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News | Geeta Menon

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

15-year old boy fatally shot by cops in Dallas

When will it end?

Jordan Edwards was the kind of child every parent dreams of – good student, great athlete, loving son. He was at a party that was getting rowdy. He decided to leave with his friends before things got completely out of hand. It was the right thing to do. Yet, as the teens drove away, cops fired three bullets into the car. Jordan was shot in the head and died later at the hospital.

Another young life brutally ended. Another family left with holes in their hearts.

It’s hard to believe the cops felt threatened by a car with unarmed teens driving AWAY from them. So what went wrong exactly? Were the police inadequately trained to handle the situation? Or did they just see a black kid and assume the worst?

Either way, a teenager will never come home again. Rest in peace, Jordan. We’re sorry we couldn’t do better.

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Syria – To strike or not to strike?

syria 150x150 Syria   To strike or not to strike? From my layperson viewpoint, there are 3 options:

1. Do nothing: The easiest, least expensive course of action, but isn’t that reminiscent of what happened in Europe during WWII? And how would  Syria, Iran and North Korea view inaction after all that talk about a narrow red line?

2. Conduct a limited strike: President Obama is gearing up to do precisely this. No troops on the ground, limited duration of attack. The UN – think Russia – will oppose this, but the US can proceed anyway…

3. Broker a solution with the United Nations to remove Assad: This is a more long-lasting, mature solution as long as Russia and China pitch in too.

So what do you think?



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Palin’s Latest Blunder

palin1 150x150 Palins Latest BlunderThe ex-governor of Alaska (and future presidential candidate?) messed up yet again. During her “One Nation” bus tour, she claimed that Paul Revere’s famous ride was intended to warn both British soldiers and American colonists. Seriously, Sarah? Even my fourth-grade son who studied the poem this year knows better. Paul was trying to warn the Americans that the British were coming!

What baffles me is how a woman who has been known for her ignorance since 2008 has done so little to shape up. She’s had three years to get the facts right. Yet she blunders her way through tours and speeches, then insists she was either factually correct or that the “mainstream media” misunderstood her. That’s right – news-anchors on major US networks have trouble undertsanding English.

And Ms. Palin may one day be our President. A very, very scary thought…

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Stop The Bullying!

 Article first published as Stop the Bullying! on Technorati.

bullying3 Stop The Bullying!

The latest bullying episode – 13-year-old Nadin Khoury from Pennsylvania was kicked, punched and hung from a tree by his jacket by four older students. He was lucky. A Good Samaritan rescued him before things got worse.

Not everyone is that fortunate. We all know of the tragic suicide of Phoebe Prince in January 2010 after she was repeatedly bullied. In another case, 14-year-old Brandon Bitner stepped in front of a tractor-trailer to escape the relentless torment.

According to statistics, 77% of students are bullied in some form. Schools have a charter agreement between the trustees and the Minister of Education that directs the school to “provide a safe physical and emotional environment”. Yet these tragedies continue.

So what can we do?
Quite a lot. Provided schools, parents and kids work together.

What Schools Can Do:
Schools have to enforce a zero-tolerance policy with regard to bullying. Complaints must be thoroughly investigated and stern punitive action taken when required. Bullying is often not reported, so a watchdog committee of some sort would make a big difference. Schools also need to foster an environment where the victim feels safe enough to complain.

What Parents Can Do:
Parents should watch for signs that their kids are being bullied (school phobia, lack of confidence, damaged clothes and property) and provide support. Sometimes talking to the bully’s parents helps. In other cases, discussion with school authorities can make a difference. Legal recourse is also possible.

What Kids Can Do:
Kids can avoid bullying by taking a few simple steps. They can walk away from the bully, use the buddy system and control their own anger. They can confide in an adult. A self-defense class is always a good idea, as is participating in activities and clubs that build confidence.

If everyone did their part, bullying in schools would dramatically decrease. And young lives could be saved.

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Author of how-to book for Pedophiles arrested!

This is an update to my post http://www.geetamenon.com/news/free-press-or-devolution/

As many of you know, a book called “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure” was released last month on Amazon. Amazon yanked the book from it’s website soon after the release. Now the author, Philip Greaves, has been arrested.

There’s hope for society yet!

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Th New “Thrifty” Gene and Obesity

Article first published as The New “Thrifty” Gene And Obesity on Technorati.

thriftygene Th New Thrifty Gene and Obesity

Scientists recently discovered another “thrifty” gene called CRTC3 that affects obesity.  The concept of thrifty genes was first explored in the 60s. These genes are believed to slow down the body’s fat-burning process, and once helped our ancestors survive famines.

Mice bred without CRTC3 stayed lean irrespective of diet. Studies also showed that some humans have more potent variants of CRTC3 which makes it extra hard to lose weight, but only among certain ethnic groups. For example, Mexican-Americans with the variant-gene have greater rates of obesity, but non-Hispanic whites with the variant-gene do not.

While “thrifty” genes were once useful, they haven’t evolved at the same pace as society; they persist in making us retain excess fat though famines are unlikely in our current world.

So what can we do about these pesky genes?

Since “breeding” humans without them isn’t a viable option, and pharmaceutical companies will take time to develop a drug that turns CRTC3 and other similar genes “off”, we currently have only one choice. Consume fewer calories than we expend.

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The Grace of Elizabeth Edwards

I was saddened to read about Elizabeth Edwards’ death yesterday. But only momentarily.

For this remarkable woman epitomized resilience and strength. Life dealt her blow after crippling blow. The death of a child. Stage Four cancer. The revelation that her husband was a philanderer. Public humiliation as he first lied about his affair with Ms. Man Hunter…oops…Rielle Hunter, then admitted he had fathered her child.

Yet Elizabeth accepted it with equanimity and grace. Refused to be a victim. Smiled for the cameras. Kicked out her cheating husband instead of being a doormat. Wrote a book. Moved on with life, her head held high.

You don’t mourn the passing of a woman like that. You applaud as the curtain comes down.

Bravo, Elizabeth Edwards.

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TSA scanners – Yay or Nay?

animals tsa nude airlines security body scanners rman11882 low TSA scanners   Yay or Nay?

Despite all the outrage about TSA security measures violating the Fourth Amendment (which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures), airline travel over the Thansgiving weekend went pretty smoothly with 99% of travellers choosing to use the Advanced Imaging Technology machines. Of course, there was the occasional hiccup – the  kid who was strip-searched  (what was the agent thinking??), the guy who opted out and got so thorough a pat-down that he threatened to have the TSA agent arrested if his”junk” was touched.

So should we accept body-scanning as another necessary annoyance during travel? Personally, I’m okay with it (those TSA dudes do have some basic policies in place: for example, the scanning-agent never gets to see the “real” passenger and images are immediately deleted) IF it ensures my safety. But does it really do that, given the apparent innovativeness of the modern terrorist?

What do you think? Yay or nay to these imaging devices?

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Free Press or Devolution?

There’s a book on Amazon called “A Pedophile’s Guide To Love and Pleasure”.

No, I’m not smoking pot. I read about this on TechCrunch. See for yourself.

Someone’s twisted enough to write this? I only hope the venture is a misguided money-making ploy, not a presentation of the author’s true views. I can’t believe Amazon’s sanctioning such a thing. As a writer, I’m all for freedom with words. But shouldn’t the line be drawn somewhere?

And people are actually downloading this disgusting tripe. It’s the 158,221st bestselling kindle book in the store.

Words fail me…

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Give Haiti a Break

It’s unbelievably, unspeakably tragic. First the earthquake in January that wiped out 200,000 people in Haiti. Now the outbreak of cholera in Central Haiti and worries that it could spread to the quake-ravaged Port-au-Prince, where a vulnerable 1.3 million quake survivors are housed in tents.

250 people have already died. The images are heartrending.

We can help. Please go to Partners in Health and donate what you can.


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