. As a nation, we export almost as much to our FTA partners as we do to the rest of the world combined.”More than a quarter of total U.S. pork production now is exported, and those exports add more than $62 to the price pork producers receive for each hog marketed. Pork exports help generate an estimated 110,000 pork-related U.S. jobs.Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, who said a final TPP agreement would be “the most important commercial opportunity ever for U.S. pork producers,” estimates the TPP will exponentially increase U.S. pork exports and help create more than 10,000 U.S. jobs tied to those exports.“Without the TPP agreement, U.S. pork exports to the Pacific Rim region would be at a serious competitive disadvantage,” Prestage said. “Competitors such as the European Union, which are negotiating FTAs with countries in the region, will leap at the opportunity to fill the void that congressional delay would create. It is important that Congress act swiftly so that we don’t fall behind.”The TPP has the potential to provide even greater trade benefits if and when it is opened to additional countries, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, all of which have expressed interest in joining the trade bloc.“NPPC deeply appreciates the efforts of U.S. trade officials in achieving an outcome from the TPP negotiations that will provide enormous new market opportunities for high-quality U.S. pork products,” Prestage said.Not everyone in agriculture, however, is as pleased with the TPP.“This agreement has been peddled to farmers and ranchers as a potential goldmine for farm exports. But as with other trade deals, these benefits are likely to be overshadowed by increased competition from abroad, paired with an uneven playing field that will not only reduce revenues for farmers and ranchers but will also speed the loss of U.S. jobs,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union.
“This agreement looks to be particularly bad for the nation’s ranchers. The beef export opportunities are very modest. Japan included a snapback provision that will allow them to fully reinstate the current high levels of tariffs if it deems that beef imports are hurting its domestic farmers. Japan’s protection, coupled with the very generous access the U.S. gave the rest of the world, will likely push down domestic prices.“While NFU will continue to analyze the text of the agreement, we already know TPP includes no enforceable language to address currency manipulation, an effective maneuver used by our competitors to immediately tilt the playing field in their favor, even after signing an agreement of this scope and magnitude, having the potential to completely wipe out any gains.”last_img read more

Read more