You can try to deny it…

I wrote before about the electoral shenanigans going on with California’s Proposition 37 earlier this year, but I never quite touched on one of the “No on 37” campaign’s more interesting claims that’s gotten a lot of traction: that there’s no scientific evidence of cause for concern.

No on 37 flyer, testimonies from Nobel Prize winners for medicine and physiology
(Originally from here.)

Ah yes, let’s listen to a geneticist who’s studied nothing but immune disorders in humans and a guy who’s claim to fame is helping out with someone else’s groundbreaking research (again, not in biotechnology or medicine, but human genetics). I’m sure they’re able to perfectly explain away French studies that noted that studies of genetically modified crops are typically capped at 90 days and that rats’ endocrine systems can start running haywire if exposed to the wrong brands of genetically modified corn and soybeans. I’m sure we’re fine.

Meanwhile, today in Egypt, it’s been noticed that gangs of Salafi extremists painted over art from last year’s revolution, replacing or adding to memorials to those killed by the prior government with Quranic verses. This apparently led to confrontations with passersby, who took offense to the political revolution being redefined as a primarily religious one. At least the difference between their politics and those of the revolution are getting noticed and broadcast now.

On the other hand, in the United States, conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer reached a new low in his column yesterday. On women’s issues, he dismissed the needs for substantive change from the Republican Party’s policies, writing, “The problem here for Republicans is not policy but delicacy — speaking about culturally sensitive and philosophically complex issues with reflection and prudence.” Apparently he believes there’s a delicate way of saying they don’t approve of abortion even in cases of rape or the health of the mother. Good luck finding that Republican holy grail.

In a somehow even more blatant contradiction from reality, he reduced the growing demographic gap between the GOP and the US as a whole to there simply being more Latin@s, who “should be a natural Republican constituency”. Krauthammer explains away their huge preference for Obama as being purely related to immigration policies. Evidently he knows more about Latin@s than they do, since polling earlier this year showed Latin@ voters ranking healthcare policy, unemployment, economic growth, and the gap between rich and poor as the key concern for a larger chunk of their community than immigration. The same polling sample showed that even with those concerns taking precedence over immigration policy, Latin@ voters preferred Obama to Romney by a stunning 41 percent gap. So much for Krauthammer’s theory.

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