Monday, June 25, 2007

The Tuesday Sampler

As much as I detest the agenda-driven slantings of the L.A. Times, as long as I view the stories with a degree of skepticism--I do this for all media outlets--I find many interesting, in-depth articles.

To borrow an advertising slogan from AM/PM, today they had "Too Much Good Stuff" for me to focus on just one story, so I will recommend a couple that might be of interest to someone besides me.

The first story is on one of my favorite subjects: immigration.It turns out that many border towns have students cross over from Mexico to attend U.S. schools. This means that they don't pay any property tax to support those schools. Here is the money quote:

"They want the American services," he said, "but they don't want to be part of the American system."

Two observations on this: As one who has traveled to many foreign countries, I can't imagine having the expectation that I could just show up at a school somewhere and expect them to take care of me.

Secondly, I am surprised that there are so many Mexicans who bother coming across to go to school because in my experience they are not that interested in eduction. The vast majority of my students show no desire to pick up a pencil, let alone sneak past the border.

But don't take my anecdotal evidence of how Mexicans often place a low priority on education. Read these comments from a post on Laura's Miscellaneous Musings for more first-hand examples. Focus especially on Dana and Laura's comments. Very interesting.

Next up is an interesting article from the health section.

It has been at least five years since I gave up on most natural nutritional supplements in my quest to remain healthy and fit. Always wary that I am being scammed, I gave up on various products that had scant evidentiary support.

I might have to re-evaluate after this article on the herb, echinacea.

The gist of it is that that a new interpretation of a group of pooled studies might have rescued the daisy-like plant extract from the discredited list of natural remedies.

The jury is still out on the subject, but I think I will pick some up since it is relatively cheap, unlike that Airborne stuff that is also unproven to have any affect on the frequency and duration of the common cold. I guess as long as it is cheap, I will give some snake oil a try.

File under strangely ironic

The German government--which many left-of-center leaders hold up as a model of tolerance the U.S. should emulate--has banned Tom Cruise from filming a movie because he is a Scientologist.

Germany has gone through a long self-flagellation for the horrors of WWII and is usually seen embracing a much more liberal attitude these days. It is just bizarre that they would take such a stand. Oddly enough, the movie is about about the plot to assassinate Hitler.


Irene said...

Regarding echinacea, I scoffed when the first study came out saying it was useless because in my own personal experience it has proven to be beneficial. I take the combo of echinacea/golden seal and then vitamin C three or four times a day at the first sign of a cold and in most cases I stave off the cold. So I'm glad to see it back on the "good" list again.

Ugly Naked Guy said...

Maybe it is one of those things that work if you THINK they work. I think I will start taking it again.