Monday, August 20, 2007


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The New York Times

August 20, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

In Search of Cheney's 'Virtue'
Dick Cheney once scoffed that energy conservation can be a "personal virtue"but is no basis for an energy policy.

Growing evidence suggests he had it exactly wrong.

Concern about greenhouse gases and reliance on imported oil usually leads toa focus on the supply side of the energy equation, particularly exoticsources such as wind, solar, waves and hydrogen. The coolest car in historyis a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle I once drove on a G.M. test track: It couldgo 100 miles per hour and nothing came out the exhaust but water vapor.

The catch: It cost $5 million to make.

So we need to push ahead with hydrogen and renewables, but the low-hangingfruit on the energy front is curbing demand - meaning more energyconservation. And it's appalling that our government isn't leading us onthat.

"The best source of new energy is efficiency and conservation," notes PeterRobertson, vice chairman of Chevron. "The best source is not to use as much."

Mr. Cheney's image seems to be of a dour stoic shivering in a cardigan in afrigid home, squinting under a dim light bulb, showering under a tinytrickle of (barely) solar-heated water, and then bicycling to work in therain. If that's the alternative, then many of us might be willing to see theoceans rise, whatever happens to Florida.

But new research has shown that improvements in energy efficiency often payfor themselves, actually leaving us better off.


The New York Times

India's Lower Castes Seek Social Progress In Global Job Market

By Emily Wax
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, August 20, 2007; Page A01

PUNE, India -- As a Dalit, Pratibha Valmik Kamble is part of the poorest andmost ostracized community in this subcontinent's ancient caste system, agroup of people so shunned that they are still known as untouchables. Hermother is a maid, her father a day laborer.

Yet here in this prospering city, Kamble, 24, was recently applying to anIndian firm called Temp Solutions to go to Philadelphia for a well-paidsocial service job there. During the interview, she twisted her handsnervously in her lap, knowing that if she landed the position, she would notonly make more money than both of her parents combined, she would enhancetheir social status, and her own.

India has long had an affirmative action program for federal governmentjobs, setting aside 23 percent of positions for the most oppressed castes.Now activists are campaigning to open the private sector to them as well,whether the employer is Indian or multinational. Prime Minister ManmohanSingh recently said he favors that goal.


The New York Times

Israel to Block New Refugees From Darfur
By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, August 20, 2007; Page A10

CAIRO, Aug. 19 -- Israel closed the door Sunday on a surge of asylum-seekersfrom Sudan's Darfur region and from other African countries, the largestinflux of non-Jewish refugees in the modern history of the Jewish state.

Authorities announced that they had expelled 48 of more than 2,000 Africanrefugees who have entered illegally from Egypt in recent weeks. Officialssaid they would allow 500 Darfurians among them to remain, but would deporteveryone else back to Egypt and accept no more illegal migrants from Darfuror other places.


The New York Times

APA Rules on Interrogation Abuse
Psychologists' Group Bars Member Participation in Certain Techniques

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 20, 2007; Page A03

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 19 -- The American Psychological Association ruledSunday that psychologists can no longer be associated with severalinterrogation techniques that have been used against terrorism detainees atU.S. facilities because the methods are immoral, psychologically damagingand counterproductive in eliciting useful information.

Psychologists who witness interrogators using mock executions, simulateddrowning, sexual and religious humiliation, stress positions or sleepdeprivation are required to intervene to stop such abuse, to report theactivities to superiors and to report the involvement of any otherpsychologists in such activities to the association. It could then stripthose professionals of their membership.



South Florida
Floridians may see 'momentous changes' in car insurance in 6 weeks
By Linda Kleindienst

Tallahassee Bureau Chief
August 20, 2007

Florida drivers are likely to see momentous changes in less than six weeks,barring last-minute action by the Legislature.

For one thing, most of us may no longer have to carry auto insurance.

On Oct. 1, the state's no-fault insurance law, which requires every Floridadriver to have at least $10,000 in PIP, or personal injury protection, isset to expire. That would make Florida one of only three states, along withNew Hampshire and Wisconsin, that do not mandate minimum insurance coveragefor drivers.

Legislators could decide to extend the law when they meet again next month.But there have been no signals yet that they will.

To help you plan for the expected change, we've highlighted the key issues.

Q Will I be required by law to have auto insurance after Oct. 1?

A. Probably not, but there is some confusion.



South Florida
Bush Seeks to Boost Canada, Mexico Ties
Associated Press Writer
6:34 AM EDT, August 20, 2007


President Bush, tending to relations with two border nations, will try togive a boost Monday to his partnerships with the like-minded leaders ofCanada and Mexico.

Bush's two-day summit with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper andMexican President Felipe Calderon is the third of its kind during hispresidency. Each one has been meant to bolster an evolving compact -- dubbedthe Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America -- that serves as away for the nations to team up on health, security and commerce.

Yet for Bush, the event also allows him to show he does not take hisneighbors for granted; they are both vital trading partners and energyproviders for the U.S.

"The message for Canada and Mexico is that despite the ongoing emphasis onIraq and terrorism in U.S. foreign policy ... the U.S. is investing time andattention on relationships with our own region," said Chris Sands, a scholarof North American studies and senior associate at the Center for Strategicand International Studies.


The Los Angeles Times,1,1630454.story?coll=la-politics-campaign

Clinton, Obama take center stage at Iowa debate

In a tame 90-minute session, the two candidates dominate as participants andas topics of discussion.

By Mark Z. Barabak and Peter Nicholas
August 20, 2007

DES MOINES, Iowa - Debating for the first time in Iowa, eight Democraticpresidential hopefuls on Sunday renewed their sparring over experience, Iraqand their ability to overcome the country's red-blue electoral divide.

Whether it was the early hour -- the local starting time was 8 a.m. -- orthe churchly sanctity of a Sunday morning, the session was among the tamestof the campaign season. Much of the 90-minute program was dominated by thetwo front-runners, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obamaof Illinois, both as participants and as topics of discussion.

The first question from moderator George Stephanopoulos of ABC News went tothe heart of what many Democrats are mulling over: whether Obama is tooinexperienced and Clinton too divisive to be elected president.

The candidates were read some of the harsher remarks they have uttered onthe campaign trail. For the most part they declined to repeat them on stageat Drake University, with one exception: Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. ofDelaware did not back away from his assertion that Obama, who is midwaythrough his first Senate term, lacked the seasoning to be president. "Istand by the statement," Biden said.

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut also took a veiled shot at Obama."You're not going to have time in January of '09 to get ready for this job,"said Dodd, a veteran of more than three decades in Congress.


Church should not be used as voting site
August 20, 2007
By Jerry Rabinowitz

I am the plaintiff in the Rabinowitz v. Anderson lawsuit about voting inchurches. Recently the decision in this case received attention in local andnational press but nobody has contacted me for my viewpoint. This is therest of my story.

I am a husband, son, uncle, neighbor, small businessman, property owner,taxpayer and voter. But, though I was reported as a non-observant Jew, Ipractice no religion. Nor am I an atheist. I believe that all are free andequal to believe and practice their chosen convictions. However, I objectedin court to being forced to vote in a religiously charged, politicalatmosphere that disregarded every viewpoint but that of the host church.Over 30 witnesses came forward to say they too objected to voting in achurch.

My experience was this. As I approached my polling location I passed alarge, anti-abortion banner put there by the host, Emanuel Church. Insidethe religious classroom that served as the voting location, I was presentedwith religious iconography in every direction, including directly above thevoting booths. While our constitution grants this right of free expression,the church was acting in a secular capacity on election day.

Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson said under oath that he has no powerto control the contents of a polling place inside a church building unlessthere is electioneering - and abortion banners and religious icons aren'telectioneering. And the judge's ruling says that since Anderson didn't placethese objects there, they aren't in violation. I disagree on both counts.

Does this mean we may now vote in a sanctuary or confessional booth so longas it isn't placed there by the state? Is it now OK for any privately ownedpolling place to exhibit any display of beliefs right over the votingbooths? I always believed voting should be in a neutral setting, so much sothat I raised a constitutional question.

Although abortion, stem cell research, and gay rights weren't on thatballot, they are issues candidates run on and use to receive support. Andthey are religious concerns. Thus religion is, in that sense, on the ballot,making a church polling place inappropriate in any fair election.


Posted on Mon, Aug. 20, 2007
The treasured second place in Iowa

Buoyed by his surprise second-place finish in the Iowa Republican strawpoll, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is plotting an even bigger coupagainst Mitt Romney in the first presidential primary in New Hampshire.

His inspiration for the audacious plot comes from two unlikely people: PatBuchanan and Bill Clinton.

Clinton, the original man from Hope, Ark., Huckabee's hometown, was nobetter known to New Hampshire voters in 1991 than Huckabee is today, whileRomney, the former governor of Massachusetts, leads the Granite State field.But, despite the Gennifer Flowers and draft-dodging scandals that plaguedhis campaign there, Clinton won enough friends to finish second in NewHampshire to 1992's neighboring candidate, former Massachusetts Sen. PaulTsongas.

Thanks to New Hampshire, Clinton proclaimed himself ''the comeback kid,''and went on to thrash Tsongas in the follow-up contests in Florida, Georgiaand the rest of the South.

Huckabee figures that if he can just get past Romney in New Hampshire, hecan do the same thing to him when the 2008 battle shifts south to Floridaand South Carolina next January.


Posted on Mon, Aug. 20, 2007
Broward schools try to remove fear factor for freshmen

Of 21,000 freshmen entering Broward County high schools Monday, 2,400 mightnot graduate, if last year's dropout figures are a good predictor.

Schools Superintendent Jim Notter and his team are determined to preventthat by using some strategies to reinvent the freshman experience.

One of those strategies was in place last week, as bewildered Pompano BeachHigh freshmen converged on the school for a first-time full-day orientation.

They stuck name tags on their shirts, including an A, B or C to designatewhich team they are assigned to. The team concept -- a throwback to middleschool -- is a key part of the ''ninth-grade academies'' created at everyBroward high school this year.

The format keeps a set of kids together for most classes, helping studentsbond and allowing teachers to watch the neophytes closely, said Dan Traeger,who oversees Broward's high school reform.


Rivals Take On Obama
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 19, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Des Moines, Iowa) Democrat Barack Obama on Sunday accused his presidentialrivals of political maneuvering for saying he lacks experience and heinsisted he could handle the rigors of international diplomacy.

The candidates began their latest debate by critiquing the freshmansenator's recent comments on Pakistan and whether he would meet with foreignleaders - including North Korea's head of state - without conditions.

"To prepare for this debate I rode in the bumper cars at the state fair,"the Illinois lawmaker said to laughter and applause from the audience atDrake University.

The debate capped an intense week of politicking in Iowa, an early votingstate in the process of picking a nominee. The Iowa State Fair is a magnetfor White House hopefuls each presidential election. This year was noexception, especially for Democrats who swept into the state after a GOPstraw poll last week.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said she and Obama disagreed over how to conductinternational relations with leaders who have been foes of the UnitedStates. Obama said at an earlier debate that he would have no qualms aboutsitting down with leaders of renegade nations such as Cuba, North Korea andIran.


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