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Comments made by PamRider

Oceanside Man Sparks Debate Over Airport Security Procedures

Neither the body scans or invasive pat-downs provide much security. Neither of the methods detect materials inside body cavities. By definition, terrorists are fanatics and would not flinch about concealment inside their bodies. The USA needs to take a closer look at Israeli screening, which has been highly effective.

November 19, 2010 at 9:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

How Will The USS Vinson Impact San Diego's Economy?

As a native San Diegan, I have delighted in the company of military personnel and family my entire life, but a large military presence is not an economic boon.

Quantitatively the military payroll is impressive, qualitatively it is poor. The economic multipler from the military is only payroll--most from lower ranks. If the same persons were working in an industry producing a product, vastly more benefits would follow. The product would be sold in stores, enhancing value beyond the shopping of the military. Of course, product sales would enhance tax revenues. Also factories would have more needs than the somewhat self-contained military. Ancillary businesses would grow to support the needs of the industry. This is neglible for the military.

Being the "world's largest military complex," certainly makes us a target for terrorists or enemy states.

If San Diego is willing to make these sacrifices for war, then our traditional financial volitility will continue.

April 16, 2010 at 9:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Why We Ignore Science In Favor Of Irrational Thinking

You misread me and the guest. On KQED earlier he straight-out said people who do not support genetically engineered yellow rice were *causing* massive blindness. The rice does help or preserve rice. As Pollan clearly points out, the vision-saving properties require symbiotic nutient actions.

The point of the guest is that yellow rice demonstrates the efficacy of genetic engineering. It does not. It is also the only genetically engineered product so far that theoretically benefits consumers and not industrial agriculture and chemical companies.

The guest is on this issue either gullible or an industry schill. I need more information to decide which. I make my judgments in the real world.

December 7, 2009 at 8 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Why We Ignore Science In Favor Of Irrational Thinking

In large part I applaud this guest, but one position I have heard him on casts deep suspicion on his information, if not his premise. I have heardd him berate and viciously guilt-trip people who are concerned about genetic engineering. He claims that this prevents curing blindness in the developing world with a strain of rice, named yellow rice. The producers of the rice claim yellow rice will save millions of lives. In a New York Times magazine piece Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food) writes:

"it remains to be seen whether golden rice will ever offer as much to malnourished children as it does to beleaguered biotech companies.

"If that sounds harsh, consider this: an 11-year-old would have to eat 15 pounds of cooked golden rice a day—quite a bowlful—to satisfy his minimum daily requirement of vitamin A. Even if that were possible (or if scientists boosted beta-carotene levels), it probably wouldn't do a malnourished child much good, since the body can only convert beta-carotene into vitamin A when fat and protein are present in the diet. Fat and protein in the diet are, of course, precisely what a malnourished child lacks.

"Further, there's no guarantee people will eat yellowish rice. Brown rice, after all, is already rich in nutrients, yet most Asians prefer white rice, which is not. Rice has long had a complicated set of meanings in Asian culture. Confucius, for example, extolled the pure whiteness of rice as the ideal backdrop for green vegetables. That works fine so long as you've still got the vegetables. But once rice became a monoculture cash crop, it crowded the green vegetables out of people's fields and out of their diet.
. . .
"Ordinarily, evaluating a P.R. strategy in terms of morality rather than efficacy would seem to be missing the point. But morality is precisely the basis on which we've been asked to think about golden rice. So let us try. Granted, it would be immoral for finicky Americans to thwart a technology that could rescue malnourished children. But wouldn't it also be immoral for an industry to use those children's suffering in order to rescue itself? The first case is hypothetical at best. The second is right there on our television screens, for everyone to see.

December 4, 2009 at 7:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal )