MISSING CHILDREN. Immigrant children from Latin America are in the news headlines lately. But Rene Denfeld reminds us that an astounding 61,000 foster children in the US annually come up “missing.”
HOW TO ARGUE. Author Kathy Cramer reminds liberal readers that arguing with political opponents may be a fruitless task. 0n the other side are populists –their views are not merely those of President Trump but, rather, represent a sincere electorate that sees the system as badly broken.
GO NAVY! Dwayne Day reports that the modern GPS system was greatly forwarded by the Navy’s Transit Navigation Satellites, the first step towards personal GPS a few decades later.
A BORING PRESIDENT? Former Sec Def Donald Rumsfeld honors the presidency of Gerald Ford. It was Democrat Tip O’Neill who said “God has been good to America, especially during difficult times. At the time of the Civil War, He gave us Abraham Lincoln. At the time of Watergate, he gave us Gerald Ford.” Rumsfeld’s appreciation cites the late president’s kindness, Midwestern politeness, and willingness to put the interests of the Nation ahead of his own.
BREAST CANCER? Author Barbara Ehrenreich challenges current beliefs. She claims that repeated international studies indicate that mammograms have not reduced mortality from breast cancer but – to the contrary – exposed women unnecessarily to cancer-causing levels of radiation.
MACHINE VERSUS HUMAN. A Washington Post article on artificial intelligence points out that “thinking” machines are already writing financial news, sports stories, and weather reports!
TRIAL AND ERROR. A Washington Post Outlook article resurfaces some “fake science.” A 2013 study at Northwestern University’s Medill Justice Project reveals that the now-discredited shaken baby syndrome played a role in about 3,000 convictions. The article faults appellate courts which have made it extremely difficult for those convicted by “bad science” to win a new trial.
Another target is bite mark analysis – the claim that there was scientific validity to dentists claiming they could match bite marks on a victim to the teeth of a defendant. By 2004, 37 US jurisdictions had accepted this. But in the 1990s, DNA analysis began to show that bite mark testing was “junk science” and hardly reliable.
4 GREAT QUESTIONS. Mystery writer Louise Penny in Still Lives has her protagonist-detective mentor a young police officer with four sentences everyone should employ:
- I’m sorry
- I don’t know
- I need help
- I forget
LAWYER’S CORNER. We understand that military attorneys dealing with ROTC have come against an interesting dilemma. Suppose a college student signs on – in good faith – for a ROTC specialty open to males only. That cadet later elects to have a “change operation” in which he becomes a she. Should the individual lose the scholarship?