LiveJournalists recap 2005

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It’s year-end reflection time for the Chronicle‘s LiveJournalists, and they don’t disappoint — this editorial has all the oomph of a middle school essay:

Among the less-happy reports of the past year was news that Africans continue to suffer the scourges of poverty, malaria and AIDS despite the best efforts of Bob Geldorf and Bill and Melinda Gates; and that HIV infection rates in gay American men are on the rise after years of steady decline due to a raging epidemic of methamphetamine addiction.

Bob Geldorf (yes, the “r” is in the dead tree paper, too) and the Gates’ couldn’t stop poverty, malaria and AIDS? Can you imagine — thinking that three rich people could actually solve these problems?

Here’s a malaria news flash: DDT works. And an African economist begs us to STOP the aid:

Shikwati: … for God’s sake, please just stop.

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

As for AIDS, Uganda’s emphasis on abstinence has worked, much to the chagrin of condom-promoting enthusiasts.

Back to the middle school ess…uh, editorial:

A federal judge staved off academic ignorance in Dover, Pa., when he ruled that teachers would not have to talk about “intelligent design” in public school biology classes.

This is what gets me: there is little difference between evolution-believers and ID/Creationism believers when you get right down to it. Both ideas are sustained by faith. The fact that evolution-proponents feel threatened by the mere idea of Intelligent Design being taught alongside evolution speaks volumes. What are they afraid of? A little diversity of thought? Should students be indoctrinated or be taught to question and reason?

2005 saw the gruesome milestone of the 2,000th U.S. soldier to die in Iraq and reminded us how difficult removing American troops from the region will be, despite three successful elections in that fledgling democracy. Syria withdrew from Lebanon and Israel handed over the Gaza Strip to Palestinian control, but peace remains elusive.

Sigh. The international policy experts are at it again.

But many Americans were appalled to learn that their government “rendered” terrorism suspects to foreign countries for harsh interrogation, maintained secret prisons and engaged in warrantless domestic wire taps.

Well, not really. Oh sure, the media and many on the Left were appalled, but your average American who doesn’t regularly talk to al Qaeda-types isn’t too appalled. In fact, most of us were applauding President Bush!

Here’s hoping that all those little positive changes contribute to the greater common good in 2006.

My wish for the LiveJournalists in 2006 is for better editorials and outside-the-liberal-box thinking. FORE!

BLOGVERSATION: Swing….and a miss… (Sedosi)

UPDATE: Well, this is interesting: the practice of rendition about which the idealists are appalled actually began under former President Bill Clinton. So far Big Media is fairly mum on this new revelation. The filter lives on.

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.